mjhearle

Month: September, 2012

Winter’s Shadow and Winter’s Light AVAILABLE NOW WORLDWIDE

Unless you’re in the US. Apparently it takes a few weeks for the digital copies to go live stateside so look for them at your local e-tailer at the end of September. The rest of the world should be able to download the books right now. Please take to social media and share this link devoted Shadettes and Shadudes and let’s see if we can start something here.

Cheers,

M.J.

Winter’s world just got a little bigger

One of the most thrilling things that happened when Winter’s Shadow first came out were the emails I received from international readers expressing interest in my book. Of course any interest at all was exciting, but at least I could understand when it came from an Aussie. The book was, after all, available in stores across the country so it was perfectly conceivable that it might peak someone’s curiosity.

International readers, though, really had to be die-hard fans of the genre to be aware of Winter’s existence and I guess it’s a testament to the book’s passionate Aussie fans that there was any awareness at all for them to pick up on. In those first few months after the book’s publication not a week would go by without an email from someone in the US, Canada, UK, Romania, Vietnam etc. asking about where they might get a copy. And so it was incredibly frustrating not to be able to give them a definite answer.

I can finally announce that Winter’s Shadow and Winter’s Light will be available for digital download internationally probably by the time you read this. That means whatever your location, you’ll be able to hop onto iTunes or Amazon and purchase a copy to read on your computer, tablet or smartphone. A year ago, when my publisher first offered this option both my agent and I balked at the idea. There seemed something lesser about having the book be nothing but ‘1’s and ‘0’s floating around in cyberspace. A book had more significance when you could actually place it on the shelf.

In the ensuing time though, my perception has shifted considerably. The concept of reading books on a device no longer has any stigma attached to it, if it ever did at all. I’ve downloaded digi books to my tablet and enjoyed reading them just as much as if I’d read them in the traditional format. Ultimately, it’s the words that matter, not the medium where they exist. I’ll never stop reading books – the rustle of the pages is something I’m just not willing to give up – but I’ll happily pick up a tablet when that’s more convenient. And I guess that’s what it comes down to at the end of the day – convenience. If international readers are curious about my book they’ll no longer have to hunt for links that offer free shipping (though that option still exists), they’ll be able to download it immediately.

From the moment I knew Winter’s Shadow was going to be published, I dreamt of being able to share the story with the largest possible readership.

Now, I can.

M.J.

Pick up the phone, already!

These are the first words I’ve typed since early August. Sure, there have been emails and the occasional rogue tweet but nothing substantial. Certainly, nothing creative. Work on my short story about Claudette Duchamp has ground to a halt. The outline for the third Winter novel remains only a few lonely sentences. Screenplays exist as idle notions. I don’t feel like a writer, and haven’t for a while.

My usual gripe for not writing is lack of free time. What with my day job, relationship, various social and family commitments, finding a spare one or two hours daily is pretty difficult. The thing is the time does exist, I’m just not utilising it.

Why, you ask?

It’s to do with a wedding. My wedding to be precise. I’m getting married in November and while I couldn’t be more excited, I’m finding it difficult to concentrate on anything else. Apparently there is a lot to organise when it comes to a wedding and when you’re not busy organising it’s amazing how much mental real estate looming nuptials can occupy.

From the moment I wake up in the morning, till I close my tired eyes at night, I’m thinking about the wedding. I’m doing very strange things like obsessing over bomboneires, worrying about my groomsmen’s vests, seriously looking into pagan weather ceremonies to guarantee sunshine (anybody got a spare chicken they’re not partial too?). So when I have spare time, I really don’t because the time never feels like it’s mine to do with as I like. The wedding greedily gobbles all my attention like a fat man at a buffet.

It’s particularly frustrating because I’m so close to finishing the Claudette short story. It’s a good one too. Scary and dark but also sad. I’ve adapted my writing style to suit Claudette’s voice which as you can imagine is considerably different to Winter’s. A little more sophisticated and tad more psychotic. The story has also allowed me to explore The Dead Lands mythos further which is always fun.

I’ve run into a problem though. The longer I spend away from the story, the harder it is to return to it. Kind of like that fond relative you know you should call but keep putting off for one reason or another until it seems almost easier not to call them. If only I could find a way to compartmentalise – section off times in the day to think about the wedding, freeing up other time to write – then I’d be okay.

Alas, this particular trick is one I’ve never mastered. I’m not a multi-tasker. Just ask my fiancée. She’s learnt from experience that I’m only capable of performing one job at a time. Any more than that and we encounter the law of diminishing returns. Give me one job and I’ll do it well. Two jobs and I’ll do them both poorly. Three jobs? Forget about it! If you asked me to pack the dishwasher and make a coffee you’d probably end up with a detergent flavoured latté. Such is my lot in life.

Knowing this, I should probably put off finishing Claudette’s story until after the wedding. And I would, except for this nagging guilt which plagues me. Any writers out there can hopefully empathise. When I’m not writing I feel like I should be. Especially, when I’ve got a story on the boil. Especially, when I’m writing about such a forceful character. Wedding or no wedding, Claudette wants me to finish the story soon and I think I’d be a fool to cross her. Woe to those that do.

M.J.