Friday, 26 September 2008

The End

One of the great pleasures of being a writer (whether amateur, professional, unpublished or whatever) is being able to write The End when your story is finally complete. It may only be a first draft, will probably require rewrites and edits but the first part of the journey is finished.

I've just written The End on part 3 of my werewolf trilogy and it feels great. I've wrestled with the last fifty or so pages for weeks, trying to get them right and I finally managed it earlier this afternooon.

Am I chuffed with myself? You can sing it. The whole thing runs to about 150k words but that last 5,000 was tough. I knew what I wanted to say, I just couldn't get it right for days on end.

Even though I know I'll have to go through the whole process again sometime in the future when I start the rewrite, it still can't detract from the feeling of satisfaction that those two words give.
Methinks a celebratory meal and drink is in order later.

Go me!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

If Kids made the Reading Rules

As part of the Children's Books Festival 2008, Children's Books Ireland got together with Trim Library Book Club to design a poster outlining what would happen if kids made the reading rules. The result is a funny, accurate and very pertinent set of guidelines including advice for parents: If we are reading don't stop us for bed and publishers: Encourage new writers and Don't give away the entire story with the blurb.

I particularly liked the advice for writers, below:

Monday, 22 September 2008

Not Letting the Grass Grow

As I've discovered, there's lots (and lots and lots) of waiting in the publishing game, especially for a newbie like me. So rather than sit and wait (and wait and wait), I figured that the best thing to do was to write another book - or books as it turned out.
As I've been a huge fan of horror since I was a wee lad (a love I seem to have inherited from my mother), I thought I'd do something completely different from The Third Pig and have a lash at a horror story.
Some 120,000 or so words later I'm just wrapping up the last chapter of a trilogy about werewolves. Although vampires always seemed to be the most popular choice when it came to horror fiction, I've always loved a good werewolf story and always wanted to write my own.
Now its more or less complete apart from rewrites of the latter parts, and Vol 1 is currently being considered by an agent so it'll be interesting to see what happens with it (if anything).
So when's the next full moon then?

Friday, 19 September 2008

It's Like Waiting for a Bus

...nothing happens for weeks on end and then suddenly there's a rush of activity.

Blurbing Away: Firstly I had to come up with a blurb for TPDA. How do you compress a plot into a few hundred words, keep it in the style of the book and still give nothing away? It was an interesting exercise. I decided not to go with the standard blurb format but do it as a telephone conversation between Harry and a potential client (one Mrs. B. Peep). The publisher seemed to like the draft and only made a few minor amendments - and added one good gag I wish I'd thought of!
Hopefully it will grace the back cover of the book.

The Deal's the Thing: Hot on its heels came some talk about a deal for two more Harry Pigg novels - which took me a bit by surprise (ok, it took me a lot by surprise but I'm trying to play it cool here). I'm quite excited by this but, until I get something definite, am still grounding myself in reality.
More on this late breaking develoment as we get it.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Music to Write To 1

Actually it's music to write to, to drive to, to eat to, to anything to. A stunningly beautiful piece of music from a truly outstanding band. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Glosoli by Sigur Ros. Sure, they're not immediately accessible but this is a grower...listen with open ears. And the video is a cut above the average too!

Friday, 12 September 2008

Black Boxes

Caroline Smailes (who is a wonderfully talented writer you should all read) has come up with an interesting idea to publicise her book Black Boxes.

It's simplicity itself:

  • Click on the widget (thingy on the right)
  • Make some decisions
  • Add one of your own
  • See where you end up
  • Feel free to comment on the blog you ended up at
Be warned, it's very addictive and elevates displacement to an art form.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Copy That, Red Leader

One copy edit later and I'm amazed that, after all my rewrites and re-readings, there were still lots of little things that were spotted and that required amending. Most of them were the previously mentioned Americanisms (making sure they were consistent) but there were others that, when pointed out, caused a "how did I miss that" moment, including:

- having one character in two different places at the same time. Fortunately he was a bit-player and didn't object too much when he was written out of one scene,

- a paragraph that, no matter how many times it was read, made absolutely no sense whatsoever; although I'm sure it made perfect sense when I wrote it.

Now they've all been tidied up and the ms is back with the publisher.

Next steps are tyesetting and finalising the cover. Ooh I've gone all tingly with anticipation.