naomi_jay: (unicorn and snow)
I made a list last week of "definite projects" and "maybe projects" to work on next year and since I'm still not sleeping properly omg the sleeping pills did NOTHING why would you coat sleeping pills in sugar ffs?, I thought I'd share it with you all instead of putting together an actual post. So!

Definite

Finish Undertow (currently at 13856 words, projected total 40-60k)
Finish Halflife (currently at 18036 words, projected total 70-80k)
Write Urban Wolf book four
Write sequel to NIGHT AND CHAOS (currently at 7105 words, projected total 40k)

Maybe

Write two more gothic romances (provided I can get Shadow Cursed published)
Write Ethan Banning three (tentatively titled Descent)
Write third part of the NIGHT AND CHAOS trilogy
Write second Vargulf novel

I'm also toying with a third Yasmin Stoker/Shoregrave novel. I kinda have an idea for it, but it will depend on how Halflife ends and what state Shoregrave is in afterwards. Either way, I would like to wrap up the first part of the Shoregrave series in 2012, as I have plans for a second series (a trilogy) I'd like to get to work on. I will also have heavy revisions for Night Breed, the third Urban Wolf book, as well as the release at some point! 

I'll be carrying on with editing projects too, but I'm planning to cut back on short story-writing next year. I want to be a focused, lean, mean writing machine next year and see how much I can get done. I've been a very distracted writer this year, and I haven't been anywhere near as productive as I planned. Having spent much of the year experimenting with self-publishing and promo stuff, I've been able to figure out what I want as a writer, and in 2012 what I want is to do more actual writing.

 
naomi_jay: (write this down)
I signed and posted the contracts last week, so I can officially announce it now:

NIGHT AND CHAOS will be republished by Damnation Books in June 2012! Huzzahs! I'm very excited and looking forward to seeing some awesome new cover art. My aim is to have part two of the trilogy (currently titled Blood and Bones but probably to be renamed) ready for submission in Spring 2012.

In other news, Anti-Nano is officially go (check out [livejournal.com profile] squidathon for details), which means Halflife is back on my to-write list and the new Ethan novella/novel, Undertow is going to be started this very night. In honour of this, I've been putting together an Ethan Banning playlist. It will probably grow as the month continues but at the moment it looks like this:

When the Night Comes Down - Tiger Army
Twenty Flight Rock - Tiger Army
Under Saturn's Shadow - Tiger Army
I Turned Into A Martian - The Misfits
Ain't No Rest for the Wicked - Cage the Elephant
Wolf Like Me - TV On The Radio (who am I kidding, this song goes on all my playlists)
Monster - Skillet (Ethan's official theme song)
Stained Glass Cross - DOWN
The Man That Follows Hell - DOWN
Down With The Sickness - Disturbed
Divide - Disturbed
Shout 2000 - Disturbed
I Love To Say Fuck - The Murderdolls
People Hate Me - The Murderdolls

Hmm. No AFI yet...That must be rectified.
naomi_jay: (fault lines)
So I'm revisiting the whole decision to self-publish at the moment, for a number of reasons previously discussed. Since June, my indie sales have plummeted and this month I've sold two books so far. That's pretty dismal. Reading about the Kindle Boards, it seems like a lot of people are seeing the same slump, but I don't really find that reassuring so much as depressing.

I already pulled NIGHT AND CHAOS and found a new home for it (I haven't signed the contracts yet, so I won't say much else because... well, there's not much else to say). WILD is probably next. I was determined to stick with self-publishing for the Vargulf Trilogy because WILD has been a tough book to categorise and that's made it a tough sell. It's not quite YA, it's not quite adult, it's not quite a romance but it's not a straight UF. I'd hoped it would find a niche through self-publishing, but I think I lack the marketing muscle to find readers who will love it.

It's currently on submission at two places, and a third has invited me to submit it to one of their lines when they open it for submissions in October. The third place is actually my first choice, so now I'm eagerly counting down to October 1st so I can be all, "hey, remember me?"

I'm glad I tried indie publishing this year but I don't plan to publish any more novels that way for the foreseeable future. Shorter pieces, yes - people are still buying UNGRATEFUL DEAD even though they could have it for free, so that's gratifying. But for me, for now, the future is not indie. I haven't achieved what I wanted to with it, and although I could stick with it and see if the theory of "ebooks are forever so readers will find you" holds true, that's not going to help my career right now.

