naomi_jay: (pen and paper)
So many things! Let us start with the promo-ish things:

WILD is free for Amazon Prime members right now. Free stuff is awesome. Free stuff about werewolves and drugs is especially awesome. So if you want to enjoy some awesome free stuff, WILD might be right for you!

Ethan Banning is here to save your Christmas (should it need saving). ICE, ICE BABY is my Ethan Christmas Special, in which he almost has a completely nice Christmas Eve, marred only slightly by a corpse. Like my other two Ethan short stories, you can read this without having read AFTERLIFE or DEMONISED.

I've read some really amazing books recently and you should read them too! Carolyn Crane's Disillusionist trilogy is definitely one of my top picks for the year. I adore Jusine, the heroine, and the concept is very fresh, very dark, and very cool. If you like PI books, you might also try LM Pruitt's Taken, There's a touch of the supernatural, but this is mostly a straight-up crime novel, and I loved it.

If, like me, you've heard of SOPA but didn't really know anything about it, you might want to check this video out from TotalBiscuit, and enjoy his strangely sexy voice telling you how we're all doomed if this passes.

Kit Whitfield has been analysing opening sentences of classic books. Her blog is worth reading anyway, because she's very smart and very funny, but this series has been really fascinating.

Laura Bickle is counting down the Twelve Days of Nerdmas, which involves steampunk corsets and Cthulhu sweaters, and is therefore amazing.

And that's it! Happy Monday!
naomi_jay: (pen and paper)

This picture is a pretty accurate representation of how I felt on Sunday when I finished Night Breed's first draft. It clocked in at just over 72k, which means between September 1st and October 2nd I wrote just over 60k. Oh man. I don't want to do that again. I mean, it's nice to know I can, but forget that. I want to be able to sleep and watch Thundercats too.

I've sent the draft to my editor at QueeredFiction and am looking forwards to not thinking about it for a while. I'm not sure how well I've pulled off what I wanted, and I already know the emotional intensity needs amping up, especially towards the end. But it's a book, dammit, and it wasn't a book a month ago, so that's something.

(By the way, I do need beta readers, so if anyone's up for reading through, drop me a line. No pressure, no hurry).

So! What's next? Well, Anti-Nano sign-up has begun. If you're interested, go take a look and join the cult fun. I loved doing this last year and it spawned a year-round write-a-thon which has been awesome to be part of. In a change from last year, when I ran Anti-Nano from my LJ, I'm going to start a master community this year, which will incorporate Anti-Nano, Winter-Write-a-Thon, and Springathon. So if you want to join in one or any of those things, stay tuned!

In other news, Fictional Candy has reviewed AFTERLIFE and given Nicomedes some love. He needs the most love. I decided last week that since I'll be working on Halflife for Anti-Nano, I'd try to garner some fresh reviews for AFTERLIFE. You know, so people know what I'm talking about and stuff. And maybe buy AFTERLIFE and get excited about Halflife. So hopefully there'll be some more nice reviews coming soon!

In other other news, it's a little over a month until THE NECROMANCER'S APPRENTICE is released! Eep. I'm working on some promo ideas for this. I'm a bit worried it'll be an odd one to work with. It's a short novella (just over 20k), it's a sweet romance (kissing but nothing more), and I haven't found many review sites that will look at sweet romances, especially sweet paranormals. I did find quite a mighty list of review sites here, though, so I'll plough through and see what comes up. I'd like to do some giveaways and prizes and fun stuff, too, possibly involving Bud Ducks. I just like Bud Ducks, okay? And you should like them too. Look at them!

naomi_jay: (Skeletor and Yogi)
And AFTERLIFE is one of the books up for grabs (alongside some awesome titles like My Life As A Whitetrash Zombie). You should check it out!

(Also Bastard thinks DEMONISED is sick and twisted. I will add that to my business card).
naomi_jay: (by the sea)
It's all right here.

I really love reviews that give me new insights into my stories and give me something to think about for tuture ones. Since this review does both, I'm pretty chuffed about it!

"Afterlife is darker than your usual urban fantasy, quite gritty at times with a noir ambiance. It has a little bit of everything, some mystery, some action, and even some romance."

