Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Crazy Old Lady-in-Waiting?


Everyone says they hate the tag. I like it. It reminds me of my childhood violin teacher, Miss Genin, a tiny old lady with crepe paper skin, living in a house full of antiques,
with round spectacles on a chain round her neck and a tissue tucked up her sleeve. Maybe that set the tone for my future – I remember thinking “I want to be just like her when I grow up.”

Many years ago, I stopped dating and gave up on relationships. Aside from the odd times when I could really use a partner, e.g. when I’m too sick to fetch medicine from the pharmacy, I’m moving heavy furniture, or I’m cold in bed in winter etc, it’s never been much of an issue. Sure, I’ve always been a little apprehensive about being single for life, but having a family was something I saw as a distant plan. Now the kids thing is looming. Like Rachel said in Friends on her thirtieth birthday, you have to meet a guy, get to know them, spend quality couple time together before getting engaged, then married a year or two to enjoy each other before children…it’s okay for men. As long as they can aim and fire, they’re okay.

Winter brings a multitude of colds, flus and viruses. I must have caught one, because the other morning, I woke up, dying to use the bathroom, sat down, went dizzy, fell off the toilet and hit my head on the duck board as I blacked out. As I touched my swollen brow, it got me thinking.

I. Might. Die. Alone. Will my cats delightedly dine on my corpse? Will my body empty itself of fluids and seep through the floor, to the apartment below? Just how long will it take for my family to realise something’s up anyway?

Mostly, it’s fun being single. I never had to grow up, because there’s never been anyone else’s age-appropriate behaviour to fall in line with. I can party hard, sleep late, heck, I can stay in my PJs all day, should I choose (and I often do). I’ve passed the stage when relatives enquire about my love life. At first, it was: “So, are you courting?” then it moved on to: “Have you met a nice man yet?” Now we’re at the resigned silent stage and they ask my younger cousins about their love lives instead. I don’t know whether to be relieved or put out. They’ve consigned me to the mad old cat lady pile already, and I don’t have my bus pass yet.

When I was younger, I missed out on many gigs, because I didn’t want to go alone. Now I’ve bitten the bullet, I’ve seen all my favourite bands, in countries I never would have visited before. I just have to make sure I write it all down, so I don’t forget the best bits a companion might remember. And I never have to consider someone sitting up late at night, worrying about my whereabouts, while I’m painting the town red. When rock bands invite me on the tour bus, I go!

However, the crisis is creeping up on me and I’m considering the benefits of having a partner and children. At least one of them has to look after me when I’m old and infirm, right? As long as they don’t put me in a residential home - but that can be fixed by warning them that if they do, they get nothing in my will. I’ve thought it through.

But being the cool, crazy aunt isn’t so bad. I’ll get to play with the babies and give them back when they start wailing. I shall embrace my singleness and be as deranged as I please. Give me my pearls, and hand me my leather. I’m off for another adventure.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Query writing and a new novel in the works

I'm scared to stop writing, in case I get blocked again. Also, and mainly, because if I stop writing now, Swallow may be consigned to a virtual desk drawer and be a fading dream. I started writing it (under the title Wolf Moon) around 6 yrs ago, and I'm not waiting any longer to get an agent! Anyhoo, while ideas for a query are percolating in my exhausted brain, I started another book, which is tentatively called Headliner.

I'm not sure about Jessica, I think I'm going to make her meaner and more selfish. You'll all know how your characters determine themselves! I've included my original pitch for Swallow, too, as Headliner is a semi-sequel, so I can show how they are linked (click titles to go to the books on Authonomy). I'm working on a new version later today.

Swallow by Ilyria Moon

The rules are simple in the entertainment industry. Play the game, get burned.

Wolf Taylor. Talented, arrogant and lacking in morals. All that matters is performing onstage, nailing his next conquest and getting his next fix. He'll do anything for fame, even if it means hurting those who care about him. It’s all about rock ‘n’ roll, right?

Luna Halliwell. Hurt, naive and hopeful. It isn’t a wise move for an emotionally-unstable, anorexic teen to fall in love with a narcissistic rock star in rehab.

Secrets and lies are uncovered along the journey of a young woman dropped into the wild
celebrity jungle.


