Thursday, May 29, 2008

Release date at last

Waiting for the release date of your latest baby is tough. All those months and months of rewriting and editing on top of months and sometimes years of waiting for a response to a submission and all that after the hard slog of writing the thing in the first place! Just when you think everything is good to go --more waiting while the book goes into the production phase.

E-publishing is faster, of course, than the traditional print firms. The lead time for my Avalon books is by necessity nearly a year whereas the complete The Wild Rose Press process has taken place within a year from submission to e publication.

It's all good exciting stuff and quite by chance my next two releases happen within a week of each other in October. The 17th for Strings and the 24th for Coming Home. And my birthday is right in between on the 19th!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Meditation for creativity

Like every writer I often have knotty problems to solve in regard to plot or character development. I sometimes lie in bed and turn things over and over to no result.

I've been a Tai Chi instructor for 18 years and practising Tai Chi for 21. Meditation, or as we call it, Chi Kung, is an important component of the practice. It's amazing how many times during one of my daily sessions a solution or an idea has popped into my head from nowhere.

Meditation clears all the rubbish out of your head. It's said the mind is like a pool of clear water and thoughts are the ripples on the surface obscuring the depths. By calming the mind the thoughts, ripples, are smoothed away and the deeper, subconscious thoughts are able to surface.
Of course the benefits are far more widereaching than just for writing. Regular practice brings a sense of calm and wellbeing to everday life, a sense of perspective to problems and confrontations.

As with anything of value, learning to meditate takes time, diligence and perseverance but the end result is worth it -- just like writing!

For more information and some interesting articles on the subject check out the link on my website to the Tai Chi and Chi Kung Academy.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Working Titles

In the latest issue of Hearts Talk (the RWAustralia newsletter ) there is a very good article by Aussie Harlequin M&B author Ally Blake on the importance of a working title. (Checkout her site on my website links)

It really hit the spot for me. She quoted quite a few well known authors who say their working title sums up the essence or the theme of the book. The title is often changed by the publisher, but for them this is the core, the lodestone of the story while they write.

My first book The Right Chord, was Leopard's Spots. For me that sums up Grace's dilemma. She wants to change her personality from affable and obliging to tough and direct, but can't get it right because it goes against her true nature. The self awareness achieved by attempting the change results in a different Grace by the end of the story.

Strings Attached was always the same title. It's perfect even if I do say so myself ! Jack doesn't like his women with strings attached, but Hannah, in his words 'has more strings attached than a harp.'

My forthcoming Avalon release Coming Home was initially Lame Duck but I knew (sorry in advance :) )that title would never fly. Coming Home does a pretty good job summing up the storyline though. All the main characters find their home both physically and emotionally.

Ally's article made me think about the importance of the working title. I'd always liked to work with a title on the top of the page and I realise now why that was so. It's a guidelight. My current wip didn't have one except for the heroine's name, but as I'm a seat of the pantser that didn't help beyond a certain point. The wip had been muddling along for a while. I had a big think and came up with The Right Place and for me that sums up what my heroine is searching for. The hero has already found his place in the world, but she hasn't and at the moment neither of them can believe it's with him.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Free Read

The Wild Rose Press is starting a promo for our books using short stories as free downloads. My hero Jack features in both my free read story and Strings Attached. I wrote the story ages before the book but Jack was too good a character to leave behind.

Keep an eye on the TWRP website for details of the free downloads. As soon as I have news of release dates I'll post them.
Happy reading