Monday, February 01, 2016

I'm a hybrid!

The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed an addition to the sidebar of this blog. Yep, I'm now a fully paid-up member of the Alliance of Independent Authors - a giant step forward for my new incarnation as a hybrid author.

For those of you who may not know, my first two novels, Nirvana Bites and Trading Tatiana were originally published by Orion. A few months ago, (on my birthday, since you ask) I set up my own imprint and published them as e-books. (See here for Nirvana Bites and here for Trading Tatiana.) I've now edited De Nada Nirvana, the third novel in the series. It was fun to re-visit a novel I considered to be final draft several years ago, when I was still largely operating by instinct. This was my first novel written in third person, with two different threads: one set in London, following Jen and her fellow Nirvanans, and one set in Spain, where Jo has gone to search for a missing teenager.

As an editor and tutor, I often advise people not to have characters with names beginning with the same initial but it's too late to change Jen and Jo now. Anyway, if it was good enough for Orion ... But I did have to cast a beady eye on some of the other characters when I realised four of them had names beginning with T.
  • Tony Bennett is a mobster and there are references to him having the same name as the crooner so that's not going to be changed
  • Tina's name is fixed in stone for me but she's a woman and stretched very far apart from TB, so no possible confusion there
  • Techno Tom has only a small part and is likewise unlikely to be muddled up with TB
  • Ted Baxter, I decided definitely was a problem and so he has become Harry Baxter. There was a salutary lesson there, folks. Thank goodness I knew not to use a global find/replace, or I would have ended up with lots of things like I wanHarry and I was exhausHarry. 
While I'm naming names, I have a main character who never appears in the story: the missing teenager, Matt Willis. Since I wrote the original draft, I have met a real life Matt Willis and wondered whether to change the name of my character but have been persuaded to let it stand. I guess this is why novels always have the warning note about characters not being based on real people.

Anyway, the previous draft has now been edited (by moi), proofread by my wonderful friend Angie, who has been with me on this journey from the beginning, and has now been sent to the wonderful Leigh Forbes, who is doing the techy schmecky stuff, including creating the series covers. I LOVE working with other people on their novels but I have to say it's felt really good to focus on my own stories again. Who knows? I may even find myself blogging more.