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!
So after three long years I've finally accomplished the one thing I kept telling myself I'd do and that's complete TEMPTED (Book 2 of The Jackson J Tales).
Finally. Finally the first draft is done.
It's so difficult to express what I'm feeling at this moment. I'm in a kaleidoscope of emotions.
The final scene flowed out on paper like ink and I'd managed to build up enough tension of the events until before I knew it, I'd written the final word and finalised it with a full stop.
Then I simply stared at my computer screen like "Oh my god...I've finally done it."
Well...it went from that to utter excitement, relief, happiness, accomplishment and more at what I'd achieved after so long to creeping anxiousness. Thoughts like "Oh my god...I submit this to my editor in a week's time. What if it's complete rubbish? What if what I've written has been a hallucination of what I've believed to be a good story but is realistically cow dung?" Trust me...being a writer isn't luxury. You make yourself insane with doubts.
But no! It's done now! All that's left is for me to read through and check that I haven't made any embarrassing typos or completely missed a scene I thought I'd written only for it to be non-existent. Then I'll submit and celebrate then wonder what I should do for the rest of the month I'm waiting for the revision.
My editor said I should relax, take some down time. But the truth is, I know I'll be crapping myself while I wait for her revision. It takes me back to my essay days. But you know what? I'm prepared for her critique. I never had the guidance of an editor 3 years ago when I wrote ORIGIN and after working with one editor for a year and now a fresh one, I can say I'm all go for their years of experienced guidance.
And I'm lucky as hell. To be acquainted with two lovely editors from Harlequin Mills & Boon & HarperCollins is a massive deal for me. It's a dream come true. The support is unrivalled and treasured by me and I thank God I met them.
So yeah...that's me. I guess now I'll binge-watch Arrow or Grimm or whatever show I've shamelessly missed out on. I'll meet up with friends (like real living, breathing friends and not the imaginary characters who have kept me occupied for like forever). I'll maybe treat myself to something nice...oh and then there's Comic Con at the end of May so that should be a real fun weekend for me *stares at my steampunk hat*
Anyhow, I thought I'd update on things as I don't often do but hopefully I'll be able to get some quotes out there soon! Thanks for the ongoing support from friends and the likes/follows. I appreciate it as ever!
Bye for now!
I often forget about this blog...I very rarely have news to share or more often than not feel unsure as to what I should be writing about. (Funny because I should be used to writing by now right?)
I apologise to the internet world of blogging for my overdue blog post but...I'm a novel writer, not so much a blogger (oopsie!)
So the last time I managed to successfully post an entry I had expressed how healthy deviation isn't so much a bad thing when it comes to writing.
While I ponder for a new topic to regale you with I figure there's no harm in updating you all with the latest changes in my life.
I successfully reached a new age! So I guess that's something to sing and lark about! Go me!
Oh and I got a kitty and named him Loki - after the Norse God of Mischief...and boy is he a mischievous little one. He thinks my laptop is a chewable toy. He doesn't understand privacy and therefore follows me everywhere and insists on surveying everything I look at, even if it means his little head gets in the way of, oh I don't know, the TV, the phone, my food.
Viante and I recently shared a stall at a Christmas Market held at St Thomas' Hospital in December where I advertised Origin and she displayed complimentary hand-made steampunk necklaces (Which may I add, were really cute).
Unrelated but I've been unwell due to the horrendous 'cold snap' us Brits are currently enjoying. Like a child I wanted nothing more than to dance and catch snowflakes with my tongue...sadly I experienced nothing but bed rest and flu for a week. Oh but on the bright side...more cold weather to follow *rolls eyes*.
So that's all what's happened with me. Now to the fun news:
1) New Origin Cover:
After much thought I've decided to revamp the cover for Origin, I can do this as I've self-published but I'm sure there would be more to it if I was with a publishing company. My reason for the change? I simply want a new cover that would better suit the series. This shouldn't take long to do and I've already seen the proofs and I'm very happy and excited.
2) I finally have a new deadline for Tempted:
Yeah I know it's taken me forever but life happens, as it does with everyone and gets in the way. After a nice long chat with my editor I'm ecstatic I finally have a new date in place and will be working my arse off to reach it. Which of course means my next blog entry will be likely on D day once I've submitted it haha.
Sorry folks but as I said, I'm a novel writer, not so much a blogger. So I'll be MIA as per usual.
Ciao for now lovelies.
Oh and parting words:
Whatever you're doing, make sure it brings not only joy for yourself but others too...it never costs a thing to be nice to others.
Writing isn't easy.
Most days I find myself staring at a blank page wondering if everything I've dreamt of in this incredibly detailed world is complete nonsense.
It takes a lot to snap out of my doubtful bubbles and remind myself that I'm like every artist out there--every one of them has moments of doubt.
Truth be told it's why I've been so quiet and slightly non-existent. I've had a lot of ups and downs these couple of months, a lot of doubting and what ifs running through my head.
Then I had a lightbulb moment and I liaised with my editor, I asked her how she felt if I deviated from my original plot. Now I know it's a risk but it's a risk I was fully prepared to take if it meant kick-starting my brain again.
Like the star my editor is, she gives the all go and encourages my power of control to do whatever I want as long as my characters reach their goal.
So I went with it and changed the timeline, changed the outcome and it's almost like a dam has burst because my mind has been so focused and rejuvenated that I find all the possibilities overwhelming!
On another note, I attended the London MCM Comic Con this year and bought myself a neat steampunk hat. As always there was a healthy steampunk audience who advertised their work and outfits. It was fun to be a apart of that and honestly (maybe I'm being hopeful here) but in the future I hope to have my own table at a comic con event for a meet and greet. (Who knows what the future holds!)
I hope to be more active on here, keeping you updated with snippets and more ranting of how hard writing can be *joke*
No but really...I'll try to show myself more!
