Aiming BIG!

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archer courtesy of Chutiporn at Stock Xchng

archer courtesy of Chutipon at Stock Xchng

With a little encouragement from a friend, I’ve written and submitted a short play to the BBC’s ‘Opening Lines‘ submissions competition.

Pitching between 1900 and 2000 words in mainly monologue format, it was an interesting challenge and a departure from my previous work.

Some of last year’s winning submissions can be read on-line here. They range from interesting to slightly disturbing.The format is condensed prose, almost poetic in its intensity.

My entry, which details an Army veteran’s fight back from depression, hits the spot at exactly 1950 words. The veteran’s carer encourages him to write about the circumstances of his debilitating injury, something which leads him out of the darkness.

Fingers crossed that it’s well received, although I’ll have no idea if I’ll be a hero or a zero until May 15th.

Wish me luck?

In the meantime, I continue to

acern270ginger write on

Paperbacks galore!

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Voa Paperbacks

The first complete copies of A Vengeance of Angels have arrived in the UK, courtesy of Amazon CreateSpace, drawing a neat line under the story and declaring it to be completed.

My first book suffered from a case of couldn’t-leave-it-alone-itis. However, with some thanks to the timetable set by my editor, the second book will not suffer this fate.

With ‘Vengeance’ in print, I am content to leave it alone – barring the surfacing of any undiscovered typos, of course.

So now, I am determined to crack on with the third book in the trilogy and:

acern270ginger write on

USA: Buy A Vengeance of Angels

UK: Buy A Vengeance of Angels

 

 

Synchronicity?

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Image courtesy of ba1969 at StockXchng

In an odd turn of events, I find myself incapacitated and stuck at home, exactly fifteen years after a similar event kick-started my writing.

Those who know my story might remember that a week-long illness gave me the time I needed to collate all my scattered notes onto my first-ever laptop. This was the start of my first ‘real’ writing project, the still-to-be-completed ‘Homeworld.’ (I will complete this one day, when I’ve cleared a few other projects.)

Now, after eight weeks immobilised, resting my crocked leg, my Muse crept up behind me, placed her hands over my eyes and whispered: “I have a great idea. Wanna hear it?”

And so she delivered an entire story, possibly an 80k novel, into my shell-like ear. I’m 99.8% certain (in life, there’s always room for a little doubt) the idea would never have come to me if I’d been working.

I’m optimistic that this new story has legs and will come together pretty quickly. It’s a quiet little British adventure story (provisionally titled ‘Pink Camper Van’) that made me smile as it unfolded. At the time of posting, I’ve already written 2,000 words, and I have a firm conclusion in mind, meaning this particular tale won’t end up as one of my infamous neverending stories.

As they say, watch this space. And as Monty Python might add: ‘And now for something completely different.’

.

acern270ginger write on

Second paperback completed!

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tarnya paperback banner

Ordering the CreateSpace proof copy was a good move. Definitely. The 1.5 line spacing I’d used to prevent the book being as thin as an advertising flyer made the whole story look as if it was a child’s book.

I changed the spacing to 1.0, which immediately shrank the page count to the point where the cover would have wrapped twice around the book. Oops.

So some re-jigging was called for. After several infuriating days watching words, sentences, and images sliding around of their own free will (anyone who has worked with Word will know what I mean), I’ve finally arrived at a point where the MS is where I need it to be.

Six copies have now been ordered from the US, along with another six copies of CoA for my ‘impulse buy’ stocks.

I can now declare book 2 to be over and done with, done and dusted, completed and in the bag. *shifts focus to book 3.*

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to:

acern270ginger write on

Post-release day ripples

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Tarnya's blog poster

Well, the release day seemed to go well, with positive feedback from several participants indicating that the evening was fun, engaging and informative. With a firm timetable (thank you, Sonya Loveday!) and a mixture of caption contests, music videos, and giveaways, there was a little something for everyone. With my ‘real’ life currently a bit of a whirlwind,  I had considered cancelling the event and having a covert book launch instead. Also, being a typical introvert, the idea of being totally responsible for the entertainment of literally dozens of people had put me on edge. But the encouragement I received before, during and after assured me that ‘If I held it, they would come.’ And although the event was scheduled to end at midnight (GMT / UTC), I was still chatting two hours later, such was the response.

Thank you to everyone who came along and everyone who donated a book. Hopefully, everyone will have received their prizes by now, except perhaps the little angel figure who is destined for Finland. If not, please let me know and I will investigate.

So, second novel under the belt. The third novel begins.

In the meantime, everybody, please:

acern270ginger write on

Createspace – it’s finally happened!

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coa-post-its

Anyone who’s been following my attempts to create a paperback from my eBook will know that I’ve been so very close for such a long, long time. 

But last night, I got confirmation that my first paperback had been despatched by Amazon.

All right, I was the one who’d purchased it, but it was for a friend and voluntary beta-reader in Canada. Thanks Michelle!

Perhaps I ought to call her an omega-reader, because this (he says) is going to be the very last set of changes I will apply to the MS. Discussions with my editor (hello Tara!) place the industry-acceptable rate of errors at 0.015%. Mine is currently averaging 0.005% but typos still get under my skin and I hate them and zey vill.not.be.tolerated!!

Not that I’m obsessive or CDO or anything… >.<

(For those that haven’t seen CDO before, it’s like OCD, but the letters are.in.the.correct.order. As they ought to be. :D )

Aaaaanyway, my first paperback has taken flight and ought to arrive within the week. I wait with baited breath for Michelle’s appraisal before I fix the dratted MS for one final time and close the chapter on the first book. Any remaining errors will have to be flagged up by particularly CDO-inclined readers of the future. I will simply smile quietly and say ‘I left that one in there especially for you, you clever thing.’

.

acern270ginger write on

Oh, PS… I clicked ‘order’ on Tuesday evening (GMT), received a shipping notification the following evening and by Thursday afternoon, the book had arrived in Ontario! This was well inside Createspace’s ‘within 7 days’ estimate. Impressive!

 

 

 

Does a second book imply greater determination?

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image courtesy of Miklav at Stock Xchng

The first week my debut novel was listed on Amazon, back in 2012, I was buzzing with excitement – and personal pride. However, that feeling settled after a wee while and I began thinking about the sequel, which has now been over a year in the making. As the First, and then the Second Drafts dragged on, a mild sense of panic began to rise within me.

What if I can’t do this again?

What if the first book was all I had inside me?

And so, a renewed determination to finish the sequel arose. I would NOT be a one-book wonder. I wouldn’t end my days thinking ‘What a shame I only ever wrote the one…’ *croaks*

Sure, I’ve written many, many stories in my time. A lot of them have even begun paying me back for the time I spent on them. But a novel is something else, isn’t it? It’s the obelisk of the publishing world, the menhir of our career, the monolith…

Well, you know what I’m getting at. To me, the magazine articles I’ve written are fine, if a little thin, like single sheets of paper in a breezy doorway. My short stories (especially electronically-published ones) can feel like leaves in the wind, but in comparison, the novel is a bit of a cast-iron doorstep.  To have published one feels like a serious achievement; to publish a second means it wasn’t a one-off event and I really, really can do it.

And then, of course, there’s the pressure to sustain the output until the end of days. Once that begins, there’s no getting off the roundabout.

Can anyone else relate to this feeling?

.

acern270ginger write on 

 

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