Blog 30: The Frustrated Writer

I’m HUGELY frustrated with the whole publishing business right now, I must say. Yet another rejection today for crime comedy, The Gangster’s Wife, so I’ve decided not to bother any more. I’m utterly fed-up and depressed about the whole business. Really, there’s no point as it increasingly feels as if I’m just spitting into the proverbial, and some. So I’ll self-publish it instead and then I can move on and forget it, hurrah. Which will, at least, be something.

In other news, I’ve finally had the courage (go, me!) to gently chase the publisher who still has the exclusive (as if I even merit such a professional term) on gay fantasy The Taming of The Hawk. I’ve advised them that this week I’ll contact other publishers too, as having an exclusive look at anything for 9 months is just ridiculous – though I of course didn’t entirely put it like that … They came back to say they’d be looking at it as soon as possible, which is what they’ve said twice before, so I’m taking it with a large pinch of salt.

However, I’m happy to say – that after a great deal of writerly begging (oh, I’m so classy, you know) – I managed to persuade 20 kind readers (thank you!) to download the free copy of gay fantasy The Executioner’s Cane from Amazon over the weekend. Which is more than double the number of free copies of fantasy Hallsfoot’s Battle which were downloaded the weekend before, hey ho. Progress indeed!

Writerly Confidence Rating: 0.5

Blog 22: Smug Writers Week and Twitter’s Most Unpopular Author

Goodness me, but this week has been a major event for Smug Writer Syndrome, I have to say. I swear to you that every time I turn on my pesky computer, there’s some pesky writer or other boasting about their amazing success and making me snarl and spit viciously at the screen. If it’s not telling us all about your major publishing and film deal (or worse, getting your friends to do your Smug Writer Boasting film deal puffing for you, which is really at least a million times worse than if you had the guts to do it yourself … ah, so good to have servants now one is going to be famous, don’t you know …), then it’s telling everyone about how many thousands of followers one has on Twitter due to one’s sensational writing and general literary genius, and how far one has come since one was a mere scribbler shivering in an attic with only one Twitter follower (your mum) and a dog.

Oh, just get over yourselves, Smug Writers … The rest of us have failed or unsuccessful novels to write, and have no energy for your pointless preening. Besides, as Twitter’s Most Unpopular Author, I have followers to lose (by the dozens each day, so soon I will be in minus figures, ha!) so have no time for your witterings. Move over and let us No-Book-Deal writers through – we’re the only ones with a sense of reality any more …

Moreover, I have Pseudo-Smug Writer Boasting of my own to do. Children’s novel, The Origami Nun – purely by dint of being in an Amazon chart so obscure that no other book was competing with it – briefly made No 1 (no 1!) in the Amazon UK Non-Religious Children’s Holiday Story charts (see what I mean about the obscurity?…), my goodness me, and no 45 in the same chart at Amazon US. Which basically means 3 people have preordered it and as one of them is me then I’m not popping any champagne corks any day soon (but bless you to both my surprisingly keen readers). Still, I managed to do a screenshot – go, me! – so here it is:

Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 21.40.16

You can probably just about see it if you squint and try not to Magic-Eye it, but by heck I’m proud.

Meanwhile, fantasy novel The Gifting has been free at Amazon this weekend and I’ve managed to shift 27 copies. Always so thrilled to get into double figures, as you know. And free Christian novella The Prayer Seeker has shifted 592 copies during August, so that’s not bad for the dullest (in writing/publishing terms) month of the year.

And, thankfully, tomorrow is September so some publisher somewhere might stir themselves enough to reject my current submission of crime novel The Gangster’s Wife and my resubmission of gay fantasy The Taming of the Hawk. You never know your luck, hey ho.

Writerly Confidence Rating: 6

 

Blog 20: The Origami Nun – now available for pre-order!

 

I’m happy to announce that children’s book The Origami Nun will be published by Untreed Reads on 8 September and is now available for pre-order at Omnilit Books.

Seven-year old Ruth can’t speak, but that doesn’t mean she can’t think. She knows her birthday is going to be good as her beloved great-aunt has exciting plans for her. What she doesn’t expect is a magical paper nun, an encounter with a bully who may not be what she seems or a school day to remember. Because, before her special day is over, Ruth is in for some very big surprises.

Here are some early reviews:

“What a delightfully written book! This is one I plan to share with my daughter at some point because I think she would like it, too! I love the fact that the author featured a mute heroine, and magic is infused in such a wonderful way. In addition to that, it deals with a subject with which our youth are very familiar – bullying! … I connected with the character, the story, and I enjoyed the magical nature of the story … I hope the author writes several sequels!” [From a 5-star review at My Devotional Thoughts]
 
“I really enjoyed reading this shorter story. The author portrayed the characters well and had a great story line … This is a terrifically inspirational and uplifting story for children and adults alike.” [From a review at The Cover Books]
 
“Magic is in the air. Come see how Ruth and others learn the importance of respect for each other even though they are different and that each person has a different story or reason for being different. I recommend this book for ages 6 and up.” [From a 4.5 star review at Fire and Ice Reviews]

All best!

Lori Olding Books

Blog 19: Gay fantasy discount for TODAY only

 

Gay fantasy Tuluscan Six and the Time Circle is HALF-PRICE for TODAY only at Amber Quill Press. So hurry along and snap up a bargain today!

