Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Our Beautiful Child cover reveal

Today I'm helping out Annalisa Crawford with the cover reveal for her upcoming release, Our Beautiful Child. The cover is beautiful, eerie, and mysterious. Congrats, Annalisa!

Title: Our Beautiful Child
Author: Annalisa Crawford
Release date: 10th June 2014
Publisher: Battered Suitcase Press

“The Boathouse collects misfits. Strange solitary creatures that yearn for contact with the outside world, but not too much. They sit, glass in hand, either staring at the table in front of them, or at some distant point on the horizon.”
… so says the narrator of Our Beautiful Child. And he’s been around long enough to know.
People end up in this town almost by accident. Ella is running away from her nightmares, Sally is running away from the memories of previous boyfriends and Rona is running away from university. Each of them seek sanctuary in the 18th century pub, The Boathouse; but in fact, that’s where their troubles begin.
Ella finds love, a moment too late; Rona discovers a beautiful ability which needs refining before she gets hurt; and Sally meets the captivating Murray, who threatens to ruin everything.
Three women. Three stories. One pub.

I live in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of beaches and moorland right on my doorstep to keep me inspired. I live with my husband, two sons, a dog and a cat.

Despite my location, I neither surf nor sail, and have never had any inclination to try. I much prefer walking along a deserted beach and listening to the waves crashing over rocks. For this reason, I really love the beach in the winter!

Website // Blog // Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest // Add to Goodreads

Monday, 19 May 2014

How I Found The Write Path blogfest

This week, the wonderful Carrie Butler is hosting the How I Found The Write Path blogfest. This is an excellent idea that aims to collect advice from seasoned publishing professionals (or not - we're all on the journey somewhere) in the form of a letter to themselves when they first started writing towards publication. Genius!

Here's the brief:

Please write a letter/note to yourself when you first started writing toward publication. The only thing I ask is that you keep it under 800 words, including as many (or as few) of these elements as you like:
   - A lesson you learned the hard way
   - Something you didn’t expect about the industry (positive/negative)
   - A writing-related resource you could never do without now
   - One thing you’d change about your journey
   - One thing you’re glad you did
   - Your number one tip for pursuing publication
   - Anything else you feel is worth passing on
   - The name you wish to be credited as
   - The title (if any) you wish to follow your name, i.e. author of the series
   - One major link where people can find you, i.e. website, blog, Twitter, etc.
   - Whether or not you give me permission to use your entry in the e-book compilation. Don’t feel bad if you don’t want in. We’d still love to read what you have to say!

And here is my letter:

So, you finally took the plunge and started writing that novel. That’s a big step, and I wish you all the very best. I’m not really here to give you advice about plotting or characters, because you’ll figure that out as you go along with the help of all those brilliant writers you are yet to meet. No, what I really want to say to you is, CREATE A ROUTINE FOR WRITING. Stick to it! You went part-time at work for this. Make that time count. Don’t just write when you feel inspired, because sadly that isn’t going to happen every day. Get your bum in that chair and get words on the screen. Whatever you do, DON’T spend nearly the next four years agonising over this book, sweating over every word, including six months of waiting to hear back from an editor someone had put you in touch with! She might not like it, so don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

What you really want to do is get online and meet like-minded souls who will offer ceaseless advice and support. It makes everything a lot better. Some of them might even be able to have a look through your stuff and tell you what works and what doesn’t. You’ll get to a point where you can’t tell up from down, so you’ll really need some fresh eyes and an outside perspective. Reading their stuff is going to be a great learning experience, too.

So, my number one tip for pursuing publication? DON’T BE ALONE. There’s no need to be when there’s such an array of welcoming writers out there to share the journey with. Writing is a hard slog. Not going to make any bones about that, so you’d better get used to it. But it’s a whole lot sweeter when there are others you can share the heartache and joy with, who’ve been through the same things and are still going through them. Savour those friendships, because you’ll need them when things get tough.

I give permission for my entry to be used in the ebook.

Visit Carrie's blog to check out the other participants!