Instead I want to focus on building on the works I already have out there. I've been pretty unfocused this year writing-wise, because I've spent a lot of time worrying about marketing, promotion, sales figures, and other stuff. Once Night Breed is finished, I'm going back to Shoregrave. I want to finish Halflife by the end of the year and make a start on the next Ethan project, Undertow. I also have plans for a trilogy set in Shoregrave featuring all-new characters.

I'm contracted for two more Urban Wolf books and I'd hope to sign on for more if possible. I want Shoregrave and Urban Wolf to be the focus for the immediate future and since both series already have publishers I'm very happy with, I see no reason not to continue working with them and really building a name for myself. I think I tried to spread myself too thinly this year and I don't need to. 2011 was the year of trying new things. I'd like 2012 to just be the year of Nome.
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: (Fiery Raziel)
So JA Konrath notes on his blog today that Amazon will soon be launching the Kindle in India, which is interesting. I guess it's another potential income stream for indie writers, and Konrath raises the issue of translation in order to make books more accessible world-wide, which makes sense of course, but here's the thing for me (and possibly others like me): Dude. That costs money and I don't have any. Konrath himself points out that translators are expensive, and there's more discussion about that in the comments. Frankly, rather than making me want to push harder at self-publishing, this development makes me want to shy away.

Unless you're lucky, it's near impossible to self-publish for free, well. My covers are home-made and they're ... not great. They're not terrible, but they're not professional, because I can't afford to pay for art. I can do the formatting for myself now, but I find it pretty time-consuming and tedious, and I'm not a fan of time-consuming, tedious things. And clearly, if I can't afford cover art, I can't afford to pay someone to do formatting for me. Obviously having your books translated isn't compulsory, but the very idea of it makes me knackered.

I decided to try self-publishing for two reasons: 1, I hoped it would bring in some extra cash. It hasn't, although the mantra is of course "ebooks last forever, therefore eventually you'll make money." 2, I'd just parted ways with my second literary agent and I felt like I didn't have the strength to start on that route again, so self-publishing was worth a try.

Well, I haven't made any money, and I don't feel quite so negative about my career as I did at the start of the year. So those reasons are kinda less relevant now than they were back in January. Because here's what I've found (and this is purely for me; I'm not even pretending to speak for other indie authors, as many have found success and I'm really happy they have) - I don't want to be in charge of my own cover art, formatting, or translation. Some people talk about creative control; I'd gladly surrender the business side of writing to focus more on actually writing. And now that I've taken on some editorial responsibilites, I'm even more reluctant to spent time on formatting, art, translation, or whatever.

I do believe you can succeed at indie writing, because the evidence is out there. But I don't believe anyone can succeed at it, and as with most things in life, not everyone who does win actually deserves to (Anderson Silva, I'm looking at you). I've talked recently about re-evaluating what success at writing means for me, and as the year moves on and I get closer to my promise to myself of trying indie publishing for twelve months, the one thing I keep coming back to is that, for me, the benefits haven't outweighed the downsides.
naomi_jay: (wayward son)

I finally managed to book a week off work! Come on, 8th August. *waits*

I was just checking over my writing to-do list ahead of this and came to the following conclusions based on the last time I updated the do-to list:

 

Stuff! And things! )

So my hope for the week off is that I'll have cleared enough of the editing stuff to be able to just write and watch copious amounts of Come Dine With Me. I'm making a start on the critiquing this Sunday (we have to go to a wedding tomorrow. I know!), and I'm trying to avoid social engagements for the next couple of weeks anyway because frankly, I think I've seen enough people this summer already. Yay! Pure, unadulterated writing time is just a few weeks away!
naomi_jay: (liz)
I just unpublished NIGHT AND CHAOS. Thanks to everyone who bought/reviewed a copy! I'll be reworking it into a full-length novel after I've finished the first draft of Night Breed. Hopefully I can turn it into a lean, mean, fighting machine of a novel and we will all be richer* for it.

*Emotionally and spiritually, not financially. But hopefully I will also be finanically richer for it at some point.

naomi_jay: (apple)

I don't want to be one of those authors who's constantly harping on about numbers and sales and rankings and whatnot, because I find it rather tedious, so I'm sure other people do too. But hey, something a personal milestone today - WILD broke into the Amazon UK top 50 for contemporary fantasy! Yay! It's been in and out of the top 100 this month, but top 50 is pretty damn cool. Here's the proof so I know it happened:



Yeah, you have to look pretty hard, but trust me it happened. Next stop, top 10? Probably not, but a girl's gotta dream.

