Billy, Don’t Use My Number

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Numbers

Writers love to tell you their word counts.

“Just did 500 words before breakfast!”

“Got my 1,000 words done for the day!”

“30,000 words done on the new novel!”

We take great delight in passing on the numbers we produce. I have been no exception. If you trawled back through my Facebook and Twitter posts, you would find statements similar to those above (though probably not without profanity).

Well, I’m here to tell you that’s all in the past. Aside from those punching the keyboard, no digits will ever again offer any implied measure of my authorial efforts. And if my colleagues on the shelves have a high regard for the craft – as I know they do – they will avoid any future reference to word counts, too.

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Fire Up The New ‘Kindling’ Cover!

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Kindling - US Canada Ebook Cover

With the US/Canada ebook release of Kindling mere days away, here’s an insider’s view of the hot new cover (you see what I did there?). Two burning thumbs-up to Exciting Press Creative Director, Will Entrekin, for his fine work.

One thing about this confronting image – it ought to make fans concerned for Kieran’s safety very angry. I can imagine the hate-mail arriving already:

You sent your 10 year old, autism-diagnosed protagonist into this fiery maelstrom!? Really!? What sort of sicko author does that!? What sort of monster are you!?

(Note to self: send your next 10 year old, autism-diagnosed protagonist to a lovely inviting forest, full of marshmallows and rainbows and dolphins…and zombies.)

Exciting Backlist Deal

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Burn

(Pic Source: James Hibberd)

Exciting Press figures my venn diagram is a little more adjacent than Snooki’s.

In a deal announced by Exciting’s Creative Director, Will Entrekin, the cutting edge US indie publisher and I have signed a four book deal, encompassing my backlist quartet of novels – KindlingThe Umbilical Word, Most Valuable Potential and The Procrastinator.  The deal permits me to join a stable of wonderful writing talent that includes James Brown, Kurt Wenzel and Aussie literary icon, Nick Earls.

I’m really thrilled about the opportunities ahead with this partnership.  It represents a new lease of life for all my once-upon-a-time-in-print works.  Particularly gratifying is that, for the first time in any format, Kindling will be available in North America.

Stay tuned for release details and dates.  And if you’re a fan of Snooki, I’m sorry this post was so long.

The Real Writer – A Do’s and Don’ts Guide #6

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Dos And Donts

Real writers do recognize real criticism.

Emerging authors: Someone saying your story is great rather than garbage is more preferable, yes?

For about ten minutes, it is.  After that, you’re pretty much left with the same lingering question: “How come?”

Truly worthy criticism doesn’t leave that poser unanswered: in an ideal writing world, an author’s ear would only ever be attuned to constructive feedback; the hater guff and airhead fluff would be as comprehensible as Charlie Brown’s teacher.  Alas, this is not Utopia – attempts to kick a literary goal often get foiled by a swift-handed Lucy – so it falls on the writer to identify useful opinions of his/her work.  Easier said than done when it’s your heart and soul laid bare on the page.

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‘Kindling’ A 2012 Fave

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Kindling

It may have been released 14 dog years ago, but Kindling has still found its way onto a ‘Best Of 2012’ list.

With the help of Santa and his Bob Dylan ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’-esque impression, the Casey-Cardinia Library Corp recently put together their best reads of the past year and a certain little story of heartbreak, healing and heroism made the grade (Thx, Deb!).  Indeed, it was considered a shade better than The Light Between Oceans.  Given what’s gone down with that novel over the past twelve months, it’s high praise indeed.

Mr Spielberg, let’s do lunch.

The Real Writer – A Do’s and Don’ts Guide #5

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We’ve finished the four Don’ts – time now to have a look at the corresponding Do’s.  First up:

Real writers do the trade every day.

Any number of author voices more resonant than mine have extolled the virtues of turning up.  Stephen King advocated “bum glue”.  Jane Yolen referred to “exercising the writing muscle”.  Lawrence Kasdan suggested “being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life”.  No doubt engaging with your story on a daily basis is a must.  But what’s the deal for emerging authors: the folks who are chasing creativity behind jobs and kids and mortgages and slush piles and rejection slips,  whose days are invariably full while their pages are often empty?

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The Real Writer – A Do’s and Don’ts Guide #4

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Real writers don’t leave work unfinished.

During my emerging author days, a noted publishing industry insider told me: “You’d be amazed at the number of writers you get ahead of just by finishing.”  Another informed me:  “There is only one truism in publishing – if you never finish the story, you’ll never see the book.”  Finishing is important, just as important as starting.  And many argue it’s a lot tougher than its ‘creative honeymoon’ counterpart.   

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