Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dawn Breaking

I was unaware of dawn breaking when it happened at my place; I didn’t wake up until about 9am given that my daughter and I went to a 12.01am showing of Breaking Dawn, part one of the last of the Twilight movies.  They leave it so long between movies that I keep thinking I’ll be disappointed.  I wasn’t; it was actually pretty good. 
I have read those books multiple times.  Why?  I mean they are not particularly well written.  In some places I have cringed at how she has worded things or spoken in what she considers, teenage lingo – but it was a fantastic story.

I’m a horror fan and the original Dracula was a love story; so I didn’t consider the love interest part to be so far-fetched; but she then went on to alter everything we knew about vampire!  No burning in the sun; garlic – myth!  No crosses…  Sparkly!!!   So anyone that can write a story about a vampire, change every rule previously written; have an average writing style – but still sell over 100 million copies globally and pack out the movie theatres at 12.01 am on opening night; can tell a story.
Of course it is so damned romantic that you can’t help but leaving the movie wondering what you did wrong as you get into bed next to a lump that doesn’t even wake up!  I’m not even hoping for the sparkly super human bit!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


With Smashwords, if you make it into the Premium list, which is basically just making sure you follow the design guidelines and meet the criteria set out in the guide – then you start to get listed on other online bookstores.
I made it to the premium list last week.

Tonight, a quick search reveals that I’m now on Barnes and Nobel and another website called Diesel eBooks.  I had to type The Zmora in to find it; it wasn’t like it came up on the front page in 172 point type with flashing lights…  But at least it’s there.
I had a minor setback in my eBook PR search; in that the hard disk on my laptop died and I’ve had to send it off to repair.  For a week or so at least, I’ll just see where it goes via the Smashwords engine.

Of course my lack of laptop hampers my ability to also, which is as annoying as hell…

The upside is that I’m on borrowed computer, I’m actually working.  And on something else. Something new.  Setting The Zmora free was the right thing to do and at the right time I suspect.  We can cling to those stories forever, but to what gain..?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cream to the Top

Last night I went to a book launch in Aireys’s Inlet. 

I had done the ‘’ due to the fact that I’m directionally dyslexic.  It said 1.45 from Oakleigh and the same back [note: it was actually 2.15]; which is a long damned day, except it was one of my best friends launching a book, so if the invite had of said “the moon”, although I couldn’t have got an accurate time from; I’d have still gone.

Book launches for me are like revisiting my youth; just with a different set of worries from what I had in those days.  Then, it was ‘false pretences’; hell, I couldn’t even form the word “writer” in case someone raised a quivering finger in my direction and shouted “imposter!!!!”   Now days, I can quite calmly say I’m a writer, but wonder if I look really old compared to these people that I see only at launches; and that could have been ten years ago.  That aside, I see a million people that I have known forever and a day; fantastic people that due to life, I get to see rarely.  We may not have seen one another for years, but can speak as though it was yesterday.

The launch was held in a tiny bookshop.  Is there a better place?  I may have published my first eBook but at the end of the day, the feel; the look, holding a book in my hand – that is life.  Part of me believes I have to get over the “inferior complex”, part of me still, and always will, believes the publisher path is so much cooler…  And it is after all.  Those of us that publish an eBook do so for one reason; in the hope to be picked up by a “real publisher”.

We went to dinner first and the room was overflowing with would be writers.  And believe me; we are all in the same place.  We have no choice but to write; but if we ‘make it’; it is the difference between squeezing in writing around a real job, and actually just writing.

I have another blog.  It is about my life; relationship… kids.  It covers off the ex-wife (his), and every stupid, horrendous, plain idiotic thing people do in life.  In it, there is not one name; I’m careful about that.

This blog is completely different.  In this, I hope to be able to expand on my journey as a writer.  The pitfalls and trust me, that is using the term loosely.  From the moment you acknowledge a rejection that has your name, rather than “dear author” as a “positive rejection”, I’m not sure you actually exist in the sane world anymore. 

