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Showing posts from August, 2017

When the angels do sing

Last week, I had a bit of a small muse about being at a frustrating part of the writing process.
This week that book has not progressed further, although I hope it will very soon. Instead, I took a break and went off to write something else. That something is the book I hope to become Abendau 4.
Now, this is an odd little book, in the sense I have no real idea if there is an appetite for more in that world. It’s also a challenge because I hope that people could also start the series with this book.
There is a reason for that. A cunning reason that mostly goes like this: Abendau’s Heir is, judging by reviews and my own gut instinct, my weakest book. That stands to reason as it was the first book I wrote. However, the other two books in the original trilogy are strong.
Now, there are many series I’ve read where the first book didn’t do it for me (Bujold and Jodi Taylor come to mind) but I went on to love the rest of the series but this is the digital age where, if a book isn’t quit…

When the angels stop singing

Currently, I hate the sight of my work in progress. It’s not its fault. It’s a nice piece of work and one that I’ll enjoy going back to at some stage. It’s just a stage in the process.
For me, the writing process goes something like this:
I have an idea. It’s a great idea. I can’t wait to write that idea – and if I have to wait because I’m finishing something else, I’ll hate that.**
I’ve just hit 20,000 words and there is no more story in me. I’m looking at a scribbled page of notes in the hope I’ll work something out. I think I’ll grab ten coffees and see what happens.
This is really, really crap. Like horrid. Take my keyboard off me and get me out of this misery.
Okay, it’s better than I thought.
This is great! I can sub it to anyone and they’ll say yes!
Oh, damn, why did I sub that? How could I ever have thought anyone would go for that piece of crap?
I’ll just fix it.
Oh, now it’s in a mess.
This makes no sense!
I’ve lost all sense!
I hate this thing and never want to s…

On genres and reading

I've never talked about the importance of reading to being a writer. It's something I hear mentioned all the time, that you can't be a writer if you don't read. Now I don't like can't statements and I am sure there are writers who buck the trend. But, for me, reading and writing go hand in hand.

I was the child who walked into a lamppost because I was reading. Who has missed many, many train stops. Who brings anticipated reads on holidays because it's a treat to have time. I read - everywhere. In the bath, in the bathroom, in bed, in the car. I read the back of cereal packets if I have nothing else.

I also don't always read science fiction and fantasy but I have read a lot. For instance, I say I'm not a big epic fantasy fan but I've made my way through Lord of the Rings, some Sanderson, Rothfuss. I've read Grimdark (ironically far from my favourite genre, although I like the humour), portal fantasies, young adult stuff, mythic stories, Iris…

3 little things

I have so many writing thoughts whirling through my head that I haven't even titled this blog yet. I'll see what explodes first, before I do.

The sort of things that have been traipsing through my mind this week are related to the writing business, to brand and markets and to reviews. Perhaps the three are linked. If so, let's see -and then we might have a title.

1. Brand. I am brand Jo Zebedee, just like every writer is brand xyz. But brand Jo Zebedee is a bit mixed up at the moment. There is sf writer, who writes Abendau, there's a YA writer, who wrote Inish Carraig and a few other unreleased goodies in that demograph (and never markets themselves as YA, one of the biggest book markets there is) and there's the Irish writer, who writes fantasy with an Irish touch that would probably appeal to that market.

Which means that, when someone moseys off to my author page, my range is becoming increasingly confused. Do I expect a lover of Abendau to love Waters and the W…

On Stickability

Sometimes the going - at anything - gets tough. In my day job (a management consultant when we're being swish, a management nerd when we're not) stickability is identified as a key requirement in the modern workplace and one not always met.

I think I'm quite lucky with my stickability - which is, I think, sometimes mistaken for drive. It has been my long-held belief that trying hard is only one part of the equation - keeping trying is the other, and bigger, part of success.

Of all the areas of my life where sticking at it has been most needed, it is with writing. I've set up a business and that was easier than finishing a novel, and then a trilogy, and then more novels. Honestly, getting an agent only to lose them (careless I know) led to probably one of the most bleak days of my professional life. Sending out the emails to tell people what had happened, letting the news out on Social media, was all hard enough to make me slink off.

And yet I didn't. I brought the …