Where Demons Lie

Hey guys,

I know I say this every post but wow. This year is just rocketing by. How is it we are almost in November already!

These last few months have been busy ones for me. I sent THE BLESSED CURSED out to my Beta Readers and got some really positive feedback. One of the most repeating issues was with the length of the novel so, after much thought, I re-worked and split the novel into two shorter books. It’s now THE BLESSED CURSED, book one complete at 80k words and WHERE DEMONS LIE, book two complete at 95k words. I’m much happier with the story being two novels instead of one.

And so it was this week I started the arduous search for a literary agent to represent the novel and myself. This process can take some time as I need to research each agent, find the ones I’m happy with and hand craft individual queries to each of them. Response times for agents are normally in the weeks and most will reject the project however I always have hope I’ll find my agent one day and oh what a day that will be.

As some of you may know, November is NaNoWriMo or try to write a 50k word novel in a month. Last year I was working hard to finish editing on THE BLESSED CURSED so I skipped it. This year I’m going to be participating again. Not sure how I’ll go. I seem to time being sick really well with NaNoWriMo. I haven’t planned the novel yet at this stage but am hoping to do that next week. Fun fact, I started THE BLESSED CURSED in the NaNoWriMo of 2014. Only wrote about 25k words then but look at it now! If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, feel free to connect with me.

GenreCon Brisbane is also coming up in November. It’ll be a fun three day convention full of writing workshops, writing talks and all things writing. I’m looking forward to it. Let me know if you’re attending as well.

Till next time,
Ashleigh

Image: The featured image is the base art for the cover of STANDING IN THE WIND’S SHADOW. He was meant to be a little Wyvern but unfortunately never got finished. I still love him though. He sits next to the salamander from BIRTH BY FIRE’S EMBRACE’s cover as my desktop.

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Edit, Review, Re-write and Repeat

Greetings!

Well it looks like this year is going to fly by even quicker than 2016. I cannot believe that it’s almost June. That’s half way through the year! Wasn’t it just Christmas last week?

I’ve done it. The latest round of editing, reviews and re-writing for The Blessed Cursed are complete. I typed the last words in on Sunday and boy did they feel good. And now the bad news. I want to edit it again. The whole thing. All 175,000 words. I’m sorry.

Since I started this last round of editing, I read Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King. And it was fantastic. So much so, I’m actually excited to put their advice into practise with my own manuscript, and for those of you who don’t know me well, it takes a lot to get me excited about editing. But they managed it with great straight forward advice about how to edit your manuscript until it’s the most polished and strongest it can be. And if I’m going to interest the Literary Agent I’ve my heart set on, then the manuscript really needs to be top of its game.

So my plan is to bullet point the main lessons from Self Editing and make a list. Then I will print off every chapter and go through and check each bullet point against each chapter.

I can’t give you a time estimate as to how long it will take. It depends on the extend of my editing. It may take a month or a year but I will be working hard the entire time to get it finished.

Once done, it’ll be sent off to some Beta Readers for their opinion. If you would like to be a Beta Reader for The Blessed Cursed, please contact me here.

Till next time,
Ashleigh

Featured Image: The beautiful flowers my parents sent me for my Birthday earlier in May. Love them (both the flowers and my parents).

Happy 2017

Greetings and happy 2017 to all.

I know I’m a bit late and it’s already February. Hopefully this year won’t pass as quickly as 2016 did.

In my last post I promised I would have the reviews on Blessed Cursed finished by January. Guess what, didn’t happen. I’m still working on it. But, and I have to keep reminding myself this, it’s not a bad thing. Every revision makes the book stronger, more polished and overall a better read. In early January I decided I didn’t like the way the story ended. So I deleted the last 25k words and have been re-planning and re-writing it since. I’m much happier with this new ending (or at least I am right now. Ask again when I’ve finished writing it!). I should be able to finish re-writing the end before March.

I say that but I should mention my husband and I are currently buying a house and there is nothing like packing up and moving house to disturb a writing schedule. But stay with me. Don’t give up. It will be finished eventually, I promise.

Last week I finished an online class I enrolled in taught by none other than the James Patterson. For those who don’t know him, he is predominantly a thriller and mystery writer. He is the best selling author in the world today. And he certainly knows what he is talking about. While I’m not a thriller or mystery writer, I believe the lessons of suspense and fast paced driven plot lines can be applied across different genres. It was nice to be taught by a genuinely successful author. He has a passion for writing and years of experience. For those of you interested in taking the class, it can be found here.

That’s all from me for now. I sincerely hope the next post from me in March reads those magical words ‘finally finished the dam thing’ but I make no promises. It’ll be finished when it’s finished. 🙂

Till next time,
Ashleigh

Featured Image: The picture above is one taken from my garden. Can anyone spot the hidden intruder?

My First Bow

Well my first proper Composite bow. I don’t count the Nerf bows sitting around the house.

Greetings All!

