Publishing Progress Report…

As we’ve just finished half term, there’s not a great deal of progress to report, so this is probably only going to be brief! Let’s get on with it then, shall we?

The Angel's Crown - cover (1)

The first book in “The Secret of Arking Down” Series, The Angel’s Crown is now available in Paperback! Yes, as well as having my first novel on your electronic reading thing-a-ma-bob, you can also go old school and get it printed on actual paper… perfect for reading in the bath and guaranteed to have no battery problems at all!

Click through to the link to pick up your copy for the measly sum of £8.00 sterling.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/kira-morgana/the-angels-crown/paperback/product-20700522.html;jsessionid=349FF9D556DE58AA6209B29E749C2F5A

On the Electronic front, The Angel’s Crown is available all over the place – Kindle, Sony, Kobo… I could do with a few more sales though, it’s currently languishing at #637,603 in the UK Kindle store and doesn’t even rank on the US Kindle site!

Want a signed copy? Well you can get an electronic one through Authorgraph: http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/kira_m_author

Or if you want a print copy signed, you’ll have to contact me via email :

author (dot) kiramorgana (at) gmail (dot) com

Put  Gimme yor autograph! in the subject line and be patient – I try to check my emails regularly, but life doesn’t always allow me the time!

* * *

TTATE Banner

I have just finished working on the second in “The Tower and The Eye” Series. This one is called A Party at Castle Grof and introduces a few more characters as well as opening out the world of Quargard a little more. It’s off to the beta reader, so I have to wait for their verdict before I will have a definite publishing date for book #2.

If you haven’t already read Book #1 of the series, A Beginning follows the adventures of Prince Loric and his companions in the dungeon of doom at Pleasemore Village.  This is not a tale for the faint of heart, for as with all sword and sorcery, battles abound… and my dark side creeps in a little bit… PG13 definitely!

Available in e-book from:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Smashwords

Kobo

* * *

My first story collection... a gentle introduction to my mind.

My First Story Collection, The Necklace of Harmony, is doing as well as can be expected for UK Kindle – #560,847. On US Kindle it’s at#998,743, so this book is doing better in the UK.

I recently ran an internet sweep to find out how far the book had spread. I found that adding  The Necklace of Harmony to Smashwords had paid off as this particular book was also on Sony and Kobo…

So I’ll be nice and add the links here – just in case you want to check it out:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Sony

Kobo

I’m currently working on a print edition of The Necklace of Harmony, so check back next week for further developments…

* * *

Final choice 2

My dark side has a lot to answer for sometimes… She pops up in all sorts of odd places in my books, normally when I don’t want her to, so I have to make a concerted effort to purge the dark side every so often with a story or two. This is where my horror story collection came from.

Darkness in Mind  is only available in e-book form at the moment, but I am planning a print edition in the next few months, so watch this space.

Here are the e-book links:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Smashwords

* * *

Right that’s all the currently published works out of the way… *grins* I am working on some newer ideas as well as these ones, so I’m going to give you a sneak peek from each of them:

The Seven Towers (Working Title), Book #1:

