One of my biggest writing challenges at the moment, is finding new ways to explain the gaps between updates on this blog, which are basically always down to there being too many things going on at once. However, in this case I am going to attempt to demonstrate why this is not always a bad thing.
So apart from the ongoing process of working through production drafts, selecting fonts and layouts, agreeing cover design having got the cover illustration, I have also started on a sequel for my soon to be published book. This was not necessarily what I had intended as my first children’s book was written as a stand alone story. However, back in December whilst discussing business plans with my dad, he casually mentioned that if this project took off, that ideally we would have a follow up book not too far off and preferably one set in the same world with most of the same characters. Oh great!
Luckily for me, the idea for a sequel popped into my head the next morning whilst I was having a shower. There may be hope for me as an artist that gets read after all, but I’ll have to see if the sequel turns into something I’m happy to publish or not. It is still too early to tell.
That said, one of the benefits of self-publishing is that I get to make that decision for myself, which makes a refreshing change for someone who has spent considerably more time writing than having been published. This is not a complaint, it’s all part of the process, but having multiple manuscripts and short stories finished, a book coming out, and others in the work does lessen the pressure than if I was working on the one book. Even if it does mean juggling various bits of writing for production reasons, competitions, on top of just finding a window to write.
I am entering fewer competitions these days, not because I think they are necessarily a bad thing, but because much like applying to agents, there is an element of a numbers game to them. A lot of the big competitions have thousands of stories entered, so it very hard to get a story noticed under such circumstances. Even making the short list is an achievement, and whilst I know that for me, I am really hoping to generate interest in a story rather than necessarily win, I do not need the external prompt of a competition to spark something to write. I have enough ideas battling for my attention as it is.
Having said all of that, somebody did bring my attention to a competition earlier this year, that the science fiction magazine Shorelines of Infinity were running, and low and behold an idea popped into my head.
I looked at the pictures they were using as a prompt.
I wrote. I entered. I did not win. In fact an excellent story called The Great Golden Fish by Dee Raspin (on twitter @DeeRaspin) won, and can be read in issue 3 of the magazine, available from their website here.
However, now that I have a blog, there is no reason for this story to lie around in my digital vault for no reason, with the picture that set me going, I give you my own story with one of the Illustrations.
Just click here to go to its new home on the internet.
I’ll be writing a blog all about the final stages of the book publishing just as soon as everything is sent off!