We're mid November now so here's an update on my goals:
One goal met. Which is still progress, right?
"The hard part is done", as I like to say, but actually the hard part is far from being done.
I'm at the revision stage - the infamous hard part.
To add a bit of context:
I've been going to a monumentous amount of stress these past couple of months (personal stuff) which seems to finally be improving now. On top of that, I've managed to complete a book somehow - which again, is great. However, the last couple of weeks has to be one of my lowest points in years (emotionally and creatively).
Whenever I recieve feedback on a draft, I do this thing where I sit there, address the main points and problem solve. I make notes upon notes upon notes and when I finally feel I've cracked the code to creating a clearer, smoother plot, I get really excited and contact my editor and it's all poppers and firework displays when I miraculously manage to pull it off.
But what about when I don't?
Have I ever spoken about what happens when I feel I've failed and have to go back to the drawing board?
I've avoided social media, solely for the fact that creatively I've had no drive, no inspiration, no faith and no silver lining. I can't bear to be exposed to the successes of other people in the writing community when I'm stuck in the mud. I've constantly second guessed myself. Every day that's passed I've asked myself if I'm cut out to be a romance writer (meanwhile forgetting that others seen so much potential in me and that I've been acknowledged by editors before).
And I know people say "read a book, it might inspire you"...no, it doesn't.
It only succeeds in making me feel even more inadequate as a writer. It constantly has me comparing myself to the writer, telling myself I can never be as good, could ever write as flawlessly. Then I start to ask myself whether my writing is too basic or cliche (forgetting all about the good feedback I've recieved and hellbent on focusing on the bad).
It's depressing, I know. And I'm aware that the writing community has an equal balance of emotions, that creatives flock to twitter or facebook or wherever to share their sorrows, rejections, failures, successes, achievements...and I'm equally guilty of sharing moments of achievement and success...but I don't like to talk about my problems. I don't like exposing my hardships.
However, I think it helps to be honest with people, otherwise I'm not being real.
Hence this post today in my protected space.
I have no idea who (or if anyone) reads my blog posts, so I could be venting to thin air for all I know, but it doesn't matter. What matters is I'm honest with whoever does stumble across my site or page and reads this. Honest that being a creative sounds hella fun, but has the hardest low points. Everyone deals differently.
For me, if I can't write, can't create or brainstorm then I retreat into myself. Question myself. Lose faith in myself. Until something helps me break out of it.
Prior to my low point, two fellow writers spontaneously messaged me, and I learnt three things.
1) Someone loves my writing pictures - the ones where I always have a cup of tea or teapot nearby
2) Someone finds my writing updates motivational
3) Someone is looking forward to my stories
It's the simple nuggets of gold such as these which help me find the silver lining. That and the support from my close friends who understand all too well what it's like to suffer creatively.
Be assured that I'm inching closer to pulling myself out of this quick sand. I'll find my feet again and before long, you'll see me back to my usual optimistic self.
In the meantime, I'll be...problem solving.
I'll end it here with something for those who do like my writing space photos. Here's my latest one which is fairly new to me as it's a new desk with new thingamabobs (I have yet to utilise this new space properly!) Xxxx
I'm awfully proud of myself.
"Why?" I hear you ask?
For once, I'm ultra organsed and even had a mini epiphany this week.
I know for a long time I've considered myself a Fantasy Romance writer (and that's only because my current projects were of that genre and I hadn't envisioned writing anything else), however, those of you who follow me on social media will know I've been working on a contemporary romance recently.
I've been so engrossed in this project that I've solidified my desire to get this book self-published...yes, it means...I will be relelasing my first contemporary romance this year!
There is so much excitement bubbling up inside me, not just because of this announcement, but because it means I can write whatever romance tickles my fancy in the future and not just stick to one category of romance - paranormal romance, thriller romance, time travel romance...you get the gist.
