To anyone who may be interested or isn’t following on social media -- Book 2 is finally swaying drunkenly over the horizon.
It’s still a relatively distant horizon (May 2018) but… it’s definitely staggering into view.
Book 2 now even has a name-- the title is “Object of Desire” (henceforth OOD) and it’s set in the Bitter Legacy universe. Like BL it’s coming out through Blind Eye Books and edited by the brilliant Nicole Kimberling, who broke it to me, after reading the first draft, that I’d accidentally written a psychological thriller. I’d thought Id written another mystery. Yes, I really am that on-the-ball.
I can’t share any excerpts yet because we’re still screaming, wrestling and gouging over them (edits have just begun, pictured above), but it’s okay to say that the central character of this book is a bit different psychologically to James Henderson. His name is Tom Gray, and he’s a model at the very top of his game. Sadly, poor old Tom isn’t going to have a particularly nice time of it. I say that as if it isn’t my fault.
I’ll try to do better to keep this blog updated on progress (and thank you very much to the readers not on SM who poked me severely about that, because I needed it). Aaand, back to edits… *Cracks knuckles. Dons body armour. Bursts into tears.*
I'm over at The Tipsy Bibliophile blog today, with the lovely Laura Adriana discussing... what makes Ben (from Bitter Legacy) tick. Laura's running a fascinating series on interviews on 'Romance with Heroes who are Trauma Survivors'. She herself is a social worker who advocates for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, so she knows quite a bit about the subject. She's interviewed Megan Erickson, CS Poe and Amy Lane (who'd up tomorrow) for her series. But today she wanted to cover heroes with childhood trauma, and asked if she could delve into the psychology of Ben Morgan, who's one of the more... controversial characters in Bitter Legacy. Anyone interested in finding out what motivates him, this is for you!
And here's a bit of festive fluff. Courtesy of Blind Eye Books, a Christmas coda to Bitter Legacy is up here on the website, and at The Novel Approach as part of their 5 year Blogiversary celebrations. BEB are also offering a Giveaway at TNA.
So, for anyone who might be interested in how Jamie is getting on, both links are below. I'll also be at The Novel Approach and on my SM today if anyone wants to ask any questions, or shout at me.
I very much hope you enjoy it and -- Merry Christmas! X.
Well. Incredibly, release week is just about over, and it's almost time to go and lie down in a darkened room. Bitter Legacy has now officially been unleashed on an unsuspecting world. Sorry, world.
So -- this is where I thank everyone who's been so kind, both to me, and about the book. I've barely had to put on the bucket at all this week! Well... maybe once or twice. But thats not bad? I've copied links to Blind Legacy's reviews on this website's Books page --which contains the grand total of one publication. Yep. But thank you to everyone who took the time to review an unknown author. And a massive thank you as well to Blind Eye Books for such a great book launch. (This feels a bit like the Academy Awards when it reaches Best Sound Editing...)
Anyway --I know Bitter Legacy can be a bit of an emotionally tough read, if you're not expecting it, so I should also thank everyone who got to the end! :-p But for any hardy souls who still want a little more of the boys, there should be a short Christmas coda to Bitter Legacy coming out around... Christmas, shockingly enough. I'll let you know more about that when I can.
I also wanted to mention that I'm at the wonderful Josh Lanyon's blog, Just Joshin' today, to take the consequences of an interview in which Josh and I talked about fencing, Dengue Fever, Gaelic, and Tom and Jerry. Uh huh. We had planned to have a good giggle, but sadly, Josh has had a family emergency, which puts all this stuff into perspective. Still, being Josh -- generous and indomitable -- she's posted the interview anyway, so if anyone would like to read our nonsense, or ask any questions or comment, please feel free. I'll be here today:
I've actually had a lot of fun guest posting on a few blogs this week, which was a new experience. If you missed any of them, there are excerpts, more nonsense and most pertinently, still live Giveways, here:
Thanks, guys, for having me!
And that's it. Would it be redundant to say... thank you again? :-D
Next week, my first book, Bitter Legacy is going to publication. Next Tuesday in fact. October 4th.
That sound you hear… that unpleasant screeching, whining sound? That’s the sound of my nerves shredding. But also, it feels like a bit of a miracle to be honest.
Anyway -- next week, I’m also doing a mini blog tour. I’m openly admitting here that when this was first mooted, I instantly imagined a real tour bus rolling up to people’s front doors, and I thought ‘how are we going to manage that?’
But then it was gently pointed out to me that it’s a virtual tour. No winnebago involved to hurl giveaways from. No road trip. But in my head…
In any event, it’s a very mini tour, but some of the nicest people are allowing me to invade their blogs.
Oct 3 - Harper Fox is hosting. It's her first time too, so she’s preparing at a spa somewhere.
Oct 4 - Joyfully Jay is putting on the kettle.
Oct 5 - Sinfully and thank you, to the lovely Mark.
Oct 7 - Josh Lanyon (who’s responsible for this whole fiasco for egging me on in the first place) will be asking strange questions.
