Sunday, 4 November 2012


Time is the most precious 'commodity' that hasn't found its way to stock markets yet. Actually, that makes me think - could we sell and buy time as other commodities? Perhaps something for the future but for now, I am seriously struggling with time and any achievement is worth gold!

Nevertheless, I just finished and uploaded my book cover to Createspace today. Fingers crossed, I should get a proof in 48 hours and everything will be as expected. Well, you never know with your own designs...

Reading J A Konrath's 'Newbie' blog right now, I had to check my reviews and can happily say the stars are still there, shining proud and warm. Ah, I just hope sales follow in the same way but you know what, I don't mind even if I have to wait for years. I'll write some more, my writing will improve and having books on Amazon warrants longevity - they'll be there for ever (sort of).

Then again, several reviewers said Deceiving Noone is a perfect movie material so I ought to materialize on this. OK, OK, I'm not trying to be pretentious here but I will send a letter to Steven Spielberg every single week until he either agrees to read my novel or turns me down with a hate letter the world has never seen but even then I won't give up! I get shivers down my spine thinking what Spielberg would create from my novel.

I finished the letter and will start this week - and it's not even a New Year's resolution time yet! Time definitely well spent...

Monday, 22 October 2012

Secret obsession?

That's not really about writing but I feel like telling someone that I actually do have a secret obsession. It's a bit weird but I feel really good taking photos of hotel rooms I stayed. Even more so by looking at them with a soothing effect when I'm down as they remind me of my past travels and upcoming trips to foreign countries. Darn, I need to book a flight to Brno in Czech Republic and contact one of the hotels. You see, this short post was meant to be... 

I think Helsinki, Finland...

Tehran, Iran

Oslo, Norway

Tallinn, Estonia

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Morris and Henry

I've been incomprehensibly busy for the past few weeks. Promotion at work sparked a volcanic eruption of activity (I know but I love hard work). I've been promoting my professional book and my novel although I'd be thrilled if someone invented a 30-hour day for me (please)! 

I keep writing all sorts of things that will eventually culminate in a series of new novels, short stories and professional books but there is one particular event that I need to promote with all my heart.

My daughter Marusa has published her first book today! HER FIRST BOOK at a tender age of 9! It targets  the 3-5 age group so not much text although the story itself is as curly as her hair on her Amazon profile. 

The images though are unbelievably warm and telling. There is no way an adult can create anything similar - faces that ooze character and emotions, colors that radiate happiness and all that spiced up with a story of unbelievable imagination. She literally did everything herself - daddy only helped with the technical stuff. Please support her effort and buy the book, your kids will love it!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Fireman Ollie and his hat

Preparing myself for an avalanche of projects and the beginning of the new academic year but last week was a special one and I managed to record two videos of my son wearing 3D spectacles and a cute fireman's hat.

If it wasn't for my daughter, we wouldn't even notice his hat fell off at exactly the right moment. Both videos were recorded one after another and I have no idea how we even managed to achieve this but hey, some things are meant to happen - to memorise, to entertain. Enjoy!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

RHS Garden Wisley

The past few weeks have been utterly crazy and I mean it quite literally. Promotion in my day job has steered me away from everything else and I've been preparing for the new academic year, trying to sort out the system to liberate some precious time (for me and everyone else).

Writing? Not much, to be honest but I knew this would be the case and taking a break doesn't hurt either. Starting with a series of short stories in mid October and investing heavily in the promotion of my first novel (I feel guilty as I haven't done much but time will come).

In the mean time, I've spent some quality time with my family. Well, I am a family man after all, although my availability in September departed heavily from the commonly accepted definition of "family". Ah, well, that's life. So, what were we up to then? RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) Garden Wisley is the answer and looking at the images, I don't think you need words for this.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

ParaXperience: London 2012

I promised a post dedicated to London 2012 Paralympics yesterday (I think). Yeah, too much work so I don't really remember what happened 15 minutes ago (let alone one day...). Anyway, here a re a few shots from Equestrian and Athletics events. Was it fabulous? Was it fantastic? Was it emotional? You bet and much much more!

