As a writer you are always looking for ideas, and most of the writers I know are writing series. These can be three books, six books, hey I also know some who have a 16 books featured around a characters.
In Dec 2020, I published the first book of the Realm series – Fall of Titan. I have to say I am super excited. Not only was this was first science fiction fantasy, it was received well by my readers and I enjoyed writing it.
When the idea for Realm came to me it always came to me, I wasn’t sure if I am to write one book or several. However, when I jotted down the enter idea, it became clear that this was a series.
Writing a series can be a hard job in comparison to writing a standalone novels. Now I am working on the second book in this series. It called – Poseidon and is already on preorder.
Since I started writing this book, I had to stop and refer back to the first part several times. So, I came up with an idea. I took two to three weeks off from writing, and went back and made detailed notes about all the facts/aspects in the first book. This is important, especially since I will need them to finish the next book.
Another aspect I had to make sure I included was to fill its the gap between the first and the second books. Most of my fellow writers release books in a series one after other, it’s called the rapid release. However in case of Realm, the first book came out on Christmas Eve 2020, and the second book comes out this Christmas. That is a gap of one year between two books. It dawned on me that the readers who might have read the book as soon as it was released will forget what happened until the second one is released. So, I created a small chapter which gives a quick flashback of book 1 and I presented it in a different way so that the readers do not get bored.
Here is the snap shot of the first chapter!
I have finished four chapters for book 2 and I should keep everyone updated.
For those who haven’t read the first book you can find it right here!
For several people 2021 was a highly awaited. There was hope that somehow the pandemic would melt away this year and not haunt us any more. Like everyone I too had this hope. Although the situation is better (I think) the damage done by such incidences leaves a mark on the society. I have survived this time because of my friends, family and writing. Having a purpose in life is important… and I feel that writing is on of my purposes in life.
After publishing my fifth book (Fall of Titan) in December 2020 and seeing it go so well, I was on the right path or so I felt. It appears that you never stop learning when you are a writer and you never stop doubting and wondering.
My sixth book is called Shadow Pandemic. It is currently on preorder, you can have a look if you like. The cover is still a work in progress and will change over time.
I got the idea of this book in early 2020 after the pandemic struck. But I didn’t write it then because I was busy writing and publishing other books and I also have a full time job.
The first draft for Shadow Pandemic was completed in Nov- Dec 2020 but I didn’t touch it again until end of Jan 2021. This usually happens after I have published a book, I do not write for weeks or months.
As I was getting Shadow Pandemic in shape (that means a lot of editing), I often found myself feeling sleepy and yawning. Now this could be because I had just started a new job and was hardly getting any rest or time. But I don’t remember feeling the same while I have editing other books. The recurrent sensation got me thinking, wondering why?
The answer was simple the story was straightforward and quiet slow in comparison to my other books such as Haunted. Then I thought, ‘Oh my goodness if I am feeling that the pace is so slow, my readers would surely sense it’. And yes readers are very smart, they do. And I as somewhat experienced writer know that a pace of the story keeps it alive. Shadow Pandemic is on preorder and is set to release in first week of May. Two months What could I do? Is this a good time to change the plot? Add a new character? To me that sounded utterly crazy! Felt like starting over.
So the weekend when this realization dawned on me, instead of editing I was brooding about how to improve the plot. Make it fast pace. Surely I could add a few action scenes but this is not a Cranston mystery. Shadow Pandemic is the first book of of a different type of thrillers which I plan to write. I am sure this happens to every writer and I kept worrying for many days. Then it struck me! What if I change the way the plot is written. Lets jump scenes of the past and present. Spike the curiosity of the reader by showing a glimpse of the end. I know. I know. It’s not rocket science and this technique has been used by other writers ( honestly I have just read a few novels but hey there are millions of books out there!). This idea thrilled me and I thought I tested it. And within the first three chapters I noted the difference.
So armed with a new sense of assurance that I wouldn’t bore my readers to death… I have happily begun working on the book again and hopefully would get it out in time. And I should say – that slight change (actually slight change is an understatement) sparked other ideas as to how I could improve the book! I hope my experiment with my book goes well and should keep everyone in the loop! The idea of sharing my journey is to help other writers and also share how I develop my books with my readers.
Have a lovely week!
One of my books is free this week! Its a emotionally charged short story. Please feel free to download it and leave a review!
This story sent chills down my spine but I still couldn’t stop reading.
