10 Day Writer Blogging Challenge – Day 3

10-day-write-blog-challenge-daily3Introduce yourself with your writing bio.

Yeah right!

This isn’t easy!  So I had a look at some of the prompts that Hunter had over at her site.

Tips for Writing your Author Bio by Richard Ridley had a few suggetions:

Basic Guidelines to Writing an Author Bio

Distance Yourself. Write it from a marketing point of view, not as an author and write in third person (She lives in a rural setting)

You Are Your Genre.  Commit to a genre and understand your book from a readers perspective.  Its about writing to your target audience. (she loves writing fantasy romance)

Always Be Branding. Always be willing to have contact details so your fans can contact you – web  address, facebook, twitter etc.

Keep It Brief. Don’t go on and on about yourself.  Make it short and sharp.  Recommended75 – 125 words.

Be Humble. Its a fine line between being humble and being a braggart – you need to find that line.

Get Personal. Tell your readers something about yourself so that they can connect with you as a person.

Fiction vs. Nonfiction. Fiction you only need to sell yourself.  Non Fiction you need to sell your credentials.

How to writer an Authors Bio when you don’t feel like an Author Yet by Anne R Allen has some good ideas.

Title it only with your name. Write in third person. Keep to about 250 words: one page, double-spaced–or 1/2 page single-spaced, if you include a photo above it. (I advise against this unless it’s specifically requested or you have a great, up-to-date, professional photo that makes you look like a contestant on one of those Top Model shows.)

You’re aiming for a style similar to book jacket copy. The purpose is to make yourself sound professional and INTERESTING.This may be perfectly accurate:  “Mrs. H. O. Humm is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Middle America with her dentist husband, 2.4 children and a dog named Rex.”But a bio is all about making yourself stand out. “Hermione Oz Humm was born in the Emerald City and is an expert balloonist, ventriloquist and voice-over performer.”

Things to consider including:

1) Whatever might make you newsworthy: If you do something quirky, add it in.

2) Work history: Tell them about your day job – unless you are a hugely successful writer, no one wants to know.
3) Where you live: for marketing purposes
4) Education: include any writing workshops you have attended.

5) Life experience and hobbies
 tell people about it, especially if it relates to your story.
6) Travel/exotic residences: people want to know that you have experienced the world.

7) Writing credentials/prizes: If you have won a prize, tell people, if you have previously published in a small time press, say so.

OK, so there is enough information here for me to get started.

 So here is my Author Bio

Catherine Mede lives in Rural New Zealand with her husband, son and two cats.  She works as a Teacher Aide at the local Area School.  When not writing, Catherine likes to read, draw and garden.

Having developed a love for writing when she was at High School, it wasn’t until she was in her thirties she decided to really get down and dirty with the words in her head. 

Romance is something that Catherine likes to write about because she understands the need to get lost in a love that sometimes seems mythical.  And adding Fantasy elements just fulfils her needs to be creative fanciful worlds to escape into.

Catherine has a short story published in a Masters of Horror Anthology and attends writing seminars and groups in her area.

When she is rich and famous, Catherine intends to have a large library which will double as her writing space.

You can contact Catherine Mede through her website www.catherinemede.com and facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Catherine-Mede/148449011904996she loves to have contact with her fans.

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Genre – continuing on…

I’m not one to bang on or flog dead horses, but I just wanted to talk about genre – again.  This time, more about where my writing is going.  I know I said that my writing is more character driven than genre driven, but lately I have noticed that my writing is getting darker. I have been exploring my dark side, and I don’t mean the force or anything Star Wars related…

Metaphorically and literally, my writing has gotten darker.  My stories are taking part in a dark place or time, with dark characters and dark undertones.  Which seems strange really, and totally the opposite of who I really am.  But I am happy enough to explore this, I think because it allows me to extend my own limited knowledge.

