Self-confidence Restored

Since unvamped was picked up for publication…actually, if I’m honest, since I finished writing unvamped, I have found writing hard, planning has been hard, I just haven’t been able to get into the swing of it. I felt like most of my problem stemmed from how much I liked unvamped when I finished it. After, I worried about not liking whatever I wrote next, or not being able to write anything good, or never having my writing published again.

However, NO MORE! 🙂

Somehow, I have pushed through the barrier and emerged the other side actually quite excited about coming up with something new. Soul Wars* has been put on the back burner for a little while – along with other pieces, so it won’t get lonely – as I’m all fired up about Matlock College at the moment. This is the one I started as a novel, set out as a script and then adapted the first section into script. It’s going to be a bit Hogwarts meets St Trinian’s and I’ve manages to get myself quite excited by the whole thing – and I have been able to get the planning done! Which, in itself is a major acheivement as I’ve been stalling on Soul Wars* planning, which is one reason my momentum fell flat I think. But, Matlock College is all blocked out (for a script at least) so I have the bare bones already, now it’s just fleshing it out and making sure its interesting.

My other motivation for writing at the moment is Camp NaNo. I’ve kept the traditionally 50,000 words my goal for this month and, while I may have had a slow start, I am feeling really into and the word count is slowly racking up (first point of order is to flesh out what I already had so that’s been a bit of a mire to wade through).

Also, a note on the Goodreads Giveaway; it is still pending approval by the Goodreads people, but all going well it should start on 13 July!

I am off to work on a mock up cover for Matlock College (I find it helps my motivation 🙂 ) while I procrastinate until my Chicko Roll is ready.

Happy writing, reading, and living,

x iz

*Working title

‘unvamped’ Launch Recap with pictures :)

Finally, I’m getting around to posting about the launch, only a month late! I suppose that’s what illness will do to you.

Either way, the launch was great 🙂 not quite as many people as expected, but these things happen. I made nibbles (read: ate a lot while cooking) and remembered to organise drinks, along with all the merchandise. My investment in a PayPal card reader paid off immensely – half the guests paid with card! – and was a great way to keep track of total sales. I didn’t quite sell all the books I bought, and am yet to make any money back, but I feel it was a very exciting adventure and am glad it went the way it did.

My good friend and fellow Sleeping Dragon, Russell Hartup, opened for me and I managed not to screw up the reading too much. I also managed to do my signature right most of the time and write reasonably legibly. Though I didn’t get around to talk to everyone as much as I would have liked.

After the formal parts of the launch, there was some chatting and the packing up, then I went out for pizza – both savoury and dessert 😀

I think the launch was a great success and it makes me feel a bit more like a real author now lol.

If anyone missed out on a copy, or anyone would like a hardcopy, I have quite a few left over and would be happy to sign them and get them to you (contact me for more details).

Keep a look out for my upcoming Goodreads Giveaway.

I must head off now to work on my piece for Camp NaNoWriMo, but I will leave you with some pictures from the launch 🙂

Book Launch 007

Book Launch 019

Book Launch 020

Book Launch 025

x iz

Day 30 – The End of Month One

A month has passed and it is time to evaluate my site/blog and see what I’m doing, what I should be doing, and what I want to be doing. I have been rather lazy this past week with a dreaded lurgy, and I worked through the weekend (though made time to have my Writers’ Group meeting!), so not a lot has been done, but I’ve been thinking about it all.

I don’t have any more news yet as to a release date for unvamped and until that happens, I don’t have much more pre-promotional stuff I can be doing. So, I can tick that off in terms of doing what I should be doing.

I’ve started uploading some stories, but not had any time to write more at the moment – deadline for work is almost done so free time will be my own soon! – so I’m bordering on actually getting done what I would like to be getting done. Next month, I’d really like to be able to write a few new ones and enter some competitions. I think, too, I may submit my two children’s books to publishers and see if there’s any interest there.

