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Letting Your Debut Novel Go and Judging a Book by Its Cover

Posted in book covers, Getting published, Independent Publishing, Learning to Write, Publishing, publishing with a small press, Steampunk, and Writing a novel

The book is finished. Several rounds of editing – structural/developmental, copy and line, and a proofread – have all been completed. A thousand iterations of the back matter and the front matter and the dedication, acknowledgements and all the rest have finally been put aside and the wording decided…

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Why I am Going to Throw Myself Off the Edge of a Cliff

Posted in Editors, Getting published, Independent Publishing, Learning to Write, Literary agents, Publishing, Rejections, Steampunk, True Stories, and Writing a novel

The title of this post is undoubtedly designed to be provocative, to pique interest, and to raise questions in the mind of the reader. Surely, to throw oneself off the edge of the cliff is a foolhardy act at best, and at worst a depressing submission to simple suicide?…

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Using Rejection Letters to Improve Your Writing

Posted in Editors, Getting published, Learning to Write, Literary agents, and Rejections

We’ve most likely all heard stories of the famous writer who papered her loo with the one thousand rejection slips she received before getting a publishing deal. Tales of that nature are legion. Unpublished writers are encouraged to view rejection slips as stepping stones toward publication, to shrug off…

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The Curious Case of the Cephalopod Mollusc and the Zoologist

Posted in Octopus, Steampunk, True Stories, and Zoology

Octopuses are truly fascinating creatures. Bilaterally symmetrical cephalopod molluscs of the order Octopoda (meaning eight legged) they have intrigued and horrified the human ape since earliest times. A recent post at The Steampunk Journal relates the imminent arrival of thousands of octopuses to the shores of New Zealand, where…

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The Storied Truth, or the Honest Lie ~ Some Thoughts

Posted in Learning to Write, Storytelling, The Short Story, and Truth

Neil Gaiman has famously pointed out that fiction writers are professional liars, but that we lie in the service of truth. The idea is oft quoted. Oft quoted but rarely examined. I’d like to think about it now. The idea is not original to Gaiman, as I’m sure he would be the…

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Hunger, Fire & Iron: The Making of a Writer

Posted in Learning to Write

Any wise aspiring writer will, sooner or later, seek out the advice of established writers in the hope of gaining useful insights, practical tips and encouragement. She may seek that advice in person, through books, magazines, writing courses or social media. I’ve been no exception. I’ve found some advice…

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