I mean, the the audience was the best in the world and the British public response to Paralympics was life-changing! The roaring crowd, the unimaginably devoted athletes and the ever friendly and helpful organizers/volunteers made these games spectacular, unforgettable and simply magic. OK, I am lost for words now - you should be there to understand why I am so excited.

Monday, 10 September 2012

August twilight

OK, I just realized it has been a month since my last post! A MONTH!?!? Well, I was promoted in my day job (thanks for your commiserations) and now I'll simply have to invent a longer day. I'm not giving up writing though. I miss writing and especially after receiving two 5* reviews in the space of two days I cannot help but being motivated! I am thrilled, I am exhilarated, I am over the moon.

Well, I also received a bit harsh review but any promotion is good promotion and I am not scared of people who obviously do not want to believe Indie authors can write. Yes, the book is full of twists and turns (I'm sorry if it was too shocking). Yes, the book is fiction. Yes, the characters do not use a typical slang one would expect (I intentionally used "does not" and "do not" here to prove the point - the text doesn't lose its flow, the story that keeps you glued to the book is pretty much all that matters). Ah well, I shouldn't take this personal and I don't, it's just my right to make a comment.

So, what's happening next? I'm starting my next novel and a couple of short stories in October. I'll have to be ultra efficient to squeeze all this in 24 hours but it's all fun, just fun. I'll manage, no worries about that!

Oh, and yes, I've been to Paralympics! What a treat, I'm telling you! Pics to follow in my next post... I AM BACK!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Kindle Boards

I need to increase visibility and get my book in as many different platforms as possible. Please, kind people, help me with that (please...).

To move things forward, I've designed a promotional banner for Kindle Boards. Here it is:

What do you think? It's kind of tricky as my book has so many different angles and twists. One of them is war that plagues Europe after the financial meltdown (sounds familiar?).

It's a background and not something that forms the crux of the story but some readers told me it is a frightening background - something that definitely stands out (among other things).

"Do you really think this can happen?", one of my friends said. Well, I don't know. Everything is possible in Europe. Just look back into the past - it's scary.

No worries though, romance and deception are still the dominant threads in the fabric of this book.

Right, off to Kindle Boards now to promote Deceiving Noone. I also need to get some guest bloggers, interviews and reviews on my blog. Something for the near future.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Adopted vs. 4th army

I am contemplating my second novel. Well, I've got enough conceptual material to write four but there are only 24 hours in a day and I do have a demanding day job so - one at a time.

Adopted will be a kind of suspense thriller with - the main plot built around the search of a brother who, as a baby, was given for adoption. I started building a skeleton but it kind of doesn't fall together nicely so I need a bit more time on that one.

4th army is a different story. The idea is there, the plot is phenomenal and I already look forward to writing it. In short, it's about kids' imagination gone wild as they play a game of the 4th army as a perfect response to three major superpowers that materializes years later, bringing with it massive repercussions for the whole humanity. Joking aside, it's a damn good story. The cover art idea is floating around in my mind as well so that definitely makes me happy.

I've started marketing Deceiving Noone like mad (Amazon UK), asking book bloggers for reviews, posting meaningful comments, contributing to discussions, posting links on my facebook page, tweeting and so on. I've sold 3 copies so far (in two days) so that should definitely be a good sign - I am in this for a long run. It's a start but I've got to ramp up marketing beyond what I've ever done in my life. There are a few more tricks up my sleeves but that's something for after the Olympics.

Talking about the Olympics, yet another successful day and LOCOG have started sorting out the empty seats problem. Come on, accredited guests or not, sponsors or not - there are competitors' parents who weren't able to get tickets!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Deceiving Noone is available

I started writing Deceiving Noone towards the very end of September 2011 and just about 10 months later it is finally published. Now I really hope you will like it and I really hope there will be positive reviews (please, please, please - it's my first novel). I know, I am repeating myself but this fear of mine is absolutely unbelievable. OK, I'll stop it right here. Promise...

It took about 12 hours for the book to be available on various Amazon sites but it is now finally there. Though, I noticed something funny about the preview chapter - formatting is off although all is fine when you open the book in Kindle application. I need to get in touch with Amazon and resolve this. In the mean time, the only thing I can do is apologize.

