I can’t believe another month has gone by!
Last month I wrote about the change to my imprint. Unfortunately, I haven’t progressed much further with changing Morandoo Press to Lonely Forest Press, apart from setting up the name on a couple of platforms and writing a list of ‘to-dos’. Before I go any further, I have to come up with a logo design. This is close to being finished and I have set myself a goal of getting everything changed over by the end of April.
Writing is still moving slowly. I have had some good ideas to incorporate into the story and again I will make more progress from now on. Plans!
I know, I know, it sounds like I’m not doing much. On the writing front that’s true. I have a good reason. Not only do I work full-time, but I’ve also taken on a course of study which is classified as full-time. What am I studying? Graphic design.
When I chose to be an independent author, I also elected to do as much of the book production myself as possible. This included cover design. I’m the first to admit that it hasn’t always been successful, though it has improved over the years. When I found myself wasting evenings aimlessly wandering around YouTube, I thought doing some part-time study would give me something more interesting to do. As I have always enjoyed cover design, I thought a course that would help me in that area would be a good idea. So here I am, studying graphic design.
And loving it - every second of it!
It does mean that I am also incredibly busy in the evenings and part of the weekend doing course work (the course is entirely online), and other areas of my life have suffered. I haven’t pushed myself to do too much writing as I wanted to get a good start on the course. We have now come to the end of the first term and I’ve managed to keep on top of the work without too much difficulty. I have a few weeks break before study begins again and I plan to get back into a writing routine and keep it up for the rest of the year.
Nothing like a challenge!
In the meantime, I have made my two series-starter books free on Smashwords. If you would like to have a copy on your Kindle or other electronic reading device, head over there and start downloading. You can select your preferred file format and they will send it to you. You can find them here.
That’s it for this month. Take care, and we'll catch up again next month.
I look back at my life and it's easy to see how my opinions and attitudes have changed over the years, mostly for the better. It would be easy to say I was a product of the time, but that's a cop-out and I know it. I can't go back and change what I said or thought, but there are some things I can do.
It has (finally) occurred to me that I shouldn't be using Morandoo as the name of my publishing imprint. Morandoo is an aboriginal word meaning 'by the sea'. I am not aboriginal and I have no automatic right to appropriate an interesting word from a minority language for my own use.
In the last few days I have been trying to find a new name for my imprint. I tried mixing the letters up in my name, but when I found a combination I liked I discovered it's the name of a small island in the Atlantic. Not appropriate as I don't live there. Other ideas for name I had were all taken - ALL of them. Finally my darling hubby suggested Lonely Forest. So, let me introduce (drum roll) Lonely Forest Press!
I will start the long process of switching everything over from Morandoo Press to Lonely Forest Press soon.
In other writing news, I am making slow progress with my next book. I have another thing that is taking up a lot of my free time at the moment, but more on that later. I hope to speed up the writing once I have a routine sorted.
That's all for this month. Thanks for dropping by.
My 10th novel is complete!
This one was a challenge to my self discipline, and I'm thrilled that I was able to stick to my targets. This book, tentatively titled 'The Hunt', took a total of 61 days to write.
The next step is editing, and then it will go to my beta readers.
I'll let you know the publication date when I've had the first lot of feedback.
Now, onto the next one...
COVID 19. I've been avoiding talking about the virus that has a large number of people stocking loo rolls, pasta, and flour, but it needs to be done. I didn't want it to affect my writing. Indeed, I saw it as an escape, but it hasn't worked that way to date.
Progress with writing has stalled. The unfolding pandemic and the related stories, rumours, and inevitable chat, has left me drained, mentally and emotionally. I've switched off from most social media and mainstream news delivery, and that is helping my brain get back to normal. I hope to do more writing from now on.
On more positive news, I have finished editing my next book. It has been to my beta readers, and is now in the tender (read: blunt, honest, and helpful) hands of my professional editor. I did initially consider delaying the release until after the COVID 19 panic had subsided, but have now decided to push ahead. It will be released in EBook format at the very least. I am considering the best way to provide print copies to those who want them, but it's tricky. I want to ensure there can be no trace of virus on the books. I know I don't have the virus at the moment, but I'm not the one making the print editions. I'll let you know the options for getting print copies closer to the release date.
And what is the expected release date? I don't know at the moment. I can tell you the title - Defender. It is not a part of either series I have written so far. At the moment it is a stand-alone book, but there is the potential to make it the first of a series. Decision pending...
In the meantime, stay safe and look after yourself.
