I will be at Clunes Booktown Festival selling The Quadrants on the 5th and 6th of May.
My stall will be on Fraser Street, so pop in and say hi.
I will be at Clunes Booktown Festival selling The Quadrants on the 5th and 6th of May.
My stall will be on Fraser Street, so pop in and say hi.
Finally, I’ve finished the cover and now The Quadrants is for sale on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle.
It’s taken forever to get it to this stage, it would have been so much easier with a publisher to organise all the last edits, cover design and marketing. I really don’t like that part of writing. But now that it’s over, I can get back to work, writing.
I’m working on book 2 in The Quadrants series, The Demidium, as well as the YA romance I’ve previously mentioned on here, The Muse. I had decided to change the name of it because someone else had used the title recently, but since then, I’ve found other books that share a name and it doesn’t seem to bother them. Therefore, I’m keeping the title ‘The Muse’.
If you’d like to buy a copy of The Quadrants…
Do you have a 10-16yo who likes fantasy stories but isn’t quite ready for Tolkien?
Then THE QUADRANTS is for them.
It’s written in a straightforward style (good for the reluctant reader) with a fast-paced story and characters full of humor as well as deeper conflicts, making this a book they won’t want to put down.
When 16-year-old Rohan Frazer discovers he is becoming unnaturally strong, he finds himself unwillingly thrust into the world of the Quadrants, and his only way home is by going forward.
If you’ve read it, let me know what you think, or what your kids thought.
The Quadrants is for sale!!
But so far only the ebook version, sorry. The cover of the print version has been difficult to perfect, but I expect it to be available in a week and a half.
If you know a child aged 10-16yo who likes fantasy stories but isn’t quite ready to tackle Tolkien, let them try The Quadrants. It has been written in a straightforward style (good for the reluctant reader) with a fast-paced story, and characters full of humour as well as deeper conflicts, making this a book they won’t want to put down.
Buy the ebook-
This is where I walk most evenings. I know, it’s nice isn’t it? I used to run along the beach until I broke my leg a few months ago. I suppose the only up side of a broken leg was that it justified the huge amount of time I spent sitting down writing over summer, since I couldn’t do much else.
So, writing update:
Next month my book club is going to read my book (The Quadrants). 🙂 I guess this is good, although I’m not certain they’ll like it that much, as they’re not exactly my target readership. For starters they are a tad older, and not boys, though there is one man, and YA fantasy is not exactly their usual genre. I am interested, however, to see what they think, and to see if the aspects of the book that thrilled me as the writer, have the same effect on them. Oh well, at the very least it will mean another 7 or 8 proof readers, and they might surprise me and actually enjoy it. Fingers crossed. I will update you on my book club’s feedback next month.
Now that that’s done, I’m continuing on with the editing of The Boy in the Painting (Formerly know as The Muse). I’m halfway through it, but I got distracted last night and today with my next book (Post-apocalyptic, not YA). It’s gone beyond the plan now, and the plot has become a twisted and interwoven saga that should thrill and shock the reader (at least it does me, and that’s why I’m writing it at this stage). I’ve begun sorting it into chapters and I spent at least an hour googling post-apocalyptic sounding names for the characters, which was fun. I tend to give the good characters the names I like, and bad characters the names I don’t like. I’ve also started writing out some of the major scenes in full, which have been coming to me during my walks along the previously mentioned beach. With the mild air, the evening sea mist and the amazing sunsets, the whole thing’s very conducive to daydreaming.
Got any ideas for my post-apocalyptic characters? Examples of those I have so far are- Anders, Jonah, Demaris.
A few things have happened this week with my writing. First, I’ve decided to change the title of my book The Muse, because unfortunately, in 2016, Jessie Burton got in ahead of me and stole the title. I think of a muse as being the inspiration to an artist/painter, but unfortunately, Jessie Burton’s The Muse isn’t about an artist or a muse from what I can tell from the blurb. Such a waste, because it’s such a great title. Oh well.
