The First Chapter

So last night I wrote a short story intended for a contest. I had no idea what I was going to write when I started typing but the main character from the newest novel I’m working on popped into my mind and from there it just spiralled. What came from that was something that could potentially be the first chapter for my novel! I’m quite happy with it, especially since I wasn’t intending to write that.

What happens when you put pen to paper? Do you feel that you have to have something to work with, say an outline, before you start writing or can you just start with a very basic idea and go from there?

For me it depends on how I’m feeling at the time. I try to be organised—I really do!—but it doesn’t always work and sometimes a story takes it’s own route and I think when that happens it’s important to try and stay with it and see where it goes. Writing something, even a short story, can be an adventure in itself.

In other news I finally joined the world of Twitter! You can find me @AliceJBlack

It’s a little scary and I’m still not convinced I have the hang of it but I’m getting there!

Side Effects of Making a Bucket List

So I just stopped by WordPress and was reading some wonderful blog entries by other people when I came across this:

Side Effects of Making a Bucket List.

The blog post is inspired by a novel Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy who, when promoting her debut novel, has asked people to share their own bucket lists. What an intriguing idea!

I think everybody has a bucket list in some form. I want to share mine, or some of what I have formulated in my mind while writing this, with you.

1. One of the things I’ve always wanted to do is visit New Zealand. That place looks just simply beautiful and it helps that Lord of the Rings has been shot there (of course I want to do the tours). But I also think it’s a place that has a lot to offer for such a small place including some beautiful hiking trails.

2. Get my novel out there. I know that’s happening really soon and I really can’t wait. My feet have been tingling ever since I got the news and I suspect they will continue to do so until I see it! But after I do, I want to make sure I continue to write and submit. No getting lazy!

3. On that theme of writing, try to write everyday. Sometimes it can be hard to fit it in, but there are always a spare ten minutes when I can jot things down or get the beginnings of something. Once you’re in the habit it’s much easier to keep it up.


So, that’s what I’ve come up with in the few minutes I’ve been typing this. There are plenty more things I want to do and I will make a proper bucket list (what’s life without a little adventure?).

Tell me, what’s on your bucket list?


I find that a subject a lot of authors get asked about is their inspiration. What inspired them to write that book? Where did the idea come from? It makes me wonder about my own inspiration and how I come to write the things I do.

For me, and The Doors (the young adult novel due for publication in September 2014) it was a dream. Yeah, I know how cliche that sounds. It is very cliche, but it’s true. Saying that, I don’t think much of what I dreamed actually transpired into the novel itself.

All I remember about the dream now is seeing a huge set of mosaic doors and when I looked at them, I felt this sense of fear rolling through my body. When I got up the next morning and went to work, I got to thinking: why did those doors make me feel like that? There was something about them I just couldn’t put away. I couldn’t just leave it, my mind wouldn’t rest. I had to write about those doors. And so I did.

The first draft of the story was about twenty pages long. Not long at all. But I loved writing every minute of it. I had a few people look it over and with a few comments and suggestions (most of which in a pretty positive light) I extended the piece, editing more than once, in order to make the novel what it is today. I never thought I would be someone who could write a novel. Not Alice who writes short stories and sometimes dabbles in poetry. But I did it. I guess it goes to show what we can do if we put our minds to it.

Not all of my inspiration comes from dreams, saying that. Actually, not most of it. I do sometimes wake with snippets of something I have to scribble down but mostly it comes from the everyday. Conversations I hear, people I meet, the image of something. It can all spark something in my mind and once my mind begins working overtime, the story begins to form.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Novel Publication

I’m due to get my first young adult novel published later this year in September! It’s my first major publication deal and though I’ve had a few shorter things published (short stories and poems) I really feel like this might be my break. Of course, it’s just fab to be getting my novel out there and knowing that there are other people who would be interested in reading it, so that’s just brilliant in itself.

It’s the first full length book I’ve written in the young adult genre. Most of the things I’ve written in the past have certainly been shorter but also tended to focus around the genres of horror and the darkness. I find that it comes easily to me and I think it’s a lot to do with the authors I have always read, including the likes of Stephen King and Richard Laymon.

