Work From Home Tips From An Introvert During COVID-19

I’m not and have never been an extrovert; I’d quite happily not go out for a few days. Some weeks, the only place I go is the supermarket and the gym now that I work from home. I’m not a complete hermit though. Unlike a lot of introverts, I like going outside – to the beach with my notebook or around Cornwall with my camera.

Continue reading “Work From Home Tips From An Introvert During COVID-19”

I Made Inauthentic Roman Honey Cake – My Excuse is “Research”

Anyone who knows me will know I am a big dessert person. Since 2015, I have made a Christmas Pudding every year without fail. I also occasionally feel the need to make a Spotted Dick or Jam Roly Poly. After watching the Fantastic Beasts Harry Potter prequel I made my most ambitious yet – Apple Strudel.

Continue reading “I Made Inauthentic Roman Honey Cake – My Excuse is “Research””

Five Ways You’re Doing Twitter Wrong

Ah Twitter, love it or hate it. I’ve recently discovered a new-found love for the platform after ignoring it for years. I opened my first account in 2015 to pose as the character Jim from Dead Heat. I didn’t give it enough time or tweet enough as a marketing tool. A year ago, I repurposed that account to promote my writing and photography.

Continue reading “Five Ways You’re Doing Twitter Wrong”

2020 Vision – What Happens Next?

As I’m blogging a lot less these days (thanks to expanding social media presence in 2019), I guess I should sign off for the year and wish you all a great 2020. With 13 days to, it would normally feel too early to do so, but I’m unlikely to post again in 2019.

Continue reading “2020 Vision – What Happens Next?”

Confused About Social Selling? Here’s What You Need to Know

2019 saw the start of the “social selling” movement. It wasn’t new this year, but it did become mainstream. Now, we are in a time where businesses with social networking presence who have not changed their approach struggle. This is largely thanks to alterations to algorithms of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, attempting to balance the needs of businesses who advertise on their platforms against the desire of users who want to get back to the social element for which they were originally founded.

Continue reading “Confused About Social Selling? Here’s What You Need to Know”

My 2019 Maltese Adventure – Part 2

I wanted to break these posts down because the last two days of my holiday were arguably the busiest. Realising we were running out of time to see the things we wanted to see on the islands, we decided to make a plan. But the plan never went, um, according to plan.

Continue reading “My 2019 Maltese Adventure – Part 2”

My 2019 Maltese Adventure – Part 1

I promised I’d blog about my holiday to Malta and here I am, finally here with some images and a run through of our holiday. After a difficult year in many ways, Cat and I were looking forward to this much needed holiday to Malta, (Ancient Roman Melite, the honey island although by rights it ought to be called The Prickly Pear Island).

Continue reading “My 2019 Maltese Adventure – Part 1”

The Most Difficult Scenes A Novelist Will Ever Write

Or, a recipe for psychologically torturing your characters.

  • 250g of resenting dependency of others
  • 150g of feeling like a failure
  • 100ml of selflessness and being used by people
  • 100ml of social pressures
  • 3tbsp essence of personal injustice
  • 5 medium sized organic unrequited love pods
Continue reading “The Most Difficult Scenes A Novelist Will Ever Write”

Learning to Murder Your Darlings

Although most of my focus has been on releasing Salmonweird, (just two weeks away from release now!) I’ve made a lot of progress on Children of Phobetor this year. I’ve made more progress in one year than I ever thought I would for a book that’s 6 years in the making.

Now I’m staring at a possible 2019 finish in the face – again not expected. But plans can change and other projects could take my attention. Unlikely at this late stage though because I feel very much into Children of Phobetor as it stands.

So, working on the assumption that I will finish this year, I’m now facing some of the most difficult questions any writer will ever ask themselves.

Which Character(s) Should I Kill?

And when and why, how do I help the tragedy move the story along, and how will the team dynamic change following each death? That, of course, depends on who I kill and in what sequence (as well as how many).

I’ve killed characters before, of course I have. In most cases, those deaths were pre-planned so I didn’t get quite so emotionally attached to the characters or their situation. They were being set up to die and most of the time, their deaths served a narrative purpose. This is different though. I never planned to specifically kill any of them, but I knew at least one would have to die for the sake of the story.

I’ve spent nearly 7 years creating and cultivating these characters, carefully building up back stories, testing their fears and desires. More importantly, I’ve given each character a reason to survive, a reason to return home. Conceivably at this time, they could all survive and return to their lives or a better version of it, content that their personal reasons for going were vindicated, basking in the riches and prestige that Emperor Vespasian promised them.

Sadly, that is not real life though. People die with unfulfilled dreams. People go to their graves with convictions for crimes they did not commit. Young people on their way to a degree graduation are knocked over and killed by drunk drivers. A couple planning a wedding next year do not know when booking that one of them has a brain tumour and will be dead before they fly out.

As morbid as this all sounds, what I’m getting at is that because a character has a reason to survive, that isn’t a reason to let them survive and nor should it be.

Who To Kill and When?

Who deserves to live and who deserves to die? Should character death be purely for shock factor or for utility? Should I just kill a character for the hell of it to see what happens? This is all new territory to me. None of them deserves to die. Each of them deserves to make the life they desire and right the wrongs in their life.

There are married and single people, people with children and the childless/child free. Each has flaws and qualities and different motives for being there. Because I’ve spent so much effort building them up, they feel more real, more intricate, more complex, more human than any other characters I’ve created. I had/have no pre-planned destination for them unlike most other characters and that’s why I am finding this issue so difficult.

Perhaps I need a mind map to work it all out. 😀

Over to you, tell me about your tough “murder your darlings” decisions.

The Fake Work Holding Your Small Business Back

The human mind has an infinite capacity for distraction. Even the most committed freelancer / small business owner is less productive in a day than they might otherwise be if they could focus properly. That’s ok. Because after all, we’re human and not mindless drones.

Continue reading “The Fake Work Holding Your Small Business Back”