(In a weird cosmic twist, since I decided to unpublish NIGHT AND CHAOS and rework it yesterday, that's had a sale or two as well. But you won't change my mind, cosmic forces. I know it's the right thing to do!)


naomi_jay: (blindfold)
... It wasn't as good as the dream the other night where I had a farm in the country and kept chickens, but in it I was talking to someone about my writing career and I said to them, "Until I've been published traditionally and seen my book in a bookshop, I won't feel like I've succeeded as a writer."

And I woke up and was like, holy crap, that's true.

And now I'm confused.

Six months into the self-publishing experiment, I'm no clearer than I was back in January as to how I feel about it. I've had a good month this month, but I'm not actually making any money yet. Reading around, it's easy to find success stories from self-published authors. It's the ones doing well who are talking the loudest, which is fair enough, but I think it creates this false illusion that self-publishing is easy, financially rewarding, and creatively satisfying.

I'm not sure if that's true for me. I don't like structure, but I need it to function with any degree of efficiency. The structure, say, that's provided by working to deadlines with editors and cover artists. Left to my own devices, I become incredibly unfocused, I start too many projects and finish none of them, and then I feel bad about myself and decide I'm doomed.

So I've made a decision. WILD is staying where it is until the end of the year at least. That gives it six months in the indie market. It had a good first month and hopefully word of mouth will kick in. I tried getting WILD published traditionally and there were no takers, so I don't see any harm in keeping it out there. People are buying it, hopefully they will also read it and have an opinion on it. I'll also self-publish the two sequels.

The short stories (UNGRATEFUL DEAD, PAINLESS, THE BARKING OF DOGS) will stay where they are. I honestly don't care if I turn a profit from those or not; it's just supposed to be a nice, risk-free, low-cost way for people to find my work and maybe buy more if they like the short stories.

So, that leaves  NIGHT AND CHAOS. I'm in two minds about this. I love this story and I love the plans I have for the rest of it. But it hasn't really taken off. I can speculate as to why, but there's no way to be sure. So my two thoughts are either:

A) Take it off Amazon, rework it a little, and submit it as it is to epublishers. Carina accept previously self-published titles; I'm sure Damnation Books and Eternal Press do as well, and I think it would be a good fit for any of them.

or

B) Take it down, work it into a full-length novel and submit it around then. Agents, epubs, small presses... Wherever. I'd love to have some titles with Imajinn Books (this has been a secret dream of mine for years, ever since I discovered Keri Arthur and Lilith Saintcrow's titles there). I actually originally submitted AFTERLIFE to them, but they were in the process of moving offices at the time and I would have had to wait a year before I heard anything back, so decided to try elsewhere.

I'm leaning towards B. I don't think I'll get round to it this year, but I do think a full-length novel is what I want. I can work in what I've already written of Blood and Bones fairly easily, and frankly the more I think about it, the more I want to rewrite the end of NIGHT AND CHAOS anyway.

I'm going to reassess at the end of June (ooh, four whole days!), but I'm 90% certain I'll go with Plan B. Hopefully the good reviews NIGHT AND CHAOS has already had would impress/interest a publisher. So we'll see. I need to update my to-do list again now...
naomi_jay: (ZP - Shuggoth)
I remembered the other stuff I wanted to blog about. It's actually not that interesting, but it involves making lists, which I like.

So Kyle is going to stay with his mum for a week soon. Not sure when yet, but early July as we have a wedding to go to in late July. I'm hoping if the timing works out, I can take that week off work and have some "me" time. I'm supposed to give two weeks' notice for holiday, so ideally Kyle needs to book his train tickets on Friday for the second week of July. Even if I can only get a long weekend, I'll take it. I need it.

I have a ton of writing commitments going on right now, and I need some extra time to get back on top of those. First priority is obviously Night Breed, which I have fallen behind on.

Immediate urgent stuff alongside Night Breed is:

Queered Fiction horoscopes (will do those tonight).

Wicked Witchery - the anthology is at the lower word count limit for publication now. I'm waiting for one more author who's doing some revisions on a story, but I'm thinking I'm going to put the end of June as the deadline for submissions. I'm going to take a break from editing any more SM anthologies until Night Breed is done.

