Fault, writing

You can barely see the scar now

Vintage inscription made by old typewriter

I’m back! Well, kind of. Maybe a little.

When I released Fault last Autumn, I had no idea how much my confidence was going to be shaken by the experience. After all, it was my third release and I was happier with it than I had been with my previous two books. I knew that the book world had changed since my previous release but I hadn’t appreciated quite how much until then. Fault didn’t manage more than a whisper amongst the many sellers shouting about their wares. I don’t want to whinge, and I know my reduced online presence was a significant contributing factor, but the whole experience hurt, financially and emotionally.

Other than attending a signing being run by friends, I’ve stayed in the shadows to lick my wounds. I’ve been researching and doing a bit of writing. But mainly I’ve been asking some big questions of myself.

As much as I love to write, I can’t afford for it to be an expensive hobby; and publishing Fault was a very expensive lesson. I know that I don’t have to pay for editing, a nice cover, formatting, a release tour etc. but I also know that I couldn’t put something out there that wasn’t as good as I could make it – and therein lies the problem. I can afford to write but I can’t afford to publish in a way that I would be proud of.

So what does this mean?

My head tells me that I should continue to write (because I would miss it too much not to) but not to publish. My heart tells me I should trust it will all work out fine with my next book.

Anyway, I am writing and I guess we’ll have to see if it ever makes it beyond a Word file.

Thanks for reading.

xx

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Fault

It’s my Fault!

release-price-promo 

Buy Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2e7ZSNv
Amazon UK:
http://amzn.to/2emcle

 

Nobody’s perfect.

We all have our faults.

GRACE DAWSON is desperate. Her father is dead and her mum is in prison for killing the man who attacked her. She is about to turn eighteen and homeless. Her options are limited. Life is bleak.

NOAH CARTER is twenty-four, a writer, and burdened by his family responsibilities. Forced to live in the same small town he grew up in, he knows it would be wrong to wish for a different life.

When Noah offers Grace a place to stay, it is an act of generosity that she has little choice but to accept. As they spend time together, their feelings grow beyond friendship and they become increasingly important parts of each other’s lives. But it’s not just their lives they have to think about and the challenges they face threaten to overwhelm their relationship. Both make mistakes but can they overcome their own faults to forgive each other’s?

FAULT is a story about love, loss, family and forgiveness. It’s a story about life.

Fault

Fault: the blurb

Nobody’s perfect.
We all have our faults.

 
GRACE DAWSON is desperate. Her father is dead and her mum is in prison for killing the man who attacked her. She is about to turn eighteen and homeless. Her options are limited. Life is bleak.

 
NOAH CARTER is twenty-four, a writer, and burdened by his family responsibilities. Forced to live in the same small town he grew up in, he knows it would be wrong to wish for a different life.

 
When Noah offers Grace a place to stay, it is an act of generosity that she has little choice but to accept. As they spend time together, their feelings grow beyond friendship and they become increasingly important parts of each other’s lives. But it’s not just their lives they have to think about and the challenges they face threaten to overwhelm their relationship. Both make mistakes but can they overcome their own faults to forgive each other’s?

 

FAULT is a story about love, loss, family and forgiveness. It’s a story about life.

 
Fault is the third novel in Nicola Hudson’s Define series but can be read as a standalone from Curve and Heart, although it does contain spoilers if read out of sequence.

Uncategorized, writing

Tick Tock

Pocket watches on chain isolated

There’s a line in Andrew Marvell’s poem To His Coy Mistress that I love: ‘But at my back I always hear / Time’s winged chariot hurrying near’.  The voice in the poem is that of a man persuading a woman to consummate their relationship and it always enabled some great classroom discussions when I taught it.

However, it is one of those images that sticks in your mind so much that they become part of your own language.  Like many people trying to cram as much as they can into life, I am very conscious of the sound of that winged chariot.  As a teacher, my daily work life is split into units of time, all of which have responsibilities allocated to them.  At home, my husband works shifts which also dictate how certain pockets of time need to be spent.  Inevitably, and as I’ve blogged before, the only flexibility my time often has is my writing.  I took a break a few months ago to help give me more time for the things that were more pressing then.

But, this summer break, my writing life has been put to the top of the to-do list.  We are not taking a lengthy summer break, I have not over-committed myself socially as I usually do, and I’ve made myself sit and write before doing anything else.

And guess what?  I’ve finished the draft of Fault!  That is only the start of the release process though and there are now many deadlines and dates to add into the calendar.  Once I have had feedback from my beta readers, I will return to my manuscript and try to make it as good as it can be.  I have to send it to my editor in early September, work on their suggested changes, and then send to my formatter in early October.  And, fingers crossed that the above stages go without a hitch, Fault will be ready to be released on 21st October!

