meredith_shayne: (Default)
...of the last 2 months. First, I worked myself into exhaustion and had to take 2 weeks off to recover, and then last week, a good friend and coworker died of breast cancer, after a really sudden deterioration.

It's that last one that's knocked me for a six. Several women in my circle have said to me that we've all known someone that this has happened to, and that's true, but for me this is the first person who's been really close to me who hasn't made it. Breast cancer is not in my family, and maybe I am still a bit young to have known that many people with breast cancer, and so my chance of being close with someone who died from it is smaller, I don't know. What I do know is that I have no desire to repeat this experience again. I have cried inconsolably more in the last 3 weeks than I have in the last 3 years, possibly more than in the last 3 decades. Tomorrow is the funeral, and I am speaking for a few minutes at the service. I've decided that since my friend was one of the jolliest, funniest people that I know, that I'll tell a funny story involving her so I can laugh for a while, and remember her how she'd want to be remembered.

I know things will get better. Even now, they're better than they were at the beginning of the week. It's the nature of these things, isn't it? We can't crumple into a heap for too long, because the world goes on around us in ways that force our participation. So I'll get there eventually. It might just take a little while, that's all.

Needless to say, I've done absolutely no writing recently. I feel very bad for those blog visitors who look at my Coming Soon page and constantly see sweet FA. I'm not the type of writer who can write in the face of massive emotional turmoil, I'm afraid. But maybe I'll put a few words down tonight, and a few more down tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. One foot in front of the other and all that.

(Originally posted at Wordpress August 2nd. Forgot to crosspost, whoops)
meredith_shayne: ((default))
Some could argue that in the age of the internet, with Google Earth, Google street view, Flickr, etc, that you don't have to visit a place to write about it. I know of authors who have written novels set in cities that they've never set foot in, and I've done it myself, never having visited Kalgoorlie and its surrounds, where Eyes Wide Shut and Rust Red: Galvanized are set.

No one's ever picked me up about any location errors in those books; still, set something in a real place and it's always a risk that there'll be something you miss. I almost made a location error in Whitewater - there were plenty of photos of Wylie's Baths, the place where Luke goes for his daily swim, online for me to look at, beautiful, atmospheric photos that showed me that Wylie's was just what I wanted in a beachside pool for Luke. But what none of the photos I saw online showed me, what I saw when I got there, was that the pool was graduated, less than ankle deep at the land edge and only about 3 feet or so deep at the sea edge. The photos also failed to show me the big "NO DIVING" warnings painted on the concrete along each of the pool's edges. Originally I did have Luke and Cam diving into that pool, but in the finished book they walk in, because to remain faithful to the reality of that place, they couldn't dive.

Now, obviously there is room for poetic license, and writers do that all the time; I made up a whole town in Equilibrium, and made space for a bakery and a beachside café in Coogee for Whitewater where there is no space for those things in the real Coogee. Sometimes, if you need something to be there you just plop it down where you need it and all is right with the world.

Having said all that, if you can visit a place, it's usually an advantage. Lake Pupuke is a freshwater lake in the middle of the North Shore of Auckland, formed in the craters of two volcanoes (yep, volcanoes). A lake in a volcanic crater sounds like a place where some paranormal happenings might take place, does it not? Observe:

 IMG_0429-016

IMG_0418-005

IMG_0421-008

OK, admittedly, the bright, sunny day makes it look like the best place ever for a swim, but people have drowned there, so...yes. We will see what happens. :)
meredith_shayne: ((default))
Despite suffering the catastrophic meltdown of my main laptop on Friday night (it died and is dead, never to be backed up again - thank god for Dropbox is all I can say), I have managed to update my Coming Soon page with the news that Cutting Out, the novel-length adaptation of my short story of the same name, will be out mid-year. So yay to having something new out relatively soon!

In the meantime, I will be occupying myself with another freebie, because I accidentally tripped and fell into the Goodreads M/M Romance group's annual member prompt frenzy. I didn't mean to, because I do have other things to write, but when you're confronted with something that looks like this:

103082

 
how can you possibly resist?

Reader, I couldn't.

