7-7-7 Challenge

airport-66116_1280It’s hard finding time to work, write my story and keep up with a blog, without the added time-vampire of blogging awards and challenges. But every now and again one comes along that is, frankly, easy and fun to do. And when you’ve been nominated by one of your very favourite writerly bloggers (in my case, the sublime Dylan Hearn), it’s just wrong not to accept the challenge. So I’ve climbed down off my high horse, and Dylan, I thank you for the nomination.

The 7-7-7 Challenge itself is simple: Go to the seventh page of the manuscript you’re working on, go down to line seven, then publish the next seven lines. And here they are:

A girl wanders in from Passport Control. Is that the singles’ luggage tag? She’s on her own with a beach bag, so it’s a fair bet. She’s wearing a modest skirt and a t-shirt that isn’t too tight like so many in the hall. An ingénue, the sort he likes best. She finds a seat but isn’t alone for long. A man, scruffy son-of-a-bitch, approaches her waggling the tag on his bag. That’s a sure sign they’re headed in the same direction, his direction. The man settles beside her, sleazy sod.

This excerpt is taken from Singled Out, my soon-to-be self-published first novel which is set on a singles holiday in Turkey. Bad things happen in this beautiful place where no one should let down their guard, but everyone does. Singled Out is a psychological story laced with moral ambiguities, told from the point of view of three of the holidaymakers. The character in this scene is not identified. As he waits for his flight he watches, trying to spot others who might be sharing the holiday with him.

I’ve found I enjoy getting under the skin of dark and disturbed characters and this man is no exception. I’d love to tell you more, but I can’t bring myself to stray into spoiler territory.

I’m aiming to publish Singled Out in February 2015, but before then I have to get to grips with the complexities of Kindle e-book publishing and CreateSpace – and get a cover designed, and make a hundred decisions based on, oh, mostly guesswork. It’s all an adventure, this self-publishing business, isn’t it?

Now to passing the baton to two more authors: I will nominate two of my lovely subscribers and active contributors, who I know are writing currently:

Over to you!

19 thoughts on “7-7-7 Challenge

  1. Nice post and a great description of Singled Out (as well as an appropriate passage). As far as self-publishing goes, try not to look at the task ahead of you as a whole but break it down into the component parts. Spend time researching how you want to categorise your book, including those sub-categories it has the best chance to retain visibility the longest. If you need any help, just shout!

    1. The more I find out about all the different aspects of self-publishing, the more I realise the value of help and advice from those who have ‘been there, done that’. Rest assured, I’ll be back to you very soon – thanks again for your encouragement and support, Dylan. You’re a star in the blogging firmament!

    1. I have! I’ve been on many holidays to Turkey, the last one being just last year. I went, not just for a holiday, but to refresh my memory, revisit Ephesus (a setting in my story) and build the sensory backdrop. I had a wonderful time – again.

        1. Carrie, it’s a particularly beautiful part of the world and its blend of eastern and western culture lends a certain exoticism to the environment. The landscape is beautiful, the food delicious and the hospitality unmatched. I couldn’t speak for the whole of Turkey, but on that Lycian Coastline which is home to much of Turkey’s tourist industry, they’re blessed with a stunning environment, and they deliver a sublime holiday experience. Stick with small/high-end boutique hotels in modest towns and villages in and around the coast, and you won’t go wrong.

  2. Yes it is all so exciting and we are both looking forward to Feb. It will truly be a nice time of year to set aside our woes of winter months and settle in by the fire with your wonderful and brilliant words.

    1. I just hope it doesn’t disappoint when the time comes. I’m in the process of getting a cover design at the moment – that’s making it all very real.

      1. Spent time with two gentlemen who have published their books themselves. One is the Detective Kids the other In God We Trust about the civil war. I will be making a purchase of both books but through my Kindle as the print is larger and easier for me to read. Both books have excellent covers, both saying they are selling books and could not be happier.

        1. The key to selling in volume, of course, is the USA market! I know I’ll need to build a readership in the USA as well as the UK to be successful. Somebody has already pointed out to me that I should perhaps be using the word ‘vacation’ instead of ‘holiday’ in my promotional material (watch out for ablog post on this)!

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