Two Months Away, Progress and Panic!

Hey guys, sorry for not being around for exactly two months. I didn’t even intend for my absence to be for such a specific length of time, but there’s been a lot going on and at the same time, there’s been very little going on.

First up, it’s 21 days until I go to Japan (technically 23 until I’m actually there, thanks time zones), and I’ve been trying to prepare for that in as many ways as I can. Primarily running around screaming like an idiot. But working out how I can scrape money together to afford new clothes, seeing as I have two pairs of jeans with a crotch that hasn’t bottomed out – the rest are practically torn right up the gusset. Joy!

In addition, I’ve finished up Hikari now. Yes, in my absence I actually have been doing writing, and have managed to push through and finish it up. At the moment, I am sending it out to a few beta readers, and once their feedback is complete I will roll out my final edit and hopefully get the blasted thing published. I’m also hoping to get enough money together to get an illustrator – who comes highly recommended from a fellow author friend of mine – to create a fitting cover for my novel.

Other than that, I’ve finished my contract at the radio station, and I am back to the daily grind of looking for work that will support me through the rigours of daily life without crushing my immortal soul in the process, and am finding the whole ordeal rather difficult at best. I’m looking for work in a media related environment, so if you do have something of interest please do let me know.

That’s about all I have to let you know about at the moment. I’ll also be restructuring my website a little, and I have a new project – or rather, an old project I have decided to reboot and  put in my universe – which I will be letting you know about soon. It doesn’t take place in Tonlist, so strictly speaking, it isn’t part of the Tonlist Chronicles canon. However, it does take place in the far future, when the Re-United States is at risk of being split once again. It involves a squadron of all-female mercenaries, a network of space stations in low Earth orbit and a sect of angels who have decided they don’t particularly enjoy humanity.

That update is coming this time next week, as part of my new schedule of attempting to update every week – I’ll even try to find time when I’m in Japan, hopefully with the addition of photographs from my travels there. Thanks for staying tuned, and I’ll catch you on the other side of the screen.

Later guys!

 

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Hikari’s Coma: Another Update

Hello friends,

I’m back, once again with another set of updates about my Hikari’s Coma project. Firstly, I am thinking of renaming the story to merely ‘Hikari’ – over time, it has increasingly felt like a more appropriate, more serious title which fits better with the overall theme of the story. I have a few other ideas for titles, but ‘Hikari’ just seems like the most suitable for now.

Additionally, I have lengthened the story into two significant parts, with a prologue and an epilogue. The second part isn’t finished and I’m going to rework the epilogue, but I have a solid plan about what I’m doing and where I’m taking the narrative.

I’m also toying with the idea about submitting the story to an LGBT publisher rather than self-publishing. The reason I’m toying with it, rather than having actually decided on it, is primarily because the relationship between Sarina and Hikari, while adorable and lovely, is incidental. It’s a science-fiction novel about giant robots set in a dystopian alternate universe and it just so happens that the main character and her love interest are both women. That was my intention from the start, and I’m undecided as to whether increasing emphasis on their relationship would be to everyone’s benefit, both mine and yours. We’ll see I suppose.

On a personal level, I have some rather exciting news. Call it research, a vacation, a dream-come-true, what have you, but I am going to Tokyo, Japan in September! I have managed to – at great expense to my wallet and my mental health – acquire a short trip of just over a week to the world’s only megacity, and I couldn’t be more excited. And I’m really not the excitable type! During my trip out there, I am planning to produce a daily blog on here, with photos and stories and so on, which I hope you’ll all enjoy. If you’re in and around Tokyo, I’ll be staying in the Asakusa area between the 24th of September and the 2nd of October, so please get in touch if you would like to meet up!

I’m also planning on taking some time off in the coming weeks, as I have a lot of vacation time left to take at my current job that I have to take before August, so I should be able to make some good progress with my writing. I’m also going to be posting a review of an amateur science fiction novel by the name of Ntshona soon, so please do check it out when that happens!

For fans of Night God Bless, I am still working on the new chapter and it should be available soon. After the cliffhanger of the last chapter, I’ve been trying to find my way back into the flow of things and I think I’ve found it, so I shall let you know once it’s out!

