The Making Of The Blurb for Ocean Heart

I enjoyed creating my blurb. It’s the little short enticing summary that goes on the back cover of a printed book.

Over the years I’ve tweaked it but now I’m self publishing it was important to get feedback from others.

This post is going to share with you my original blurb through to the final version. I hope you find the feedback useful for writing any blurb.

ORIGINAL

Tag line:  

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to “It’s complicated!”

Blurb:

One kiss is all it took to wake Mariah’s weather manipulation powers.

Mariah is crushing on her best friend, rivalling with the swim team star and her guardian Gwyn is meddling in her life using magic.  Mariah is about to discover she’s a mermaid with dangerous powers. 

When your love life’s a mess and your deadly powers are connected to your emotions, it gives a new meaning to “It’s complicated.”

ELEXIS VERSION 

The first offer help was author Elexis Bell. She has published several novels, and various genres.

Okiedoke. If it’s at the end, I might leave mermaid out of the blurb. But that’s just me. Also, I love the play on words with being a mermaid bringing new depth to it’s complicated. I only dropped it from the blurb because it’s already going to be on the front of the book.

Here’s what I came up with. If you don’t like it (or only like parts of it), no worries. 😊

Blurb:

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Especially with her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

When a single kiss reveals Mariah’s true form, she learns that mixing a messy love life with deadly powers fuelled by emotion might be more than she bargained for.

AMENDED VERSION 1

Blurb:  

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Especially with her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers might be more than she bargained for.

OR

Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers is an imminent disaster waiting to happen.  

OR

Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers is just the start of a brewing storm of trouble.  

Then I received feedback from Marketing Genius Michelle Raab, and Romantic Suspense author Cassidy Reyne, and Editor and Epic Fantasy author Kara S Weaver.

MICHELLE’S SUGGESTIONS

More than she could have imagined … ?

CASSIDY SUGGESTIONS 

…can cause/create/whip up a storm of trouble?

KARA’S SUGGESTIONS 

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team’s star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple. Throw her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets in the mix, ordinary comes close, but all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later and it is then Mariah discovers she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers is just the start of a brewing storm. Will Mariah be able to contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

AMENDED VERSION

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.

Blurb: 

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Especially with her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Will Mariah be able to contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

KARA FEEDBACK 

There’s a lot of will going on in the last sentence….

Can Mariah contain it, or will she be… that might help some

AMENDED VERSION

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.

Blurb: 

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Especially with her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

Then Contemporary Fantasy author J D Groom offered some suggestions…

JODIE’S COMMENT

I like it! I’m not sure about the middle paragraph though 🤔

Something about starting with ‘especially’ doesn’t sit right.

Maybe something like, ‘Added to that her guardian, Gwyn, is using magic to keep secrets…’ etc

AMENDED VERSION

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.

Blurb: 

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Added to that, her guardian, Gwyn is using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

Then, I noticed during the edits I’d lost a speech mark. I was also running every edit past my hubby and his best mate Dale to get their feedback too. It was done & I sent it to my cover designer…

Except, my Cover Designer (Original Book Cover Designs) had feedback for me too. I was not done.

She had a whole formula to share with me and examples of where it had been done well to illustrate what she meant. She really had gone above and beyond what I’d commissioned her for. But, it’s too long for this post & I didn’t seek her permission to share her secrets. But, it meant more editing…


AMENDED VERSION 

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.’

Blurb: 

Mariah is a regular highschool teen, or that’s what she thinks.  With a crush on her best friend, and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Added to that, her guardian is using magic to keep Mariah safe from a probable future of reapers coming for a soul, or merblood being spilt by a vengeful werewolf. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

A gripping story about a mermaid, first love, and self acceptance. Join Mariah as she awakens!

As it had been edited I sought more feedback. Cassidy, Kara and Richenda were able to give me pointers.

AMENDED VERSION 2 

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.’

Blurb: 

Highschool teen Mariah’s life is anything but simple.  With a crush on her best friend, and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, her powers awaken early.  

Mariah’s guardian meddles in her life with magic attempting to keep her safe from the soul reapers, and a werewolf hunting merblood.  But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later. Mariah is about to discover she’s a mermaid! 

Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

An exciting coming of age story about a mermaid and romance that literally sparks.  

