Tunnel Vision

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I’ve just emerged from a tunnel and I’m blinking in the light.

Goodness, what a lot I have neglected!

I see it now.

But I was quite happily engrossed in my tunnel until it came to an end.

It wasn’t the kind of tunnel that plunges you into total darkness. More like a tree tunnel, with light getting through but no way to see beyond the trees to what’s going on outside. You know the kind, I’m sure. A pleasant tunnel to be in.

I’ve had tunnel vision before. It happens with irregular regularity, each time I’m engaged in writing a novel. Because I am in the habit of writing every day, it’s been quite some time since I suffered from writers’ block – if I ever truly did. Most times, I think the trouble was that I was out of the way of writing, my writing muscles were sleepy and had to be prodded awake each time I felt like adding to my word count, and that was much harder when it had been a long time since I wrote.

Having said that, a few years ago I didn’t write anything other than the occasional blog post for almost a year after my mother died. It had been a traumatic time – not just because she died, but more to do with other things that happened around her death – and I went into a very different tunnel for quite some time – a long dark one that blotted out the sun and most of the joy it can bring. When I emerged from that tunnel, it took me a long time to adjust and I found that my creativity had all but dried up.

I was recently reminded of a blog post I wrote about what helped get me writing again after one such longish phase of losing my creativity. You can read it here if you choose.

When I’m reading a good book I get tunnel vision too. You know that way, when you can’t put a book down and you read well into the night in order to finish it, then you close your eyes and can’t stop thinking about it for ages. When you finally open your eyes and look around, you blink in the light. You realise life has gone on while you were happily in that pleasant tunnel with the book.

I had a lovely review for Rusty Gold just recently when that seems to have happened to one of my readers:

“I really enjoyed the Rusty gold series. I just couldn’t put the 3rd book down. I was desperate to see how it ended so was stirring the soup with the book in my hand! Off to bed early to read in peace and quiet and, of course ,when it was finished I wished that I had made it last longer. Now, that is the sign of a really good read. It would make a great T.V. series. How good would that be?” ~ Barbara R.

Needless to say, it’s very encouraging to receive reviews like that. It always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, and I can’t thank my readers enough for them. If ever I meet one such reader, I’ll give her the hugest of hugs.

So, you know what I’m talking about – that kind of tunnel vision.

And, like I said, I’ve just emerged from such a tunnel.

I’ve been busy writing another novel, and what a happy tunnel I’ve been in. I got so caught up with my characters, I found it hard to leave them.

This WIP is now in the hands of some beta readers, and I must wait to get their feedback before I can write the final draft, but, meanwhile, I find I’m still thinking about Yvonne and Hugh, and their story. I’m having to hold myself back from writing the next part of their story – because that’s for another book, another tunnel.

This one, called For What it’s Worth, is not quite another in The Reluctant Detective Series, more a kind of spin off, and while Mirabelle and Sam feature in the story, the main protagonist this time is Mirabelle’s sister, Yvonne.

Yvonne only featured peripherally in the three books of the series, but the dynamic of her and her husband, Hugh, kept asking to be explored, so I did, and have written their story – so far. I say, ‘so far,’ because just as our lives don’t stop when we settle into a routine after some great adventure or happening in our lives, so too, characters can seem so real that I just know their story could continue on. And my mind is already buzzing with what happens next in the Yvonne and Hugh saga.

Meanwhile, I have to see to all the things I neglected when I was so engrossed in writing For What it’s Worth – blog posts, promotional posts, guest posts, interviews, lots of interesting things like that. No matter how bonnie that tunnel of trees in, no matter how beautifully the sunlight dapples through the branches, I don’t want to hide inside it for ever. I look forward to driving through another one soon, but for now, other writing tasks need attention, there is other fun to be had, other vistas to view.

How about you? As a reader, do you get so engrossed in a good book that you can hardly bear to put it down? Do you emerge at the end blinking in the light?

