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Mojo matters

I've been quiet for a couple of weeks. During that time, I've been struggling with my writing - and it's difficult to sustain a writing blog when you aren't actually writing.

I've had a short story to do for an anthology that refused to come. I finished the novel I started last year and suspect it needs some space and then more work (the main character's voice doesn't feel strong enough yet). I started and didn't continue with some stuff. And I mused.

Now I am an over-thinker and, when I turn my attention to musing, it can take some time. Thoughts that occurred to me included

I might not have another book on me - and, strangely, I wasn't too concerned at that one. I came to writing to write Abendau and have the bonus of Inish Carraig and Waters and the Wild. If I have no more books out I still succeeded and I'd have no regrets.

I'd take things back to being a hobby - and that has masses of appeal. Fewer hours spent promoting, only taking on …
Recent posts

Those awkward fat ladies

A few weeks ago, I did an apologetic Steve Redgrave Never-let-me-into-another-boat style blog.

There would be no Inish Carraig 2. It wasn't working. It would never work. I was doing it for all the wrong reasons - to please others, not because I had a story in me - etc etc. Sorry, John and Henry. So long for thanks for all the fish.

Most people were very good about it. And then IC's editor, Jeff, put in a comment that maybe I should write the story after the gang had returned to Earth, and a small little lightbulb sounded. Maybe John and Henry had never left Earth....

And then, long suffering Chris, my husband, made a comment that maybe, just maybe, there was a story around the intergalactic trial but that it didn't need to happen on the Zelo planet. And then I started to think about how things must be after the war, and what might be happen, and lo and behold I'm a chapter in with a three-stranded storyline (anyone who has read all my stuff might notice I tend to do th…

Sff cons - paying your way

Right now, lots of my sff mates are boogie-ing at Fantasycon. Next weekend I'll be at Octocon. We are on panels, we are on the programme - and almost all of us will pay for the privilege to do so. Octocon will cost me in the region of €400 - and I can't wait.

Hold on, says my other writing mates. No pay for doing a panel! No expenses: not even travel?

Nope. That is the culture, the norm and what makes sff cons special. The creators don't turn up, do a panel, get paid and go. They do a panel and head to the bar to talk with the other geeks.

You simply do not write sff unless you are a significant geek. I might appear pretty ungeeky but scratch the surface and I've spent a lifetime reading and watching all things sff. And our cons are about the genre more than any personality or knowledge imparted. I get such a buzz out of feeling part of that 'tribe',nothing more is needed.

And the upshot of that? A sff con has a unique feel - a mix of readers, gamers, and watch…

Writing what you love

I know some authors who are very disciplined and able to write for a market. They ride the trends, they deliver a story and cover that is bang on right, and they make a nice living at it. Once, I wished I could be one of them. But as I increasingly come to believe a full time writing career isn't just no longer an aspiration for me but something I actively don't want, it's become easier for me to decide not to follow that model (which is good because my screwy brain won't anyway....)

Last year, I got funding to write a book and that means that that particular book before it sees the light of day is probably my most profitable to date. I like it very much, I enjoyed writing it for the most part, but the last 8 weeks or so were a slog for me. Whatever passion I bring to my writing left the building. I began to fear IT had finally come - the moment when I'd get bored of writing and stop.

Now, all writers go through fits and starts like this. I've never been a beli…

On having many babies

On Twitter, recently, George Martin was chastised for choosing to spend his time on a project that wasn't completing Game of Thrones (he also gets chastised for going to baseball games, travelling and doing anything that isn't being stuck to his writing desk). Couldn't he, the person wondered, hand this new project to someone else. Alas no: George loves all his projects equally.

I love having more than one project. I love that just in the last two days I have heard from people reading Abendau, Inish Carraig and Waters and the Wild. I love that my conversation for each project is different and fresh.

When people talk about Abendau, they talk about the influences on it (Abendau is the joy of cheesy Space Opera on a stick). They talk about the characters and world. They open up the terrifying prospect of convention panels about Space Travel and science (no, no, not terrified at all. Just feeling like I'd like a pocket Orac with me...)

In Inish, the setting comes up all th…

Ask Sir Edric Anything - And I did!

Today, I’m joined by Sir Edric, pretty much my favourite Un-PC knight. Boringly, his new book is out today on special offer at 99p (lots of links below), and I guess that's what I was supposed to ask about (it's ace, by the way, but I should know since I beta-read it and fixed all Edric's dodgy bits), but instead I took the chance to ask Sir Edric Anything, and I went for all the burning questions we need to know.

Jo: You’ve had a long (what age are you, by the way?) and busy life. What would you select as the highlight of your existence to date?

Sir Edric: I’m in the prime of my life, that happy apex where youthful vigour encounters manly experience. Undoubtedly the highlight would be escaping my wife’s lethal clutches, although I suppose other people would mention the Battle of Hornska. I saved the entire world of men and elves from enslavement (and enlunchment) to the Ursk. Sadly, there’s a shockingly small number of statues to me…

Jo: Some storytellers make up their mo…

Funky brain: a short song storyboard

A glimpse into the writer's brain (well this one's)

First a song:

Hopefully that took you to Muse's Invincible.

Now a scene (spoiler alert for Abendau's Heir!)

This is the scene where the palace is attacked by Kare and co from the port. The one where he goes in barefoot, they cross the parapet and exciting things happen. (They do! You should read all about it!)

This is what really happens:

Opening stanza: Sonly/Kare in the hangar where she puts him to rights
Second stanza: Silom/Kare preparing to line up
Third stanza: the lovely Lichio when Kare tells him he's in charge.

Nice little bit of marching music - leaving the port. Many blasters. Space Opera gloriousness.

Next stanza: Sonly (off screen but poetic licence is okay)
Next stanza: Kare getting his arse over the parapet.

Little slow bit where things get tough. Many many many blasters. Gunfire from all around. Smoke. Soldiers falling off the edge.

Solo guitar fun bit - our heroes getting up…