Ruby Allure's Books

Ruby Allure's Books
Ruby Allure's Books

Saturday, 27 June 2015

The Secret Literary life and its Challenges.

The Secret Literary life and its Challenges.

Have you ever had a burning secret that you are desperate to share? For me it feels like resisting that open bar of chocolate when you are on a diet. So where has this come from? Well when one begins writing there is a choice to be made: do you write under your own name or do you write under an alias? One of my students advised me that he had been writing under a secret name and was living two lives. It was a struggle because his girlfriend had no clue what he was up to and he could not share it with her. His fan base had escalated into thousands because he wrote about contentious subjects. He felt that by being ‘someone else’ he had the freedom to express true opinion. This alter-ego was very different to the shy man in the class. What’s more, he felt that it was too late to let his girlfriend know and felt torn. It made me wonder how spies manage.

Something about living a double life struck a chord with me. I had always written under my own name. It was an easy name to find but at the same time it made life a little bit of a challenge. My work colleagues ordered my books off the net and one morning I walked into a sex scene being read aloud. There was nothing malicious in it, it was a bit of fun. The thing is there was a shift in attitude towards me because the colleagues who surrounded me sensed I was working towards something bigger. The benefit of people knowing who I was that when I released books I could sell them from my desk. I could promote through the work place and hype. Unfortunately policies were introduced which put a stop to this.

People knowing I wrote was lovely because my colleagues would ask me what I was working on and the work place asked me to do presentations based on teaching creative writing evening classes. Over time my colleagues began dreaming on my behalf and would say things like ‘when you’re famous…’ ‘Here is an idea for your book – I want a cut if you use it.’ ‘I have this great idea for a book for you to write…’ That was when I realised that maybe people knowing I was an author wasn’t so great. Also people would come to me and tell me why I should write about them and what made them so fascinating. What made ‘authorism’ more of a challenge is that people had this idea an author was propelled to stardom and earned millions. The question, ‘so why are you here? Can’t you just be an author?’ would be asked when people found out I had published. I would explain that most authors would earn around 7K a year on a book if they were lucky. What I did not tell them was that being in a work environment provided numerous excellent conversations and material. Watching how real people react to difficult situations is better than sitting in a room imagining it. I had a source of inspiration at my type-worthy finger-tips.

It was when a series of events happened to a friend whose book was optioned to be made into a film that things shifted for me. Over a couple of years she shared her excitement and talked about her film and what would happen when she earned loads of money. People became excited for her and it was a major topic of conversation for all who crossed her path. By watching her I could see how I might have been perceived. As time went on the project slowed and money certainly was not flooding in. In the meantime, she still needed to support herself and she said to me ‘I wish people didn’t know. I just want to go away and be anonymous.’ That little insight also struck a chord with me. Did I really want people to know that I was an author? Who really cared? Was my ego trying to prove how special I was? After a lot of thought seven years ago, I decided to rebrand and write under a different name. I maintained my work as a business analyst but moved to a new department where people did not know my history. It was funny because I felt a real sense of liberation. The whole secret literary life was quite wonderful. I felt that I could maintain a sense of mystery and write about my passions: love, relationships, spirituality, healing and money. It was over the last seven years I slowly wrote Money Farm. Working as a financial analyst provided a depth of insight into the financial system. What I had considered a role to support me while I wrote was in fact the perfect job because it provided all the material necessary to evidence the workings of the financial system.  What makes it all the more beautiful is that Money Farm has now been produced in audio by the extremely talented producer Helen Lloyd and reached the audio market. Oh and guess what? I still sit amongst my colleagues discussing the ridiculous, the absurd and the trivial while a book about one financial institution deciding to completely change the global economy (the Brave New World of Finance) is listened to and read all over the world. There is something deeply satisfying about that.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Ruby Writes Books: The Green eyed monster

Ruby Writes Books: The Green eyed monster: The Green Eyed Monster I often wonder why jealousy exists. It is such a strange emotion and complex to say the least. My reason to ex...

Ruby Writes Books: Turning Your Book into an Audio Book

Ruby Writes Books: Turning Your Book into an Audio Book: The Art of Audio production.   Imag...

Turning Your Book into an Audio Book

The Art of Audio production.

Imagine what it is like to hear a professional actor/actress read the book you spent years labouring over. It really is the most wonderful experience to have your characters interpreted and brought to life by a professional. This week was the week that two of my audio books were approved and have joined the queue of new audio releases.

Allow me to share with you the process, and I will be honest, it does involve work. First you have to make sure that your books are up to standard. They will have been proof-read and at publishable quality. You then offer them up for audition on Should a producer view them as profitable they will audition. You may receive a number of auditions for a book. It is then down to you to select the right voice for the book. Alternatively you can select producers who you will pay to produce your book. There are a couple of options on payment; however, you have to make a decision whether you wish to share royalties or make an initial payment. Personally I went for the shared option because then both the producer and I are making a time investment with potential of continued return.

