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The E-Book

Okay, so you may not know it, but this has been a long time coming.

Perhaps somebody out there has been writing my occasional notes regarding the editing of this book. Well, at last, it’s here. The Price of Blood (Book One of the Golwerra Stories) has finally made its way on to Amazon.

It’s taken a bit of doing, from the writing (started about ten years ago) to the editing, to the cover art, to the navigation of KDP to the eventual hitting of the little Publish button.

This is a fantasy novel, set in the fictional kingdom of Golwerra, where a young nobleman, Saldrian Larrancost, awaits execution for the (mostly) crimes of his family. It’s about his friendships with the king, with the servant who brings his meals, with a woman who comes to the well beneath his window and is not all she seems; also about his wife, his cousins, the kingdom and the civil was being fought for it. And yes, this is book one, it’s my hope that books two, three and four will follow in its wake. So keep watching…

So has anybody bought this book yet? Maybe you’d like to be the first…? Anybody…? Anybody at all…?

Ah, well…

Bonsai

Or to be more exact. Bonsai: Best Small Stories from Aotearoa New Zealand.

This book of about 200 short stories has just come out in the shops. I’ve been waiting a couple of years.

But to begin at the beginning. Flash Frontier. Best known as one of the few sites that will actually accept any of my work. Three stories published there: The Great Race; Treasure Chest; Memories. A couple of years ago the good people at Flash Frontier decided to create an anthology, and The Great Race was among the stories selected.

Time passed. And then the book launch was scheduled for September 2. Some speakers, a few readings, a photo, and some snacks. A good crowd attended, and there were plenty of copies floating around. And now those are out in the world. So check them out. Particularly page 113; you definitely want to check that out.

The Tidy-up

So I had a look at my website today, and noticed that as usual, it’s way out of date, and a bit of a patchwork of disaster mixed with catastrophe.  I’m years behind with linking to my stories.  But-  But-  You see, in my defence, there are about 200 of them out there.  That’s a lot of links.

It is for this reason that I have decided to redesign my stories page to a more manageable format.  The stories are all still out there and linked to, but rather than linking to them individually I’m just linking to the site where they can found (and in most cases to my profile/content on that site.)  The good news is that it seems to have more or less worked (and this is without my having to call on my beloved Tech Support for assistance.)

In regards to that novel: you remember that rash New Year’s resolution about self-publishing it.  Well, I’m working on it.  I feel as if the editing is about as good as it’s going to get, a bit of grammar and spell-checking, a few names to change (a lot of main characters do seem to have names starting with ‘A’).  So onto the research.  And it seems as if self-publishing a novel is both a lot easier and a lot harder than I had anticipated.  I mean you can certainly go to Amazon and click on a button to publish stuff.  But there seem to be a bunch of steps that need going through after that, and the tutorial isn’t as fine on the detail as I’d like: things like dimensions and resolution of cover pages, formatting details, tax information etc.  I suspect the only way to do this is just step by step through the process as I go…

Oh, well, another six months and two weeks before I have to have it all figured out.

Today

So today is Easter Sunday. Today is also the 1st of April (April Fools Day). How often has that happened?

I said to my husband today: guess what day is it is? Easter Sunday. I got you some Easter eggs. Oh wait, guess what day it is too? April Fools Day. Psych!

(Okay, so I did get him eggs. I’m not that mean.)

Daylight saving ends today in NZ as well. So put your clocks forward an hour tonight.

April Fool! (They went back an hour).

And 2018 Begins a New Year

So once again I notice this: it’s been while since my last post. Since somewhere in the depths of 2016 there have been more stories, a couple of novels, some promised formatting that has gone undone. The weeds have grown, and while I hope some of them are wild and pretty, well… maybe they’re not.

NANO-WRIMO having been and gone, another novel has been added to the collection. A short novel this time that sits outside my usual style and genre – a romance entitled The Bakery Girl, in which a young man begins a tentative relationship with the woman at the bakery who always saves him the best muffins. Things become complicated by his own family dramas when he discovers his estranged sister is his new girlfriend’s flatmate. Not sure if or what I’ll do with this one as yet, being too short for most markets. Considering The People’s Friend Pocket Novel as a potential market option.

Indeed, while I continue to pursue my unrequited quest for professional publication, I take comfort in the few (non-pro) markets where I can continue to strut my stuff. ABC Tales (which didn’t, by the way, close down at the end of 2016) provides me with attention and confidence, along with Every Day Fiction and Flash Frontier. I remain hopeful of another story one day in 365 tomorrows. Small victories – like the cherries I’ve been getting on ABC Tales lately – make a big difference in this line of activity.

I made a New Year’s resolution this year: to self-publish online my novel of the working title: The Prisoner in the Tower. I intend to embark any day now on the third round of editing. I wish myself luck.

Tweet, Tweet; Wattpad; and ABC Tales

I notice it has been a while since I last posted anything on this site. And I see the site is a little behind the times as well – like an untended garden, with weeds of odd formatting and ill-advised layout overwhelming the flowers of content. Too much? Okay. But I have let things go a bit here, and I do plan to do a few fix-ups, some reformatting (with the help of my beloved tech-support) and set up some links to a number of stories I’ve written since I last posted.

In other news: I have just completed a story on a site called wattpad. It’s a site I found as a result of some comments made on the Every Day Fiction facebook page. The site looked pretty tidy, so I wrote a story, made a cover, and started publishing little chapters. The problem I’m having is that nobody’s reading it. And I’m not completely sure why. When I first joined ABC tales all I had to do was post the story, and there it was in the “New” menu, people were reading it, commenting on, even giving it cherries. All very encouraging. But on wattpad I haven’t figured out how to find the story beyond searching for it directly – adding comments, tags, a tweet have all so far failed to see it show up amongst the other stories. Is the site just very large? Am I missing something…?

