It’s pretty hard to concentrate with a bad head cold, and that was the story of last week.
Had a few good meetings/meals with friends new and old, talking about music, work, social media, family, writing and food. Highlight on the food front was a $15 Garlic Prawn Salad on Friday for lunch. The garlic blast probably turned the cold around single handedly!
One thing I did manage to get done was start preparations for playing a bit of music at an open mic afternoon on 14 September. I’ll be playing guitar for Miss Kristy who’ll be singing a couple of Cure covers, as well as playing a couple of songs with my long time collaborator, singer Mal Day. The big excitement will be Mal, our drummer friend Nigel and me playing in a “super group” with our sons, who go by the name of Sweeto Burrito. (Check them on YouTube below) The super group will be called Sweeto Burrito and the Ancient Enchiladas. Song choice still to be made, suggestions welcome.
Spin (Live-Fiction #10) is plotted out and ready to write next week – aiming to finish the first draft of 10,000 words. Some reader feedback has got me thinking about turning Performance Anxiety and All Bets Are Off into a novel – working title Money, Drugs, Football. I’ve done a rough outline for a 60,000 word work which I’m going to leave bubbling away on the backburner for a while and see if it comes together.
A good 6,000 words in the can this week, with Money’s On changing it’s name to All Bets are Off and making it out the door to beta readers. It will be No. 9 in the Live-Fiction series
I’m going to resist the temptation for rush it our when it’s ready, and aim to to a big splash release in September.
Covers. As the Live-Fiction series progresses I’m less and less happy with “newspaper” themed covers that I set up as an interim measure when the series was launched. Using an outmoded news delivery mechanism on the cover of ultra-contemporary fiction has always grated a bit with me. I spent ages in a book store the other day and was really taken by the covers on the Murakami series. (I love his stories as well) There are over 10 books in the series, each with their own identity but all looking like they belong.
So, new concepts are under development and a coffee booked with my frequent cover design collaborator.
I also went to a parenting seminar and facilitated a half-day workshop planning a large public arts event in Sydney next Easter.
Next week: Plotting the next few Live-Fiction stories then progressing one of them past half way.
Didn’t post last weekend, so here’s a two week catch up.
Guys Can Read has been bundled together and released. This was just a lot of formatting etc once Home & Hardware was finished, so a good return for effort as far as adding to the published portfolio goes.
Money’s On (Live-Fiction #9) is progressing, up to about 5,000 words now. That’s half way. Maybe out to beta readers at the end of next week?
Book reviews are catching up. Plugged and The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden coming soon.
Fortnightly newsletter is out and about. Read the archive here.
A fair bit of networking (i.e. having coffee or a quick lunch) with various contacts, prospecting for consulting work as well as spending time talking with interesting people.
I’ve picked up a few notes from earlier in the year and documented a detailed outline for Advanced Smash Repairs Series 2. I’m going to force myself to complete plot outlines for each of the six episodes before starting to write episode 1. I want to do the writing fast on the back of detailed prep, and see how that goes as an approach. Series 1 was written over a 12 month period for various reasons, and I’d rather get it done all together.
Lots of scrappy things this week. I will be travelling for the next two weeks, so I’ve set up a few story drafts so it’s easy to write a paragraph here or there when there’s time. This includes rewriting and expanding two stories originally published in Cracks in the Ceiling. “Jack and John” is first on the list – it will become “Home and Hardware” as a Live-Fiction title after it’s grown by about 50% – that is about half done. It’s been great to revisit some of my earlier writing and give it a good polish, but also to respond to some comments from readers about how much they likes the characters of Jack and John. They will be set up to appear again in future stories.
I was hoping to get it out this week as a surprise release and make it 10 books for the 6 months, but it wasn’t to be.
The working file for “7 Deadlies” is setup, and I recorded new episodes of the Diary of the 17th Man and Live-Fiction podcasts – the latter with a reading of Chapter 1 of Warm Honey.
On the work front, I spent an afternoon observing the training session of one of the city’s major Rugby League franchises. The players train and play with GPS trackers on them, and the company I do some work for is helping them with data management and some custom ipad apps.
