Home stuff and writer’s block

Have you ever typed around a stubborn cat or dog? I’m doing that right now. She just not in the right position for me and I’m going to have to move her!

That’s better. Okay. Writer’s block.

I’ve had people ask me if I ever get a writer’s block. I sometimes counter it with a question – what is writer’s block? Well, there’s a very good webinar hosted by the Australian Writers Centre that has a small snippet of writer’s block in it. But I’m going to tell you what I know about writer’s block.

Writer’s block can have different reasons. Real life might be getting in the way – especially if it’s a traumatic experience, such as – no, I’m not going to name any event because everyone deals with trauma differently.

But writer’s block can also be with the scene itself. Sometimes the scene itself is traumatic or sometimes it’s either in the wrong place or shouldn’t even be in the book. Let’s look at those separately.

So, take the scene itself as being traumatic. A typical one like that is either heartache or abuse. There are others, but I’ll let you work out which of those work better. I’m not going to go into them. The main thing is to look at the scene itself and ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Does it belong where you’re putting it?
  2. Does it move the story along?
  3. Does it grow the characters?
  4. Does it provide the basis for the next action?

If you can answer any of those questions with “Yes”, then the scene can stay. If you can’t, then put it in a separate file. It might be in the wrong book.

The next things to ask yourself are:

  1. Is it the type of scene you like writing?
  2. Is it a traumatic scene?
  3. Is it a hard scene?

If you say “Yes” to any of those, then it’s a matter of just taking the scene word by word.

Although if you’re like me, a dialogue or action writer, writing those connecting scenes, the ones that build up toward either the dialogue or the action, can be a challenge. That’s where writing word by word comes in. It may take you a few days to write those types of scenes.

There are ways of getting past writer’s block.

One of them is to have more than one work in progress. This allows you to concentrate on one while your mind is percolating on the other work.

Another is to watch or read similar scenes to see how other writers tackle them. One scene I was writing had to do with terrorism, so I found some movies to watch. Also, I can’t remember which of Alistair McLean’s books it is, but there is a wonderful scene that describes a team of commandos involved in a bus crash and Mr McLean describes how they act during that scene in such detail that I actually utilised their actions in a head-on car crash I was in way back in the 90s. Stopped me losing an arm.

Of course, there are other ways to work through it, walking fast is another way. When I was working full time, I’d walk to the bus stop as a colleague was giving me a lift to work and while I waited for him, I went over scenes in my mind. I tried dictating them to my phone but couldn’t quite get that down pat. But you get the idea.

I choose to believe I don’t get writer’s block very much – in fact, I have so many scenes jumbling around in my head that I’ll just choose another one to write if I can’t write the one I’m working on.

I do recognise that people have it and I admit to not writing for 20 years, so hang in there if that’s what’s happened to you. Your writing will come back, better and stronger than it was before!

Now I have another cat to deal with! Night all!

Moving along

So, I’ve been working hard this week, mainly with transcription stuff, however, I will admit to achieving 21k words in The Dark Road.

I have stalled some of my other work while concentrating on The Dark Road but I haven’t forgotten the others.

Transcription work has been really busy the last few days, even down to doing an interview or two on the weekend. Serve me right!

Although we did get out of the house one day last week and went up to the Lego Store. What a disappointment. But it did get out for the day!

There’s not a lot going on at the moment, just working and writing.

It’s available!

Finally! Legacy of Risks is available to buy!

Amazon

Amazon Australia

This book follows on directly from Heart of Deception. It is the second in the Consequences Series and brings to fruition a number of actions that were started in the first book.

If you’ve yet to read the first book, you can find it here:

Amazon

Amazon Australia

For followers, there is a third book that will be launched later this year. I am toying with the idea of a fourth, but it depends on what you guys want. If I do a fourth book, it will be something like 20 years in the future. It’s up to you all – I’m happy to keep writing about the Kingdom of Albermarle.

Interviews!

I have been remiss! I have been meaning to share a group of interviews I’ve done – both live and on blogs but with everything that’s happened over the last couple of months, it completely slipped my mind!

So, here they all are!

Oh, before we get too settled in to have a look at those links, remember:

Legacy of Risks is due out on 22 Feb 2022!

Amazon

Amazon Australia

So, on with the links:

Books Charming

Nerds & Friends Episode 6

BookGoodies

There will be more but these are the ones so far.

The other thing is, Dark Reign is back from the Beta Reader and I hope to get it to Corvus Quill Press very soon.

Sad News

I was going to write an uplifting note this week with more links to books and interviews.

However, I received the news yesterday that my sister had passed away from cancer. While we were expecting this, it still was not welcome news. I was hoping she’d hold out until her birthday in March.

She worked really hard for FAP (a hereditary bowel cancer), helping a large number of people along the way. She had a strong tie to WEHI after working on various projects as a consumer advocate and consultant with them through the Cancer Council of Victoria.

Elaine touched a great many hearts, some of whom have reached out through the various FAP groups on Facebook. She was a gentle soul who meant much to a lot of people.

I remember when Countdown first came on the ABC back in the 70s. Dad and mum had a little black and white television in their room and the night that Countdown was on, we’d have tea a little earlier so Elaine and I could go watch Countdown in their room. It was a time of bonding for the two of us.

