Saying Farewell to my Pseudonym

The blog-fans among you will know that I have removed my pseudonym, Melody Carter, from the Internet. She’s gone now. *RIP fictional version of myself*

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I’ve waved goodbye to her website, her Facebook page, and her Twitter. I’ve exported all her churlish attempts at Children’s Fiction or bizarre tries at Adult Writing. She isn’t working well for my writing career, so, like the proverbial rose – she had to be dead-headed.

(Although the design for that website was pretty awesome, so I may have to move the typography over to another site… we will see!)

I found Melody Carter no longer had a place or standing in my writing portfolio; she had become just an extra tab on my social media to ignore and avoid during the low moments.

Any writer can tell you that this is not a fun career choice by any means – particularly as there is no money in it. So it becomes hard to justify your meager efforts when you are spread so thin across your many pen names.

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Instead, (if rather late in the day) I have decided to solely write under my own name; no pseudonyms or pretenses. Just little me and my little words on my little books.

I hope you can all get behind me on this, and as you have all been such lovely readers; I am sure you will be.

I’ll be back soon with some news about my upcoming novel, Finding Jennifer, but for now; I’m off to drink tea and ponder over Chapter 12.

Sex In Books | Not That Sexy (16+ content)

sex in books.pngEveryone loves a cheeky sex scene in a romance novel; or those secret make-out sessions in your favourite Young Adult series, but there’s a line.

With a society that is climatized to seeing sex in everything, perhaps no sex in a book is the New Sexy?

If an author tells you they have never written a salacious sex scene – they ar lying. But, ask them if it ended up in the book, and some will say no.

For my novel, Searching For Katherine, I wrote a sex scene for the night of Jennifer’s wedding – and then deleted half of it. Yes, I kept some of the build-up and the tension in, but there is no actual sex in the sex scene.

Sometimes, the idea of sex is sexier than the act itself. And sometimes, sex isn’t sexy. 

the-russian-concubineIn The Russian Concubine by Kate Furvinall, there is a sex scene between the two main characters who are roughly fifteen or sixteen years old. The boy is injured and weak, the girl tending to his wounds as she hides him the shed from her family.

It is a sweet, tender moment, but it is – naturally – a very awkward and fumbling scene. Why? Because virgin teenagers don’t know how to have sex, so it would be ridiculous for the author to have pretended otherwise. It is a beautifully written scene and one I have specially marked in my copy. I read it when I need reminding that sex isn’t always the sinners show it’s perceived to be. Sometimes, sex is communication.

It is a beautifully written scene and one I have specially marked in my copy. I read it when I need reminding that sex isn’t always the sinners show it’s perceived to be. Sometimes, sex is communication.

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It’s difficult to write an article about sex in books without mentioning the elephant in the room: Fifty Shades of Grey. Originally written as a sexy Twilight fan-fic, and quickly tidied up when the website when crazy and was picked up by a publishing house; Fifty Shades is the perfect example of Sex Overload in fiction.

I won’t waste too much time talking about this series, but if memory serves me right; there’s a lot of pretty ridiculous sex in this book series. They have sex anywhere and everywhere, several times a day and it some strange positions and situations. I think Mr .Grey needs to see a therapist because he just can’t keep it in his pants.

The sex is completely unrealistic – however, it also proves that sometimes there is only one way to write a sex scene: badly. E.L James repeats the same phrases and rhythms throughout the book, giving all the scenes a very samey vibe. But, she is an international best-selling author; so she must have gotten something right!

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Perhaps sex scenes in books scene somewhat ridiculous because they are a little bit more real than we’re used to.

Most adults have watch pornography at some time or another, and we’ve all seen those perfect six-pack muscle men with engorged penises and perfect bodies. They give women expectations of what a man should look like in bed, and I’m afraid to say that not every man is built like Superman. Nor, should they be!

And for the men, those poor bastards are relentlessly shown swimwear models with tidy, toned bodies and tiny waists. None of these women have scars or stretch marks, none have bore children and they certainly don’t look like the women we see in the high street doing their shopping.

Why is porn so popular? Because we like to fantasize. Why does sex suck in books? Because sometimes… you’ve just got to use your imagination – and the only references most of us have are porn sites and some embarrassing sex stories of our own.

And because reading the word penis is never going to be as sexy as seeing one! 

So maybe next time you read an awkward sex scene in a book; remember that sometimes it’s better in real life than it is on the page; give the author the benefit of the doubt. And, if it’s really bad, just skip it.

Got an opinion? Share it in the comments! 

John Green: From Loathe To Love

When I first heard about John Green, it was in 2012 when The Fault In Our Stars was released, and I immediately hated him. Let me explain before you stone me.

I was always on the lookout for young adult books that weren’t vampires, because vampires were getting boring, fast. So here comes this decent author with a book about kids with cancer, and I thought ‘hey, if it’s a good story and it raises awareness, this is going on my to-read list.’

