How I Got in Print for the First Time and Why It Took so Long…

NovoPulp 2013/2014 Anthology

NovoPulp 2013/2014 Anthology

Although I have been writing fiction seriously since 2000, and I have published articles on websites and blogs since 2007, I am finally in print for the first time this month. A lot of my early writing years were taken up on a 6 book Sci-Fi series that involves a form of commonplace time travel. In order to do it justice I’ve had to write all out of order. It took many years before I could show anyone just the first few chapters. To date I have:

  1. Book One: Second Draft (Rewrite)
  2. Book Two: First Few Chapters + Detailed Outline
  3. Book Three: Two-Thirds of the First Draft + Detailed Outline
  4. Book Four: Sketchy Outline
  5. Book Five: Few Odd Chapters + Outline
  6. Book Six: Few Odd Chapters + Outline

In 2007 I finally had enough of having nothing to show for my hard work and I wanted to be published. I knew it would mean I would have to reduce how much time I spent on the series of novels, but it was a price I was willing to pay. Within one month of going freelance I got my first paid assignment and it just took off from there.

Since then I have written online for: Symphonical, CMS Critic, Degree Search, Hermit Studio, Bite-sized Blitz, Helium, HubPages, Squidoo, TBIU, and (b)human. By 2013 I had made the transition to spending more time writing articles, blog posts, and engaging on social networks than I did on my fictional novels.  In January of that year however I was also handed the reins of the NovoPulp project from Hermit Studio – Press Division. This was my chance to get in print and learn about the self publishing business at the same time, without having to commit a huge word count. I had a short story I had written 4 years earlier and I submitted it to the NovoPulp editor pool and I was really happy with the end result.

The aim of NovoPulp is to anthologise a collection of pulp inspired short stories and artwork by Google+ authors and artists and publish in time for Christmas each year. That was the plan at least, and still is the plan, but unfortunately it was not how it worked out in our first year as we stumbled along in the dark learning as we went. Three months later than scheduled, however, we have finally produced the first anthology. The proof of concept was complete.

I know I have learned so much that next time round I can make a number of changes to the internal processes to avoid the pitfalls we fell into with the first book. Now I know how easy it is to self publish through outlets like CreateSpace, Kindle Direct Publishing, and Google Play Books I know this is just the beginning. NovoPulp has definitely inspired me to meet the next writing milestone: to self publish an entire book of my own! Watch this space 🙂

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Summer Holiday News: Danish, Writing and Poker Results

Hi Everyone!

I realise it been a while since I said anything here but as I said in my last post the Danish class routine really did take up all my spare time and energy. I finished my first module ‘part’ on Wednesday the 24th and got my exam results. I got 88% with a 70% threshold to pass! I’m well please with myself, especially after I was forced to miss two classes due to ill health and became almost convinced I was too far behind.

I’m on my only paid weeks vacation now and I’m resting all I can. (Denmark have this retroactive central holiday scheme where you have to be in the system for a year before you can collect holiday pay, but my employers also give you an extra week’s paid holiday too)

I got my feedback from my entry into the ‘Writers of the Future’ competition. I didn’t win a place unfortunately, basically it didn’t fit the target demographic/style (something I should have researched more anyway) plus they said the science fiction element has to be obvious in the first page or two of the story and with this one it was very much in the background, used in a technological manner. The story itself was about a disease gone to an extreme in the future, but the way it was done I could see their point. So that’s fair enough. It is a story that does straddle the boundaries of SF but it’s definitely fiction.

I think a part of me has realised this month that although I’ve definitely got the writers bug and will probably write all my life, I don’t think it something I can replace my IT career with any time soon. I suspect it will always be a second and not a primary activity, but in a way that good for the writing. This mentality has taken the pressure off me a bit and it’s been nice to have a break from it for a little while. I’ve decided I’ll probably stick to writing things I find interesting and spend less of my precious time doing commercial pieces, but I’ll see how it goes. I’m really planning to write when I’m enthusiastic about something instead of forcing my style and tone into work that would fit a career move.

As for poker I’ve started playing with a few friend at work for fun. So far I haven’t got heads up but last time I burst on the bubble and played much better than before. It really is a different game than playing on the internet but it is fun and you can pick up and give away information much easier.

Also the last two weekends I played the Scandinavian freeroll’s online and last week came in 10th place (out of 600-700 players) and last night I came in 2nd out of 635 players!!!! This won me a total of $14 for no investment. This really has given me a boost and shown me that I am capable of being a good poker player.