FEEDBACK FROM KARA

Blurb: 

Highschool teen Mariah’s life is anything but simple.  Between a crush on her best friend, and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, her powers awaken early.  

Mariah’s guardian meddles in her life with magic attempting to keep her safe from the soul reapers, and a werewolf hunting merblood. (This is an odd sentence. You kinda want a ‘When a…. , she …’ structure to build up tension. Like: When Mariah’s guardian meddles in her life with magic to keep her safe from the soul reapers and a merblood hunting werewolf, she learns there’s more to this world he is not willing to share). But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later (, and she’s about to discovers hers!). Mariah is about to discover she’s a mermaid! 

Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

A gripping story about a mermaid, self acceptance, and romance that literally sparks.

Hi Allison,

Sorry, I had a look at your blurb and I thought it could use a bit of tightening to amp up the tension in the text. Sorry if I’m too forward, I just want to help.

Kara also spotted during the edits that an apostrophe had been lost.

FINAL VERSION:  

I thought I was finally done and sent it off to my cover designer again. Then, I spotted that ‘high school’ didn’t have a space. 😂

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Behind the Character: Mariah

Swoon Reads

Why you need a developmental editor!

http://allyaldridge.com/books/ocean-heart/

Now you can PreOrder Ocean Heart!

I can’t believe I’m finally at this point where I can share this excellent news!

Ocean Heart is available everywhere!

eBook

If you enjoy reading on an electronic device you’ll be pleased to know you can read Ocean Heart. PreOrder it for Kindle, iBooks, Kobo or Google Play. Many of these have free apps so you can also read on a Smart Phone.

Preorder it here!

Online

You can order the paperback version online from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Shop

Traditional brick & mortar shops can stock Ocean Heart. They choose what to order for their shelves. This is a great way to support your local bookstores.

If you can’t see it on the shelf, you can request they order it in. They’ll be able to find it in the Ingram Sparks catalogue, but to make it easier for them share the ISBN below.

My local bookstore Stillwater Books has agreed to a non-contact book signing. You can preorder Ocean Heart through them, I’ll pop in and sign it. They will then deliver it to your doorstep in Felixstowe (or surrounding areas).

Library

The next challenge will be to get it into libraries so it can be accessible to everyone.

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this you will like:

Behind the Character: Mariah

Author Q and A – Ally Aldridge

Soul Heart Readers – Street Team

Books

Behind the Character: Jace

This post is part of my series to introduce the main characters of Ocean Heart to you and what my editor said.

The next character to make an appearance is neighbour, best friend, and love interest, Jace Walker.

Ocean Heart: Jace Walker

Role in Ocean Heart: Confidant/Love Interest (As Mariah’s long time BFF she can tell him anything … well, almost anything .)

Jace Walker

Jace is really close to his mum. It’s been just the two of them, his dad left before he was born.

He’s dreaming of heading off to uni, and wants his mum to have someone before he goes.

He loves seeing her with her fiancé but when they decide to move he knows his neighbour Mariah will find this hard. Jace also knows he needs to encourage Mariah to not be so dependent on her.

What my editor said…

My editor pointed out how Jace and Mariah have a friendship through convenience. With no interests to hold them together, Jace doesn’t try that hard to stay in touch.

My editor suggested adding in some shared interests but this is a fundamental problem with their relationship. Their more like brother & sister, until hormones complicate things.

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this you will like:

Why you need a developmental editor!

Art Breeder for Character Development

Behind the Character: Mariah

My Books

Behind the Character: Mariah

I’m going to do a series of posts to introduce the main characters of Ocean Heart to you and what my editor said.

It only seems right to start with Mariah, after all she is the main character…

Ocean Heart: Mariah Turner

Role in Ocean Heart: Protagonist (Main Character)

Mariah Turner

Mariah has always felt like she doesn’t fit in and relies a lot on her best friend Jace to carry her in social situations.

Mariah lives with Gwyn, her eccentric mum who predicts the future and insists on casting spells, mostly to control Mariah.

Next door are the Walker’s and her best friend Jace. Born only days apart, Mariah can’t remember a day without him.

Mariah is secretly crushing on Jace. She’s terrified of loosing him and will do anything to get him to see her, not only as a friend.

