Tag Archives: Self-Published

NaNoWriMo Novel: “Master of the Drunken Fist”

As NaNoWriMo is about to kick into full swing, I wanted to share something special with you the reader.

Throughout the month of November, I will be releasing a chapter a day of my very first NaNoWriMo win, a novel titled Master of the Drunken Fist. It’s a story only like 5 people in the world have read (poor readers!) and it’s a story I love, though the execution of it might not be the best.

The version you’ll get to read has been revised somewhat but it needs serious professional editing and rewriting. So why put it out there into the wild for others to read? Because I can. Because I think it might still hold some value. Because if you’ve ever considered doing NaNoWriMo, maybe this will spur you on to try.

I may eventually release the novel on my own, cleaned up and rewritten, but for now, you get a raw look into the early stages of a book. Be warned, there’s a ton of cussing in the book and extensive alcohol use.

Keep checking back every day in November for a new chapter of Master of the Drunken Fist. Thanks!


I’m going to try and keep up with links for the chapters for easy reference. Check back here often to keep up with the novel. Thanks!

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

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10 Things Learned Since I Started Writing

When I started this writing journey, I was naive to the complexities of it all. I guess in it’s most basic state, writing is just me and the words on the screen or paper. It’s when I started sharing those words that things changed. Here are ten things I learned since I started (in no particular order).


Editing is your best friend. I didn’t understand the serious need for revision and editing. I knew those things were important, but as I progress in my career, it’s abundantly clear how vital good editing is to my work. And I can’t do it on my own.

Sometimes the first draft is hard to finish. The moment I start revising parts of the first draft before it’s finished, I bog myself down and the pace of my writing slows to a crawl. That’s not good. I need to get that draft out, warts and all, as quickly as possible so I can jump in and fix it after it’s done.

I’ll never please everyone with my work. As much as I love what I write, not everyone will see it that way. It’s ok. Art is never universally accepted. There will be some who it doesn’t work for and that’s fine.

articulated-male-818202_960_720Writing is not a solitary endeavor. Contrary to popular belief, writing is not an individual act. Sure, the writer creates and physically writes the story on their own. However, to make it work, we need other sets of eyes to help us tighten our prose. And once that’s done and you want to share it with the world, you need others to spread the love. It takes a team of dedicated individuals to make that happen. I find it best not to piss off those that can help.

Family and friends don’t always support you. I gotta start by saying I have a tremendous amount of support from a lot of my family and friends. They might not agree with the subject of my stories, but they’re super supportive of my work. Then there are those that can care less. Yeah I spent a ton of time working on perfecting my stories, only to have it fall on deaf ears. Just because they are family or friends doesn’t mean they’ll automatically help or buy the book or leave a review. And thats ok. They are under no obligation to do so. If they sell Mary Kay cosmetics does that mean I have to buy them? No. Same with my writing. It’s cool.

Rejection isn’t personal. Let me restate that: rejection isn’t personal. It’s not an indictment of you as an individual. For whatever reason, the story didn’t work for that person. Cool. Move on. Try someone else. Revisit your story to see where the holes are. Send it out again. And again. And again. Maybe try a different market. Whatever the case, remember rejection isn’t personal.

Success doesn’t happen overnight. You hear so many uplifting stories about people leaving their day jobs to become full-time authors. I would love to have that kind of financial success from my writing. However, unless your book goes viral and everyone under the sun suddenly wants to read it, this takes time and patience. Lots of it. Don’t be discouraged. Keep at it. If you have a passion for your craft and continually seek to improve, your chances of this happening are better, but not guaranteed.

work-1627703_960_720Everybody has advice. Take it at your own peril. Many people mean well, but that doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about. Maybe they do. Talk to fifty different authors and you’ll get fifty different answers. Sift through this massive trove of opinions carefully. Try different things, but always be wary of the advice given. How to find the best and most trustworthy advice? I don’t have an answer. I take in a lot of suggestions and sometimes I’ll try them, sometimes not. It’s a personal thing I guess. Just be careful with what “rules” you follow given to you by others.