I think Bastard Books are going to be reviewing DEMONISED shortly, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they have to say about Ethan!
naomi_jay: (Monster)
Hey there, [ profile] eldestmuse , you won a signed copy of AFTERLIFE! Drop me a message with your address and I'll get it sent out to you. Thanks to everyone who entered! I might do something like this again before the week is over, so stay tuned.

In other news, WILD has picked up a nice review here at Aobibliosphere. I love the number of people who have picked up on the Vargulf/Kurtadam etymology - it's not like I've been particularly clever with the words, but I like that other people recognise them too.

Anyway. I'm very nearly done with the edits for my first Damnation Books assignment and plan to wrap that up today, as the edits for DARK HUNT came through on Monday and I'd like to get them done before I go back to work (Argh! Where is this week going?!). I'm really enjoying doing the editorial thing, but I am worried the author will hate me when he gets his book back... I've been tough but fair, I hope. And I've definitely realised that this is the direction I want my career to go in. I've loved getting up early and editing til noon, then writing in the afternoon. It's been hard work, but it's also incredibly fulfilling. 
naomi_jay: (ocean girl)
If you'd like to be in with a chance of winning it, just leave a comment here.

I am now officially on holiday! Yay! I'll hopefully spend the first half of the week finishing off some editing assignments, then the second half writing. As usual, I have so many things I want to work on. There are actually several projects I want to wrap up before the end of the year - namely, the rewrite of NIGHT AND CHAOS, finishing Halflife, and at least starting the next Ethan project. I'm sure at least one of those things will not happen, but we'll see. In the mean time, there's Urban Wolf stuff to be done!
naomi_jay: (philosoraptor)
I would rather be doing anything else right now than making a list of gene mutations. Honestly.

Anyway, some bits and pieces, which is all I really seem to have to blog about lately, as so much of my time is being eaten by great big projects.

1. Remember UNGRATEFUL DEAD? The story where Ethan spends the night at a haunted morgue and almost nothing bad happens? It's now also going to feature in Static Movement's anthology The Morgue, as this seems fitting. It'll still be available for the Kindle and for free if you email me, but I like the idea of getting the word about Ethan out to as many places as possible, so that's that. (I cannot tell you how excited I am about my ideas for the next Ethan novella-possibly-novel. Like, seriously. I can't wait to get started on it).

2. In Shoregrave-related news, whilst trying to cram one more book onto my sagging bookshelves last night, I discovered I have an extra copy of AFTERLIFE. So, if you'd like a signed copy of my debut novel (wherein Ethan first appears), how about you leave me a comment here before Monday 8th August? I'll draw someone at random to receive it and maybe I'll throw in something else cool as well. Maybe. No promises.

naomi_jay: (ethan)
First up, The Pen and Muse find Ethan's adventures "unhinging and delightful."

"Clark does an amazing job in this one and provides a wonderful atmosphere of mystery to find out who did what."

I think I tweeted a couple of other recent reviews, but didn't talk about them here, so since it's a Saturday and not much else is going on, I may as well do it now.

My Book Addiction thinks AFTERLIFE is "beyond amazing" and says she would stock it in her bomb shelter if she only had room for ten books. She also thinks DEMONISED is an "amazing novella," and thinks I know how to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Which is nice!

And Reading the Paranormal had this to say about NIGHT AND CHAOS:

"Intriguing mythology and a huge cliffhanger have me waiting impatiently for the next part of the story in this series."

And just because it's not all about me, here's some Daily Lovecraft - What About Cthulhu's Feelings?
naomi_jay: (save the werewolves)
*pokes LJ carefully with a stick* Are we alive? Are we okay? I did sign up at Dreamwidth yesterday just in case (naomi_jay, because what else?), but I am cautiously hopeful that LJ is back for good, especially since I just renewed my paid account last week.

Anyway! Today's nostalgic look at the Journey of Wild is here:

April 7th 2008


Anyway, let's do the maths, shall we? It's subject I excel at *cough*. The first draft of Wild was roughly 85k and took about six months to write, given that I had a few periods where I didn't work on it regularly. If I aim to write 2k every day, it will take me ... forty two and a half days to redraft the whole thing. That gives me until sometime in May, I think. I hesitate to set myself solid goals because I procrastinate like crazy, but watch this space anyway...

