Saturday, April 20, 2013

Daydreaming - the cure for writers' block

Daydreaming - a waste of time..,?

Not if that daydreaming leads the mind to unblock thoughts that seem to clam up when confronted by a blank commuter screen. Sometimes we can think too hard and try to force a story to leap onto the screen. But there's nothing more unproductive than staring at a blank computer screen - far better then, to stare into space - daydream a bit, go and do something completely different, or go and do nothing at all... sneak up on an idea when it least expects it, then round it up into a corner of your mind where you can find it again next time you have a pen or computer to hand.

Some of my best ideas or problem solutions have come to me when they can see I have no pen to hand - the swimming pool is a good one. There's something about swimming up and down the length of a swimming pool that clears the mind.

A new and unexpected one is a hay barn - filling hay nets for my daughter's horse - and then she wonders why it takes me so long... but where's the rush?

Some of my best ideas unravel whilst watching the cats play in the garden, now all I have to do is figure out how to carry on typing with a cat clambering about on my shoulders, or trying to help with the typing... 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Procrastinating on a whole new level

So this morning I opened the laptop intending to do some editing... but then my day took over and procrastination took on a whole new level...

I'd done the minimum tasks in the kitchen, and been distracted by the cats, and still managed to make a start. Next I set about mum taxi duties which took me to a stable yard, where I had a very interesting afternoon watching a horse get physio and a massage. And now it's about time I rummaged up some tea...

But tomorrow is another day - and I'll put on my editing hat. It's a sensible hat, it  means business,  it has no dangly bits that might attract the cats' attention, but may end up with the odd bit of cat hair on it - most things do...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Learning through play - you're never too old.

We all know that children learn though play, but the same can be said for any age, and never more so than when 'playing' with technology. Trying to do something new on a computer can leave you with the feeling that your head is about to explode! The trick is to know when to take a break, and I don't mean give up - far from it, but sometimes the more you try, the more the answer seems to allude you, so stop... go and do something else, or just surf the net a bit - 'play', and when the answer you were banging your head trying to find least expects it - sneak up on it and catch it!

So make time to play - you never know what you might learn...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Characters calling at the door...

It's one thing when characters come alive in your imagination, but right now my characters are meowing at the kitchen door for their supper - and it's not even supper time yet, but as I'm in the kitchen they're just assuming...  But at least I've done some editing tonight - return of the power hour - it seems to be the only way to move a project along.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Characters who come alive...

The characters in a book are born in the imagination of the the author. They have to be coaxed out of this comfortable home and written into a book, where they wait in the hope of a reader opening their book and setting them free into the imagination of the reader, where they'll live for as long as you'll let them.

Once a story is written down it takes on a life of it's own - literature classes can study and analyse a story and find all sorts of meanings, but can they really be sure that that was what the author meant when they wrote the story...? When we read a story we fit it around our own experience and knowledge, so every reader will have their own perception of the characters and which way they should go within their plot.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Why selling online is the future...

So... I've done the circuits of craft fairs and done book signings, and got my books into bookshops - and sold most of my books this way, so why am I putting all my efforts into online sales?

  • I'm tired of seeing my books go down with a sinking ship when bookshops go bust.
  • A website can reach a wider audience than any craft fair.

My books are an ideal product to sell online because:

  • Books can be easily viewed online,and a decision made on appearance and blurb.
  • They are easy to post - they're not prone to breakage or leakage - you're not going to open the package and find the characters running around having a riot...
  • Books can go directly from my stocks to the customers, without all the middlemen complicating the process.
  • The customer can get their choice of books delivered postage free to their door.

Monday, April 01, 2013

What makes a best seller...?

Here at Lost in a Book I have a best seller - But I'm Not Sleepy out sells all the other books at every event I go to - so why is that...?

Is it the title that draws people to it? Every parent or grandparent has heard the words "But I'm not sleepy" and can relate to it. But not many remember - or admit to remembering... saying those same words when they were little. How many of us remember being sent to bed when the sun is still shining, with our heads still full of all the important things we still have to do...?

Or is it the picture on the cover...? When I did the illustration for the cover I wondered how people would react to the picture of a little girl jumping on the bed - whether it would put them off or attract the fun side of their imagination.

Counting sheep is a well known idea for achieving sleep - but what if the sheep then cause troubles of their own...?

So what makes a best seller? 

  • A title that grabs attention
  • A cover that appeals
  • A great story
  • A touch of good luck...