There’ll be giveaway books as well. (Sadly, Blind Eye Books flat out vetoed the suggestion that we try something different as a giveaway, like $100 000 and a donkey).
It’d be lovely to see you at some point. There should be an imaginary bus parked outside.
I wanted to signal boost this to any other new authors out there, because it’s really important. And if you’re anything like me on this stuff, you need all the help you can get. ‘This stuff’ being social media promotion.
Nicole Kimberling’s launched a series of posts to help new authors market themselves online, and they're invaluable.
I’m the first to admit I'm appalling at it. In fact, I suspect that, as my first publisher, hauling me, whining and sulking, into the social media light, probably drove Nicole in desperation to write the series. You hear her, ‘I’m having no more shitty excuses, you’re not getting out of it’ tone? I did that.
I know I have a pitiful attitude to self-promo. It all feels so *boastful*, she squirmed, in an agony of Presbyterian self-effacement. BUT Nicole is a hundred per cent right. Publishing is a transformed landscape, the days of blissful anonymity for 85-year-old janitors in Milwaukee are no longer possible, and however shy new writers may (or, indeed, may not) feel about it, readers have to know we exist, and are eager to engage with them. This is Nicole:
“Because this is the way readers will discover you and share their love of your work with each other and with you. And it’s also where you will reassure them that you are still alive and beavering away at your next project. It’s where you will build excitement for your creations and where your readers will share their excitement with others.
Your work will be competing with thousands of other titles. Your active social media presence is what keeps your work from being subsumed by the massive tidal (title?) wave of other works and promotional campaigns.
Social media also allows you to build relationships with other writers. It’s no exaggeration to say that your relationships with other writers will dictate the course of your career. They will inspire you, teach you, introduce you to important industry professionals and, most importantly, introduce you to new readers via cross-promotion.”
So -- eyes and teeth everyone! Says the voice from beneath the bucket.
Part 1 of Nicole’s Masterclass:
Waiting for first reactions to your very first book is a bit like waiting for the results of a really important exam. Yes, you need to know how things went, but the urge to hide in a corner with a bucket on your head is strong. Fortunately, Nicole Kimberling at Blind Eye Books has been passing notes under the bucket to let me know me that so far, early feedback seems to be pretty good, so... I'm throwing tentative confetti into the air, which is landing on the bucket (I know there's no such thing as tentative confetti but please go with the image).
Just as a FYI, for anyone interested, among other visits, I'll be popping in to see Joyfully Jay on October 4, which is publication day for Bitter Legacy and descending on Josh Lanyon for a dose of nonsense on October 7. I hope to see you there (bring confetti, or a bucket).
Do they make those infant landmark pins for baby authors? Baby's first book. Baby's first blog post. Baby's first tweet.... So -- this is baby's first interview.
While doing it, I discovered it's not all that easy to come up with some coherent whys and hows on your own thought processes, if you haven't precisely dissected the whys and hows yourself. I'll admit my natural inclination will always be to mumble, "No reason," or "Just because," or "Look! A tiger!" so it's just as well the lovely Caitlin Cohen at Blind Eye Books didn't let me off with any of that. Thanks, Caitlin, for conducting an interview that made me think, but didn't make me cry. For anyone who reads it, I hope the answers aren't too boring.
My name is Dal Maclean, and I’m about to lose my publishing virginity. Hold me.
It's not that I haven't written before -- I've done a fair bit as a journalist, and even dabbled in fan-fic. But the experience of writing a full work of original fiction for a publishing house has been... well it's been a shocker. The sheer amount of work that goes in to it for a start.
Scribbling down the story… that’s like packing your case and getting in the taxi at the beginning of your trip. You sit back, confident that the hard part is over, and it's cocktails and sun loungers from then on. But, as I lie here on my stretcher, surrounded by concerned citizens, and attached to a gin drip, I can testify that taxi to professional publication is driving you toward a world of hard slog.
Revisions, more revisions, plot changes, even more revisions, copy edits (whimper), line edits, deadlines, promotion… I hadn’t a clue. So it’s just as well that I had a ruthlessly charming spirit guide in Nicole Kimberling of Blind Eye Books, who is, objectively speaking, the best editor in the world (sorry I don’t make the rules).
While being chivvied, wide-eyed, through the process of raw manuscript to publishable book, I’ve had a crash course in writing for genre, the state of the industry, identifying my own not-so-little writing peccadillos, and how a professional publishing house brings home a book.
I’ve had to try to analyse why I did what I’d hitherto done instinctively; the way I write, what I like to write about. And of course, what people seem to want to read. Maybe we can get round to discussing some of that on this blog in fact.
Having been through it this once though, I can only express my awed admiration for writers who give birth to books regularly and with apparent nonchalance, like popping out peas from a pod . Maybe one day I can reach that level. But right now, I’ll just lie here with my gin drip …
Bitter Legacy. Out on October 2nd 2016.