Over the years the editors of my books have made me aware that I have some writing ‘ticks.’ I have created a way to analyse documents/manuscripts to help me identify such overused words and thought it was worth sharing. This is useful for business as well as fiction writing.
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Author of The Conversationist, Incite Insight and the forthcoming speculative story collection MoveMind.
Earlier this year, with tongue firmly in cheek, I wrote a story called Sever-Reign about a Queen, a Prime Minister, and a President. I enjoyed writing it, particularly when I discovered a tantalising tidbit about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle while researching a plot point. A few weeks later the deadline for the Monash Wordfest competition arrived and I needed a story to submit. The only one I had written that was within the word limit was Sever-Reign, so I dutifully de-identified it and sent it off. On Thursday the winners of the competition were announced and while I didn’t place, my story was Highly Commended, which I am very excited about.
You can read Sever-Reign (and the winners/other shortlisted stories) for free here!
Sever-Reign will be included in my upcoming short story collection, MoveMind. Due out early 2018.
There are a handful of authors that I really admire. One such author is Peter Hoeg. His most famous work is Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow. I was given a copy of it twenty two years ago when I was still in high school. I’d been captain of the school’s debating team and the teacher in charge gave me a copy as a thank you for the role. I didn’t read it right away; in fact it probably took close to two years to read it, but it was always on ‘the list.’ I loved the book, especially the philosophical elements. The description of Mathematics in it is beautiful. Soon, I had read all of the books Hoeg had published. He is an author whose works mean something to me.
In a delightful twist of fate, seventeen years after I received the book, I wound up working at a school with with the teacher who’d given it to me, and I was able to tell her how much the book meant to me and that I’d really appreciated her gift. If you ever want to know what keeps teachers going, little thank yous like this are certainly one of them. She was quite moved by my story and she let me know that she’d chosen it for me quite deliberately, as she herself had enjoyed it.
Hoeg wrote a book called The Susan Effect in his native Danish in 2014. It was translated and (finally) published this month. I am still reading it so will hold any reviews for now, although first impressions are that it is a great story, but the translation could be more polished. The other night, my wife picked up the book and read the blurb. Her response was that “no wonder you wanted this book, it sounds just like something you’d write!” Even though I don’t think I’m worthy of such a comparison, I accepted it as an unexpected compliment.
Over the Queen’s birthday weekend, I’ll be at the Continuum Science Fiction Convention in Melbourne. I’m on the panels for Stranger Things (The Upside Down) [Friday at 5pm], the Art and Science of Publishing [Saturday 9am], and Westworld [Saturday at 6pm].
Continuum is at The Jasper Hotel, 489 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC 3000. 5pm-9.30pm Friday, 9am-9pm Sat/Sun and 9.30am-2pm Monday.
Friday evening is only $5 for entry.
A month ago I had my first radio interview. It was nerve-racking, but a lot of fun. Today I had my second interview – this time on radio 3wbc (94.4fm). The host, Barry, gave me no indication of what he was going to ask as, in his words, he likes to ‘play it by ear’ and ‘keep it loose.’ The fact that the show was being broadcast live added to my jitters, but I think I responded well to the questions I was asked. I was able to do a reading of the prologue from my novel Incite Insight, which is the first time I have read a passage from the book to an audience since the launch. I also managed to get in a plug for the Writers Group I’m currently chairing and their recent anthology (which I have a story in). Click here to open a powerpoint show with the audio of the interview.
I was recently interviewed on 3SER radio by Henry Grossek. You can hear me discuss my novel Incite Insight and publishing here. The other part of the interview deals with my experience in education. It can be heard here.
Apparently I have a great face for radio as I have also been invited to appear on another radio station in a couple of weeks. More on that once it’s gone to air!
Promoting a book you’ve already written is a great distraction from the one you should be sitting down and writing. To this end, I spent yesterday evening recording my first radio interview as an author. One of Tale Publishing’s authors was featured on the show a few weeks ago and with the contact established, I was invited to pre-record an interview for broadcast next week. I don’t know what I’d been expecting, but I was surprised at how much the studio was like the ones you see on the news when they speak to a talkback host. There were pictures of prime ministers and other notables who’d previously been interviewed by the host, Henry. And here he was interviewing me…
I was nervous. At the start it felt like an interview for a job you’d forgotten applying for, especially since the first half was about my experiences as a teacher. I began to relax, but then came a curly question that could identify the school where I work, and that was better avoided (like most schools, we have a strict media policy). There is no ‘kill switch’ in a pre-record, but there is an editor/producer and he assured me I would this bit would be cut. He also said I’d be amazed at how I’d sound in the broadcast, which made me wonder if I’d met a miracle worker. For someone who spends much of their day verbally communicating, I’d really noticed my ‘ums’ and ‘ahs,’ and knew I’d repeated myself a couple of times. It will be interesting to hear how it all turns out next week. I’ll post a copy of the interview once it’s aired in a part 2 to this post.
Lots has been happening in my writing world. Last year I sold a story to The Gandhi Experiment for use as part of a lesson plan for teachers. There are many interesting lessons you can get from this site and many are free.
My editor has given me her edits on the first half of my next book. It will be a collection of short stories based around the theme of shifting perceptions. As I move into trying to market that book in the lead up to its release, I’ve decided to have one last marketing splurge for Incite Insight.
The e-book for Incite Insight is on sale from now until the 3rd March at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk for 99c/99p. Please let friends and family know if you think they’d be interested in reading it. This will most likely be the last time I discount it until the new book is out.
The book will be featured on many websites over the next week. I’ll post a wrap up about them in a future post. In the meantime, if you see the book advertised somewhere, please drop me a line to let me know.
Until next time,