Covers, proofs and learning

So, apart from a brief, over-excited flurry (see below) about a short story, I’ve been away from this blog for almost a month. Holidays aside, this is because I’ve been deep in draft three of novel #2, to-ing and fro-ing about the cover of BloodMining, and over the past few days studying the page proofs. Blimey, it feels like a real book. Cue knee-trembling, sick feeling in belly.

The cover was finalised before I went away, but thanks (not) to a glitch on this site I cannot show you because this blasted thing won’t allow me to upload any images. Lovely techie mates, like Elizabeth Donnelly and Diane Laidlaw, have offered help but, so far, to no avail. You must imagine me gnashing my teeth and stomping my feet now. Anyway, I’m really happy with the cover and, an added bonus, the fantastic Yvonne Roberts (currently at the Observer, award-winning journalist and author) read the novel and offered a great quote for the back cover. When her email came through I thought I might throw up – it felt like the first review – but, to my delight, she clearly enjoyed it. Phew.

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Writing my way back to Manchester

Phew. This morning I sent the copy edit of BloodMining back to my editor Gill, and so I returned to novel #2 and Manchester in the mid-80s. Feels like I’ve been away a long time and it was interesting to discover what my characters had been up to.

After some thought-provoking, and fabulously encouraging, feedback from Jenn Ashworth at the Writing Smithy (I won a mini-appraisal from NAWE), ideas have been milling around in my head; ideas which, I hope, will improve the book, but my protagonist did something most unexpected, and rather alarming. Not sure whether or not to trust her. Has she been possessed by some demon while I’ve been away, or have I lost my grip on her? Perhaps I’ve forgotten who she is. All very scary. But that’s the deal with writing. Scary, exhilarating (when it’s going well), excruciating (when it’s not). Ho-hum.

Lost in the Ether

Let’s hope not. Because the ether I’m talking about is Ether Books, and they’re publishing four of my short stories over the next month or so. Ether is a mobile publisher, providing short fiction, articles, poetry and serials from both bestselling and emerging contemporary writers direct to your iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and so on. Alongside greats like Maggie O’Farrell, Hilary Mantel and Edith Pearlman you’ll find new authors, and while I can’t testify for them all there are many whose work I’m familiar with and am happy to recommend: Sarah Tanburn, Faye L Booth, Amanda Sington-Williams, Kay Sexton to name a few.

It’s such a great idea. You need never be stuck on train without anything to read, provided you own one of these lovely gizmos. Which I don’t at the moment. Ooops. If I sell enough perhaps I’ll be able to afford one.  

Technical details: The App is free to download and some of the work is free too.  Work that isn’t free is very reasonably priced. If you own a Kindle, you can buy stories from Amazon without the software – the Kindle store is accessible through the Kindle itself, or you can buy by visiting Amazon on your computer and it will send your purchases wirelessly. How cool.