A quick glance ahead at the next few entries shows I either acheived this goal, or abanonded Wild in a fit of pique, because there's a massive gap between August 2008 and February 2009 where I didn't mention Wild at all. I'm guessing I gave up to work on other projects - AFTERLIFE and WOLF STRAP, most likely, if my memory serves me correctly. I was probably in the early stages of thinking about leaving my first agent at this point too - I'm pretty sure I cut my ties there in late 2008, because I had AFTERLIFE on the query-go-round in early 2009. At this point, Wild was still an unholy mess. The first half of the book was set in Liverpool, the second half in America, several characters were still in the book that I wanted to cut out, and the less said about the ending, the better. *shudders*

Tomorrow: Nome makes an optimistic prediction for the future

naomi_jay: (ZP - shiny objects)
On a lighter note, here's another blast from Wild's past.

December 30th 2007

So, it's nearly 2008. I don't make New Year resolutions, because I never keep them, and I figure it never stays a new year long enough for me to fulfil them. Instead I'm setting goals, which may or may not take a whole year to fulfil. Prepare for a list:


1. Finish Wild, for God's sake. Shouldn't take long. I have no excuses when I'm thisclose to the end.

OMG. Can you smell the optimism? The naivety? The sheer crazy nerve I had right then? This exact same resolution cropped up on my list in 2009 and  2010, and I'm sure the only reason it wasn't there in 2008 was because I was working on AFTERLIFE. Or possibly I'd gone temporarily insane and thought Wild was finished. In any case, I obviously found some excuses not to be finished.
naomi_jay: (looks like lizzie)

October 30th 2007

I've decided I may have been overly-optimistic with my aim to finish Wild by the end of the month. It's turning out to be a lot longer than I originally thought and, short of skipping work for the next two days and writing non-stop, I don't think there's even a chance of the first draft being finished.

I'm pretty sure I was planning to do Nanowrimo in 2007. In fact, that may even be when I started working on AFTERLIFE*, so presumably that was why I was so keen to wrap Wild up by the end of October. I'm not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to start a brand new project for Nano, rather than finish the one I had going on already, but nobody has ever accused me of logical thinking. In any case, from here on in, every Wild-related blog entry has pretty much been a refrain of I will never finish this book oh God why? because I don't learn lessons.

Tomorrow: Nome makes a New Year's Resolution!

*Trivia! The original working title for AFTERLIFE was Midnight Scream, and then Death for the Born for the longest time. I changed it from Midnight Scream because it sounded far too Point Horror-ish (not that I didn't love Point Horror with a passion as a teenager), although the urban legend known as the Midnight Scream is referenced in AFTERLIFE. This has nothing to do with Wild whatsoever.

naomi_jay: (ocean girl)
I am very slowly making progress on Halflife again. Tonight: Snakes! Ghosts! Dogwood bushes! And that's kind of it... I'm building up towards the return of an important character from AFTERLIFE, as well as the introduction of a new important character, but at the moment I kind of feel like I'm just bouncing Yasmin between plot points. Meh. We'll get it in editing.

Once again, I find myself feeling quite envious of Nome 2007 with her easy 2-3k a-day output. I'd be so far into this book by now if I could still do that. My physiotherapy never materialised, but I'm able to take it a bit easier on the computer work at my new job most of the time, so I haven't been having many problems with my arm. Which is good! But it's still not 2k a day. Which is bad!

The frogurt is also cursed.

16611 / 80000
naomi_jay: (ZP - yay)
Book Goggles reviews Ethan's excellent adventure right here.

 I ... loved the book & look forward to more Banning tales.


The review does make the point that to get the full experience, you're probably better off reading AFTERLIFE first, which is something I haven't really discussed before. I tried to make DEMONISED as stand-alone as possible, but because Ethan's story really begins in AFTERLIFE, there are elements of the novella that are probably better fleshed-out if you've read it too.

