books writing

Funding Question

I’m considering crowdfunding and self publishing one or more of my books or an anthology of poetry/short fiction?

What, as my following, would you consider supporting or buying?

Either answer in the comments below or email me


poetry women

A Request –

I’m considering self-publishing a collection of my poetry, and wondered if you had any favourites of mine that you would consider paying to have in print?

Please leave answers in the comments below or email me with your thoughts. Also, if you’re interested in collaborating, give me a shout as I’m interested in seeing if anyone does.

Thank you,



poetry Uncategorized women

A Request – Crowdsourcing For A Poetry Anthology

I’m considering self-publishing a collection of my poetry, and wondered if you had any favourites of mine that you would consider paying to have in print?

Please leave answers in the comments below or email me with your thoughts. Also, if you’re interested in collaborating, give me a shout as I’m interested in seeing if anyone does.

Thank you,





ambition blogging books craft creative writing creativity editing emotion empowerment hunger inspiration plot process reading Two Pages Uncategorized writing

Two Pages (03/10/16)


Yesterday was a major sprint in times of development of my writing projects. I had not intended to finish the notes on Until She Sings, but between Saturday night and Sunday morning, I had gotten ahead of myself and completed the work. Lawful Evil gets worked on daily, and even that warranted three pages. I just did two this morning, and put together some notes for a short story that I plan on submitting to an anthology. I’m waiting on whether one of my stories has been accepted for a charitable anthology at the moment but I keep putting work out there, because to me, that’s how you improve and develop.

So, to counter the slight malaise that comes from having finished something (yes I do get them because I know that if I gave into the impulse to keep writing all the time, then the work gets thin and inconstant. Know when to walk away hungry) I spent the afternoon reading. Marcus Aurelius, which is chockful of wisdom but not an immediate read. I find a degree of comfort and solace in stoicism, it’s a useful way to approach things in life. I then watched Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, purely for Alan Rickman, who managed to steal every scene he was in. I also dipped into a novella that I am reading for a review on Goodreads.

The time spent, although not actual writing, was still writing. I thought through the next couple of pages of Lawful Evil, the scene structure and how I could tackle the next challenges. I understand myself enough to know that when I can’t write, I can work. I am productive, focused and conscientious about the writing. I perhaps, don’t know how to market myself all that well, but that’s okay. DaVinci couldn’t tap dance, Prince couldn’t direct. There are all things we should be doing but don’t because we lack confidence or experience.  I want the focus to be on the work, rather than me and until I have paid work to show, it would be. Unless I do hashtag choked articles about finding your characters out and twee, little missives which imply I am vastly more experienced than I am. Encouragement is like cake, which most people love but too much of it makes you ill and incapable of doing anything with any degree of achievement or clarity.

General rule of thumb, if someone presents themselves as an authority on something – check to see if they’ve done it or talked about it. The difference is telling. I include Robert McKee in that, and I regularly return to Story for advice on structure and storytelling.

Lawful Evil has been a challenge simply due to my adherence to a project that has conventional scenes and challenges that I haven’t written before. My sucking at it is par for the course, but I’ve failed on similar challenges, learned lessons from them and applied those to the current project with varying degrees of success. It isn’t to say that I am unhappy with the work, just a vague sense of not nailing it. Then, I tell myself that this is an exploratory draft and I can fix what I fail at later.

Ah, the relief of process.

Until She Sings – well I am going to continue combing through that, ahead of any suggestions by my agent, because it shows due diligence on my part and also it stops me getting irritated with little faux pas that I see online, and probably annoy me out of all proportion to the effort made in the first place.

Fuck it.

I loathe the following practices of mainly self published authors –

Auto Direct Messages. I guarantee if you do this, I won’t read your book. If it’s good, I will on point of principle, avoid it. You could email me to ask me instead, tweet and ask for someone to read it and review, those are perfectly acceptable. It’s rude and ugly marketing, it shows a failure to understand that although we are all sold to, and selling to one another, don’t make it obvious.

I had a DM once that read:

I’d drink bleach to get you to check out the free sample of my book. Don’t make me do it! Click it:

No, I’m not providing the click. I even asked if, in return, they’d consider RTing a blog post, after all you’re turning up uninvited and I don’t see why I shouldn’t ask for something in return, seeing as you think it’s perfectly acceptable to put that image in my head.

No response.

Good marketing, if you really need it, offers something interesting.

Even Chuck Palahniuk did it when raising money for Lullaby. That knocked me for six, because I would have thought he wouldn’t have needed to. It’s a fart in a can, when you open it, it stinks and you don’t want to open anything else by that brand. It’s an automatic unfollow.

If your twitter feed is nothing but promotional tweets for your book, scabs of hashtags and Follow Friday then you’re getting muted at best. I like Twitter when it’s interesting opinions, amusing memes and one liners but there’s a set of tools self published authors are using that feel desperate and tone deaf. I feel bad for saying this, because I’ve been there, I did it.

