7 Minutes with an Author

WELCOME Joanne Dannon!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing. 

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on? 

I am currently writing a Christmas book to be launched in November 2016. I’m really excited about my story as it’s very different to what I’ve previously written. (I love Christmas stories.)

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript?  

My current release, Wanting Mr Right, was a pleasure to write. The words just flowed and it was one of the best books I’ve ever written.

There were two contributing factors to me enjoying this book so much. First, the heroine, Daisy, is outrageous and outspoken, and I just adore her. Having been my heroine’s BFF in Book 1 of the Alex Jackson series, I already knew and loved her. Second, the book is set in Hong Kong and I wrote it soon after visiting there. 

3. Because everyone always wants to know. Are you a panster or plotter?

A definite plotter. I spend quite a bit of time, before I start to write, developing my hero and heroine. I determine the GMC (Goal, Motivation and Conflict) for each and ensure it’s strong. I usually have an idea of the plot however, I do allow my characters to guide the storyline :)

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)  

I think most writers would prefer to have only good reviews. However, not everyone will love your book. You have to take the good with the bad! 

I focus on the favourable ones and am thrilled that my readers enjoy my books. (The best way to be Joanne.)

5. How do you market your books? (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?) Any events you want the reader to know about e.g. Coming appearances or signing? 

I let my readers know of my new releases via emailed newsletters and via Facebook. I occasionally will do a paid promotion with a marketing company.

6. Social Meda – Love it or hate it?  Where do you hang out the most?  Any tips to share? 

Whether you love it or hate it, in my opinion, you must be seen on social media. If it’s too overwhelming to be everywhere, just pick two and focus your energies on them.

I happen to love hanging out on Facebook and Instagram so you will find me there :) 

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?  

Real women help each other up, not put each other down. (True.) 

If you want to know more about Joanne you can find her here;

Website: http://joannedannon.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joannedannon/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joannedannonwrites/

Current Release – Out Now 

Wanting Mr Right – Book 2 The Alex Jackson Series (Daisy’s story)

The plan was not to fall in love 

Logan Wentworth’s career means everything to him. To win a promotion and upstage his colleagues, he needs to get himself a fiancée —fast.

He asks his friend, supermodel, Daisy Roberts, the outrageous task of becoming his fake fiancée to advance his career.

Daisy’s career has plummeted—she wants to say no, but she’s in a tight spot. Logan’s request to pretend to be his fiancée has some perks. After all, he’s a hard-nosed lawyer with a body built for passion and can strike a deal with the devil and win if he chooses. And this silver-tongued devil can talk her into anything.

Logan’s strategy backfires when the promotion requires he keep his “fiancée” for real. But Daisy doesn’t want a Mr Right for now and will only settle for a Mr Right for forever.

Can Daisy prove to Logan that love is far more important than a career?

Note to Readers: Wanting Mr Right is the second book in the Alex Jackson series. Although the books in the series are stand alones, I recommend readers enjoy them in order.  

Buy links for each book are listed on their pages – http://joannedannon.com/books/

7 Minutes with an Author

WELCOME Louisa Loder!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing.   

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on? 

I’m working on my first contemporary romance novel. It’s a story about a girl from Perth who gets the chance to go to Los Angeles to work with her celebrity crush, and deals with themes of self-acceptance, personal growth, and love – of course!

2. What is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript? (Did you or do you want to throw it in the fire like Frodo?)

Finding the time to write, honestly. Between work, parenting, studying, and trying to have some semblance of an actual life, I have to squeeze writing time into the gaps. It’s not unusual for me to scribble in a notebook on my lunch break, or be up between the hours of midnight and 4am tapping madly away trying to make progress. (Writers have the craziest schedules!)

3. Because everyone always wants to know. Are you a panster or plotter?

I’m an obsessive plotter. I have flow charts, brainstorm pages, tables, and spreadsheets. I like to try and have every little detail nutted out before I start – but that said, I definitely embellish along the way during the writing process. Maybe there’s a little bit of pantser in me, after all! (Sounds like you’re an obsessive plotter, but it’s a good thing.)

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)  

Reviews are good, because without that feedback a writer really has no way of gauging their work. I appreciate all reviews of my work, because these days it’s a huge thing for people to take time out of their schedule to actually write one. That said, I try not to take ‘bad’ reviews to heart, and always attempt to look at the bottom line of what the reviewer has said. That way, I might get something I can work on in order to improve. 