We shall not discuss Camp Nano for this month – suffice to say planning will be completed through May and Camp Nano will be done in June! If only I could counts the words I’ve written for work and study! *woe*

I haven’t been blogging quite as much as I’d planned given my work load this month. But I do think, given I haven’t had much of interest to say when I have blogged, that’s not such a bad thing 🙂

I have been very slow in putting up more of my Tips & Tricks, but I will get back to that in the next week as I have found a (somewhat) solution to my formatting issue – we’ll see how successful that is when I’ve posted them up!

Having discovered my lack of daily blogging – and losing track of what day I’m up to – I have decided now to change my menu format going forward. From now on, I will be grouping posts by months (Month 2, Month 3, etc – possibly by Month name too, I shall see how I feel when I need to set it up) and just naming them whatever I think matches best. I feel like I need to go back and do that for this past month, but have decided its much too much work for now – maybe when work calms down and this dreaded lurgy goes away.

Lunch over now, back to work time.

x iz

Day 22 – Some new stories

My regular blogging is falling by the wayside a little, but at least I’m getting something up on the site most days. Today, I have posted up some new stories today. Well, two short pieces and two excerpts from larger works that I have been working on for a while.

The short story, Release, is something I wrote for a school assignment in 2004 and is a bit of an experiment in Second Person Point of View writing. You can read it here.

The excerpts are the first 2,000 words or so of a couple of novel-length stories I have been working on since 2006. They are both part of the same trilogy The Chronicles of Uraethan. The other short piece is the assignment I wrote at school that gave me the inspiration for Vampyre Necormancer, the first in the trilogy. You can read this short piece here. The Prologue for Vampyre Necromancer can be found here, and the first part of the second story in the trilogy, Necromancer Scion, can be found here. Depending on how you read, there are potential spoilers in the beginning on Necromancer Scion, you have been warned 🙂

I am planning to post up a few more stories and excerpts in the coming days, so keep an eye out in the Writing section of the menu to your left.

Camp Nano is not really going at all at the moment, work is too busy. But, I am doing a fair bit of story planning in readiness for June 2015 Camp Nano. I plan to have all my ‘on-the-go’ stories plotted to perfection before June so I have no excuses to write – everything will be pre-planned and I will have at least 5 stories to choose from, so writer’s block will not be an option 🙂

Hope you’re all travelling well,

x iz

Day 19 – Where have the last four days gone?

While I have been posting something this week, I have neglected my little diary sort of thing.

This week has been busy at work and I’ve still been fighting off this bug, which seems to combining with hayfever to cause all sorts of havoc. But still, plodding along.

I have managed to post up one lot of Tips & Tricks and one short story so far, now I just have to work out how to format things properly and I can start adding some more of both – I really wish there were more formatting options (does anyone know if there are somewhere).

Work will still be busy this coming week, as deadlines are approaching,but I will try to get something up once a day.

Needless to say, Camp NaNo is not going all that well, but I’m still plotting Unvamped 2* here and there, so there is still writing work being done. I will have to push a bit harder through next Camp Nano – July 2015 – and try to make up for it. I think my focus at the moment needs to be Unvamped 2* since all my thoughts and ideas are surrounding that, it seems silly to press a story when another one is bombarding my brain. But, I did have a great idea for something to do with Soul Wars* the other day, so obviously Unvamped 2* isn’t entirely taking over inside my head, which is nice to know given I’m trying to get into short stories now too. There are still 11 days left of Camp Nano though, so I haven’t given up hope I will reach 25,000 words. It just might not be the story I had intended to write. I only have just over 2,000 words per day to finish on time, so that’s manageable.

