By Maggie James
This week's blog post is an update on what's happening at Maggie James Fiction. Lots of people have been asking me how I'm getting on with Blackwater Lake and what projects I'm planning. So, without further ado, here's the lowdown on what I've been up to, and what's in the pipeline....
My progress with Blackwater Lake
I'm making headway with my novella, Blackwater Lake, which I'm now revising and editing. I have a reasonable draft but some plot elements need tweaking. This part of the writing process always takes me the longest. Good job I enjoy it!
I've posted before about how I challenge myself with each book I write. With Blackwater Lake, the test was to find out how quickly I could finish it. I have to report that I've failed miserably with this! The first draft was completed within a couple of weeks, but since then the editing process has slowed progress. At first I thought I'd have the book ready for July. Now I'm shooting for September.
I'm annoyed with myself for taking so long, but it's a lesson learned. Even though I plan my books before starting, I need to do so in more detail. Sometimes a plot element seems fine at the planning stage, but once I start writing I discover it won't work. I guess many fiction writers experience that, though!
Anyway, I hope to have a reasonable draft to send to my wonderful beta readers soon. Here's a synopsis of the plot:
Matthew Stanyer fears the worst when he reports his parents missing. Beset with worries about his wife, Evie, whose dementia is rapidly worsening, Joseph Stanyer has been struggling to cope. When the bodies of Matthew's parents are found at Blackwater Lake, a local beauty spot, the inquest rules the deaths as a murder-suicide. A conclusion that's supported by the note Joseph leaves for his son.
Grief-stricken, Matthew begins to clear his parents' house of decades of compulsive hoarding. And discovers the dark enigmas hidden within. Ones that lead Matthew to ask: why did his father choose Blackwater Lake to end his life? What other secrets do its waters conceal?
Watch your back, Stephen King!
In other news, my non-fiction book, Write Your Novel! From Getting Started to First Draft, has been doing well. In a recent promotion the book rose to no 3 in its category in the bestseller ranks, pipped by Stephen King's excellent 'On Writing' at number 2.
I've been delighted by the very positive comments I've received about my book. Would-be novelists have told me it's inspired them to write, and established authors have said they've learned from it too. That was always my aim, so I'm very pleased. Thank you to everyone who has bought and reviewed Write Your Novel! From Getting Started to First Draft. For anyone interested, here's the Amazon link.
I've hired a book publicist!
Like many authors, first and foremost I want to write. Marketing isn't something I ever needed to do before I became a novelist. Whilst I've enjoyed it more than I thought I would, book promotion doesn't come easily to me.
To address the issue, I've hired a book publicist. The success of Write Your Novel! was very much helped by the excellent work she did, and I'm very pleased I've made this move. It's early days yet, but I believe we'll work well together.
What else is in the pipeline?
I'm not sure what will follow Blackwater Lake. I'm toying with the idea of writing a series, although I'm unclear whether they'll be novellas or full-length books. (My natural inclination is to write longer fiction.) On the other hand, I have an idea that really fires me up for a full-length standalone book! One that will pose me my greatest challenge yet. Decisions, decisions...
I'm also considering releasing my first three novels as a box set. I'd need to compile them into one e-book and get a 3D cover done. That won't take long, so if I go ahead I'll do so once Blackwater Lake is published. That reminds me - I have a book to finish! Back to the editing process...
See you next week!
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