It’s finally happened! No not publication, sadly, but The Muse has finally reached 30,000 reads on Wattpad! – https://www.wattpad.com/user/LadyWinter11
Although it still needs a serious edit, my readers seem to really like it, and regularly write me flattering messages about how much they love the series.
I very much enjoyed your first book. Have to say it was great, every chapter was more and more entertaining :) I really do hope you carry on writing the sequel!! AND Just read the muse and what's finished of the sequel- Both are really really great, and I love how relatable winter is- how you manage to portray the thoughts and feelings, the wanting to be desired and being pulled into multiple directions at once. I am her age and she is probably the first fictional girl I read about who actually thinks similarly to me- I would live to hear the rest of the story!
I also regularly get requests for me to hurry up and post the next chapter of book 2. I am reluctant to post the entire book 2 though, because I’d like to finish the editing of it and put The Muse and The Cafeteria Lawn for sale on Amazon. If only there were more hours in the day, I would have them both ready quicker.
Anyway, still writing…
So I’m sitting here trying to write, listening to my two youngest kids arguing over whether or not the curtains should be opened in the kids’ lounge. It’s like a gamers’ dungeon down there and our 2 pet rats, whose cage is there too, haven’t seen the sunlight since yesterday.
I remember in an interview with J.K. Rowling, at the time she was coming to the end of writing The Deathly Hallows, she said she was trying to write but there was the constant noise of her kids coming from downstairs. At that point she realised she now had enough money to solve the problem by going away to stay in a hotel for a few weeks until it was finished.
I have neither enough money nor a husband (to take over the children) to solve my noise and interruptions problem, though I can imagine how wonderful it would be one day if I had.
I am entering the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition today: http://www.aerogrammestudio.com/2016/11/02/the-times-childrens-fiction-competition-2016/
So I have to have my entire manuscript ready and perfect. I know I’ve reread The Quadrants a million times, but I just didn’t feel right about sending it off without reading through it one more time. I just wanted to check, after having a break from it, that it flows well and the balance and pacing of it are perfect.
Grrr! But right now I need to go and play and sing Let It Be on the piano with my daughter (I can hear her singing it at the top of her voice from the other room). She’s doing this on purpose!!
The next phase of my nearly non-existant literary career will be to finally do the major edit of The Muse. The Muse is continuing to draw in tons of readers on Wattpad and is approaching the 30,000 reads mark, despite being a fairly rough draft.
I entered a pitch slam competition recently where 3 judges each read your work and gave feedback on your 35-word pitch and the first page of your novel. One of these judges suggested I add a prologue to place the reader right in the middle of the intrigue and action, right from the start. So, after having had no agents rushing up to me, so far, demanding that I allow them to represent me, I’ve decided to take their advise and add a prologue to The Quadrants.
In The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, the prologue takes place around the time of the dramatic events that occurred when the main character was a baby. And in Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children, the prologue is just a brief overview of the MC’s relationship with his grandfather and his telling of unusual tales.
Also, I have had it pointed out to me this week, the importance of an awesome first line. So I’ve decided to try to come up with one of these too.
Here are some first lines from famous books:
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
—Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)
“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.”
—David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (1850)
“Call me Ishmael.”
—Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851)
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
—A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens (1859)
“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
—Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy (1877)
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”
—The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien (1937)
“I am an invisible man.”
—Invisible man by Ralph Ellison (1952)
“It was a dark and stormy night.”
—A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (1962)
“I’ve watched through his eyes, I’ve listened through his ears, and I tell you he’s the one. Or at least as close as we’re going to get.”
—Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (1985)
“Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”
—Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling (1997)
“There once was a young man who wished to gain his Heart’s Desire.”
—Stardust by Neil Gaiman (1999)
“He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air.”