Critiquing - I've got two pieces from writer friends I'm reading over and I'd like to get them wrapped up before much longer. Happily for me, they both seem to be fabulous thus far.

Other writing stuff that is not urgent is:

Snakeskin, a novella I've been playing with as a sequel to a novella called Snakebite that I submitted to Damnation Books a few weeks ago
(21st of May, as it happens, not that I'm anxiously counting off the days or anything). Snakebite clocked in at around 13k, so really short, but I liked it and I'm interested to see if someone else likes it, so I thought, why not submit it somewhere? So I did. I imagine Snakeskin will be around the same length, and if the first part gets picked up, I'd like to have the second part ready to submit straight away. I'm about 6k in at the moment.

Blood Romance - a longer novella set in the same world as THE NECROMANCER'S APPRENTICE. It's really low down the priority list, but I do want to finish it and, at some stage (probably next year now), write a second novella featuring Morrow and Evanthe.

Blood and Bones - ideally I'd like to finish that off this year, but having assessed my schedule and thought about where I want to focus my writing efforts, I don't plan to publish it until February 2012, a year on from NIGHT AND CHAOS.

Halflife - I'm planning to pick this up as my next "big" project after Night Breed is done, and hopefully crack on with it during Anti-Nano this year (I'm doing Anti-Nano again, regardless of whether anyone else is).

Other writing stuff I haven't actually started yet but am planning to:

Caged - the second Vargulf book. This is almost definitely going to have to wait until 2012.

Another Ethan Banning novella - I have plans for Ethan. Possibly evil plans.

Two more Theo Kane short stories - PAINLESS is roughly 5k, I think I could manage two more stories that length this year.

Around all that, there will be edits for DARK HUNT (we're aiming for a late summer/early autumn 2011 release as far as I know). I will have to crush my desire to write Arkham Horror fanfiction until at least 2013.
naomi_jay: (angel fire)

Today is the deadline for Serve in Heaven, Reign in Hell. I've got three more stories to read through, and then I'm calling the anthology full and closed, and going into the editing phase. I'm really proud of the stories in this one, and of how Wicked Witchery is shaping up, but I'm going to take a break before starting any more. For one thing, Static Movement has dozens of open anthologies right now, and I think there is such a thing as too much choice; for another I really need to cut some stuff out of my schedule for my own wellbeing. I know that sounds melodramatic, but I'm exhausted and verging on being a nervous wreck, and something has to go.

I think I have to take that approach to all my other writing stuff too. My main focus at the moment is Night Breed, the third Urban Wolf book. I don't want to get all distracted and delayed with that like I did last year with DARK HUNT because of DEMONISED, so I'm attempting to be strict with myself. Things being as they are, it hasn't worked very well so far, but I'm optimistic that once Serve in Heaven... is edited and outn of my hands, that will change.

I'm musing a lot right now about where my focus should be next, and what sort of writer I want to be. I'm getting disillusioned with the indie route, but the traditional route kinda scares me right now. Epubs and small presses are great, and I'm very loyal to QueeredFiction and Damnation Books, but I'm feeling torn right now between being two types of writer: one who writes a ton of different stuff and gets it all published one way or the other and is known for having a lot of work out there, or one who has a couple of different series (in my case, Urban Wolf and Shoregrave) and sees those through to completion before moving onto the next. I see benefits and disadvantages to both routes. I'm not sure where I'll end up, but one of the reasons I'm getting disillusioned with the indie scene is that so much of the focus seems to be on getting your next book published, not writing the best book you can.

See, the temptation for me is to just pump out whatever story strikes me and see if I can get it published, which is fine, but it means I'm never disciplined in my writing. I'd planned to have the sequel to NIGHT AND CHAOS ready by now. I'd planned to be halfway through Halflife before starting Night Breed. Neither thing happened because I got distracted by THE NECROMANCER'S APPRENTICE. I don't want to keep putting out series' starters and then not finishing the series because some other shiny new idea gets in the way. I'd rather be known for producing a few quality novels than dozens of novellas and novels that promise more but never deliver. And that's the trap I could easily fall into.

