Archive | May, 2010

The End of LOST, Doritos and Uncontrollable Sobbing

25 May

(This blog post reveals events that took place in The End, the finale of Lost. If you don’t want to know anything about it, don’t read on.)

Unless you’ve been on a mini-break to Mars, you’ll know that Lost - that little-known show about a bunch of ugly plane crash survivors who find themselves on a perfectly normal tropical island where nothing ever happens – came to an end on Monday morning after six years of polar bears, smoke monsters, time travel, hippies, quantum physics, Star Wars references, Apollo bars and some of the most memorable characters – and awesome acting – that has ever graced our TV screens.

***********THIS IS YOUR PENULTIMATE SPOILER WARNING***********

My finale-watching didn’t go so well first time round. I was, ahem, watching online as it aired on the East Coast of the United States, or from 2am on Monday morning. (Don’t try this at home, kids, because it’s technically illegal.) One hour in, the feed got cut by The Man and so I decided to have a short nap and watch it instead on Sky1 at five, which I did, even though a lack of sleep and an overnight diet of Doritos, sour cream dip, Coke (a-Cola) and coffee didn’t put me in the best Lost-watching mood, and neither did having to watch the first hour twice.

***********THIS IS YOUR FINAL SPOILER WARNING*********** Continue reading

Why I’m Not Here, Places I Am and LOST

17 May

Wasn’t that a deliciously confusing blog post title? I thought so.

I’m hiding away this week to finish readying my novel for – eek! – submission, so no blog posts. After that I intend to spend a few days reading a few thrillers for escapism, watching Season 4 of The Wire (I’ve been saving it), sleeping and trying not to cry at the thought of LOST ending (oops – there I go again), so there won’t be any blog posts then either. And before the 1st June (that is the arbitrary deadline I’ve set myself, for some reason), I have to have at least some kind of blurry plot outline established for Novel Number 2, so – yes, you’ve guessed it – they’re probably won’t be any blog posts until that’s done too.

But the good news is that there will be plenty of new blog posts after that; I even have a schedule, which culminates in a big reveal in September, a reveal that will either be a sort of hard-earned triumph or an embarrassment I’ll never live down. And the other good news (well, depending on how you look at it), is that I’m interviewed today on Duolit’s Self-Publishing Team blog, a self-publishing site (and service) I actually like the sound of (I’m very picky, as you know), run by the lovely Shannon and Toni who actually live in Florida.

I have one little confession to make: this morning I took time out from scribbling to listen to the last ever LOST Official Podcast.

Now imagine the sound of sobbing.

Have a happy Mousetrapped Monday everyone!

The Self-Printing Plan: Summer 2010

11 May

So after blogging about my entire journey to self-publication, Mousetrapped is now a real, live book that’s available to buy in numerous locations, a few people have bought some copies and as of last weekend, it’s helped me live out my Proper Author dreams in the form of a bookstore book launch. And even better than seeing my words in print, listed on Amazon and on a bookshop’s shelf, self-publication has brought me an agent for my novel.

Woo-hoo!

So what happens my Self-Printing Story now?  Well, I’m glad you asked, because here’s the upcoming schedule.

June 2010: Promotion

Throughout June, I’ll be blogging about the myriad of things I’ve done to try and brainwash people into buying copies of my book, the things I wish I’d done and what ultimately worked and what didn’t. Other than invites and posters for the book launch, the cost of free books I’ve given to bloggers, reviewers, etc. and two domain names, I haven’t spent any money on promotion and yet I’ve sold books.

July 2010: The Self-Publishing Book Club

Whenever I decide to do something in life – write a book, go on a diet, decide to become an astronaut – the first thing I do is buy and read a book about how to. Self-publishing is no different. There is a vast library of books about how to self-publish, covering all aspects of the process (and for an added bonus, nearly all these books are self-published themselves). Most of them, however, are disappointing; all the information in them can be found online and for free – and more often than not, it’s more up to date on there – and anyway, 90% of what to do when self-publishing boils down to common sense. In July, I’m going to recommend the few that are worth their price. And turn 28. Yikes. Continue reading

Adventures in Self-Printing: The Book Launch

10 May

On Saturday, I went to a book launch. My book launch. As in, the launch of my own book.