With this all in mind, I want to again provide a list of 'things I have to do' so it's clear what my plans are for the rest of the year (which I'm happy to share it with you all):
Four seemingly 'simple' tasks on paper, but it will most definitely take me into next year. The largest project out of all of these has to be the JJ tales, because it's such a mammoth story with so much to work on and get right. It's my 4th draft so you can imagine I want to get it right this final time!
But yeah, the positives are there. I WILL get one book published this year and I'm so excited about it!
Anyway, that's it for now. More to come soon, guys!!
It’s been a while but for once I’ll try to make this short and sweet!
Life has been throwing it’s lemons which I’ve been juggling whilst making lemonade all at the same time. Who said women can’t multi-task again?
Anyway, long story short, I’ve pressed pause on JJ tales for now as I’ve started working on a new project. This WIP is shorter and contemporary romance, very different from my JJ tales series. I was really struggling with the editing for a while creatively, so after much needed advice from a dear bestie and awesome writer, I decided to take the leap into something a bit out of my comfort zone.
It’s been going well so far. At the moment it’s a bit of fun and a hell of a lot of learning – I can’t complain! There isn’t really any knowing what will come of the project but I can assure you I will be jumping back into editing JJ tales very soon (as my characters are starting to drive me insane!)
Whilst we’re on the topic of the JJ tales, here’s the update I have at the moment. After much deliberation, I’ve decided to make another big change (aside from the whole rewrite) and change the titles.
Now, in the past whilst these titles have worked, it’s bothered me that they had no firm consistency as a series and therefore I’ve decided to give it more depth.
I won’t disclose the title for book one just yet, but I can happily say I love it already and can’t wait to share.
Anyway, that is as short and sweet as I can get right now! Back to lemon juggling/making I go!
I know it's been a spell since my last blog post back in September 2018.
I can't express how awful I am at blogging and keeping everyone in the loop.
Here's a very brief update on old news anyway.
- I had an awful tumble down the stairs late November, I sprained my torso, was off work for a month.
- During that time of being bed ridden, uncomfortable and frustrated with life, I managed to complete draft 2 of Origin.
- I returned to work in January and officially stepped into my new senior role.
- A couple days ago I had a collision with a school kid in my car, he had ran out into the road without looking, I couldn't brake in time and hit him. Even though he's alright and only got away with a graze and sore leg (nothing broken thank god), the shock was monumental.
I don't handle stress very well. In fact, I suffer from severe anxiety and have had panic attacks in the past. This very well triggered me and it's still very much on my mind.
I've had to give my apologies to the amazing Writing Community on Twitter who have always been so supportive and amazing to socialise with.
My doctor has given me a few days off work to try and recuperate. My manager is really supportive. I hate being off my game, I won't lie. I know I'm not myself. I've been overworking myself, been staying late after work, been taking on way too much and I think I've run myself to the ground now.
A low me is not a fun me. But I'm thankful I have people around me who understand.
My plan had been to start draft 3 this weekend however I still find myself not quite there yet. Instead I thought it might be a good time to update my site and all of you who care to read my blog. That still counts as something writer-related, right?
I thought it might be optimistic to post a list of things I'm really looking forward to the next few months (a kind of non-new year's resolution - because I hate them):
- Avengers Endgame
- Kobra Kai (Season 2)
- Game of Thrones (Final season)
- The Umbrella Academy (Season 2)
- Spiderman: Far From Home
(Yes, I'm aware that so far this list is made up of movies and TV shows)
- Completing darft 3 of Origin
- Finally republishing Origin
- Playing Skull & Bones
- Starting a new writing project
Currently I'm on a binge watch of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Which I'm sure I'll be completing in no time. But that's me.
Until next time, by then I should be back to my usual self.
This won't be a long post but a wee update!
I have worked hard. Harder than I ever have done to complete Origin's rewrite.
And now I can HAPPILY announce that I have finished the manuscript and it is now in the capable hands of my editor! (YAY!)
I guess now the question is "what should I do whilst I wait to hear back?"