For readers, please click on the image below:

For UK readers, please click on the image below:

Right, now I've got to roll my sleeves up and start with marketing. This part isn't something I normally look forward to but this time I kind of want to do it and I'll do all I can to spread the word. The book is a bargain, seriously!

It is priced at $1.52 in the USA (taxation as the minimum list price author can set is $0.99 so the rest must be tax), £0.99 in the UK and €0.99 in the EU. That's where it will be available until Amazon opens up more of their international sites to the Kindle store.

The rest of my day was spent watching Olympics! Oh boy, French 4x100 free relay team gave the USA and Australia a run for their money and won the gold. I was chuffed for Rebecca Adlington (Team GB) for her bronze medal. Kayak and Canoe slalom heats were also fabulous and I am amazed how nerve-wrecking archery and equestrian can be. Fantastic stuff - despite the stormy weather!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Published and waiting

I genuinely thought that day would never come but ten months - TEN MONTHS - later, my first novel "Deceiving Noone" has been submitted to Amazon KDP. Of course, it takes some time to get accepted (fingers crossed) but it should be available tomorrow - I hope. We'll see.

Am I ecstatic? NO! I am really scared actually. What if people don't like it? I doubt this is ego but I am scared to death of embarrassing myself in front of the whole wide world.

You might laugh but it really is tough. I think the book is really good with Nathan, Cali, Terry, Colin, Andrew, Xavier, Annie and so on, all likable (yet some troubled or tragic) personalities, their characters are underpinned by a complex story and everything is wrapped up in massive unpredictability.

All that is fine but that's my opinion (and that of the editor) so how on earth can I tell what you, my readers, will say about it. It's my first novel so I hold my fingers crossed there will be positive reviews (please). OK, I know every single book out there receives negative reviews as well. Though, having no prior experience, I cannot tell, it's impossible, I just cannot tell. I really think it's a good book...

Ah well, I hope you watched the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic games. We have and it was absolutely fabulous! You see, this is not dissimilar, actually. Danny Boyle's production was spectacular, different and was infused by stories from the past and present. There are people out there that didn't like it but hey, Danny is an Oscar-winning director and he doesn't give a damn.

I know what you might say. It's a painful reality - I haven't got an Oscar (sigh). True, but I'm not giving up and I am NOT giving up. This is just the beginning. I will keep reading and writing, and I will take all reviews on the chin (positive and negative) - so help me God.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Colors everywhere!

My daughter and I are now working on 17 illustrations she created for her new book. Sketches need to be rendered in Photoshop and she pretty much doesn't need me anymore - that's how good she's got! Whilst you would expect colors in book images, it is difficult to achieve color in the text and that's where I think she really nailed it.

I am pretty used to self-editing now but editing her text is like working with a delicate porcelain vase - it's so full of color and emotions, almost every change I make looks like a big black smudge on a Michelangelo's Sistine's chapel masterpiece. It's a book for children (3-5 years I believe) so there's not much text but everything there is matches images and her characters perfectly. Don't ask me, I've got no idea how she's doing it but it works and I really look forward to her book coming out in August.

As for my book, I've bought a fabulously fluorescent marker and final editing begins tomorrow and yes, 27 July is still on - a final unmovable deadline!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Wasps or bees?

Not exactly a literary subject but something that bothers me for a few days now. Well, there is a weep hole just above the patio door (double-skin facade ventilation entry point). I like animals, don't take me wrong, but I don't like wasps as they are obnoxious little creatures and their stings are vicious. The pest control company asked me to take a picture to make sure they are not bees (of course, I don't want to get rid of bees!). Decide for yourself but they look like wasps to me. I took the picture late at night with flash switched on. That's the time when they're least active - I'm sure you'll understand why I waited up until midnight.

Anyway, summer in England still hasn't arrived and the forecast says more rain is on the way but next week we should finally see our bright star in the middle of the solar system and I want these wasps out of the way. In the mean time, I will be working on my daughter's drawings and have a final combing through my book before taking on beta reading (and proofreading) of my wife's baking book.

