Saturday, 12 April 2014

A creative mind....ponders

Openly sharing words...dare to dream

It has been quite an unusual journey on my path to writing. I never started with the intention of getting published, so everything was fun and totally carefree. I would stay up (still do) until the silly hours of the morning. Normality ceased to exist, as I wrapped myself up in a blanket words instead of a cotton quilt.
A new adventure was beckoning me, asking me to listen, so I did. 

I started scribbling the images down that played through my mind as a film. From these scraps of thoughts I created a little visual book of the story and presented (nervously) to my family and close friends. 
It can be quite daunting putting a piece of yourself 'out there' to be scrutinized, but via the beautiful artists I have met and had the pleasure of making friends with - I learnt to publicly share, to be brave, and I want to thank you all for helping me on my journey xxx

The little visual book was well received in my small supportive circle, and so my writing journey began. I wasn't ready to face the one/two finger typing just yet, so I wrote everything down using the good old traditional way - with pen and paper.

Finally, I prepared myself to get on the laptop and type. I looked at all of the paper and wondered if I would ever get to the end. I took a deep breath and cleared my mind - I can do this, I told myself and so continued to press one key after another. Characters came to life, and the story started to grow as I typed. 

Once I finished the manuscript, I printed it out, wrapped a silver ribbon around it and took a photo - there done I thought. Lol, I look back at that moment now and giggle to myself. I was very naive, and eagerly sent it off to publishers to see what response it would receive, if any. Of course I received some rejections, and I honestly didn't mind. They were not cruel or crushing, but polite and courteous. Some even encouraged me to resubmit, and a couple of smaller eBook publishers, even offered me a contract. I sat back and contemplated as to whether I should accept the offers or work harder to improve the manuscript as the rejections suggested. I longed to get my work out there, but knew that I had to make the story the best it could be. It was important to give the initial vision that I had, justice.  I didn't want to just publish for the sake of getting published, however tempting, so back to the manuscript I went. 

I read over the manuscript so much that I couldn't be objective anymore, the next step was to ask a freelance editor for their opinion. It is difficult for a novice writer to know whether their writing is good enough to compete with all of the wonderfully, creative authors already in the business. I needed to know... Did I possess the basic requirements to make a good writer, if not, I would just have to take on the chin and lose myself in art, at least until I healed from the blow, but I hoped with all my heart that I had something to offer ;o)  

So the hunt started for a good editor at a reasonable price range that I could afford. I found someone named Cate, of whom I instantly resonated, and another journey was about to begin. Our first interaction was 3,000 words of the manuscript. To see if we were suitable to work with eachother. I remember receiving her assessment. I was so excited, it was just the type of feedback that I yearned, needed to reflect further. I felt that she understood what I was trying to achieve. 

The initial 3,00- word feedback:
    Hi Tracey, 
Well you can definitely write! You have a good grip of the story dynamics that readers love in this genre. Great work creating a character with depth and back story, facing a challenge right from the start of the book, readers will be hooked. Your writing style is clear, flows well, and isn't encumbered by too many adjectives or flowery prose – perfect for this genre. 

I'm so pleased to hear that you connected with my critique - when I enjoy someone's work I tend to go a little deeper into it. I just can't help myself - and honestly, I'm dying to find out what happens at the party!

Where I think you need work is cutting redundant interactions / copy and focusing more on building tension. You’ll see my notes below. 

It was interesting, well thought out feedback, and very much appreciated.
I worked on these areas, then submitted my complete manuscript for evaluation.

I also found out from various other sources, that for my book to be classed as a romance, the story had to have a happy ending. I was quite astonished, as I assumed, if love was the main element of the story that it would automatically  belong into that genre - I was wrong (naive). This was to be the most difficult decision that faced me since first writing my manuscript. Should my sad, but thought provoking ending be replaced. It was so hard to imagine my character having a different end, especially as the next book in the trilogy was to be a continuation of the first, and I struggled to imagine anything different. 

After much deliberation, I decided to try and rewrite, rethink how my original story could mingle with this new revelation. To my surprise the answer was already written within the manuscript, I just had to look a little deeper. I developed this idea further so that it may have the feel good ending that met with the commercial side of publishing. I commissioned a book to be made by a wonderful book binder Marlene, to savor the original ending, format forever - that made me happy enough to cope with change.

The new ending was written. A couple of new scenes were also added throughout the manuscript  to help with the adaption, and it was finally transformed.

Next, I was advised to further develop another piece in the book that I really connected with. It was a personal, spiritual scene, that played out a little bit differently than one might expect. If I'm honest, it was a part of the book that was one of my favourites, so again, it was  extremely difficult to imagine anything else. I had written the book that I wanted to read, but would it be what others wanted to read - the majority? I thought long and hard about the suggested adaption, but began to see how it might work. Now, the tricky bit was incorporating the two ideas. What should I leave out, leave in, etc. I admit the transformation, for me to write, felt beautifully connected. Hopefully, readers will later connect with it in the same way too, for that is so important to me. For the future reader to grasp the undertone of the love story being presented. It can be frustrating to not fit commercially, because the story is considered too niche, but I was determined to have both, lol, and I really hope that I have managed to achieve that goal. 