The prompt that goes with the post is this, from the lovely Donna:

This is my life… by day I walk on land and I am as human as the man standing next to me… but by night… the water calls to me and I must return to it… all I have ever wanted is a man who would love me for who I am… both day and night…

I would only ask for a story… as beautiful as this photo

So it gets even better. I have Plans for that young man, is all I can say. If having to survive for the next 2 weeks on my very non-grunty netbook until my replacement computer arrives doesn't kill me first, anyway.

Book news

Nov. 5th, 2013 07:56 am
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I'm very pleased to announce that I've signed a contract with Bottom Drawer Publications for the expanded version of Cutting Out, my Oz MM Meet anthology story. There are a lot of gaps in Shane and Lachie's story as it stands now, so I'm filling them in. Those boys haven't quite finished with me yet. :)

The expanded version should be done by the end of the year (side note: can you believe it's November already? How did that happen), so I expect that the book will be out sometime early 2014. BDP is an Australian publisher that I've heard good things about, so I'm looking forward to working with them. My talks with them so far, about me and what I want for my books, have been great, so I think they'll be a good fit for me. Now all I've got to do is get that book written!
meredith_shayne: ((default))
So, it's January the 28th in most parts of the world now, which means that Metal Heart is now officially for sale! You can find it at the Dreamspinner store in ebook or paperback formats, at All Romance ebooks and Amazon, although for some reason it's currently only in paperback there. I'm sure it'll be available at the Kindle store very soon.

I have a couple of promotional things planned for the book, including participating in a massive rock star-related blog hop in February which I will tell you about very soon.

As befits a book release day where I also have the day off (thank you, Auckland anniversary day), I have spent the day making a soundtrack for Metal Heart; since I always rabbit on about how music is instrumental to my writing process, I decided to finally pony up a playlist for you, which is fitting for a book about musos.

Not every song I listened to during writing is on there, but there's enough there for you to get a flavour of it:

Here it is if you'd like to take a listen.

I even uploaded some obscure Aussie rock for you, so prepare to be baffled by that! :)

I also made ice cream today but since I can't pass any of that through the Internet, you'll have to content yourself with some music instead.

 
meredith_shayne: ((default))
Internets! I have a question for you.

If you were a pastry chef (and so could make any sweet thing you liked) making a dessert for a person who you were hoping to get into bed (preferably as soon as dessert is finished), what would you make?

If it matters, this is the first time you're cooking for this person, and they've told you that they'll eat anything.

Enquiring minds want to know. I have my own thoughts on this, but it never hurts to get a second opinion.
meredith_shayne: ((default))
Hello blogland, long time no speak! While I admit that I am a terrible blogger under usual circumstances, I am not generally this bad. But when your book suddenly decides that it wants to be 20,000 words longer than you originally thought, and you'd like to get it done before the end of the century, there's no choice but to put your head down, your bum up, and not stop until the very last word is written. I'm thrilled to be able to report that the last word was written last night, and it has been submitted. After I submitted it I felt a lot like how I used to feel when I was at Uni, after all my exams were over: like a weight had lifted from me, and I was free at last, free at last. Tonight I feel a lot like how I felt when I submitted my PhD: vaguely nervous, somewhat unsettled, and like I should be doing something instead of lollygagging about. Every time I remember that I'm finished and I've given myself a couple of weeks off writing, it's a little bit of a shock.

So, anyway. The novel is called Metal Heart, it's around 88,500 words, and it's the same story that I talked about in this post, when I posted a little snippet of it. I'm not very good at waiting, but hopefully I'll hear whether it's been accepted soon. Cross your fingers and toes for me, poppets!

In other writing related news, my good friend LJ Labarthe interviewed me for her blog, and the interview is posted here, so you can have a look at that if the mood takes you. I do a fair bit of waffling about being Australian, and about Brokeback Mountain, and also say why I am a cactus. Who wouldn't want to know that, I ask you?

Brief Encounters reviews also reviewed my Torquere Press Color Box, Rust Red: Galvanized, here, and gave it a B, so yay to that! In her review, Tam says:

I really enjoyed this follow-up, watching the guys work it out, seeing Chris’ fear but his determination not to be that guy who nearly lost Adam in the first book. I liked the author’s voice, and those who enjoyed the first one will equally enjoy this glimpse at the guys.

Which is very nice of her. And let's not forget that the prequel to Rust Red: Galvanized, Eyes Wide Shut, is available as a freebie in various places, and freebies are always good.

