Friday Writing Update

So last Friday, I completely forgot to do a blog post. For most of the day, I was under the assumption that it was Thursday, so it didn’t cross my mind until later on in the day that I was meant to do a post. Anyway, today I’m just going to give a brief update on what I’ve been up to.

For the past week, I’ve been working on a new story. This one came about off the back of a VSS365 writing prompt post. I don’t want to give too much away, but the post can be seen below, and it might give a clue as to what type of story it is.

I’ve been trying to do the VSS prompt tweets daily again. I started to do them a while ago and then kind of fell out with them as I struggled to come up with anything to write. Recently, however, I’ve not had that issue, and I’ve been able to write a few sentences reasonably easy. I think doing these is partially why I’ve been able to get back into writing again. They’re helping me get my brain in the right place for being creative, plus I enjoy doing them. Most of my posts seem to follow a theme of horror or paranormal, which is fine, but I’ve also been able to relate some of them back to either released novels or ones I have in the pipeline, which also serves to give me more ideas of where I can go with them.

So far, my latest WIP is around 9000 words and counting, so it’s coming along pretty well. As usual, I’ve not done any real planning; I’m just typing and seeing where I end up. I’ve done some bits and pieces of research – i.e. Googling – to help me along my way, but most of it just flows from my brain.

As much as I want to work on some of my other WIPs, like The Next Stage 2, I just don’t know where I’m going with them. I don’t want to write for the sake of it and not do the story justice, so at this point, working on something new is the best thing for me to do.

Anywho, I’m going to get back to it now and see where the story takes me.

Have a good weekend.

Back At It

This week for the first week since we moved when I’ve been able to sit down and do some writing. It feels really go to be able to sit down and make some progress on my current WIP.

I consciously took some time away from it while we moved so we could get things sorted for the old and new houses. I’d say we had some down time after the move, but we didn’t stop during those two weeks. We were either having people in doing jobs for us or we were busy unpacking boxes.

Although we never stopped doing stuff, by the end of last week I was ready to get back into my writing. I miss it when I’m not doing it and although I’ve not done a great deal this week – I’ve just been going through what I’d already written on The Next Stage 2 – it was a welcome return and my head has been happier for it.

Buy The Next Stage on Amazon now

I took a bit of a knock last week. I’d been waiting to see the orthopaedic surgeon and hoping that we would get to discuss the surgery for my hip. But unfortunately, he decided that if I had the surgery now, my recovery wouldn’t be great due to the loss of strength in my leg. I’m now going to have further physiotherapy (apparently my last physio was pointless according to the surgeon – woo!) I felt a little deflated after my appointment and felt like the past year had been a complete waste of everybody’s time, but now I see that physio can only be a good thing, especially now I’m probably under a surgeon. I’m trying to look on the bright side of things but at times it’s hard, especially when I’m in near constant pain.

To make matters worse, I woke up this morning to my back being extremely sore and I’m barely able to move…so that’s great. But I’m trying to keep my head above the line of depression and just taking this opportunity to write and work on some other stuff that I’m planning to do soon, hopefully I’ll be able to talk about it very soon.

It’s not been all bad though. My website has just hit the 5000 viewer mark, which is amazing. I didn’t think I’d hit that for a long time. I’ve also had a post reach the 100 views target too – you can read it here. So there is some good mixed in with the bad. I’m just trying to focus on that.

I hope your Friday is going well. I’ll be back on Monday with a fresh post. Have a great weekend.

The Return!

Well, after a couple of weeks off while we moved house, I’m back.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, moving house is stressful!

We’re now fully moved into our new home and have been for around a week or so. We’ve spent most of the past couple of weeks either moving our belongings, deep cleaning the rental or unpacking boxes. The first two have now been done, but we still have a number of boxes that we still need to unpack – mainly books and DVDs. But until we have shelving sorted out, we have nowhere to put them. We’re just happy to finally be in a place that is ours and properly feels like home.

If you follow my Twitter or Instagram, you’ll have seen some of the progress we’ve made on unpacking and finding new places for things to live in. As usual, the main thing I’ve been working on is the games room. All the consoles are now out, tested, and ready to play on, and if I do say so myself, it looks pretty damn awesome.

Since we got the keys, we’ve hardly had a spare moment to ourselves. We’ve had a near-constant stream of people in and out of the house, either working on the floors or the site team fixing defects. Today is the day both Alex and I get back to work, and for me, it couldn’t have come soon enough.

I misjudged just how unsettled I would be when we moved. The move to our previous rented house was so easy compared to this one, and I wasn’t prepared for just how much we needed to do. My brain has almost imploded with everything going on, and I got to the point where I just didn’t want to see another soul outside the two of us that live in this house. I just wanted us to have some time on our own to relax in our new home. I’m hoping that now though, with both of us going back to work, things will return to a semblance of normality as we once again get some structure to our days.