She called herself, and I have to agree, a long-term survivor of FAP as the cancer she had was not related to FAP. It was fast-acting and aggressive and she only went into hospital 2 weeks before her death.

Right up until a week ago she was bright, positive and still making jokes with the nursing staff.

One of the things Elaine loved when she was younger was skiing. She would go up to the snowfields every winter and spend at least 2 weeks there. She even travelled over to the US in 1978 to ski on Vermont.

I like to think that she is somewhere skiing to her heart’s content. Life is a lot different without her, even though we were 4k kilometres apart. Ski on, Elaine, and watch out for those ice patches!

Pre-Order!

Legacy of Risks is now available for Pre-Order. here are the links!

Amazon Australia

Amazon US

And if you have yet to read its prequel, Heart of Deception, you can buy it here:

Amazon Australia

Amazon US

For those who have read Heart of Deception, I would really appreciate a review – it would be awesome to get some reviews! Tell me what you like about it, what you didn’t like!

Dark Dimensions is still available to buy:

Amazon Australia

Amazon US

Dark Reign is still being worked on. Last week I had a suggestion to change the POV in the second half. Agreeing with the suggestion, I went through and changed a lot of the second POV back to the first POV for a more dramatic feel. From what feedback I’ve received while doing so, this has been a good change. So, Dark Reign will be a little longer before it goes to the publisher.

While we’re here talking about books, I have a few friends who have books out and books about to come out. So, here they are!

First off the blocks is John Murray McKay. John resides in what he called Mordor – we all know it as South Africa. John has a few different genres he writes in and he writes a tight book with great dialogue and wonderful visual scenes. His books can be found:

The Girl’s Guide to the Apocalypse

Amazon US

Amazon Australia

The Venom Protocols

Amazon US

Amazon Australia

Land of our Fathers

Amazon US

Amazon Australia

Let’s look at MJ Spickett. MJ lives in a place more known for its Ice Road and snow than for its heat. MJ lives in the northern country of Canada. She has a vivid imagination and has produced many books on her own but is working on a new series. MJ’s characters are rich and their interactions are dynamic.

Whispers of the Immortal

Amazon US

Amazon Australia

So, please, do us all a favour and have a look at these books.

If you haven’t read them, I shamelessly implore you to read them and if you have, I equally shamelessly implore you to write a review for each of the books you have read!

And enjoy your week! I know I will!

End of the Heat

Well, for a few days, anyway. Then we’re back to melting. Okay, so that’s what the spa is for!

Onto other things, I had an online interview yesterday morning with Josh Lindquist of Nerds with Friends. It was a great interview and I had a lot of fun! Looking forward to doing it again!

For those who are interested, here are the links to the interview:

YouTube

and

Buzzsprout

I hope you enjoy watching it as much as Josh and I did making it.

So 22 February is fast approaching and Legacy of Risks is now available for pre-order.

Please find it here!

And here!

I’m so excited that the sequel to Heart of Deception is almost here. It will answer those questions you may have – does Marek get the use of his legs back? Do the Royals challenge the Mannors Family in court? Find out in Legacy of Risks!

Dark Reign – as I said, this has completed editing, however, I did get some feedback regarding it and I’ve been rewriting it to see if the suggestions make it better. I’ll let you know as soon as I’ve worked it out!

Don’t forget, you can get Dark Dimensions here! and here!

Holidays are nearly over

So, Happy Holidays to everyone, hope you are safe during this time of the year, no matter where you are.

I have made it home after a wonderful week with my sister in Castlemaine! I have to thank my long time friend, Sue, for picking me up from the airport and delivering me to their home and picking me up from the train station in Sunbury and driving me back to the airport. Wow, I still can’t believe I went from about +24C at Castlemaine to +14C at Sunbury! What a change! And, then, when I got back into Perth at 20.37, it was still +31C!

During the time I was away, so much happened. The Omicron variant of covid-19 hit Sydney and threatened Victoria, two truckers made their way to Western Australia with the Delta variant – I did hear that they had tested negative when they left Sydney but were positive by the time they reached Perth.

So after two weeks at the Pan Pacific Hotel (which reinforced in me that I prefer fresh vegies) I finally made it out of hotel quarantine on 21st December, just in time for Christmas! Simon was pleased because he was worried I’d come back with the virus. I could have told him he was panicking – he’s got more chance of getting it than I did in Victoria. After all, if I’d come down with it, I wouldn’t have been able to stay with my sister.

On another bright note, Legacy of Risks will soon be available – I’ll post a pre-order link here! And I will try and get the trailer link and post that here as well.

Legacy of Risks is the sequel to Heart of Deception and there is a third book which has been submitted for publication.

Dark Reign has completed editing and is now with the final proof reader, so as soon as that’s finished, I’ll send that for publishing as well. So, hang in there, more of Troy and Pril is on its way!

And after all the melting heat Perth went through over Christmas weekend (each day over +41C) we’ve finally cooled somewhat. Heading for +31C. Needless to say, now that our X-Box kinect is up and running, I’ve already spent 10 minutes on it and I will spend extra time on it. Gotta get back into the swing of X-Box! My inspiration is the ad in Australia where the mother is playing either Nintendo or Wii (not sure which) late at night! 😀