I should have my hand slapped…

…it’s true, I know.

I am a bad, bad blogger.  The lack of spare time notwithstanding, half the time I arrive at my blog with not the slightest clue of what to write.  Which sounds strange, coming from a supposed author.

Writing is what I do.  I love it, I’m passionate about it, and I go crazy without it.  The difference is, when I’m writing a novel, I’m writing the exciting and wonderful adventures of fictitious characters.  When I set foot on the Blogger site, I’m going to write about… other stuff.  And that’s where it gets tricky.

What do you, the blog reader, want to read?  What will you find interesting?  I’m sure famous authors, such as J.K. Rowling, Charlaine Harris and Stephen King lead far more interesting and exciting lives than I do.  They’d have heaps to write about.

Me?  Not so much.

One thing I’ve been putting a lot of consideration into lately, is reader reviews and how to get them.  I know myself, when considering purchasing a book from Amazon, that the other reader’s reviews have a huge sway over whether I’ll buy a book.  If ten people have reviewed and five or more people hated it, I’m probably not going to buy the book.  If ten people have reviewed the book and five or more people loved it, I’m going to give some serious consideration to purchasing.   People’s opinions really do count.

The problem I have, is that I know quite a few people have read both of the currently released books in my series.  Very few have reviewed.
 
For some people, it probably seems pretty scary.  What do they say?  How do they say it?  I’m sure a lot of people have never written a book review.
 
The truth is, it isn’t too hard for the newbie.  And even if you haven’t purchased the book directly from Amazon, or Smashwords, you can still leave a review.  And it only has to have a minimum of twenty words.   All you have to say is why you enjoyed the book.  For that matter, you can say why you hated the book… although I’m hoping there are more of the former than the latter.  Did you love the characters?  Did you find the story moved along at a great pace, keeping you interested and turning the pages?  Was the style of writing easy to read and enjoyable?  Did you think the characters were well-rounded and realistic?
 
Why bother?  I hear you say.  What difference does my opinion make?
 
A lot, to those of us who are authors, is the answer.  Like myself, hundreds of people rely on other people’s opinions to decide whether to purchase or not.  If I discover a book on Amazon and it doesn’t have any reviews, I’m more likely to sit back and wait to see what other’s think, before I plonk down my own hard-earned cash.  When people are looking at my books on Amazon or Smashwords, they see an unknown author plying her work and a pretty book cover.  Sure, they can check out the sneak peek, read my title description and make a fairly accurate guess as to whether it is something they would be interested in.
 
But it’s the REVIEWS which will clinch the deal.  It’s the reviews, where people give their thoughts on my work, which will push someone to either buy, or move onto other books.  
 
So if you have read one of my books, whether you loved it or hated it – please take a little time out of your day to write a review.
 
On behalf of myself and other authors, I can assure you, we will appreciate it more than you will ever know 🙂
 
Till next time,
 
Deb

 

Ready for Mother’s Day…

After the couple of weeks I’ve had, I’m ready for Mother’s Day tomorrow, although it will be busy (again) as we’re now living in the same state with both Mum’s.   First off will be morning tea with my Mum, sister and nieces – we originally planned a breakfast picnic but seeing as winter has finally arrived in Perth (hallelujah!) it was decided by one and all that an outdoors picnic would not be as pleasant as we had initially hoped 🙂
In the afternoon, the Gang of Four (or maybe three, as Son #1 has an overnight shift at McDonalds, or maybe two, as Son #2 has an 18th Birthday party to go to) will be trundling off to see their other Nanna for afternoon tea.  
As for myself – I’m hoping for a sleep-in, however small – and chocolate.  It’s become the standard Mother’s Day present for me, as the husband and the Gang of Four both know of my addiction.  To add to my delight, the Bonza Babe has spent this morning making chocolate peppermint slice and this afternoon intends on making a chocolate cheesecake.  If I get chockies in the morning as my gift, it will be the perfect day!
And now back to editing on Book Three – which admittedly, has been somewhat slow and haphazard in the past few weeks.  Had a great message from a reader last night – saying she had read both ‘Knowledge Revealed’ and ‘Knowledge Quickening’  and ‘loved, loved, loved them’  It’s so fantastic when someone takes the time to write and express their feelings for something I’ve created.  It’s enough to spur me out of my editing doldrums and to get back to creating the final touches so that Book Three will be out… almost on time!

It’s a beautiful Tuesday morning…

… and I’m writing a blog post which is long overdue.  
Between the housework, school holidays, a husband who had major surgery, directing two plays (two!) and Tuppence the Wonderdog’s ear infection – life has been crazy.

On a bright and wonderful note, the sales of the paperback version of “The Nememiah Chronicles – Knowledge Revealed” have been good.  Not startling (i.e. the husband can’t retire yet) but I’m still very excited about it.  There is something uniquely wonderful about holding a book with your name on the cover.

