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Good, Good, Good

I had rather a pleasant time this evening fiddling around on TVTropes, making/updating pages for a few of my books. Apparently it’s fine to make a page for your own work just as long as you don’t get possessive, which won’t be a problem for me at all. The toughest part was getting over the slightly cringy ‘ooh troping my own work feels a bit off’ factor, which to be honest is still there a little. But anyway, I think it’s good to have a starting point at least, so that perhaps sometime in the future others may add to the pages.

Aside from that, Power Play (along with the first Miya Black and Resonance books, just for fun) is still available free here:

Secret GET!

I’ve already had a few downloads and donations, which is really just … it’s lovely, is what it is. My fans are, like, the BEST fans. Eventually I think this is the direction I’ll go in, offer all of my books on a ‘pay if you feel like it’ basis. Amazon.com is great for distribution (well, when it works), but it’d be nice to do things my own way. The biggest downside is that Amazon’s magic syncing thing won’t work, and you can’t read the books on the cloud reader.

This song just came on, I must have listened to this about a hundred times and watched the video at least a dozen, it still always makes me smile:

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2011 in Of Writing

 

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Charlotte Powers: Power Play still not available to buy, so now it’s free!

Free, you say? That’s right, frustrated by Amazon.com’s continued non-action on the whole “people not actually being able to buy my book” thing I’ve made a little ‘secret’ page on my website. If you’re interested in reading the sequel to Charlotte Powers: Power Down, then it may be in your interest to follow this link:

You Found A Secret!

Also, this is just splendid, and I may have more to say about it at a later date:

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2011 in Of Writing

 

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Good-Bad-Good News, My Last Summer, Dead Is The New Black

The good news is that yesterday I powered through my woe-is-me-why-isn’t-my-book-available-for-people-to-buy mopey mood and wrote like six thousand words on Against Darker Days. A couple of them were even good!

The bad news is that Power Play still can’t be bought by most people. It’s been over half a month since I hit ‘publish’ so I feel I’m justified in beginning to get just a teensy bit impatient.

Addendum: I just got a nice email from KDP support informing me that they’re working to fix this. That’s all I needed, just a little reassurance that things are getting done. So, fingers very much crossed that this whole thing will be sorted out soon, and that this is a one-off problem and I’m not cursed or something inconvenient like that.

The second good news is I found a great new book by an indie author!

My Last Summer, by Kerem Mermutlu

It’s a sweet little literary YA thing about a Taiwanese girl who works at an airport cafe, who has dreams of flying away to Hollywood and becoming a huge star. Swiftly paced and with a sweet-but-strong voice for the MC, I enjoyed it quite a bit. It reminded me of books I read when I was around twelve or thirteen or so, ‘light literature’ I guess you could call them, stories told in the first-person where nothing much happens but that doesn’t really matter.

Oh, and this was released recently, too:

Dead Is The New Black, by Christine DeMaio-Rice

I only mention it here because it’s a fashion mystery with engaging characters and sharp writing, and it’s going to sell a million-bajillion copies and I want to be able to say “I bjournalled about it before it was popular!”, thus retaining my indie hipster cred.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2011 in Of Writing

 

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Back from holiday, hurray hurray!

Back from holiday and feeling good. One highlight of the trip was discovering, on a country road in the middle of nowhere, ‘Excellent Street’. To be honest it didn’t look that great!

Anyway, Golden Bay was as pretty as ever–moreso, actually, due to it being spring right now and thus blossom, lambs, daffodils etc. were in abundance, and the weather was just sickeningly good. I also enjoyed watching my sister read through the Charlotte Powers sequel, she’s an ‘expressive’ reader and laughed and gasped and so on at all the right places (or so I assume). She also spotted a rather embarrassing error which I swiftly corrected. Anyway, Charlotte Powers: Power Play is now available to buy! Possibly. I’ve had a few people tell me it is, in fact, not available, so I don’t know what’s going on there. If there IS a problem then hopefully resubmitting it will fix it, otherwise I’ll have to brave the indignity of KDP customer support.

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2011 in Of Writing

 

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Charlotte Powers 2: Power Play — Kind Of Okay?