Anyway that’s all the news I have right now. I hope you are also having a nice summer wherever you are.

Take care, Niamh xxx

http://www.niamhbrown.com http://www.niamhstudios.com

What’s Been Going On: Writing, Poker and Meh

Hey Everyone,

Just an update today really. I’m at the tail end of a string of health issues. I had a throat infection/flu thing for a week had gone back to work for two days and then got food poisoning. It’s been nice having time off at home but being this ill has certainly taken the fun out of it. I’ve never had food poisoning before and that first 12 hours I’ve never been in so much pain. Not only were the stomach cramps awful but the fibro was triggered and my nerves became over sensitised, which meant I was hyper-sensitive to pain, touch, light, temperature etc. Then the fatigue went chronic for a few days and although it’s calmed down a lot, its still in the background, hitting me every now and then.

I got my acknowledgements from my science fiction short story submission (in the 2nd quarter) and should be put through my initial round of judging soon. I thought I wasn’t going to make the deadline as I missed the PO hours on the Saturday after I posted here that I was ready to send it off. Luckily I managed to get it in the mail before I was sick again, otherwise I would have missed the deadline for sure.

I’m also working on a new short story that is actually tied into the world in the second of my science fiction books. It’s going well and I may try to sell it or keep it for the next quarter of the competition, depending on how long it takes me to get it ready. I would like to get it into print, as it would help me get my name out there but it would also start to build the world I’m using in the books. Although this will be told from an angle/time that won’t be directly called upon in the books, it is part of the story and the history for sure.

And as for poker I just came out of the daily Scandinavian Freeroll and came 39th of 1059 entrants. That’s the highest I’ve made it and only 13 places away from the money seats. If I had kept my head a little at the end I might well have made it to the money before I blinded out.

Anyway that’s all I’ve got, hope the world is treating you well and if not you can bare it until it does.

Peace,  Niamh xxx

http://www.niamhbrown.com http://www.niamhstudios.com

My First Short Story Competition!

Hi everyone,

Well as you know the writing has been difficult of late because of health issues, but I managed to proof the first short story I wrote before the Fibro became active and I’m posting it tomorrow. The competition closes at the end of the month and I will receive feedback via email regardless of if I win. It was for the ‘Writers of the Future’ competition, linked to on the right side bar on this blog.

It’s kind of exciting to be honest as this is going to be good yard stick. Good review if nothing else is still good and I can always submit it to the paying markets if it doesn’t work out after wards. Kind of feels like a big step though and I’m looking forward to see where this leads.

Anyway apart from that I’ve been playing a lot of poker and resting my feet. I have my interview for the Danish lessons next month so I will be spending a good deal of time soon on that.

Anyway take care,

Peace, Niamh xxx

http://www.niamhbrown.com http://www.niamhstudios.com

Writers Links on the Right

As I’ve started looking for markets for the work I’m focusing on this year I’ve come across a few links I’ve started to collect and even send to people. So I thought it would be good to post them on my website as well so they could grow into a handy personal, as well as social, reference.

I’ll probably want to do the same for other areas of interest so if your interested in reading, writing and experiencing sci-fi/fantasy, writing and writers, journals and auto/biographies, health & self help, thought, philosophy & meditation, photography, cooking & baking, snooker, poker (texas holdem), music, singing & playing the guitar and sending as much love into the world as you can then watch this space!

On a personal note you might notice I’ve put poker back into my interests. The last couple of weeks I’ve started playing again, just on the free tables. I’m actually having loads of fun because no money is riding on it and I can just relax and play the game. I’ve been missing something needless like that in my life recently and I’m sure I’ll write about it in my blog For The Hole Inside Everyone at some point soon.

I made it to my first pay day on Friday, which was a nice milestone and it sure does feel good to have money coming in again and to be in a good company. I’m going to the language school next week to get signed up for my classes.

I’ve also got most of the way through the first draft of the second of the fictional short stories this year. This one is considerably longer than the first, at least twice as long I suspect and I feel it should be good enough to submit to the writers of the future competition link I’ve just posted on the right sidebar (and the subject of this post).

Hope you are all well and more news once my energy levels pick up and as life demands it.

Peace, Niamh x

http://www.niamhbrown.com http://www.niamhstudios.com