Self publishing is easy, getting noticed is not. I couldn’t believe how incredibly easy it was to get my stories uploaded to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple. It literally was a click or two and *poof* done. That’s it. But that’s also why indie authors are slammed by critics and readers. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. I spent a lot of time revising and editing my first collection of stories to leave the best impression I could with potential readers. I still had a few errors in my work. Then when it came to earning eyes on my stories, that was (and still is) a difficult process. I’m basically asking someone to use their hard earned cash to buy a book from an author they don’t know and invest their time with me. That’s a big ask. I better deliver with my work or they won’t come back.

You will have to sacrifice if you want to succeed. When I started writing, I played a lot of video games. One day I came to the realization that the time spent playing games on the Xbox was time spent not writing. How could I hope to grow as a writer and create new work if I spent my time playing games? I stopped cold turkey. I didn’t join my friends on our weekly game night anymore. I didn’t spend hours on a Saturday morning hunting achievements. Instead, I used that time to write more and read more. I’ve whittled down my gaming to two mobile games, that’s it. I miss those gaming sessions, but if I wanted to be serious about my craft, I had to make concessions somewhere.


There you have it, my ten things learned since I started as a writer. As you start your journey or are knee deep in it, how do these compare to your experiences?

Feel free to like, share, and comment. Thanks!

Author Spotlight: Mercedes Prunty

If you’ve been following along this year, I’ve featured many new and “new to you” authors on my blog. I believe in supporting my fellow authors and I hope you’ve been able to find new authors to follow and read. Here’s my latest “Author Spotlight,” author Mercedes Prunty, author of Junia and many more books.


Hi Mercedes, thanks for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Hi, well I’m a mother, wife, author and blogger and I currently reside in a small seaside town in East Sussex in the UK. I trained as a hairdresser before finding out I was pregnant with my eldest and it was on my maternity leave when I was bored (Before the baby arrived) that I really started writing. I had always written things as a teenager such as short stories and poems in my notebooks in class instead of paying attention so I guess it’s always been in me to write but I didn’t think I would pursue it. But I didn’t actually write and self-publish my first book until after I’d had my second child. I just needed a confidence push to get me going, which my husband gave me with a pep talk of ‘If you don’t try you’ll never know’ and I’m so glad he told me to.

 

How long have you been writing?

Properly, about 4 years. Not properly, my whole life.

 

What inspired you to start writing?

My first proper novel idea came to me whilst visiting my grandparents. My baby was asleep in her travel cot and my grandad had a documentary on TV about temples in Peru and ancient gateways around the world and to be honest I’d always loved things like ‘Tomb raider or Indiana Jones’ and that was when the idea hit me. So I wrote it down and threw it in a drawer, that was until a night feed at 1am one night and I was wide awake, so I wrote the first chapter, the next night the next chapter and so on. It still took me a year to write but that’s what awakened the true writer in me. Thanks Nan and Grandad.

 

Tell us a little bit about your current project. Is it a novel, short story, or something else? Is it part of a series?

It’s a novel which is going to be around 50,000 words, I’m writing it for a competition and that’s around the limit they want, because normally my novels are 100,000+ words. It will be a stand-alone and it’s a Zombie horror novel set in my home town. (I mean why not right?) The idea for this one came to me in a dream and I began writing it, then I spotted the competition and thought, why not.

 

What genre do you prefer to write in, if any?

Fantasy and Horror and those are the genre’s I mainly read although I will read pretty much anything just depends on my mood.

 

JuniaWhat authors influenced you?

Funnily enough one of the authors who influenced me a lot was S.D.Perry who wrote the novel adaptions from the Capcom game ‘Resident Evil’. As a teen I was obsessed with Zombie horror (I still am) but I loved those books and read them to death, literally, I had to buy them all again they were unreadable after the 57th time. Another author who influence me was Laurell K Hamilton, this mainly influenced my voice as for most of my works I write in first person as she did with the Anita Blake novels but with my new WIP I am in third person which is actually a nice change.

 

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading the Resident Evil series that are adaptions of the films. (See I told you I liked zombies). I recently brought the last book in the series but thought I would read them all in a book marathon so I remember what happens and can envision it like one long film. Although I have seen the films hundreds of times over too.

 

AloneDo you write every day? A few days per week?

If and when I can. I have two young children and it’s hard to find the time sometimes. So I just wing it and if I have a quiet day I’ll write, if it’s crazy I don’t.

 

Do you listen to music when you write? Does it influence how you write?

