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Showing posts from February, 2018

On Confidence

I think one of the hardest things, as a writer, is to become confident in what you write. Too often we seek external validation to gain confidence and, when they're missing, it can be hard.  

I don't have an agent. I did but it didn't work out. I don't have someone in my corner telling me I'm great and that they've got my back.

I don't have a huge sales base. I tick along, I do well enough but I'm not sitting at the top of the bestseller lists - nor do I expect to. I'm (mostly) self published, I write (mostly) weird sff set in a small region.

I don't have thousands of reviews (although I probably do have a few hundred, so I'm not complaining) BUT those I do have tend to be on the very good side of the equation. That's an important one, that one - in the absence of other indicators, the fact that people who do read my work like it has been a big validation. And, once in place, that validation can begin the self-confidence process. But, j…

Finding the place

I enjoy writing my sff set in Ireland, not least for the research and the finding of appropriate places. One of the reasons HBO chose Norn Iron for Game of Thrones was the access to the amount of different locations, all close to each other.

For Inish Carraig 2 I'm having a lot of fun finding the places I want to set the scenes. So far, I've pulled out an old airfield, Portstewart Strand with its stretching beach.

Now, these are all lovely locations to use but for some of the scenes I want something a little bit special. My idea, without giving too many spoilers, was to find a place where some post-invasion survivors could have made into a compound where, survialist style, they've come together for safety. My first thought was to use somewhere remote, perhaps some of the mountains, but that didn't suit what I wanted in the end.

At which point, I had a brainwave. Not too far from me there are 3 railway viaducts all meeting in a single place. That place is remote enough …

On writing what you like

Firstly, look away if you want to become a bestseller. Look away if you want to make money at the writing game.

This week, on a forum, someone (I'll name and shame her, shall I? The fabulous Milly-molly-mo, although she also has a more normal name) referred to writing your own sub-genre, like Jo does.

Hmmm. I wasn't at all sure about that. I mean, sure I know I can have challenges regarding writing in a single identifiable genre, to a single market etc etc, but I don't know that I'm as bad as all that.

And then I wondered, why do I actually care? Why don't I celebrate that if you read a Jo Zebedee book, that's what it is. Something quirky from the dark depths of my mind. Something that I must have enjoyed writing, or I wouldn't have worked so hard at the sodding thing.

And here's why I think being a one-woman twisted bookshelf is a good thing:

There is a better chance of me getting a few quid on the lottery than actually making a decent living at writin…