Monday, 26 November 2012

A Bit About My Process

    I wanted to talk a bit about where my stories come from, as one is currently stewing in my head not fully formed.

When I have an idea for a story, it comes to me in pictures. I heard a saying a long time ago that goes something like 'people who see things in words should paint and people who see things in pictures should write', and that is totally how I see things. Most of my stories play out like scenes from a tv show or a movie, and my process has a lot to do with writing what I see in my mind.
Putting words to paper, in that case, is not always easy. Sometimes the picture is not fully formed. Sometimes it's only in small snippits that don't quite make sense, which is what's happening now. They relate to backstory's of certain character's from The Series, and I don't know yet if they connect together or not.

I still write it down when it's not fully formed, and I put the scenes in a folder and when they finally fuse together I pull the relevant ones out and help piece together the story. If there are ones I don't use on occasion they are the building blocks of something new.
Or, it all appears in my head, as much of Book 1 did. The early scenes, with the ritual and in the village, all strung together with relative ease. I'd had to rework the story itself to fit into the specific timeline, but once I did much of it appeared fully formed in front of me. There was just a matter of making sure I got everything when I wrote what I saw.
But the ritual scene, which I won't go into great detail about for those who haven't read Book 1, was the first idea that I had and the first thing that I saw, and it was as vivid and as real as if I was standing there watching it happen myself. 

And now, when I go back and reread it I still see those same pictures. Book 1 has stayed rather true to my original vision the way it is now, and it will be interesting to see as I revisit it if any new things will morph together with the old ones, something that I have never done before.

I am sure you are wondering, what happens if you are working on more than one story at a time? I don't do that often, and I haven't ever wrote two stories at the same time. What generally happens is that I am writing one new story and revising one that's already played out. I haven't tried to do that, but it doesn't mean that I won't. But I think it would be difficult to do if both books were in the same genre, and especially in the same series. Because until you've let one story run its course it's hard to work on what comes next.

But that's a lot of babbling on my part. What's stewing in my head is a backstory, that may turn into a full novel. It's been stewing for a long time but I haven't been able to do anything with it, I admit I am a bit stuck these days. I'm wondering if being stuck means it's not meant to be the full novel, but only a very complicated backstory.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Back On The Grind, Forever the Phoenix

 I don't think anyone anticipates bad things happening.

I did not expect to be seven months after my original publication date and to no longer have that work published. But, guess what? Nothing is certain and things happen. And now, while I am in a good place and in many ways relieved, I am back to the writer's grind of shopping the work around and trying to find an agent and publisher.

I think I've grown and got stronger from this experience. I've taken a lot of kicking in the past year, not just from what happened with the book. A lot of things have happened, a lot of personal tragedy, a lot of absolute bullshit that could have been avoided. But, it's all done now so I have to make the best with what I have, and rebuild. Be reborn, so to speak.

I've done it before, I can do it again. I will do it again. I don't have any other option. And how often does a writer get to go back and revisit their first novel, and fix things? I have to make the most out of this situation.

So, I haven't given up. You have definitely not seen the last of me and my work.

I've been told that, all things considered, that I am doing rather well. If I couldn't take criticism, I would be in the wrong business. This is what writers do. We expose ourselves, take the good and bad, and continue to do so for the love of our work and our readers. And it's the comments and encouragement that I have received from readers that is really pushing me forward. I know that the people that Book 1 did touch enjoyed it, and I don't want to disappoint them.
I also cannot disappoint my Mother, god rest her soul. Going on without her is hard, it's going to be hard. It's going to stay hard, and its a tragedy that she left this earth. She was my best friend, in some ways my only friend, and it's lonely without her. It's a constant and ongoing work in progress. If I didn't have my writing to keep me sane I don't know what I would do.

Being back on the grind is unexpected, but an interesting experience. I am going the traditional route right now but my ideas on that may change. I've seen a lot of cool things done by people who put their books out themselves, and I do find it appealing. I don't think that self publishing is something that happens when no one else will publish you, as was the thought in the past, I think it's a conscious choice for a writer who wants to have much more control. I don't think it's for everybody, it's a lot more work then people might think, and I in no way think it's the easy way out. It's just Option B right now, but may turn to Option A.

But I am on the grind. Anyone else out there in a similar situation?
Any thoughts on traditional and self publishing?

I will be a phoenix and rise from the ashes of all the crap that has happened to me in the past year. I am considering adopting the phoenix as my personal mascot.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

All Call

Hello Readers!

I feel a bit odd doing this, but I thought I would put it out there.
Are you an agent or a publisher who is interested in my work? Please get in touch with me. I am currently seeking representation for Book 1 and The Series.
Did you see something cool you think I should check out? Want to hear my thoughts on something? Give me a shout. I would love to hear from you!

