Pandemic-Mode Me & Fun & Games!

WebsiteMVThe pandemic has been a bit or a revelation to me. I think I’ve secretly wanted to live the life of a shut-in for a long time. Don’t get me wrong I like people and I like socialising. Okay, scrap that, I like some people and being around them. I like the outside world. But I like all those things in small doses. I find them tiring otherwise. The peace and quiet, the reduction in people, the order of shops, it’s really minimised life’s frustrations for me and a lot of self-directed pressures have been lifted. I’m working from home–which I’ve wanted to do for a long time as our office is so hot, busy and stressful. I don’t have the travel time to work, so I get a bit more time out of my day, and I don’t need to worry about balancing my time with family and friends–as we can’t see each other. Although, don’t get me wrong, I am missing not being able to do stuff with my family. I’ve also had a lot more time for hobbies. Lots of editing has been done, but I’ve also been catching up on films I have earmarked and been buying and not getting time to see. And I have started a new project…

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Plotting With ‘Saves the Cat’ & Editing…

WebsiteWUAfter my last post despairing about having written 11 projects and the cost of editing all of these, I was recommended an editor who turned out to be reasonably priced. So it’s not all doom and gloom after all. I haven’t booked anything in yet, but due to submit a project for her to work on in May, and I have another project ready for her if she can fit that in too. Considering the cost of this it should be manageable over the next year to get all of them done. That’s if she doesn’t get sick of Darkwood in that time. Strangely, the pandemic has kind of helped out my finances to, as it put a stop to all the home improvements we were going to do–plus it’s hard to spend much in this situation!

A purchase I got in just before the UK went into lock down was a couple of books on writing. ‘Saves the Cat Writes a Novel’ and ‘Anatomy of Story’. Both had a lot of positive reviews and I’ve seen recommended. ‘Saves the Cat’ interested me–not because it mentions ‘cat’–as it has a 15 point ‘beat sheet’ for writing a good novel. I really enjoyed the 7 point writing plan and used that with the majority of my last run of stories within ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’.

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Other People in a Pandemic…

WebsiteMVSo. We’re all in  a bit of a pickle, aren’t we? I don’t know about you, but currently we are social distancing due to corona virus, and being one of the fortunate ones, I am able to do the majority of my job working from home. Life is indoors with occasional ‘end of the world’ runs for supplies. I actually had a head start on this as I developed a dry cough out of no where and had to self-isolate about a week before the UK went into lock down–I felt a 100% fine aside from the annoying cough and a bit of wheeziness and a burning sensation in my chest at times. I was in a bit of denial about it as I felt so well, but thought ‘what do I know?’ as these were the symptoms the government were telling us to self-isolate over, so I did as I was told. I was kicking myself though, as I had spent a couple of weeks nagging my mum to take the situation seriously as she is a high risk of complications from corona virus due to her age and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), and I saw her the very day before I got symptoms. I was worried I had given it to her. Thankfully, she didn’t get ill. Of course, I don’t even know if I actually had it.

Seeing this pandemic unfold has obviously been awful, but as an observer of people for writing characters–wow. I mean… just wow. Continue reading

New Covers & a Self-Publishing Problem…

WebsiteWUAfter lots of obsessive tweaking, wrestling with my perfectionism, and having to accept the limits of my budget, software and skills, I have finalised the new covers for my four horror novels. After trawling fonts for hours on end I ended up keeping the fonts I started with. But, I managed a kind of glow on the title which I quite like. It does make it look a little blurry looking as a thumbnail, but the white font consistent across all the covers now, should hopefully make the text stand out for each of them. I really like the new cover for ‘The Room’. A bit more engaging than just the picture of a door I had before. I wanted to have several dogs for ‘The Pack’, but also wanted the title in the jaws of a dog, so had to settle on one killer dog to maintain the in-your-face size I wanted for the title. ‘Ivory’ has the same image as before, and I have just redone the cover for ‘Harvest’ with a similar composition. The covers are all live over on Kindle now, and look good as thumbnails, so mission successful in my mind.

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Bad Movies, Sex Cults, a Bit of Home Town Murder & a Horny Goat Man…

WebsiteMVNot quite how I spent the last month personally, but some things I’ve enjoyed on TV, YouTube, and via podcast.

In a previous post I shared a couple of YouTube videos I had enjoyed about Christopher Lee and his iconic role of Dracula in the Hammer Horror movies in the 60s and 70s.  ‘Dark Corners Reviews’ produced them and have also reviewed LOTS of really not so classic bad movies. And I mean really bad. Like,  REALLY, REALLY bad. Like how the f*** did these movies get made–get past a studio–and get picked up for distribution. Meanwhile… my downloads are pretty much flatlined… Not that I’m bitter. Okay. I’m bitter. Thankfully the presenter of the channel does his best to milk every bit of humour out of his reviews, showing the worst best bits so we don’t have to actually watch the films. ‘Roar’ is just one of them, and it has crazy terrifying production background which needs to be seen to be believed. Check it out, and check it all the videos waiting there for you–I’m hooked.

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Sneak Peek at New Horror Covers for 2020…

WebsiteWUWith a holiday and some decorating I didn’t have as much time for the next editing project of ‘The Dakrwood Mysteries’, so I decided to focus on the new covers for my four horror novels.

I couldn’t do much better than the image for ‘Ivory’, and was happy with the composition for ‘Harvest’; so just used new sources. ‘The Room’ and ‘The Pack’ are whole new covers.

I’m not sure about the font for my name at the moment, and the cover of ‘Harvest’ needs some more work, but this is where I am so far… some feedback would be great!