martinlivings: (Default)
Or: Don't put off until tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely...

Yesterday I described writing a novel as paleontology. Today, though, it feels less like arranging bones and more like eating an elephant. The task is so big that it's hurting my fragile little brain. And it's not that big a novel; how people write those massive fat fantasy books, I'll never know.

So, I decided to change my method. I usually write books as a single big Word document. Which is fine during the initial writing, and usually okay in the editing, as long as you get it basically right the first time. With this one, though, there's a lot of chopping and changing around, reordering chapters, inserting new chapters, all the while trying to keep it consistent. It's a frickin' nightmare.

So I bit the bullet, and decided to try something new. or, more accurately, something old, something I utilised a little many years ago when working on Carnies.

I decided to install [profile] halspacejock's yWriter.

This version's a huge improvement over the previous ones, I have to say that. Importing my work was... well, tricky, because it refused to import the first fifteen chapters, deciding instead to start at sixteen for no readily apparent reason. But I got over that and managed to get the entire manuscript imported and split into "scenes" (actually my chapters, but I knew I'd be changing it around so much that having chapter divisions at this stage would be pointless). It's a neat way of getting an overall look at the book. For example, I now know that I have too many scenes from one of the characters' point of view and not enough of the other. I can also see at a glance where I need to add more stuff. Neat.

Will it help? Who knows. But, if nothing else, it let me avoid doing any actual work on it for the entire morning...
martinlivings: (Default)
Based on the post by [personal profile] ashamel where it's deemed important to have famous people seen with your book...

Pics beneath the cut! )

It may appear that I have too much spare time on my hands, but appearances can be deceiving. It's more that I'm doing anything I can to avoid doing what I have to do...
martinlivings: (Nice Pants!)
Here's some more, from [profile] felicitydowker...

Reply to this meme by yelling (or any other form of writing) "Words!" and I will give you five words that remind me of you. Then post them in your LJ and explain what they mean to you.

Da words... )
martinlivings: (Default)
As astute readers would realise, I'm basically acting as my own distributor now for my horror thriller published by Hachette Livre in 2006, Carnies. I've been selling them off for AU$10 local and AU$15 international, including postage, which to me seemed pretty reasonable. Sales have been trickling in for the local copies, but I've yet to have a single order from overseas. So, to encourage my little book to make its way outside of this big brown land of ours, I've decided to drop the price and make it the same as local.

Yep, that's right. AU$10, posted anywhere in the world. How cheap is that? Buy now, before I come to my senses! [1]

signed to buyer
postage paid Australia

signed to buyer
postage paid international

[1] Not much chance of that, mind you...
martinlivings: (Carnies)
Firstly, [personal profile] mondyboy reviews the current batch of Twelfth Planet Press publications HERE, including New Ceres Nights, which gets glowing coverage, and scores me a mention:

Martin Livings pulls no punches with "Blessed Are the Dead That the Rain Falls Upon", which is easily the most violent and grim story in the collection - which was no problem for me because I like violent and grim and Martin writes it very well

Aww... but I thought it wasn't actually that violent and grim! In fact, I found it strangely touching. Boy, if he could have read my original ending, before [personal profile] girliejones and [personal profile] editormum put me in my place... ;)

Plus I just found out that I haven't been rejected yet for Festive Fear. Not an acceptance per se, mind you, but still, better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, or a rejection, for that matter. More news as it comes to hand.

Oh, and BUY MY BOOK ONLINE NOW! Sorry, I'm contractually [1] obligated to add this to the end of every post I make from now on. :)

[1] well, it's an informal contract with my distributor... who is also me...

New review!

May. 9th, 2009 08:56 am
martinlivings: (Swing)
  • "There Was Darkness", as reprinted in Australian Dark Fantasy and Horror Volume 3, has been reviewed in Scary Minds.

    Martin Livings offered a sort of postscript to John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids that reads like a fantasy till it really hit the horror sizzle in the final paragraphs. I've still got a chill going down my spine over that one.

    Always nice to get feedback like this. :)

    Whoa, while I was there, I also spotted a wonderfully positive review of Carnies that had previously escaped my atention:

    If you miss out on this novel you will be howling at the moon in frustration. Run, don't walk, to get a copy right now!

    Wow... just... wow...
  • martinlivings: (Carnies)
    It seems I picked the right day to be sick (not with swine flu, though, or at least I hope not!). A courier arrived, and delivered these:

    click to enlarge

    Yup, 178 copies of Carnies, all mine! All I have to do is sell them now.

    Let's see, so far I've sold... two.

