It’s all over now

nanowrimo 2019

The final week shuddered to a grinding halt yesterday, with not a single word more written since Thursday. ‘Life’ got in the way. 

Never mind.

The ‘life’ bit included trying to persuade people to help themselves to the free download of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’ I’m pleased to say there has been some success so far, and the offer will still be running for almost another 24 hrs.

Back to NaNoWriMo. I didn’t quite reach my hoped-for word count of 30K, but I’m beyond 25K and story-wise I’m reaching the mid-point, although there are a few blank spaces in the chapters I’ve written so far. Compared to last year, I’m about two chapters shy of where I got to with Following the Green Rabbit, so I’m pretty satisfied.

Of course it isn’t all over. The story continues to drip forth. I’m hoping to have something approaching a completed MS by next Easter. Then comes the tricky bit. To paraphrase one of Mr Shakespeare’s characters: ‘To query or not to query?’

If you were participating in NaNoWriMo on any level, how was it for you?

NaNoWriMo Week #3

nanowrimo 2019

Well, I’m pretty pleased with myself at the end of week 3. I have a further six chapters more or less completed, although obviously not polished, and the story is flowing now.

My characters are fleshing out nicely: they have quirks and foibles and they’re starting to spark off one another. Yesterday I nearly fell off my chair trying to imagine what it would be like to climb up the inside of a cave, and I became quite breathless swimming along an underwater tunnel.

It’s been fun!

I’ve fallen a little behind today, as I spent all morning chatting over rooibos tea and biscuits with one friend, and half the afternoon chatting over coffee and stollen with some other friends. I must take advantage of the sudden sugar rush!

On to the final week…

Enjoy, fellow NaNo writers! My tip of the week: cake helps.

And they’re not even in it!

pimms-lunasonline.png

At first, I think I’m having a flashback. I’m sitting on Cynthia’s garden bench and the sun is shining. A bead of moisture runs down the glass I’m holding.

“Cheers, Ms Hall!” Connor raises his glass to me. “Here’s to another great review of our book!”

Cynthia smiles at me. “It’s so nice to see our author doing well.” She sips her drink and leans over to stroke Asmar, her beautiful Abyssinian cat, who is lounging by her feet. “And even darling Asmar gets a mention.” Asmar pricks up his ears at the sound of his name. “Well, he was rather a hero, wasn’t he?” Cynthia continues. Asmar rolls over and looks up at me, the suspicion of a smug smile behind his long whiskers.

I stretch out my hand towards him, nodding in agreement.

Next I hear a familiar screech and Fingers bounds up to me from the side gate where Bob and Gary have just appeared. The little monkey launches himself at me, chattering excitedly. Bob hurries to retrieve him. “Sorry about that luv, but he’s dead excited about being in a book review.”

Connor refills he glass from the jug of Pimms which is sitting on the little wrought-iron table. He sits back down and leans towards me. “I understand you’re running a wee promotion on that first book of yours?”

“Marketing eh?  Sound.” Gary gives me a ‘thumbs up’ sign. His face lights up as Gina appears at the French doors. “We got any beers upstairs, luv?”

Gina rolls her eyes and sits down next to him, ignoring his request.

“I’ll go,” says Bob, lowering Fingers into Gina’s lap.

“And bring some crisps,” Gary adds. Fingers chirrups in agreement.

The Silver Locket, it’s a lovely romantic book with a touch of mystery and magic,” says Cynthia.

“Oh yes, it’s dead good,” chimes in Gina. “Just the kind of book to read sitting in the garden on a sunny afternoon. Like that nice Ms Scott said.” She sighs. “They even go to Paris! Wouldn’t that be wonderful, Gary?”

Gary pulls a face, he’s not one for ‘abroad’. “How do you two know what’s in the book anyway?” He glances at me, frowning. “She wrote it a while before ours.”

“Ah,” Cynthia reaches for her glass. “Gina and I, and Lucy too, were in a short story Ms Hall wrote, even before that.”

“That’s right,” Gina continues. “We had to wait ages for her to write our book.” She looks at me and smiles, fiddling with her engagement ring. “You could take us to Paris…”

Connor clears his throat. “Interesting idea, this downloading, Ms Hall. Not really sure I understand. I suppose it’s something from the future which we haven’t been written into yet.”