5. How do you market your books? Any events you want the reader to know about e.g. Coming appearances or signing? 

I generally do my marketing through my website – having all the information people might need in one place is invaluable, as again they’re trying to get what they want in the shortest possible time frame. But I love getting out and talking to people in person, too! I have recently appeared at the Katharine Susannah Pritchard Writing Centre in Perth on 24 April as part of their ‘Sunday Sessions’ program (http://www.kspwriterscentre.com/) and have chatted to 107.3 Heritage FM in Perth on 15 May (http://www.heritagefm.net/live-stream).

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it?  Where do you hang out the most?  Any tips to share? 

Social media makes my world go ’round! The thing to remember is to keep it social – no one wants to have adverts for books constantly appear in their feed. Choose one or two platforms, connect with like-minded people, offer support to other writers, and be yourself. Use your social media networks to distribute your marketing materials from your website or blog. You can find me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/louisaloderauthor) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/louisaloder). 

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?  

“Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.” While it’s not strictly a ‘motivational’ saying, these wonderful words from Jane Austen remind me that as long as I am entertained by what I’m working on and feel happy with where I’m at with my writing, the rest is purely incidental. (No, this is a great quote and from only the best!)

If you want to know more about Louisa you can find her here at  http://www.louisaloder.com

 

Blurb for latest release

Rocky Romance (Serenity Press)

This collection includes heartfelt stories of healing and simply not wanting to be lonely, as well as temptation, the butterflies of early love, and, of course, the inevitable romantic conflict. The stories explore romance as a possibility and as a ‘happy ever after’, giving readers a variety of warm, touching and funny moments to ponder. Monique Hall, Monique Mulligan, Teena Raffa, Louisa Loder, Karen Weaver and Mike Murphy are all authors in this collection.

Book links – http://www.louisaloder.com/books-2/ 

 

7 Minutes with an Author

Welcome Kerrie Paterson!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing.  

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on?  

The theme of both my latest release, Chasing Dreams, and my next release, Return to Jacaranda Avenue, is second chance at love. My couples, Bel and Marc (Chasing Dreams), and Polly and Matt (Return to Jacaranda Avenue) were teenage sweethearts split apart by tragic circumstances, who are reunited around twenty years later.

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript?  (Did you or do you want to throw it into the fire like frodo?)

The hardest thing for me with every book so far is finishing! Each book I get to around the ¾ mark and am so appalled by the stinking pile of excrement I’m writing that I want to give up. Pushing through is the hardest thing.

3. Because everyone always wants to know. Are you a panster or plotter?

Um, I think I’m a planster – or is that a potter? My characters always come to mind first and so I have to write 5-10K words until they start to reveal a bit about themselves, their backstory and their hang-ups. That lets me come up with the major turning points. I write a bit more and plot a bit more. Scrivener makes it easy for me to write like this! (Ha ha ha. I have to agree with Planster and love Scrivener!)

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)  

I really wish I could say I pay absolutely no attention to reviews, but I’d be lying! Now that I’ve had a few one-star reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads, I’m a bit more blasé about them, but the first one ripped my heart to shreds! I do love a positive review though – the validation of a good review from someone who I don’t know who “gets” my work certainly helps when the doubt dragon breathes his fire down my neck! (We grow that thick skin fast, don’t we?)

5. How do you market your books? (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?) Any events you want the reader to know about e.g. Coming appearances or signing? 

Ugh yuck. I really struggle to market my books. I’m kind of the “excuse me, I don’t want to interrupt your day but I have a new book out, and if you’re not doing anything, maybe you’d like to buy my book. Sorry to be a bother!” *tiptoes away* type. At this stage I do the odd promo post on Facebook and twitter and then get stuck into writing the next book.

6.Social Meda – Love it or hate it?  Where do you hang out the most?  Any tips to share? 

I love it – too much! You can mostly find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/kerrie.paterson.3), although I am slowly finding my feet with Twitter (https://twitter.com/KerriePaterson1). My tip is to be genuine but don’t overshare too much personal stuff. (Good point!)

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?  

I’m a sucker for a motivational quote so choosing one is difficult! But I’ll choose this one – I don’t know who it is attributed to. (Agreed. I love quotes all types of quotes!)

I want to remember that no one is going to make my dreams come true for me….it is my job to get up every day and work towards things that are deepest in my heart….and to enjoy every step of the journey, rather than wishing I was already where I wanted to end up.

