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Funky brain: a short song storyboard

A glimpse into the writer's brain (well this one's)

First a song:

https://g.co/kgs/izfnpc

Hopefully that took you to Muse's Invincible.

Now a scene (spoiler alert for Abendau's Heir!)

This is the scene where the palace is attacked by Kare and co from the port. The one where he goes in barefoot, they cross the parapet and exciting things happen. (They do! You should read all about it!)

This is what really happens:

Opening stanza: Sonly/Kare in the hangar where she puts him to rights
Second stanza: Silom/Kare preparing to line up
Third stanza: the lovely Lichio when Kare tells him he's in charge.

Nice little bit of marching music - leaving the port. Many blasters. Space Opera gloriousness.

Next stanza: Sonly (off screen but poetic licence is okay)
Next stanza: Kare getting his arse over the parapet.

Little slow bit where things get tough. Many many many blasters. Gunfire from all around. Smoke. Soldiers falling off the edge.

Solo guitar fun bit - our heroes getting up…
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Inish Carraig 2 - In which I impart bad news

For some time now I've had calls for a sequel to Inish Carraig https://www.amazon.co.uk/Inish-Carraig-alien-invasion-novel-ebook/dp/B012782E0G/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_2So far this week I've fended off four enquiries about it. Which is lovely and I love that so many people love my quirky little book baby.

But there will not be a sequel - or at least not anytime soon.

I have tried to write one. My initial plan was to take Henry, John and Neeta off Earth onto the Zelotyr world. The first line was immense (shite, shite and more shite) but it quickly fell apart. You can take the Belfast out of the boy it seems but not the boy out of Belfast. Which brought me to plan b - another Belfast based story. But that is dreary and stodgy and not at all what the Inish Carraig world should be.

And I have no plan C.

In 2013 I attended a fun panel with William F Nolan, writer of Logan's Run, a film and book I adored. I also read the first sequel - Logan's World - and, whilst I enjoyed it, I didn&…

The perils of being a pantster…

I was writing another blog, but it turned out miserable. TL:DR – the market is tough. Your book might be brilliant and still not sell. Someone else’s might be Fifty Types of Shite and sell. Live with it, keep writing, and see as a lottery: you have more than one chance to win and just cos the first draw didn’t deliver, the next might.
Right, onto happier matters. This morning, as I worked at my Incredibly-difficult-jigsaw-my-husband-bought-me-to-shut-me-up, I had a revelation.
I’m about 20 pages from the end of the third draft of The New Thing (it does have a name, honest) and, as ever, I struggle with endings. Sometimes, as with Inish Carraig, I rush them a little and get complaints (although wanting more isn’t the worst complaint a writer can have), sometimes I get a little muddled about what I want to do at the end and sometimes, as with Abendau, I have no idea of the end. That one took me a quarter of a million words to inform me that Kare… but that would be a spoiler, so I’ll …

When the angels do sing

Last week, I had a bit of a small muse about being at a frustrating part of the writing process.
This week that book has not progressed further, although I hope it will very soon. Instead, I took a break and went off to write something else. That something is the book I hope to become Abendau 4.
Now, this is an odd little book, in the sense I have no real idea if there is an appetite for more in that world. It’s also a challenge because I hope that people could also start the series with this book.
There is a reason for that. A cunning reason that mostly goes like this: Abendau’s Heir is, judging by reviews and my own gut instinct, my weakest book. That stands to reason as it was the first book I wrote. However, the other two books in the original trilogy are strong.
Now, there are many series I’ve read where the first book didn’t do it for me (Bujold and Jodi Taylor come to mind) but I went on to love the rest of the series but this is the digital age where, if a book isn’t quit…

When the angels stop singing

Currently, I hate the sight of my work in progress. It’s not its fault. It’s a nice piece of work and one that I’ll enjoy going back to at some stage. It’s just a stage in the process.
For me, the writing process goes something like this:
I have an idea. It’s a great idea. I can’t wait to write that idea – and if I have to wait because I’m finishing something else, I’ll hate that.**
I’ve just hit 20,000 words and there is no more story in me. I’m looking at a scribbled page of notes in the hope I’ll work something out. I think I’ll grab ten coffees and see what happens.
This is really, really crap. Like horrid. Take my keyboard off me and get me out of this misery.
Okay, it’s better than I thought.
This is great! I can sub it to anyone and they’ll say yes!
Oh, damn, why did I sub that? How could I ever have thought anyone would go for that piece of crap?
I’ll just fix it.
Oh, now it’s in a mess.
This makes no sense!
I’ve lost all sense!
I hate this thing and never want to s…

On genres and reading

I've never talked about the importance of reading to being a writer. It's something I hear mentioned all the time, that you can't be a writer if you don't read. Now I don't like can't statements and I am sure there are writers who buck the trend. But, for me, reading and writing go hand in hand.

I was the child who walked into a lamppost because I was reading. Who has missed many, many train stops. Who brings anticipated reads on holidays because it's a treat to have time. I read - everywhere. In the bath, in the bathroom, in bed, in the car. I read the back of cereal packets if I have nothing else.

I also don't always read science fiction and fantasy but I have read a lot. For instance, I say I'm not a big epic fantasy fan but I've made my way through Lord of the Rings, some Sanderson, Rothfuss. I've read Grimdark (ironically far from my favourite genre, although I like the humour), portal fantasies, young adult stuff, mythic stories, Iris…

3 little things

I have so many writing thoughts whirling through my head that I haven't even titled this blog yet. I'll see what explodes first, before I do.

The sort of things that have been traipsing through my mind this week are related to the writing business, to brand and markets and to reviews. Perhaps the three are linked. If so, let's see -and then we might have a title.

1. Brand. I am brand Jo Zebedee, just like every writer is brand xyz. But brand Jo Zebedee is a bit mixed up at the moment. There is sf writer, who writes Abendau, there's a YA writer, who wrote Inish Carraig and a few other unreleased goodies in that demograph (and never markets themselves as YA, one of the biggest book markets there is) and there's the Irish writer, who writes fantasy with an Irish touch that would probably appeal to that market.

Which means that, when someone moseys off to my author page, my range is becoming increasingly confused. Do I expect a lover of Abendau to love Waters and the W…