Weekly Ramble #59

I am fully immersed into book editing mode. Delving back into the pages and words I laid down nearly two years ago has lifted me. It’s surprising how well polished I left what I thought to be a first draft of ‘Darke Awakening’. Over the books and years my style of drafting has evolved into an edit and go process which pays off when you return to a project. 

This book will have it’s challenges but the most difficult part of the writing process has already been figured out. It’s a masterpiece, an intricate complicated shitstorm of fun intertwined with several story arcs combined to tell one great mess of a book which I personally adore. It may well be a tad ambitious but what I have edited so far has restored my faith in a story told over three books; Open Evening, Cemetery House and Darke Blood – three books readers must take on to enjoy this next one and hence the real challenge in all of this; marketing the whole thing.

Personally and it might sound indulgent and egotistical but I’ve said this before; I actually don’t care if people don’t like what I write, I do it for the story telling and not the reaction of mass audiences.

Yeah we get bruised as creators when someone gives us a scathing review but that isn’t why we are in this game. We do this because we want to create and to contribute towards art and literature. We do this because it fulfills us and shines a light into this dark void of life. Opinions and audiences are variable, the story we tell is the constant.

To reach the summit of those two sacred words ‘the end’ is to truly live as a writer. And to create something from the imagination entirely from scratch is to be free. All of us live to be free. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Update

Blog number 80!

My debut novel Open Evening is under two months away from publication. Things are beginning to move in my #YearOfWriting and they are moving towards this project being finalized. And so loyal follower or new reader I thought I would grace you with my presence by informing you of the news.

Here are the facts: On September the 29th this year, Open Evening will be available as an e-book via amazon.

Sometime later in the month of October (in time for Halloween ooooh) the paperback version will be available for you to buy via a print on demand service. I would recommend you buy this if you really like the e-book version as it will probably be pricey (close friends and family, if you think you qualify will get one as a gift from me).

Open Evening is completely new stand-alone young adult horror story. It is not about robots in the future which my previous unpublished works were (they will come later).

It will be brought to you by the wonderful services of satin publishing, an e-pub house who have successfully published many books previously. Nicky Fitzmaurice of satin will be editing my manuscript and providing the publishing services.

Design for writers will be producing the cover (which I am already very very excited about). They have produced some excellent work which you can see on their FB page. I am currently putting together every ounce of information they need to give me the best possible eye catching cover.

Very soon there will be an official cover reveal, then things will get really really exciting.

I’m currently very busy editing the book myslef at the moment so if you see me in person your very lucky, oh and I am going to be 27 this week so buy me card in the form of a beverage.

This is all well and good but what is Open Evening about? I shall present you with some quotations from the narrative.

“Sometimes you don’t get to choose where you are placed in the collective ecosystem of a high school. Survival for me has always been objective number one.” 

“Just remember what you expect and what actually happens are two separate things.”

“The unexpected is a wonderful thing; anything can come from such a place including the horrors of mystery surrounding it. Sometimes it isn’t what is there but what could be there.”

“If I can see you, they can see you.”

Who are they you ask? Well they may or may not be human (but they are not robots). You shall have to find out. I hope I have given you enough to at least wet your appetite for what’s to come.

To be published is a dream come true for me and I very much want this to be a success. I can only do that with your help!

editing begins

 

 

My Big Book Announcement

The day is finally here and with great excitement I can happily announce that my first novel ‘Open Evening’ is going to be published!

As some of you may have seen the other day I put up the picture of a date on both the tweet machine and Facebook (or life invader, the name I prefer). And yes and this is actually happening.

On the 29th of September 2016 Open Evening will be available as an e-book initially and then later on in mid-October will see the release of it on paper back.

This blog site has been the very forefront of my publication journey in the past few years and finally there is a destination on the horizon. If you look to the right you can see a countdown of sorts that I had ‘fun’ trying to put up on Tuesday (look I don’t computer well ok).

If you have come from life invader you will have seen my short but sweet announcement video available to watch here. 

The details

As many of you book people will know getting published takes a lot of organisation and firing back and forth of emails. Now you’re probably asking who will be publishing Open Evening.

Well back in December I made contact with Nicky Fitzmaurice of Satin Publishing, an e-pub house I have had my eye on for some time. After sending my work to Nicky she happily accepted and will be editing the book (as well as doing many more things in terms of publishing it).

Open Evening has been recognised as YA (young adult) in genre and will hopefully appeal to a broad range of ages. You can read what it’s all about here.

Now finding success through publishing a book is not something that can be done single handed. Having already organised the services of an editor/publisher I have also been on the lookout for somebody to help promote and publicise the book.

Last week I asked a good friend of mine and fellow blogger Matt Streuli if he would help publicise things?

‘Of course’ he said (in abridged form). Now some of you will already know Matt who does fantastic work, blogging and campaigning for the awareness and stigma that comes with mental health. His journey in the past year can be seen in his many blog posts about the subject of mental health. He has appeared on the radio and even writes for the Huffington post.  I will even mention that every year he finds new and innovative ways to advertise the community drama club we both belong to.

What needs to be done?

So my book team has been organised and ready to assemble, what happens now?

Well there is still a lot to consider before any of you read the first words that begin Open Evening.

Firstly I need to get in contact with a cover artist. I know the saying about never judging a book by its cover but people do so it needs to be good.

Then I will need to get my head around all things that make up the publishing process. After all this is a journey of discovery.

At some point I shall sit down with Matt and discuss all the ways I can annoy people on social media about my book.

Importantly I will be blogging and bringing any updates onto here in order to build up an even bigger following that I already have. That ladies and gentlemen is where you come in.

