Monday, 28 December 2009

Post Chrimbo..



Well it's all over and we had a lovely, if quiet, time. The best present we had was opening our little envelope on Christmas morning, the one that held the sex of our unborn child, and found out that we are having another girl! I can't believe I am going to have two daughters! For some reason I had convinced myself that it was going to be a boy, but then I did exactly the same with my first and was obviously wrong, so it shows what I know! So much for a mothers intuition...


Present-wise my darling hubby bought me 'Eclipse'. Now I haven't read 'New Moon' and I am wondering if I should try to read that first? Would it ruin it for me to read them out of order? As soon as I have read it I will be sure to let everyone know what I think!


I have managed to get a few thousand words for 'Alone's' sequel, 'Buried', done over the holidays as well, which I am really pleased with. It has been strange writing a sequel as I have never done it before and it has taken me a while to figure out where I am going to come back into my characters lives again. I have done a lot of cutting and pasting, but I think I am now into the swing of it!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

All things Christmassy…

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve!  Hurrah! I can’t believe how quickly it has come around this year, it feels like I was only opening the first day of the advent calendar (chocolate, of course – frankly, anything else is just a waste of time) a week ago.

Pressies are mostly bought and wrapped, Christmas cake has been made and half-eaten, chocolate Yule log has been made and completely eaten (whoops), so I am feeling relatively prepared.  This year is the first that my daughter has really understood what is going on and it is great to see her so excited. She has been asking for Santa to bring her a ‘star-present’ (whatever the hell that is!) so I hope she won’t be disappointed!

Slightly depressed that I will be spending this year sober, but at least I can be super-smug on boxing day when everyone else is moaning about their hangovers.  I fully intend to boil some haddock and poach some very soft eggs for everyone very early in the morning, just to get my own back…

Anyhow, I thought I would leave you all with a clip from one of my favourite Christmas movies with a bit of a festive touch to get you all in the mood – love it!

Merry Christmas everyone – thank you all or your support over the last few months.  I hope you all have a fantastic day…

Monday, 21 December 2009

Short stories and upcoming projects..

First I wanted to let everyone know that Nicole Hadaway is publishing one of my short stories, The Visitor, in installments over on her blog starting today www.nicole-hadaway.blogspot.com. I don't write many short stories, partly because the time I have to write mainly gets dedicated to longer projects, but also because I never quite know what to do with them. I am very grateful to Nicole (as ever) for giving this one a home and I hope that everyone enjoys it.

A second bit of info about me is that I have just signed a contract to have my second novel published in paperback in May. The novel is called The Dark Road and the idea for it was born when I did the same journey as the characters in my novel while backpacking in Southeast Asia. There is a lot of work to be done before May, but I thought I would give a bit of a blurb so you all know what is coming...

When Sasha arrives in Bangkok her main concern is getting to Siem Reap, Cambodia, where her fiance is teaching children. He has already given her an ultimatum and she is desperate to reach him before he leaves, ending their relationship. She boards the bus in Bangkok to find herself in the company of ten other travellers and she settles into her seat with mixed feelings about seeing her fiance again.
But as night falls, a lightning storm like none of them have ever seen before descends upon the group. The treacherous road conditions, rickety bridges, and constant warnings of landmines make for a daunting journey. Then one of them vanishes off of the side of the road, and the travellers quickly come to realise that they may not make it to Siem Reap alive.
This is a glimpse into the powers of Cambodian temples, gods and curses; an insight into a different existence. But will the travellers survive until daybreak or will an ancient curse be reborn?

I am really excited at the prospect of seeing my work in print and that combined with writing the sequel to Alone - which has now been christened with the title 'Buried' - means I am going to be a busy little bee. Not that I mind of course. After years of dreaming of being a writer I finally feel like the dream is coming true...

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Zombie movies and some thanks…

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I watched ‘Quarantine’ last night - a Blair witch type film about a reporter who gets trapped in a building infected by a 'rabies' type virus. ‘Quarantine’ is essentially a zombie movie and I’ve not always been a fan, though there are some great ones - 28 days later comes to mind. This one started a bit slow and I did wonder where they were going to go with it, but after fifteen minutes or so of very little happening it did pick up. There was a particularly good moment where the videographer bashes one of the zombies to death with the lens of the video camera!

My only problem with this type of ‘Blair-witch’ movie is the improbability that whoever is behind the camera would keep filming, considering the circumstances.  If I was one of the people running around with the guy filming I think I would be yelling at him to put down the sodding camera after about ten minutes or so.

Saying that I've always loved the concept of viruses and parasites controlling animal behaviour - it was one of the topics I studied at university and it was the one I graded the highest in. It sparked so many ideas that I found myself writing notes for story ideas beside my regular lecture notes.  It was like real life invasion of the body snatchers.

