While I may not have done much in the way of writing during January, I was able to do more reading than usual. Enough reading, in fact, to help me successfully complete my Goodreads reading challenge, for the first time ever, by the end of the month. And this was despite losing a week of reading time to the flu. Admittedly, the target of ten books I set myself is miniscule compared to the goals of many other Goodreads users, but given how many obstacles life typically throws in front of me it still represented a challenge, albeit a modest one.
Hey, I’m back. I wish I could say that my life is completely out of the doldrums but it’s not. Nonetheless, I can’t just sit about waiting for things to change for the better. It is the start of a brand new month and time to kick on with the writing gig. So, as of this week I’m resuming work on the second draft of my “untitled sequel” to The Exercise Of Vital Powers. I don’t currently have plans to publish it (or anything else) this year so I feel no pressure to finish writing it ASAP, though I do hope to have it wrapped up this summer then immediately starting work on Book Three.
To say that life hasn’t always been kind to me would be an understatement. At the risk of sounding like someone suffering from a persecution complex, my life has been tormenting me mercilessly for the past quarter of a century. What kept me going through all the tribulations was convincing myself there was nothing I could do about the crap life throws my way, and that these things happened to test me. Inevitably, this coping mechanism couldn’t continue to work forever. Sadly, I am only human; I can only endure so much before I eventually break, and by the end of last November I had reached my breaking point. I struggled on as best as I could into early December, because I had commitments I needed to honour. But once I’d done so, I had to admit defeat; life had finally got the better of me and I couldn’t cope with things as they were.
Interview number two with indie author Rebecca Howie as part of
the blog tour for her second novel, A Woman Scorned.
If you cast your minds back to July you may recall that I interviewed a young indie author from Scotland called Rebecca Howie. Still a teenager at the time, Rebecca had one published YA mystery novel to her name, The Game Begins, which made it as high as 16th position in its category on Amazon’s charts. This week I have the pleasure of hosting her once again as a stop on her blog tour for the imminent release of her second novel, A Woman Scorned, book two of the Sam Beckett Mysteries series.
Rebecca is a very talented young writer with a bright future ahead of her. If you enjoy reading young adult and crime fiction you should definitely add her to your reading list; you won’t be disappointed.
Something a little bit different from me this morning. My Aussie BFF, Kim, is taking a well-earned break from her weekly Monday morning poetry posts. She very recently completed the first draft of her debut novel, so her focus is on that, as well as her beta reading commitments and family/parental responsibilities. Today I’ve decided to take on the poem writing duties with a few impromptu verses about a lesson I’ve learned in recent weeks: to let go of the past, and not allow it to wreck the present and future.
I’m not usually the kind of person who makes plans for the future―principally because in year’s gone by I’ve learned through bitter experience that if I make plans for my future someone or something will pull the rug out from underneath me, and ruin everything. As a result, I’ve spent the last two decades of my life simply existing in the moment without a view to the future. However, in recent weeks my mindset has shifted, dramatically. Not only am I much happier about life in general, I’m also (much to my surprise) greatly looking forward to what the future may bring, particularly with regard to my continuing adventure as an indie author. It is for this reason I’ve been happily making exciting (to me at least) plans for next year.
Greetings folks! This is the post I delayed from yesterday, announcing that the inevitable has finally come to pass; the #SPFBO adventure of my debut fantasy novel The Exercise Of Vital Powers reached its conclusion at the weekend after missing out on an unlikely place in the final, having been pushed into second place by Devil’s Night Dawning by Damien Black.
I originally intended to do an #SPFBO update about the elimination of The Exercise Of Vital Powers from the competition at the semi-final stage, but now I’m going to delay it until tomorrow. Instead, today’s impromptu blog post is a book recommendation for a novel I read last month that greatly exceeded my expectations. The book in question is Just Breathe, an urban fantasy/paranormal romance tale by Sarah Doughty, for which I posted an in depth review earlier today on my book blog Another World, so please go and check it out. I can tell you right off the bat that this book really made an impression on me. As a result, I would love for more people to discover the book and the author.
To varying degrees, many authors, particularly those who are genuinely passionate about their craft, invariably put a lot of themselves into their writing, whether it be in terms of their personality informing their characterisation, or their life experiences influencing their plots. I’ve never been one of these writers. I have always consciously gone out of my way to avoid putting any aspect of myself into my writing. There are a couple of reasons for this: first of all, I am a very private person, so the idea of incorporating any part of myself or my life into a story is one I could never be comfortable with; opening up and sharing personal things about myself with anyone, even indirectly, is something that doesn’t come easily to me, and (with one notable exception) it never will. Secondly, I’m a boring person with a boring life which doesn’t really lend itself to writing exciting stories.
It’s been very quiet on the blogging front over the last month, even though I actually have several blog posts written and ready to be posted; I’m just waiting for the right time to post them. In the meantime, I’ve decided to kick-start things again with a post about Kayden Jayta, who is (for those of you who don’t know) the central character of my novel The Exercise Of Vital Powers. It’s an opportunity for me to provide some insights, not just into the character, but my reasons for making certain creative decisions about her and her story.