Just finished writing the first draft of Book 2 in the Storming Archives
- sequel to Delwyn of the Realms! Trembling and excited!
For anyone not lucky enough to win a copy of
Delwyn of the Realms - I will offer a 50% discount
(for the paperback version - not including shipping)
to everyone who shares their favorite
or most unusual dream on this post!
Thanks to all who entered
- Keep on Storming!
To celebrate the release of "Delwyn of the Realms: Storming Archives - Book 1" - in paperback, I am hosting a Giveaway on Goodreads! Ten copies are up for grabs - enter to win!
As I've mentioned before, Delwyn of the Realms was born from two previous, unpublished novels: a memoir I was planning (called "Your face in my hands" from my blog on Wordpress - http://yourfaceinmyhands.com/) and a Young adult novel similiar to Delwyn of the Realms. The big decision to - at least temporarily - abandon the memoir, was due to how uncomfortable I felt with producing a book about the details of my childhood - specifically in regards to raking my mother over the coals.
Now it seems odd that I felt that way, seeing as I had already talked about my experiences in my Wordpress blog. I received some great support and feedback from my followers and other Wordpress bloggers - however the idea of blasting it out in a full length book made me shy away from that project. As I was already writing the Young adult version of Delwyn of the Realms, the idea came to me that I could 'cushion' the blow, by using some of my experiences (including those with my mother) - in an Adult version.
Then I could change the details of Delwyn's mother, without documenting the full story - therefore saving her from any ill-feelings. But as I said - it now seems a moot point as I had already discussed it via my blog. It's strange how - as an author - you can do the smoke and mirrors routine by believing that a blog is not the same as publishing a real book! Fair enough - a blog is (seemingly) only visible to those you choose to share it with, but on the other hand, it doesn't take much for anyone to find you with a Google search!
One of the comments I'd received on the blog was from a wise woman who stated that what happened to me - belonged to me - no matter how much it might hurt others involved. I'm paraphrasing, but she said that this was my story - therefore mine to tell. I was reminded of a line from Helen Garner's novel "Monkey Grip" - where the character Nora says, "Events don't belong to people", albeit - after being confronted by her nemesis, who is enraged when her personal details are revealed in a short story. (Another line from the novel - "People's lives are just gossip fodder" - but it doesn't serve my purpose!)
The idea of events not belonging to people has always stuck with me, as I knew that I wanted to write about my experiences growing up - but was afraid of the consequences. This is a big dilemma for authors, as they can appear shallow - or worse - users! I wonder how many arguments and broken ties have arisen from authors revealing events or characters in their work! All artists are inspired or motivated by their own experiences and encounters with others.
Then I mulled over the idea that authors shouldn't censor themselves - but does that mean we can ride roughshod over the people in our lives - past or present? It's a painful see-saw that continues to be a conundrum for me, especially as I am also a mother - notwithstanding the fact that I was nowhere near as bad. I was not an alcoholic and did not put my son through the horrible things that happened to me. But that doesn't mean that I was a saint.
I had my foibles - and I'm sure he would like to rake me over the coals when he thinks back over the periods of deep depression etc. We have a great relationship and one of the reasons is that I was always aware of how my actions affected him - based on my experiences with my mother. We have always been able to discuss any issues and never had any screaming fights or raged in silence for too long!
But then I put myself in my mother's place - wondering how I would feel if my son felt the same way about me? Shouldn't my mother also have the opportunity for forgiveness? Again - the see-saw! The issue with forgiveness is - the perpetrator needs to admit that they did anything wrong in the first place, then apologize - and mean it! The next step is to make amends by taking steps to correct the wrongs and changing their wretched behavior.
This is something my mother refuses to do, as she always comes up with excuses as to why she drank and put us through the wringer. I have attempted to temper my anger by trying to understand all the things she went through as a child, such as: being born Aboriginal in a predominantly white country, losing her parents when she was very young and being placed in a home, etc. But one thing I've learned about evolving as a human being, is just that: evolving!
