Here we go cover number two! Total revamp! It’s white.
Here we go cover number two! Total revamp! It’s white.
Oh! Following my last post on my new direction(s) I am so proud to reveal the new cover for A Stranger in France….. A Total revamp!!
It feels like an age since I sat down to update my author site, I’ve been a busy bee heading in a new direction. Yep! Looks like I’m now what they call a Hybrid author, after I gladly took back ownership of my first two novels I had traditionally published. That’s it they are mine! I have my rights back! And I have republished them. This week…. Why did I walk away from a traditional publisher, well I felt that sadly my work was not what I would have expected in terms of quality I work so so hard. I did a blog on this last year when I pulled one down from sale. I’d be up at night thinking about it. And so I felt that I was happy to have my rights back over my independent work only, and do my own thing. Whether that be submit to another publisher or self publish, I decided nothing wrong with a bit of DIY so I went for the latter.
That does not mean I will never traditionally publish again, hell no! My full manuscript for my third romance book has been requested by another publisher from last year, I’m working on completing it. I am happy to try other publishers. BUT it does mean I’ve learned a hell of a lot also, about me as a writer and if I feel better going it alone as an indie author, hybrid author by the time I’ve finished the book I’ll keep going. I have no regrets walking away, I feel better. Here’s what I’ve learned..
So that’s it! We’ll see what direction I go in now as a writer but one thing is for sure I’m not going to stop writing! This experience has unleashed something great that I truly don’t think I will ever live to regret. I tread these waters much more wiser! I’ll keep going down this road and see where I end up. It’s about the love of writing.
Afternoon from a gloomy London,
I’m about to let the cat out of the bag as it is now official! Myself and fellow Code Redhead – A Serial Novel author and best selling author Tammy Tate, are working on a project together for release this spring. Spring is just around the corner so stay tuned. We’ll bring to you a page turning romance novel with four great romance stories, set in some of the most exotic parts of the world.
Our heros are handsome, yummy , swoony worthy incredible men! Professionally they are all Detectives whoooooooooo we! And our heroines are strong and modern. The stories themselves are fastpaced, page turning and of course a mixture of suspenseful, steamy and contemporary romance .This is super exciting ! Pulling together a novel with another author, while both sitting on opposite sides of the Atlantic ocean so far has been an amazing experience.
How did this project come about? Well Tammy and I met just last year we both published under the same publisher. As peer support we read each others work knowing nothing about each other before hand. I was a writer from London and she was just a writer from the USA. It turns out not only do we have an appreciation for each others writing style, love to feature strong women and incredible men, we love a well written sex scene ( we’re not really into all that “sweet stuff” as writers personally we like a little fire). When it comes to romance, there must be a little excitement, all this and we also get on really well personality wise. Based on this mutual respect for each other as writers and how our friendship has grown since last year even though we are across a very big ocean, we thought why not work together on a project, and put together four page turning stories for you to enjoy.
Stay tuned, teasers and chapter previews coming your way soon, as we are both busy working on this book as you read this. This spring is going to be big!
This writing prompt is inspired by some questions posed for Goodreads authors to answer. I thought about my response, and thought it be great to share with you all aspiring authors out there! And anyone interested in how I went about writing A Stranger in France, Not Just for Christmas and Code Redhead- A Serial Novel.
