Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Black & White blog tour Day 3

Happy Hump Day! Onto day 3 of my blog tour for my new YA dystopian release, Black & White, and today I'm over at Alicia Dean's blog for an author interview, which was a lot of fun. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Black & White blog tour day 2 and Jessica McKendry book release

Onto day 2 of my blog tour for my new YA dystopian release, Black & White. Thanks for all the well wishes from everyone who stopped by and commented yesterday. Today it's on to the following stops:

Tyrean Martinson - author interview
The Howling Turtle - guest post on tips for writing a dystopian trilogy

Hope you can join me!


In other news, blogging friend Jessica McKendry has just released her new book, The Inferiors, and is holding a bloghop to celebrate. You can sign up here, get a copy of her book on Amazon, or add it on Goodreads. Congrats, Jess!

Monday, 18 September 2017

Black & White Release Day and Blog Tour Day 1!

Today's the day - part 1 of my YA dystopian trilogy is out there in the world, and to celebrate the occasion I'm embarking on a two week blog tour, which is going to be a lot of fun. If you care to follow along, you'll meet some of the main characters in Black & White and get a glimpse into their world, as well as gaining an insight into some of the mechanics underlying the universe. Today I'm kicking off at the following stops:

L. Diane Wolfe - guest post
Jeff O'Handley - author interview

Hope you'll join me! There'll be a giveaway running throughout the tour, in which you can win a $10 Amazon giftcard or an ecopy of my collection A Change of Mind and Other Stories. And of course Black & White is available at all the usual outlets:


Add it on Goodreads

If you read and enjoy it, I'd hugely appreciate if you could leave a review to let me know.

Have a great week!

Monday, 11 September 2017

Announcing my Author Newsletter!

It's the start of another week and I have some exciting news. Well, it's exciting to me, because it's something I've been meaning to do for a long time, but I finally got my act together and created an author newsletter! Updates will come every two to three months, so no need to worry about your inbox getting clogged up, and will feature things like news of upcoming releases, giveaways, and promotions. Basically, whenever anything exciting is happening. I'll also be including things like deleted scenes and some exclusive flash fiction. As a taster for that, all subscribers will receive a copy of the prequel to my Black & White series, entitled The Treatment. This novella of around 17,500 series, which I wrote in between Parts 2 and 3 of the trilogy, isn't available anywhere else.


The prequel is a separate story to the series, with its own characters, and you can read either as a standalone, but it does provide a bit more background on the world I've created. If you enjoy it, it would be immensely appreciated if you shot me a message to let me know!

You can subscribe to the newsletter by clicking here or completing the handy-dandy form which is just in my sidebar over there.

Do you enjoy author newsletters? Any tips if you have one yourself? What do you like, or not like, to see in them? I'm totally open to any feedback on what to include in mine.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

IWSG September 2017: Next Anthology Contest Announced!

It's the first Wednesday of the month, the start of a new season when many of us who have kids might be getting a bit more quiet time for writing, and of course, IWSG post day. This is the day when we can get together and unload anything that might be worrying us, with the possibility of answering an optional question. Hosted as ever by Ninja Cap'n Alex J. Cavanaugh, today's co-hosts are Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant and Beverley Stowe McClure! But before I get to today's post, I have a couple of exciting announcements for you.


The Annual IWSG Anthology Contest

Word count: 3500-6000

Genre: Mystery/Crime/Thriller

ThemeTick Tock. The story revolves around a clock, is time sensitive, or has something about a specific time. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence. 

Story deadline: November 1st 2017

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook IWSG group. 

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title. 

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word!

Sounds good, right? That theme could go in an infinite number of directions. And there's more - next month's IWSG day is set to be a very exciting one. Read on...

Are you proud to be an insecure writer? 

Then show us! 

On Wednesday, October 4 (IWSG Day), post a photo of yourself (or your alter ego) with any of the IWSG swag or with the IWSG logo. Then leave a comment that day at either the IWSG website’s post or the IWSG Facebook post directing us to your photo. (All blog, Facebook, Goodreads, and newsletter members welcome, but photo must be posted on a blog or Facebook to qualify.) 

