Monthly Archives: May 2018

How long does it take to write a book?…a Book Baby 4 update

“How long does it take to write a book? “A question I’ve been asked more than once!

“As long as it takes,” is my stock answer.

However, with regards to the first draft of Book Baby4, 603 days is the real answer.

 Yes, I’ve FINALLY finished the first draft!!!! WOO HOO!!!

 This one has put up a fight, I can tell you! However, I’m pleased with the first draft that I have written.

 Writing the first draft of anything can be a challenge. When it’s done, you’re left with something that in places is far from perfect but in others is spot on. Already, I know in my heart, there are a few scenes that need a little TLC so I guess this is where the real work begins.

 There’s a quote that’s kept me going when the words have failed to flow..

sandbox

 

 So, after 603 days, what do I have to show for my efforts?

Well, I have this….

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Already 70% of it has been typed up and re-drafted (first time round). That portion has had it’s first spell check/grammar check treatment too.

There’s still a huge pile of work to be done between now and this Book Baby’s actual “birth”. To keep the pregnancy/birth analogy going, I’d say I’m in the first phase of labour.

I have a title in mind….. no, I’m not revealing it yet.

I have a cover design half-formed in my head…. no, I’m not revealing that just yet.

I have a birth date (publication date) in mind…. No, I’m not sharing that yet either!

Patience!!

With the help and love and support of my “Infamous Five”, my wonderfully patient alpha readers, it’s time to build some sandcastles.

Now, who has the bucket and spade?

bucket and spade

(quote and bucket and spade image sourced via Google – credits to the owners)

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If In Doubt……Pin It!

Reflecting back some thirty-five-ish years, the lapels of my school blazer were festooned with badges (most of them relating to the rock band Status Quo). Each badge meant something special to me at that moment in time. There were other pins present too among the music-related badges – an elephant, a ladybird and a bee. (I’m sure I still have them all in a box somewhere)

I guess I’ve always been drawn to personalise things.

I currently have two main “go to” handbags, both Kipling (Love those furry monkeys) that are gradually being personalised with the modern equivalent of my old high school blazer’s badges.

Lost Girl pins!

If memory serves me correct, it started with one pin that said “I need coffee” that I added to my “every day” bag above the Slash pin and then promptly lost the pin a few days later. I was gutted!

A friend coincidentally bought me a pin as part of gift and chose the same one. Happy days! I added it to my “not quite every day” bag then bought it an appropriate friend a week or two later “crazy cat lady” then added “dreamer” shortly after that.

The creator of these addictive little pins suggested she could make me some to help publicise my book babies…… and, in due course, the Silver Lake dragon pin was added to the straps of both bags. An “author” pin was also acquired and added to both.

Now, each time I visit the shop, I seem compelled to add another one and another but like those lapel badges of yesteryear each one is very personal to me.

Currently my “every day” bag says “Author”, “Dreamer”, “Introvert”, “Unique”, “not one fuck given today” and “wheesht”. They sum me up pretty succinctly. Ha ha.

20180507_181029 (1)

This addiction is hereditary. Girl Child has begun her own collection.

It’s the simple things in life that are a form of self-expression and these wee pins have a knack of saying it all. 

Want to start your own collection? Then visit:

   https://thepirateandbluebelle.com/product/lost-girl-pins/

 You’ll soon be addicted!

 

Ask Me Anything….. some unanswered questions

08-01-Ask-Me-Anything

One of the things as an indie author that you have to develop is a thick skin for accepting feedback.  I have been incredibly fortunate to date that the feedback and reviews I have received for my book babies have been kind., very kind. No one has said my book babies are ugly!

Another thing that you have to be prepared to do when writing and promoting is to bare your soul…eek!

Promoting and marketing can be a costly business and my creative efforts are done on a shoestring budget so I am always looking for “free” ways to promote my books.

A few months ago I stumbled upon www.AMAfeed.com (AMA standing for Ask Me Anything)

Was I brave enough to risk it?

Yes!

So, a little apprehensively I’ll admit, I created my profile-

https://authorsama.amafeed.com/user/34486

Then I created my first AMA-

https://authorsama.amafeed.com/authorama-i-am-an-indie-author-and-have-self-published-three-rock-star-romance-471964

It ran smoothly enough and I wasn’t asked anything too revealing or controversial so I risked a second AMA-

https://authorsama.amafeed.com/authorsama-ask-me-anything-or-perhaps-answer-me-anything-about-how-best-to-490104

Again, this ran smoothly and was well supported.

So, in the run up to thinking about promoting Book Baby 4 and conscious that the summer holiday season is almost upon us, I ran a third hoping to generate some sales for the first three books in the Silver Lake series.

https://authorsama.amafeed.com/authorsama-ask-me-anything-about-the-silver-lake-series-of-rock-star-romance-501163

Again, it all ran painlessly and there were some really great questions posed.

Then along came a wee frustration….. I saw from the email alerts on my phone earlier today that there were new questions waiting to be answered. A short while ago I sat down to answer them……the AMA had ended and I was unable to submit the answers.

Me being me, I felt guilty that I hadn’t displayed courtesy to these followers and answered their question. So, in the interests of fairness, I’ll answer them here:

Did you know that you would one day become a writer?

