I may be a planner in my writing but Xmas stuff… I always leave till the last minute!
DS 2, 38,000 words, about a third of the way through! I mean, it’s the first draft – and as Hemingway said, the first draft of anything is shi* – but, it feels good to have made it this far. And, I have learned enough to know that the toughest stretch is still to come.. the middle of a book is always the hardest part. It’s like tidying your bedroom; you get halfway through and ask what the hell was I thinking? but then you double-down and before you know it things are looking good.
Right now, I am working on scenes where Joe receives a unique timepiece that reveals information about his jumps and purpose. I love old things and this is my chance to imagine a pocket-watch with some extra-cool features.
For those of you who are interested in (and ask me about) process; I’m trying a new way of planning the overall story. I begin with a one-paragraph chapter breakdown. Then write each scene in screenplay format (dialogue, simple description and stage direction). I then live with it for a few days before dictating the scene while walking Alfie (more on him later). It’s interesting and fun and keeping me on track.
Plans for 2018
I don’t really do personal new year resolutions. I prefer to set small goals throughout the year but I do like to plan my writing business goals and aspirations. I have big plans for 2018, which include;
- Downstream Diaries Book 2, released in spring. I know it’s been a long wait, but it will be worth it. Promise.There will be regular updates, including cover reveal (it looks lovely), Beta reader opportunities, ARC’s, preview chapters and more…
- Hibernation Book 3: It’s half done and I hope to have it finished and out in 2018
- Hibernation Origins: Book 1 – Zido Zitagi. One of my favourite characters from my Human Hibernation Saga, Zido gets her own ‘Origins’ story. I have numerous planned, this is the first and will be available exclusively to my reader group members. That’s you! It means the only way to read it is to be part of the gang. I will keep you posted on Beta opportunities for that one too
- Near Futures: A brand-new series of short Novella’s. If all goes well, I will get a couple of these out in 2018. Okay, I admit… It’s what’s known in the biz as a ‘stretch goal’ but we have to try.. right?
Some of the newspapers in the U.K. are quality (not). Headlines such as, “Britain engulfed by apocalyptic blizzard”. And, “Snow Bomb swallows Great Britain whole!”
Basically, we had a bit of snow. It was lovely, then it was icy, then it was slushy. End.
But, seeing as we aren’t geared up for it, Britain grinds to a halt. I love it! And, I thought you might like to see some pics of my village, dusted in snow.
And, now… more importantly…
He had 3 layers. Base, waterproof and reflective harness. The red and fluorescent colour scheme prompted one young girl from the village to ask her mum, ‘Is he a police dog?’ I politely explained that he wasn’t, but laughed all the way home and then.. for about a week. You see, I couldn’t think of a job less suited to my little Italian friend. Unless the K-9 division’s sole job was to shiver and find treats. I laugh EVERY time I think of him in ‘uniform’, upholding the law.
You may or may not know them but BookBub is an email club, with a focus on discovery. They are a great way to find new authors and pick up deals… I like them because ALL they do is book recommendations and offers. One email a day, tailored to you and your preferences. For me, it’s also a great way to reach new readers… and I could do with your help…
Could you ‘follow me’ on BookBub?
I currently have 810 followers and would love to get over 1,000. It helps me with marketing and boring business stuff too.
Be sure to click the FOLLOW button when you get there…
Thanks! I really appreciate it.
Cool thing this month
My Cabinet of Inspiration – I like to surround myself with cool things that inspire and motivate me, so thought I would share the most recent addition to my writing studio. Crammed full of retro, pop-culture objects from my childhood it is a direct “lighting conductor” back to when stories came naturally to me, without filters. It is the inspiration for the mysterious Cabinet 22 that features heavily in DS Book 2. Hope you like it!
Dark Matter – A sci-fi thriller about choices, paths not taken and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of. Thanks to whoever recommended this. I loved it. Great pace, some cool ideas and a real reminder of efficient, big-idea storytelling. It’s a cool mix of thriller and sci-fi with a good dose of parallel universes. Really god fun.. and should make an interesting film. It’s being circled by Roland Emmerich… Fingers crossed he doesn’t muck it up.
Rose Madder – Audiobook. I”m a huge Steve King fan but this one kind of passed me by… I like it when he tries different things, like his recent crime-thrillers based around the Mr Mercedes killer. Brilliantly written (as you would expect) with a great cat and mouse vibe. I can relate to the hero and hate the villain… so far, so good.
Hell or high water – Very real, tense and focussed, with great dialogue that was authentic and at times funny. Themes of regret, nature, nurture and duty with scenes that really drove the story… Recommended.
I am NOT going to talk about Star Wars… Too hard to avoid SPOILERS! Enjoy, if you haven’t seen it already.
Xmas Films: Faves (in no particular order). Scrooged – Murray’s first major role following a self-imposed, four-year exile from Hollywood is awesome. I can watch it every year (honourable mention: Muppet Xmas Carol.) Die Hard (it’s set at Xmas, which is a great excuse for another watch). It’s a Wonderful Life. A classic for a reason. Soooo good. SECRET (don’t tell anyone: Love Actually).
What are yours?
Outlander – Finished Season 3. It really picked up and I loved it… Finale crept up and I now feel that ‘loss’ of not having any episodes. Is it time to finally hit GOT?
Ray Donovan – Instantly knew I was in safe hands. The character is the epitome of the strong silent type and the script is a masterclass in what you don’t have to say. The gaps left by Ray allow the other characters to respond, to show their hand. Very interesting. There are 4 seasons and not enough hours in the day. ‘SheeshMadeesh.’ As Vinny would say.
Archer – James Bond meets The Office. If you aren’t watching it, why not? Because it’s a cartoon? Well, yes… it’s animated.. but so am I – when I get excited. There are 8 seasons….. It’s hilarious. Enjoy.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – This is what happens when you put Friends and Cheers into a blender and add a good dollop of narcism, pessimism and plain nasty. Warning. It’s WRONG, on so many levels. I must be going through a weird phase to want to watch these unbelievably sad and unpleasant people go about there daily lives. I can’t help it. I love it.
Right, that’s it. All that’s left to say is.. whatever you believe, I hope you enjoy the holiday season. Rest, spend time with friends, eat and be merry. And, thank-you for all your support this year. Genuinely, it means a lot to me.
See you in 2018 for more fun,