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So with my brand new copy of The Fault In Our Stars, I settle down in my communal living room to start reading, tea in hand and then I hear a screech from my wonderfully-vocal Italian housemate and best friend. I then spent the next two hours receiving a lecture from her about how John Green was profiting from cancer and that the medical aspects of the book were completely outrageous. So the book went on my shelf and hasn’t been opened since.

So four years pass, I get a degree, move back to my home town, get a job, blah blah blah, and then I hear about this edgy indie book with a bad-ass female lead with a weird name and an amazing metaphor: Paper Towns. Three guesses who it’s by, *drum roll* John Green.

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In the four years, I had pretty much forgotten about my hatred for John Green, as I had since learned that my loud friend’s opinion of TFiOS was just that, an opinion. But still with this ingrained fear of reading the book, I skipped it altogether and dove head first into Paper Towns. I finished it in less than a week.

Safe to say that since then, I’ve been pretty happy to hear about John Green’s work, particularly when I realised he is the older brother to Hank Green, and that they co-created YouTube channel vlogbrothers, the world of Nerdfighteria, and are ultra nerds that are so cool and the human embodiment of tumblr.com.

I now spend nearly all of my spare time attempting to catch up on the 10 years of vlogbrothers videos, and am eagerly awaiting payday so I can buy all of John Green’s book and add them to my copies of Paper Towns and The Fault In Our Stars. I’m also desperately searching for a copy of John Green reading TFiOS audiobook.

I have officially become a fan, and I wish I had had the balls to stand up for The Fault In Our Stars when I first bought it all those years ago… and I shall be reading it tonight!

So, I have one thing to say to you John Green and other members of Nerdfighteria (if you’ll forgive my stupidity): Don’t forget to be awesome! 

The Last Page Is The Kindest | Typewriter Tales

20-09-2016

THE LAST PAGE IS THE KINDEST – THE TYPEWRITER TALES BY MELISSA HOLDEN

Is Being A Writer A Risky Career Move? | 22 Blog Series

There are always risks in your work and career lives, whether it’s taking the new job, knowing when to leave you’re current one, or even deciding to take a step up in your career and aim for that promotion.

But when your career is a risk to start with, is anything really a risk?

10348746_10153887458267488_6596414944815876089_oWriting has never been a safe career. It’s not like becoming a dentist or a vet, becoming a lorry driver or a teacher. Writing is not a normal job in terms of finance and societal appreciation.

So why bother doing something that’s going to be so hard, so unappreciated, so underpaid (if paid at all), so challenging… because what is life without a little risk?

Of course writing is a risky career. But so is dance, or football, or music, or art. Anything outlandish, or sporty or creative. Anything ambitious is not easy: that’s the point of needing the ambition and the drive to become who you’ve always wanted to be. It takes hard work to create a masterpiece, but the end result is always worth it.

I will never be a well-paid writer or a full-time writer. Not because I don’t have the skill or the talent, but how many writers do you know? It’s not your 9-5 day job. It’s writing in the dark until 3 a.m. with a cold cup of coffee by your side. It’s characters running around in your head. It’s notebooks full of possible novels and creations and stories. It’s creativity in it’s purest form: storytelling.

So, yes, it’s risky – but the pay off; finding out someone liked your work, your characters, your world: it’s so worth the risk.

 

Check out the rest of the 22 Blog Series here

Expect Awesomeness in 2016

2015 was an amazing year for me as an author, but also a hard year for me personally.  So it’s safe to say it’s been a mixed 365 days.

In 2015 I:
– graduated
– got an amazing job
– made some awesome friends
– drank a lot less
– started paying off my debts
– focused more on my writing
– grew my hair
– and a lot more!

2016 is going to be my Year of Achievement. I’m not posting some bullsh*t post about fad diets or going to the gym or buying a car. My goals and little and often and all about my personal happiness / mental stability.

2016 Year of Awesome Will Include:

– completely paying off my debts
– saving for a flat
– learning to drive
– finishing and releasing FINDING JENNIFER
– finishing EVERYDAY WE LIE
– spending more time writing than watching TV
– learning to relax
– spending less on me and more on time with others
– learning new skills
– improving my soul

What are your goals and hopes for 2016?

Happy Birthday, Book!

If I could show you what Little Mel was like as a child, it would be a blonde little bookworm who thought writers were magicians.

Now I’m a slightly taller redhead with PROOF writers are magic. Why? Because I am one. I get to create characters with emotions and reasons and a life entirely separate from my own, and that makes me so happy every single day.

Today I am even happier, and I shall tell you why. Today is the 2nd anniversary of my first book being published.  THE SNOW KILLER joined our shelves November 19th 2013. And I haven’t stopped writing books since. 

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It’s taken many shapes and forms since release (above is the latest and best edition of the cover). It’s available in print and E-book, across the world (thanks Amazon!)

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But every time I look at this book, all of my books, I am reminded that – despite everything – I am following my dreams. Not just as some silly fantasy, but as a career.

I may not be a bestseller or a household name like Stephen King, but I’m working my way up one day at a time.

So please join me in wishing my Book Baby a very happy 2nd birthday!

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