    Oh dear...
    martinlivings: (Carnies)
    Or, at least, it is in theory, I haven't actually tried it out... anyone out there want to try buying a copy of Carnies online? AU$10 local, AU$15 international, both including postage and personal signing. :) The place to buy from is:

    I have no idea if it's going to work, mind you, but I guess there's only one way to find out! ;)

    EDIT - I just got my first order! How exciting!

    At last!

    Apr. 28th, 2009 10:00 am
    martinlivings: (Default)
    Even since I wrote Carnies, I've been talking about how it was inspired by the cheap remainered paperback horror novels I used to read as a boy. But the title of one that had a huge impact on me had eluded me for many years.

    Until last night, when i finally remembered it. The Tribe. A generic title, unfortunately, but a series of intense Google searches later, I actually found it. So now I can officially name the three novels that I remember best from those halcyon days, three books I bought for peanuts from a revolving stand in my local deli that warped changed me forever. They are:

    Books beneath the cut... )

    Now, I'm in no way saying these books are classics. Heck, I doubt they're even good. But for my highly-impressionable mind, they were the beginnings of a career. These are the kinds of books I'd like to write, because I don't think anyone's doing it anymore. Pulp horror, gross and fun and exciting.

    I love it!
    martinlivings: (Carnies)
    Issue 3 of Black Magazine arrived in my letterbox yesterday. Again, what a terribly pretty and impressive magazine it is, with a big interview with one of my biggest musical influences, Alice Cooper [1].

    And, if you look closely enough, I might even be in there too, offering my two cents on the post mortem analysis of the Dark Suspense books. :)

    Get out and buy a copy at your local newsagents now!

    [1] Of course, I only like his old stuff, "Love It To Death" through to "Zipper Catches Skin" or so. Not a big fan of his later metal crap. :)
    martinlivings: (Carnies)
    The [ profile] planetfantastic bookshop recently posted a list of their all-time best-selling titles. And somehow, Carnies managed to sneak onto it, albeit pretty low down the list, but considering it's a horror novel in a sci-fi and fantasy bookshop, I have to be pretty happy with that.

    51..Red Phoenix…Kylie Chan
    52..The Shadow of Saganami…David Weber
    53..Young Miles…Lois McMaster Bujold
    54..Across the Wall…Garth Nix
    55..Carnies…Martin Livings
    56..Shadowrun: A Fistful of Data…Stephen Dedman
    57..Doctor Who: I am a Dalek…Stephen Cole
    58..Geodesica: Descent…Sean Williams
    59..Eclipse…K. Adrian Bedford
    60..War for the Oaks…Emma Bull

    The full list is HERE. It's also good to see many folks on my f-list on this list as well (all of whom sold better than me, bastards!), including [ profile] ladnews, [ profile] angriest, [ profile] stephen_dedman, [ profile] halspacejock, [ profile] battersblog... and probably others I've forgotten or not spotted. So well done to everyone!
    martinlivings: (Writing Frustration)
    Sometimes I think I'm living in a sit-com. My life could well be a plot from the contemptible "Everybody Loves Raymond" lately.

    This exact conversation never took place, as such. It is an amalgam, partly true, partly exaggerated, partly fictional. But the spirit is true. Horribly, horribly true.

    Me: Hey, guess what, I won a Tin Duck for Carnies on the weekend!
    Them: That's nice. What's a Tin Duck?
    Me: It's an award, given out at Swancon.
    Them: That's lovely. Do you get any money?
    Me: Uh... no, just a trophy.
    Them: Well, that's something at least, a gold trophy.
    Me: Uh... it's not gold.
    Them: Silver?
    Me: No...
    Them: Oh, of course. Tin.
    Me: No, it's see-through.
    Them: Oh, crystal?
    Me: Uh...
    Them: Glass?
    Me: Plastic.
    Them: Oh. Well, congratulations on winning it. It must be nice to know your novel's the best in Australia.
    Me: Uh, actually, it's Western Australia only.
    Them: Oh. I see.
    Me: Yeah.
    Them: Well, never mind, dear. I'm sure you'll do better next time.

    martinlivings: (Default)
    Er... I won... *blink*

    Click for bigger version

    Tin duck results below cut... )

    So, congrats to all winners and runners-up, and thanks to everyone that voted for Carnies and "Dwar7es". I feel humbled.

