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Showing posts from October, 2016

Mixing generations

A theme that has emerged in recent reviews of Abendau's Legacy (and builds on those of Inish Carraig) is how I use children's voices in what is, essentially, a trilogy targeted for adults.

'His (Kare's) children are the real focus, and, whether they like it or not, are crucial plot-drivers' - Bryan Wigmore

It surprised me, not that it was being mentioned, but that it had only become noticeable in book three.

Children have been the focus of Abendau from the start. Ealyn risks madness to save his, in the opening scene. I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call it a theme - but it is a persistent story driver. And it's not just one-way (because that would be weak storytelling and unrealistic). The kids worry about the adults, and each other, and their place in the great scheme of things.

'It's a brave decision to have characters so young and important - and it works' - Pete Long.

I remember being very, very worried about opening Abendau's Heir …

Why I won't do Nanowrimo

For those not familiar, Nanowrimo is the month writers, all across the world, decide to get their proverbial arses in gear and write the darn novel. The idea is to churn out 50,000 words by November 30th, starting on November 1st. That's around 1666 words per day. If a writer wants to take the weekend off, they can up that to around 2.5k a day, and they'll come in around target.

Each November, I get asked if I'm going to do it. This year, I've been asked by at least four people in various places. And, let's be honest - I'm a logical target. I write quickly (2.5k a day is well within my comfort zone when I'm on form), and I'm just about to embark on a new project. Why on Earth wouldn't I want to put my head down, join in with others, and bang out that novel.

I don't do it. I won't do it. I hate the idea of doing it.

I totally get and understand why other writers enjoy it. For anyone stuck in a rut and needing incentive to write, it can be a g…

Models, models, everywhere...

And not the good-looking sort, sadly. No, what I've been musing on this week are models of business, specifically books. (Of course, this being a writer's blog.) Much of what I've been mulling over is concerned with my own future direction and plans.

So, what I first wanted to talk about is Amazon, and the way they sell books. I focus on Amazon because, honestly, for e-books they are the only gig in town for many authors. They're the biggest, the most visible and the one most intrinsically linked to Kindle, the biggest and most visible e-book reader brand. They are the closest thing I've seen to a monopoly, and that's worrisome (partly for the book business in general, but also for the many, many authors who rely on them.)

Amazon is one huge bookshelf, essentially. Too big for anyone to browse through without guidance. Which means there are two ways to find a book - find it in their system, or know specifically what you want to buy and enter its details. It'…


Now book three of my Inheritance Trilogy, Abendau's Legacy, is wending its way through ARC readers and the like, I wanted to do a couple of blogs about some of the themes I was trying to address over the trilogy.
(I’m not even sure it’s a good idea to do ‘themes’ – I worry do they stymie the story or make things a little false. Nonetheless, good little writer me had a few things in mind to achieve with the trilogy. One of those themes was trauma and the nature of it.)
Why write about such a big, emotive subject? Well, I’ve mentioned it before but one of the things I find extremely unsatisfying in a great many stories is the sense of invincible characters. You know, the type who can face any horror and still remain strong and unchanged. Sure, the writer might pay a bit of homage to the ordeal but to see a character truly changed is, for my taste, too rare. (Not that I’m obsessed with duffing my characters up – though I’m probably hard pressed to find one that something doesn’t h…


Last night I was having a discussion on a forum, when the subject came up of authors on social media, with the usual list of names and how they manage to interact with their fans. It occurred to me that this is a grey, murky area for writers.
As a fan, what do I expect from the authors I follow? I expect them to interact, to put up posts that keep me informed of their activity, that make me feel good about following them and that are reasonably entertaining.
No pressure, then.
As a writer, I started on social media with a few real-life mates, my family and some close online friends. My words were read by people who already knew me and, presumably, liked me. I bantered, I stuck up my political leanings (a little – I’m pretty circumspect, anyway), I didn’t really worry about what impression I might give anyone of me.
And then I released my book. Suddenly my blog began to be read much more widely. My twitter followers expanded to dwarf those I followed. My facebook friends became wi…