Either contact me on twitter @heartbamboo or email me

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Classics through Comics

Is there a classic novel that you would really like to read, but trying to plow through the actual novel is beyond difficult?
Well, let me tell you a bit about something I discovered that might make it more accessible.
Let me begin by saying I love Jane Austen, and I have for many years. But I have not read her novels, my love for her came from the many movies I have seen and from learning about her as a person. Not that I haven't tried to read her novels, I have, but I have had some difficulty. So when I found out that Marvel Comics was releasing graphic novel versions of some of her work I jumped at the chance to pick them up, hoping I would finally be able to devour the work I so cherished and obsessed over for many years.
And, AND, even better, they put out Northanger Abbey, by far my favourite Jane Austen story.
So maybe some will say that I am cheating by not reading the novel in its original form, but I say to them to pick up one of the comics before you pass judgement. Because you may find that the comic is very true to the original, and perhaps adds a new dimension.
I am currently reading Northanger Abbey and its fantastic! It really takes me into the world that I adore but has eluded me for so many years.
So if there is a classic novel you would like to read look up Marvel Illustrated, they have done other works like the Wizard of Oz books, the original novels by L Frank Baum. I highly recommend it!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Something "Else"

    Writing is a very interesting business. You don't find too many writer's that write books in more than one genre, and the ones that do are not always good at it, if at all. For some reason, this is a question that I have been pondering for some time.
I think it really started when I figured out that Book 1 was, even though it fit into several, a genre book. And I couldn't help but wonder, can I write something 'else', 'else' meaning something different. Something that, for me, really had nothing to do with vampires and that wasn't young adult. I don't know why I had that criteria, but I did, so it's a thought that has been bouncing around in my mind for some time.

Not that I don't love The Series, and the genre's that they fall in, I wouldn't have written it if I didn't. I have written other things, some were of the supernatural nature, others were not. But I have never really fallen in love with something the way that I did The Series.
And now, sitting in the position that I am in, I feel like this is something that I should explore. That I need to try new things, something outside my usual box. Spread my wings, so to speak.
There are many other things I am interested in. I love a good caper novel, I've always had a thing for spy books, and I love a good coming of age story. I am of course nuts for historical fiction, I'm fascinated by ancient Egypt, love Private Investigation, and I am also very interested in comic books. Serial killers have always been an interest, and I have a book about Squeaky Fromme sitting in my head that is just waiting for it's time to come out.

But with all these other loves, I wouldn't know where to begin. And what did this story mean to me? How much time and energy would I spend on it? Did I want to do a lot of research like I did with The Series?
So while I still love and am devoted to my Series, I am allowing myself the time and space to explore. Because being confined as a person and a writer is a scary thing, and I don't want to do that. It's a way for me to explore myself as a person, and explore my grief from losing a very dear loved one this year.

And grief....oh, I could go on for days about grief! I don't understand it at all, but I can tell you that it is complicated and ever changing, and it will make you feel things that you did not believe you were capable of. Grief gave me a new playing field of emotions, and I think a new level of depth to my personality that I did not previously possess. Grief has shaped me in ways that I have never dreamed of, and brought a new level of devotion to my writing that is unbelievable. I had no idea how much I relied on my stories to get me though the day - and now I don't know where I would be without them.

So, I am exploring. Trying to remain optimistic while I wade through these deep and sometimes treacherous waters.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Warhammer Continued and Other Matters

Hi All

As some of you may have noticed, I've posted my review of Bloodborn, the first in the Ulrika the Vampire trilogy by Nathan Long, on my goodreads page. If you'd like to read the review, please head over there (there should be a link directly to it in the 'links' section of this blog), and I won't rehash a bunch of it here.
But I did want to take a little time to talk about my feelings about the work, and at the very elaborate world of Warhammer and it's vampires.

Games Workshop's publishing arm, Black Libaray, is who produces these books. I had not gone to their site until I finished Bloodborn, and when I did I must say I was rather impressed. The quality and standard of the writing in these works is remarkable. I am impressed enough that there are several other titles that I intend on picking up that have nothing to do with vampires, and I am not really one to read straight fantasy, as I would call it. But the characters and depth of story seem so dynamic that it's given me back a bit of excitement that I have lost in recent months.

So, I will continue my journey into the world of Warhammer fiction, and I will be sure to write about it while I do.

I am sure that some of you may have noticed now that there has been a lot of changes in regards to my online presence, among other things. In a span of six months a LOT of things have happened, and now my first novel, which I will from here on refer to as Book 1, is looking for a new home. I won't get into the details, but that is the reality. (I will also refer to the series as The Series from here on out)
And I have full intentions on getting back up and fighting. The world has not seen the last of me or my characters. I thank everyone who purchased Book 1 and supported me on this journey, and I will happily let you know that this is not the end, so keep checking back and I will update my progress. I'll also be interested to hear readers opinions of the original Book 1 and Book 1 reborn, as it will be.
But this is not the end for me, I promise you that. I am not going down, period.

I have also discovered this lovely website and app called Wattpad. What an amazing site! Writer's can upload their work and read and comment from a mobile device as well as a computer -it's like a giant writing group that you don't have to trek out in the snow and bring cookies to. I love the scope of people who have stories up there, there is a little something for everyone. I wish it was something that had been around when I was young, I would have loved to have such an amazing platform to share my stories, and I am beyond excited for it now!
 I am a member, and I have only been reading and commenting, but I fully intend on posting at some point - what it is will be a surprise! Keep checking back for my announcement when I have something it up, where it be new projects or part of The Series, we shall have to wait and see!

Here's the link, go take a look!