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More Twitter shenanigans avec @MetalOllie and @Jenny_Trout

Looks like I’m back on Twitter. Ha – my boycott didn’t last long, did it? I mean, I’m still using it less, but I’d hoped to cold turkey it and get this book finished by now.

Speaking of Eat Me, it’s chugging along nicely. Not quite up to my blasting-through-a-thousand-words-in-half-an-hour speed of yesteryear, but, you know…every page is progress. My spreadsheet estimates its final word count will be around the 25k words mark.

So. Twitter. I got an email from @MetalOllie this afternoon, he of ‘Cheeto-faced, ferret wearing shitgibbon’ fame, telling me that he too had suffered under the mighty thud of Mjoltweet, the Great Banhammer, for a period of twelve hours. Attached to his emails were two screenshots:

IMG_0823

IMG_0822

Apparently some festering twatscab can send @Jenny_Trout endless tweets threatening to shoot her, but God forbid @MetalOllie call a pal a daft twat in jest; we can’t have that!

So this is what we’ve come to. A secret underground network of Twitterers swapping email addresses and sending screenshots over WhatsApp, exchanging tales of what it was like in the Great Bannination of 2017. I’m not expecting the Twitter management to do anything about it, to be honest. They’re more than happy to harbour Nazis on their site and have men make rape threats to women who dare to express an opinion about books of films or their write to birth control.

But who knows? It might make someone feel better to know it’s not just them. Twitter is treating everyone unfairly. So yay, liberte, egalite, fraternitweet, or something?

I’m going to push myself over the next thousand-word mark in this book and go to bed. I had planned to go into town tomorrow to get some fresh air, do some shopping, but to be honest, I need to stick with the manuscript and treat it with a bit more respect or it’ll never get finished. Besides which, I’ve decided to reward myself with a renewal of my Netflix subscription when the book’s done, and Mindhunter starts next Friday…

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Posted by on 07/10/2017 in Eat Me, Twitter

 

“Kazuo Ishiguro wins Nobel Literature Prize.” ~A love letter.

2017NPiLKI
Kazuo Ishiguro: Nobel Literature Prize is ‘a magnificent honour’

Some good news at last! And definitely not ‘fake news’, despite what the man himself may have thought.

I’m very, very pleased that Kazuo Ishiguro has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature 2017. I’ve loved his books ever since I first saw The Remains of the Day and raced through his back catalogue. I’ve read Never Let Me Go several times and he’s one of the few authors I love enough to spend hardback money on his books.

I’ll hold back from gushing too much…actually no I won’t, sod it; how often does this happen? As I’ve just said on Twitter, I adore him, I love his books and when I heard about this year’s Prize being awarded to him, I burst into tears. That is how much his work means to me. He says so much with few words, “cutting deep with a sharp blade” as I like to say. The Remains of the Day is masterful. I love how terribly, terribly English and buttoned-up and restrained and heartbreaking it is. His books are so beautiful they hurt to read, but I will never stop reading them. Never Let Me Go is sinister and compelling at the same time, each turn of the page the heartbeat of the book rushing you to an inevitably horrific conclusion from which you can’t tear yourself away and he was robbed of his second Booker Prize that year, robbed I tell you, go read everything the man has ever written. NOW.

(Okay, you can finish reading this love-letter of a blog post first if you like. But I won’t mind if you pop off to Amazon to bulk-buy his entire back catalogue.)

I’m overjoyed. A complete, unashamed “Ish” fangirl, me. I wish I could read all of his books for the first time again.

Telling Ishiguro he’s won

Kazuo Ishiguro: How I wrote The Remains of the Day in four weeks is a years-old article from the Guardian’s book club but you should still read it. And the (Booker Prize-winning) novel itself.

Will Gompertz’s Kazuo Ishiguro keeps calm amid Nobel Prize frenzy says it well: “For me, he is one of the great living writers working in any language. All writers can tell stories. Ishiguro tells stories on another level.”

 

Wordy McWordface

Oh, man. This isn’t looking good. The word count for Eat Me, I mean. Well, it is and it isn’t. As per usual, Yours Truly has decided “This will be X number of words long,” and the universe has come along, whipped out its wang and pissed all over my mad, crazy idea of brevity and getting the book done on whatever date I choose. Because of course the universe is an incontinent dudebro with no social skills. Don’t @ me.

