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: (rapper with a baby)
21. Do any of your characters have children? How well do you write them?

No. I mean, yes, obviously, some of my characters do have children in that most of my characters have parents, and sometimes their parents feature in the stories. Ayla, for example, has parents who crop up in WOLF STRAP and SILVER KISS. But I think this question means "do any of your main characters have small children?" in which case the answer is no.

I think this is the one facet of my own personality that infects my characters to one degree or another. I have no interest in having kids and have no maternal instincts whatsoever. None of my characters do either. I imagine that some of them would make good parents - Vince and Joel, particularly, but I don't honestly see it happening to any of them.

Questions under the cut )
naomi_jay: (woodsy)
 If you haven't already checked it out, we're having a Twitter release party for SILVER KISS (yes, the clue is in the title!). Wander over here and get involved  for the chance to win tarot readings, copies of SILVER KISS, QUEER WOLF, and limited edition WOLF STRAP books. (I only have three of those to give away, so definitely not to be missed!)

naomi_jay: (silver kiss)
I've been told it's not too early to get excited, so I'm fighting through the effects of Beecham's max strength cold and flu medicine to be very excited indeed.

SILVER KISS is out today! Huzzahs! And to celebrate, we're having a Twitter release party. There will, of course, be Fabulous Prizes involved, including very limited edition copies of WOLF STRAP. If you're not already following me on Twitter, why not start now and join in? I promise you it will be awesome, especially as there's the prospect of flu-medicine fuelled nonsense from me as the day wears on. And you can't put a price on that.

So how does it work? Why, there will be Fabulous Prizes for everyone who asks me a question or sends me a comment regarding SILVER KISS and include the #Silver Kiss tag. It's that damn simple, so you have no excuses. So I recommend heading over to Twitter right now and getting in on the hot werewolf action.



naomi_jay: (pink skeleton)


The blog tour rolls on like an unstoppable freight train of werewolves and bloggy goodness! Today I'm over at Sara's Urban Fantasy Blog. Come on over, read the interview, leave a comment and be in with the chance of winning Fabulous Prizes! It was a bit quiet over at Elisa Rolle's blog yesterday, but there's still time to go comment there too, and also be in with the chance of winning Fabulous Prizes! Because I'm all about the Prizes.

Now, have you ever wondered what I sound like? Well, now you can find out because I'm reading WOLF STRAP for your edification and enlightenment. So if you want to hear my crazy British accent and enjoy the first Urban Wolf story, just follow the link.

And remember - pimpage = prizes too, here in my world. Help me spread the word and yes, you can be in with the chance to win Fabulous Prizes.
naomi_jay: (looks like lizzie)
A pretty big opportunity has come my way. I don't want to say much because it's all very much a long shot, but it means I need to whip Wild into shape, fast. For those who don't follow my obsessions religiously (you should, I'm fascinating), Wild is my epic tale of heroin addiction and werewolves in Liverpool. Or rather, it is now. Back in 2007 when I started writing it, it was an epic tale of heroin addiction and werewolves in America. I finished the first draft sometime in late '07/early '08, I think. It was a particulary difficult book to write because A) it's one of these gritty labours of love that breaks you in half and B) I was with The Ninja at the time, who you might remember as the clingy boyfriend who refused to believe I'd broken up with him and started hanging around my house in the middle of the night talking about the Mafia. Being with him was not conduicive to writing. At all.

So, once I'd finished the first draft (finally! After all the blood, sweat, and tears it bloody took), I emailed it, full of hope, to my now Ex-Agent. She was... lukewarm about it. Liked the writing, thought the plot was lacking. So I immediately began ripping the plot apart, throwing in some werewolf gang warfare and LSD-abuse for good measure. Then I grew incredibly disenchanted with my agent, my writing, and myself, decided I hated Wild and everything to do with it and never wanted to look at it again. So I wrote the first half of AFTERLIFE instead and pushed my junkie werewolves to one side.

And then I got my writers' group to look at it. They suggested I move the story to Liverpool and keep trying with it. So I started rewriting it again, got half way through, decided I hated it, everything to do with it and never wanted to look at it again, again. Then I finished writing AFTERLIFE, left my agent, decided my writing career was over anyway and seriously contemplated never writing anything ever again.

