naomi_jay: (absinthe)
In lieu of actual contant because I am tired, here's some interesting/fun/self-promo stuff I've found this week.

First up, Bastard Books reviews DEMONISED. I really enjoy Bastard's reviews as they always give me something to think about. But I really, really enjoy this review because he says:

"The book is quite twisted, has plenty of disturbing scenes, some that I'm sure won't sit well with more sensitive readers. Some are just plain gross."

"Just plain gross"
may go on my business cards from now on.

Over at [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire's livejournal, I found a couple of interesting articles; one on rape culture in YA, looking particularly at Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, a book I've been toying with buying for some time now. Now I've read the article, I think it would make me pretty furious, so I'm sticking with James Ellroy for now (because all that racism and sexism is much more tolerable coming from a man...Oh wait...)

The other article is about the recent trend of dead girls on YA book covers (or as I'd been thinking of it "girls in inappropriate dresses in the woods," because really? That's what you wear to go hiking?). There's a lot of subtext to unpack here and I'm not up for it right now, but suffice to say, the glamorisation of death is a big topic and you can pull in a lot of Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet for starters), and even classics from the Romantic era (when romance meant "adventure and fantasy" rather than "relationships" in literary terms), like Wuthering Heights and Tess of the D'urbervilles. Incidentally, Kit Whitfield has a great article on how people misremember Wuthering Heights here

And now something fun (for me,anyway). Despite being a massive AFI fangirl, I had managed to remain ignorant of Davey and Jade's side project, Blaqk Audio. How? Why? I don't know. But now I've discovered them and fallen wildly in love with Davey's voice all over again. So this is my weekend soundtrack. Enjoy!

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: (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, [livejournal.com 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: (mike)

Hellnotes have reviewed DEMONISED, and I have to say, they've been very nice about it too! Ethan is " one of the most engaging first person narrators I’ve encountered" and the story is "a great supernatural yarn," comparable to the Dresden Files, apparently, which is pretty damn cool. I'm sure Ethan would love to share a drink with Harry Dresden some time.

This is just adds to my desperate desire to work on Undertow, the next Ethan novella (or possibly novel), but I realistically just cannot fit it into the schedule right now. I don't know why, but people seem to have taken to Ethan more than any of my other characters (is it the porn? It must be the porn, right?), and since I love him a whole lot too, I just want to get back into his seedy adventures as soon as possible.


naomi_jay: (skeleton kiss)

It's been a while since we had some Daily Lovecraft, so here's ten ways you know you're reading too much...

In other news... there is no other news, really. I'm feverishly counting down to holiday time! Oh my God. I'm going to write until my fingers fall off next week. You don't even know.

Oh wait, there is some news! The WILD July summer sale is over, because it's now August, so WILD is back up to full price, but that's still pretty damn cheap. On that note, Monster Librarian has reviewed WILD here and they think it's a "fantastic book, dark in ways that are somewhat uncomfortable, but ultimately hopeful."

I've also had a short story about sea monsters accepted into Static Movement's Evolutionary Blueprint anthology. So I guess there is more news than I realised. I think that's it though.

I'm considering giving the blog a bit more structure, incidentially, maybe having like themes days? You know, Writely Wednesday, Random Friday, whatever? I don't know how people feel about that as opposed to blogs that are just always random (as mine tends to be). Thoughts?
naomi_jay: (absinthe)
So I downloaded this book today. I was expecting it to be trashy-silly bad, because the author has a ... reputation, but I kinda feel like some trashy-silly bad fiction at the moment. I started reading. Well.

Authors, please note. If you're going to have a passage where the hero is fantasising about sex with the heroine, please don't write it like this:

Funny, to think a chance visit to his little sister, Shelly, had yielded this all-consuming obsession. From the first moment her scent of roses and cream had wafted toward him, the wolf inside him had clawed to escape. It was more than just her natural perfume that excited him. Her pheromones drove him to the brink of madness. And yet he hadn't even seen her face to face. The mere vestiges of her scent were enough for him to know this was the woman who would be his mate.

DO YOU SEE WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PASSAGE? BECAUSE I DO. I DO NOT THINK IT MEANS WHAT THE AUTHOR THINKS IT MEANS.

*Ahem* I should add that the 2% I've read is riddled with grammatical and punctuation errors. I'm going to enjoy this book in a really bad way.

Ooh, in self-pimping news, there's a new review of WILD here at Book Lover's Hideaway.

"If you love deep and I do mean deep dark storylines, then this book is for you."



naomi_jay: (ZP - Shuggoth)
So I've had a couple of advance reviews for WILD which I think I tweeted about but didn't blog about. Rabid Reads thinks it's "the start of a promising trilogy," and Book Goggles thinks it's "a joy to read" and "damn near pefect." That makes me feel pretty good! I don't have a release date scheduled yet, but it's looking more like June than May now, so I hope people will still be interested by then!

