Welcome to newsletter number 23. This year, life’s been tugging the reins out of my hands and now it’s out of control. I’m flying. What is going on, and will this ever stop? Hah! Yeah, I’ll keep you posted on that.
Today I’ve started a new edit. I am so excited about it! I’m already about 15% of the way through, so that means I’ll be done in about a week, give or take a day.
I have been writing and looking to the future, to ways in which I can extend further support to newbie writers, or indeed anyone interested. I’m looking into widgets that would allow the authors on my editing list free access to a selection of resource materials, and I intend to make many of those available to the public at large, as well. At the moment, MailChimp seems to be the one important program I need to master, besides others. Any experiences with MailChimp you’ve had or like to share – please leave them in a comment for me. I really am interested to know. Ideally, I would rather people were able to choose the material they need, maybe bookmark it, so they can interrupt and come back to the same place later. I’m a strong believer in treating others as I would like to be treated, and since I hate spam… I wouldn’t want to become a spammer, unwittingly.
I’ve given more attention to marketing strategies, employed by both traditional and indie-published authors. It seems hard to find a common denominator, but I’ve been trained to see patterns and analyse them, so, while ultimately useful, this is a game I believe I can play, given enough time and effort.
If all else fails, there’s always plan B. This Onion article describes an age-old method that, while not my cup of tea, did make me smile.
Whatever time I have left after editing for this next week is going to be spent on my blog – hosting authors and writing reviews – and on writing. Yes, you heard me right. I believe it is possible to finish Blood is Power by the end of the month. The problem will arise if ever I lose that conviction.
I owe you all an explanation. I have been meaning to finish Blood is Power in May. (Hell, I was initially planning to have it done by Christmas 2012!) I thought I’d have enough time after Eternal Immortality‘s release, on May,10th. Well, I did put in a lot of work towards it, and without doubt the last 20,000 words were the hardest bit of writing I’ve ever done. Far out of my comfort zone, darker than my usual style and emotionally draining. Will it make a difference in the end? I think so. This is the fifth book I will publish and it was re-written about as many times. The more I write, the more I question my abilities – who doesn’t? – but this time, I know it’s a knock-out effort.
So I thank you for your patience and I beg for your forgiveness. I know it’s dragged on longer than expected, but it’ll be good. I’ve got a new deadline – 25th June – that I’m aiming for, and so help me the writing muse, I’m pulling out all stops to make it. Perhaps now would be a good time to ask you if you’d beta read for me. I already have three betas, but the more, the merrier. If you’re interested, drop me a line. My email is on my ‘Know me better’ page. If you prefer to read book one before this one, that can also be arranged. Email me.
Here’s a quick snippet from Blood is Power, unedited:
“Maybe not here. But if you left…”
Anna began shaking her head before Tequila finished speaking. She pointed to her head. “The tracker…”
“If I anger his Excellency, he would kill me. I had the misfortune to experience his anger once. And if I die…” Her eyes dropped to her bump.
“I won’t let him.”
“You cannot stop him.”
“I am not planning to be here long. Come with me. We’ll find a way to get off the island.”
Anna shook her head. “He’ll find us. He’ll kill us. We belong to him now.”
“No chance! There has got to be a way out. I just need to find it. A boat, or… or that sea plane…”
Anna shot to her feet, shaking her head. She backed away from Tequila. The girl’s agitation was extreme; she looked like a cornered animal, her head shaking violently, her arms raised as if to fend off a cloud of angry bees.
“Help me, Anna. Help me—”
“With what, exactly?”
Two sets of terrified eyes locked onto the cruel mouth that had growled the last three words. Dollar’s fist turned white as the bleached canvas on which it had clenched.
“What did you tell her?” he shouted at Anna.
She shook so much, she could barely speak. “Nothing, your Excellency.”
The canvas ripped, dislodging some of the roof thatch in the process, and in the next moment Dollar’s fist connected with the girl’s jaw. She flew off backwards through the air and landed on top of some ceramic pots. Cream-coloured massage lotion oozed out onto the bamboo mats. He moved too fast for Tequila to intervene.
“You, stupid bitch!” His eyes were empty as his fingers tightened around the girl’s neck. Her eyes bulged out of their sockets.
“Dollar, stop!” Tequila screamed.
He turned to stare at her, eyes narrow and emotionless, but his grip didn’t loosen.
“You’re gonna kill her! Let her go!”
His only reaction was to stand up, fingers firmly locked around the young woman’s neck. She was limp.
“No!” Tequila threw herself at Dollar and clawed at his hand, but he shoved her aside and marched out the door, dragging his prey behind him.
“No!” Tequila screamed and ran after him, just as she was – naked and half-covered in massage lotion. “Stop it, Dollar! What about the baby? Don’t kill the baby, too!”
She launched herself at his back and locked her arms around his neck and shoulder, but he ducked and pushed hard into her stomach. She landed in the water. Tequila spluttered and swam for shore. By the time she reached the beach, Dollar’s back was disappearing into the doctor’s hut. She started running.
Beautiful white sand flicked up in the air and stuck to her back. Soft ocean breeze tugged at her hair and turquoise waters ensnared her ankles. Palm fronds arched to her right, demanding to be noticed. But she was fooled no longer. The Paradise was a lie.