Welcome to the Dragon's Pen, the blog of an aspiring kiwi author ... chatting about reading, writing, querying and publishing

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

One Finished. Another Begins.

At last I have finished the final editing for Princess of the Pigsty. It is done!

The relief ... I hardly know what to say. It seems strange to be putting it aside, though, of course, I hope it will not be the last I see of it. Hopefully a publisher will call me in great excitement to declare they want it, and then I will be back to scratching and scribbling all over the MS again (only figuratively, because I do everything on the computer now days).

But for now, I can sit back with a pleased smile and say, Yes! It is done. (- Though there is that one bit which I should probably go back and fix...)

Is it just me or are writers never really totally satisfied with their work?

One of the reasons I am so excited about having Princess finally finished and off to a publisher for consideration, is that now I get to begin my next project.

This time I'm writing YA fantasy (a trilogy of course).

I love fantasy. I grew up listening to C.S. Lewis' and for years David Eddings was one of my favourite authors. Today, I enjoy Terry Pratchett and Cornelia Funke while revering J.R.R Tolkien.

I'm also a sucker for history. Especially English and European Medieval history, which is a bonus when writing fantasy, after all, what fantasy would be complete without that ancient taste and feel which the middle ages always conjures up for us - well, for me anyway.

What excites me most about this project is the fact that I have the whole story in my head ready to go. I have been "meeting with the characters" for about a month and stewing over the ideas that have been banging around in my head, and getting really excited. Anyhow, two days ago I sat down and mapped out the whole of Book One in half an hour! It just fell off the pen on to the page. I couldn't believe it!

Everything is so clear: the landscape, the races, the characters and the conflict ... everything!
Is this what writer heaven feels like?

Now maybe this happens to you all the time, but it's the first time a story has, step by step and scene by scene, revealed itself to me. Normally, I have a vague plot. I know where I'm going and a few of the stops along the way, but the rest of it just 'happens' as I write.

And, not only do I have the first book plotted out, but I have a synopsis for the second book and a short blurb for the third. :D

I can't wait to start writing ... only now I'm scared I won't do the story justice (eek!).

Monday, September 28, 2009

Shooting Star Stories

Late last night I sent off the first two chapters of Princess of the Pigsty, my children's historical novel, to a publisher along with the query letter, synopsis and the requested author's bio and C.V.

I must say, I thought the request for a C.V. intriguing, I have never heard of a publisher asking for one before. Has any one else encountered this before?

The publisher is a very new one, just setting up in Australia called Shooting Star Stories.
They are so new in fact, their website is still under construction.

Of course there are pros and cons when submitting to a new publisher.

They will of course be reasonably unknown, so it's hard to get a gauge of the sort of finished product they will produce. There may be little or no feed back from others authors they have worked with about what they are like to work with. But, as new writers must start somewhere so must new publishers.

On the upside, a new publisher may be in a better position to build a more personal relationship with their authors and to put more resources into promoting their work.

We shall see. Whatever the result of this little exercise I shall post it here.

Quote of the day: Mark Twain

Persons attempting to find motive in this narrative will be prosecuted;
persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished;
persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.


Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

T.K. Roxburgh's Banquo's Son

T.K Roxburgh is a local writer I have recently discovered, thanks to a tip from a friend and a full page spread in the ODT recently.

She has written a sequel to Shakespere's MacBeth, titled Banquo's Son, which was picked up by Penguin. It will be available in stores on the 1st of October $37NZ. The trilogy and film rights are about to be auctioned in America.

The book, set in Scotland in 1100AD, looks awesome; I can't wait to get my sticky little hands on a copy.

You can find her blog at www.banquosson.blogspot.com, a candid and enjoyable read about writing and her journey to get these books published. You can find a list of her YA books here as well.

NZ History Competition

It is competition time again for the Dunedin Writers Workshop. This time the theme is NZ history.

Apparently, so long as the story in set sometime in NZ's history it will qualify. I'm not sure how historical a piece has to be. For instance would a romance set in the 1800 stand as much chance as a piece based on an actual historical happening. From what I have been able to dig up both will have a shot, perhaps it will all come down to the judge; Susan Bell, writer of A Touch of Sleeve.

I am digging out a few of my short stories set in the early 1900s (1930 -1950s) and revamping them. We'll see how we go. I'll be entering three stories: Ring of Yellow Roses, Suitcases, and Martini.

Results will be out in November.