I've been thinking a lot about the second book in the trilogy, Caged, today. I haven't started writing it yet, but it's in my head, and I've got a nice clear idea of where Lizzie's going next. I'd love to be working on it right now, but I'm starting to overwhelm myself with projects again, and I really do want to finish Halflife this year, once Night Breed's first draft is done (hopefully by the end of August). I think if I manage to wrap up Halflife by the end of this year (which seems impossibly far away but really isn't), then in 2012 I'll start on Caged. I also think reader reactions to WILD will end up dictating my non-contracted stuff and what I focus on, but we'll see. I'm just going to let the currents drag me around for a while. I feel like I waste so much energy worrying about things beyond my control; maybe it's time to just go with the flow.

In other news, I probably mentioned somewhere that Serve in Heaven, Reign in Hell is closed to submissions. I'll be getting to work on the edits this weekend. There are some really wonderful stories in there, and I'm excited about seeing the final product. At the same time, I've seen a fair view submissions where it's clear the authors either A) don't understand basic rules of grammar and punctuation or B) don't understand what a short story is.

This baffles me, but maybe I'm a snob? I don't see why anyone would submit a story somewhere if the grammar and punctuation was wrong. You might not catch every mistake, but if you're at the level where you're considering publication, you should know that this is wrong:

"What happened." Asked Bob.

And this is right:

"What happened?" asked Bob.

(That's just a made up example, but it's also the most common mistake I saw in reading through submissions. People don't know how to punctuate dialogue!

The other aspect, that people don't understand what a short story is, is I guess more complex. I'm not talking about obvious things like word count, but more how a short story differs from novels and flash fiction. I want to write some more indepth posts about this, but I'm worried about coming across as a know-it-all twat. I don't know it all, but I spent my entire degree writing short stories to very strict rules, so I think I know enough.

So I'm wondering if anyone would be interested in a few such posts?
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: (journal)
And she finds it delightful and deranged, which I find awesome.

If Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter Morgan and J. A. Konrath’s Jacqueline Daniels had a baby together, Naomi Clark’s Ethan Banning would be the result.

You can read the full review right here.*

*Whenever I write "right here" I imagine myself saying it in a slightly sleazy, innuendo-ish tone. Does anyone read it that way?


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

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

Yay!

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: (ethan)
Happy book birthday to Ethan!

You can buy DEMONISED right here at Damnation Books, where their variable pricing scheme means it's currently an absolute bargain at just $0.75! (Every time someone buys a copy, the price goes up by $0.25, so act fast to get it dirt freaking cheap).

Or you can buy the Kindle edition right here at Amazon (or here for Amazon UK). If you're a traditionalist and want the paperback version, it should be available in about a week.

So come on, show a broke, borderline alcoholic PI and his rescue dog some love, and pick up a copy of DEMONISED today!

ETA: new review for SILVER KISS, too!
naomi_jay: (ZP - yay)
And they like it!

"From characterization to the plot, everything was tightly woven together ... You will be hooked."

Yay! I'm so happy!
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
(100%)


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 [livejournal.com profile] yolandasfetsos . Further huzzahs!
naomi_jay: (crawling angel)
Huzzahs! She liked it! It's weird how much more nervous I was sending this for reviews than my previous publications. I mean, I'm always nervous asking for reviews, because, you know, I don't people to hate my stuff. But something I self-published... It kinda makes me feel a lot more vulnerable. But luckily:

I can't help but wonder why we aren't seeing her name plastered all over the shelves at your local Barnes & Nobles along with the heavyweights of the UF genre...This book was so cool that Clark makes it all look so effortless & easy.

So there you go. Unrehearsed testimony from someone who is not related to me.
naomi_jay: (goldenwolf)


 
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings and so forth! I hope everyone's having a wonderful Christmas Eve and will have an awesome Christmas Day too!

In the spirit of season, I have things! To give (or announce) to you! First of all, QueeredFiction are giving away a free Christmas-themed anthology right here. Huzzahs! It's very pretty and the stories are excellent, so you should check it out and share it with people (and there's a Glory story in there, and that's always good ^_^).

Second of all, I did a guest blog on werewolves and Christmas for Minding Spot which is right here, and there's also a lovely review of SILVER KISS there too so that's that.

Right, there's a tub of Ben and Jerry's in the freezer with my name on it, so I am outta here! Everyone have a wonderful holiday!
naomi_jay: (moon in clouds)
Look what Google Alerts found for me - a new review of SILVER KISS from Chrissie's Corner.

"There is a good contrast of fighting, mystery, romance and emotional struggles, and these all combine to make Silver Kiss an enjoyable read."

Huzzahs! This came through just in time to remind me I have some work to get started on for BLOOD HUNT's promotion....

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