So it looks like I perhaps won’t be putting out my novella-in-a-month this month, mostly due to the story not being strong enough–it needs a massive rewrite, basically, and I’d rather fail a self-imposed challenge than release something I wasn’t happy with. In any case, right now my attention is on other things. Part of the reason I needed to do something completely new was because I was suffering from series fatigue, but pretty much as soon as I started something new I was caught in the grip of series fever. So over the last few days I did the first edit of Power Play–more of a read-through, really–and was disturbed to find that nothing much needs to be done with it. Polishing, of course, further editing-and-proofing, but just for language, flow, and little extra details, not for structure or story. I worry, of course, that I’m just blind to its myriad flaws, but I think, I suspect that it might be a good book.

So! Current plan is to outline book three properly and see if there’s any additional foreshadowing or fun stuff I can slip into the second, do a couple more edits, do a couple more proofs, then get the sucker out there before my run of good luck with the first book fails. Simple!

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2011 in Of Writing

 

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I’ll do it this afternoon!

*whoosh*

Okay, so I missed my deadline for the outline of

THE SELF-IMPOSED BJK WHITE
WRITE-EDIT-PROOF-PUBLISH
A NOVELLA IN A MONTH
CHALLENGE

But on the positive side of things I did a lot of mucking around with cover ideas! All right I admit it quite a lot of faffing went on. Also I was struck with inspiration for how to sort out a few problems in Power Play and basically have that outlined now, which is great. And I do have MOST of the outline and a whole bunch of notes for this novella thing, I just have to connect the dots to the ending now. It’s actually a little heavier and weightier than I had intended, I just hope I’ve got the balance between ‘story’ and ‘fun’ right. It’s interesting working on a novella, consciously trying to keep the word count down, stripping out subplots and even characters and just focusing on the core storyline–it feels similar to working on a screenplay.

Also, I may have a title. At first I was leaning towards “One & One, Together Two” which I still like, but I’m probably going to go with “Silly Heart”. Hey, if you can make the title of your book an obscure reference to one of your favourite eighties films, you go ahead and you DO it.

Anyway, here’s my current cover, which will almost certainly change:

Although to be honest I’m pretty happy with it as it is.

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2011 in Of Writing

 

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Avoiding Editing, Power Play, Intelligent Characters (I like them), Getting Back To Work

So I’ve got editing to do on Imogen Shroud, I’ve got Miya Black III to go through, I have experiments to run and research to be done but what am I doing? I’m reading through what I have of Power Play. This isn’t productive. It’s just fun. Also this is way better and less fluffy than I remember it being (when I wrote it a couple of days ago; amazing the difference even a small time-buffer can make). Or maybe it’s just me who enjoys characters being intelligent and working things out in dialogue. Hmm. I think as long as it doesn’t drag on for pages it’s fine. I actually have a rule for myself; no more than a page and a half of dialogue without something happening to break it up. I love dialogue, you see, and I love characters, but just having them yammering on with nothing else happening isn’t so good. Anyway, I read it and it’s good and I was disappointed when I got to the end and there wasn’t any more. Which is a Good Sign.

Still, though. Power Play isn’t a priority right now. It’s fine to relax and just do what you like sometimes, but we do not live in the land of Doing-As-You-Please. We live in the land of Working-Bloody-Hard-To-Make-Things-Good. Writing is the easy part, it’s true, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Just that it’s easier than everything else, that’s all.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2011 in Of Writing

 

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I know all about that stuff, I’ve been exploited all my life

I had way too much fun and spent far, FAR too long making a fake crash output for Power Play today.

Also spent some time pacing around out on the deck while I thought about the format of the book. If I smoked I would’ve been smoking furiously while I paced. I may not make the change to third person after all. I may just keep it in diary format the whole way through. It may work. It would be a teeny-tiny bit gimmicky but it’s kind of a fun gimmick … what I’m worried about now is writing the whole thing and then realising it doesn’t work at all. But I guess I won’t know until it’s written, and at least I’ll HAVE a first draft then. Okay, I think I’ll just continue like I am.

