Friday, 30 December 2011

A Knowing Look and Other Stories Post Launch Update and a Special Offer


Since I had my mini-launch for A Knowing Look and Other Stories, I have been feeling quite pleased with the book, mostly because of feedback I have received from others, including reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, but also because when I hold the book in my hand, I actually feel a sense of pride that I created it myself.

I was also very surprised and delighted as I was approached by several book bloggers who were interested in reviewing the book. I didn't think this would be very likely considering firstly that it's a book of short stories and secondly because it is self published, so I am thrilled about that. I sent three review copies off yesterday and am now anxiously waiting to see what these readers think of my short stories.

Today I took delivery of a bulk order I made recently, and for a limited time only, I am able to offer signed copies via the drop down button in the panel on the right hand side of this blog.

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful New Year's Eve and a fantastic 2012!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

My Writing Year 2011, in Multi Media

I started 2011 with stories published in two charity anthologies in paperback and feeling really happy about that. 2011 itself has been a ride and a half. Here it is in summary:


January 2011 - I became a voluntary reader for 100 Stories for Queensland
Click here to see more about the anthologies I have been involved with

February 2011 - I launched my first writing competition.
March 2011 - I signed a contract with Grimoire Books who are publishing my debut novel in January 2012
Click here to visit the Grimoire Books website

April 2011 I made this short video about my writing for Ether Books.
I really don't like being on video so this was a major thing for me


May 2011 - Nothing But Flowers published. This book includes my story 'On The Corner of Clerk Street' and here it is for sale in The Wallingford Bookshop
Click here to see 'Nothing But Flowers' on Amazon.co.uk


June 2011 - Ether Books launched the latest version of their app. Throughout the year I have regularly had stories in the bestsellers list
Click here to see my list of content available via the Ether app 


July 2011 - I received my author copies of 'New Beginnings' and held my first ever book launch which went really well. Frozen Lime Images turned up and took some fabulous photos for me.
Click here to visit the Frozen Lime Images website


August 2011 - My first radio interview on BBC Radio Oxford

Friday, 23 December 2011

Fancy a Quick Read via Ether Books?

Ether Books are celebrating advent by featuring one of their writers every day on their Facebook page as well as on Twitter with the hashtag #EtherAdventCalendar

I have had fun watching the advent calendar progress and reading stories by some of the featured writers, but today it's 23rd so that means it's my turn. Yay!

I thought I would write a post here in case any of my new followers have yet to hear of Ether Books. Ether as a company are a pleasure to work with and to date they have published 14 pieces of content of mine, either short stories or collections of flash fiction. You can find out all about my stories that have been published to date here.

You can also read my interview on the Ether Books website here.

To date the app is available for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad but it will be made available for other platforms during 2012.

If you do read any stories via the Ether app, don't forget to leave a rating afterwards.

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Short Stories on Wednesdays: A Meme

I am thrilled to have found this meme today. I wanted to share it with all of you, as I know many of my online friends are also short story writers:





Click here to find out more.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Mystery Gift Winner & other rambles

Thank you to everyone who helped me to celebrate my launch of A Knowing Look and Other Stories on Thursday. I was quite touched by the amount of lovely messages I received.

The winner of my mystery prize is gillfraserlee. I will be in touch.

Apologies for the delay with announcing the winner, yesterday was an incredibly busy day with the last day of term and all that involves, plus one of my closest friends came to visit, so it's been a bit of a whirl.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Thursday, 15 December 2011

Launch of A Knowing Look and Other Stories


Today is an exciting day for me as I am finally able to launch my collection of short stories, A Knowing Look and Other Stories which I have been blogging about in my Self-Publishing Adventures  series over the past few weeks.

I am delighted to now have the book available in all formats. It's been a really interesting experience to go through all of the processes involved, and given me confidence should I decide to do so again in future.

Anyone for a glass of fizz?
A Knowing Look and Other Stories contains eighteen short stories which have had a big impact on me in the past two years, either being placed in competitions, having been published or simply because the emotion behind the writing was so intense. I hope you will enjoy them if you decide to read them; they are quite a mixed bunch so I would be delighted to hear from you if you have a favourite.