The messenger was replaced by Andrionae’s First Councillor. “You sent for me, Your Grace?”
“Have three dozen black roses sent to each of the Royal Council Members. No message. Turquoise and gold ribbon.” the duke straightened from leaning on the railing, turning to meet the Councillor’s eyes with his gaze.
The Councillor appeared to be having trouble with the import of the command. “I’m sorry, Your Grace, but why black roses? Surely white would be more appropriate for the deaths of the heir and her family, as an expression of condolence.”
“Are you aware of the meaning of black roses?” Andrionae was calm and quiet as he moved toward the Councillor.
“Yes, your Grace. But…”
“Do as you are told.”
“I’m sorry, but I cannot. I will not lay the blame for the deaths on the Duchy with such a display. It would bring the other duchies into conflict with us.” The Councillor stood his ground, trembling a little as the duke stalked closer. “Your father would never have…” his voice trailed off as Andrionae grabbed him by the robe and lifted him off the ground.
“Your predecessor made three mistakes before he was… demoted.” Andrionae told his Councillor. “Shall I tell you what they were?”
The Councillor shook his head.
“So you are aware of what he was found guilty of. The occasion was public enough to have become town gossip.”
The Councillor nodded.
“Then why do you persist in making the same mistakes? This is my duchy. I am the ruler and when I say send black roses, I mean it. I don’t expect you to argue; I don’t want you to stand up to me and tell me the honest truth; I don’t want you putting the duchy before your duty. Do you understand?”
The Councillor nodded harder this time.
“Good. I do hope your replacement will understand them faster than you.” The duke raised the Councillor up until the unfortunate man dangled over the rail of the balcony. “You also made the mistake of comparing me to my father. I will never be the soft spined coward that he was.”
“Please… my family…” the man gasped. His eyes were wild as he looked down at the space below him.
“Will not be held accountable for your failings and will receive the death benefits due to them; I am not a monster, after all.” Andrionae opened his fist and dropped the Councillor, before turning to regard the sea again. The gull’s cries were accompanied by a scream that faded before being cut off abruptly.
The sound of the waves washing in from the Eastern Ocean soothed Andrionae and presently he felt in a better mood.

Blood Sun 

I wasn’t entirely sure what had happened to my world. Three months ago, it had been my thousand and thirty seventh birthday. I’d been celebrating with friends over drinks and a meal in Cardiff, under a sky lit by the pinpricks of light we used to call stars, but now knew were a hundred million worlds, each lit by their own sun.

It was as mike had toasted my birthday for the third time that it happened. That strange orange light… then the crash of thunder and a sudden feeling of being exposed. I shuddered as I remembered what had happened next. Red rain. I said we were in some kind of pop video and everyone laughed at me for being able to remember the lyrics to what they call the ancient hymns. Then the pain started.

I sniffed and blinked back tears, willing the memory to hide away in the back of my mind, to leave me alone, but my brain implant was in full memory recall mode now and the images, coupled with the scents and sounds of that awful night drew the tears out of me.

I got under cover quickly; so did Zoe. But the others weren’t so lucky. The rain dissolved their flesh as fast as boiling water poured on butter. Zoe and I escaped with scalds. I’m not sure what was worse, watching them all turn into a murky red-brown liquid at my feet or seeing Zoe turn later.

With an effort I pushed the memory away and willed my feet to move faster as I made my way up onto the footpath.

The steel and concrete had fared better than the tarmac and the path out onto the bridges was in fairly good condition. What concerned me was the lack of cover across this section of my trek. Taking a quick anxious glance up at the cloudless sky, I started out onto the first bridge.

On the road bed several burned out cars and red-brown stains marked the places where people had been caught in the rain. I moved past them swiftly, my feet echoing on the concrete, my breathing ringing in my ears. Nothing in them. Good.

The roadbed appeared to float above the brown, mud filled water of the Wye river and I almost ran across this first bridge to the steeper incline that was the main SevernBridge. Underneath the structure, the tides surged and spun hapless corpses in their clutches. Water’s the only thing that stops the rain burning.

I remembered dumping the ice bucket over Zoë, grabbing another one from a startled couple’s table inside the restaurant and doing the same to myself. The blissful chill of iced water on my scalded skin. That was a good feeling.

Water also stopped people from turning. Maybe that was why Zoe turned? Maybe I didn’t throw enough water over her.

Passing the first tower on the Severn bridge, I checked my watch. Not bad time. If I’m lucky I’ll be able to find an unoccupied house on the English side. Another burst of speed brought the second tower and a large coach on the road, closer. I hope there’s no one aboard that thing.

Fight of the Flame (Working Title)

“Take out Aedammair and the other two women will fall.” Ciocal’s voice shrieked with fury across the tumult created by the Undead Horde in front of him. “Take her out and we shall prevail.”

