Thursday, July 30, 2015

Quietus is Pubished!

This month saw the release of my first full-length novel Quietus in both digital (via Kindle) format and as a traditional paperback.

After several contract offers with 'so called' Vanity Presses promising me full marketing and production of my novel in approximately 280 working days and with only a downpayment of £2,500 minimum, I decided to go it alone. Several presses are yet to get back to me, such is the laborious process of submitting in this day and age (and the amount of 'new writers' out there), but this meant I could have my book available on Kindle in a matter of hours and in print within days. Pretty amazing considering the book took about 3-4 years to write!

So after playing around with the cover design which would involve a photo a specifically took for this purpose, I then got on with the formatting and was ready to go:

To date I've sold just over 50 copies and each sale brings a smile to my face.

I can access sales figures instantly via createspace (for the paperback version) and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for the digital version - the geek in me has always liked statistics and reports!! I've also received five reviews so far on Amazon, all of which have been extremely positive.

If you have read Quietus and are reading this, please leave a review, it would be very much appreciated as the more the book is reviewed, the more substance it has.

I was also interviewed for the Jersey Evening Post, our local newspaper, which has a daily readership of over 52,000:

Again, this interview and review was very positive and contributed to a small spike in sales and visits to my website:

So what's next? Well I've been busy over the last couple of months doing some courses which I won't bore you with, but the next novel, The Crosses (working title) has been heavily brainstormed and the first tentative words have found their way to the page.

Quietus was a real learning experience and I now know where I wasted a lot of my time in writing it. I was very much someone who had to edit as I went along, for which now I realise was a completely pointless exercise and probably added a year to the whole process (yes really!!).

For The Crosses, I will write without reservation and see how the first draft comes out - I know the story is likely to chop and change when being written, but if you want a quick idea about the theme, well let's just say it centres around a small island in the English Channel...facing a very different kind of armageddon.

Oh and the likelihood is that it will be a trilogy of sorts, but with each book a standalone read. Let's see what the central characters Sam, Devon and Jenny decide...

As Stephen King would say: "Thank you, constant reader."

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Silence is coming ... as Quietus is submitted to publishers

Lots going on this month so I will be as brief as possible!

My first full length novel which was originally called The Silence has been renamed Quietus. This is partially due to marketing issues surrounding the amount of books etc out there with the word 'Silence' within the title and many people, as soon as I said it's called The Silence, would then add, "of the Lambs" hmmm. The Silence was always the working title and one I was quite keen on but Quietus reflects how the novel has evolved and is a much more apt title - I can give no more away.

The book has now been submitted to publishers and alongside a couple of rejections there has also been a request for more chapters and the novel in full. My main concern however is to what exact category it fits into. Originally back in its infancy it was always intended as Adult Fiction but changed to Young Adult fiction as that was where the market was buoyant. However, as the language and scenes are completely unrestrained (encouraged from my MA tutor), the relatively recent genre of New Adult possibly applies. Call it Young Adult / Crossover / New Adult / Street Lit fiction and I guess it just about covers it. This would though initially appear to be a big problem with publishers - which brings me to question: am I writing the book to be commercial or am I writing the book to produce the exact story I wish to portray. With that in mind and under the realisation that the odds of getting traditionally published are between 500-1 and 2000-1, I have also been researching self publishing via CreateSpace and their print on demand services and via Kindle. I've been working on the cover for this and attach some of the photos I took last week to give you a bit of an idea of what to expect ... and an insight into one of the book's locations.

One thing that hasn't changed is that the theme is still Dark Romance and I am going to write the screenplay for it. My first screenplay to follow my first full length book. Nothing like making life hard for yourself!

Further to this, I've also signed up for a few other courses which I will reveal as and when I actually start on those. There are a few other things pencilled in: another short story/play (I haven't decided yet but I have an idea which came about through a rather troubling dream) and a trilogy. The latter of which will definitely be commercial fiction and has evolved from several ideas I've had previously, which when looking at together, blend into one rather nicely, with subplots based around an overriding theme.

More news to come in a month or so as other developments start to take place.

Exciting times ahead!

