Sunday, January 22, 2012

Coming Soon Yesterday's Sins

It amazes me that once you set a goal and aim steadily towards it, the more within reach it is, and eminently achievable.

I have been doing the final edits on  Yesterday's Sins...ensuring their are no spelling errors or continuity errors...a laborious and time consuming exercise as other writers well know.

Yesterday's Sins was published in New Zealand by the now defunct KiwiGold Publishing Company and, as the rights have long since reverted to me, I will be publishing it on Amazon.  And with the help of my friend Kris Pearson,  who had lent me her expertise in designing a cover, it is almost ready to go up on Amazon.

Here's a sneak preview of my new cover.

From start to finish, it's been an interesting exercises and a huge learning curve.  Not the least because in the middle of it my laptop died and I've had to buy a new one....and learning a new machine's idiosyncrasies  has been, shall we say, a tad challenging.

To quote my late father Unless you learn something new everyday, you are not living. 

Well Dad, I've been really living this week.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Interview With Indie Author Kris Pearson

Today I am interviewing Indie Author Kris Pearson.


Welcome. To start the ball rolling tell me a little bit about your self.

K. As a child of ten, I wanted a helicopter. My father said okay, as long as I saved my pocket money and landed it on the back lawn and not the front.
What a gift for a child - to be taken seriously and encouraged!
So here I am now without a helicopter but certain I can have anything if I really want it.
S What a great memory. How long have you been writing? And what keeps you writing?

K. I've been writing since I could put words on paper. I read my stories and reviews on Children's Radio and wrote my autobiography at twelve. I worked in advertising as a copywriter rising to advertising manager for a furniture chain and wrote articles for periodicals in my spare time. I came to fiction when I joined RWNZ. I write because I love it. With me, it's not seeing my words in print so much as creating people. I’ll see a germ in real life and use it to create a story. A few days ago I saw a man reverse his ute into his wife at the tip and push her into the huge pit of rubbish. I'll use that cameo somewhere!

S. LOL. What did she say to her husband? You've placed in The Clendon Award and won or placed in several short story competitions. Tell us what you've gained from these competitions.

K. From the Clendon - deadlines! Instead of meandering along you have to finish. Barbara and Peter Clendon sponsor this contest with RWNZ and it’s judged by readers, so it’s the story that counts. It’s past entries in the Clendon I’m now self publishing. Short stories were the first fiction I sold, so to me, they are special. They taught me to write tight. Some of my favourites are published as "Five Short Romantic Reads".

S. You've recently ventured into the field of self-publishing on Amazon. Why have you chosen this option?

K My writing doesn’t fit category style. I have eight completed novels– and none have sold and I want them to be read. They are often a little off the wall and humour keeps sneaking in, as does my irreverent attitude to life. And now self-publishing is taking off, it is time.

S Has this been a steep learning curve? And what part of the process presented the most challenges?

K. Editing my earlier books, I found my skills had grown and the quality improved so a quick tart-up was not an option. This has been a 'start on page one and make everything better' exercise, time-consuming but enjoyable.

S. How would you rate the experience dealing with Amazon?

K. Amazon has great information and an informative How To video on uploading a book. Their report on book sales is constantly updated. I am so new; I check it twice a day! I’ve never had to use their help desk yet, so perhaps I'm not the best person to answer that question.

S. Do you have any advice for other writers who are contemplating venturing into the world of self-publishing?

K. Yes - go for it. But one lonely book floating out there isn't going to do it for you. You need a number of them - and new ones following on.

S. Have you made any mistakes or done anything that in hindsight you wouldn't do or would do differently?

K. I would learn to use a computer properly. To me it's a clever typewriter, not a helpful attitude. Would I have submitted to different publishers or tried to write other genres? No- romance is me. My books have a small casts so I can get close to my characters. Should I have put more work into submitting them? Yes of course - but that would have eaten into my writing time...

S Many review sites state they won't review self published authors because of inferior presentation. Will this have a negative impact considering many pundits view it as the way of the future?

K Writers write, regardless. Good ones will shine and succeed. Word spreads very quickly now. Publishing doesn’t make books good or bad. There are some shocking published books out there, and real self published gems. They should pick the good self-published books and give them their due.

S. I've read two of your books;
 Wrong Sister

And Seduction on the Cards -
The formatting and presentation is superb. I haven't come across a single error to spoil my reading pleasure. Do you employ a professional editor? Would you recommend employing a professional editor?

K. No - it's all me. After years of proofing ads I HATE mistakes so there's personal pride here. A professional editor may improve my books, but that would steal my fun. Many Indie Writers do have editors. If they feel it's the way to a better book, then good on them.

S. Reviewers and readers are influenced by book covers. How challenging is it to design and produce enticing covers?

K. With my background in advertising and being a hobby artist, I have a fair design sense. This combined with my husband's computer skills works well. Covers are important. Mine are simple, colourful and to the point. I like having a co-ordinated look-same fonts etc as a visual lead-in to the next book. Covers on Amazon are shown small so visibility is vital.

S. If you could offer one word of advice to other authors what would it be?

K. Believe in yourself. If you really want to write, the good stuff will shine through.

Shirley : Kris it's been a pleasure and thank you for sharing your time and expertise. You can find out more about this author on her website

Please feel free to leave comments or ask Kris any questions.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Coming Events

On Tuesday  17th, New Zealand time, I'm interviewing Indie Published Author Kris Pearson.

Kris has kindly offered to share her journey to publication with me.  I look forward  to talking to this inspirational author.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Rena Breaks Up-- the shipwreck saga continues.

Debris on Waihi Beach...Milk powder and timber
It seems so long ago that I was infuriated by a cargo ship running aground near out beautiful pristine beaches. Well the unthinkable has happened, The Rena has split in two and once again our beaches are littered with broken shipping containers, timber and tonnes of milk powder to name a few items.

It is high summer...not that the weather gods take notice of such a minor detail...and all our beaches are closed because of the danger posed by floating debris.

Huge timber poles litter the beach. A swimmer would be smashed if one of those ginormous hunks of timber caught them in the surf. The stench is indescribable. But on a lighter note there must have been surgical gloves on that container ship as well. They litter the beach every few feet. But far more serious any worrisome is the amount of dangerous chemicals on board the boat.     

The cost is mounting by the day...and to salvage the sunken boat...lying next to a popular dive reef...using divers is expected to cost in the region or $NZ190,000 a day.  Holy guacamole. This is on top of the millions already spent.

And like all New Zealanders, we love the beach.  How can such a disaster happen in this day and age?

The only positive to the whole debacle is the hundreds of volunteers giving up their time to help clean up the mess.    

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Year-New Projects-New Beginnings

We are again at the start of another year.  And I'm a tad late posting this.

A time when we traditionally set goals and make resolutions for the coming year.  Although I can't figure out why we do blog I read recently said there was no point...she was dusting off last year's resolutions and re-using them, they were almost new.

So what will  this year hold for me...what are my dreams and aspirations.

1: To be published.  I am in the process of making this happen. I posted off a full Manuscript to Harlequin Special Edition yesterday.

2. I intend to reprint my two published works on Amazon instead of letting them languish.

3. Finish the  third book in the series of The Mulleins of Katherine Bay.
   These books already have a following having placed in The Clendon Award and been raved over by my critique partners. Heath Mullein is not going smoothly....I'm struggling with him...he's making my life difficult...he can't see his way clearly.  In other words he's a typical Kiwi male!!!

4. Last and but by no means least. I intend to spend more time with my family. And gently encourage my husband to have an overseas trip. I'm raring to go....him not so much.