Right, that's me done, I'm off to read a book, because I can do that now, and hopefully it won't be another two months before I post again!
meredith_shayne: ((default))
I am pleased to be able to announce that Reasonable Force is available for sale at JMS Books. You can find it here, in various ebook formats and also on sale for 40% off, so if that's not a bargain, I don't know what is.

Please note that this story was previously published in the Torquere Press anthology The Care and Feeding of Demons, and that this version is not significantly different from that version. For owners of the anthology, there's no pressing need to buy it again, unless you want it as a standalone with its snazzy new cover.

With that said, I'll leave you with an excerpt:

Daniel went straight from Francis’ office to his usual post-hunt club. He was well on the way to drowning Francis’ words in beer and tequila when the waitress’ shadow fell over him. He looked up at her, his eyebrows raised. She put a shot of tequila down on the table in front of him and jerked her head in the direction of the dance floor. “Guy over there’s bought you a drink.”

Daniel looked over to where she’d indicated, catching the eye of a man leaning against the wall across the room. He was tall and dark and built like a proverbial mountain. He was good looking too, but what was most striking about him were his eyes -- they positively smoldered, and even from across the room Daniel felt the man’s gaze like a touch. Daniel narrowed his eyes as the man smirked at him.

“Take it away. And tell him I don’t want it.”

“Yeah, he said you’d say that. He said to tell you if you don’t want him to come over and bother you, you’ll take the drink.”

Daniel frowned. “What? Don’t you usually buy a drink for someone so you can talk to them?”

“That’s how it usually works, darlin’. But this bar does get all the strange ones.”

She gave his table a cursory swipe with a cloth and left him to it. Daniel looked at the drink at his elbow and then back at the man across the room, who was still staring at him. Daniel sighed and picked up the drink, saluting the man before tipping his head back and downing it, smacking the glass back on the table when he was done. When he looked back across the room, the man looked delighted.

“Fucking weirdo,” he muttered, turning back to his beer and somber thoughts.

He wasn’t left alone to brood for long. It couldn’t have been five minutes before another shadow fell across him, a shadow much taller and broader than the waitress’ had been. Daniel gripped his glass with both hands until his knuckles turned white and didn’t look up.

“I thought you were going to leave me alone if I drank the damn drink.”

“Really? Perhaps that lovely waitress misheard me when I told her what to say to you.”

The shadow moved as the man slipped into the seat opposite him. Daniel stared at him.

“I don’t recall inviting you to sit.”

“Well, well, aren’t you a rude one? I take it I am not going to get a thank you for the drink?”

“You told the waitress it would keep you away!”

“You keep saying that,” the man said lightly. “You are not flattered I wished to come and speak to you?”

“Should I be? Who the hell are you?”

“Someone who wishes to know you.”

Daniel felt his lip curl as he sneered. “Oh, spare me. I don’t hook up with random strangers in bars.”

“Is that right?” The smirk was back. “Because I would say you do, if that business in the alleyway last night was any indication of your ... proclivities.” The man chuckled. “Or is it you would rather pay than be paid for?”

Daniel’s face grew hot, and he was glad for the lack of lighting in the bar. “I don’t have to listen to this shit,” he said, and slid out of his seat, putting a hand on the table to push himself up. He was about to step away when strong, warm fingers curled tightly around his wrist.

“Don’t go,” the man said. “We were just starting to have fun.”
meredith_shayne: ((default))
I have disappeared off the face of the internet lately, because I'm really trying to finish my current novel in progress. It has a title, but I'm not revealing it publicly yet because titles are generally really difficult for me, and I'm superstitious about having one before the book is finished. But I can tell you what it's about: the rise and fall of the guitarist and singer in a Sydney rock band in the 90s, and what happens between them when the band reunites 16 years later to help out an old friend.

I'm going to post a snippet here, because I can. :) In this scene, one hero, Scott, is on the phone to his father talking about his twin sister and her boyfriend, in the flat that he shares with Ash, the other hero, in what his family and the rest of the band believes is a completely platonic way.

Bear in mind that this snippet is completely unedited, and is basically the way it was when it first fell out of my head and onto the page, Australian spelling, typos, potentially awkward phrasing, long sentences and all. This might make it in to the final draft, or it might not, we'll see how it goes.