Mariah longs to swim but can’t. She has a rare condition that causes her skin to breakout in a strange rash. She must always wear her allergy bracelet.

What my editor said…

Avery McDougall had the following to say about Mariah in the Developmental Report.

The report gave me suggestions to improve the character but it was the first time I got to see her described by someone else…

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this you will like:,

Why you need a developmental editor!

Art Breeder for Character Development

Tips for Naming Your Character

How NOT to start a novel!

Book Review: Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

I picked up this novel from YALC 2019. I love mermaids and I love a well developed villain.

Blurb

The fairy tale you thought you knew…

The story of the Sea Witch, the villainess from Hans Christian Anderson’s classic tale The Little Mermaid, told from the viewpoint of the Sea Witch when she was a twelve-year-old girl…

Evie has been wracked with guilt ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned. So when a girl appears on shore with an uncanny resemblance to Anna, Evie befriends her in an effort to make amends. And as the two girls catch the eyes – and hearts – of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at happy ever after. But is Evie’s new friend really who she says she is?

A gripping story of friendship, betrayal and the power of hope…

Beginning

The story starts by introducing the three friends Evie, Anna, and Nik (aka the Crown Prince). The childhood friends are running along the beach and playing in a cove until there’s an accident. Evie risks her life to save Nik. Evie cracks her head on a rock. Her friends rush her home to her family that know magic and her mother gives her life to save Evie.

We then jump to Nik’s sixteenth birthday taking place on a ship. It reminded me of the scene from the start of Disney’s little mermaid. Anna isn’t here as she died in a tragic accident. This did confuse me a little as I thought I’d missed something because the only tragic accident I knew about was the one above, and Anna was fine.

A storm comes and Nik is washed overboard. Evie and his playboy cousin Iker search the tide for him, hoping he’s been washed ashore. Evie spots Nik first, he’s with a girl, but in a flash she is gone.

Middle

Evie is a witch but hides her magic because it’s punishable by death. The story covers lots of celebrations including one where wicker dolls to symbolize witches are thrown into the fire.

Evie meets a mysterious girl that is a dead ringer for her friend Ana who tragically died, taken by the sea, during a swimming challenge gone wrong. The new girl claims to be Annemette.

Annemette reveals to Evie she too has magic, and confesses to being a mermaid. It was her that saved Nik when he almost drowned and she fell in love and had to come to land for true love. She has limited time to get true loves kiss or return to the sea as foam.

Annemette is in luck because, as Nik’s BFF, she’s the one girl with access to him. But, Evie is poor and shunned away by the elite as unsuitable, so she’s not usually invited into the palace. Evie lies, and says Annemette is from a well off family, and Annemette uses her magic to create herself (and Evie), fine dresses. As a result, they are invited to stay at the palace.

Evie encourages Nik to date Annemette. She reminds her so much of her lost friend, she’ll do anything for her. Evie starts dating Iker. Nik isn’t too pleased about this, due to Iker’s reputation and there is a hint of jealous. Evie knows her and Nik can only ever be friends due to her heritage.

While Iker keeps kissing Evie, Nik holds back with Annemette. As the days pass, Nik starts expressing his suspicions more and more causing friction.

Evie searches for another way to break the curse. She starts practising her magic more, becoming stronger.

During all of this, there are flashbacks. These sometimes reveal Evie’s pasts, and sometimes the Little Mermaids and her life bebeathe the waves.

End

Time is running out! In Evie’s desperation she tells Nik, Annemette is a mermaid. Annemette is not impressed, so, she reveals Evie is a which! Iker over heals and demands the guards arrest her.

The girls run. Evie is still determined to save Annemette and believes she’s figured out the spell. It turns out Annemette has her own ideas to stay human & it has nothing to do with kissing Nik.

It’s during these final pages, Nik confesses he never had eyes for Annemette, he has always loved Evie. Annemette takes Nik’s life, making her human. But, as a human she’s vulnerable. Evie is shot with arrows and pulls Annemette down into the water. She holds her down until her last breath. Her friend, dead again.

Evie doesn’t die. With all the magic swirling in the water, she merges with an octopus and becomes the Sea Witch.

Final Thoughts

I loved the story telling. Sarah Henning set the novel in Denmark where it was from originally. She brought to life the Danish coast, and a fishing village rich in customs. There were moments that were so vivid, and I loved the fresh take on a classic fairy tale.