It’s all still a bit surreal.

And the prize for book jacket colour co-ordination goes to...

After a hectic week of preparation – wishing away the volcanic ash long enough for my books to fly in from North Carolina, telling everyone I know that unless they show up at exactly 12.30pm they can expect never to speak to me again, spending so much money on make-up in Boots that the cashier eyed my credit card with suspicion – the day had finally arrived, and I felt ever-so-slightly nauseous at the thought of what was about to happen.

Let me explain: it wasn’t a traditional launch, per se. As I’ve previous blogged, I wanted to save the glitzy, alcohol-drenched launch party for my novel dreams; for my adventures in self-printing, I went for the glorified-signing-in-a-local-bookshop approach, which was really all I could handle. Baby steps and all that jazz. Continue reading

T-Minus 1 Day to (a Book) Launch: About the Author

7 May

It’s almost he-ere…

Now that the logistics are taken care of (the books, the posters, the invites) and everyone I’ve ever met in my entire life who lives within a twenty-mile radius of the city has been roped in to attending, all that’s left to do now is prepare myself for prolonged exposure to the public, photographs taken in natural light and not shocking the people who haven’t met me in the (ample) flesh for a while.

Well, not shocking them too much anyway.

The Book Launch Outfit

A sneak peek at the Book Launch Outfit...

Much like my crazy book launch promotion ideas (like hiring a model to wear a Mickey Mouse costume and hang around outside the shop) and my crazy book launch beverage ideas (like serving orange juice in champagne flutes – orange juice? Florida? Get it?), there were a number of garment ideas that went out the window too, including a palm tree-emblazoned vest from Oasis which I still might invest in (no pun intended) to wear another time. In the end I settled for something summery and blue – Florida is, after all, the Sunshine State, and everything about Mousetrapped seems to be blue – and dug out my rocket ship necklace to accessorize it. Continue reading

T-Minus 2 Days to (a Book) Launch: Rent-a-Crowd

6 May

I’d decided to have a book launch. (Check!) I’d secured a book shop in which to have it. (Check!) I’d order a couple of boxes of books (check!) and after a sleepless night of No Book Nightmares, they arrived. (Check!)

Now I had to try and persuade people to attend.

Invites

I used Vistaprint to design and print invitations, ordering what they call ‘rack cards’ which are just slightly smaller than a DL or letter envelope. As per usual, I went about their creation in a very roundabout way: I designed the invite using a Microsoft Word template, saved it as a PDF, cropped it and saved it again but as a JPEG. On the back, I used an American flag stock image as a background and included a blurb about the book, so the invites could pull double duty as advertising. They also make a fetching bookmark. When all was said and done, 250 of these babies cost approximately 0.04 Euro cent each. I gave half of them to the bookstore to keep on their counter and/or give away with the sales of other books in the run up to the launch, stuck a few up on library and supermarket notice-boards and dispersed the rest to The Great Invited. Continue reading

T-Minus 3 Days to (a Book) Launch: Stock Options

5 May

[Our broadband is out. I was on the verge of typing this entire blog post into the tininess of my iPhone when I remembered my Dad has a Vodafone Mobile Connect pluggy-inny-thingy - that's the technical term, I believe - for his laptop, so I've commandeered it for half an hour. The keyboard is unnecessarily springy, Internet Explorer is making everything look like it's from the web circa 1998 - and it doesn't spell check , so forgive me - and using a PC is making me feel a bit sick, but it's better than nothing. I hope you appreciate the lengths I'm going to keep this blog updated!]

I didn’t sleep last night.

I lay awake in the dark, wondering how you could possibly have a book launch with no books. Surely there had to be a way.

There had to be.

There had to be because my books had left the printers in North Carolina, U.S.A, but hadn’t yet arrived at my house in Cork, Ireland, the air space between the two had just been closed for the third time since the books were shipped and the launch was Saturday morning, only two and a bit days from now. Continue reading

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