Wednesday, 1 August 2018

IWSG August 2018 and Next Anthology Contest Announced

Time for another group posting of the IWSG - quite hard to believe it's August already! Our heatwave in Scotland has turned decidedly autumnal. Wherever you are, hope you're safe and not too hot or cold. This is the time every month where we can unload our writing worries and woes among supportive friends - with Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh taking the helm as always, our co-hosts this month are Erika BeebeSandra HooverSusan Gourley and Lee Lowery.

Just the usual insecurities this month about prepping for an upcoming release - I believe I'm very nearly done with edits for book 2 of my trilogy, now it's just finishing touches and making sure its teeth are brushed and hair combed before sending it out to seek its fortune. I'm also reading through the draft of book 3, having been quite shocked to see that it was last saved six months ago. I was stuck on the ending then, but a readthrough is sparking different ideas off and I'm heartened that the writing is not quite as terrible as I had feared. Let's turn to this month's IWSG question.

"What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?"

This is quite an interesting question because I firmly believe that mistakes and stumbles are a vital part of the process - they're how we learn, after all. You just have to do what feels right at the time, but if I was going to give advice, it would be not to put all your eggs in one basket - be open to different routes to publication and if sending out queries to agents or publishers, keep writing in the meantime rather than obsessively checking your inbox. Yes, I was guilty of this one, but I soon learned my lesson. It took me a while to write another book, but I did write the first short stories I was really proud of at this time, which brings me on nicely to a couple of big announcements for the IWSG!

First we have:

The 2018 Annual IWSG Anthology Contest

Word count: 3500-6000

Genre: Young Adult Romance

A Masquerade can be a false show or pretense, someone pretending to be someone they aren't. It can be a ball, a fancy dress party, it can be a mask. Open to interpretation.

Submissions accepted: September 5 - November 4, 2018

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (Double spaced, no page numbers), previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges who will be announced September 5.

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.

The good news is this gives you a headstart of over a month before the contest opens! Time to get thinking caps on.

We also have details of another exciting new venture to share. The IWSG has teamed up with the good folks at WEP (Write-Edit-Publish) for a challenge that all our members can take part in, including on Facebook. Sign up today to post August 15. Details as follows:

The August WEP Challenge – A Change of Heart

Who hasn’t had one? This one’s easy, right?
A commitment made when a prospect looked attractive, a decision on a course of action, and then regrets and reluctance to follow through. It could be an engagement, a date, a diet plan, a chore someone said they’d do and didn’t follow through. A strip poker-game. Or maybe a gamble with super-high, panic inducing stakes. A break for independence that once made, gives pause for second thoughts. A bolt for the grass-always-greener pasture and then wanting to vault-n-turn right back. Something offered, then withdrawn. Myriad ways to go.

There's plenty going on! Any thoughts on either of these challenges? Any pitfalls to share for others to avoid? Check out the other great IWSG posters here.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Tempting Friendship Release Day

Today I'm helping out a very talented author friend with the release of what looks like another great book. So it's over to Patricia Lynne and Tempting Friendship.

At first, Quinn isn’t impressed by Keane. He’s cocky and has sex on the brain. The polar opposite of her. Despite their differences, something blossoms between the two. 

Never one to take things seriously, Keane is an incubus coasting through life without a care. When he meets Quinn, her lack of reaction to him piques his interest. No human has ever been able to resist him. 

As Keane and Quinn struggle to understand what is going on between them, something sinister rocks their world. Young incubi are vanishing, and Keane's friends go missing. Someone is after his kind. When Quinn is kidnapped, Keane must uncover who is behind the abductions and get to her before it's too late.

Keane’s Top Five Video Games by Keane
Hello my adoring fans. *winks* I decided to take time out of my busy schedule and clue you in on the must have video games everyone should play. And don’t try to tell me you’re not into games. These are worth it. Trust me, I’ve been around long enough to know good quality when I see it.

1.      We have to start with a classic: Pong. It doesn’t get much simpler than that but did this change everything. I don’t want to think of where gaming would be if not for this game.
2.      Sonic The Hedgehog. I know there are going to be Nintendo fanboys/girls yelling at me but hear me out. Sonic is just a blast. It’s fast paced, the music is great, and the graphics still hold up. I’m right and you know it.
3.      The Legend of Zelda; Ocarina of Time. Can I really call myself a gamer if I didn’t love this game? It was amazing. The story. The characters. The music. I still play this game. (I do have to admit, Breath of the Wild has become a second close.)
4.      Street Fight. Chun Lee. Nuff said.
5.      Tomb Raider games, but not the reboot. The reboot was fun to play, but Lara is so booooring now. Before she was snarky and confident. I love a confident woman. I hope future releases in the reboot have Lara gaining the confidence the old Lara had.

