Colm Herron on troubled writers

2 December 2015 / Leave a Comment

Colm Herron is the author of four novels and numerous essays and articles. He hails from Derry, Northern Ireland, and his newest novel The Wake was released in November this year. In this guest post, Colm reflects on writers such as Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Plath and Lawrence and asks the question does a troubled mind make better writing?

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10 ways to live more like a 19th century writer

11 November 2015 / Leave a Comment
head mirror brain

Technology is changing our brains. Our attention spans are shrinking and we find it hard to concentrate on one task at a time. Neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin says that technological multi-tasking increases the production of the stress hormone cortisol as well as the fight-or-flight hormone adrenaline, it can overstimulate our brain, cause mental exhaustion and poor decision making.

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Bequest - free on Kindle until Tuesday!

2 November 2015 / Leave a Comment

My novelette Bequest is free on Kindle until Tuesday! Leonard wants to bequeath his tattooed skin to the National Gallery. He has been almost completely inked by one of Australia's best contemporary artists, but he is a canvas that nobody wants ... 

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BooktoberFest photo challenge on Instagram

31 October 2015 / Leave a Comment
Instagram books writing photo challenge

I did it! 31 days, 31 photos for #BooktoberFest. A massive thank you to Jenny Bravo @blotsandplots for organising the photo challenge on Instagram for readers and writers. She came up with some creative and challenging prompts for us, such as pastel books, books + animal, indie books, make a book rainbow and many, many more. It was fascinating seeing how people interpreted the prompts differently.

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Win a copy of The Replacement Wife! 3 ibooks vouchers to giveaway!

21 October 2015 / Leave a Comment

Three ibooks vouchers for my new novel The Replacement Wife are up for grabs! Enter the Giveaway below for a chance to win a digital copy of my contemporary romance novel published as an ebook by HarperCollins Australia. Complete the giveaway by visiting my author page on Facebook or sending a tweet. Ends 24/10/15.

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Takatsu Of Forests and Clocks and Dreams Kickstarter campaign

19 October 2015 / Leave a Comment

of forests and clocks and dreams

Takatsu, the pioneer of the English cell phone novel and a trailblazer in transmedia storytelling, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for his collection of literary short stories, poetry, essays and experimental art, photography and design. His goal of $700 has already been achieved in a week and will fund the print run and marketing for Of Forests and Clocks and Dreams and help to start a new project called Inspiritus Press. However, any funds received over this will allow for a larger print run and the possibility of hardcover editions. 

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Is Kindle Scout right for you? by Katie O'Rourke

10 October 2015 / Leave a Comment

Kindle Scout is a crowdsourced publishing platform, described as 'reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books'. Authors are encouraged to promote their book through their networks, asking readers to 'nominate' their work for publication. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate and featured Amazon marketing. Author Katie O'Rourke is trying out this platform and gives us her best tips to help decide whether Kindle Scout is right for you? Here's what Katie had to say ...

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BooktoberFest - books & writing challenge on Instagram

4 October 2015 / 1 comment

Author Jenny Bravo of Blots & Plots has come up with a books & writing Instagram challenge called BooktoberFest. I love Instagram and I adore the ideas she's given for each day of the month - so I'm challenging myself to contribute a photo a day! You can join in the challenge or follow along at #BooktoberFest. Follow Jenny Bravo on Instagram @blotsandplots

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The Replacement Wife blog tour round up part 2

3 October 2015 / Leave a Comment

My blog tour for The Replacement Wife has now come to an end ... here's some of the posts from the last part of my blog tour journey:


Do your characters talk to you?
Absolutely. My characters keep me company. They’re loudest in the shower, probably because it’s in the morning and my head hasn’t been clouded by other things as yet. My characters are intriguing people and they walk with me on the footpath, in the supermarket and whisper to me on my pillow.

