May 18, 2016

Funding, Writing, and Updates, Oh My!

Much apologies for my blog silence this year, everyone. I've been neglecting things here while I got things in order elsewhere. So I thought I'd give a summary of how things are, a State of the Author address, if you will.

I spent a lot of time in the last few years pushing myself too hard and neglecting my physical and mental health. You'd think I'd have learned by now, but I guess I'm a pretty rubbish student.


Health


I took some time this year to focus on individual things, like getting back into a sleep pattern that works for me (getting up between 5:30am and 6:30am leaves me feeling so much more relaxed than sleeping in until just before the girls have to get up - which also means my late nights have had to be cut back), as well as addressing some issues with my diet. I still miss keeping a pack of chocolate chip cookies on my desk, but my weight is going down, as is my waistline, so I'd rather be able to fit into my trousers, thanks all the same.

Those who know me well also know I'm prone to stress and I'm very hard on myself when things don'y go my way. Frankly I'm all too aware of the damage stress does to the body, so I'm happy to say that the combination of changing my sleep patterns, improving my diet, and being conscious of how I talk about myself and my career has left me feeling happier than I've been in a very long time.

My back still has issues (sciatica can go to Hell, for real), and I recently pulled a hamstring, so I'm still in some level of pain all of the time, but I'm counting all the wins I can get, and not letting this bring me down.

Gaming


Last year, as I was pretty much running myself into the ground trying to finish two books, I decided to take an indefinite break from running tabletop roleplaying games. I even avoided spending any of my time with video games, focusing all my attention on writing (and coming out with one particularly poor book, as a result, which will never see the light of day).

The GMing bug got me a little while ago and now I'm back at my favourite hobby. I'm starting a fortnightly WitchCraft campaign this week, which is an urban fantasy game involving lots of magic and monsters. And I'm getting a monthly Star Wars game going, using the Fate system.

I've also been chilling out with some video games. XCOM 2 is wonderful, and everything I hoped it would be. I'm waiting for the rest of the DLC to come out before I start my next playthrough, and am considering posting play reports on my progress. Shadow of Mordor, on the other hand, is a fun distraction, but very repetitive. I'm playing it for the Nemesis System and the vague plotline.


Family


Jen is teaching music and working on getting gigs performing her own original songs, which is all kinds of awesome.

The girls own my heart. We're seeing them grow into real people and every moment is amazing.


Writing


This is the big one. I am less than 2 weeks away from finishing Blackened Wings, the third of Cora Ravenell's adventures. Just to clear up any possible confusion; Lady Raven is a tetralogy, a four-part series (I refuse to use the word quadrilogy as it is etymologically incorrect ;-p), so there is still one more book to go after this.

So next up is editing and formatting. This is going to cost money, so I'm looking at my options. It's pretty much certain that I will need to crowdfund this, so I have to decide between Kickstarter, Indie Go Go, Fundit.ie, Gofundme, or Patreon. I'm leaning towards Kickstarter, as it has the higher potential audience base, but the other services also have their own benefits. If anyone has any advice, I'm all ears.

The other bit of news here is that I recently won a spot in the Date With An Agent event at this year's International Literature Festival, Dublin! I get a private pitch session with the managing director of the Watson Little agency, based in London. I'm pitching Lady Raven, because as much as I enjoy self-publishing, I don't have the reach or marketing expertise to spread awareness as much as I'd like. And while I can certainly gain that expertise, doing so will take time, and I want to follow every avenue I can to get my books into as many readers' hands as possible.

Here's to 2016


Let's be honest, 2016 has taken a lot from us. We've lost artists, actors, musicians, childhood icons. But on a personal level, this year has been getting better for me. And I'm thankful for that.

We've lost many great heroes. That just means it's time for the next generation to step up.

Here I go. Wish me luck.

1 comment:

  1. Paul, so glad you are taking your health concerns seriously and getting back to a good place. If we don't have our health, nothing else matters because we can't enjoy it. Congrats on the writing as well. Good luck with your publishing efforts. Take care.

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