Friday, 13 May 2022

A Quick Death release week

I'm trying to make this Friday 13th a good one by sharing the release of Patricia Josephine's new book A Quick Death, which looks like a fantastic collection of short fiction. Over to Patricia...

Death
Murder
The Afterlife

These things fascinate our imagination. Delve into a collection of tales that explore death and murder. Each story is told in exactly 200 words and designed to give you a quick thrill no matter how busy your day is.

ARE YOU PREPARED FOR THE END?

Guest Post: The Fun of Short Fiction

A Quick Death is my third collection of 200 word flash fiction. I have two more collections in the works. It’s something I find myself coming back to again and again. I love writing it. I love reading it. They’re fun bite-sized stories that you can consume like candy. (The perk being that the stories won’t add to your waistline.)

The thing I really enjoy about shorter fiction is it allows me to read an entire story in one sitting. I am notorious for reading a book in one go. I’ve missed appointments because of the fact. There’s also a certain amount of emotion that a full length novel requires. At least for me. There’s a roller coaster ride you go on with a novel. You can go through so many emotions. You get attached to the characters. You cry when the author kills your fav. (WHYYYYYYY?????) I enjoy novels, but my energy reserves aren’t always full enough.

That’s where short fiction comes in. Where novels are roller coasters, short fiction are more like a kiddie rides at the park. They take you for a safer ride and you get off and say, “That was fun.” But your legs won’t be left shaking from the adrenaline. They don’t drain me as much as a novel does. That’s important since reading is a vital author task. (Yes, it totally is! Don’t argue with me.)

If you’re ever feeling a little worn out but still want to get some reading in, check out some short fiction. There’s a ton out there and, while they may not take you on a roller coaster ride, they can still make you say, “Wow.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THE FINE PRINT: Giveaway is US only. (Sorry, but the packages I've sent international have vanished in transit.) Entries only valid for new subscribers and followers. Contest ends May 18th.

Buy Links

Amazon

Universal Link

Goodreads

About the Author

Patricia Josephine is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college. Her dreams were of becoming an artist like Picasso. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head for fun. That was the start of her writing journey, and she hasn't regretted a moment. When she's not writing, she's watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She's an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes Young Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy 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

Website

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Facebook

Newsletter

Patricia Josephine:

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

Patricia Lynne:

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

IWSG May 2022

It's the first Wednesday of the month and of course that means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. The aim of the group is to offer a safe space, free of judgement, to share fears and insecurities about writing. Join us if you haven't already! Today's co-hosts are Kim ElliottMelissa MaygroveChemist KenLee Lowery and Nancy Gideon.


This month I've got an aim to finish up the edits on my trilogy finale by the end of May. It'll be exciting to get it done but also bittersweet to leave that world behind - I'll also be looking towards blog tours, cover reveals, reviews and so on, so I guess getting organised is my insecurity this month!

Let's have a look at this month's optional question: It's the best of times; it's the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the crappy times)?

Wow, quite a question. Something tells me we'll see some very emotional answers today. My answer would probably be pretty simple. My highs are when the writing is flowing and I feel like I'm fizzing with ideas that I can't get out fast enough, and my lows are when grinding a sentence out feels like getting blood out of a stone. I think regardless of promotion, sales, visibility and any other markers of success, my impetus comes from how well I'm getting on with the writing itself. Interested to read other responses!

You can check out those answers from other participants here

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

IWSG April 2022

Time once again for our monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Hosted, as ever, by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the aim of the group is to offer a place to share fears and insecurities about writing without being judged. Join us if you haven't already. Today's excellent co-hosts are Joylene Nowell ButlerJemima PettPatricia JosephineLouise - Fundy Blue and Kim Lajevardi.


Today's optional question is: Have any of your books been made into audio books? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?

I haven't had any audiobooks made yet, but I'm intrigued to hear answers to this question. I announced a couple of weeks ago that I'd signed a contract with a publisher for my novel The Becalmer to be released August next year. As part of that contract, I'll get an audiobook produced if I sell 1000 copies. Hopefully I get there; I'm really excited about this prospect, and although I don't really have a history of using audiobooks, I'm very interested in hearing about anyone else's experiences of producing them.