It doesn’t work for me. I consider other people’s feelings too much. I like people to be interesting, who have opinions and feelings about things. I follow a guy called Troy Blackford who posts ordinary tweets – books he’s read, films he’s into, sharing things he’s excited about. I downloaded the anthology he edits, Robbed of Sleep and even submitted to it.

Funny how that works, isn’t it?

Thank you for reading. Please leave comments, thoughts and questions below.





Thoughts on self publishing

Can you sell a book direct to readers? Print to order an edited and proofed work or an ebook where you set the price?

Louis CK did it with his special.  I’m not against self publishing,  just cautious and also I want to just write. Publishing and marketing aren’t areas I am as good at as I would like to be. If I can’t find a publisher then it is an option for me. I’m not set up financially to pay top whack for an editorial/proofing, let alone covers etc.

Sure you make more per book and it’s freedom but it’s also lonelier an endeavour than writing already is.  I want to work with an established and experienced group of people so I can focus on the work of writing first and last.


Two Pages

Some nights, there is that divine flow where the gap between thought and word is minute and the pages get done quickly. Sometimes it’s because I have figured out what I need to happen in my head before I settle down. Other times it’s just a degree of muscle memory and I power through. 

Tonight’s not been that, it’s been slow and deliberate. What’s gone onto the page has been exploratory, it’s the decline from an intense sexual encounter to that moment of reflection. To me, there’s a correlation between orgasm and that moment of meditation when you escape your ego and similarly there is some measure of perspective and reflection as you come back to yourself. 

Like I said, last night, there are people who are writing and thinking about erotica in an intelligent and inclusive way. That gave me hope, even as it made me wonder if I’m all that progressive. I cannot say that I am any good, I know that I love to write, and love having written. I work at it, so I aim for competence if nothing else. 

I am inspired, but I have adopted an ethic that means I don’t have to rely on it to get the pages done. It’s 358 pages now and I look forward to the new project, which i have about eight pages done in longhand. I’m aiming for my agent to find me a publisher, I am aware of the adherents for self publishing but it’s not for me, I want to write. I respect and am fascinated by those who do, but sometimes it feels eerily similar to MLM schemes and I’ve yet to seriously look at or see anyone who’s sharing how much money they’re actually making. I’m all for fake it until you make it, but I am also aware that for me, legacy publishing fits my vision of a career. I’m not expecting that to be the business equivalent of warm milk and cuddles, in fact, I am going to worry about it when it happens. Not before. 

I have too much to do. I work on getting better so that when the opportunity comes to me, I will have discipline and craft to supply a project that’s worth their investment. I saw someone describing self publishing as the new punk but I am enough of a fan of music history to know that for every Sex Pistols, there were awful bands that mistook enthusiasm for talent. I’m not disparaging anyone who does, merely that some people don’t put the time into the craft that an agent or an editor gives them. I know there are those who are passionate advocates for it and if anyone wants to have a conversation about it, then I am always willing to be educated. 


Put Down, Pick Up, Repeat As Necessary

If you have to put another writer down to put yourself up, you’re probably doing it wrong. I posted my concerns about the reddit thread yesterday and I probably shouldn’t have. There are success stories, determined people who are honest with themselves about what they want to achieve and there was, I suppose, a projection of my own pretensions onto it. 

I write what I want to write about in the style that suits me. I want to get better at it, because I do entertain that fear that maybe I’m not that good at it but I enjoy what I do and I do it every day. I figure that getting and keeping an agent helps prove something in that regard but in the darker moments I still wonder if I am going to be outed as a fraud. I think we’re drawn to negative reviews as it confirms the worst aspects of our egos. 

I saw a post on here where someone was talking about legacy publishing acting as a gateway and during the post, it became more about his negative experiences and subsequent success in self publishing a book that was repeatedly rejected. He then went onto disparage other authors for not being as successful, or in the case of Lee Child, for being successful. I felt disappointed to read it. I could, in some small way, relate to the emotions that the writer was expressing and I didn’t like what it said about me. 

So, I logged off and read for a bit, coincidentally it was Emma Donoghue’s Room. He referred to her latest book and how it was a flop compared to Room, he cited review sites and it nearly coloured the book for a second. Then I started reading. Today, I had things to do so I am writing later than normal but it’s getting done. 

In the end, you can worry about what other people are doing but it’s energy that could be better spent on writing. I know that, just sometimes I get lost in my ego and forget. I cannot worry about what other people are doing if it doesn’t affect me directly, the industry is going to change, and all I can do is write as well as I can, listen and absorb knowledge that goes towards telling a better story. My agent will do what they have to do and then it comes back to me to promote it in conjunction with whoever they find who is willing to publish it.