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    Year One as an Author

    It’s been a year since my debut hit the Amazon shelves and my gosh how life has changed in the span of 12 months. I’m not talking about how publishing a book changed my life, but how life…well changed in the twelve months. 

    By now, I had wanted the second book in the series published, heck I wanted more published but truth is, writing while working full time and everything else that happens with life is hard. So in an effort to show what life is like for indie’s who work full time here’s some behind the scenes in the hope it shows that making your way as an author isn’t always an easy route. 

    In the past twelve months I’ve done the following:

    • Quit a job that I had been in for three years
    • Was interviewed for a dream job and got rejected (this prompted me to completely re-evaluate my life)
    • Started a new job four days after my last day at above job
    • Ended up working in Finance and hated it
    • Made the decision to move back to the UK from Auckland, New Zealand after living there for six years
    • Arrived back in the UK on April 1
    • A month later started a new job in York and moved again
    • Finished the first draft of book two

    So to say life has been busy is an understatement, however, I’ve thought of writing every single day, and written most days, so a publication date won’t be too far away. 

    There’s a number of strategies out there that give indie’s all types of advice, but the best thing I’ve learnt is that you’ve got to go your own way sometimes. For now, I know I’m only doing this part-time and don’t particularly want to go full time as I finally have a traditional job that I’m enjoying. Writing provided a great outlet when I was miserable in my day job and now I consider it to be a wonderful past time. 

    I have a ton of ideas though, moving to York has inspired a storyline for the next series of books once I wrap up the current series at book three and I want to keep developing and building on my content online, so it’s going to keep growing and I hope anyone who is reading this is happy to stick around. Next up – some business and writerly things I’ve learnt in the last year…!

    June 2018 Update

    Redux word count: 53,848 / 60,000 (>16,077 from last month)

    Redux Update

    “I will finish this book, I will finish this book, I will finish this goddamn book’ – Me, all. the time.

    Safe to say I’m ready to get to the end of the first draft of this book and start the edits. I hit the 50,000 word mark and had a jolt of excitement about it again but I’ve been writing this story for so long I think I’m at the point where I’m wanting to write something new. I’m debating whether I just get book two and three written and get them out, or if I take a break after book two to work on something different and write book three when I’m excited to get back to it. I’m sure that’s not the best strategy from an indie publishing standpoint but will see how it goes. The good thing is, I think this is a fairly clean draft for editing, definitely cleaner than the last draft which ended up being a messy manuscript that I’m still picking through (nothing’s ever done in a writers mind!)

    Sci-Fi vs. Urban Fantasy

    Part of my struggle with this book I think is that I want to switch genre to Urban Fantasy and write something in first person point of view. This will ultimately be the next project but I wonder if part of my struggle is because my love for sci-fi is waning a little. I’ve always seen this series more in the superhero genre than anything else, but it crosses over to genetic engineering and dystopia so it’s still not completely clear in my head.

    Podcast Update

    I’m still hoping to launch a podcast this year, I’ve finally moved house and am settling in. In theory, I need a workspace but I want to build up the non-fiction, craft teaching side of things so it will be developed in the coming months.

    Book Recommendations

    I’ve recently read Simon vs the Homosapien Agenda (a.k.a. Love Simon), I didn’t get to see the film when it was in theatres, but I enjoyed the book, it was nice to read a contemporary YA and see how writers are now relating to their audiences in a way that I never really experienced with YA when I was growing up. I read a lot of Enid Blyton and then Stephen King when I was younger, so I never read anything that spoke to me at that age, but I can see why these books are popular and I’m looking for more in the genre.

    So, till next month – hopefully, the news will be that I’ve finished the first draft and I’m getting stuck into edits!

    May 2018 Update

    Redux word count 37,771 / 60,000 (>15,771 words in a month)

    Redux update

    Progress is being made, it’s never as much as I’d like but I’m getting closer to the end. I’ve written the final scenes after having a dream that seemed to work for the story, so now I’m filling in the second act and building up the rest of the book. I found writing non-linear works well for me, so I’m going to see how this can keep working for the future. I’m hoping this book will be finished soon, so it’s not a full year between releases and looking at how I can work quicker with book three.

