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You are currently viewing archive for May 2011
Posted By Michelle Birbeck
This last week has been Armchair BEA week, and during the week I ran a giveaway. All you had to do was follow me on twitter, or if you were already following me, give me a shout and let me know that you wanted in.
So, after a week of meeting lots of new people and some great Armchair BEA posts, here it is, the name of the winner of the giveaway:
I'll be giving you a shout over on twitter very soon!
Keep an eye on the links page of the site for new and exciting stuff!

Posted By Michelle Birbeck

I have no idea what to say. I’ve just go off the phone with my insurers after my bike got stolen, and well, I’m in a rubbish mood. So I sit down to check my emails and there it was. I have to say, it confused me at first. I didn’t quite believe it. But there it was, a wonderful little note from Michele Strangis Stefanides saying that she was passing the Versatile Blogger award onto me.

Thank you so much, Michele!. It has absolutely brightened my day.

*Versatile Blogger Award rules:

Thank & link person who nominated you.
Share 7 random facts about yourself.
Pass the award to 5 newfound blogging buddies.
Contact the winners and congratulate them.

*7 random facts:

1: When I was five, I tried to teach my fish how to read.
2: I can’t do my times tables.
3: I love tomato soup, but I hate tomatoes.
4: I write sex scenes with my eyes closed.
5: The most I have ever paid for a pair of shoes is £15.

6: Instead of walking heel-tow, like you’re supposed to, when I started walking I walked toe-heel and had to walk along the beach for hours trying to get it right.
7: I name everything, but I hate naming things.  When it comes to characters, I spend hours.

*5 nominations for the Versatile Blogger Award:

1: Girl_Who_Reads is one of the blogs I visit the most often. Normally only to glance through and see what she’s reading and what she thinks of it, but whenever I do, there is something there. She’s also the very wonderful lady who introduced me to the Armchair BEA that I’ve been doing all week. Her blog is here, so go have a look and pick up a book or two.

2: Al Boudreau has to be one of the nicest people that you will ever meet. On his blog you’ll find some of his writing as well as his own journey through this wonderful maze that is writing. Click here, go have a read and let him know what you think.

3: Teresa’s Reading Corner is a blog that I have only recently discovered, thanks to the Armchair BEA. She’s a book reviewer, but with interviews, book reviews, and her Armchair BEA posts there is plenty to read, and lots of options. Her blog is here, so go check her out and see what you can find.

4: Mystic Thoughts is a young lady that I have spoken to a fair bit over on facebook. It amazes me just how many truly wonderful people I’ve met in the last few months, and Mystic Thoughts is one of them. I’ve had a great time talking to her on facebook, and her blog is a fantastic read. Clickhere to go check it out.

5: Thea is one of the first people I met on twitter. With posts on reviews, the blogs she likes and the books she’s writing, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into. Thea’s blog is here, so go have a read.

Posted By Michelle Birbeck

Today’s Armchair BEA is blogging about blogging. What do I blog about and how do I do it. Well, I blog pretty much about anything I feel like. Be it Indie Reader Houston’s weekly meme, or just a general update of how things are going with regards to publishing. As for how I do it, I sit down, get writing, post it, and let the internet do the rest.

I hate having to go through all my social media sites to put the link up to a new blog. Really, I do. So I sat down one day and worked it all out. Whenever I post a new blog now, it posts to twitter and facebook all on it’s own. RSS feeds are a wonderful thing!

So, yeah, that’s about it for me on blogging. I’d rather be sat writing, so let’s talk about that a bit. Apparently I am a bit strange when it comes to writing. Instead of sitting down and writing something and then sending it into a publisher, I go through these stages:

First up is the idea. Normally it’s just one image, a scene somewhere in the book that sticks with me. The WIP I’m working on at the moment started because I had this image in my head and then decided to write it. No planning or looking into it, just writing.

Second is the drafting stage. No planning for me. I sit down with notepad open on the computer and I start writing. Simple as that. It’s not until about half way through the WIP that I actually have some kind of idea of where the chapters are going.

Then I leave it all. Once it’s all drafted, each chapter in a separate file, I go away and leave it alone. That could be for weeks or months, or even longer in some cases.