The Three glanced at each other and an understanding seemed to pass between them.

“If not in this life, then in the next.” Banbha murmured to her friends. She held out her hands to the other two.

“Our powers shall pass to the chosen ones.” Caelfind said, taking Banbha’s hand and offering her other one to Aedammair.

“As our life force begins to ebb.” Aedammair took Caelfind and Banbha’s hands, smiling at them.

“Stop them! Don’t let them complete the spell!” Ciocal yelled. “Where are Partholon and Gann when I need them.”

The undead tried to surge forward to swamp the women in their midst, but there were too many and they jammed up shoulder to shoulder, unwilling to give an inch to each other.

“We destroy the attacking Horde.” Caelfind said.

“In fire relieve them of mortal bonds.” Banbha continued.

“And send their souls back through the portal to the underworld.” Aedammair finished. The Three raised their hands, still joined.

Fire flared in a circle around them, illuminating their unearthly beauty and making their green and gold eyes sparkle.

“Stop them!” Ciocal screamed impotently.

“As our life comes to an end,” the three chanted together, “Let it serve to cleanse humankind. Take our sacrifice and use its power, let all demons be banished in fire’s flower.”

The fire strengthened, the flames towering about the women. The undead screamed and groaned unable to move, their bodies held in stasis by the spell.

“I will claim you next time, Triskelion.” Ciocal screeched. “I’ll rule this world, no matter what.”

“In leaving life, we bring peace.” The women continued, ignoring their surroundings. “Let all attacks on this world cease. In thirty times seventy we shall return, but until then, let all evil burn.”

The fire changed colour from a deep red gold to a blue so pale it was almost invisible in the night. The women brought their hands down to the centre of their circle and crossed their arms, clasping each other’s wrists. “As it is said, so mote it be, let the Mother welcome us and set the world free.” On the last word, the Triskelion threw their arms up into the air, breaking the hold they had on each other’s wrists.

The fire collapsed down onto them in a dome and as they fed all their power into the flame, there was a whumph and the blue flame expanded rapidly.

The flames had burnt the first row of undead to ash before they knew what was happening. The evil within the undead soldiers fed the flames, making the flames hotter and spreading them out further and faster until it had destroyed the horde completely.

The last sound was that of Ciocal’s wail of desperation as the flames consumed his mortal body.

The villagers of Sarum returned to the meadow at first light. There was nothing there, but ashes lying in little piles in concentric circles.

Moving silently through the muttering villagers on the edge of the battlefield, the Priestess of the Mother stepped carefully through the circles into the centre, disturbing nothing as she passed the ash piles.

In the very middle of the centre lay three bracelets of twisted silver and gold, bearing a single moonstone. As she stooped to pick the bracelets up, the goddess spoke to her.

“Hold these until the time comes and give them to the chosen ones. Honour their sacrifice in this place; lay out stone in circles three and guard it with a spell of warning. Should Ciocal come again, the spell will bring the Triskelion together again.”

 Heir of The Dragon

He reached the harbour about half an hour later. Peering at the scrawled map that Clive had given him, Li wondered for about the fifth time why he’d been sent and not one of the others.

“Down here and turn right.” He told himself, “I’ll get a taxi back I think – If I can find any taxis.”

Despite the reputation of the Harbour’s restaurants, there were remarkably few people around and certainly no tourists at all, “Must be off season or something.” He turned down the street on the right.

“Oh it’s not off season, Sweetheart. People are being directed away from here tonight.” A voice said from a doorway.

Li looked round. A woman wearing a long blue silk cheongsam leaned against the red painted door smoking a cigarette. One smooth, golden-skinned leg lay bare to the fog laden night air and ended in a matching stiletto with the highest heels he had ever seen.

With difficulty he wrenched his attention back to what she had said. “Who by?” he asked.

“The Xixuegui of course. There’s a big battle due between the Horse Family and the Waterside Pack. Something about an encroachment.” She blew a heart shaped smoke ring towards him, “What are you doing down here anyway?”