I met publisher for my professional book and she told me there were 274 books sold since April (71 in USA), which is really good for an academic book in such a narrow field and I haven't even started with proper marketing yet. Not bad, not bad and I hope the UK government picks it up as it actually provides a model for creating Building Information Modeling (BIM)-friendly business environment. It will take time but I am positive one day it will be recognized as a major milestone in construction management research.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012


My daughter and I started working on her sketches over the weekend and so far we managed to photoshop two drawings for her book. From a rough sketch on an A3 piece of paper to a digital drawing full of color, the transformation is one of the most inspiring things ever. She's got completely hooked up by the process and now she is pushing me to finish all 17 images (like yesterday...). 

I first thought this would take a lot of time but as it happens we can easily complete one drawing a day so releasing her first book in mid August is definitely possible. I've got to figure out formatting but a few trials I made are far less scarier than most formatting guides online would tend to advise.I'm not sure whether it's my ignorance or Amazon's latest attempt to simplify the way you convert a well formatted Word document into a MOBI file. I know, you will say there are other formats you need to consider (EPUB for instance) that make ebooks readable across platforms (iPad, smart phones, etc.) but all I am saying is that it seems easier than most people think it is. We'll see!

My wife saw a terrifying car crash today a stone's throw away from where we live. Both cars landed on their roofs and firefighters had to cut twisted metal to get people out - and all this on a 30mph stretch of the road where most of the time people drive 20mph. Perhaps a police car chase or something, I'm not sure but pretty scary!

Ah, yes, and I forgot to print out my book today. Never mind, I'll do it tomorrow and read it over the weekend (need some break in between). In the mean time I need to play with words and pull together book description - not many words but it is not at all easy. 

Whatever the case, I am getting increasingly more excited and can hardly believe my first novel will be out on the 27th of July 2012. I think Deceiving Noone is a good book wit likable and interesting characters and I really, really hope people will like it. I've gone through the text at least 20 times and I am happy with its total unpredictability - hoping that this will keep my readers turning pages and recommending it others. I hope, I really do!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Family of writers

Wow, watching a documentary about Usain Bolt and his misery over the false start in Daegu, South Korea, makes me think how important it is to know how to fail without giving up on your dreams. He might have problems but Usain will be back in London. Unfortunately, many people start and after just a light tremor in their careers never come back again. I'm not talking about myself of course but it is wise to remind oneself that you should never give up (Yes, I mean you as well!).

And I am trying to pass the same message on to my daughter who is now writing and drawing her first book for children. She sometimes feels the process is too slow but I wonder where she's got this from... Anyway, 16 drawings away she is plodding along and learning Photoshop painlessly through her book too - and she isn't even 10 years old yet.  I keep encouraging her and she is really enjoying it and it really excites her that she will be able to show her new book when back in school in September (whatever keeps her going).

My wife doesn't need the encouragement and her baking book is now almost finished. Some copy editing, proofreading and Kindle formatting, and that will be it. So, yes, it seems we have turned into a family of writers and 2012 is already proving to be a monumental year for us (including the fact that we will - for the first time ever - attend the Olympic Games). After my first professional book in March, three more are coming along nicely too and all of this from a single family within a year. I am proud, I am happy and we keep going on so watch the space.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Final touches

So, I've received a proofread document back from my editors (not entirely happy as they missed a few typos and stuff...). Anyway, most of the things are there and I'm just going through the manuscript backwards - just trying to make sure there is consistency in style and writing throughout the book.

Some chapters were fabulous, some less so but what I am doing now are final touches, the kind of things you do to finely polish your work. It's probably review 20 but I still keep doing it, I haven't lost the energy and motivation because this is what I want to do for the rest of my life - write brilliant (massively unpredictable - a comment from my editor) novels with intricate and subtle messages, with stories that will knock your socks off and make you itch for my next work.

