Tag Archives: personal

Writing in Amsterdam

I would just like to say that I love this city! We’re staying in the Generator, and I’m currently sitting on a sofa with 80’s music, nachos, fresh mint tea (aka. “we picked mint, dumped it in a glass and poured hot water on it – enjoy!”) and I’m actually writing! Guys, I’m writing!

We were out this morning (hence the late blog post) but now I’ve got some chill time, I’ve got my laptop out. I have three things on my list for this week:

Finish GreenSky Book 10. For whatever reason, my head is refusing to write GreenSky when I’m in England. Away, however…when I was in Florence I finished two books, and so far, I’ve managed a thousand words in about half an hour. If I suddenly get a multi-million deal to write more GreenSky, I’m going to have to put “must write in a foreign city” in my contract.

Read the last novel on my official edit pile. I have had this since May and I’ve just been crap with it. I need to have time to sit down and focus…which I’ve definitely got! So that’s a major thing.

Write a short story. Last time I was here, I was challenged to write a soppy romance. This time, my travelling companion has picked “thriller” – and we’ve spent most of the morning wondering how I could get the city into it! Dramatic bike chase, anyone? My only thing is that I have to mostly stay within the constraints of the genre – so I can’t be too sarcastic. Considering I am thoroughly cynical about thrillers, this could be a problem…

So that’s my holiday so far, and it’s only the first day! Anyway, I’m off to drink my tea and finish this damn GreenSky book. Only a couple of thousand words to go…

Being shot and captured…in a pub

Last Saturday I spent a couple of hours in a pub. Not exactly unusual, but more unusually for introverted ol’ me, someone was there with a camera too…

That someone was the amazing Tom Parker; you can find him on Instagram and he’s now officially doing portrait photography. More specifically, if any of my author friends want headshots, his rates are very reasonable and Tom’s lovely!

And, I hope you’ll agree that the photographs are amazing. He’s made me look good!! (Only half joking. I am NOT photogenic…)

I think this is my favourite series – Tom was trying to get me to relax!

And another go…

My official favourites are definitely the ones below, so you might start to see them popping up on social media and in bios…

He’s Thomas David Parker on Instagram – check him out!

ALL OF THE CUTES

So, uh, Friday didn’t go quite as expected.

I went to work. Got a carousel working (yay) and then did CSS tweaks (yay) and then had a meeting during lunch (boo) and then my colleague walked in and said, “Kate, you’re going to want to see this…”

KITTEH!

He was found under a bench, and because my colleague trained as a vet, she brought him back to the office. We promptly got NO WORK DONE… mostly because it’s quite hard to work when your dominant hand is occupied in making sure a kitten doesn’t slide off your lap or escape to explore the floor, where the dogs really really wanted to play with this new friend!

He had a variety of names (Vlad the Impaler, anyone?) but we seem to have settled on Spock (because THE EARS!) He’s 9 weeks old and came home with me because he’s got mites, and no one else could have him. He’s currently living in a dog crate on our landing, because he can’t be around Frankie for a month – but there was no way I was leaving him alone in a room. He seems pretty happy, though – albeit in a kitten “MEEEEP!” way.

We’re not sure if we’re keeping him or not yet – a couple of friends have expressed interest, but it depends on space and a few other factors. Watch this space!

Also: HE FITS IN ONE HAND!

Returning to a Ghost

I stopped writing things in the No Man’s Land series after Ryan died. He was one of my beta readers, and the one who cheered me on; he asked the questions, laughed at the jokes, talked to me about the latest plot and idea. He was the one I’d email at 3am with a story.  And I miss him so, so much, even eight months on.

But I did some organising this week, and hauled out all my half-finished short stories…and amongst them are six No Man’s world ones (well, No Man’s Land – they’re mostly about Ghost, because I love her). And I want to finish them. I started reading them, just to remind myself. It hurts, still. But that’s now being tempered with the love for writing, and the characters are starting to talk to me again. They’re not getting drowned by the waves of grief any more. I want to write.

Have the start of a new story that might now get finished…

The air is cold and frigid, with mist creeping across the ground, obscuring my footing. The trees are long dead, their branches hung with decades of cobwebs and vines instead of leaves. The ground is a morass of swamp and rock, its stink rising until it’s almost visible. The scenery wavers between dank, dead forest and occasional rock spires, their outlines jagged against the dark sky.

In short, it’s not the nicest of places – and in addition, the path that I’m on is most certainly haunted…I’m not just saying that because it’s pretty freakin’ creepy.

I’ve got a ghost whining in my ear.

One of the downsides of being able to see spirits is that I can also hear them, and I’ve found that they fall into three categories: dull, friendly, or freaky.

This one is trying for freaky. It’s achieving dull. After all, blood-curdling moans are only terrifying when you don’t know that the ghost producing them has no torso. I know that should be scary, but actually it’s quite amusing to see a disembodied head and legs floating along, particularly when said ghost is doing the traditional arm-waving and managing to look as if it’s attempting to land a plane. I’m not sniggering, but it’s taking willpower. Ghosts tend to get touchy when their efforts to scare go unappreciated.

On to the next challenge!

So, having pinged No Man’s Land out to agents, I’ve subbed to 20 and have only had one request for a full. So, at this point I’m shelving the project. And that’s fine.

Seriously, it actually is.

No Man’s Land is a weird book; I knew it when I wrote it. It’s not hard to describe, but I can’t really do it in a sentence – or at least I can (“apocalyptic urban fantasy”) but that really doesn’t describe any of what goes on, and what in my opinion makes the book awesome. I knew it might not be quite right for the publishing world at this stage, so this is just a step in the plan. I’ve got a couple of options now: I could keep an eye out for publishers with open doors; try other agents; try small presses; self-publish; serialise on the blog or Wattpad; or shelve the project completely. None of those are bad options, so it’s just a case of deciding what I want to do.

My friend Adrian commented that it took Brandon Sanderson 6 books to get accepted by his agent, and his plan was to get rejected on 6 books and then hit the bestseller. Adrian himself screwed up and got picked up on his first one (because he is super talented!), but I think I’m of the same mindset.

No Man’s Land is a good book, and it’ll stay in my “done” pile. I’ll work on the next one, and the next – I’ve already got ideas for two, with another four in a pile! So while this one isn’t quite right, it doesn’t mean the next one won’t be – I just have to write it.

On that note, I’m plotting. I started plotting out a necromancy-mafia-grimdark thing, but I’ve now gotten sidetracked onto something that’s started as a medieval-fantasy-politics (ugh, that sounds like GoT…it’s not, really, although maybe as that’s popular I should take advantage) and I’m throwing around ideas of how to make that one work. I need some enemies is the problem…

So, while NML may be currently shelved: onwards to the next story!