Saturday, 18 October 2014

Never say never and other dilemmas

This morning I have passed the 112,000 word mark on my latest creation and can safely say I've hit the half way point. Yes, you read that right... half way. I'm expecting to reduce this considerably in the editing process, but it's still going to be a big book by the time it's finished.

I set out to write this story way back at the beginning of this year, fully intending to have an August release to coincide with my two year anniversary as a published author. Well, that never happened. I'm a bit disappointed but not beaten. Life is what it is, and as a wife, mother and grandmother we don't expect it to run smoothly all the time. There have been happy events with weddings and a new grandson, and not so happy ones with health issues. Time has definitely not been on my side and this book has become so much more than my initial idea.

Thankfully, I'm not held to a deadline, nor would I want to be. I'm loving this journey with my characters, venturing into new and unexplored territory with my writing as I did with Master. Like Master, I started off having no idea where I was going and allowed my characters to lead me on. So far, it's been quite a ride with an exciting evolution of my storytelling. The research alone has been enormous.

What seems to be emerging is as big a thriller as I've ever attempted. Thrillers remain my all time favourite genre in books and films. I especially love a good spy thriller and often imagined myself in this world of intrigue which stays hidden in the shadows. My only disappointment was that mainstream thrillers tend to build up hot, steamy scenes only to shut the bedroom door in our faces. And I understand this, but I was always one of those readers that wanted to take a peak. I certainly dreamed of writing such a story.

Master was my first attempt of an espionage thriller with the bedroom door held wide open and the reader invited in, but the scales were tipped more toward plot. This next book is a little more balanced, but the plot is far more complex with many extra characters and, I understand, might not appeal to those who like their erotic stories with a simpler plot. If I can win those readers over, I'll be delighted, but I make no apologies. This is how I want to write my story.

So my latest dilemma is a strange one. I have always ranted and raved on that I don't enjoy serials that leave you on a cliffhanger and you have to buy more to get to the end of the story. I always said I would never do that. Never say never. With the sheer size of my book, I've had people advise me to split it, for some very good reasons. Some people shy away from big books. Some people do love a cliffhanger and enjoy going on with something else while they await the next installment. My proofreaders are saying they could be editing the first half and getting that ready for release as I go on with the second half.

One thing I won't do is publish anything until the entire story is written. George R. R. Martin is the only author whose far greater wisdom I will submit to, as he makes me wait for Winds of Winter. You see, there's a good example. He keeps me waiting so I won't be distracted from writing. Good on you, George.

In doing likewise, I could then put the first half out while the second is undergoing editing. That first half would be a full length novel in itself. Hmm.... I don't know, which is why I'm happy to hear your thoughts and ideas if you'd like to comment. Remember, I'm only two years into this publishing thingy and always learning and open to advice. One promise, if I did it, I would keep each part at US$2.99 and there would only be two parts.

Now as I write this, I'm thinking of where I am in this story. My next chapter would end this first part on one pretty good cliffhanger. That's right, I could be one chapter away of sending this off to my proofreaders and getting it ready to publish. Scary. Exciting!

Well, there's my rant for today. I needed that. It's funny how you can become so emotionally caught up with your characters. Knowing what I'm about to do to them... well, it hurts. I'm horrible, but someone has to do it. Such is the lot of the author.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

A Kiwi Liaison, more than just a bunch of books.

One of the highlights of my busy year was meeting Christine Leov Lealand, another New Zealand author who writes erotica. There are people you meet through your life and immediately you know that you're going to be great friends. Christine is one of those people for me. We met for dinner in Dunedin on a cold Friday night and spent the next five hours just talking about everything, but in particular about a project Christine had come up with. She wanted to make a compilation of works by four New Zealand authors. I was very proud to be one of them and was able to contribute a little more than one of my stories. Having designed my own book covers with my dear friend Leah, Christine was happy to let me have a go at one for this.

My photographer, Leah of course, asked me what I was looking for. I said that it had to be classy, erotic and very Kiwi. Leah is amazing. I give her a simple direction like that and she turns out the most incredible end results. Between us, I think we make pretty good designers. I chose the background for the cover when I came across a local graffiti artist's work on a wall at the train station. Leah knew the artist and we took time to seek his approval to use his work.

The other two people involved in the cover were the models Aaron and Maggie. Now Maggie is a long time close friend of mine who is incredibly talented in acting and modelling. She's been in movies, fashion shoots, theatre plays and she is the model on all of my Line Trilogy Books. She works tirelessly and enthusiastically every time and isn't afraid to be a little daring. I said to her that this time I wanted everyone to see her beautiful face, not just her beautiful body.

Often we forget about those wonderful people who grace the covers of our books. Most of the time they are unknown, a model that we will never meet, but whose presence on our covers is often what first attracts the readers. Well to all you wonderful people, I say thank you.

And the other authors in our compilation? Well, I haven't got to meet them yet. I spent an hour in a delightful chat with A. J. Burton and I'm yet to meet P.J. Bayliss, but we now all share a bond through our writing. To me, A Kiwi Liaison was not just a box set of books. It was the coming together of a bunch of Kiwis to produce a wonderful piece of entertainment to share with the world. Sometimes being an author is just bloody good fun. I will leave you with a link to Christine's blog to let her tell you the rest and will give you all the links where you can buy A Kiwi Liaison

Christine's Blog