Buy on:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Patricia never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was more of an art and band geek. Some stories are meant to be told, and now she can't stop writing.

She writes New Adult under the name Patricia Josephine and Young Adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

Social Media Links:

Friday, 6 July 2018

Summer sale for A Change of Mind and Other Stories

Hope everyone is having an awesome summer and you're not sweltering too much in this heat - we're definitely not used to it in Scotland! - and if it's winter where you are, I hope it's a pleasant one! To help celebrate, I've put my speculative collection A Change of Mind and Other Stories on half price throughout July - that's just $0.99 for a bunch of tales that's set to intrigue and tickle your imagination.

"This is a wonderful collection of short fiction. Nick Wilford's writing style is sharp and punchy and you'll find yourself sucked into these pieces." - Michelle Wallace

"Wilford’s ability to work an awesome plot-twist into such short pieces of fiction is simply amazing. My favorite of the shorter pieces was definitely Marissa, although I enjoyed all of them and felt disappointed when I reached the end of the collection. Don’t miss this one! It’s fantastic!" - Amazon Customer

"What a delightful collection of stories! There's good character development even in the shortest of works in the volume, and nice, forward-moving plots... If you're looking for some light, quick reads with a bit of an edginess to them, this is a good place to start." - KSF

"Some of the best writing I've encountered in indie fiction... For anyone interested in speculative fiction and snappy short stories, reading A Change of Mind is an afternoon well-spent." - JKU

You can find it here: Amazon USAmazon UKSmashwords

The Smashwords sale is running throughout July and you can find lots more great reads here.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

IWSG July 2018

It's the first week of July, and we're here a day early because I hear there's some sort of big holiday going on for my friends across the pond tomorrow. Nothing else has changed though, this is still the best place to gather and unleash our writerly worries in an atmosphere of mutual support. Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh remains ably at the helm, backed up this month by Nicki ElsonJuneta KeyTamara Narayan and Patricia Lynne.

I don't have much to be feeling insecure about - edits for the middle part of my trilogy are proceeding apace and I should be on track for an autumn release. Maybe taking a bit longer than planned, but for good reasons - I spent the past couple of weeks crafting a short story for a competition, for example. Diversions like that stop me getting bogged down, and I've come to believe that things will be ready when they're ready, rather than following a rigorous schedule. Let's turn to this month's IWSG question, which is as follows: "What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?"

That's an interesting one, quite deep for a glorious summer's day. I suppose in some way my goals have changed - initially I just wanted to finish one book, then I wanted to sign on with an agent. For the first I realised that, because finishing was in fact possible, I wanted to write a better book, and for the second, it did not seem as all-important as it once had after I started talking to other writers who were pursuing publication in all sorts of ways. But ultimately, my goals have always been to express myself and hopefully say something about the human condition. It's a confusing enough world - more and more so every day, it seems - and I'm always trying to find out what makes people tick, even if those people are on a distant planet or far into the future. I also want what I have to say to strike a chord with others and for them to relate to it, and miraculously, I seem to have had some success there, so I'll keep trying to take that further. Selling millions was never really part of the equation, which is probably just as well!

To read others' thoughts and insecurities this month head to the IWSG signup page here.

In other news, we only have just over two weeks to go before the next #IWSGPit on July 19. Will you be pitching into the fray with a tasty morsel to hook an agent or publisher? Last time we had about 5,100 Tweets and became a trending topic, and the next event looks to be even bigger, so don't miss out on grabbing a piece of the action! Rules are as follows:

Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On July 19, Tweet your pitch between 8am and 8pm Eastern time. If your pitch receives a favorite/heart from a publisher/agent check their submission guidelines and send your requested query.

Many writers have seen their books published from a Twitter pitch - it’s a quick and easy way to put your manuscript in front of publishers and agents.


Writers may send out 1 Twitter pitch every hour per manuscript.

Publishers/Agents will favorite/heart pitches they are interested in. Publishers can either Tweet basic submission guidelines or direct writers to their submission guidelines. (Writers, please do not favorite/heart pitches.)

