Everything should sparkle

Seriously, it should. Not just because I just saw a glitter helmet on the telly (watching American Pickers with My Knight). I’ve been a sparkle lover my whole life. And you all know the joy when my daughter told me I could have GLITTER on my book covers. 🙂

As it stands now, two of the Byte Series have glitter on the covers. I know, I’m excited too!

You knew about Cryptobyte … and the glory that is gold glitter on the cover.

But, now, Metabyte has a new cover. It had to have a new cover (shit happened with my former now defunct publisher, if you recall) and my daughter knows me rather well (imagine?), so when she re-did the cover she added the joy of green glitter. And I smiled, Readers, I smiled a lot. At some stage (probably November) the new covers will be in the bookshop. November because I need to pay for the Cryptobyte copies that have already arrived at the bookshop in prep for the launch on Nov 8. Yeah, they were early. Which is better than being late, right? And for all of you who thought me having a white cover on Qubyte caused OCD anxiety … I’m pretty sure the Metabyte cover will tweak that OCD again. Deal with it. 🙂

#SorryNotSorry

In other news: I’m in Perth with My Knight – taking care of him as he recovers from major surgery (new hip), and, I’m writing. Yes, I am.

I’m having a love hate relationship with the 12th Byte Novel at the moment, but today was a good writing day and now I know that some characters we met in Qubyte are coming back, so, that’s cool. In particular, Tahoma Whitehorse. And I really enjoyed him as a character. Did you like him and his off-sider, Karen Schneider?

It looks like I best go make us some dinner.

Take care out there. xx

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The learning curve

This morning I was thinking about all the changes in the last 8 months. Some are good and definitely for the better, some sparked a steep learning curve, and the last one was an expensive lesson. Didn’t need that. At all.

Without going into detail: Lesson learnt and sometimes (professionally) change isn’t a good thing. Now I know exactly what I need to do for Vaporbyte next year, and I best start saving!

One of the other changes was a trackpad malfunction which has forced me to use a mouse again. This is not a good situation. Two weeks into this new hell and my wrist is more fucked than usual and now I remember why I made the switch to total trackpad use four years ago. 😦 Would be nice to get this trackpad sorted but it’s ridiculously expensive and I’d have to send my Mac away and I can’t work without my Mac. Catch 22 and then some.

Right now, I’m going over notes for todays writing group. And quite excited to meet the participants. It’s nice having a week day group. Hopefully this will help the next few weeks race and I’ll be in Perth before I know it.

Readers, I’m a bit over this ‘being apart’ bullshit because this is a long stretch and it’s no fun. The sooner we’re back together the better.

You know what would help cheer this author up and keep me motivated to move forward despite the stress of the last few months? Come on, I bet you do … yeah, see, you got it. Buy a book! 🙂

“How do you start to write a story?”

Now there’s a question and a half. It’s something I’m asked fairly frequently and I still don’t think I have particularly helpful answer, even after writing 16 novels and countless short stories. Yes, I said, 16. Four still sit on a flashdrive and remain hidden away from the world. Those four were the beginning; my teething novels, my sandpit, and actually where the Byte Series began. Those four novels are about Cait O’Hare. If you’ve read any of my Byte books then you’ll know who she is. Setting those aside for now … How do I start a story?

Generally, I have a question and uncovering the answer requires writing. The question can be anything. Over the years I’ve answered these ones (and more): What’s the worst case scenario here? What happened to the children? Who killed the jeweler? What is the Wayward Son Protocol? What does Devil’s Breath do? What if … there’s almost always a ‘what if’. In Terrorbyte the what if was, ‘what if the initial crime conceals another crime?’.

How do I know there’s a question and what that question is? Well, that, Readers is an entirely intuitive process for me. Before I even know there is a question (and there is always a question, in fact many questions) I have usually glimpsed a partial scene. Sometimes what I see makes the question more along the lines of ‘ What the actual … is going on here?’ For example when I started writing Qubyte the scene I saw first was Ellie waking up to a call from Kurt and realizing something had happened to the Director. Straight up there’s a question, right? What happened to Director O’Hare? And that, Readers, was the first question. That question was the foundation of an entire novel. 95,000 words or thereabouts because I needed to know the answer. Pretty soon there are questions popping out of questions and words on the page. (Without those words on the page there is no story, folks. It’s that simple.)