At the minute I’m waiting for the cover art to be created as well as an edit on the novel before I get the proof. I think this is quite a long process and I’m waiting on tender hooks until I get it back but until then I don’t have anything else I can tell you! I’ll keep you updated as and when I find things out.

In the mean time, I’ve been planning to start a new project. I have a few ideas floating around in my mind and sometimes they all converge and sometimes they separate, kinda like when you mix oil and water. Either way, I think I’ll be writing soon.

Although I like writing by the seat of my pants I find that I get lost with that sometimes so I think I’ll be doing some outlining before I tackle my next project. Wish me luck!



Today is a little bit of a write off. I’m ill again for about the millionth time in three months. Honestly, it feels like I’ve been ill since the new year with cold after flu after chest infection. This one is the latter and it’s left me feeling a little low and frankly, feeling sorry for myself! I guess that’s okay now and again, right?

Never mind though, going for a little TLC tomorrow at a spa day with my sister so hopefully that should restore a balance in my body and ease harmony back into my life… or something like that!

In other news, I finished reading Donners of the Dead. I absolutely loved it. I love the way Halle brings her characters to life, really giving them personality and making the reader fret for them throughout the story. Pine Nut (cutely named by the arrogant Jake McGraw) is a very loveable character. She’s not only feisty but she’s willing to admit when she’s wrong and she’s not afraid to give things a go. I would definitely recommend reading this.

I’ve started reading a novel that is due for release later in March for the author. Hopefully I’ll be able to provide some insight and ask some brilliant questions after reading that will be worthy of an interview. Watch this space!

Experiment in Terror

Ever heard of this? You may think it’s some sort of movie or TV series but it’s not. It’s actually a book series by the wonderful Karina Halle. She write about Dex and Perry and their meeting, their tumultuous relationship over the period of several months and the adventures they have while ghost hunting.

I have to say, this is one of my favourite book series. The relationship between Dex and Perry is what has kept bringing me back for more. I can feel the electricity sparking between them whenever they’re together and whether it’s just in their thoughts or their actions or words, I prayed for them to be together. As a reader I could see they would be perfect for each other. I’m not going to go into too much detail in case you decide to read them however! Each book focuses on a different ghost hunt they do and revolves around trying to catch footage for their online web show called Experiment in Terror. Both Dex and Perry had an inclination towards things of a different world and that soon comes to light when they begin working together. I would recommend all of these books as brilliant reads! I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment, Dust to Dust, which is due for release in July 2014.

I finished reading The Dollhouse this morning so I started another one of Karina Halle’s novels, Donners of the Dead. It’s a very new book out and it’s based on the Donner party in 1846 who set out in a wagon train, only a severe snow storm halts their progress and in the end, some of them have to resort to cannibalism to survive. Sounds gruesome. I think Karina is making it even more so as her novels promises zombies in the marking. I’m about quarter of the way through now and I’m already hooked and wanting more. Her characters are very likeable and show a lot of promise. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen to them!

What am I reading?

Right now, I’m reading a young adult novel called Dollhouse by Anya Allyn. The novel follows the protagonist, Cassie, who moves to Australia from the sunny Florida when her mum gets a new job. She finally feels like she fits in when she meets Ethan, the only problem is, he already has a girlfriend. As she embarks on these new friendships with Ethan, Aisha and Lacey, she finds herself lost amid the mountains of the outback only to realise that she didn’t really know them at all…

I’m about halfway through the novel at the minute and it’s been a good read so far, pretty original. It comes in a series of four books and I’m yet to see if I want to read on to find out what happens in the rest, only time will tell I guess.

I’m also reading The Hobbit again for about the hundredth time! It’s my all time favourite book and no matter how many times I pick it up, there’s always something new in it. I saw the second part of the movie, The Desolation of Smaug in December and I have to say that although it does stray slightly from the book, I really enjoyed it. I think it was one of the best films I saw last year, full of action, intrigue and even a little mixed race romance!

I just recently joined Good Reads… and if you’re interested to see what I’ve read and what I intend to read, please feel free to add me: alicejblack 😀

What are you reading at the minute?