Tag Archives: literature

Go find Devan Coultrie @PeaceNovella

 

Retreating to Peace is out thereRTP new swing 2!

It is live, and has been for two days.

I spent the week leading up to release day, pacing up and down, trying to keep sane. This is the fourth book that I have self-published in four years, but the anxiety doesn’t get any less with each one.  There are two other occasions I have felt this nervous. The first, when I paced up and down the night before my A-level Philosophy and Ethics exams. The second, when in 2012, Mama had emergency surgery. Previously, I have stated how this book is different compared to what I have written before, and it felt different writing it.

With that process,  I am embracing the different. You wouldn’t believe it, but even Alan Titchmarh et al don’t write exclusively about gardening.

If we all had the same book list, shelf or idea, there’d be nothing to make us sit up and pay attention. There would be a monotonous sense of status quo, that didn’t offer development, growth and rather inhibited any sense of adventure.

There will be no spoilers about the book, we have had teasers. If you want to know about Devan Coultrie, how he ends up in Peace, you will have to go find him. In Great Britain, that will cost you less than a pound. Across the globe, it is in equivalent currencies.

Read it, review, help spread the word. 

Think not of what Peace can do for you, but what you can do for Peace. 

 

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Where does he live, exactly?

Devan Coultrie is one of Peace, Montana’s newest residents. He lives, slap bang, in the middle someplace.

 

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So, after much anticipation, Devan Coultrie exists as a proper fictional character and not just as a figment of my imagination. He is no longer a series of inky, black, purple and green paragraphs; the back to back cups of tea and assorted versions of ‘Jolene’ have done their thing.  Honestly, ‘Jolene’ is the de-facto theme tune to this book. I had Dolly and Pentatonix on loop for every single step. Right now, Cyndi Lauper and ‘At last’ is bouncing across the kitchen tiles and feels rather apt.

Up next!

You can now await with eagerness, the next two titles. They are both fabulous, and allow Peace to blossom even more.

Already out there:

As you can see, the town of Peace is growing with a very interesting set of denizens milling about it’s boardwalk. I guess that in the same way you have Pokemon, you might want to catch them all.  These series will continue to swell until the  late summer; there is still lots in store for readers. Something for everyone, would describe this series really well.

You can find full details at

Peace Novella series

So what does this mean for my future writing endeavours?

I do have things to write, two things have my focus and will occupy my for the rest of 2018. There will also be a return to gardening, I have three baby chillies on the window sill.

 

Forays into Fiction

In 2017, I made my first foray into fiction. Having written two non-fiction books about my allotment, this was something of a challenge in being very different. In all honesty, I really enjoyed writing both of the allotment books; there was a huge learning curve that really did open my eyes. I have learned lessons with each book, and hopefully continue to do so as things progress. No one book is perfect, and there is always someone who will offer you feedback to that effect. The broad plethora of writing out there, would suggest that you are never going to please everyone. Start with pleasing yourself, see what happens.

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That said, seeing and hearing people enjoy the allotment books is a wonderful experience. It is validation, yes. That something I have produced is out there, that it is being engaged with, and there is value to it.

There is a wonderfully romantic notion, that writing is easy; that writers of any description, do nothing but lounge around navel-gazing, smoking cigarettes, drinking tea and occasionally put pen to paper. I can tell you now; that is not the case, that could not be further from the the truth. I don’t smoke, navel-gazing does my head in, but I do like back to back cups of tea.

Then there is the idea of why write?

Well, why not?

There is just something about a pen, a notebook, a day dream and marrying it all together. All that day dreaming is of no use in the depths of my cerebellum; if released from there, it might actually have some use, some one might benefit from it in some shape or form.

I’ve been writing since I was fourteen, and on anything I could get my hands on with rather curly handwriting. Nineteen years later I still have the loose leaves somewhere, and I look back them with lovely, rose tinted glasses. Some of the stuff is in my opinion, altogether strange; however, I wouldn’t change it, I wrote it and for reasons only known to the universe. I still write Star Trek fan fiction; it was and is an wonderful immersion experience. Anyone who tells you that fan fiction doesn’t count as literature, could do with a broader scope on their bookshelf.