Surprises for someone
I am going to give away a mystery prize to one person at the end of today, so if you tweet (using the hashtag #aknowinglook), mention on Facebook or elsewhere online, or even tell your mum/friend/postman about this collection please leave me a message in the comments section under this post and I will enter your name into a hat. I'm not going to tell you what the prize is just yet but it will make a nice Christmas present for someone and will definitely include at least one book related item and a tasty treat.

Thanks for joining me here today  x



A Knowing Look and Other Stories is on Goodreads here.


A Knowing Look and Other Stories can be purchased from the following places online:

Amazon.co.uk (Kindle)
Amazon.com (Kindle)
Smashwords (All E formats)
Lulu (Paperback)
Or directly from me via the panel on the right of this blog (until the paperback appears online in Amazon, B&N etc)


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Wish I Was Here...

The view just above my laptop
Today I am taking part in an online party to celebrate the launch of Janice Horton's new e-book Reaching For The Stars. In the book, the main character, Chef Finn McDuff disappears on a self-imposed exile, so we are all sharing our dream escape locations!

This was a no-brainer for me, as you will see from the very rubbish photo, I have two of my favourite places right in front of my desk at all times. They are Champneys in Tring and Formentor beach in Mallorca, both of which I love rather a lot. If I'm ever having a stressful moment I shut my eyes and imagine the blue seas or the pampering you get at a spa... bliss!

  

The full blurb for the book follows below:
Scottish celebrity chef Finn McDuff is media stalked and disillusioned after winning his third star and losing his third wife. He decides he’s had enough of all the food campaigns, the TV cookery shows, the constant frenzy surrounding his private life and, after giving up all his accolades and closing down his restaurant, he disappears.

With the enfant terrible of the kitchen missing, two rival newspapers, having lost their media meal ticket, compete against each other to whip up further public curiosity in the missing chef. Love him or hate him, everyone is out looking for Chef McDuff. Who will find him first and whose side will you be on...?


You can find Reaching For The Stars on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

If you would like to join me in congratulating Janice on her book launch, please visit her blog here.

Congrats, Janice!






Tuesday, 13 December 2011

My Self-Publishing Adventures: Part 7: Ready for Lift Off!

Print copies in need of a good home
What a difference a month makes! It was just under a month ago, on 15th November, when I decided I would go ahead and self-publish a collection of my short stories.

Today my print copies arrived, which I'm thrilled about.
My book is now also available online in all e formats.

I'm going to have an impromptu launch party online on Thursday so please do pop past my blog to say hello and grab a glass of virtual fizz!

As always, thanks for reading! x


Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Winners and The Perfect Man

I put all the names of people who entered my Book Lover's Holiday giveaway in a pot and the first two names I pulled out were Ricki and Krystal Larson. Both of you have said you are interested in both of my books so, as this is the last giveaway I am doing here on my blog before Christmas, I am going to send a copy of both of the books to both of you. I will be in touch.




Today is the launch date for my friend Talli Roland's third novel, Build A Man, which is my favourite of all of her books to date. If you have ever wished you could build your perfect man, go and visit Talli's blog here as for a limited time only she has made this possible!


This morning I am also delighted to say I have received my paperback proof of A Knowing Look and Other Stories as well as some marketing kit I ordered from good old Vistaprint. YAY! I will be having an online launch for that next week. Whoop!

Thank you for reading x X x

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

My Self-Publishing Adventures: Part 6: Proofs aka What I Will Do Differently Next Time

This is the post of the series I have been dreading writing. It's the one where I admit to my mistakes. So here we go.

After uploading my stories to Kindle & Smashwords, I was on such a massive high that it went so well, I did what I usually do when I feel happy... I told my online friends. Luckily, in this one instance, I only shared on Facebook and not Twitter, or I would have more people to apologise to now.

I shared more because I thought it was such a miracle I'd managed to do the Kindle & Smashwords publishing without any aggravation. BUT, what I failed to realise was I have possibly the most supportive and fantastic online buddies on the planet, and within a couple of hours of saying, "Look what I did," 10 copies had sold via Kindle and 1 on Smashwords. It was only then that I thought... oops... I should have checked it through before I said that.