And that’s the crazy thing, isn’t it.  I’m an author.  Every time I think of those three words in a sentence, I find myself shaking my head.  How’d that happen?  I’ve always written, for as long as I can remember ( and longer, according to my mum) but I never thought of it as something I could do to make a living.  Albeit a very tiny one.  The craziest thing was when my daughter was sending a letter to  a friend and announced how ‘proud she was that her Mum was an author’.  

That’s me!!  Hang on a minute – my daughter is proud of me because I’m an author!  That’s off-the-planet cool, as far as I’m concerned.

I’m still plugging away at edits of Book Three – which is one of the most exciting books so far, in my humble opinion.  Lots of conflict between Charlotte and the two men in her life, Conal and Lucas.  I’m with Charlotte on this one – how could you possibly choose between them?  She does, of course, but the initial writing of the book saw me (and her) wavering in what decision to make.  What is best for both her and these two wonderful men?  Of course, at the time, neither she (nor I) knew what events were just around the corner… in Book Four.

My biggest conundrum at the moment is what to name Book Three when I’ve finished editing… I find naming the book and writing the synopsis two of the most incredibly difficult things in the whole procedure.  Writing the book?  The whole story just flows with the ebbs and currents of a creative mind.  The synopsis – not so much… trying to build and exciting and interesting few lines which give the essence of the book is tricky.  What to reveal, what not to reveal, how much is too much, how much is not enough – gack.  I’m giving myself a headache just thinking about it.  

As for writing the book, I named Book One ‘Knowledge Revealed’ because it was such a learning process for Charlotte which so much information about both her and Lucas… revealed.  

Book Two became ‘Knowledge Quickening’ because it was a rollercoaster ride for my favorite heroine, learning so quickly and having to adjust on the run as her life took more twists and turns.

And now with book three, I really, really want to continue the ‘knowledge’ theme I have going on, but I’m a bit non-plussed as to where to go next…

I saw a quote the other day which showed a huge library full of books and mentioned that every single one of them was made up of just twenty six letters.  I guess I’ll go think about those twenty six letters and see which ones come out of the pot as a great idea for the next title.

Until next time, 

Deb

 

Somedays are diamonds, Other days… Not so much…

It’s been one of ‘those’ days.  I think all creative people have them – the ones where they struggle through with barely a creative thought.  In my case, in editing Book Three of the Nememiah Chronicles, I’ve spent most of the day considering whether I’m actually any good at this.

The answer today?  Conclusively, positively, hopelessly not.  What on earth made me think I could write a novel anyway?  A person can write all their lives, but still, in the end, only manage to produce drivel.  
Perhaps there’s too much on my mind.  Between kids (too many), money (not enough), job worries (husband needing to change jobs and the probability that in all likelihood I’m going to have to give up on writing and get one) it’s probably not much wonder I’m having doubts about my abilities.  
Writing is what I want to do.  In fact, it’s all I’ve every wanted to do.  But the prospect of leaving the house and finding something which pays is looming ever larger on the horizon.  At which point, I’m certain, any creativity I’ve ever had will disappear, never to be seen again.  Which doesn’t make me particularly special – it makes me like probably 95% of authors in the world.  Of course, there are the famous ones, like J.K. Rowling, Stephen King etc. etc., who are making a mint and gotten world fame to boot.  Pretty certain I’ll never be in that league 😛  
Despite all this, there’s lots to be thankful for in my life, which my darling husband was trying to convince me over the weekend.  We have four wonderful, perfect, pleasant and polite young adults that we created, a roof over our heads, food on the table.  We have one another, and have done for nearly thirty years.  We’ve had good times and like most everyone else on the planet, we’ve had bad times.  We’re very lucky.
So really, I should brush myself off, consider myself lucky and be thankful for what I do have.

The Paperback Edition is Out!!

I’m delighted to announce the paperback edition of The Nememiah Chronicles – Knowledge Revealed is now available to order from Createspace!  Click on the cover below to place your order.
It will become available on Amazon in the next few days, so I’ll let you know when 🙂
Thanks so much to everyone who’s waited so patiently for the paperback edition to come out – Happy Reading! 

 

 

Sometimes, you just have to sit down and focus for five minutes…

Procrastination is one of my best things.  No, really.

Having gotten ‘The Nememiah Chronicles – Knowledge Revealed’, the first book in my series prepared and published, you would think that I might have gotten into the swing of things with continuing my working pattern.  The husband and I had discussed the fact that I needed to settle down into a routine with writing, editing and publishing – he suggested I need to consider it as my ‘career’ and set down time accordingly to work each day.

“Wonderful,” I thought.  “What a brilliant idea.”

And it would be, if only I could convince myself to do so.