Headliner by Ilyria Moon

Everyone wants a piece of the action, but the spotlight can be lethal.

'Sapphic' sunk without trace while the lead singer, Wolf Taylor, recuperated from an accident. Now he wants the fame and his wife back. He doesn't bank on a love child landing on his doorstep, and a minx enthralling him. Can Wolf get the dream he desires, and win over the fans?

Jessica is a small-town girl with a dream in her heart and a chip on her shoulder. She heads for bright city lights, and is enticed into LA’s murky sex industry. She needs cash, and fast. To what lengths will she go, to survive?

Summer Knowles wants to be bigger than Jenna Jameson. Feisty and fun, yet wary as a fox, she has fought porcelain-veneered tooth and acrylic nail to get ahead. Clawing her way from the bottom to the top, Summer will do anything to protect her success. That is, if her stalker doesn’t catch up with her first.

Lexie Hunter is on the run. After spending a year in South America, she figures she can live in the US without fear of arrest. Los Angeles seems as good a place as any. But should she trust the criminal mastermind enabling her continuing freedom?


Sample chapters of Headliner are on Authonomy. The full Swallow manuscript is there also, for the time being.

And here's the cover for Swallow. I haven't worked on one for Headliner yet, in case I change the title. The title from Swallow came when I was three-quarters into the book, so I shall be prudent.

Ilyria Moon x


Tuesday, 1 December 2009


I finished my manuscript today. Kinda. I still need to edit and polish and strain through a sieve, but the actual storyline is all down on 'paper', woohoo!

I thought I would feel elated beyond belief when I finally reached this point, but I just feel exhausted. I'm eager to start editing now, but I have to attend to other matters for a change, like debts and looking for a job. I sacrificed having money, in order to finish my book by the end of December, and I beat my deadline by 4 weeks, so I'm pleased about that. If I can get a tight edit done by New Year, I'll be a happy bunny.

It's almost three am; I finally ate today around half an hour ago, when my stomach was gnawing so badly, I thought I might DIE. A male friend said I looked like I've lost weight, the other day. I told him I've been working on my book. I don't think he made the connection, hehe.

So, anyhoo, I'm saving the champagne for when it's edited. Or maybe when I get a copy printed out. It's going to take a lot of ink.

Sunday, 8 November 2009


Oh to crawl inside the internet and hang out with likeminded people only, or start a commune in the French wine region (Loire) for a select group of friends.

I don't like many people these days. As much as I fight for freedom from political tyranny, I do hope they get what's coming to them.

They know who they are.

Summer's gone

Not just the season. Summer, my stripper/movie star with a scary past coming back to haunt her, had to go. The novel was getting far too long, and even though I've edited like crazy, there was no other way to cull 40 000 words. I decided to remove the least important character, i.e. the one least relevant to Luna and Wolf's journey, which involved some annoying rewriting, but made more sense.

Also, Summer has some exciting encounters and storylines of her own, so I figured I'd give her more attention in my second novel. Stay tuned for news. Ha, like I'm ever going to finish this one.

Ilyria Moon. Eternal pessimist.

Monday, 1 June 2009

What I've been watching

When I should be writing, lol. Fracken hilarious. Watch.

Monday, 25 May 2009

The Five Stages of an Authonomite's Life

Jemstone posted this on the Authonomy forum, I love it, haha. I think it can be applied to writing communities in general.

Original thread here.

1) Denial:
Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling that it is only a matter of time before the discovery of his/her wonderful book is generally replaced with heightened awareness of the fact that nobody is reading his/her book.
Example - "My book is good."; "This can't be happening, not to my book."

2) Anger:
Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the author can be very horsey to deal with due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Any individual whose book is moving rapidly upward is subject to projected resentment and jealousy.
Example - "What's wrong with my book? It's not fair!"; "How can people ignore my work of art?"; "Who is to blame?"; "It's a personality contest."; "That other person uses sock puppets."; I'm not in the clique."

3) Bargaining:
The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow learn the secrets of getting his/her book to rise in the charts. Usually, the negotiation is for read-swaps or even shelf-swaps. Often there is blatant advertising, even outside of the normal forums. Psychologically, the person is saying, "I understand I have to work for success here, but somebody please read my book."
Example - "Please read my book, I promise to read yours in return."; "I'll humiliate myself for a shelving."; "I will read until my eyeballs fall out for a chance at the ED.""

