Wednesday, 5 October 2022

IWSG October 2022

Time for another posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Hosted as ever by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the aim of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share doubts and insecurities without fear of being judged. Today's co-hosts are Tonja DreckerVictoria Marie LeesMary Aalgaard, and Sandra Cox


The question for the October post is: What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?

This is a great question! If by "favourite genre", the question means my preferred genre to write, every writer should have an excellent answer because there will be certain elements that draw them to that genre and keep them coming back for more. In my case, I'm attracted to speculative fiction because it gives me the scope to think about things that are unseen and give full rein to my imagination. In my case I like to think about what may be ahead of us so there's a strong sci-fi element. Sometimes these concepts can be alarming but it's all viewed through the eyes of sympathetic, relatable characters. So, perhaps it's a warning, but it's a friendly one. And the good thing about spec fic is you can take a big, bold concept and really get your teeth into it.

Can't wait to read others' answers to this question. To find them, head here!

In other news, I recently wrapped up a first draft of my next book, which I'm excited about. This deals with another big concept as mentioned above. I'm really looking forward to sharing more details about this one.

Thanks to all those who participated in the blog tour for Reckoning and commented on and shared the posts. I had a lot of fun!

Finally, as things continue to ramp up for the release of my trad pub debut, The Becalmer, in August of next year, I'm still looking for three or four people to make up a street team. All you have to do is be willing to receive a few emails from my publisher and to help spread the word about my book in various channels. It'll be a great time! Team members also have access to exclusive treats and goodies. Here's a working 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.

If you're interested, comment below or shoot me an email at mcwilfo (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks much!

Saturday, 1 October 2022

Reckoning Blog Tour Finale

Today I'm wrapping up the blog tour for my new release, Reckoning, at Jennifer Lane's place. It's been a lot of fun and hopefully you've enjoyed following along. Have a great weekend!



Thursday, 29 September 2022

Reckoning Blog Tour Day 7

I'm rolling on to the next stop of the tour for my new release, Reckoning, and today I'm being interviewed by Teresa Coltrin at Journaling Woman. It was a lot of fun, so I hope you'll join me!



Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Reckoning Blog Tour Day 6

 Rolling onto week 2 of the blog tour for my newest release, Reckoning, and today I'm guesting at Annalisa Crawford's blog with an appearance from Hedgeson, a character who seems villainous - or is he? And what are his true motivations?



Saturday, 24 September 2022

Reckoning Blog Tour Day 5

Happy Saturday - it's day 5 of my Reckoning blog tour and today I'm appearing at Jean Davis's blog with a post about when good characters go bad. Check it out!



Friday, 23 September 2022

Reckoning Blog Tour Day 4

Onto day 4 of the blog tour for my new release, Reckoning and today I'm guesting at Melissa Maygrove's place with an exciting excerpt! Check it out.



Thursday, 22 September 2022

Reckoning Blog Tour Day 3

Onto day 3 of the blog tour for my new release, Reckoning, and today I'm talking genre mashing over at Diane Burton's place. Hope you can join me!



Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Reckoning Blog Tour Day 2

It's day 2 of the blog tour for my new release Reckoning, and today I'm guesting at Victoria Marie Lees' blog with some thoughts about wrapping up a series. Hope to see you there!



Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Reckoning Release Day

It's an exciting day today as the final part of my Black & White trilogy, Reckoning, makes its way into the world! It's been fun to get the series wrapped up and I hope it makes a satisfying conclusion for readers.


Title: Reckoning

Author: Nick Wilford

Genre: YA dystopian

Series: Black & White

Series #: 3 of 3

Release date: 20th September 2022

Publisher: Superstar Peanut Publishing 

Blurb:

The time has come for those who perpetrated wrongdoing and suffering on the land of Loretania to face their judgement. Lord Histender and the other members of the deposed Reformers’ Government are in jail awaiting trial for keeping that country in a state of disease-ridden deprivation, alongside other heinous crimes.

Wellesbury Noon and Ezmerelda Dontible, the kind and benevolent new rulers of Harmonia, are looking forward to seeing justice finally being done. But nothing is that simple. Lunkin, the psychotic former Chief Scientist, has one more trick up his sleeve and is wreaking havoc even from behind bars. Soon, Loretanians who have come to make a new life in Harmonia are falling victim to hate crimes and brutal attacks. And things take a turn for the desperate when Wellesbury himself becomes compromised.

Can Welles and Ez turn the tide of public opinion and secure justice for the people of Loretania before it’s too late?

