It’s All Good for Today’s Authors

Which ever way you intend to publish –Justin_Sheedy
*Indie
*Self
*Trad
Whether e-books have peaked and readers really are re-committing to paper –

No matter what your publishing route, it’s all good news for today’s author.  The reading world is your oyster, assuming you have the tools to crack it.

Meet Justin Sheedy.

He knows his oysters, and he’s either built, borrowed or taught himself the tools he needs to get his words out to the world.

As he says, ‘I’ve gone solo, and am still flapping my wings.’ As publishing models continue to change, he’ll have to keep flapping, and we’ll all be there with him.

Justin’s wing flapping has seen him host six sell-out book-signings during 2015, including his last for the year at Dymocks George Street, Sydney (arguably Australia’s Premier Bookstore) with more event planning underway in 2016.

His first book, Goodbye Crackernight (2009), failed to interest publishers – it’s a memoir – yet Justin continues to secure feature spots in broadcast media, most recently  on 7 News Sydney and Radio 2UE.

He’s currently 60% through his fifth book, No Greater Love, Part Three of an Australian historical fiction trilogy begun in 2012 with Nor the Years Condemn, followed by Ghosts of Empire (2013).

He’ll share what he’s learnt at WriteFest 2016

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Wish upon a WriteFest

A K Leigh

AK Leigh

 

 

 

 

AK Leigh lives with her husband, three energetic children and one grumpy cat in Ipswich. A self-confessed book lover, an identical triplet (how cool is that) and the holder of a graduate degree in counselling, she is also the author of debut novel, See Her Run. Extract available here.

Find her online at http://www.fallinlovewithleigh.com

 

 

 

Q. This is your first published novel. The first question has to be, ‘How did you get published?’ so, do you mind sharing how you filled the void between finishing the novel and achieving a deal with Momentum.
A. I began by submitting See Her Run to a handful of agents, and entering it in competitions. I received the standard “not for us but keep trying” response. Finally, I applied for an interview with (Acquisitions Editor at Pan Macmillan) Haylee Nash and was offered a contract with Momentum as a result. All up, it took a little under two years. It felt like a hundred!

Q. Those ‘not-for-us’ responses can be disappointing, especially when you call Ipswich home. For a Queensland writer, Ipswich has to be pretty ideal as far as proximity to the local publishing business. Location, location, location and all that. But you finally struck gold at WriteFest. How did that come about?
A. I actually Googled something like “writing conventions Australia” and WriteFest popped up in the search. I had been to Bundaberg before, so I knew a little about the area. Of course, I knew about the turtles and the rum and Bert Hinkler is one of my husband’s heroes.
The Masterclass, and the fact it was run by an Editor, caught my eye. I wanted to do as many things as possible to improve my writing and a WriteFest Masterclass seemed like a good place to start. The first year (2013), I also applied for an interview but didn’t get accepted.

Q. So, another disappointment. Another polite refusal of the MS. But you came back in 2014.
A. Yes. I’d enjoyed my first trip to WriteFest, and the masterclass really helped me. I learned so many things about writing that helped me make my manuscript better than I could have without the experience. But it was when I saw there were publisher interviews in 2014 that I thought I’d give it another shot (despite not being successful the year before). I had completed a lot of work on the manuscript in that year and thought it was time to test it out on a publisher instead of an agent.See-Her-Run

Q. You’d been working on the story for some time at that stage, well past first draft. Realistically, it should have been as ready as it could be. But I can tell you, half the trick is finding the publisher (or agent) who speaks your language. I guess everything came together with Haylee Nash in 2014.
A. Haylee was brilliant. She was supportive and easy to talk to throughout the entire process. She made me feel relaxed and comfortable from the moment we met. She said the first three chapters grabbed her attention and made her want to keep reading. That was nice to hear!

I wanted to show women coming out of similar experiences that there was a way to move through the trust issues and find love again.

