Moving On Up

I haven’t had a lot of time to update this blog recently. It’s served me well over a number of years, but the simple truth is that I haven’t been able to give it the attention it deserves. I’m hoping, in the future, I’ll be able to change that, but for now it’s on hiatus.

Having said that, I’m still active in many places online. You can follow the links at the top of the sidebar to find me on various social media outlets, including Instagram and Youtube, where I can most often be found. The latter, in particular, replicates some of what I once blogged about, with videos chatting about my latest reads and writing progress. I hope you’ll join me there!

Joining the 21st Century

It feels almost archaic, somehow, to talk about joining Facebook in a world that seems to have so comprehensively moved on to Twitter and Instagram and whatever else the flavour of the month social media is (probably not Twitter and Instagram any more, to be honest!). However, after being on Facebook for years in a personal capacity, I’ve only recently embraced the site as a means of sharing book and writing news.

As a result, I’ve now got a new, official Facebook Page, where I’ll be posting writing updates, cover reveals, tidbits of story and anything else that takes my fancy. You can find it HERE.

Remember, all the very latest news and details of offers, contests and the like are in my monthly newsletter, but if you want a quick and easy way to keep up with my fiction, and you’re already on Facebook, now you can find me there as well!

Here Comes Spring…

…and a whole load of new fiction! (More on that in a sec.)

Spring is one of my favourite times of year. It’s also, these days, one of my busiest, as we’ve got guests to take care of, gardening to do, and – for the first time this year – a field full of new lambs! All that explains why I’ve been rather remiss in posting here, but fear not! I’ve still been writing, and I’ve got two new ebooks arriving within the next month.

The first, after its stint as serial fiction on Wattpad, is Servants of the Nexus. This will be appearing as a free ebook on Kobo, Kindle and whatever other sites I can wrangle within the next week. I’m also hard at work writing the sequel, so now’s a great time to jump into the adventure!

After that, I’ll be putting the finishing touches to ‘The Sky Below’, my pirates, floating cities and airships steampunk fantasy, the first in the Flight of the Lady Firene series. The series page will be going up very soon, and keep an eye on the blog for the cover reveal – which just so happens to be my favourite cover yet!

Finally, I’ve got another review or two coming very soon, as whilst I have been busy lately, I always keep a book (or two, or three) to hand!

Newsletter Time!

I feel a bit like every post I make here recently is announcing some big new change, or even a new book. Today, I wanted to mention one of the key reasons I decided to make the switch from just a blog to a full-scale website: the newsletter.

I’ve found myself increasingly enamoured with the newsletters of other writers in recent weeks. It’s a long time since I’ve kept up with any writing blogs, and everything on Twitter moves so fast. A weekly or monthly newsletter, then, is the perfect way to find out about the new releases and miscellaneous news of my favourite authors, and that’s exactly why I’ve set up my own.

If you’re a blog reader, then, and you want to keep up-to-date with my latest news – as well as get fiction excerpts, ebook discounts and cover reveals before anyone else – you can join my newsletter HERE. Whilst I tend to blog about writing, the newsletter will almost exclusively be about my fiction (with possibly the occasional pet picture or recipe thrown in!). I’ll be sending them out roughly once a month – now I’ve just got to go out and do things to fill them with!

A Few Blogging Changes

November is always a busy month for me, blog-wise, and also a time when my posts here focus exclusively on writing and NaNoWriMo. This year was just the same, but several times I found myself fancying writing about something different. November wasn’t really the time, I reasoned – and I barely had the time, either – but now NaNoWriMo is over, I’ll be shuffling a few things around.

First of all: I will still be blogging about writing. My ‘Writing Life’ posts tend to reflect where I currently am in my writing projects, and I enjoy creating them both to clear my head and share what I’ve been up to. However, I feel I’ve been very remiss in blogging about books recently, and I want to change that. I’m planning a new series of ‘Epic Reads’, where I review/discuss some of the longer works I’ve recently read (mostly because it’ll give me a fresh incentive to dive into some fantasy series and to read some of the weightier tomes I have cluttering up my bookshelf!).

That’s books and writing – what else? I actually don’t have any firm plans, other than that I’d like to post more photos, more gaming stuff, and perhaps a few reviews of miscellaneous tech items (I do love my gadgets, after all). I am, of course, still posting to my joint game review site, but you can expect to see more casual updates here as well.

This is not a New Year’s Resolution, exactly – I don’t tend to make those – but I’ve been blogging here for several years now and it feels like time for a change. Here’s to many more years to come!

When I’m Not Writing, Part the Second

A few months ago (more than I care to count, actually), I posted here about what I was up to when I wasn’t writing. It’s fair to say that, over the last two weeks especially, ‘not-writing’ has taken up far too much of my time, and will probably continue to do so for another week at least. This is bad news, obviously, but there’s always a silver lining, and today’s is HERE.

If you follow that link – and I hope you will – you can read all about the guest house my partner and I have just opened, here in the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside. There are even pictures! Of sheep! (Okay, the sheep pictures may be placeholders until web designer a.k.a. boyfriend finds something more suitable, but they’re rather cute anyway.)

All joking aside, getting this business venture off the ground has taken nearly a year, now. It’s been draining, utterly exhausting, and there have been times when I wished I’d just stayed in the city and worked for peanuts for the rest of my life (I really enjoyed my last job, and the people I worked with were truly fabulous, but it’s fair to say that the pay was… mediocre). However, making any kind of big change is always tough, and I’m glad we did it for the much-improved lifestyle it’s given us – although the prospect of actually opening our doors to guests is both imminent and terrifying!

