Shadowplay (Pantomime2) is Submitted!

ImageSo, a few days ago I pressed “send” and delivered Shadowplay to my editor at Strange Chemistry. It’ll be out on shelves in a little more than eight months, which is crazy to think.

It’s another one of those milestones in my fledgling writer’s life. I proved to myself that I could do it–I had more than one book in me, and I could write it over twice as fast as the other one. I could continue Micah Grey’s story and in the end, I’m really rather proud of how it turned out. In some ways, this is the beginning, as now it’ll start the process from manuscript to Real Book, but all in all, I’m pleased with my sequel. I think I raised the stakes and challenged myself as a writer. I definitely had my sticking points, overall the process wasn’t quite as difficult as I feared (I jinxed myself, though–my WIP is currently REALLY difficult to make up for it!).

Soon, I’ll go through the whole process I did with Pantomime again–more edits, a new cover, new blog posts, interviews, holding the ARC, reviews (though of course I have the fear that people won’t like the sequel as much as the first one! Ah!), seeing the finished books, sending it off into the world, hoping it flies.

But not quite yet. So, off goes my second book, which I can happily ignore for a bit while I get on with other projects, and keep dreaming and hoping.

Recent Events

I’ve done a couple of Pantomime events over the past few weeks.

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On April 13th, I had a signing at Waterstones in Aberdeen at the Langstane Branch. It was a quiet day in the store but I still met a few strangers and sold some books. It was really wonderful to meet Lee, the manager, Pamela, the amazing bookseller who kept me company, and Dawn, a fellow Robin Hobb fan. There’s still leftover signed copies in that branch, and evidently last week Pantomime was their #1 title in store! Yay!

sjcpls_logo_initials_smOn April 18th, I Skyped a library in Florida, St. Johns, and spoke to a few teens for their teen coffeehouse night. It was a really nice, relaxed event. One teen even read me one of his poems and another showed me his artwork. The librarian, Alexandra, has been an online friend for years, so it was so cool to be able to talk to her face-to-face and have a glimpse of where she works.

If you’re interested in an event, such as a school or library visit, either in person or via Skype, please get in touch via my contact form on this website.

Catch-up Post

Event!

I have a signing next Saturday, April 13, at the Waterstones (Langstane branch – the one by Bon Accord St) in Aberdeen. It starts at 1 pm, and it might go until 3, or until it seems like I’m just sitting there by myself. 😉 It’d be wonderful if you could come or tell people who might be interested about it. I’m numbering the first 500 signed copies of Pantomime, so who knows, maybe they’ll be an investment down the line 😉

Faceboook Event Page

Books read in March:

Geek Girl – Holly Smale (contemporary, YA, model, humour). I know Holly on Twitter and was just in the mood for a light fun read when this book came out. I devoured it in a day. Harriet Manners, self-proclaimed-geek-turned-model is clever and self-deprecating, and while the plot might be a bit predictable, it’s a fun journey. And if you think the idea of getting plucked from a mall to become a high fashion model sounds far-fetched–it happened to Holly!

Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan – Jake Adelstein (nonfiction, memoir, japan, crime). Craig read this about a year ago and I finally got around to reading it. It’s a really interesting look at a world I didn’t know much about.

Writing the Other – Nisi Shawl & Cynthia Ward (nonfiction, writing, diversity). Considering most of my writing addresses the notion of “the other” in some way, I thought I’d give this a quick read. I felt I learned a few things from it.

The Girls – Lori Lansen (contemporary, conjoined twins, canada). A beautifully written book about two conjoined twins growing up in rural Canada. One of my favourite reads this year.

Some stuff:

I had a nice review in SoSoGay magazine (reveals “spoilers”)

I had an interview at Pen to Paper, and Dani ran a giveaway for a signed copy of Pantomime.

That’s all for now. Finishing up edits on Shadowplay to give to my editor at the end of the month, plus lots of uni work. I do miss free time.

 

Guest Post: Mike Stewart on Adding a Dash of Transmedia to your Writing

Today on the blog I have my fellow Inkbot, Mike Stewart. The Inkbots are an online writing group from the people who made it to the later rounds of Angry Robot’s two Open Door months. Mike has just self-published his short YA novel, Assured Destruction, and it’s an ambitious experiment on transmedia. It’s a lot of work, and it’s really interesting to see all the various outlets he’s creating for people to interact with him, his characters, and his story, and I hope it pays off.  Here’s Mike!

