Monday, February 7, 2011

Guest Blogger Nicki J Markus

Today I'm happy to welcome my friend and fellow author, Nicki J. Markus. Her second story with Wicked Nights comes out tomorrow, Dragon's Heart, first in a series.  I can't wait to read the next one.  Good morning, Nicki, and thanks for being here! The blog's all yours!

Thanks to Julie for inviting me here and hello everyone. This is my first time guest blogging and I am feeling a little overwhelmed and not sure what I should write. So, I shall start with today and go from there.

Today is hot. The weather this summer in Australia has been bizarre to say the least. The sudden drought-following floods that engulfed Queensland and parts of Victoria didn’t affected us here in South Australia, but we’ve still had a cooler than normal summer ... until today. Today it hits 39oC with 42oC forecast for the next two days.

As an English girl who has lived in Australia for less than four years, I still tend to find anything much over 30oC rather unbearable. I vowed not to take a step outside the house before dusk today and so you now find me tucked away in the coolest corner of the house that I could find with the laptop plugged in.

My fiancĂ© had a night shift last night and is currently sleeping; therefore I am being as quiet as a mouse. A perfect time to write, you might think. I would agree; although it never seems to work out that way. It is now 4 hours since I got up and preparing this blog entry is the closest I’ve come to doing any writing. I did make a video for a short story I have coming out in April, but that’s about it. What have I been doing all this time, I hear you ask? Well, the answer is simple and boils down to one word: Internet.

Ah, how I love the Internet. My parents resisted getting it at first when I lived at home back in England. They only gave in when I started University in 2001 and they decided it might be useful for research for my studies. Since then I haven’t looked back.

So many plus points: communicate with friends and family around the world; quick research tool  to check a fact or date for my writing; check the TV guide; check the weather; shop for books. The list goes on and on. But then there is the dark side where the word ‘addiction’ comes into play.

How many hours of my life have I wasted in online chatting and games? How often do I pause in the middle of my writing to check the email account that I only cleared twenty minutes before? You never know – maybe someone sent me something in the last 10 minutes. How often have I been distracted by YouTube or been sucked into Googling a favourite actor?

You may well think there is an easy solution to this: turn off the Internet while I write. I have tried, believe me, but invariably I then find that I need to look up a detail for my writing or print a page and then on it goes again.

Still, while I have been out of work these past three months, I have written over 60,000 words between different projects, even with the lure of WWW, and two of the four hours this morning was used to conduct research on accommodation for my honeymoon in Tasmania later in the year. So, I guess it’s not always a complete waste of time.

In the past three months, I have also launched my writing career thanks to the Internet. I have wanted to be a writer for years and yet I found myself saying it again and again without doing anything about it. Finally, when I left my last job in November, I realised I had to just go for it or I’d never know. I was writing some shorts to submit to competitions, but it was Julie who suggested I venture into the world of e-publishing. I have now had several works accepted for e-book publication by Wicked Nights Publishing, the most recent release being Dragon’s Heart - a fantasy novella. I have another longer novella in the editing stage right now and I write non-fiction articles and reviews for Suite101. None of this would be possible without the power of the Internet.

It may be an ongoing distraction, but without it I wouldn’t be able to call myself a published writer.

To see me wasting more time online, come and visit me at my own new blog ( or check out my current releases at my author homepage (

Thanks again for inviting me, Julie and I hope that my entry wasn’t too painfully boring for you all!

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