I’m Baaaack

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. May have forgotten how to.

What have I been up to since last time?

Busting my tail to finish Discord’s third book, Save the Last Vamp for Me, which is currently with my beta readers. Yay!

I’ve also adopted a new Shewawa (That’s Chihuahua for those who don’t appreciate my uncaffeinated attempts at humor), Miss Honey.

HoneyinherDress

 

House Hunney and our girl have been busy building a deck, or rather, a big covered porch. HH calls it a deck, I call it a porch, so we’ve taken to using “dorch” for it rather than argue about who’s right or, you know, Google the proper term for this creation. I’ve helped with some of it, and really need to pay a few visits to my chiropractor now.

After working through beta suggestions, I’ll be sending Book 3 to my editor, Tonya, who will commence with her editing heroics. It will be heroic, because she’s telecommuting to her new job while packing up house to move to another state, on top of a heavy classwork load for her MBA.

Man, Book 3 hasn’t had an easy time of it. The poor thing has suffered through being written and rewritten during the loss of HH’s mother, and loss of two of our furry family members, a severe bout of the flu for both HH and me, several severe allergy attacks (I love spring and summer so much), and assorted other “Really?” and “Are you freakin’ kidding me?” events.

To say my first year actually earning a living as a writer has been interesting would be a slight understatement.

In other news:

The family and I really appreciate everyone who has decided to give my books a try. I appreciate all the ratings and reviews you’ve left on the Amazons, Goodreads, and even Scribd. You’re helping other readers decide if my work will be their cup o’tea or not, and that’s mighty nice of you.

Plus, you guys are the reason there’s a snazzy, 145 sq. feet dorch outside. See, I’m a lot more productive on the word herding when I’m not sitting at my desk, my computer with all its shiny internet distractions in my face. And that’s why House Hunney agreed to build the dorch. :)

What’s next?

My main focus for the rest of the year will be to write Discord’s 4th and 5th books, though I will take breaks to work on some of my other projects here and there. I have many to finish, and finished they must be!

I owe a few people formatting or covers, so there’s those things to do.

I haz plans! To Do lists! Word quotas to meet and beat!

That’s it for now. Enjoy your Friday. :)

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The Adventures of Some Kid by Noor A Jahangir (Plus interview!)

Today’s author interview is with Noor A Jahangir, a British Asian author, who’s here to talk about how he got into writing and his latest novel, The Adventures of Some Kid

Do you remember when you first decided you wanted to be a writer?

Hi. Yeah, I remember quite vividly in fact. I was seven years old and sitting on the floor with my classmates, whilst our teacher was reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It was the bit when the kids and the beavers are hiding beneath an outcrop, listening to sound of footsteps approaching. I was completely spellbound and knew that this, captivating children and young people through fiction, was what I wanted to do.

When did you start writing seriously?

I wrote the first draft of my first novel when I was 14, and started a correspondence course with The Writing School a year later. I took a volunteer staff writer post with a magazine when I turned 17, and spent three years working there in the evenings whilst studying. But it wasn’t until I was 23 that I had my first short story published by an online journal.

Have you written anything before The Adventures of Some Kid?

My first novel was The Changeling King, an epic fantasy adventure about five kids who have been sucked into another world and forced to overthrow a monstrous tyrant, whilst a sixth kid is hunted by trolls in our own world. It was published in 2011.

Do you write full-time? What are your writing habits?

I wish I could write full-time. That would be my dream job. I often fantasise about having that luxury to focus on my writing. Instead I have to write late in the evenings, on weekends and on holidays. I have a nice laptop hooked up to an ergonomic keyboard. I usually write a couple of drafts, send it to some test readers, and then use their feedback to write another couple. Then it’s over to the editors.

What’s the hardest part about being a writer?

Writing is a difficult thing, but it’s also a source of pleasure. It’s the marketing and promotion stuff, or finding an agent or publisher that is really soul-sucking.

 Who are your favourite authors?

Wow, the list is massive! I’ll give you a few though. It would have to be David Gemmell, Raymond Fiest and Neil Gaiman. Of the new authors, I really like Jade Kerrion’s stuff.

<b> What inspired you to write The Adventures of Some Kid? </b>

It actually came about from a chat I had with my local librarian. She basically said that there wasn’t that many adventure stories out with a protagonist that was just a normal kid. It’s all super spies, boy wizards and demi-gods. That got me thinking about the Tintin stories I grew up with, the Indiana Jones movies and the Tomb Raider games. So I invented this character, Zach Caan, who is loosely based on my kid brother, and thought up ways of getting him into serious, life threatening danger.

Who did the cover art for The Adventures of Some Kid? How do you go about finding an artist?

The cover is by an artist called Elbert Lim, from Singapore. My go to place is the DeviantArt community online. I posted a brief on the Job Offers forum and got back a stack of responses from a whole bunch of amazing artists. I wish I had the number of projects and the money to hire them all, but sadly that isn’t the case. Elbert sent me a quick sketch of what he thought the cover would look like, and that really caught my attention. Elbert Lim will be doing the cover for the next two “Some Kid” books.

What are you working on next?

I’m currently working on the sequel to The Adventures of Some Kid and also the sequel to The Changeling King. I’m hoping to release the next Some Kid book around the Christmas holidays.

________________________________________________________

The Adventures of Some Kid

The latest book from the author of The Changeling King, Noor A Jahangir, is coming out on 27th June 2014, in digital and print.

SomeKid

 

ZACH CAAN isn’t a boy wizard, a super spy or a vampire’s assistant. He doesn’t have any super powers, martial arts training or cool gadgets. In fact there is nothing remarkable about him at all. He’s just some kid.