I have to listen to music when I write, I get so easily distracted by other noises, even the fridge talking distracts me. (My desk is in the kitchen. I’m not really a piggy…much). I tend to have a separate playlist for each novel but I mainly listen to film or video game soundtracks. For my book Junia I listened to the Final Fantasy X soundtrack on repeat for months.

 

How do you think your writing has changed from when you first started?

It’s neater and by that I mean less sloppy, my vocabulary is broadening, my ideas getting more vivid, less mistakes but still a few, the formatting and page layout has improved. I take it all in my stride though and learn as I go along.

 

KeeperOfTheKeyHow do you create the covers for your books?

I’ve done photography and art in school and college (Before I went off to do hairdressing), so I love drawing and taking photos so I tend to use them as my covers. One day I would love a cover to be made for me but my finances can’t accommodate that so I use my own, which isn’t a bad thing as people have commented on how they like my covers as they are not all the same generic ones you get from the shop.

 

Are there any non-literary influences for your writing (movies, actors, music, etc)?

The Resident Evil films and games, The Last of Us video game (Honestly if you haven’t played it you haven’t lived, it is awesome and so is the soundtrack), Final Fantasy X video game, (I like video games if you haven’t guessed and yes I am a bit of a geek). The Walking Dead… Just anything Zombie horror and Fantasy.

 

Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

‘Suddenly Alicia stopped, it looked as if she was trying to listen to something behind the scream of the alarms. Joel stopped and raised his gun up still holding onto the case, then his eyes widened. “RUN!” he screamed grabbing Maria’s hand and dragging her along the corridor.

Glenn turned to see a whole army of the turned chasing after them, their eyes focused on one thing, “The case Joel, drop the case!” He shouted as he also took Alicia’s hand and ran behind them.’

It’s not been edited yet but I’m working on it so this part may or may not change.

 

What is your favorite book and why?

Hard to choose just one but… Maybe… The Enemy by Charlie Higson. (Yes it’s another Zombie horror book)

 

How do you market your books?

Social media mostly because it’s cheap / mostly free although I have been planning to try and branch out a little into the paid Facebook and Amazon ads so we’ll soon see if they bring any more punters in. I have also been to a few book festival type events and sold a few copies there too.

 

Where can we purchase your current book? What about previous books?

They are all available on Amazon…

From Amazon.com

Junia

Alone

Lone (Alone Book 2)

The Keeper of the Key

From Amazon.co.uk

Junia

Alone

Lone (Alone Book 2)

The Keeper of the Key

 

Where can we find you online?

Twitter – @MercedesPrunty

Facebook author page

Blog

 

LoneIf you’re an indie author, what made you choose that route?

I chose the Indie route because I have so many ideas in my brain for stories, that I worried I would forever be trying to find agents or publishers and not have time to write. I have been told by many that even if you score a publishing deal with a traditional publisher that they might not want to take on all your works, so that would mean finding new agents again and I can’t be harassed with that. Although if one day I decided to try it I wouldn’t mind giving traditional a good go. I guess right now the indie scene suits me and it’s so hot right now it’s a great and inspirational scene to be involved in.

 

Any parting words for writers?

Never give up, keep writing, even when it all feels like rubbish and your failing you truly are not. True writers never give up, quitters are the people who didn’t believe and you must believe.

Behind (Almost) Average Anthology

I’d been wavering over self-publishing versus traditional publishing for some time now. It seemed so easy to self-publish. I mean so many people were doing it why wouldn’t I?

Part of my hang-up to self-publishing is the quality of the finished product or even the perception that the finished product isn’t that good. I don’t want to be associated with that. If I’m going to publish something I want it to be the best it can be. I want my work to reflect the time and effort I took to create it and polish it and make it the absolute best I can.

But I was still curious about the process. That’s why I chose to publish my first book on my own.

I made the decision back in December to publish something on my own. I have four novels written but they aren’t ready for public consumption yet (I still want you to read my work!) However I did have well over a dozen flash fiction stories from my blog that I could rework, edit, and clean up. I decided that was as good a plan as any and got to work on the project.

Knowing many loyal readers of my blog might not decide to purchase what they’ve read for free, I set to work on the stories to tighten them up and make them read better. I also decided to include two previously unreleased stories that are only available in the anthology. I had to give my readers a reason to at least consider purchasing the book.

I spent many days and many hours on the stories. I soon discovered I enjoyed revision which I’ve loathed in the past. Watching my stories grow to become something I’m proud to stick my name on was awesome. Soon I was consumed by the project and couldn’t wait to work on it.