It wouldn't be accurate to say I'm about to return to writing as I started some time ago. Earlier this year I started editing the book I wrote last year, then I put it aside as a new idea was pushing to be written. Now I've nutted out that story premise, I'm returning to editing while the idea sits.
I hope to have a draft ready for my beta readers within a month. An ambitious goal, but it gives me something to aim for! I'll let you know how it goes.
I was hoping to get my latest novel editing and to my beta readers before Christmas, but that's not going to happen. There's too much to tweak and fix, and to be honest, I'm suffering from end-of-year tiredness. I'll be doing the edits in the new year. It means a delay of about a month, so that's not too bad, and it will be a better book for the wait!
I’ve finished another one!
Earlier this week I finished writing my ninth novel – for the second time, I might add. This time I’m happy with the story and the characters, and the rewrite was well worth the effort. Most of the story has changed, and only the main characters and a couple of the support cast made the second version. It’s been an up-and-down journey, but one of the most satisfying.
This story was also different in that I wrote it ‘into the dark’. That means I didn’t plot it out, I just sat and wrote what came to me at the time. And it worked! I’ll admit I tried to plot the ending, but that was a huge failure, so I abandoned the idea and wrote the whole thing without a plan.
No announcement on Facebook?
As some of you will know, normally when I finish writing I announce it on Facebook. Not this time. I’ve previously stated that updates will be posted on my web page rather than Facebook, and I’m going to stick with that. I’m sorry that people will miss out, but I have my reasons. Facebook is supporting someone, a group of people actually, that go against almost everything I believe in. My page will stay published, but as for updates…well, I just can’t reconcile what I’ve been reading about Facebook with my values, and that’s where I’m at.
So, updates and other writerly things will be posted on my website. If you would like the News items emailed to you, then you can use the link in the sidebar to sign up for those.
Thank you for your time and your support – you inspire me to keep writing.
A couple of things have been going on in my writing life over the past week or so. I contributed to a Kickstarter for WMG publishing, a company run by two of the few writers whose advice I respect. They were gathering funds to produce a short story magazine, and along with the reward of a subscription I gained access to seven different workshops and lectures (GREAT value!). One of the lectures was about designing covers for mystery and thriller books. The woman giving the lecture is a publisher and her marketing knowledge, when it comes to books in particular, is extensive. I listened to the lecture, and what happened next was many hours of image seeking and cover tweaking. I'm concentrating on the White Rose series of books and I'm pleased with the mock-up designs at this point. When the new covers are ready, I'll put them up here for you to have first look at them.
My current writing project is coming along nicely. The words come a little easier some days than they do on others, but forward progress is being made. I'm still on track to complete the first draft by the end of November.
Now I'm getting closer to finishing the current story, I'm starting to think about the next one. I'm toying with the idea of doing a straight romance, probably a little shorter than my current books. I also have another White Rose book (or two) waiting, plus story ideas I've had kicking around for years. Plenty of choice!
Thanks again for your support - Alison
I was supposed to get ahead on the weekend just past, but I found another plot issue - too many clues! I'd been struggling to remember what they had found when, and I suddenly realised it was all too much. So instead of pushing ahead with writing I had to stop and assess the clues. And then fix them.
The upside to this is the story is clearer and my characters have a focus instead of being pulled in several directions at once. It probably helps that I can remember it all now and the writing is easier!
As a result of all that, I am slightly behind where I want to be. The plan this week is to up my daily word count, from 600 to 710 to compensate, and be back on track by this weekend.
Always assuming life doesn't throw a spanner in the works...
I've always used Facebook to share where I'm at with writing stuff, but my ability to reach those who follow my author page is decreasing every day. Frustrating! I then came across an author who said they put their newsletter on their website rather than emailing it out, so I thought if a newsletter can go on a website, then so too can the posts I would normally put on Facebook. So here it is - my non-Facebook update page.
So, the current status.
I'm well into writing my next novel. This one I kind-of wrote last year, but I wasn't happy with how it went. I couldn't leave it - or at least the characters - so after a long time thinking it over I started writing it again. I've kept the two main characters, changed the female lead's job, and also kept the same crime. The rest is new. And I tell you what, this time it's flowing and I'm enjoying the story! I'm really glad I decided to rewrite it. This story is not part of either series I've written so far, and yes, I'm planning this book to be the start of a new series. There is a slight cross over - a minor character from one of my other series is in this book, and other characters make a tiny appearance (I can't wait to see if anyone picks it up!).
The plan at the moment is to finish the draft mid-November at the latest and have it edited and to my beta readers for Christmas. All being well I should have it launched in March or early April.
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Take care, Alison.
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