Before I sign off for the night I just wanted to say a huge thanks to Shellie over at Layers of Thought who has done a preview of my novel, ‘Alone’ and will be following it up with a review once she’s done reading it. http://www.layersofthought.net/2009/12/ebook-preview-alone-by-marissa-elliot.html

Also thanks to fellow Vamplit author Nicole over at  www.nicole-hadaway.blogspot.com as she is publishing my short story ‘The Visitor’ in parts next week.

M.X

Monday, 14 December 2009

About writing.

 

I wanted to write a quick bit on how I feel about writing; how I do it, why I do it, and just generally what I love about it.

Before I was published I found it embarrassing to talk about my work. I felt like an imposter and, to be honest, a bit of a freak.  To say to anyone ‘oh I’m writing a novel’ not only felt like I was showing off, but also that I was one of those people who was always ‘writing a book’, but never quite managed to finish it.  Then when they ask me what I write (always expecting me to say chicklit) and I tell them horror, they never know quite what to say!

In truth I write all of the time.  When I’m not actually sitting at my computer I carry a note book around with me (you never know when you are going to get ten minutes waiting in a doctors surgery or get stuck on public transport).  If I’m not actually writing then I’m thinking about writing – literally from the minute I wake up to the minute I go to sleep. I even have this annoying habit of translating what I see around me into how I would describe it if I were writing it – only in my head, of course! I think anything else would make me truly unbearable to my long suffering family.

I also like to write to music – the darker the better.  When I’m writing a novel I can’t help imagining it as a movie and putting my own soundtrack to it.  30 seconds to mars is one of my current favourites! If you don’t know the band have a listen..

 

I think writing to music adds depth to what I am writing. It definitely helps take me to whatever dark world I am currently inhabiting. I think music is just another form of escapism; a way of blocking out the real world.  It does make me wonder though why I have always been so keen to escape real life? Its not like I don’t have a good life! I don’t know…maybe I would just like it if life was a bit more exciting sometimes. After all, there is nothing wrong with wishing there was a bit more dark romance in life, is there?

MX

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

What women really want...



Now I know there will be many women out there who would read this and think that I am exceptionally strange, but I can't help thinking that the modern day vampire is ultimately what women want. I'm not talking about the killing people and sleeping in a coffin type, I am talking that of Brad Pitt in Interview with the Vampire, Bill in True Blood, though I personally wouldn't go for Edward in Twilight - a little young for me and reminds me way too much of my little brother, which is just plain creepy.

Anyway, they all have that intense, tortured soul thing going on and you are ultimately the one who is going to save them from an eternity of loneliness. Plus they are the ultimate bad-boy; sexy with just the right dose of danger. Of course it is a shame they wouldn't be able to take you to the Bahamas for a couple of weeks of lying in the sun, but I think I could bring myself to make that sacrifice


For anyone who has been able to watch the second series of True Blood, Bill's outpouring of love for Sookie captures exactly what I am talking about. How could any woman resist being told by a gorgeous man who, not only has the whole of eternity, but wants to spend it with you, that you 'are his miracle'. I mean, come on, I think its a miracle if my hubby gets me a card on my birthday! Personally I don't get last season's love triangle. I'm sorry, but old shape-shifting Sam just wouldn't get a look in. So what if you can turn into a dog? Since when have dogs been sexy?

We have yet to get the second season here in the UK and I am waiting impatiently and making do with short clips on youtube (any ideas when it will be over here anyone?). In the meantime I have been dosing myself in my own tortured vampire with my sequel to Alone and I think it is going well, though it is still very early days.

M X

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Pan's Labyrinth



This movie is fast going up in my list of favourite films. I have just watched it for the second time and it left me even more amazed and inspired then the first time. For anyone who doesn't know the movie it is about a little girl in war torn Spain who has a brutal stepfather and escapes it all into a fantasy world. It is dark, scary, beautiful, and sad. In short - if you ever wanted to make a movie, you would aspire for it to be like this one. When ever I watch or read something like this it leaves me with a strange ache of hope that one day I might come up with something equally as breathtaking. It is subtitled which may put some people off, but if you can see past the subtitles then please give it a go. You won't be disappointed. It is on Film4 on Tuesday at 10.45pm and I know I will be recording it to watch over and over...

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Agents - worth the hassel?

Just wondering what every one's thoughts are on finding an agent? I have sent out a few submissions to various agents over the years, but have had little success. In fact, only one agent actually bothering writing anything personal back and that was years ago. This is in complete contrast to publishers, who I have found to be more then accessible. It just gets me wondering, is it really such a big deal to have an agent? I know there are a number of big publishing houses that won't even accept your m/s without it going through an agent, and obviously there is the bonus of them negotiating a better deal for you, but if you don't have one are you less likely to be a successful writer? I don't know.
Despite my doubts, I won't stop searching. Just the idea of being able to drop the phrase 'my agent' into conversation gets me excited (is that just insanely vain?). Also, the submitting and publicity side of writing definitely imposes on the amount of time I actually have to write and it would be great to know that there was someone else out there doing it for me.
Mx