It grabs you from page one and Eden and Linux are the perfect characters. They are real, raw, they make mistakes and pay a price which is very high.
The world building by this author is excellent. Perfect I would say. Eden’ earth is cruel, polluted, and human are extinct and hunted for harvesting and breeding.
Eden is doing what she can to survive and help her race but when she is caged and chosen by the machines to forcefully turn into a Idyllic. Will she yield? Help to hunt her own people? Or what price will she pay for her defiance? Find out by reading the book!
I have to say, Some parts of the story reminded of the cruelty we show against animals. We cage them. We use them as test subjects. We put the in zoos as exhibits. What if it was us instead of them? The novel gets very real and raw in these chapters and it keeps you on the edge.
Mr. Darcy’s perfect match was such a catchy read that I couldn’t put the book down until my kindle needed charging!
A slow beginning of the book puts you in perfect environment of 18th century. Soon the story takes off, and the authors unique style, pace of the plot and the depth of the characters take you on a ride.
A fabulous read I enjoyed several aspects I wanted see in the original P&P. Darcy we all know improves, but he has lot of learn and so does Elizabeth. I really enjoyed the increasing chemistry between the two characters. There is more focus on other characters, and this really makes the story interesting.
One of my favourite aspects is the story’s focus on Georgina, Darcy’s sister. Her emotions, her love for her brother and her insecurities are revealed fantastically and how she is drawn in an evil plot to break up Darcy and Elizabeth. Will she finally see the truth or again make mistakes that she will regret later?
I think no one should miss this one!
Being a huge Jane Austin Fan I couldn’t be thankful enough for Kelly Miller for giving these stories a new life!
Often authors come up with a different dilemma than others. We are somewhat considered ‘not normal’ (no pun intended). In my book, a person who can dream up an idea by looking at other people’s hair (that is me by the way), is not normal. Now you may argue with me and say you cannot define normal, but that argument is for another day.
Writers are the creatures which are most known to come up with fantastic ideas that can be utterly spellbinding or completely rubbish! I am one of those. When I discuss my stories with my friends, readers and colleagues they are thrilled to hear my great ideas. What they do not know that some of my ideas are totally rubbish, and I never discuss those. Yes, a wise man or maybe it was a woman who told me, it was a good idea not to discuss an idea when deep down you know its stupid!
So how should an author decide which idea is good and which is bad. Now, every author has different idea about this idea. Yeah, we are complicated creatures that sit in the dark and plan massacres with a black ink within the realm of our pages. Thank God for that! 😊 Here is the secret, as a writer you just know. Now you would say, right, thanks for that! That is really not useful. No. No. But wait a minute and ask yourself, is it really a good idea?
For me, when an idea occurs to me, I am very thrilled and I thank God for it because God forbid what would happen if I stop getting ideas, even bad ones. The first thing I do is write it down. Now, I might note it on my iPhone or on a piece of paper. I never leave it to memory. People tell me I have a good memory, but trust me, sometimes I just forget.
After writing the idea down, I will score it. Out of ten is it a seven, eight? Is it novel? Exciting? Does it draw you in? Is it appealing to me? If an idea is not interesting to you, trust me, it will not interest your readers. Readers are very smart people, and they will know. Don’t write a book for the sake of writing it.
Okay, so you like it and you are drawn into it. Great. Now write a little paragraph about it. Maybe be a couple of lines or just a small description of what the idea should be. Now ask again. Is it appealing? New? If the answer is yes and you find yourself wanting to go to the typewriter and start typing, let me say … don’t! Not yet.
Now you might say, hey I have a great idea. I want to write it down like now! Yes, but before you do anything decide a few things. These can include: who are the main character/s? Decide whether you want to write in 1st person or 3rd person? Decide the genre of the book and most of all write a one page summary of the story. Even if you are a writer who writes the story as it comes (like Stephen King), creating a summary will help you in the long run when you get stuck and help you writer faster.
Why do all this before even starting? Because writing a book takes time, and you want to begin with the right mindset. This process shouldn’t take you more than one day or may be just a couple of hours. Once you have a summary of your book or what we could call a synopsis, you can yourself see the weak points in the plot. You will have the ability to decide if this is a good idea for a book. You can also share it with your friends and ask for their opinions. No matter what other people say, to write a book or not is completely up to you.
