Friday, September 29, 2006

Friday's Excuse Not To Write

Reprinted with permission from 101 Excuses Not to Write.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated with your writing?


The Squeaking Noodle recently posted about writing a book in one hit.

Noodle says, "writing a book can be easier than people want us to believe."

Go check it out.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Writing comes first!!

Oooh, I like this very much. With how crazy my life's been lately, finally a goal and way of thinking I can implement!!

The Writing Comes First Campaign by Lazette Gifford.

And, I also like Carter’s logo:

What writing goals have you set for yourself, and do you meet them?

I also want to mention that Lauren Baratz-Logsted's book VERTIGO releases today. Pop on over to her site and congratulate her!

VERTIGO is a literary novel set in the Victorian era with erotic and suspense undertones, was found by both Publishers Weekly abd Booklist to be entertaining, with the Boston Globe favorably comparing it to the work of best-selling author Ruth Rendell. It should be available in bookstores everywhere today or you can follow this link to its Amazon page.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Author Interview: Colin Harvey

Colin Harvey

Colin Harvey is the author of Lightning Days (Swimming Kangaroo Books, 2006) and Vengeance (The Winterborn Press, 2005). He is a member of the Horror Writers Assosciation, and reviews for Strange Horizons on a regular basis. Colin is a member of the Management Committee of the Speculative Literature Foundation, and for the last two years has been one of the judges for their Travel Grant. He is currently working on his newest novel, The Silk Palace, for 2007 publication.

What made you become a writer?

When I was nine, my teacher set us an exercise to each write a one-page story. I loved the act of creation, and from then on, I wrote longer and longer stories, until I began to think that I ought to let someone else see them!

Tell us about Lightning Days and how you came to write it.

It's the present day, in South-Eastern Afghanistan. The world is hit by a string of tsunamis, earthquakes and other unexplained phenomena. A satellite picks up a heat signature, implying the presence of an army, where no such force should be. The British Government, who are administering the sector, dispatch a patrol, accompanied by a 'civil servant', Josh Cassidy. The heat signatures belong to an army of refugees, fleeing from their enemies, the malevolent, but mysterious Sauroids.

I don't really want to give too much of the details of the plot away, but the story concerns parallel universes, Neanderthals, and the end of the all life.

Tell me about your journey from unpublished writer to published novelist.

I started writing with intent to sell almost nine years ago. I started with short stories, worked up to novelettes (including an early version of a part of Lightning Days), a novella, and then to my novel Vengeance. That first novel was published in e-format, but the company went down the tubes without selling a copy. Lightning Days was rejected by seventy-one publishers and agents before Swimming Kangaroo Books picked it up.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Pantser - that's a horrible term! I started out writing by the seat of my pants, but as time has passed I've learnt the value of plotting, especially for longer works. I had to learn to do that because I was writing myself into dead-ends, and other structural flaws. Formal plotting helped me identify the flaws and fix them.

How do you develop your characters?

I usually have a mental image of them at the start, but not much else. I start to think about what they want, particularly in relation to the central protagonist. For the next book, I've started using some new methods, like personality profiles, sibling relationships, etc. Often I find the characters altering slightly as I go along.

How often/when do you write?

I try to write for an hour a day at least. At the week-end, I write after walking our two spaniels in the country for a couple of hours, which gives my thoughts time to percolate. In the week, I write on the bus to and from work, which takes about an hour, and may finish it off in the evening.

How do you maintain your discipline for writing?

I don't have a problem because I get depressed if I don't have my writing fix. But having a routine helps as well. Try to develop rituals. Typing random letters for two or five minutes is supposed to be good. Type in short stretches, if you find you're struggling.

What's the best writing advice you've ever heard/read?

An editor suggested that I join a critique group. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, writers swap stories or chapters with other writers, and they point out where they think the pieces could be improved upon. One has to be strong-minded to be able to pick out the appropriate input, but Lightning Days benefited enormously from others' input.