If you are one of those 11 people who bought a copy quickly, please do get in contact with me and let me see a copy of the receipt via email (if you have it) or my contact me page on here if not. I would like to give you a coupon for the latest version. Since that first upload I have added a full stop (I KNOW!), done a bit more tweaking of the formatting, and changed one of the story titles slightly thanks to something my daughter said... so I would prefer it if you had the up to date version.

As far as the paperback is concerned the first proof looked ok. I then made some tiny tweaks to that as well, and added my back cover blurb. At the time of writing I am waiting for the crash of my letterbox which will signify my final (hopefully) proof arriving.

My next post will hopefully let you know where you can buy the paperback!

Thanks for reading!


The next post in the series is here.






Saturday, 3 December 2011

My Self-Publishing Adventures: Part 5: Interview with Artist Paul Townend

Cover by Paul Townend
When I had my collection of stories sent off for editing, my thoughts turned to the cover. I looked at a couple of stock photography sites as I knew I wanted an elephant on the front cover, but the best photograph I could find was the back view of an elephant and that didn't really go with my story A Knowing Look.

Some of my more regular readers may remember the charity anthology Shambelurkling and Other Stories which I have two stories in. I loved the cover of this book on first sight and in a moment of inspiration I decided to approach the cover artist and see if he had ever drawn elephants.

Now, if someone asked me to draw an elephant, they would get something like this: 


WTH is that?

Yes, I am spectacularly hopeless at art. So imagine how I felt when Paul Townend sent me three pictures of elephants that were all brilliant. But then he took it one step further; he read my story A Knowing Look and sent me the picture that became the cover of my short story collection. I am totally in awe of his talent! 

I have invited Paul onto my blog to find out more about him.


Hi Paul and welcome to Ramblings of a Rusty Writer.
Thanks, Rebecca


Could you tell us a little about yourself in 50 words or less?
  
I'm a 33 year old artist from Worcestershire. I studied music technology and spent many years working as a Dj and teaching music at youth detention centres, before turning to the visual arts.I sign my work with the pseudonym DotDotDot...as I was initially embarrassed to call myself an artist.


How long have you been an artist? Is it something you have always been interested in?

I've been a artist for around 5years and I fell into it completely by accident. I was playfully trying to encourage my girlfriend to do more work for her university media course, and I've continued to draw almost everyday since. I vaguely remember winning a drawing competition at primary school, around the age of 5 or 6.I think it was of a haunted house.

Although I continuously paint and draw, I don't really have a huge interest in the visual arts and only really know a handful of different artists that I enjoy looking at, which are mostly personal friends.


You did the most incredible job by drafting the cover for my book after reading my story. Is this the way most of your ideas come to you?

I've only worked in that way a few times so far and was instantly inspired by your words. I could feel the imagery form as I progressed through the story.

Most of my work comes from improvisation and spontaneity, as I never really know what I'm going to do until the pen hits the paper. I usually start with a few randomly placed lines and often something will come out, that I've seen or thought in the previous few weeks. I find it quite exciting when given boundaries to work within for commissions.


What is your favourite medium to work with?

I love using black ink on card.


Which artists inspire you?

My favourite artists are Joan Miro and the Cornish painter, Alfred Wallis. I'm also inspired by the beautiful colours of Matisse. I find it hard to look at their work for any longer than 5 minutes before I'm compelled to start a drawing. My main influence comes from music .


Is there anything you would find impossible to draw?

Being an artist with no formal training, I find any type of still life drawing really difficult. My very first attempts were so incredibly bad and so I have a great respect for any artist who represents things realistically.


If anyone else would be interested in speaking to you about a commission, what would be the best way to get in touch with you?


Examples of my work can be found on my Facebook page - feel free to friend request me.

My email address is: www.paul.dotdotdot.townend (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Please feel free to contact me for any enquiries regarding commissions or purchases etc.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, Paul, and also, of course, for the fantastic cover.





Click here for part 6, all about proof reading and things I will do differently next time I self-publish.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Book Lover's Holiday Hop


It's giveaway time again! Woo hoo!!

