Homespun Threads (A Patchwork of Fairytales) has now been available to buy on the internets for a week (at Smashwords or Amazon). I’ve read a fair amount of advice on how to market it, all of which requires a lot of time and effort which I am applying in fits and starts – that’s what happens when you have a day job, alas. Here are some of the main bits of advice that have come up:
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This week’s photo prompt was ‘thankful‘, to coincide with Thanksgiving in the USA. I am thankful for a lot of stuff, but I didn’t want to post pictures of all the friends, family and peanut based confectionery that give my life meaning without getting their permission; so I’ve gone with words and caffeine – two of the things that shape my daily life and make this blog what it is.
You may be all hot and bothered about the release of JK Rowling‘s longed for new novel The Casual Vacancy tomorrow, but that’s nothing compared to the emotional torment of waiting for the fiction debut of Andrew Blair and Daniel Lilley. That’s right, I could only be talking about The R-Patz Factz, a new book exploring the life and loves of Twilight actor Robert Pattinson by committing to doing no research on them whatsoever. In the following guest post, Andrew tells me more about what inspired him to create this thing.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I should probably point out a) the aforementioned author is my boyfriend, and b) Robert Pattinson in no way endorses or knows about the project.
Jan Kozlowski is a freelance writer and web consultant, who lives in Connecticut with her husband of 24 years, a neurotic German shepherd mix named Louie, and 8 rescue cats. She chatted to me about her new book, why e-books are the new pulp fiction, and why you should write what you love.
Steve Augarde is an author, illustrator and paper engineer who has written four novels for older kids and over 70 picture books for younger ones. He also provided the artwork and music for Bump the Elephant, a cartoon you may remember if you were a small person or parent in the early 1990s. I spoke to him about designing pop up books, 30 years of writing for children, and the possibility he may be responsible for electronic birthday cards…
In November 2010 I completed National Novel Writing Month, a challenge where you have to write 50,000 words of a novel before midnight on November 30th. From this adventure, an idea was born.
The received wisdom is that once the first draft of a novel is written, you’re supposed to leave it alone for at least three months before returning to edit – preferably longer. Coming back to it with fresh eyes means you’re more likely to be ruthless about cutting stuff that doesn’t work. But what do you do in the meantime? For me, the answer was write more. Essentially, NaNoWriMo created a monster.
In 2011, I set out to write the first draft of a novel every month of the year. I gave each month a genre, and off I went. It was hard going, and I only reached the hallowed 50, 000 words twice throughout the year. But I don’t regard that as total failure, more as a lesson in what is physically possible.
Whenever I was tempted to beat myself up about it, I went back to the fact I was working four days a week as an office temp throughout the year, as well as producing monthly columns for The Broughton Spurtle and Ten Tracks, and other articles for Mslexia Magazine, IdeasTap, The Guardian and STV as I went along. I may not have produced 50k fiction every month, but I think I probably did reach 50k across all my writing. I blogged about this in June to serve as a constant reminder.
But what was the final word count? Drumroll, please….