“I’m looking for Chang Fai.” Li waved the map, “Do you know where he lives?”

She snorted, “Who doesn’t! He’s the biggest Queen in the whole Rooster Family.”

“He’s a Vampire?” Li frowned.

“Of course he is. Ah, you wouldn’t be Clive’s new partner would you?” she smiled, “He said he’d be sending you down at some point.”

Li wasn’t sure what to make of that so he steered the conversation back to his problem, “How do I get to Chang Fai’s?”

She drew on her cigarette, “Take your next left. He’s the third door on the right. Be careful when you come back out. Battles between the Xixuegui and the Lángrén get indiscriminate; it’s best to stay out of them.”

He nodded and headed in the direction that she’d indicated.

The Bluen Planet (working title)

They reached the structures without seeing any of the creatures and once four marines had scouted the area Shannar, Fynn, Hela and Jacks entered the buildings, leaving Hargreave outside in charge of the rest of the men.

There was the hiss of an airlock at the door and once inside, the green light lit on Shannar’s cuff comp, he looked at Fynn.

“It’ll smell bad, but it’s more breathable than outside.” She said, cracking her faceplate and wrinkling her nose.

“Urrgh. Smells like one of the Men’s Bunkrooms,” Hela said as she followed suit.

Jacks threw a protesting glance at his Warrant Officer and lifted his faceplate.

Shannar was the last to open his faceplate. The air does smell bad, but at least its oxygenated in here.

“Looks like this used to be a house.” He said, gesturing at the open plan living space, “Where’s the Comp?”

“Over here, Sir.” Fynn was at a desk by the pressurised window, “I’ll patch the Sci-comp into it to try and read the log. Judging by the lab through the air locked door, this was a Atmospheric Monitoring Station as well as a home.”

Shannar wandered around the building.

Upstairs there was a single bedroom and hygiene facility, water based rather than sonic and towards the back there was an area that had been laid out for a small child. Clothing and other items were scattered all over the place. Looks like they left in a hurry. I wonder where they went?

“Do we have any idea who lived here?” he asked Fynn, as he came back down.

“A Scientist with a two year old son. I can’t decipher all of this yet, I need the big comps on the ship. I think it would be prudent to leave the stuff in the lab alone…”

There was a smash. Shannar rushed to the air lock leading into the lab and caught Jacks staring shamefaced at a smashed jar on the lab floor. He looked up and blanched as Hela and Fynn arrived behind Shannar.

“It slipped while I was reading the label.” He held his hands up in protest at their frowns. “There wasn’t anything in it, so I thought I would see what it had held.”

“Mr. Fynn, you were telling me why it would be a good idea to leave this area alone.” Shannar stated, turning to her.

Jacks bit his lip and scuffed the bits of glass on the floor beside his boot.

“The scientist was researching the effects of various natural planetary vapours on the nervous system of foreign and indigenous species. She’d said that something strange happened to tissue samples when exposed to…” Fynn tailed off, staring at Jacks.

Then she slammed her faceplate down and used her other hand to push Shannar’s faceplate down as far as she could, before switching her own system back to oxygenate. Shannar caught the implication and finished the process as he caught a glimpse of Jack’s face. He flipped his breathing options quickly.

“What the…Why are you staring at me?” Jacks looked at Hela, who’d closed her helmet even before Fynn.

“Contam Protocol, Marine! Seal, Lock and Oxygenate.” Hela snapped.

Jacks had closed his helmet, locked it and changed his harness from re-breathe to oxygenate in a few seconds, a lot faster than either Shannar or Fynn had managed, but it was too late.

Shannar shuddered; the young marine’s face had turned blue and sparkly like a Bluen’s body.

Jacks frowned at him. “What’s wrong, Sir?” he said over the general channel.

“Look in the mirror, Jacks.” Hela told him.

