All about me

Updated July 2011

I wanted to come up with something a little different for the title to this page, but my Muse thinks that all of the ideas sounded rubbish. So this is all about me :)

I'm Nayuleska. That isn't my 'real' name, but it's one I use online. I took it from the video game Final Fantasy X & X-2's heroine, Yuna (short for Yunaleska). Sometimes I get asked what it means. Sometimes people recognise it. It's all cool for me!

I haven't been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I possibly wrote stories when I was little, but I can't remember. I know I haven't kept them. I've got rid of all my old school books, note books etc. I'm a great hoarder, mostly of junk, until a few months ago when I got rid of an awful lot of stuff. And yes stuff is the correct description for that clear out. That's how I know I don't have any sweet stories.

I remember when I first started writing. I was at secondary school, I can't remember which year I was in. I had to do a piece of English coursework, writing the start to a story (I think. My memory isn't so good. I'm pretty sure it's because I can remember an awful lot about my wips which are in various states). I'm not sure why or how but I then went on to finishing the story. It was called First Night In Another life. Oh! Now I remember what the assignment was. We could pick from a variety of titles, or maybe there was just one title (remember how bad my memory is?) - mine was First Night (In)....

I suppose now is the time to confess that yes, I did send it to publishers and agents. And yes, I got rejected. I think I had a personal note from one of them (it was handwritten, not typed). I'm not sure if I've still got it. I do know I look back at the files and wince (that's when I bring myself to read it). I know what the story was about. I can recall most of the chapters. And truthfully I'm probably going to use a few of the ideas in the future, just not in their original format. Let's just say, it's probably a good thing Meg Cabot wrote Princess Diaries rather than me :) At least she made up a new country! (No, I'm not confessing which country in Europe I chose!)

At some point I joined the pretty awesome writing site Critique Circle. I've made a brilliant group of friends, seen a few of them. We share our highs and lows, not just about writing, but about life.

After my rejections, I kept on writing. The next story I wrote was The Wish. That has not been binned. I wrote at least 2-3 versions. The fourth is under construction, but I know exactly what it's going to hold for the protagonist. The only thing which is remaining the same from the original wip, are the names of the characters. Even the title has changed. It's Misty Chaos, and there are a few books planned in the series. Naturally this could all change if/when I get published, but those are my plans for it.

Writing those drafts taught me a lot. I learnt a lot by critiquing other people's work. I learnt I was actually pretty rubbish at writing. That I made tonnes of mistakes.

Then there was Imperial Intrigue. I think I was at university by this time. I loved it. I submitted it for critiquing. Comments came back from readers that it wasn't so lovely. Naturally I was very upset, but after a little while I could see the errors. I bashed out the next new plot with a lovely writer friend. It's waiting in the wings to be written.

I had quite a few years with life going on, with me writing a bit, and then not writing. But slowly I grew more and more attached to writing. Especially since I started my review blog.

Yes, it meant I was reading more. But better than that, I'm contact with a lot of people in the industry. I've got to know a lot of writers, and keep in touch with them. I've seen soon to be published novels at various stages (proof copies), some with proofs having most of the artwork, others have none. Everyone is so friendly. I get such a buzz from chatting about the trauma of writing (truly, there is trauma. Why else do we need so much chocolate?) I like connecting with people, sharing ideas and thoughts on books.

And now I remember I can have several pages on my website (I didn't put my review blog together, that's why I forgot I could do all this). So I thought I'd put up a tab about myself, perhaps a few about my wips (although I'm currently figuring out which layout I should go for (a wip per tab? A series per tab?).

That's all my writing history. I've written an awful lot of words Thousands. Hundreds of thousands. And every word is worth it.

Somewhen over the past year I decided to 'get serious' with writing. Not that I wasn't serious before, but the more I write, the more I want to be a part in the exciting world of words. Unfortunately my health decided to rebel against all my lovely plans. So I wrote less. I then read more (good for my review blog). Now I'm getting more of an even balance. Muse is getting more play time, so she's happy. I'm working on editing Inescapable Ties, a sci-fi novel dealing with human trafficking, arms smuggling, lots of adventure and one very courageous girl; I'm nearly at the end of the first draft for Diplomatic Disaster, also sci-fi but a lighter read than IT, using one character from IT and aimed at a younger age group than IT (so everyone can enjoy the universe my Muse is creating); I'm really excited with how my plotting is going for a series with the initials CC which I plan to start on August 1st.

How about some non-writer facts about me? 

I adore video games, especially Final Fantasy series (apart from 13 which I still haven't completed). I haven't played games for months because of my health. I'm hoping to start it up soon.Well, I can play a little. Just need to find the time to play more often.

I love knitting! As my health isn't great, I prefer smaller projects which are quicker to complete. It's a good thing I like fingerless clothes because they are easy and I really need to make some more. My cat likes me knitting if I use the needles with funky coloured rounded ends. At the moment I'm knitting baby clothes for friends, fingerless gloves for me.

I'm a beginner seamstress & quilter, which is currently on hold for a while until my health picks up. Which might not be until next year, but we'll see.

I love books. My parents think I have enough books for a library (possibly a very small mobile one), or as a  cousin suggested I could open up a book shop. I did politely tell her I want to sell my books, rather than other people's. Books are food :)

And then there's anime. I love my collection of anime. Some are funny, some are serious, some I rarely watch. I love them all. I love sushi (having it fresh in a restaurant is a wonderful treat). I love Japanese songs. I love the kimonos (I'd love to have one). I love the manga. It's not that difficult to learn, not really (although I still have trouble with katakana). Anime is great for when I'm too tired to read. Sure I read subtitles, but I understand a fair amount of the Japanese so I don't have to totally pay attention. I love anime so much that it's hard to get me to watch 'normal' films or dramas on TV. More and more I'd prefer anime :) It's that addictive.

I'd like to add that I also love the Italian animation Winx Club, which has got me into watching French animation (Loulou de Montmatre et Charlotte aux Fraises)

I do have a day job :) I love it. I get to work with amazing colleagues, and I never know what's going to happen each day. I have regular tasks to do, but a lot of my work hinges on whether people want something done, or something needs investigating. I can be knee deep in shredding. I regularly bemoan the photocopier which plays up a fair bit. Or our office printer which sometimes prints a few hours after you send the document (by which time I've pressed 'print' over 5 times and sent the file to the photocopier to print). I love sorting out the coffee machine and filing because I get to think about my wips when I work. Several plot breakthroughs came by the coffee machine.

I think that's everything for now! If there's anything else you'd like to know about, just ask!

You can check out my review blog, Nayu's Reading Corner.