If you want to know more about Kerrie you can find her here at  http://www.kerriepaterson.com And keep a look out for her new release which is out on the 15th of May 2017

 

Return to Jacaranda Avenue

A pastry chef returns to her roots and discovers that the flavour of first love improves with age.

Twenty-five years ago, Polly and Matt were in love—but their relationship came to a traumatic end following the death of her best friend.

Now Polly Chappell has moved back to her home town to open a patisserie and care for her elderly parents, and the last person she wants to see is Matt Enright. Until she actually sees him, that is…

Their attraction turns out to be stronger than ever, but both have their reasons to resist rekindling their romance—until someone attempts to run Polly out of town with escalating threats and vandalism, and Matt’s protective instincts surface.

Will the secret she keeps bring them together—or get them killed?

Release date: 15th May, 2016

Preorder – https://www.amazon.com.au/Return-Jacaranda-Avenue-Kerrie-Paterson-ebook/dp/B01D85ABNY/

 

7 Minutes with an Author

WELCOME Suzy shearer!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing. 

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on? 

My current WIP is about an artist and his nude model. As I write erotic romances I think you could imagine what happens. ;)
It’s the 4th book in a series called Dark Desires which explores the kinky practises that happen behind closed doors.

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript?  (Did you or do you want to throw it into the fire like frodo?) 

One of my books featured a hero who used the Cree language so I had to try to find someone who could translate the phrases I wanted into Cree.

3. Because everyone always wants to know. Are you a panster or plotter?

Definitely a panster. I tend to write all over the place. I may start at chapter 1 but then move to chapter 20 then back to 15 then 2. I flit about like a butterfly.
I could be writing a chapter then have an idea for something further in the book so I write that chapter. Amazingly it all comes together in the end. I’m sure a lot of other writers would be horrified but it works for me. (What ever works. We are all hardwired differently) 
I use a program called Scrivener because it allows me to wander about with all my chapters showing as tabs. It also has my characters, my research and any pics included in tabs as well. (Love Scrivener. I’m also a fan.)

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)   

When my first book came out I read them avidly. I’d be in tears over the bad reviews. I wanted to write to those people and tell them how mean they were but I didn’t.
Then one day I was looking at a very well-known bestselling author’s latest book and reading his reviews. Imagine my surprise when I read some horrid ones. Made me realise no matter what you write or how good it is, you just can’t satisfy everyone. That’s when I understood you have to write for yourself and believe in it.
Now I rarely read reviews unless they are from reviewers I requested. If theirs aren’t as good as I hope I’ve found that most offer suggestions as to why they felt sections didn’t work and I always take that on board.
If you’re an author you have to grow a thick skin and learn to ignore the bad. (Or laugh it off.)

5. How do you market your books? (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?) Any events you want the reader to know about e.g. Coming appearances or signing? 

I use social media – Facebook, Twitter, Tsu, Linkedin, etc. I also run a blog and a website. When I have a new book release I usually run a few competitions to give copies away. On top of that I have a quarterly newsletter that I send out and with each newsletter I give away something to one of my subscribers. (Tsu…never heard of it, will have to investigate.)

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it?  Where do you hang out the most?  Any tips to share? 

Social media – not overly fond of it but it is a real necessity these days. I hang out on Facebook – have an author page that I try and post to each day.

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?  

Yoda – “Try not. Do or do not, there is no try” (My hubby likes this one. He is often saying it to the kids.)

If you want to know more about Suzy you can find her here;

Website : http://suzyshearer.wix.com/suzy

Blog : http://suzyshearer.blogspot.com.au/

BUY LINKS –

Amazon : http://www.amazon.com/author/suzyshearer

Publisher : http://www.bookstrand.com/suzy-shearer

 

Current release :

Melting Her Dom’s Heart by Suzy Shearer  

Book 3 Dark Desires.

When Kallista Robins, 49, meets Alex Harrison, 51, she is instantly attracted to him but his obnoxious behaviour leaves her cold. Alex has quite a reputation–he is a great Dom but he is cold and emotionless, never letting anyone get close to him. Nicknamed Alexander the Great by subs, he has locked his heart away and intends to keep it that way. Alex refuses to ever collar a sub or get emotionally involved and always warns the woman before he begins any relationship, even going so far to have it written into their Dom/sub contract. But when he meets Kallie Robins his world is turned upside down. Having never been in love before, the new feelings he experiences send Alex into a tailspin. How will Kallie be able to stay in a cold, emotionless relationship? If he can’t return her love will she decide to give up on ever Melting Her Dom’s Heart?

