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20th August: National Radio Day

When I was young I used to listen to the local Radio Station Ram FM, now Capital. I still like to listen to it, but I have to stay I can’t stand advert after advert. I then turned to Radio 1 and happily listened to them for many years. But I got bored of RnB and bad pop, so one Christmas I turned to Classic FM for some festive-sounding Christmas songs and wasn’t disappointed. I regularly listen to it now but I have an eclectic music collection bad from my Uni days when I experimented with a lot of different sounds and realised I had a broad taste.

Whilst at Uni, as I was a student of Durham’s former Department of East Asian Studies, I came across Utada Hikaru. The manga intro to her song Passion, played a pivotal role in forming the elemental beings of my Faeries. In fact, I have named the Faeries’ realm after her: Utada. I hope you enjoy. And if you liked Kingdom of Hearts, you might recognise her.

Self-editing

I have to admit I’m enjoying self-editing my book. Prior to this, I had little experience of editing, let alone self-editing. Consequently, I researched lots and, as per normal, ended up finding my own way.

I have marked books and assessments for over 10 years, but always within the constraints of the school’s expectations and marking code. Here, I have found editing my own book a little similar to my book marking, but without the worry of staying within a marking code and failing to meet expectations. In other words, I can rip my book to shreds and not worry about upsetting anyone by my brutal honesty! I can also use other colours other than red and green. Simple things.

I have already scrapped two characters, if you count a cat enough of a character. My male lead has changed quite significantly too. (But I won’t post any spoilers here, as I don’t want to spoil it for those on my mailing list – who will be given the five chapters free once they are ready).

Things that have worked for me:

Read-Through – I have found doing several read-throughs, marking in different colours, highly beneficial. Whilst some articles recommend focusing first on typos, then on punctuation, etc. I find I can’t do this: if I encounter problems I have to sort them straight away.

My first read-through was a lot less brutal than my second, so I would recommend anyone else in a similar situation reading through their manuscript several times.

Kindle-Editing I have also found it extremely useful emailing a mobi copy of my manuscript to read on my Kindle. Apart from it being such a thrill to see my book as a readable eBook, it’s been very useful highlighting and making notes for improvement whilst reading. I shall keep doing this every couple of chapters so that my book will have been self-edited to oblivion before sending it onto professional editors.

Making notes on my Kindle.
Self-Editing featuring my lovely multi-coloured pen, and my Kindle.

15th August: Relaxation Day

Yay! It’s Relaxation Day! I have to say, I’m shocking at relaxing. I’ve never been good at it. There’s always something I feel I ought to be doing instead of relaxing, so I have to talk really hard to myself to sit and relax (Anyone else like this?)

When I do let myself relax I like to snuggle with a hot chocolate or coffee and a book (currently reading Games of Thrones and The Firemaker) or a film (my all time favourite being Studio Ghibli’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky). However, if I know I’ve got a lot of time on my hands, I then reach for my writing or my manga drawing. I’ve not drawn in years, so, being a perfectionist, I’m too scared to draw now (vicious circle). I shall get back into it though as I would love to feature some of my artwork in EvenStarr, a book that started life as a manga.

What do you like to do to unwind and relax?

Happy Relaxation Day!

9th August: Book Lover’s Day

I love books. I was brought up surrounded by all manner of books and many of my early memories involve a book in some form or other. I remember relishing bedtime stories (Though I was always a bit of a wuss with Roald Dahl’s books, especially The Witches – gave me nightmares for days that one) I remember my neck ache as I sat on my bed, hunched over Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park, which I devoured in a day – I just couldn’t put it down! And I love my Manga: Nausicäa, Gunsmith Cats, Ghost in the Shell.

Which is probably why writing’s ended up being such a passion of mine and why I’ve ended up writing The KeyMaster.

So, to celebrate Book Lover’s Day I thought to let you have a sneak peek at the two (yes two!) prequels that I’m working on. Their working titles are Christian Blake II: The Makings of a Soul Gatherer and Isambard’s Heir: Michael Nicholas.

Happy Book Lover’s Day!

NB: These will only be made available for free to those who have signed up to my mailing list. Interested? Then sign up!

Kindle Editing

I’m currently in the throws of self-editing The KeyMaster, as well as working on my website and writing some prequels.

Whilst researching editing, one of the articles by Joanna Penn, mentioned editing on the Kindle. After a bit more research I discovered I could email my manuscript to my Kindle to read as an ebook. (This is a whole new world to me!) Finally successful, I didn’t realise just how exciting it would be seeing my book on a Kindle!

Sadly the process has highlighted formatting issues that will need rectifying, but small steps!

If you would be interested in seeing your book on your Kindle and don’t know where to find your Kindle’s email address just message me and I’ll post some instructions.

Bye for now!