Tuesday is nearly over

Heavens! It’s nearly nine – where has the day gone?  After our weekend away in Hereford it was strange to come back to my two days off.  Monday got taken up with all the domestic stuff missed from the weekend and today I’ve been a ‘lady who lunches’ with my good friend Jude who has just retired from teaching.  She’s really enjoying being a woman of leisure and like many of my contemporaries who have closed the door on the world of work, seems to find no end of things to do,.  She’s holidaying in Tuscany soon and then off to Nepal later in the year.

Currently, I’m still waiting for my book to be put on Amazon and become available for purchase.  It’s been a frustrating time, caused, I have to admit by yours truly.  I won’t go into detail but suffice it to say I have learned valuable lessons here which will never, ever be repeated because if they are I think I will definitely be sending for the men in white coats!  Everything is ready, including the book trailer and I’m anticipating a launch some time next week, fingers crossed!  Once the launch has happened I’ll feel my life is uncluttered enough to sit down and think about my next project.  I’ve sort of worked out a plot. The start, which will be a Prologue, is worked out in detail so at least I have something to start on.  However, looking back at Between Today and Yesterday, there were a lot of scenes which ended up ‘on the cutting room floor’ – they were a good idea at the time but once the book took shape for one reason or another they didn’t fit.  I do tend to keep the discarded bits in an archive file until the book is finally finished as sometimes they do come in handy.

It’s 9.10 now and time to finish off the evening with some reading and a large glass of wine.  Am currently 37% of the way through Barbara Erskine’s River of Destiny.  Catch you all again soon.

End of the Week Update

Thursday 26th July, 2012

So what’s been going on in my week then?  Well it’s been all go with the book, or should I say book trailer.  I’ve been meaning to create one for quite a long time as it seems to me looking at what other authors do, it’s quite an essential part of the marketing process.  So knowing the actual book was nearing publication I decided to have a go at a trailer.  I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out and looking at others I’ve seen was quite convinced I could never come up to the same professional standard.  However, as in a lot of things, it’s the fear of the unknown which makes something new seem like a mountain to climb.  Luckily I have Windows Live Movie Maker on my home PC and when I opened up it looked straightforward enough.  I had a trial run with a few photos from my own electronic albums just to get the hang of it.  Then I searched on the websites I’d use when developing my book covers.  Jane Dixon Smith had forwarded links and I had kept these just in case I needed them; it proved to be a sensible decision.  First of all I looked at the back cover synopsis and took the key points.  Then I searched the websites for shots to match.  I downloaded samples and put together the draft trailer.  Once I was happy I contacted Jane and ordered the photos.  Next came the music.  There are a lot of royalty free music websites and after looking at several I found Jewelbeat which I thought had by far the best tracks to suit the trailer.   Looking through the website I actually found a piece of music that I liked and found I could download for free – even better!  By Monday I had put the whole thing together, complete with a title and a finish which gave the title again plus where to buy.  I have to say I found the whole process very addictive, more creative stuff you see, just like writing!

On Tuesday my proof copy of the book arrived by courier.  I had been checking through the electronic version again while waiting for it to arrive and I could see there were at least half a dozen more tweaks needed.  After checking through the book I e-mailed the corrections/amendments and am currently waiting for yet another proof copy to OK before the green light can be given.  The book is already advertised on Amazon with no picture and in pre-order mode.  There’s no e-book yet as that has to wait until I give the OK after receiving the up-to-date proof copy.  My new website, courtesy of Jane Dixon Smith is almost ready too – another brilliant job!  So, I’m thinking that by next week we should be ready to launch – it’s all extremely exciting and I’m hoping those who choose to purchase or download enjoy the book.  I think it’s the best I’ve done so far.

Yesterday I had the worst thing possible happen.  My iPod died.  Now me and music are totally inseparable – the iPod goes everywhere with me.  I find music both relaxing and inspirational – I simply cannot be without it. Anyway, to continue, I had recharged the battery over the weekend and used the iPod on Monday when ironing.  There’s another area where music is so essential says she taking the story completely off course again.  It almost enables me to have an out of body experience, drifting away somewhere wonderful with the distraction of Adele or one of my favourite rock bands while the ironing (one of my most hated jobs) is being done on autopilot.   So as far as I was concerned yesterday morning, the fact that it was working on Monday meant that everything was OK.