 

7 Minutes with an Author

WELCOME laura henning!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing. 

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on?

My book is not yet out. The soon to be released book is a ya/ na romance set in a funeral parlour. Dead Keen explores first jobs, first boyfriends and first bodies. It explores the bonds of female friendship in adversity and the true meaning of someone having your back. 

My current WIP is about finding your inner strength. All my books have characters who are unapologetically themselves. 

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript?  (Did you or do you want to throw it into the fire like frodo?)

My first (soon to be released) book Dead Keen is set in a funeral parlour. At the beginning I thought, “this will be really funny.” I had no idea how many people I would have to kill. Finding ways for them to die and families to grieve for them was a challenge. There were a few very bad days at the office, like typing “house fire death, smoke or flame?” into Google. Do not look at the images. 

3. Because everyone always wants to know are you a Panster or Plotter?

 Both. Dead Keen was a planned piece. It’s my first full length work and I needed a security blanket. 

Lily, my new manuscript started with an image of  someone wearing red shoes in a hospital and grew from there. I do have a plan but only in my head and if she takes a turn somewhere else I’m just along for the ride. 

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.) 

I don’t have any reviews yet. My plan is very grass roots and I suspect good reviews will be crucial. Obviously you want people to like your work but once you publish, it has a life of it’s own. I don’t take criticism personally. I got used to it a uni. (We all need thick skin in this business.)

5. How do you market your books? (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?) Any events you want the reader to know about e.g. Coming appearances or signing? 

I’m starting a new enterprise as a motivational speaker and I’m hoping this will also help with my writing. You never know when serendipity will give you a boost. (This sounds so exciting and yes good old serendipity might line things up nicely.)

But I won’t tell people to buy the book, who doesn’t want a sneak peak at the lives inside a funeral home? 

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it?  Where do you hang out the most?  Any tips to share? 

Love to hate it. I can’t instagram, my daggy camera style is not up to it. Also why would anyone want to see my breakfast? (Sorry, I’m guilty of this…I love food and I am a total foodie :D)

I’m on Facebook which is great because you can have conversations and my friends are all over the place. I have twitter but it is exclusively in an attempt to be featured on Huffington Post’s 20 Funniest Tweets from Women. (Oh I love funny tweets. Keep tweeting.)

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?  

I have “Just write a shitty 1st draft” above my computer screen. I’m not sure how motivational that is but it works on the slow days. My personal philosophy is “feel the fear and do it anyway”. This probably explains how I got into life modelling :) 

If you want to know more about Laura you can find her here;

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Laura-Henning-350045135096833/?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/laladancinggirl

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

7 Minutes with an Author

Welcome Lily Malone!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing. 

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on?

The book I’m writing is Butterfly House Book 2 (for want of a more imaginative title). It is a romantic comedy with a mystery twist. It’s set in my local area of the south west of Western Australia and it involves also the stealing of the (now famous) Cowaramup Cows. The first Butterfly House was a lot of fun to write, but now I need to kick on and get Book 2 written!

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript?  (Did you or do you want to throw it into the fire like frodo?)

One of my books which is currently in submission process is not a romance, it’s women’s fiction. The hardest thing for me was to make sure it never sounded too much like ‘romance’, and also to actually end the darn thing. I have had so many endings to that particular book. I had a Happy Ending (too much like romance); and I now have a not so happy ending. I think I wrote the ending 4 times, different each time.

3. Because everyone always wants to know are you a Panster or Plotter?

Here’s a 1 word answer for you!

‘Pantster’ :)

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.) 

They are important and they can give great information. For instance, two of my books were initially self-published and are now with Escape Publishing. Seeing early reviews of the works (as self-published titles) has helped me correct and rework later versions of the book. It’s like getting a second chance in some respects. I’ve had some doozy 1-star reviews. The one that springs to mind says: “This book is F*%KED UP”. That doesn’t help much – I guess it just lets that particular reviewer feel important and have a vent I think. Reviews that give good feedback about characters and events in the book (without revealing plot) – those are the ones you want to pin-up on your wall. (Your real writing room wall, not a pinterest one… see question 7)

5. How do you market your books? (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?) Any events you want the reader to know about e.g. Coming appearances or signing? 

