Monday, August 29, 2011

The Valley of a Writer

I’m in a valley.

Facing the question…

‘What if I never get published?’

Sure I have short stories and articles published.

But … What if my books are never accepted by a publisher?

Would I continue to write?

The answer is yes.

I am a writer

My soul is alive when I’m writing

But I’m in a valley

It’s very dark

And I don’t want to burden you with details

Except to say

The best thing about valleys…

Is eventually you find your way to the mountain peak

So until I’m climbing that mountain

I’m stepping out of social media

Hope you are all still here when I return.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Not So Sunny Saturday

When I woke up this morning to this

I grabbed my cuppa and went back to bed!
And read a little fiction
Then a couple of kids books
Then I downloaded a couple of kids books onto my iPad for my girls who wanted to join me in bed
Then I indulged in a little study with 'Self Editing for Fiction Writers'

There is nothing I love better on a wet day
Than to stay home and write!!
I'm thankful that there is no sport
No commitments
No pressing housework (except a load of washing)
And my kids are tired
So they are watching movies
While I'm working on my WIP

What do you do on lazy rainy days?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Overflowing ~ Write On Con ~ Unplugged

Oh My Goodness!!!

I am full!

Write on Con (the free online conference for writers) this year was jam packed, loaded up and overflowing with information and inspiration.

With so much to absorb into my brain, I hoped sleep would allow me to continue… I woke up this morning ready to catch-up and join in on the final day … and found myself overloaded… brain fried. The good thing is, all the forums and links are still up and I can catch up on the last day in a week or so.

What I learnt from Write on Con this year… never give up – I am a writer – I love being a writer – I will write whether I am published or not. I found some areas that I need to fine tune. I learnt more about the agent/editing/publishing process. And I felt like I met a bunch of amazing people.

I got Ninja’d … an undercover agent commented on my query letter and tore it apart (ouch) .. so I rewrote it and a peer tore it apart (ouch) so I rewrote it and another peer gave me the thumbs up (phew). I know I need to stretch so I can learn and improve on my craft – all the feedback I received was fantastic.

And for the overload factor…

I need to unplug, and get off line for a couple of days.

My WIP is calling me and with such an overloaded mind – I need to take this stored energy and inflect it into my writing .. not tweeting or facebooking or commenting on blogs… all of which I love and will return to soon.

What do you have calling you… to push you to turn off, unplug or adjust old habits?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Write On Con is nearly on!!


I can barely contain my excitement!

WriteOnCon !!!

It’s ridiculously close!   
August 16th - 18th 

What is WriteOnCon?

The most fabulous writing conference!

It was started last year by a bunch of amazing people. The Founders!

It’s full of writing information, agents, writers, publishers, the published, the aspiring.

It’s aimed at everyone who writes MC 18 years of age and under. But every writer on earth would learn a thing or two from WriteOnCon!

Picture books, middle grade and young adult – with every genre thinkable covered.

Live chats.



Question and answer sessions with the professionals.


And forums.

I have my kids prepared… they won’t be asking for anything for 4 days (the conference plus the conference hangover)

I have everything automated and scheduled for delivery so we’ll have food.

Precooked dinners .. the opportunity for a take-a-way night…

Seriously an event not to be missed for the serious writer!

And the crazy part is....

Its FREE!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Today to rest while others rush


I didn’t feel like doing the dishes

So they still sit in the sink

I didn’t feel like folding the clothes

So they are waiting on the line

I didn’t feel like cooking dinner

Take a way will do

I didn’t feel like checking books

My in tray over flows


My kids finished school early

And spent the day with Dad

I sat and cuddled Miss 3

And read her loads of books

I found an online conference

And listen while they streamed live

I wrote, rewrote and tweaked

Submitted and entered comps

I enjoyed a glass of red

While we all enjoyed a pizza

Monday, August 1, 2011

Joanna Penn on Self Publishing

I have followed Joanna Penn online for quite sometime now. I’ve watched her publishing journey as she self published non-fiction to publishing her first fiction book, “Pentecost”. She also has written and self published 3 non fiction books. Joanna’s blog The Creative Penn is an endless source of information. Joanna is on twitter @thecreativepenn

Some would say she’s crazy going down the Indie Publishing route. Others would say it’s the only way to go.

After seeing her tweet…
@thecreativepenn oh my goodness, Pentecost is #277 in the US Kindle store , #12 in action/adventure #veryexcited!

I decided to interview this amazing woman...

Did you ever think about going down the traditional publishing path?

Absolutely, it’s what I always aimed for and I would still consider the right traditional publishing deal but for me, it’s about self-determination and the ability to do it yourself these days. I approached traditional publishers back in 2008 with my first book, a non fiction career change book. I had no platform, nothing differentiating me and not surprisingly, I was rejected. But I didn’t see this as the end, it was the beginning of my journey into adventures in publishing and marketing. I learned all about the industry and about internet marketing. I started a blog, a podcast and videos as well as social networking. I wrote more and learned about ebooks and then set up my own company and did it myself! Ironically, now I have a platform and an audience and have done it myself, I would be more attractive to a publisher but as yet, I haven’t tried again. The success of Amanda Hocking is an inspiration to me, as she got a print deal after successfully selling on the Kindle. John Locke is also an inspiration and he doesn’t need a print deal as he is selling millions on the Kindle. So yes, I do think about a traditional deal, but I’m happy going the indie route for now.

You have created a significant online platform. How do you set boundaries to spend enough time online – but not waste time?

I don’t waste time online, everything I do is focused on either

a) creating content - blog posts, podcast, videos, tweets - all these things are breadcrumbs leading back to my site and my books

b) networking with authors and readers - both of which are critical. Personal recommendations are imperative now, it’s still word of mouth, we just have more leverage.

You have to be committed to building a platform in order to build one and you have to be consistent. I haven’t had much time off the internet for 2.5 years but it is so rewarding and worth it, and it’s my hobby and enjoyment as well as something necessary for authors, so it isn’t painful.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt through self publishing?

You can be a successful author if you write something people want to read and you can get it in front of people who want to read it. Kindle and other ebook markets offer the way to self-publish now, but there are still millions of books out there. You still need the marketing aspect. Basically, all this is still important for traditionally published authors as well. The only thing missing is that someone else does the work of publishing.

I would add that indie authors MUST pay for pro editors. I had 2 editors and a lot of proof readers for Pentecost. Independent books must be as good quality reading as trade published and editors are the way forward for this.

What’s the most important thing to think about when marketing a self published book?

You still have to connect with readers as authors have always done. So if your book is not in bookstores waiting for people to walk past, you need to get it in front of them another way. That’s where online marketing comes in and you need to find your niche online. Start with something and then move into other spheres, don’t get overwhelmed. I started with my blog, then moved into podcasting, then twitter, then videos.

Marketing is not a bad thing, you’re not scamming anyone. Most of us are just writers with good books who want to get them into the hands of people who might enjoy them. That should be your focus.

So many great insights there Joanna! Thank you for hanging out on my blog for a moment. I must get my hands on your book Pentecost!

Thriller novel 'Pentecost' available in Kindle and print format

Check out the book trailer on YouTube