© David Sellars and David Sellars' Blog, 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Sellars and David Sellars' Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Welcomes The Silence

It's been a while coming, but The Silence is almost ready for publication. After a big burst of writing in the summer months,  I am now towards the end of the editing stage. Big thanks go to the guys I've swapped / am swapping manuscripts with - the very talented duo of Sarah Emma (X Always Wins) and Paul Bisson (Marigold Dark) and my 'constant reader' Heather who read large chunks of the novel, however clunky, as it was being written.

The Silence is a Young Adult (YA) novel and will be released in two short books (novellas). This however, will not be your average YA fiction, with boundaries pushed to the limit as Nick Guest, aided by the mysterious Carrie Jones, discover dark things in the Jersey woods whilst dealing with the suicide of a rather bonkers Sophie Pemberton.

For an initial trial period, the first book will be available for free with the second as a paid download, or will be discounted if both bought together, depending if these option are easy enough to set up?

Whilst this novel will be seeking out agents and publishers I'll be investigating CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing in order to have this available online as soon as possible.

Please add this to your Christmas wish list if so inclined.


For those of you who really know me, you will be aware that this is one of my favourite times of the year. Via this link you will find a short story dedicated to one specific Halloween night in 1980 and is based on a couple of real-life experiences (I'll let you try and figure out which) - Jack O Lantern appears half way down this page and was originally released last Halloween.

Unfortunately long gone are the days of dressing up and trick or treating - this really was my favourite night of the year and was a chance to 'not have to be me' and take on the role of one of my childhood poster-boy's.

So for something a little 'dark' hearted, here are my ideal day of movies (whilst the cookies are baking in the oven, the pumpkins are lit on the windowsills and the warm blood drips from the meat hooks):

9am - The Wolf Man (1939) - in my opinion, this just edges out:
10.15am - Bride of Frankenstein (1935) - as the best of the Universal Classics.
11.30am - The Freaks (1932) - a nice little love story before lunch.
12.30pm - A couple of episodes of the Simpson's Tree House of Terror (1989 onwards) - classics.
1.30pm - The Woman in Black (1989) - the original TV movie is creepy as hell and sticks forever in your mind - although it's the theatre production which is truly harrowing.
3.00pm - The Lost Boys (1987) - a bit of light-hearted vampire fun.
4.30pm - An episode of The Munsters (1964-1966) - brilliant gothic fun.
5pm - The Carnival of Souls (1962) - 76 mins of Twilight Zone 'another dimension' style entertainment.
6.30pm - An American Werewolf in London (1981) - quite simply, the best Werewolf movie of all time - 'beware the moon lads'.
8.30pm - The Blair Witch Project (1999) - probably the scariest movie of all time. Don't believe me? Try watching it in a pitch-black room, on your own, with no distractions (the popcorn munching moviegoers in the cinema wrecked this first experience for me).
10pm - Halloween (1978) - the original and best slasher movie of all time.
Midnight - The Shining (1980) - even despite missing vital elements of the book, and as much as I would like to be original, I can't - this is the best horror movie of all time.

Finally, a brief list compiled from nostalgia, fear and a genuine love of the genre. Some of which have stood the test of time, others certainly haven't but all are worth a second viewing if it's been a while since you've seen them and if it's your first experience, then you're in for a treat (or trick). Controversially, not all of the original versions I would consider the better movie...

Welcome to my own personal nightmare:

Dog Soldiers - British flick with those on a military exercise up against a different kind of enemy.
The Howling - spiritual retreats have always been creepy.
The Company of Wolves - superbly spooky fairy tale.

Let the Right One In - the most beautiful vampire movie ever made.
Near Dark - vampire road movie.
Zoltan Hound of Dracula - yes, really! Dracula's dog! He and his pals are seriously hardcore.

Japanese / Japanese Inspired
The Ring/Ringu - the US remake is much much scarier in my opinion. It's all about the horses...
Audition - cheese anyone?
Dark Water - the original and one of the bleakest films I've ever seen.

A Nightmare on Elm Street - the original is the best by a mile - scary too at a time when Freddy didn't do comedy.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - sitting down to dinner with the family will never be the same again - brilliant.
Friday the 13th - for one of the best 'jump out of your seat' moments in cinema history.
May - all the hallmarks of a Japanese horror movie, but it's not.