Meanwhile, I'm continuing with a first draft for my next novel, which will be another standalone (so far, anyway). Progress had been erratic, but I've now visualized a possible ending and some other key plot points by putting thoughts down on paper (literally). It's funny how that can engender a different thought process; it feels refreshing and honest, somehow. I know some people write entire first drafts longhand, but that would be taking it too far for me. What's your relationship with hand writing? Does it help your process?

I'm also still going over notes from my excellent CPs on the last part of my trilogy, which I definitely want to release this year (looking at September), ahead of my trad pub debut. It's been a few years since the second part, so I'm gearing up for a busy couple of years and exploring all the marketing options that go alongside launches. My aim is not to have three-year gaps again; I want to release at least a book a year going forward, so that's the challenge I'm setting myself.

To read more IWSG entries, don't forget to check out the sign-up list here!

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Big News!

I've been sitting on this news for a few days, but I'm overjoyed to be able to announce that I have fulfilled an ambition I've held for fifteen years and will become a traditionally published author when my YA sci-fi novel The Becalmer is published by Creative James Media in August 2023!

I'm still processing the news really - I feel like my submissions process has been a whirlwind, as I only started querying in November last year. I'm aware that to get an acceptance after a few short months is the exception, not the norm, so I feel blessed. I gathered many rejections, including some very helpful and encouraging ones. One of those helped me strengthen my story by completely excising the first two chapters, which I'm sure played a part in its acceptance. When I queried Jean Lowd at CJM, I was stunned that she came back with a request for a full the very same day. A few weeks later, I attended a Zoom interview to discuss my book, and the next day, I signed a contract. Suffice to say that this is still sinking in!

This is my lockdown project - I started writing it in January 2020 and finished up editing in autumn 2021. Although it doesn't have to do with the pandemic, I'll always associate it with those couple of years and I'm glad that at least something good has come out of them. My MC holds a special place in my heart - she's determined, surprising and resourceful, and I'm overjoyed that she will now make her way out into the world. Here's a short blurb:

Gifted with the ability to defuse conflicts with her mind, Harica is headhunted to resolve a war via an arranged marriage, unaware that the reluctant would-be bride—the entitled Princess Jasmila—has similar powers. But the princess doesn’t use them for good, and she fights back, sending Harica into a coma through which she finds a mysterious liminal space populated by others who share her gift, both living and dead. She learns to do things she never thought possible, but when things get out of control, she almost swears off her gift forever—until events dictate that she must come to terms with the dark side of her gift and take ownership of it.

I'll provide more details in the coming months. This year, I'm also planning to release Reckoning, the concluding part in my YA trilogy, so it's a busy old time. Looking forward to the ride!

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

IWSG March 2022

In a fractured and volatile world, one thing we can rely on is the first Wednesday of the month being the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Hosted, as ever, by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the aim of the group is to offer a place to share fears and insecurities about writing without being judged. Join us if you haven't already. Today's excellent co-hosts are Janet AlcornPat GarciaNatalie Aguirre and Shannon Lawrence!


Today's optional IWSG question is: Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?

This is a pretty interesting question because I'm not afraid to take on difficult topics if it's what the story demands. I always think that whatever goes in has to serve the story rather than just being there for the sake of it, but that doesn't mean I don't worry about the possible reaction. Taking my recent WIP as an example, I had written a scene featuring an attempted sexual assault on my protagonist. Note "attempted"; the incident doesn't actually take place because my character deflects it by going inside the attacker's mind, which serves as character development because it's an aspect of her power she hasn't realised yet. However, when I sent the book to critique partners, I left out that part with a note that it was to be rewritten. This raised questions based on later references to the incident, and after a few discussions I ran the scene past them. They suggested that, with a few tweaks, it could be incorporated as an important part of the story. It was absolutely the right thing to do.

My reticence stemmed from a previous response from a CP for my dystopian series, who stopped reading after a rape scene. In hindsight, that was unnecessarily graphic, and I rewrote so this was only alluded to off the page, but in that case, it was also a necessary part of the story because it showed the controlling actions taken by a corrupt antagonist - but it was only one part of those actions. 

I have also written death and murder scenes, and these books are YA, but I believe it's important not to sugarcoat things for a younger audience or pretend that certain things don't exist. If it's handled sensitively, it can be a key part of fortifying, moulding and making a character.

If you're interested to hear others' answers to this question - I know I am! - you can find many more entrants to the IWSG here.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

IWSG February 2022

Rolling into February and it's time once again for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, the monthly event where we get to share fears and insecurities in a judgement-free zone. Hosted as always by Alex J. Cavanaugh, today's co-hosts are Joylene Nowell ButlerJacqui MurraySandra Cox and Lee Lowery.

