Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Interview with Santa!

Christmas is fast approaching but I have managed to wangle a quick interview with Father Christmas himself!

Me - Santa, thank you so much for talking to me today, I know this is a busy time of year for you.

Santa - Indeed it is my dear but it's a pleasure to be asked. Don't get many interviews these days you know!

Me - Well we're very grateful. Now, tell me, do you get many letters from aspiring authors?

Santa - Absolutely scads!

Me - And what are they usually asking for?

Santa - Number one on their wishlist is an Agent.

Me - They do seem to be rather important. Um...what are the chances of receiving one for Christmas?

Santa - There are no agents in my sack I'm afraid.

Me - Oh.

Santa - I'm sorry my dear but they're an absolute nightmare to wrap!

Me - I see. Is there anything else they ask for?

Santa - Let me think, oh yes, a publishing deal.

Me -  Well, they must be easier to wrap, any chance of one of those under the tree?

Santa - No. I won't be bringing any of those either.

Me - So, no agents, no publishing deals, what will you be bringing to all those desperate pre published authors for Christmas?

Santa - I've got plenty of books in my bag, some lovely notebooks and pens, a laptop or two, everything you need to get writing!

Me - But Santa, we want an agent, we want a publishing deal !

Santa - You don't need me for one of those. They'll come as soon as you've written the best book you possibly can. 

Me - sigh

Santa - I'm afraid some things you have to work for my dear and trust me, it will mean far more to you that way when it finally happens.

Me - But it's so hard!

Santa - Hard? Try being Santa for the day - 5000 overexcited elves to supervise, 730000000000 presents to wrap and not to mention the piles of reindeer sh.....

Me - Okay! Thank you for that Santa.

Santa - Thank you, my dear and Merry Christmas to everyone!

                                                       I'll be back in the New Year! xx

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


My second book is nearly finished. Nearly ready to be sent out. This should fill me with excitement and joy of course but instead, anxiety and fear are my main emotions.
It's not entirely rational.
After all, I've done everything right with this book so I should be feeling confident.

With my first I did everything wrong -

I wrote it without really having any idea of what I what I was doing.
I didn't get it read by anyone.
I didn't leave it and go back to it.
I didn't revise it at all.
I sent it out as soon as it was finished.
To a few agents I picked out of a book.

But I got lucky. People liked it and with their help I revised it and although I didn't get either an agent or a book contract I got fairly close.
I put that book to one side after some traumatic rejections so I could concentrate on my second book and I used everything I learned to try and make this book as good as possible.
And this time I did everything I was supposed to.

I worked on it for nearly eighteen months, I had it read by crit groups and editors and I revised it many times. It's nearly as good as I can make it.

And logically of course, your second book should be better, it's what everyone says,  "The more you write the better you get." so why am I so worried?

Because -

Now I think I might have just got really lucky first time round.
Now I know exactly how hard it is.
Now I've invested real time and  effort into my dream.
Now I know how much I want it.
Now I know how difficult the market it.
Now I understand that it's not just about being a good writer - well written books get rejected every day after all - it's much more then that. The concept, the style,  the plot, the characters, they all have to be special. Special enough to make someone love it.

So, although I do think my writing, my style and my understanding of craft have all improved I don't necessarily think it's enough.
Even though I've done everything right this time and followed all the guidance I don't necessarily think it's enough.
I'd hope an agent or publisher could see the work and the craft invested in my work but it's NOT ENOUGH.

So, I have a severe case of secondbookitis and when (or if ) I get round to submitting my second novel it will be despite knowing everything I now know. It will be, in fact a huge leap of faith.
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Angels and werewolves and vamps, oh my!

                                   Supernatural beings are taking over the world!!

                    They're everywhere. Books, films, television, you just can't escape them.

However, rather then something to be scared of, as they were originally, they have now evolved into the hottest and most attractive of species, so much so, that I wonder how ordinary mortals can ever compete?

Let me make it clearer - if you were a seventeen year old girl would you go for the mortal or the super?

Reasons to love supernatural guys -

1. Let's face it, supernatural guys are dangerous, they're bad boys and girls just love bad guys.
2. They're hot. Seriously. Not just handsome or good looking or sexy but beyond that, they're perfect.
3. As well as good looks they usually possess super strength and impressive fighting skills - they can protect you from everyone and everything.
4. They have special powers, mind reading, seeing the future, flying etc
5. Quite often, they're immortal.
6. Because they're immortal they're usually very rich.
7. Need I go on?

Reasons to love mortal guys -

1. Same species, more in common, etc etc
2. Less risk to your health - (those supernatural guys always have enemies and they usually try to kill you.)
3. I can't think of any more. Seriously.

I can see perfectly why authors have used supernatural heroes in their books and I can definitely see the attraction but I wonder what it's doing to the psyche of teenage girls.

 Romantic heroes have always been out of reach of course -  because of their looks or charm or wealth  - but at least they actually existed. It was possible you could meet someone like them, if you got lucky. Now, the romantic leads are unattainable because they're not actually real so what are girls supposed to do?

 Or, what are the guys supposed to do? Normal, lovely, human guys? How can they ever live up to their make believe rivals?

 And where can it all go? When people have had their fill of supernatural love do we return to the normal kind? Won't that seem a little weak, a little boring? Is there another path to go down, something else that can be twisted to provide a new excitement?

 This blog seems to be filled with many questions and no answers. Sorry about that. The truth is that I'm not sure if it's a problem or just a phase that will gradually disappear.

What do you think? Do you have any answers to my questions? Let me know! Thanks.