Part of the problem, admittedly, is the fact that it is currently school holidays in this part of the world.  Having the Gang of Four home creates a certain increase in workload which shoots my concentration all to hell.  And the workload has absolutely nothing to do with writing… it has a whole lot more to do with housework.

For instance, the kitchen.  When the Gang of Four are at school, I clean up the kitchen after they’ve headed off for the day and it remains fantabulously neat and tidy until they return home at the end of the day.  When they’re home?  Not so much.  Despite the obviousness of the facilities – the dishwasher is the big white thing, the bin is the thing over in the corner and all you have to do is push your foot on the pedal and the lid opens –     the Gang of Four can’t figure it out.  Nor can they get a glass out when they want a drink and use it for a second time.  Consequently, by lunchtime, there is a delightful pile of used glasses and cups sitting on the benches.  Lunchtime brings it’s own nightmares – plates, knives (lots, because nobody can reuse a knife for the second time), empty tuna tins, the ties of the bread bag – nothing gets put anywhere but on the benches, ready for Mum to come and sort it out.  Yelling, grumbling, steam coming out of my ears… nothing seems to work to remedy the situation.

Besides that example, there’s the continual round of “Mum, can you take me….”,  “Can you give me a lift to….”, “Can I have….”, “Where is….” – it’s a never-ending cycle with no room for mundane little things like editing or even more fun, writing some new stuff.  Add to that, the organising for going back to school, preparing for the eldest two members of the Gang heading off to Tertiary education, the normal household stuff and there don’t seem to be a lot of spare minutes in the day.

But having blamed the Gang of Four and a lot of other things for my indiscretions, I have to admit to my most cardinal sin.  Procrastination.  Even when I do sit down, thinking I’ll do some work, I manage to fiddle-faddle around to the point where I don’t get anything done.  Editing is not my favourite thing.  Granted, I don’t think it is any writer’s favourite thing.  Consequently, when I sit down to do some editing, I manage to do lots of other things.  The number one procrastinating enabler?  Facebook.  I’ve been known to work through a paragraph… go and check Facebook… work through the next paragraph… go and check Facebook… make a cuppa… go and write some comments on Facebook… type a couple of amendments .. go and play a quick game on Facebook…

You can see a pattern developing, can’t you?

Add to this, my love of reading.  And research for books to be written in the future.  And watching antique shows on Foxtel.  And daydreaming about the characters in my head, whom are (im)patiently waiting for me to get around to their stories.

I’ve been editing the second book in the series for some time now.  I have to have it ready for my beta readers by the beginning of February, in preparation for publishing in March.  I had eighty pages left to do on Monday, seventy eight pages left to do on Tuesday, the same amount to do on Wednesday (yeah, it was a bad day!), fifty pages left to do by last night (yesterday was a good day!).  And here on Friday evening, I still have a grand total of fifty pages to get through.

On that note, I should go and do some editing…  hmmm, haven’t checked Facebook for a while….

Facebook and Twitter and Blogger….oh my!

Okay.  One of the things I have to get my head around, on this journey to being a self-published author is publicity.  The question I asked myself?  How do I publicize myself in the best possible way, reaching as many people as possible?

Obviously I’ve made the first step with a Facebook page.  (Which is coming along quite nicely, I might add – thanks!)

What is the second step?  It was one question I didn’t rightly know the answer to, so of course, I reached for my trusty ‘I have a question and I don’t know the answer’ fall-back position.

Google.

You know, it occurs to me that there isn’t a question Google can’t answer.  Oh, of course, the obvious fault is that the answer you get might not be a true answer.  You can’t always believe what you read on the internet.

But for myself, starting out on this journey, it’s proving to be a lifesaver.  The two most highly suggested ways of publicizing appear to be Facebook and a blog.  I already had the Facebook covered… now I needed a blog.  For some of my friends and family on Facebook, they may well be delighted that I’ve discovered blogging; more than once I’ve had complaints regarding the size of my status updates being more like a small book than an update.  For that I apologize, but I find it nearly impossible to write a small update.  And I don’t want to bore people with the ‘I had sausages for dinner last night’ updates.  That just isn’t my style.  If I’m going to give people an insight into my life and times, it’s going to be on my terms.  I, for one hooted with delight when Facebook removed the maximum sizing on Facebook status updates, which had been the bane of my life when posting.

So here I am with Part ‘B’ of the publishing journey – a blog.  A lot of the time, it will likely be a rambling prose as most of my updates on Facebook have been.  But I hope it will help to get my books out there into public view as well.  

As for Twitter?  Nah, not so much.  Probably because you have that word limit thing again, which puts a serious dent in my updates.  Can I tell you everything I want to in short and sweet little 100+ odd characters?  Not likely.  But who knows, I never say never, and if I get my book published and sell all of two copies, maybe I’ll be forced to add the Twitter path to my arsenal…. 🙂

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