 

fragments

In previous posts, I have explored why I wrote ‘Fragments’. I wrote it because of family bereavements, because loss(in  many different forms, not just death) had become a big part of my world and I was trying to make sense of it. Compared to the allotment books, it is bigger, beefier and quite literally not so rosey. Don’t get me wrong, there are happy endings in there; I couldn’t bring myself to write abject, bleak, misery. What I wrote about was being human, or in the very least, trying to understand being a human and the relationships that we form. I’ll be honest with you. There are some parts of ‘Fragments’  that actually make me cry, and I wrote those bits! I can’t read them-I did, when crafting it, I had to force myself to do so-there are others, which make me smile, and I’m glad to have written as not many others might have.

With 2018, I am making my second foray into fiction. I have also broken my own self-imposed rule of not having human beings on the cover; so far, we’ve had insects and pastel art. This next foray, is continued diversification and into contemporary romance. It is actually rosy, unlike ‘Fragments’ so it does have some sunshine like the allotment books. Again, there has been learning; there has been further, very instrumental development and growth.

Over the last three months, I have posted bits and pieces about ‘Retreating to Peace’. I wanted to share the excitement that has been a big part of this project and how much that means to me.  Hopefully, you will have seen the teasers and things.

Yes, this is different. To gardening, to grief. Proper diversification, and then some.

Yes, you read it correctly; contemporary romance.

Romance as a whole, is huge! It is a big slice of the literature pie, the indie publishing pie as well.

Here I am, a minnow-a gardening one-in a big pond, with lots of established fishes.

I couldn’t tell you why I took this plunge. Only, that I wanted to keep writing after having finished ‘Fragments’. I must have taken one week, perhaps two, before stumbling across the Peace Novella Series.  This felt the right thing to do, the universe was sending me signals of some kind.

Plus, as with the other three books, what could I possibly have to lose?

There are some things, that as I was writing ‘Retreating to Peace’ were a big part of my awareness. Things, that have most likely shaped the production of it, and I haven’t really put them out there before.

First, I chose to write a male main character. He’s not that much older than me, he is taller though. Most people are to be honest. Plus, I didn’t want to write a swaggering Alpha Male who saves the universe whilst having a fragile ego broken by a heaving bosom.

Second, he’s of mixed heritage. I would not, do not wish to, label Devan Coultrie as a Person of Colour. That label sets my teeth on edge for a whole armada of reasons that I won’t go into here. I managed to shoe-horn Anglo, Indian and Scottish into development.

Third, not all romance is about rainbows and butterflies. I know, that seems an oxymoron, Thank goodness for Happy For Now.

Fourth, I spent my whole childhood watching Bollywood Movies. There are lots and lots of Bollywood/Indian cultural things mentioned in RTP. This is why, I took great pleasure in writing Devan’s Diwal story. Oh, and I have yet to find a would be Indian inspired romance. Trust me, I know who Meera Syal is as well as Anita Desai and Arundhati Roy. I may never scale their great heights, but a girl can dream, eh?

 

Hitting the books as winter falls

As the wind chills, winter descends and advent becomes under way; the time spent on the allotment gets less and less. I might potter down then, and do the odd tidy. But with darkness after school, I spent the short amount of time I do use, on the weekends. That means the evenings after work comprise of box sets and reading books.Whilst I have a small library of books-it used to be bigger, but those books that i hadn’t read in five years were donated to a college-I know have an e-reader. This means mama h doesn’t complain about the space they take up, and I can have hundreds to choose forom.