Hikari’s Coma: Artwork!

Hey there guys,

I just thought I’d post this short update to let you know that over the holiday period, I commissioned some artwork of the two main characters from my upcoming (yes, it’s that dreaded word again) novel, Hikari’s Coma. They were created by Jodie Wynne who turned them out in an exceptionally short space of time.

And here they are! What do you think?

I’m really happy with how they turned out. I have known Jodie quite a while, and her work is always second to none. She regularly does commissions via DeviantArt, so if you’d like your characters to have this kind of treatment, keep watching her at http://jowyn.deviantart.com/.

Hikari’s Coma: Update

Hello everyone!

Sorry I haven’t been around lately, ’tis the season after all and my free time seems to have been taken up by looking for Christmas gifts, staring woefully at my bank balance and searching for engineering apprenticeships. The last one isn’t that seasonal, I know, that’s more just something I’ve been doing.

I have reached that point in a writer’s life where I have the awkward and slightly nerve-wracking task of allowing my first draft into the hands of a few especially selected people. I have already handed one to my fellow writer and friend, Matthew A Robinson, who also writes science fiction. There are a few other people I have in mind as well.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because it means that I will soon be publishing my first eBook, Hikari’s Coma. I’m hoping to have it done some time by January (a little later than I had hoped, but the pays-the-bills job gets in the way of this one quite frequently), and hopefully you will have a few pennies left over from the sales to throw into my weathered writerly cap in exchange for a rollicking science fiction romp which features as an introduction into my little universe.

I’m also hoping to use the holiday period to write a few more chapters of Night God Bless for your enjoyment, as a few fans have got in touch to say they’re wanting more!

Anyway, that’s all I have for now – I hope you are all enjoying the winter (or the summer if you’re in the Southern hemisphere) and are wrapped up warm (if necessary). Take care!

On giving up NaNoWriMo – and finishing something else instead!

Hey guys.

You may remember from my last post that I said I was not even going to attempt to finish NaNoWriMo, and I stand by that point. I’m really glad I could make a start on Kelly Kaptur’s personal story, but the problem with introducing a character in a prior, unfinished project is that you don’t know where they’re really going to end up.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Kaptur was obviously going to survive through her introduction in Hikari’s Coma by the fact I even started writing The Legion of Truth. I just had to know what happened to everyone else, what caused the changes in her personality, what made her tick. For that reason, I finished up my second draft of Hikari’s Coma this weekend. Although it’s more of a first-and-a-half draft – I couldn’t help editing while I was writing, so the first half is pretty much spot on, whereas the latter half is in that bits and pieces, could be way better stage.

And I’m happy about it. I really am! It’s not the same kind of happiness as when I finished my first draft of the second version of Industrial Espionage (complicated, much?) – that was more relief than happiness. This is more a sensation of contentment, that I’ve finally put that chapter of this saga to bed. Obviously, I can’t go into massive detail without spoilers, but the last few chapters were tough. The first ending I wrote was stupid.

This_is_stupid_Large
Me, realising the first ending was stupid. (No, just kidding this is John from Homestuck, I don’t look that classy.)

It just didn’t have the emotional impact I wanted, nor the resolution I was hoping for. The story just seemed to peter out into a relatively depressing conclusion, much like the ending of a terrible television series, the kind that leaves you sat in the living room going, ‘well, I just wasted all my evenings for the past 8 weeks for this crap’.

Also, it didn’t involve a giant robot, and seeing as this is a book about a girl who builds a giant robot, I thought that was pretty disingenuous of me. Geez, I’m an asshole. Why did I even think that was a good idea?

Self-deprecation aside, I am really pleased with how it’s turned out. My next plan is to finish editing it and get it out there: a short first read for those who have stuck by me. I’ve sketched out a design for the front cover, and I’m going to attempt to colour it digitally on Thursday when I have my day off (I am looking forward to it so much!). I’ll drop an image of my new cover about the internets when I’ve done with it. Hope you like it!

NaNoWriMo 2013 Day 23

So, it’s been ages since I last checked in!