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The Replacement Wife blog tour round up part 1

28 September 2015 / Leave a Comment

I'm half way through my blog tour for The Replacement Wife. I've been asked lots of challenging, interesting and funny questions. I was also asked to do a post on 'why the grass is always greener on the other side'. Here's a round up of some the posts on the tour so far ...

Christine Young

How do you come up with ideas for your books?
Ideas for my stories come from many places – from conversations with friends or something that I’ve read in the newspaper. Often an idea comes when I’m bothered by something, when it doesn’t make sense – it’s like solving a problem. For The Replacement Wife the idea came from a lady I knew who had just gotten into a relationship with a man who had a school-aged daughter. This lady wasn’t getting along with the daughter and would sometimes say things I felt wasn’t quite fair about a kid. It made me feel sorry for the daughter and her own mother. I thought about what happens if a relationship was failing but you wanted to make sure your child ended up with a decent stepmother?

Read more:

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Virtual Blog Tour - The Replacement Wife

20 September 2015 / Leave a Comment

My virtual blog tour launches tomorrow! It's been a lot of fun answering questions from these fabulous bloggers. They've made me think about romantic tropes, why women think the grass is always greener on the other side and whether I'd prefer a Navy SEAL or a cowboy ... You can see my responses on these dates, in these places:

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Why writers love book bloggers

14 September 2015 / Leave a Comment

For a long time I've adored the line from A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, 'I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.' Lately, I've realised book bloggers are a bunch of very kind strangers. They are friendly, articulate and passionate and they are motivated by sharing the joy of reading with others. It is altruism at it's very best.

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Enter Giveaway to win a copy of The Replacement Wife

10 September 2015 / Leave a Comment

To celebrate the release of my novel The Replacement Wife I’m giving away a copy to one lucky winner, plus a $20 Amazon gift card. Enter the Giveaway below for a chance to win a digital copy of The Replacement Wife (HarperCollins ebook). Complete the giveaway form by liking my author page on Facebook. Ends 19/9/15.

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The Replacement Wife is released

2 September 2015 / Leave a Comment

My novel The Replacement Wife is now released and available as an ebook (HarperCollins Impulse). Now comes the fun part ... I get to hear what other people think about the novel! The relationship between a book and a reader is like a series of uncertain blind dates ... sometimes a book and a reader are incompatible, but every now and again a book finds a good match. This week I feel blessed to have received an insightful and contemplative review of The Replacement Wife - this reader has gone above and beyond the role of reviewer, P.J.'s reflections on my novel deserve 5 stars and I want to share them here ...

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Jet Black Publishing Kickstarter Campaign

26 August 2015 / Leave a Comment
Jet Black Publishing books Aunty Arty

Jet Black Publishing, publisher of my Aunty Arty and the Disquieting Muses children's book, has launched a Kickstarter campaign. They are hoping to raise funds from generous people who believe in the value of children's books ...

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10 tips for how writers can use #bookstagram on Instagram

22 July 2015 / Leave a Comment
instagram writers

The problem with being a writer is the act of writing is boring. Look here I am at my laptop, writing. Oh again, I'm at my laptop, writing. I'm drinking a long black coffee out of an aqua blue cup. I'm typing on my laptop. I've had three coffees already today, so I'm drinking a black tea. I'm at a cafe. Writing. Fingers, keys, laptop. I've got crumbs on my keyboard. The act of writing is repetitive and not very Instagram-worthy.

So when I came across #bookstagram I was like, finally, this is something I can contribute to! Type #bookstagram or #bookphoto or #bookphotography into Instagram and drool at some of the great photos #booklovers have been taking!

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Jason Howell on Extrovert Writers

16 July 2015 / Leave a Comment

Today I give thanks to writer Jason Howell. On his groundbreaking site Howlarium he asks the important questions. His discussion on Extrovert Writers made me reassess online attention seeking ...

