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A Writer’s Journey To Self Discovery – aka The Intervention

self-discoveryI’ve been interventioned. Intervened? Whatever. I’ve been told to back away from the keyboard and sit my plump ass down.

You know when you watch movies and a group of friends actually stage an intervention and you laugh because you’re like HAHA that shit never happens, and it would definitely not happen to me.

Well it did.

Believe me, post its and actual man sized flip charts were involved.
But before I tell you the story, let me explain… as the year draws to a close, I’ve been getting a wickle bit reflective. Especially because next year is going to be a big year.

I hit the big 3.0, I’ll publish for the first and hopefully second and third time, and there are some other BIG secrets I can’t reveal yet.

But for now, another year has past and while lots of things have been achieved, my dreams have not been met… YET. But instead of being disheartened it force fed me petrol and made the fire inside me burn hotter than a million Kelvin.

Let the reflectioning begin…

My friends, lets call them Black Hole (yes there is a story behind this, no I will not tell you…today ever. Cough.) and Tasmanian Devil (TD) for short.

Black Hole and TD were concerned. (more…)

Forget #Halloween Here’s 6 Reasons The Publishing Industry is Terrifying

industry-fear

I hate Christmas because it’s eye-twitchingly expensive. Mostly we spend it in the car or feeling bloated from greed. I don’t eat meat and honestly, I don’t really drink either, so the prospect of Christmas does not fill me with fluffy tinsel covered unicorns of joy. When I think of Christmas I think of the Grinch and smirk.

But Halloween, I don’t just like, I love it. And not for its real purpose of remembering the dead, or its meaningful roots derived from Irish mythology and Christianity, but because it’s filled with the weird and wonderful.

Halloween is the one time of the year when judgement stops and everyone is free. Ugly masks and unusual make up suddenly become acceptable, celebrated even. Fancy dress is no longer an oddity served with a raised bushy eyebrow, it’s compulsory.

Halloween has never been scary to me, but the writing business is and so is the publishing industry. 2017 is nearly upon us, and that means, that by hook or amputated butt cheek, I will be publishing next year.

So in a salute to Halloween, here’s 6 things I find terrifying about writing and the publishing industry  (more…)

Calling All Writers – A Villainous Survey – I Need Your Help

villain-surveyCan you help me? If you don’t know, I am in the process of writing a non-fiction book that aims to help writers create the best villains possible.

In order to make sure the book is as helpful as possible, I want it to capture everything that would be useful to a writer, so I’ve created a survey, if you have a few minutes I’d be super snog your face off grateful if you filled it in and if you have another moment, shared the survey with a fellow pen-rat to fill in.

Ta muchly, SB xx (more…)

The Power of Stop. Breathe. Write On.

stop-breathIf we’re honest, us writers tend to be a little on the obsessive side. We get an idea, a character forms, and before we know it, we’re tits deep in 30,000 words of wordish vomit. We swim in it like it’s a jacuzzi with naked waiters continuously handing out glasses of champagne. No one wants to get out of that jacuzzi, I know I sure as shit don’t.

But sometimes, after you’ve been chucking up the good kind of word vomit (the one that’s rough round the edges but makes pretty pictures in the middle) all of a sudden it stops. Then you’re pouring out illegible turds, minus the glitter and shine.

Something’s broke. Really broke. It’s not writers block, because the words still come. Only now they’re turd-words instead of smothered with genius literary butter.

Now, no matter what you do, the pretty word vomit won’t come back. So what do you do? If you’re anything like me, you either:

  • Beat yourself with a pen chain and spiral bound notepad until your face is pitted with imprints or
  • Fall into a deep pit of self-deprecating writerly hatred

Neither of which are particularly effective at producing anything other than obscure shaped bruises. Trust me.

I had to try something new… So today, is less of a crazy lesson with bookish explanations and crude examples, and instead a lesson I’ve learnt through experience on my writing journey. (more…)

Capture Your Marketing Voice – Know Your Messenger in 3 Steps With @cynthiatluna

Today brings another guest post – This one is from marketing professional and bloggers bash attendee all the way from Switzerland, Cynthia T. Luna. Cynthia is the author of Write Your Marketing Strategy a fab marketing book which I had the pleasure of beta reading.

Cynthia is filling in for me today while I catch up from months of ignored admin having finished Keepers and even more ignoring of said admin as I am balls deep in my non-fiction book 13 Steps to Evil – An Writer’s Guide to Creating Better Villains.

So, Cynthia, you hero, thank you for coming, it’s an honour. This post is an excellent lesson for any author stuck on how what to say when marketing their book.


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30 Writing Competitions With Cash Prizes

30 FlashThis post is a cheat, partly because I’m exhausted after having thrown a surprise party for the wife’s 30th. But also because I happen to be in the midst of a significant bout of procrastination all because I am wallowing in a deep, deep pit of writerly self loathing.

So this week instead of my wordy bullshit, I bring you more writing competitions than you can shake a shakespearian cat at.