There wasn’t a happily ever after. I really wanted to see her with the crown prince & show those snobs that their love is more powerful. But, I guess I should have expected it. I kept looking at the cover and wondering where the famous sea witch was, and she was Evie.

The sea witch is usually the villain but in her own story she wasn’t. I liked Evie and I felt sorry for her fate. I’ll have to read book 2, Sea Witch Rising, to see if things improve for her.

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

If you like this, you’ll enjoy:

Book Review: Deepest Blue by Sarah Beth Durst

Book Review: Forgotten Scars by Natalie J Reddy

Book Review: Sorceress of Truth by J D Groom

Why I Love YALC!

Camp NaNo July 2020

I’m taking part! Or, so I say…

I’m doing the challenge with World IndieWarriors and set my goals as follows:

  1. Write the ending of Sky Heart (book 2) – estimated 20k words
  2. Finish reading my two current reads (Agent Undone by Cassidy Reyne, and Sea Witch by Sarah Henning)
  3. Complete Storyseller Academy course

About Sky Heart

Slow Start

1 July

I’ve barely started! So, at the end of June I was sending Ocean Heart (book 1) to my editor but fear struck. It was ready a week early but I kept reading it through, checking it, worrying whether it is good enough. When I was still doing this is July, I realised what I was doing and hit send… at almost midnight.

2 July

So, I started a day late. When I looked at chapter 24 of Sky Heart (book 2) I couldn’t remember what was going on. It dawned on me that it’s been too long, I need to reread it all to get my hear back in the story. I may not get to write this month 😢.

3 July

I was introduced to a website called Art Breeder. OMG this website is addictive! At first my ‘breeds’ were not quite right but the more I played the better I got.

Top row – Mariah, Jace; Bottom row – Murray, Kiely

4 July

Today, I’ve been working on blog posts and reading (a little). Blog posts weren’t part of my NaNo goal but reading was. Finally started on Camp NaNo 😂.

Reflecting

I think if it wasn’t Camp NaNo, I would have taken a break this month to reflect on finishing Ocean Heart.

I’m nervous about what is next and still have a lot to learn and publishing it is my annual priority goal.

You’ll notice I’ll be more laid back about my goals this month. As always, any progress is good but I’m more interested in the social aspect of the challenge.

It’s a great way to connect with other writers. If I can encourage another creative towards achieving their goals, that’s still a win. And once I’ve rejuvenated I’ll come back stronger.

If you enjoyed this, you will enjoy:

Author Q and A – Ally Aldridge

Writing Progress: May

Camp NaNo Progress

12 tips for self editing

Writing Progress: May

This a summary of the highs and lows of my writing this month.

Editing Ocean Heart

Maybe I’m too ambitious but I’ve not achieved the word count I wanted to. I had a few days feeling rundown and a few days where the heat gave me a killer headache.

And, editing isn’t something you can rush. I’ve worked on 4 chapters that needed a lot of work. They are important chapters in the novel so it was vital they made the right impact.

I’ve edited 25k words and my total is now 52k words edited. I’ve reached chapter 18 (or 21 in the original draft). I’m just over halfway through.

World Indie Warriors Brochure

This month I started work on the new look for the summer brochure. It’s the third edition and due to be released by end of June.

I’m please to report the brochure is mostly done. I’m just waiting for certain Indies to confirm their section is correct and waiting on a special feature. The deadline is end of May, so if they don’t reply I’ll just do the final touches and ensure it’s released at the end of June.

Lockdown, Furlough & Home Schooling

At the end of April I went on Furlough. It hasn’t freed up my time to write more but it has alleviated pressure where my kids are concerned.

The extra time does make me miss those I can’t visit more and wish I could take the kids somewhere fun or go our for a nice meal with my husband. But, being more available helps make homeschooling more enjoyable for my son and easier for me. Plus, I’m getting more time with my little girl.

The Government are trying to get kids back into school. One year group chosen to go back is my son’s. He’s just settled into homeschooling and I don’t want to unsettle him again when in a few weeks it’ll be the school holidays. So, for now, I’ve chosen to keep him home.

But, we are all safe and healthy and that is most important.

