Sunday, November 26, 2006

Test Cricket

For half the world at least, Test Cricket is a complete mystery, for the rest of us, it's an addiction.

Our favorite foes are in Brisbane for the first test of the Ashes series and my writing has taken a serious hit for the first three days. The result is almost a forgone conclusion now and my interest has waned a little. Perhaps my writing tempo may recover.

It's a strange game. We love beating the Poms, but we admire them individually. Flintoff, the English captain, was arguably the most admired man on the field yesterday as he toiled to lift his team to competitive standards.

Let's hope he succeeds.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Let the Writer Beware

A friend of my elder daughter received a provisional acceptance from a Kiwi publisher and asked for my advice. I went to their website and navigated my way through all the information and came away undecided. There's nothing directly questionable, but they've been in operation for two years and have only one book avaiable to booksellers.

Writers, particularly beginning writers, are very vulnerable. I managed to navaigate away from Commonwealth Publications (now the subject of a class action by those who didn't) but have wasted enough time on those who stroked my ego to have paid my dues in this area. It comes down to never accepting what you're told without checking.

The organisation in question may well be genuine, just a little more honest than most, but question marks always need to be resolved before you commit your work.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Longest Journey

The motorcycling story is on its way again, renamed, with large sections rewritten to reflect the criticisms. It's part of my search for a different publisher, one which reflects more closely my preferred level of sensuality.

It's quite difficult to step away from a publisher where you have found acceptance because there's comfort in dealing with the familiar and I have no real complaints of New Concepts, we're just not suited.

I've gone back to my work in progress, re-reading it from the beginning (82,000 words now) and settling myself back into its environment. I'm enjoying the process, which says something.

Hopefully, it will make the next ninety days a little less daunting.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Romance Writer at Large

That's the title of my page at The Romance Studio. I think they've done a great job, but I may be biased. Have a look and judge for yourself.

They have a copy of Mitchell's Valley on the 26th of this month in their Book-a-day giveaway.

I was interested that their review highlighted the complexity of the world building in New Blood. It is a common feature of all its reviews, yet I'd merely followed the logic of the original premise, each feature leading inevitably to the next. It's one of the downsides of creating new worlds that they must be able to work.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Swings and Roundabouts

After the rejection of Beyond the Barriers, it was pleasant to come across the following review for New Blood at The Romance Studio


New Blood
Amy Gallow
Paranormal romance
Available from New Concepts Publications ISBN: 1-58608-857-2
March 2006

Dael is part of a Hive, a group Mind of elite rulership. As such, she and the others of the Blood incarnate in flesh, take over control of the body. Telepathy and Mind control are just two of their amazing abilities. The Blood cannot function without flesh bodies, because essentially they are just mental constructs. Each individual chosen as a host body gives up control for seventeen years, but is granted untold wealth and social power as well as an extended life span for their sacrifice.
When her host body, Samara, is kidnapped, Dael is astonished to find soothing words spoken telepathically from the kidnapper, who is a Commoner, not Elite. Then she is excluded from the group Mind and fears exile equaling her death. In actuality, Samara has been removed, not kidnapped, by a henchman acting on the orders of another Mind, Peter, whose access to her mind she has allowed.
New Blood is an intriguing tale with a massive amount of complexity in its world building. I had to truly concentrate from the first sentences in order to understand this world, which is very detailed and fascinating. While some readers may find it requires concentration to understand this very new and different fantasy world, it is definitely a tale worth reading.
Overall rating: Four Hearts

Sensuality rating: Mildly sensual
Reviewer: Annie

November 6, 2006

Rejection Dejection

Rejections are part of a writer's life and, no matter how nicely they're couched, they hurt.

This one began with a list of the things the editor really enjoyed before it reached the stumbling block about motor cycle racing and the hero's motivation to ride the "Widowmaker", a bike with a radical suspension and a habit of killing its riders. She knew very little about the sport, as would most of the targeted readers, and found my descriptions confusing and his motivation unbelievable.

This highlights the difficulty of describing something you know very well to a group who are likely to know nothing. From my perspective, I verged on over-explaining.

The hero's motivation is a more vexing question. Is it my familiarity with the sport and the people who follow it that makes it believable to me? Or is there a more basic problem?

I reread the manuscript yesterday pondering those questions and am still no closer to the answers.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Century Young

Yesterday we drove down to have lunch with my life partner's aunt, who will be a hundred on January 3rd. She's an amazing woman. One of the genuinely nice people you meet along the way. Her daughter was there too and we looked through photograph albums, recalling the past and sharing memories when she was a single Mum raising a daughter on her own.

Her story makes you realize how lucky most of us are


Saturday, November 04, 2006


Our trip away allowed the accumulation of maintenance tasks around the house and in the garden and the better weather has provided a window to get them done.

There's gates, a wrought iron fence, the facia and the external windows to paint. The garden beds need weeding and mulching. We'll do most of it ourselves (with the help of the family) and be ready when the real summer comes. The work in progress is almost done and it will need to sit for a while before I start rewriting so the timing is good.

The spectre of down-sizing to a town-house, or something similar, has raised itself once more and we will have many discussions in the near future. Maybe this time, we'll do something about it, because we both realize it will have to be faced some time.

Probably not.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Wee Small Hours

I got up to work because of a bad dream that needed time to dispel before I could sleep again.

It, the dream, is an old friend. A recurrent theme from my past, my subconscious drags out when I am worried about something else. Knowing why doesn't make the dream less real, nor solve my current dilemma, but writing allows me to escape for a while even if elements of the dream work their way into the story.

As in my currrrent story, where the hero has just realized an unpleasant fact he can share with no one, which is difficult because his companions are telepaths.

I don't worry too much. There's always the rewriting stage to remove irrelevancies created in the wee small hours