I am taking part in the Book Lover's Holiday Hop which is being co-hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Kid Lit Frenzy.

I am giving away two prizes.

The winner of my giveaway with have a choice of a copy of my debut novel New Beginnings, in paperback, or a brand new hot-off-the-press paperback or e format copy of my short story collection (for adults) A Knowing Look and Other Stories.

You can see a preview of both of these books over on Amazon.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is leave a comment under this post, and say which book you would chose if you win (if you are interested in both, that is ok too, I will put your name in both "hats").

This will stay open until the end of 6 December when a winner will be chosen at random.

I am happy to send the prizes anywhere in the world.


You can get extra entries for following this blog, following me on Twitter, liking my page on Facebook or adding my two books on Goodreads.

Sorry but over 16s only for the short story collection.

Good luck!

For more chances to win copies of my books, take a look at the list of current giveaways in my panel on the right.

Thank you for reading!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

My Self-Publishing Adventures: Part 4: Interview with Editor Nik Perring

Once I had selected the stories I thought I would include in my collection, I wanted a second opinion and an keen eye to check them over. There was no way I was going to self-publish anything without having it edited, so when I discovered The Story Corrective it was a no-brainer. I had known Nik Perring for a while online but somehow it had gone under my radar that he also edited short stories until I read a blog post he had written.

He did a fabulous job of editing my stories,  so I have invited him onto my blog for an interview.



Hi Nik, welcome to Ramblings of a Rusty Writer.

Hi Rebecca! It’s great to be here. Thanks for inviting me.

Nik Perring
Please could you give us your bio in under 50 words?

I’m an author and editor. I’ve had two books published (with one to come): ‘Not So Perfect’ is a collection of short stories which came out last summer through the wonderful Roast Books; and my children’s book, ‘I Met a Roman Last Night, What Did You Do?’ was published by EPS in 2006. I also founded The Story Corrective.

(I know that’s a little bit over the limit, but what’s a few words between friends, eh!)

What sort of writing do you do?

All sorts! I started off writing for magazines and newspapers, almost ten years ago now. Which is scary. (Really, where did that go?) A little while after that I started writing fiction, and that led to (or solidified) my love of short stories. I had some published, then I published my children’s book, when I was 26, a few years later. And then I fell back into writing short stories and, as I mentioned earlier, was lucky enough to have a publisher as cool as Roast Books wanting to publish them.

So, while my writing’s been varied (I’ve also blogged regularly for over 5 years) it’s mostly been about, or around, short stories. I’m really lucky that people have seemed to really like them.

How long have you been an editor for and how did that come about?

I think that the moment you start taking writing seriously you become an editor of sorts. It’s the only way (unless you’re ridiculously talented or lucky – I am neither) to make your work good enough to be published, or good enough to do the story idea justice, or be good enough for people to enjoy it. It really is a huge part of the process.

But, technically speaking, I’ve officially been an editor since last summer when I started The Story Corrective, an editing consultancy specialising in short fiction. I wanted to provide a simple, efficient, and affordable service to people who want to make their stories better. And I’d been doing that, in different guises (behind the scenes for writer friends, and through teaching, and running workshops) for a few years, already, so it felt like a natural step to take.

I think a lot of people assume that editing’s a really complicated thing, and really it’s not – well, not all of it! All you need is an eye for it, and plenty of experience (which helps develop that eye) – and it’s not all about spotting misplaced commas and typos either; it has as much to do with understanding story shape and structure and how stories work, as anything else.

Do you prefer writing or editing?

I honestly love both. I think I simply love writing and words and stories. And while writing will always come first (I am a writer after all!) it’s really, really brilliant to be able to work with people and their words in other ways too – and editing and teaching allows me to do that.

What is your favourite thing about editing?

This is either going to sound horribly trite or really arrogant – but I really like being able to help people make their stories better.

And your least favourite thing about editing?

That’s a tricky one! I’d not really thought of that before. I love the job. I suppose the money could be better (though if it was, The Story Corrective wouldn’t be so darned fantastic value!).

You have recently had a collection of short stories published, please could you tell us a little bit about that?

