Launch Time

My book launch was, in my opinion, a huge success. The traffic was awful and it was raining - even I was late. But once we finally got started it was a lot of fun. 

The Blood Apothecary was officially launched by my wonderful editor Stu Hatton, and I then spoke 'in conversation' with Nick Cowan about my experiences as a writer. 

Everything happened so quickly and I barely had time to sign everyone's books before it was all over. My favourite part of the night was seeing my book in the front window of Readings. 

Thank you to everyone who came along and supported me!

Adventures with Scrivener

I have been on holidays since before Christmas, and of course had lots of writing goals, and of course achieved almost none of these.

But I did achieve a few things.

I purchased Scrivener. This software is designed for writers and I have found it to be an excellent planning tool and word processor. I have used the corkboard function to do some pretty exciting planning. I have started writing a children's picture book, which now almost has a first draft. This will be edited by my very talented and artistic friend Sarah - this is something we have wanted to do together for some time. I have also started planning a new novel - working title: The Glass Kaleidoscope. I am planning this is detail and plan to write the first draft for NaNo later in the year. This is going to be epic. Stay tuned.

I also joined Writers Victoria, which I am feeling pretty good about. I have started drafting an article that I might try to get published somewhere, I've been doing weekly writing prompts in my writer's diary and I have been extra active on Instagram (follow me @cayt_mirra_books). 

Also importantly, I have spent a vast amount of my holidays reading, which is arguably the most important job of a writer. I have finally finished the Obernewtyn Chronicles, after re-reading the whole series in anticipation of the final book. I smashed Rosie Waterland's memoir The Anti Cool Girl in 24 hours (you should all read this), and I am currently about half way through Tobias Wolff's memoir This Boy's Life. So I'm off to a good start on my Goodreads Reading Challenge - I've challenged myself to read 50 books this year! 

I am putting off finishing/redrafting my NaNoWriMo manuscript 'Reclassified' because it is so rough and it's really overwhelming. I am also putting off promoting The Blood Apothecary, but have made very small steps towards organising an official book launch. Details to come. 

I'm probably being too hard on myself. There are just so many things I want to get done. But if I just do one tiny thing each day, think how much I could achieve by the end of the year.

Wish me luck. 

NaNoWriMo Madness!

On the last day of October I came across NaNoWriMo in my Facebook news feed. Writing a novel in a month - surely it wasn't possible. But, I thought to myself, it would certainly be a good way to motivate me to write something. Even if I only wrote a page of a new novel, it would be a page more than I would have written otherwise. 

November is the very last month that I would have chosen to write 50,000 words. I organise a pub crawl every Cup Day, which is at the start of November. November is my husband's birthday, and my birthday. This year I am turning 30 and having a huge party that I have to organise. I also work part time as a teacher, and am about to start teaching an orientation for the Year 12 English class I am taking next year. I will also have to mark exams and write reports. Plus I have a 7 month old baby. So I don't have a lot of free time. Add to that the fact that I'm getting The Blood Apothecary ready for publication and it's clear that I would be crazy to take on NaNoWriMo. 

So why, with one day's notice, did I sign up for it? Because I'm crazy like that. There was no rational reason to do it, but I wanted to. And I am SO glad that I did. 10 days in I have written 13,000 words, which is a pretty good start, although I'm a bit behind schedule. I was also fortunate enough to be interviewed for Huffington Post about my experience. This proves to me that when you put yourself out there and do things, stuff happens. 

I am also really excited about my manuscript. I have been working halfheartedly on a few projects, but this one will definitely be the one I focus on after The Blood Apothecary. I think it is going to be a really interesting story. 

I still have a long way to go! 

Cover Design!

So it turns out making a book cover is really hard. I have been working with very talented people to manipulate my cover artwork and put together a cover design. My initial design was completed in Paint, so I definitely required professional assistance.

Today I wrote the blurb for the back cover, which was exciting. It's hard to articulate in so few words the things that are most intriguing about my book; I don't want to give to much away, but want to give enough that the reader has a sense of the flavour of the story. I think I've done a pretty good job. 

I think the final cover is going to look great. It's sufficiently macabre and mysterious. I'll put up pics once it's finalised.

Putting the pieces together

My first novel has been written for a while now. I started writing it while in New York on my honeymoon back in 2012. About a year later I really put some time into it, and in about 2 months had a very rough first draft.

From there, I spend about three YEARS working with my amazing editor, Stu Hatton. In this time the manuscript changed dramatically and is all the better for it.

After spending about a year shopping it around, I decided that what I wanted the most was for my story to be read, so I decided to get it out into the world on my own. This has been a bit of a whirlwind journey. After the long, slow process of writing and editing, it is amazing how quickly everything else has come together.

Yesterday, I went through the whole manuscript to check formatting, making sure that my page breaks were in the right spot and all the chapter numbers were correct. I also altered the page size and margins to match publication specifications. I then had to add a whole heap of pages at the beginning, like the title page, copyright page and dedication page. I also registered for an ISBN. Then I set up this website and populated it with some basic content.

Today, I am working with David Doubtfire on a cover design. Once I have that, I'm pretty much ready to go with the book itself, but now I need to think about marketing and distribution.

This is going to be quite a journey!