***

"She's gone away with that fella of hers," his father said when he picked up the phone. "They should be back in a week." There was rustling of papers in the background. "I should have the number of the hotel here somewhere…"

"Nah, don't worry about it," Scott said, lighting a cigarette. "I won't call her there if she's with him."

His father hesitated, then said lightly, "Don't like him either, huh?"

"I've only met him once, but no." Scott took a drag of his smoke and blew the smoke out toward the ceiling. "He seems like a dickhead."

"He's all right. He tries a bit too hard, that's all. But your mother doesn't like him. Says that Melly could do better. But that's what your grandfather said about her when we first started going out." His father laughed. "So I'm on Callum's side this time. He's a good guy. He makes her happy, and that's all I want for her."

"Hmm." Scott took another drag of his smoke. "I want her to be happy with someone who's less of a knob."

"You'll understand when you find the person you're meant to be with. Things that are annoying in other people just don't seem important anymore."

"Ah…right." Scott felt his face heating. This was about as close to an emotional conversation than he ever wanted to get with his father.

Ash chose that moment to come out of the bedroom stark naked, walk across the living room to the kitchen, open the fridge, chug half a one litre bottle of orange juice straight from the bottle, and let out a huge belch so loud that it practically echoed off the walls.

Scott's father laughed. "Jesus, was that Ash? Impressive. But I hope neither of you have got a woman over there to hear that."

Scott picked up a copy of Kerrang! off the coffee table and pegged it at Ash like a Frisbee; it flew across the room in a flutter of pages and landed in the doorway of the kitchen, sliding to a stop at Ash's feet. Ash looked down at it, then looked over at Scott, raising his eyebrows. After a moment, he put the juice bottle away, stepped over the magazine and came over to Scott to steal a cigarette.

Scott frowned at him. "No, it's fine, we haven't. Look, Dad, I've got to go. Talk to you later, all right?"

"Sure, son," his dad said cheerfully. "Come over for dinner once Melly gets home. Your mother says she never sees you now you don't live here anymore."

"Sure, okay. That'd be great."

He hung up and leaned over to put out his smoke, stubbing it out in an overflowing ashtray on the coffee table. By the time he looked up again, Ash had crossed the lounge room and was standing at the open balcony door, completely unconcerned with his nakedness.

"Oh, look," he said. "Mrs Davidson across the way is perving again." He put his smoke in his mouth and waved at the block of flats about twenty feet away from their own. Then he chuckled. "And now she's gone."

***
meredith_shayne: ((default))
Music is very important to my writing process. I only write without music if I absolutely have to, which thankfully isn't often. The music I listen to while writing has an impact on the mood of the story: a dark story has to have a soundtrack full of dark music, while a more lighthearted story can have a more lighthearted soundtrack. Each of my published stories has a soundtrack, either a mix of songs from different artists, or a single artist; for Equilibrium it was a mix of songs, for Reasonable Force it was Velvet Acid Christ, for Eyes Wide Shut and Rust Red: Galvanized it was Midnight Oil. For Tinsel and Dust, my upcoming Equilibrium sequel, it was the John Butler Trio. Music actually plays a larger role in Tinsel and Dust than it ever has before, in that the music of the John Butler Trio actually features in a scene.

Now, I'm not going to give away what that scene actually is, because that would be telling. :) But what I will tell you is what songs I was thinking of when I wrote it. To me, they fit Michael and Ryan's situation to a tee.

Both of these songs are off the album Sunrise Over Sea. The first is called Peaches and Cream:

For so long I've sung this sad ol' song,
And it feels like my time is up.
For she came and landed in my arms,
And she filled my half empty cup.
Yes she filled my half empty cup.

There you are right in front of me, 
A brand new day sunrise over sea.
No longer my cup half empty cause there you are...



and the second is called Seeing Angels:

Why do I deserve such a visit
From the one I thought I'd never meet.
Beyond my greatest expectations.
You exceeded everything. 
Well here I am 

Take me for what you see
For I'm transparent in the light of you. 
And look inside,
See that fire burning bright
The same one you rekindled inside me 

My mouth was dry
only you quenched my thirst
I thought I was last
You told me I was first. 




So there you have it, two great songs for my boys. Tinsel and Dust should be released mid-December, I have a tentative release date of December 14th for it. That's not set in stone at the moment, but if I learn any different I'll be sure to let you all know.

 
meredith_shayne: (handstand)
There are three lines published by Torquere Press that I find endlessly inspirational: the Color Box, Spice it Up and Birthstones lines. God I love a theme like that. So when the opportunity to write a Color Box came up, I jumped at the chance. The colour I chose was rust red, and I did that for a very specific reason.