I just (yes, at one in the morning) checked my supersekrit files for current and projected word counts and uh-maaaaazingly, contrary to my guesstimate, EM isn’t going to be 20k words long at all. Excel reckons 5 more than that. Yay, I can charge more when I publish it but boo, it’ll take a wee bit longer than expected.

Why do I do this to myself? Why do I consistently underestimate my own word counts? It’s only happened with every single book I’ve ever written. Well, except for those written to contract and even then I had to shave off a few pages here and there to fit the publisher’s requirements.

Allowing for Book #2 in the sequence being the same recalcitrant length (*burp*, ooh sorry; that thesaurus I swallowed didn’t go down easy), I could even get that finished in October, too. BUT LET’S NOT TRY TO RUN BEFORE WE CAN WALK.

Also, the more observant (obsessive) amongst you may have noticed I have reactivated my Twitter account. This isn’t because Jack and Biz et al have stopped being dogbeasting chucklefucks, but so I can avoid URL squatters. I still plan to stay away from the place while I simmer about their Nazi-gobbling tendencies…except for that recent tweet about Boris Johnson being as foul as the crusted-over cockcheese under the infected and suppurating flap of Satan’s foreskin.

God, I fucking love words.

Including “tea”, “tired”, “Kindle” and “fuckity night”.

 
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Posted by on 04/10/2017 in Eat Me, Twitter, word count

 

Fuck you, Twitter!

So. You know how I was gonna take a break from Twitter just for October to see how I got on, going cold turkey?

I kinda…deleted my account.

But anyway, leading up to that. Have I been writing each day in October? No. And I haven’t blogged each day either, having obviously missed the first of this month. But there’s a good reason for that – I was ill for a good few days, which prevented me writing, or doing anything creative. Towards the end of Sunday and this morning, I was only able to tweet and be amusing in small doses, hence no blogging or fictioning.

I ended up getting another twelve hour ban. How? Well, I saw that Biz Stone (?) one of the co-founders of Twitter, was whining that people were loading all their issues with the site onto him, which is weird, right? Because who’d think the person to go to with your problems on Twitter was…the co-founder of Twitter?

People were “piling on” (his words) and I was one who asked why rape threats and Nazism were okay, but responding to racists was worthy of a ban. I also asked why, during my recent week long ban, I wasn’t good enough to use the site, but my timeline was good enough for them to advertise on. There was no response to, “How is a guy calling me cunt 40 times in a row not a violation of your Terms of Service?” either. Or to my question regarding the “Safety” team; if they are real people, why were all responses to my emails automated? Did any humans actually work there?

Unless you count a 12-hour ban, during which only my followers would see my tweets, a response.

I got ‘sick fed up of it’, to use a Scottishism, deleted all my tweets and identifying details, and borked my account. I am absolutely hacked off that Twitter is okay with verifying self-confessed Nazis, but if you answer back, or tell someone to fuck off after they say someone deserves to die in an oven, whoa now, we can’t have that, can we?

A couple of friends have emailed to say no, don’t, come back…which is all very nice for my ego, but really does nothing to improve the situation at hand. I’m not prepared to go back to a website that condones such disgusting behaviour from men as threatening to track me down and rape me to death, but if I tell someone to ‘fuck off’ or ask the co-founder ‘why did you let that guy call me a cunt’, suddenly I’ve committed a grave sin.

Anyway. So. But. And other extraneous bobbins. What now? When it comes to promo, I’m not sure how this will affect my book sales…but I guess I’m about to find out. I’ll also have a lot more time to write, now I’m not spunking away hours on social media. Instead, the spunking will be confined to my books.

That said, I’m trying to build an email list, so feel free to join here.

Members of my mailing list will get an advance heads-up on things like cover art, upcoming releases and so on. In the future I’ll be working on freebie stories to give away, too.

Feel free to share a link to this blog post on social media, seeing as I won’t be there myself and…see you in my next blog post!

 
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Posted by on 02/10/2017 in mailing list, Twitter

 

October plans

I’m not very good at blogging regularly, am I? I’ve been thinking about making an attempt to blog every day for, say, a month, to gain some writing momentum, but also wonder if I have enough to say. Mind, it’s my blog so even if I wanted to just type rubbish to keep up the muscle memory in my hands, that’s my right.

Because of changes to Twitter – they’re playing with giving some people a doubled character limit, so that takes it up to 280 during this trial period – I’m tinkering with the idea of taking some time away from the site. Not only is it impossible to get in touch with a real, live, human being when you have a problem on Twitter, but the human beings who do work there seem determined to ignore the real problems. “Nazis making death and rape threats? Nah, that’s not important. Here, have a 280-character-limit instead!”