Oh, I’m not the best person to answer this one. I don’t do much marketing. I use Facebook to let friends know when something new is coming out, or when it’s on a special offer or special price. I have a Facebook profile and a Facebook Page. I’m a member of Australian Rural Romance and I like that site and enjoy writing for it. I think the organiser of ARR does a wonderful job in keeping the theme and pulling all the rural romance releases together like she does. If something is on special I’ll let Twitter know, and I enjoy my blog writing. The thing that I’m not so into is organised Facebook parties, or blog hops. I don’t do many (um, I haven’t yet done ANY) facebook paid advertising. Personally, I’m not a fan of getting sponsored posts in my FB feeds or Twitter feeds, but other authors I know use them and use them a lot. 

I had a lot of fun last summer when my Fairway To Heaven book appeared in a print bind-up with Victoria Purman and Juliet Madison. I approached my local bookstore in Busselton and told them about the book, and I know I sold that shop out a few times over as friends bought the book. Our local book club reviewed Fairway To Heaven in the 3-book bind-up as their February book of the month, and that was fun. I took some shelfies in the bookstore, and my lovely friend Juanita Kees took a selfie with her hubby Gav, holding the book. A photograph a colleague snapped of me the day those print beauties arrived would have been one of my most popular Facebook posts in terms of likes and shares. So that was nice.

It’s a very special thing having a print book and I am stoked to say that it looks like later this year, I’ll be able to say I can do it again!! 

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it?  Where do you hang out the most?  Any tips to share? 

I love social media – it works for me but I don’t do everything. For example, I never remember to take a camera with me and I’m very mobile phone phobic… so you won’t find me on instagram. I’m also not one for designing things or making things pretty – you should see my hair and my wardrobe (hint, many pairs of tracksuit pants, jeans and t-shirts) so pinterest isn’t for me either. I can’t be bothered. On the other hand, I really enjoy my time on Facebook and Twitter, and I have come to enjoy Goodreads a lot to see what other people are reading and what they liked. I don’t like Goodreads so much when it comes to my own reviews sometimes. See question 4 :) 

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?  

What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger! (I swear, I should be an olympic weightlifter by now…)

If you want to know more about Lily you can find her here;

 

 

 

Take-off Complete!

Well it’s finally here!!  

It has been indeed a week for popping open a champagne bottle and drinking in celebration. 

The long quest to publication has ended and in its place a new one has now begun, the journey where we promote in order to sell our book baby. Not an easy task by any means. 

I can not say that I am not excited. It is a very thrilling time in one’s writing career, to accomplish your dream. 

I have also been blessed to have such wonderful friends in RWA – Romance Writer’s of Australia who have supported and listened to my whinging through my whole journey. 

On the 12th of April, 2016, I celebrated with my family and then again on the 15th with a few author friends. I did not have a big release party as I am also studying and had two assignments to hand in this week. Makes an interesting cocktail of words where academia is concerned…I can tell you that much. :D

So without further adO, I formally present TO YOU – PHANTASMA! 

Amazon: http://goo.gl/OvB8Bc

Barns and Noble: http://goo.gl/pZu7he

iBooks: https://goo.gl/oEsKPM

Big Smiles,

Efthalia

 

Goodreads Giveaway - Phantasma

Big hello readers, 

Some good news for those wanting to get a copy of Phantasma in their hands. A big giveaway is OPEN RIGHT NOW on Goodreads! For a chance to win, just click below or head on over to https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29156299-phantasma

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Phantasma by Efthalia

Phantasma

by Efthalia

Giveaway ends March 21, 2016.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

 

Enter Giveaway

 
Good luck!!

Smiles, Efthalia

The Writer's Journey - My Story - Part 2

There are a multitude of thoughts that run through an author’s head during the plotting, writing, editing, polishing, re-writing, and repeat over stage. Light the barbecue was and endless reel that ran in intricate and complex stream over and over in my mind. It consumed me in that, I became sick of my own story and it is terribly dangerous when you fall in that pit. Climbing out of this bottomless pit is harder than running a marathon. 

 I had fallen out of love with my story

After my ‘rejection’ moment.  I went back to the proverbial drawing board. A dear friend offered to work with me. I learnt a great deal from her but I had fallen out of love with my story. At the time I did not understand why I felt that way. My conscious mind was screaming that my muse had left the building and she wouldn’t be back anytime soon. I persevered and made changes and then made the decision to pitch my book at conference for the second time. I got two requests and followed through. Remember that was 2012. I have given up on waiting for a rejection. 

all the little lights in my brain went bling, bling, bling. Times square’s lights had nothing on what was going on inside my brain.  

