The Fantasy Novel History

The planning for The Fantasy Novel is going well. Extremely well, in fact.

The world history I developed some years ago is thorough and will not be discarded. I know how our world and the fantasy world are connected. The characters don’t and the reader won’t either. Not in this book, anyway. Maybe in the sequel, if there is one (and there’s no guarantee). Of course, I see gaps in places I never saw before. Those gaps leave questions that I need to answer. Some of the things I’ve been researching over the last few weeks are herbal medicine, how to find edible food, different types of religion and politics, what is needed to make ink, and magic. It’s been interesting.

However, the characters are a different matter. They lack substance. I know these characters well, but I realise that the reader does not. With this in mind, I see characters without a past, without deep motivations. They are going through the actions, but that’s not enough. Currently, I am working on the character profiles; writing voice journals and finding out what makes them who they are today. It’s interesting to see these journals take shape. Knowing why they act the way they do is important for me to know, and for the reader to discover along the way.

The research phase will continue until I feel I have everything covered. I’m in no rush and I want to do this right. Besides, this book is my main commitment this year.

Finally, I am pleased to say that I have dedicated on average at least two hours every day (except one day when I was unwell with a stomach bug) to The Fantasy Novel. I feel excited because my focus is real and complete, but more importantly, fresh and eager. I feel no pressure, no uncertainty, which only confirms that now is the right time for this book.

New Year Writing Update

Yes, it is a New Year. 2020 is going to be great. This is positive thinking on my part. And no, I am not making a New Year Resolution, because resolutions are promises we never keep.

At the end of last year, I made a big decision. After many years of subscribing at Ancestry.com and building a large family tree, for my family and for my husband’s, I have decided to cancel the subscription.

Why?

There are two reasons:

  1. The cost is getting so high, it’s ridiculous.
  2. I don’t need the distraction.

Why? You may ask again.

This leads to another decision I made last year. A writing decision. In 2020 I intend to work on and publish an adult fantasy novel. In fact, the original manuscript was written 30 years ago when my boys were very young. I used to sit up late at night, tapping away at a typewriter, and later my first computer. The computer was nothing like today’s computers. The only working software was a word processor. There were no distractions and that time of my life was when I was most productive.

The manuscript I am referring to had a word count of just under 200,000 words. That is an epic tale, but I always knew it was too long.

There have been numerous rewrites, but none that I felt happy with. Eventually, I lost confidence in myself and my writing.

But I love the characters and the original storyline. So, I have made the decision to dig out the original manuscript and rework the history and the characters and rewrite/edit the plot into the (shorter) story I have always envisioned.

Over the past six days, I have been sorting through my research and world-building. To help sort all this out, I am using a locally installed wiki. Decisions are being made regarding which names and profiles I want to use for the characters. I am also in the process of adding new research material to the old stuff that I decide to keep. And, no, I am not keeping everything.

Thirty years is a long time, but I have grown as a person, as a writer, and in life experience during this time. I am not afraid to look at the original manuscript and point out the errors I made, add the information I overlooked, and delete the stuff that needs to be gone.

Now is the time for this book. I feel a renewed excitement to be working on it again. This time, I will not lose faith.

The title of the book is yet to be decided. In the meantime, I intend to refer to this project as The Fantasy Novel.

NaNo 2019 starts tomorrow

Yes, I am joining NaNoWriMo this year. If you don’t know what that is, well, thousands of writers join up in November with the intention of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. It is a great way to get the bare bones of a manuscript down on paper–or the start of one at least. The trick is to write, and not to edit as you go. This is the one thing I have a problem with, but I will try hard to conquer this little issue. 😀

But…

I am not doing the full NaNo. In other words, I am not aiming for 50,000 words. I want to write another Cat and Mouse adventure, which is a book for young readers. I am aiming for 15,000 words or there abouts.

NaNo starts tomorrow. I am ready and willing to get started. In four weeks, I WILL have the first draft of Ghost at the Cemetery completed.

Thinking about NaNoWriMo 2019

I have officially and unofficially participated in NoNoWriMo before, but had to go into the archives of my website to find out when the last time was. It is a shock to find out that it was in 2007–12 years ago! I am gob smacked by that discovery.

In the years including and preceding 2007 I had completed NaNo twice officially. The first time was a disaster and put me off doing it again. Looking back, even though I managed to write the 50,000 words in 30 days, I felt totally washed out and the manuscript I wrote was terrible. Now I know I was not sufficiently prepared and that put a lot of pressure on me. Totally my fault. 

