Flame : the new novel by Tara Heavey

Tara Heavey, Flame a novel

Writing a novel is an odd thing.  Why do it at all?  Why follow this strange internal compulsion to track a story all the way to its natural conclusion?Because it does feel natural.  Rarely manufactured.  Almost as if the story was out there waiting to be told.  Waiting for the storyteller to come along and claim it.  The right scribe for the right story.  A co-creator with which to collaborate.

There is so much noise in this life.  And at times it appears to be getting noisier, almost out of control.  As if a strimmer is constantly whirring away in your head.  And writing is an activity that thrives on silence.  Which is why so many writers write first thing and last thing.  It’s where they find their bliss. Their sweet relief.

I am writing this in what seems like the first quiet patch of my day – in the cacophonous patchwork of the children’s summer holidays.  (Oh joy.  Oh despair.  OhmiGod)!  And it feels so nice to connect with my thoughts.  Even just to hear them.  To come back to my centre after hours of extending myself in other people’s directions.

My new novel “Flame” launched on Amazon today.  This feels good and long awaited.  It feels like a future pregnant with possibilities.

I’ve finished birthing babies.  Back to birthing books.  I’ve always wanted a big family…

I hope you find solace and joy in this novel.  And share in it the triumph of the human spirit.

A thousand good wishes.

 

Tara

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=flame%2C+tara+heavey

(Click the above link to be taken directly to the relevant page on Amazon)

 

Tara Heavey, new novel Flame

 

 

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Blogging : Out with the old, in with the old, in with the new

Once there was a little blog.

Tiny, in fact.

It was even named after it’s size.

Tinylight.org

As in tiny light at the end of the tunnel or at the end of a long, dark night of the soul.

 

tara heavey out with the old, photo by Shilpin Patel

 

Tiny light was intended – as the subtitle stated – to assist people in self-helping their way out of depression.  With posts exploring humour, music, plant remedies, light and animal therapy, self-help books.  You name it.  However, the site never really “took off” as it were.  But in a way, that doesn’t matter.  Because Tiny Light taught me so much:

How to create my own website.  How to publish blog posts.  How to include links.  Respond to comments.  Insert images and photos.  How to share on social media.  So, so much.  Which I absolutely hope and expect will help me on my onward, online journey.

Because the time has come to either renew Tiny Light or lay her to rest.  Extinguish her, as it were.  So I have chosen the latter, with a sense of nostalgia and also gratitude.

And as I perused the pages for perhaps the last time, it occurred to me that a few of the posts might also be of interest to those reading an author website.

I have always been a sucker for inspirational quotes, so you will find below a link to a post extolling the virtues of Emily Dickinson’s poem “Hope”.  And another, on Walt Whitman and more.  And last but not least, an article on Poetry Therapy, a subject very close to my heart and one that I love sharing.

So I hope you find some value in these posts.

 

https://tinylight.org/inspirational-quotes-emily-dickinson-on-hope

https://tinylight.org/inspirational-quotes-for-difficult-times

https://tinylight.org/poetry-and-depression-the-beauty-and-power-of-words

 

Until the next time …

Keep on shining

 

Tara

x

 

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Book Cover : The Big Reveal …

It’s the moment everyone’s been waiting for.  Well,  my cat and I are very excited anyway …

The big reveal, photo by Ines, sxc stock images

The book cover for “Flame” has finally arrived, in all its flaming glory – literally – look at the colours.  I am very happy with it and extremely grateful to the designer,  Scarlett Rugers, an Aussie Lass who has done us both proud.

I am equally delighted, as I told the good people on my email list, to have finally had some input into a book cover.  To not have to accept an image that makes me cringe.  Another distinct advantage to being an Independent (“Indie”) author.

One of the disadvantages, (or is it a challenge), is having to get to grips with all the technology by yourself.   I have always been slightly (!) technology averse and at least a couple of years behind the rest of the world when it came to newfangled phenomena such as email and mobile phones.

However

All this has changed …

Since I copped on to the opportunities available in the online world.  To writers and creative types, to those who are vaguely entrepreneurial, or to those who thrive on being their own bosses.   So I struggle on through.  Because while my attitude has changed, my aptitude sadly hasn’t!

I am wrestling my way through the formatting process at the present moment in time, with the aid of a template from bookdesigntemplate.com, the excellently helpful and informative creation of Joel Friedlander.  I have chosen this option for now.  Although I believe you can also format your books on the much lauded Scrivener.  A program called Vellum also comes highly recommended but is sadly only available to those on Apple Mac.  Drat.

