10 Sept 2011

Guest post - Dianna Hardy - and giveaway

Writing, Self-Publishing, Coffee and Lack Of Sleep

I think I was about nine years old when I stapled together my “self-published” version of Little Miss Rainbow. Of course, no one outside my family had the privilege of seeing it – my poor, poor family. At around thirteen (I'm ashamed to say that other thirteen year olds were doing far more exciting things), I “self-published” A Witch's Book Of Spells (here it is in the pic – yes, at heart, I have always been a total Pagan geek).
Maybe I should have seen the way things would turn out!

Nobody likes to make a song and dance about the fact that they're a self-published author, or even an indie author, yet it is due to the very fact that e-publishing exists as it does today that I'm able to do what I love the most, and what I've always done, so I openly talk about this aspect of writing. Like most authors, I'd love to be published by a big publishing house, but like most authors, simply having people read my work, matters more to me than being associated with a big name.

Fiction has always been my favourite thing to write, although I went through a real poetry phase in my teens (hey, I was an emotionally aggravated teenager!). I was later to learn that the poetry wasn't just a phase, but a passion that led to various publications in small print magazines (in the days before eBooks – more stapled together literature) and, eventually, the creation of A Silver Kiss (Vampire Poetry), which I'm pleased to say has had some great reviews and is not stapled.

More recently, I was itching to sink my teeth back into writing fiction. I've always been a visual person and often find myself inspired by TV programmes and films, rather than just books. In my head, I wanted write something that was like a TV series, but not a screenplay. My biggest problem as a writer is plot – I'm cr*p at coming up with plots and ideas for stories. Really – I suck. So when, one bizarre afternoon, the entire plot for The Witching Pen played out in my head, I simply had to write it (after I got over the fact that my muse was finally talking to me). As I wrote it, the plot for the second book exploded in my mind, and so did the plot for the third … then the seed for an entire spin-off series was planted (The Last Angel series), followed by the book(s) that will signal the culmination of all the above – The Awakening (Project Veil series) – which I actually started to write before The Witching Pen.

Suddenly, I had a whole bunch of words in my head and I can't write fast enough – no no, I literally can't write fast enough – I have a child that doesn't sleep throughout the night most of the time, plus all the marketing I have to do (wow, I hate the word “marketing”). I often go to bed after 2 a.m. and do not truly wake up until coffee has hit my oesophagus. My partner/should-be-husband is a saint for putting up with me, and my daughter is a saint for accepting the fate of having a crazy, ambitious Scorpio lady as her mother. But I can't stop writing, and I'm going to make this work.

I recently wrote on my website: It makes no difference whether you're professionally published, self-published, alive or dead -- a writer writes.

If you feel the same way, have a look at Bitten Fruit Books (a self-started venture that I'm hoping will help to promote other new authors).

Anyway, onto the good stuff: GIVEAWAYS! I have one eBook to giveaway (choose your format when you win), and one SWAG bag (see pic below) to give away, which includes the cotton bag itself; a signed paperback copy of The Witching Pen; a signed paperback copy of A Silver Kiss (Vampire Poetry); a signed Witching Pen (Karl and Elena) bookmark; a signed, limited edition of 25, poetry print of the poem A Silver Kiss; and a keychain from The Witching Pen with a quote from Gwain on it.

Good luck, I hope you win, and thanks a million times for reading my garbles :)
Dianna Hardy

Book Two Of The Witching Pen Novellas, The Sands Of Time, will be released at the end of November / beginning of December.


  1. Awesome post and giveaway :)
    Thanks for the chance

  2. So glad you liked the post, Cath ... and I'm so stupidly excited about this giveaway I'm annoyed I can't enter. I may become addicted to SWAG! Thanks for entering. Dianna xxx

  3. Great post!! The book looks really good ad I love that swag!!!

  4. Thank you, Nat! Thanks for entering and good luck :)

  5. Wow what fun today. Thank you for the good time and for the lovely giveaway opportunity.

  6. Denise, I am mega glad you found that fun ... you know, I was only ever considered anything close to "fun" from the age of twenty when I "loosened up to life", as I like to call it. I was BORING before then (you know, stapling together books and stuff). So I still consider myself mostly boring. To be regarded as fun in any way is a huge honour :) Thanks for entering -- good luck! x

  7. This is wonderful thank you!!

  8. Great post and thank you for the giveaway!

  9. great post and super giveaway. I've wanted to read "The Witching Pen" since I heard about it at the Noble release in July. Love the cover.

  10. Hey, Michelle! So glad you entered :) And I've had nice comments about the cover, which is nice -- I'm slightly obsessed with my covers.

    *Waves at Marybelle and Diana* Hi! Thanks all for entering xxx


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