This month's optional IWSG question is: Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn't around anymore? Anyone you miss?

Ahh, this could get emotional, so I'll keep it brief. I have two nominees. One is my stepson Andrew, who many of you will remember. He had an infectious enthusiasm for life and a fearless willingness to take on anything, despite the challenges he faced, and I try to keep that spirit with me at all times. Many members of this group kindly contributed to the anthology of stories I published as part of the drive to send Andrew to a specialist college - perhaps you were among them.


My second nominee is the late great Terry Pratchett, an incalculable influence on my own writing. I started reading his work at the age of eight and never looked back! Pratchett's strength lay in reflecting the full gamut of human experience and emotions, even when the characters weren't human and lived on another world. All delivered with a mischievous twinkle in the eye. He was also a master of the mash-up, breaking boundaries and combining genres such as sci-fi, fantasy, thriller and mythology. I could go on and on, but I'll finish by encouraging you to pick up one or two of his books. There are dozens to choose from, and you can't go wrong.

So what else is happening? I'm continuing to query, and trying to send submissions to a few more agents and publishers each week. I've hit 10,000 words on my new WIP, which feels like it's starting to get into its stride now, and I'll shortly start prepping the final part of my trilogy for release. So plenty to keep me going.

I'll finish on a musical recommendation, which I don't often give, but this week I've been really enjoying Cult Leader Tactics, the new album by Paul Draper (former frontman of Mansun, who were another big influence on me, just in terms of creativity). Any fan of 80s electropop with a modern twist should love this album. It's packed with his trademark dry wit and tongue-in-cheek humour, but the song in the video strikes a more emotive note, with a powerful chorus about being unable to reach someone during lockdown. It feature Steven Wilson (the guy in the little handheld device), a name that prog rock fans might know. Check it out!


And of course, don't forget to check out the other IWSG entrants here!

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

IWSG January 2022

Welcome to the first posting of 2022 for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! I hope everyone's had a restful and healthy holiday season and is in a good place for a great year of writing. If anyone is new to the group, its purpose is to offer a safe space where writers can share doubts and insecurities without fear of being judged. Hosted as ever by Alex J. Cavanaugh, this month's co-hosts are Erika BeebeOlga GodimSandra CoxSarah Foster and Chemist Ken.


Christmas and New Year were pretty relaxed here at Wilford Towers and weren't marked by adverse illness, which I'm thankful for. I do go into 2022 with several queries outstanding on my standalone YA sci-fi novel, but I'd rather see these as opportunities than insecurities. I've managed to garner some valuable feedback to hopefully strengthen my query and will be revising and sending out more this month. 

Meanwhile, I'm starting the process of getting the final part of my dystopian trilogy readied for publication, which includes sending it out to beta readers. The bulk of this book was written by the end of 2019, but I struggled with the ending for a while, even having to rewrite it after a data loss. 2019 was also when the second part of the series was published, so I'm wary of the gap extending for too long. I did also fight shy of releasing during the pandemic, but such concerns seem increasingly meaningless. In fact I think we need the escape of a good story more than ever.

Finally, I'm continuing with a new WIP I started towards the end of last year, which I've enjoyed dabbling with over the festive period. This one is set in the near future, centres on trans characters and features a heavy sci-fi twist on the process of transitioning. It ventures into unknown territory for me and I'm enjoying the research and writing so far. 

Let's have a look at this month's optional IWSG question.

What's the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?

I'd rather not focus on regrets at the start of a new year. The only thing I would say I'd regret was I didn't start taking writing seriously earlier. I started writing my first book at 26 - I'd had a few false starts before that but nothing went anywhere, which was probably out of doubt that I could actually do it. At some point you have to push through that doubt and just keep going. Like most people's first attempts, that book didn't come to much but it gives you the confidence to do another, and then another... in fact this year it'll be 15 years since I started down this road, which is strange to think about. I might do something to celebrate!

In the meantime let's look ahead to a very exciting annual event which is coming around the corner fast. 


The next #IWSGPit will be in January 26, 2022,
8:00 am - 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time


Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On January 26, 2022, Tweet your pitch. 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.

See full rules here - and don't forget to check out the full list of IWSG participants here.