Monday, 10 August 2020

#A Novel approach by Jennifer C Wilson

Good Morning!

I'm absolutely delighted to be joined by my Ocelot Press friend and fellow author - Jennifer C Wilson.
Jen has popped in today to tell us about her latest venture that was published with Ocelot Press last week on the 8th August. This is something we're very excited about at Ocelot Press since it's our first non-fiction book!

It's on my kindle and there are some really great tips in this helpful guide book, information Jen has used in directing her creative writing groups and workshops. I have a hunch that the huge collection of notebooks that she keeps was well-thumbed-through to decided on which materials should be contained in A Novel Approach.

My huge congratulations to Jen, and I'll pass over to her to give us some details. 

A Novel Approach

Everyone has a book in them, isn’t that what they say? Well, that may well be the case, but it doesn’t always mean they’re easy to get out of your mind, and onto the page. That’s where my first non-fiction title, A Novel Approach comes in.

One of my favourite things about the writing community is meeting and helping other writers, and through being a co-host of the North Tyneside Writers’ Circle, including setting monthly prompts, I realised that running my own set of workshops would be another really fun way of doing both. We held six workshops in total, covering the topics outlined below, and they were all really good fun. With all that material gathered, I knew I wanted to do something else, and so, at the start of Lockdown, I decided to see if I could form it all into an ebook.

I’m really chuffed with the result, and hope other writers are too – whether you’re at the very start of your writing journey, or looking for a bit of a nudge to get your existing idea down on paper, there’ll be an exercise to help you out.

I hope they enjoy using the prompts as much as I enjoyed setting them!

The blurb:

Based on my series of workshops held throughout 2019 and into 2020, this book is designed to help writers work through each of the key stages of their story, including:

-        Idea generation;

-        Creating characters;

-        Describing your settings;

-        Showing vs telling; and

-        Keeping the words flowing when you find yourself stuck.

As well as the above, I have also added sections on hooking your readers in, leaving them wanting more, and useful resources as a writer, including how to dip a successful toe into the world of social media.

The workshops were fun, helping writers of short stories and novels alike, and I hope these exercises can help you too!

A Novel Approach:


About Jennifer

Jennifer C. Wilson stalks dead people (usually monarchs, mostly Mary Queen of Scots and Richard III). Inspired by childhood visits to as many castles and historical sites her parents could find, and losing herself in their stories (not to mention quite often the castles themselves!), at least now her daydreams make it onto the page.

After returning to the north-east of England for work, she joined a creative writing class, and has been filling notebooks ever since. Jennifer won North Tyneside Libraries’ Story Tyne short story competition in 2014, and in 2015, her debut novel, Kindred Spirits: Tower of London was published by Crooked Cat Books. The full series was re-released by Darkstroke in January 2020.

Jennifer is a founder and host of the award-winning North Tyneside Writers’ Circle, and has been running writing workshops in North Tyneside since 2015. She also publishes historical fiction novels with Ocelot Press. She lives in Whitley Bay, and is very proud of her two-inch view of the North Sea.

You can connect with Jennifer online:





Thank you for visiting, Jen, and best wishes with A Novel Approach.


Sunday, 9 August 2020

Beathan The Brigante in #paperback!

 What a wonderful Sunday! 

The sun actually is shining in my part of the world which lifts my spirits so well. But even better, I can proudly announce today that Beathan The Brigante is now available as a paperback version from Amazon. You can purchase it HERE 

That means you could have it in your hands and have read before the official ebook launch on the 20th August. (Which is currently still on Pre-order HERE

And if you've done that, you'd be able to boost the status of the novel on Amazon if you pop on a review as soon a possible. 

I'm still awaiting the go-ahead from my upload to Ingram Spark (the site seems to be incredibly slow just now) for Beathan The Brigante in paperback but in the fullness of time, it will be available via their distribution service, as well. 

Today's writing time will be spent making a promo video for Beathan The Brigante...and I'll get some fresh air and exercise when I do my regular garden weed patrol stint!

Enjoy your day! 


Thursday, 6 August 2020

The #publishing process!

Hello again!

A whole week has gone in a flash, some of which went with joyous celebrations of Doorways To The Past Anthology having been published on the 30th July. Yipee! Time to relax a little bit on that one. 

The rest of it went with blearie eyes and some very frayed temper as I got the final files ready for publishing the paperback versions of Beathan The Brigante. 

My cover designer Karen Barrett did a fabulously quick turnaround with the paperback cover files when I gave her the eventual page counts. They were duly labelled and saved in an appropriate file on my laptop. 

I've written before about my trials and tribulations with publishing on Ingram Spark and the fact that I've found (in the past) that publishing on Amazon was easier. Not so this week!

Beathan The Brigante , Book 5 of my Celtic Fervour Series, has been on Amazon Kindle Pre-order for a few weeks now, with the official launch on the 20th August 2020. This week I spent my writing time pouring over my MS Word 'KDP' manuscript to make sure it was perfect. I'd looked at Amazon KDP guidelines to see if anything was different from my last publishing foray in Nov 2019, that I needed to address before uploading the new files. Based on what I read, I decided to change my margins a little bit from previously published books and double, even multiple checked the formatting of the whole ms after making the inside margin a little bit more than the minimum suggested for my page count.

I checked that my word.dox file was acceptable to upload... and KDP declares it is an acceptable format. (I had sent up a Word format to Createspace, and I thought to KDP last year) 

A couple of days ago, it was time to load up my data!

Problem number 1: My interior file was all wonky and instead of 305 pages it was something like 356 pages. An error report said my margin for the page count had been selected wrongly and the inside margin was too small since I had left in a gutter of 0.33 cm.  ???

My cover file was also rejected as not being the correct size for a 5 X 8 inch book. 

Try 2 that my designer sent was still wrong, although that was accounted for as a 'bleed' problem which my designer sorted on Try 3.

My formatting change to a wider inside margin sounds easy enough but anyone who has done formatting knows it's a labour intensive, tedious job to ensure all bottom lines of the pages are matching and at full use of the page. And it has to be said that the more often an author reads their own work (definitely me), the more chances there are of wanting to make tiny little changes to what was there. 

My KDP interior file was rechecked, again multiple times, and uploaded as a PDF file this time with Try 3 of the cover file. They seem to have passed first stages of quality control and I'm very very hopeful that the proof copy I've ordered will prove that the publishing/ printing is acceptable for my KDP paperback.  

I dreaded sending up the files to  in case there would be issues. There were! 

But hopefully NOT with the cover file, or with the interior file- though as I write this I am awaiting the checks before they email a proofing check. The problem with the Ingram Spark setup of files was getting the site to accept my data (pricing and discounts etc). On the IS set up process you cannot input information for a subsequent page until the previous page is accepted. I have fingers crossed that both interior and cover files are 'good to go'!

Update to come on that, but since I've been forgetting to promote Beathan The Brigante, which I have loved to write, I need to do lots of that in the coming days!