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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Self-publising in the fantasy genre

Fantasy is big business. When you look at the most recent successes of novels or films, let's say over the last fifteen years, fantasy has become an overriding genre . Yet all fictional novels, films, short stories are fantasy. They might sit in very different genres, but they have all come from someone's imagination, a writer fantasizing about a theme or plot. 
Even in the fantasy world, emotions, events, and situations come from real experiences.  No writer has experienced every emotion or situation that makes a setting or situation for a story believable; most writers need to carry out a certain amount of research when planning a novel.  But I believe that our writing about certain situations shows a deeper understanding when we have experienced them ourselves.
There have been times in my own life that if I could choose I would not have experienced.  From a very early age I came to an understanding that life was tough, that I needed to have resilience if I wanted to find happiness, but anything I've experienced, the ups and downs, the gains and losses, have all provided me with a very deep well of different emotions that I draw on every day.
The tentacles of those emotions wrap around everything I write.  In Notes on a Rebellion, Random feels emotionally abandoned by Ethan.  That feeling of knowing I had to rely on myself features strongly in my experience of being a child, so I was able to draw on the crushing disappointment I felt sometimes when I had hoped for a level of support which didn't materialise.  The subject of death is also part of Random's story.  I was able to draw on my feelings of grief from when I lost my mother when I was pregnant with my second daughter, and also when a very dear friend died.  These are experiences none of us want to have, but they are part of life and must be a significant part of what we write, no matter the genre we write in.  Those we come in to contact with, whether they are family, friends, or even strangers can change our perspective on life.  People will surprise us, cheer us, shock us, or hurt or disappoint us. They live their own lives and behave in a way that reflects their own life-experiences
I'm currently writing the second book in the Notes from Random Knight series, A Girl Called Random, Destroying the Compendium, and yet again my experiences of life, good and bad, have materialised on the page.  From my point of view I look at this in two ways.  Sometimes it's hard to revisit those moments, but I'm grateful that life has provided me with rich and varying experiences to draw on.  And I know how it feels to be intensely happy. I have a wonderful family that gives me joy, and, every time I enter Random Knight's world, I know how privileged I am to be the one to write her story.






Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Formatting? - Oh, please!

Well I tried.  Really I did, but I'm hopeless.  I tried to reformat Notes on a Rebellion for Kindle and...it doesn't bear thinking about!

What I ended up with was a huge gap at the beginning, a telling off from Amazon in the form of an exclamation mark and a little camera where the Copyright sign was (I got the symbol from Word, so don't know what I did wrong, and ironic if you think about it) - and the text all over the place.  Is it me?  Can you do it?

Honestly, I think I must be 'technically challenged', 'completely bereft of the skill of following instructions', or maybe just 'plain dim'.  I don't think I'm completely dim but I do think leaving it to the experts is the best option.

Now I'm trying to format for Createspace.  I'll let ya know how I get on.  Where's that gin bottle?

Lots a love
Valentina x

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