Of course. ‘Not So Perfect’ is a collection of 22 short stories. Some of them are very short. Some of them are about things which might sound a bit odd. There are women in there who throw up small animals. There’s a boy in there who’s a shark. There’s a couple counting down the last five years of earth. There are also strawberries. And a lot about love and relationships and how we, as people, relate to each other. 

Do you have anything else in the pipeline writing-wise?

I do. Next spring, The Friday Project (HarperCollins) are publishing a book called Freaks!. I wrote it with the wonderful Caroline Smailes and it’s been illustrated in a really cool comic book style by Darren Craske . It’s another collection of  short stories (there are fifty in this one) and they’re all about people with superpowers, real or imagined. I’m super excited about it.


Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Nik!

You can find Nik's books on Amazon by clicking on the links below:
Not So Perfect
I Met A Roman Last Night, What Did You Do?
Freaks!



Click here to read the next post in this series: an interview with cover artist, Paul Townend.

Random Acts of Kindness - Thanks for November 2011

During November 2011 I received The Lovely Bones as a Random Act of Kindness from Kate who blogs over at Kate's Book Life. I had only added this book to my wish list recently after seeing the film on TV so I am looking forward to reading it. Thank you, Kate!

I offered Kate, along with a few other people who were signed up for Random Acts of Kindness and hadn't received a book during October, a copy of New Beginnings.

November was definitely a month for giving as I sent a few copies out. I'm very grateful to those RAK people who have read the book and reviewed it on their blogs, Amazon or Goodreads. Thank you so much.

Links to the reviews can be found on my New Beginnings Websplash page.

Thank you for reading!





Monday, 28 November 2011

My Self-Publishing Adventures: Part 3: Lulu

Uploading my collection of short stories to Lulu was the upload I had the most fun with. I loved the part when you could fiddle about with the prices, I loved flicking through the "book" online and being able to see what it would look like on paper, and I loved creating the cover in their wizard as well. There really was some wizardry going on as the whole process on Lulu was simple and fun... and they even give you a voucher for a free proof copy too.

I'm waiting for my proof copy and then I'll check it through. If everything is ok I'll then be able to click on the "approve" button and then Lulu will very kindly make my book available to buy from not only their own shop but also many different places online as I have got myself an ISBN from them for absolutely free and that means they will make it available on Amazon as well as various other places.

I will, of course, let you know when it is available in paperback!

Exciting posts to come later this week; interviews with my editor and cover designer.

As always, thanks for reading.  x X x


Click here to read the next post in this series, all about the edit for this collection.

Gratitude Giveaway Hop Winners

Well, what fun I have had this morning, as you can see from the photo!




The winners are as follows:

Poetry Against Cancer was won by April
English Slacker was won by Sarah Pearson
Without Alice was won by Laura H
New Beginnings was won by Megan

I will be in touch with all the winners shortly.

If you are interested in buying a copy of any of these books, you can do so by visiting Lulu for Poetry Against Cancer, or order directly from the publisher of the other three via the Punked Books website.

Thank you to everyone who took part.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

My Self-Publishing Adventures: Part 2: Smashwords

I had heard things about Smashwords from several writer friends and somehow in my head had built it up to be a rather scary place to submit to. I'd read in various places the submission process can take a long time, and be rather complicated. 

However, for me, it was a breeze. I know, how lucky?!

From signing up to Smashwords to having everything uploaded took me twenty minutes in total. I started at 6.40am, thinking I would get started, stop at 7 to get the children ready for school and do the school run and then finish later. When I submitted my file was #2 in the queue, and luckily for me it was all accepted first time, so everything was finished by the time 7am arrived. I would definitely suggest submitting early in the morning, UK time!

At the time of writing this post I am just waiting to see if they accept it into the premium catalogue. Fingers crossed.

You can see A Knowing Look and Other Stories on Smashwords here.

Oh yes, two things I noticed about Smashwords. Firstly they let you download all the formats of your own book for free because it's, you know, your book. (Not so on Kindle.)