Jacks swung round to look in the mirror that served as a light multiplier in the tiny lab. “I’m a bloody Bluen!”

His eyes bulged with fright, inflating to twice their normal size.

“Calm down, Jacks. I think that you breathed in the vapour the scientist was investigating from that jar. We need to get you back to the MedBay at the Scout ship.” Shannar said.

“Damn right I’m going back to the Scout, I should’ve passed this spot to Argyle the way I was going to!” The marine pushed past them roughly. He was halfway to the main door’s airlock when he gave a liquid gurgle and fell to his knees.

Hela was at his side in seconds, but turned away retching.

“Jacks, can you hear me?” Fynn crouched beside the marine’s suited body and reached out to touch his shoulder.

There was a second gurgle over the patrol channel and the body collapsed to the floor; it hit the ground, the faceplate broke and Jacks’ face splattered across the concrete flooring.

Hela and Fynn jumped back and the three of them watched as blue gloop oozed from the battle harness. It spread out into a massive puddle around the suit and finally a large lump of reddened tissue flopped out into the centre.

Hela trained her pistol on the puddle; nothing happened.

“Well I think we’ve worked out what happened to the human colonists.” Shannar remarked.

 * * *

Well there you have it… I have lots to work on and too little undistracted time to do it in!

If you’ve read all the way down to here, I have to congratulate and thank you for sticking with me – Here’s hoping that the next six months are more successful than the last six months!

Grey and Grumpy day today – Help!

It’s Wednesday. Normally I’d be introducing you to a new writer or one that I really enjoy reading and there are several books that I’ve read recently that are worthy of the attention.

“Enchanted Glass” by Diane Wynn Jones for example. Her last published book , it is everything you expect from her and more. Or maybe Kristin Cashore’s “Graceling” or “Fire”; beautifully written and superbly built fantasy worlds that draw you away from the hum drum of this reality.

There are so many books on my “To Be Read” list. I’m in the middle of M Cid d’Angelo’s “Dark Running” and enjoying it immensely. I’m eagerly anticipating Terry Pratchett’s “Dodger”…

…but to be honest, today I can’t be bothered.

It’s halfway through the second week of September. The kids are back at school and the autumn weather is starting to appear. I’ve been writing and enjoying it, even though I’ve had a few bouts of vertigo and headaches.

Maybe it’s the rain? We’ve had some lovely weather over the last few weeks and now we’re starting to get the chilly winds and wet weather of a welsh autumn. The colours don’t seem as bright under the grey cloudy skies and I can feel myself drifting on that downward spiral.

I’m tired from having to get up earlier than I’m used to, now that NOS is going to high school and needs to be checked before he heads out to the bus. Maybe this is the beginning of the SAD season? It’s possible; I do have more problems with my depression in the winter than I do in the spring and summer. It’s the whole reason my desk is next to a window, so I can get natural light.

It could be my finances. I’m juggling the family’s needs against the little that we get coming in at the moment and finding that there is very little leeway. That’s enough to depress anyone, I suppose…

I want to write and help to support the family, but I’m so scared of mucking it up that I can’t concentrate on the writing enough to make it good!

*sighs*

It feels very much like I’m on a treadmill, running to try and stay in one place instead of dropping backward or moving forward. I know I should be pushing myself to go forward, but it feels like I am on a bungee cord, pulling against me.

So there is only one thing for me to do. Start pushing myself and pull hard enough on the bungee cord to make it snap and free me.
How am I going to do that? Well for a start, I am going to publish a few more things:

“The Heir of The Dragon” is currently in Beta Reading Stage. I’ve drafted and redrafted it enough to be happy with it, but I need to make sure it’s perfect before I put it out there. So hopefully that will be out in the next three months.

I have a collection of Horror Stories that I hope to get out by Hallowe’en, I just need to format and get a cover done for them. That will be under A.E. Churchyard. Watch this Space

I have moved into the last stages of editing for “The Angel’s Crown”, so that should be available in the New Year.