Then I believe a writing colleague talked me into doing an unofficial challenge, which we called a mini-NaNo. I successfully completed two of those in different years. Both times I felt good about the result and I didn’t suffer mentally or physically.

Then, I completed the second official challenge successfully in 2007 and this time was happy with myself and my writing.

I never joined the challenge again. Didn’t even consider it, for reasons I cannot explain or remember.

Last week I saw a mention of the 2019 NaNo challenge and something sparked in me. I want to enter the challenge. Officially or unofficially, I’m not sure yet. My next writing project will not be 50,000 words in length so I know I cannot reach the goal. This makes me think I’ll need to bash out the words unofficially. But, I could attempt to write two chapter books in the official time frame. If I can do that, I could join the thousands of other writers officially. 

To do or not to do, that is the question.

To be honest, I have a hankering to go official. Bash out two manuscripts in 30 days. How sweet would that be?

However, being realistic, my head is saying “slow down, you don’t want to burn out now that you’re writing regularly again”. It’s true. I am writing most days and I’m loving it. I don’t want to lose that, not ever.

I think I just talked myself into doing an unofficial 2019 NaNoWriMo, with the added thought that I might start work on the second chapter book if it happens naturally. If not, no pressure, no problem.

It’s a shame the NaNoWriMo website didn’t cater for a mini-NaNo because I would love to join the offical buzz.

House on the Hill -first draft finished

Exciting news!

The first draft of House on the Hill is complete. This is a book for younger readers. More information will be revealed at a later date. But for now, the manuscript will be put aside for a short time before I return to it and start the revision process.

Feeling satisfied right now. 😀

Moving on to the Next Writing Project

With The Land of Miu series complete, I can now move on to other projects. The next manuscript I want to work on is Domino Effect.

Having released three books for young readers, I now turn to writing for adults. Forget “cutesy” or “fun”. Those terms will not relate to my next book. Think more in line of dark, confronting and thought provoking. Domino Effect is dark fiction. The theme is depression, grief and suicide.

I know these three words well. I’ve lived them. Now I write about them. Some readers will read the book and turn away because they don’t understand. Others will read and weep tears of knowing and I hope my words will touch and help them believe they are not alone. But I’m not really aiming my words at those two groups of people, there’s another group I’ll be speaking to; and I hope my fiction will help them in real life. Regardless, the message for all readers will be clear.

The first draft of the manuscript is already complete. In fact, the first edit is done too. I am working on the second edit at present. There will be more edits to follow. But I expect the book will be published later this year. Watch this space. 😀

Cover Reveal & Pre-order Special Deal

It is with great pleasure that I announce The Lion Gods will be released for sale on 1 June 2018. At this stage it will be available only as an ebook — epub, mobi (for kindle) and pdf. The print version will be available at a later date, which is yet to be confirmed.

Today, I want to offer two things:

1. The first look at the cover for The Lion Gods.
2. A pre-order special deal.

Drum roll please…

I present the cover for The Lion Gods…

As mentioned, the ebook will be published on 1 June 2018 and will be available from most online ebook stores in due course. However, if you pre-order the ebook from me — within the next three weeks — you will get not only The Lion Gods, but also the first two books of the series thrown in for free. And, to make the offer even sweeter, you will pay just $1 for the lot.

Yes, for $1 (Australian dollar) you will get the complete set — The Land of Miu (Book 1), The King’s Riddle (Book 2) and The Lion Gods (Book 3). This offer is only available through this website and will end at midnight on 31 May 2018 Australian EST.

Place your order now and be one of the first people to receive and read the full series.

How? Simply go to the pre-order purchase page for The Lion Gods, pay your dollar and download your confirmation entitling you to the three books. I will email your ebooks to your nominated email address between 29 and 31 May 2018 (depending on number of orders received).

 

Go to Pre-order Page

 

The Lion Gods Moves into Stage 3 of the Editing Process

I know it’s been a little quiet here lately. I’ve been busy editing The Lion Gods. Gone are the days when the website and my online presence took up all my time. These days, I write (or edit). I think I’ve got my priorities right … finally.

The second phase went well. I love the end results; which has to be a good sign. Yesterday, I printed the manuscript and will commence a line edit in coming days. Possibly tomorrow.

Today, I get a well-deserved rest day.