It’s been a couple of years since I have done any serious writing. That disappoints me so much. However, studies are over with and I have my life back. That study and work period reinforced that time is precious, and so I headed back into writing wanting to streamline what writing involves for me. That is cutting down the amount of writing related work that isn’t actually writing. April saw the website get a little spruce up, courtesy of my other half. ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ is no longer a separate website, but a page on my author site, and soon I will stop using the social media accounts for this series and my self-help title ‘Get Over It’. That way I can just focus on one social media account as me, sharing whatever I find interesting, from writing, weirdness through to geek, to Victorian history and to self-help. Eclectic as I am. One of the last tasks before I get back down to writing was to reformat ‘Get Over It’… Formatting. What fun. I have learnt that images can be resized in a few ways, which, if you’re a novice self-publisher like me, you might find useful to know.
March has been another month of non-writing writing stuff. I have rewritten the synopsis for ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’, and the character profiles for the two main characters, Darkwood and Hobbs. It’s amazing how much I love writing, but HATE writing synopses and summaries like that. This is for the upcoming condensing of all my work under one website and social media under my name instead of my titles. The new covers for ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ are now uploaded to Kindle and Smashwords. With those done, I turned to my self-help title ‘Get Over It’. I’ve slightly tweaked the title, and decided to have a bit more fun with the cover. It was quite plain before, and while it’s a bit busy now, it’s more colourful and playful, which I like. Go on, I know you want to have a look. Check it out and see what you think…
February has all been about photoshop. So, after some drawings, downloads, and lots and lots of mouse clicks and drags, I have tweaked and changed all the covers for ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ and created a new logo. Being the perfectionist I am, I’m not a 100% happy with them, but I think they are an improvement on the previous covers. I like the boldness and the simplicity of the new look. I think they read better, but I’m not sure the silver leaf effect works well on the images at the centre of each cover if there’s too much detail in them. Especially so as a thumbnail–although I guess there aren’t too many covers which do actually work at thumbnail size.
The first month of 2017 is gone already. Free from studying, I’ve been a little slower at getting back to the writing desk than I expected myself to be. I’m taking time to look after my inner child after a year of neglect. I have a lot of making up to do to the poor guy. So, there has been lots of flumping into my bean bag, drinking tea, eating, and watching ‘He-Man’. That’s been a bit of a rediscovery for me. I love that show. Sometimes, when things have been complicated, it can feel good to go simple. You can’t get much simpler than cartoons. Well, maybe not anime… And there has been lots of fun and games with the husband. Board games that is, you filthy people. Because, I’ve felt that I’ve been neglecting him too. He thought me being on another planet with writing was bad, then I pitched myself into studying and he probably found I was even less present. But, I’m back now, in life, into my interests, and I’m back at the writing desk too…
As I mentioned before, publishing through Kindle is great, but I can’t provide the free reads I once did without enrolling them in Kindle Direct Publishing. However, this would mean each of ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ would have to be £2.99 (the lowest price a KDP book can be). That price isn’t a good fit for short stories and it would only be free for set periods of time.
However, I’ve had a rejig of ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ site and ‘The Thief of Faces’ is now available on the site as an on-line read. Bit of a compromise, but it is what it is. On a positive though, ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ site has also had a bit of a make-over. I hadn’t been happy with the covers of the books, but now I think I’m onto an improved look. What do you think?
Over previous posts I’ve revealed titles and plot teases for the next run of ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’. This time I’m going to give you a few more details on the characters and the themes of the second series.
The first series has hopefully established the format of the tales–two friends, Darkwood and Hobbs, investigating the criminal and supernatural in pursuit of the truth around what happened to Emily Darkwood’s parents and understanding of the stone that she inherited with its curious draw on mystery.
I want this series to be accessible to anyone, regardless of the story someone starts with, but I also want to deepen the experience for those that have read a few tales (or all!). I read all the Sherlock Holmes stories a couple of years ago, and while I loved the accessible format and premise I wanted more from Holmes and Watson as characters. The drama rarely revolved around them as people and their world never felt threatened. It felt too comfy. Call me mean, but I don’t want ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ to become comfy. So, there will be some drama for Darkwood and Hobbs…