So help me out here: https://www.wattpad.com/user/rosaliekempthorne

First tweet. That happened today. As mentioned above, tweeted the completion of my story (These Words That Describe Melissa) in the hope that it would cause it to appear amongst the other “undiscovered” but “completed” stories. No luck. But still, twitter finally used for its intended purpose, so box ticked there I guess.

In other, other news. I’ve learnt that that great favourite of mine, ABC Tales, may be closing down at the end of the year. This is like when they discontinued my favourite pizza crackers, and my favourite pasta sauce. What does it say about me that my preferred foods and flavours don’t seem to stick around…? But anyway, this is a sad event, as the website has now published 100 of my stories, people have read them, said stuff about them, and once even clicked on the link to this blog. They’re looking for somebody to take over the site, so there’s hope, and I continue to post stuff there. It’s just that I think I may have to start broadening my horizons and searching for new places to seek attention…

2016

Well, here it is, the new year, dawning a bright, sunshiny, summer’s day.

Perhaps you will recall my last post – NaNo-WriMo 2015 – the novel I hoped to update this site with progress reports on, but which I realistically suggested I would probably not actually do.  Well, I seem to have proved myself right on that account. But a successful 50K was reached, and the story continues.  An innocent girl in the court of an ancient and powerful king; along with a childhood friend, seeking to know the world better; even as the great families of the realm compete to make their daughter the next Moon Queen; even as her own family becomes increasingly embroiled in the ugly side of politics, marriage, magic, blackmail.

The story has been surprisingly docile so far, taking off on few of its own tangents, and contentedly following the basic plot structure I started out with.  Perhaps that’s a good thing, perhaps not.  Sometimes the best stories have a mind of their own and demand a whole other direction.  That’s good.  If they want that, I let them have it.  If in this case the story and its originally conceived plot continue in harmony, then my hope is that this can be a good thing too.

2015: not a bad year.  Another couple of stories published thanks to the outstanding editors at 365 Tomorrows and Every Day Fiction, plenty more stories written, a novel finished, another one started.  The professional markets are still shying away from my work, but an occasional positive comment or the knowledge that a story made it past the first round of voting or out of the slush pile allows me to cling to a thread or two of hope.  And I look back ten years: I think maybe – somehow – what I write has been improving.

2016: the time for New Year’s Resolutions.  What do I hope to achieve this year?  I’ve told myself for a number of years now that I will be indie-publishing one of my novels on Amazon – and it is still my intention – I have one partly edited, and the plan is to have it there by the end of the year.  Keep watching as well for the short novel/novella that I intend to serialise on ABC tales in the next few months.  Written but not yet edited.  I’ll be doing a few more rounds of submissions as well, maybe adding a few more markets to my core ones.  Will also branch out a bit more in visual artiness.

At least, that’s the plan……

NaNoWriMo 2015

It’s that time again.

12.05am on the first of November, and it’s time to write another novel.  Once again, a fantasy novel, but this time set in another world, traditional fantasy, a setting that mixes fantasy with a culture reminiscent of Tudor England (more or less.)  It follows the story of a girl come to court at a time of change and chaos: the Moon Queen dying, and the Sun King already preparing to select his new bride – in fact “The Sun King’s Bride” is the present title.

I would like to add that there’ll be regular blog updates on my progress, but who are we kidding?  This is the first entry since June, and despite (relatively) good intentions, I’m not too sure there’ll be any more anytime soon.  I’m signed up to the NaNoWriMo website, so progress can probably be viewed there, but once again, I don’t really picture myself adding a lot of corroborating evidence or interesting information.

In other news: not too much.  Every Day Fiction are the generous publishers now of two of my stories, and appear to be considering two more.  Excellent site – very astute editors, fine taste in short literature…

Oh, well, let the writing begin…..

Harder than it Looks

So, yesterday I submitted a story to a market in the UK.  Sounds simply enough, right?  Only problem, the market was one of the few that takes only snail mail applications.  Still, fine.  They wanted a SSAE to accompany the submission.  No problem.

Until I reached the post office.  I have recently learned that you can no longer buy an internation reply coupon – that in fact such things have not been used for about six months.  Also, the post office don’t sell foreign currency postage.  Might I be able to get the recipient to pay for return postage and then reimburse them…?

Okay, well thanks to Google (and Tech Support/Admin Support – my husband) we were able to learn the correct postage.  Across the road from the mall the stamp dealer still sells british stamps ‘for postage’ and seemed only mildly surprised by the request.

It’s on its way as we speak.  All in a day’s work.  But it does beg the question: is this how things are done now?   Surely there should be an easier way…..

Okay, Now, How About Now….?

Am I a real writer yet?

Another story just come out on a website today. The site is Every Day Fiction, and the story is Don’t Do It – a flash ficiton piece about how the smallest things can change the world.  And since EDF is technically a paying market (even though donated  my payment back to the site) I do feel as if I can wander around now referring to myself casually in a conversation as a “professional writer.”

So check out Don’t Do it, at www.EveryDayFiction.com, where there are also lots of other cool stories to read.

And FYI: finished writing The Wolf in Me about a week ago. Not sure what (if anything) I’m going to do with it yet, so for now I’ll just let it sit there and percolate for a few months/years etc, and just see what happens…..