Forty years ago today, my parents said their vows and were married. They got married on Australia Day – “so that your father will never forget our anniversary.”
So a big shout out to Mum and Dad, for putting up with each other for so long!
It has been 2020 for 26 days now. In that time, we have had raging bushfires, flooding in some parts of Aus, a downed C130-J, a virus outbreak, an erupting volcano in the Philippines, and an earthquake in Turkey. Trump is on the verge of being impeached, and so far no tour has been announced for Mumford and Sons to visit Australia (yet).
I feel like 2020 is the start of book 5 in a series, opening with loads of drama and action, readying the reader for the finale of the story. I don’t mean this in a dooms day way; I’m sure there will be a sequel and spin off stories 😉
Speaking of sequels and series, Book 2 – The Darkest Realm is coming along nicely. I’m almost at 18,500 words.
I’ve been a bit challenged in the first 5-6 chapters of book 2. I don’t like the term writer’s block, but it was a form of bloc nonetheless. It turns out I had not sufficiently planned some of the background stuff, which is usually what causes block in the first place.
I spent some time jotting down notes, and I came up with a whole new ‘old magic system’ that will explain the underlying function of how my cult operates without being unbelievable. It also answered questions on how my villain can control his cult in the first place, without using the same form of mancery as Nika and Freyne.
I have two major scenes that I can’t wait to write – I don’t write out of sequence though, so my reward for powering forward will be to write these scenes. I get excited just thinking about them!
My heroes are about to meet my trans woman character Yger, and I’m so excited about this. I have been asked by some people why I’m including a trans character, and my response is:
“Why wouldn’t I? They are people too; if I don’t represent them in literature, who will?”
There is so much nasty, negative stuff out there, I want to break that and show folks that trans people are people, and deserve as much respect as everyone else. The only way to normalise it is by talking about it.
And finally, just a reminder that I’ll be having a stall at the Sydney Gay Lesbian Mardi Gras Fair Day. If you are in Sydney, come along and say hi! I’ll have plenty of copies of books available to purchase, and I’ll happily sign them on request.
16th Feb 2020! Hopefully see you there!
My #AuthorsForFireys auction has closed at a total of $100. Every little bit helps, I’m stoked that it went for that much. The winning bidder has transferred the amount to me, and on the 31st I’ll transfer the donation PLUS the portions of my royalties to the CFA.
Progress on book 2 is going a bit slower than I had hoped. It is still busy time at work until Feb, so I just have to take each day as it comes. I’m up to just over 17,000 words, so that’s not too bad.
More recently, I commissioned one of my Twitter friends (Morgan Wright) to animate the cover of The Lowest Realm, and I am not disappointed.
The next thing on the cards for this writer is Fair Day 2020, which is a part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. I’m having a stall with one of my friends , and will be looking forward to meeting folks, and hopefully selling some books!
I’f you’re in Sydney, come along and say hi! Our stall is called Queer Queatives.
I am pleased to announce that I am joining in the #AuthorsForFireys auction on Twitter.
What’s that you ask?
Authors are auctioning copies of books, or services such as editing/beta reading, as a way to raise money for bushfires in Australia. Instead of sending the author the money and being unsure of where it ends up, the winning bidder makes the donation directly to the charity, and sends the author a copy of the receipt. The author then sends the item / provides the service as promised.
I am auctioning one signed copy of The Lowest Realm. Just 28 mins after posting to social media, I have received the opening bid – $100!
This will be running until Saturday 18th January, 9pm Sydney time.
I will still be donating $1 from every eBook and $5 from every paperback during January – so far I’m sitting at $1 (I know that’s not much, but that’s 1 more $ and it all adds up).
It’s a not-so-happy new year here in Australia. Our beautiful country is burning, our animals are dying, and our people are losing their homes and lives. Unfortunately, fire is a deadly reality that Australians must face every summer, and it’s very close to my heart.
Here is a little story that I can’t stop thinking about.
I grew up in a tiny town of Dunolly in Central Victoria. We lived on a 10 acre block of land 10km from town, in the middle of the bush. As kids, my brother and I knew our bushfire survival plan like the back of our hands.