If somewhere in the process you find out that this is a rubbish idea, do not, I repeat do not delete it. Do not beat yourself up. Just let it sit. Let me give you an example. About ten years ago, I had an idea which I began writing (yes, I was naïve I began writing the novel without planning!) and halfway through realised it was utterly, completely rubbish! So, I left it there… feeling sad… But I am very glad I never deleted it… because that old idea merged with new idea and turned into a book series. The first book in this series comes out this Christmas. The series is called Realm and its first book is Fall of Titan. So, an idea might be rubbish, but it may reconnect with another idea in the future… so never throw it away. Recycle it. Yes, I believe in recycling 😊
Damn, to much serious stuff for today. Until next time… take care. Have fun writing.
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Hey all, hopes this post finds you well. It inspires you and encourages you not to make the mistakes I did! 😉
I recently published my book Transcendence, and boy after putting out three books I thought nothing could ever surprise me! Guess what Transcendence did.
Usually, I write my books on Word (on Mac or PC) and use the same software until I get the final draft or even for updating my books. For some reason, when I began Transcendence a year ago, I started writing it in Pages. It’s an awesome software don’t get me wrong, but it’s always good to listen to it. Listen to the warnings it gives you.
So, when I finished the writing, I exported the book out into word. That sounds straightforward doesn’t it, well it isn’t! For instance, when I was exporting it gave me a warning that there were some formatting issues and I should fix them before I export the book. I ignored the warning and sent the book to my editor.
Surprise, Surprise, she came back to me after a few weeks and mentioned for the first time that there was an issue with formatting. When I checked the word document, I was shocked. All the curly quotation marks had changed to straight quotation marks. The apostrophes were of different font than the text, this led to differences in spaces between sentences. The editing was done, the formatting was a nightmare.
It was a horrifying for me. Now you would wonder why? Just go to the style manager and fix it. That was the issue, the style manager merged the two styles together. It was applying the two types of styles to different parts of the document.
I Googled high and low to fix this issue. The first solution was to replace the straight quotation marks with the curly ones. Tried it once, twice, three times! It didn’t work! Then I Googled some more. Modify the style they said. Okay. I went into the style manager, clicked and updated the styles. Nothing happened! The third thing I found that I should go in Style Manager, use the Style inspector and modify it from there so that the font and formatting is same throughout the document. No use!
I was terrified. Transcendence had preorders and people were waiting for it. I had to get the book ready. Yeah, I could have left the errors and hoped no one would notice. Here is the thing I would know! I would have noticed. And that was enough. Yes, I am a formatting junkie! It has to look good no matter what!
After two days of struggle, I did the one thing which I dreaded. Remove all the formatting and start from scratch. Actually, that took me less time because now I know a lot about formatting that when I first published Haunted. It took me another day, but finally the book was ready, and I submitted it to Amazon just ONE hour before the preorder deadline! Whew… that was a close.
Lesson, if you are using Pages use a very simple formatting or do not format at all until you are done. If possible, use Pages to publish your book and if you have designed it using this software, it’s better to continue with it. If you know you need a Word document to publish, then start in Word or if you want to use Pages do not do any formatting. Later on, export it to word and then begin the formatting/designing.
Hope this has served you all!
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Did you know, I am giving away free copies of my book to my tweeter followers! If you want to win a copy… follow me on tweeter!
Its spring and no surprise COVID is still here, we are working from home, Zoom is the new normal and I am working towards my next book.
Welcome new subscribers!
As a part of five books in thriteen months strategy (if you want to call that), Transcendence would be my fourth novel and its different in several ways.
First of all, its a novella. Now you might think, whats the difference? The difference is novellas are shorter than a standard novel of 50,000 or more words. This is the first time I have written a novella. All my other books are 50K words or more, Haunted being the longest one yet. What I have learned over the months working on this book is, shorter does not mean faster! I remember, I preferred novellas because I could finish them within 48 hours.
Secondly, most of my books are based in the present, Transcendence is set in 1944 during the World War II. Writing it was a bit of a challenge and strange. To imagine a life without smart phones, internet, social media and limited air travel was a bit hard. The research involved for this book was extensive and I was forced to think out of the box.. For example, I didn’t know if people in 1944 used a tooth brush. Did you know they bathe only once a week!
My life is surely exciting! 😉
Thirdly, a completely new main character. The last three books are based on characters which are well developed and well-known to my readers. In Transcendence, Zane Carter is a American soldier who is stuck behind enemy lines and is hiding in an inhabited house. Zane was sent to fight in the war when he reached 18 years of age. (If you didn’t know the youngest soldier in the World War II was 12 years old). He’s tormented by his own demons and hates himself for killing people, although they were Germans. He takes no pride for his victories, and thinks his side will lose the war.
