Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Under pressure

...from myself.

There was a fabulous quote I read recently (the author escapes me, as does the exact quote actually) but it says something about a good book being worth waiting for. It's so true. I feel like I've been waiting an age for Becca Fitzpatrick's Finale but I know it's going to be well worth it.

HOWEVER, as an author it's really frustrating to take time writing a follow-up. I've had some fabulous feedback for Blackbrooke and I'm over the moon every time someone takes the time out to write a good review or send me a message telling me how much they enjoyed it. It's been so amazing that I'm now scared to keep people waiting too long for the next one.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not deluded enough to think people can't sleep at night and are clambering to get their hands on the second one. Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games - Blackbrooke ain't (only in my wildest dreams) but there's still a fear people will lose interest while I'm furiously trying to finish Part II.

It's strange because I've known 100% how I've wanted to end the Blackbrooke Trilogy and that's NEVER changed, however the story getting there has adapted as I've gone on to write it. Writers (and friends of writers) will know you get an idea in your head of how you want something to turn out and eat, sleep, breathe it and wake up one morning and think, "Nah, I HATE that! Back to the drawing board!"

My tortured unofficial story editor formally known as Uno but totally outed in my acknowledgements to be Candice (sorry, your cover is blown!) bears the brunt of it. She gets Blackbrooke at the raw ideas stage so therefore is the most unfortunate of all of my little helpers. Bloody hell, no wonder she moved to Australia a few weeks ago...I'll be buzzing about something for ages and then *poof!* its gone and I've decided to go down a different route. I don't know how she keeps up.

I've nailed the story now though (I think) and just have to put it through its paces. I have a nasty habit of writing as though its a screenplay and including far too much dialogue. I just love interactions between characters and that's due to my impatience as a reader and tendency to get bored with too much description. I'm a character and conversation gal but I realise that's not the best way to set the scene in a horror tale so my work requires around four to five edits/rewrites myself, THEN I read it out-loud to myself, THEN I read it out-loud to the poor, tortured Candice, and THEN it goes to...


Tres! Or the acknowledgement-outed Rebecca. That woman is a reader. She has a top English degree from a top university and I bit my nails down to the wick when she had the first part of the trilogy.

I then read it through again a couple of times, both in my head and out-loud and THEN it goes to my publisher which means another few rounds of edits.

It's like writer bootcamp. Painful. Blood, sweat and tears go into it and you know what? There are still little mistakes and errors that worm their way in there. That's life. We're all human and by the end of the process, I'm so close to it that I could probably recite it word for word.

And so, after writing this blog, I realise its not the pressure of getting the book written that's bothering me, it's the fact that writing is just the very first step in the process. There's much more pain to come but I bloody love it and, if I could, would do it full time. As it happens, I can't quite afford to make that a reality at the moment but I'll keep ploughing on with Part II of the Trilogy as well as continuing to promote Part I.

Another huge thank you goes out to everyone who has bought the book and taken the time to review or get in touch with me. I'll be answering your questions on my next blog which I may do as a video as I have a tendency to ramble!

Back to the grindstone...

Em x

PS. Here's what's currently getting a battering on the unofficial Blackbrooke II soundtrack. It pretty much sums up Liberty Connor at this stage in the tale and you'll find out why when the book is released ;-)

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Goodbye Liverpool

This is a blog about my writing journey but I felt the need to give a nod to Liverpool for this post.

I'm moving to Manchester for a while where I'll be back in my childhood room. Something made all the more strangely exciting by my dad telling me he'd found my stash of Point Horror books. That's the rest of the summer sorted...

As much as my friends and family took the mickey out of me for moving to 'Scouseville', my four years here have been the most productive of my life. I started writing again after a rather long sabbatical which has resulted in a published book and continued work on the rest of the trilogy so I'll be forever grateful.

I've met some great people too and reached interesting conclusions about my working life which I never expected. There have been rollercoaster moments of course (that's life after all) but I wouldn't change any of it.

I've been messaged some questions on Twitter from fellow writers and readers of Blackbrooke and I thought one of them was quite fitting for this post:

Do you go anywhere to write? 

I absolutely have to get out and write a lot of the time or else I get too distracted by the lure of the internet, especially after Blackbrooke launched and I've been on the promotion trail.

I usually head out to a fabulous Caffe Nero in Liverpool. I can't remember the street but it's opposite San Carlo (if you're interested!). They make great coffee, have friendly staff and these amazing window seats which means I can indulge in my hobby of people watching.

I'm a huge coffee fiend and despite my best efforts, I just can't make a cup as good as they do on the high street (bar one very famous green logo place which is wonderful if you like your coffee weak and cold...) so that's where you'll usually find me, smashing away on my laptop with my headphones jammed into my ears.

I'll need to find some new haunts in Manchester so I can get this pesky Book 2 finished. It's been a tough one as I want to keep it exciting throughout and there's A LOT I'm trying to get in there. Book 3 is very straight forward, so I really do have a problem middle child :-S

I'll keep you posted on the progress...

Until then, I'm really excited to see the images of the Blackbrooke characters that the very talented artist Dave Merrell is currently drawing for me. Bizarrely, I feel nervous when I see the initial sketches as its almost as though I'm finally meeting these characters that I love so much. I'll be revealing all very soon so watch this space.

All there is to say is goodbye Liverpool, and Manchester....I'm back!

Em x