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Recipes for writers - Healthy writing snacks

14 July 2015 / Leave a Comment
good brain food granola bars

Let me start this post by saying I think ‘snack’ is one of the ugliest sounding words in the English language. In any case, good food can be great fuel for writing and concentration. Rather than sitting at the keyboard gorging on dark chocolate, here’s a couple of sweet recipes I love making lately that contain food for the brain. They can also be healthy school snacks or work snacks, beach snacks or travel snacks … snack, snack, snack … yucky word, yummy food …

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Touching Doodles

17 June 2015 / Leave a Comment
Like finding gold amongst rubble, I recently discovered Touching Doodles on Twitter. Kyle is creating a daily sketch and quote inspired by life's confusing and terrifying bits. His posts are often inspiring and thought-provoking and I find myself looking forward to what he's going to create next. I've asked Kyle if I can share a few of my favourite ones here ...

Often there is a little bit of sadness hiding behind every moment of happiness

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10 things I’ve learned about readers from crowd-writing on Wattpad

9 June 2015 / 1 comment
what I've learned about readers from crowd-writing on Wattpad

I’ve had my stories on Wattpad for about 18 months now. With every chapter I’ve posted, I’ve built a readership. But more importantly, crowd-writing on Wattpad has allowed me to find out what my readers think as I go along. I’ve been interested in their feedback – it’s diverse – funny, intelligent and sometimes plain rude. But I can’t help loving each and every comment that I receive because it teaches me so much about readers. It also helps me to cultivate a thicker skin for criticism and to understand that some readers are flippant, some are easy to impress, some are hard to impress, some readers get my humour, some readers see humour when there was none, some readers are impatient with the story, some readers want the story to slow down, some readers are fans who want to shake pom poms at every sentence, some readers will read right to the end of a novel and then say your story stinks …

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10 tips to take your own author headshot

3 June 2015 / Leave a Comment

There are three things a publisher is going to need from you when you're having a book published: an author bio, a blurb and an author headshot. As much as readers love to read your words, they're also going to be curious about what you look like, and your author photo can say something about you.

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Juggling writing with motherhood - Ericka Clay

27 May 2015 / Leave a Comment

Ericka Clay, author of recently published Unkept (Bannerwing Books), founder of TipsyLit and one of my favourite online writers and bloggers tells us how she juggles writing with motherhood. She suggests that we embrace our imperfections and that writing mothers are almost oxymorons ...

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What’s in a character's name?

24 May 2015 / Leave a Comment

Last night I went to a local theatre production of a new work of dance, comedy, drama and physical theatre. I’m acquainted with the writer/director and the lead actress through the local community. I’ve seen one of their other performances and really enjoyed it. Anyway, I’m sitting there with a friend of mine, enjoying the beginning of the performance, when three minutes in the main character refers to herself as ‘Rowena’. It made me a little flushed around the neck. Rowena, that’s my name. It's not all that common. That’s okay. I guess they have to call her something. Why not Rowena? I give names to my characters all the time: Luisa, Sylvie, Ivy, so what? I knew a Luisa once, it didn’t mean anything at all to me to name my character Luisa.

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Juggling writing with motherhood - Tess Woods

20 May 2015 / Leave a Comment

Tess Woods is a health professional who lives in Perth, Australia, with one husband, two children, one dog and one cat who rules over all of them. Love at First Flight is her first novel for HarperCollins. Her advice for other writing mothers is simple - get a good coffee machine, a cleaner and build a community of other writing mums around you ...

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Juggling writing with motherhood - Liz Madrid

13 May 2015 / Leave a Comment

Our first writing mother featured in our 'Juggling writing with motherhood series' is Liz Madrid. She writes contemporary new adult as well as paranormal fiction and her novel Loving Ashe has had over a million reads on Wattpad in less than six months!  Liz suggests that writing mothers set up a schedule to write each day and that they also find balance outside of the family to recharge those writing batteries ...

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Juggling writing with motherhood series

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This is how a mother gets any writing done ... she pretends there isn't washing to be folded, ignores the mess and hopes a sales guy doesn't turn up on her doorstep trying to sell solar panels as it will wake her sleeping child ...

