Category Archives: Writing

Posts about writing.

I’m a finalist :-)

This morning I got some wonderful news – I’m one of 5 finalists in the Booktrack competition for a fanfic short story based on Hugh Howey’s ‘Half Way Home’ šŸ˜€

I feel very humbled, as there were some wonderful stories entered, so I still can’t quite believe that I’ve been so lucky.

Booktrack is a new website that lets you read stories along with a background soundtrack. I’ve uploaded extracts from a few of my other stories – here are some links:

The overall winner will be announced next week. To keep up with my news and get a FREE short story, please sign up to receive my newsletter:

Snow in summer?

I’m in a bit of a dilemma right now.

I’ve written 4 out of the 6 books in my ‘Secrets in the Snow’ series.
My head is full of the characters and their plot arcs.
But it’s summer, in the northern hemisphere at least.

Does anyone want to read about snowsports when there’s azureĀ skies and the sound of the lawnmower chorusĀ outside?

Should I ‘park’ this series for now and write about something more appropriate to the season instead?

What do you think?

Fast is good

1-Day-To-SochiWell, it all kicks off officially tomorrow, although there were some qualifying events today.

The blue riband event – the men’s downhill – is on Sunday, with the ladies’ downhill on Wednesday 12th.

I’ve never been brave enough to race pure downhill – it takes a special kind of person to do that, but I’ve done timed slalom a couple of times and some ‘parallel slalom’, which was great fun. I see they’ve introduced parallel slalom snowboard races into the Winter Olympics schedule, so I’ll be sure to watch that!

I’m in the process of writing Episode 3 of the ‘White Cairns’ series, and it features some parallel slalom races, and is set around the time of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. So no doubt I’ll get some ideas and inspiration from watching the Sochi events. Can’t wait!

Leap of faith

4-Days-To-Sochi
I think all skiers know about the inevitability of gravity… but it was the words ‘leap of faith’ that jumped out at me today.

I read a post recently by an independently-published author (like me) who was talking about her journey into publishing, and it resonated with me.

Like her, I decided to publish independently through Amazon and other eBook retailers rather than approaching traditional publishing houses, not because I thought my books weren’t good enough, but because I was convinced of the arguments in David Gaughran’s Let’s get Digital that independent publishing was the way to go .

So I don’t have a box of unwanted paperbacks mouldering in my garage, nor a dog-eared manuscript slowly making its way round the slush-piles of large publishing houses; instead my books are in an infinite ‘virtual’ warehouse and are only bought by people who choose to do so.

It was a bit of a ‘leap of faith’ to do this, but it’s one that seems to be worthwhile, as my books have been bought and reviewed by people I don’t even know, including a small independent publisher who will hopefully be producing paperback versions of the books for me!

Watch this space for more info šŸ™‚

The serial, the novella and the cliffhanger

I wrote the other day about ‘the book of the film’ – my original inspiration for writing ‘White Cairns’:

It was earlier this year that I realised that it might be feasible to release my stories as a series of novellas, rather than as TV scripts.

At the end of last year, I started reading G.R.R Martin’s ‘Game of Thrones’ series.

G.R.R Martin’s fame as an author is such that, when the books were optioned to become a TV series, he became heavily involved in the production, as co-executive producer, and scriptwriter of one of the 10 episodes for each season’s story arc.
Ā 
The lesson I learned from that was that if you’reĀ good enough as a writer, then you can be both a novelistĀ and a scriptwriter, if you want.

Then, on holiday in May, I read my first ‘proper’ eBook – until then I’d been a bit of a traditionalist, preferring paper books, and had borrowed the ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ series from the library.

I was recommended ‘The Martian’ by Andy Weir, which was 77p on Kindle but only for a few more days as he’d been offered a traditional publishing contract (sadly it’s going to be Ā£11.64 when it’s published by Ebury Digital in February).

It was a gripping read, and, from following one of the ‘you might also like’ links, I ended up reading the ‘Desolate’ series by Robert Brumm.

Those weren’t quite so well-written as ‘The Martian’, but they had real cliff-hanger endings, and I justĀ had to know what happened next. Plus, they were relatively cheap – andĀ quite short, which is when I had the ‘light-bulb moment’ and realised that perhapsĀ I could do this too…

And thereby hangs a tale. Or a novella…

The book of the film

The astute amongst you might have noticed that I refer to the various parts of the “White Cairns” series as Episodes. And those that are fond of a bit of detective fiction (or just clever!) might have worked out from that clue that the original idea was for White Cairns to be a TV drama series.

A couple of people have questioned why I don’t just carry on with my idea to make it into a drama series. But the reasons I originally shelved it are still valid – firstly, another series came out which was very similar in feel and setting, called “Rockface”:

rockface


Once that started, I couldn’t see White Cairns being commissioned – it would already have been difficult, due to the amount of OB Ā (outside broadcast) filming that would have been needed, and the (sadly) unreliable Scottish weather and snowfall.

A second reason was that, as a newbie writer, the chances of getting a drama series commissioned are practically zero. Most scriptwriters serve a sort of ‘apprenticeship’; working on recurring dramas like “Doctors” before perhaps being promoted to “Casualty” or similar, and then, with a solid track record, they might have a chance of pitching an original idea.

The other main reason I stopped writing scripts was that I realised that it would be difficult to make a name as a scriptwriter whilst still being part-time – if you are lucky enough to get a commission, from what I was told, the time-scales and deadlines areĀ extremely tight, and I couldn’t see how I would fit that around a full-time job plus family commitments.

So, for all of these reasons, I shelved the dream of writing for TV drama, and White Cairns was consigned to the dusty recesses of my laptop.

Until, that is, G.R.R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” came along, and then I picked up on the burgeoning popularity of eBooks… but that should probably be the subject of another post!

All wrapped up for Christmas

I was rather excited the other day to have Episode 2 (Fear of Falling) accepted for an eBook ‘bundle’, to come out in December, just in time for Christmas!

There will be bundles in the following genres:

  • Contemporary / Historical (this is the bundle I’ll be in!)
  • Sci-fi
  • Paranormal
  • Children’s
  • New Adult

Bundles will be priced $2.99 – $4.99 for 8-12 books (good value!) and will only be available from 24th December to 24th February. Find out more at the Author Bundles website:


Advert for Christmas eBook bundles