One of the stories I want to write is gothic in nature, but takes place on a snow planet.  Yip, can’t get any whiter or lighter than that, but the context of the story is dark – the characters have dark secrets, hidden identities, dark undercurrents. I can’t really explain why I want to do this story, other than if I don’t, I know the main character, Vyvica, is going to get very vocal soon, and she is a bolshy woman, no someone you want to cross.  Exploring her will be interesting, and I also find that while I am pushing my own boundaries in writing when I explore a new area, I also end up extending my characters, making them different than they imagined (Okay, maybe I am mad, but they do talk to me, and tell me what they like and don’t like…)

My current soon to be ex trilogy has a character in it, who was essentially evil compared to the rest.  But after lots of debate with fellow writers, I came to realise that evil is only a word.  It is the character of the person that makes them evil.  So I have removed references to evil, and given him a reason to be bitter and twisted (which was there all along) and made it darker, so he is a character with more depth as a result, and although he has evil intentions, he is no longer evil – just misunderstood (only that is a desperate understatement, but I am working on it!)

I am enjoying where my writing is taking me at the moment, and will continue to explore it until I move onto my next growth spurt, goodness knows what that will be!

Genre – Hot Topic

My friend Cassie recently did a post on Genre, and how she was feeling trapped into writing the same genre every time she wrote a story.  Which made me think about my own writing.

While I don’t like writing chick lit, or murder mystery or anything more mainstream, I can’t say that I am stuck in any particular genre either.  The first two (four if you count each separate story in the soon to be non existent trilogy) stories I wrote were fantasy, because that was what the characters insisted on.  But the next one I want to write is more historical – it is still fantasy, but it is also based on mythical fact from ancient Greece, so a bit of research had to go into the story.  The one after that, well who knows, it all depends on who will pop up next I suppose.

What I suppose I am trying to say is that I am not driven to write any particular genre, I am driven by my characters.  Tycelon and Delonia were definitely Fantasy, as are Fabyan and Danya – although their story is more of a romance than action as in Chrystias.  My characters invade my life for the duration of writing.  I lived with Tycelon for close to 6 months, and now while I am editing the story, I can hear him in the background, not as forceful as he used to be (Boy was he forceful!). 

Currently, I have Medusa fussing around in my brain, trying to make me see her as a real person, which she no doubt was at one stage in history, all myths started with a base in reality!  While I haven’t concentrated on bringing her into the light of day yet, I can hear her giving me little snippets of information about her character, her mannerisms, her personality that will be reflected in the story, and hopefully I will be able to do her justice.

So I don’t feel trapped by any particular genre, I suppose it depends on the setting the characters give me, and if one should turn up who wants to be chick lit, then I guess I will have to write it – it had better be a good story though!

Speculative Fiction – Interview with a Horror Writer

After reading Lee Pletzers The Last Church, I discovered a passion for NZ Horror and Lee Pletzers work. 

I asked Lee the tough questions…

Avatar CatherineWhat would you do if you couldn’t write? (Explode? Be a mad scientist?)

 

Lee PletzerI haven’t a clue. I like making movies and I have some basic director skills, so I would probably have gone to film school. Photography is also a skill I have. I take some interesting shots. If I couldn’t write, I am sure I would find some other medium to express my creative side.

 

Avatar Catherine If you were stuck on a desert island, what 5 things would you take with you and why?

 

Lee Pletzer1)     A solar powered laptop so I could document the events of a zombie invasion and have several hundred ebooks to read as I wait for a rescue ship after I emailed my location.

2)     A rifle for fishing. I would save one bullet in case my email didn’t get through. Plus, I don’t eat fish.

3)     Sunglasses (for sunny days. I have light sensitive eyes having spent most of my childhood in a room with a pad and pen).

4)     A sleeping bag and pillow, in case it gets cold at night.

5)     My ipod (solar powered computer will be able to keep it charged — AC/DC on a desert island! Ye ha).

On second thoughts I think I should have answered with: Pocket-knife / Bottled water / filtering system to turn sea water into drinking water / matches to light a fire / SOS knowledge. But my brain doesn’t think that way.

 

Avatar Catherine If you couldn’t use the computer for a week, how would that affect you?

 

Lee PletzerI would have a lot of email to read after that week, but it wouldn’t affect me too much. I would read all the time and handwrite some notes.