When the Wind Blows - a cartoon and shown to us at school as a double bill with:
Threads - seriously, WTF?!?!
Prophecy - scared me to hell as a kid - chemical waste mutants.

The Exorcist/Exorcist 3 - outstanding original, poor first sequel, brilliant third.
Carrie - such a sad story too - thank you Tabitha King for plucking this one out of the wastepaper basket!
The Wicker Man - the bizarre and deeply chilling original which inspired sketches by The Two Ronnies and League of Gentlemen amongst others.
Hellraiser 2 - a serious gore fest.
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? - Bette Davis has always been freaky looking - her and Joan Crawford are superb as bitching sisters.
The Amityville Horror/2 - the original is still a very scary film, but if you haven't seen number 2 - the possession - this is the prequel to what happened in the house prior to the Lutz's moving in.
Dolls - always hated them, this movie does nothing to ease this.
Watcher in the Woods - another Better Davis movie, seen onboard a TriStar bound for Canada - one screen per 50 people!
The Omen - probably only on here as I've not been able to bring myself to watch Rosemary's Baby.
Superstition - rereleased as The Witch as originally banned, before reverting to its original title
Demon Seed - house arrest never felt so wrong.

The Evil Dead 1,2 and remake - The first two are cult classics, number 3 is fun but for real horror, the remake is a brilliant surprise
REC - Spanish original is the best, but all versions are worth a watch.
The Fog - another John Carpenter classic.
Dawn of the Dead - the remake, purely for the first 10 minutes!
The Ghoul (along with The Curse of the Demon) - my very first horror movies and on the Hammer House of Horror Double Bill shown every Saturday on BBC2 in the 80s.
Zombie Flesh Eaters - they swim and fight with sharks, but this is all about the eyeball meets splinter scene - trying to find an uncut version in the 80s was near on impossible.

Should be banned
Martyrs - borderline unwatchable, for 99 mins I hated Sarah and Karl for the recommendation
Watership Down - it's only a cartoon, it's only a cartoon - the screams you may hear along Green Road as darkness falls could well be that of my seven-year-old petrified self - possibly the most traumatic film I've ever seen.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Top Three and a Masters Degree

This week saw the return of spring and with it, several in my step.

The glorious weekend weather helped obliterate my hangover after receiving confirmation that I had passed the course, and now hold a Masters Degree in Professional Writing. Two years hard work starting with the art of rhetoric and finishing with studying young adult fiction and my quarter completed novel The Silence, are now but a distant memory. One Spring.

My short story 'The Cat' which is currently available to download from Ether Books, was at Number 6 two weeks ago, in the paid download charts. Two Springs.

'The Cat' gained three places and was at Number 3 in the paid download charts last week. It is the only story on there to have improved its chart position. Thank you to all who have downloaded so far and to all who intend to this week. If we (I say we as it's you that have helped achieve this) make it to Number 1 this week, then I will truly be lost for words. Some current 5 Star reviews include:
"Excellent read but not for bedtime!"
"Wow, great story. Looking forward to reading more!"
Three Springs.

With the shackles now off, 'The Silence' has begun to evolve. The story is rapidly gathering pace and taking on darker tones, as the lead character Nick begins to reveal more to Carrie about his relationship with dead girlfriend Sophie. Four Springs and counting...

So already on this short, writing adventure of mine I've achieved far greater things than I could imagine. My writing is still finding a voice, but hopefully with Nick and Carrie's help and some rather reluctant assistance from Sophie, I should have a rather disturbing 'young adult' novel in print within a year. Let's hope agents and publishers are as infatuated with these characters as I am.

Please check my website for latest updates or follow this blog or me on Twitter and remember, Rapunzel's Daughters is still available in print. I hear 'The Wolf's Guide to the Fairytale' is a particularly good read, and it might even be available for free via Ether Books soon, as I have the copyright back for it - so maybe you can hold off until then...

Thank you for reading and a special thank you to the downloaders amongst you.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

David Sellars' Blog: Snow, Parties and Publishing

David Sellars' Blog: Snow, Parties and Publishing: "Well we had snow, lots of actually. Well lots of for Jersey in November and some more today, and as usual the island came to a standstill, ..."