Kittens
Little cuties, Kuro and Harley

What a May! Blink and you’ll miss it. Earlier in the month, it was my birthday. I’d like to thank everyone once more for your kind wishes. Then, just a few days ago, it was my beautiful husband and I’s first year wedding anniversary. A lot has changed in a year. We’ve moved houses and adopted two gorgeous little kittens, Kuro and Harley. It has been an extremely productive year for both of us. I’ve written the vast majority of Blessed Cursed since then.

Last weekend we attended the Medieval Market and Fantasy Faire in Ipswich, QLD. It was fantastic to see so many interesting stalls and people. My eye was caught by the Archery stall and I didn’t go home empty handed. Once home, we set up a little practise range in the garage and boy, were my shoulders sore the next day! I think I need to start some strength training for my arms.

What I’m Writing:
I’m still working away at Blessed Cursed. In reviewing, I’ve discovered I’m no longer happy with two of my chapters and I’m completely re-writing them. I’ve also decided to flesh out the last quarter of the book more so my novel is now looking like it’s going to be 150k words instead of the 100k goal I set when I started. I’m hoping to have those chapters re-written by next month then the review can start again where I left off. At this stage, I can’t give an estimate as to when the review will be finished but I just really hope it’s before August.

What I’m Reading:
I’ve finished the last three books I have in the Dragons of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. They were First Fall, Dolphins of Pern, and Red Star Rising. I enjoyed them thoroughly although not as much as some other books in the series. I liked First Fall and Red Star Rising because they are set earlier in Pern’s history. It was nice to read about the first Dragon riders in First Fall and the problems faced by them in Red Star Rising to convince the Holders Thread was real when it hasn’t been seen in centuries years.

GotrekSince finishing that series, I started a new one which is somewhat different to what I normally read. Gotrek and Felix is a Gothic Fantasy series set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe. Gotrek is a dwarf slayer who is pledged to meet his doom in epic combat. Felix is a human who, after getting very drunk, agreed to accompany Gotrek on his travels and write an epic tale of Gotrek’s death once he’s achieved the glorious end in battle he seeks. The problem is Gotrek just can’t seem to find anyone (or anything) strong enough to best him in battle so he keeps looking. I’ve finished the first four books being Trollslayer, Skavernslayer, Deamonslayer and Dragonslayer. I’m currently halfway through Beastslayer. All written by William King. Are you picking up a theme with the titles? I’m reading them in the two omnibus collections which I’m very happy for. Apart from the first two novels, the last three have read like one long story. The first book, Trollslayer is probably the worse. It reads to me like a collection of short stories which became a novel. Each chapter is a story and there isn’t really an over-arcing plot. I found the writing repetitive. However the second book onwards has been really good and I am enjoying the story. Set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe, it’s much darker and more gruesome than I am used to but not to a fault. That is simply how that universe is. If considering to read these books, I suggest doing a little bit of research into the Warhammer Fantasy universe as it will help you understand the races and attitudes. I myself only had a very limited knowledge to start with but it certainly helped.

Till next time,

Ashleigh

April Update

Greetings!

That’s another month done and dusted for the year 2016. It’s now April. Am I the only one who’s a little freaked out with how fast this year is going? My sister is currently preggers with my first little niece and we are all pretty certain we’ll be welcoming her into the world before May. I’m sitting by the phone just waiting for the call. It’s going to be a busy month!

What I’m Writing:
I was hoping I would be finished the reviews for Blessed Cursed by the end of March. Safe to say I was over confident. I’ve completed about half the manuscript so it may just take another month before I’ve finished. I’m still on the look out for Beta Readers so if you are interested please drop me a message and I’ll let you know the details. Blessed Cursed is currently sitting at roughly 120k words so I can safely say it’s the longest novel I’ve ever written so far.

What I’m Reading:
I’m still on the Dragons of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. Since my last update I’ve finished Moreta’s Story. A good book but probably not the best in this series. I feel the ending is too forced. Without giving much away, the tale of Moreta is known to anyone who has read the early books in the Dragons series including the end. I can’t help but feel McCaffrey really wanted to write this story about Moreta but, because she had already set the ending in earlier books, couldn’t change it. Therefore the ending feels forced, sudden and to be completely honest, a bit disappointing.
In March, I also read Nerilka’s Story,  Dragonsdawn, The Renegades of Pern and All the Weyrs of Pern.untitled
Of these, I have to take a moment to talk about Dragonsdawn. To put it bluntly, I. Love. This. Book. I do. I really do. Dragonsdawn would take a spot on my all time favourite books list. My copy at home is falling apart from too much reading. Dragonsdawn is set in a different time period to the rest of the series and tells the tale of the very first dragons and their riders. It’s the thickest book in the series (and for good reason because it covered a lot!)
I’ve only three more books in this series before I finish it and start on the next one. Does any one have any suggestions?

Have an awesome April!!

Ashleigh