It makes me feel slightly uneasy, that in 2016 I can still find myself pondering the issue of balancing writing with motherhood - perhaps I should discuss writing and parenthood, as I'm sure there are many father's out there doing a similar juggling act. However, that is not my reality, so I'm going to address the issues I have encountered during the writing and publication of my first novel, Russian Redemption.
For many years I believed that I wasn't a very confident person. This was mainly based on the idea that I had of what confidence was. From school onwards we are taught that to be confident is to be the child that always puts their hand up in class, the one that volunteers to read the next chapter out loud in English lesson, or takes the lead in group activities.
One of the few things I have done right (eventually) was managing to get a deal with Harper Collins and having my debut novel "The Darkest Hour" published in the USA and UK. Finally, I did something right. Except I didn't. I made a ton of mistakes as a debut author... so I thought I would list them here...
So, please, indulge me as I hitherto invent a new genre of literary criticism and thrust it upon your unwitting and uninterested eyes. I call it a "pre-review review". I hear your teeth grind as you call me a "wally" and slap the back of your own neck in the hope you'll hit that "off-button" sweet-spot. Why not simply call it a "preview", like a sensible person?
It's almost impossible to be really happy with something you've done yourself. But does the script best represent your writing? Has it got passion? Are any boring, overwritten bits definitely gone? Have you had enough feedback and done enough re-writes to be confident that this is your best attempt?
As feverish NaNoWriMo writers across the globe step back from their overheated keyboards - some with 50,000 words in the bag and others with rather less - how do they keep writing come December when there's no deadline to hit?
Perhaps it was being put deep under by the anaesthesia, for I am told it really is a little like dying. Well the closest one comes to dying without actually... dying; when you are sedated enough for them to cut into you. Maybe it was that which dropped me deep into myself, enough to touch the stuff that really mattered. The debris hidden behind decades of conditioning shot to the top.
If you're a debut author and not exactly awash with cash (like me), it's tempting to ask your friend's brother/sister/cousin who has a bit of experience with Photoshop to whip something up for you - but I'd avoid this. I worked with a graphic designer on mine and in the end we went for something fairly simple but striking
This week I'm not housesitting. Here at home in South Devon I'm writing, creating, running creative writing workshops and musing on one of my favourite topics: creativity. In particular I'm thinking about inspiration for writers. Looking for some suggestions to free up your writing/creativity? Read on.
My writing straddles too many genres to be categorised. So I turned Indie. However, when my self-published, first novel made it to the Amazon bestseller list, I realised I had a niche: a group of readers around the world who liked what I wrote. They wanted to know what it meant to come of age in a complex environment like India.