Ok, so Christmas is over. After the roast turkey, turkey sandwiches, turkey curry, turkey casserole, turkey ice-cream etc, you have now, at last been able to stuff the smelly carcass into the trash (no, I am still talking about the turkey).
Thoughts turn to 2013 and the wondrous benefits it is sure to bring. Those of us who are aspiring, perspiring or expiring authors will be planning our daily schedules, organising our work into manageable sections and blocking off ‘quality’ time for the family.... yeah, right!
In fact, I am spending my time thinking of perfectly good reasons NOT to get off my fat ass and turn the television off, do the washing up and tidy the house. Anyway, it’s far too late now, and SWMBO has already retired for the evening – it’s nearly ten o’clock news time – but don’t worry, I will be fighting fit and raring to go tomorrow – promise. As for now, ‘tis STILL the season to be jolly, so, Hohoho and all that, let’s get on with the important bits.
My experience, such as it is, may be useful to new authors and the wealth of knowledge and information I have bought, borrowed or stolen will be distilled into a weighty tome (google it!) which, over the year, (yes, there are fifty two sections) will build up to the most comprehensive manual of advice and assistance which will take the reader from discussing the possibility of even starting to write a novel right through to opening a bank account for the Amazon checks. It will be written in my usual chatty and irreverent way, so if that turns you off we may as well give up now, but I hope it does not. Please REGISTER, over there, on the right, to make sure you do not miss a section (or the free book, valued by me at $150, but on sale at Smashwords for 99cents).
I will still do another blog (so, yes, that’s two each week) where I will discuss the state of the nation, the state of my authoring, the state of anything else I can think of, and also pass on any tips or advice I come across along the way. Just as an example, I have just started to use Socialoomph.com to manage my twitter tweets (am I the only person who cannot help thinking of canaries when I say that). It comes highly recommended – mainly because it is FREE (yes, you are right, that is why I am using it!) but if you throw money at them they will do more for you – just like the rest of us.
Well, that’s your lot for this year – next departing blog will leave this platform on Tuesday 1st Jan 2013. Take care of yourself and those you care about – see you next year.
You mean I have to SELL it as well as WRITE IT?
I had thought I would spend my Christmas catching up on reading. In my inbox I have about fifteen emails offering to tell me how I can make $1,000 a day etc – so, I figured that if I read all fifteen I would be making $15,000 a day and will have all the fast cars, big houses with pools, beautiful women etc. that they promised me, right? Ok, I guess that’s the mulled wine talking. Back to the real world.
Book marketing and ‘platform building’ has taken over my life. I live, eat, sleep, dream and hallucinate about facebook, twitter, pinterest, wattpad, goodreads, amazon, Smashwords – and probably more that I cannot remember at this very stressed time. Somewhere in the misty recesses of my mind I knew there was something else I should be doing but I was not sure what it was. Oh Yes, that was it. Writing!
On my fourth glass of red wine I realised what the answer was. I have to clone myself. It could not be that hard. If I could turn myself, in twelve months, from someone who did not even have a twitter account (yes, really) into someone who can say the words, ‘SEO’, ‘affiliate’, ‘blog’, ‘social network’ and ‘Indie’ without breaking into a nervous sweat, surely I could master something as simple as cloning myself. I sat down and worked out that I would need about twelve of me, at least that would make a start.
Something deep inside, was nagging at me and telling me that I ought to have a back-up plan, just in case for some unforeseeable reason my cloning plan failed.
Here is my back-up plan. One day a week will be devoted to writing – firstly re-editing my current book and working on the second – to be published around June. A lot of my social networking has to be handled more effectively and sensibly. No more checking facebook 378 times a day to see how many ‘likes’ I have! Everything I need to do is do-able, with planning and focus.
I have amassed an amazing amount of knowledge this year in three ways. Firstly, personal experience. I have been through the processes of writing, editing, publishing and marketing four books – totally without a safety net or a harness. Secondly, I have read a lot, and then read more. Some of our more successful colleague are generous in giving back a lot of their experience free of charge – and I have learned from them. I would like to especially thank (in no part order) Joanna Penn, Shelly Hitz, the ‘Duolit’ team, Mark Coker, and Kirsten Lamb. There are many more who have also contributed in many ways to my growing bank of knowledge and ideas. Finally, I have spoken with many authors far more successful (so far – watch this space) than myself and gained insights and inspiration – they include Nuri Vittachi, Philip Kim and Justin Hill.
I have decided that in 2013 the world will get more of Arthur Crandon whether it likes it or not. I will post at least two blogs each week. One will be of a technical/help nature, and over the 52 weeks of the year will build up into an impressive all encompassing guide discussing and explaining writing( structure, genres, motivation, editing, inspiration, work habits), Publishing (technical aspects, options, costs, results, trends) and Marketing (Social networking, author platforms, traditional ways).
Each blog will be for the aspiring author who wants to learn, and will be about 2,000 words at least. I will try to distil what knowledge I have gained into VERY simple Non-IT literate words. So that by the end of the year, if you cut and paste them you will have a useful reference tool.