Q. Always good to hear all those workshops about creating hooks were value for money! But it wasn’t just the hook gave this story legs. I believe See Her Run has its roots in personal experience. Drawing on a powerful experience can really drive a story forward. I hope you can give us a quick run-down – without giving the plot away.
A. The story deals with the fallout of escaping an abusive relationship. I wanted to show women coming out of similar experiences that there was a way to move through the trust issues and find love again. The story’s set in rural North Carolina, a place I’ve visited and fallen in love with. If anyone ever gets the chance to go to Asheville, do it!

Q. Well, that answers my next question (which would have been, ‘Why North Carolina,’ but tell us why you chose a rural setting over something urban and gritty. This is Romantic Suspense.
A.
 I like the space and fresh air of the country (and have lived in the South East Queensland country – Lockyer Valley – before), plus the location came by itself. Other writers will understand what I mean.

Q. You’ve said your first ever story came out of personal experience too, when as a school girl you wrote a romance about a boy you had a crush on, so you’ve obviously a natural inclintion towards the romance genre.
A. Yes, I am very romantic by nature, just ask my family. But, it actually took me a long time to admit to myself that I wrote romance – because of the stigma often attached to it. I have had family members and friends say to me “why don’t you write something serious?” (grrr!)
I love romantic suspense, and am currently working on both the sequel and prequel to See Her Run, which will both be romantic suspense.

Q. Have you committed firmly to Romantic Suspense?
A. It is not the only genre I’m interested in. I’ve completed three contemporary romance manuscripts (still deciding what to do with those) and have half a dozen semi-complete manuscripts in the paranormal romance, time travel romance, fantasy romance, YA romance, and of course romantic suspense, genres.

Q. So, getting published is one thing, but the job’s not done yet. I’ve noticed you’re an active marketer. And you’ve some great reviews across a wide spectrum of sites. And your blog address is very cool.
A. Thanks. I think it helps to have your presence out there. I had my website, blog, Twitter, Goodreads and Facebook social media organised before See Her Run was published. I decided early on to use something catchier than my name for my website address, which is when I came up with the slogan “Fall in love with Leigh”.

Q. Yes, I like the way it plays with meaning. Catchy. But, last question, are you coming to Bundaberg for WriteFest again this year?
A. Of course. I enjoy networking with other authors and believe that a writer should never stop trying to refine their skills.
But also, there is a great line up this year. In particular, I am looking forward to Graeme Simsion and Shannon Curtis’ classes.
And then there are people I have met through previous years and who I want to catch up with.


If you want to catch up with AK Leigh, follow her on  www. facebook.com/AuthorAKLeigh or Tweet @AKLeighAuthor.  Her blog is http://www.fallinlovewithleigh.com

Workshop – How Many Pages Make a Novel?

ShortStoryGraphicIf the short story is back, so is the novella.

Defining a story as a novella was once the equivalent of scratching the author behind the ears while muttering, “Good lad”.

And while it can be quite easy to tell the difference between a short story and a novel,  exactly what is a novella. It sounds like it should be a short novel. But could it be a long short story.

So how do writers work out the scope of a story before they start writing it.

Dr Kim Wilkins will be dropping by BWC at 80A Woongarra Street , March 21, from 10-30am to explore this very question. “You might find as you write that the story is pulling up too short, or going on far too long.”

So, are you writing a short story? A novella? A novel? A series?

This half-day workshop will help you judge the scope of your story and give you tools to help tighten it up or flesh it out.

Three dollar entry fee to cover morning tea.

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If you can’t make it, let us know any questions relevant to the workshop topic and we’ll try to find answers for you.


Dr Kim WilkinsKimberley-Freeman was born in London, and grew up at the seaside north of Brisbane, Australia. She has degrees in literature and creative writing, and teaches at the University of Queensland and in the community. Her first novel, The Infernal, a supernatural thriller was published in 1997. Since then, she has published across many genres and for many different age groups. Her latest books, contemporary epic women’s fiction, are published under the pseudonym Kimberley Freeman. Kim has won many awards and is published in 17 languages. She writes regular writing tips columns for the Queensland Writers Centre.