Fourth and the last point, the way the book ends. I myself never saw it coming, although I plan most aspects of my books. All through the story, Zane is trying to understand the meaning of the nightmares and incidences happening to him. Regardless of what happens to him, he wants to return to his home. In the climax, the situation changes with such an intensity that I questioned if such an end was possible. It left me exhilarating, worried and excited. Well… what you guys think… only time will tell.
Transcendence is now on Preorder – You can check it out here. New cover coming soon.
Thanks for check out my blog.
If you want to have a look at my other books – check below
Hope you having a amazing weekend and Happy Easter! I wish you well and please stay safe, eat healthy and stay at home. We all can and will get through this. I just wanted to let you know, you are not alone. We are all in this together and the best thing we can do is be there for each other.
Today I will share the two things I do get everyday to stay motivated and not be overwhelmed.
1. Shuffle your routine.
If you are working from home, try to plan your day differently everyday. My day includes, get up, have my coffee, get ready for work (yes I get ready even though working from home), take my lunch break and then work till 5 pm. Of course this also includes catch up with my team, other zoom meetings etc. Then I go for a walk (yes, it is still allowed in Australia), cook, watch some TV and then read a little before I sleep. In the last week, I got really bored with it… so I started changing it around. I started my day with physical activity, and listening to exciting music/podcasts, talking with my friends before I get to work, watching motivation videos, etc. Shuffle works! Especially for the long time.
2. Listen to motivational podcasts
There are experts or people out there who have gone through worst situations than this. If they haven’t they have interviews or spoken with people who have. Over the years I have learned it always helpful to connect with them. Especially with people who offer solutions. Say, you are depressed, your friends will give you a hug, say it will be alright etc. But if you are looking techniques/ideas on how you can cope with it the next time it shows up in your life you need tool. Try listening to Brendon Burchard’s podcast. I am now listening to his Striving in Chaos series which is available on iTunes, Google play, Spotify, etc. Its absolutely fabulous, very uplifting! Give it a try!
That’s all for today. Hope this helps, and serves you. Thank you for your support, please share with friends and family. I would be really happy even if this makes one person’s day. 🙂
Before you go… here is small message.
Thank you for supporting my work. In response to COVID19, and increasing demand for books I have reduced the prices of all my Ebooks. Two of my books are on Preorder and there is fantastic promotions running on Realm 1: Fall of Titan
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H.G Ahedi Writer, Researcher, Author of Haunted, Black Moon & more to come. Discover my story on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
On the 29th Feb 2020, I released another book, Black Moon. I have recently done an interview on a site that likes to talk about authors, their books and gain their insights about their writing process. It can be hard, and sometimes quiet challenging for writers to talk about their process but writers interviews are opportunity for us to share our insights and also the questions people ask do prompt us to think more and write better book.
Here is the interview for my novel, Black Moon. I hope you like it!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE BLACK MOON TO A NEW READER?
If you are looking a complex, thrilling read, you should read this book.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND BLACK MOON?
This book has an interesting history. I have republished it this year, but it was originally published in 2008. The thing is the idea/plot came to me in a dream and I causally told about it to one of my friends. And she was like, ‘This is interesting, why don’t you write it down?’. And I did.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE A BOOK?
The first draft, I believe it took me two years. At that time I wasn’t planning to be a writer, it was just a story I wanted to get out there. So I didn’t do much about it. After publishing Haunted in 2019, I thought, it would be a good idea to bring this book back to life. The editing and rewriting, including the various updates to the plot and characters took me about three months. I began somewhere in Nov 2019, and got it published by Feb end.
WHAT IS YOUR WORK SCHEDULE LIKE WHEN YOU’RE WRITING?
Usually its couple of hours at night, almost every day. I might get more done over the weekends. Overall, it’s when I do get the time. It’s also good to have deadlines. Like my next two books are due in 6 months and 9 months and that is a good incentive.
DOES WRITING ENERGIZE OR EXHAUST YOU?
Writing energizes me! I feel, when I am working on a book I am transported into a different world.
IS BLACK MOON A STAND ALONE NOVEL?
Yes. Black Moon is a standalone novel. I have used the same characters in other novels, like Haunted. However, the plots are not connected.