Purchase Links:

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Smashwords / Barnes & Noble / Kobo 

Add it on Goodreads

Don't forget you can always download the first part of the trilogy for free: Amazon US / Amazon UK

I'm also kicking off a blog tour that will run until October 1, so I hope you can follow along! Today, I'm being interviewed by the folks over at Nightbeats - check it out here.

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

IWSG September 2022

Time for another posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Hosted as ever by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the aim of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share doubts and insecurities without fear of being judged. Today's co-hosts are Kim LajevardiCathrina ConstantineNatalie AguirreOlga GodimMichelle Wallace and Louise - Fundy Blue!


First, exciting news as the blog tour for Reckoning, the last installment in my Black & White trilogy, kicks off in less than two weeks, on its release date of 19th September. This is going to be a lot of fun!

Let's turn to this month's IWSG question: What genre would be the worst one for you to tackle and why?

My initial instinct for answering this was romance, but having thought about it, I definitely couldn't write a nonfiction book. Too much research involved and I would get bogged down with trying to keep my sources straight. Although I studied journalism, I've moved away from that style of writing and enjoy the freedom to invent whatever I like!

Interested in reading others' answers to this question? Find them here.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

IWSG August 2022

Another month and time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Hosted as ever by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the aim of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share doubts and insecurities without fear of being judged. Today's co-hosts are Tara TylerLisa Buie CollardLoni Townsend and Lee Lowery.


This month's optional IWSG question is: When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

This question is really interesting to me because it implies that readers do not want originality, or is that just my take on it? In any case, I don't think that's strictly true. I think many readers are tired of the same old tropes that come up in various genres and want to go on a journey of discovery with the reader. At the same time, I'm sure there are readers who return to the same authors time and time again because they know exactly what they're going to get. That might be true for a James Patterson or a Danielle Steel. These are author brands that are highly lucrative. While there's a lot to be said for having an author brand and image, and I'm not saying that's not important, I think the story has to come first before the author. It's why I don't want to have everything mapped out in advance and just follow where the story takes me. I truly believe that each story should be unique with its own demands and rules - its own personality in a way. I'm the type of writer who likes to start out with a concept, a "what if" - something that doesn't feel like it's been done before. The characters who will tell that story tend to come along later. That might be right or wrong, but the readers who buy into a formula and don't want to be surprised - well, maybe they're not my type of readers.

I'm intrigued to read other responses! You can find them here.

Before I go, I have a teeny favour to ask. I still have a few spots open on my Reckoning blog tour from 19th September to 1st October. If you're available for hosting on the 24th September, 28th-30th September, or 1st October, go here to sign up. Thanks hugely!

Friday, 15 July 2022

Reckoning Cover Reveal

Happy Friday! Today I'm proud to unveil the cover for Reckoning, the final book in my Black & White trilogy. Drum roll...


Reckoning (Black & White #3)

Release Date: 19th September 2022

Cover design: germancreative

Blurb: 

The time has come for those who perpetrated wrongdoing and suffering on the land of Loretania to face their judgement. Lord Histender and the other members of the deposed Reformers’ Government are in jail awaiting trial for keeping that country in a state of disease-ridden deprivation, alongside other heinous crimes.

 

Wellesbury Noon and Ezmerelda Dontible, the kind and benevolent new rulers of Harmonia, are looking forward to seeing justice finally being done. But nothing is that simple. Lunkin, the psychotic former Chief Scientist, has one more trick up his sleeve and is wreaking havoc even from behind bars. Soon, Loretanians who have come to make a new life in Harmonia are falling victim to hate crimes and brutal attacks. And things take a turn for the desperate when Wellesbury himself becomes compromised.

 

Can Welles and Ez turn the tide of public opinion and secure justice for the people of Loretania before it’s too late?


Pre-order links: Amazon US / Amazon UK / Smashwords / Kobo / Apple Books

Add it to Goodreads

You can also download the first part of the trilogy, Black & White, for free here, while part two, Corruption, can be found here.

Wednesday, 6 July 2022

IWSG July 2022

Another month and time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Hosted as ever by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the aim of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share doubts and insecurities without fear of being judged. Today's co-hosts are J Lenni DornerJanet AlcornPJ ColandoJenni Enzor and Diane Burton.

Let's have a look at this month's optional IWSG question: If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?