Was that another hint?


kindle edition cover

Mystery, romance, ghosts and dreams: perfect reading for a lazy sunny afternoon!

Get your ebook freebie of The Silver Locket,
written under my pen name Holly Atkins by clicking on the links below.

Offer runs until Fri 23 August:
USAhttp://ow.ly/Px5t50vD8nT
UK –  http://ow.ly/4hwF50vD8nU
Aushttp://ow.ly/Q2Lc50vD8nZ
Canhttp://ow.ly/cUgu50vD8nV
Other countries, such as South Africa

 


And if you really want to do it properly…
although Cynth would probably add a large shot of gin to the mix!

how to mix a perfect pimms lunasonline
Source

The Characters’ Wish

promotional items for YNWA lunasoline

‘She’s been making cards and stuff all afternoon,’ says Gina in a confidential whisper to Cynthia.

‘Cards? I thought it was a book launch? Anyway, how do you know what she’s been doing?’

‘We’re her characters; we’re in her head, aren’t we? So, of course we know what she’s doing; especially if it’s about to Our Book.’ Gina nods her head meaningfully.

‘Oh, I see,’ says Cynthia. ‘I’ve never noticed. It seems a bit impolite poking about in her head, though.’ Cynthia pauses. ‘But why the cards?’

‘Marketing,’ says Gary, joining them at the little table in the back garden. ‘Giveaways, contact details, that kind of stuff.’

‘Look at you, eh, Mister Marketer,’ Gina gives Gary a playful prod in the arm. ‘Ever since he left the Social Security and went to work in that posh insurance company in town,’ she glances down at her new engagement ring and smiles, ‘he’s come over all ”private sector”. He’ll be voting Tory next.’

Gary pulls a face at her.

‘Connor showed me that lovely review she received, from that nice young lady In Sheffield…what’s her name?’ said Cynthia.

Ellie Scott you mean?’

‘That’s right, darling. I though she caught me rather well, don’t you? I’m sure she didn’t mean to imply I was something of a lush.’

‘That would never enter anyone’s head, Cynth,’ says Gary, almost managing to keep a straight face.

Cynthia glares at him frostily and stares toward the bottom of the garden where Connor is gesticulating animatedly. ‘Who’s he talking to now? Or is he just declaiming to that old rosebush again?

Gina follows her gaze. ‘It’s her,’ she hisses. ‘It’s our author! Look, they’re coming this way.’

‘Oh well, in that case…’ Cynthia leaves her sentence unfinished and disappears through the French doors.

I follow Connor back up the garden. He’s been reading to me from his latest slim volume of poetry. Perhaps I’d like to include some of it in my next book. My next book?

‘Ms Hall and I have been talking,’ Connor announces as we approach.

‘Are you going to write another book for us?’ Gina asks, eyes widening with excitement.

‘Like that nice young woman suggested,’ adds Cynthia, emerging from her French doors carrying a tray of glasses and a bottle of wine.

What’s this? My characters are at it again!

Connor gestures to me to sit down on the garden bench which has been moved to a sunny spot near the little wrought iron table where they’re all gathered. I sit and Asmar, Cynthia’s beautiful Abyssinian cat, jumps on my knee, purring his head off.

Cynthia pours the wine. ‘We do hope your book launch party goes well on Friday, darling,’ she smiles at me.

‘Hear hear, old thi…Cynthia,’ Connor adds, picking up a glass from the tray and raising it to me. ‘Cheers.’

We hear a noisy old vehicle rattle to a halt outside. Moments later Bob appears at the side gate with Fingers on his shoulder who immediately starts to chirrup excitedly. Tony Wong is behind them in what looks like a new suit. He has an air of someone who’s come into money and has plans.

‘Well, Ms Hall, the gang’s all here,’ says Connor. ‘What’s our next story?’

I take the glass which Cynthia is holding out to me. Maybe. I lean back and close my eyes. Let’s see…

asmar


If you’ve no idea who these people are, or what they’re talking about, you’d better read the book!

The Characters’ Verdict

youll-never-walk-alone-by-chris-hall-proof-copy.jpg“Here it is!” I hold up the proof copy of You’ll Never Walk Alone to Cynthia and Conner, who are sitting outside in the little garden wasteland outside Cynthia’s flat. It is pleasantly and unseasonably warm for an April afternoon in mid 80s Liverpool.