Also, I had a look at my release schedule for this year and I’m well ahead of the game:

April – June
Miya Black, Pirate Princess III: Fractured Lives
The Undying Apathy Of Imogen Shroud

June – August
Charlotte Powers (2): Power Play

September – November
Miya Black, Pirate Princess IV: This Impossible World, This Impossible Girl

November – December
Resonance Book Two: Against Darker Days
The Legend Of Jean Scarlet: Swansong

At the rate I’m cracking through things now, I feel like I’ll easily get both ImoShrou and Miya Black III out before the end of April, and probably CP2 before the end of June. If I do manage to do that then, well, then that’ll be great. I’ll have to sit down and think about my goals for the second half of 2011. Miya Black IV’s already written and I’ve been through it three times on rewriting/editing runs. I’d say it could use another edit and then a proof or two and it’ll be ready. Very, very keen on getting that one published. Resonance Book Two … needs work. I’d say at least three months, maybe longer. Swansong, I’m not sure about. It might be a story I need to let simmer for a little longer before I have at it. I wrote the beginning about half a year ago and every time I look over it I think “This is just excellent” and I feel that the story’s very strong and the characters are great, but … because it’s a spin-off from the Miya Black series I’d really like for the Miya Black series to actually have kind of a fanbase before I release it. It stands on its own but if you read it before you read at least the first three Miya Black books you’d be spoiled for a couple of things–nothing big, just little things I’d like to keep surprises. I know these kind of tiny spoilers don’t bother most people, but to me that kind of thing is important. So I’m not sure, maybe I’ll write it this year–because it’s a story I want to tell–but hold off on publishing it until I see how things go. Also, I’m pretty keen on doing Mystery Kids now, I read what I have of it again today and there’s nothing about it I don’t love. I don’t think there’s so much of a market for middle grade fiction on the Kindle but who cares, it’s funny and screwball and kind of clever and the characters are fun and it’s pretty much everything I love writing. Maybe I’ll make a logo for it and see how that goes, I have kind of an idea in mind that I’d like to explore.

BJK Factoid #293: My favourite movie is The Blues Brothers, but Ghostbusters is so close a second as to make no odds.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2011 in Of Writing

 

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When You Have A SuperHammer, Everything Looks Like A SuperNail

Passed 15,000 words on Charlotte Powers 2 last night. So far it’s mostly character and setting stuff. Having a lot of fun fleshing out the ‘super history’. Part of Charlotte’s character is that she’s a total superhero geek–well, supers are real in her world, she IS a super, and her parents were two of the most high-profile supers back before The Event, also she spent the first fifteen years of her life cooped up in her family’s secret volcano hideout, she had a lot of time to go through the archives. So she basically knows everything there is to know about every superhero or supervillain there was, all their major battles and enemies and allies and how they used their powers, so when she starts enthusing about them it’s just like she’s describing a comic book series–except it all actually happened. It leads to funny moments and sad moments (things got dark before The Event) and hopefully some points of interest, and it’s really fun to write. I also got to write a big thing I’ve been looking forward to for ages, Mr Falchion’s famous “I live with an unspeakable blessing” speech, that was (pardon the pun) super-fun.

Love superheroes. So fun, so interesting, so charged with potential.

I may actually have to cut out some of this stuff I’ve been doing. Maybe. It’s good, I like it, but it’s just advancing the characters, not the story. I feel like it’s necessary to have a little bit of a ‘buffer’ in this part of the book, but it might be going on too long. Well, in any case today I’ll definitely concentrate on story. AND characters. Also I have to figure out at which point I’m going to make ‘the switch’, it’s a big POV change AND style change and it has to be placed well or it’s just going to bring the whole book screeching to a halt. The place where I thought I was going to put it turned out to not work, so … well, I’m not sure, actually. I’ll just write and see what happens.

Promotion, promotion? I’ve read in a lot of places recently that the best promotion is writing your next book. I’m forced to agree! So I’ll be putting my head down and working today. If these two busy girls let me.

BJK Factoid #102: I regret publishing under the name Ben White because there are like a dozen authors called Ben White. I should have gone with BJK White.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2011 in Of Writing

 

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Bunnies Bunnies Bunnies Bunnies

I wrote five thousand really easy, really fun words tonight, without really intending to–I was just looking at the outline and I thought “Oh well, I suppose I could maybe do just THIS part, that sounds fun, and then maybe THIS part” and then, wham, five thousand words. The story in CP2 really picks up straight away and ups the ante quite a bit, and it uses a narrative device that I’m quietly proud of. I also managed to slide in some nice foreshadowing for events that won’t happen for, oh … two books? Three? I love foreshadowing.

Here’s a little excerpt from the book-in-progress:

xx49.07.17 | 13:23 | Still Thursday | [LIVE]
BUNNIES! BUNNIES BUNNIES BUNNIES BUNNIES BUNNIES BUNNIES–

I promise you, this makes complete sense when viewed in the proper context. Well. Almost complete sense. It works, anyway, trust me on that.

This is a fun story to write.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2011 in Of Writing

 

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