And in honour of World Book Day here is a Shelfie
Please excuse the mess, jumbledness, double shelving and occassional fairy…
Basically, there aren’t enough bookshelves in the world…
Fancy getting any of my Samhain paperbacks half price? That’s epic fantasy in the form of The Scroll Thief, fantasy romance 2 novellas in one book with Songs of The Wolf, or some sensual paranormal romance with Soul Fire!
Samhain is having a half price sale on all paperbacks with the code to be found here.
There is an interview with me up today on Lin Treadgold’s website. I talk about all kinds of things. It might even be interesting!
(Back to edits I go)
I am back in the editing cave.
I know, I haven’t been out of it much of late. That’s what happens when you have two books due and are writing two more. So editing cave.
Unfortunately, I made the fatal mistake of going to the library with my kids today. One we don’t usually go to. Why a fatal mistake you ask? Because, I answer, pulling at my hair like a maniac, I found books… 3 books!.. that I have been dying to read.
Ash by James Herbert (I adored the previous David Ash books and didn’t know about this one until quite recently so am super psyched)
Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper. (I mean come ON. SUSAN COOPER!)
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (because I’ve been meaning to read this one for a while and it ticks all the right boxes for me)
Soooooo I am making a deal with myself. For every chapter I get through on the edits (for which I have a deadline and I’ve kind of worked this out so bear with me*) I can read. I have three weeks. I have three books. The more chapters I get through and the shinier it becomes I can read more of the books. The lovely shiny books.
And this isn’t even taking into account that I got The Gutter Bookshop in Dalkey to order Liz de Jager’s Banished for me and it’s due in next week. Squee.
Cue hysterical laughter. And editing. And hopefully reading!
Oh and in a little bit of other news, my steamy paranormal romance The Mirror of Her Power is due out in April. It is so not YA, but it is fab and lovely. Edits for that are done. Yay! Thanks to my awesome editor Dayna!
*I haven’t really worked any of this out at all. But anyway…
Happy Imbolc or St Brigid’s Day. As Brigid (or a form of her called Brí) appears in my forthcoming YA fantasy A Crack in Everything, I thought a little post on the day marking the first day of Spring was in order.
In mythology Brigid (there are a variety of spellings so I’m going with this one for simplicity) was the daughter of the Dagda and the wife of Bres. She was the goddess of poets, invented keening (thanks for that Brí!), was a healer and is associated with all things fiery.
When Christianity came to Ireland Brigid became St. Brigid of Kildare. Or the historic Brigid took on the attributes of her pagan goddess namesake. Or something. It’s rather complicated and the source of great controversy.
The Brigid’s Cross is made for the 1st of February, St. Brigid’s day, and is said to protect against fire and to keep evil from the house. It’s made from rushes. It links the image of a cross with a pagan sunwheel, and neatly combines both aspects of Brigid, the Goddess and the Saint.
I promised news and here is news. This is turning into a year of news (let’s hope!).
This time the news is R. F. Long news. I’ve signed a contract with Taliesin Publishing for a new paranormal romance called The Mirror of Her Power.
It’s the first in hopefully a series about magicians and magic and steaming hot heroes… well, it’s not a YA book. Hence the R. F. Long name on it.
But if you liked Soul Fire you’re going to love this!
We’re hoping it will be out in the Spring so not long to wait at all.
So in the midst of all the writing, and the watching of Doctor Who and Sherlock, 2014 arrived.
I’m pretty excited about 2014, as my new YA series starts this year with A Crack in Everything coming out in the autumn. I am working away on the sequel at the moment A Hollow in the Hills and it’s starting to come together (slowly… see above re Doctor Who and Sherlock).
And there will be some more news soon. Oh yes there will.
In the meantime, here is an interview I did with Deirdre from Dublin City Libraries in which I talk about libraries, writing, favorite authors & books and pretty much whatever else crosses my mind. As usual.
I’m sitting here surrounded by boxes and the contents of our kitchen, as our kitchen is part-way through renovation. (Kitchen of Doom, as I have dubbed it, although in all seriousness it appears to be going very smoothly and will be lovely when finished.)
It got me thinking about workmanship, and that part of writing which is getting down to it, doing the work, and fixing it if everything goes wrong. Not that the kitchen has gone wrong. But it is currently stripped back as far as it can possibly go. Pipes and wires and holes in the floor stripped back.
Everything went wrong with the WIP. Well, sort of. And not actually everything. It was one of those moments, 25k words in when you go “oooooh, those characters don’t work like that. They’ll work like this.” But getting them to work like “this” means going right back to the beginning. Yes, from almost a third of the way into the book. As in back to 2k words right at the beginning. It sounds like the end of the world, doesn’t it?
But actually, strangely (and writers’ brains, as you probably know, are very strange places), it turned out to be a MASSIVE relief. When I tell people they look at me as if I’m about to cry and they’ll need to get out a mop and bucket, and maybe find some sedatives. It probably disturbs them more therefore when I laugh, kind of manically, and any “no! It’s brilliant! I couldn’t be happier!”
Because I know what’s up with the main characters now. Their conflict is right there for me. I know its source, I know their emotions, and I finally know where we’re going.
That 23k isn’t lost. I’ll still be able to do something with it, use parts of it etc. Since I made this change I’ve gone from eeking out 500k wordcounts to 1400k the other day. It’s exhilerating.
Which brings me back to workmanship (by a roundabout route). If the basic underlying structure of something isn’t right, you’ve got to strip it right back to the foundations and start again. Even if it hurts. Even if there’s such a long way back to go.
It’s so SO much better in the end.
So as I’ve said in the past couple of weeks I’m stuck into some serious writing. Or at least I would be if it was going the way it’s supposed to.
Ah but things rarely go the way in which they are “supposed to”. Especially when it comes to writing.
I don’t work easily to a plan. My brain doesn’t work that way. Sometimes I get a full story and can write from beginning to end. Sometimes it’s more out of a magical mystery tour.
Stories don’t always do what we want or what we expect. That goes for writers as well as readers. I have always been what’s known as a “pantser”, a writer who writes “by the seat of their pants”. And sometimes the story only comes to me out of sync. I get the interesting scenes, the shiny bits, the things that want and need to be said. Later on, I have to play a game of join the dots.
And this particular WIP is giving me this mystery tour in spades.
It’s not a problem. But it’s a bit of a pain. And I keep looking at the last WIP I completed a draft of, back in early Spring, which jumped pretty much fully formed from my head to the page (ick), and thinking some quite regretful thoughts. I’m sure I had some pointed comments about it at the time though. I can’t remember them now. Now it’s that perfect paragon who did exactly what I wanted.
This one on the other hand…
Every story is different. Every plot and every character. And every writing process. It’s an adventure every time. That’s what makes writing so much fun.
I’ll just keep telling myself that.
(this also serves to further give evidence that I aten’t ded yet).