Wow, I didn't realise it had been this long since I've updated the site - apologies folks, but thanks for coming back anyway!
I could give you a list of reasons for the lack of activity - new role at the paper, November was taken up completely by NaNoWriMo, Christmas, New Year, etc - but I won't. Actually, I suppose I just did. Sorry about that!
Anyway, I'll be making more of an effort to keep this updated from now on, especially as I get closer to finally wrapping up my latest book.
I'm keeping most of the details under wraps for now, but I'll tell you this much: it's nothing to do with The Angelic Debt, and it's a fair bit longer than TAD too - hence the delay in finishing the damn thing.
Anyway, that'll do for now, but be sure to check back soon and I'll update you all further on the new book. As always, any queries or questions can be directed to the Contact Me page, and I'll be sure to get back to you.
First of all folks, please accept my apologies for the lack of activity on the site recently. This is due mainly to starting a new role at the paper, and if you follow @dbpressreporter on Twitter over the last few weeks, you’ll know exactly what that has involved! Anyway, I’m here now to answer any questions about National Novel Writing Month, which is just days away - November 1 to 30. It doesn’t seem like a year since I sat down to write The Angelic Debt, but tempus fugit and all that, so I thought I’d add a quick update now and try to squeeze another one in before going dark in November to write the next NaNoWriMo entry. So if anyone has any questions about the challenge, or wants any advice on having a go at it, then I’m here, for what it’s worth. This year, I’ve already planned quite a bit of my book, which is a big change from last year. I’ve got chapters, characters, events and storylines in mind, and I've had the title in mind for months! I’m just hoping I can find time to get them all on the page without life getting in the way, but I'll have a damn good stab at it regardless and I'd encourage you to do the same - they say everyone's got a book in them, what better time to get it out than NaNoWriMo? Anyway, there’s a brief update for you. I’m here if anyone wants to ask anything. As always, you can get in touch through the Contact page.
Well here it is, the feature on NaNoWriMo which featured in The Press last weekend!
I was away, which meant I didn’t see the thing for a couple of days, but I think it turned out pretty well. (If the above text is too small for you, this link should take you to the original site).
More to the point, it meant The Angelic Debt was brought to the attention of about 26,000 readers (or those who read that far into the paper anyway), and notched up a few new sales that weekend to boot.
It also meant a little shout out to Emma Saynor, for her artwork (thanks again Emma!), and used the words “startling” and “imaginative”, to describe The Angelic Debt – something I’m really pleased to see in print!
Other things I’m pleased to see, are the really positive reviews which have appeared on the book’s Amazon page, eight so far, an even mix of four and five stars, with some really kind comments included. I accept that not everyone will enjoy it, and I expect future reviews may be less kind, but for now, I’m over the moon with the responses I’ve had.
The article has also sparked a little extra interest in NaNoWriMo 2013, which is another great effect, so hopefully there’ll be a few more taking part in the challenge this year.
Not much else to say right now, but as always, if you have any questions or comments, drop me a line through the Contact page.
Forgive the delay in updating the blog recently, but it’s been a bit of a busy couple of weeks behind the scenes and The Angelic Debt site ended up dropping down the pecking order.
Anyway, here’s the news. The excellent Seraph artwork created by the very talented Emma Saynor has been submitted to an illustration site, so hopefully that will mean a few more people checking out her work. Best of luck to Emma, we’ll be watching your progress closely!
Also, it sounds like there could be a feature of some sort in The Press, after the Features Editor kindly agreed to read The Angelic Debt! Not sure of the details yet, though I think it will be mainly a plug to get people involved in NaNoWriMo, with some mention of the book. I’ll keep you updated, but anything that gets the word out a little wider is gratefully received.
The word is still getting out there too. Sales are creeping up, with paperbacks once again overtaking Kindle copies, and the site is still getting hits too.
So that’s about it this week – I’ll try to make the next one more exciting! As always, anyone with any questions, or who knows anyone who might want to contribute to the Gallery, please drop me a line through the Contact page.
