Catch up with a cuppa Ko-Fi (July 2022)

Here is the low down on what I posted on Ko-Fi last month, so you don’t miss out!

Sky Heart – Briefed my cover designer

Taking those next steps towards publishing book two is very exciting. It’s still a way off, but I’ve reached out to my cover designer to discuss ideas and book in.

Content Creation

An update on what I was doing in July. Originally I’d toyed with the idea of doing a project for Camp NaNo.

Instead, I was busy planning my husband’s secret party, and attending all the end of school/nursery events for my kids.

In the end, I was working on remaining present on social media by developing content. This included opportunities to feature in Felixstowe Magazine and interviews with other bloggers.

Smashwords Summer Sale (July)

I posted at the start and end of July to make people aware that Ocean Heart was in the Smashwords sale at 50% off. This needed some prompting and content to spread the word.

Coming Soon – Author Diaries

I’ve also been busy working on this collaborative project, and developing content to start promoting.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel and stay tuned for more info coming soon.

Follow me on Ko-Fi

It’s free to follow me on Ko-Fi and be sure you don’t miss out on my latest news, or any freebies. You can buy me a virtual cuppa or merchandise from my shop, including a signed copy of my book.

[Kofi]

More About Sky Heart

Check out my Live Stream Team

I hope you were able to watch my recent series of Live Streams. The last one was earlier this week for my Ocean Heart launch party.

My Stream Team have been amazing, and we’ve had lots of fun learning Stream Yard together and getting to know each other better. But, I want to give you a chance to discover more about them too.

Stream Team

J D Groom

Jodie is an author with two series out and working on another. She has done Behind the Book interviews for Envy and Sorceress of Truth.

https://youtu.be/4kPjHHYy42g

Elexis Bell

Elexis has written a number of dark fantasy stand alones. Elexis has done Behind the Book interviews about Annabelle, Soul Bearer, Gem of Meruna, A World For The Broken, and A Heart of Salt & Silver. She enjoys digital design and creating her own character art.

https://youtu.be/AcZnNVtyWiY

H.B. Lyne

Holly is the Urban Fantasy author of the Shifters of Caerton series. You can buy the full set or individually. She’s also author of the Goal Setting For Writers book, runs a popular podcast called Unstoppable authors, and was behind Indie Fire.

https://youtu.be/SezLe9VSvrY

Nicola Hebron

Nicola Hebron is author of the YA Fantasy Romance series the Wiccan Romances. The first two books (Amelia’s Story and Sam’s Story) are already out, and the other two can be expected in 2021.

https://youtu.be/vpQ4SH8MgvU

Launch Party

I was so happy to share my launch party with these fabulous authors, that are part of the incredible supportive indie community.

https://youtu.be/Ho6J-PQTvvI

Congratulations to Aimee (UK) and Nora (International) for winning the Giveaway. Both have been notified and I am looking forward to dispatching their prizes this weekend.

Discover more about my fabulous team by visiting their websites.

For J D Groom visit: https://jdgroom.com/

For Elexis Bell visit: http://www.elexisbell.com/

For H.B. Lyne visit: https://hblyne.com/

For Nicola Hebron visit: https://nicolahebronauthor.com/

Ocean Heart is currently entered in the All Author December 2020 Cover Contest. If you like the Cover of Ocean Heart please vote for it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho6J-PQTvvI&feature=youtu.be
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho6J-PQTvvI&feature=youtu.be

[kofi]

Technical Difficulties

I was all prepared for it all to go wrong during my first attempt but it went surprisingly well. My first vids have areas for improvement but everyone has to start somewhere.

It must have been beginners luck…

I was all set to make my September videos. I got Aria down for her nap, set up a tidy space and hit record. I nattered the whole way through and then hit playback…

Silence…

My lips were moving, my face was animated but there was no sound.

I tried other recording apps on the iPad, I checked various settings but nothing would bring my audio to life. Yet, previous videos played fine.

I attempted a test recording.

No sound!

I switched to my mobile. Hit record. Hit Playback. I could hear my voice… And, I could hear Aria was up from her nap.

I’d wasted my full hour of free time on accomplishing nothing. To make matters worse, that was Aria’s last nap. We even had a few nights where she decided she didn’t even need sleep at all!

Evening Recordings

This leaves me no choice but to record in the evenings. I know this means the lighting won’t be good but it’s the only time I have, and I won’t be beat by a baby that won’t sleep.

I figured out how to set my mobile up to record – without a proper stand. I recorded my video. I hit playback and…. Yes, I had sound. Things are looking good.

I wanted to edit on the iPad as it has a bigger screen. I uploaded the video to my G-Drive but it wouldn’t let me download it. Apparently, my 5 minute recording is too big.

So, I emailed myself from my mobile, and opened the email & attachment on the iPad. It saved.

Oh, you’d think that was it but no, I got a brand new problem…

My video was pitch black! No sound & no picture! It was getting worse!

Aghhh!

I had no choice but to edit on my mobile. It took me longer and was more fiddly, but I was pleased with the end result.

The next nightmare was uploading it to YouTube. The upload button had gone in the app! I opened YT Studio in my browser which wasn’t mobile friendly. If I zoomed in, I couldn’t zoom out. I used the site in teeny-tiny-writing mode

I wrote my description and scheduled it for 7pm Tuesday evening and went to bed.

Video Cancelled

I checked it over in the morning & was proud of myself. I showed my hubby my creation.

He found it cringeworthy.

He wasn’t criticising me but… He hates being recorded; photo, video, sound, anything. And, in the background you can hear him chatting.