Secondly they have a "special" submission page for people who are submitting NaNoWriMo novels. Firstly I thought, seriously? But then it dawned on me that perhaps Smashwords are trying to keep novels of a certain quality in a "special" place. I'm not saying there won't be some excellent novels as a result of NaNoWriMo... just that the actual words written in November should be considered a first draft, and as such why would anyone be submitting already? You know what I mean. Hopefully.

Thank you for reading!  x X x


Click here to see part 3 of this series of blog posts.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

My Self-Publishing Adventures: Part 1: Kindle

My story collection A Knowing Look and Other Stories is now available via Kindle and I am very delighted to say people have actually started buying it, bless each & every one of them.

To think this all started as a passing thought, 'I wish I had my favourite stories all in one place.'

A number of factors followed on from that thought. Firstly I signed up to support National Flash Fiction Day, secondly I read a guest blog by Nik Perring over on The Long and Short of It and thirdly I got bored of my NaNoWriMo projects and as a result started focussing on this. As you do.

Anyway, after the edit and cover design was sorted out (more on both of those later), I got my Kindle out and opened up my copy of Catherine Ryan Howard's superb book Self-Printing: The Sane Person's Guide to Self-Publishing and I have to say thank goodness for this book, it was absolutely perfect as a step-by-step guide to formatting for Kindle.

I was quite surprised as I uploaded my files at 2pm yesterday, and by 7pm A Knowing Look and Other Stories was live on both Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

I ended yesterday feeling quite proud of myself. I also learnt some very useful tips like how to create hyperlinks, and I discovered my Kindle has a web browser in it by clicking on one of my own links. Who knew?

Thank you for reading x X x



Click here to read the second post in this series.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Coming Soon...

Here is a sneak preview of something I have been working on. I am self publishing a collection of my short stories and flash fiction.


So far I have worked with Nik Perring who has edited my collection of short stories, and Paul Townend who has created this work of art cover. Both of them will be showcased on my blog in the near future.




I can't put into words how I feel about this project. I'd love to know what you think.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

My Latest Three Publications

If you're a regular reader of my blog you may remember I took part in the Third Writers' Platform-Building Campaign recently. I met a lot of new people, bookmarked a lot of new blogs and took part in all three writing challenges.

The good news is, a rather wonderful lady called Cat, suggested that we create a book out of some of our stories, and publish it to raise money for Help Harry Help Others which was set up by an incredibly brave boy called Harry Moseley who recently died of a brain tumour at the age of 11.

I am keen to support cancer charities so I donated all three of my stories. They were all accepted for publication in the book, which is now available via Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com as well as from Smashwords.




Friday, 18 November 2011

Friday Flash: Dentist/Actress

At my writing class this week, we were working on character development. We were asked to chose two different characteristics for one person and given five minutes to write a short piece about them.
This is what I wrote:

Dentist/Actress


I’m drilling away at my three o’clock and the nurse won’t shut up. I think how much happier I would be at the end of the day if she would give it a rest.

“Can you pass the…” and I’ve forgotten the name again.
“Polisher,” calls the voice from behind the curtain.

The voice is always there when I forget my words. It feels like a safety net.

I’ve lost concentration again…
“Exit through the door, I’ll…” nudges the voice.
“I’ll be back shortly, Mr Brown, I need to get some equipment,” I say.

I walk out of the surgery and as I head up the corridor, I spot the curtain twitching in my peripheral vision.


Thursday, 17 November 2011

Gratitude Giveaway Hop



I am taking part in the Gratitude Giveaway Hop which is being co-hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and All-Consuming Books.

This giveaway is a way of saying thanks to all my followers and online friends for keeping in touch online.

I am giving away a copy of one of a choice of four brand new books that I have featured on my blog in the past:

My own debut novel New Beginnings
English Slacker by Chris Morton
Without Alice by D. J. Kirkby
or
Poetry Against Cancer


All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is leave a comment under this post, and say which book you would chose if you win.

This will stay open until the end of 27th November when a winner will be chosen at random.

I am happy to send the prize anywhere in the world.

Good luck!

For more chances to win books, take a look at the list of current giveaways in my panel on the right.

Thank you for reading!