Hopefully that won't discourage readers - I'm kind of hoping DEMONISED will be a gateway drug and lead people back to AFTERLIFE if they're curious, rather than making readers feel they must read one before reading the other.
naomi_jay: (flying objects)
Five things because Friday is awesome!

1. @ethan_banning is tweeting again. Not for the faint-hearted, easily-offended, or those who believe there's no excuse for watching dead koi carp porn.

2.Inspired by a conversation with [ profile] spiderling , I'm going to be running a contest soon giving away signed copies of AFTERLIFE and DEMONISED, so watch out for that in March.

3. The Daily Mash reports on one of my favourite topics - stupid child names.

4. Have you read Yolanda Sfetsos' guest blog yet? I know I only posted it an hour or so ago, but time is short, people. 2012 is rapidly approaching.

5. It's pay day! I just bought a copy of The Midnight Hunt by LL Raand to add to my ever-expanding TBR pile.
naomi_jay: (ZP - srs riter)
So I just discovered (being really slow) that I can check my sales for NIGHT AND CHAOS and UNGRATEFUL DEAD on Amazon without having to try to make sense of Amazon rankings*. I'm not going to go into numbers and money because A) numbers and money confuse me and B) numbers and money are boring (Although I will say my current earnings for NIGHT AND CHAOS are equal to my last quarter royalties for AFTERLIFE, which tells you we're not talking much here). But although I will say my sales are ... not great ... they are increasing. Let's see. NIGHT AND CHAOS has been out in the wild since January 20th, so just over a month. Looking at my sales for that time, there's a definite, slow, increase week-by-week. There's been a few really great reviews, but there's no way to tell if there's any correlation between reviews and sales.

I've dropped mentions of NIGHT AND CHAOS where appropriate on the Amazon forums, but as I've already said, I don't think this is particularly effective, since the only other people visiting such forums are other indie authors promoting their own work. I've given up on Kindleboards. The place scares me, frankly. I know I should make more of an effort, but I can't be bothered learning the rules of engagement, what I can and can't say, etc. I don't really like forums, to be honest. They're always in danger of exploding into vitriol and Godwin's Law over nothing and they can be very cliquey.

Anyway, basically what I want to do now is spread the word further and see if I can boost my sales further at the same time. Because, you know, I want to do this full-time one day, so I'm not even going to pretend I don't want to make money here. (At the same time I still feel weird about asking people to spend money on my books, because what right do I have to tell you what to buy? I need to overcome this. Help me, please!).

First step: new cover. I always knew my own artistic efforts fell way short of "good" and the current cover for NIGHT AND CHAOS was only ever supposed to be a temporary solution until I found a decent artist. And I have! We exchanged some emails on Monday and he claims to be working on the cover right now... Since he will probably be over at my house this weekend to watch UFC and play boardgames, I can actually, you know, nag him about that.

I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but that strikes me as an impossible ask, especially online. Covers are the first thing you see, and if the cover doesn't make you want to look further, you're screwed. When my writers' group used to meet in Borders (before they turned it into a TK Maxx and I cried), we made a game of finding the worst covers we could and mocking them. Guys, I don't want people to mock my book because the cover is crappy. Therefore I do not want crappy covers.

The next step is to get Blood and Bones and Wild ready to go. The more books are out there with my name on, the better, I feel. Progress on both has been slow lately, but that's been unavoidable thanks to Real Life Stuff. I've got a busy weekend coming up thanks to More Real Life Stuff, but the slushpile for Serve in Heaven, Reign in Hell is currently empty, so that will free up a lot of time for writing. Yay! I'm planning to start the next Urban Wolf book in May, so I've got three months in which my writing time is just mine, and I'm going to use that time to try to build as much momentum as possible.

*Amazon rankings, as far as I can tell, are nothing more than an arcane device intended to trigger mass confusion and wild mood swings.

naomi_jay: (Demonised)
DEMONISED is released in a week! I've been so busy with other stuff lately, I haven't really talked about it much here. I do have the official blurb:

PI Ethan Banning is smoking too much, sleeping too little, and hearing voices. One voice, to be exact: the voice of the demon that possessed him on his last case. A voice that urges him to hurt, rape, kill, and Ethan doesn't think he has the strength to ignore it much longer.