Last night after counselling class last night, I finally got around to around to finishing off http://www.amazon.co.uk/Counselling-Toads-Psychological-Robert-Board-ebook/dp/B000FA622A/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1417629626&sr=1-1&keywords=counselling+for+toads I had started this last year, when the level 2 counselling class had spoken about Transactional Analysis. I was somewhat stumped about it, transactional analysis, at the time and was last night when the class covered it again. Serves me right,I should have perhaps read something about it. Anyway, last night, class finished early so I decided to try again, and went back to the beginning. I’m glad I did. I always find it difficult to resume from a stuck point. The book is a quick read, but then i do tend to quick read. Very simple, straight forward, and the mechanics of counselling, from a person centred approach were there. For instance, the contract setting and the theory were very familiar. I found that useful, a way of hanging my hat on something. It didn’t feel alien. Plus transactional analysis was explained really well. Having toad and the rest of the wind in the willows cast was really useful. Though I do dislike Ratty, and a lot.

But some books are just not that easy. I am stuck on ‘P for Peril’ by Sue Grafton. Half way, and perhaps it is just my brain not wanting to negotiate it. I like reading novels in a series. If Shardlake ever ends, I am likely to be heart broken. I started at ‘A for Alibi’ and would like to make it all the way through to the end. I am currently waiting for the e-reader to charge, and I am going to try and make it towards the end of the novel. Still have a couple of phillipa gregory’s ‘Cousin’s war’ series to go. I wasn’t particularly enamoured with that series, actually. Tudor court was much better in comparison. Failed miserably with ‘Wolf Hall/Bring up the bodies’. Not sure how that has won awards or become a huge theatre show.

Have yet to finish all Fleming’s Bond novels. Not too sure, if the non-canon books are going to make it onto my list of reads.

So much read on the e-reader, not a single gardening book though.

#NaBloPoMo: Book Worm to Book Writer?

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Apparently, the one human constraint that holds us all back, is our imagination. The only limitation to unlocking our potential. You can argue that even Einstein, used his imagination and therein expanded or shrank the universe.

So to what extent could you use it? The NaBloPoMo prompt yesterday was about whether or not you have a book in you?

Do I? Perhaps.

For the best part of ten years, I have been writing Star Trek fan fiction. The group I that I belong to, is this one  sectorg.org Based to an extent on Canon Star Trek, the kicker is that whilst the flagship’s are shiny, like all organisation’s it has screw ups. The officers that fooh-bah things up so badly, they have to be dumped somewhere, and somewhere far, far away. That’s the start of it, anyway.

If you fancy reading what the group has got up to, then have a look here. https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/caledonia-bob/info You can probably dive in anywhere, and have a look at what goes on.

Back to the original question, do I have a book in me?

Think I have written several, in the time that I have been writing fan ficton. Not quite a library, but a stack of short novellas, at least. My problem has always been, that I can start with an idea, travel through arcs. Plan those arcs in detail, but then how do I get to the ending? Some arcs, have been short and sweet. The current arc that the group is involved in has been going on for an epic three years! With Star Trek on the box, there was always a constraint of a season, and arcs got lost with time. This is somewhat different with the writing. It is all, contingent on imagination. It’s the same when you are writing. I love to read, and see what the fuss is about with books. There are some that I love, would read time and time again. There is a different outloo though, when you try and construct something yourself.

I have never liked the utopian rosieness that star trek came to offer. So writing with Sectorg, does provide scope beyond that. Also, writing is definitely a process. I am by no means the same writer that I was ten years ago. I look back at what I wrote, and I squirm. Writing does involve crafting, researching, and playing with ideas. I am lucky, and rather spoiled, by the fact that I have cracking good co-writers. And when you are stuck, there are folks to story board and workshop.

There is an assortment of characters, this is star trek, you are going to have the odd, the ugly and the strange. I have stuck with one many character and added assorted bolt on additonal characters to flesh out the character’s story. And I am rather attached to the character. Her, yes, she’s a woman, her actions are somewhat beyond normality. But she is a screw up.

I do invite you to have a look around the archive. It might not be to everyone’s taste, and it for some it may not constitute epic literature. But hey, use your imagination, and you never know where you migh end up.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/caledonia-bob/info

Sectorg.org