Kotahi Bay, Uncategorized

Beneath Broken Waves cover reveal

Hey 🙂

So, with the launch of this book in just a few weeks, I thought it was time to show you the cover! It’s so PRETTY!

What do you think? I love Moana, and I hope you’ll love her too.

I’ll post the blurb as soon as I’m done agonising over it (and agonise, I will). This book follows on directly from The Way the Sky Curves – but this time following Jake (Melody’s younger brother), and Moana (daughter of the sea), it also includes In the Spirit, which is an important read to introduce you to Alyssa, the main character of book 3.

If you haven’t read The Way the Sky Curves, go here! It’s available at a range of stores right now for only 99c.

Beneath Broken Waves_ECover


Publishing plans

PSince I spoke about options in my last post, I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk a little about publishing, and my plans for it. It’s all still very much in the formative stage because I’m knee deep in my last year of study at the moment and find it hard to balance the two of them, but at least planning helps keep me focused on the future and provides ample opportunity to daydream about the months and years to come!

And I cannot wait to be done with study so that I can launch into my writing career.

At present, I’m working on editing mostly, and am submitting my novel Sun-Touched to publishers, sans agent. I wanted to try this first because these days there are quite a few publishers that have open submissions periods throughout the year, and it felt like a good book to take advantage of those opportunities with. I’ve considered trying to find an agent with it, but at this point I’ve got assignments looming and I think I’ll put that stress on the back-burner. I don’t want to add more stress to my life, and from past experience, querying agents can be all consuming. We’ll leave that til I’ve got less going on 😉

So why am I looking at a publisher for Sun-Touched? Well, first up, it’s science fiction, and I’m not yet convinced that science fiction sells all that well when self published (please, if you have some information that differs from this, I’d love to hear it!). Secondly, I’ve had awesome feedback about it – all my readers have loved it, and this has given me confidence that it could sell well. Thirdly, honestly, I would have to say because it’s what I’ve wanted all along and I guess I see it as kind of a challenge – not so much as that they are ‘gate keepers’ or anything, but a personal challenge, a ‘can I do this?’ kind of thing. I want to know if I can, and in order to find that out, I have to try. If I can’t find a publisher keen to take it, I will definitely self-publish it, because I believe in the novel.

Aside from this I have a series of works, novellas and novels, based on the west coast of New Zealand, that I’m planning on self publishing beginning at the end of the year. I’ve written 3 novellas already, and the first novel is a work in progress. There are about 7 stories lined up for the main story-line, as well as ideas for other stories set in the same world (one of the novellas already written is outside of that main storyline and will hopefully be released at Christmas!). I’m hoping to get most of the editing and work done on the novellas throughout this year alongside my study, as well as the full first draft of the novel. Covers are already in progress with my wonderful designer friend, Leigh, and I’m feeling really positive about where everything is at.

I know a lot of people would be chomping at the bit to get published, rather than having these things sitting around, but not me. Self publishing  has been on my mind for quite some time now, and I always knew that if I was going to do it, I wanted to do it right. For me (and just me, we’re all different) this means having multiple works lined up. I didn’t want to release one thing because it was ready and then have to scramble for something to follow up with. It makes the most sense for me to write a series, and roll them out on a reasonably regular schedule, which is why I’ve been stockpiling the series to date.

And why am I planning to self publish these? Well, first up, they are paranormal romance/urban fantasy, and this seems to be a genre that does pretty well when self published. Secondly, I’ve had awesome feedback about the series and I think it could do well. Thirdly, much like my reason for trying a publisher with Sun-Touched, I want to see if I can do it. Self publishing provides a whole new set of challenges, and I’m really keen to try my hand at them. I love the idea of having control over these books, and that any success I have will be down to the effort I’ve put into it.

So, when it comes down to it, I guess you can say that my decisions regarding how I want to publish come down to challenging myself, having an awesome product, and looking for the best way to publish each type of work. I don’t think there is a one size fits all for publishing, nor do I believe that you have to stick with one path – do whatever works for you, find your happiness, make your own definition of success and go for that.

Sorry that you’re getting a few posts today – I ended up succumbing to the vomiting bug as well, which knocked me off track again, but this time I had actually had a plan for what I wanted to write about, so I decided to go ahead and write the posts! 

authors, writing

Writing Process Blog Hop

So I was tagged by the lovely Zee Southcombe for a blog hop about writing processes. Naturally, I thought, why not?

The rules are:  Answer the four questions below, link back to the person who invited you, and name the people who will be posting the following Monday.

The questions are fairly straightforward, so, let’s get on with it huh?

What am I working on?

Gosh, what am I not working on?? I’m tidying up some last minute edits on a novel at the moment, as well as trying to plan out my next small project which should keep me busy during April. Aside from that there is a lot of broader planning going on for future works and assignments for my post grad papers.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

For my science fiction work I’d say what’s different is the underlying sense of discomfort/unease (or creepiness as several of my writer friends like to say; I write creepy), juxtaposed with unique characters and strong relationship themes. Not specifically romantic, but all kinds of relationships (family and friends as well as lovers).

And for my paranormal romance works, it would have to be the small town NZ vibe. I feel like the works are very ‘kiwi’ and I love that about them. It’s given me the opportunity to tap into my Maori heritage, as well as my experiences growing up in a small rural town. The series is a lot of fun, but also sexy and edgy (despite being set in the wop wops!).

Why do I write what I write?

I only write things that I can get excited about. If a story is invading parts of my day that it shouldn’t, or hits me in those moments between sleeping and waking, or if I am wondering how something will end, then I want to write it. I’ve had times before where I’ve been like ‘now, what was that book I was reading? I really want to finish it’ only to realize it was my hypothetical book I was thinking about!

How does your writing process work?

Normally I get hooked on an idea and set about doing a bit of planning. More often than not I get so excited that I *think* I’ve done enough planning and launch into writing, only to find that between the 5,000-10,000 word mark I have to stop and do some real fleshing out of the world and characters.

It’s not until I’ve actually done this first bit of writing that I feel like I know the characters and what the story really looks like, so I find I can’t fully plan until I’ve done that first bit. After some planning, I get back to work! The words usually flow pretty well, with one or two stumbling blocks along the way, and then I typically rush through the end and stare at the screen thinking ‘is that it?’. Never entirely sure, I save and close the document, then promptly fall into the belief that it’s the worst thing I’ve ever written.

I tend to then avoid reading it for as long as possible, until I get the itch and peek back in. Thankfully, it’s never as dreadful as I suspect, and actually, most of the time I’m pleasantly surprised 🙂

I typically work on something new before diving back in for revisions as I like to get some good distance in order to look at the work with ‘fresh’ eyes. Then after revision, I send it off to betas, after which I jump feet first into editing, taking all their delicious and hilarious commentary on board (seriously, my critters more often than not have me giggling. What can I say? They have a way with words! Even the harshest critiques give me something to smile about).

Eventually, there is a finished product, well, finished enough to send out into the world anyway. Because of the way I work I often have several things on the go at once, and if I ever get stuck, I can jump ship for a little in order to maintain sanity. I generally stay focused on the one thing until it’s through whatever stage it’s currently on though, as it gives me that lovely buzz of feeling like I’ve made progress.

Look for the blog hop to continue next week (or the week after that, if they’re like me) on these sites:

Worlds of Wonder (Meryl Stenhouse).

Tama Wise

Leigh K. Hunt at Parchment Place

Emma Lindhagen

And Richard Parry, who hasn’t agreed yet but will just have to cope anyway 😉