Sunday, 29 March 2015

Stick a fork in it...

The first draft of Blood Witch is done! It's currently clocking in at just over 46k, which makes this the longest thing I've written since I finished UNDERTOW way back in 2012. Man. When I started working on this over Christmas, I figured it would be around 15-20k o_O

This novella started out as a way to keep myself occupied during my Christmas break and turned into a labour of love. It's also turned out to be a bit of an exquisite corpse, in the sense that it's a patchwork of ideas and characters from other projects I started and abandoned in the past. Some facts:

1. The opening scene is an adaptation of something I scribbled in a notepad before work one morning. A witch (then called Lilah) was being interviewed by the police. At that point I had no idea why and I never wrote any more. I did steal that opening and turn Lilah into Lola for Blood Witch.

2. The start of chapter two, where Lola visits her ex-girlfriend, Rowan, started life as an urban fantasy parody I was writing to amuse myself. It was supposed to be part of a really OTT cliched UF story, but I ended up taking it too seriously (as I am prone to do) and decided to make it part of Blood Witch.

3. One of the side characters, Caleb, was originally a secondary character in a paranormal romance I was writing a few years back. I got about 20k in before realising I didn't really know what I was doing, but I liked Caleb and decided to work him in somewhere else.

Phew. Okay. I'm off to do a quick read-through, and then I'm going to enjoy an evening of deciding what to work on next...

Monday, 23 March 2015

25% of all my Evernight titles at All Romance eBooks!

How can you resist an offer like that? I mean, we're talking vampires...


Witches and werewolves...


And of course, more (award-winning) werewolves!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

The Secret History - Donna Tartt

I don't often talk about what I'm reading. There's a weird sense, when you're a Published Author, that reviewing other people's books can be disingenuous, so whilst I'll often give space to other authors here or retweet their links to their books on Twitter, it feels weird to just write a blog that's like, "look, I fucking love this book and I want you to love it to, okay?" Especially if I know that author.

But I don't know Donna Tartt, so I have no problems saying, "I fucking love The Secret History and I want you to love it too, okay?"

This is a book I'd never have discovered if not for a particular Tumblr blog I follow, which regularly posts art inspired by the book. The aesthetic of these pieces caught my eye, as did the quotes that often accompanied the art, so I checked the book out. The blurb is pretty irresistible to me - classics students, murder, secrets within secrets - and I picked it up immediately...and then read six or seven other books and sort of forgot I'd bought it. Then I read a story that was so awful it made me angry and decided to give The Secret History a shot because it was a totally different genre. I figured it would make a good palette cleanser.

And oh my god, I am in love! Gorgeous prose, vivid settings, unforgettable characters, twists, turns, the slow unravelling of what you as the reader think you know...This book is perfect. The kind of book I wish I could read again for the first time. When I finished the book this morning, I immediately wanted to start it again. I feel sad for myself that I won't get to experience this book again the same way - slowly discovering the secrets of the characters and learning what makes them tick. At the same time, I feel excited to re-read and look deeper, look for things I hadn't noticed the first time round. This is such a multi-layered story, I feel like you really, really need to read it again and again. This is the kind of book I would have loved to pick apart for my English degree and write a million essays on. The themes are rich and complex - how and why good people do bad things, how friendships are made, torn part and remade, the lengths we will go to in order to protect ourselves, and how flexible morality can become - deserve a lot more attention than I have time to give them here.

But sadly I definitely don't have time for it and also I'm not doing an English degree anymore, so I'm just going to settle for saying here: I fucking love this book and you should too.

Friday, 13 March 2015

“A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity."

Leonid Pasternak - The Passion of Creation -
also, a dramatic reconstruction of me trying to get
shit done recently
Franz Kakfa

So it's been a little bit quiet round here lately, I know. The main reason has been The Pain, which gets in the way of pretty much everything when it's really bad. I'm currently waiting on yet another round of physiotherapy for my arm, but that doesn't make for very interesting blogging matter. I have been slowly eeking out new words on Blood Witch, but not with any regularity. I've been brainstorming and plotting other stories, and I've been having a wonderful time making playlists and Pinterest inspiration boards for characters and books I might write one day. I don't really think that counts as writing, but it's part of the process, right? Right?

One thing I have done recently (this week, in fact) is finish a short story I first started writing like, four years ago? Maybe more? The completion of this story marks a mini-milestone for me: it's a romantic suspense, a genre I've always wanted to write in. Huzzahs!

It's always nice to fulfil an ambition. And better yet - the story is going to be published! Further huzzahs! Yesterday I signed a contract with Evernight for THROUGH HER EYES and the projected publication date is April 2015.

But there's a twist in the tale. THROUGH HER EYES is not going to be a Naomi Clark story.

See, I did something quite uncharacteristically forward thinking when I re-started this blog, and that was promise myself that Naomi Clark was going to focus on her first writing love - dark, gritty urban fantasy. THROUGH HER EYES isn't those things, so I decided to do something I've been toying with for a while and create an alter-ego for writing projects that don't fall under the Naomi Clark Brand.* There are a lot of stories I want to write in genres I'm new to and I'd like to keep them separate from Ethan Banning, the Urban Wolf stories, etc. Largely because I have a really clear vision of what Naomi Clark is (slowly) writing and doing, and partly because these other stories are geared towards a different kind of reader. For me, it makes sense to put them in a different place.

So THROUGH HER EYES, along with possible some future stuff, is going to be published under the pen name Amber Morgan. Here are some places you can find Amber and her stories if you're interested:


As Amber is basically me, I can promise you that following her anywhere online will ensure a steady stream-of-consciousness nonsense interspersed with the occasional actually intelligent point and/or angry rant, and also hopefully lots of new stories (if the physiotherapy works).

*It's not really a brand. It's more like a nebulous collection of thought-forms.