One day, one of the neighbors was angle grinding on a total fire ban day, 42c heat, in a dry grassy area, and of course he started a grass fire. Our parents told us to stay home, and they drove off to help put it out.
My brother and I immediately thought the worse (we were kids), so we gathered up all the photo albums, some tinned spag and 2 min noodles, the pets, and made our way to the front dam where we waited. We could see the smoke in the sky, so of course we thought the worst.
Finally mum and dad came home, and when they couldn’t find us at the house, they drove down to the front dam to find us kids sitting there with the dogs and cats, wondering if we should go in the water yet.
For us it wasn’t a drill. It is part of the reality that comes with living in such a dry harsh environment.
Sitting here in Sydney, breathing in the toxic smoke and hearing that several friends have been evacuated has left me reeling. I want to help, but I’m not in the financial position to do so.
I hummed and harred a bit, and have decided to donated $1 from every eBook and $5 from every paperback to the RFS to go towards equipment and our heroes.
It’s not much I know, and a lot of weary Aussies are on the lookout for scams and businesses who are looking to profit from this disaster.
I will be taking a loss by doing this, but I don’t care about that. This is the one way I can give back. I aim to raise around $50 is possible. Like I said, it’s not much, but at this stage every cent helps.
I hope you all had a great Christmas (or celebration). For me it was a day off…we did the obligatory visit to the inlaws, then went and watched the new Star Wars film.
After working insane hours in the leadup to Christmas, I am now enjoying 4 days off work. So today I finally started working on the A2 sized world map.
I’m going to mention that the scale of the assets (forests, mountains etc) are still not right – I do need to go A1 to get it right. But for now, I’m working on the A2, as it will enable me to continue with the story. In the photo below, you will see that the sizing is way too big in relation to the Eastern Isles. That’s ok, I’ll do a new one in the new year when I can get to Officeworks.
As always, I took progress pics as I went, just because I can.
Hopefully I’ll finish it tomorrow, but I’m not in a rush.
I’m sure some of the names will change as I write the story, and I’ll add things in / remove stuff.
You’ll notice to the north, a place called Gri’Ran’s Gate. I’m thinking of making this a fort, with a stone wall that stretches along the entire Living Forest. But we’ll see, I don’t have any back story regarding Dryads vs Humans, and Dryads would certainly not wish to storm a fortress.
I still have space for lots of names of cities and landmarks, so it’s your turn to get involved! If you would like me to create a name from your name, reply to this post, DM me on FB or Twitter, or email me at Amy-Alex.Campbell@outlook.com, and you could become a part of literature!
Have a safe and happy new year my peeps 💜
Today I’m visiting Westfield Penrith to get a few last minute things before Christmas. Today is my last day off before Christmas day, so it was nice to come out and do a bit of shopping.
Of course I can’t walk past Dymocks without dropping in for a look. They have an amazing fantasy section, and I couldn’t help but dream about them stocking my book.
I bought a Halo novel for my favorite human, and as I was paying for it, I asked if they ever stock books by independant authors. The lady who served me was so lovely, she pointed to another lady and told me to go and speak to her.
I showed her the proof copy that I just happened to have with me, and my author contact card. She was most impressed by the quality of the book, and loved my hand drawn maps.
They are more than willing to stock my book on consignment, all I have to do is deliver them 5 copies with an invoice and voila!
So guess who is dropping into Penrith tomorrow after work 😀
In other news: I am slowly working on book 2. I had hit a few minor walls in chapter 3 which somewhat blocked me, but I blame that on being so tired from working crazy hours with the Xmas rush at work.
I am up to chapter four, and I have started working on the names of kingdoms, cities and geography for the mainland.
I have 4 days off leading up to (and including) new years, so I’m hoping I can lock myself in somewhere and write write write!
I can’t believe it’s December already!
I’ve been enjoying a rare weekend off from work. I wanted to spend the whole weekend writing, but I needed to improve on my workspaces at home.
