Another productive week draws to a close. My new work is beginning to reach its climax and Heartbound is still hovering around the top 20 in 'Ghosts' on Amazon. However, it has not all been plain sailing this week.
This week has been hectic; I am constantly juggling my many commitments with university with my writing. This is the third and final year of my course, and this term is already looking to be a challenge. Each day brings a new task, and with those tasks comes a set of challenges. The difficulty is finding time to fit everything in.
I am still producing around 700 words a day, but they have been tough as my energy continues to be drawn to my final year project and other coursework commitments. In fact, on Tuesday, I just about scraped 600. Despite the challenge, my passion for writing and my desire to succeed are still burning strong.
What a week! In its short publication lifespan, 'Heartbound' has raced from #70 in its category on Kindle all the way up to the dizzy heights of #8! If you had told me this time last year that I would have a novel doing so well in such a competitive market, I would have laughed. With my debut novel performing well beyond my expectations, my new series is coming along nicely.
You have to make sacrifices in life. This week, I have 'sacrificed' a little bit of sleep in order to accommodate more time for novel work. I'm not complaining; my brain works best somewhere between 7 and 10am and from 2 to 5pm. And it is paying off; with the exception of Thursday, I constantly managed to write 700+ words within an hour. I have set a rough publication date of Autumn 2015 for the first book in my series to be published, so this week has kept me on course.
So with 'Heartbound' flourishing and my new series continuing to grow, I am in a really good place. Writing has long been a passion of mine and that passion is continuing to grow week on week.
Like authors everywhere, I have many inspirations. I draw a lot of inspiration from music; I find that a lyric or a melody can carry just as much feeling as a paragraph in a book. Naturally, music plays a large role in my writing and this was particularly true for 'Heartbound'.
Whilst writing 'Heartbound', I spent a lot of time with my headphones on. I found that writing with music on in the background was the best way to release the creative juices flowing around my brain. As I carried on writing and listening, I found that some songs just fitted into what I was writing; maybe the artist was singing about feeling alone like Davey or maybe they were venting their frustration, again like Davey. These songs kept cropping up, so I decided to make a Spotify playlist dedicated to 'Heartbound'. Have a listen below:
A lot of these songs relate to how Davey feels throughout the novel. Take Track 3, 'Not Alone' by Red. This song has the message that even in the darkest times, you always have someone by your side to help you through the difficult period. I felt that all of these songs related to 'Heartbound' in some form or another. I hope you agree.
2 January 2015. I'll forget my own birthday before I forget this date. Why? It is the day 'Heartbound' was published! That's right, after months of rejection letters and after careful consideration, I have self-published my first novel!
Words simply cannot describe how overjoyed I was when I saw the product of months of hard work sitting there proudly on Amazon's Kindle store. As you could probably imagine, I spent the rest of the day beaming and my Facebook was flooded with congratulatory comments.
I have achieved my dream of becoming a published author, with a book that people can buy and read (and hopefully like!). Even as I'm writing this, my heart is racing excitedly at the thought that people could be reading my novel right now! I might have reached my dream, but does that mean I'm going to stop? No, it certainly does not! In ten years, I'd love to have a bestseller or two. I love writing (as you can probably tell from this blog!) and 'Heartbound' is just the first of many books to come.
Later this year, I hope to have written and published the first book in my new fantasy series. Like I mentioned in a previous post, these books will be much shorter than 'Heartbound' but I'm really looking forward to filling my author page with more work. Speaking of which, you can have a look at my author page here.
So, to read my first ever published novel (I've always wanted to say that!!), follow this link and happy reading!
2014 was a good year for my writing. It was the year of my first publishing offer, and the year I decided to go it alone and self-publish. In 2014, I received many rejection emails, but I never let them knock me back.
So much has happened over the last year, so join me as I venture down memory lane.
So as I'm sure you know, 'Heartbound' has reached the 'ready to be published and let loose on the world' stage. After receiving a publishing offer (which I had to turn down), I decided to self-publish and I can honestly say I think it is the right move.
I completed 'Heartbound' in early April 2014 after working on it since the previous summer. At the time, I was also writing another fantasy novel, which was a sequel to yet another novel that I finished in 2013 (more about that a little later). Let me tell you, writing two novels with two very different plots and characters at the same time is not easy!
I am a big believer in following your intuition. There was something about 'Heartbound' that was calling to me, demanding that I focus more of my energy on it rather than the other novel. Maybe I had a closer connection to my characters in 'Heartbound' but there was something that called me to it. Lo and behold, 'Heartbound' will now be my debut novel!
Shelving (and I'm not talking about DIY)
Like I mentioned above, 'Heartbound' was not the only novel I was working on during 2014. In 2013, I finished writing a novel I will call 'Novel B', but I felt that the story was incomplete. Hence, a sequel was born and I shall call this 'Novel C'.
I had fun writing 'Novel B' and was excited about writing 'Novel C'. The problem was I had a much stronger feeling about 'Heartbound'. Sometimes in life, you have to make a difficult choice. Much as it pained me, I simply had to leave 'Novel C' to concentrate on 'Heartbound'. That's not to say I have completely abandoned 'Novel C'; it just was not the right time.
This is part of any author's journey; you've worked hard on a manuscript, created something you can be proud of... only for agents and publishers to say something like 'sorry it is not for us. Good luck with your endeavors'. Throughout 2014, this happened to me many times.
Did it get me down? To be honest, yes, a little. But it never stopped me, and a phrase that many of my friends told me went as follows: 'it's their loss. You'll get there.' And they're right; you cannot let the rejections get to you. Believe in yourself, and prove to them that you do have something incredible.
Before I decided to go down the self-publish route, I tried the old method of approaching agents and publishers, not just with 'Heartbound' but with 'Novel B' as well. Of course, it was frustrating, but it was that frustration that spurred me on and kept my dream alive.
What about 2015?
We might only be two days in, but I already have a good feeling about this year. It is guaranteed to be my publication year (wow, that's a thought!) and I'm looking forward to seeing what success 'Heartbound' has.
Inevitably, there will be challenges and difficulties but I'm optimistic about what the year will bring.