MikesHeadDo you want to separate your writing from the pack? To rise above the noise? Why not employ a methodology used by major Hollywood Studios, from the creators of SUPERNATURALS to HEROES, to many major films and gaming franchises like Assassin’s Creed? It’s called transmedia!

So … Transmedia … WTF is it? The best definition I’ve ever seen is, Transmedia=Storyworld.

It’s every entry point for your readers to your story. I’m not talking where they can buy your book, or your Facebook fan page, those are marketing channels, not story … channels. Are your characters on twitter? Do they Facebook or create videos on Vimeo or YouTube? Maybe there’s a puzzle in your novel that readers can solve on an iPad app which unlocks back story? These are story extensions. Transmedia creates opportunities for readers to discover your book, to continue the story, and creates a feedback loop between fan and author.

Here’s an example, this is the Storyverse for my novel ASSURED DESTRUCTION.

The company in the book has a website, the protagonist has a blog, there’s a secret website to discover, a Facebook page and every character has a Twitter feed that reflects their personalities.

So, for example, if you follow @Heckleena, you’ll gain access to her graphic novel origin story. If you tweet at her, she’ll identify something about you to make fun of. She knows your location, whether you used an iPhone to tweet, what time of day you’re tweeting, where you live, and how many followers you have. All things she can mock, just like her character in the book. I also personally monitor all the Twitter feeds and respond where appropriate.

Transmedia is about collapsing the distance between the book and the reader. It also serves to reduce the distance to the author, so the writer can identify areas of particular interest and develop them further.

Wanna try it? Here are a few tips.

• Plan for it from the start. Should Moby Dick be a Facebook app? Should Shakespeare tweet? Maybe, but we can do better than gimmicks.
• Keep the book standalone. Don’t mess with the fictional dream. Have all content be additive to the overall experience, but not entirely necessary for a compelling story.
• Leverage existing platforms. Don’t make your readers have to find and sign into a new platform or forum. Develop content where the audience is (Hint: they’re on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube).
• This isn’t marketing, it’s storytelling.

If you want to learn more about transmedia and whether it’s working for me, like my Facebook page and you can keep track. Interested in ASSURED DESTRUCTION? See some reviews on Goodreads, or learn more on my website.

Have questions? Ask away!

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About Assured Destruction

You can learn a lot about someone looking through their hard drive…Sixteen-year-old Jan Rose knows that nothing is ever truly deleted. At least, not from the hard drives she scours to create the online identities she calls the Shadownet.

Hobby? Art form? Sad, pathetic plea to garner friendship, even virtually? Sure, Jan is guilty on all counts. Maybe she’s even addicted to it. It’s an exploration. Everyone has something to hide. The Shadownet’s hard drives are Jan’s secrets. They’re stolen from her family’s computer recycling business Assured Destruction. If the police found out, Jan’s family would lose its livelihood.

When the real people behind Shadownet’s hard drives endure vicious cyber attacks, Jan realizes she is responsible. She doesn’t know who is targeting these people or why but as her life collapses Jan must use all her tech savvy to bring the perpetrators to justice before she becomes the next victim.

“A fun, fast-paced thriller guaranteed to distract teens from Facebook for at least a little while.” –Kirkus Reviews

Find Mike elsewhere:
Website
Twitter
Facebook

About the Book:
Assured Destruction Series
Assured Destruction on Goodreads
Trailer

Get the Book:
Itunes, Kobo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Before I Wrote…I Drew

I was procrastinating on all the various things I should do and poking around what my FB page looks like to the public again. It’s sort of fun doing that because the only content that is visible is stuff from around 2007, so it’s like I step back in time. This time I found a link to a bunch of my artwork I had photographed and put up in a contest. They didn’t win. What’s sort of strange though is that some of the motifs I drew are now in my fiction.

I used to draw quite often. I found it soothing, and the intricate ones were especially good for my anxiety. I’d listen to music full blast and draw away, my mind wandering, feeling calm. Even if the pieces look anything other than calm.

When I have more time (if I ever have more time), I’d like to get back into art with ink and graphite instead of just art with the printed word.

There are more below the cut (warning: there’s one drawing of a nude woman):

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Continue reading Before I Wrote…I Drew