Connor stretches out his hand. “Let’s have a look then.”

I hand the pristine proof over to him. He turns it over in his hands and nods. “Look rather fine, I must say, Ms Hall. Worth the wait, so it is.” He flicks through the pages and frowns. “Print’s a bit small.”

Cynthia takes the book from him. She riffles the pages, holding it up to her face. “I love the smell of a new book.”

I nod and grin enthusiastically. “What do you think?”

“It’s very nice, my dear.” She looks at the pages more closely. “Oh look, Connor, there’s a little drawing of a cat here.” She holds the book out to him, open at the title page. “Is that my clever boy, Asmar?” 

As if on cue, Cynthia’s beautiful Abyssinian cat emerges from the bushes and stretches languidly in front of us, mimicking the pose in the drawing.

Cynthia turns to the back cover. “Nice photograph of you, Ms Hall.”

“Thank you!” I smile delightedly.

“It must’ve been taken quite a while ago.”

I wince. Cynthia leans forward and pats my hand. “Well why not? None of us is getting any younger.”

Before I have the chance to reply, we hear voices coming around the side of the house. It’s Gina and Lucy. As soon as they see me, they call out in greeting. I hold up the second proof copy I have ordered for my household of characters.

“She has our book!” Lucy and Gina say together. Never mind that it’s my book. Whose name is on the cover?

They take it from me and sit down on the tatty wooden bench next to the wall. They exclaim in delight at the opening paragraphs. Lucy and Gina are, of course, in the opening scene. They start to read and for once they fall silent. After a couple of pages they look up. I can see in their eyes that they approve.

asmar


You’ll Never Walk Alone‘ a novel by Chris Hall will be published next month (we hope).

Character Confusion

coverpic

Previously

I’m back in Cynthia’s flat and the main characters from my very-soon-to-be-published novel are all staring at me. They don’t look happy.

“The book’s going to be out soon. Aren’t you pleased?” I say brightly.

Connor stares at the bottom of his empty wine glass then looks directly at me “We’re pleased that you’ve set the wheels in motion, so to speak.”

“Good.” I nod. “I’ll get the draft copy of the paperback around Easter.”

Connor looks around the room at his fellow characters. Cynthia nods at him.

“Well, Ms Hall, the thing is…”

Lucy interrupts. “We’re sorry,” she says, squeezing Pierre’s hand, “but we’re not really sure about the cover.” She smiles at me weakly.

“Oh?” I shake my head. “Have you any idea how long it took and how many versions of my beloved’s artwork I uploaded before we, or rather I, was happy?” I frown at them all. “I’m really pleased with it. It looks really…”

 “Old-fashioned.” Gina interrupts.

I was going to say ‘retro’ actually. Like a Penguin Original.

“But why a drawing?” Lucy says, fiddling with her long golden hair. “Why not a nice photo of all of us?”

“That’s, er, not going to be possible.” How do I tell them they don’t actually exist?


Another true-life story of an author and her characters 😉

The Inspiring Muse Award – Mar 2019

I’d just like to thank Jenn (J.I.Rogers) for bestowing her award upon me. What a wonderful gesture from a fellow author!
Now then, happy readers and writers, you will take a little peek at her work, won’t you? https://jirogers-author.com/

J. I. Rogers - Author

#JIRogers #IndieAuthor #Inspiration #Muse #Award #Blog #Poet #Share #Motivation #Writing #Art #AwesomeAuthor @ ChrissyH_07

The Brief History of ‘The Inspiring Muse Award’

I’ve been ‘Shamelessly Promoting Someone Else’ for as many years as I’ve been online and I decided to take it one-step further. Despite the internet’s reputation for trolls, I’ve found that I interact with a brilliant collection of people on a daily basis. Each offers a gift whether it’s art, knowledge, a story, or just a well-timed joke. I wanted a way to thank them for inspiring me that was more permanent than a typed ‘thank you’.

This is a personal award that I bestow on people who I feel are excellent examples of different aspects of the creative community, or of humanity in general. Anyone I interact with is eligible to receive it, and it is awarded once each month.

The Inspiring Muse Award - lg size

March’s winner is Chris Hall for her…

View original post 68 more words

My Writing Year

editing you'll never walk alone by chris hall lunasonline
My writing space – yes, it’s messy.

