FAQs

Ask the writer a question.  Vector image of 3 jigsaw pieces suspended on chains each piece has one character on it - Q & A.  Image from DepositPhotos.com

Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions I’ve been asked for the years.  

 

What Genre Do You Write?

I mostly write adult fantasy, both traditional and urban.  I have also tried my hand at crime (the genre, that is! 😀) as well as sci-fi.

 

Are You Published?

Yes, my short story The Locksmith was published in the anthology From Ashes To Magic in 2019.  You can find details of the book and an excerpt of my story on my Books page.

 

What Are You Currently Working On?

I currently have three projects I consider “active”.

The first is a Preternatural Urban Fantasy called Dark HartThis is book one of my Trinity Hart series.  I am in the editing phase and it’s currently with my Alpha Reader.

The second is a Traditional Fantasy called The Blessed (working title).  This is book one of a Trilogy.  I am writing the first draft.

The third is another Tradition Fantasy called A Coming Storm.  This is possibly going to be a duology.  I am in the planning/outlining phase.

If you want to keep up with what I am working on, you can join my Newsletter list where any new developments are announced first.

 

Where Do You Get Story Ideas From?

Behind the fridge.  They like to hide there.

Honestly, I get them everywhere.  I am always coming up with new ideas for stories.  Many are formed ideas but I also have a large collection of what I call “sparks”.

Sparks are small concepts, maybe a plot point, a character concept, a what-if moment that I use to build up my ideas.  In the end, the story may resemble very little from the original spark.

Ideas can come from anywhere; a photo, a news article, the snippet of a conversation, a dream, a lyric in a song, a mood I’m in, a creaking floorboard when I’m home alone and a million other places.

Writers tend to see the world a little differently, what others may see as normal or even mundane, a writer might see as the spark of an idea that then grows.

I have found ideas in bizarrely random places – the idea itself might be a character trait or a fantastical monster… but from this one thing, a whole story can emerge.

 

Do You Know The End Of A Book When You Start?

Yes and no.

For some of my ideas, I have the ending fleshed out first.  In others, I had a vague sense of the ending but then it might have changed as I wrote.

Sometimes a story idea can morph into more than one book and that can influence the ending of the earlier books.

 

Are Your Characters Based On Real People?

No, my characters are all fictitious, though a physical or personality trait may be borrowed from someone and then developed.

It is NEVER a good idea to base characters on real people, this can cause problems and even legal issues.

 

Will You Read My Book?

Beta Read Requests

At this time, I cannot beta-read for anyone else.  I have a few people who I beta read for, but due to the time constraints, I don’t have the ability right now to accept any more.

Book Reviews

If your book is published, I do read books for review, however, please check out my Book Review Guidelines in the first instance.  This will state if I am currently accepting books for review and what you can expect from me as well as what genres I accept.

 

How Do You Handle Writers’ Block?

Badly!  Thankfully I don’t suffer from it very often, usually, when I do it’s due to burnout so I step away from my work and take a break.

However, over the years I’ve developed methods for dealing with writers’ block, or what I like to call, Creative Constipation.

 

How Do You Find Time To Write?

I don’t, I make time.  If you try and ‘find’ time to write, then you are probably not going to manage it.

You have to make writing a priority and schedule it into your routine.  It won’t always be easy and you may (like me) have times when it’s almost impossible, but keep at it!

 

I’m Worried About Getting Bad Reviews If I Publish

Reviews are not for writers, they are for other readers.  Every writer eventually gets negative reviews.

However, you can reduce the likelihood of negative reviews by making sure your story is as professionally polished and edited as it can be.

After writing it, you need to do several self-edits, then get it checked by at least 3 beta readers.  Then make some more edits from their feedback.  Finally, get it professionally edited (if you are going the self-publishing) line.

Fixing errors that could potentially put readers off is important.  If you expect people to turn over their hard-earned cash for your product, it damn-well better be as near to perfect as possible.

Don’t use reviews for getting feedback on what didn’t work.  That should come in the betas/CP stage.  If you treat reviews for that purpose, it’s too late.  Don’t get me wrong, some reviews can give you an insight you may not have thought about but generally, it’s best to leave them for the readers.

Get someone else to read your reviews, they can then tell you all the good ones.  You don’t need to know about the bad ones.  After all, everyone is different and it is most likely just someone’s personal opinion on what they didn’t like.

One thing that’s important, remain professional, don’t lash out at bad reviews, don’t complain about the review or reviewer on public forums and don’t leave a public response to the review.

What you say about a negative review will be seen by your next buyer and it might just put them off.  Stay polite and professional.

Negative reviews are part and parcel of being a writer, you need to accept that someone out there will hate your book.  That’s okay.