Friday, 16 May 2014

Shadow Warrior cover reveal and WRiTE CLUB is back

Happy Friday! Today I'm pleased to help out with the cover reveal for my good friend Jay Noel's new release. Many of you know Jay as one of the most supportive and good-natured bloggers out there. His books sound (and look) excellent, and I look forward to catching up with them. Shadow Warrior is the second book in Jay's steampunk series, The Mechanica Wars.

The agony of a failed quest haunts Kanze Zenjiro, but the betrayal by those he once trusted has turned his world upside down. With a heart full of hatred and defeat, Zen is desperate to return home and demand the truth from his father.

Meanwhile, the Iberian Empire sends their soaring airships and steam-powered giants into the Orient. They threaten to upset the balance of power, hoping to exploit the faraway land in their greed for the resources needed to power their machines. Zen and his companions must fight to keep the world from plunging into total destruction.

And at the center of it all is a nine year old boy with the power of a god.

Shadow Warrior's release date is scheduled for August 4, 2014.

Jay Noel Blog
Official Author Website

In other exciting news, DL Hammons recently announced the return of the contest that everyone's talking about (even though they're not meant to... you know what I mean). WRiTE CLUB has proved hugely popular, and just gets bigger and bigger. This year, I plan on being much more involved than I have been before. Contenders have until 31st May to throw their anonymous 500 word pieces into the ring to face a series of elimination rounds. The judging panel for the final round is comprised of top authors and agents. Great stuff, eh? You can find the full lowdown from DL here.

Looking forward to Jay's new release or any others? Will you be strapping on your gloves for WRiTE CLUB?

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Indie Life

It's the second Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for the Indie Life bloghop, a chance for indie authors to post about indie life, find each other, offer support, encouragement, news, helpful hints, and anything else that makes life as an indie author a little easier.

I posted before that I would like to self-publish the first installment of my trilogy before the end of the year. However, I was inspired to write this post by a commenter (thank you Shah) who advised me that I ought to have the other parts of the series at least drafted out before releasing the first one. In these days of instant gratification, people don't want to hang about too long waiting for the follow-up(s).

Well, of course I hope readers will be enamoured of my story enough to be champing at the bit to read more. But surely building up a bit of healthy anticipation can also be a good thing? I was thinking of leaving perhaps a year between episodes, but is that too long? At the moment, Part One is a fairly quick read at just over 50,000 words. The others may be longer, but I'm not sure at the moment. A long gap might be preferable if they were of Game of Thrones proportions, but perhaps not in the case of shorter books.

It's also in the hands of some lovely betas at the moment - I was going to wait until I heard back from them before starting to draft Part Two, but perhaps that isn't necessary. I already implemented most of the suggestions offered at critique stage, so I'm hoping there won't be too many major changes needed which would then mean adjustments to the follow-up draft. After Shah's advice I feel ready to get on with it. I planned to start this week, but life seems to be chockablock with various other events, so Monday will be the day.

What do you think? Does it matter how long the gap is between books in a series? If you have published a series, did you have the entire thing mapped out before publishing Part One, or did you pants your way through? (I've always been a bit of both - I have plenty of ideas for the rest of the series, but I'm open to change as things progress.)

Make sure to head here to visit the other awesome Indie authors!

Friday, 9 May 2014

Champion in Flight cover reveal

Happy Friday! It's time for the supremely talented Tyrean Martinson to reveal the cover for the next installment of her Champion series. Drum roll...

Congrats, Tyrean! I love the classic fantasy vibe given off by this one.

Champion in Flight Blurb

A year after she won the battle for Septily, Clara feels trapped in Skycliff by the Allied Council. As the last pieces of information about the Healing Caves fall into place, Clara is attacked by an assassin. Covert Drinaii mercenaries and the Council aren’t going to stop Clara from her quest to heal her broken blade. As Champion of Aramatir, she must act.

Meanwhile, in the joint kingdoms of Rrysorria and Wylandria, the youngest and still cursed swan prince despairs of ever being whole again. In a moment of anger and desperation, Liam discovers a blood link between him and a dark sorceress.