Well I was excited last week when I found out I’d sold my first anonymous international copy, but this week just knocked that out of the park, with the first coverage of The Angelic Debt on another website, and the arrival of the first artwork based on a character description!
Alex Wiggan, mild-mannered Superman expert and all round bloody nice bloke, kindly spread the word about The Angelic Debt to all visitors to his excellent website thecomicscode.weebly.com
Anyone with even a passing interest in movies, comic books or vintage video games really must make an effort to check out the site, but be prepared to lose your lunch break, as there’s a wealth of articles, reviews and discussions on there that can easily become addictive! I speak from experience, and I couldn't be happier about it!
Also this week, the wonderful Leeds-based artist Emma Saynor got in touch with her interpretation of the description of the Seraph, which you can now view in the Gallery section – at last, there’s something there other than “Coming Soon”!
Emma's submission is a digital creation, and I think it’s brilliant, as you’ll see from my comments alongside it. There are changes she’s made to how I pictured the Seraph which I think really work well, and I hope you all go check out her website emmasaynor.co.uk where you can see some of her other work, including album covers and rehearsal pictures from Leeds band Blue Note, and a great poster for the recent movie Stoker!
In other news, views to the site continue to come in, even when I’m not pointing people in its direction, and the book continues to sell, with paperback just slightly ahead of Kindle editions now - the electronic revolution could be on its way!
Emma, Alex, thanks for your support. The rest of you, thanks for reading, and I'll see you next time! As always, anyone with any questions about submitting artwork, or NaNoWriMo can contact me through the Contact page.
Hi folks, hope you’re all well and basking in the sunshine!
Just a short blog today, because I found out that without any advertising at all, except for a bit of Twitter and Facebook action, I’ve managed to sell a copy outside the UK! Well, four copies, if you count three that were shipped to family in Canada.
Someone in mainland Europe has somehow found out about the book, and ordered a copy this week, so even before any media release has been put out there, The Angelic Debt is starting to go international.
The website is still getting hits on a daily basis too, even without me pestering people on social networks, and I’m still in the process of putting together a decent press release to try and spread the word further. I’m hoping to have that out in the next couple of weeks, and will keep you updated.
As always, anyone with any questions about the novel or NaNoWriMo can contact me through the website, as can anyone who wants to submit artwork based on anything in the novel.
Which reminds me, I’ve had another artist get in touch from Glasgow, Mike McLaughlin, who is working on something as we speak.
His site (www.mikemclaughlin.co.uk), is down for repair at the minute, but should be up again shortly.
A big week for The Angelic Debt this week, as the first couple of artists have contacted me to discuss submitting work for the Gallery page!
Obviously, I’m delighted anyone has taken an interest, and can’t wait to see what they come up with.
In the meantime, here are links to their individual sites, so you can check them out and tell your friends:
Maria Brzozowska: http://cargocollective.com/brzozo Emma Saynor: http://emmasaynor.co.uk
In other news, The Angelic Debt continues to sell, with Kindle editions about 50% behind paperbacks, so it appears people do still want an actual book in their hands! As a recent Kindle convert myself, I completely understand, and am just grateful people are buying it regardless of the format!
Also, visitor numbers to www.theangelicdebt.co.uk
are growing, even after I stopped mentioning the site on Twitter and Facebook on a daily basis, which can only be a good thing!
For now, I’m going to continue with the blog as and when there’s something to report, which in the near future should include some sort of press release.
As always, if anyone has a question about The Angelic Debt, NaNoWriMo, or submitting artwork, please drop me a line through the Contact page.
I’ve asked everyone who bought and read The Angelic Debt to post a short review online, to help others find it, and give them (and me), some idea of what worked or didn’t.
After what seemed like a long wait, but was only about a week, the first reviews have gone online, and they’re all surprisingly positive! I say surprisingly, because I was naturally nervous about putting something I’d written out there for anyone to see, and as a natural born pessimist had prepared myself for a barrage of unimpressed reviews, if any.