In fact, some people actually feel better when they get a few negatives as it can give your book legitimacy.  If it’s all 5-star reviews, people begin to wonder if the reviews aren’t all fake or just from friends.

 

I’m A Writer, Do I Need A Website?

Yes, I personally believe you do, for several reasons.

Firstly, you should have a central hub that is yours.  Social media platforms aren’t owned by you so having all your activity and interactions only on those can be limiting.

Also, if those platforms can close down, then you lose everything.  If you want more details about why you should have a website and how to do it, check out my blog post How To Create an Awesome Author Website.

 

Can I still be a writer if I have dyslexia?

Short answer, yes!

While I don’t have dyslexia myself my brother has it, as do a number of friends and work colleagues.

It can make things harder but it should not stop you from becoming a writer. The best thing I can recommend is to make things easier for yourself. Here are some tips:

  • When you are typing your story, use larger fonts with no serifs.
  • Change the colour of your background either on-screen or by adding an acetone screen. Colours that work best vary from person to person so you may need to try a few, most of the people I know work with either a soft yellow or a pale blue.
  • When you are reading through your work or editing etc, make sure people know not to interrupt you, allowing you more time to concentrate on the task. Put up a notice on your door, shut off your phone, close any programs that might draw your attention.
  • Use Mind Mapping for your ideas, plots and character details – because it uses colours, images, shapes and symbols it can be an easier way for you to comprehend all the data you have for your novel.
  • Consider looking into Talk and Type software where you can record your words and they are transcribed into text. This doesn’t have to be used all the time but can help if you are ever struggling, just to get your thoughts down.
  • When formatting, leave it as a left alignment, don’t justify (at least not until it’s completed, edited, polished and ready for publishing).
  • Use double lined spacing when you type.
  • Print your hard copies onto coloured paper if you prefer to edit by hand – again colour will be dependent on each individual but usually, the softer pastel colours are best.
  • Make sure you get help from friends and family regarding your edits, or if you are struggling to get your ideas down.  You could even dictate your story and have someone type it up for you.

I hope this list helps and for any other dyslexics out there, if you have any tips please add them in the comments!

 

How Do I Contact You?

You can use the contact form on my Contacts Page which sends me an email.  I do get a lot of messages so please be patient on receiving a reply.

You can also reach out to me via social media, Twitter is the best one to catch me on but I am also on Instagram and Facebook (though I rarely visit Facebook these days).

BLOG QUESTIONS

Can I Guest Post On Your Blog?

I have been accepting guest posts for a few years, however, I do have times when I stop taking guest posts.

If you want to guest post, please visit my Interested In Guest Posting page as this will inform you if I am accepting guest posts and if I am, what is required.

 

Will You Write A Guest Post For My Blog?

Thank you for asking me!  It is always awesome to be asked to do a guest post.  I do accept offers to write guest posts for other people’s blogs, however, this is dependant on the timeframe, topic and my work schedule.

If you would like me to guest post on your blog, please contact me to discuss details and I’ll be able to let you know if it’s something I can do at that time.

 

My Comment Hasn’t Appeared On Your Blog

Most likely, if you are a new commenter, your comment will be pending in moderation.  Once I have approved it, further comments you leave will be automatically approved.

However, if your comment was spammy, asking myself or my readers to buy something, click on a link or give likes, it may have been marked as spam and deleted.  If it is nasty, insulting or abusive this will also be deleted.

On rare occasions, comments end up in spam when they shouldn’t.  I check my spam filter once a week so I will most likely spot it and approve it if it ends up there.

In the end, it is at my discretion on which comments I accept on my blog.

 

Can I Advertise On Your Blog?

This depends, I accept some sponsored posts, collaboration posts and book launch adverts, though these are all accepted at my discretion.

Please note, these are paid services so a charge is applied to include these on my blog. Charges like these help to pay for the upkeep and maintenance of this blog.

For things like banner advertising, these must be small, with no flashing or moving parts and with a preference towards services, products and websites of a creative nature.

For more details, please check out my Services Page.

 

Why Do You Have a Ko-Fi Button?

Ko-Fi is a free service, allowing different types of creators to receive donations from fans and supporters of our content.  Donations or “tips” all help me to maintain this blog and you can learn more about it by checking out the What’s Ko-fi? post.

You can donate as much or as little as you want.  The idea behind Ko-fi is that it allows people to donate as little as “the cost of a coffee” to their favourite creators.

There is NO obligation to donate at all and I will still do what I can to produce content in the form of blog posts and free printables.

Scrolling divider with Ari Meghlen's pen logo atop

I hope you found these answers useful.  I will be adding new questions and their answer here as they come in.

Have a question I haven’t answered?  Visit my Contact page to ask your question, it might just end up here.

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