This is possibly why I did something (I feel is) a bit crazy this morning. I queried an agent about WILD. I know! This will be the first and last query I make, and if nothing comes of it, I will still go ahead and self-publish WILD but it will be the last thing I self-publish for the time being. I want to focus on the Urban Wolf and Shoregrave series, as well as the Ethan novellas. I want to build a consistent name for myself as a writer, and the scatter-gun approach isn't working. I won't be pulling NIGHT AND CHAOS just yet (there's a new cover in the works, and I want to see what effect, if any, that has on sales), but by the end of the year, if nothing has changed in that area, I will. It all kind of feels like I'm moving backwards instead of forwards, but like I said, I need to cut some stuff out of my schedule and make time for things other than writing and panicking about writing.


naomi_jay: (ZP - x not to die)
Hmm.

NIGHT AND CHAOS has sold one copy this month so far. Count it, one.

UNGRATEFUL DEAD has sold none.

Cut for rambling )
.
 
 So. We'll see how WILD does and take it from there. Maybe May is just a bad month all round and maybe I'm being too impatient.
 
*This is all in my own head and nothing the agents put on me, but it's still true.
 
 
 
 
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: (I don't weep)
So this might get a bit ranty. I don't know, it's early and I missed breakfast and the Costa Coffee woman forgot to put the mint syrup in my hot chocolate even though I asked twice. And a lot of other people have been talking about this topic recently, so I don't know how new or insightful my view is, but I want to get it off my chest. So.

I had a new review for NIGHT AND CHAOS this week - a three star review, which translates as "I liked it" for that particular reviewer. I'm really happy with that. It was a thoughtful, honest review which highlighted the strengths and weaknesses the reviewer found, and as an author I think that's all I have the right to expect from a review. Obviously I want everyone to feverishly adore my books and form cults around them, but let's be realistic; people don't just form cults at the drop of a hat.*

But you know what? It doesn't actually matter what I think of the review. Because it isn't for my benefit. It's for other readers. As a writer, you don't get to pick who likes your work. You don't get to dictate what people think of your books. By all means, hope away. You should hope that people love it, you should want people to feverishly adore you, especially if you want to make a career out of writing. But you can't make it happen, and you can't tell reviewers, or any reader, that their opinion of your book was wrong.

Art is subjective. A lot of people love Twilight. I think it's pap. A lot of people hate Megashark v Giant Octopus. I think it's the greatest film spectacle ever. And that's fine. We're all entitled to our opinions. And yes, of course it hurts when someone hates something we love, especially if we created it, but that's life. You've got to man up sometimes and accept that you can't make everyone happy.

Which leads me to three star reviews. I don't think they're negative. I don't at all. I've had plenty and they've all been just like the one above - thoughtful, considered, and honest. So I cannot complain about them. I don't get writers who do, and I don't have a lot of sympathy for them, to be honest. Not just because I don't think reviews are for writers, but because having someone say "I liked your book, here's why," is not anything like, "I hated your book," or even, "I didn't like your book." 

It really saddens me that there appears to be a divide between writers and reviewers, or any readers, where writers feel entitled to nothing but praise and readers/reviewers bear the brunt when it doesn't happen. It saddens me to see two groups of people who should love each other spitting and hissing at each other instead. It's a symbiotic thing, you know? We write, you read. Without one, there's nothing for the other. So where did this culture of entitlement and rudeness come from? I mean, yes, of course no writer should be clapping their hands and singing over a genuinely bad review, especially if it's just a string of abuse, but for pity's sake, instead of crying or throwing shit all over the internet, why not shrug it off, have a big tub of ice cream, or whatever your comfort food of choice is, and write something else?

Because you can't please everyone and you'll drive yourself crazy trying. I figured that out pretty quickly, long before I decided to try my hand at the publishing business. All you can do as a writer is write something you love, make it as good as it can be, and put it out there.

*I have actually started two cults myself. They didn't stick around very long, but I guess in the long run it saved me from having to organise a mass suicide.

naomi_jay: (black wing angel)
Novel Addiction is running a giveaway for NIGHT AND CHAOS right now (and right here), so if you'd like to be in the running for a copy, just head to the post. 

In other news, Free Book Reviews had some kind and (to me) fascinating things to say about NIGHT AND CHAOS here

I am looking forward to further works from this author and was glad I chose to go ahead a read a fantasy novel diguised as a romance.

