September 27, 2012

interview with indie author Graham Guy

Today, I have an interview with Graham Guy, fellow indie author:

So, who is Graham Guy?

After a series of bizarre and improbable coincidences threw me into the world of film-making I soon realised that in order to make films I would have to have scripts.  Despite having no intentions of ever becoming a writer I therefore started producing occasional screenplays, some of which I then turned into either short or full-length films.  Several people asked me if writing was where I saw my career going, but I continued to deny this, insisting that my writing was only a means to a more film-related end.  When, however, it was pointed out to me that with more than a dozen screenplays to my name and a fair number of short stories (along with the occasional poem) my insistence that I was not a writer was starting to look a bit implausible I finally admitted to myself that maybe I was a writer, and maybe I actually enjoyed it.

A couple of the screenplays that I had written turned out to be more suited to the book format than film, and so as an experiment I took the basis of one of these - Through the Square Window - and re-wrote it from scratch into my first novel.  Much to my surprise it was received well and people actually started buying it, so I started writing more.  My second book “AB: Abnocto Bibere” was published in Jan 2012 and I’m now working on the next two. 

Although it may not sound like an ideal training ground for a writer who pens stories about vampires, a background in engineering, science, and quality assurance, has proven invaluable.  I am very used to analysing things to find out how they work then writing about them in a way that people can (hopefully) understand.  Even my old school motto “Know the Reason” helped to drum this into me and it’s how I approach everything.

The genres I like to read are also the ones I like to write.  I grew up on Agatha Christie, Arthur C Clarke, and Isaac Asimov, so perhaps Crime and Sci-Fi / Fantasy is not too surprising.  I try to keep my writing accessible and relatively light as not everyone wants to read the ‘darkest’ or the ‘most shocking’ book ever, but that’s not to say that I don’t challenge a few conventions along the way.  Some of my writing has already started to garner controversy, and to be honest I wouldn’t have it any other way.

September 24, 2012

my love affair with google+

So, today is the first day in a long time that I don’t have a post already planned or scheduled, but it just so happens that yesterday, Google Plusser Sean Cowen asked a circle of people to share what Google+ means to them—what they love best about it, any neat stories, etc. I happened to be in this circle of Cool People Who Matter, so today’s post is for Sean (who is writing a book about his experience with Google+).

Google+ first drew me with its Facebook-and-Twitter-but-better appeal. I was one of the first plussers, jumping in while it was still in beta, and it was interesting feeling my way around the new digital space, slowly finding interesting people to toss in my circles. After my first post last July, I’ve circled 900 people, and I’m flattered to say that over 1700 people have circled me—a number which seems to grow every day. Sometimes, I’m not sure why people circle me. I’m just a goofy girl who posts about writing and other things—Doctor Who, steampunk, science, publishing insights, various nerd-doms, music and movies I love, and random things I find interesting or pretty or funny. I guess people like that, or they wouldn’t keep circling me. :)

September 17, 2012

the next big thing (meme)

Sophie Duncan tagged me last week, where I have to answer ten questions about my current work in progress. So here we go:

1. What is the working title of your book? The Wizard’s Heart. 

2. Where did the idea come from for the book? I think it’s an idea that has been culminating and brewing for a long time. I’ve always loved Ancient Persia (on which this book is loosely based), and I always wanted to write a story that takes place there. I tried writing the book once, when I was in college, but it didn’t work out, so now I’m trying again.

3. What genre does your book fall under? Most definitely fantasy.

September 13, 2012

interview with indie author Paul Carroll

Today, I welcome Paul Carroll back to the blog for an interview. Enjoy!

How did you get started as a writer?
I was twelve-ish when I first started writing what would become my first book. I think I fell into writing because we'd only just gotten a new computer, and I had three parts of a series of one-page stories that I knew I could turn into a book. There was a certain love for the story I was telling. I had problems in school with bullies, later, and writing was my way of coping. There was nothing especially malicious about what I wrote, but it served the role of getting me through the ordeal emotionally, and I've stuck with it ever since.

What was your first complete story (published or otherwise), and what inspired you to write it?
If I'm thinking in terms of books... the first book I wrote was called What Lurks Through the Mirror. It was a YA Fantasy, expressing in less-than-subtle ways my views of destiny, while opening up a number of magical worlds. It could do with a major rewrite before I ever show it the light of day!

As an indie author, what are some of the struggles you face between writing and publication?
For me, the struggle was in getting the book ready for sale. I wrote it in a week, with little difficulty in that respect, and designing the cover proved to be easier for me when I aimed for simplicity. It didn't take much, though, to get everything done the way I wanted to, and so the struggles were minimal.

September 10, 2012

September 6, 2012

guest post: writing sex in YA

Today, I welcome the lovely Rachel Desilets to talk about writing sex in YA:

There are two ways to write a Young Adult sex scene.  There is the way Tabitha Suzuma does it in Forbidden, which gets down to the nitty gritty details.  Then there is the subtle way, where your readers can make up their own mind as to whether or not your characters actually had sex.  You, as a writer, will need to make that decision.

Here are the things to consider:
  1. If you borderline erotica, your book might get challenged.  It becomes a controversy, and may turn some readers off (or on, depending).  Be wary, as a lot of parents do blog about YA books and whether the reading is deemed “safe.”
  2. If you go the subtle route, your readers might not see the characters having sex.  Which is okay, as long as the rest of the story doesn’t depend on that one, intimate moment.
You can always go somewhere in between the two, as these are the two extremes.  And since I cannot write erotica well, I’m discussing the subtle way.

September 3, 2012

i vlogged!

Apologies for how late this post is, but as it turns out, it takes a long fricking time to upload a nine-minute long video to YouTube.

Transcript below.