When it came to the cover, I approached a couple artists I work with for help but getting the sense they were a bit busy, and me growing impatient as the project forged on, I set out to create it on my own. I’m not the most artistic of people, but I found a site where I could create free covers (canva.com) and went to work. The finished product turned out to be perfect for the anthology. I feel it conveys the dark nature of the stories and gives the reader an impression of what to expect. I’ve mentioned before how I can’t stand generic covers with poorly used fonts and graphics. I bugged the artists at work along with a few others to get their opinion. I took their advice which helped tremendously.

With a cover and the stories ready to go, I set to work on getting it ready for purchase. My first stop was Amazon’s KDP site. I used Scrivener to format the book and the files were easy to transfer. Amazon has two pricing structures, one with a 70% royalty and one with a 30% royalty. At first I chose the 70% option, who wouldn’t?, but discovered the minimum price I could sell the book was $2.99. If it was a novel, I could see that. But I know I wouldn’t pay $2.99 for something that wasn’t 100 pages so I opted for the lower rate so I could price it fairly.

I also wanted it available on the Nook. I’ve never owned a Kindle but I do have a Nook though I read on my iPad mini instead. Still, I have a soft spot for the Nook and looked at ways to make it available for it. In the end I chose Smashwords to get my book on the Nook as well as Apple’s iBooks and several smaller ebook retailers. I think that was the best choice for me.

I didn’t intend on doing a physical copy of the book but after talking with a friend who didn’t have a way to read ebooks, I decided to give it a go. I’ve used CreateSpace (an Amazon company) before for print on demand books and chose that again. I spent an entire day re-formatting my book. I had to create a back cover and decide what color paper (cream) and what type of finish for the cover (matte) to use. That was on a Saturday. I proofed it online but wanted a copy in my hands so I ordered 5 proof copies and they were printed and shipped to me by Tuesday. Having my finished book in my hands was an awesome feeling! I found a few formatting issues, resubmitted the files, and proofed them online. Now I’m waiting for the final copies to show up.

The ebook and paperback copies of my book are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Apple has the ebook available. You can also get them on Smashwords and CreateSpace.

I share all of this because maybe it will help someone make the decision to get their work out there. I’m not saying my way was the right way, but it was the best way for me. I’ve caught the attention of readers I’ve never reached before and that’s thrilling to me. I’m inspired to keep writing. The feedback I’ve received so far has been phenomenal. I’m expecting bad reviews to show up as I’m sure what I write isn’t for everyone. That’s ok. I gotta stay humble.

I appreciate your support. Even if all you did was read this post, thanks! If you’d like to see the final product and purchase a copy of the book for yourself, see the links below. I would be forever grateful if you did.

Amazon:  (Almost) Average Anthology

Barnes & Noble: (Almost) Average Anthology

iBooks: (Almost) Average Anthology

Cover Reveal: (Almost) Average Anthology

If you follow me on Twitter (and seriously why wouldn’t you?) you’ll know that I’ve been discussing off and on the idea of self-publishing some of my work. It’s not a decision made lightly and there are tons of factors that need to go into it.

For me the quality of the finished product has to be excellent. I’ve read way too many self-published books that had typos, missing words, or other minor flaws that take away from my enjoyment of the stories. I’ve been working hard to remove those flaws from my own writing and hopefully what I’m about to unleash will be the best I can offer.

What I’ve been working on is a collection of flash fiction, mostly what I’ve posted here but with a careful edit and reworking. I’m also including a few unreleased stories only available through the book. It’s title is:

(Almost) Average Anthology: tales of adventure, loss, and oddity.

I’ve been working on formatting the eBook and hope to also include a paperback option. The release date is not set yet, but will be soon. Follow me on Twitter or watch for updates here on the blog to make sure you don’t miss it.

Until then, I wanted to reveal the cover. I HATE generic looking covers and what I’ve created captures the essence of the stories without going overboard. At least, I think so!

With that said, here it is:

2

 

 

The purpose behind the look is to create a sense of the strangeness inside. Most stories are on the odd side and a couple even deal with barns so I thought the look mimicked an old barn or door.

Let me know your thoughts, I’d love to get your feedback. Thanks so much for supporting me and reading my words. It means more to me than you’ll ever know.