Monday, 18 June 2018

I'm being framed

Walpole's incredible Petrichor Art Gallery has agreed to take three of my poems, frame them and exhibit them for sale as art works. The three are Tingle Tree, Tingle Tree; Down Deep Road and Why lovely, tree. All are set locally, with the tingle tree particularly being an iconic feature of the local landscape.
The aim is to test the market to see if tourists would be interested in them as unusual souvenirs of this area, and also to see whether local people would be interested in buying them.
If they are, I have three more poems ready for framing.
Petrichor gallery owners Liz and David Edmonds believe there will be a market for them and are very enthusiastic about the project.
Meanwhile I am still putting together a collection of my poetry which I hope to publish as an anthology later this year.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Interesting times

I have a lot going on in my writing - one novel about to be published, seeking a professional editor for another and writing another.

The one about to be published is The Man Who Didn't Like People. I'm doing it through Ingram Spark and it should be on Internet book sites and available to book shops in a few weeks. I had hoped it would be earlier but there was a hiccup with the wrong version being uploaded at one stage - all my own fault.
Here's the cover:

That's me in the picture. I took it on the back firebreak with a sensor-triggered camera.
It's the story of a man who has been a recluse for about twenty years after leaving his wife and children and going bush. Now he has to return to find them and make some decisions that will effect all of their futures.
As with my first novel, A New Era For Manny Youngman, I have taken a man with unconventional views of life and faced him with a situation that challenges those views. The aim is not to discredit them but to explore them, to see how they came about and whether they have any relevance to the rest of society.
It is strictly fiction but I have drawn heavily on where I live and my thoughts about the Australian bush and living in a small country town. They always say write about you know.

I am seeking a professional editor for Murder For A Grandmother, the first of a series about a group of elderly people travelling around in caravans solving murders. I have been sitting on this for a long time while I have partially written a second and third book in the series. My aim is to bring out the first and have the second and third available while readers are asking for them. So far I have a short list of two or three possible editors and will be making a decision in the next couple of days.

The new novel I am writing is A Vote For Australia Day, based on the debate over whether Australia Day should be celebrated on April 26th. My protagonist is a British-born migrant who finds himself caught up in the debate because his Australian-born daughters are on opposite sides. He is also faced with making a business decision which involves some controversial aspects of multiculturalism and a brother who arrives from England to head-up the takeover of an Australian business by foreign interests. Add in an MP friend who has had to resign for having citizenship rights in another country, and a romantic interest with a woman of Chinese ancestry and it is shaping up as an interesting story.

While doing all of this I am maintaining my websites, and and keeping up a strong presence on my own and other Facebook pages.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

November 2 2017
My head's whirling at the moment with the amount of work it is trying to do. I have one novel out with a publisher for approval, one with beta readers for comments, a third in drafting stage and a fourth being born at the back of my brain. If the publisher does like the one I sent them they should be impressed what I will be able to offer them as a follow up. A three book contract won't be a problem at all. Mustn't count my chickens, however. Nose down and keep writing.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Spring has started with two major advances in my writing.
The first revised draft of The Man Who Didn't Like People has gone out to four beta readers for initial comments.
A submission for Murder For A Grandmother is packed up and ready to go off to a publisher on Monday.
I am hoping Murder For A Grandmother will be accepted as it has the potential for more commercial success and could lead to a new lifestyle for me if I decide to travel around writing new novels in the series at places I visit.
I would like The Man Who Didn't Like People to go to a publisher but if it doesn't I will self-publish so that it is in the same format as A New Era For Manny Youngman. I may even put a new cover on Manny so that the two have a similar look.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Steaming ahead

Eight months since my last post and in that time I have completed the first draft of The Man Who Didn't Like People and most of a structural edit and revise. The finished novel is going to be somewhere between 70,000 and 80,000 words and I am much more satisfied with the build up to the final scenes than I was with the first draft. I have not yet decided on the exact ending and will be offering two possible endings to my Beta Readers to see their reaction. This is perhaps not as dramatic as it sounds as both versions will have the same outcome but one will leave the reader with a slightly softer, more gentle feeling.
As soon as I get it finished and off to the Beta Readers I will be returning to my Grey Nomad detective series with the plan being to get one off to a possible publisher as soon as possible. Two of the novels are written and others are partly written or in outline form but I made some significant pov changes in the final version of the first of the series and will have to adapt the rest to be consistent. It is not a major task and something I can get on with while the publisher is making a decision.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

I'm back at Deep River at present and it's good to be in the familiar place looking out of the familiar window behind my computer. It's a six hour drive to get here and I spent a lot of that time thinking about how I'm going to reshape the chapter I am working on and where the novel goes from there. Very productive. Now to see if I can turn the thoughts into realities over the next few days,

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Back in the groove

After a period of lacking in direction in my writing I am back on track, writing between two and four hours every morning and pushing along with my latest novel 'The Man Who Didn't Like People' at a fair pace. Each day I am writing a little more and spending more time on thinking about the way it is progressing, going back to edit where I see I have left gaps or inconsistencies and adding more detail to what I am going to do next.
The biggest change for me was the decision to plot the novel in a lot more detail before starting on the first draft. In the past I would do a rough outline and then launch into it with some idea of where I was going but not of how I was going to get there.
This time I have laid it out scene by scene with details of how the backstory is brought in, how characters develop and where the story changes pace and builds up to each crisis. I find there is still a lot of room for new ideas to be built in as I go along but every time I sit down to write I have a very clear idea where I want to go that day and how I am going to get there.
It has had a big effect on other aspects of my life. I feel calmer, know what my priorities have to be and feel as if I have a direction and purpose.
I remember this feeling from times in the past when I was on  a writing roll but I had not felt it for some time. It's good to be back in the groove.