19 July, 2015

#GuestPost :: The Evolution of IMAGES by #Author Miranda Bing

About the Author:
Miranda Bing is a proud Filipina, based in her home country, and a travel industry professional. She’s married with three grown children.

Drawn to books on romance, fantasy and adventure since childhood, she began writing for her own enjoyment in her teens, both in English and her native Pilipino. "Images," her first full novel in English, was born as a story idea 28 years before it saw publication on Amazon as a novel. In a way, real life (meaning marriage and children) intruded. But finally being able to share her story has given her a great measure of satisfaction and achievement.

"They say you need three things to achieve immortality," she says. "Have a child, write a book, and plant a tree...well, 2 out of 3 isn't bad, right?"


The Evolution of IMAGES

I guess I always knew I wanted to be a storyteller.

Growing up in the ‘60s and ‘70s in a country that thrived on dramatic novellas, being a “author” meant you either had to be a literary genius whose printed novels ended up as a reading requirement in schools; or someone who contributed to serialized local language comic book sagas or equally serialized television dramas (with loads of whiplash slaps on the face, evil stepmothers, home-wrecking mistresses and the like).  The vast majority of the population read these comic books (think Japanese manga with the thickness of a DC comic book). I didn’t want to add to that mix.

I still remember an activity in school when I was around 9 years old when we were let loose into our library. Most of my classmates grabbed whatever picture book they could. I got my hands on paperback Enid Blyton and sat in a corner. The teacher pointed me out saying “How come she can read a book that doesn’t have colored pictures in it and you guys can’t?” Made me wonder why as well.

I started with Nancy Drew when I was 11, graduating to Mills & Boon romances when I was 12. I was 13 when I read Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” and 16 when “The Godfather” crossed my path. By then I was already pounding out short stories on my grandfather’s 1950’s-era Remington typewriter, single-spaced, single-copies (I didn’t even know carbon paper existed). What I wrote were juvenile, naïve little pieces and, to this day, I am so glad these never saw the light of day and I never had anyone else read them (Oh, the humiliation!). It didn’t help that English was not our lingua franca. But the desire to put the images in my head on paper was there.

That desire never left me.

The story line of IMAGES came to me sometime in 1985. I was single and had calluses on my fingers using that old Remington.  I drafted a 15-chapter outline and started writing the story of Simon and Lauren. With school going on at the same time, I only got as far as Chapter 5. It was ambitious, to say the least. I’m Asian and had never gone beyond our shores. Here I was trying to write something set in the UK. I mean, really now. How does one write about something set so far away from home? By then I was already working for a travel agency but staring at travel posters and researching using an outdated Encyclopedia Britannica wouldn’t have helped my story much. I kept the manuscript, put it in the back of my closet, and proceeded with life.

Simon and Lauren never let me be, though. At night I would imagine scenes in my head before going to sleep. Images was like a movie in my mind that kept playing in a loop. Their “meet-cute” in Chapter 2. Variations of the confrontation scene in the Chapter 38 of the finalized book. Simon Anthony Craig was my fantasy book-husband.

If my real-life husband only knew…

I decided to redraft the story again in the mid-90s. By then I had a Mackintosh in the office and would slowly transcribe my Remington-typed manuscript a couple of pages each evening after the office had closed, storing these into one of those 3-inch floppies. Oh, happiness was the Delete button! Good thing I printed as I went along as the floppy disk went the way of the dodo a few years later. And, again, I only got up to Chapter 5. Marriage, work and children took priority. Simon had to wait again in a brown envelope in the back of my closet.

2012 came along and I quit my day job, tired of the daily grind and the stress that came with it. By then my children had all grown-up (two were already working and the youngest was off to college) and I finally had time on my hands. After spring-cleaning my house and organizing years of family photo albums, I was finally reading again. And, lo and behold, I discovered the Fifty Shades of Grey series. I was hooked on the story. The writing, though, made my little juvenile manuscripts suddenly look much better…

In August 2012, I told a friend and fellow Fifty Shades reader that I had a story. I was transcribing Images again, this time storing it in an external hard-drive (Thank God for the Digital Age!). She had me email it to her and, after a night of reading through what I had done, gave me enough good feedback to make me want to finally write the story to the very end, albeit with an update to current times. A second friend got into the picture and – voila! – I had beta-readers. 

It took me all of two months to finish the first draft of Images. I had to finish it by mid-October 2012 as I was going to start working again and won’t have the time to write full time anymore after that. I churned out a chapter a day uninterrupted, except weekends when my kids came home. After all, Images was a fully formed story in my mind. I just had to put it down on paper. Goodbye old Encyclopedia Britannica. Hello Internet! Research was a breeze, I just had to know where to google the background data I needed. From the original outlined 15 chapters, the final first draft ended up with 36 chapters. I proofed the book myself, all through March 2013, getting rid of a much typos and mis-phrasings as I could find. After adding a new chapter and splitting up the last chapter into two, I finally finished IMAGES with a total of 39 chapters…28years after I started.

IMAGES finally went live on Amazon.com in time for my 25th wedding anniversary in May 2013. I didn’t know much about marketing. They don’t do that much with ebooks where I am. Sales are dismal but reviews are heartwarmingly good. I told myself that if it sells, it sells. If it doesn’t, at least I can tell myself that I finished it. Simon Anthony Craig is no longer a figment of my imagination. He’s out there, waiting to be discovered. I’m happy.

Now I’m writing my second book. Simon’s no longer bugging me. This time, it’s Alex. And his story is much harder to tell. I hope I don’t take another 28years to let him out.

About the Book:
A man who has everything. A woman who remembers nothing. A love they can’t deny.

Simon never realized what was missing from his life. Wealthy, powerful and eligible - he thought he had it all. And then he met her. He fell headlong in love and surrendered himself without thinking twice, with no looking back. She was perfect and he was happy. That is, until gnawing doubts started creeping in and made him question everything he believed about her. Could his love for her survive? 

Lauren knew he was the one from the start. She gave in to him without hesitation, without reservation, body and soul. He was strong and would keep her safe from her inner ghosts. But her past haunted her and her world slowly crumbled around her. Could she ever gain back his trust? 

Natalie loved him with all her heart and knew that he felt the same. He was the only man who awoke in her everything she imagined love could be. She had allowed him to sweep her off her feet. But he had lied and betrayed her, hurt her so deeply. Could she ever believe him again?


Read an Excerpt:

She gave a gasp as he touched her, her fingers digging into his arms. She was slick, invitingly hot, and his fingers moved against her. Simon was trembling with his own desire. "Tell me you want me," he groaned against her throat.
"I want you," she moaned, her body jerking involuntarily against his fingers. Both of her hands grabbed his head and she brought his mouth back down on hers. "I love you," she whispered against his lips.
Simon heard her through his haze of desire. He suddenly felt as if he was drowning and he had to swim back to the surface.
She wants me... She loves me...
And then,
She's marrying me for my money...

Giveaway
Here's your chance to win a Copy of Images by Miranda Bing

2 comments:

  1. I so enjoyed the book Images by Bing Miranda and it was nice to learn more about it's author. Great article on both!

    ReplyDelete

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