When his latest missing person case turns into a murder investigation, Ethan finds himself fighting not just demonic urges, but black magic, an incubus with a hidden agenda, and a client who just won't pay up. Luckily, Ethan's got a few friends on his side, like Detective Anna Radcliffe, and his trusty dog, Mutt. If Ethan can ignore the demon long enough, he might just solve this case before it kills him.

And of course there's UNGRATEFUL DEAD. And I'll be guest blogging in March here and there. I don't feel that I've fully conveyed yet how much I love Ethan though. Because I love him a lot, and I want everyone else to love him too. I love him even though he's a chain-smoking, borderline alcoholic. I love him even though he's sometimes a bit too sleazy and spends all his money on late-night-shopping when he knows he's in debt. I love him because he loves dogs. I love him because even know he's possessed by a demon that wants him to rape and kill and hurt people (and himself), he keeps his (admittedly skewed) sense of humour.

And I loved writing DEMONISED because Ethan was just so much fun to write, even when horrible things were happening to him, or because of him. It's funny - he was supposed to just be a side character in AFTERLIFE, a little light comic relief to Yasmin's brooding, but he took over the book for me. That's why I ended up writing DEMONISED way before I started on Halflife, and why I suspect I'll write another Ethan novella way before Halflife is finished (and hopefully published!). He's just impossible for me to resist. He's not as funny as he thinks he is, but he's a lot nicer than he'd like to pretend, and even though he's always hopelessly out of his depth, he does his best to get through. I can't help but love a man like that, even if he's a man that I made up.

So I hope, in a week's time when DEMONISED is out, some of you will read it and love him too because I want to write lots more Ethan Banning stories.
naomi_jay: (Demonised)
Hey guys, guess what I have?

Yes! A free, all-new, all-exclusive Ethan Banning short story for anyone who wants one! Interested? Just email me at and it's all yours. I'll be giving away copies for free right up until the released of DEMONISED on March 1st, after that ... well, I'll still be giving it away for free, but I'll also be uploading it to the Kindle.

UNGRATEFUL DEAD is set before the events of AFTERLIFE and DEMONISED, and nothing bad happens to Ethan at all, except he has to spend the night in a haunted morgue with no alcohol or cigarettes. Here's a taster to whet your appetites:

Snippety! )
naomi_jay: (Demonised)
I did some pretty horrible things to Ethan in DEMONISED, so I decided to write UNGRATEFUL DEAD, a short story in which nothing very bad happens to him (except he bashes his knees a couple of times, but I think that's pretty good going compared to the events of DEMONISED). And I finished it today! Huzzahs! This feels like quite the achievement, since I've done no writing of note for like, two weeks, and today I wrote nearly three thousand. I'm hoping this will get me back on track with my other projects (although I have a bunch of guest blogs to write before I think about anything else).

Anyway, the point is, the first draft of UNGRATEFUL DEAD is finished. Behold!

6538 / 6538

Originally I was going to submit it to a Static Movement anthology, since it fits the theme of one of the open ones, but then I decided it would be much more fun to use it for promotion. So once I've re-read it and done the necessary, I'm going to ask my lovely editor at QueeredFiction if he can format it for the Kindle for me, and I'm going to put it up there dirt cheap. I'll also give away free copies to anyone who wants it.

This is a prequel short story, set before the events of both AFTERLIFE and DEMONISED, and it's just a fun, dumb story in which Ethan spends the night in a haunted morgue and then breaks into a funeral home and then goes home. I'm hoping it'll be all ready to go before the end of next week, and then I'll start pimping it out, yo.

ETA - Look! An awesome review for NIGHT AND CHAOS from [ profile] yolandasfetsos . Further huzzahs!
naomi_jay: (violin)
So, another year is almost upon us! In a fit of nostalgia I went and looked at my last post of 2009, and here's what I had planned for 2010:

1. Turn Wild into a sleek fighting machine of a book so that my agent can sell it. Yay!
2. Write the sequel to AFTERLIFE, Afterburn, and see if Damnation Books would like it.
3. Rewrite the first Scarlett book and make it so awesome that it conquers the world.
4. Escape the Day Job of Firetop Mountain (I have an interview on Tuesday, so fingers crossed).
5. Move house. I cannot spend another winter in the Cowshed. It's freezing, expensive, and depressing. I want to be out of here by the summer.

