This Week’s Target

I need to finish the read through of the early draft of Project Delphi by tomorrow night at the latest because I want to get cracking with the re-write on thursday.  I also want to get Fahrenheit 451 finished this week too.  I have got books stacking up to be read as well as four or five on my Kindle app which now that I have an iPad is easier to use and I really want to get stuck into J.J. Harkin’s Angels Of Apocalypse, Part 1: Alignment because so far it is pretty good and it deserves to have my full reading attention.

In my wind down time after work (writing etc.) and before bed this week I’m going to be watching the Star Wars films in order (from Phantom Menace to Return Of The Jedi)

I have also been interviewed by the fabulous Cinta Garcia on her blog which was posted today, please go and have a little look at the post and have a wander around to see the amazing stuff Cinta has going on.  Her first book, The Adventures Of Little Nani is out soon.  Here’s the link


That’s it for now as I NEED to get some pages done tonight so enjoy your evening everyone 🙂

Meeting A Friend In Oxford

I’ve met a few really cool people off of this blog and on Twitter and that is great but it’s very rare that we get the chance to meet each other in person which really sucks, but today i got to meet one of the amazing people who I have met, Cinta Garcia is a truely lovely person from sunny Spain and she has come to Oxford to attend a short story course so we met up for lunch and a little wonder around the city.  Cinta’s blog is here;

The drive up was about two hours and once I got parked (parking fees are extortionate in Oxford by the way) I went straight to where we had arranged to meet.  Cinta then led us to the Eagle and Child pub where some famous writers used to meet and talk about their work as well as drink beer.  Most notably J.R.R Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams, they were known as the Inklings and as we sat and ate I was really taken with the atmosphere and how much history was around us. During lunch we discussed writing and some of the things that Cinta learned on her course.  Writing is such a lonely act, rarely do us writers sit and talk in person so it was great to talk with Cinta and hear what she thinks of writing.  I was then given a tour of the city and it is a stunning city.  The history that it has is breathtaking.  Cinta has a good knowledge of the city and pointed out lots of little bits of the city thast I would have missed.  I found myself thinking that many of these old buildings would have been there for centuries and will no doubt stay there for centuries.  (No I didn’t take any pictures :P) lol

Good day, good city and good company 🙂  Now though I’m tired and just watched a film that has lowered my intelligence hugely.  One of the worst films ever!!!!!!

Being Professional

I was talking to a friend who was asked to review a book by a writer and when she gave her honest review the writer had a go at her because it was a glowing one.  If you go over to Cinta Garcia’s web page you will see all about this amazing writer who is not nasty of vicious at all.  Cinta is one of the kindest people I know.  I’ve also read the review and its a well written and direct review.  Heres her website, which is new by the way

This got me thinking about something that the Mighty Mur Lafferty says on her podcast I Should Be Writing, basically being professional is the best way to be.  Please go and check out her website because she’ll express it better than I can She is of the mindset though that trying to be a professional is the best route because its rare that being rude and unprofessional will just get people’s backs up and put them off you and your work.  I think a good analogy is if you buy a car and its nothing but a pain in the backside you tell people about it and rarely buy another car of that make.  Or a rude staff member at a coffee-house or something.  These things annoy us and we are more than likely to talk about a bad experience then we are a good experience.

Mighty Mur puts forward a lot of good points.  Like not trying to get into a discussion with someone who has left a bad review.  I quite like the sound of this piece of advice.  If the reader did not get what you were trying to say in the book its kind of like explaining why a joke is funny.  If it’s a nasty review then surely it’s not even worth the time to post a reply.  I know in the early stages of our careers we’ll reply to almost anything because we’re building our online presence but its easy to get sucked into a heated exchange and I think that I will probably steer clear of the people leaving nasty comments when I have my work out in the world for people to read and talk about.

Mighty Mur also talks about things like not asking for critiques from editors when they reject your work as they have slush piles to read etc.  Seriously if novice writers have not at least checked out Mur’s I Should Be Writing podcast then I’m surprised as I have learnt a lot from it.

Lets not forget our writing too.  When we submit we have to be sure that what we’ve written is not only good but our spelling, grammar and presentation is also correct.  If it’s a paper submission then make sure that there are no coffee stains or handwritten notes on it.  Follow the submission guidelines, I’d imagine doing research on where we’re submitting is a good idea.  I have a list of websites, some of which were recommended to me and some were even searched out for me (thank you Cinta 🙂 ) This is knowing our audience.  Finding the right places to submit and who the editors are has to help our chances of getting noticed, of course our work has to be good at the same time but from what I can make out slush piles are big so we do have to stand out and or find an editor that loves the genre or type of story that we write.  I wouldn’t send my space opera stuff to an editor or agent who hates space opera, that’s just daft.

Being a writer is not just about what we write, it’s about who we are as well.  How we come across to the people in the industry and most importantly to the people who read our work who one day may become fans of ours.