Tag Archives: self-publishing

Cover Reveal for ‘Imminent Danger and How to Fly Straight Into It’

So, blogging means you get to meet lots of nice and interesting folks, people who share your interests or who, in some way, make your life a nicer place. I’ve been luckier than most in that I’ve met – in the sense of online and real life encounters – some of the best people in my life through blogging.

One of these people is Canadian author Michelle Proulx, custodian of a great (and riff-tastically funny) blog. Today, she reveals the cover of her YA space opera novel, ‘Imminent Danger and How to Fly Straight Into It’ – and it’s a doozy.

Are you ready?

Artist: Ravven www.ravven.com

Artist: Ravven
http://www.ravven.com

I’m delighted to be helping Michelle with the relaunch of her novel. She is republishing it herself after a dramatic (and, at times, unsatisfactory) experience with her previous publishing company (here’s a representative post which will give you a flavour of the whole stressful drama!) and I hope you’ll agree it’s a beautiful piece of work.

So, best wishes to Michelle, and welcome to the world, new-and-beautiful ‘Imminent Danger’!

About ‘Imminent Danger and How to Fly Straight Into It’:

High school junior Eris Miller thinks she’s having a bad day when her roommate’s boyfriend catches her stepping out of the shower wearing nothing but a towel. Then she gets abducted by scaly six-armed aliens with a strange fondness for the color blue, and her day suddenly gets a whole lot worse.
Trapped on a spaceship bound for the slave markets of Sirius B, Eris fears she’ll never see her home again. But then fate whisks her away from her reptilian captors and into the arms of Varrin, a fast-talking space pirate who promises to deliver her safely back to Earth. He claims to have her best interests at heart, but Eris soon discovers that her charming rescuer has a hidden agenda.
As they race across the galaxy, outrunning a villainous figure from Varrin’s past, Eris begins to realize that their relationship is putting her planet, her life, and her heart in imminent danger. She knows that trusting Varrin could prove deadly … but what other choice does she have?
About Michelle Proulx:
Michelle Proulx was born on the market moon of Vega Minor where she spent her formative years reading, writing, and gambling at illegal underground jsgarn fighting rings. While en route to Alpha Centauri, Michelle crash-landed her space yacht on the planet Earth. She now lives in Canada and divides her time between observing the local fauna and repairing her star ship.
Author Michelle Proulx. Say hi!

Author Michelle Proulx. Say hi!

The War on Distraction

So, lately I’ve been feeling a little panicked. I’m not too worried about the feeling of being panicked itself, as such – I think it’s pretty normal to be nervous when you’ve made the choices I’ve made, and you’ve picked the slenderest branch of all to cling to. Still, though – feeling panicked is nasty, in and of itself, and I don’t like going through it.

I’m worried about my future, of course, and my husband’s and my financial security as time goes by. I’m worried, in my deepest moments of despair, that I’ve made the wrong choice (when I’m thinking more rationally, I realise I haven’t, of course, and that there’s nothing else on this earth I’m able to do better than what I’m doing right now), and I worry pretty much all the time that I’m not good enough to walk this path I’ve chosen. This manifests itself in various ways – I’m still sick at the moment, for instance, which I feel is significant. I’m normally the kind of person who shrugs off colds and flus and infections, but this one is proving harder to shift. Perhaps my body is metaphorically ‘circling its wagons’, waiting for the next attack, and doesn’t have any resources free to help me fight away the bugs.

I’m also experiencing a strange phenomenon, one I think I dislike very much indeed.

Image: scrapbookladypages.com

Image: scrapbookladypages.com

I’m normally a ‘start a job and see it through’ type of person; I’m not a quitter. I always do my best and I try to bring the same amount of effort to everything I do, whether it’s writing a short story or cleaning the bathroom. Over the past few days, though, I’ve been finding myself distracted at every turn by new ‘ideas’ – storylets, ones which may never have enough strength to stand on their own, but which are new and exciting and interesting and extremely demanding of my attention. I should be working on ‘Eldritch’, getting it fixed up and sorted out and ready to ship off; it’s a good little story, but there are issues with it that really need to be addressed, not least with its structure. Instead, I find my mind embroiling itself in the political and social structure of an entirely new world which is starting to unfurl behind my eyes, and searching through it for a tale that needs telling. I’m quashing my inner voice which is yelling at me that this is the story to write – this one will sell and it will work and it will be brilliant.