But I am confident – sort of – and determined – most definitely.  Because this is what I want.   And when you really want something, you find a way climb that learning curve, no matter how steep.

So for now.

Here.  It.  Is.

The brand, spanking new cover for “Flame”, the novel.

Tara Heavey Flame, design by Scarlett Rugers

 

I’d love to know what you think.

In the meantime, continued success in all your writing endeavours.

 

Tara

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Book Cover Design: Why it matters for you and your book.

Great excitement readers!

In my own little head at least.  You see, I’ve just made a booking with a cover designer.  Totally new territory fo me.

I would love to handle the book cover design for “Flame” myself.  Of course, I would.  I’m a control freak!  At least when it comes to matters pertaining to my own writing.  But this is not writing, is it?  This is visual art – proper creative design. And although part of me would love to have a crack at it, the better part of me know that it’s probably not a good idea.Book Cover Design

 

So, the next best thing – or the best thing entirely – is to work together with a proper designer.  A professional who knows what he or she is doing.  I’ve chosen a woman artist, in the hope and the belief that she might resonate more with my predominantly female audience.  Not to mention with my own artistic “vision”.   I won’t mention her name yet.  In case it doesn’t work out …  But I have high hopes.  Which, I always find, are the only kind of hopes worth having.

Cover Design – Why Bother?

Because it is arguably your most important marketing tool, that’s why.  Whether you’re talking e-book or traditional print book, the premise is entirely the same. People are still going to scroll down the listings of Amazon, Kobo and the like and judge your book by its cover.  This may or may not be fair, but why not just embrace the fact and give your cover your all.  There’s no reason why it can’t be a wholly thrilling experience.

Early attempts

As a traditionally published author, you have no say as to the cover of your book.  Prior to my first title, “A Brush With Love” coming out, I was blissfully ignorant of this state of affairs.  My editor at the time made the polite comment that if I had any cover ideas I could let them know.  In a rush of youthful enthusiasm, I duly sent her a sketch of a set of matchstick figures in my imagined format.  I can only imagine, with flushed cheeks, the hilarity that ensued in the office upon the arrival of my “design”!

Book Covers of My Past: Old Flames Revisited

You can see some of these if you click on the “Books” tab of this website.  A motley crew.  Some I liked more than others. Some I was downright embarrassed by.  I won’t say which ones but suffice to say, I don’t go for pink or ultra girly.  I dislike women’s fiction to be depicted in such a way, especially when the words inside contain more grit and depth.

I preferred my foreign covers, by and large, each country possessing its own unique flavour.  I guess when it comes down to it, it’s merely a matter of taste.  Everyone is not going to like everything.  Of course, they are not.  But we can still try our best to do our books justice, with the help of a designer we love.

Here’s hoping …

 

Tara

 

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Self-Publishing a Book : My adventure has begun ….

My adventures in self-publishing a book have begun.  I am telling you this for two reasons:  so that you can hold me accountable.  And so that I can hold myself accountable.

It is not entirely comfortable for me to do this.  I value my privacy so much.  One of the reasons that I, London born and brought up in various suburban jungles, chose to live in the backend of nowhere, much to the consternation of various family members and friends.

But sometimes the observer has to become the observed ….Self Publishing a Book, photo by Rudy Tiben

I’ve learned a lot about comfort zones recently.  About moving out of them and into your own space.  How it’s the only way that true growth can occur.  I love the quote by Lisa Nichols, a heroine of mine and motivational speaker extraordinaire:

“Your comfort and your conviction don’t live on the same block”.

She goes on to say that they may not even reside in the same zip code.  It might have been her grandmother who said it.  Wise woman …  I hope to be such a wise woman one day.  Until then, I remain middle-aged and confused. Trying to find my way in an uncertain world.  But I’ve come to learn that the path to take is the one of your own choosing. The one that resonates with the quiet but insistent voice within.  The one that we often ignore at our own peril, as it’s drowned out by the many shrill and discordant voices in the world.

But get still.  Go within.  And listen to it at last.  Because it knows.

This (hopefully) wise woman within is telling me to build this website.  To communicate to the world in the way that comes most naturally to me – through my writing.   To release my book out into the ether, entirely on my own terms. Will it stumble along in the wilderness?  Or into the hearts of many.  Find a home.  Take root.  It remains to be seen.

So what next?

Work with an expert to create a beautiful cover.  One that I don’t mind myself or my book being judged by.  Join me here for the next exciting installment!

Much happiness

 

Tara

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