Here’s the blurb:

Whilst finishing up a good day’s work in the Earth Interplanetary Administration Office, Karlan Staithley is disturbed by the appearance of a strange alien called Tuluscan Six. Tuluscan tells him that in one year’s time, Earth will make contact with his people, the Lamarians, and unwittingly destroy them due to an anomaly in the planetary timelines. He, himself, has come back to warn Karlan, partly to save his people and partly as in the real timeline Karlan and Tuluscan will become lovers. Here and now, he declares his love for Karlan.
 
At first, Karlan refuses to believe him, even though he finds himself powerfully attracted to the Lamarian, but he’s eventually convinced by the in-depth knowledge Tuluscan reveals about his life—facts nobody else knows.
 
The two men join forces to try to save their futures, but can they in fact change time? And, if they do, how can their mutual passion ever survive?

And some reviews:

“…A fast pace, appealing hero, and a light, comic touch make the story a fun read.”–Obsidian Bookshelf
 
“4.5 Stars!…This short story is equal parts romantic comedy, with its snappy dialog, and space opera, and should please even those readers who normally avoid science fiction. The fast pace, clear vivid writing, and light comic touch keep the reader engaged…In addition, Tuluscan’s ability to keep Karlan flustered and off-balance is amusing. Recommended!”—Val Kovalin, Reviews By Jessewave
 
“…a short story with a light comic touch that may appeal to many readers, even those who tend to avoid science-fiction. The fast pace, comical details, and the single viewpoint from an appealing hero make for an immediately engaging reading experience…perfectly contains an ingenious plot for Karlan and his mysterious visitor to carry out, and still manages to work in a playful sex scene!” — Val, ARE Café

Happy reading!

 
Writerly confidence rating: 7

Blog 18: Singing Road success and Nun news

Huzzah and put out the bunting, but I have astonishing news indeed. To my shock and horror, short story collection, The Singing Road and Other Stories, has been downloaded a whole 30 times from Amazon where it’s been free for the last couple of days. It may not sound very many downloads to you, but to me it is an absolutely HUGE number. I never even thought it would get into double figures.

Not only that but I have to say that the second draft of the cover for children’s book The Origami Nun is really very good and I love it. Such a relief and it was worth gathering the small amount of my courage together to bleat pathetically (in the manner of all stalwart writers everywhere, ho ho) about the first offering. I’m also happy to announce that the book even has a publication date – Monday 8 September, so that’s something for me and my 2 loyal readers (God bless you both) to look forward to …

Finally, I have also decided not to continue to put all my foolish hopes into the cruel world of fiction (alas, cruel world, etc etc …). So I have this week started a blog for a series of online articles taking a light-hearted look at being a Stressed Secretary in the modern world. Which is, in essence, what I am. There are only 2 entries up there at the moment, but I have a third in hand. At the very least, I hope it will make you smile.

Writerly confidence rating: 6

Blog 17: More rejection gloom interspersed with a dash of comic romance

Sigh. Another rejection for crime novella, The Gangster’s Wife, today, groan. Always so disheartening, but at least the buggers weren’t smug, which is quite a novelty in today’s publishing world, I have to say. Just a simple no with no frills attached, which is the best that can be expected, hey ho.

So only another 4 rejections to go and then it’s Self-Publishing City once more for me. Oh well.

Still, at least the free downloads of The Prayer Seeker at Amazon are still going strong, so free books whenever and wherever possible is obviously the way forward for the Vanishing Writer. It’s now been downloaded 511 times in August, hurrah! – I was hoping to get over 500 downloads before the end of the month, so it really feels good to have made that milestone.

Plus there’s a lovely 5-star review from the very kind Vicki Tyley (a cracking author, don’t you know …) at Amazon for comic romance Rosie by Name – thank you, Vicki.

Writerly confidence rating: 2

Blog 15: Poor Rosie and homophobia writ large

Oh well. Comic short story Rosie by Name wasn’t popular as a free download at Amazon over the weekend and I only managed to shift 19 copies. Still, it’s better than nothing, hey ho.

I also woke up to an email today from some stranger asking how I could live with myself writing both Biblical and gay erotic fiction as the two things were obviously mutually exclusive. Deep sigh. Honestly, this kind of nonsensical prejudice makes me feel very tired and, besides, why are complete strangers just so rude? Do they actually expect an answer from someone they’ve never met when their initial contact is just so judgemental? Really, sir, just take that broom out of your arse and get over yourself is what I say … I deleted the email, thinking it’s no good throwing pearls to swine and if someone doesn’t get that homosexuality is a gift from God and not a sin by now, then they’re never going to.

In the meantime, there’s no news on any of the submission fronts, but then again as these days news equal rejection, this is probably a good thing. It’s now been 7 weeks since I resubmitted the revised version of gay fantasy The Taming of The Hawk to the publishers who asked to see it again, and honestly I’m getting hugely irritated with the whole farcical rollercoaster of it all. They promised me a quick response (ho ho, as if, eh …), so I am distinctly unimpressed with that. Harrumph indeed. Give me another couple of weeks and I shall lose patience entirely and take my custom (such as it is) elsewhere, as it were.

Writerly confidence rating: 2