So the interesting to me bit is that the reviewer thought this would be romance, which he usually avoids, but ended up considering it a fantasy, which he enjoys. Obviously I'm really pleased he ended up liking the book despite it not being something he'd normally read, but moreover, I'm intrigued to see which genres he classifies it under. When I originally started writing NIGHT AND CHAOS, I envisioned it as a romance. I quickly realised that wasn't going to happen and refocused it as an urban fantasy. I still consider it urban fantasy. But I can see the elements that would slot it into the romance or fantasy genres too. I love that you can have so many different, and equally true, interpretations of the same book.
naomi_jay: (where is my mind?)
First of all, a massive thank you to everyone who Tweeted, blogged about, or bought a book for mine and others' efforts to raise money for Japan. I made enough money to make a small but significant donation to World Vision for the relief effort, so yay! I'll be donating my money on Friday when I get paid, because right now I'm pretty much a charity case in my own right.

Anyway! How was everyone's weekend? I rewarded myself for getting Wild off my plate by writing 6k on a short story. I've got the ending to write still, then I'm going to submit it to Static Movement's OBE anthology. My God. I was totally obsessed with out-of-body experiences when I was younger. It saddens me still that I never managed to have one, despite reading many, many books on the subject. I suppose there's still time.

I was also guest blogging at Splash of our Worlds about why it took me two years to write NIGHT AND CHAOS (which seems pretty speedy compared to some books we won't even mention). And I noticed a review for UNGRATEFUL DEAD at Tez Says which is cool since, given this is just a freebie for promotional purposes, I haven't been soliciting or expecting reviews for it.

In other news, [livejournal.com profile] dwg  directed my attention to this, which is relevant to my interests:



If you hang out at JA Konrath's blog for any amount of time, you'll see all of these arguments appear with almost clockwork regularity. Incidentally, it is worth hanging out at Konrath's blog for his insight and information on self-publishing, but you have to wade through a ton of attitude in the comment threads, which dulls the experience somewhat. I've said before that I don't think of myself as an "indie author," just as an author. I'm exploring all the options open to me a writer hoping to make this my full-time career, and that covers epublishing, self-publishing, small presses, and traditional publishing. So I get a bit peeved when I see the Us and Them division between indies and traditionally published writers, because, come on! We should all be on the same side, right? I get equally peeved whenever I see talk about agents and publishers as "gatekeepers" and how there's some big mafia-esque conspiracy holding the talented down and elevating the unworthy.

Look, it's really easy to get bitter and cynical in this business. It's really easy to look at the people around you, be they indie or traditional, and wonder what they're doing that you're not to be so successful. But the assumption I see over and over - that good writers are being shut out for arcane reasons - is ridiculous. I believe there's a lot of validity in self-publishing right now that didn't exist a few years ago, or I wouldn't be doing it. But I also believe that if my dream literary agent came a-knocking saying she adored my work and wanted to sign me up immediately, I'd go for it.

Because really, what I want as a writer is readers who will love my work. Whatever method works best to get my books into readers hands is the method I'm going to go with.

Anyway, that was a bit of a tangent. Here's a picture of some leopard geckos!*


*I am working very hard to bring leopard geckos into my life right now.

naomi_jay: (sparkly moon)
I am thisclose to finishing Wild. And this time I mean it. No more revisions, no more edits, no more rewrites. OMG. I'm not sure I can imagine what my life will be like. I was hoping to finish the last 40 or so pages by yesterday, but on Tuesday my arm was playing up and last night I had to go out and socialise. AGAINST MY WILL I SHOULD ADD. So tonight and tomorrow will be it. Wild will be ready to unleash on the world.

So I'm kinda stuck now. This book has undergone a lot of changes since 2007, from straight-up adult urban fantasy to a slightly more YA-ish urban fantasy with a romantic element. However, I struggle to think of it as truly YA. Lizzie is young - university age - but the subject matter is not young. There's heavy drug-use, domestic violence, and a butt-load of angst. I'm not saying those things don't happen in YA fiction, I'm just saying I know it won't be everyone's cup of tea. Personally I think Wild is the best thing I've ever written, but I think, for a lot of reasons, it will be a polarising book.

I don't see it as a controversial book, and I don't want to market it as such. But this isn't a happy, sweet, fluffy book, and Lizzie isn't a typical YA protagonist. So I'm not sure if I should try to flag it as a YA book, an adult book, or to just put it out there and see what readers decide. Once I've spoken to my lovely formatter and got my PDF/mobi copies, I'm planning to do the same as I did with NIGHT AND CHAOS and offer some free copies in exchange for reviews/word spreading, because really, what I think of the book just isn't important. What you think of it is what counts.