The other blog I will do each week will comment on current trends, tell jokes, share sadnesses, recommend good stuff I have used or found, rave about Hong Kong, rave about my kids, rave about my girlfriend, rave about books, mine and others, rave about raving...... I think you get the idea. My final blog of 2012 will be predictions – Arthurdamus – I hope you will enjoy it. Please register – over there on the right – top make sure you receive it, and all my future blogs. Happy Christmas
This is my last post before Christmas. 2012 has seen me gradually turning from a lawyer into a writer – a bit like a caterpillar and a butterfly I suppose...... Speaking of butterflies, we went to the Botanical Gardens in Hong Kong last weekend (My girlfriend met up with some friends there and they became a mass of giggles and dancing – I made myself scarce!),
I came across a large exhibition room there and they had on display some Atlas moths - the biggest moth in the world. It is very beautiful and is native to this part of the world – I had the pleasure of seeing them live in the forests of the Philippines a few years ago. It was a good reminder to me to value the inspiring and wondrous things around us that are FREE and DO NOT NEED BATTERIES. It really is a beautiful world, if you look at it from the right angle.
I am really excited to do my re-write of ‘Deadly Election’ over the festive season (how sad is that!) – but I must get it out of the way and get on with my new book which I hope to inflict on the unsuspecting book world around June. It is currently called ‘the 90%’ and I have no intention of explaining why right now – I will start to tell you about it after Christmas (Please sign up for the blog – over there on the right, that’s it) as I would not want you to miss the exciting news. By then it will have another title – girlfriend doesn’t like it, so it has no chance.
I have enjoyed writing and learning about writing this year. but I have a lot more to learn. If you are a writer I hope 2013 is good to you. There are so many changes, I sometimes feel like a dinosaur left behind after the ice age (alright, shut up, I KNOW dinosaurs were not around until after the ice age – just a metaphor), I hope I can keep up and get ahead of the game. If you are a reader you are a REALLY nice person, and of course, a very GENEROUS person, and the sort of person who appreciates a REALLY GOOD READ!!! – here is the link to my book – amzn.to/T0Hthk
Happy Christmas everybody...........
This is my second Christmas in Hong Kong. Christmas was a magical time for me as a boy and I have tried to keep it magical as I grow up, and in many ways I am still growing- I think I always will be.
Many recent Christmases have had their sadness, but I have tried to make them a little special none the less. Following tradition has a great way of stabilizing you, of making you feel you have roots even if at time they seem to be in shifting sands.
Not being where you really want to be, or with who you really want to be with can bring so many negative feelings that it is difficult to stay positive - the trick is to enjoy what you have, with who you are with, and plan for better days and reunions. For me staying positive is helped by being in this wonderful city. Honk Kong really is exciting and vibrant, culturally varied and safe.
It would be wrong to think that Hong Kong was a perfect society though. There are many people living here who are disadvantaged and, for whom, Christmas will be a sad time. Hundreds of thousands of overseas domestic helpers will be helping their employers have a great Christmas while secretly crying that they will not see their own young children and families.
Honk Kong owes a duty to these armies of hard-working, sometimes abused and low paid workers which I hope it will one day repay. Hong Kong would grind to a halt without them.
Now that I have got all of that out of the way, I will start to prepare for my very merry Christmas. I have been here long enough now to know where to find the things that make Christmas special for me – a proper Turkey Christmas dinner, stilton cheese, vintage port, crackers, mince pies, a tree, mulled wine, Christmas pudding.... I am so lucky...... This year I will have them, and I will share them. Merry Christmas to EVERYBODY.
Ok, here goes. Why did I start this blog? Because I wanted to (get famous) practice my writing skills. ……… Ok, it was to get famous AND practise my writing skills. Also, I need a lot of help, as we all do, and I think I will only get
that help if I can offer something in return (either now or later).
My interests are writing, writing, and if I get time, even more writing. I want to
write exciting fiction about Law, The Philippines, Human Rights – because these are the things I know some things about – especially immigration law, bribery, corruption and lawlessness in the Philippines, and the lack of human rights for certain groups in Asia – eg Domestic Helpers in Hong Kong, the poor in the Philippines etc.
These things interest me passionately and I will post occasional blogs about all them – PLEASE let me have your thoughts, comments, disagreement,
I will also review books that interest me and recommend them, just because I like doing it – no charge, so if you are an author, send it along – let’s try to help each other.
Ok. What can I GIVE? Well, all I can offer is my time and whatever expertise I have gathered in my 58 years. Feel free to ask anything, I will do my best to
In terms of publishing, I have been through the meat grinder of self publishing
over the last six months. It is going quite well, but I know I have still got
so much to learn. On the other hand, despite setbacks and disappointments I have learned a lot, and I am happy to assist and advise anyone drowning in the sea of writing and publishing on a limited budget with
no money. It’s not all doom and Gloom. There is also despair, loss of
confidence and depression.
Despite all the above I am enjoying myself, and I will keep on (trucking) writing. I expect to be lonely here for a while, but please take pity and leave me a reply
or a post when you can – and watch this space!!!
Meet the author
Arthur Crandon is a lawyer, the boring office kind, not the exciting (and much better paid) courtroom type. He worked as a solicitor for a while before embarking on an interesting life overseas. He has spent most of his time in recent years in South East Asia, more recently in Hong Kong. Before that, Arthur lived and worked in the Philippine Islands.
He loves to fish, and play the piano – but spends most of his time writing, eating, drinking and sleeping
– usually, but not always, in that order.
His first book, Deadly Election, draws on his strange imagination and his
experiences, together with those of others, in a land that, beneath a veneer of civilisation, operates like the Wild West and is very
dangerous to innocent and gullible foreigners.
STAY IN TOUCH
Subscribe to the blog and don't miss out on regular features, offers and help - as well as a bit of humour!
My thriller - Deadly Election - is now on sale at Amazon. Anyone who buys the book and leaves a review will get a signed paperback. Please subscribe to my blog and newsletter here