Ah yes, there is one more thing! "Deceiving Noone" will be published on Friday 27 July 2012 (i.e. the start of 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, UK). Sorry again, I thought it would go public before 15 July but I need to have one more final go at the manuscript and I need to be a bit ceremonial - it's my first novel after all.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

New Book - old passion

Just watching Forrest Gump and Lieutenant Dan inspecting their first catch. What a movie, what a story - the hell, what a soup of stories and messages. A fantastic platform to think about new book titles. Wait, no worries, I am not trying to write another Forrest Gump story here, it's just some kind of epiphany or something - I guess.

Anyway, I am now pulling together branches for a new fiery novel but this time around the dough for it will need to be kneaded, the recipe followed to the dot. It's interesting, I got an inspiration last year and my first novel poured out of my memory - already there, already structured. Yeah, not a perfection but nevertheless. This time, it's fiction in its purest sense - I am not engaging with my past experience and everything in its entirety is made up. I'm fleshing out characters, painting scenes, sewing plots and approaching writing with scientific rigor.

It's a test I guess but I love writing, I really do and even this new, much more systematic approach that the story demands from me is not going to defer me from continuing living my passion - something I dreamed of for so long but never had the fire in me to get past a couple of sentences.

It's a different genre from my first novel but I don't care - as long as my brains entertain my fingers into producing something of decent quality. In the mean time, I am still waiting for the proofreader to get her job done and enjoy every moment with my family. I am blessed and grateful for that every single day of my life.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Moon Dance

Just reading Moon Dance: A Vampire for Hire novel from J. R. Rain - sigh.Yes, it is beautifully written and I am learning a great deal from... duh, I can't find the author's real name. Well, I read a dozen or so other books too - can't believe myself but that's what's happening -honest!

It's bewildering, for the first time in my life - cross my heart - I am actually doing things in exactly the kind of way recommended by my peers. In this case I am talking about the vast, vast majority of other indie authors and pros and all people who can say something meaningful about writing fiction.

It really feels good and my writing is improving every single day as I absorb the wisdom of all these wonderful people around the web who - in their sheer altruism - help their indie colleagues around the world make their work better for the benefit of all (me including).

Are these books any worse than your classical bestsellers? Some, yes, but most are really decent and some are of superb sleepless-nights-kind of quality. You probably guessed that I'm not writing much right now and you're right but that doesn't prevent me from reading and reading and reading some more.

Then again, I am helping my daughter get her first children book published but her writing is just so cute and graphics represent the only real work for me. Yep, a family of writers it seems - my wife has got her own little cookbook project (I'll be writing about this in August when it comes out). In the mean time, reading and waiting for the proofreader to do her job and then some more editing - plenty to do and I can hardly wait!

Sunday, 10 June 2012


That's it, I pressed the button and despite the delay, I think the novel benefited from additional editing, from sharpening, from pretty much everything that I've done with it. It's really frustrating though - I can always find something that needs improving but you've got to stop one day - or go completely crazy.

OK, there will be some more work once the book gets back - full of tracked changes. I will then have another go reading through the printed out hard copy but that's minor in comparison to what I've been doing so far.

Anyway, I am happy with the result - the story is full of twists and turns but that makes it pretty hard to decide on the specific genre it is supposed to belong to - I guess war-adventure-romance comes close. The book cover does its job too - symbolism, hidden messages and alike - and it is visible and readable in all acceptable cover-art formats.

Sooo, 20th July is my new deadline and this time it will be met.You never know with a novel but I am determined to get it onto Amazon Kindle bookstore by then. Wish me luck...

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Proofreading away

Here we go, it's precisely a month since I last posted on my blog - shame of you Mike. No, I haven't given up - never - come on! The thing is that I've been working hard (going to bed at 3am or 4am in the morning every single day) to get the book ready for publishing. So, where the heck am I now - even I wonder? Well, I am proofreading and cover art away from having my FIRST novel ready for publishing.

Did I mention cover art? Oh yes, here it is:

It is my own creation and I wonder what the readers might think of it. I guess you noticed a change in the title. Well, the thing is, I have infuriated Nathan and his family name is now Noone (sorry Nathan). I hope he doesn't pull all his hair out but the change was necessary - frankly speaking. Goodbye Nathan Travis, long live Nathan Noone! I am hoping to get back the 312-page manuscript from proofreaders in about 21 days. That means, "Deceiving Noone" will be available on and by 15th July 2012. It's a delay alright but a delay well needed. More regular posts from now on - promise.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

I write, hence I read more too?

