Sunday, 23 January 2011

'Valley of Shadows' survey

Some of my writing friends have put together a survey of their latest book. I thought, "what a brilliant idea." So decided to have a go. They chose to leave out certain questions, I may well do the same, but anyway here goes.

Valley of Shadows

1] What's your word count? 70,645

2] How long until you finish? How long is a piece of string. Seriously though, I am finished, bar the editing process.

3] If finished, how long did it take you? I guess in all, around three years.

4] Do you have an outline? Not as such. I generally have a good idea of the story, where it's going, and how it will end. I do make a list of characters with their with their distinguishing features. Mind you, that often changes as the stories progresses. But on the whole, I like to write like a mad thing, and follow my imagination.

6] How many words do you write a day? I suppose, a thousand, maybe more.

7] What was your greatest word count for one day? About 5,000.

9] What inspired you to write? You will think this strange, and it's certainly sad. But it was the death of my sister.

10] Does your novel have a theme song? Not really, but if it did, it would be 'The Lord's my Shepherd.'

12] Which character is most like you? I guess there is some of me in Cyella.

13] Which character would you most likely be friends with? That would have to be Mary.

15] Who is your favourite character? Sunrise.

16] Have your characters done something completely unexpected? Not really, everything they experience is unexpected.

17] Have you based any of your novel on personal experience? My whole novel was born out of the tragic death of my younger sister.

18] What is the best line? The wide path panders to mankind's incessant desire to reach their destination as quickly as possible. no matter the consequences.

28] Summarize your novel in under fifteen words. What Cyella faced in the valley, messed with her mind.

29] Do you love all your characters? Goodness, no! some of them are awful.

32] Describe your main character in three words. Plucky, Strong Willed, Sensitive.

35] How many romantic relationships take place in your novel? Two.

36] Are there any explosions? No

45] Who has pets in the novel, and what are they? The Mistress, and Remstiss the Necromancer both have black cats.

46] Are there Angels, demons, or any religious references? No Angel, but yes, to the other two.

51] Is there humour? A little, yes.

52] Is there tragedy? Yes, I'm afraid so.

57] Has your novel provided insight about your life? In some ways I guess it has. Probably because I buried my grief over the death of my sister within its pages.

59] Has your novel inspired anyone? From what I have heard, yes.

68] How would you react if your novel was erased entirely? You don't want to know, and nor do I! But, such an horrendous idea is not likely, as it is backed up all over the place.

71] What advice would you give a fellow writer? Stay committed. Make it as good as is humanly possible. And don't allow rejections to put you off. Stay confident, and keep believing in yourself.

72] Describe the ending in three words. Romantic, Positive, Victorious.

75] Was it worth it? You bet it was!!

Monday, 3 January 2011


Well, the finish post is in sight. My part of the editing process is done. Pretty much anyway. My next move is to send the manuscript to my editor. Once I have followed her corrections that's it, I begin my hunt for a publisher, and that's when the fun begins. I am joking, it's about as much fun as chasing a Greyhound round the race track!

But with God, all things are possible. So, I keep hope and anticipation alive.

I have been busy putting together my proposal, I was dreading it, but thanks to a great book by Terry Burns "A Writers Survival Guide To Getting published." It turned out to be easier than I had anticipated, in fact I quite enjoyed it.