The IWSG site admins will visit each one and pick the top three. Why? Because there are cool prizes involved: 

Third place – EBook of A Change of Mind and Other Stories by Nick Wilford, eBook of The Remnant by William Michael Davidson, eBook of Cling to God by Lynda R. Young, eBook of Already Home by Heather M. Gardner, and eBook of Dragon of the Stars by Alex. J. Cavanaugh. 

Second place – The entire eBook collection of the Totem series by Christine Rains, eBooks of Princess of Las Pulgas by C. Lee McKenzie, audio book of CassaSeries by Alex J. Cavanaugh, eBook of Black and White by Nick Wilford, and your choice eBook from J.L. Campbell. 

Grand prize winner - IWSG website interview, IWSG newsletter spotlight, IWSG pinned tweet for one week, C. Lee McKenzie's Featured Follower for the month, the IWSG Goodreads book club eBook for October/November, a short chapter critique, and a pair of IWSG erasers. 

We have some great IWSG swag – pens, mugs, magnets, erasers, etc. Proceeds go to fund the upkeep of the IWSG site.

You have two months to prepare – show us your best insecurity!


***

Also today, I've been interviewed over at Operation Awesome in their Debut Author Spotlight. Check it out!



So, on to today's post. Of course, I've got something to be insecure about with my book launch coming in less than two weeks. I'm still finalising tour posts and other things, and this always tends to be a nailbiting time, but I'm trying to channel it into some positive energy, get on top of the nerves, and not get overly insecure. For a distraction, I'm going to look at this month's IWSG question: "Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in?"

I've had a go at a range of genres over the years - thriller, sci-fi, I even tried writing chick lit for a bloghop once - but I rarely start out with a particular genre in mind, it's just where the story takes me. The label is something that comes afterwards. But for me, writing is about constantly surprising myself - the first time I wrote a short story, completed an entire novel, beat NaNo. I wouldn't have had any guarantees beforehand that I'd be able to do any of those things. The life of a writer is one that's full of surprises... so the next time I'm struggling, I'll remember that I can always have the ability to surprise myself!

Check out other surprising IWSG posts here

Friday, 1 September 2017

Black & White shortlisted for Book of the Month

Happy Friday! It's the start of a new month and also the start of my favourite season. I'm looking forward to kicking up those fallen leaves. What are your plans for the autumn? To kick it off, I've got some exciting news and a small favour to ask. My upcoming release Black & White was shortlisted for Book of the Month for August at Long & Short Reviews YA, where it received an excellent review.


If it's not too much trouble, it would be very helpful if you could head over and cast a vote for my book here. The poll is only open today and tomorrow, so speed is appreciated!

Do you have any exciting news to share?

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Chapterless Writing

This is something I've mentioned before, but I thought it might be worth its own post to talk a bit more about my writing process. I've got a bit of a funny relationship with chapters, I don't work with them in the same way that others might. Basically I will write one long first draft (with breaks) and it might not be until the third or fourth pass that I put chapter divisions in. What are the benefits of this approach?


  • It helps me follow the flow of the story more easily. Our lives don't have breaks, it's just one continuous onslaught of events, so it also allows the characters to come alive.
  • Once I've refined the story a bit, I can see where peaks and troughs occur in terms of pacing and that helps delineate where chapters start and end.
  • Although I've started to introduce a bit more plotting, I'm still a pantser at heart and writing one big block of text allows for various diversions without worrying about how they're going to affect chapter structures.
  • The action can be reordered as required to create chapters of roughly equal length, although I don't think this is as hyper-important as ensuring that each chapter works as a self-contained unit.
  • I haven't yet gone to the step of publishing a book without chapters, although the majority of Terry Pratchett's books appeared in this way. The advantage of this approach is that it doesn't allow the reader to pause for breath and hopefully they'll keep reading for as long as is practicable.

What's your relationship with chapters like? Do you write in chapters from the start or is it a secondary consideration?