My desk which was stacked high with uni work and one of our printers, and shoved in a corner in the lounge room. I emptied everything off and filed all the uni/work stuff, then got to work on cleaning and rearranging.
I purchased that board to stick a puzzle on years ago, and ever got around it it, so I have repurposed it. I must say, I am very happy with it. We have the calendar for The Miscreant’s world, a rough concept for the next part of our hero’s journey, and the historical timeline.
The blank map on the desk is the A2 poster that I recently got printed from Officeworks. I feel it is still too small, so I will order the A1 size next, which will hopefully offer the correct scale.
I am up to around 8,000 words in book 2. Already, I am hearing my readers urging me to write and release book 2. My target is to launch on March 2nd, but we’ll see how I go during December and January’s rush.
Given that I work in retail and am a store manager, I might not post as much for the net two months. I will do my best to keep you updated on the progress 🙂
As always, thanks for your support <3
Last night, I sat down with my iPad and started thinking about book 2. Although I have the basic plot worked out and know where I want to go with it, I realised I didn’t create a backstory for the Brotherhood of the Black Ibis. So today, I have been fleshing that out a bit so that everything will tie in together nicely.
Chapter one and two are slowly being refined and worked on, so I can pave the way for the rest of the story. When I first wrote chapter one, I felt like it didn’t match the quality of book one, and I hated it. But after a 2 day break, I reread it and it’s actually half decent. It’s a draft, I don’t like to get too caught up on editing at this stage.
What I haven’t done yet- the map!
Anyone who has followed me for a while will know that I’m passionate about my maps, and go to great lengths to make them. I have just ordered an A2 poster of the above outline, which should give me the right size ratio. These continents are much larger than the Eastern Isles, so scale has been a bit of an issue.
For anyone who hasn’t been following me: I don’t use photoshop. I do my cartography by hand, and tweak it in Paint. Yes, Paint.
Once I have the world map done in A2, I’ll scan portions of it for each section of the book, similar to Eddings’ The Belgariad.
Also…coming soon: an A3 poster of my digitally created map of the Eastern Isles. I made it in Wonderdraft, and am toying with the idea of selling A3 posters.
Given my work commitments, book two may not be completed until the end of Feb. Let’s aim for a soft deadline of March 2nd for launch.
I’m back from our journey south of the border. It was great to see my family again…one week wasn’t enough though. It was hard saying goodbye – it gets harder every time.
Our early Christmas was wonderful as always – delicious food and family makes it perfect.
It took us 12 hours to drive back, with a bathroom break every 2 hours. We took our time and were careful of kangaroos.
Today was recovery day from all the driving yesterday. I even managed to write some of book 2 in between a nap and dinner.
Sales are going ok, I will be investing some money into more marketing shortly, and will also be investing in the business plan so I can integrate a proper store on this website. That should make it easier for customers to purchase the paperback.
Back to work tomorrow. I am so not ready for it, one week was really not enough. But enough complaining, we’ll have a longer holiday around March next year.
All paperback purchases have been posted, and I have sent out a few gift copies for a few special people who have supported me along the way.
I have pulled the plug on NaNoWriMo too. Two weeks in and I’m on just under 5k words. I don’t think the rush and pressure are good motivators for me at the moment. As with everything I do, I’ll keep being an individual and do it my way 😛
I’m a bit quiet this week I’ll admit. In between the publishing process and working full time managing a retail store, I have become quite burnt out.
And so my fave human and I are in Victoria for a week, to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary, and for an early Christmas with my family.
Today we went for a drive around my childhood town, revisiting all the historical sites that I grew up around.
Admittedly, NaNoWriMo is out the window; I haven’t done much writing lately. Book 2 is on 4484 words still…I have changed a few things around and typed a few words, but that’s all.
Book 1 seems to be selling well. I posted 6 books today (3 were gifts) and I need to post one tomorrow that I totally forgot about.
In all honesty, I’ve been spending the early evenings playing Roblox with my nephy-poo. He has been kicking my butt, but it’s fun 🙂
Cheerio for now 🙂