 

 

Avatar CatherineBut Seriously… 

What made you decide to write?

 

Lee PletzerI don’t think there was any actual decision on taking the plunge to write. I just sat down and wrote ever since I was a kid. I have always loved books and I wanted my family to read my stories.

There were no thoughts of becoming rich and famous when I was a kid, I just wrote when I had an idea.

My first long short story came about when I was 13 and in Whangamata and it was raining cats and dogs (the poor little pets hit the ground with resounding thumps — occasionally a whimper before impact) and I was bored. No TV, nothing to do and I had an idea of an alien race entering Earth and taking over. It was set in another dimension. It took two weeks to write and was over sixty pages long.

I never made a conscious decision to write, I just did it and didn’t stop.

When I was eight a teacher would send me and my friend to the playground during Social Studies to write a short story. It had to be two pages long. We had trouble understanding Social Studies. Each week, we wrote a short story, usually vampires (Hammer Horror fan here, from childhood) and the teacher decided to read my story out in front of the class. I had made a spelling error writing bloood (blued) instead of blood and everyone laughed (me included), but then the teacher said: ‘Lee writes ten times better than all you put together.’ Head swell moment that lasts even to this day.

Avatar CatherineWhy write Speculative Fiction?

 

 

Lee PletzerBecause it is the fun genre. You have freedom to explore the imagination in fun and exciting ways. My SpecFic is always a mixture of horror / action / SF or Dark Fantasy.

 

 

Avatar CatherineWhen will the next Lee Pletzers book be out?

 

 

Lee PletzerIt was released last Saturday 05-09-09. Currently stock is sold out but if you order you will be next in the line. Amazon is waiting for some more books from my publisher.

The link is: http://is.gd/2W62x I use the short URL as Amazon URLs are very long.

Publisher is: Black Bed Sheet Press. 

As for my next book: The Game, I have no idea. My publisher hasn’t mentioned any date yet, so I suspect it will be next year.

 

Avatar Catherine What is the Last Church about?

 

 

Lee PletzerI was going to say, check out what Amazon is saying but there is no description there yet. So, http://thestoryteller.co.nz/lastchurch.html will take you to a page where there is a book trailer and a description, plus several advanced reviews.

I could copy + paste the information but the trailer does a real good job, and it’s short. It will barely touch your bandwidth.

 

Avatar Catherine Why did you write it?  What inspired you to create this novel?

 

 

Lee PletzerThe only inspiration I have is the need to write a story that popped into my head. There is no special message, political or otherwise in any of my work. I just want to tell you a story and if I scare you or excite you, then I’m telling it right.

 

Avatar CatherineAnd the really tough question… 

What are your thoughts on publishing in NZ?

 

Lee PletzerOh, don’t get me started on this topic. There is a reason most authors in NZ are published overseas (USA / Australia / UK). NZ publishers aren’t interested in horror, sf or fantasy–regardless of what they say. They want NZ based books about the NZ spirit. Books that I don’t read or write. In an interview on radio a HaperCollins editor said he wanted to see more SF in New Zealand, but when he rejected my friend’s novel, he said there was no place for SF in NZ publishing houses (this person is a member of SpecFicNZ).

There are some books that make it through: Bloodline (SF/Fantasy) for example. A good story but the writing needed some flavour.

I tend to buy from the small press in the US/UK as most of the SpecFic in these houses are good reads with exciting storylines and themes that aren’t currently profitable for a major publisher to invest in. Although I have heard that Pocket books is buying up zombie novels as zombies are the new vampires. Apparently.

 

Avatar Catherine Anything else you would like to tell NZ about Speculative Fiction?

 

 

Lee PletzerGive it a try. Order books online, explore the small press, discover the new breed of horror writers, you may be very surprised (as I was, hence my decision to find publication in this realm).

 

 

Avatar CatherineLee, I appreciate your time and your assistance.

 

 

Lee PletzerNo, thank you for the interview.

It was my pleasure and I look forward to reading it in the SpecFic Blog week.