monday check in, writing

Monday – and I’m done

Well. Today is fairly monumental.

I am officially finished edits on Sun-Touched, and it is off with my proofreader. I’m not even sure how to feel. It’s been such a long time coming and now I am here. At the place where it’s just the final touches – blurb, acknowledgements, dedication and formatting. Oh, and the cover. Which is proving to be more complicated than we thought it would, naturally 😉

Anyway, I’ve been fairly quiet this past few weeks. Littlest was vomiting the other week, and then school went back and things kicked into gear again. We spent the weekend at a marae, and visiting some of my old haunts which was really nice, if a little sad at times. My primary school, which I adored so much, has been completely demolished. The land is there. The trees remain. But all the buildings have been removed, the tennis courts pulled up, and the pool taken out as well. It was so strange to see it that way. Ah well, I will always have my fond memories, and I got to share my favourite climbing tree with my children, which was very special.

PhotoGrid_1437979590844The time off was lovely, and much needed. I enjoyed hanging out with my homeschooling tribe, enjoyed the communal living, the laughs, the tears, the ease of friends and the comfort of knowing we are part of something bigger than ourselves. Knowing there is a safety net for any one of us when needed is pretty awesome. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

There was a lot of colouring, and eating – we even had an epic hangi, nom nom – gathering around a fire, and a really great planning meeting. I’ve returned feeling more whole, if more aware of how lonely and isolating modern life can be at times. It is strange to only have our family here in the house.

So what now? Well, my plans have changed ever so slightly, and I still have work to do. But I am hopeful to be ordering the proof copy of Burn tomorrow (knock on wood), and then Sun-Touched won’t be too far behind. Exciting times! Print! Omg!


Are you sorted for Xmas yet?

There are just a few weeks left in the year, which means that there are only weeks remaining to purchase the digital version of Tales for Canterbury. It’s the perfect time to gift one to friends or family for Christmas – and don’t forget that all profits go to the Red Cross to benefit Christchurch.

We also still have some print editions available – we’re on our last run of them though, so get in before it’s too late. There are a lot of fabulous stories in this anthology so pick up a copy, introduce yourself to some new writers and support a great cause.



Mid week

Firstly, I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who posted a comment yesterday – it was so great hearing such a range of opinions and has given me a lot to think about. I can see some common themes emerging, one of which is to look for places where I can get the biggest distribution.

Coming from a small country where there are very few literary agents, I have to adjust my thought process a little when looking at the big world. I’ve read a few agent blogs and know the basics, but I need to get it into my head that rather that seeking publishers (like I would if looking inside NZ), I’ll be querying agents and it’s their job to find someone who wants my novel.

Sounds so simple when put like that, though I’m well aware that scoring an agent is far from being an easy process! It’s going to be interesting times ahead, but I am feeling really positive and looking forward to the challenges, whatever they turn out to be.

I’m getting to know more and more people who are self publishing, and I think they are brave and creative. It is definitely an option, but I want to try and find an agent/publisher first. Not sure I have the skills to effectively self publish, though it’s something I will look at further down the track.

The last read through is going fairly well, though slower than I had hoped. It may be two weeks now to get through the novel as I find that I can only do a chapter at a time or I start losing focus and that’s never a good thing! It’s been an interesting process, I find that sometimes I speak something that’s not quite what is on the page, at which point I can stop and decide which version is better and make changes accordingly. It’s also giving me a chance to improve the flow and language along the way. All good things.

So, because I can’t spend all day reading aloud, I’m going to also work on some other things as well – researching agents/publishers, formulating a query letter, making chapter summaries as I go through so that I definitely have everything in order for the synposis etc. All good stuff 🙂

I’m really happy today, lol though I’m not sure why. I am running with it though, life is beautiful and the world is an amazing place 🙂

Hope you are all having a great day too!

Oh, and a final note – not long until NZ Speculative Fiction Blogging Week, is there anything in particular you would like to see? I’m open to suggestions and hoping to prepare a post for each day during the week.


eBook vs Print

There are so many articles about the virtues of each available on the internet, but none really help me out, so I am blogging about it and hopefully you beautiful wonderful readers can give me your opinions!

As a writer in New Zealand, my options are limited if I want to stick within my country, so the reality is that I’ll no doubt be looking for places to submit in the rest of the world. This leads me to my main problem:

a) if I go the traditional publishing route, my book may not be readily available for sale within NZ. I know some other kiwi writers who have had this happen – it’s been hard work to get their book into the country and accepted for sale for various reasons.

b) if I go with e-publishing, my book will be available everywhere, but how many people I know would actually read an e-book? Most of the friends and family who I know would want a copy don’t read on screens. They are into print books all the way and haven’t really been exposed to the e-publishing world.

What would you do?

If you have chosen one over the other what were the reasons behind that choice? I would love to hear from other writers and get their take on this.

Of course there is every chance that it won’t get accepted anywhere, lol but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Do I need to make a decision now? Or just approach people I think might be interested regardless of their method of printing?

I have to admit that I think there are some barriers to getting my book published the traditional print way: primarily, it’s a book that doesn’t have a clear genre to slot it into. It’s got some fantasty elements but they aren’t the primary elements of the story, it’s set in this world, this time period, it has a romantic subplot, and some other elements. So what does that make it? A good read: yes. Speculative fiction: yes. Easy to sell? Possibly not. They don’t really have a spec fic shelf in book stores yet and I think anyone picking it up and hoping for a fantasy, or a romance, might be disappointed to find something that is not typical of those genres.

I have no qualms about either route. About half of what I read now is epublished and I certainly don’t believe that the quality is worse than that found in traditionally published books.

So, give me your thoughts, pretty please. I would love to hear what you all have to say!