Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The thrill of getting it written down

At the moment, I’m completely wired; like I’ve drunk tonnes of cans of Red Bull. I’ve been working into the wee small hours on a piece of work for the past few weeks and finally it’s time to send my baby off into the world.

Before the fear begins as I wait for a response, I’m just so hyper that I’ve got it finished. Exhausted but hyper.

This would seem like a good time to have a rest, get lost in someone else’s books (reading is my favourite leisure activity), but instead I’ll get stuck into writing something else because this is the best time to write: when you’re psyched up by what you believe is work well done and haven’t had a no. Yet.

Leave the writing to a time when it feels like all you’ve been doing is getting doors slammed in your face and told you're not worthy, and it will be like trying to go the wrong way up an escalator.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Why you need to care about your characters

I currently know there's…

A naked man tied to a bed with a ball in his mouth as a femme fatale with murder in her heart struts up and down the room deciding what to do to him.

A detective who thinks he's going nuts because his pal, who's been in a catatonic state since he was stabbed multiple times by a broken bottle, has begun talking to him something which only happens when no one is around.

A woman and her boyfriend who has just got into a car with Britain's first white suicide bomber who's chosen the wrong day: the zombies have arrived.

No, there's no need to call the authorities. These people aren't real; they are characters in novels I'm writing.

Characters they may be but they have become real to me. I care about them. I care what happens to them, which means when I leave them in a precarious situation I want to see what happens to them. I want to see how they get out of the mess I put them in.

If you're starting to think your characters aren't good enough, ask yourself: do I care about them? If the answer is no then maybe it's time to rip them up and start again because if you don't care about your characters why would anyone else?

Friday, 9 September 2011

The dreaded author photograph

The updated version of my bullying book is out and I hate the author picture. I wanted to look authorative, stylish, approachable.

Instead I look like none of those things. My head is so big I look like a Gonk* (a small, furry soft toy).

I read somewhere that readers like authors to look friendly, so you should smile in the picture. I tried that and ended up looking like a grinning buffoon.

I took the smile down a notch and realised I looked like the kind of woman who buried men under her patio. 

Not my author photo
Speaking to other writers I know I’m not alone in dreading that author picture.

The autors who actually seem to like theirs, or, at least feel okay about theirs, have:
  1. Gotten their photo done professionally.
  2. Or been born looking like a model.
How did my photo turn out? Guess you’ll have to buy the book.

But, I will tell you one thing – the picture was taken on a bad day and from my bad side not my good side. And, oh, since it was taken I have morphed into Jennifer Aniston.

To read more about Gonks, visit the Gonk Appreciation Socity on Facebook.

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