The usual answer would be "to start on the next book in the series" but actually...I plan to try working on something new and unrelated to the JJ Tales or Romance Fantasy!
I can't say right now what I have in mind but just know it's a great challenge for me and I'm both excited and nervous!
The arrival of September also brings along new, exciting opportunities and I'd be a fool to say no to every one that comes my way!
Aside from brainstorming, I'll be reading a lot more (because reading is pivitol for a writer, it's necessary to turn off and take a break and jump into someone elses' world).
But that's all guys! Short but sweet ;)
I'll try and give updates where possible!
It’s not often I get the opportunity to meet published authors but after striking up such a friendship with Paranormal Romance writer, Sarah Bailey, I thought it would be nice to interview her during our first meeting.
Please note, I am not a professional blogger, I don't really carry out interviews so this was a spur of the moment thing. This interviews may differ from other interviews because it was quite informal.
I’ll set the scene for you:
I enter the cat emporium first and immediately clock eyes on a water dispenser which, on any normal day, would not have looked as attractive as it did but considering I’d walked through the Sahara Desert (aka London), I practically sobbed and cradled it.
After replenishing my quickly overheated body, I had a peruse around the tiny café, knowing I wouldn’t be called in until my booking at 2pm. So I admire the cat magnets, playing cards, mugs, colouring books and then to my right, I see Sarah Bailey enter the shop.
We hug and, like all Brits for the past 2-3 weeks, we complain about the heat. We complain about the heat even as I hand her over a cold cup of water, then we complain about the heat some more. It’s not long after are we then led through the doors to another small room with sinks and a hostess. We’re explained the house rules (because there are indeed house rules when dining in a house of cats). No camera flash. No waking the cats if they are sleeping. Basically let them come to you and feel free to use cat toys to play with them when and if the opportunity presents itself.
After washing our hands, we are led into the next room where every table we pass is occupied with hoomans. cats are sleeping in their beds or along the walls on shelves. We’re led downstairs to a very Alice in Wonderland/fantasy forest room where there are more tables and less cats, fans are on full blast in every corner of the room. And thankfully we’re seated in the corner at the Carbonelle table (yes, Carbonelle is, in fact a cat and every table had been named after one of the furry friends).
We had wooden bridges over our heads, shelves where they could wander around freely, little cubby holes in the massive tree where they could sleep. At this point, we’re just trying to take it all in and I decide to jump straight into interview before the tea and food arrives (because I’m way too enthusiastic). I ask if I can record, to which she grants permission and I press the button and begin.
S.R: Okay, so thank you for meeting with me *we both laugh* This is so nice! So, I’ve got ten questions but hopefully they aren’t difficult ones. My first question is, Demon’s After Dark is mainly set in London. Why choose London & what is your favourite thing about the city?
S.B: I think I chose London because it’s such a big place and it seems to be one of the places where you could, you know, potentially have a bunch of supernaturals hiding under the surface so it was kind of the ideal choice because I love the UK and being British *laughs*. I think my favourite thing about this city—god, I don’t often come here but…I do like walking by the Thames because even though it’s horrible and dirty, it’s such an open space in comparison to wherever I go. London in general is a bit compact and crowded so it’s just nice to go along the Southbank.
S.R: I definitely agree.
*A waitress comes over with our pot of English Breakfast and places it between us daintily. She tells us out High tea will be arriving soon and we thank her*
S.R: Okay! Second question…*I pause to let S.B take a photo of the set up and another waitress turns up with the High Tea and rattles off what each tier consists of (Vegetarian High Tea. Sweet layer has vanilla cupcake, lemon berry and raspberry cupcakes, 2 shortbread biscuits & 2 macaroons. Second tier of 2 scones with jam and cottage cream and the bottom tier, tomato & hummus sandwiches and savoury cakes*
Okay, you’ve mentioned other supernatural beings in your book, so I definitely have to know, if you could be one of your many fantastical occults, what would you choose to be and why?