I’m on winter break for next two weeks – back to the desk on 14th July.
As promised, Cake Knives Don’t Kill is now on sale after a chunky edit – with one chapter trimmed of 1,000 words and then having about 2,000 new words added in. It’s partly in an “epistolary” style, consisting of documents (witness statements, press reports, emails) and partly narrative. Get your copy here.
And no, it is not autobiographical.
On Friday I had a fantastic writing meeting with Huw Luscombe to progress our ideas for some collaboration. We threw around some ideas (many of them crazy) for three books for the Live-Fiction series, and this week I’ll be sorting those into the three story outlines.
These stories will not only add to the series, but are planned to be part of the first Live-Fiction compilation, the working title of which is “Seven Deadlies“. It will contain 7 stories, each exploring a modern perspective on one of the Seven Deadly Sins. It might look something like this:
Lust – One Thousand Views (New)
Gluttony – The Feed (New)
Greed – Prank!
Sloth – I Agree (new)
Wrath – Cake Knives Don’t Kill
Envy – No Room in the Bin
Pride – Botox Apocalypse
Apart from that, I built a table, editing some videos of the kids playing in bands, practiced then played a couple of songs at an open mic afternoon and gave the lawn it’s lone mid-winter mow.
At last! The story idea for Cake Knives Don’t Kill has been around for two years (thanks to Jeremy Pooley – for the idea, not the wait!), and is finally in the can as the next book in the Live-Fiction series. Beta readers are doing their thing to make sure it’s up to scratch, so it will be released later this month!
The story is set in National Civic Bank, and features characters from The Tipping Point and The Project, short stories contained in 15 Civic Square, the first Live-Fiction release.
So that means a more productive week with 5,000 words written. Not bad with a public holiday and a day taken out with work meetings.
Hope you like the cover.
Following my appearance on The Rocking Self Publishing Podcast last week, I was mentioned on the Sell More Books podcast this week. Of interest to authors.
New writing progressed with another 2,500 words added to Cake Knives Don’t Kill this week. There is just one more plot twist to nut out, and I think it will all fall into place.
Apart from that, another interrupted week with house guests, injured children, a music/video project and meetings. I did get together for an hour with a writing buddy for a gathering we call The Dangerous Boys Writing Group. It’s a great encouragement for my writing, and hopefully for his, but we’re getting nowhere as far as developing a collaborative writing project goes.
My interview with Simon Whistler on the Rocking Self Publishing Podcast is out now if you want to have a listen – it’s here.
Yep, Warm Honey made it out the door this week and is available as an ebook at amazon. James Stewart helped with the cover.
Apart from that, Sunshine on Boerewors is nearly ready for paperback after a few hours of me yellling at MS Word on Wednesday. Cake Knives Don’t Kill is at last rolling forward with a couple of thousand words added to it on Friday. It is pencilled in to be the story about “Wrath” in my upcoming compilation of Live-Fiction stories called “7 Deadly Sins“.
Saturday was a 6 hour recording session for my son, with him playing drums, bass, guitar and singing on 2 tracks for a school project. Big ups to Nick Goulden from Fluid Productions for doing sound.
Oh, a day and half of paying work interrupted writing this week – that’s an OK thing. One of those days was facilitating a workshop – which is tiring but great fun.
No Room in the Bin has finally been published – that’s #6 in the Live-Fiction series and Book 2 for May.
Nanna’s Cooking Tips has been completed, proofed and published this week – that’s 2,000 new words and book 3 published in May. To celebrate, Nanna’s Travel Tips is free for a day or so (ending 24/5) and is going gangbusters.
Warm Honey is now pretty much done, just working on the cover with James Stewart for release next week.
I spent a couple of days at the end of the week at The Sydney Writers’ Festival. The highlight was a session with author David Malouf, with 5 other interesting sessions as well over 2 days. The trouble with the Festival is that it still continues to operate in a bubble where the self-publishing/e-book revolution hasn’t occurred yet. We look forward to the day when one of the self-pub success stories is a headline speaker.