As a writer, is that how you feel about the first draft of a new novel? The second? The third? And all the rest…

Please do tell me if you have felt like that when reading or writing – or doing anything else. I’d love to hear about the books you’ve read that held you entranced and why.

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You can find the three books of The Reluctant Detective Series and four more of Christine’s novels here on Amazon

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In Honor of Harper Lee…Remembering the Day She Wrote Back

A delightful post by Lisa Ancona-Roach, remembering a very important and heart-warming event in her own life as a teacher, while marking the sad passing of a much loved author’s life.

Harper Lee 2 Harper Lee in 2007

My heart hurts today with the death of Harper Lee. She was a woman who has impacted my life in ways that I can’t fully explain.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT TRACES OF RED by Christine Campbell @Campbama #SundayBlogShare

A great review from LizanneLloyd, featured on Rosie Amber’s blog.

Rosie Amber

Today’s team review is from Liz, she blogs at https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Liz had been reading Traces Of Red by Christine Campbell

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Traces of Red is the second book in The Reluctant Detective Series by Christine Campbell.  Once again, the irrepressible Mirabelle helps her soulmate, DI Sam Burns, solve a complicated case but there is no need for you to have read Searching for Summer, the first book in the series, since the back story is gradually revealed during this novel.

Mirabelle has given up her work as a social worker and has turned her small Edinburgh flat into a Missing Person’s Bureau.  Usually these are young women, so she is surprised when Kay, a quiet middle class woman, seeks help finding her missing husband.  It is soon evident that all has not been right in this marriage and Kay is keen to help Mirabelle by organising her files and…

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Show Don’t Tell

Tell Show her that you love her.

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How many friends do you have? Three or four? Ten or twenty? Or do you have hundreds and thousands of friends?

The answers may well depend a lot on how active you are on Social Media. Let’s face it, to call someone your friend has different connotations nowadays. When I was a girl, your friends were the ones you hung about with in the playground. You knew what they looked like, you knew who their mammy was, you knew what they had for their dinner.

Nowadays, many of your friends are the ones you hang about with on the internet, you don’t always know what they look like, it’s unlikely you know their mammy, but yes, you may well know what they had for their dinner.

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Now, if you want to be an author’s friend … if you want to show her you care … rather than just tell her, why don’t you do something for her?

Yes, a bunch of flowers is always nice, a box of chocolates, sweet.

Even better … yes, better than chocolate …

Buy her books.

Read her Books.

Review her books.

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Give them as gifts.

Tell others about them.

Order them in your local library.

Attend the launch party for each new book.

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Host a book party.

Host a launch party.

Tell others about her books.

Spread the word about her books on social media:

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, email, text.