S.B: *laugh* Oh my god…okay, I’ve always, always, always had an affinity for vampires. I don’t know what it is about them, maybe it’s the whole blood lust or whatever. I just think that vampires are very sexy in a weird way…if that really makes sense?
S.R: *smirks* It’s not even weird at all. *at this point I resist the urge to make a bad Interview with the Vampire pun*
S:B: *laughs again* No, it’s not weird.
S:R: It’s not weird at all, it’s why we’re here!*I giggle because when you’re on the subject of sexy vampires, how can you not?*
S:B: So, literally my second book is about vampires so I was very excited to write the second book because of my love for them.
S.R: *beams* Cool! Leading on to that, do you have a release date for Vampire’s Kiss yet?
S.B: *gasps in thought* Ummmm, I’m hoping it will be released on the 26th of July.
S.R: 26th! *dances in chair*
S.B: Provided that my cover artist does the cover first, I am booked in, but that’s what we’re waiting for.
S.R: I’m looking forward to it! What’s the best and worst thing about writing for you?
S.B: Oh my god, the best thing is being able to create a world, a fantasy world, essentially all the worlds we create are fantasy worlds because they’re not real *laughs* and being able to get lost in them is the most exciting thing for me really. The real world is sometimes not very fun.
S.R: No, I have to agree on that one too.
S.B: the worst part is when my characters do not leave me alone and I’m tired and I want to go to sleep and they won’t stop harassing me. Or they harass me when I’m trying to write another book, that also happens which is not very funny, it’s the worst part about being a writer, not being able to turn it off.
S.R: I can relate to that, I’m sure. Next question, which character do you feel you relate most to?
S.B: Okay, this would be telling, *laughs and then arches brow* can it be a guy? *laughs* No, that was a joke. Um, Jesus…across the entire series or just in general or in Demon’s Destiny?
S.R: Um, I would say…the series in general.
S.B: Okay, the series in general. There is a character in…*thinks hard* book 3. The main character in book 3. I wrote this incredible quirky character—not quirky— but she’s got all sorts of anxiety issues. I didn’t want to write a heroine who was your typical badass—I like badass heroines, don’t get me wrong—but I wanted a heroine who was not your normal girl, I wanted her to have, I don’t know, she wrote herself essentially, she got in my head and told me how she wanted to be written. I think she’s probably most like me out of all of them, I do inject myself into every character, that’s just a thing. I’m not going to say more because book 3 is not coming out until August--
S.R: Of course! No spoilers!
S.B: No spoilers.
S.R: I know what you’re like *laughs*. Okay would you say that you’re a believer in the supernatural?
S.B: Oh, yeah definitely.
S.R: *nods in agreement* Definitely. Because a non-believer would be somewhat living a boring life otherwise.
S.B: Definitely, I agree
S.R: If your series made the big screen, would you prefer it to be a tv series or a movie?
S.B: A tv series because there are more episodes and can explore more as a tv show and also because there are so many different characters, it makes more sense to me.
S.R: There’s more depth to a series and there’s more time to explore the characters.
S.B: Exactly, you’re not condensing the story into a 2 hours or 1 and a half hours which kind of feels like it’s rushed, although my books are rather fast paced so maybe it would work.
S.R: Which character would you like to meet in person and what would you say to them?
S.B *laughs and shakes head* That’s a really hard question! The thing is I really want to meet all of them! They’re so cool! That’s such a really impossible question to ask me right now.
S.R: I mean I suppose you could say all of them in one room but it might be a bit much.
S.B: Actually, I guess I would lie to meet my lead from book 5 because…I don’t want to give spoilers away, but he is one of the loudest characters in my head that I’ve ever experienced. I think it would be interesting because of what he is…who he is.
S.R: I like the cryptic-ness. It’s what I expect from you. In this current heatwave in the UK, what would Lukas and Ella be doing right now?
