Thunderclap!

Hey guys,

Guys! I’m doing a “Thunderclap” campaign to get the word out about the release of my book ANIMAL… Pretty please can you sign up to take part? It only takes a few seconds to do! Click here: http://thndr.me/5IcY8z

Thank you, Gillian xxx

End of the Beginning

Hello people!

News just in… The first draft of ‘Animal’ is now officially finished! Yey woopeedoo!

I have been faithfully uploading chapters every Monday for over a year and now the final chapter has been uploaded. It has been an incredible adventure and I was a bit sad when I posted the final words. However as with all good sagas, this story is far from done. In fact I like to call it the ‘end of the beginning’. Alas, this is a first draft, meaning – there are more drafts to go!

And let me tell you for the last three months I have been working on a most awesome re-write of this story. From my wattpad experiences I was able to know that the central idea is well loved by readers. So that gives me a huge starting point. And great characters sprung up from this ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ style of uploading a story. And yet – me being a planning sort of an author – I am now using this first draft as more like a springboard for a much more complex, advanced and developed final version.

This re-write is taking place in the coming months and I really can not wait for the end result as the whole thing excites me just to think of it! At that point I will be seeking official representation for my beloved ‘Animal’. Plus of course – not to forget – this is the first in the TRILOGY – yes, that’s right – there are two more books to go. So as you can see this really is the end of the beginning and the start of a lot more to come.

In total, to date (it continues to rise by the minute) there have been 691,939 reads, 19,429 votes and 2,910 comments on ‘Animal’

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(a few images that evoke the feeling of the book, see more here on my Pinterest board)

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5 Reasons Why Wattpad Rules for Writers

I’ve been using wattpad for over 3 years now, I’ve written a book on there, published two short stories and am in the middle of my second book ‘Animal’. Here’s why I love wattpad.

1. Find an audience

This is numero uno. The first time I saw my first story on wattpad had ‘1 read’ I was out of this world excited. Before that it had been a real effort to get even my best friends to read my work plus they weren’t the exact person I wrote the book for – I write for younger people but until wattpad I didn’t really have many I could ask. With wattpad I have literally thousands, including nearly 8000 followers. I’ve now had over 800,000 reads and I receive messages, likes, comments and new followers every day. There are young people from across the globe writing to me to say how much they enjoy my writing and that alone is a glorious, brilliant thing.

2. Instills discipline

I have learned this through experience – wattpad readers need to be satiated regularly. They are not content for a one off – they want to receive regular updates or else they get super demanding or wander off. So I now religiously write a new chapter every single Monday, without fail come sun, rain or shine. This has meant at times writing the chapter at some ungodly hour through half closed eyes. However it means that no matter how tired or busy I am – I have to get to that computer and spend those hours writing. This is great and I can hardly even imagine now how people get out manuscripts without this constant pressure. As the weeks go by it begins to add up and a few months down the line, hey presto – you have a book.

3. Know your audience

I find that its not just about having an audience, its about knowing them. I talk directly to my readers – I know what other books they read, what music they like, even what their deepest darkest thoughts and feelings are in some cases. I care about and respect the people that read my work and that helps me to write the kind of stories that they genuinely want to read.

4. Gauge success

There is a great new tool on wattpad called ‘stats’ which allows the writer to see the statistics of every update – this means the likes, reads, comments are all available to see and it is incredibly insightful. I can see which types of scenes get more likes and which ones don’t. This helps. No one ever really tells a writer what to write. They decide and yet, knowing the work hits some sort of emotional button on the other side is certainly important for me, I like to know what my readers are enjoying.

5. Gain credibilty

I recently dipped my toe into the world of ‘proper’ publishing by submitting a manuscript of another book I wrote which isn’t published on wattpad. Through the conversations I’ve had with agents and publishers it has shown that they are seriously interested in digital presence. From what I can tell they look at the numbers in terms of followers and hits and they use that as some kind of proof that you are actually good, or at least appreciated by your ‘target audience’. I don’t really think in these terms whilst using wattpad – its more about connecting with readers but it has to be said that the incredible ‘platform’ one can build up on there does seem to give a boost to the offering.

 

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Best Writing Buddies

I have two teenage rabbits called Peachy and Buttons, the two most adorable animals that ever lived. Quite contradictory little creatures: gentle yet naughty, quiet yet terrorising. Sweet and small yet able to decimate entire areas. Can’t wait to get them spayed, that’s supposed to settle it all down. They do make great writing companions though, even learning to jump up next to me whilst I work. Today whilst I wrote the new chapter for my book they were settling down for a wee stroke. Cute.

Terrorising double team
Terrorising double team

Adventure

Last week my husband and I attended the Scottish Adventure Awards in Glasgow. We are both homebodies that prefer watching TV box sets with our bunnies running around our feet than flouncing around town however this particular awards evening we didn’t want to miss as it consisted of all the most adventurous people in Scotland under one roof.

Sure enough whilst there we met a guy who swam the entire circumference of the United Kingdom, another man who had just come back from an encounter with six lions and a partially blind guy who had climbed a mountain alone. My husband is the one into all the actual real life adventure stuff for instance, he was hanging off the side of a cliff filming a model in an evening gown last week.

I’m not really one for dangling from ropes or deep sea diving however I do love a bit of adventure in writing. The story I am developing on wattpad is currently becoming increasingly adventurous and my heroine is getting up to the kinds of things I would love to do. My theory is if I can’t do it in real life write about it and in many ways that is almost as good, and probably just as time consuming and hard work at times!

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the guy with the yellow helmet? I'm married to him.
the guy with the yellow helmet? That’s my crazy husband.