Learning New Skills

There are lots of opportunities to learn at the moment. OU & Google have collaborated together to create a FREE Digital Marketing course.

I have not had time to look anymore at the course or content. Once the brochure is done, I’m hoping I will have some free time to appreciate my access to this fabulous course.

Summary

For someone who felt like they didn’t achieve anything, I can see that I actually did make progress. I just wish I’d managed to fit in more editing as I want to reach the next step on my publishing journey.

If you enjoyed this, check out: 

Why I chose to self publish

Progress February

Progress January

My big plans for 2020

To discover more ways to connect, click my link tree. 

Book Review: Mermaid School

This review is of an ARC copy of Mermaid School by Lucy Courtenay from Net Galley. My review has not been influenced and is my honest thoughts.

For starters, I know I am not the target audience for this book but here are two truths about me:

  1. I love mermaids.
  2. I love books for kids.

This is an early chapter book and doesn’t take long to read. The text is broken up with sketches of what is going on in the story.

Beginning

The main character is Marnie. She is feeling nervous about her first day at school. Marnie tries to hide who she is to fit in.

Certain teachers assume Marnie will be trouble due to her wild aunt Christabel’s reputation . Her aunt is also a radio celebrity which earns Marnie cool points with some students.

By the end of day one, Marnie has succeeded in making her first friend, Pearl, and her first enemy, Orla.

Middle

Marnie’s mum and aunt give her advice on handling Orla. Somehow their advice gets Marnie into trouble. Now Marnie has to muck out the seahorse stables.

Orla’s bad attitude is not making her popular with any of the other mermaids either. During an outburst, Orla reveals what her problem with Marnie is. Orla’s sister is missing in a dangerous storm and wouldn’t have been working there if Christabel had played the demo tape as promised.

Marnie decides she wants to help Orla. She goes to the studio with Pearl to look for the demo tape but can’t find it.

End

Things get worse. Orla’s sister is found – yay – but, now Orla is missing. Marnie has an idea, and together with Pearl they rescue Orla.

Marnie realises where the missing demo tape is. She finds it. Christabel plays it and offers Orla’s sister a job.

There’s also an extra chapter that reveals a final secret. Shh!

Thoughts

There are lots of fishy puns that reminded me of a YA novel I read called Forgive My Fins. The puns worked better in this MG book due to the age of the characters.

The story gently deals with issues like fitting in, bullying, friendship and being kind. The fantasy setting is brilliant. A lot of thought has gone into the sort of classes a mermaid would have and the way their world operates.

It’s a sweet story and will likely appeal to young girls looking to read their first chapter books.

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

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Pop Up Books

Felixstowe Book Festival: Children’s Events (2019)

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An Alice in Wonderland Themed Birthday

Camp NaNo Progress – days 11 to 20

I finished day 10 days by editing chapter 4. This update is on how the middle of April has gone (days 11 to 20).

I started off by celebrating how well the first 10 days had gone by watching Contagion with my husband.

Chapter 5 and 6 needed more work than I expected. This slowed my progress and affected my motivation. I got them done but I felt like I was getting nowhere fast.

Then, I literally was getting nowhere. I was so exhausted in the evenings that I wasn’t doing any editing. I read. I attended online writers meets. But, I wasn’t editing. I realised I needed a break and took a night off to watch The Quiet Place with my hubby.

I’ve been using Google Docs and a Trial of Dabble Writer. I really love Dabble writer but can’t use it on my mobile. On the last day of my trial, they released the Dabble Writer App for mobiles. I really liked it and was very tempted to buy it.

I finished day 20 by completing my edits for chapter 7. I’m frustrated with myself as it’s not as far as I’d hoped for.

Here are my responses to World Indie Warriors Instagram photo challenge:

#NationalPetDay – My Cats

I have two cats, Evie and Gracie.

Evie

Evie has the nickname Evie Knievel for all her dangerous antics and vet visits as a kitten. She thought she was the neighbourhood vigilante. Thankfully, she is more chilled now.

Gracie

Gracie looks very elegant, like a Burmese Blue but she’s just a moggy and shows her true colours when she’s fed. Greedie-Gracie-Guzzlechops sings for her super and scoffs it down like a pig, with the snorting noises.

Favourite writer memes

There are so many but I thought it might be fun to make my own up.

