Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Starting Afresh

How's everyone going? I thought I'd drop in as part of my effort to get back to more regular blogging. For a while I've only been posting monthly for IWSG, which I really enjoy, and I miss posting more frequently. I've been fairly inactive in terms of writing for a while - editing, that's another story, as I wrangle with the knots and plotholes of my trilogy. Book 2 is finally on the way, with more news on that to follow. But today I'm infused with the joy of starting something new. It's unfamiliar territory for me - first person, female protagonist - but this character's been nagging at me for a while, in a quietly insistent way, wanting her story to be heard. So finally, I capitulated. Only just started, but it's fun. I'm finding that first person allows me to explore that character's inner life and world in much more depth. It's good to push the boat out and try something different. Not counting sequels, this is the first time I've started work on a new full-length story for over four years, and it's refreshing to go back to a completely clean slate.

In other news, inevitably we're starting to gear up for the festive period with all the planning that entails, and we're also putting our house in order so it's nice for Christmas - painting, tiling, decorating. Got a pretty busy time coming up, but it's all good stuff.

Well, that's it for now. What are you up to? Already planning for the festive season? What are your thoughts on writing in first person?

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

IWSG November 2018

Time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, headed as ever by the mercurial Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a safe space where we can share our writing insecurities and fears among like-minded peers. Why not join if you haven't yet?

The co-hosts for the November 2018 meeting are Ellen @ The Cynical SailorAnn V. FriendJQ Rose and Elizabeth Seckman.

I could post about being insecure over putting back my current publication plans to next year, but the truth is, I've long since learned to roll with the punches that life can throw at us. In this case, the incident was my fault, so I can't get cut up anyway, and if you saw my post last month, I'd like to reassure you that my furry friend is back to his old self again, albeit with a truncated tail. So let's turn our attention to the more positive matter of this month's IWSG question, which is a lovely one actually: "How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?"

This is an interesting one because I haven't really taken up any other creative hobbies, although recently, some lines of poetry popped into my head and I felt moved to write them down. Not anything that I intended to do, but it was during a period of inactivity with writing, so maybe there's something in the idea that creativity always wants to work its way out in one form or another. As for the quality, that's another matter; I tend to think anything I do in that area is terrible (I once tried to write songs, which featured some truly shocking lyrics), but who knows, I might try to do more and see where it goes, even if no one else sees them.

In IWSG news, the next Twitter pitch event is in January. Another exciting opportunity to get noticed by editors and agents. Don't miss it!

And for our new partnership with WEP (Write Edit Publish), we're hosting a competition to decide the theme for the February contest. 

Rules: Submit your idea for a WEP February theme by November 12 to admin AT Nothing too U.S. culturally bound. Should have wide appeal.

Prize: Feature in the December newsletter for the winner. And, of course, the winning theme will be the official February WEP theme!

Deadline: November 12. Winner announced in the November newsletter on November 28. 

What do you think of this month's question? Are you taking part in IWSG? Interested in the Twitter pitch or WEP? Find the full list of participants here.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Bowing out of IWSG for October 2018

This is just a quick note to say that I'll have to unfortunately bow out of this month's IWSG. One of our five dogs unfortunately had an accident where his tail was slammed in a door; he's had to have two operations and now has only a stump of tail left due to the wound not healing. He's actually at the vet now and we're waiting to see whether he'll need a further operation, though it's hard to see what else they can take away. Needless to say he's in a great deal of pain and he needs a lot of reassurance at the best of times, so we're basically providing round-the-clock care - when I'm not actually working at my day job, that's what I'm doing, leaving no time for anything else.

I've disabled comments on this post because, while we're hoping things will improve this week, that's far from certain and I don't like being unable to return comments.

I hope everyone has a great day and, all being well, I'll be back next month!