In the past couple of days, my brain has been doing overtime with new ideas for some of the stories I’m currently working on, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to work on them.

Along with my writing and blogging, I’m hoping that soon I can start doing videos regularly, whether they are video game streams or something else – so keep an eye out for more info about that.

But for now, I’ll leave you with some pictures of our new home (plus some bonus pictures of a neighbour cat I met this morning) and I’ll get back to work.

 

Reviews Are In…

…well the first one is anyway.

It’s been a slow burn release but Blindsighted is starting to get out there. Sales are low, but Kindle Unlimited pages are coming in quicker and the other day I had my first review over on Goodreads – and it was a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. It was also a text review which I always enjoy reading. It’s nice to see what people thought about your novel, whether there is a particular scene that they enjoyed or even if there were any issues they could see. It’s nice to have that input from readers to help me grow as a writer.

When The Next Stage was released, it garnered a high number of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ reviews for the first couple of months which kept its average at the maximum for quite some time. I’m not expecting the same with Blindsighted, but it would be nice to see some more good reviews come in soon.

As I’ve said in previous blogs, I’m not doing any writing at the minute as we put all our energy into our house move. We get our keys today and I’m hoping that we can get everything sorted in the next couple of weeks so I can get back to writing and trying some other things – more information on what I’m planning will come soon.

Our house move has been going on for almost a year, and we’ve spent that long living out of boxes. We can’t wait to get everything sorted, so we can get back to living our lives.

So while you’re waiting for more book stuff from me, you can catch up with my novels by buying them over on Amazon or by using your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

While we wait for the call to come in about picking up keys, we’re trying to keep our minds occupied by playing Stardew Valley. The co-op is really great, and I’ll be doing a blog about it soon.l, so keep an eye out for that.

That’s all for today. I hope you have a good weekend and if you’d like to see updates on our house move watch my Twitter and Instagram as well as our house Instagram.

Friday Delight

Friday again. Another week is done. It’s the weekend and all that jazz.

It’s been another long week at this end. Things with the house are slowly drawing to a close as we’re hoping to be in by the end of April. And my third book, Blindsighted, was released on Wednesday.

I spent the bulk of the start of the weekend preparing forthe release of Blindsighted. I was double-checking everything was in place and correct over on KDP, so when I published it, there wouldn’t be any issues – luckily, there weren’t any. Plus, I created a few little promo images for it that I could post on Twitter, Instagram and this website.

With all that done, it’s now out in the world. Unfortunately, I’m still yet to sell a copy, although I’ve had a few pages read on Kindle Unlimited. I’m not worried, though. The world is still in somewhat of a mess with the old pandemic, and people don’t have the same money that they might have pre-covid. The important thing for me is that the book is out there for when people want to read it. Although, it would be nice if I sold a couple of copies this week…

Things with our new house are moving along, if seemingly very slowly. We’re starting to get a bit frustrated now that we’re so close. We’re getting fed up with living out of boxes and just want to be told that we can move in.

We’re just waiting for the inspection to be done; then we can have our house demonstration. It’s painful because there is nothing we can do to speed it up, and for the most part, we’re boxed up and ready to go, so we don’t have anything much we can do around the house.

What we have been doing, though, is preparing to hand our rental back. This has meant we’ve been having to deep clean rooms and paint bits and pieces that need doing. But even with this, we’re coming to the end of what we can do until the place is empty.

We’re really looking forward to no longer being in a rental property and having to deal with our landlords, who, for the most part, are somewhat useless.

Our new house will be our first bought property, and we’re unbelievably excited to make it our own. We have so many plans of what we want to do inside and in the garden. So there will undoubtedly be more updates about our progress with those.

In other news, we’re currently winning our little Instagram battle with Alex’s sister and her partner. We, the socially awkward, are prevailing on social media over people that have been there and done it before us. Follow us over at @LUNELIFFEYLIFE for updates of our house journey.

That’s about it for today. I leave you with a simple message. Buy my new book!

Click to go to Amazon

Have a good weekend.

Blindsighted Release Day!

Well it’s that day again. The day when I get to announce that a book I’ve written is being sent out into the world.

Blindsighted is a story I started writing before the release of my last book, The Next Stage. It’s a completely different type of story. Where The Next Stage was a cyberpunk thriller, Blindsighted is more a Horror/paranormal/ghost story.

Below you can find the books description:

HE CAN’T SEE YOU, BUT HE KNOWS YOU’RE THERE.

When Nathan and his mother move into their dream home, they think their days are looking up. But when Nathan starts to experience visions of a man with no eyes stalking him, their dream home soon becomes a nightmare.

Soon he starts to see a mysterious ghostly boy that seems to be guiding him towards something.

Can Nathan make sense of what the boy is trying to tell him before the sinister man gets too close, or will he disappear as others have?