You have my sincerest apologies for that. I suppose my main reason for this, other than being incredibly busy of late, is that I have decided that I am not going to attempt to reach the 50,000 word goal for NaNoWriMo this year. Why? Because I don’t want writing The Legion of Truth to feel like a chore. I began writing it because I really enjoyed the character of Kelly Kaptur and her comrades, the way they counter one another in one way and complement each other in another. The reason I’ve stopped, or slowed to a snail’s pace is because the latter half of the story wasn’t planned out, and I need time to do that.

Time, it must be said, is not something NaNoWriMo lends a writer. Because of that, I have neglected to work on my almost-finished Camp NaNoWriMo project, Hikari’s Coma, and am still stuck in a rut with 2011’s NaNoWriMo project, Industrial Espionage. So, in the spirit of being clever and stuff, I have come up with a plan for the next few months… providing I don’t get any major news, of course.

Step one, is to finish Hikari’s Coma and get it out there! With a heavily edited storyline, which is freer of continuity errors than most Hollywood blockbusters, I only have to finish the last few chapters and get a cover prepared. That way, I can really start promoting my writing because hey, you can actually buy one of my books at that point.

Step two, possibly in parallel with step one, is to plan out the latter half of The Legion of Truth. And possibly think of a less crappy title, because the more I write it, the less I like it. There have been a few ideas I’ve come up with as of late, and I might even set it to a poll or something, although Facebook’s stupid page algorithm might ruin this idea quite horribly. I’ll see if I can get around it.

Step three, is to get a solid chapter-by-chapter plan for Industrial Espionage. With a word count of over 100,000 words for my last draft of it, it’s going to be a major project to overhaul that amount of story, as well as to keep track of its nuances and side-stories. Unlike Hikari and Kelly’s stories, Industrial Espionage follows a considerable number of characters, rather than sticking to a single point of view, which makes it even harder to keep track of things. There are all those questions; did so-and-so tell so-and-so this? Did I allude to this major historical event? Did I really write that or was I imagining it?

That’s my little plan so far. All this being said though, I do hope that you who are doing NaNoWriMo are having an excellent time of it, and that your characters are lively and inventive, and your plot thick and rich like so much delicious Sunday roast gravy. I also hope that you do manage to reach the 50,000 words, it is a wonderful achievement and you have every right to feel proud of yourself for reaching it, especially if you are working around other time constraints, such as employment, childcare, illness and things like that.

And whether or not you’re involved with NaNoWriMo, thank you very much for reading.

Personal Blog #4

Hello everyone,

I just thought I’d regale you with another tale of my life as of late. As you’ve possibly noticed, we’re into the third week of my new project, Night God Bless: Tales from the 2nd Arlandrian Civil Warwhich I mentioned in my last blog post. I’m enjoying writing it, and I hope that if you have read it, you’re having a good time reading it too. It’s a project I’ve had at the back of my mind for a while, and I was unsure whether I was going to lace it in with Industrial Espionage or have it as a side project. Obviously, I will be referring back to the events of Night God Bless in Industrial Espionage as they share a few common characters, but the question was whether or not I have something that goes into detail about those events or not.

I decided I would, and here we are!

In other news, I am very very close to finishing Hikari’s Coma. I have a few endings planned out in my head, and I’m writing out each one to see which I feel is the most appropriate given the context, and the one I like the most. Once it’s done, I am going to select a few people to go through it and give me some initial feedback. After that, I’m going to edit through it, make sure it’s as good as I can get it, and then self-publish it, hopefully in time for Christmas.

Once that’s done, I can work on Industrial Espionage. I’ve been doing a lot of planning around it. I’m planning on buying a big cork-board so I can pin all my scattered bits of paper on it so I have some semblance of order in my hectic plan. I might upload a few photos soon to give you an insight into my processes! (I’ll have to tidy my room first though.)

That’s all I really have to say on these matters at the moment, but I’ll do my best to keep you updated through the usual channels. As always, thank you for your support!

Plans

Hey guys, just thought I’d alert you to some things I’m going to be working on as of the rest of this year.

First up, I’m going to be polishing off the ending to Hikari’s Coma, getting a final cover sorted out (almost there) and publishing it as an eBook. I’ve had some good feedback so far, and the length means editing won’t take as long as usual. I’m really confident about this book and I have a feeling that with the right marketing and stuff it will do pretty well for a self-published debut.