Once the producer has agreed the terms of contract, they will then provide the first fifteen minutes of audio. It is during this time that you provide character insights and any details that you feel the producer should know in relation to character portrayal. You then allow the producer to get on with the project. I have worked with four different producers who all have somewhat different approaches. One lady produced the whole thing and advised me of her progress all the way through. I then went through and approved the whole book in consecutive chapters over a week. Two of the other producers went one chapter at a time, I validated and approved as they worked through the books. The fourth producer is going to provide the final project. He has had little contact or prompting and I am looking forward to hearing the final piece. Something I would say is that you have to pick the right producer for the work and trust them. They are professionals. For those who are control freaks, this process might not be for you.

Once the book is produced you will have to go through chapter by chapter. You might not realise this but this is hours and hours of work. I did this on top of my writing and full time work. Needless to say it was quite a challenge. However, it is absolutely worth it.

Once you have approved your work it is then submitted for quality validation by ACX. Now I have to say they are very detailed. They have asked for revisions and smoothing of background noise. Also another major fail on audio books is the cover. You have to make sure the title and author name absolutely match the details on the sales channel.  Once this has all been approved it is time for your book to join the release queue. This is where I am now… I am sooooooooooo excited. The delivery on Money Farm was so powerful. It is such a delight to listen to such a creation. The funny thing is that I listened to the book and had forgotten that I wrote it. That is how good Helen Lloyd, the producer is! Amazing!
Labyrinthine is the other book that is being validated at the moment. Claire Ottewell produced this and she astounded me by her ability to shift through accents, ages and gender in the character delivery.


So all that remains now is to see how the world responds to the first two releases! Exciting!

The Green eyed monster

The Green Eyed Monster

I often wonder why jealousy exists. It is such a strange emotion and complex to say the least. My reason to explore this is because one of my best male friends was recently consumed with jealousy. It was triggered when we were down on the beach and he noticed how many couples there were in a state of loved-up bliss. He had recently split up with his ex who had pretty quickly moved on to his friend. Not surprisingly he was a little raw. He then sat and openly admitted he was jealous of all the happy couples. He then said, ‘do you think they are really happy?’

I was a little perplexed to say the least. Just because he did not have the perfect relationship he began to undermine other people’s appearance of happiness. My response was ‘I hope they all are happy because that means that I can have that too. Their happiness or lack of happiness is nothing to do with me.’ In that moment my friend had a terrible ‘shattering’ realisation. ‘I’m bitter aren’t I?’

                ‘You are still healing after a break-up.’

He looked mortified and then confessed that he gets jealous about a lot of things:

People who have it easy.

People who don’t have to work.

People in effortless relationships.

People with huge houses.

The list went on. This jealousy thing sat with me for a while and I asked my work colleagues about the different kinds of jealousy they experience. There was plenty of it in relation to pay packets, hierarchy, promotions and when others succeed. In truth, I don’t really have that emotion, or so I thought. I then saw my ex with a really hot woman who had similar attributes to me – but she was ten years younger and I had a pang. So there it was – jealousy – he had moved on and I considered myself ‘free’. Yet something had triggered in my heart. This then got me thinking. What was it that triggered the jealousy and what is it that stops a feeling of jealousy?
For me, jealousy is based on either a fear or a comparison. Think about how siblings become jealous when one is shown more attention or given something that the other has not received.  Some of my female friends become jealous when another friend attracts a high class man or receives a gift. My male friends have pointed out that they feel jealous when another chap buys a nice car or house. Others become jealous over how much time friends spend with each other.  Others became jealous when their spouses or other halves flirted or just talked with other women or men. I also had a number of accounts of how jealousy destroyed relationships. When the green eyed monster reared its head, it resulted in controlling behaviour and emotional outbursts. After a while the partner could not tolerate the controlling tantrums anymore. This then led me to think that jealousy comes from the fear of loss or a sense of lack of power. It also comes from a lack of self-esteem. If the individual felt good enough, then surely they would be so content in themselves that they would not need to grow jealous. So the question is how can it be overcome?
This is what I came up with and I hope it will help.

Before going any further it is worth looking at one’s self-esteem and working on that first. The book Self-esteem by Caroline Myss is amazing!


1)      Recognise when you feel jealous. What is the specific aspect that triggered it? What are you actually jealous of?

2)      Are you comparing yourself? Do you fear the loss of something?

3)      If you were completely empowered and were in your best self what would you say to yourself?

4)      What is the core belief? Is it – I can’t have… I am not good enough to… I fear the loss of…

5)      Identify that core belief and write it down. Now, and this might make you feel sick, affirm the opposite. So for example I am jealous because I haven’t met my perfect partner can be transformed to ‘I am lovable and I effortless attract my perfect partner…’ According to EFT, you are able to cancel out the negative with the positive. It does not mean that your ideal partner will miraculously appear, however, it will adjust your belief to make it possible.

6)      Become aware that the trigger of jealousy is clever because it makes you aware of what you really want.

7)      Pay attention to similar feelings of jealousy and record the details of the jealousy and affirm the opposite until you feel free of that belief.

After sitting with this jealousy for a few weeks and paying attention, I came to the conclusion that there is a benefit to jealousy if it can be viewed objectively. It is a trigger to recognise what you really want. It also reveals when you are not in your ‘best state’ because ultimately if you were feeling wonderful about life and yourself then you would not see or notice anything that would make you jealous. Your mental focus would be noticing positive situations.