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Show an author you care.

~~~

http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Campbell/e/B00BRGC0C2

#RRBC #CR4U

We Are the Gatekeepers

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One of the accusations made about Independently Published books is that the quality of indie published books is poorer than traditionally published works because there are no ‘gatekeepers’: that the book does not have to go through an agent and the rigorous editing, copyediting, proofreading and all the rest that goes into Traditionally Published books.

Now, while it is true that it doesn’t have to go through all these processes, that does not have to mean that it won’t. Just that it won’t all happen ‘in house’ with one of the large publishing firms.

But it does still need to happen.

Indie Authors, we must become our own gatekeepers.

In order to refute the allegation, we must help one another achieve the highest standards of publication that we can. How?
Well, for one thing, we must make sure our own manuscript is absolutely as good as it can be, then we must be honest with our fellow Indie Authors.

I advocate honest reviews.

It is too easy to think that by ‘banding together’ and giving one another five star, great reviews, we are supporting one another. I don’t believe we are. I welcome the odd three star review if it gives me pointers as to how I could improve my writing – especially if the reviewer happens to PM me too with more of their reasoning. I want my work to be taken seriously. If it takes a few stinging reviews to help me improve, I’m up for that.

To give five star reviews just because it is a fellow Indie Author is not actually helpful. It perpetuates the accusation and it doesn’t help the author improve in the necessary areas. Yes, it may help them make a few sales of their book, but it won’t help them sell the next one.

If a book you are reviewing needs editing, why not PM the author and explain what the problem is. Is it the spelling and punctuation? Tell them. Is it the paragraphing? The plotting? The character development? Tell them. Offer helpful advice. Add some links to expert advice on the subject. Give them a second chance, an opportunity to put the problem right before posting the review, before deciding on the star rating.

What if you are on the receiving end of such a PM or a three-star, stinging review. Don’t feel hurt or annoyed. Look at the reasons. Be honest with yourself. Is there room for improvement? Every one of us can become a better writer. Try not to be daunted by the prospect of all that editing again. Your book is worth it. Your readers deserve it.

In short: if we want to compete with Traditionally Published books in the marketplace, if we want to hold our own or make our mark in this fiercely competitive business we are in, we must be our own gatekeepers.

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Now Would be a Good Time

Searching for Summer Final

Now would be a good time to grab a copy of Searching for Summer. Three reasons:

One, it’s a great read.

Two, the eBook is reduced to only 99p/99cents.

Three, you’ll have time to read it before book two is released. It’s on its way.

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So what is Searching for Summer about?

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It’s the first novel in The Reluctant Detective Series.

Mirabelle’s daughter, Summer, disappears one Friday night, and Mirabelle would dearly love to rewind that day and live it differently. Instead, she is left not knowing if Summer is alive or dead, went of her own accord or was taken against her will.
Casting all other concerns aside – food, sleep, work, relationships – in her desperate need to find the answers, she takes to the streets of Edinburgh in search of Summer.
Searching along wynds snaking behind old buildings, through ancient doors and tiny spiral stairways, showing Summer’s photograph to everyone she meets in shops, museums and nightclubs, Mirabelle becomes a reluctant detective, gathering clues, trying to make sense of them in order to find her missing daughter.

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Set in Edinburgh, Searching for Summer could be called Kaleidoscope Fiction: a Cozy Mystery novel, but also a relationship novel with a hint of romance, a soupçon of crime, and more than a dollop of mystery.

If you don’t know Edinburgh, you will get to know it as Mirabelle wanders its streets and wynds.

Mirabelle loved living in Edinburgh: loved the atmosphere created by a city whose main shopping street looked across the road to a castle, Edinburgh Castle standing guard over Princes Street, its severe façade softened by the gardens skirting it, the gardens themselves cocooned from the bustle and noise, folded into their own tree-lined valley, with paths dipping into and out of its depths.

She knew the adage, Edinburgh was ‘all fur coat and nae knickers.’ She was well acquainted with its underbelly, its darker side, saw its dirty linen, but loved it anyway.

A novel to take you through a multitude of emotions as Mirabelle searches for Summer.

Trouble is, she keeps finding other people.

