Spotlight on Writing

Oh dear. I feel like my ‘spotlight on writing’ section is getting a little repetitive. So, to save you from hearing the complaints of what writing I haven’t done (yet again), I will instead try to explain what I have been doing.

So, it’s probably pretty clear from the brand new home page that things are beginning to move ahead with publication of When the Rain Falls, the first book in our dystopian teen fiction series. And with this comes a myriad of tasks to complete on our ‘to-do’ list. One of these things is a special treat  we will be releasing later this month—a short story that acts as a kind of optional prologue. The books make complete sense without it, but it does provide some interesting context for the series, and I’d highly recommend signing up to our mailing list (see below in footer 👇) to receive your free copy when the short story comes available.

There are also more technical aspects. Over the past few months Ashley and I have incorporated Linderson Creations, set up a company bank account, hired a book cover designer, roped in Ashley’s talented sister Mel as our copy and proof editor, and I have tackled the interior formatting using Scrivener.

Putting aside everything else, let’s focus on the interior file for a minute. I’m sure anyone else who has gone through the process of preparing the interior file for their book can sympathize—what you think should take minimal time ends up in hours being spent umming an ahhing over font size, margin width, and just how big your gutter should be. You question what typeface to use and what your paragraph breaks should look like. How to effectively use block quotes, and why, later, it’s still not displaying correctly (in this scenario I realized it had retained some formatting from Microsoft Word when I’d pasted the chapter into Scrivener). I have no clue on how many times I hit ‘compile’ on both PDF and ePub versions, just to find some other aspect which I wasn’t 100% happy with.

But all in all, I’m now pretty happy with the product. It still needs some work. I have yet to edit the front and back matter—you know, the dedications, acknowledgements, copyright, etc. But it looks professional, which is what we’re aiming for. Both Ashley and I can’t wait until we hear back from the cover designer, and are able to finalize the revisions from Mel. Onwards and upwards, I say.

My writing may be slacking, but if I’ve learned anything over the past few years, the job of a writer is more than simply sitting and typing. All these other things are an essential part of the process, and they deserve as much attention and planning as the writing.

Personal Update

I’ve been so busy with work and writing that I’ve barely had time to do anything. But, we did go out to dinner for the first time since covid started. Last Saturday we went to the Keg with a friend. We chose a seat on the patio, because we weren’t quite ready for the idea of indoor dining. It’s also been a really hot summer over here, so it was great to soak up some sunshine and have a drink in good company. Then, on Tuesday, it was my and Dan’s second anniversary. Unimpressed with the Keg’s food, we decided to go somewhere a little more upmarket (The Nash), and braved eating indoors. I felt like a baby bird taking its first flight from the nest.

There’s a strange feeling here at the moment. The city is slowly unfurling from a long sleep, and everyone is looking around, bleary eyed, wondering whether this is all too good to be true. We no longer have to wear masks in public places (unless a business requires you to wear one), and it’s almost surprising how readily people have thrown down their armor. In the grocery store there were many naked faces. So I came to a decision to relinquish mine, too.

Is it too early? Only time will tell—even being fully vaccinated, I know we are not infallible. There could be a possible resurgence yet. But I choose to be hopeful. Maybe one day soon, I will be able to book a flight to New Zealand, and see all those wonderful people I miss so much. Below is a gorgeous picture my friend Stephanie took at my hens’ party of me and Mum, last time I was in New Zealand.

Just like everything else, global recovery from covid is a process. I'm looking forward to eventually being able to visit friends and family. Pictured alongside me is my beautiful mother.