Thoughts on Publishing Today

opencirclebooks Crime, Lifestyle, Publishing, Thriller Leave a Comment

D J Harrison (from his blog Northern Writer www.djharrison99.blogspot.co.uk ) I used to think that writing a novel was the hard part. It takes a lot of energy, true, but it’s something I can do. I can write and I love to write. No, it’s the rest of the process that I find difficult. Getting published is getting harder and harder. Even if you do win this particular form of lottery it’s no guarantee that you will sell enough books to make a living. It has been estimated that the annual earnings of the average professional writer is less than £11,000 per year. Considering that there are the J K Rowlings and Lee Childs in there, that’s not a whole heap of encouragement for the rest of us. There’s always self publishing. Anyone can upload a book on to Kindle and hey presto! they’re a published author. But 90% of ebooks sell …

opencirclebooksThoughts on Publishing Today

Limited Liability

djharrison99 Crime, Thriller Leave a Comment

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Limited-Liability-Jenny-Parker-Book-ebook/dp/B00N3LBTNA/ Some of you have been eagerly awaiting the third Jenny Parker novel. Well, your wait is over. The ebook is available now and the paperback will follow shortly. It’s actually the sixth novel I’ve completed, though the first three are unlikely to see light of day. It’s been about a year since I finished the first draft and entered the interesting phase of revising Limited Liability and having it edited. I’ve begun to enjoy the process, particularly being told what works and what doesn’t, what needs writing and what needs leaving out. I’ve somehow got over the precious attitude I used to have. The one that compels me to protect every word as if it were sacrosanct and defend every paragraph as if my life depended on it. As with Due Diligence and Proceeds of Crime  the final version of Limited Liability is very different from the first draft. It’s …

djharrison99Limited Liability

Water for Bees

djharrison99 Crime, Lifestyle, Thriller Leave a Comment

There’s been a lot said and written about the terrible collapse in bee colonies and the reduction in bee numbers that threatens to disrupt human food supplies. About forty per cent of what we consume relies on bees for pollination. Farmers are reduced to importing bees from foreign countries to make up the numbers. This practice has its own implications for native populations. Nothing to do with me, I hear you say. What can I do about it? You can help provide them with food and water. Food can be some flowers in a window box. There’s lots of information on which flowers are best but I would suggest something that blooms either early or late, in other words when the bees are scratting about looking for food. Water isn’t something that is talked about much but bees need to drink. They can’t even consume their own honey stores in …

djharrison99Water for Bees

Writer Services

djharrison99 Crime, Lifestyle, Thriller Leave a Comment

No, that’s not me in the picture. I’ve used it to illustrate the dream that all writers have: The Celebrity Book Signing. It’s the pinnacle of achievement for a writer. Look how happy everyone is in the picture. Makes your heart dance with joy, doesn’t it? But there’s a long hard road for a writer to travel before the cafe with the green checked curtains is within reach. I used to think that writing a novel was the hard part. It takes a lot of energy, true, but it’s something I can do. I can write and I love to write. No, it’s the rest of the process that I find difficult. Getting published is getting harder and harder. Even if you do win this particular form of lottery it’s no guarantee that you will sell enough books to make a living. It has been estimated that the annual earnings …

djharrison99Writer Services

What’s in a Name?

djharrison99 Crime, Thriller Leave a Comment

Character names are a bugbear for me. When a character pops up in my mind I usually get to see (roughly) what they look like and can even hear their voice when they speak. Unfortunately, they never tell me their name. It’s me that has to decide on that. Rather than interrupt the flow of my writing, I tend to give this little thought. Jim is a favourite name of mine. Most male characters start up being Jim or John or Tim or Toby. This, however has to be sorted out otherwise the reader can become very confused. Then they get irritated, then they throw my book in the bin. Of course, in real life we meet lots of people with the same name. That doesn’t work in fiction. Even names beginning with the same letter should be avoided in order to reduce the possibility of confusing the reader. On …

djharrison99What’s in a Name?

Fings ain’t wot they used to be

djharrison99 Lifestyle Leave a Comment

Things change. The world doesn’t stand still. It might move slowly, especially when you’re sitting in the middle and can’t easily see the rotation, but it keeps on going. As a writer, change provides an interesting problem. If I write about the present day (which I generally do) by the time a novel is ready for publishing it’s at least two years on. Not long, you might think, but then consider the fact that a reader might not pick it up for several more years. So, a novel is a thing of its own time, regardless of whether it is purposefully historical or not. It has to have the clues within in that establish the setting and time otherwise it may not work for the reader. Let me give you an example. Phones. For many years, the telephone was a tethered device that required the close proximity of the recipient …

djharrison99Fings ain’t wot they used to be

Characters

opencirclebooks Uncategorized Leave a Comment

There’s a big difference between central characters and minor characters. Here’s what I mean: 1. Getting punched in the face Minor character collapses unconscious in a heap, never bothers anyone ever again. Major character rides the savage blow, comes back for more. And more. No matter how often he’s hit, he keeps on going even though he’s obviously going to be battered to death. Then, just when you think he’s finished, he swings a hay maker of his own and his assailant collapses unconscious in a heap and never bothers anyone ever again. 2. Getting shot Minor character dies without fuss from a single wound. Major character staggers slightly, looks down at the blood seeping from his shirt then carries on regardless. May take several more bullets with similar minor effect. By the next scene all traces of injury have gone and he’s restored to full fitness. 3. Dialogue Minor …

opencirclebooksCharacters

Success

opencirclebooks Uncategorized Leave a Comment

The good news is that my first published novel, Due Diligence is doing rather well. Much better than I could have reasonably hoped, in fact. Better news is that the second Jenny Parker novel, Proceeds of Crime, is also selling well because people like Due Diligence so much they’re buying the sequel. Even better news is that the third book, Limited Liability, is almost ready to publish. So how did I arrive at this happy situation? First of all, I write. And write and write. Anything, everything. Every day. I find it essential to have a daily writing habit. Waiting to free up hours of quiet undisturbed writing time doesn’t work for me. It never happens. I find that if I write an hour a day I can complete a novel in a year. Secondly, I write with a great deal of freedom. I don’t revise or edit. I don’t …

opencirclebooksSuccess

How true can crime fiction be?

opencirclebooks Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Steve Mosby writes about how real events often inspire writers, but incorporating real-life trauma into entertainment requires very delicate handling. See the full article at the guardian books blog (Photograph: Alamy)

opencirclebooksHow true can crime fiction be?

Out of Action

djharrison99 Uncategorized Leave a Comment

I’ve been a bit quiet lately. Not only on the blogging front but also in various other regards. I’ve not been well. I won’t go into details but it’s a condition that has been very uncomfortable and energy sapping. Now, I’m two weeks onto recovery from an operation to make me better. The surgeon promised me four weeks of agony. Those were his exact words. I paid an extra consultancy fee to have him repeat them and he did. Nevertheless, I proceeded with the surgery even though I felt a great deal of apprehension. So far, his words ring true. After two weeks I’m getting out of the agony stage and into the severe discomfort zone.   His four week promise makes me feel like I’m ahead of the game. Not much writing gets done when I’m in pain. The new Jenny Parker novel, Limited Liability, was put to bed beforehand and the fourth novel, Critical …

djharrison99Out of Action