Here is my “Aspiring Indie Author” meme, inspired by the ‘What I do…’ memes.

Aspiring Indie Author

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Age 5. As soon as I learned books were written by someone, I knew I wanted to be that someone. My first stories would be classed as fan fiction as they featured characters from Orchard Tree books and were about more magic key adventures.

Plotter/Pantser/Plantser

I think I’m a Plantser. I’m somewhere in the middle.

For a long time I would just pants my way through a novel. Sometimes I’d write a brief outline. But, I was just writing for fun, for me, and it didn’t matter if it was any good.

It wasn’t until I decided I would try and publish that I realised what a mess my manuscript was in. And how much I hate editing. I realised I need to plot more to reduce editing.

I invested in Save The Cat and it showed me how to plot. It’s been a game changer and I now use it before starting a novel. I still write a brief outline and only plot one Act at a time, not the whole novel.

I like the freedom of pantsing too much to plot every detail. In my plotting, I still allow myself some gaps to fill. An element of surprise is the fun part of creating.

MidMonth Check In – How’s It Going

I’ve split the month into thirds. So, on my blog I’m sharing how I got on at the 10 day mark, 20 day mark and 30 day mark. But, I gave a mid month check in on Instagram.

Indie or traditional publishing?

I’ve spent a long time chasing the Traditional route. It appealed because I wanted validation from someone in the industry. I wanted someone to support me with guidance on what to do when and with access to the resources I needed. I wanted publishing and marketing done for me.

But, now, I am pursuing indie publishing.

As a member of World Indie Warriors I am not alone. Many other members have published successfully before me and are willing to share their experience on what worked (or didn’t) and the best resources. I am also doing Pagan Malcom’s Story Seller Academy course which is full of useful information. I now struggle with time to digest it all but I know what I’m doing or who to ask for help.

The biggest hurdle was a change in mindset. The moment I decided I no longer need validation to be good enough because I know I am. With that, I no longer needed permission to publish. I will publish when I want.

As for the marketing… it turns out I really enjoy it. I love talking about my writing and connecting with others. I love sharing book reviews and recommending books. My creative side loves making images to support my content. One day, I’m hoping to make videos too.

It is hard to find the money to invest in myself but when someone says, “What do you want for your birthday?” My answer is money. It goes in my publishing pot. I keep adding to it. It’s not much but little by little it grows. One day, this pot will by my published book(s).

#FactFriday – Tell us something interesting about yourself?

I’m a pretty open person that I’ve probably already shared anything remotely interesting already.

I am a natural redhead. I now love my hair and embrace it as part of my identity but that wasn’t always the case.

Favourite Indie Book?

Campfire stories: Any local myths/legends

My favourite folk story is about the green children of Woolpit, Suffolk. During the 12th Century, a boy and a girl appeared. Nobody knew where they came from and they could not speak a word of English. But, the most bizarre detail was that they had green skin and would only eat green beans.

As they learned to eat different foods they became a more normal colour. They were baptised but sadly the boy died shortly after. The girl learnt to speak English and told of the place she came from called Saint Martin where everyone was green. The girl was called Agnes and married Richard Barre.

I discovered the story because I fell in love with Michael Talbot’s faeries. I’ve collected many. The original three were my favourite and has green skin (but, I only own one of these). When I learned the factory allowed tours, I planned a day out for my mum and boyfriend to come with me. We saw the faeries being made & hand painted & their delicate wings crafted. Afterwards, we visited the local church when I happened upon a leaflet about the Green Children of Woolpit.

My favourite film is Labyrinth. I discovered the artist behind the film was Brian Froud. I bought his books and one of them contains a story about The Green children of Woolpit.

The Green Children are special to me. They inspired two of my favourite artists and filled my heart with wonder.

If you ever switched genres, what would you switch to?

I’ve written most genres but there are some that I’d like to give more attention.

Current plot bunnies include a dark fantasy, an erotic paranormal romance, a contemporary YA, dystopia sci-fi, a children’s chapter book and more picture books.

I like magic, fantasy and sci-fi in stories so I am unlikely to write a novel that is a cosy mystery, crime or a thriller. But, I’d never say never.

I would love to see your answers to the above. Let me know if you are taking part on IG or posting somewhere else.

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