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Sandy Curtis

Grievous Harm is doing really well. Back orders piling up. Reprinting to cover the gap.
Mind you, she’s hardly in town these days. Promoting like crazy.

AusRomToday

Author Spotlight: Sandy Curtis

Describe yourself in one word:
Loving

What is your background with regard to writing?
I always loved writing, dabbled in my youth but marriage and kids intervened, then 20 years ago I started to follow my dream again and entered and won short story competitions, wrote feature articles for magazines, a newspaper column, short stories for women’s magazines, then jumped into the full-length novel pool and swam like crazy. My second attempt came second out of 80 entries in the Emma Darcy Award for unpublished romance manuscripts from Australia and New Zealand. New Concepts Publishing published this, along with my next two books, then Pan Macmillan Australia picked up my first romantic suspense novel and published this and the next four in the loosely-linked series. The GCF hit publishers hard and it was a few years before book six was published, this time with Melbourne-based Clan…

View original post 1,406 more words

10 qualities of successful authors

      1. WritingdownthebonesAmbition – Many of the best writers choose not to publish.
      2. Technical skills – this goes way beyond the basics of punctuation and grammar. Good basics equip a writer for report writing, not authorship.
      3. An eye for detail – writers look beyond the superficial.
      4. Their stories illuminate what isn’t spoken about. [Tweet this!]

      5. Creativity – making is craft. Making something out of nothing is creating. The first story in a successful series is creation, the stories that go with it are examples of craft driven by that first creative pulse.
      6. Tenacity – for the blue days, to get you through the days when creativity has flown, the grammar checker makes more sense than you do, and the people in your house want you back in their lives.
      7. Legal knowledge – enough to know the difference between libel and defamation, to realise that the law doesn’t give a fig about what a writer wants (relative to everybody else’s needs). And enough knowledge to understand what it is the law thinks the people need, just so you know which mark is their line in the sand.
      8. Networking skills – a writer cannot easily do it alone. Pick a network that suits you – offline and online – and make friends.
      9. Digital skills – technology is becoming simpler and simpler. A free iPad app can create a movie trailer using camera stills.
      10. Professional skills – authors have a career to grow and to manage. If you don’t have professional skills, they can be learned. Your creativity makes it an easy task.
      11. Marketing skills – see above. Authors are in charge of growing their career.

Losing Kate out in April 2014

2013 WriteFest Masterclass participant Kylie Kaden is thrilled that her first novel, Losing Kate, will be published by Random House in April 2014. In March 2013, Kylie undertook a Writer’s Surgery (through the Queensland Writers Centre) with Sandy Curtis, the Director of WriteFest, and encouraged by Sandy’s enthusiasm for the story, submitted a partial for the Masterclass with editor Deonie Fiford. 

Kylie said, ” I was signed up in July, not long after doing quite a few rejigs after WriteFest (and your Writer’s Surgery sessions with me) so I am very thankful for your contribution and encouragement.  I am still shocked it happened so quickly though!”

It’s wonderful news like this that can come about as a result of the great opportunities available at WriteFest.

We wish Kylie a happy and successful career. Details of her book can be found at
http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/kylie-kaden/losing-kate-9780857983404.aspx and also on her website www.kyliekaden.com.au

LosingKateCoverFinal

So did Dean J Anderson!

Dean is not only our most enthusiastic club member, he is also our major sponsor, so it with great celebration that we welcome Dean’s debut novel, Unnaturals, into the literary world with just as much enthusiasm.

His dark urban fantasy was launched on 10 October in Brisbane alongside Bundy debut author Cheryse Durrant.

unnaturals-front

Check out his website here: http://deanjanderson.com.au and also https://www.facebook.com/deanjohnanderson

Check out his book trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQ1bFFvLiKU

To purchase Unnaturals head to Dymocks Bundaberg and online www.clandestinepress.com.au

Congratulations, Dean, and we look forward to the next two books!

dean