So it looks as if in October, I’ll be taking a break from social media specifically to see if I can. Rather than divorce Twitter completely by deleting my account, I’m looking at a trial separation to see if I miss it or not. Besides which, deleting would leave my username open to URL-squatting. Sounds weird? Something similar has happened before. I was once a member of a writing forum where someone set up a sockpuppet account called “[Scarlett’s username]2” and proceeded to post messages “in my style” before being banned from the site. I say “in my style”; I mean, swearing a lot, of course. 😉 Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but you’ve got to feel sorry for anyone who feels moved to imitate Yours Truly!

And, I’ll be blunt, I would be interested to see if I need to be on Twitter for promo. If my sales aren’t affected by my absence from social media (not that they could be any lower, to be honest), I’ll know I can leave without regret, or at least limit my usage.

I’m going to keep track of my daily word count in the new month too. This is something I’d done before but, I’ll be honest, not with any regularity. A week here and there before getting bored. Something distracts me, or I get a migraine, and the pattern is broken. So, writing productivity is another thing to keep an eye on when I’m not loitering on Twitter.

As NaNoWriMo is just over a month away, it’ll be good to train myself to write with more discipline than social media requires. It’s probably FOMO more than anything, this constant need to see if anyone’s replied to my tweets, or how many DMs I have. But constantly hanging around over there means I’m not here. (I mean on Google Docs or in Scrivener writing fiction, of course, not specifically blogging on WordPress.)

Speaking of NaNoWriMo, I have two possible ideas for that. A M/F contemporary romance. My default sub-genre, if you will. The second idea toward which I’m leaning is a M/M post-apocalyptic novella. Novel. Whatever.

[Yes, I’m well aware that I always underestimate my projected word counts and on more than one occasion an expected novella has insisted it wants to be a full-length work.]

I was asked earlier (yes, on Twitter) if this M/M idea has zombies in it, or nuclear war. Neither. The -apocalyptic part of ‘M/M post-apocalyptic’ comes from a disease. Plague? What’s the word I’m looking for – pandemic, that’s it. The twist comes in what this disease does to people who get ill. DUN-DUN-DUUUUUNNNNN. And that’s all I’m saying about it now, because yes I’m paranoid and I’ve got bloody good reason to be.

So. What am I doing in October with regards to writing? Blogging every day, even if it’s only a paragraph or two. Finishing off the novella I’ve been (not) working on for months, then trying to bang out another novella before NaNoWriMo starts and getting as much outlining/pre-writing done for the aforementioned NaNoWriMo project done as is feasible.

Ambitious, yes, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

 
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Posted by on 27/09/2017 in blogging, NaNoWriMo, writing

 

Twitter mix tape

Have you ever heard a song and thought of a particular person, for whatever reason? That’s what this is about, complete with Twitter tags linking to their home pages, so you can check out everyone’s timelines and try to make the connection between them, and the song next to their names (if there is one, that is. Sometimes there is no good reason. 😀 )

1. @septemberstitch

2. @merlinslaugh

3. @jessikart

4. @Priene

5. @NyoEi

And finally, last but by no means least…*ahem*…@BrianCBaer:

I may do future posts like this if more songs occur to me but this kind of thing has to happen naturally. ‘Tis nothing to be sneezed at, you know, songification of Twitter friendships. Honest. Is srs bznz. 😀

 
 

The bitterness of knowing ‘rapemance’ is a thing

Today I heard about a rapey incest book that was so rapey and incestuous that Amazon pulled it from sale. It’s still available on CreateSpace, and its Goodreads page has had a lot of traffic lately. In fact, the last time I checked, the book had 400+ reviews and it was only published a few days ago.

This prompted some…feelings, on my part. Bitter, bilious feelings. Imagine that scene from The Exorcist, but instead of Regan, Scarlett. Instead of demonic puke, we have…well, okay, demonic puke is good. Lots of demonic puke.

I tweeted about ten times and said ‘end thread’…then felt the second wave rise up within me and ended up tweeting a bajillion-tweet thread about how angry and upset and jealous and annoyed and bitter I felt.

