Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Guten Tag!

After months of dreaming of, I’m finally in Germany! I touched down in Frankfurt International Airport a bit over a week ago, after a marathon 27 hour flight from Australia. It’s so good to finally be here! Everything is so different, so… European!* One thing I love is that there’s so much history in Europe! On the train I took up from Frankfurt I passed not one, not two, but FIVE different castles, all just chilling in the background. It’s a whole new world after living in a relatively new country such as Australia. My history-buff-nerdiness is going into overdrive!!

(For those of you who didn’t know, I’m a foreign exchange student doing a university semester abroad in Germany.)

The flights went well, and I slept practically non-stop from Singapore. That meant that I got to Germany feeling awake and refreshed, and with no signs of jet-lag. It’s amazing. I’ve settled in nicely into my dorm room, and I’m fast learning how to be independent! I just wish I had more of a kitchen – it’s too small to make anything more than 5 Minute Noodles**. (I tried making pasta the other night. Horrible. (The cooking process, not the actual food.))

In the writing field, I’ve finally started writing ROGUE! It’s wonderful to finally start writing this project after so many months in the planning stages. I realised that I’m writing new words for the first time this year! Up until now I’ve either been editing or planning, so it’s an awesome feeling to be writing again! So far I’m about 2K into it, right where the protagonist gets dropped into hot water, and the word count is climbing every day!

So that’s all from me today! I haven’t yet caught up on everyone’s blogs, so for the comments: how have you been? What have you been up to in the last few weeks? How is your writing going? Let me know in the comments!

* I’m honestly speechless.
** Like 2 Minute Noodles, but take 5 minutes to prepare.

Monday, 10 September 2012

It's Not a Competition

You may have seen reports around the internet last week that one British author has been caught using “sock puppets”, or pseudonyms, on Amazon to write five-star reviews about his own books, while trashing other authors’ work.

Now, I think it’s bad enough that he’s writing reviews of his own work, but what I find really disappointing is that he has been caught posting one-star reviews of other novels, including those by bestselling authors Lee Child, Joanne Harris, and Ian Rankin. It’s just really poor behaviour.

You see, writing isn’t a competition. There isn’t just one “winner” – I think everyone who is published is a winner. You haven’t seen Usain Bolt trashing Michael Phelps. (Yeah, they do different events. I’m trying to show my point. Just nod your head.) Readers can’t just read books by one author – they can read books by several. Buying one book won’t mean they can’t buy another, and just because they’ve bought the latest Lee Child novel won’t mean they won’t buy Ian Rankin’s.

I see writing as more of a community fun-run. We’re all doing the circuit together, and rather than all-out racing each other to the finish line (aka “most successful author ever!”) (because let’s face it, JK Rowling’s already won), we’re all jogging/walking in a tutu/doing-whatever-you-do-when-you-do-a-fun-run together, supporting one another, and cheering people on.

So, that’s my thoughts on the issue. What do you think? Do you agree with me, or do you think it’s fine to get a one-up on the competition? Or do you have another opinion entirely? Let me know in the comment section below!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Be Inspired

So Amanda tagged me in the Be Inspired blog meme. This means she’s murdered my so-far-successful attempt at procrastination, and now I have to blog. Gee, thanks, Amanda.

(I’m just kidding. I’m glad I’ve got a blog topic!)

The Be Inspired blog meme is based on my current WIP, which is cool because I haven’t really discussed the finer details of ROGUE. So, questions and answers!

What is the name of your book?
At the moment I’m calling it ROGUE (although that name will probably stick). Other things I considered calling it were Operation Berlin and Persona Non Grata.

Where did the idea for your book come from?
Believe it or not, but the seed of the idea actually came from an episode of Castle! There was an episode where Castle and Beckett worked with the CIA to stop a terrorist plot, and at the time I thought about how cool it would be to write a spy-thriller. But, I had other projects, so I pushed that thought away. A few weeks later, I watched two spy-thrillers: Salt (staring Angelina Jolie), and then The Bourne Identity. That, I guess, pushed me over the edge. I had to write a spy-thriller now. The Bourne Identity probably inspired me the most, because it showed me that espionage-thrillers didn’t have to be set all over the globe. (The Bourne Identity is set primarily in France.) And since I was a few months away from going to Germany, I thought it could be a fun project to work on.

In what genre would you classify your book?
Spy-thriller. It could easily turn into a political-thriller though.

If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition, who would you choose?
I haven’t thought too much about all the characters, but I think Jeremy Renner (who is coincidentally starring in The Bourne Legacy) would make a great Daniel Fox. (I swear I chose Renner before I found out he was starring in another spy movie.)

Give us a one-sentence synopsis of your book.

After CIA agent Daniel Fox is framed for treason, he must go rogue to clear his name, save his country, and uncover who set him up.

(I literally wrote that after fifteen seconds of thinking).

Is your book already published?
No. Has my book even been written? Again, no.

How long did it take you to write your book?
Like I said in the previous question, I haven’t began. So far I’ve been planning it since July, and I should start work in October (because I’m waiting until I get to Germany to start writing it out). I estimate that it should take me about six months to write the rough draft, maybe a little longer considering it’s about 10K larger than my previous novels.

What other books within your genre would you compare it to? Or, readers of which books would enjoy yours?
Actually, I haven’t actually read too many spy-thrillers before. I know, bad writer, bad! I would compare ROGUE to the Jason Bourne film trilogy (I’m not sure about the book series, though. I haven’t read them… yet), and to a lesser extent, Salt. As for books though… maybe the James Bond book series?

What authors inspired you to write this book?
 I know they’re not technically authors, but I should name Tony Gilroy (who wrote the Jason Bourne film trilogy), and Kurt Wimmer (who wrote Salt) as the people who inspired me to write ROGUE. Robert Ludlum and Ian Flemming both get honourable mentions for influencing me in my love of spy-thrillers.

Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book.
There’s lots of action, lots of killing, and lots of car chases. I’d like to think there’s also a healthy bit of mystery thrown in.

I’m supposed to tag five people, but I really don’t like doing that, so I won’t tag anyone this time… wait, yes I will. I tag: Maggie, Constance, and Constamaggiance. *oozes peer pressure over them*