I haven’t at all gotten to answer any comments in the past couple of weeks, and I’m SORRY, and I will get there – promise. It’s taken me a whole lot longer than I expected to get back to blogland, and I’m only starting in properly now. It’s been a bit surreal around here lately. I had TWO nasty surprises in the past six weeks, with members of the local bands of rotten criminals trying to open windows at three in the morning, and me seeing them through the windows BOTH times. That brings the number of attempts by them to get in to four altogether, so I must admit that the last one on Good Friday morning knocked me off my perch a bit. There’s something horribly personally, and somehow violently, invasive seeing an actual person right there on the other side of the glass, even if they do run away. Needless to say I haven’t been sleeping the sleep of the just that I so richly deserve, so I’ve been rather bleary. I’m a whole lot better now though, and waiting with eager anticipation for the riot control self defence kit that I ordered, the very presence of which will guarantee me some good snooze time I think.
Other than that I’ve had some lovely work coming my way with many, many thanks to my wonderful supportive friends here, especially Sally Cronin and Chris Graham. I want to give an extra BIG thank you to Chris – The Story Reading Ape for designing my fabulous new logo for my Indie Support Services.
Don’t forget that there are all sorts of things other than covers that he can do for you Indies. From video trailers to banners, maps, and logos like the perfect one he designed for me. Zoom on over and follow him if you aren’t already – he is a wonderful font of help and support for all authors.
It’s so good to be able to finally start getting back to the books I love in all their forms. I found a particularly interesting one called The Voynich Manuscript that I’m sure a lot of you will find fascinating too. It’s been carbon dated to the early fourteen hundreds (1404 to 1438) and is named after the man who bought it in 1912. It’s written in an unknown alphabet – one that to this day has yet to be deciphered even though the most talented code-breakers and linguists have tried since its discovery. It’s filled with drawings of the craziest alien looking plants you could imagine, as well as pictures of women zooming through what appear to be tubes. Then there are astronomical drawings, and finally a couple that look like a combination of plants, the tube zooming females and the astrological designs.
The mind boggles. My mind does anyway. A lot of very staid and well educated personages have found all sorts of realistic explanations for this book, but I’m a writer so not apt to head straight for the boring. I reckon the writer of this most peculiar tome was either from the fourth planet from the central star in the Zerg galaxy, trying to draw a map home because her peers had found a fabulous way to use whacky plant tubes as interstellar transport (I deduce that said writer was female and the reason for the book was that said peers had decided to search for more plant-worthy men on another planet and forgot her behind) or that it was written by an aspiring adult comic book creator born before his time.
Either way—interesting stuff. If you want to download the PDF for a bit of nutty inspiration you can get it at Holy Books. The download is quite big though—over 50MB.
It’s brilliant to be properly back in the bloggerverse. I’ll be finishing up a couple of cover designs this weekend before diving into my sci-fi series book edits again next week, and now that I’m finally having some quality time back at my computer again with two of my favourite things, I’m pretty much grinning all the time. I abandoned my sketching and painting for so many years that I really didn’t think that I’d ever get back into it, but lately all the rust is falling away and I’m amazed at the huge joy it brings me. It’s weird how we sometimes stop doing the things that we love for whatever reasons, sometimes forever, and that’s a huge shame. It’s also weird how so many of us humans think that getting pleasure from an activity must mean that it’s not work and not worthy of our quality time. It’s the same with writing – how can it be your day job if it’s your favourite thing in the world to do? The truth really is that if that’s what it is – your true happy place, you’ll probably do it so much better than any other kind of “work”. It’s definitely worth striving for, to spend your life doing the work that you love, rather than getting to the end of it and looking back with huge regrets. Put as much work into work that you love as you do your day job, and with a bit of luck and elbow grease it will eventually be your day job.
Now that I’ve discovered that our illustrious scientists have discovered that Earth is actually a billion years older than they thought it was I have lots of tweaking to do to my series. Tweaking, I reckon, is the most dangerous thing to do as far as inserting all sorts of terrible inconsistencies is concerned, especially in a very long story that you’ve been away from for a while, but an extra billion years is way too cool for me to pass up. Anyway – now I’m off to paint covers and ponder what weirdness could possibly reside in dark matter.
To celebrate the fact that it’s always Spring – somewhere, I’ve decided to put all my tales on Amazon up for free today and tomorrow (12 – 13 April). I’ll pop the links on here if you’d like to download them. I hope you enjoy them! They will go free at around 12 CMT, so in around two hours from now. African Me & Satellite TV will be published next, and then on to the second book in the Shadow People series.
And join us today and tomorrow at the Spring Fever Reads Giveaway, and stand a chance to win more books and a Kindle Fire!
Till next time friends. xxx
Still busy sorting all my old blog posts into categories. Seeing the dates on these posts has made me realise how quickly I’ve zoomed along this indie writing road. I opened the WordPress site in March 2012 after joining Facebook in January. Before that the only IT knowledge I had was how to operate my cellphone – sort of.
As far as writing went, I’d only started that the year before when I wrote African Me & Satellite TV, scribbled in notebooks and on bits of paper shoved into an old manila folder. The story had been niggling at me for a while. To begin with I really just wished it would go away. I’d never written anything before. Never yearned to be an author, or ever imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be capable of writing so much as a paragraph of fiction that anyone would actually want to cast their eyeballs over.
It never went away though. It grew and grew, and became my obsession, until finally it was done, sitting in a tatty pile on my desk along with the two books that grew side by side with it. Two of the characters in African Me were so huge to me that they had to have books of their own. And so they did.