What follows is the blog version of what I said regarding the aforementioned rapey incest book, and in general, the state of erotic romance publishing and my place in it:

* * * * *

I honestly don’t know what I’m supposed to do to get reviews and make sales on my books when a novel featuring rape and incest as romance sells like gangbusters. If I sound bitter, it’s because I am. I know authors aren’t supposed to be. We’re supposed to be all sweetness and light.

Well I’m not. I’m bitter.

I’ve spent an age on some of my books – an age by my standards, that is. I remember By the Book took me four months to write and at the time, that felt so damn slow. But anyway, I want to make my books as good as possible, and on the rare occasions I do get reviews, I get ripped for the stupidest of things.

One review for Burn accused ‘the author’ (O HAI, IT ME!) of trying too hard to sound Scottish.

That’s weird, because…I am Scottish.

Someone who reviewed Plus One didn’t like it because of something Spencer did. Well, what was strange about that review was…I have no idea what book she was talking about but it wasn’t one I wrote. She accused my main male character of doing something I absolutely did not write.

And yet authors are supposed to just sit back in the face of such reviews and do nothing, because if you respond the terrorists win, or something. I dunno.

So when I see a book featuring father/daughter incest do so well that it takes off despite Amazon deeming it too offensive to sell on its website, yeah, you’re damn right I get bitter. Write what you want, read what you want, but don’t fucking call incest/rape romance, then praise the author’s talent. Maybe they are talented, but they’re shit at marketing, to call this romance.

But even so, it sells…and that’s the depressing thing. It sells to the romance-reading crowd.

Now, I know there are other authors who feel the same way as I do, but they’re too scared of a backlash to say anything. I, however, am beyond caring. This can’t ruin my career because I have no fucking career to begin with. Even after being published for seven years, I’m still struggling to become ‘known’ in the erotic romance world.

So either I’m the world’s unluckiest writer, or the world’s shittiest one, right? I just believe that romance should be aspirational, that is, you as a reader should either want to be part of the main couple, or should want to see them succeed.

I can’t read a pseudo-romance (fauxmance? rapemance?) about a man fucking his own daughter and think, “Yeah, that’s what I want!” and get all hearteyes about it.

I can’t say this loud enough – I’ve read books about Fred West, Josef Fritzl – and they’re true fucking crime, not romance. They raped their daughters and books about them are categorised as true crime. Their ‘happy endings’ involved suicide in jail for West, and a prison sentence of life without the possibility of parole for Fritzl.

So yeah, I’m resentful of the fact books I worked hard to write sink without a trace while Fritzlmance sells like hot cakes.

Now, I’ve mentioned before that I’ve had my work published without credit earlier in my career. There are books out there to which I contributed, but the author refused to credit me. Full story in my blog post here. That was a bad experience but you get over it, move on and try to do better. But publishing throws up drama after drama.

We’re told to work hard and we’ll eventually make it.

What. A. Crock.

It makes me think, I can’t be a bad writer can I? I must be able to string a few words together if my pages are out there being read…but my name isn’t on the covers as a contributor so it doesn’t mean a thing. And the books that do have my name on? Nah. Not so grand.

It’s like sending your children to school in someone else’s clothes. They’re mistaken for royalty and praised, but once their real identity is revealed, no-one wants to play with them any more.

Honestly, these days, I feel like I’m banging my head against a brick wall. I try to write romantic books, but incest sells more, apparently. You can’t predict when or why a book will ‘take off’, but I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do any more. Is it even worth trying to write? Something in me wants to hope I can make a go of this, but let’s face it – I’m in my forties and have been published since 2010. If I were going to be able to support myself through writing, wouldn’t it have happened by now?

To be melodramatic about it, I’m beginning to think my name and my books are cursed, like I’m destined never to have any success. No, I’m not owed success. I just don’t get why authors who use others’ work for their books are credited with genius and lauded like the second coming of Hemingway and the same goes for authors of incestuous rapemance.

And me? I’m just kicking my heels. I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

You may suggest just writing for the love of it, for myself. Not for money. To be blunt? I call bullshit. I’ve got bills to pay, just like you. I grew up certain I’d make it, absolutely sure I’d be able to support myself (eventually) through writing but if what I write doesn’t sell? It’s hard not to be bitter.

So, as I also said over on Twitter, I’m going to sit over here, being bitter in my bitterness. Eating cake. And fed the fuck up with erotic romance right now.

 
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Posted by on 09/08/2017 in erotic romance, rant, Twitter

 

Cast list scorecard

Further to this tweet:
Screenshot 2017-08-09 at 02.07.07
I’ve decided to do exactly what it says on the tin and totally objectify my own cast lists.