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How my novel is getting published by HarperCollins

12 May 2015 / Leave a Comment
It's finally happened - I've signed a contract with one of the Big Five publishers! HarperCollins's digital first imprint Impulse will be publishing my novel The Replacement Wife - about a woman who falls in love with another man, so she tries to find a wife for her husband. Here's how it happened ...

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Author Katie O'Rourke about her new novel A Long Thaw

6 May 2015 / Leave a Comment

I came across Katie O'Rourke way back in 2012 on Authonomy and interviewed her on this blog about the release of her debut novel Monsoon Season. She had a fascinating story to tell about how an editor discovered her work on Authonomy and approached her about publishing it. Monsoon Season went on to become a bestselling ebook with a traditional publisher but she recently decided to self-publish her latest novel. Katie tells us more about her new novel, her decision to self-publish and her advice for new authors working with publishers ...

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Art, culture and kiddy stuff in Japan

3 May 2015 / Leave a Comment

I've just returned from two fabulous weeks in Japan. I love how civilised it feels over there, how no two toilets operate in the same way, I love the food, the courteous behaviour, I like taking my shoes off before entering a hotel room and being offered a cloth so I don't get makeup on a dress I'm trying on in a store ... I love their attention to detail. Here are some of the highlights of our trip ...

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Christine Frazier from Better Novel Project

7 April 2015 / Leave a Comment
I write intuitively. I get an idea and plunge right into a story, hoping to work work things out along the way. Invariably, I get stuck around 20,000 words into the first draft of a novel. This is the point where I wish I had some kind of outline to guide me through my problem. So I’m fascinated by those writers that map out their whole book from the start. Christine Frazier has made planning a novel an art form in itself; she is deconstructing bestselling novels, discovering what elements they have in common, and using these elements as a backbone for a master outline. She believes thorough research and planning instead of luck will help her write a better novel ...

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Best writing advice from a rejection letter

2 April 2015 / 1 comment

The best piece of writing advice I received was in a rejection letter from a publisher seven years ago. The unnamed reader said: ‘There seems to be an over reliance on repetition of words and phrases. Examine these words and dig deep to explore how you could use another word to say it better, differently, and inventively … when you rely on cliché you miss an opportunity to craft a sentence that develops a style and voice that no other author has.’ After I picked my self-confidence up off the floor and swept away my ego I realised it was true. My writing was commonplace, ordinary, boring and full of needless repetition. It was a harsh piece of criticism, but I’ve been grateful for it ever since.

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James Royce Patterson from Penleak writers collective

1 April 2015 / Leave a Comment

James Royce Patterson is an author of dark fantasy; he's into myths, monsters, and hidden worlds where everything is strange. He's also a member of the writing collective Penleak, along with Benjamin Lancaster and Christopher Tunstall. The three members contribute writing advice and articles to Penleak. James tells us about his new book and collaborating with other writers, artists and musicians ...

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Headless Books

25 March 2015 / Leave a Comment

In an era of shameless self-promotion and selfies, there’s something refreshing about people who wish to remain anonymous. I've always been intrigued by mystery people, from the guys from TISM to incognito street artists, so when I came across Headless Books via Twitter I just had to take a look at one of his headless book review videos. I found that I liked his calm, analytical and honest approach to reviewing books and that I was listening to what he was saying rather than being distracted by an on-screen persona. I wanted to find out more about why he decided to become a booktuber and what Headless Books is all about ...

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10 tips for writers using Twitter

10 March 2015 / Leave a Comment

  • Have followers. If you're sending tweets out to twelve people, why bother? Your first step is to build an audience. Follow someone similar to yourself, follow their followers, hope that some of them follow you back. I've found that roughly one in three follow back on Twitter. You may find that Twitter will moderate how many people you follow and may stall you at around the following 2000 mark.
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Wattpad and Amazon's new crowd-writing site

4 March 2015 / Leave a Comment
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Ericka Clay from TipsyLit about her new novel Unkept

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Ericka Clay is one of those writers I constantly see on the web and think 'I love what she's doing'. Her blog posts, videos and podcasts are witty, bubbly and helpful. I was pleased when I read some of her work on Wattpad and discovered her story writing sparkles too. Her talent deserves recognition, so I'm happy her debut novel Unkept has just come out with Bannerwing Books ...