Not ever having been on line before, and not even knowing that Kindles existed, I tentatively tried to look for agents. I’ve never approached one though. A friend suggested that I join Facebook and look for writers there. I did, and found one brilliant little group of mainly aspiring authors and one or two stars. There, apart from gaining a couple of amazing friends, I learned about indie publishing. It was only towards the end of last year that I found myself swept away on the indie highway.
Along the learning way I’ve published two short stories, and a sci-fi/fantasy novel on Amazon, obviously expecting to be hugely famous mere hours after pushing the upload button. Shame about that. I’ve found out lots about finishing, formatting, and publishing e-books, as well as creating covers for them, not to mention marketing and SEO. The biggest thing I’ve learned so far is that I have only one toe in the water. As far as indie publishing and marketing knowledge is concerned I still have miles to travel. I’m just really glad to be on the trip.
And that trip was all about getting African Me & Satellite TV published. There were just unexpected twists, trips, and bonuses along the way. I now have the first book in a series out there, with loads more to come. I’m painting away to create images of Lapillus and the characters in Shadow People, so that anyone who reads the books see them a little as I do. I’ve learned that writing and reading short, sharp stories is brilliant. For the first time in my life I’ve written poetry. This was really hard, but a bit of African Me just had to have it, and I’m very happy with how it turned out.
African Me & Satellite TV will be published soon, and I am terrified and excited. My main point of this ramble is that no matter what trip you are on, you never know where it will take you.
To writers more newbie than myself I say – gosh – are there any? Seriously though, from what I’ve learned so far I have a couple of opinions.
• Don’t publish your beloved first. Publish another brilliant, but lesser love first and learn the ropes a little.
• Don’t believe that just because you have “Author” attached to your moniker, thousands will fawn at your feet.
• Learn about marketing on line, and follow through. I’ve been held back in this department by constant (daily – very often weekly) power outages, and the weakest internet signal on the planet, but that has never stopped me from trying.
• Research every thing that you do. Don’t fall for “editor” “publisher” tricks – there are a lot of nasties out there who will con you properly. Check credentials.
• Beware of spending the majority of your waking hours in the wrong areas of cyberspace. Do you really think that posting links to your books on a group of other indie writers will generate sales or get you real readers?
• Do join other indie writers for online events. You will build up a group of indie writer friends over time and this is good. You support each other. Boost each other. You need this. Just be careful who you team up with. Make sure your indie buddies are cool.
• Don’t ask people for fake reviews. If I see a book with hundreds of gushing five star reviews, I’m immediately wary. And if I then read the book, and it’s really bad, I’m not a happy girl at all. I do review for friends, but never if they ask me. If I like what I see, am a fan of the genre they have written in, I buy their book. I never leave bad reviews – ever. If I don’t like a book I leave it at that. There are loads of people willing to leave crap reviews – some that seem incapable of spelling “and”, I’m sorry to say.
• Have patience. What will be, will be.
Till next time friends. xxx
The best day of 2013 so far, and the first day in the amazing world of books for Shadow People. Even though a lot of my plans for the day didn’t happen with the couple of stumbling blocks, and the mad rush to get it published on “the day”, I was still planning to show it around its new home a little today. So of course I sat down on the couch for only a minute, and conked right out for half the day, leaving my poor new baby all on its lonesome out there in the big wide web. Brilliant performance indeed! I really am doing well!
In my defence, it has been an outrageously busy week. Sleep wasn’t much of an option, so when the big work was all done last night, I thought I’d have the snooze of the century. I sneezed myself awake at midnight though. If it had been just one sneeze I might have been able to stay in bed. No such luck. It was a proper multiple rapid fire sneezeathon that woke everyone up and had Jelly the weaver bird out of her basket, shouting her head off and ready to take on all intruders. So I tiptoed out and pottered around till the sun came up. Then Mr Sandman pounced out from under a fluffy pillow and ambushed me. Little bugger. Anyway.
Back to Shadow People. By way of its first welcoming party, I will be giving away both of my short stories on Amazon for free on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th February. They will be the party hats. They’ll also be free on the 14th – for Valentines Day. I’ll pop the links for them right here. And of course the link to Shadow People, in case any of my friends would like to have a little peep at it. If you do, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed living in it for a short while. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when I head back to Lapillus for the next book in the series. First though, African Me & Satellite TV has to be brought into the sun. And now to explain to disbelieving friends why I why I left my day old chick unattended for so long. Oh dear.
Till next time friends. xxx
I can’t say that January 2013 has been my favourite month. In general, it’s been just a little rough. I had expected to leisurely edit and perfect my sci-fi/fantasy novel, Shadow People. Instead it was a month of serious illness and other unexpected evils. On the plus side though, I’ve made the most amazing new friends, and learned that most people in the world are most cool indeed. I’ve found that friends of old are more than rocks. I send much love to you guys. I lost my beloved turkeys in a devastating way, and have only lately been able to look my three little survivor chickens in the eye. But all in all, I think I’ll be just fine.
Shadow People will be live on Amazon for your reading pleasure from around six in the morning, Zimbabwe time – that’s the only time I know really. It was published while the mystical words, “Dear God, please don’t let there be any typos.” were recited most enthusiastically. I really hope you like it. I will say that there is no doubt in my mind that Shadow People will carry on. Natalie has much to do yet, and the universe really needs a lot more work. I find myself unwilling to leave the beautiful Lapillus and her inhabitants, so book two is already semi-formed.
In this celebratory state of mind, I would like to give my friends my other two short tales on Amazon. They will both be free on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th February. Not necessarily science-fiction/fantasy like Shadow People, but I hope you will enjoy them anyway. I apologise for my two day absence friends, and thank you for letting me back in.
Join our fantastic community on Google+
Free for you on Saturday and Sunday are:
And if you’d like to read Shadow People…..
Till next time friends. xxx