You’ve probably seen a few posts on the ol’ social media regarding Cryptobyte and might even know that the release date is Nov 10 (which is Terrorbyte’s official 10th birthday). The question posed early on in Cryptobyte came about because of a conversation on the way home from the bookshop with THA. I can’t even remember how it started but by the time we reached home I knew more than I wanted to know about a woman and her strange hobby and that lead to a question, ‘How did the families disappear?’ and then, ‘What did the families have in common?’ and eventually, I found, ‘Why?’

Stories can start from anything but I find there is always a question or thirty that require answers. 🙂

The answer to where I start is … I answer the questions and I keep an open mind, it’s pretty rare for everything to be as it appears. And sometimes the beginning isn’t.

Where to start? Start with something that makes YOU want to know more. It doesn’t have to be the beginning, you might start in the middle and work out, or the end and work back, or maybe you’re more like me and start close to the beginning and work to the end. Pick a place. Write. Because the thing about stories is they don’t write themselves no matter how often you hear that from people. Just write the story and edit it once you have all those words out. 🙂

FYI we have a Facebook group now attached to my Facebook page. Come on over!

A possessed MacBook

This weekend I discovered my MacBook is possessed. Yep. Or at least something has possessed the cursor and it does whatever the fuck it wants whenever it wants.

It moves around so much and moves my screens so much that it makes me feel ill. I have zero control over it when it does that. None of the ‘fixes’ from the Apple Community worked. The usual turn it off and back on. Did nothing. Using an external mouse seemed to work, but in reality it did not. Stopping the ‘shake to find’ thingy on the cursor – seemed to work, but it did not.

Resetting the PRAM … didn’t even try to work.

Which leaves me with a possessed MacBook. It can freak out for a few minutes and then be perfectly fine and behave as normal. Or, it can freak out on and off for an hour or so – each little meltdown lasting five-ten minutes, then be perfectly fine. WTF?

I can use it – but I cannot trust it. And that there is the problem. I have a book to format – and I don’t know when my lovely Mac will decide to flip control and a/ not allow me to save my work b/run a muck all over my screen until I feel sick or c/refuse to let me do anything. I’m also six chapters into book 12. I’d like to be able to write without fear!

It’s headache inducing and frustrating as all hell.

Ramon and Jonni – you can both piss off and leave my Mac alone … thanks.

Do I like you?

Welcome to ‘things I think about on my way to work’ Wednesday.

There’s a chance I do like you. A very good chance.

About the only time the answer will be an outright no, is if you are a digital pirate. If you are, you can fuck right off and get your sticky little fingers off my work. Yes, I am aware that makes me narrow-minded and that pirates are (supposedly) people too. Don’t even try and discuss piracy with me, thanks. They’re evil fuckers who steal from others. End of story.

My criteria for friends is simple. 1. Don’t be an arse (or a pirate). I could add be a reader because I believe reading is extremely important. It teaches us empathy and enables us to see into other lives and worlds. We learn from reading. Perhaps I should add read ‘purchased books’. 🙂

Things that I have no business knowing (but if we know each other well I probably do know.): Your religion. Your political views. Your job status. The bathroom you use. What’s in your pants. Your mental health. Who is in your bed. Your preference when it comes to Vegemite or Marmite. That list could go on and on. None of those things are friendship criteria.

If you are an arse then you’re an arse and we will not be friends. So don’t be an arse and let’s grab a coffee. 🙂

It was Crashbyte …

This morning I opened a file called ‘Crashbyte’ – that’s what Vaporbyte was always supposed to be called. Book 12: Crashbyte. Somewhere as I was following the story, (and it happened pretty fast – two chapters in) I realized Crashbyte wasn’t going to be book 12. It may not ever be an anything. That’s okay, it happens. I left the file and a few days later I saw an entire scene – nothing at all to do with the two chapters I’d written.

I started writing. I knew straightway it the beginning of something. By the third chapter I knew it was something called ‘Vaporbyte’. Great.

This morning I opened that other file, the Crashbyte one. As I read, a slow dawning occurred. By the time I’d finished I knew what I was looking at. It’s not a nothing at all. It’s part of Vaporbyte. It’s the other story thread.

Apparently I’m writing again. Need to catch up? Then, here …

Bear with …

Here are a few of the 15-sec videos made for the Byte Series … YouTube seems to think they have all been uploaded, they have not. YouTube is kinda a dick sometimes.

But here’s a link to go along with them! Byte Series Awesomeness

Five of the videos:

killerbyte
terrorbyte
exacerbyte
Flashbyte
soundbyte