So, after nine months of nothingness (my bad, very bad), I am returning with some actual news. Those who know me well know that I dither and put things off for as long as I possibly can. I don't know why I do this, as it's not exactly conductive to getting a book published, but there we are. Anyway, the new year brought with it a new determination to push my debut novel out into the general public.
I think a lot of the dithering is down to the fear that nothing will ever come of it, but that kind of attitude will definitely never get anyone anywhere, so once again I am going to give it a go. This time, hopefully, I will be able to keep going despite the Fear Of Getting Nowhere cloud hanging over my head.
The first big news is that off and on subtle pestering from my good friend Hart Johnson (Confessions Of A Watery Tart), has pushed me into entering this year's Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition. It's been mentioned more than a few times over the last two years, but I've always backed away from the idea. That fear again, I suppose. Anyway, this year I thought why the heck not? I mean, I've got nothing to lose, right?
With this in mind, I wanted to spruce up my cover art. My good friend Ana Karina Padilla Preston drew my original cover, but I wanted to make it all shiny and new to go with my fresh start. I have no talent at all with graphics - drawn or computer generated - so after a few abysmal attempts, another friend stepped in to help.
Joris Ammerlaan is a genius. *nods* He's already designed cover arts for several of my writer friends, and he offered to 'do something pretty with it'. Using Ana's drawing as a base, he enhanced the colours, created a new background, added some text, and just generally did some techy stuff which goes right over my head. This is the result:
Isn't it great?
Only now I had a wee problem. I needed a name. Who had written this book? Should I go with my real name, or pick a pseudonym? Once again, I turned to my friends for suggestions, then I put up a poll on my facebook page. I also asked for ideas on my Princess of Procrastination blog. Finally, today, I decided. After looking at the poll results and discussing it with family and friends, I went for 'Amber T. Smith', and I'm really happy with it. It's a pseudonym, but it also contains my real name. Most importantly (for me, at any rate), it has my daughter's name, whom I lost just over twelve years ago. Amber was actually a sort of lucky charm for me when I was writing Cardiffella back in 2009, as I'd used her name as my NaNoWriMo profile name, and it was the first time I'd ever completed a challenge like that. It seemed fitting.
So there we have it. I have a book (almost completely edited, by the way *faints*), a cover art, a pen name, and a competition to enter. Ooh, and Amber T. Smith also has a shiny new author page on Facebook. I'd say that qualified as news. wouldn't you?