Second, I’m going to be working on a new story starring the hacker Kelly Kaptur from Hikari’s Coma. I don’t have a working title yet (this is weird for me, honestly) but I have the plot drawn out in considerable detail and the characters planned out. Seeing as this is going to be my NaNoWriMo November challenge, I think by the time I get around to actually writing it, I’ll already have everything set in place. All that will need to follow is the words. And my timekeeping.

Other than that, I’m going to work on Industrial Espionage as and when I can. As it is the first in the trilogy that forms the initial core of my series, it has a lot of characters, a number of simultaneous events and a complex plot, which means that I’m naturally going to spend a lot more time on it. I don’t want to rush it out for the sake of rushing it out, so it will be delayed, but these delays mean that it’s going to be better when I do finally get around to publishing it. And, hopefully with my light novels already out there, I’ll have an even bigger readership looking forward to it.

I’ll also be doing a lot of blogging relating to my radio work, my writing processes, my personal life and my aspirations so hopefully these little tidbits about who I am and what I get up to will give you an interesting insight into the mind of a twentysomething writer. Thanks for keeping up guys, I have planned out a little flash fiction set in-universe, so look forward to that soon!

Personal Blog #3

Hey guys, sorry for my sudden and unexplained disappearance! I am back and I’m still around, but my life has become very busy of late.

As of the 5th of August 2013, I am officially employed. It’s only minimum wage, but I’m working at my local community radio station (BCB 106.6 fm) kicking ass (metaphorically), taking names (when I occasionally have to man the front desk) and making messes (when I forget to wash up my cups of tea).

Also, as of tonight, I had my first ever pre-recorded feature broadcast on a live show. That live show being the prime-time drive-home show (incidentally called ‘Drive’). I didn’t listen to it because I hate the sound of my own voice, but Fran who presents Drive on a Wednesday complimented me on it and Will, my fellow intern and general dude, said it sounded as professional as a national radio broadcast. So I guess it went okay.

I’m planning out a show as a little project on the side; it’s going to be a radio show that looks at fandoms, anime, video games and so on, while playing some sweet tunes and maybe even having the occasional interview if I can manage to arrange it. The way my boss put it was really good, she just asked me, “What would you want to hear on the radio?” That was one of my interview questions and my response was immediately, “Songs and compositions from Japanese animation and probably video games as well. Something… geeky, for lack of a better term.”

So that’s what I’ve been up to. Writing wise, I’ve been working on Hikari’s Coma still. I’ve almost finished the book (I’m onto either the penultimate or last chapter) and I’ve sketched out some ideas for improved cover artwork (as much as I like the artsy minimalist cover it’s not really suitable for the genre). I’m planning on getting back into Industrial Espionage once I’ve prepared HC for proofing, and I cannot tell you how much planning for other things I’ve been doing. A certain side character from Hikari’s Coma has a story to be told (or maybe a few) with a slight nod to classic SF Neuromancer as well as modern crime fiction and some slightly Dan-Brown-esque conspiracy stuff.

All in all, I have plenty of irons in the fire to be going along with, and I will do my best to keep you in the loop. Thanks for sticking by me guys, I appreciate it every day.

Camp NaNoWriMo: Completed!

Hey everyone,

As you may have seen on my Facebook page, as of 10:25 am this morning (while attending to other business no less), I used a spare 15 minutes to reach my word count goal for Hikari’s Coma. So that’s it! I’m done!

Just kidding. I’m actually not finished with the story. I continued writing this afternoon and well into the evening, and I’m at a current count of 52,116 and still going. But the fact that I’ve reached that goal that seemed insurmountable most of the way through takes so much stress off of my shoulders. I’m also just really really excited that I will have something to share with you soon, even if it’s not a particularly long book, it’s a book. It’s going to be self-published, so it’s not like I have to convince any agents or any publishing companies to do it either. A bit of editing here, a bit of cover art there, and there you’ll have it in all its digital finery. Keep posted and I’ll let you know how the process is coming along.

I’ll upload a few more extracts to the Hikari’s Coma section to whet your appetite for this writing project, so please check them out and let me know what you think!

Thanks for all your support along the way, it’s been absolutely awesome, seriously.