My Kindle shelf is getting larger and larger. It's amazing how a world of depleted reading habits can changed... as far as I am concerned, ever since I've started writing seriously. There are two reasons really. First, it's because of, as I said, writing. You kind of need to read other authors to have any chance of 'getting it'. You know what I mean? Second, Amazon and Kindle store for that matter have changed everything. I can download tons of wallet-friendly free and 99 cent books. That is a true revolution in reading. For me at least.

All of this has led to much more reading but it's a different kind of reading. I now read some 10 books simultaneously because Kindle knows where you stayed last. Smart, ha! Looking at Amanda Hocking's latest post, she is pretty much along those lines too. That reminds me of another issue that she covers in her latest post - that of book descriptions. I always wondered what it is but she just got it so right. I'd never read a book based on the provided description. They are sooo... lame (in most cases).

Am I shooting myself in the foot here? Because I'll need to write one too. I guess Amanda's advice of writing a 5-word version is right down my alley. It's about deception amidst war. How about that? Or perhaps love and deception amidst war? Ah well, I'll figure it out in time for publication.

By the way, I also found a fantastic ebook reader for my daughter. Sadly, they're still negotiating a deal with retailers here in the UK but once out, GoBook 8" Tab should be big hit with children eager to benefit from colours and interactivity.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Being knackered

Am I knackered? You bet I am. I work until 2am or 3am every single day apart from Saturday night. Am I whining? Not by slightest! I am editing my first novel and although I should have finished it by now it only gets better and better. Perhaps a writer can afford a slippage once enriched by a portfolio of well accepted books but the first one needs to be good. The hell with good, in author's eyes it needs to be perfect. But here is the catch - it can't be good/perfect unless you invest enough effort. Enough effort that is to get completely and utterly knackered.

So where am I now you might ask. I just about finished Chapter 5 and two chapters back I realised working chapter by chapter and polishing them to the literary atoms suits me most. I edit the chapter once, accept all changes and then I comb it again and again and again, until... well, until I am happy with the flow and words and pace... I really feel like I am going through a PhD journey again but this time it's all about fun. I truly and wholeheartedly enjoy every bit of it.

And you wouldn't believe what happened yesterday. Well, I'm still not sure I believe this either but here you go. It was 2:30am and I was reading a page (page 143, I think) without changing a thing. So far so good but wait! Somehow I managed to fall asleep and when my head bumped against the screen I noticed page 143 has been edited. Should I be even telling you this? Well, call me crazy but that's what I saw (a miracle?).

And again, do I whine? No I don't. Oh boy, I love every second of writing and editing. I am knackered but I am damn happy and as Jason Donovan said to Piers Morgan today - "happiness is the key to success". One of the best interviews I've ever watched, by the way.

Friday, 27 April 2012

That's life - wonderful and peculiar

I begin to wonder whether ups and downs in human life are nature's deliberate attempts to either make or break you. I'd much rather stay on the "make" side, thank you. So, what happened? Well, I kind of didn't follow my promise of heavily promoting my new Construction Management book through my social media accounts. I did mention it once or twice but that's not self-promotion in its true sense. So, I decided to do this yesterday using my Twitter account. Mind you, I only sent out one book-related post.

It took Cesar Abeid from Remontech, a Canadian Construction Management company, a minute to respond and ask me whether he could interview me for his really well received podcast. I thought he was joking. You know, one of those automated spam posts or something. No, no, no, he is a real person! I talked to him today and he humbly presented the idea behind his podcasts. It's absolutely fabulous and it only took one (ONE) tweet. He will interview me on Thursday and believe it or not, he was thanking me! Hello, it's me who should be grateful and I am, I totally am.

Anyway, not being used to this I thought that was sensational. But then I read another tweet a couple of minutes later. It was sent by @beas_bloomsbury. Bea basically asked for some help with their kitchen floorplan and offered cakes as a form of payment. Anyone who knows me would understand why I replied to her within a split of a second. Come on, it's CAKES we're talking about!