Most of us humans had some level of hardship or pain when growing up - but the trick is to analyze, understand, accept and move on. The irony doesn't escape me. I too need to follow those steps, which I am doing through my writing. Somehow it feels as though I'm censoring myself if I don't express the pain I endured as a child and teenager - but not all the blame can be placed squarely on her shoulders. Others are just as much to blame for turning a blind eye and allowing the crap to continue.
For me - in regards to my writing - I found that the trick was to be tactful and at least, to keep a balance, by taking a bird's eye view and contemplating everyone's side of the story. This brings me full circle though - this is my story; my experience and my take on what happened.
So - with all that said - I decided to modify the character - Delwyn's mother. In the story, Delwyn's mother is cruel and abusive - to a horrifying degree. She loathes her daughter and is the same towards Delwyn whether drunk or sober. She traumatized her throughout her childhood and beyond.
Without going into more detail here (you can check out my blog on Wordpress if you want to know more about me and my experiences) - when sober - my mother is a wonderful person. She is compassionate and very giving; fun and intelligent and so on. But that's what makes the dark side of her so intolerable. Like a Jekyll and Hyde character - she can be nasty, vindictive, cold, calculating and childish - but on the flipside she can be sweet and kind. The dark side still rules and the bright side is too far and few between.
One of the things that fueled my design for Delwyn's mother, was the understanding that many people have endured abuse at the hands of a sadistic mother. Much has been written about abusive men - to the point of men as a sex being demonized. We don't often contemplate the idea that some men are good - in a world where war-mongers, abusers, rapists, murderers and molesters are predominantly male. We also rarely contemplate that some of those evil people are women. I assume that it's due to the fact that women are supposed to be kind and mild - and men are supposed to be powerful and ruthless.
For a long time I've understood that the battle of the sexes is a futile endeavor - a war waged by those who profit from it. Whether they be corporations, politicians, the media - or even us little folk who rely on stereotypes to feed our insecurities. I've always regarded men and women as the same - just people - period! Some men are kind - some women are evil. People are evil - and kind. A woman can be strong and powerful. A man can be weak and helpless.
That's why we are more horrified when a woman does harm - especially to her own children. This misunderstanding allows us to try to be more understanding when a woman inflicts pain - and less understanding when done by a man. Some say that it's more terrifying when a woman is evil - but does that mean that it's natural for a man to be evil? It always depends on the point of view of the person analyzing the situation - but I've found that people are more likely to make excuses for the woman. It's less of a shock when a man does the damage.
I have always been shocked when either a man or a woman shows an 'evil' nature. Even though it seemed unfathomable when faced with women abusing others - based on my conditioning and the fact that I am female - I was just as perplexed when a man was the culprit. I've known some beautiful men and ugly women - so as far as I'm concerned - sex has nothing to do with it.
It would be easy to argue that sex has everything to do with it - seeing as women are subjugated by men. But we need to understand that the subjugation is a two-way street. Women also join in on their own subjugation. Knowing that you are being subjugated - and then stepping out of it to maintain your sense of humanity - is the key to stop feeding the machine.
I know that I have digressed from my initial intention for this post - but I feel that the discussion needs to be elevated to a level of deep understanding. We are all to blame - and we are all responsible for the solution!
Click through for more info on the storyline and characters!
Delwyn of the Realms - my first novel (Book 1 - Storming Archives) will soon be available on Amazon (within the next twelve hours!)
I'm so excited - and happy to be self-published.
jessicaecovers from Fiverr did the cover.
I'm also nearly done with the first draft of the sequel!
It's amazing how it took me a year to complete my novel - "Delwyn of the Realms" - and that I've already written 63,574 words (92 pages) of the first draft of the sequel in one month! After 'birthing' the first book, it seems that the floodgates are open and I'm flowing along at an alarming rate. Ideas are exploding like firecrackers in my head and I can hardly get them down before more crash through.
I used to drive to work listening to audiobooks - but now I'm using that time to hash out what I'm going to write for the day, talking to myself, laughing and hitting the steering wheel - saying "Yes! Oh my God, yes!" Hysterical - especially for the other drivers! At work I scribble it all down at my morning break and then at lunchtime I'm hammering on my laptop. Then on the way home I'm 'storming' again and after preparing dinner (yawn!) - I get back into it.