S.B: What would they be doing? *wonders* probably…I imagine them out in this garden together sunbathing because they like to spend time together, no spoilers, if you’ve read the books you’ll know why they don’t like being apart.
S.R: *whimsy voice* Together forever. Okay, now last but not least, if you could give one tip to writers, published or otherwise, what would it be?
S.B: Keep writing! Don’t stop writing. I think that’s the thing, when I started this journey just over a year ago and it’s weird to think it’s just over a year ago, the one thing my aunt – who is also a writer – told me was to just keep writing until you’ve finished your first draft, whatever it is you’re writing. Just don’t stop because if you stop you’re going to get all worked up about it and you’ll want to go back and change things – not that I don’t go back and change things, I do, well, now I do, when I first started writing I didn’t. It’s only through completing something did I realise I could do it and that I could replicate it several times so just keep writing. Every time you write you get better.
S.R: Brilliant. I’ll take that advice as I myself am struggling. But it is a sound piece of advice to keep writing, it doesn’t matter how much you write as long as you get yourself in that mind frame and have it in front of you even if it just a sentence, it’s something.
S.B: Exactly, you can’t fix something you haven’t written. That’s my biggest thing, you can’t go back and change it and make it better if you haven’t actually written a story in the first place.
S.R: *grins* Well thank you for answering all my questions.
S.B: That’s alright, I hope they were satisfactory.
S.R: They were perfect!
S.B: *laughs* I do try.
Recording ended and…we ate! In company of somewhat lazy, tired kitty cats but the food was great, we talked loads more and…I got my copy of Demon’s Destiny signed so I was over the moon!
If you haven’t yet gotten your hands on Demon’s Destiny, you’re missing out big time!
You can find Sarah Bailey’s links below, go and show her some love & support!
Website – www.sarahbaileywriter.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/sbaileyauthor
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/sbaileyauthor/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sbaileyauthor/
Newsletter sign up – https://www.subscribepage.com/sarahbaileywriter
Okay so just a quick post that had been on my mind for a while but I was in two minds as to whether I should blog about it...and here I am.
A month ago I suffered a severe case of "OMFG my book is absolute rubbish, what the hell have I written? Why did I waste my time on this? I HAVE to start over."
Because I wanted to know if my book would be deemed as Steampunk Fantasy Romance and I sought the opinion of another writer.
Firstly, there's absolutely nothing wrong with seeking opinions or thoughts from fellow writers or readers.
Secondly, I respect the opinions and feedback I'm given (as long as it's constructive).
Where I went wrong was how I reacted to the feedback - which had been a complete vivisection of my world I'd built. On the outside I was calm but on the inside - the minute I was behind closed doors - I was one hyperventilating mess.
I was immediately on call to my editor like a panicking Patricia second guessing everything I'd created and all it took from her to get me to settle was a simple: "I wouldn't class your book as Steampunk, I'd class it as having steampunk elements within a world you've given a nice twist to."
To the point.
It's no secret that I'm absolutely taken with everything Steampunk (the fashion, music, style, art, machines, romance) as also expressed in my blog post a couple years ago, but I have to remind myself that this is NOT a series were steampunk is a predominant figure.
My world just has unique steampunk elements that make it magical and fun.
The reason I'm underlining this in a blog post is for 2 reasons:
1) I want potential readers to understand what to expect if they decide to purchase my book.
2) I will no doubt have readers who won't like this series and will have a lot to say about it and others that will enjoy it and understand it.
I'd like to think I've worked hard to cover any potential causes for confusion but regardless, I have to gear myself up for the not-so-great reviews.
I just needed to get that off my chest.
Oh but definite lesson learnt...I definitely need to woo-sah and remember that I know my world and not to be so affected by the negative critique that may or may not come my way.
Okay done! Rant over!
Literally you can make a list of goals to achieve but life loves to throw wrenches and lemons at you until you're nothing but a confused, frantic mess trying to MAKE lemonade using the wrench.