I checked her website and then realised: Bea is a celebrity patisserie chef who a few years ago turned down the offer to be a head chef at Nobu London. She now owns her own Bea's Bloomsbury on several locations (including Chelsea and Maltby st.). The patisserie has been praised all over the world. Surreal, I'm telling you. I need to survey her main kitchen on Saturday and she offered to treat us at Maltby st. Market. I am thrilled! The update follows but in the mean time, thanks Bea for your kind offer!

Oh yes, and I am still editing my novel. It's getting together really nicely and all these revisions and delays are totally necessary. I guess it will be finished by the end of May and published on Kindle in June. Watch this space!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Self incredulity or whatever

Wow, I haven't posted anything since March. What can I say, the whole of the spring term was incredibly busy and then there was Easter. We visited our parents, my father managed to catch pneumonia and I was intentionally offline for the most part of the Easter break. Intentionally, yes, because I got sick of hundreds of e-mailed demands per day. Everyone wanted something so I simply cut myself off. On the other hand, being with my family meant a world to me.

In the mean time my copy-editor returned the book giving me plenty to work on. Though, I am happy with the feedback - I need to address a few points but overall the work is publishable (apparently). I confess the delay, I confess that much more needs to be done to raise the quality of my first novel and I confess, I began doubting myself. It's one of those periods filled with disbelief that I could ever publish a book.

Ah well, I read a dozen of posts by J. A. Konrath and Googled a few more unbelievable Kindle success stories. It's all to revive the spirit and it's all to stimulate dreaming again. Am I back? Well, no, I always need a week to get back to my best performance after holidays but boy I enjoyed not sitting in front of the buzzing machine with a screen.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


I received a very polite e-mail from my copy-editors yesterday explaining that they are willing to give me my money back because they won't be able to deliver within the advertized 21days! Wow, I was thoroughly impressed by their honesty.

OK, they do preach left right and center about their short turnaround times but hey, it's the quality that matters and a couple of weeks up or down - it won't matter in the long run anyway. I've been busy with my day job like mad in the recent weeks - hence the silence on my novel writing front so I was even more understanding as I know pretty damn well how damaging deadlines sometimes can be when you're dealing with all things unpredictable. Trust me, creativity doesn't know project management and you cannot squeeze it into the clamp of time.

Of course, I am eagerly awaiting the results and since this is my first novel, I'm not surprised they need more time than usual. I still believe though the book has got a compelling story and is easy to read. It should be an interesting subject for young adults who will be able to sympathize with Nathan's fears and understand the origins of his demons. Oops! I told you the main character's name... Ah well, it's almost 1am and after half a year of excruciating tempo, even holding a backspace key seems like too difficult.

So, all in all, I'm happy with the progress - despite the delay. I'll get the book back from the copy editors on the 30th March (or thereabout) and that means it will be available on Kindle store towards the end of April. I'm still happy though, it's the second book I wrote within a year!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Waiting game

I've recently signed up with Goodreads and almost instantaneously got more than 20 friends! Yeah, you might think that's not much but let me tell you something, I am thrilled. Even Amanda Hocking is my friend now on Goodreads and that makes me even more thrilled! Don't laugh, let me enjoy the moment.

It gave me an opportunity to revisit my list of books I read and it's not that short but I don't even remember all the books I've ever read... Though, Kindle has made reading now so accessible I will be reading like a passing train so watch my space on Goodreads. ;)

My book is with the copy editors right now... I am awaiting their report and it is a waiting game but my mind is not playing games with me this time and I am really relieved. Yes, I do expect very critical feedback but what the heck, you've got to start somewhere. Everyone is writing about "beta readers" though and I simply can't find any! All my friends are either so busy it would take them a year to get back to me - perfect for actually going mad; or they are not native English speakers. Well, I decided to do extra self-editing and then sent the book directly to my copy-editors. Look, I've got to start somewhere. It's not ideal but it is a start.