And how did these noble goals work out, you ask?

1. I did rewrite Wild, and I do think it's a pretty sleek fighting machine now, but I ended up parting ways with my agent (to leave one is unfortunate, but two? IDEK), so Wild is still unsold. It's currently sitting on the desk of a pretty big name editor, but she's leaving her publishing house in early 2011, and to date I haven't heard from her as to whether she'll be taking Wild with her. I'd love to email her and ask again, but I don't want to nag. On the other hand, I have A Plan for Wild, and I would quite like it to be out of this weird limbo in 2011 so I can progress with that plan.

2. I started the sequel to AFTERLIFE, now called Halflife, as part of the [ profile] wwathon and am currently about 9k in. My plan is to get the first draft done by the end of February 2011.

3. Hahahaha, no. Once again my crippling need for perfectionism when it comes to the Scarlett stuff means I've done eff-all here. 

4. HAHAHAHA, NO! I am still in my crappy day job after another year of desperate job hunting. My God. I am just unemployable. My old boss was right.

5. Yes! I moved house! Kyle and I now have a house that isn't a converted cowshed and isn't freezing, expensive, and depressing. One goal out of five isn't bad, I suppose?

On the other hand, SILVER KISS was released this year and got a more amazing response than I could ever have expected. I wrote the sequel, BLOOD HUNT, which will be out next year and I'm already very nervous about it. I wrote and sold DEMONISED, an Ethan Banning novella, which I'm currently editing for publication in March 2011, and I'm also quite nervous about that. I wrote Night and Chaos, which I plan to self-publish in the next couple of months as part of My Plan. I also had several short stories published in various Static Movement anthologies. So, no, I didn't hit all the goals I set myself for 2010, but on balance I've had a pretty awesome year.

So, 2011. If the Mayans are to be believed, the apocalypse is on the horizon, so I'd like to pack quite a lot of stuff into next year. If there's one lesson I can take from 2010, it's that I probably shouldn't set myself any solid goals, because I'll change my mind when something shiny appears on the horizon. With that in mind, here are my ... aims ... for 2011:

1. Finish Halflife
2. Publish Night and Chaos
3. Sort out the Wild problem once and for all, dammit!
4. Generally do lots of writing and make it as freaking awesome as can be
5. Write the third Urban Wolf book (this is actually something I'm contractually obliged to do, so I don't know if it counts, but I'm already really excited about writing it, so it's probably okay)

And here are the things I'd like to happen but have no real control over:

1. for BLOOD HUNT to be as well-received as SILVER KISS
2. GET A NEW JOB, FOR GOD'S SAKE! Even if I have to move to the other end of the country to do it.

And in between all that stuff, I have a couple of other projects pending which I can't talk about right now, but they will be super, I promise you that! Anyway, in the mean time, Happy New Year to everyone, and here's to a fabulous 2011!

naomi_jay: (ocean girl)
*Gloria Steinem

So I've managed to add just short of 3k to Halflife this weekend. Huzzahs! I'm getting into the swing of things with this book, trying not to make the first few chapters too info-dumpy, whilst at the same time providing a decent recap of the events of AFTERLIFE. I think it's working. I hope so anyway. And of course there are ghosts and haunted iron foundries and mysterious fires and fun stuff. Yay! One of the things that made AFTERLIFE so much fun for me to write was that I just threw in a bunch of things to entertain myself - like private eyes, cocktail bars, and child ghosts - and I'm going to do the same with Halflife

5184 / 80000

I've also written a guest blog and a short Christmassy piece starting Glory from the URBAN WOLF book for the QueeredFiction blog. I'm not sure when they'll be up, but I'll be sure to let people know when they are! Now I'm just counting down til Wednesday when the day job finishes for Christmas and I can spend my days writing and .... not much else!


naomi_jay: (Default)
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