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Writing tips: Can you salvage what you've written if the book just isn't working?

I recently completed the first draft of 2 books, part of a series that were going to be in the post-apocalyptic genre.  It was going to be set in Australia and it was going to be great. Everyone I spoke to loved the idea of a book set in Outback Australia. Including me. And yet, in March 2020, after  I had the storyline, the characters, the events, the twists, and all the action for 2 books completed, and just as I was about to start book 3, I realized something: I  hated this story.  That's not a good position to find oneself. After over a year of writing these two books, I hated the books and didn't want them released. I was ready to call this a year of lost writing. Instead, I set this series aside and returned to writing book 2 in the Earth Quarantined series, which I had set aside to write those post-apocalyptic series. And I remembered how much I loved writing in my futuristic world that as soon as I finished the first draft of Earth Arrested , I came up with an idea on
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Cause of death - science fiction vs thrillers

I've recently written a thriller. Not my usual supernatural or sci-fi thrillers, but a straight-up murder mystery. For causes of death in this murder mystery novel,  I turned to my trusty ‘Encyclopedia of Forensic Science’ written by Brian Lane. I bought this book many years ago, 2004 from the date on the front cover, and I have been dying (excuse the pun) to use it.  They call it Forensic Science for a reason. Because the rules of death are grounded in absolutes. If too much blood is lost, a person dies. If too many internal organs are damaged, a person dies. If there is no oxygen, a person dies. In thrillers and mysteries, unless there is a supernatural element, writers rarely have scope for miraculous recoveries. People may survive gunshot wounds, but they cannot dodge bullets. People may survive being held underwater for a period of time, but they cannot breathe underwater.  In the natural world of thrillers and mysteries, the cause of death is typical of the real world, such a

9 years since the release of The Bird with the Broken Wing

The Bird with the Broken Wing was released 9 years ago, in August 2011 through Etopia Press, a small-press publisher. I had achieved what many people dream of. Naturally, I had a book launch, and then I wrote some more books. Imagine my delight when I did my weekly check of my book rankings and discover that  9 years after it was first released, and it was my first book published too, The Bird with the Broken Wing is sitting at #2 on the Amazon UK charts in Books on Bullying for YA, #6 in Coming of Age Fantasy and #11 Fiction About Bullying. 9 years later!!! Like I said, wow. Somebody pinch me.  So I thought I'd just share some of the photos of this book's release, it's launch almost 8 years ago, the old cover and new covers, photos from promos and giveaways, and some of the best seller rankings this book has achieved over the 9 years. What will 10 years bring, I wonder? I must do something to celebrate it's 10 year release.

The Importance of Not sticking to one genre in writing

 A while ago I wrote a post about the importance of sticking to one genre when writing. READ POST HERE . I don't write in one genre. I also don't read in one genre. I read a variety of books and I want to be able to write a variety of stories. But in this post I pointed out how switching genres can disappoint readers who signed up to your newsletter while you wrote young adult fantasy, then a few years later you send them an email to announce your new science fiction novel, then send an email to announce your latest supernatural thriller. That post highlighted to me that I really needed a pen name for some of my books. So I created Jonette Blake, who writes suspenseful mysteries and thrillers, and I moved my supernatural thrillers over to her. It does mean I've had to build up a totally new audience. The other pro for sticking to the one genre is that I would be able to release more books by the same author and target the same audience and build on the sales over a series o

How a doorbell ringing at 2am can spark many story ideas

People often ask me how I come up with my story ideas. THIS is how I come up with story ideas. The following is a true event. I woke to the sound of the doorbell ringing and glanced at the clock. It was 2am. I thought I had just woken from a dream. Then my husband rolled out of bed and stood up to stare out the bedroom window. I mumbled, "What's up?" He said, "If you can believe it, the doorbell just rang." "So it wasn't a dream," I said. Our front doorbell had chimed at 2am in the morning. Our front door is downstairs, we were sleeping upstairs. The husband was staring out the bedroom window which overlooks the driveway, but I don't need to get up to know that we can't see down to the front door.  I gave him the most logical explanation I could think of at 2am in the morning. I said, "It's probably the battery dying." He agreed, and we both did a quick look out the front and back windows before heading back to bed. I never we

James Cameron's TV show 'The Story of Science Fiction' inspires writing

  I've been watching, James Cameron's 'The Story of Science Fiction'. It's on TV each Thursday night and each week it features another aspect of sci-fi. He interviews other directors and actors, and it's like a who's who of sci-fi. It's great. It's also given me the jolt in the arm I need to keep working on my sci-fi novels. I love sci-fi. Always have, even before I knew it. I love space opera, dystopia, post-apocalyptic, aliens, artificial intelligence, robots, off-world. I love it all. What I love most is that many of these great sci-fi books and movies are cautionary tales about humanity and the planet we inhabit. I love how the writers and creators seek out unique ways to deliver these messages. BUT... I lost my love of writing sci-fi earlier this year. 2020 came at me with a bang, first with the horrific bushfires in Australia that decimated the Australian east coast, then we had floods, then the pandemic. For me, these cautionary messages were

I Am Mother review

I recently watched "I Am Mother" on Netflix. I'd added it to my list a while ago but was waiting for a day when I had the TV all to myself. I suspected it would be a psychological thriller, and I enjoy watching these types of movies when I'm alone, so I can immerse myself in the suspense without someone commenting or studying my reactions. From Wikipedia:  I Am Mother  is a 2019 Australian  science fiction   thriller film  directed by Grant Sputore, from a screenplay by Michael Lloyd Green, based on a story by Grant Sputore and Michael Lloyd Green. Starring  Clara Rugaard , Luke Hawker,  Rose Byrne , and  Hilary Swank , the film follows Daughter, a girl in a post-apocalyptic bunker, being raised by Mother, a robot aiding the repopulation of Earth. The film had its world premiere at the  Sundance Film Festival  on 25 January 2019.  Netflix  released it in several countries on 7 June 2019. The Cast: Clara Rugaard  as Daughter Luke Hawker as Mother (performance) Rose Byr