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Time for a writing update :)

The US version of Operation Foxtrot Five is on sale. So is Operation Delta Bravo, and so is my picture book, It Doesn’t Matter.

Operation Alpha Papa has been edited and is ready for print. Operation Tango Two-Two and Operation Uniform Echo are with the Tate editor. Cover design hasn’t started with these books.

My Book Trailer for Operation Foxtrot Five has had over 200 hits at last count :)

http://www.youtube.com/embed/yEgWgHAkCZ4

The Australian version of the Operation series (all 5 books) continues to sell in Australia. Sales are slow, but at least orders are still coming in. http://www.bushytailbooks.com/books.html

On the home front, special thanks go to Margaret and Kate – two editors I have not had the pleasure of meeting in person – for all the work they did when I was so sick and unable to fulfill my contractual commitments with Tate Publishing. They stepped up and took over the corrections and final edits on two books. Their friendship, support and wonderful work gave me a chance to recover without the stress of trying to keep up with the writing side of things.

My Social Media following is growing surprisingly fast. The Facebook Fan page has had over 200 ‘likes’, and my Twitter following keeps growing by the day. How does that happen?

For those who are interested, my networking sites are listed below. Some are still in the development stage, but most are up and running.

Website:http://www.djstutley.com/Welcome.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authordjstutley

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?trk=hb_tab_pro_top

Blog: https://stutleytales.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DJStutley

Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3297673.DJ_Stutley

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/djstutley/

YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/embed/yEgWgHAkCZ4

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00A2CMB8A

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NaNoWriMo is over, thank goodness! Did I enjoy it? No. Do I regret doing it? No. Will I do it again? No. At least I don’t think I will :)

Winner-120x240I always wondered what it would be like to be a part of National November Writer’s Month, and now I know. This year instead of sitting back and reading everyone’s up-and-down stress and triumph stories, I decided it was time to try it out. I launched in with much enthusiasm and at about the half way mark, desperation kicked in. That’s when my writing went from readable to rubbish. By the end on NaNoWriMo, I hated the way I was writing. It made me feel terrible that I was churning out such rubbish just to make a word count target. 

The good thing about this last month, was that I wrote a number of scenes that belong in future books. The total word count for each of my YA fiction books is about 36,000. So I knew when I started the project that I would have a chance to start on some other ideas that have been tucked away for future use. This was a good way of making sure I reached my 50,000 word count for the month of November. So, God willing, I will have another two books in the Operation series in the coming years.

So, thank you NaNoWriMo for the experience.

DJ

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I was asked once if I wrote about real things that happened in my life. I laughed and picked up all 5 off my books, quickly finding a story in each that I could use as an example.

In the book I am working on now, I have a particularly amusing incident that happened with my son. He had just been to a car dealership and signed up to trade in his little Datsun on a ‘wonderful’ green Ford. He had rushed in the door so full of excitement, that he told me at least 5 times it had a sunroof. I was highly amused and it was something I never forgot. It happened just like this…

excerpt from Operation Romeo Sierra.

Out in the car park, casually running a hand over the green paint work on the roof of Scott’s car, Andrew looked over at his partner. ‘Did I ever tell you about the time Sam went for a ride in a green Ford with a sunroof?

Sam burst through the door, radiating from excitement. ‘Heather’s brother just took me for a ride in his new car!’ she exclaimed. ‘It’s green and has a sunroof … It has cream leather seats … and a sunroof!’ She bounced up and down on the spot. ‘It has spinning wheel things and electric windows and a sunroof … You should see it Dad. The windows are tinted and it has two muffler things out the back, and a sunroof.’ She did another few bounces and Andrew laughed. ‘It has a built-in navigator and 8 speakers and a sunroof. It’s just awesome! He’s had it lowered, too, so we had to go slow coming up the drive.’

‘Wow. It must be a nice car. Does it have a sunroof?’ Andrew asked innocently.

Sam looked astonished. ‘Yeeessss! How did you know that?’

Scott laughed. ‘She sounds like a delightful girl, Andrew. I can see why you miss her so much.’

So yes, I do use incidents from real life in my books. When you have such memorable things happen in your family, why not?

(c) DJ Stutley 2012

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My unexpected blessing of a rejection letter in 2007.

When Lothian Books turned down my manuscript, Operation Tango Two-Two, I was probably more excited and relieved than when they accepted the first three manuscripts offered to them in 2001, 2002 & 2003.

You see, a lot had changed between the time of posting the 4th m/s to them, and the rejection letter. I immediately started securing unconditional copyright for all my work. Once copyright had come back to me for the first three books, and with their rejection letter of book 4 in my hot little hand, I was free to seriously look at other options.

1. I was now free to negotiate with the film producer who had come calling and was patiently waiting till I had full unconditional copyright for all my work – Negotiations are still in progress with the film producer.

2. I could seriously look at creating my own publishing company and getting the first three books back in print with new covers and adding book 4, to the series – Books 1, 2, 3, have fabulous new covers. Books 4 & 5 have been added, with book 6 due out next year.

3. I became a public person. This was not something I particularly enjoyed, but as the years have passed, I am eager to talk about writing with anyone who will listen – I have conducted 79 writing workshops/school visits in the last two years and my picture has been in the paper about a dozen times.

Do I have any regrets about that 2007 rejection letter? No… not one :)

DJ

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Ooooh, it’s been an exciting week!

There was a number of frantic emails back and forth between my fellow script writer in London and me here in Perth, tweaking the trailer script. We thought we had it just right, then were told it had to be cut down from 5 minutes to less than 3 minutes. Back to the drawing board…

But what we have now, is a little ripper! Even if I say so myself :)

On Saturday I sat down with two people in the local film industry, and we got stuck into planning the movie trailer featuring my books. 4 hours later the story board was taking shape – this is where they work out which angle the scenes will be filmed from.

As well as the movie trailer, they have offered to do a book trailer for me. How cool is that? Will let you know when it is posted to YouTube.

DJ

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Today I thought I’d give an update of the various projects on the go…

1. The picture book is up to creating the story board – I will soon see all the illustrations and there will be a small window to make any changes. But Katie is doing such a great job, I’m not expecting to have to make changes :) The book will be in print late October.

2. I’m guessing that Foxtrot has been printed, though I haven’t actually heard.

3. Delta is nearing the typeset stage.

4. Alpha has just started the first edit stage.

5. Romeo is still languishing in the depths of my computer, unworked for about 6 months now :(  I’m coming, Romeo, I’m coming…

6. I’ve pulled out some of my other picture book ideas and are seeing which ones are worth pursuing.

7. Scripting has started on the movie trailer – they hope to start filming in September. At this stage, there is just going to be a 5 minute trailer to gauge interest in making the ‘Operation’ Books into a TV series.

As you can see, there is plenty happening on the writing front :)

DJ

 

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