No for many years it was a dream. Ever since I was little girl I’ve loved writing stories and the dream was always to see my name on the cover of a book one day. I seriously thought that that thought would remain a dream until three years ago when Stronger Within, the first book in the Silver Lake series, was published. Dreams do come true.

I’ve always written but I think now, three books in, I can finally believe I’m an indie author.

 How many hours did you work as a freelance copywriter to establish yourself and earn good money?

I didn’t and I don’t.  My “real job” is working for a bank. My writing is done in my own free time and at present isn’t earning me anywhere near enough to consider cutting back the hours I the day job. If you’re hoping to earn good money from writing you need to sell a heck of a lot of books daily!

How do you manage all of your personal and business activities?

A lot of plate spinning and juggling! I work full time, I am married with a family and have a home to run and I have a life to live! I guess it’s very careful time management, a lot of multi-tasking and self-discipline and precious little time wasted watching TV!

I try to get the balance right but you’d need to ask my family and friends to get a valid answer!

As a business coach, what is your best piece of advice for an entrepreneur that is struggling?

Don’t lose heart.

A close friend posted a quote on their Facebook newsfeed a long time ago that I’ve always tried to bear in mind, especially when the motivation is flagging a bit – “dreams get you started; discipline keeps you going.”

What’s the most romantic scene that you have written so far?

Love this question!

Ok- SPOILER ALERT– if you’ve not read Stronger Within this will potentially tarnish your enjoyment of it. You have been warned!

By romantic I’m thinking romance (hearts and flowers) not sex scenes.  Probably the hottest one of those is in Impossible Depth, book two in the series, and I’ll let you find it yourself! 😉

To answer the question though, I have a real soft spot for the scene at the end of Stronger Within where Jake proposes to Lori. Setting the scene at the school Christmas dance, adding a light covering of snow, some fairy lights and a slow dance just added to the romance of it all. No need for sex….just true love. Read the books though and judge for yourself.

 

Well, that’s the last unanswered question answered and my conscience is clear….unless do you want to Ask Me Anything?

 

 

 

and in the interests of book promotion, here’s the links to those:

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

 

Amazon.co.uk links  –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71 

 

(image sourced via Google- credits to the owner0

What’s in a date?……. Quite a lot actually.

Today, the 8th May marks five years to the day (well, evening to be more precise) since I took a deep breath, sat down in the early evening sunshine on my front doorstep and began to write the story of Jake and Lori, that became the first book in the Silver Lake series, Stronger Within.

That first evening I wrote about 1750 words. Here they are:

SWSW2SW3SW4

 And the finished handwritten manuscript looks like this….

SW 5

I’ve spoken about the reasons for putting pen to paper on here before and I guess it’s quite poignant that I should start out on my Silver Lake journey in the days running up to Mental Health Awareness week. (Here’s the link to the previous blog post about the reasons for those who missed it https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2017/05/08/surviving-or-thriving-a-personal-tale/ )

 Something I’ve reflected on and noted is that I’m a bit “funny” about dates. I hadn’t really given it much thought until a friend casually commented over coffee recently “What’s with all those dates?” or words to that effect as I talked about the deadline dates I had in mind for Book Baby 4.

It struck me that more often than not I pick dates for deadlines or publication that mean something personal to me.

I’ve published two of my three Book Babies on what would have been my Wee Gran’s birthday (15 April). I adored that little old lady and still miss her every day even though she’s been gone for over thirteen years.

In the spirit of openness and honesty, 8th May was actually my paternal grandmother’s birthday but that relationship was the polar opposite to the one I enjoyed with my maternal grandmother – enough said. Maybe the choice of date this time was purely co-incidence or perhaps I was sub-consciously proving a point. Who knows! 

The dates I’ve picked for two of my author’s note pages mark the birthdays of people who are special to me.

Deadline dates tend to be linked to different types of event. For example, I had hoped to finish the first draft of Book Baby 4 on 31 December 2017 – missed that one. I revised the date to 16th March 2018- the day before I was due to travel to Birmingham to see Myles Kennedy in concert- I missed that deadline too.  For a third time, I set a deadline date to complete this troublesome first draft – 8th May 2018 – and guess what? Yes, I’m missing this one too- just!

No, I’m not being lazy, I’ve not got writer’s block, although I did struggle a bit with keeping my momentum going about six months ago, I’ve just re-evaluated and amended the timeframe a bit. In reality, Book Baby 4 is now ahead of its revised schedule and the new date for finally completing the first draft is set as 27th June – my birthday. I promise to meet this one!!

My proposed publication dates are in September and, although I’m not ready to reveal them just yet, they are again birthdays and anniversaries.

But, back to today, the 8th May…….

The last five years have taken me on an incredible writing journey. It still feels surreal to see my “stories” out there in the big bad world as books and e-books on Amazon. When I look at them sitting there online with their twinkling stars, a huge part of me still can’t quite grasp that the childhood dream has come true and I am a “real” indie author.

book babies 2018

There seems to be only one appropriate way to mark this anniversary. Again numbers play a part in the equation. Five years down the line, the next story to be written will be Book Baby 5 and it will be a Silver Lake tale.

I guess there’s only one thing to do…….

20180508_18112220180508_18311320180508_18312320180508_183242

 

(calendar image sourced via Google- credits to the owner)

 

If you want to check out the Silver Lake series, here’s the links:

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Amazon.co.uk links  –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71