Can you tell me a bit about The Silk Palace

Okay, here goes...


... that your name is given you by the dying breath of a semi-sentient jewel... air balloons and gliders co-existing with magic...

...that the gods walk among men...

...a tiny city-state perched atop a rocky plateau separating two rival empires, between which tension grows almost by the day...

...a plot to free a trapped demi-god...

...and a young woman, for whom a moment of folly may lead to a slow and agonizing death...

What advice do you have for aspiring novelists?

Keep writing; keep submitting; keep persevering.

For more information about Colin Harvey or his books, visit the following websites:

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I'd like to introduce you...

... to my heroine and hero.

I've been working with Karen Wiesner’s First Draft In 30 Days on creating characters. I like her method because I don't have to do it all at once, I can add to it whenever I discover something new and relevant or when I need something new and relevant. I'm really enjoying the process and thought I would introduce you to the two people I've been spending a lot of time with.

Meet Maggie Stokes:

At the start of my story, she is 18 years old. She is a high energy person with too much ambition for her own good. She wants all there is out of life, but life has a way of trying to hold her back.

Arthur Case.

Arthur was orphaned at the age of 8 and now seeks the attention and family life he never had. Unfortunately, he is in love with a woman for whom marriage and family are the last thing on her mind.

Stay tuned for more. I'd say preorder your copy now, but at the rate I write, you might be waiting a few years!

Do you use pictures to help develop your characters? What other means do you use? Do you alter them as you go or stay with a strict character sketch from the beginning?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ahh, the good life

This is where I am spending my 4-day weekend (my best friend Mar's cottage on Georgian Bay).

I've come prepared with my Alphie and 'First Draft in 30 Days.' So, between caesars and hikes, I'll spend a little time with my heroine.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Friday's Excuse Not To Write

Reprinted with permission from 101 Excuses Not to Write.

and besides, I'm going up to Georgian Bay to be with my best friend for a few days.
Hope everyone has a great weekend! I'll be back on Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

And the winner is...

Drum roll please…
The winner of book giveaway is Jen (a la Sassy Devil).
Jen, please email your mailing address to me at nienkeDOThintonATgmailDOTcom.

Jen wins a copy of Alison Kent’s new book, Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Erotic Romance.
Thanks to every one who contributed. Looks like this book may come in handy for quite a few people!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Pale Immortal releases today!

Welcome to Tuonela, a sleepy Wisconsin town haunted by events of 100 years ago, when a man who may have been a vampire slaughtered the town's citizens and drank their blood. Now, another murderer is killing the most vulnerable...and draining their bodies of blood.

Evan Stroud lives in darkness. The pale prisoner of a strange disease that prevents him from ever seeing the light of day, he lives in tragic solitude, taunted for being a "vampire." When troubled teenager Graham Stroud appears on Evan's doorstep, claiming to be his long-lost son, Evan's uneasy solitude is shattered.

Having escaped Tuonela's mysterious pull for several years, Rachel
Burton is now back in town, filling in as coroner. Even as she seeks to identify the killer, and uncover the source of the evil that seems to pervade the town, she is drawn to Evan by a power she's helpless to understand or resist....

As Graham is pulled deeper and deeper into Tuonela's depraved, vampire-obsessed underworld, Rachel and Evan team up to save him. But the force they are fighting is both powerful and elusive...and willing to take them to the very mouth of hell.


This is a book I've been waiting for. To check out more visit the Pale Immortal site. It includes a cool trailer.

Also, visit author Anne Frasier's blog, static. Frasier is the USA Today bestselling author of Hush, Sleep Tight, Play Dead, and Before I Wake, has been recognized with numerous awards including the RITA and Daphne du Maurier for romantic suspense. Publishers Weekly says Frasier "has perfected the art of making a reader's skin crawl." The Minneapolis Star Tribune calls her a "master." She lives in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

What books soon to be released are you excited about?