Blog Hijack: Chris Pink Author Of Number 3 Mystery Book Talks Cherubism

When Miss Fletcher kindly asked me if I wanted to write a guest post for her charmingly exuberant blog – a post concerning the writing process behind my first published novel, which is also probably the seventh novel I've written, but keep that to yourself, OK? I want to keep hold of some dignity if possible... – the first thought that came to mind was: yes Penelope, Yes Miss Fletcher, I love writing guest posts! That would be excellent!

The second thought quickly put me right, however, and it was so loaded with sarcasm that I nearly fell out of my chair (except I could not, as the chair I was in wouldn't allow me to, which only compounded my embarrassment): Chris, you fool, you've never actually written one guest post!

And it was true; my inner voice – whatever you want to call it – wasn't being sarcastic without good reason. It never is.

So there I was, on virgin territory; not only that but I had to go back in time in my head, back a-year-and-a-half, and do some serious thinking. Which was tricky for two reasons: 1) when I started writing The Number 3 Mystery Book I was still recovering from a near fatal virus which I now try and avoid thinking about as much as possible, as you do, and 2) my memory isn't as good as it used to be. It was bad enough before I got sick, and after the illness, as is common, it was even worse. Somewhere along the way, I lost a part of myself, which was also a bit of a spanner-in-the-works. Having Dyscalculia also doesn't help much; the big D is a double whammy, you could say...I'm both bad with navigating space – either mentally or physically – and utterly useless when it comes to remembering numbers and dates.

Some people get all the luck, right?

7,400 June Sales, Penelope Turns 23 & Other Stuff I Should Have Blogged About Before Now

What have I been up to? Well:

  • I redesigned my website
  • Visited Nicole MacDonald's Damsel In A Dirty Dress blog for an interview
  • Partook in a webinar with the Indie Book Collective (at 2am, yeah) on Twitter Marketing
  • Put the finishing touches on Die, My Love (so much more work than the sentence suggests, lol)
  • I got completely absorbed into tweaking Demon Dark. I was In The Zone. You know how in the Matrix Neo saw green numbers? Well, I saw purple words, lol. Adam (boyfriend/fiance/man-friend) peeled me away when he caught me snoring over my keyboard and drooling everywhere.
  • I had my 23rd birthday and survived *moonwalk*
  • Updated all my eBook covers to sexify them some more (it’s important to keep growing and improving what you offer) Those changes will show across all the eStores soon.
  • Created/Revised the Print Editions of Lunar Light, Demon Day and Demon Girl (all three with revised text).
  • Got absorbed in writing more of Smolder (Dragon Souls Book One).

Look at the examples of my new print covers. Aren’t they lovely? I was randomly browsing books in store and saw one with the faded background square for the blurb, loved it, and of course had to have it for my own. Demon Day and Die, My Love have been formatted the same, and CreateSpace is playing ball so far ... just need to get my proofs.

Niche Books, How To Sell & Find Niche Books (?) And Correct Genre & Sub-Genre Placement

I am basically regurgitating what I posted today in response to a thread on Kindleboards, but, I wanted to share my thoughts here, as they are very relevant to how I write. So I’ve cleaned it up (typing long passages for forum responses on your iPhone is really difficult, btw,) and away we go....

I do not consider extreme use of a story element niche (more violence, more sex). Nor do I consider specific sub-genres niche. Just because a genre clashes with current popular genre trends, or because it is new, does not make it niche. Peculiar subject matter and prose which uses distinct literary devices, those are books I would consider niche as the average reader would probably not appreciate a narrative voice radically different to what they're comfortable with (or used to). To be crystal clear I don't mean a writer's natural writing style either, though most niche writers do have a distinctive writing style as well.

There are industry norms authors must bow to for the sake of avoiding bad/irrelevant reviews. This I say in the context of 'advice' of how to sell a 'niche' book, and of course, well written and relevant reviews help sell books.

Here is an example: not liking extreme violence or graphic sex is merely taste, not a lack of appreciation for a distinctive literary device. Genres logically group reader plot and story element tastes. Hence why most times if you receive reviews where readers specifically mention things like “this was horror not fantasy,” or “this was not fantasy it was too gory and scary” a person with insight will suggest a genre shift for your book, as readers are expressing dissatisfaction with the levels of your major story elements, suggesting the levels are a closer match to the current (major story element) trends in the Horror genre. Of course they could always be wrong (again, all this is my opinion, it's your book, your party).