Then in 2009 some other stuff happened, like WOLF STRAP selling to QueeredFiction, and them contracting me for SILVER KISS and its sequels, and AFTERLIFE selling to Damnation Books, and suddenly I was feeling like, man! I'm not going to let Wild beat me! It may be the literary equivalent of a puddle of vomit that makes my headache just to think of it, but seriously! I'm going to damn well finish that book.

And then I didn't because some other stuff happened.

And then something else happened. Something I can't go into details about, but something with potential. Nothing I want to put too much hope in, but something that's sent me back to Wild like a ... I don't know, demented writing junkie masochist of some kind. Because I need to finish rewriting this book and making it as good as it can possibly be. This is always a problem for me - I never believe anything I do is good enough, but with Wild I want to try and do the story and characters justice. And I want to do it before next Monday.

I've got roughly 100 pages to go. Half the book is still set in America rather than Liverpool, and the first half of the plot has nothing to do with the second. One character is called Grady for 200 pages and Lennon for the next 100 or so. One character is a witch for the first twenty chapters and a werewolf for the next ten. It's a great, nasty sprawling mess. But I will tame it. Oh yes, I will tame it.
naomi_jay: (moon in clouds)
Just found this review of QUEER WOLF by Mrs Giggles. She likes me! Except pacing issues DOG the story. Ha! DOG the story. Get it?

Naomi Clark's Wolf Strap is a mystery story, although the werewolf heroine Ayla's relationship with a human woman, Shannon, is also featured prominently here. Perhaps Ayla's relationship with Shannon and various peripheral characters are too prominently featured, as the mystery is resolved in a rushed and unsatisfying manner toward the end. Were this a longer story, I suspect that I'd enjoy this one more. The heroine seems like a typical brusque and cynical urban heroine at the surface, but she's a little more complicated than that actually. I like this one just fine - it is, in fact, one of my three favorite stories here - but pacing issues dog it a little.


naomi_jay: (queer wolf)
Breaking away from SILVER KISS revisions and AFTERLIFE promotion to let you know that QUEER WOLF, featuring my short story, WOLF STRAP is up for an award! All the details are here at [personal profile] elisa_rolle's livejournal.
naomi_jay: (cubewich)

So I've got a couple of ideas in mind for my next writing project. I really want to go back to Night and Chaos, which started life last year as a novella, but now feels more like a novel. It's a dark urban fantasy - the darkest thing I've written, I think, and having re-read the 9k I wrote last year recently, I'm keen to dive back in.

And I'm halfway through a novella I'd quite like to submit to Harlequin's Nocturne Bites line once it's finished and polished up. I love short story writing, and I think it's a great exercise for any writer - if you learn to craft a short story properly, it will show in your novels. Your prose is tighter, and your pacing is better. You don't have time to arse around in short stories, so every word counts and you quickly learn to pick your words for maximum effect. You learn to eliminate the "telling, not showing" problem, and you get used to working to specific word counts and making best use of them. Seriously, I could go on about this subject all day if you let me. But anyway...

Really, the priority for me right now is SILVER KISS and it's sequels. I had a long chat with [community profile] chaostheorya couple of nights ago about the direction I want the sequels to go in, as well as the overarcing themes of the series (tentatively called Wolf City at this point). One of the themes that kept cropping up, both in Wolf Strap and SILVER KISS is the idea that fertility rates are low amongst werewolves. The obvious problem with this is that, say your wolves are only producing one child per couple, your population is halving with every generation, and you're on the fast-track to extinction. Not great.

I talked this problem over with both my writers' group and [livejournal.com profile] chaostheory, and brainstormed some scenarios that will tie in nicely to a plot strand of the second book (tentatively called Bad Dogs). It does mean I have to do some in-depth research on the causes of fertility problems, which I imagine will make my brain hurt. But I'm determined to do this idea justice, even if it requires learning science, and then trashing what I've learned and mixing it up with Eastern European werewolf folklore, a bit of stuff I'm just making the hell up, and maybe some cannibalism too.*

*I'm joking about the cannibalism.**

**Or am I?


PS... ).

naomi_jay: (dean!)
Okay, so we all know I had a short story published in QueeredFiction's Queer Wolf anthology, right?