I’ve started writing the next story in the “Tales of Cassius” series. I’ve got my characters all built up, so that will be out there in January as well, or sooner if I can manage it.

I would like some help please though…

I currently have two books out on the kindle shelves:

The Necklace of Harmony

My first story collection… a gentle introduction to my mind.

One of the fun things about being a writer is responding to a challenge. This book is full of the results of such challenges…

From the wedding celebrations of Greek Deities, to mermaids, ghosts and superheroes, a whole gamut of creatures await your eager eyes.

Do you remember this? Well it is currently languishing at #393,998 on the bestsellers listing. I’d like to get it up the ranks a little and for that I will need help. How? Well here’s how:

  •  Have you bought and read it? No? Well please do so! I shall be doing a promotion to aid sales soon, but until then, please buy and read!!!

 

  • Did you answer yes to the above question? Have you written a review of the book on Amazon? No? Why not? It only takes a couple of lines to say if you enjoyed it or not, and if you’d recommend it or not. I’m not asking for an essay (unless you like writing them) just a tip of the hat to tell me if I’m getting it right.

 

  • Have you got friends with kindles? Have you loaned them your copy? You can do that you know… and once they’ve read it, asked them to tell me what they thought of it.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Necklace-Harmony-Collection-ebook/dp/B0079HL2FE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1343998081&sr=8-2

The other book I published was this:

Tales of Cassius: Statues of Justice

Cassius Longinus has a long memory. He can remember over three thousand years and in all those memories, he cannot recall an atrocity like this.

New Texas was supposed to be a peaceful place where Reiskinn and Human could live side by side. That peace is shattered by the greed of a few and Cassius must put things right.

Brought back to society by a slave raid on a nearby village, Cassius is sent on a quest to retrieve the tribe’s women and children by the Tribal Shaman.

What he discovers when he finds them is beyond anything he has yet encountered…

Poor Cassius hasn’t even made it onto the seller list… he has however garnered a 4 star review:

“Justice must be served even if you’re three-thousand years old. Having witnessed humanity’s atrocities for that long time the hero, Cassius, puts an end to horrible wrongs inflicted by Earth colonists on the new planet’s natives. Can he bring overcome his thirst for vengeance and build a lasting peace? Can he validate the faith of the one who so touched his heart three-thousand years ago? Be prepared to want to read more.”
– Paul De Lancey, Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tales-Cassius-Statues-Justice-ebook/dp/B008BKGPRS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1344120397&sr=8-1

What can you do to help Cassius gain a foot hold? Exactly the same as the list for Necklace of Harmony:

  • Have you bought and read it? No? Well please do so!
  • Did you answer yes to the above question? Have you written a review of the book on Amazon? No? Why not? It only takes a couple of lines to say if you enjoyed it or not, and if you’d recommend it or not. I’m not asking for an essay (unless you like writing them) just a tip of the hat to tell me if I’m getting it right.
  • Have you got friends with kindles? Have you loaned them your copy? You can do that you know… and once they’ve read it, asked them to tell me what they thought of it.

I shall be sorting things out from my end, but please, if you enjoy my work or even if you only like my blog, then can you please go to the Amazon pages for both books and like them? Like the helpful reviews as well, and agree with the tags… It’s only a small thing, but if enough people do it, then I might actually be able to start pulling on the bungee cord, instead of fighting against the pull back.

The thing about the reviews is that we authors like getting them. I suppose that for us small independent authors, it’s a way of keeping score, of knowing how well you are doing and if it’s worth going to the trouble of publishing a new book. We write all the time – we can’t stop, but publishing, now that’s a different matter. As I said in my last post, there are hundred of words on my PC that will never see the light of day as a published book; I don’t feel they’re good enough, so they don’t make it out into the world.