Link Stew

Mar. 16th, 2011 12:58 pm
naomi_jay: (rabbit hole)
First of all, thanks to everyone who's spreading the word about mine and other authors' efforts for Japan. I've seen a definite spike in my sales for NIGHT AND CHAOS and UNGRATEFUL DEAD over the past couple of days, which is awesome! I don't know what this translate to in terms of money to donate to World Vision yet, but whatever we make, it makes a difference, so thank you!

Now, a round-up of randomness:

I'm guest-blogging at Fangtastic Books today, talking about writing like a man. If you're interested in the massive mental effort I put into understanding the male mind in order to write DEMONISED, this is a blog for you.

I'm also over at Baffled Books talking about the role of the book blogger as part of my NIGHT AND CHAOS ebook tour (which I've been too busy to talk about much, but it is happening).

And there's a review of NIGHT AND CHAOS here at Books Glorious Books. Here's a taster of what they made of it:

The storyline was great. Really different to anything I have ever read before. The idea of experiments gone wrong was great and it worked really well.

So I think that's everything for now. I'm off to scavenge for food!
naomi_jay: (unicorn and woman)
So, guys, I really want to donate some money to World Vision to help with aid in Japan. I love World Vision, just for the record. Here's what they're saying about the quake and tsumani relief effort:

On March 11, 2011, north eastern Japan was struck by one of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history – magnitude 8.9 on the Richter scale. Thousands are feared dead and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

In the wake of a disaster, World Vision is often one of the first organizations to begin relief work by distributing emergency supplies and sending highly-trained staff to assess and respond to the most urgent needs. We remain on the ground for the long haul, rebuilding communities and restoring hope.

Providing support to children and their families is central to World Vision’s efforts in the aftermath of natural disasters.  Your support is needed to help provide emergency supplies to those who have been displaced.  World Vision will also care for child survivors by establishing Child Friendly Spaces. These sites provide children with a safe place to play and help them to experience the structure and security that is often lost during emergency situations.

Unfortunately, like most other people I know, I'm cash poor and can't afford to donate enough to make a difference. What I can, and will, do is donate all the income I make from NIGHT AND CHAOS and UNGRATEFUL DEAD between now and Sunday 19th March to World Vision.

This means I need your help! I'm going to be Tweeting about this, and I'd be really grateful if everyone could retweet and spread the word. NIGHT AND CHAOS and UNGRATEFUL DEAD are currently both priced at $1.14. This is pocket change for most people, but it could turn into a really nice-sized donation for World Vision and get emergency supplies to people in Japan.

I've never done anything like this before, but it's a fond wish of mine to be able to donate to lots of different charities, so I'd love to make a big success of it and do something good for people who need it. Please help me spread the word!

ETA - If you don't have a Kindle, Amazon have a whole bunch of free Kindle apps for PCs, phones, etc.

naomi_jay: (hello cthulhu)
So I really was joking about the Daily Lovecraft thing, but then I spent yesterday watching the first two Reanimator films with [livejournal.com profile] chaostheory  and Kyle and realised that sometimes the Elder Gods have their own plan for you. I'm not sure Lovecraft would recognise his story, but there was much hilarity, and even a philosophical discussion over whether Herbert West really exists, or is merely a projection of Dan's own psyche. And then we just made slashy jokes, because it's pretty obvious Herbert loves Dan very, very much.

And then we watched an online review of Mansions of Madness, which looks to be the most horribly complicated boardgame ever designed. It's the kind of game that might actually induce madness if you attempt to play it, and I'm sure we will own it before much longer.

Anyway, all this Lovecrafting meant I got no writing done this weekend, despite my best intentions. I was going to write while Kyle and [livejournal.com profile] chaostheory  were watching the films, but apparently this would have been antisocial, possibly even rude, so I dutifully shut down my laptop. Guys! I have done no writing of worth for almost a month now *chews fingernails* I'm determined to finish my current [livejournal.com profile] tessa_morelock wip before I do anything else, because I really could get it done in a week if I make myself sit down and work, dammit. I've got guest blogs to write for the NIGHT AND CHAOS ebook tour, but they can wait til the weekend.

So, my goal this week is to write at least 1k a day on the Tessa wip so I actually have something to report to [livejournal.com profile] springathon  on Wednesday. I can do that, right?

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