And we all know Wolf Strap has been getting some pretty good reviews, right?

And we all know I've been working on a novel-length follow-up to Wolf Strap called Silver Kiss, right?

Well, I am thrilled (and a little bit nervous) to announce that SILVER KISS HAS BEEN CONTRACTED BY QUEEREDFICTION! Which means I'm going to have a novel published! A whole, full, genuine novel all by myself etc!

Details are tentative at this point, but we're hoping SILVER KISS (yes, I will henceforth capitalise it all the time, sorry) will be released in early 2010.

This is by far the most exciting thing that has happened to me since I started writing, and I'm over the moon to have the opportunity to do this. So, virtual party at my place! Bring cocktails!
naomi_jay: (pale girl)
And I'm out to celebrate tonight! [profile] j_rah  has finally got herself a real grown-up job so we're off to toast to her victory with cocktails and Mexican food. Huzzahs! We'll also be toasting to my good news, which I will share as soon as I can. I've recovered from yesterday's mope-fest and I'm looking forward to a peaceful weekend of writing and visiting my grandparents. Can't ask for more than that.

ETA: Just stumbled across another review forQueer Wolf here at Collective Fallout. Once again, there's praise for Wolf Strap!:

"“Wolf Strap” pulls you in fast and hard ... Both mystery and horror, this story tells of the struggle between pack and humankind–and of what some men will do to even the playing field with the perceived wolf threat.  Clark gives us characters that we can understand in a world that we cannot."

Yay!
 
naomi_jay: (red hood)

June 7th is a Hot Moon!

Queer Wolf, the first anthology from QueeredFiction is released in trade paperback. It's already available for pre-order on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, and if you love me, you'll totally buy a copy, because Wolf Strap is the opening story and rumour has it that it rocks.

But you can also win a copy direct from QueeredFiction just by going to www.queeredfiction.com/competition.htm and signing up for their newsletter. I know! It's so easy! Sign up before June 7th and you're in the drawing. Come on. You know you want to.

And just to tempt you, here's what people are saying:

 “The debut anthology from James EM Rasmussen's QueeredFiction is an entertaining
   and varied collection, boasting such talents as Charlie Cochrane and Ginn Hale. Lovers
   of the lycan will find much to slaver over here: from the werewolf wanabee to the
   lovers-through-time, to waifs and strays. From the carnal to the violent to the passionate,
   this anthology will wag your tail, I guarantee it.”
 
Erastes author of Standish

  

More reviews )
naomi_jay: (moon in clouds)
I'm so happy to see reviews for Queer Wolf still rolling in. Smexy Books had this to say about the anthology as a whole:

Queer Wolf does a terrific job of gathering suspenseful, romantic, and smart stories ... I must say all were unique and kept my interest. I highly recommend this collection.

And this to say about Wolf Strap in particular:

This story pulled me in immediately. I like a good murder mystery and this one worked very well in the short story setting. If you are looking for hot, steamy romance, this story does lack that, however, Ayla and Shannon's love has a very sweet and laid back tone. Their relationship is already well developed at the time the story takes place, which is a nice change instead of the usual "will they get together" storyline a lot of books have. Ayla is one of those"kick-ass" heroines - she loves her super-strength as a wolf (although keeps it in check around Shannon) and rolls her eyes when someone considers her more a human girl than a strong wolf. Shannon plays off her well, she can hold her own ground when the situation warrants, yet keeps a light teasing nature with Ayla. Naomi Clark is a new author to me and I would love to read more of the world she has developed.

Go me! And thanks, Mandi, for a lovely review ^-^

naomi_jay: (moon in clouds)
Since I'm currently at work explaining to idiots why fire regulations mean we can't cram 200 people into a 160 person-capacity room, I thought I'd try and do something constructive. Here are some more reviews for Queer Wolf and Wolf Strap (available now!)