4) Depression:
During the fourth stage, the author begins to understand the certainty of never being successful with that particular book. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse to visit the forums and spend much of the time crying and grieving. He/she may tell people he/she is leaving Authonomy. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer an individual up that is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed.
Example - "My book is going nowhere, why bother with anything?"; "I only get one read a week . . . What's the point?"; "I could be doing something constructive with my life, why go on with this?"

5) Acceptance:
This final stage comes with peace and understanding of the true value of Authonomy. It is a good way to spend some time at the office instead of working on those calculations and projects.
Example - "It's going to be okay, I'm having some laughs."; "I'm getting some occasional good suggestions for edits."; "Who knows, maybe an agent will stumble upon my book."; "After all, it's free."

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Dammit, get back in there!

I've been struggling with my book recently. Not in writing, or editing, but in a decision I made to remove a character, in order to reduce my word count.

I'm going to just copy-paste a thread I started on authonomy, to save typing the whole thing out again. The bold parts are my posts:


Those of you who have read several chapters of my book will know I have several storylines interweaving and overlapping throughout. I took one storyline out in order to cut my word count - new writer, long MS, costs blah blah blah - but I'm finding it very difficult to take the other threads anywhere without leaving a hole in the blanket.

I'm unsure how to progress. Do I keep ploughing on without said character and hopefully arrive at my destination (but risk a weaker MS), or stick him back in and end up with a manuscript that's potentially 20k over budget?


Can the story be split into two volumes rather than one?


I considered that, but there was no way to split it satisfactorily, grrr.


I don't know any of the details of the character you've taken out or why. I can only answer how it would be for me; which is that if I cut something out and had to make an effort to *keep* it out when what I *really* wanted to do was to let it back in, then it'll happen anyway, *or* the whole thing may come across as a bit disjointed or stunted.

Take yourself off somewhere and listen to your inner instinct. Do you *really* want to cut out this character? Or are you just doing it because it seems logical? Not everything that's right seems logical.

Probably makes no sense whatsoever, I guess I'm just suggesting that you already know the answer really, if you listen to it.


So true! Every time I come to a point in the plot where he WAS, I have to think, "Ok, how do I get these guys to that place/event/emotion without using him?" and in times when I do manage it, I still don't think it flows as well as originally. He's basically the antithesis of Wolf, thus creates a dilemma for Luna, whereas without him, her dilemma is removed, and thus I need to scrabble for another threat to the relationship.

My inner voice is screaming "Put him back! Put him back!" but I don't want the book to become unpublishable, simply because it's too freakin' long, haha.

Your post makes a lot of sense. I just wonder how rigid MS lengths are. For the style I am going for, I think the publishers representing similar authors (Jackie Collins, Louise & Tilly Bagshawe, Belinda Jones, Lauren Weisberger etc) are asking for 150k words. If I put him back in, I risk taking the book up to 170k.

However, I managed to strip 20k out editing the first half of the MS, so maybe with the right editor, I could have him in AND get my word count down to an acceptable amount.


Then I'd say listen to that screaming inner voice. Better to have a great MS worthy of publishing at 170k words - (and 10-20k would be easy to lose I reckon, with extra tightening), than to have a crap MS that isn't worthy of publishing at 150k words.

Not that I'm saying it'd be cr*ap - I'm just using that as an extreme.

The unconscious *always* wins the argument.


Dammit, you're right. I'm putting him back in!

Sexy Noo Yoik artist, Guy, welcome back into the fold!!!

Woo, am I glad I save everything!


Stick him back in. Edit words down later. R


Keep the character -- cut the Word count in a more difficult, painstaking, line by line sort of way.


yeah, i want to see this guy too!


How sad am I - all excited, feeling like I'm raising a real person from the dead for a second chance, hahaha

I'm so happy he's back! Thanks, guys


So Mr Guy Waterhouse, New York artist and gallery owner, is making a return to the Swallow manuscript. To read it, please visit my page on Authonomy (and back the book by putting it on your virtual shelf!)

Have a great evening!

SWALLOW by ILYRIA MOON (click the link below to read)