This is the easy part. Updating social media and trying to get an agent and publisher is the slog. A worthwhile and meaningful slog - but slog nonetheless. I've had my first knockback from an agent who advised that he didn't feel that he was right for the project. Even though he was looking for fantasy - I just wasn't his cup of tea. Which is fine - I get that. If I were an agent or publisher, I would only take on what was right for me - and I imagine I would be
Still - rejection isn't the nicest feeling in the world - and it makes me think of brilliant authors who received hundreds of knockbacks before their excellent tomes were finally picked up. In saying that - I'm not hinting that I am brilliant - but I believe in myself and my work and will soldier on. I have submitted to three other agents and am waiting eagerly for their response.
I was discussing all this with my husband and we decided to make 2015 the year for "Delwyn of the Realms" to be published - by hook or by crook! We talked about ebooks and how people are becoming far more likely to prefer that medium. We decided that I'll give it until March 1st. If I have no positive responses by then - I'll release it as an ebook. That way I'll have more control and won't have to wait for it to be published, etc.
It sounds so childish to expect a positive response so soon (from agents etc) - and even if you've been published before - there's no guarantee that your book will find a traditional home. It's frustrating to be in a holding pattern - especially when you know you have a great story that's well written with fascinating characters - just like any other good author out there. However - these days - time is of the essence and the competition is more ferocious than ever. For any author - being traditionally published is a dream come true - but it's far more likely that you can drum up interest yourself far sooner, and no one has your best interests at heart like yourself!
I've had great responses from my beta readers so far - and have revised to the point where I am happy with the end result. I am now looking for an artist to create the cover art and am having fun on Mythic Scribes - a website for fantasy storytellers - chatting with other fantasy authors and learning so much! I used to think that writing was the hardest part of being an author. Now I know the opposite is true. Drumming up business is the slog. Writing is easy!
I've invited some of my fellow Pinners to help pin pictures and videos on my 'Storming' board - to help inspire me as I write the sequel to "Delwyn of the Realms" - tentatively called "Portal Stormer".
Check it out - they are indeed awesome and worthy Portal Stormers!
Hello you! Yes - you, the one reading this. Maybe there will be more. I certainly hope so! It's odd writing in a vacuum. That's what writers do - most of the time. At least, that's usually the kind of writer I am and have always been. When I was little, I wrote in journals and made little story books for myself, secretly hoping that someone would read them - and feeling my heart flutter if someone actually did.
As I grew older, my journals became secret, as they held mysterious truths about myself that I wanted to hide from the world. Some journals were about hidden desires - especially as I went through my teenage years. Some of them were full of rage and hopelessness - yet others were hopeful and held the beginnings of many stories and poems.
As time went on, I wrote a lot more poetry. I started novels that I never finished - either because I was raising my son, working or had little confidence. Being a perfectionist - who also had low self esteem - became a self-inflicted vicious circle that stunted my growth as a writer. It took years of reading, researching, learning and writing whenever I could to build up my confidence.
Losing myself in stories has been one of my favorite pastimes - like most humans! Writing a novel that exemplifies everything you read, encompasses all your experience and expresses your wildest dreams is a gigantic thrill that's hard to beat!
Writing this novel - and actually completing it - has been a thoroughly satisfying experience. Now I'm facing the daunting task of trying to find an agent and publisher, as well as weighing up the options of self publishing and ebooks, etc. Marketing is the most frightening thing of all - especially for someone like me who is usually shy and not very computer or internet savvy!
However - I am learning as I go along and receiving some wonderful feedback and offers of assistance.
Hopefully I will be able to offer freebies very soon - such as downloadable wallpapers (currently looking for a reasonably priced artist for cover art), free ebook - later on, and keep checking back for news about a podcast that a friend and I are talking about doing! Hilarious! (No - really - it will be hilarious! You don't know me at all. Hee hee!)
Hooroo for now!
Blogging the Portals
Thoughts on the writing process and my journey to publishing! This is also where I share my inspirations and anything else related to my writing. Please feel free to comment and share - but remember to behave! I reserve the right to banish disrespectful remarks to the nether regions!