But I know what it truly means. I’m not being visited by the Super Inspiration Fairy from the Planet Amazing. It’s my brain trying to veer away from dealing with my real life issues, namely: I need to get something written, finished, polished, polished a bit more, checked one last time, and sent away for other eyes to read. I need to stop starting things, and start stopping things – or, in other words, focus on the work I’ve already begun, and get it finished to the highest level of professional accomplishment I can reach, and then let it go out into the world. I don’t want to dismiss my new ideas completely, and undeniably, it’s difficult to put them in a back pocket, so to speak, and have them ready to come back to when an opportunity presents itself, but it has to be done. I wish I had a big enough brain to work on everything, all at the same time, but I feel splitting my attention like that might make everything suffer.

However, I’m also a planner, and a list-maker, and a systematic sort of person. I get great satisfaction from ticking things off, knowing I’ve reached a particular goal, and that it’s a certain percentage of the way towards my ultimate goal. While procrastinating via distracting myself with new stories is, I feel, a destructive thing masquerading as a constructive thing, making lists of agents, publishers, dates, deadlines, competitions and so on can be a constructive thing – so long as I don’t let it get out of hand. In this regard, I have the greatest help imaginable in my husband, who shows me such loving support by actually telling me he enjoys looking things up for me on the internet and making me lists of competitions to enter and places to submit. What better help could I wish for? He’s the best defence I have against the war of attrition that Distraction is waging upon me right now, and I am so glad to have him by my side.

So, the plan today is: focus on getting better and feeling stronger, gently make note of any new ideas that bubble up in a panicked froth from the gurgling lake of my subconscious before putting them away somewhere safe, and, most critically, finish ‘Eldritch.’ I can’t do all of this at once, of course, but I need to stop allowing my attention to be divided. I don’t want to become a person who starts plenty, and finishes little. It’s never happened before, and it won’t start happening now.

Time to get to work.

Image: theheroinesbookshelf.com

Image: theheroinesbookshelf.com

Too Much?

I’ve just read an interesting blog post which gave some advice to aspiring authors. The first thing the blogger recommends is not to post any of your writing on the internet, including in a regular blog. This is because, the blogger says, most of what people write on their blogs is not really ready for public consumption. I suppose she (the blogger) sees incomplete or poorly written blog posts as millstones around an aspiring author’s neck.

Perhaps she’s right.

I put a lot of effort into my blog posts, and I take my time over them every morning. Even so, of course, errors creep in and badly phrased sentences pop up here and there, or I write something in a way I’m not completely happy with. In an age when a person can go from having a very long Word document on their computer to having a published book via Kindle Direct Publishing in under 24 hours, and when it takes only seconds to publish work to a blog, I think I can see the wisdom of this blogger’s point of view. It’s always better to take your time, not give away too much of your writing too soon (and for too little, perhaps), and to make sure your writing is of the highest possible standard before you release it into the world. It doesn’t pay to be hasty, perhaps, when the written word is on the line; one-click publishing means that all those errors made in the enthusiastic rush of writing a book don’t get a chance to be fixed, and instead end up in your shiny new e-book, tormenting readers and destroying their faith in literature, and in you as a writer. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to ensure quality across the board, even with something like writing – after all, it’s a product like any other. But, somehow, I feel a little bit sad about thinking this way.

I like to blog, you see.

I usually like to kick-start my writing day by posting here on ‘Clockwatching…’ before I get stuck into the meat of my WiP. That’s not to say that my blog is merely a dumping ground for any old nonsense, just to get me in gear for my ‘real’ work – the writing I do here is entirely different from the work I’m doing on my current project, and it’s good to write in different styles. It’s like stretching different muscles, surely? That, to me, is the value of a blog. I think writing here has improved my style, and it certainly helps me to think. When you know you have to come up with enough material to fill a blog post on a regular basis, your brain gets used to looking for inspiration everywhere and coming up with ideas.

So, those are the reasons I blog. As well as all that, I enjoy connecting with the people who read and comment regularly on my blog – it’s wonderful to feel you’re reaching people via the medium of words.

What do you think about this advice? Do you think aspiring authors should not blog, or (if they simply must) that they only blog once in a while, when they have a perfectly crafted jewel of a post? What do you think the benefits (and, perhaps, drawbacks) of blogging are?

Thanks for reading – happy Friday, and have a wonderful weekend.

Well, we can all dream!

Well, we can all dream! Have a relaxing time, whatever you do.