To Self-publish or Not to Self-publish?

My novel has been published with a small print publisher, but at conventions and so forth I’m often asked if it was self published. Self published books, vanity press, has long been regarded as cheating, that anyone with money could get a book published, regardless of quality of the writing, or the plot. Publishers offer security, that at least someone liked the book enough to invest in it, to edit and print it. that’s the theory at least.

And i generally agreed with it. Until recently. After reading a new book i had long been looking forward to, and finding it daft, contradictory and just poor, i can no longer say with confidence, that a properly published book is any better than some thing someone prints for themselves. So, i am considering this route myself. Not for my novels. The idea of having to edit 120k worth of words alone is terrifying, but for a collection of short stories. The collection I have been trying to write for years. I’m going to try and get some other writers involved, one or two stories from each of us, and then if a few publishers don’t want it, i will self publish it myself. Working out royalties between all the writers will be fun, so i hope to keep this project between friends, for ease, but i think it’s a go. A chance to get my name out there a little more, and for new writers as well, and perhaps the only way i will get my collection of faerie stories!

As for my novel, well, back to the start of the third book. After faffing for so long, with festivals and trips to the village, i realised that the reason it wasn’t working is because it’s all wrong. So, back to the start for me.I can still use a lot of the later work, but the beginning, that has to be redone. But far better it’s done right, than done wrong and fast.

New year, same problems.

Well it’s a new year. I had hoped to finish the Children of the Shadow by now, but I’m still struggling with it. Writing is hard. I know what is wrong with it, but not how to fix it. It all concerns the gods, the dark gods, the demons. Working out their nature, and how their worship would follow is surprisingly difficult. Are they all ‘evil?’ Do they all inspire fear? Spirits of nature, that means they have a light side too, right? Nature is, after all, dangerous, but also the source of life. So, how would their festivals be? What form would their worship take? Working it out is actually rather difficult. So i’m not! I’m leaving it alone for the moment and finishing off a faerie story for the collection. Of course, they also have their problems. Many faeries had a penchant for children, they are offered up as a tithe for the devil, they are eaten by water creatures, or drowned. But I’m not sure how well a book of faeries killing children would go down! So I’m trying to come up with alternatives, but still remain true to some of the original aspects of the faerie myth. I’m also trying to have a mix, stories from the faerie’s point of view, stories from the point of view of those who encounter them, and stories that have happy, and sad endings. But so far I only have three, and two of them end rather badly! But I want to get another 4 together, so hopefully i can still find that balance.

So this is where i am. New year, new start, old problems on old projects.


Ideas. They come from random places. While listening to Paula Cole’s Hush, about a gay boy dying of aids, I got the start of the Shadow Seer. And while watching Sky’s Sinbad, I have ideas for expanding and excitifying my Forest of Ghosts, (though the title is now the City of Ghosts) sadly, I have two projects to finish before I can get on with that. But when I do there will be an abandon city and more ghosts than you can shake a stick at, not to mention the zombie ghost type creatures, and plenty of cats.

As it stands those other projects are moving slowly, due to my love of procrastination. The Children of the Shadow is on hold until i finish my faerie short story for the collection. But then I’m going to push on and finish it. Target is the end of the year, but as previous targets have been May and my holiday in September, who knows if i will do it! When i do a little robot necklace will be my reward. So if i want that necklace, and if i want to write my new project, with all its cats, I’d better stop writing this and get on with it!

Before then, Bristol Con, less than a month. Books are ordered, but until they come I can’t order flyers or poster, so it’s all a little last minute stress. Nothing new there though!

Chester: future inspiration and some idea gathering

Just returned from a holiday in Chester with the parentals. It’s a gorgeous city, old buildings (tho not all medieval as they appear, some are Victorian) haunted, and with a roman amphitheater. there is also a zoo fairly near by. All in all, a great place and a fountain of inspiring ideas. The Forest of Ghosts will be featuring some of the gorgeous buildings, with their half timbered fronts, carvings, black framed windows and ‘the rows,’ a series of shops above shops, with outside streets to access them. It will also have a zoo, i think, although whether my hero, Sylan, will get to visit it, I’m not sure yet. Certainly i may use some of the ghost stories i heard on the ghost tour. I think that using real places, real things, and making them your own can make a book more vivid, more real, and means i can use photos to create a gallery of that world to help show what i mean.

Sitting on the train to Chester I managed to get a couple of ideas together for my faerie short story collection, which is what I’m working on at the moment, just to give me a break from Dale’s saga for a while. Currently I’m working on Seven Years, which is about the creation of a witch. But i have stories in mind featuring Jenny Greenteeth, and another with one of the hellhounds. We shall what will become of it.

Bristol Market and Pens

Have arranged to sell copies of my book at Bristol Market, as part of National Market Day, 28th June. I will be selling alongside fellow writer, Joanne Hall, and as well as our books we will have copies of other local writers to sell. All the details are on our facebook event: It doesn’t cost anything to look around, unlike Bristol Con, so I hope lots of people will come. I’m looking forward to it, I rather like selling and signing books, even though I can never think of anything witty. As part of it I have ordered some pens, with the book and website details on, I hope people will be less likely to throw them away and more likely to look up the book than they might with just a flyer or bookmark.

I have been working, slowly, on my faerie short story collection. Editing burned me out somewhat so I’m not getting very far with the latest short story about a girl, seduced by a faerie and taken back to the Faerie Kingdom. But I will get there and then it’s back to trying to finish off Children of the Shadow, the last in the Ellenessia’s Curse series, although I’m still not totally sure how I’m getting to the end!