    Continue reading…

    April 2018 Update

    Redux word count: 22,000 / 65,000

    Who can believe it’s May next week? I certainly can’t! Life’s zipping by and April’s had a lot more going on than March in this corner of the world.

    Rogue now available in Paperback

    Thanks to the stellar formatting skills of Clare Davidson I was able to get Rogue 2.0 out in print and it’s now available on Amazon. It makes such a difference being able to see the work in print and has definitely given an extra boost of enthusiasm to keep going with Redux (Rogue’s sequel)

    Moving back to the UK

    I’m now in my fourth week in the UK. Weather-wise, it’s been freezing cold to boiling hot all in the space of a few weeks, and now we’re happily back at rain which we seem to know how to deal with well. I’ve settled back in fairly well, and feel at peace within myself at the decision. I’m still in the process of finding my own place and setting up my own life here but I’m enjoying being back in the English culture.

    The other week I went on a day trip to York for a writers day as I have been thinking about a new series to write after I’m done with my current WIP. There are so many great settings in York for urban fantasy stories that I’m excited to see what I can come up with and how the region can be folded into the narrative.

    The Writers Shed

    I’ve been quietly working away on the non-fiction side of my business which I’m looking to officially launch in October, my vision for it is it’s an online education site that helps writers start and build a writing life and career. I’m writing blog posts, creating resources, and will be recording a podcast which is quite exciting. So far the site can be found here

    Books and Reading

    I’ve been slow with my reading lately and in a bit of a slump, but I’ve been listening to the audiobook for Scythe by Neal Schusterman which I’m enjoying and I’ve started reading Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi which is incredible so far.

    Podcast Recommendations

    I’ve been a long time listener of the Self Publishing Podcast by Sterling and Stone, they’ve since rebranded this to the Story Studio and it’s providing some interesting insights on storytelling for fiction and business and well worth a listen.

    And that’s it for April!

    March 2018 Update

    It’s definitely been March Madness in this little corner of the web, life on and offline has been in a state of flux. I’m in the process of moving countries, moving hemispheres as I’m heading back to the UK after five or so years in New Zealand. It’s a bigger effort than originally planned and life becomes a state of upheaval, which does affect creativity and productivity.

    I have been working on Book 2 – titled as Redux – but it’s been slow and I don’t yet have a firm release date. I am also working slowly on the other arm of my business which is non-fiction and focusing on the craft side more.

    I don’t have much to say this month but wanted to check in, so here’s hoping April brings more in terms of creativity!

    February 2018

    February has zipped by in a hot minute and has been full with life events and thankfully some book stuff as well.

    Book News

    The second edition of Rogue was published a week or so ago, this version includes some extensive edits and rewrites due to how I want the story to evolve. I began writing Redux, and found that I wasn’t writing the best story I could because of storylines that had been laid out in the first book. Rather than abandoning it, I decided to go back and rework and now have a better position to start from. I hope it proves fruitful and I’m glad to now have a book out there that I’m proud of and have learned a few lessons along the way.

    Personal Update

    Last month I made the decision to move back to the UK after living in New Zealand for just over five years. As you can imagine, moving hemisphere’s has its challenges but I’m meeting them head on and will have everything ready for next month. While there will be inevitably things that I miss about Auckland, I’m looking forward to being based back in Yorkshire. I intend to try and get to as many writing events as possible and rebuild a life in a country that I’ve been away from for so long.

    Book Recommendation

    My reading has slowed down a lot lately and I need to get back into it. In January I did finish reading J.F. Penn‘s End of Days novel, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good thriller.

    Podcast of the month

    I’ve recently really been enjoying the News Quiz Extra podcast from BBC Radio 4, it’s a fantastic blend of political humour and very tight jokes, if you like comedy podcasts, be sure to check it out.

    And that’s it, I’m going to aim for monthly updates on here so be sure to check back next month to see what I’ve been up to and more recommendations.