Thank you to everyone who has patiently waited for Fault, who has supported me during the dark days when writing wasn’t happening, who has kept their faith in me.  I hope you feel that 21st October brings you enough in return.

xx

 

writing

Looking Into The Light

Light bulb

The last time I posted was to share that I was taking a break from being an author.  My new non-writing job had taken over an even bigger share of my life and I was struggling to keep up with the book-world.  It had become stressful which is ironic, given that the reason I started writing was as a coping mechanism at a tough point in my life.

A few months have passed and I now have a slightly different perspective on the role of writing in my life.  You see those light bulbs in the photo?  Imagine all of them are on; that’s what my day to day work-life is like.  I love my job but it’s mentally and emotionally challenging.  The voices in my head are incessant, chattering away about every different decision that has to be made.  Keeping those bulbs lit meant I hadn’t got the energy to power the one that represented me as an author.  The character’s voices were the only ones I could allow myself to switch off.  So, how has this changed?

Over the Christmas break, I allowed myself to open up the Word document of my current work in progress (that’s been in progress for almost eighteen months!) and re-read it.  All of a sudden, I was transported back into the world I had created.  I stayed at home for a couple of days and wrote, just for the joy of it.  And do you know what?  Those work voices shut up.  For the first time in six months, I could hear myself think about something other than work.  It was wonderful.

And that’s when I realised that now, more than ever, I need to write.  I need to give my brain a break from the stress of work and the decisions that affect other people’s lives.  I need to give myself the time to be creative, to inhabit a space where the decisions I make don’t have consequences for real people in real life.

I’m sure someone would be able to explain the process that means, by switching on that one bulb, the others go off.  From my Physics GCSE days, I’m sure there’s a circuit involved in the explanation.  But what I do know is that, by switching to that one bulb, the room gets a little darker, more relaxed and the buzz of electricity quiets to a gentle hum.  And, although the opportunities are infrequent, I’m determined to grasp them.

I’m writing for me again.  And it feels good.

Uncategorized

Making a Wish

I can remember my mum telling me that, whatever else I could do, I couldn’t find more than twenty-four hours in a day.  She wasn’t trying to limit me; she was trying to stop me burning out.  As someone who was a Girl Guide, played a musical instrument, worked hard at school, had a morning newspaper round, spent two or three evenings a week babysitting for neighbours, had a Saturday job, etc., time was a precious commodity that I manipulated and twisted with the recklessness of youthful naivete. I would wind myself so tight that, inevitably, I would snap.

Despite the years which have passed, I still fill my time to the brim.  My primary job is one that I very rarely switch off from; it is an indelible part of my psyche.  For years I have given the majority of my evenings and weekends to doing that job in the best way possible.  I am thankful to have a sense of vocation and to spend my time in the pursuit of making others’ lives better.

And then I started writing.

Over the last three years I have found myself in the enviable position of having a second vocation.  I love writing: the craft, the creativity and the community.  There is nothing like hearing from readers about how much my words, my characters have touched them.  Even forcing my naturally introverted self to attend signings has resulted in some of the most joyous moments of my life.

But, as my career in education grows, I am finding it ever more difficult to find the time and mental capacity to continue being an author.  I have always kept a clear sense of separation between these two worlds and have been honest about the fact that my job in education has to take priority as it pays my bills.

I’m at one of those points where, if she were still alive, Mum would be repeating her reminder about the number of hours in the day.  My husband has recently become my self-appointed time manager, forcing me to take rest time and I know that means he’s worried.

So what is the answer?  As easy as it would be to say I solely commit to the world of education, it would hurt me so much to stop writing that any gain in time would be outweighed by the sadness.  What I can try is to stop being an author.  To stop the time spent on social media.  To stop the time spent trying to develop my profile within the book community.  To stop the time spent not-writing.  I know that this will mean less publicity and fewer sales but that doesn’t concern me.  Losing time with readers does.

So, between now and Christmas, I’m going to put my author life on hiatus.  I will still be writing whenever time allows.  Both Curve and Heart will only be available via Amazon as part of my determination to keep things simple.  I may check in on social media occasionally but, if anyone needs to contact me, my email address can be found on the Contact Me tab above.

As I blow out one end of the candle I’m burning at both ends, I’m making a wish: to be able to relight it in a few months’ time so that it will burn brighter and stronger.

Speak soon.

Nic

x