Mutterings and utterings of a budding novelist

Archive for April, 2011

Illustrating a Novel

So finally my proofreader – a female 40yr ex English Teacher has called saying she is pleasantly surprised by my novel, even more so that she is enjoying it. Let’s face it, a sci-fi novel from an unpublished writer can’t inspire much confidence in a woman with a passion for the English launguage!

So happy days!! 😀

Right now though, it’s time to work on illustrating the second book! I swear I spend almost as much time on the images as I have done on the actual novel. Long ago my partner in crime persuaded me to illustrate all my books. Back then I wasn’t confident in my abilities and was convinced that it would only hinder the work produce.

Now though I’m glad I did the images for the first book. Whilst they are not first class I do feel they are strong enough for publishing. I guess time will tell on he feedback. Maybe somebody will tell me otherwise ha!

Here’s the start. This green character is based on my lil best friend Vix.

Vix Front Cover 2

The start of the Book 2 Cover.

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First Snag

Now I understand proof-reading is not an easy task, so finding someone qualified to do it can be daunting.

My partner in crime found a willing English Lit graduate to do the honours (paid of course) and agreed a five week deadline to get the work completed. After eight weeks we’ve heard nothing, and after a few phone calls discovered he’s abroad somewhere. Charming!

So the hunt is on to find another reading genius.

Just so this blog isn’t all completely text based, here’s another Book 1 image. 🙂

Chapter 6 image

Chapter 6 from Book 1


5 Signs You’re a Novelist

1. When in conversation you pay more attention to how the other person is articulating, rather than what what they are actually saying. “Wow! Her nostrils really do flare when she laughs!”

2. You compare your made up characters to your real life friends. “Well Obi-Wan would’ve swung that around like this.”

3. People on a whole become more fascinating. The weirder the better! “Please tell me again why you lived in a giant bird’s nest for a year, eating acorns!”

4. Instead of saying ‘that book would make a great movie’, you say ‘that movie would make a great book’. “No seriously, the events of Death Race could’ve been much more deeply explored!”

5. Your life is thought of terms of chapters, rather than lengths of time. “C’mon! I quit my job way back at the end of Chapter seventeen.”


Breaking ‘The Secret’

Quite a few years, the directors of the company I work for decided to semi-retire (ages ranging from around 35-45). My sister was the PA to these directors and had the task of clearing out their offices. In each of the desks of the directors was a copy of a book called ‘The Secret’. Now this was long before Rhonda Byrne’s book had gained the notoriety it has today. My sister gave me one of the copies to read and I can quite honestly say it opened up a whole new way of thinking for me. This was amplified since I knew our directors had worked hard from being regular office workers (a couple were even taxi drivers!) to becoming multi millionaires in less than a few years.

Now I know a lot of people are skeptical about such books, and especially of The Secret, but I can only go off my own experiences with it. Since reading it, my life changed dramatically; my girlfriend at the time showed her true colours (things I had suspected but was made to feel too paranoid to question) and left my life – never to be seen again, in her place came a fantastic new lady – whom I adore and love with all my being (and who is as ambitious as me). Also I moved into a new home which has turned out to be the most beautiful and stress free place I have lived. And finally, my dreams of being a novelist have become a reality by a chance meeting of a woman who has now become my partner in crime and now we have our second book (this one fully written and illustrated by me) due in the shops soon.

Ok, this could all be a massive coincidence but I do feel that that book helped me in my perspective in life. After The Secret, I’ve read numerous Law of Attraction books, including the mighty Seth Speaks books. Everyday I smile, and laugh, and rarely feel sad or ill. I feel I have a fantastic life, with great friends and family. And for this I feel extremely grateful. Don’t get me wrong, I still bitch and moan like any normal person! But I guess I just believe that these books have had a huge postive outlook on my life.

That is until I ordered: The Real Secret: What to do when the universe hasn’t delivered. by Lucy McCarraher and Annabel Shaw

Strange how I would order such a book based on its title, for I do believe the universe can, and has delivered. But the glowing reviews for this book attracted me to it.  What a massive dissapointment it was! It spends more time slagging off The Secret (seemingly without the authors having even read it!) and blowing away all the beliefs I’ve built up to now. The rest of the book just relays basic tips we already know (expenditure table anyone?)

One part  asks if the reader dreams of a perfect life, fantastic partner, riches and fame. Its reply? ‘Dream on. They are nothing more than pleasant dreams.’ Hang on! I thought this was meant to make me feel happy! Not shatter my carefully constructed dreams! This book, costing me just shy of a tenner has now been quickly relegated to the bin!

It says 1 in 10 of self help books does more damage than good. Well Lucy and Annabel, I can quite honestly say, your book is most definitely in this damaging 10%! After reading just three chapters I felt depressed and miserable, in which nothing could lift my mood.

Its taken a few hour long online talks by Deepak Chopra to bring my beliefs (and smile) back on track. I feel happier now and my outlook on life has started to get back to its usual positive self.

Whether or not you believe in The Secret, it can’t be denied it does raise a bit of cheerfullness. And nobody, not one single person in the world has the right to tell you to forget your dreams as they won’t happen. This is exactly the kind of people I’ve known throughout my early adult life and lo and behold – they have done nothing with their own lives.

So my final words are – if you have hopes and aspirations, then DREAM ON! DREAM AWAY! Follow them, believe in them, believe in yourself, and nothing is impossible. Be happy, and the future will take care of itself. 🙂