Clara won the battle for Septily, but her battle isn’t over.

Champion in Flight is the second book in The Champion Trilogy.

Tyrean Martinson lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest, encouraged by her multi-talented husband and daughters. She likes to write, read, teach, ski, bicycle, and walk.

Using her degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English, Tyrean homeschools her two daughters and teaches writing and literature classes at Harbor Christian Homeschool Co-operative.

Tyrean has been published in e-zines like Every Day Poets, Every Day Fiction and Mindflights, and a few print anthologies like Overcoming Adversity, The Best of Every Day Poets and Sunday Snaps: The Stories. Dragonfold and Other Adventures, and Light Reflections showcase Tyrean’s stories and poetry. She is currently hard at work on the third novel in The Champion Trilogy: Champion’s Destiny.


Tyrean Martinson can be found online at Tyrean's Writing Spot

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

IWSG - A Thank You

Welcome to my first post for the IWSG! I'm not sure why it has taken me two and a half years of blogging before joining the group, but better late than never. And I was shown such kindness by the IWSG and the writing community after what happened last November that it seems like the least I can do.

My first post really has to focus on the incredible people that make up this community. I know it's been said before, but they rock one's socks off! I have been touched by many of the kind and heartfelt comments I have been left, first on my last post in November after the news broke on Facebook, then on my tribute to Andrew and my update on my writing progress. I want to quote some here but then I would want to post them all and it would take too long. It's breathtaking to think that people across the world that I have never actually "met" are holding me and my family in their thoughts, and are concerned about how we are coping.

I really did not think about writing for a long time after Andrew passed away, and everything seemed pointless. I didn't even have any noteworthy ideas. Then gradually it dawned on me that this was not the way Andrew approached life. Other things were going on. My stepdaughter Hannah started college in January to pursue her teaching career, inspired by her brother's forward thinking example. The A-Z Challenge rolled around, and inspired by others' energetic efforts, I set my own challenge of completing the revisions on my WIP by the end of April. I was surprised by the amount of progress I made once I got going.

But without those supportive voices, if none of this existed, I think it would have taken me a lot longer to get going. I would have withdrawn into myself. A virtual pat on the back and some words of kindness actually can work wonders.

I'm going to end with an example of what this fantastic bunch of people can do working together, for those who haven't seen it. We released 50 red balloons up to heaven at Andrew's funeral. I didn't realise there would be balloons flying around the world!

Be sure to check out the other awesome IWSG blogs.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Writing Update

So, here we are in May. Massive congrats to all who took part in the A-Z Challenge. I enjoyed dipping in and out of your posts and there were some great themes - just wish I could have got to more. I set my own Challenge for April, to complete revisions of my 2012 NaNo WIP. I finished on April 29th, which must be the only time I've been early for a deadline in my life - a writing one, anyway!

The book is now in the hands of some lovely beta readers - exciting in itself as I've never actually got a book to beta stage before... I acquired these betas through DL Hammons' W.I.PIt blogfest about a year ago, who actually signed up for a totally different WIP. I was pleased to find that some were still available to help, and I also rediscovered the novella I was writing at the time, which I'd completely forgotten about. So, double thanks to Don for that!

I'm aiming towards a release of my NaNo WIP some time this year, hopefully during the summer. I've been writing novels for seven years, and I've just reached the stage where I feel ready to publish one. I've been hung up on perfection, but that doesn't exist - so, I'm coming to an understanding with that fact! I'm really excited about this story and keen for other people to see it, and during revisions it became apparent that it may be the first part of a trilogy, something I'd never previously considered. So I'll be immersed in this story world for a while yet.

Apart from that, I've been slowly getting back into blogging - I'm already signed up for a blogfest and a couple of cover reveals this month, and I'm also finally joining the IWSG, whose members were massively supportive after we lost Andrew, even compiling a video tribute which was so heartwarming.

What are your plans for the rest of the month or year?