So when I think of writer’s block in the traditional sense, I think of a writer sitting behind their lap top with a blank page, with a blank mind- they don’t know what to write or how to start. I don’t personally experience this type of writer’s block. I don’t mean this in a cocky way either, it’s because I’ve personally found a way to avoid it. But I’ll be honest I do experience lack of discipline/ sticking to my own writing schedule I set, this is mainly due to life and being a busy mama. But when I do sit down to write, in between being a mama and work I’m never blank. Generally speaking, the former experience is what I’ve read and heard most writers experience. How do I avoid this common type of writer’s block, that is so damaging to a writer’s productivity and even decreases their chances of finishing their novel or short story? Simple…
I have some form of detailed plan, I know what you’re thinking we all plan our storytelling ideas, hmm yes but the key is detailed. Before I even write “Chapter One” at the top of my blank page when I have a novel or short story idea I do the following:
Every writer finds their own way and their own voice, but for me in order to avoid that “shit what do I write now?” Feeling, or find myself at a dead end with my story, I have a full idea of how the story will play out in the start, middle and end, and an idea of what will happen in EVERY chapter for EVERY character. It’s quite a detailed plan. This is step #1 this way when I sit down to write I know what direction I’m going in, just from glancing at my synopsis of where I am with writing. Now don’t get me wrong my detailed chapter synopsis is not set in stone, when I wrote A Stranger in France for one of my characters a scene I wrote just came to me that very night I was writing. It was a creative thought on the spot and it tied in with the story (lucky), so I went off the track I set out on. Another thing I find about this approach is it helps me to think about possible word count, as I know what will take place in each chapter before I even write it and how long certain scenes may play out for.
#2 is just a personal thing, many writers have an idea in their head of who their characters are, but I’m a little OCD. Mainly as I enjoy writing from first person, and try to make my characters pop on the page. (Which can be a challenge as you need to become that character and react to situations as they would, not yourself). Due to my personal writing style, I like to sometimes use I NEED to know my character’s view points, attitudes, likes and dislikes to a T,so I can be consistent when I am writing their POV. But generally I’d say this is good practice.
#3 this is my plan B, in case I decide to move off my detailed chapter plan, just back up! But it also helps me to move in the right direction when writing, to know what to write and when so I don’t experience writer’s block.
#4 I love this part! And it fits with genre I write in and my personal enjoyment of writing. You can’t have a romantic suspense, without the suspense or even a little surprise. You can’t have a thriller without some kind of thrill 🙂 in my humble personal opinion. If I am honest, this is the most enjoyable part as a writer for me, I love building up a little roller coaster to keep the pages turning.
With two out of the three of my published works and my current novel I’m writing now I followed my natural “blue print”, of how I personally avoid writer’s block. I managed to finish a 90,000 odd word novel and 20,000 odd word novella. And hopefully I’ll finish what I’m working on now as a guess this maybe about 60,000-70,000 words. The only time I went off track was when I wrote the short story for Code Redhead – A Serial Novel with twelve other authors … what do you think happened? Yep I got writer’s block LOL. I had my idea based on the writing prompt we were given but no real direction or plan, I was less organised and it took me a lot longer to get into my flow. Why did I not stick to what works? I think, looking back it was because the authors featured in Code Redhead- A Serial Novel only had 14,000 words as a limit for their story- teeny tiny ! So I thought to myself, this will be a breeze. But I was wrong, it was a learning curve for me as a writer. Shorter word count (when it comes to writing for a novel not a blog) means nothing. I learned in some ways it can be more of a challenge, to write an engaging story with a tiny word count you need to focus on the story developing plus balance character development etc. Also when I saw the cover for the book, I went back to the drawing board, originally my story was a nice sweet feel good romance I called it “From London with Love” originally, but the cover of the book did not scream sensible shoes and a nice cardigan when I saw it LOL. No, to me the writing prompt my publisher gave us all, and the cover said to me “Kim, pull out something a little more stilettos and a little black dress for your main character.” So that’s what I did, but not as quick as I would have liked, I did get writer’s block in the traditional sense for the first time! But I over came it and the story changed direction and the characters took on a new direction … eventually.
What did I learn from this? Stick to my natural blue print that helps to avoid writer’s block. Even if you change the story line last moment, at least you have a detailed idea of where you were originally going before hand and can adapt it, rather than just doing what you love … writing, a little blindly and ending up blocked, pressed for time and like argh! Second no matter the word limit 14,000 or 140,000 you need a plan.
So the moral is, ( for me on my journey to published author) that I want to share with you is plan your direction, plan your character’s direction, and then plan some more! Then write… like no one is looking and enjoy feeling stress free and writer’s block free.
