Buccaneer Blogfest Interview & Blue Mountains Update

Hello Everyone, I am sorry that it has been awhile since my last update. I have currently been away in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales. It has been so beautiful and relaxing!

This morning was so nice. I slept the best that I have in awhile! The silence was actually so loud that I was out. I don’t think I knew how spoiled I was back home in Minnesota to live in the country! I really miss it! It was so peaceful! Yesterday our group went and hiked/toured at Katoomba which is a village near the ‘Three Sisters’ which is an aboriginal legend. It’s really interesting! I will be sure to share more with you soon! Today I went with our group to the ‘Jenolan Caves’ which were neat! Got some cool ideas for my story from today and yesterday!!

I am kind of sad because we have to leave and go back to Brisbane area tomorrow. We could have stayed longer with the others but I had bought tickets for the Jersey Boys Show on Wednesday and we didn’t want to miss it! So we are heading back tomorrow. Uffda… 12 hours in the car again. And ten on Sunday my sister flies back to the States! I am truest going to miss her a lot! I’ve gotten used to having her here!! Don’t want her to go home!

I have been a part of the Buccaneer Blogfest and here is an interview that I did
1. Can you tell me a little about yourself?

My name is Verity, and I’m based in Manchester, England, where I live with my wife, my lodger (is the American term still ‘roommate’ when I own the house and he pays me rent to live here? No idea!) and his boyfriend, and two cats. I work full time for Curiosity Quills (www.curiosityquills.com) as director of business development, which is a deliberately broad and uninformative title. This is because what I actually do is edit some of our books, arrange cover art for almost all of our books, research any random marketing or product idea we come up with, and a billion other bespoke little tasks – and because ‘meddling cow’ didn’t seem very professional.

2. I read that your personal blog is for a editing and publicity site, can you tell me a little about this company and how it started?

In June last year, Michael Shean ( http://michael-shean.com/ ) self-published his debut novel, Shadow of a Dead Star. We’d been friends Many Years(TM) and when he said he’s done this, my first question was “how are you going to tell people about this book?” and he said “idunno” and as it was summer which, to me at the time, meant only thirteen hours of work a week, I offered to help. And then I read through the book, and went “this is full of errors, babe” and sent him a pile of edits. 3 months later, I’d been beavering away, contacting hundreds of reviewers, re-editing the book (twice), badgering him into being on twitter and so on, and in the end, he got signed with CQ. Huzzah! Happy ending.

Michael recommended me to a few other people for editing, CQ ended up liking what I’d done for Michael enough to give me a fixed-hours contract (for international-income-tax reasons I’m technically self-employed and CQ is a client of Publicity Pixie the company, it’s all a bit complex!), and now I do most of my work for CQ, with one or two extra clients a month, largely for editing. It’s all been word of mouth – you might notice the publicitypixie.com site is currently a shameful void. I must fix that.

(( Novel editing, checking for grammar, spelling and internal consistency plus substantiative overall feedback, on $6 per 100 words- ow! OW! Okay, okay, I’ll stop, I’m sorry. ))

3. Can you tell me a little about the writing you do on Curiosity Quills?

I write a (semi-)regular column called the Book Blog Spotlight (http://curiosityquills.com/category/interviews/book-blog-spotlight/) interviewing book bloggers and reviewers about their blogging and other such. It was every Sunday for three months but lately the takeup’s not been as high so it’s roughly one every two weeks at the moment (if you have a favourite reviewer you’d like to see on here feel free to get them to contact me, I’ll be happy to review).

In addition to this, as-and-when I also post video reviews of books (http://curiosityquills.com/cq-reviews-automato/ ) and bits and pieces of advice on marketing your book ( http://curiosityquills.com/submitting-your-book-to-review-sites/ ). There are plans for a new column of rants where I’m wearing my editor hat, about common mistakes and pitfalls that make me as your editor want to string you up by your toes and beat you with a skunk.

4. What do you like to write?

In terms of blog posts? What I write for fun is non sequitur slices life, as I feel you see into the mini-universe of a person, not with their greatest achievements, but through their ordinary comings and goings. Tell you what, here’s one, that actually involves the answering of your question. http://houseofpixie.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/oh-god-it-burns.html

In terms of fiction, probably fantasy, both the ‘urban’ and ‘high’ derivatives.

5. What kind of things inspire you?

Worst answer ever – anger. Yep, picking up a book and going “what?!” about some aspect I don’t like immediately send my brain spiralling off how I would have approached that subject differently. Kind of negative, really.

6. Do you like to travel? If so, where have you gone? Where are some places that you want to go?

I’ve lived in Holland as well as all over the place in my native England, and visited the US, Turkey, France, Belgum, few other bits of central Europe. I’ like to see Canada and Scandinavia.

7. If you could describe yourself in 5 words, what would they be and why?

Loud – I’m partially deaf and talk too loudly quite often
Outgoing – blessing and a curse. I AM that person who starts a conversation with you at a bus stop, not because I want your number or want to mug you, but because I’m bored.
Insecure – my own hardest critic, to a devastating degree.
Loyal – nothing pries my away from people who are important to me
Confusing – puce duck doughnut

8. What is a tip of advice for writers out there? What would you like them to know?

Keep writing.
The first thing you write will almost certainly suck, and learn to be okay with that.
Read everything you ever write, even if you come to hate it, and decide what you liked best about it, what you don’t, and how writing it makes you feel.
Get critique partners with no obligation or emotional baggage toward yourself, so that if it blows, they can actually tell you so without repercussions.
Remember criticism is subjective, and people who just tell you they hated it can get stuffed (don’t take it personally) and that the ones who calmly tell you what they didn’t like and why might have something useful to say.
Don’t every become too attached to a scene or a character this, if they need to be carved from your pages for the good of the story you just can’t do it.
Keep writing.

I hope you all enjoyed the interview with Verity! Be sure to check out the pages up above.

I will be in the process of writing a nonfictional article for a contest. Yes, I have been busily writing! Trying to keep busy with some smaller projects here and there as well as my bigger project.

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P.s. sorry for any misspellings or strange layouts as I did this on my phone!

Hope you are all wonderful!!

Devin

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