Saturday, 27 May 2017

Where it all started. Writing Inspiration.

Until I read Raymond E Feist’s “Magician”, I was just a dance studio owner, ballet teacher, bookkeeper, IT girl, mum, bible class teacher and the owner of that flaming dog that barks all the time, God help us! Won’t someone do something about that? Sorry… off track. I read Magician and I was so inspired I began writing middle grade and young adult fantasy. I owe Raymond E Feist big time, because I am now doing what I should have been doing, right from the start. I found my true passion.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Alliteration Abuse

“Dear Danielle, Your captivating characters captured our concentration. We currently crave copious cool creations and consider your content clearly catchy. Kindly convey your complete copy.” Deliciously dreaming. In my mayhem of madness, as I wait wiltingly, wondering whether Wells will want to accept my most magnificent manuscript, I have descended to the desperate doldrums of despair… and am exhibiting an altogether awful and annoying ailment… alliteration abuse.

Friday, 19 May 2017

The Cow Pat on the Putting Green

Right when I was on the magical high of self-publication with a swag of great reviews... Wham! That first bad review. Like a cow patty on the putting green. Splat! Ha Ha! Deal with that! 

My mind went into overdrive. How dare they! “It’s too violent!” Well duh. The Brady Bunch it aint. “Too much shallow romance.” Yeah! Mmmmmmm.😀 “Didn’t like all the battles.” Yeah? Well…. Oh. Ok. Let me read all that again. At this point my brain shoved my ego into the backseat. What did I do wrong to get this bad review? Why did most of my readers love it? What should I do differently when I write my next novel?  How can I improve? 

No matter what you do, someone will hate your book. I could say, get over it, but what I will say is, learn from it. It’s a better strategy. It will also stop you dwelling unnecessarily on a bad review. So see them as cow patties on the putting green, and imagine how incredible the green will look in another year after all that manure.

Get Dan O'Sullivan's Trilogy on Amazon

Book 1 - The Fallen
Book 2 - The Guardians
Book 3 - Child of a Guardian and of the Free

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Your full manuscript? You're dreamin' darlin'!

How I wish writers were asked to send in their whole manuscript. It would be so nice if an agent or publisher actually read (or attempted to read) a writer's entire piece before judging. Fair enough it they get up to page 50 and think it's really poor, and don't bother to continue reading. When I read a book, I give it at least 100 pages before making such a decision. Just on principle. To give it a fair chance. It takes no time at all to read 100 pages. And even then, I will often make a second attempt before throwing a book away. When I am asked to send in just the first few pages I feel slightly disappointed. Don't get me wrong, the first pages of my books are great! Time and time again I hear “couldn’t stop reading, couldn’t put it down” which makes my heart sing. But to get truly immersed in a fantasy saga... To read enough to fall in love with the characters, to become part of their world, to care desperately about what happens to them, to vindictively abhor the villain, to feel bereft when the book ends. To be seized by the need to read and re-read the parts that are hilarious, grievous, heart-rending, poignant, disturbing, victorious. That takes more than the first 1000 words of your manuscript. I know that publishers and agents are incredibly well educated to glean so very much from the start of a manuscript, and to be able to judge whether the work is desirable, but oh how I wish a writer was judged only on their full manuscript, their true work, not on their introduction letter (which is more often written by someone else) or by their blurb (also written by someone else) or by the synopsis of their book (once again written by someone else). One day, I will find a site where the agent/publisher says, “Please send in your entire manuscript and we will start reading it. If we like it, we will continue reading it. If we finish it and still like it a lot, we will contact you.” Sigh. Dreaming again? Yep.

Get Dan O'Sullivan's Trilogy on Amazon

Book 1 - The Fallen
Book 2 - The Guardians
Book 3 - Child of a Guardian and of the Free

Friday, 12 May 2017

A Dog's Purpose

If you find your screen is a bit damp as you read this, that's because I just watched A Dog's Purpose. I have watched it before but I still shed a few tears. I rarely get too upset when I kill someone off in a novel I am writing. Except that one time I got rid of a really nice character called David. It was a great chapter. David died heroically in a bush fire, managing to draw the enemy away from the good guys. In that instance I was so upset about David dying that after writing the chapter I deleted it. Then when I got over the grief I pasted the chapter back in from my backup.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

One submission at a time or many? Should I wait?

My glasses were found! Yay! And not in the poopie-bin, just on the ground in doggie park, thank God! Peppah is the little dog in the photo. The other one is Bella, my sister's dog.

No word on my manuscript as yet from Justin Wells at Corvisiero Literary Agency. I know I will have to wait many weeks; I can only imagine how busy such a high profile company must be, but I am impatient. In my impatience, I am caught between wanting to hear from Corvisiero, and sending my manuscript to a gazillion other agents and publishers.

Should I wait for an answer from Justin Wells at Corvisiero Literary Agency, or should I start sending submissions to other agents? And publishers too? Just here in Australia? Maybe overseas too? I think I will wait to hear from Justin, then if I am unsuccessful, I will go crazy submitting the manuscript to as many agents and publishers as possible. 

In the meantime, I will continue with book four in the original series I self-published. I'm about half way through book 4 so that will keep me typing for a while yet.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

What next? Will I get eaten by a Bunyip?

I totally refuse to sink beneath the vindictive day maliciously stalking me. Computer issues, i-phone refusing to record dictation, kids late for school, dog went nuts in local doggie park and barked and growled furiously at some innocent man (the poor bloke wasn’t entirely impressed). Then just when I decided it might be safer to go home, I lost my glasses! 

Sincerely hope I didn’t accidentally deposit them in the poop-bin with Peppah’s poopie scoops. That would be… unfortunate.

These are only tiny blips in what could be a fantastic day, and I choose to make it fantastic. I will write a chapter or two, play soccer with the dog, and eat croissants with strawberry jam. If the council phone and tell me my glasses are in the poop-bin, I am not sure if I will laugh or cry.

Do I look stupid? Frantic? Probably.

Every day I race through my emails, hoping to have a reply from Justin Wells at Corvisiero Literary Agency. OK, I'm aware that I look a little stupid, leaping out of bed and racing eagerly over to my desk to see if there is an email message waiting for me. 
So, I look a little frantic… que sera, sera! Apparently, that’s not new and exciting news. (Thanks a lot, kids.)

Sunday, 7 May 2017

This is it! The start of my publishing journey. My books are complete! I have now begun the long journey to search for a traditional publisher for my trilogy of middle grade novels(or even Book 1). Or maybe a good agent. Here at the beginning of the tough road, I am staring determinedly at lists of agents and publishers, seeing who is searching for fantasy adventure genre, and who accepts submissions of middle grade novels.

I am thrilled with my latest work, and I know that a good agent or publishing company can only help me improve further. I have sent my manuscript to one agent only at this stage. Corvisiero Literary Agency. They have a vibrant new Literary Agent called Justin Wells whose interesting profile caught my eye. He accepts middle grade and is interested in fantasy!

I know a traditional publisher would probably arrange covers and all, but to see what the books would look like, I had copies printed (just as proofing copies). It was awesome to see the books in print, but I am determined that I will not be self publishing this time.

I will admit, the way forward is daunting, but I will not be deterred and I will not accept failure. I will get my books published. However long it takes, however many changes are needed, I will work at this until I succeed. And think how much I will learn along the way.