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On tenacity. And agents.

Around two years ago, I wrote this blog:  In it, I’m resolutely unfazed. (And, no, this blog is not a disguised ‘I got an agent!’ post. Trust me. You won’t miss that one.) In reality, I crawled through most of 2016 with a focus on getting my Abendau commitments done and done well, and try to sell Waters and the Wild. Oh, and retrieving what I could from the whole sorry Inish Carraig saga (which, perhaps, turned out to be my happy ending – that little book and world is my pride and joy).  I completely underestimated, misunderstood, whatever, the effect losing an agent would have on my career. I took the steps to keep going, but lacked the clear direction we need to give impetus. My focus went onto each book, not my overall career (luckily, in my non-writing professional world the ship was steady). Perhaps, after Inish, another writer would have decided the self-published world was the one for them. But de
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I've moved!

Just a quick note to those who follow my blog - I've moved it over to, under the blog tag. I just wanted everything in one neat place, but the content is the same, the feel is the same, and I'll be linking to all the usual places. Thanks so much for reading my witterings! Please pop over to the new blog! Jo

On Confidence

I think one of the hardest things, as a writer, is to become confident in what you write. Too often we seek external validation to gain confidence and, when they're missing, it can be hard.   I don't have an agent. I did but it didn't work out. I don't have someone in my corner telling me I'm great and that they've got my back. I don't have a huge sales base. I tick along, I do well enough but I'm not sitting at the top of the bestseller lists - nor do I expect to. I'm (mostly) self published, I write (mostly) weird sff set in a small region. I don't have thousands of reviews (although I probably do have a few hundred, so I'm not complaining) BUT those I do have tend to be on the very good side of the equation. That's an important one, that one - in the absence of other indicators, the fact that people who do read my work like it has been a big validation. And, once in place, that validation can begin the self-confidence process. Bu

Finding the place

I enjoy writing my sff set in Ireland, not least for the research and the finding of appropriate places. One of the reasons HBO chose Norn Iron for Game of Thrones was the access to the amount of different locations, all close to each other. For Inish Carraig 2 I'm having a lot of fun finding the places I want to set the scenes. So far, I've pulled out an old airfield, Portstewart Strand with its stretching beach. Now, these are all lovely locations to use but for some of the scenes I want something a little bit special. My idea, without giving too many spoilers, was to find a place where some post-invasion survivors could have made into a compound where, survialist style, they've come together for safety. My first thought was to use somewhere remote, perhaps some of the mountains, but that didn't suit what I wanted in the end. At which point, I had a brainwave. Not too far from me there are 3 railway viaducts all meeting in a single place. That place is remote en

On writing what you like

Firstly, look away if you want to become a bestseller. Look away if you want to make money at the writing game. This week, on a forum, someone (I'll name and shame her, shall I? The fabulous Milly-molly-mo, although she also has a more normal name) referred to writing your own sub-genre, like Jo does. Hmmm. I wasn't at all sure about that. I mean, sure I know I can have challenges regarding writing in a single identifiable genre, to a single market etc etc, but I don't know that I'm as bad as all that. And then I wondered, why do I actually care? Why don't I celebrate that if you read a Jo Zebedee book, that's what it is. Something quirky from the dark depths of my mind. Something that I must have enjoyed writing, or I wouldn't have worked so hard at the sodding thing. And here's why I think being a one-woman twisted bookshelf is a good thing: There is a better chance of me getting a few quid on the lottery than actually making a decent living