2018 has been the year when:

  1. I managed to complete a pretty decent draft of my second novel, now at the MS stage. I’m just taking a little break from editing it now to write this.
  2. I (informally) took part in NaNoWriMo and almost completed a rough draft of a middle grade children’s book.
  3. I had some modest success in getting my first novel, ‘The Silver Locket’, out there. I had a look at the KDP stats and I sold a few dozen – enough to buy a couple of cups of coffee with cake!
    What I hadn’t realised was that 91 of you lovely folk read it on Kindle Unlimited. I hope you enjoyed!
    Note to self: I need to work on that marketing stuff next year.
  4. And finally, and unexpectedly, I accidentally became a blogger. This has been awesome. Writing can be lonely; being a homeworker also can be lonely. But you’re never alone when you have mates out there in inter-web-land. Thank you all!

And look at all these words I’ve so happily churned out:

Annual Site Stats lunasonline

Thanks for reading, and thanks for liking and commenting.

Here’s to a wonderful 2019. Happy New Year!

 

 

Giving a fellow author a plug!

My writing buddy, Paul English, with whom I regularly meet for coffee to chat about our writing, recently published the second novel in his Superhero series. We’ve many times discussed how difficult it is to do one’s own publicity, but doing for someone else is much easier. The article will appear in the school magazine, and I shall be submitting it to our local paper.

New Superhero Books for School Library

Somerset West author, Paul English, has a new audience for his superhero novels. The first two books published in Paul’s Fire Angel Universe Series, ‘Fire Angel: Genesis’ and ‘Fire Angel: Turning Point’, have now been donated to the library of the International School of Cape Town by Cliff Davies, Head of Geography, who won them in an on-line competition run by the author through his Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/FireAngelUniverse

Paul English at a book signing
Paul English at a book signing of his debut novel, ‘Fire Angel: Genesis’

Although you wouldn’t think it when you read his books, Paul has faced many difficult physical challenges in his life. The unexplained and undiagnosed syndrome with which he was born has affected both his sight and hearing throughout his 38 years. Nor has he an academic background, having left school after Grade 9. Paul says he found school boring as he felt it kept him from his drawing and writing!

The children’s TV series ‘Transformers’ first awoke the desire to write when Paul was just seven years old. Putting together his combined talent for writing and drawing, he has produced dozens of hand drawn comic books over the years.

Later the inspiration to create his own Superhero came from listening to an interview with Stan Lee about how he came up with Spider-Man and the Marvel Universe. After a few attempts to start his novel, Paul took a course in Creative Writing, which gave him a much better foundation. He regrets not having done that first of all and earnestly recommends this to aspiring writers.

Paul did not want to copy the stereotypical male hero with a perfect body and all the techno gadgets. His Superhero is Haley, a sassy but kind-hearted teenager living in a crime ridden working class neighbourhood, with fears of retrenchment looming over her parents.

In Paul’s first novel, Fire Angel: Genesis, Haley caught in the impact of a crashing meteorite which gives her some very unusual powers. Soon she is being hounded by unscrupulous people who want to harness her superpowers for themselves. Haley quickly learns not to trust anyone, especially not the scientists who have their own secret agenda.

In the sequel, ‘Fire Angel: Turning Point’, we meet a new superhuman, ‘Nemesis’, who brings death and destruction to all who have wronged her. A confrontation with her leads Haley down the dark path which she has set on. Haley faces some tough choices about whether she will return to defend her community or not.

Paul admits that there is a bit of him in Haley: courage in the face of difficulties, played down by a quirky sense of humour. Asked what his message to fellow writers would be, Paul says: ‘write the story you’d want to read.’

If you’d like your very own copies, ‘Fire Angel: Genesis’ and ‘Fire Angel: Turning Point’ are available as a double pack directly from Paul, priced at R270,00.

The third book in the series, ‘Fade’, will be published soon. The fourth novel is well underway and Paul has already come up with several more ideas for future books in the series.

You can also read Paul’s Fan Fiction story,Batman: Dawn of the Night’ on Wattpad

For more information about Paul and his work, email to: chiefhackyvol3@yahoo.com

photo international school of cape town
Cliff presenting the books to the School Librarian, Janis van Tonder

PS – Cliff’s my husband and I’m proud to have had a hand in editing Paul’s second and third books!