~~~

Searching for Summer

Available NOW

both in paperback and as an eBook

On Amazon

FeedaRead.com

or to order in bookstores

It is only the eBook that is reduced in price.

~~~

If you need further persuading to give Searching for Summer a try right now, here’s its beautiful book trailer:

Show, Don’t Tell, on Twitter

This is such a cool idea. Great advice: Show, don’t tell for Twitter.
So obvious once it’s been pointed out to you. But aren’t all the best ideas like that?

Nicholas C. Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books From blackberryczech.cz

I have often mentioned the “show, don’t tell” rule in my blog. MMJaye, a regular around here and a great supporter of Indies in her own blog, kindly wrote this guest post for me, tackling the rule from a novel perspective: how to use it when tweeting. Enjoy her excellent post, which, I admit, was an eye-opener for me.

“Show not Tell” on Twitter: a guide to “clickable” tweets

The “show don’t tell” rule has been drummed into every writer’s head. Traditional publishers and editors swear by it. Some Indie authors are less than enthusiastic about it, but, no matter how much you use or respect the rule, you have to admit that it does invest your writing with one major attribute: it becomes evocative.

What surprises me, however, is the fact that although writers accept that “show don’t tell” leads to evocative writing and…

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Making It Home by Christine Campbell

Here are some of the things other people are saying about my book,

Making it Home.

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First of all, Megan, of ReadingInTheSunshine

I want to talk about the cover first – I really like it! It’s a very simple cover, an everyday scene that you might regularly see on a journey home in the evening. But that is what makes it such a brilliant cover – it is familiar, it is comforting, and personally, it made me smile, thinking of all the journeys I’d done with a beautiful sky like that.

In Making It Home, we meet three women, who are all different but find a friendship in each other. They also find they have one thing in common: they want more from life. Can Kate, Phyllis and Naomi be happy with the life they have? Or can they find the courage to reach out for something more?

I really liked this book! One of the things I liked most about Making It Home is that Christine has created three women who could be our best friend, neighbour, aunt and so on. The characters aren’t perfect women with flawless make up and rich husbands, instead they are real, true-to life women that all of the ladies out there will be able to relate to, and that is what makes this story so compelling to read! Personally I love when an author writes about real women, about the struggles and problems that real women may face everyday, and creates realistic scenarios that could be exactly like what the readers could be going through. I am certain readers will be able to relate to Kate, Phyllis and Naomi in some way, whether it is their personalities, their individual situations or the friendship that these characters have with each other.

The characters were very well-drawn and written, I loved the friendship and the bond that the three women created with each other, ad I enjoyed reading and watching this friendship grow throughout the book. I was hooked to the characters individual stories and set of circumstances, I desperately wanted to know how they would progress and on many occasions I was cheering them on from my seat! I liked all three of the main characters but my favourite was Kate.

The novel unfolds at a great pace and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to read this. Making It Home is an absorbing and compelling story about three women, the friendship they strike up, the journey to discover meaning in their life, and knowing that support, love and friendship can be found when you least expect it!

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Such a lovely day today, in blustery, wet Scotland.
Usually, it is the view from my bedroom window that brightens my day. Today, a different ‘view’… A review!
Thank you, Megan, of ReadingInTheSunshine.

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Just checked my reviews on Amazon.com for the first time…hadn’t thought to do that before. Duh! The .uk ones come up automatically. Lovely surprise. Two great reviews:

5.0 out of 5 stars I Keep Thinking About This Book! 1 April 2013
By Lucinda Sutherland – Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
In this book we meet Kate, who has a fairly normal life, but it is slowly unwinding like an old clock and she is beginning to realize that it is time for a decision about what kind of life she truly wants. Phyllis, an older woman who befriends Kate, helps open Kate’s eyes to how much she has been sleep-walking through her life. They both recognize that Naomi needs their help but they can’t quite work out how to offer that help or what all it will entail.So far it could be any politically correct book on the “women’s literature” market – but this book rises above that. The characters deepen and when men come into the story they start out almost as caricatures and then find their own realism as the women in the book begin to see them as real people with real thoughts and ideas. The people in this book stay with the reader and seem to grow even after the book concludes. It is a gentle read that sinks into your mind and soul and gently helps you change your assumptions about others.I am really impressed with this author and with this novel. I recommend it to anyone who isn’t looking for a cookie-cutter story-line. “Making it Home” doesn’t come at you with a message or a sermon; it simply shares the lives of the people in it and lets you decide for yourself. This book gives me the same peaceful experience I found reading D.E. Stevenson’s work – but updated for modern times.
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating Novel! 18 Mar 2013
By Dr. Johnson C. Philip – Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This is a contemporary novel that is of a genre different from what I usually read. Thus I read it for a change and was pleased at the way the plot unfolds.It is the story of three women: Kate who had a home but whose heart was not in it, Phyllis who wanted something more than her home, and Naomi whose life was frozen by grief and fear. They meet each other by accident, become friends, and felt they should help each other. On the path of discovery that life is much more than what they think, the author develops the plot in a superbly captivating manner.I enjoyed reading this novel, and I am sure that you too will enjoy reading this novel, provided you are used to reading in this genre.

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