Surprises

Still editing book 2, removing long sentences and rewriting bad bits. It’s a long job, has taken me a week, doing about 20 pages a day. But it is an interesting thing to do, in its way, as well as tiring and frustrating, to see traits in my writing that I had no idea of when writing. In the Seer’s Tower that seems to be the use of the word ‘surprise.’ Everything is surprising Candale at the moment. I am going through it, mixing everything up, but it does interest me how a word can get stuck in your head like that. I’ve noticed it with other writers. Carol Berg, who is one of my favourites, will use a word like ‘clod,’ (for private parts.) Use it again shortly after and then never use it again in any of her books. It’s why editing is so important, I think, to catch repetitious words and phrases, as well as bad grammar and long, rambling sentences. And it’s why I always leave time in between writing and editing, to clear my brain so I can look at it afresh, although it can be disheartening. The book that seemed excellent when you’d finally finished it, is now full of flaws. Twice now I’ve been struck with the, oh god this is awful, bug. The, why should i bother at all, I’m crap, feeling. And perhaps some people will agree with me, but I’m fixing the flaws, making it the best that I can, and that’s all i can do. Even with all the surprises.

Ten years ago

It was ten years ago when a good friend of mine, Alisa, had an asthma attack and died. She was 21. Her death hit me hard, though we weren’t as close then as we had been, we had both moved apart, she had been a good friend for a while, and always someone i was glad to have in my life. All my books are and will be dedicated to her, and my parents and grandparents, because I think it’s important to honour those who are alive, my parents, and have a big impact in your life, but to also remember the dead, and the impact they had as well.

Those ten years went so fast, it’s scary. I was working on the Shadow Seer then. The book itself was written quickly, but i was scared of sending it out, of being rejected, and worked to edit it for years instead. I finally did, but I’m still working on the series. I haven’t moved on from it yet. I haven’t done anything much with those ten years. At the time I created a page to Ailsa, with a guestbook, so I could forward the messages to her parents. One friend said how we should remember that life doesn’t begin tomorrow (words to that effect at least.) And she’s right. Life doesn’t. It’s now. So, ten years on, I have to get on with this. Writing is my dream. I have to finish editing, get the book out, finish the next one, and move on. Make it my life, my career, not just a half-assed hobby/career mix that it is at the moment. Learn from what happened to Ailsa, make the most of my life, live my dreams, but not forget her. Never that.

The nightmare of the “Ands”

I have to do another edit of book 2. Too many run on sentences still remain, avoiding my detection, to be removed now. I also have to remove “And” and hope to remove a few of my repetitions that bothered me during my first edit. How many times can Candale straighten his shoulders, or fall silent? Too many! But this is the problem when you write something a long time ago (two years ago the Seer’s Tower was finished) your thoughts and styles change and what didn’t bother you then, bothers you now! Thank god for find and replace though. It makes life a lot easier!
I also have to write a blurb. Blurbs are difficult. Summing up the story, without giving anything away, and making it seem interesting at the same time, it’s not fun. I’m not sure even where to start with this one . . .
My publisher has told me that Booksurge, who Amazon print with, and my publisher also, are going to be available in the UK. Currently they are just in the US and another printer is used for UK books. This will make life easier in terms of my ordering copies for conventions, and might even lower the price of the book, as it costs half as much in the US as it does here. So all good :)
I have also worked out the third short story for my faerie collection. “Seven years,” the tale of what happens when a girl is taken to Faerie as a consort of one of the fae, and then returned . . .
Now back to the edits!

Editing and my faerie collection

Well editing has been done on Book 2, except for some run on sentences that it is now my fun job to fix! I have to fight the urge to change huge chunks of things though! I finished the Seer’s Tower 18 months ago, so my writing and my thoughts and the way I would now do things has, of course, moved on, but I can’t go through and fiddle with things so close to it being ready for publication. Well, not too much . . .

I have an idea for my next short story for my faerie collection, a version of the Midnight Market, but with faeries. It will be a longish short story, so the collection will have a mix, happy and dark, and long and short. Hopefully something for everyone. I’m basing elements of this on things I have seen in my real life, the barrow in the story, the gateway to Faerie, is Arther’s Stone here in Swansea, Gower, and ancient barrow. Just as in the Midnight Market original the market was based on a night time Christmas market i went to with my mother when I lived in Nottingham. I always try and include something of real life in my stories and novels. I think there is so much beauty in the real world, and in history, that even though a lot of it is made up, a lot can also be drawn on for inspiration.

Writing Progress

Image

This is the cover for book 2, the Seer’s Tower. It’s on it’s second lot of edits at the moment, so slowly progressing. I have reached the 95K mark of book 3, the Children of the Shadow. It isn’t going to be as long as the others, it’s more or less at the end, except, I’m not sure how to write it! I know what has to happen, and I know how the book, and the series, will finish, but I’m not sure how I get to that point. Tying up a series is difficult. Loose ends need to be finished off, but not too soon, or there’s no book! And it can’t all be about endings, or the book will have no real drive forward. It’s also hard to think about this being the end. I’ve been living with Candale and his friends for almost a decade now and it will be hard to say goodbye and to move onto something new. But good, too, I think, to get to know some new characters in a new world, with a new problem!
While working out how to get to the end of the Children of the Shadow I have been working on a new project, a collection of short stories about faeries. Not nice, light children’s stories, but a collection, some dark, some not, but certainly more for young adults and grownups! I have always had a love of the fae and faerie mythology,all mythology, really (hence my degree in Ancient History and Classical Civilisations) And I’m enjoying the research that comes with this new project. I only have two stories so far, one that has already been published, and one I just finished that is unseen by anyone except my poor, bullied editing friends. But I plan to have around 7. It won’t be a long collection, but hopefully it will be enjoyable!
And, as you can see, I have a blog! One you can comment on, and follow, so please do! :) I’m interested in knowing who is out there!