Monday, 11 November 2013

Onward and upward

As many of you will know, one of my aims in life is to have a book published in hard copy by the time I'm 50 so I can walk around Waterstones in Bolton, waving it under people's noses, giggling maniacally.
Well, as things stand, it sadly doesn't look like 'The Book That THEY...' is going to be the vehicle that will carry me to that nirvana of dream-fulfilment, more's the pity.
Sales appear, in the last couple of months, to have stalled. Despite my efforts, it has failed to capture the interest of the many influential book reviewers on the interweb. And, in spite of the fact that I've had nothing but positive comments and reviews from all those who have read it, it hasn't grabbed the attention of any publisher or literary agent that just happened to be panning in the river-bed of e-books, searching for a golden nugget or two.
As such, it seems like I am going to have to accept that 'The Book That THEY...', as good as it may be, is destined only to ever exist in electronic form, and that I'm going to have to satisfy myself with knowing that, for a week, I was rated number 13 in the Sci-Fi list on Amazon (in Spain, admittedly).
Oh well, c'est la vie, as they say.

But am I downhearted?
Of course not, for I'm already halfway through my awesome new novel (that's 50,000 words of deliciousness, my friends) and getting a real buzz from creating the backstory, developing the setting, bringing life to the characters and twisting and twirling the plot.
And that, I guess, is the thing I need to remember.
It's okay to set myself a goal, but I mustn't let that goal become the be all and end all. Striving for something has got to be at least as enjoyable and fulfilling, if not more so, as the eventual achievement of it. If it's not, and the aim is never actually fulfilled (which realism suggests is a possibility for anyone looking to get a book published), then the journey will not have been a pleasure. It will have been a chore. And why would I ever want to spend my free time doing something that's a chore?

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Back to the Drawing Board

Dies Caniculares
End of Dog
The Final Days of Man's Best Friend

These are just some of the names I was throwing around inside my head last night for a short story that I wrote a few months ago about a 'canine apocalypse'.
Indeed, once I'd decided upon a title, I was seriously thinking about publishing it via Smashwords so that I could offer it is a 'free taster' of my work and hopefully entice people to download 'The Book That THEY…'
I've even got the cover ready (it's based on the new profile picture of my Facebook page, I've Read It, Have You?)

But, by the time I was calling it a day last night, I'd changed my mind.
Well, when I was reading through the story for the first time in a few weeks, building into it some really good ideas provided by, amongst others, my fellow SF Masterworks aficionado, Dan-the-Man, I suddenly began to realise that I wasn't…it took me a few minutes to come up with the right word…engaged in the story, didn't feel immersed in what was going on; it was something which the lovely Jeanne had mentioned when she had read through it a couple of months ago, but which I had only come to realise now that I had come to re-read the text with the benefit of not having seen it for a while.

Of course, there was nothing wrong with the premise - it was fantastic, naturally.
It was just the style that was wrong. I had originally intended it to be read as if reading a newspaper article, and in many ways, I'd achieved that - it was just that such a style seemed to result in too much detachment from the story.

When I'd finished reading it, I found myself thinking 'So what?' because the absence of any characters in the tale left me without anything or anyone to either have empathy for, or even dislike; that, in turn, meant there was nothing to 'pull me in'.

So, it seems that a trip back the drawing board for this particular tale is required, which may be no bad thing in the long run, if what comes off the drawing board at some point in the future is better.
I'll keep you posted on progress.

As for the free taster idea - it's something I still want to do, but instead I may have a look at my other 'long' short story, The Seven Questions of Daniel Keys.