WHAT KIND OF RESEARCH DO YOU DO, AND HOW LONG DO YOU SPEND RESEARCHING BEFORE BEGINNING A BOOK?
If I get an idea, I start the first draft right away. The other thing I do is write a detailed summary of the book, outlining the plot. Then I do research on each and every aspect. It might take me a month to 3 months to complete the process.
WHAT DID YOU EDIT OUT OF THIS BOOK?
As I said, this is the second edition of this book. I edited or removed a lot of unnecessary dialogues, scenes and settings. These did not serve the plot. Also, in my opinion they wouldn’t have appealed to the readers.
WHAT ARE COMMON TRAPS FOR ASPIRING WRITERS?
Over analysing. I know, and I do it too, that sometimes we just criticise our writing way too much. Of course, we shouldn’t publish our work without thorough editing and get a proper designer for the book cover. The issue is we writers spend just too much time thinking over and over about certain aspects of the book, instead of just either going with our gut or asking people for their suggestions.
WHY SHOULD PEOPLE READ BLACK MOON?
If people are looking for a fresh, complex, thrilling book with unseen twists and fantastic plot, I feel Black Moon would deliver all this and much more. It is highly entertaining, gripping and well… if you like sherlock holmes or Agatha Christie, you will like Black Moon.
Thanks for reading! You can find the original interview here.
In 2003, I wrote my first book Black Moon, and self published it with vanity press after paying a nominal fee. Seeing my first book in print was more than enough for me at that time, so I didn’t bother to do much about it.
Years passed by and then in 2019 I published Haunted. While describing this book I mentioned several times that this is my second book and I started getting a strong feeling that I should republish it. So, in Dec 2019, I decided to republish Black Moon and started to work on it. I wanted to be sure I did not repeat the mistakes I made before and also learn new techniques.
So here are few things I learned!
Cover all your legal matters! My first book was published with vanity press and I had signed a contract with them. The first thing I did was ask my lawyer if I could republish this book without any hassle. When I got a green light from her, I wrote to the publisher (although it was not required) informing them of my plans for this book. They responded as soon as possible and provided me an updated about my existing contract (it had expired). That was fine. I saved every letter, email and document I had received from my lawyer and my previous publisher (please do this.). And yes I bought ISBN for both eBook and Paperback; although it is not necessary for eBooks.
Put your book for Preorder: Nowadays this is an excellent opportunity to promote your book and also give yourself a deadline. Platforms such as Amazon, Apple book and Kobo have this option. However on Amazon, a potential reader cannot see or read the sample chapters although you might have provided the a good readable version (what a bummer!). I have written to Amazon about this, but well…lets see what happens. Overall, I think preordering your book is a great idea.
Print and edit is the way to go. I know this is not very environmentally friendly, but even after my editor has done a marvelous job and I have worked on it for months, I always find errors when I am reading a printed version of my book. I do not know why, and I am always happier after I have finished edited a hard copy of my book. So, print and read.
Read your eBook on kindle before publishing. Everyone nowadays has a iPad, tablet, Kindle or can read an eBook on their phone. My suggestion is to send your book to your reading device and then go through it page by page. This will give you a feel of how your book will look to the reader and you will see any major gaps or paragraph issues. Amazon does provide the Kindle Previewer for this, but I just feel testing it out your electronic device is a good idea.
Before you design your eBook; Test if that design is going to be accepted in the final version! Not everyone can afford a designer to design books. Not everyone can go and buy software’s that create beautiful ebooks (one day I will.). You might be in the same boat. So, a lot of writers like you and me spend a lot of time designing our books. Turns out when we upload it to Amazon or Apple, the design vanishes! (eyes roll). Yes, your designs might not be accepted by the platforms and hence could be a waste of your time. Imagine, all the time you spend adjusting the line spacing! Or all the time you picking the right design. (Don’t fret you can use it in your paperback version). However, be aware that your design or font will change once you upload the book. It is easier with Apple because they usually accept most of their fonts, and Pages is a lot of help. The take away advice is: design only one chapter of your book, upload it on Kindle or Apple or Kobo and see if it works. You could also use services like Draft2Digital which are free and provide standard templates for your books but take a percentage from your sale. If you are running on a budget, this might not be the way to go. Personally, I like to design my own books and kind of enjoyed it.
Thanks for reading this blog. I am happy to share my experiences as I write and publish my books.
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