Three Awards and a Hop

I’ve been awarded! Again! So I must be doing something write (see what I did there?). Okaaaay, cringe if you must. Anyway, this post is all about thanking the people who thought I was awesome (were you sober at the time? Just checking…) and revealing a little more trivia about the intricacies of my mind.

Please don’t be offended by the combined post. I’m a little tight on spare time at the moment – as always – but I realised that if I don’t do something about it now, there’s a chance I never will. So, here goes, in date order.

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1) The Shine On Award

– given to me by sweet Emily Guido. Thank you so much, Emily. It took too long (twelfth of January!), but I’m finally there. Emily is the most amazing person you’ll ever meet. There’s so much strength in that one person, and so much determination, you’ll be surprised! Check out her blog here.

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2) Steve awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award (on the fifth of May – sorry for delay, Steve, and thank you!).

I’ve met Steve Smy on the blogger grapevine and (though I seldom find time for comments) I often sneak a peek at his posts. Read more of them here, and have a look at his writing, too. He’s got a good voice.

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3) The WordPress Family Award

– which is my newest, received on the tenth of June from R.J. Keith. She writes A LOT. Have a look here. R.J. is on my TBR, and I will get to it. One day. I will. Thank you for the award, R.J.

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Now, all of these awards require some sort of levy – in the form or sharing information about yourself, answering set questions, nominating others, etc.

I’m going to take the common points from all – which are to post the logos, thank the people who nominated me and link to their blogs – but the rest of the requirements I’m going to braid into my own little twine of disclosure and I’m going to make it writing-specific this time.

Enjoy!

1) The first novel I wrote still lays unfinished in a dusty (virtual) folder. I wrote it to fit a location I liked. Wrong approach to writing a novel!

2) I wrote Martin Little, Resurrected on a cushion on the floor, with earphones on and music just loud enough to drown out the children’s chatter or TV programmes – not ideal, but if the kids could see me, they were less likely to interrupt. Go figure!

3) I wrote the first draft of Blood is Heavier mostly at work, plus a two-week vacation.

4) Only after I had to force the book’s ending at over a hundred thousand words, did I figure I had enough material to make Blood is Heavier into a trilogy, if I allowed the story to develop naturally, so it became the Hunter series.

5) All my writing started out as experiments – what you see is the successful ones.

6) With Martin Little, I had no plot. It is entirely character-driven, and the only rules I followed were to have nothing that had been done before in it, and to have each chapter finish on a cliffhanger.

7) In the case of my thrillers I worked on an outline, but the finer twists only came to me while doing the edits. This time my motto was: no wasted words.

8) There was one thing I promised myself I would never write: paranormal romance with vampires in it. Then I met Kristie! The outcome is our most successful books yet: the Eternal series.

9) A typical writing day starts early, with about an hour or two of email-clearing, writing the day’s blog post, and doing social media catch-up (it’s quick and quiet when America is still asleep, and I wake up gradually the more I have to form coherent thoughts), followed by any editing commitments (up to the point where my concentration begins to waver), and the rest of the time I write. I read every evening for about an hour – almost exclusively indie authors, of late.

10) Putting my ideas in book form is hard for me, because I lose interest in a story as soon as I’ve figured out all its main plot points and characters’ motivations. If I don’t write it fast, I don’t write it. Recently, I discovered a writing buddy, preferably one who can deliver a powerful virtual kick to the gonads, is the way to keep on track. Thank you, Kristie!

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I have one more commitment to honour, and that is to Carmen Stefanescu, who invited me to take part in the Next Big Thing Blog Hop.

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Carmen tagged me on 24 March! Time kept running away from me, so I’ve taken this opportunity to thank her for the invite and give you all a glimpse into my Next Big Thing.

Q1: What is the working title of your book?

Blood is Power. It is book two in the Hunter trilogy.

Q2: Where did the idea for the book come from?