About a year ago I wrote a little story called Eyes Wide Shut, that was part of the Healing Hearts Charity sip blitz in 2010. The characters from that story – Royal Flying Doctors Service physician Adam Taylor and his mining engineer boyfriend Chris Barker – stuck with me, as did the red landscape of the WA outback, and when the call for Color Boxes went out and I saw what had and hadn’t yet been taken, lo, the idea for a sequel to Eyes Wide Shut was born. I’m quite pleased that Adam and Chris’ story gets to continue.

It’s called Rust Red: Galvanized, and it will be out at the end of September. It’s quite a bit longer than Eyes Wide Shut, clocking in at around 17,000 words. Even though I wrote it a while ago, it’s still early days, since there isn’t even a blurb for it yet. However, I’ve gotten my edits back, so I’ve decided to post a little teaser (although obviously since it’s still in edits, this may or may not appear like this in the final version).

The story picks up 6 months after the end of Eyes Wide Shut. In this excerpt, Adam and Chris are in Surfer’s Paradise visiting Adam’s family. It is Schoolie’s Week, a time when about a million teenagers are in Surfer’s celebrating the end of high school by getting roaring drunk and generally making pests of themselves. The boys have just had their morning nookie interrupted by Adam’s mum. Heh.

***

Chris had recovered enough from his trauma to come out of the bedroom after breakfast, and he even consented to a dip in the pool in full view of both Adam’s parents, who were reclining in the shade of the verandah. He lay on his stomach on an airbed, his wet hair glistening in the sunshine, and ignored Adam, who swam slowly around him, much like a shark stalking its prey. That was what interrupted sex did for Adam, but he was doomed to not get any satisfaction that day.

Adam completed another circuit around Chris’ airbed, and this time Chris cracked open an eyelid. “Go away.”

“What? I’m not doing anything.”

“Yes, you are. You’re lurking. Plotting.”

Adam rolled his eyes. “Plotting what? My parents are just over there.”

“I don’t know. Something.” Chris rested his chin on his arms. “I wouldn’t put anything past you today.”

Adam rolled his eyes. “Talk about paranoid.” He swam around the airbed once more, and when he came up to Chris’ head again, Chris was still watching him. “Let’s go out tonight, just you and me.”

Chris was silent for a minute. “Where do you want to go?”

Adam shrugged, hanging on to the end of the airbed. “I don’t know. Out to dinner. There are some nice restaurants on the main strip.”

Chris made a face. “Won’t there be a lot of kids out there tonight?”

“Yeah, but we don’t have to go to any pubs. We’ll just go to a restaurant and come home.” Adam tugged on the edge of the airbed. “We’ll just have a nice meal, that’s all.”

“Okay. As long as we go somewhere with as few teenagers as possible.”

Adam nodded. “Deal.” He watched Chris for a moment, then smiled, slowly tugging the airbed around so that Chris’ back was to his parents. He glanced over at the verandah; his father was reading the paper, and his mother was on her feet, heading into the house. “Give us a kiss.”

Chris’ eyes narrowed. “Why?”

“Because I want one.” Adam tugged the edge of the airbed a little. “Come on. We were so rudely interrupted this morning…”

Chris looked over his shoulder, then turned back. “All right, but just a quick one.”

Adam grinned and moved in. “I knew you couldn’t resist me for too long.”

“Whatever. Get over here.” Chris grabbed the back of Adam’s head and kissed him firmly, then tried to push him away. Adam resisted, kissing him again, softly, turning it into something to linger over. It was Chris’ turn to resist that, but after a moment he gave in, his fingers on Adam’s head turning gentle as they stroked through the hair at the nape of Adam’s neck.

“Lunch is ready, boys!” his mother called from the doorway of the house.

Chris groaned quietly, and Adam laughed into Chris’ mouth. He broke the kiss and leaned his forehead against Chris’ as Chris’ fingers tightened around his neck. “It’s just that kind of day today. A frustrating one. This is why we have to get out on our own tonight.”

“We’ve got to do something on our own. Like have cold showers,” Chris said, letting him go and tumbling off the airbed and into the water.