The prize is a choice of one of these four books



Wednesday, 16 November 2011

NaNoWriMo - The Second Half

Today is day 16 of NaNoWriMo, meaning participants should be over 25,000 words and on the downhill stretch towards the end of the month.

Ok.

Well, as you can see from this screen shot from my own profile on the NaNoWriMo site, real life has got in the way in recent days. I have some catching up to do.


Taken from the NaNoWriMo.org website
Last year, I finished - or rather stopped taking part - on day 19 at 27k words.

I hope to push through this year and make it to the end. But we shall see.

I have plans for next week. Several writing sprints, with the possibility of a visit from a crack team of cleaners and an extra session for the 4yo at pre-school. I will see how I am doing before booking either of those, but they would be two ways of making more time for my writing at least. It's nice to have back-up plans!

Did I mention I am also writing two books at the same time? At the risk of disappointing some of my younger readers, the one I have written the most of is the book for adults. I'm enjoying it a lot. But not enough to be ahead or even on target, it seems.

NaNoWriMo is a marathon, not a sprint, and sometimes when you run long distance you slow your pace for a while and then pick it up again.  I intend to pick my pace up as from today.

Thanks for reading xx

Monday, 14 November 2011

Latest Interview and Giveaway

Today it gives me great pleasure to say I am over on Rachel Connor's blog being interviewed and also there is a giveaway running so please do go and have a look.

While you are there please do look at Rachel's gorgeous novel Sisterwives. I will be featuring Rachel here on my blog at a later date.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Interview with Talli Roland

Talli Roland
Today it gives me great pleasure to have a special guest on my blog for an interview. Talli Roland has three novels available so far, and without further ado, here she is answering my questions:


Hello Talli and welcome to my blog.

For anyone who has yet to discover your books, please could you do a summary of each of your novels using only five words?

Yikes! That’s a tough one to kick off with. Damn you for making me think. Okay, here we go:

The Hating Game: Ball-breaker woman faces four exes.
Watching Willow Watts: Country mouse becomes famous overnight.
Build A Man: Ambitious reporter constructs nation’s perfect man. (Six words, sorry!)

Do you have a favourite of your own novels?

I feel guilty saying this, but yes. I think out of all of them, Build A Man is my favourite. It’s the one I feel is most ‘me'.

Do you draw on personal experiences when you are creating your characters and plot lines?

Inevitably, whether I mean for it to happen for not, personal experiences filter into my writing somehow – not exactly as they’ve occurred in my life, but in a phrase I’ve heard, or a setting. I don’t do it intentionally, but I’m usually surprised at what’s made its way into my work when I look back over my draft.

You have recently blogged about your decision to self publish Build A Man. For any writers who read this, could you tell us if this has been really hard work in comparison to having your books published by a publisher?

Actually, it feels much the same. I worked with an editor and a cover designer on Build A Man, the same way I had with a publisher. I always did my own marketing and promotion, so that hasn’t changed at all. In a way, I find it easier, because now I have complete ownership of my work and timelines.

How easy do you find it to market your books? Any tips for other authors?

It’s never easy to market yourself! But I think the best thing to do is to be interactive. Don’t just push your books at people – take an interest and be genuine, too. Also, be consistent. You can’t do one big push, and then stop blogging and tweeting for months. A little bit each day is the best way to keep top of mind.

This is obviously the most important question of the lot. If you had to give up coffee or wine forever, which one would you chose?

Rebecca! You’re so evil – I can’t believe you’re making me choose. I’d have to say wine, because without coffee, I couldn’t even start my day.

What next? Could you give us a little summary of any other books in progress?

I’m working on Construct A Couple, the sequel to Build A Man. It follows my main character as she attempts to lay the foundation for the ideal relationship. Unfortunately, she soon discovers nothing is ever perfect.

What is your top tip for aspiring writers?

Keep writing, and remember why you write – because you enjoy it. It’s easy to get caught up in the angst of trying to be published. And once you are published, it’s a whole other world of stress! Try to hang on to the joy of creating something you’re proud of.

Thank you for joining me here on Ramblings of a Rusty Writer.


Build A Man Giveaway
This giveaway has finished.


You can find Talli online in the following places (click to follow links):
Talli's website