Once I finally get around to going back to it, I then sit and rewrite it, from scratch, using most of what I drafted as nothing more than a storyline guide. I keep some bits, of course, but pretty much everything else gets reworded and rewritten.

After that it’s time to leave it alone again before editing. Twice. Once to go through and make sure all the inconsistencies are gone and everything that I want in there is in. And then a second time before I start with the whole submission process.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? Well, it can be, but being able to touch-type and a fairly fast pace helps, especially during the drafting stage where I’m not overly bothered about spelling and the like. Still, the work is worth it in the end!


Don't forget that today is the last day you can sign up for the giveaway! Check out the rules, and if you already follow me, drop me a line to say you want to be included and I shall add you in!

Posted By Michelle Birbeck

Day four of the Armchair BEA is all about relationships and those that have been formed with bloggers/publishers ect. There are two in particular that I have developed relationships with, and you’ll have seen their names mentioned before; TWCS Publishing House and Pocket Novel Publishing.

Pocket Novels

I stumbled across Pocket Novel Publishing back in October, just before the start of NaNo. They were after short stories for the launch of their business. Three days before the kick off of NaNo 2010, I decided that I had something I could write for them, and did. 5000 or so words later and I submitted it. Of course, it got rejected the first time around, but with some very nice comments about exactly why, and an offer to look at it again if I made the changes they suggested. So away I went, made the changes, spent two full days printing and reprinting, reading and rereading, and finally decided that I was happy with what I had. Then I had to send it back in and wait. And wait some more. And then wait a little longer. I’m not good at waiting. It was worth it, however. After many emails back and forth I finally had my first acceptance. Safe to say the first thing I did was screamed that fact up the stairs to my husband, picked up the phone and called everyone, which included a very expensive call to Germany, and then went onto the net and told everyone else.

The guys at Pocket Novels have been fantastic. They are re-launching the short story, taking it back to the days when you could buy short stories individually and not in full collections. I like the idea. So much so that I’m working on some more shorts for them. They’ve been so wonderful, despite my many emails with relentless questions, and they gave me that first taste of success.


Next up is TWCS. They are the guys publishing my book, the full length one. Again they’re another one who are doing things a slightly more old-fashioned way, from a time before we had agents to go through. I love the fact that everything I need is in one place. They’re sorting out my book cover, editor, as well as everything else. They also don’t mind me emailing them every few days with a whole new list of things I’m doing or planning on doing. And I didn’t scare them off with how much I write ahead. Because when I started writing the series I’m on, I didn’t stop at the end of book one and then try and get it published, I wrote three, started on number four and then started trying to get number one published. Then NaNo came around and I drafted out another three books during that. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but my editor is a wonderful lady and I am looking forward to working with her.

So there you go, those are the two groups of people that I think are fantastic, and not only because they gave me nice, shiny contracts to sign!

Also, don't forget about the giveaway!


Posted By Michelle Birbeck

Blogs I Love

It’s blog day over at the Armchair BEA. So here are a few of the ones that I like the most.

First and foremost has to be Girl_Who_Reads. If it wasn’t for her, I’d never have ended up being involved with the Armchair BEA. Hell, I didn’t even know what it was before seeing it on her blog!

Up second is Indie Reader Houston, whose blog provided me with a wonderful weekly blog post idea. The 5 top books, with different themes every week, is a fantastic way to get a look at books other people are reading. And it’s also a great way to really look at the ones you’re reading and see them in a new light. For me it gets the brain thinking a little, because I have to sit and work out which books I love fit into which categories. I’ve been slacking of late with the posts, but college is almost over, so I’m hoping to be back with it and joining in!

One of the best blogs, and sites in fact, that I have come across has to be Novel Publicity. They do a bit of everything really, design, publishing, critiques, but their blog of free advice is fantastic! It has everything from the top ten things to do with Twitter, to what you need to know before looking at cover designs. Their free advice blog has helped me so much with twitter and facebook that I wouldn’t be where I am now without them. And to top it all off, they even have a fantastic Friday Karmic Linking chain on their twitter page every week. All you have to do it pop in your facebook page link, go like everyone else on the thread and get lots of likes back in return! It helps to check back later in the day, too, though, so you can keep the karma going!

So, there you go, the top three blogs that I love.

Don’t forget, the giveaway is running all week, so if you haven’t already, go check it out and add me to your twitter.