I have a ‘thing’ about injustice. I find it easy to see a golden nugget in every living soul, and I don’t believe in judging people. Nick Hunter, the protagonist in my story is someone most people would stay away from, someone they might fear, someone they would most certainly judge, if they knew his story. In the Hunter trilogy I wanted to delve deeper into the human mind and, in a way, I wanted to give someone like Nick Hunter a second chance. What happens to him does not define him. He lives his life by his own rules and would turn Heaven and Earth upside down and inside out to protect his loved ones. Unlikely as it sounds, he is a hero.

Q3: What genre does your book fall under?

Action thriller.

Q4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Ah! You got me there. I watch so few movies, and so little TV, I barely know who’s who. I do learn a lot from my teenage kids, though, so let me try. Tequila would be played by a blond Angelina Jolie, Maxi would be Emilie de Ravin, and Nick… oh, Nick… Matt Damon or Brad Pitt maybe. It’s hard to tell. When I see Nick Hunter in my mind, I don’t see the face. I see the soul.

Q5: What is the one sentence synopsis for your book?

An ex-contract killer has to face old demons in order to make his family safe.

Q6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’ll self-publish this whole series.

Q7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It took me six weeks, part of which I was working full-time, to write way more than I could fit in one book. Two days after I thought I’d finished I realised I had enough plot for three books. So then I had to take the initial story and split it. It took one week to have Blood is Heavier ready for publication, back in May 2012. I’m still working on Blood is Power. I’ve re-written it several times. At the moment, I hope to have it ready for release later this month.

Q8: What other books would you compare this story to, within your genre?

I would liken my style to Dean Koontz in as much as the storm brewing in my novels affects the characters and those in their immediate vicinity only. It’s Armageddon, but only for them. The rest of the world goes about its business oblivious to these few people’s predicament. The Husband and Life Expectancy would be closest, I think.

Q9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Human nature. I am fascinated with human nature. I’ve been watching people and piecing together their reactions and mannerisms so I could understand why they did what they did or said what they said since I was a little kid. It’s got easier over time, but it never lost its appeal. I could watch people all day and not get bored. That and my probably-mistaken belief that I could right some of the injustice in this world. I just couldn’t resist Nick Hunter. I had to tell his story.

Q10: What else about your book might pique the readers’ interest?

This book will make Blood is Heavier read like a bedtime story, by comparison. The villains only spoken about in book one make a full-on appearance now. Confident that his family is safe in Tequila’s care, Nick pulls out all stops to hunt down and punish every person responsible for killing his parents and kidnapping his son. He uncovers a ring of human traffickers with chilling connections into slavery, drugs and the manufacture of a certain type of pharmaceuticals, whose business dealings are right out of every human being’s worst nightmare. And it’s all legit, it seems. What can one person do, one person against a global, corrupt, yet well-oiled machine?

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Instead of nominating a variety of bloggers, I choose to let you, my friends, pick what you like. I’m always interested in people and especially what influences their creative processes. So go ahead, pick an award, or do the Hop. Leave me a link and I’ll come over and support you.

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5 Replies to “Three Awards and a Hop”

  1. Great post Ella. I love finding out more about authors. I love the cover of Blood is Heavier. These are my faves with horror/paranormal a close second. That’s funny about not wanting to write about Vampires. I love the Eternal Series and can hardly wait to read Book II. Congratulations on the awards and happy writing. ^_^ Have a great weekend.

    1. Funny how life turns around and shoves you nose-first right where you *thought* you didn’t want it, eh? I don’t mind being shown the way… whichever way… 🙂

  2. I haven’t seen Emilie De Raven in anything for a while.
    First draft in six weeks is impressive. I’m terrible for getting drafts done. I’m trying to learn to write straight through and ignore the itch to go back and edit until later.

    1. Yeah… my problem is that I NEED to edit as I write. Hence the delays. Deep down, I know I need to get the damn book written, but when it comes to putting theory in practice… *sigh* 🙂

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