In 2013 I decided that I would pitch at the US conference. Again two requests one from an Agent and from a Publisher. Waiting – nah – I am a veteran in ‘non response.’ The best thing that happened at the 2013 conference, that shone the stadium lights on everything, was a twenty five page critique with an awesome and amazing author, who read my drivel and gave me solid feedback. When she explained, all the little lights in my brain went bling, bling, bling. Times square’s lights had nothing on what was going on inside my brain.  

On the flight home from Atlanta to Australia I tore the manuscript to pieces. It was a love hate relationship.

From: http://i.giphy.com/rIIsuUflbjvX2.gif

In 2014 I asked another dear friend if she would edit me. “Yes,” she said. But that same year I decided that I needed to feed the academic beast that had reared its head and would not subside. So that process was thrown on the back burner as I struggled with pressure of full-time study. My book would have to wait for a little longer.  No harm in that right?

WRONG!

The guilt I felt for not progressing cut deeply into my muse and opened a gigantic fissure of doubt that I feared I would not ever return from. I bleed for a long time. I was annoyed mostly with myself for not giving it my 110%. Out of my anger I turned to the inner self for answers and that is when I remembered. I wrote this in 2010 about the writerly-self,

Writerly – Self-evaluation –  the reflection process and learning that happens whilst writing. 

Self-confidence –  belief that allows the writer to master challenges and obstacles in order to accomplish and execute what they ventured out to do.

Self-awareness – recognition of strengths and weaknesses within the writing.

Self-fulfilment – reaching and attaining the goal of a finished novel/work which brings happiness and satisfaction to the writer.

Self-enlightenment – the knowledge of the divine connection of the writing to the self.

Believably, these are all sides of self that a writer will consider and which will evoke a deeper thought in methodologies and approach in the expedition of writing. This depth fuses the understanding of the developing writerly-self.

Soul searching is a way of tapping into our inner strengths.  By understanding ourselves completely we begin to understand how we can bring our inner understanding to our writing thus be able to project our strength onto the blank page that can be the ever daunting stumbling block or thorn in our side.”

I understood why I was struggling at every twist and turn – I had been trying to sever myself completely from the writing. To detach my psyche from my body. To disjoin that which was me from the text. I had spent too much time listening to what and how I should be doing things rather than taking the path that was specifically tuned to me and to me only. This was my baby and it needed nurturing from me and me alone. 

Next week the final piece of this condensed journey –

What a fresh pair of eyes from an editor can do.   

Till then big smiles everyone, Efthalia

 

The Writer's Journey - My Story - Part 1

When I started out to write my first Paranormal/Fantasy/Romance novel, I was fresh out of having finished my Master of Arts in Writing degree. I thought that I could virtually rule the world. Put a sword in my hand and I could slay dragons, the likes that we read in medieval literature. In modern terms Ironman had nothing on me. How utterly bombastic and delusional I was. The universal truth slapped me upside the head sideways and in Greek style.

How utterly bombastic and delusional I was.

I knew nothing about the publishing industry, something that continues to baffle me and amaze me at the same time. But that new knowledge of knowing how little I knew, as Socrates would have said if he were around today, drove me to learn, to immerse myself in the art and craft of creative fiction. Something that non writers often think is an easy task. My evil side wishes I had a cricket bat for every time I am told that anyone can do it. 

That same year I got my first rejection

Back to me, so sword swinging I took the leap and went to my first Romance Writer’s Conference, the best thing I ever did, in 2011. The workshops were an eye opener and the speakers motivational and inspiring. Under the influence of my new found friends which I met in the cyber sphere of RWA’s chat room, I pitched my book. I got a request for the full manuscript. I came back from conference and sent my book. That same year I got my first rejection. I didn’t grovel or cry. I felt elated. Why? Because I got feedback and feedback is the most nurturing nourishment that a newbie author needs. To this day I am grateful for that feedback. It pointed out my strengths and weaknesses and I required that as much as I need chocolate and baklava. 

The lesson for me that year was that I had something to work with. Truth is you can not re-write, edit or fix something that isn’t written.  

next week – fixing your MS vs BBQ fuel. .

Warmest, Efthalia