We hit a brick wall every, damned, day.  I have the bruises on my forehead to prove it.  My partner, Chris Quigley, who also a writer; has been very supportive on the eBook path.  I have an inward wry grin that he believes this is a good thing for my book, but I’m not seeing him lining up to do his; I don’t think it is cool enough…

So, the launch last night was for a book called “Tales from the Tower” – Volume One: The Wilful Eye and Volume Two – The Wicked Wood.  Trust me, if you want to see brilliance in action; go buy both of these books.

The books are rewrites of fairy tales; interesting concept and to be honest if I’m ever asked to rewrite a fairy tale, I’m doing it from an opposing view.  Snow White, hell, I would always write as the Wicked Step Mother because she has a tale to tell, that is for sure.    My other choice was Hansel and Gretel – again, the Step Mother.  There could be a theme here…  And maybe I should hope my partner doesn’t read this.

The collection was gathered by my girlfriend, Isobelle Carmody and writer editor, Nan McNab.  The beauty of book one, is another friend, Rosie Borella, has a story in the book and it was wonderful to catch up; even more so as one of her novels had, only that week, been accepted by Allen and Unwin.  She has made it.  Made it not in the “successful eBook” way; but in the super cool “in print” way.  Trust me; she has done it tough, just as we all do.  I know, I have heard every near hit and miss through Isobelle.  But we all know – cream goes to the top; and she wrote cream.

The message here people, is that persistence is the key.

I may have wished the Zmora made it in the “really cool publisher” way; but in some ways, releasing it into the world was cathartic.  It finished it.  I loved the story.  I loved the book.  I still do; but it’s not the one that will be ‘the one’.  And upon release; it meant I could pick up the next.

The next, Moonbears – I face with as much optimism as the last…

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Easy Part

It sounds bizarre I know, but actually sitting down and writing a book is the easy part in my world as a writer.  Mostly, it writes itself; when a story is good, it takes off on its own.  I sit at the keyboard and the story evolves as though I was reading it.  I’ve always felt that the complete story was already in my head, I just had to download it.  And the downloading; ahhh there is nothing quite like it.  But that is where the fun comes to a screaming halt.  From there on in, you are on an endless merry-go-around of pain, creativity, edit, rewrite, need, rejection, pain.

You linger in bookshops, iPhone in hand making notes on publishers. I trail the YA aisle.  My partner, the adult section in whatever obscure genre he writes in; probably wherever you would find Henry Miller’s “Opus Pistorum”.  Each of us, hunting for a publisher we haven’t sent our manuscript to and although you would figure that list is long and illustrious, it is not quite as long by the time you get in the door, head for Google and track down the never ending requirements, that mile long list of what they won’t take.

And let’s face it; rejection has become our middle name.  You know you have endured and accepted rejection when you can be pleased by it.  I’ve actually heard myself say “that was a fantastic rejection…”

Publishers send refusals, sometimes good ones; sometimes a generic “dear author”; some have held my book for a year only to send a “thanks, but no thanks…”  Agents:  I haven’t contacted many, but the ones I have don’t seem not to bother with a reply.

So I swallow my pride and publish my work on Smashwords.  I may be able to write a book; I have a full time job project managing IT in a network of hospitals – but winding my way through the quagmire of self-publishing; is a whole new ball game.

In truth, it feels like a betrayal.  It feels as though I’m the ugly girl who has bought the beauty queen crown.  It is a hollow victory.  It conjures memory of every scathing comment I have ever made on ‘self-publishing’.

Last night, I read an eBook piece from the Victorian Writer magazine to a friend of mine.  It said “if you write a successful eBook, you will be cool.  If you write a successful print book, you will be retro-cool, which we children of the 60’s think is way cooler!

And that sums it up in a nutshell.

I fight an internal battle with myself each day.  To self-publish a book puts me on a wrung of the ladder of contempt.  That is obviously something I will need to snap out of as I begin the research and quest to get The Zmora out in the world.

Follow/Like on Facebook