Snow, Parties and Publishing

Well, we had snow, lots of actually. Well lots of for Jersey in November and some more today, and as usual the island came to a standstill, flights postponed, buses cancelled etc, ahh the joys! Still I wasn’t really up to anything important at the weekend - all I had to do was get to the Hotel De France and back for a charity ball, and whilst there, drink lots, pop party poppers, wear silly hats, gyrate on the dance floor and win nothing in the raffle. Great fun! This now sees the end of my tux as it will eventually be dry cleaned and placed neatly away until the two ball events as per this year – the CIM and Round Table.

However that’s not to say that is the end of this years festivities, God no, it’s only just December remember. Christmas used to be traditionally kicked off by the Boys Annual lunch which first took place on a Thursday over ten years ago and was a fun and random idea thought up by two guys (one of which was me, proudly I add) who had just sat their final exam of the year that morning. Now though, we just do it for a laugh and thankfully on a Friday, this Friday in fact. Throughout the years there’s been all sorts of presentations and paraphernalia made and given to one another as our show of love. In the past there’s been paintings, jumpers, poems and anecdotes – and this year we’re making each other a bauble. Sounds weird, yes you’re right, but it’s what we has become accustomed to, and although the Christmas festivities now start prior to this benchmarking event, we still hang onto the coattails of tradition.

So after this I have a couple more work ‘dos’ and then I’ll be sitting down with Bro and his family for a rip roaring Christmas lunch - with entertainment provided by my toddler Godson. Needless to say the dribbling and the tentative walking will once again be a large part of the day, and possibly for one year old George too.

On the coursework front we’re well into the Advanced Practice Module and I’m looking at short stories at the moment. For the first time ever, I actually sat down and wrote a story from start to finish and it’s now in the edit stage after putting this away for a couple of weeks, but I will have this on my website shortly.

Also we’ve had to submit an Industry Analysis brief. This is a research topic which we are due to submit a full analysis on by February. After much deliberation I’ve decided to research the production of serialised novels through apps on the mobile platform. Should be an interesting topic as in print this is something that Charles Dickens, Stephen King and John Saul have successfully achieved. There are already writers who have done this via Apps, and it would be interesting to see how well this works.

Well that’s about it for now, other than to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I’ll be in Ireland for the latter and so I’m expecting the festive season to be especially long and joyous this year!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Wolf Gets A Look In

I've just this minute handed in my latest assessed submission for the latest part of my course: PRW106 - Writing the novel. This submission included the first two chapters of my first novel which have been edited, re-edited and re-re-edited so that the text is as sharp as can be. Not having the time to leave the document in a drawer for two weeks before going back to it for the first edit makes it a tedious affair. It's very hard not to fiddle on first write, and very very hard to edit something you have just written to avoid it becoming a total re-write. These are things I am learning all the time.

We've also had to submit our blogs, twitter accounts and website for review. The website is especially tricky as there's always something in there you feel like tampering with. It will of course, be a constant work in progress.

Next up for the course is the advanced stage of my novel writing. Here we will be left to our own devises more so and continue to develop the novel. Alongside this there is an Industry Analysis which involves researching all things beneficial to the professional writing experience. Work placements and interviews are encouraged. Hmm, time to get the thinking cap on.

Part of our course had already involved researching publishing houses and possible agents who might be interested in the work we are producing. I have sent out a couple of minor pieces of work to websites and publications seeking submissions re a certain genre and slap me sideways I have something accepted within a couple of days. The 'Wolf's Guide To Surviving The Little Red Riding Hood Fairytale' will be part of an anthology called Happily Ever After and is due to be published in June 2011. A great big smiley face needed here - :-).

There's also a couple of competitions floating around that I'm interested in submitting to, but it's a case of square pegs in round holes at the min, as most of what I've written doesn't fit what the competition organisers are looking for. I do have one story though which I might tinker with, we'll see if I have the time.

On a personal note, I'm off to London this weekend for shopping, football and a play. It will also be nice to have a break and get some inspiration whilst being in the big smoke. Halloween of course is just around the corner, so I'll be visiting the pumpkin house in Trinity and carving the following weekend for two days of horror movies and Halloween snacks. I may even light the fire for the first time and toast marshmallows and have a good old jamboree. Gin Gan Gooli anyone? I thought not...

Happy Halloween!