***
meredith_shayne: (handstand)
Equilibrium will be out in print and ebook on June 24th, yay. Since the blurb and cover are now up on Dreamspinner's Coming Soon page, and my author page, I figured I can post it here too so you can all have a squizz at the lovely cover. Catt Ford did a great job on the cover, I love it.






Welcome to Burreela, New South Wales. Population: more animals than humans. Although most (human) occupants are trying to get out of Burreela, the tiny town is the perfect place for veterinarian Michael Stone to break out of the bad habits that almost cost him the most meaningful part of his life: his profession.

Michael is struggling to regain his balance after hard personal losses and two years of promiscuity and drug abuse. He’s not prepared to meet Ryan Mitchell, a nice guy who won’t take no for an answer, whose patient pursuit leaves Michael less and less inclined to keep refusing. But Michael’s bad habits aren’t that far behind him. Can Michael hold himself together enough to be the man Ryan needs, or will he lose his equilibrium while trying to be man enough to hold on to the one he loves?
meredith_shayne: (Default)
This is taking me ages to write up, but I better do it soon because I didn't take many notes (because when I did I felt like I was at work, so I stopped) and I'm in danger of forgetting if I don't. Overall this year's festival was really enjoyable, and I'm not sure why that is. Certainly all the writing advice that was given out wasn't anything new to someone like me, who spends a lot of time procrastinating reading about writing online - write what you love, write what you want to read, read a lot, take notice of the world around you, etc. Despite that I still feel like I got a lot out of it.

Friday, May 13

Climbing the Mango Trees - an hour with Madhur Jaffrey.

Madhur Jaffrey is a very interesting woman. )

An hour with Laurence Fearnley, Emma Neale and Charlotte Randall

This session was a last-minute switch from the science-based session I was going to attend )

Short and Sweet - Claire Keegan, Tina Makereti and Sue Orr

Short story panel )

And that's the end of Friday's sessions. Saturday was quite a big day so I'll write that up separately.
meredith_shayne: (Default)
A.K.A DECISIONS, DECISIONS

It's time once again for the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival. Originally I thought there was bugger all on, but then I looked at the programme properly, and found some stuff. And of course there are clashes, because why on earth wouldn't there be when I only want to see a handful of things over three days.

Definitely or potentially interesting sessions )

So, that's it. Not too shabby, and where I have to make a choice it's not that wrenching, now that I lay it all out. Should be an interesting weekend.
meredith_shayne: (Default)
For the first time in ages I find myself with nothing to write. My goals for the first part of the year were to finish and submit Equilibrium, which I did, and to fulfil my Color Box obligation to Torquere, which I did by the skin of my teeth (famous last words: Oh, god, April is AGES away! I'll get that story done EASILY! I might as well have pasted a big sign on my ass inviting the universe to kick me there as hard as it could). So now...I have nothing currently in progress.

My goals for the rest of the year are to finish another novel and get a few short stories out. I have about 10,000 words of a novel that I started before Equilibrium that I put aside, because originally Equilibrium was going to be a short story for a submission call, except it just kept growing and growing until it didn't fit into its short story pants anymore. So I can pick that back up, and I will, but I also had a few short story ideas pop up every now and again during the writing of Equilibrium that I ignored at the time, but I suppose now's a good time to explore some of those and see if any of them will come to anything. Hopefully then they can be spaced somewhere between when Equilibrium comes out in June/July and when my Color Box comes out in September. Or between June and Christmas, anyway. At least one of the stories I'm thinking of is set in NZ, so that'll be nice, to write about somewhere where I'm actually living. I've already gone on a location check for that one, actually, but more about that in another post. Maybe.

That all sounds like a plan, doesn't it! Shocking. In other news, it's 10.20pm and I'm still in my pyjamas from last night (what's Sunday for if not to stay in your PJs all day, I ask you), and I am absolutely GUTTED about the outcome of tonight's NZ Masterchef. It was an absolute fricken travesty, and I cannot believe it. I'm sure the whole of New Zealand is in an uproar as I speak.

Sale

Feb. 12th, 2011 10:53 am
meredith_shayne: ((default))
Thanks for all your comments about titles guys, it was interesting to see how everyone approaches them, from a writer's and a reader's perspective. I ended up calling the story "Equilibrium", for reasons that will hopefully become obvious once I've got an official blurb to share with you. It definitely satisfies my need for the short and the snappy, and like I said, it even has something to do with the story, so it ticks the boxes on all counts, yay.