This has to be an easy one for me - Terry Pratchett's Discworld (although I'd maybe like to just visit rather than live there because it can be brutal at times). I'd be like the tourist Twoflower who travels around with a luggage chest on legs that can present clean linen when needed and turn into a vicious killing machine with teeth when there's danger. There's so much to see - from the great city of Ankh-Morpork, which has a lot of insalubrious areas and a river so polluted you could bounce off it but also has sights like an opera house, the Patrician's Palace and a wizards' university - to Djelibeybi with its pyramids, Uberwald with its lush Alpine landscape (just watch out for vampires, werewolves and Igors), the mysterious continent of Klatch and even the fabled land of Fourecks (known for kangaroos and boomerangs). So many interesting people to meet too, from the inscrutable witch Granny Weatherwax to versatile street trader/conman Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler and of course the Librarian ("Oook!"). 

Interested to hear what other people answer for this one. You can check out other IWSG posts here.

Before I go I have a few mini-announcements to make:

My debut traditionally published novel, The Becalmer, set for release in August 2023, has been added to Goodreads. You can find it here. As has the finale of my YA trilogy, Reckoning, coming September this year, which is here.

I'm still looking for a few members to make up a street team to spread the word about The Becalmer. You can find details about that here. Alternatively, let me know if you'd like to help by reading an ARC.

Finally, I have a few spots still available for my blog tour for Reckoning, which runs 19th September to 1st October. Details for that are here.

Phew, that's a lot! Don't, by any means, feel obliged to do all of it. Any bit of help you can offer is humbly received.

I'm away this week for a lovely holiday on the coast of Scotland, so I'll get round to visit you after Friday. Hope my American friends had a great holiday weekend.

Monday, 27 June 2022

Street Team for The Becalmer - Help Needed!

As we head into another week, I have another exciting announcement to make. I'm looking for five to ten people to form a street team to help generate some buzz about my upcoming traditionally published debut, The Becalmer. You would need to:

  • Be excited to read The Becalmer
  • Be willing to help spread the word - you'll receive emails from me or my publisher with marketing materials for social media posts
  • Generally get out there and talk about the book, why you're excited about it etc.
My book isn't out until August 2023, but it's never too early to start making ripples in the pond! I'm also looking for ARC readers willing to post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I'll have a few perks for my street team members such as sneak peeks and other goodies. Here's a working blurb for the book. I made a mood board, too, which is a first for me - I'm pleased with how it turned out.

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. 


If you're interested, let me know in the comments or shoot me an email at mcwilfo (at) gmail (dot) com. Have a great week!

Monday, 20 June 2022

Reckoning Release Date Announcement

Hope everyone's doing well as we head into another week. I'm kicking mine off with some exciting news - I've completed the final part of my Black & White trilogy, entitled Reckoning, with a release date set for 19th September. This follows the first two parts, Black & White and Corruption. It's been a while coming, so it will be great to get the series wrapped up at last! As the title implies, this book sees judgment coming against those who have committed wrongdoing - but of course things don't go quite that smoothly.

It would be amazing if you could help me out once again by spreading the word via a blog tour. I've pencilled in dates from 19th September to 1st October, and I'll be sending out ARCs too. Don't worry if you haven't read the first two parts, it's quite easy to pick up on the action. There's a cover reveal for 15th July, so let me know on the Google form if you'd like to help out with that.


You can also add Reckoning on Goodreads. As always, any assistance you can offer is profoundly and deeply appreciated. I'm really looking forward to getting this conclusion to my story out in the world.

Wednesday, 1 June 2022

IWSG June 2022

Another month and time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Hosted as ever by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the aim of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share doubts and insecurities without fear of being judged. Today's co-hosts are SE WhiteCathrina ConstantineNatalie AguirreJoylene Nowell Butler and Jacqui Murray.


Let's have a look at this month's optional question: When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

This is a great question for where I'm at. I estimate I'm about a third through a first draft or not far off that, and I'm at that crunch point where things could become severely difficult for my protagonist or I could give them an easier ride. Of course I always gravitate towards the former, otherwise there wouldn't be much grip to the story, but I know it's going to be gutwrenching and emotional. Being a plotter/pantser hybrid, I also probably need to make a pitstop around now to nail down some nuts and bolts to the story and how this world works. It would be better to have that all worked out in advance, but I actually need to spend some time in a location to get a feel for what's going on. It feels like I've got a lot of ideas swirling around, which I'll have to iron out and make sense of on the second draft - basically I'm throwing a lot of stuff at the wall and I need to see what sticks!

So to answer the question - or the first question - what keeps me going is the need to see my characters through whatever trials I'm putting them through and get some sort of conclusion. I don't want to leave them hanging once I've taken that initial step! Also, I told my publisher I'd have a draft to send by the end of the year. Outside accountability definitely helps.

I'm interested to read other answers to this question, especially from those trying to get started. Check out those answers here.

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

Patreon

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.