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Art of online stories

17 February 2015 / Leave a Comment

An interview with Andrea Thomas of Mint Magazine about why I'm excited about ebooks for children and the changing digital publishing landscape ...
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Aunty Arty dives right in

16 February 2015 / Leave a Comment

More about Aunty Arty ... this time in the Mornington Peninsula Leader ...

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Recipes for writers - best brain foods

12 February 2015 / Leave a Comment

I don’t know what has happened to me lately. After years of dissing sugar Nazis and Thermomix owners, I’ve found myself suddenly interested in eating nutritious food. I think it started with a conversation with a friend who was turning Paleo, and then a Recipe to Riches episode sent me on the hunt for a healthy cracker recipe and then I read this quote by Hippocrates and it pretty much sealed the deal for me … Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food.

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Subscribe by email!

11 February 2015 / Leave a Comment

You can subscribe to outofprintwriting by email! Receive regular posts straight to your inbox about writing and publishing in the digital revolution ...

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Tips for submitting your manuscript

10 February 2015 / Leave a Comment

In my novelette Bequest Leonard has spent years having his body tattooed by a well known Australian artist. The story traces his quest about what to do with his literal body of work after his passing. I’ve been feeling a little like Leonard lately. I’ve bled lines out of me, painfully sometimes, easily other times, and it’s amounted to three novels, two novellas and a novelette ... and now I have to figure out what to do with this body of work ...

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About Booktrope with David J. Thirteen

5 February 2015 / Leave a Comment

Booktrope is a team publishing platform. Their community of readers select the manuscripts and the author, production and marketing team work together on Teamtrope to produce and market the book. I came across Booktrope a year or so ago and was interested in their revolutionary publishing model. David J. Thirteen's debut novel Mr. 8 has just been published by Booktrope after ranking #1 on Wattpad as a featured story. I asked David about his experience with Booktrope ...

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Signed limited edition prints of Aunty Arty

3 February 2015 / Leave a Comment

Signed limited edition prints of Aunty Arty illustrations by Narelda Joy are now available on Etsy!
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The Stoneslide Corrective and how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign

28 January 2015 / Leave a Comment
I've been a fan of The Stoneslide Corrective ever since I came across their rejection generator a couple of years ago. They are now running a Kickstarter campaign to turn their weekly e-magazine, featuring fiction, humour and satire, into a paper-based life-form. Many others must love what they're doing too ... because they reached their target of $6000 in five days! Every dollar raised over their goal will go towards improving the magazine and paying contributors, so there's still time to support this unique publication ...  I asked Christopher Wachlin, one of the founders and editors of Stoneslide, more about what has made their Kickstarter campaign so successful and their future plans for the magazine ...

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Declutter your mind for more creative thoughts

21 January 2015 / Leave a Comment

I recently read an article in The New Yorker about Vine, the new short form video site where users share 6 second videos on loop. It’s apparently massive. I logged on because it sounded so absurd that we could be entertained in 6 seconds. I watched a few featured videos and couldn’t quite see what the appeal is. Something about Vine disturbed me, if I’m to be honest ... has our attention span decreased to 6 seconds? And the looping … do we have to watch things over and over again to get it? Something about it felt a bit eerie to me … and it made me question, yet again, what is technology really doing to our minds?

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Aunty's travels puts junior readers in the frame

20 January 2015 / Leave a Comment

An interview with Keith Platt from MP News about the launch of Aunty Arty and the pros of publishing an ebook for children in this digital age ...

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Aunty Arty's Arti-facts

15 January 2015 / Leave a Comment

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