But when he boards Flight X4573, he embarks on the most unlikely adventure a person can experience in the twenty-first century. Pirates, lost tribes of Aztec warriors and mysterious islands are not usually part of his daily routine. and when it’s all over and his classmates read about him in the national newspapers, they will have great difficulty in believing that it actually happened to him.

You see, nothing ever really happens to Zach Caan. That is, until now.

Ebook available to pre-order now from Smashwords and your favourite eBook stores!!!

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Ah, April

I haven’t had the best of writing starts this month for various reasons.

One of those reasons was a sudden disgust with my office carpet, which led to ripping it out, refreshing the paint job on the room, and installing new flooring. From start to finish, it took about four days. Not bad for a couple of ouchy forty-somethings.

newfloor1

No more shampooing carpet. Yay!

The Ugly

On a sadder note, we lost one of our pack, the Chupahuahua, this month. He was troubled little old guy who occasionally had what I’ll call “episodes” (he’d have biting fits, bite anything and everyone for a day or two, then return to “normal”). He had an episode that resulted in having to make the decision to put him to sleep.

RIPchupi

Basically, 2014 has sucked on the home front, losing two members of our family.

However, I try to focus on the positive rather than dwell on the negative most of the time, so let’s turn this car around now, shall we?

The Good

This year hasn’t sucked on the writing front. Even with missed writing days, I’m currently 2k ahead of my word count goal for the year.

Arcane Solutions spent a little over 4 months on an AmazonUK genre Top 100 list. Something to Curse About joined it shortly after release, and spent a bit over 3 months on that list.

How cool is that? Pretty darn awesome! :)

Not only that, but several new-to-my-work readers spent extra time contacting me personally, and/or leaving reviews.

Thanks bunches, folks!

I’d like to give a shout out to Mark Henwick, author of the Bite Back series. I’d discovered his series in February 2013, and enjoyed the books so much that I added his blog to my feed reader. Imagine my surprise when I discovered he’d read Arcane Solutions and liked it, via this post.

There may have been a Day of Squee. :)

More Good

Sales are continuing nicely, though they’re slowing down on AmazonUK and increasing on Amazon.com and a couple of other Amazon sites. You folks have no idea how nice it is to be seeing some payoff for sticking with writing over the past six years even though my writing biz operated at a loss those first five years!

Thank you again!

Where I Am Now

I’m trying to settle back down into a daily writing groove, with focus on finishing the next Discord Jones book, Save the Last Vamp for Me. It’s been slow going because I’m not in the habit of going from one book in a series directly into the next. Mostly because I’ve not had a series experience any sort of “continuing popularity” before, which means I’m having to attempt to create a new habit.

After all, Arcane Solutions was out for nearly two years before it began selling at any sort of volume. The fact it suddenly began doing so caught me flat-footed because I’d set aside Book 2 to finish “if Arcane ever begins selling regularly.”

Yeah, you could say I wasn’t expecting it to happen, but I’m overjoyed it did. :)

Anyhoo, I’m working on figuring out a schedule that’s actually achievable for me in regards to writing the Discord Jones series without letting my other series and writing projects disappear into the mists. I have a difficult time getting back to stories I haven’t worked on in a while, so I can’t go too long without working on them at least a little bit if I ever want to finish them without having to start over from scratch.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the “Gotta get this series written because people are actually reading it and wanting the next book” feeling. It’s an interesting feeling to have. It’s cool because readers want MOAR, and that is like the biggest boost there is for a writer.

Yet when you’re not in the habit of jumping from writing one book to the next in a series, it can lead to floundering. You WANT to write the next book because people are asking for it, but you find it difficult because that’s not how you’ve been working, and end up not getting much of anything done because what you want versus what you’re used to doing are driving you to drink.

As I said, I’m working towards finishing Discord’s third book.

So, you know, there’s that. :)

And I’m off to do some non-blogging writing now.

I hope.

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My Writing Horse

I have been on it! :)

Quite pleased that for the first time since 2010, I’m actually running ahead of my word goal for the year by 6,469 words. Met my word goal for March already too.

I even managed a little over 9k new words on Save the Last Vamp for Me (Discord Jones #3) in the past eight days.

Progress, I am making it. :)

In other news, I’m feeling something new and kind of unexpected. Some new readers of the Discord Jones series have left really nice reviews over the past few months. There have been statements made like “I’m hooked”, “Write faster!”, and a couple of them have commented on my FB author page that they “can’t wait” for the next book.

Which is UTTERLY AWESOME. :)

It’s also terrifying. The pressure! Holy cows, I’m stuck in panic mode, folks. I think StLVfM will be better than the first two, but there’s some “differences” going into it that may affect some of the things readers have particularly remarked upon enjoying.

Such as the pace. Both Arcane Solutions and Something to Curse About were pretty fast-paced. StLVfM is going to be a bit slower because some stuff has to happen to move the series arc along. I have to work that stuff in juuuuust right too.

So yeah, the pressure, LOL. It will all hopefully come together without being a let down to anyone, and it may end up a bit longer than the first two books because of that “stuff” that has to appear.

I have four other projects going, and am getting some words in on each at least every few days, so I may be releasing all five over the next few months. Which would be good, because then I could concentrate on Discord #4! :)

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Bewitching the Wolf King

It appears the paranormal romance I’ve been wildly word-herding will be my next release. This is a standalone title, not part of any series. And it is NOT the beginning of a series, LOL. I have enough of those in the wings. :)

Bewitching the Wolf King

Finding a tall, dark, and handsome to help her shed her virginity had been the only thing on Alexis Connell’s agenda.

But fate, not chance, brought Thorne to her. Now she’s at the center of a centuries-old feud in a world full of violence and magic.

She just wants to go home, but there’s no escaping her destiny…or Thorne.

BtWK_2x3

To be released late March.

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