I am excited to welcome author James Walley, who is celebrating the release of his debut novel, The Forty First Wink.
Marty is having a bad morning. Roused from slumber by a gang of polo mallet-wielding monkeys and a mysterious voice in his wardrobe, he must quickly come to terms with the fact that the world outside his door is now the world inside his head. Lying in wait amidst bleak, gloomy streets, deserted theme parks, and circus-themed nightclubs, lurks the oppressive shadow of a myriad of giggling, cackling pursuers, hell bent on throwing a custard pie or two into the works.
Assisted by a string of half-cocked schemes, a troupe of tiny unlikely allies, and (literally) the girl of his dreams, Marty sets out on a heroic quest to wake up and get out of bed.
Five things a debut author should know.
1. Momentum is the key.
Starting a novel is a fairly daunting prospect, moreso if you’ve never done it before, so a new author can be forgiven for taking their time over it. There’s no sense in running, full tilt into a dark room, because more often than not, something pointy and painful is going to crop up unexpectedly. That said, it is very easy to just end up procrastinating, gazing at the internet, naming all your plants, and not tapping those keys. This is all quite ironic, because once you get a bit of momentum going, the writing process becomes all kinds of fun. The chapters start rolling past as your muse drops in with a bag full of ideas and a keg. Think of it as tapping a well, a rich vein of mojo. The longer you dig, the deeper you’ll get, and the richer you’ll be for it.
2. Naming your baby.
Obviously I can’t speak for every author, but when I started writing The Forty First Wink, I had no clue what it was going to be called. I honestly believe that putting a name on your story is the hardest part of the writing process, because you are being tasked with so much from just a few words. Your title has to be punchy, memorable, original and tease at what is lurking beneath the front cover, and achieving that is no mean feat! In my case, it was one of those ‘bolt from the blue’ moments which came part way through writing the story. Maybe that’s the best way to go about it: Let your story name itself, suggesting and hinting as you write it. Or you could wait for your muse to hit you with a sledgehammer like I did, although that’s less of an exact science.
3. You’re going to fall in love.
It’s a fairly safe bet that, at some point, you’re going to start forming attachments to your characters, and that’s great…kind of. You want your characters (the good guys at least) to be endearing, compelling and generally awesome, so that your readers care what happens to them. So how do you cope, having gotten all sentimental about said characters, when you have to place them in danger, or even (perish the thought!) bump one or two of them off? Even getting to the end of the story, it becomes a really emotional experience, and you can find yourself revisiting our old friend procrastination. Anything to keep your beloved characters from colliding with that big, inevitable ‘The End’. This is why I love trilogies, because you can bring everyone (who survived!) back for another adventure or two. This is also why The Forty First Wink will be back for parts two and three.
4. Get your online mingle on.
As we all know, the main purpose of Facebook is to exhibit what we’re having for lunch and LOL at cats, but it can also be put to another use. Social networking sites make it so easy to reach out and poke (in a friendly way, not in a restraining order way.) the people we know, and the people we would like to know. Since I started writing, I discovered a thriving community of writers, reviewers and bloggers on social networking sites, and you know what? Only a few of them bite. They’re a friendly, outgoing and helpful bunch, who are only too happy to give advice and support wherever it’s needed. It’s one thing to finish your story at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home, but then you have to think about all sorts of daunting new things like editing, publishing, cover art, and promotion. There are a lot of very helpful souls out there, who are only too happy to lend a hand.
5. Have fun!
Don’t forget to enjoy what you’re doing. That’s why you’re doing it, right? If you’re enthusiastic, energised and positive about what you are writing, that will transmit onto the page. Invest yourself in your story, to the point where you’re dying to know what happens next.
Meet James Walley!
Hailing from the mystical isle of Great Britain, James Walley is an author who prefers his reality banana shaped. When not writing, James is partial to a spot of singing, the odd horror movie or ten, and is a circus trained juggler.
His debut novel, The Forty First Wink, released through Ragnarok Publications in 2014 scuttles gleefully into this bracket, with a blend of humour, fantasy and the unusual. A clutch of follow up work, both short and long (including books two and three in the Wink trilogy) are in the offing, and have a similar demented flavour.
Want to purchase James’s novels?
The Forty First Wink