No writer has ever found success without the support of loyal readers and in this day and age, followers. Quite honestly I need you all to like, share, retweet, re-blog and rewind the VHS before taking it back to blockbuster (what?). Seriously I need you, because on that day of publication I want Open Evening to make a dent in whatever list or chart it finds itself on. My dream is for the world to read my stuff and it’s on the horizon, but only if you help. There may be a signed book or cup of tea for your reward.

I said 2016 will be my #YearOfWriting and it is. So come with me if you want to read…

Thank you all sincerely for reading this and liking my posts on whatever social media platform you find me on. It means everything to me. This journey has been long but its going to get interesting soon.

LH

New Year Same Momentum

Like everyone else I am going to say that 2016 is here! It does seem like quite a while since my last entry as I decided not to review 2015 simply because I didn’t fancy recycling old posts and linking them. It’s boring to me if you are recycling old crap and shoving it towards loyal readers. Saying that 2016 and 2015 are just both numbers to me. For many it’s a clean slate to start things again, for the Chinese it probably doesn’t mean a lot and for me well I actually count my years via my birthday.

Momentum is something I want to briefly talk about as I have been gaining a lot of it since my year started back in august. I hope to carry that momentum into this year. Open Evening my latest project ( young adult in genre) has been written, edited, edited again by myself and now it is in the stage of organising a professional edit. I have envisioned the release to be around September time, hopefully.

Whilst that is in motion of back and forth emails I have taken steps towards drafting another project. I won’t reveal any more details other than that as I am still unsure at this stage if it will go any further than the 800 words currently drafted.

Over the festive break I had the pleasure of going to the cinema and yes you guessed right it involved jedi Knights and Storm troopers.

ar wars

Star Wars: the force awakens was a fantastic few hours spent and well worth the over priced popcorn and beverages. As an audience we are introduced to a group of new characters who will later become the heroes much like the original trilogy. We are then re introduced to some favourite characters who then interact with the new. Simply put, this film is a re introduction of star wars for the generations who haven’t had the chance to see it on the big screen and just as important, a carrying on of the original story. One top thing I have heard about this film is mainly from people who are strangers to the Star Wars universe and they themselves say its good, so I recommend it. The force is definitely awake and has out shone the prequels to say the least. I would even argue that this is the best Star Wars offering yet.

 

Moving on, the beginning of a new calendar year means one thing for me and group of talented performers. That’s right, Iver Heath Drama Club are back on stage this month for their annual pantomine show Dick Whittington.

Ticket sales are doing well but could be better, so if you are in the UK and can get to greater London then I suggest you come and see me in a show! Tickets are available online here. You will catch me working alongside fellow blogger Matt Streuli who is the resident dame and chairman of IHDC. A lot of voluntary hard work goes into these performances and it shows when the curtain finally comes up.

Year of writing

My final note will be about the campaign I began late last year called #YearOfWriting . Basically using this hashtag will group all of my stuff together on social media platforms so go ahead and use it when sharing my stuff, that’s if you do share my stuff. Anyway thanks for reading, drop me a comment sometime, share my stuff and thanks to old and new followers. Here’s to a productive new year filled with success and good things.

 

dick

This new book may actually be quite good…

I say the title of this blog not with the intention of tooting my own horn (who else will?), but to really express pride in the work I have done recently. My latest project ‘Open Evening’ has entered the very much enjoyable next pahse called editing. Reading back and writing additional content along with correcting the old, I am convinced this book will have some appeal.

The narrated text is quick, with our main character being witty and somewhat aware of the genre. This puts an interesting yet original spin on the story. My intention in writing has always been to find some element of originality. Like with many titles, the actual content may not be original, that’s hard to find these days but the actual story delivery is original or different.

Cliché is something every story teller will cling to but in horror fear of the unknown is the greatest tool available. What it could be strikes the imagination into frenzy of reactions we all express in different ways. Jump scares are cheap and quite difficult to put into a book. I very much prefer to use the unexpected in a different way and that’s what turns pages.

editing begins

My plan is looking like its coming together with my work already done being something I am very proud of. Horror is a high selling genre that I very much intend to tap into. By the end of 2015 latest ‘Open evening’ will be ready to move towards a professional edit. Hopefully by summer next year some of you will be holding that book in your hands. But who knows, as I said the unknown is sometimes what keeps us reading.

I would like to take this opportunity to plug another blogger who is a good friend of mine. Matt Streuli has found some success recently with his mental health blogs and has made it on the Huffington post well done to you sir.

My facebook page following has grown in recent times, thanks to all for the likes old and new.

Happy Halloween everyone and remember who really knows what could be lurking in the dark shadows…

New Book: Fully Drafted

Only on a handful of occasions have I ever been able to pen those two words. But last night I stayed up late as the finish line of my latest offering became just visible on the horizon.

‘The end’ but we all know that is the very start of this book’s journey to publication.

Open Evening is a teen survival horror which very much mirrors the situation most young people are thrown into when faced with going to school. In that sense our hero of sorts, the narrator, is faced with the everyday struggles of fitting into a complex social system of people all at very different and mostly difficult stages of development (teenagers) . Combine that with a genuine horror situation and you have my latest book.

For a more detailed synopsis you can scroll onto a later entry when I officially announced this project.

So what happens now you ask? Personally the worst part is over, drafting or plucking ideas out of my head can be a draining and somewhat harrowing experience. Don’t get me wrong I love to write but laying the initial foundations is the hardest part. Maybe why many people start but never finish.

Next will come an extensive edit, addition of detail and formatting of chapters which will see it ready for an official professional edit (I feel sorry for who that may be).

In between this and next year I will be finding time to prepare a nearly ready script for a one act play I intend to bring to life very soon for IHDC. Check them out they are looking for backers on Kickstarter at the moment.

Then in that same year 2016 I will be looking to self publish Open evening and make it my first offering the big wide world of literary things, or amazon as I like to call it.

Watch this space.