I also received a message through Facebook from someone I haven’t seen since high school, who said: “Best book I have read in a long time, brilliant and very thought provoking. Reminded a little of Neil Gaiman in style. Loved it.” I’ll admit I haven’t read much Neil Gaiman, but from what I have read, I’m hugely flattered by that!
You can view the reviews here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/1484190998/ref=sr_cr_hist_all?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1
Last time I promised I’d talk a little bit about the differences between the first and latest drafts of The Angelic Debt, so here we go.
Honestly, there aren’t that many, but the first thing that changes was the opening chapter. It always started with the crash and Thomas’ death, but in the original draft the opening line was less blunt, talking instead about who he was and what he was doing, before the “At the age of 27 he discovered he was wrong”.
It was pointed out to me by an old university friend and author who read the first draft, that it would be a stronger opening line to start with, then work backwards to discuss what Thomas was wrong about. He was right, and although I resisted initially, when I had a go at rewriting the opening few paragraphs, I realised I would be stupid not to change it. Thanks John!
Another thing that changed between drafts was Thomas’ surname. He was originally Finnegan, for no reason other than I liked the rhythm of Tho-mas-Finn-e-gan, but it was always intended as a temporary name I would go back and change at some point. A couple of friends who read the first draft said it sounded “too Irish”, and not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it was never my intention to make him from an Irish background.
In the end, I was driving to work and passed a road sign with Allerton on it while I was trying to think of an alternative surname. I liked it, and realised the syllable rhythm would match, so Thomas Finnegan became Thomas Allerton.
The other major change was the design of Hell. Originally, it was a desolate landscape of shale and black rock, similar to the Gustave Dore scenes from Paradise Lost. One piece of feedback wisely pointed out that we’ve seen that idea of Hell before in countless films, comic books, paintings and illustrations, so why not try something else.
We bounced a few ideas around in the pub, and the idea of ruined towns and cities was raised, perhaps the ruins of peoples’ individual Paradises, that sort of thing. I liked it, and went back to the Hell chapters to change the landscape.
Those are the main changes really, much of the rest was simply tweaking little phrases and bits of language and continuity here and there, but that’s not to say that if there’s another, expanded draft in future there won’t be more. I’ve had a few ideas, not really much more than starting points, but if there’s love there for this edition, maybe in a year or so I’ll revisit and try to improve it further.
I’ve always liked and hated Director’s Cuts equally, so I’m aware I might have to offer more than just an expanded page count, but it’s still a long way off, there’s time to work something out to make it worth ‘double dipping’ for those of you kind enough to buy a copy!
I thought I’d use this blog post to talk a little bit about the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) process, which created The Angelic Debt.
NaNoWriMo is an international challenge which was taken up by about 25,000 people last year. It runs every November, and the idea is to start with a blank white page on the first of the month, and finish with at least a 50,000 word novel by midnight on November 30.
I can’t remember how I first heard about it, but I think there was an article in a national paper. I’d had ideas about writing something for a long time, but never really got around to it, then figured since I was 30, it seemed like a good milestone to have a go at writing my first book!
The month pretty much flies by, and it’s made worse by the fact that life doesn’t stop. You’ve still got work, family commitments and sleep, and you’ve got to try to fit in at least 1,667 words for every day of the month. It wasn’t always easy, and I hadn’t really planned ahead. I had the basic idea of Heaven not being all it was cracked up to be, and the creation of Hellbound souls, but that was pretty much it before I sat in front of the laptop and made a start. (In the competition, that’s known as being a ‘pantser’, one who flies by the seat of their pants. You’re either a planner or a pantser, apparently.)
But I carried on, as did about half the entrants, and finished the first draft a day ahead of deadline, before collapsing into a heap with a bottle of cheap red. I then sent copies to a couple of friends and asked for their feedback, and put it away for a couple of months while they read it.
That’s it for now, but next time, I’ll talk a little bit about some of the changes between the drafts. As alwa