Well Read Reviews - "Honorable mentions ... Wolf Strap by Naomi Clark - whose author had deft touch with description."

Jessewave - "Queer Wolf is, I think, a credit to this first-time publisher."

Amberkatze - "The first story was for me the best out of the bunch but I think each reader will find different favourites." (And yes, Wolf Strap" is the first story :D )

Genre Reviews - "The broad variety ensures pretty much everyone will find at least a couple stories they'll enjoy, and werewolf fanatics should consider the collection a must-read"
naomi_jay: (moon in clouds)
Elisa Rolle has written a review of the whole anthology, story by story here and she had this to say about Wolf Strap:

"WOLF STRAP by Naomi Clark (F/F): Ayla is a female werewolf in a world where shifters are respectable member of society, but if you are homosexual it's better if you still stay in the closet. And so Ayla left home at 17 years old, finding her way in the big bad world alone, without the safe shelter of a pack. Nine years later, she has a partner, Shannon, and a good life, but an old friend calls her back at home for the funeral of her cousin, a 15 years old boy killed in a bashing against his race. Both for human than shifter standards, Ayla is not a strong woman: she is small and pretty, and she tries to hide it with short hair and piercing. But still she is not a tough woman, and this is reflected in the choice of her partner, a barbie doll type, pretty, blonde and soft. The strength of both Ayla and Shannon don't lie in their bodies, but in their behaviours, and Ayla will prove that, even if it doesn't seem, she is a real bad wolf (if not big). The interest in this short story lies in the contrast between Ayla as a human and her strength as a wolf, always retaining her female side, that makes her cute and pretty, even if she doesn't want it."

I have to say, seeing a review for my writing, and an actual published story and not an assignment or essay, is pretty surreal. It's fascinating to see what other people make of it, (I think this is a positive review!). I feel like there's a big divide between Naomi the Writer and Naomi the Everyday person who leaves socks everywhere and spends her weekends watching Power Rangers and yelling at the TV. Does anyone else ever feel like that when they see their work in print?


 

naomi_jay: (moon over city)
The Queer Wolf anthology is now available as an ebook and features my story Wolf Strap. If you love me, you'll buy a copy. If you don't love me, you should buy a copy anyway because it's awesome!

AVAILABLE NOW: eBook
 
"Their world lies between the shadows and the moonlight, between man and animal…and in the city under neon moons and through iron-treed streets, the queer wolves run."
Bound within QUEER WOLF is an exciting collection of contemporary, urban and sensual werewolf tales; a gathering of queer wolves presented by exciting, new and established authors.

"The debut anthology from James EM Rasmussen's QueeredFiction is an entertaining and varied collection, boasting such talents as Charlie Cochrane and Ginn Hale. Lovers of the lycan will find much to slaver over here: from the werewolf wanabee to the lovers-through-time, to waifs and strays. From the carnal to the violent to the passionate, this anthology will wag your tail, I guarantee it." Erastes author of Standish

"Overall, I enjoyed reading this anthology. There were a good range of stories from authors who mostly did interesting things with what many people are calling a tired genre. It was refreshing to see f/f stories amongst the m/m, and even more refreshing was the consistently high quality of the writing from all the authors - even if some worked better than others. I may have had some quibbles with plotting, but the writing itself was excellent. I'm going to give this anthology a grade of 'Very Good' as I will definitely be reading many of these stories again when I'm in the mood for something with a bit of bite." Well Read

qw
QUEEREDFICTION - out between the pages
www.queeredfiction.com

*puns always intended
naomi_jay: (moon over city)

I got my edits for Wolf Strap today, along with a lovely email from the editor of the anthology, James, saying mine was one of the easiest stories to say "yes" to, and therefore edits are pretty minimal. Huzzahs! I could get used to this. I was supposed to be going to a production of Hamlet featuring a water tank and a 50ft puppet ghost tonight, but I've struck down by the plague, so will head straight home to edit instead.

I also have to come up with a brief blurb for the story, which I'm really struggling with. All I can think of so far is something along the lines of "werewolf returns home to find cousin murdered. Chaos ensues. Also, a drag queen." Doesn't really seem right to me.

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