But it wasn’t.   When I connected up to iTunes to download some music I had purchased the day before, iTunes did not recognise the iPod.  In fact when I opened up there was just a blank screen.  Nightmare!  So on my way to work I dropped into the local Apple Store.  Very business-like there – you are greeted at the door and given a timed appointment.  Mine was set in ten minutes, so very quick.  I’d get a confirmatory e-mail message I was told.  Unfortunately my mobile is just a basic communication tool, no fancy apps so a bit wasted really.  Anyway, I returned as requested and was directed to this long bar at the end of the store.  Pulling myself up onto one of the high stools I sat with five others to wait.  When I did eventually get to speak to one of their ‘experts’ he asked me how old the iPod was and when I said two months old he smiled and said that it was probably having an adolescent strop.  He showed me how to correct the problem – very easy – but he didn’t actually say what had caused it and I left the store none the wiser but happy that my sanity had been restored.

Tonight it is very hot and airless.  The good weather is great, but it always ends the same way, humid and sticky with the inevitable thunder storm.  Sitting up here in the office (which is another word for our smallest bedroom) it’s particularly uncomfortable as the front of the house faces west and the sun takes a while to lose itself behind the hill.  Even with the blinds down and the window open there is no air.  Time I think to leave and organise myself a nice glass of chilled white wine!

 

PS  – Trailer will be revealed on Monday, I’ll include it in my next post.

End of the Week Update

Thursday 26th July, 2012

So what’s been going on in my week then?  Well it’s been all go with the book, or should I say book trailer.  I’ve been meaning to create one for quite a long time as it seems to me looking at what other authors do, it’s quite an essential part of the marketing process.  So knowing the actual book was nearing publication I decided to have a go at a trailer.  I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out and looking at others I’ve seen was quite convinced I could never come up to the same professional standard.  However, as in a lot of things, it’s the fear of the unknown which makes something new seem like a mountain to climb.  Luckily I have Windows Live Movie Maker on my home PC and when I opened up it looked straightforward enough.  I had a trial run with a few photos from my own electronic albums just to get the hang of it.  Then I searched on the websites I’d use when developing my book covers.  Jane Dixon Smith had forwarded links and I had kept these just in case I needed them; it proved to be a sensible decision.  First of all I looked at the back cover synopsis and took the key points.  Then I searched the websites for shots to match.  I downloaded samples and put together the draft trailer.  Once I was happy I contacted Jane and ordered the photos.  Next came the music.  There are a lot of royalty free music websites and after looking at several I found Jewelbeat which I thought had by far the best tracks to suit the trailer.   Looking through the website I actually found a piece of music that I liked and found I could download for free – even better!  By Monday I had put the whole thing together, complete with a title and a finish which gave the title again plus where to buy.  I have to say I found the whole process very addictive, more creative stuff you see, just like writing!

On Tuesday my proof copy of the book arrived by courier.  I had been checking through the electronic version again while waiting for it to arrive and I could see there were at least half a dozen more tweaks needed.  After checking through the book I e-mailed the corrections/amendments and am currently waiting for yet another proof copy to OK before the green light can be given.  The book is already advertised on Amazon with no picture and in pre-order mode.  There’s no e-book yet as that has to wait until I give the OK after receiving the up-to-date proof copy.  My new website, courtesy of Jane Dixon Smith is almost ready too – another brilliant job!  So, I’m thinking that by next week we should be ready to launch – it’s all extremely exciting and I’m hoping those who choose to purchase or download enjoy the book.  I think it’s the best I’ve done so far.

Yesterday I had the worst thing possible happen.  My iPod died.  Now me and music are totally inseparable – the iPod goes everywhere with me.  I find music both relaxing and inspirational – I simply cannot be without it. Anyway, to continue, I had recharged the battery over the weekend and used the iPod on Monday when ironing.  There’s another area where music is so essential says she taking the story completely off course again.  It almost enables me to have an out of body experience, drifting away somewhere wonderful with the distraction of Adele or one of my favourite rock bands while the ironing (one of my most hated jobs) is being done on autopilot.   So as far as I was concerned yesterday morning, the fact that it was working on Monday meant that everything was OK.

But it wasn’t.   When I connected up to iTunes to download some music I had purchased the day before, iTunes did not recognise the iPod.  In fact when I opened up there was just a blank screen.  Nightmare!  So on my way to work I dropped into the local Apple Store.  Very business-like there – you are greeted at the door and given a timed appointment.  Mine was set in ten minutes, so very quick.  I’d get a confirmatory e-mail message I was told.  Unfortunately my mobile is just a basic communication tool, no fancy apps so a bit wasted really.  Anyway, I returned as requested and was directed to this long bar at the end of the store.  Pulling myself up onto one of the high stools I sat with five others to wait.  When I did eventually get to speak to one of their ‘experts’ he asked me how old the iPod was and when I said two months old he smiled and said that it was probably having an adolescent strop.  He showed me how to correct the problem – very easy – but he didn’t actually say what had caused it and I left the store none the wiser but happy that my sanity had been restored.

