Books I loved reading.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

I'm so mean and horrible - apparently

‘I keeel you.’
    I don’t know why my daughter insists on talking to and threatening me in a Mexican accent – she was born and brought up in London.
    Apparently I’m to be keeeeeled because I cannot come up with a reasonable solution to the unfathomable question of why my daughter’s antichrist pony is unhappy. Admittedly it has Cushings disease and Laminitis, either of which would bring me down a bit if I suffered from same. Although, as I don’t have hooves, the second seems a little less likely. And his attitude about being half an inch too short to be an actual horse has always made him a pain, although I’m not too sure he knows about that and is just an annoying git for the sake of it.
    ‘So why can’t you stay with him all night, just to cheer him up. There’s straw all over the floor, it’s warm and dry and it’s a big stable. You’re just being mean.’
    If not wanting to spend the night with an animal who hates me – even after giving him daily treats is being mean, then so be it. And I certainly have no intention of spending the night cooped up in a box with a horse which sleeps on its back with its legs wide apart and whose flatulence can strip paint.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Will Santa bring me new fingertips.

I’ve just finished the penultimate edit of Geezers 2. I’ll begin the next immediately because I want to get it up by Christmas – so to speak.
     I was hoping to have two ready but as things never go to plan I’m lucky this one’s even close. I may have mentioned this before; in fact I know I’ve droned on about it ad-nauseum, but I never cease to be amazed at just how I can miss so many errors no matter how many times I go through the book. But finally I think it’s right.
     And luckily my brief tenure to Amazon is almost at an end. Ever since I temporarily sold my soul to them a few months ago I’ve only sold one book. That might very well be because my writing is rubbish but I prefer to believe that my novels are buried beneath the tottering mountain of other works they’ve received from people like myself or copied from out of copyright collections. Whatever, soon I’ll be back to Smashwords, Nook, iTunes, and all those other outlets I can barely remember. They didn’t pay my bills but at least a trickle of sales always made me happy.
     In a few days I’ll be putting links up to all the novels in my bookcase at the top. Christmas is coming and all those books are well worth a read, and I believe they’re all at a very good price for the festive period. And if anyone else wants me to publicise theirs at the same time, fell free to send me your links. I may have to do it in several posts but it’s no problem.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

I’ve just committed literary murder.

Oh, you’ve been writing again, I hear you say.
     No it’s worse than that. The rule I’ve read about a hundred times, and indeed always tried to practice came back to haunt me today.
     Old Geezers 2 is not my first novel. In fact, if I include those I’ve either lost or thrown away in disgust, I’ve written fourteen. Every one of them required editing as I’m not one of those (are there any?) writers who can create a great novel at the first sitting.
     The lesson mentioned earlier was, as we all know: if it isn’t relevant – then get rid of it.
     A case in point. Chapter 9. It’s a long chapter and covers a lot of ground, mostly as a way of bringing the reader up to speed and also to remind him/her of what happened in the previous novel. I spent a lot of time writing it and throughout four previous edits mainly corrected typing, punctuation and spelling errors. But last night I finished it again and realised that it was simply too long, too convoluted and too confusing, though not for me because I’d written it, and the previous novel.
     So today I began again. First I highlighted in red the absolutely essential paragraphs and then read the remaining on its own, and to my horror realised that nearly four pages were just me indulging myself and showing just how ingenious I was when it came to paradoxes - an essential element in my SF novels.
     Do it, I commanded myself. But no, surely I can keep it but perhaps just leave out the occasional comma. It took nearly two hours but finally I deleted all but what was strictly necessary, cringing at every squeal as my words succumbed to the delete button. My babies, my carefully thought out words were all gone. It’s not as if I can even save them for another novel.
     It’s been a hard lesson, and I know the novel will be better for it but all those words sent to oblivion are going to make my night painfully long.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Now here's a great idea for Christmas.

Calling Speculative Fiction Authors…

The Ink Slinger’s League is sponsoring a speculative fiction anthology in time for the holidays and we need your stories! If guild1you write:
  • Horror
  • Paranormal
  • Sci-Fi
  • Fantasy
Or any mix of the genres, then we’d love to have a story from you.
To submit:
Mail your story(s) that are between 1,000 – 10,000 words to by November 29th with a bio, author photo, website/twiiter/facebook links, synopsis of at least one novel and buy links for that novel. It doesn’t matter if the story has been published before, so long as you have the rights to it. Stories do NOT need to have a holiday theme, though if you feel so inclined let the spirit move you.
Stories can be adult subject matter, but shouldn’t be explicit erotica. If you’re not sure how explicit is too explicit, send your story and I’ll let you know.
We will not do ANY editing or proofreading of your stories, so make sure they’re the way you want them. Stories with lots of typos or grammatical errors will be declined.
Remember to invite other authors! There’s no limit on how many stories we can include, and the more writers we have, the more chance we get of being introduced to a new audience. Contributors do NOT need to have a published book available to participate.
All the details:
The anthology will be published on Amazon, Smashwords & all of the places Smashwords distributes to (Including Apple, Barnes & Noble & Kobo) and will be offered for FREE. There’s no profit to be made, and we aren’t paying anyone for their stories except with exposure. Ink Slinger’s will handle the formatting and book cover (including any image purchases).
If interested, participants should host one another on their blogs/websites/etc. If someone would like to be in charge of organizing rosters for that, let me know (you can comment here with your email or drop me a message). It would be much appreciated.
And if you have any ideas for a title we’re all ears. The Inkslinger’s Anthology will do in a pinch, but it doesn’t really capture the essence of what we’re going for.
If you have any questions, ask! And remember – invite your colleagues!