My partner recently underwent surgery (he had a detached retina) which was successful (thankfully). Last week I have been off work caring for him, including a couple days this week, thanks to work being very understanding.
Naturally this has thrown off my hardcore writing progression as it's been quite emotional and tiring but things will be on the up soon and back to normal! (as will my writing!)
I've become viciously neglectful towards my blog and pages in general but I'm planning on being more active here and there as promised in my last blog post.
Saying this, I re-entered the Twitter jungle with a parachute and landed in a safe spot. I have minimal supplies but I do have a walkie-talkie on me and on the other side is the amazing Sarah Bailey who has practically given me a 101 class on author survival these past weeks (she's frickin' amazing!)
So I'll also be posting on Twitter in the hopes I'll grow more comfortable to this engaging lifestyle.
But let's take one day at a time!
However let's go back to Sarah Bailey (the Paranormal Romance extraordinaire) who will be launching 'DEMON'S DESTINY' (book 1 of her Paranormal Romance series AFTER DARK) in just 10 days time!
Guys, I wouldn't lie to you. If you love sexy and mysterious demons from the dark and witty heroines to match, you're in for a devilish treat. Show your support and check it out by clicking on the stunning cover photo (isn't it just gorgeous?!).
Update complete! Until next time...
I'm so awful at keeping my blog up to date - I can't believe the last post was in August 2017!
Time literally runs away with me (or has done for the past eight months).
I just have some updates for you all regarding my book status. TEMPTED has gone through its final editing stages and will be awaiting a cover shortly. As mentioned in my last post, plans for publication are on hold until ORIGIN has been re-worked.
I've had people ask me why I'm re-doing ORIGIN and my answer is the same. It needs it.
I had no support when I first published it. Since TEMPTED, I've grown as a writer, learnt new things and have a stronger feel of the world I've created. I want ORIGIN to reflect that.
This of course means that you won't be seeing book one or two for a while until I've re-done the first draft of ORIGIN. But I can promise that it'll be worth it in the long run!
However, on the note of publication - my editor, Pippa Roscoe, released her debut novel last month by Harlequin! I'm so lucky to have an editor who also writes for Mills & Boon. It's very exciting and incredibly inspiring. If anyone does fancy reading a romance featuring two incredibly addictive characters racing to rekindle their passion before the clock runs out then click on the cover image. ;)
Would you also believe that I've been so engrossed in life (and writing) that I actually never got round to posting a New Year's, Valentine's or Easter blog! (shame on me). Sorry guys, I'll try doing better this year!
Anyway, that's the update!
I will do my utmost to remember to post a cover reveal for TEMPTED soon!
In the meantime, hope the Easter break has been good to you all (hopefully most of you will be getting over your chocolate comas today!)
I'm still alive!
So I'll get straight down to it. Draft 2 of TEMPTED is finally done and is now in the safe, reliable hands of my wonderful editor.
This time round has been a real eye opener and journey for me as you never really know what to expect from the 1st draft revision...you can spend hours in tears, a few days at the tavern--I mean pub drinking yourself into oblivion or go into an abyss of self doubt before you even attempt to get started on the 2nd draft.
Safe to say I went into the abyss of self-doubt for weeks. I was so stressed out about where I wanted this to go and in what direction. I felt a lot like an Oracle, I gave myself all kinds of predictions and possible futures of my characters and alas I managed to find a solution and survive the ride.
So yes! Draft 2 done! And I am happy!
However, upon my journey into the second draft I found that actually new things were coming to mind...so new in fact that I realised it would greatly impact book 1, ORIGIN.
Due to this I also had a very important choice to make.
Do I work around draft 2 in accordance with ORIGIN (which was not under the professional wing of an editor)...
Do I prepare myself to revise ORIGIN and re-work it with my editor's help?
And so, I've gone with decision 2. Therefore ORIGIN is now in the stages of being revised!
So in the meantime I'll be busy cracking on with ORIGIN until I here back from my editor about TEMPTED.
Anyway I'll be in touch again soon!