A couple of days ago, Ellen Arnison of In A Bun Dance, asked me if I’d like to take part in a blog tour.
‘Sure’, I replied always grateful for something to write about. My blog is 3 years old now and I’m past the writing everyday stage; sometimes a girl needs inspiration.
But what’s a Blog Tour?, I wondered. I had only ever heard about Book Blog Tours, and I certainly haven’t written a book-yet. As far as I can tell, a Blog Tour is a little like a blog hop, with a ‘baton’ of questions being handed down to the next person (or people) after you’ve had a bash at answering them yourself. It’s a good way of reading a few blogs you haven’t seen before, and maybe getting a few extra readers yourself. For me, it’s also an opportunity to talk about writing; something that I haven’t discussed on my blog very often.
When I started this blog, one of the reasons I gave for its creation was to develop the habit of writing regularly. I’ve always enjoyed writing and felt that deep down I wanted to write something that other people would read, and enjoy. Ultimately my goal was a book, but as the years have gone by and the posts have gone up, my little writing exercise has taken on a life of its own. Not all writing products are books you know, there are lots of people out there writing other things.
Anyhow, enough waffle. On with the questions…
What am I working on?
Well, at first there’s the blog. There is always the blog. I aim to write a post 3-4 times a week these days and have found that it hasn’t affected my stats compared to when I used to write every day. I try and make it a priority though sometimes I’m not sure why.
Secondly, there are a couple of books.
One is a kids’ book about getting a puppy. I have the words down, and have done the illustration descriptions, but keep going back and changing bits. I’m probably just about ready for someone to have a look at this. I guess i’m hoping someone might take this on as it’ll need an illustrator, so I’m not sure self publishing is an option.
The other work is a YA novel about two 10 year old girls who accidentally somehow swap lives. Bethany was born in the year 2000, but is flung into the Victorian era, while Eliza was born at the beginning of the 20th Century and finds herself having to survive in 2010. Both of them struggle at first, but eventually manage to settle into their new lives in a foreign time. I have spent a lot of time trying to decide at what point they give up on the idea of getting their old lives back but maybe they don’t?
This second book is a product of NaNoWriMo a couple of years ago, and has been slowly brewing ever since. I’m now at the early editing, chop and change, stage and am hoping to hand it over to someone for a read through in the next month or so. My aim is to self publish, probably through Kindle.
How much does my work differ from that of others?
I’m not sure it does. Obviously, all writing is a product of the author concerned, so no two people are going to have an identical writing style. If you are aimimg to copy someone else’s style, how are going to develop your own?
But judging by all the ‘People who bought this also bought…’ and ‘ If you liked this, try…’ categories you see on various websites dedicated to books and reading , I think the general public likes to be able to classify authors as writing ‘like’ someone else.
Do we need a USP? I don’t know, I think it’s enough to not think too hard about it all and just get on with writing.
Why do I write what I do?
Because I feel I have to. Writing for me is like a cough or a sneeze; it’s a urge that I feel I have to obey.
The blog is to give my friends and family, who live scattered around the globe, a glimpse of what life is like for my family. It’s not noncommercial- I will happily do sponsored posts and reviews as I like to bring some money into the house if possible.
I’m not sure how I feel about my friends who don’t live so far away reading my blog. It’s a hazard of the job I guess, but part of me cringes when someone from school utters those words; ‘I’ve been reading your blog ‘. I wonder what it will be like if I ever get around to finishing a book!
Blog post inspiration comes from day to day events, news stories, photographs, days out and conversations with friends or things my children or pets do. Oh and holidays; I also write about our holidays and the challenges of dragging four children around the world.
Book ideas just pop into my head, usually when I’m walking the dogs. If I ever finish the YA book, I have a second book queued up in my brain that is ‘that book’- the one that everyone has always told me I should write.
The children’s book idea is different and has come from the fact that there seems to be a gap in the market for that particular kind of book.
How does my writing process work?
I take ages over blog posts. I spend too much time on social media and always manage to find something else to do. I try and write posts in the morning, before I do housework and go and walk the dogs. Basically, it comes down to the same thing as it does for everyone, everywhere. If you want to be a writer, you have to write.
Apart from the kids’ book, my longer bits of writing have all started out as NaNoWriMo projects. I do enjoy slogging away at something for a finite length of time. It’s taken me years to come back to my Time Swap novel, I’m not sure why. I think it’ll be a pleasant and interesting read when it’s finished and I know that some people will enjoy it.
It’s all the marketing and ‘getting it out there’ I’m not looking forward to. I know that it won’t interest some people, and I want people to be honest with me. I’ve seen first hand what happens when people don’t feel they are able to be honest about someone’s writing.
And I’ve seen a number of authors of different genres take the inevitable poor reviews badly. These are strong, confident women who find it really hard when someone doesn’t like their work. I’m pretty sure I will be no different, although I am hoping to avoid tantrums.
This is all new to me, so I’m not sure how the editing process is going to work for me. Right now I’m reading through what I’ve done, changing various dodgy bits and adding the ending that I never got around to finishing. Then I thought I might draw up a time line, and play with that for a bit, but if anyone has any better ideas, I’m all ears!
That was a mammoth post! If you are still with me after that then pop over and take a look at the three blogs I am handing the Blog Tour baton over to.