    Oh and special big congrats to [ profile] callistra for picking up the Mumfan award. I doubt there was a dry eye in the audience. I certainly didn't have one. Well done, Sez!
    martinlivings: (Default)
    Well, the Tin Duck nominations for 2006 have now been announced. I wasn't expecting much this year, considering I spent it overseas and didn't really put out much content during 2006, so I was very pleasantly surprised to find I've been mentioned four times, twice for my fiction and twice more for more generic group activities. The details are here:

    I'm up for the following categories...

    Best WA Professional Long Written Work
    Carnies, Martin Livings

    Best WA Professional Short Work
    ‘Dwar7es’, Martin Livings, Ticonderoga Online Issue 9

    Best WA Unpaid or Fan Production (any media)
    The Horror Day Anthology, Martin Livings and Stephanie Gunn
    Skeletor and Hordak, Martin Livings

    Incidentally, that last one really ought to be "Grant Watson et al", considering he invented the damn strip. If it wins, [ profile] angriest, you're getting up on stage, as is [ profile] cheshirenoir, and [ profile] _fustian if he's there. And we're dedicating it to the only person really doing the strip lately, [ profile] dalekboy, who's an honorary West Australian. :)

    Thanks to everyone and anyone who nominated me, I'm chuffed to be mentioned! I guess that's another panel I'll have to turn up to at Swancon now... and, of course, congrats to all those on my f-list who've also been nominated, especially [ profile] azhure, sharing the honours with me on the Horror Day nomination. She did most of the hard work on it, anyway!

    EDIT - after writing this, I felt remiss not mentioning the people in my f-list who are also nominated. So big congrats to... *takes a deep breath* [ profile] battersblog, [ profile] stephen_dedman, [ profile] battblush, <[ profile] sjiraiyac, [ profile] punkrocker1991, [ profile] valeskah1, [ profile] nullspace_feed, [ profile] girliejones, [ profile] angriest and [ profile] mynxii, plus anyone else I may have inadvertently forgotten. Nice one, guys! It's win-win! :)
    martinlivings: (Default)
      Livings weaves a complex tale of alliances and counter-alliances. He exposes these groups as being less than homogenous, revealing internal powerplays and struggles, often with bloody conclusions. It is this complexity, and attention to characterisation, that sets Carnies apart from the average horror novel. There are the usual buckets of blood and gore, but it is what goes on around this that makes the book an excellent debut...


      Carnies is the most impressive debut novel I have read in some time. It captures a novelist making the transition from short stories, finding his feet with pacing while knowing how to develop an idea.

    Yes, like [ profile] ashamel, I selectively quote from a very nice review of Carnies, which has just gone online here:

    Thanks, [ profile] punkrocker1991! Plus, of course, you should read the rest of the always-excellent content at Ticonderoga Online, the latest issue is here:
    martinlivings: (Default)

    Oh my God, can you believe that Swancon is coming in less than three weeks?

    EDIT - wow, I got the dates wrong in the original post... I blame sleep deprivation...

    After missing it entirely last year, which is only maybe the second or third time since my first visit in 1990, this year I plan to just go for two full days, the Friday and the Sunday, both times because I'm on panels. I also plan to turn up late Thursday night, but that's just for the panel I'm on then, nothing else.

    The panels I'm officially on are:

    ...under the cut... )

    And that's my Swancon plan for '07. One of these years I might even build up the strength to go to an entire one again, instead of wimping out like I generally do these days.

    I have a vague little notion to do something special for the relaunch of Carnies, but I don't know if I'm going to have the time needed to prepare it. I might have to put aside my zombie story "Sleepwalkers" this week and knuckle down to it for the next three weeks. Let's just say that I have thirteen copies of Carnies I want to sell off, and I'd like to give away something extra with each one. Perhaps, say, an additional chapter. 'Nuff said. :) But please don't crucify me if I don't get it done in time, I'm only human!
    martinlivings: (Default)
    Will Elliot's Pilo Family Circus. So congratulations to Will for sweeping the Aussie horror awards this year!

    Report is here:

    I'm very pleased to see that two of the three judges considered my work to be good this year, just not good enough to be shortlisted or honorably mentioned. David Schembri says:

    The Authors of note that I wish to honorably mention here are: Martin Livings (his wonderful short story entries)...

    And Mark Smith says:

    Some personal favourites that didn't make it through the gruelling final selection process as a group but deserve recognition if you will... these include... Martin Livings's always entertaining Carnies...

    So thanks, guys. And as for Miranda Siemienowicz... well, poo to you with knobs on.

    Nah, just joshing, I can't really complain about Miranda blanking me... she's given me some great reviews on ASif and Horrorscope in the past! :)


    martinlivings: (Default)
    Martin Livings

    December 2009

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