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

IWSG September 2018 and Submissions Open for Next Anthology

It's September - wow, how did that happen? - and as it's the first Wednesday of the month, that naturally means it is time for the group posting of the wonderful Insecure Writer's Support Group. Headed up by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the group meets once a month to offload writerly worries in a safe, non-judgmental space. This month's co-hosts are Toi ThomasT. Powell Coltrin, M.J. Fifield and Tara Tyler.

Before we get to this month's post, a very exciting announcement as submissions are officially open for the next IWSG anthology!

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.

This is a fantastic opportunity for all writers to appear in a prestigious publication. Will you be entering?

Now let's turn to this month's IWSG question which is What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

Well, this does tie into my insecurity this month as it will soon be time to self-publish the second book in my series, which does take a somewhat darker turn in some places, and I hope readers will go with me on that. It's something I've been thinking about a lot - I'm considering pursuing some form of traditional publication on my next project, but does that allow one to take the kind of risks that are possible with self-publishing? It comes down to the individual publishing house, I suppose. The traditional route is something I have always wanted to experience, and being a hybrid author does come with own its freedom as you pick and choose what is most suitable for each project. Perhaps I would benefit from greater editorial input and intervention too - it remains to be seen if the freedom afforded by self-publishing means I'll be flying too close to the sun with this next book and will end by crashing and burning.

Ultimately, I would hope to work with a company that offers full support to the author's vision while flagging where something might not seem quite right. Perhaps one of the smaller publishing houses?

What about you? Where are you on your publication path? Will you be seeking publication in the next IWSG anthology?

Friday, 31 August 2018

Hear What You Want by Kyra Lennon out now!

One of my oldest author friends released a new book this week, and I was lucky enough to receive an ARC. I can wholeheartedly recommend this book - in the past, Kyra Lennon has been known for sweet romances that I have thoroughly enjoyed, even though that is not my first genre of choice. The key is that her characters are always completely relatable, and that carries on into this new offering which takes a turn into some darker territory, doing so in a way that is skilful and keeps you guessing.

Title: Hear What You Want (Chaos and Consent Book 1)
Author: Kyra Lennon
Blurb: Ambra
Things I wanted:
A great night out, and to meet my favourite band.

Things I didn’t want:
To wake up the next morning with my underwear beside me on the floor and a large chunk missing from my memory.

Guess which one I got.

Things I wanted:
To meet a pretty girl at my band's gig and have some fun.

Things I didn’t want:
To find a photo of me and the pretty girl on social media with people questioning whether or not I raped her.

But here we are. And that one photo?

It changed everything.

**This book contains sensitive topics that some may find upsetting.**

My review:

One of the best novels I've read in a long time. I think its greatest quality is that it deals with very hard-hitting, challenging issues in a style that is very accessible - we get alternating viewpoints from both main characters and I felt a great deal of sympathy for both of them, including Noah, who we have to believe is behind the attack that underpins the plot - now that's no mean feat. The problem is that neither of them are sure whether an attack took place, and while they're trying to piece it together, they're facing a backlash that could threaten both of their futures.

This very timely novel is a sobering warning about the pitfalls of social media - which as well as being a force for good, can all too often become a vehicle for a mob mentality in which people jump on the bandwagon to vilify someone with no worries about the consequences. In the days following the night that changes her life, this has almost as devastating an effect on Ambra's life as the incident itself. I won't give away any spoilers, but let's just say the nature of trust also comes under the microscope here as something that is increasingly fragile in the digital age.

Lennon throws in a good couple of twists towards the end - I hadn't actually realised this was the first in a series, so now I'm eagerly awaiting part 2 to see where she takes us next.

My only quibble with this book - which was very minor, and might not bother someone else - was the Americanisms that pop up throughout (eg "apartment", "asshole", "most everyone"). British people don't speak like that - I even share the same hometown as Ambra, Brighton on England's south coast, so I would have preferred a more authentically British feel. It jarred me out of the story slightly at times, but didn't spoil my overall enjoyment.

That aside, this was an engrossing read that kept me turning pages, and is the best I've read from an author who has consistently produced excellent books. Highly recommended!

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