Research done (and don’t you dare tell me this doesn’t count as hard work) for the following novels and novellas:

  • Stay the Night (Kit and Steven)
  • Temporary Position (Tyler and Sebbe)
  • Dark-Adapted Eyes (Alex and Gabe)
  • Plus One (Spencer)
  • Long Time Coming (Leo)
  • By the Book (Daniel and Reece)
  • Burn (Austin and James)
  • Family Jewels (Devon)

When it comes to A Little Death and Bring Me to Life, there are crossovers with the main male characters; Jonathan Cutler and Cian Ambrose appear in both books, so I’m only going to count them once each, adding in Nathan Stephenson, who appears only in BMTL.

I’m missing out Deep Screw as it’s the first book I ever wrote without casting the two main characters (Cameron and Ryan) which is probably why it took me so long to write. Word dentistry; you know…writing the damn book was like pulling teeth. All I know about Cameron is that he’s got dirty blond hair, and as for Ryan, he has dark hair and dimples when he smiles.

Also I’m not counting the book I’m currently writing, as ‘casting’ isn’t confirmed until the book is actually edited and published. My blog, my rules. 😀

With the above kept in mind, the scorecard reads as follows:

Total main male characters: sixteen.

Jensen Ackles: 1
Richard Armitage: 1
Gerard Butler: 1
Bradley Cooper: 1
Colin Farrell: 1
Matthew Gray Gubler: 1
Jared Leto: 1
Shannon Leto: 1
James McAvoy: 2
Jonathan Rhys Meyers: 2
Joaquin Phoenix: 1
James Purefoy: 1 (ONE! ONLY ONE!!!)
Alexander Skarsgard: 1
Aidan Turner: 1

Lessons learned: I really like guys with J-names. I haven’t ‘used’ James McAvoy and JRM nearly as much as I’d previously thought. And I need to write more books.

It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.

 
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Posted by on 09/08/2017 in cast lists

 

I’m not dead

Grargh, so, I’ve lost two or three days to illness and Eat Me was supposed to be done by now but guess what, it ain’t, so…yeah. That fudged up my whole writing schedule and delayed the release by about a million years.

At a very, very loose guesstimate, its first draft should be done around Monday-ish. I’d planned to be balls deep in my next book by then but oh well, time, tide and migraines wait for no man. Or woman. Or pervert.

So that’s where my writing is right now. With regard to Twitter, I’m back on it, but with still no reply from a human being. I’m going to try again with another Twitter-related email address someone has given me, and see if that kicks them up the arse. Their reasoning may be “You’re back on the site now; what’s the problem?” but I’d like an apology and an acknowledgement that my suspension should never have happened.

I won’t hold my breath though. Seems like the place is run by goatfelching ratbastards.

 
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Posted by on 21/07/2017 in Eat Me, Twitter

 

A head full of fuzzies

It’s nearly three a.m. as I type this, and I’m blogging for no other reason than I’m killing time while copying files from an external hard drive to Google Drive.

Today was a bit of a bust writing-wise. I took some codeine for my toothache and ended up falling into a drugs coma (okay, asleep) and developed a headache when I woke up again. I’ve written a few paragraphs but that’s it. To think I expected to finish the first draft today! Bit ambitious. But I know I’ve got more written than I would have, if I’d bimbled along with no target at all.

I just know that setting a target of 5-6k in one day is a bit much until I’ve spent some time building up to it with some 3k days beforehand. Consecutive 3k days.

Upshot is, the first couple of chapters are done, and my heroine, Sarah, is one of the most sarcastic characters I’ve written yet. I always think it sounds a bit pretentious to say your characters take over; of course they don’t. They’re not real. But sometimes you can be in the mood to write a certain personality type and it’s just so much fun to go down a certain path, you let rip and it’s almost as if they’re taking over…but not quite. I’m probably making very little sense but it’s half three by now, and I’ve still got horse-tranquilliser-strength drugs in my system.

Tomorrow – or today, whatever – my Twitter ban’s lifted so I may see if I can get in touch with them a fifth time and see if a real, live, human being answers me when my account is once again active. I’m not holding out much hope. I could use my reinstatement as a natural (and unfair!) deadline for hitting a landmark word count on Eat Me. Numbers ending in a zero or a five are always good. 😀

 
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Posted by on 19/07/2017 in Eat Me, writing