Happily I will have an official blurb to share with you eventually, because Dreamspinner have accepted it, with publication slated for June. I am very, very happy about this, since it will be my first novel-length publication, and it'll be available in paperback as well as ebook. Very exciting!
meredith_shayne: ((default))
One thing that I generally have trouble with is thinking of titles for my stories. Sometimes they come easily, but mostly not. I get a lot of my titles from quotes and/or song lyrics, but sometimes nothing really presents itself. I'm on the verge of submitting a novel, which has a name that I'm not sure I'm happy with, which is annoying. I tend to like snappy titles, short and to the point, with at least a tenuous connection to the story itself. Titles can put a reader off - I know that I'm more reluctant to buy a book with a title I don't like, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. But then what makes a good title? What appeals to one person won't appeal to another, so you need to be happy with it yourself, so at least one person likes it, haha.

So, authors - how do you find inspiration for titles? And readers - does the title influence your decision to pick up a story? Do you find yourself favouring certain types of titles over others? Enquiring minds want to know.
meredith_shayne: (time)
2010 was quite a good year for me, particularly professionally, but also personally. I wasn't under as much stress as I was in 2009 and 2008 (2008 was the Year of the Huge and Stressful Project(s), and 2009 was the Year of Ridiculous and Chronic Insomnia), and it really made a difference. Long may that continue.

I'm quite looking forward to 2011 - soon I'll move into the house I bought, which I'm looking forward to so much I can't even say. I think living in a house that's mine will really make a difference to my outlook; maybe that's silly, but I think it will. I'm really having to stop myself buying all new furniture for the place, haha! Those furniture places are so seductive with their rows and rows of bookcases and chests of drawers. I need another bookcase, too.

My goals for the upcoming year are relatively simple: write more (and hopefully publish more) and blog more. That seems achievable now while I'm still on holidays, of course; mind you, I have managed to fritter away the day and haven't done a scrap of the editing I was meaning to do, so it's not like being at work will make my procrastination any worse. I haven't started packing either, but never mind. I'm not moving for 2 weeks, there's still plenty of time! (Famous last words if I ever heard them.)
meredith_shayne: (dinosaur comics terminator sequel)
It's quite hard to believe that it's almost 2011. I've dropped off the face of the earth recently, as I tend to do - something to rectify in the new year, for sure - because I've been quite busy. Apart from work stuff, which is always busy, I've bought a house and finished writing a novel. It's quite hard to buy a house and try to finish a novel at the same time, I discovered. Very hard, in fact. But I did manage it, and I only wanted to shout at my lawyer and my bank guy a few times, which was a miracle, all things considered. Not that wanting to shout at them had anything to do with the novel. Not directly, anyway.

But I'm happy because now I have a lovely house that I'll move into in a couple of weeks, and 66,000 words that manage to come together to form something resembling a coherent story, so yay. I've heard back from one of my betas, and once it's back from the others I'll shine it up and submit it in the new year, in between packing books into boxes.

So far it's the longest thing I've written, with my two published things being shorts of ~8,000 words. Finishing something so long was a very weird experience. It was a lot like when I finished writing my PhD thesis, which took me 11 months (5 months full time, 6 months part time, ugh what a slog that was) - on the one hand I was so incredibly relieved it was done, but on the other hand it was very strange to come home from work and not have anything that I had to do. Right now I am enjoying having a little writing break over the holidays, but then I also can't stop thinking about what to do next. I have a Color Box for Torquere due in April, but that's a fair way away yet. I have some ideas for more short stories, which I can fit in with the Color Box, and also 10k worth of words for another novel in progress, which I can't. But I can't really decide what I want to do.

So far I am dealing with this paralysing indecision by lying around on my mother's lounge watching cooking shows on cable and eating ice cream. Because that's another thing, I'm not at home at the moment, I'm in Australia, at my mother's for Christmas. I've been here for a few days and have a few days to go before I leave to go back to NZ. History tells me that I never write anything while I'm away from home, and given that it's Christmas, that's not likely to change now. So I probably shouldn't worry about it at all and just continue to watch the Food channel and eat ice cream. Sounds like a plan.

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meredith_shayne

February 2016

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