Greetings folks. I just want to give those of you who are Reddit members a quick heads up that I am the “Writer Of The Day” on the R/Fantasy subreddit. For the next 10+ hours you can pop in an ask me questions. So whether you want to know my favourite books and authors or who my biggest influences are, feel free to drop in and join the conversation. Just click the link below.
This post is a little bit different from my usual ones given that I haven’t previously used my blog to discuss matters pertaining to popular culture. But I would actually like to expand the topics I write about beyond my own books and publishing journey, while still remaining within the realms of speculative fiction, and recent developments in Hollywood has given me the perfect opportunity to do so.
At the turn of the year I was fully committed to a revised second edition of my first novel, The Exercise Of Vital Powers, but it wasn’t until the middle of April that I finally decided to move forward with the project. From the get-go, I knew I would actually have to spend money on my book second time around if it was to have any chance of attracting readers in a way the first edition failed to do. That being the case, I earmarked £2500 as my budget for getting the book published to a sufficiently high standard. This post will let you know where the money went, and if it was well spent. I hope it will be helpful to other authors thinking about going the self-published route.
Today marks the commencement of a free book giveaway hosted by Instafreebie that I am not only participating in, but actually organised. The “Heroine Chic” fantasy giveaway is a one week only giveaway offering readers the opportunity to claim a free copy of one (or all) of twelve books featuring a memorable female protagonist. Obviously, my own novel, The Exercise Of Vital Powers, is one of the twelve books available, alongside eleven other titles by authors including Krista D. Ball and Donna Maree Hanson.
At the start of the year I set myself the goal of reading ten books for the annual Goodreads Reading Challenge. As I mentioned in a blog post earlier in the year, the reason for setting such a modest target was that every previous reading challenge I participated in ended in failure. This was typically the result of never having enough time to read as many books as I would like. But this year, much to my surprise, I read my ten books by the end of January. At the time, the ease with which I successfully completed the challenge caused me to contemplate the possibility of reading fifty-two books by the end of the year―an average of one book read a week―although I’d settle for twenty-five. Today this seems like wishful thinking.
Reader reaction to the protagonist of a story will not only influence whether they like a book or not, it can also make or break the fortunes of that book; maybe not in terms of the critical response, but certainly in the commercial sense. This is an observation I was very conscious of while writing my first novel, The Exercise Of Vital Powers. I realised early on that my protagonist, Kayden Jayta, was a character who many readers would struggle to get behind. In fact, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to me if most of the people who end up disliking the book do so primarily on the basis of their dislike for Kayden.