Bye for now!
Not many people know what steampunk is and I love introducing people to it.
Steampunk is rapidly breaking out from the shadows and presenting itself to the world fashionably as well as through film and literature.
"Steampunk is an eclectic world of cogs and rivets. It is airships, goggles and steam. It is romance. It is travelling on clouds and diving beneath rugged waves. It is adventure!"
- Aether Emporium, Steampunk Website
For me it's an escapism to a world that is fun, vast and immense. I'm one for old fashioned trinkets and fashion, the Victorian era is my favourite time period and with the magic of technology and sci-fi devices we now have steampunk.
The Jackson J Tales is told in a fictional world (with a twist) full of steampunk elements and surprises throughout. It's an ever-lasting, imaginative universe where nearly anything and everything is possible and that's what I love about the stories I've created.
The Comic-Con Expo in London always features a stall or two strictly advertising the steampunk fashion and art. Many people turn up in costume, many live the lifestyle and worship the craze of cogs and goggles.
I myself collect and customize my belongings to express my passion and love for the fashion, whether it's my pocket watch or my self-made airship in my room, I love the authenticity the genre has.
I'm in love with the romance of it - the combination of old and new, the parallel world of what is and what could have been.
I've discovered steampunk bands like Abney Park, designers such as the inspirational Kate 'Kato' Lambert who is also a judge on the reality game show Steampunk'd.
I have a collection of books that help fuel my own personal designs for my plots as well as keeping me entertained and creative.
I think it's fun to be involved in something you have a kinship with or towards and I would happily encourage anyone to be comfortable in what makes them feel happy and unique. For me, it's my fascination with the unusual, which has often been greeted with pleasant compliments more often than the sceptical comment from a stranger.
My concluding comment is no matter how strange or unusual your interest is, whether it's the study of ghost stories, unicorns, mother nature or mythology, trust in it because you never know what your mind is capable of or where it's capable of taking it.
February is almost upon us, I can't quite believe how fast January's gone by. This time last month everyone was getting ready to enter 2016 with fresh minds and new goals.
January hasn't been a good month for me, not with a few deaths of some well known celebrities, one of which has been such an inspiration to me since I was a child, Mr Alan Rickman.
It's really awful when disaster strikes, families suffer and go through days, weeks, months of stress. I have to confess that my family and I went through a couple weeks of sickly dread when a family member ended up in intensive care. Thankfully he's on the road to recovery now which has taken a load off our minds.
My writing has suffered, my mind's experienced a blow and that can be frightening for a writer. Our minds happen to be our safe haven, our portal to various worlds we've created and most of the time it's our escapism. I find that when reality penetrates my portal of wonderment and dreams, it poses a risk to my novel plots.
Having said that, it's important to discipline your mind and find something that can draw you back in, like I said in my previous post, find the jump leads that will help you find your way back.
Sometimes it only takes a song or a movie or another book to get my cogs turning again. Being active in body and mind is healthy, I've found that when I'm absolutely shattered from work I find it so hard to focus and get into the writing mode.
I have an obsession at the moment, the TV Programme How To Get Away With Murder has to be one of the best programmes I've encountered. Its constant twists and turns and unexpected dramas how could anyone not be addicted to this program? It's inspired me to think more about my own twists and turns I have in store for my characters. Annaliese Keating's demeanour and attitude reminds me of the kind of woman Viera Jackson J is growing into - a very intelligent, driving force that many people look up to for help and advice despite her damaged past.
I'm hoping with February's impending arrival to jump back into the portal that would take me back to the Jackson Js, as much as my confidence and esteem has suffered these past couple of weeks, I have to push on. Luckily for me support is never far but it's always up to me to take the step forward,
A little tip: If you want to write but you struggle to, try writing free flow sentences (sentences that come into your head simultaneously without thinking about it) and see where it leads you. This warm up exercise was something I learnt in University and it still helps.
Catch you later!
I know it's been a while since my last post but this month has literally sucked up all my time, money and energy, what with several birthdays and a lot of expenses. It's safe to say I've been incredibly busy and exhausted, which has also - admittedly - affected my writing flow.
Now, before, when I'd struggle to find my footing in my book, I'd crumble and find myself sinking into a hole of helplessness...which never helped because I'd want others to help me when really, ultimately, it would be down to me to help myself. Which would only finally happen after months of sulking and being an emo mess.
Now, however, I have more support networks, including my editor who has naturally been on top form. She made a few suggestions as to what can help get me back into the flow of things. A change of location (which I full on support), interaction with others about my book, plot and characters, (which I can find daunting...especially online so I tend to shy away...I shouldn't really) and meditation (which actually also does a lot to relieve stress you have harboured in your mind).
I also find that after a long period of time my mind begins to get restless and my characters start harassing me, wanting their story to be told. Inspiration takes hold of me like a pair of jump leads, kick starting my flow. In a way it's a bit like a super power...except it's one of those super powers you have no control over.
My jump leads grasp onto specific things that have some kind of similarity with my JJ universe. The Assassin's Creed game series (Black Flag) is one example along with Alice: Madness Returns, television shows like Penny Dreadful, Game of Thrones, The Originals, and movies such as Pirates of The Caribbean, Sherlock Holmes, Hell Boy, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Riddick.
I recently went to Rome which really helped stretch out my perspective and widen my potential plot paths. The history and the unforgettable architecture really brought the jump leads out quicker than I anticipated which I must say has inspired me to plan out more adventures to historical sites and cities...in a way I suppose I'll be living the life of my characters #Winning
Lesson to uphold: Keep feeding the mind with as much positivity as possible, whether it's art, poetry, a great movie, an encounter with a friend and be open to the inspiration it has to offer.
Just another way to keep you in the loop!