I suppose I will get onto that as soon as I’ve eaten! Am starving!

iz

Day 12 – where Soul Wars* seems to have taken a temporary backseat and Unvamped 2* is on a veritable rampage

It is really hard to do course assignments when the writing bug has hit…

That is in no way to say that I have done any actual writing today, but I’m in the mood and inspired and its all my brain can think about. I have been doing some more research on Druids for Unvamped 2* – starting with the very important Druids: A Very Short Introduction by Barry Cunliffe – and am more convinced than ever that there is no real historical basis for the kinds of druids I thought there were (based on Merlin/Arthurian mythology) or that I need for my story. My only dilemma now is that I’m not sure whether I should concoct a bastardised version of Druidry that sits similar to what I believed Druids to be, or to come up with a “new” branch of magic. I feel that maybe a bastardised version of Druidry might be the best way to go, but I don’t want it to seem to unrealistic if there are readers who know more about Druids than I can teach myself. I just have to hope that I can weave a story exciting and in-depth enough that my readers can suspend their disbelief long enough to get through it! 🙂

I have been busy plotting as well, and that is going well. Although, as the plot arc table nears completion, it gets scarier because then I have no excuses not to keep writing the story. But, we shall come to that hurdle when we come to it.

I have also been looking further into buying the font from the Unvamped cover, and have found a couple of places from which to buy it, but will need the tech-savvy husband or brother-in-law to check I’m not buying from somewhere dodgy. On the plus-side, only have to buy one because I found the other one on a free font site 🙂

While I’m on a roll, I should get back to plotting – plus need to leave for dinner at the in-laws soon!

x iz

Day 8 – a new week, a new me (complete with poll!)

This last week has seen some productivity, some rearranging of priorities and a settling in to more of a rhythm. I may not be any better at this blogging business, but I know what I want to acheive with this site/blog now and that makes me a bit more comfortable with my lesser abilities.

I’ve done a bit more work on Soul Wars*, I have a much better idea of where the middle is going – though I fear its going to turn into more of a saga than planned! – and have written a few more words on it. So hooray for some progress on Camp Nano! I still feel like there’s something missing from what I can see of this story. I don’t know what it is, but there seems to be a plot element I’m not seeing but that has already inserted itself into the story. Hopefully as I keep writing and planning, I shall find it! 🙂
I’m also energetically making up promotional materials I will need for an Unvamped launch in readiness for a release date (woot bookmarks!) and posters. Its probably the least productive thing I can be doing really, but it is tremendous fun! I just have to decide if I’m going to pay for the fonts the cover artist used so everything is aesthetically pleasing, or just match as best I can. What do you think?
After adding the word “poll” everywhere it is starting to look weird and wrong, so I’m going off to do something else now…
x iz
*working title

Day 7 – realisations hit

Week 1 is finally finished and with all the excitement of Unvamped getting closer to publication, I have realised that this blog is becoming more to me than just about finding a new story. I feel like I have a bit more to share than just about Soul Wars*. Especially with pre-promotion of Unvamped and some reviews to be made (now that I’ve finally finished reading Laini Taylor’s Days of Blood and Starlight).

Planning for Soul Wars* has been put on semi-hold for a while with all the Unvamped excitement and some (real) work needing to be done (yay money though). I haven’t forgotten about it entirely, I’m still thinking about it, but I do think it needs a lot more thinking and planning that I have done so far. The plot I’ve been coming up with is not really the story I’ve had in my mind – although how that makes sense, I’m not sure! I sort of have this picture in my mind – a bit like a movie – of how it is supposed to be, and the plan I’m working on doesn’t seem to measure up. I’m sure it will all pan out in the end. I also have the problem that I keep envisioning some story to do with angels – though I blame Laini Taylor for that at present!

Having said that, Camp Nano is on this month, so I would really like to be able to get some work done on Soul Wars* during that time – nothing gets more words on the page than the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo – you’ll find me at izziestevens) – after two years of NaNo (and no work in between) I came up with Unvamped.

I feel really positive going forward – things are becoming clearer in my head and my path seems more direct and better lit so I feel I can see my way now.

Should get back to some actual writing work now 🙂

x iz

*working title