As of this morning, Blindsighted is available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited. The Amazon paperback version is still sat in the pending status but it should hopefully be available very soon too if you want a physical copy. I’ll post an update when it becomes available.

Releasing a book for others to read brings up feelings of relief and terror. Relief that it’s finally finished and ready for others to read and terror because you don’t know how readers are going to react to your story.

All in all it’s a good feeling, and with this – the publishing of my third book – everything doesn’t seem as strange. I feel like this is something that I should be doing, especially after the reception that The Next Stage got.

Anyway, you’ll be able to find Blindsighted over on Amazon by searching for it, going to the books page from the Books tab at the top of this page or clicking the links below.

Thank you in advance for buying a copy of this new novel. I hope you enjoy it!

When Can You Call Yourself an Author?

This is a question that bounced around my head for a while. Before I talk about how I felt and when I decided to use the word author, I asked the writing community of Twitter what their thoughts were;

This question was something that prayed on my mind quite a bit when I started writing especially after released Creatures.

Although having written and (self) published a book, I still didn’t feel like I could call myself a bona fide author. Maybe it was the self-deprecating part of my brain, but I didn’t think I was good enough to be able to use that word.

Something in my brain associated the word “author” with the likes of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, James Patterson, Steven King, Michael Crichton; the authors of books that I grew up reading and I think I was comparing my work to theirs and, honestly, it just didn’t stack up.

In May of 2020, I was struggling with my mental health to the extent that made the difficult decision to quit my day job of working in IT. With this done, I had time to focus on my mental health, and I felt like a big part of my healing was being able to write, and although I was now doing this full-time, I still didn’t feel like I was good enough.

Having these thoughts is difficult to describe, and I’m doing my best to get my thoughts and feelings down here. I suppose a part of my struggle was that I had imposter syndrome. In case you don’t know what this is; it’s a psychological pattern where an individual doubts their skills, accomplishments and talents and you have this fear that one day you’ll be discovered as a fraud. Even though I had written and published a book, I still didn’t have enough confidence in my skills to say that I was good at this and I would be able to write anything else, that Creatures was a one-off. However, then came The Next Stage.

It took me around two years to finish and get The Next Stage published. I think a big reason for this was me delaying it because I still didn’t think it was good enough. It was only when I got to the point where I couldn’t do anything further with it that I eventually released it. When writing it, I knew that this book was superior to Creatures, but there was still that part of me that couldn’t believe I had written it.

Before publishing, the only people to read it were myself and Alex. When she read it, she said it was amazing – so much so that she read it in around four hours because she couldn’t put it down. But there was still that niggly feeling in the back of my brain that it wasn’t all that good and the only way I would truly find out is getting it out so that others could read it.

Once The Next Stage was released, and I saw the reception it was getting – being likened to the Alex Cross books and Blade Runner – it was as if a switch had clicked in my head, one that went from “I’m not good enough to be doing this” to “This is what I should be doing because I’m good at it.” Overnight I was able to call myself an author. Don’t get me wrong, the imposter syndrome still creeps in occasionally – usually when I’m hitting a depressive episode, but for the most part, it’s gone.

As I stated earlier in the post, this is just my journey through this period, and others experience other things and ways they define it. If you feel like you can call yourself a writer/author, then you do it, don’t let anyone stop you from defining your work.

Monday Writing Update

Just a quick update today as we’re off for our pre-plaster inspection of our new house.

When I get back to writing, I’ll be continuing with my second draft of Blindsighted. Last week I got around halfway through and even managed to add an extra 4000 or so words for the extra bits I wanted to add.

The extra bits are just small additions to the story to make it read a little better and give the story a bit more depth. So far it’s meant the addition of a couple of chapters and will probably mean another few will be added too.

In the background, I’ve also been tweaking the cover a little bit too. I’ll reveal at a later date.

I’m also happy to see that another 5-star review for The Next Stage has come in over the weekend too.

I hope you’re week is a good one. I’ll see you for the next post on Wednesday.

Dreams and Writing

Dreams are weird. In our dreams, we can do and be anything. They’re thought to be the brain’s way of processing emotions, stimuli, memories, and other information that’s been absorbed throughout the day. Many of the people that appear in your dreams may be people you know, perhaps in different roles; but they are people you recognise, only a small percentage are people you don’t, and maybe you’ve seen out and about.

Within dreams, we can fulfil fantasies and play out scenarios that wouldn’t necessarily happen in the real world. For me, dreams can be extremely lucid. Many of my dreams feel so real that waking from them can be confusing, and it takes my brain a few minutes to adjust and realise I was asleep.

I’ve had odd and unsettling dreams that have woken me during the night, I’ve had pleasant dreams that leave me feeling good, I’ve also had dreams that have had credits and “Previously on…” moments – this might just be due to the amount of TV I watch though. I’ve also had dreams that continue night on night or ones that I go back to after a few nights, and even ones that link to others in some way, either by character or occurrences.

