September is here and the school is on again. I always feel a sense of new beginnings this time of year. Summer is finished, the kids go back to school, and everyday life resumes. I’ve decided it’s time to update everyone on my projects, changes that have occurred in my life, and general observations.
It’s been seven months and life is just now starting to look like something almost normal. My sister’s passing in February proved far more difficult than I ever anticipated and despite still missing her like crazy, I‘m functioning again.
I think I can say quite honestly – I’m back and the time I’ve been away opened my mind to new directions. Many things have changed in that short time. My part-time babysitting has increased to full-time, so my writing time is much better organized. I’m involved in more social environments related to both arts and writing. I’m working on new projects and polishing some older ones. Best of all I’ve met many terrific people over the past few months.
LET’S LOOK AT MY PUBLISHED WORK FIRST:
My novella “Scarecrows” has done well. It’s received 40+ unsolicited reviews since it’s release in May. It’s rating between 3.5 and 5.0 stars (out of 5) on various sites. I think that’s fantastic for a 100 page e-book by this brand new horror writer. People are reading my work!
Joining me are L.L. Soares and Daniel Gunn with “Nightmare in Greasepaint” and JG Faherty with “Winterwood”. These talented writers have lots of experience in the genre, and provide the monsters and gore for the fans who appreciate that style. J.H. Moncrieff adds “The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave”. A new fiction writer with lots of potential, Holli shares the more psychological side of terror. It is a real honor and truly humbling to share this book with such talented and innovative writers.
My website has all the ordering information on both “Scarecrows” and “Childhood Fears”. Go ahead and order them both – you know you want to…
HOW ABOUT THOSE GREAT NEW BOOKS I’VE BEEN READING:
As always, I put aside time to read – my first love. But the last few books I’ve picked up have proved to be very disappointing.
I’m currently reading “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee (the author of “To Kill a Mockingbird”) and feel like I’m trudging through a rough first draft. Doubt I’ll finish it – it’s very difficult to follow.
I have stopped reading two other books that were supposed to be wonderful.
The first was “All the Light We Cannot See”, a Pulitzer Prize winner. The characters were unbelievable and I couldn’t get into this story at all. The other book, I shelved was “The Bone Clocks”. This is a testament to how well commercial reviews and advertising can sell a book. It was written in a localized (UK) jargon and almost impossible to understand. I was completely disappointed with the amount of re-reading I had to do to figure out what was happening – I survived the “Outlander” (heavy Gaelic brogue) series with less difficulty. I decided I might try it some other time.
On the up side – I finished “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tart and “The cunning Man” by Robertson Davies. Both books were exceptional reads and I greatly enjoyed them.
I have a huge list of “To-Read” books, and I’m slowly making my way through them. I’m buying two books for every one book I read – not gaining any ground there. The fun part is taking my two year old grandson to the bookstore and the library. They provide toys he loves to play with, but he also loves the books. (YEAH!) We happily spend a lot of time together in those two places.
THERE IS ALWAYS WORK IN PROGRESS:
I finished my contemporary fiction novel back in June of 2014 and have been editing it off and on, since then. I keep finding ways to hone my skills and as they improve, the novel reaps the benefits. As I learn from experience, I make changes and rearrange parts of the story. I’m shooting for a high polish and exceptional Voice.
The story reflects attitudes and ideals found in small Canadian communities, and definitely needs a Canadian publisher. It is the first of several similar books, I have outlined. Canadian publishers are very selective, and getting them to publish first time authors is difficult, if not impossible. My plan was to have an impressive resume before ever approaching them.
Publishing a horror novella proved to be a wonderful first step. Although the genre doesn’t really fit with my preferred contemporary and literary leanings, I’m learning so many new things and pushing my own abilities to the max producing psychological horror.
The hard work helps me develop better writing skills. I’m thrilled to confer with some of the best editors in the business. Despite it being out of my comfort zone, I’m currently writing a full horror novel and hope to learn even more of those important nuances to improve and fine-tune my craft.
A local group, Sho Art Spirit and Performance accepted one of my stories for a dramatic reading. This group took my story to a whole new level. The characters came to life and the emotions flowed from the words. It’s thrilling to have my work performed by such talented people. I was truly impressed.
Just to keep life interesting, I expanded a literary short story to novelette length and will be posting it on my website this month. I am also doing a paranormal short story for another online site, Adventure Worlds. I hope to finish it by the end of October. Publication date is unknown at this point.My contemporary fiction novel is the ongoing project. I’m hoping to have it out on query early next year. The new horror novel is in the editing stage and should be ready to submit either late this fall or early 2016. Hopefully, all goes well and everything gets its chance to shine.
Am I busy? Of course I am. Is it all worth it? Absolutely! I love being a writer.