As the dust settles..

…on the first month of The Making of Gabriel Davenport’s entry into the big, wide world of readers, I have learned many things. One is that I am supremely grateful for every ounce of support I have received from fellow writers and readers. They have been the ones to champion my story, shouting it out in blog posts, and retweets and Instagram feeds. Without their help I think that I’d be watching the tumbleweed meandering across my sales. Which leads me to the next point – people who have bought/downloaded my book, willing to give a debut author a try when there are thousands of huge names out there all clamouring for attention and with advertising budgets to boost. My reviews have just started to come in and I am thrilled. You *hope* that people are going to like your story, after you’ve sweated blood over it for so long, and when the comments literally make your heart glow, every page obsessed over is worth it.

A huge thank you if you read this and you are one of those people (or are thinking of being one of those people ;))

The last thing I have learned is that I am very, very bad at blogging on a regular basis…I will try to get better, call me on it if I fail!

Reviews – The Making of Gabriel Davenport

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Liebster Award

Many thanks to the lovely Melanie Noell Bernard for nominating me for the Liebster Award.

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Rules
Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award.
Answer 11 question that the blog gives you.
Give 11 random facts about yourself.
Nominate 5-11 blogs you think are deserving of the award that have less than 200 followers.
Let the blogs know you have nominated them.
Give them 11 questions to answer.

FACTS

  • I *hate* the taste of burnt toast. ‘Eating burnt toast makes your hair curly’ I was told. Which has to be the greatest irony, as anyone who has seen my picture knows I have a mass of unruly curls…
  • I have a fear of moths. Put me in a room where one is fluttering about and I’m reduced to a quivering wreck. But butterflies are pretty and don’t count…I know, I know.
  • I love giraffes. I think it’s those big eyes with the long lashes. I challenge you not to squee..cute-baby-giraffe-picture1
  • I’ve always liked to star gaze. I think it’s the timelessness of that great, vast star studded canopy. It grounds me every time. My favourite constellation is Orion.
  • Anti heroes send my pulse racing – Jay Gatsby, Dexter, Lestat from The Vampire Chronicles, and the latest, Kaz Brekker, from Six of Crows. Be still my heart.
  • I like my own company. I can go for days not speaking to a soul (unless my cat counts) and be quite happy.
  • I bake the *best* pavlova going – the ones where the inside is all marshmallow-y – it’s my signature dessert.
  • I can’t swim. I’ll paddle, but once my feet start to want to leave the bottom, panic central!
  • I love candlelight. I think I was born in the wrong century.
  • I’m very active in the #bookstagram community. I take nerdy pictures of books in various poses. I might have a problem.
  • I love the ocean – but I don’t like sand (or water *points to number 8*) Go figure!

 

MELANIE’S QUESTIONS –

1. What’s one guilty pleasure you have?

I love to binge watch TV shows, to the point where I’ll snack instead of making a proper meal.Lists a few, just because – American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Dexter, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Penny Dreadful, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, Six Feet Under.

2. What childhood activity do you miss now that you’re an ‘adult’?

Having all day in the school holidays to do exactly what I want. I remember going out for the whole day and getting lost in my imagination. Adulting is so overrated.


3. Do you speak any other languages besides English?

A smattering of French, enough to get me past a menu. Or into trouble.


4. Chocolate or gummy bears?

Chocolate, for definite. But I’m quite picky. Nothing too rich or nutty or chewy. White chocolate buttons – sublime heaven. And anything with dark chocolate and mint.


5. What Harry Potter house are you in? 

Hufflepuff! 😉

 
6. What fandom(HP/GOT/Dr. Who/HG/etc) annoys you to no end?

I wouldn’t say any annoy me, everyone has their own obsessions, and some of mine probably irritate.


7. What’s in your Dauntless fear landscape? (aka what are you afraid of?)

I think I kinda answered this above! Water, moths – and clowns, I hate clowns *shudders*


8. Name a song you’re totally obsessed with at the moment.

Hotel California by The Eagles. I have it on in the car and keep putting it on repeat. And Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day as it’s the song that applies to my protagonist, Gabriel, in The Making of Gabriel Davenport.


9. Are you the center of attention or a wallflower?

Wallflower. I am the poster child for the term ‘introverted’. People watching is my comfort zone. To be ‘the watched’ freaks me out.


10. What’s your favorite part of blogging?

Sharing thoughts, especially if what I write can help someone else or resonate with them in some way.


11. If given the opportunity to do something without any consequences, what would you do?

Ooh, that’s a tough one. I’d love to snoop around another writer’s study and read their notes on whatever they’re writing, see what else they have on their desks, what photos, keepsakes – is that really creepy?!

NOMINEES – (hard as it’s supposed to be blogs under 200 subscribers, if yours is over, apologies!)

Nadia

Sarina

Aura

Erin

Jenny

And my questions for you lovelies –

  1. How long have you had the idea for your current project?
  2. What’s one place in the world you would love to visit?
  3. What’s your current read?
  4. What one word would you use to describe yourself?
  5. You’re halfway through a book and it’s boring you. Do you continue?
  6. After you’ve bought new books that you’re dying to read, how long do they sit on your shelf before you pick them up?
  7. Is there one genre you would struggle with, reading or writing?
  8. What screensaver picture is on your phone?
  9. Are you a pantster or a plotter or somewhere inbetween?
  10. The book you’re writing has a theme tune – what is it?
  11. Would you rather win a literary award or have an army of loyal fans?

As always, please don’t feel pressured to answer, this is all just fun in the spirit of sharing and maybe getting a few people to visit your blog 🙂

First steps

At the beginning of this year I decided that this would be the year that I actually wrote a book. And by book I mean an actual 70,000 words plus novel. I’ve written short stories, poetry and novellas on and off for many years, coming and going with the ebb and flow of life. But I didn’t want to be one of those people who look back on life and say ‘I wish’.

I started with a couple of pages I’d written for a competition last summer (never submitted) because I felt like it had a little bit of potential. I didn’t have any idea where it was going to end up because I didn’t outline or plan (I know some of you are holding your hands up in horror!). But here’s the thing, it grew. I tried to keep to a word count of 1,000 words a day as that was do-able with my schedule. I didn’t beat myself up if I missed a day, life happens, but I was back at it the day after.

The story led me. My characters became multi dimensional. And then one day I suddenly knew where it was going. Another story I had begun and abandoned years ago gave me the seeds of another idea to fly with. The characters almost formed themselves. I joined http://writingchallenge.org/ and found a like minded group of people who supported me on the days where things didn’t work and cheered for me when they did. After a couple of months I could see that there was a real possibility that this book baby of mine would be completed.

When I had started anything before the one thing that kept stalling me was my perfectionism. I would go back and nit pick at things, altering words, getting it just right. Which, of course, jammed up any creative flow I had going.

But this story became an experiment in itself. I didn’t read back at what I’d written at the start of a new day, I just ploughed on, the most important thing was finishing.

And after three months that what I did – I was able to type THE END on a first draft of around 80,000 words.

This blog will be about my journey, and yes, I should have started it back in January when I began, but I was too hyper focused on the actual writing. I can be a bit obsessive. I hope to share the highs and the lows, what I learn, and inevitably, the mistakes I make.

There’s a lot out there, a dizzying amount of ideas and links for someone new, and it can all be a bit daunting. But one thing I have learned is that more established writers are generous with their support and their knowledge.

So, come on in, the water’s lovely and the words await you.