No images allowed in pitches.

Pitches must include GENRE/AGE and the hashtag #IWSGPit.

#C - children’s
#MG - middle grade
#YA - young adult
#NA - new adult
#A - adult
#AD - adventure
#CF - Christian fiction
#CO - contemporary
#F - fantasy
#H - horror
#HI - historical
#LF - literary fiction
#MCT - mystery/crime/thriller
#ME - memoir
#NF - non-fiction
#PB - picture book
#PN - paranormal
#R - romance
#SF - sci-fi
#WF - women's fiction

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

IWSG June 2018

It's the first Wednesday of the month and of course you know that means it's time for another meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Created and hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, it's a chance for writers of all kinds to air their insecurities without fear of being judged. Co-hosting duties this month are provided by Beverly Stowe McClureTyrean MartinsonTonja Drecker, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor.

In terms of insecurities, I'm not doing too badly this month. In fact I'm nearing the end of final edits on book 2 of my trilogy, which should be a fairly jubilant time (notwithstanding the start of the nailbiting countdown to publication). In fact, one of my last tasks is very closely related to this month's IWSG question, which is:

"What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?"

So at that moment I'm christening the last few characters who still remain nameless. They're very well defined apart from that, I have a clear sense of who these people are, I just haven't worked out what to call them yet. This has meant CPs grappling with interplay between the likes of (?), (??) and (???) - luckily they have the patience of saints and have somehow managed to keep track of them!

And of course, the book also needs a title. Out of the two, this is the one I definitely struggle with the most. I have to come up with far many more character names than book titles, so if I found them equally as challenging then I'd be in trouble. Writing speculative stuff, I do enjoy coming up with unique, out-of-the-ordinary names that tell you something about that character - I'm very much inspired by the likes of Tolkien and Pratchett in that regard. Sometimes they seem obvious, other times (or most of the time) they take a long time in coming.

But coming up with a snappy title that sums up an entire book in a couple of words? It's one of the most insidious tasks an author has to face. Having said that, I'm very clear on the title for the final book in the series - I'm sure I came up with a title for this one too, I just have to find where it's written down. But then I might want to change it completely.
How would you answer this question? Did you participate in IWSG today? Find other insecure scribes here.

Also, there's plenty of other exciting stuff going on in the IWSG camp. We have the next anthology contest opening on September 5th, which is also when the theme will be announced. The genre this year is YA Romance.
And it's the return of the ever-growing phenomenon that is the IWSG Twitter Pitch party on July 19th. This event is set to be bigger than ever with hundreds of agents and publishers signed up to check out your pitches. Get polishing them and check out all the rules at the IWSG site.
Finally, next month IWSG will be held a day early - Tuesday July 3rd - instead of the usual Wednesday. It seems some folk might be having a bit of the party the following day.

That's it - excited about what's in store for the IWSG?

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Some Very Messy Medieval Magic launch

Today I'm helping out C. Lee McKenzie, blogging friend, MG author and IWSG admin extraordinaire, with the launch of her latest novel, Some Very Messy Medieval Magic. I absolutely love that title, and this book closes out a trilogy that started with Alligators Overhead and The Great Time Lock Disaster. Check those out too.


 By C. Lee McKenzie

Pete’s stuck in medieval England!

 Pete and his friend Weasel thought they’d closed the Time Lock. But a young page from medieval times, Peter of Bramwell, goes missing. His absence during a critical moment will forever alter history unless he’s found.

 There’s only one solution - fledgling wizard Pete must take the page’s place. Accompanied by Weasel and Fanon, Pete’s alligator familiar, they travel to 1173 England.

 But what if the page remains lost - will Pete know what to do when the critical moment arrives? Toss in a grumpy Fanon, the duke’s curious niece, a talking horse, and the Circle of Stones and Pete realizes he’s in over his young wizard head yet again...

Release date – May 15, 2018

Juvenile Fiction - Fantasy & Magic/Boys & Men

$13.95 Print ISBN 9781939844460

$3.99 EBook ISBN 9781939844477

C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication, but these days her greatest passion is writing for young readers. When she’s not writing she’s hiking or traveling or practicing yoga or asking a lot questions about things she still doesn’t understand.

Amazon -
Kindle -
Foyles -,c-lee-mckenzie-9781939844460

Congrats, Lee! Have you read any of her books? Will you be picking this one up?