Publishing something yourself, if you’re determined to make a good job of it, requires about ten times the effort of writing the story in the first place… so we keep score. We check our ratings and reviews and make daily decisions about our future as writers on them. It can get very depressing if you don’t have many readers…

*sighs*

The sun has come back out and I’m feeling slightly better than I did when I started this post. I’m going to go getAngel’s Crown” finished and ready for formatting…

Is Technology the Enemy of the Writer?

This morning, after dropping PT at primary school and seeing NOS off to his first day of high school, I found myself with one of those rare things…

Peace.

TOH is in college, doing his arty thing and with both kids at school I don’t have to worry about anything until I go down to pick up PT at 2.30.

I came in, turned the PC on, started my favourite inspiring playlist going and looked at my to do list:

  1. Choose or Die Chapter 4.
  2.  Finish The Second Door.
  3.  Design an IIAAC logo.
  4.  Change my book tweets and spend some time interacting with people.
  5. Check Email / Facebook.
  6. Research for New Arkingham Book.

Now, #1 is the most important – it has a deadline of Sunday and it’s already Thursday… but my treacherous subconscious sent me straight to #5 and before I knew it, I was on Facebook, scrolling through the Newsfeed and commenting on Cat Pictures!

Then I came across a post from another Writer, someone who I feel is very much a role model for me. M.M. Bennetts is a Historical Fiction Author, who loves horses and has a particularly intelligent sense of humour.

The latest thing she’d posted was a link to an article in the Telegraph Online.

I am a sucker for interesting sounding news stories. It’s the reason that I enjoy watching “The Wright Stuff” with TOH when he is home, and why I often find myself reading Huffpost or the BBC website.

This article however struck me as particularly apt for my particular brand of To-Do List:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/9522845/Shutting-out-a-world-of-digital-distraction.html

This was the question that hit me smack in the face:

“As we immerse ourselves in the internet more and more, how we balance its distractions with its benefits will become increasingly important. So just how widespread is the use of tools such as Freedom and SelfControl among novelists trying to carve out the space in which to think and write, and what does it say about our ability to concentrate in the digital age?”

– Carl Wilkinson, WWW.Telegraph.co.uk

I agree with Ned Beauman, in that the Internet is an incredibly useful tool, for researching, for publishing and for connecting with other writers. Writing can be an incredibly lonely profession and the social network sites provide us with ways of connecting with our readers and each other.

However.

The Internet is also a majorly addictive thing…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9511611/Addicted-to-the-internet-It-could-be-all-in-your-genes.html

I am addicted to the Internet – when I can’t get on, I get withdrawal symptoms and although my writing productivity goes up, my mood drops and I start eating a lot of stuff which is bad for me… I also neglect my family,unless I’m forced away from the PC and the house is an utter tip, something which I am trying to deal with.

I know my family has problems with addiction; my dad is unable to give up smoking and my mum almost became an alchoholic and has a *smoking* issue.

So I have to control how much distraction I have when I want to write. I write best when there is no one around and I can minimise the distraction. If I am working on something (like today) I’ll have music on, and I’ll only check in on facebook occasionally. If I have other distractions like the kids around, then I am on facebook a lot… which isn’t good for my family or my writing.

I know I have to get a handle on this. If I don’t then I will never reach my dream of being a “proper” author (i.e: that I can support my family from my writing) and being able to write full time without worrying about the finances.

To do that, I have to be as prolific as possible.

I’ve made a good start; two children’s books in Print, a Story Collection and a story series in E-book. However, that isn’t enough. I have so many books lying unread in my hard drive, the characters crying because they’re not being read by people other than me. True, I need to edit a few of them and there are more unfinished projects than finished ones… it’s sad really.

And this is where the Internet gets in the way. Unless I am using it in a specific way (writing blog posts, researching or publishing a book), having Facebook up is a constant drain on my time. For example, it was 10 am when I read that article… now it’s nearly 11 am and even though I’ve written this post, I know from past experience that I’ll end up wasting more time on Facebook after I’ve posted it!

Time to stop procrastinating, ban the internet between 10 am and 2pm and get on with my career!