At present I have my work with several publishers, and an agent requested that I resend, after revisions. It's funny, as I know that I will find it hard, to actually say - yep you are the one that I wish my baby to go to. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this feeling? Maybe, if it was just a one off book, I would look at it a little differently, but being an intended trilogy, with a fourth standalone, I am quite nervous of making the wrong decision publisher wise. A contract lasts for years, and to me it feels pretty scary. I think after working so hard to produce a piece of work that you and they are happy with, it can be quite daunting giving that baby away - making sure that they are the right people, for the right reasons.

Okay, so now, I'm on the last legs of editing. Making sure everything flows, and ensuring there is enough tension throughout, etc. Then, it will be decision time. I hope that the same muse that inspired me to write, will come to my aid again and help guide the way forward. Maybe, I'm scared, scared of getting this far and failing once published. Selling only a few copies, and possibly receiving critique that will crush a little piece of me that so ardently wants to create magic for others. Then, I remind myself that sales were not the reason that I started, and even if I fail in my endeavor to reach many people, that I have been a part of an amazing journey, which was created from nothingness. That, I possess a  unique piece of writing, that only I could write, projected from my perspective, inside, out. How beautiful is that thought... ;o) 

I take a deep breath, and remind myself to be brave, 
as I complete the journey started via a whisper of promise.

Thank you so much for taking the time to pop by blog and read my post - 
I wish you the most incredible, amazing, beautiful life xxx
and that you always find the strength to follow your dreams...
Why not leave me a message about your dream, 
and let's be brave together. xxx

Love and light,

Friday, 11 April 2014

I'm back!!! 'Keep your light bright' - A Carpet of Purple Flowers

A Carpet of Purple Flowers
(New Adult - Paranormal Romance)

'A Different kind of Love Story'

Hi everyone.

I wanted to create a post as I realise that they have been becoming less frequent over the past few months. I just really wanted you to know that I haven't forgotten any of you.

It would be great if you would take the time to pop over and follow my new book page - HERE
Website HERE
I will be placing updates on books release, etc there.
Thank you beautiful people x

Well, it has been quite a slog trying to get the manuscript ready for publishing, and finally, I'm almost there - Yay! I have given the blurb details below, and a little write up of how the story came to be. 
Please feel free to leave me a message, it would be great to receive some feedback, and a follow ;o) 

‘Every unknown is a beginning’

Bea lives a simple life residing in a SW London second-hand bookshop. It had been an especially difficult year, first with her uncle dying, then splitting up with Brandon, her philandering, druggie boyfriend. The shops trivial daily conversations, local faces and calm was all she desired, but that was all about to change.

No-one expects to bump into supernatural beings, let alone two opposing sects of a forgotten race. Bea’s quiet existence turns into turmoil as she slowly starts to unravel a secret past. A lost history in which love, revenge, betrayal, magic, power and karma are not mere cycles of a soul, but a sacred journey upon a web of many possibilities.

The future is not set in stone, and the choices that she makes ripple through the cosmos. As the secret unfolds she realises that no matter what form your soul takes there are consequences for ones actions in which time has no relevance – we call it karma, they call it Vororbla.

Will she cope with the heartbreak and truths before her?
 What would you do if your very existence came into question? 
Join Bea as she uncovers the truth of her past via a carpet of purple flowers.

Once I started to place pen to paper, the story began to grow into a much greater tale. Maybe, every creative whimsy that I have ever envisaged and not acted on has waited until now… to be brought to life.

My mind raced, as folklore came entwined with love, fate entwined with choice, science entwined with spiritual teachings - all guiding me to write a romance that revolves around a karmic cycle.

Let me share with you, a secret place in which only a parted veil exposes. To an ethereal plane in which otherworldly, angelic, type beings, tend to a well of souls.

In the book, I take the reader on a brief, visual journey to the home of these elementals called, 'The Sindria', their realm, 'Calageata'. It is here, that the purple flower of Vororbla grows, emitting a thick mist ready to greet the essence of a soul.

What keeps us going when the world can feel so harsh?

Where do we draw our strength from in times of need?

What urges us to carry on, when things become extremely overwhelming, and too much to bear?

We all know the answer... it comes from within.

Somewhere, deep inside, a light refuses to fade.

This light (our inner strength), may become less bright for a time, but in its fading, it is re-energising, and will again awaken from sleep.

Once, our inner light screams out its very last ray of hope - the sleeping energy awakes, re-igniting the inner, dimming ray.

Reminiscent of the illuminating birth of a far away star, and from apparent nothingness, wondrous brightness can evolve.

The Sindria (elementals) teach… 'To be able to shine brightly, ones light must first fade.’ 

In the book, I mention to 'keep your light bright', as we have all experienced at some point in our lives, a time when nothing makes sense, and I really wanted to send out an important message to my readers – that you are so much more than what you initially see, and to remember, a fading light, secretly, masks eternity.

Love and light