I've also started writing another book of mine (better say continued writing). It's a guide for aspiring individuals who wish to pursue PhD/Doctoral studies but I am writing it in a story-telling style to grasp the attention (I hope). Will be fun in the coming weeks as I am also planning to start writing my next novel. I haven't figure out the title yet but something to write about in my next post.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Long time

I haven't posted anything for so long Firefox actually wanted me to retype the already saved password... Shame on me! Ah well, life was tough in the past few weeks and tiredness caught up with me big time. I'm swinging from exhilarated anticipation of something wonderful to dark depths of self-doubt but I'm not giving up (apart from an occasional rant on my blog - purely for cleansing purposes though...).

The Construction Management Strategies book is coming out on 30 March 2012 and my novel is coming out by the end of March too so I should be happy, right? Wrong! I spent weeks now doubting myself, doubting my writing and desperately scanning through the books in Waterstone's whilst on a business trip in Edinburgh (ssshhh!), trying to compare my writing with published and respected authors.

Good grief, why does life play around with our emotions so much? I read an article today saying we should let go and give our emotions space to breathe. I'm doing it, don't you worry about that but doubt always finds a way back (if only I'd have such a good Sat-Nav!). I let go, it feels fabulous for a while but then it comes back again and so on and so forth. Doubt, get out of my life!

My hope and my wish? All of this will go away once my books are published. In the mean time, I sit and wait for my copy-editors to do their job dying in doubt and praying my copy-editors don't come back saying it was all in vain. I love the story, I think it flows nicely but doubt is eating me alive right now. Aaghhhrrr

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Good feeling

I cannot believe it! I finished my first edit of the novel and my professional book is finished as well. Two books at the same time is no mean feat (no sabbatical my friends!). I am openly proud of this. The past few days more resembled a drama, a crime story even. My day job is getting increasingly more frustrating as some gnarling worshipers of power are getting increasingly more arrogant - long live the dictatorship! No whining though, it's a great motivating force, that is.

In the mean time I've been rewriting the finishing lines of the novel. I just couldn't identify with the previous version. It was too negative, perhaps morbid (god forbid). It needed further tweaks to make it lighter yet even more complicated beefing up the manuscript to 82,148 words (currently - will change in due course). I looked at the opening page again and the more I look at the book, the more my eyes sail through the pages, the more I like it. Editing is tough but the story is interesting making the work, believe it or not, really enjoyable.

Despite all the downs and rarely any ups I feel good, I am filled with a good feel energy. Please, please last the good feeling, please do and I will reward you with even more of the wonderful writing and my good deeds. Yes, I am praying, feeling good is so much better than feeling miserable.

Hey, it's only 1am and I can actually go to bed earlier tonight. I'm telling you, it's all good.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Devotion & Deception

It's 3am and I need to get some sleep but I've got to give you a bit of an update. The first round of self-editing will be finished by Friday so I'm positive I can finish the job by mid January.

I've spoken to copy editors and they promised to get their important bit of the job done within 2 weeks. That means I will publish my first novel by  mid February (yippee)! You have no idea how much I look forward to this day. I know there is a lot of hard work ahead but I don't give a damn, I want this book published, period.

On this note, have I revealed the title yet? Ah, wait, I have actually (here).

Anyway, I finished two cover designs today and I'm pleased with the results. It's interesting how some random assignments using graphics software make sense now... I used preview images from iStockPhoto to create samples so bear with me, the cover designs will be released as soon as I purchase the images.

Oh, and by the way, I watched a movie about J. K. Rowling today. What a story, what a woman! Joanne, you're one of my heroes!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

2012 - My year

Yeah, 2012 is the year I break through and make it big time! My first novel and my first textbook are both a huge success and I finally manage to set free to a great career as a writer. I start selling the first in a series of my innovative products and we move into a new house.

This is a fabulous year and we should all make the most of it. Any hidden desires? Have you tried to write a book for years but never got enough time to do so? That's the year you should be doing this! Put dilemmas aside, just do it, go for it, "what the heck" it and leap into the embrace of these desires, make them a reality, let them come true and make you and everyone around yourself happy. Come on, you know you deserve it!

Happy new year to the world, let it be a mind-blowing success, let it shine!