He begged me not to post the video and assured me I can make a better one. So, I cancelled it. The things you’ll do for love – right?

I was going to record in my lunch break, but my appointment over ran. Then, I was going to record after work, but my hubby needed a break. Then, I was going to record once the kids were in bed, but guess who doesn’t want to sleep tonight?

Oh, and did I mention, I still can’t figure out how to change my channel cover art…?

Oh well, there’s always tomorrow…

I will succeed! I will make my videos! And, it’s suppose to get easier… I mean – It WILL get easier.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the IT Crowd clips in this post. It has to be done when talking about IT issues. It was that or “Computer Says No”, from Little Britain…

If you’ve enjoyed this, you will like:

YouTube: A Bookish Surprise

YouTube: I’m Her Biggest Fan

Making his YouTube dream come true…

How I did my book foot stack photo

YouTube: A Bookish Surprise

I was so fortunate to be part of Sarah Sutton’s Street Team. I got an ARC copy of Out Of My League which I loved and had no idea she was going to surprise me with this…

A Bookish Surprise

Check out my YouTube video where I open this gorgeous gift from Sarah. Now I have a real copy of Out Of My League! And, a good reason to buy What Are Friends For?

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you’ll love:

Book Review: Out of my League by Sarah Sutton

Behind the Book: Out of my League by Sarah Sutton

Behind the Book: What Are Friends For? By Sarah Sutton

Find your Summer Reads in the latest WIW Brochure

Writers and YouTube Playlists — Ally Aldridge

Novel Playlist.png

In the same way a song can make you think of a person, place or time, it can also inspire writers to develop chapters. Music can bring chapters, characters and moments to life. It is a great aid whilst developing your story.

The connection writers develop for their creations is personal, like a parent to their child.  This is why sometimes criticism (no matter how constructive) can hurt. But, this post isn’t about that.  This post is about the connection writers make with music.

Writing a novel is a long process. You develop a relationship with the characters, their environment and experience their highs and lows.  I struggle with writing horror because I frighten myself. Then I can’t sleep!

Inspiration

In the same way a song can make you think of a person, place or time, it can also inspire writers to develop them.  Music can destroy writers block and bring to life chapters, characters, places and moments.

Currently, the song that is really inspiring me to write a horror – if I can get over my fear of my own mind – is Ruelle’s “Monsters”.

I haven’t given up on this idea. Originally the idea was for the MC to be haunted by a demon (a mix of the urban legend of Slender Man, the manga character Orichimaru from Naruto and the Goblin King from Labyrinth). Although I am still struggling to get the outline right, I am now swaying towards this novel being part of my shifter series.

My story’s playlist

As I edited Drift, now Jewel of the Sea, for the umpteenth time, I created a playlist for the chapters.  This playlist was added to Wattpad using YouTube links as I worked on improving the story.   Some songs have been there since the start whereas others got added as the story developed.

Click here to listen to the playlist on YouTube:

  1. Taylor Swift – Everything Has Changed ft. Ed Sheeran
  2. Leona Lewis – Run
  3. Mazzy Star – Fade Into You
  4. Lykke Li – Little Bi
  5. Hunter Hayes – Invisible
  6. Christina Aguilera – Beautiful
  7. Evanescence – Bring Me To Life
  8. Birdy – Wings
  9. Coldplay – Yellow
  10. All Saints – Pure Shores
  11. Angel Olsen – Windows
  12. Wilco – Kamera
  13. Seafret – Skimming Stones
  14. Lauren Aquilina – Ocean <related chapter now cut>
  15. Dorothy – Gun In My Hand
  16. Katy Perry – Rise
  17. Ellie Goulding – Starry Eyed
  18. Ed Sheeran – Give Me Love
  19. John Legend – All Of Me
  20. Safety Suit – Anywhere But Here
  21. Demi Lovato – Stone Cold
  22. The Paper Kites – Bloom
  23. The Ligthouse and the Whalers – I want to Feel Alive
  24. Amer Run – I Found
  25. Evanescence – Bring me to life
  26. Ed Sheeran – Thinking Our Loud

Sometimes I hear songs and they inspire me to write (see 7, 8, 14 and 15). They draw up pictures and feelings in my mind and drive my imagination wild.

Editing

Other songs, I hear after I’ve written the story, usually whilst editing.  They remind me of the vision I had and help me focus on what I need the chapter to deliver (see 12, 13, 20, 22 and 24).

I’m not a fan of editing.  I spend way too much time being critical of my writing and ripping it apart.  I don’t enjoy the process and if I could afford to pay someone to do it for me, I would!  Having a playlist does make it a little more enjoyable and you can create one of all your favourite songs to keep you motivated.

Theme

When I first started writing Drift,  “Starry Eyed” by Ellie Goulding was playing on the radio and resonated with the way the story felt to me.

Once I finished editing Drift, I found that the song that resonated with the overall feeling of the story had changed.  The song is now “I Want To Feel Alive” by The Lighthouse and the Whaler.

Perhaps it’s a result of how the story has evolved or how my music tastes have changed over the years.  The bottom line is, music fuels my imagination.  It certainly makes editing more enjoyable.

Please share your playlists with me

If you have a writing playlist, please share it with me.  I would love to listen to and to know why those songs made your playlist.

NB Previously posted: Writers and YouTube Playlists — Ally Aldridge

If you enjoyed this, check out:

Where to find great story ideas…

Day 23 – Avicii

How I edited my novel – 12 tips for self editing

Do you keep notebooks of story ideas?

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Ally plus text