Tonight it is very hot and airless.  The good weather is great, but it always ends the same way, humid and sticky with the inevitable thunder storm.  Sitting up here in the office (which is another word for our smallest bedroom) it’s particularly uncomfortable as the front of the house faces west and the sun takes a while to lose itself behind the hill.  Even with the blinds down and the window open there is no air.  Time I think to leave and organise myself a nice glass of chilled white wine!

 

 

It’s Sunday and the Sun is Out!

It’s Sunday and I think I have a cold coming.  Where it came from who knows, only that I’m currently in the dry throat and sneezing stage.  Am hoping to kill it off before it gets anywhere with Paracetamol but knowing my luck it will get the better of me and I’ll be stuck with a runny nose, blocked head and then the dry, tickly cough which hangs on for a good two weeks afterwards and always surfaces in the most awkward of places.  Like in the cinema, or when you’re attending a meeting.  I usually carry a supply of throat sweets with me now as I’m all too aware when I start to cough I just can’t stop.

Thinking about more positive things, I’m currently waiting for my initial copy of Between Today and Yesterday to arrive from the printers. This gives me a last look before I OK for going out to proper print.   I’m also putting a book trailer together.  I spent Thursday working on a draft trailer, downloading sample shots and putting them together and then pairing up with music.  Was very lucky to find just the piece I wanted as a free download.  Since then I’ve purchased the shots I need from my cover designer and tomorrow I will be putting the whole thing together properly.

This afternoon I have to start putting together pieces for the new website which is being developed for me.  Although I quite liked my own creation, it lacked the professional look I really needed.  It would have been so easy to just copy text from the existing site to the new one, but I felt if it was all going to be new then that meant everything had to be changed.  OK it’s more work, but it will be up to date and have a completely new feel to it.

The new book is still marinating away.  It’s surprising how an original thought, which seems good at the time, moves on into something slightly different.  I’m at the beginning but already wondeirng whether I should kill someone off.  Yes, I know, this does require a serious sit down and making of notes and I will do it once all the other bits and pieces I have to do have been sorted out.  Looking back at Between Today and Yesterday, there is very little in the finished book which actually figures in the original detailed  plot.  Not sure whether other writers stick to their original plot line but I find as I write what I thought would work sometimes doesn’t and has to either be tweaked or completely changed.  And it’s not just storyline but also about the characters and the way they interact withe each other.  My original thoughts were about a love story running alongside the main plot, but somehow as I wrote I became less and less convinced it would work and now am glad I decided not to pursue that particular thread because now it’s given me the opportunity to move it into the new book.  So that’s it folks, my thoughts for Sunday afternoon.  The sun is shining, my better half is out on the sun bed and I have some serious website writing to do.  Will catch up with you again soon when I hope I’ve well and truly waved my cold goodbye!

It Really is Over- Honestly!

Well, I’ve actually arrived at that defining point in time.  That moment when it’s finally finished.  I’m talking about my latest book, Between Today and Yesterday.  It’s gone and now I’m waiting for my single proof copy to come back from the printers in Milton Keynes.  I do one last check, advise the publisher if there are any more amendments and if not then it will be offered to the world at large. This book, I have to say, has been so full on that it will be a glorious experience to get back to normality for a while.  Don’t get me wrong, I love writing, but it takes over your life and everything else has to take a back seat.  You find yourself scrabbling around to fit everything in and the things you took in your stride now become last minute panic jobs.

However, because I have my life back for a while, it doesn’ mean I’ve switched off from writing completely.  Oh no, my brain won’t allow me to do that.  Once you’ve finished, that little niggling thought is worming its way into your mind telling you that you have to think about the next one.  And I have sort of been doing that. A couple of weeks ago I was away for a whole week in South Devon and imagined quite foolishly that I could clear my mind of anything remotely connect with back home.  However, during that time I managed to plot the prologue for my fifth book.  So I know how it all kicks off, but where we go after that is currently a bit of a magical mystery tour.  Of course it always comes to me in the end.  It’s like I’m drip fed the plot by some superior life form.  When I started Between Today and Yesterday it was just the same.  I knew how the first part of the book would develop and the end.  It was the middle that was a bit of a grey area.  Because of that I was worried I would never find enough words to complete a decent sized novel.  How silly of me to worry!  The book has come out at around 144,000 words, nearly 30,000 words more than any of the three books of the trilogy.  I’d originally set myself a target of 120,000 but when it began nudging over that I knew by the way the story was going that I would never be able to keep to that target.  Anyway, all the angst and worry really isn’t of any concern any more, the book is finished, the journey ended and I’m actually sitting here feeling quite please with myself as it’s probably the best thing I’ve written so far. Am over the moon! I certainly hope those who decide to read it feel the same way.

Now then, enough of all this chatter, I’m off for an hour’s TV and a large glass of red wine!  Will catch up again tomorrow