OK, so I’m like twenty days too late! But here I am wishing all of you wonderful people a happy new year. I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas and an exciting, positive start to 2017. Me? Well yes, I had a nice Christmas … but I was admitted to hospital! That said I enjoyed it the best I could, I’m now recovered and back to my full health. New year, for me was a nice reflective time. I actually read back over the last four years of journals I wrote. One dated back to a thirty year old pregnant me – that was an interesting read. The whole reflection really put me in a good place to move into 2017.
If you’ve read my blog for some time, you’ll know I’m a very goals and dreams kinda gal, I like to have them and encourage others to as well. Of course this year my goal focused around writing is to complete my thriller novel I’m writing, submit to the publisher who requested to see the full manuscript then hopefully get that bad boy published in 2017. The other day, a few short romance story ideas “came to me” as well, so I noted them down and at some point, I hope to put together a short collection of romance stories in one novella… Watch this space. My second goal, is to return to writing prompts and blogging, last year I blogged the hell out of writing prompts! I LOVE them, you all know this ( most of you) so I will make a creative comeback also with writing prompts this year. I fell off a little last year due to juggling life outside of writing.
So, what’s coming your way in February? Well, I’m pleased to say that the writing project I took part in, (I wrote a short story for a book with fifteen other authors) is now on pre-sale and available from Amazon in the USA and UK. The release date, if I remember correctly is the 9th of February. Here is the link below if you want to check it out. You’ll find sixteen stories in a variety of genres, all of us responded to a writing prompt “Code Redhead”. All sales proceeds will go to a children’s charity in the USA, it feels great to be part of this.
The story by yours truly is of course, a modern day romantic story that crosses over to a little erotica. *face palm* * raise eyebrows* now you know how I feel about writing erotica??? You don’t remember? Read about that in a writing prompt I done last year here click this link I came a little out of my comfort zone, and had some fun with this charity story. And of course it is based in my home town.. London!
Pre-sale info on Amazon
A Stranger in France is as I type about to be put back up for re-sale on Amazon also I’m really pleased, and I hope you’ve enjoyed Not Just For Christmas in the mean time.
Well, that’s about it for my January news!
Yes, I know to many it would appear that I’ve fallen of the face of the earth. I’m back it has been an age since I last wrote something on my author site, or shared something with you. I really wanted to do this blog as a V-Log and film me talking to you all, but it is a bit late in the evening London time. I’ve been busy writing, preparing for Christmas and the big year I have coming my way next year. Personally, I have quite a bit of change happening all good things, and I will share with you next year!
Anyway, as the title of this blog suggests, I have learned two very important lessons on my road to a published author after writing two books.
I’ll be honest, I was never really 100% happy with the final copy of my first book A Stranger in France. I have always been happy with the storytelling but I felt I could have more editorial work it’s a 90,000 word book! I can’t spot everything. A lot of what I learned, I put into Not Just for Christmas my second book. So on my road to learning that really I need to make decisions that make ME as the author happy, I decided to ask my publisher to pull my book down from sale, so I could get another edit done myself. (Learning curve no.1 grow some balls do what makes you happy). Second, I knew that there was always a risk that they might turn around and say fine, pull it but we won’t re-publish- I was prepared to take that risk. Why? Because while I am forever grateful for the opportunity to become a traditionally published author, to me as an author of a story I enjoyed writing so much and feel so proud of, it is worth the risk. Bottom line, I have to be happy with my own work at any cost. ( Learning curve no 2. take risks if need be, it’s your work, your name, your rep). Lucky thing is they never turned around and said that! It will be republished.
So there you have it, any budding writers out there hoping to become published on top of all the other bits of experience I’ve shared with you, this is probably key. Be happy with your own work, if you have to take a risk in order to be happy do it, as you will never really feel 100% proud of your work if you are not happy as the author!
A Stranger in France is currently off line for sale, and will be republished January 2017. And I am now one happy author!
Merry Christmas guys! Thursday I have a surprise for you all so stay tuned. While A Stranger in France is not for sale you can enjoy my second romance novella Not Just for Christmas available on Amazon for download. Here is a free chapter preview click here.