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Abendau - relaunch!

I wasn't sure if I'd get this blog out today or not, but things are happening on the Abendau front.

Firstly, I now have the rights to the full trilogy reverted to myself. This is, I will stress, very amicable and very much what I wanted, and I'm very grateful to Gary and all the Tickety boo team for their support over the last few years. This was something I requested to happen.

So why did I want to take this step?

Inish Carraig is under my self-publishing arm, as will its sequel be, and I see that as the more viable option for my science fiction work. (My fantasy is still with Inspired Quill and I plan to trad publish my fantasy in future, too)

When I decided to run a course in the writing business I did some fancy number crunching and the stats for Science fiction were undeniable. The market is predominantly online. The only thing I will lose is Lightning Source's distribution (I use CreateSpace for Inish Carraig and like them, so will put Abendau up with them, too),…
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For the love of a good library

This week, discussions about piracy have been rife in many forums. The usual - Piracy is theft, rebutted by the notion that downloading free pdfs of my books isn't stealing, but doing me a favour. I'll not get into that here but talk about something else that's been mentioned as a validation of pirating: getting free books from libraries is the same thing. The reader doesn't pay there, either!

First, let's be clear on something. The consumer might not pay to borrow the book - but the library do pay the author. In the UK they pay both by buying the book and a small amount when the book is loaned out. In other countries, it may only be the sale that is paid for - but that is still a sale.

I use libraries from both sides of the coin.I read voraciously, as most writers do, and I prefer my books to come from trees. So I use my library. My kids use the library. I like my library - it's a nice, bright clean space with friendly people who like books working there. It&#…

On self belief

As ever, these things dovetail and I've had a couple of online interactions with writers talking about how self belief can be a barrier. This can take a number of sideroads in terms of impact:

1. I don't believe in what I'm writing, and therefore don't have the confidence to keep going.

I think this is incredibly common. Few writers I know don't get to some part in the process without deciding what they're writing is the worst kind of drivel. Some jack it in at that point, becoming the perpetual never-completers, some keep going and hope to write through it, some take a bit of a break and then come back to that idea. For me, each works at different points in the process. Sometimes, too, that project isn't actually going to be a goer. The idea may not work in the form you're trying to work in. The idea might be weaker than it first seemed.
None of this means the writer isn't a good writer, or that they should give up. It just means the project isn…

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 …

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…