With any competition, it’s advisable to ensure you rake the rules of each one with your finest, slickest rule finding comb. I have not displayed the rules of any of these competitions, so if you don’t check, don’t expect to win. (more…)

Street Teams – The Smart Author’s Tactic for Book Launches

If I continue my night owl tactics and don’t… you know, die of exhaustion first, then next year I will be launching not one, but six books. That’s the aim anyway. Much as it’s traumatised me not to publish sooner, I’ve been sitting on these books for a reason.

It terrifies me to say it, but 2017 will see me publish actual, word filled, hold in your hands books, and hopefully, a few of them.

But any author worth their salt, knows they can’t and shouldn’t be launching alone. Visibility is the one thing that connects indies to new traditionally published authors. I say it all the time, but Amazon, is a rainforest of books. Getting seen in any part of it is difficult.

We might day dream about coffee shops and alone time to ink our hyperbolae in peace, but getting a book from chapter one to finished product isn’t a one man job. While the writing might be, there are beta readers, cover designers, formatters, editors and reviewers that help with the rest. If writing a book isn’t a one man job, why should launching one be?

Mastering a book launch isn’t really about the big day, it, like anything you anticipate for a while, is  a bit of an anticlimax. Besides, if you want sustained sales, then don’t focus on the launch. Focus on the lifetime of a book. It’s not about its first day, or week, or even its first year. It’s about optimising that book as an asset, it’s a product you can earn from again and again and again, so why worry about getting sales in it’s first week. You want to be worrying about getting them for the next ten thousand weeks.

Launches are about driving yourself crazy and into a six foot deep grave through stress sustained activities over long periods, garnering stacks of reviews, running competitions, paying it forward for other authors, teaming up or compelling your own boxsets and unfortunately, paying for advertising.

I’ve been doing a chuff load of research on marketing and book launches, so today, we’re talking street teams, and for anyone willing, there’s a personal request from me, to you, to join my street team.


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Trad vs Indie – A Debate on The Future of Book Publishing

future-of-booksSo I did it. I tweaked my final comma, dotted my final I and after writing an email that gave me hives, I pressed send and off went my bookbaby to five terrifying awesome beta readers.

I sat for a while. Motionless. Except for the rapid blink of my eyelids at the completely blank screen. There were no more words needed. What in the fucksticks was I meant to do now? Then the realisation slowly crept in… I HAD NO BOOK. IT WAS GONE. LIKE REALLY GONE. The book that had consumed me for nearly two years, was no more. Holy mother of almighty fuck.

Wana know what happened next…?

I freaked the fudgebuggins out, thats what. It took exactly 4.3 milliseconds before I combusted in a violent meltdown. I really regretted sending it. HOW COULD I SEND IT OUT TO REAL PEOPLE…Obviously its a pile of shite. A fact of which, even the halo holding hand of god couldn’t dissuade me of.

And to my utter fucking horror, I realised there is no ‘unsend’ button. What self serving artificially intelligent email company DOESN’T HAVE A RECALL BUTTON???

FUCK. Like fucking fuck. With six side orders of FUCK MY ACTUAL FUCKING LIFE.

I spent the next 12 hours listing eleventy hundred things that were wrong with my novel. The list included everything. EVERYTHING. Not just main characters, arcs and endings. Oh no. I attacked the detail too, no comma, speech mark or paragraph spacing was left unscathed.

I made the mistake of voicing these concerns to some bastards wonderful friends who told me to pull my shit together before they sent a BitchSlapOGram to my front door. I listened. Just. And only after several more hours of wallowing in a seriously impressive vat of self loathing and book related hatred.

SonOfABitchWhatHaveIDone?

Okay. I’m done. Moving on.

With continued interruption to the schedule, today, I want to debate. I want to know what you think about the future of publishing. Of course, I have brought together some interesting facts and articles and some points of note. So I hope you bought your most opinionated self cause I’m interested in what you got to say. Without further ado…

Let’s talk the future of publishing.


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The Secret to Making Your Characters Memorable

memorableWe readers are fickle beasts.

If you have a shit book cover we won’t pick up your novel. Sloppy blurb and we chuck the book on the NBR (Never Be Read) pile. If we get past all that and find forgettable characters buried in your pages, well… fuck you author, here’s a one star review.

A couple of weeks ago, I was lording it up in Paris with the girls for a cocktail fuelled weekend… I still have a hangover!

The thing is, I wouldn’t be a writer if I didn’t take advantage of any and every opportunity to spew some more of my hyperbolae into the world, and Paris has provided me the perfect opportunity to do just that.

I have a terrible memory. Like ,really bad. But my substandard brain cells got me thinking about books and specifically, about characters.

Without memorable characters, your book is worthless. Why?

Because books are written about characters. If your characters are boring, your books boring. But how do you make them memorable without turning them into the equivalent of a glitter covered literary drag queen? (more…)