—The Maze Runner by James Dashner (2009)
“There is one mirror in my house. It is behind a sliding panel in the hallway upstairs. Our faction allows me to stand in front of it on the second day of every third month, the day my mother cuts my hair.”
—Divergent by Veronica Roth (2011)
“I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.”
—Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs (2011)
“Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.”
—The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (2012)
I really like the one from Stardust, Pride and Prejudice and Anna Karenina. I’ll post what I come up with soon.
I found a blog this week on what it was like for J.K. Rowling when she was writing the Harry Potter series. I’ll just post part of it here, but for the rest follow this link to the original site: https://thefriendlyeditor.com/2015/06/16/rowling-writing-harry-potter/
First, we need to appreciate how disciplined Rowling had to be to develop her story nugget into seven hefty books. We have to know that she wasn’t lazily sipping mochas for two decades while jotting down a continuous stream of words like the literary Fountain of Youth.
All too often we convince ourselves that we would write more if only we were well-known, or had more money, or could find more time. But none of that is what makes a writer. It’s simply that a writer writes.
Below I’ve compiled the oft-forgotten, non-fairy-tale version of the story behind Harry Potter.
Even though Harry Potter strolled into Rowling’s head fully formed, she still spent several years mapping out the seven books, and then she spent another year writing the first one, Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone. Rowling rewrote Chapter One so many times (upwards of fifteen discarded drafts) that her first attempts “bear no resemblance to anything in the finished book”—which was especially frustrating since Rowling was a single parent and her writing time was entirely contingent on her infant daughter, Jessica.
Whenever Jessica fell asleep in her [stroller], I would dash to the nearest café and write like mad. I wrote nearly every evening. Then I had to type the whole thing out myself. Sometimes I actually hated the book, even while I loved it.
Rowling also had to waste her already limited time on nuisances like re-typing an entire chapter because she changed a paragraph or, even worse, re-typing the entire manuscript because she hadn’t double-spaced it.
Besides writing, Rowling struggled with many personal problems: the death of her mother, estrangement from her father, a volatile and short-lived marriage, a newborn child, life on welfare, and a battle with clinical depression. Unfortunately, Rowling’s support system was nearly nonexistent. She once told a friend about Harry Potter and her friend’s response was typical.
I think she thought I was deluding myself, that I was in a nasty situation and had sat down one day and thought, I know, I’ll write a novel. She probably thought it was a get-rich-quick scheme.
Rowling grappled with suicidal thoughts and eventually turned to therapy for help.
Once the manuscript was finally finished, Rowling collected a dozen rejection letters over a full year before Bloomsbury Publishing picked it up. Even then, Rowling was warned by her literary agent to find a job because her story wasn’t commercial enough to be successful. (“You do realize, you will never make a fortune out of writing children’s books?”)
Bloomsbury’s expectations of Harry Potter were so low that its initial print was only five hundred copies—three hundred of which were donated to public libraries.
Rowling’s first royalty check was six hundred pounds. A year later, she was a millionaire.
Both Rowling’s agent and Bloomsbury Publishing had to (happily) eat their words. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was so popular in the U.K. that Scholastica paid an unprecedented $105,000 for the American rights to the series. Rowling, however, still faced major frustrations.
For one, Rowling didn’t believe her success would stick. While writing Chamber of Secrets, she worked as a full-time French teacher (while still caring for her now-toddler daughter).
Rowling also suffered from her first and only debilitating bout of writer’s block.
I had my first burst of publicity about the first book and it paralysed me. I was scared the second book wouldn’t measure up . . .
Other lucrative contracts rolled in after Scholastica, which pulled Rowling out of poverty but also forced incredible pressure on her “to fulfill expectations.” Furthermore, the sudden deluge of money brought on a “tsunami of requests.” Everyone was asking Rowling for a financial leg up, and she panicked.
I was completely overwhelmed. I suddenly felt responsible in many different ways. . . . I was downright paranoid that I would do something stupid . . .