Some dreams I have, disappear into the ether as soon as I open my eyes, others stay with me for hours, and some – like the ones I’m going to talk about – stay with me for years.

The dreams that stay with me for years can do so for a few reasons. This can be because they were so good/bad that they linger in my mind, or because I think it’s a good idea that I can develop.

Creatures was one such story that I developed from a dream.

I remember the basic premise from the dream was that there was a scientist (someone I didn’t recognise played this character) who was in a lab. Something went wrong in this lab, the accident spawning mutant rats that caused an apocalyptic event.

Something with this dream stuck with me, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I kept remembering extra details to the point where I had to write it down, hoping that this would stop it from being at the forefront of my thoughts. The more I wrote and added to the story, the more I remembered from my dream. It was an odd process, but it worked and allowed me to get the story down on paper and organised into what became my first novel.

I’ve had several other dreams of this type that I’m attempting to develop into a coherent story. These include; It’s All in the Eyes and Blindsighted – but ironically not my story based around dreams.

It’s All in the Eyes is a story that’s been in my head for around 17 years and one that I’ve tried to write down on multiple occasions without much success, but it’s still in there, rattling around trying to escape. Recently – as I’ve said in a previous post – I’ve started working on this again. There are few new details that I’ve added to make the story flow and read better, but the basic idea is from a dream that I had nearly 2 decades ago.

I find it odd that dreams like this stick with me. This dream isn’t special. It’s not one that I’ve actively tried to remember but it just lingers in my mind. I wonder if – once I written and released it into the world – whether the dream itself will made into memory or whether it will continue to be at the forefront of my brain. Creatures did this. I’m working on a sequel to it, but the dream that the first book was developed from has faded away. It still crops up now and then when I think about it, but otherwise, it’s like most other dreams I’ve had and had been relegated to the back of my mind.

As I work on my latest story idea, I’m doing research into dreams, what they are, what causes them, and why some of them feel more real than others. This may help me understand why dreams like the one that spawned Creatures are difficult to shake, or it might just confuse me further. Whatever dreams are, I stand by my previous utterance; dreams are weird.

Ghost Writer

This past week I completed my first draft of Blindsighted, what I hope will be my next book to release. It currently stands at around 60K words. I already have ideas of what things that I want to add or alter within the main story, but I’m taking some time away from this story for a bit as it’s all I’ve worked on for a month or so.

While on this break I’m going to be working on the tentatively titled Dreams – which ironically is one of the few ideas that didn’t come to me in a dream. I started this a few months ago and didn’t get past the first chapter. When I went back to it last week, I rewrote what I had, not to alter its content, but just to make it read a little better as the initial bit that I wrote was simply just to get the idea down so I wouldn’t forget it.

Although I’m working on Dreams, last night, Alex and I started to go through the “ghost” videos that I posted on YouTube some years back.

To give a little background to this; I lived in a flat in Manchester on my own for a number of years, soon after I moved in, I started to experience some odd things. The experiences I had, ranged from doors opening and closing on their own, shadows in the shape of a person in several rooms, pots rattling near the sink, banging and other noises as well as a whole bunch of “feeling weird.” These odd occurrences prompted me to record what was happening; I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t just in my head.

I spent a long time filming what was happening and spent even longer going through it, discounting what I thought to be explainable. What I uploaded to YouTube were the things that I couldn’t explain. Some of the extra things I found when going through the videos included, the sound of invisible footsteps, voices and other noises, shapes moving across the screen, and even at one point, the camera itself being moved.

We’re going through these videos a little closer than I did at the time and trying to see what other things I caught, and so far the list is long and growing further. Once we’ve done this, I hope I can then put it all together in the form of a book as an account of what I experienced in the flat. It will hopefully include the experiences of friends that stayed there alongside my own.

This book is something that we’ve been talking about for some time now, and I think It’ll be something that will take quite a bit of time to put together into a readable state of the true account of what happened. It’ll probably be something that I dip in and out of, and I may end up – as I did with The Next Stage – having a corkboard with everything planned out on it.

The book will be my first non-fiction book, so It’ll be an entirely new experience writing down something that actually happened.

I know that some people will read this and immediately disbelieve everything and say it’s all nonsense, which is fair enough, people have a right to believe what they want. All I can say is that these things happened to me and others that visited the flat. I’ve done my best to explain some things away, but some things are just unexplainable; at least to me. Maybe if you watch the videos you’ll be able to explain them, perhaps not, it’s all open for interpretation. But if I can put everything together in a book that lays everything out, people can come to their own conclusions – even Alex didn’t believe me when she moved in…she does now.

If you want to watch the videos for yourself, look up GaxsGhost on YouTube or click here.