When will my writing be back on track? Er… Still working on that one. The really difficult renovation work is behind us, but running a business of any kind is stressful, and that doesn’t always incline me to write. However, I’m hoping for a little more time over the coming weeks, which will be a blessed relief and should allow me to get a few more words down, both here and in my WIP.

I’m also hoping for a chance to get my next ebook up on Amazon, so keep an eye out for that. ‘Star of the Everlasting’ is on its way!

Join me on Goodreads!

In my quest to keep my active internet profiles to a minimum, I’ve been resisting the urge to sign up to new sites in recent months. However, it’s impossible to ignore how vibrant and influential the Goodreads community can be and readers and writers alike, and with Sanguine now available to buy, I thought it was about time I joined (I had a member profile years ago which I never used, and from which I occasionally get emails telling me I’ve been reading the same book for 1000+ days…).

As a result, you can now find my Goodreads author profile here. I’ve been updating my bio and publishing details, adding links and pictures, and generally getting my house in order. If you’re both a reader of this blog and a member of Goodreads, I’d love to see you over there, too! Add me as a friend, have a look at my book page (one so far, but more to come very soon!) or just have a nosy at what I’m currently reading.

Tidying Up The Site

It’s been a busy week of working on the house for me, but when I get a few minutes at my computer, I’ve been tidying up this site. The blogroll, meagre though it was, hadn’t been updated in years and was made up of blog and podcast sites I sadly haven’t had time to visit in a similar length of time. (They may still be as excellent as I remember, but I’m reluctant to refer readers there when I can’t guarantee that.) I’m going to keep it simple, for now: a handful of links to my remaining active profiles on other sites (many of those had fallen into disuse, too), and to my graphic designer.

I’m also working on creating a Goodreads author profile and getting Sanguine uploaded onto as many sites as possible – Kobo is in the works, and I’ll look at Smashwords next. Partly, this has been spurred by the recent Amazon/Hachette debacle, which reminds me I don’t want to be completely reliant on the Kindle for selling my self-published books; this was something I’d been planning anyway, though, as I want my work to be accessible to as many readers as possible (Kindle-only books are useless to me as a reader, and I’m sure I’m not the only one).

Other than that, it’s been a quiet, rainy weekend here. Lots of time to write, drink tea and catch up on my reading!

The View From My Desk This Week

Usually, when writers post a photo of the view from their desk, it’s because they’re on holiday somewhere and overlooking a beautiful beach or rolling hills. Whilst it’s true that I live in a lovely part of the world, what I sit down to every time I write is a little different at the moment…

This is what happens when you’re in the middle of setting up a bed & breakfast business – and this is only a fraction of what we’ve bought recently! However, thankfully this is all that has to live on my impromptu desk (aka the kitchen table) at the moment, because everything else has gone into a cupboard.

So, remember guys: when you hear writers saying they started out working from their kitchen table, surrounded by the chaos of everyday life? Sometimes they really do mean the kitchen table, and chaos doesn’t describe the half of it!

Spring 2014 Progress

It’s been a busy few weeks here in sunny Yorkshire (and it has genuinely been sunny recently!), but I’ve been writing feverishly at every opportunity. It’s about time, I think, to share my progress with my readers, particularly as I’m going to be releasing some actual original fiction (neither this blog nor my fan-fic for Chronicles of Tyria, which makes a change) into the big wide world very soon!

  • First up, we have Sanguine. Way back in January, when I first talked about self-publishing, I referred to this novel as the YA fantasy that ended up 20k words too long. This is going to be my first self-publishing experiment – prepare yourselves for necromancy, blood magic, demons and banished gods. I’ve completed my final edits, my designer has produced the cover art (more on that soon), the ebook is formatted, and I’m really, really close to being ready to go. The only hold-up? Redecorating our living room/office has meant my PC is packed away. More importantly, the PC of my designer (also my partner!) is in storage, which means the final tweaks to the ebook can’t yet be made. Soon, though! So soon!
  • Next there’s Star of the Everlasting, the first in a series of secondary world, dark urban fantasy novellas (or that’s what I’m calling them at the moment), about a pair of female ‘middlemen’ who form the hidden link between the criminals of their city and the people who are paying for crimes to be committed. This one has got ancient magical races, clifftop cities, and more shifty people engaged in shifty activities than you can shake a stick at. It’s also going to be my second self-publishing experiment, with at least two more novellas in the series to follow.
  • Finally, we have another novella that’s simply code-named Morrow. This one is still in progress, which means we can have something that hasn’t been seen on this blog in ages:

  • Yes, it’s a progress bar! And, as you can see, it’s coming along quite nicely. Morrow is a much more traditional Medieval fantasy, with knights, tournaments and lots of people poking swords at each other. All good fun. My plan is, again, to self-publish the Morrow series, which will eventually become four novellas which could just as easily form four parts of a novel; I may release it as both.

So, I’ve been busy! Sadly, that means reading and gaming have rather fallen by the wayside in recent weeks, but it’s been nice to make some significant progress in all my writing endeavours instead (and there are so many more to follow, including multiple novels that could be either YA or adult fantasy, and the two sequels to my novel that’s currently on submission). And having something concrete to show for it, and which I can show off to the world, is going to be even better!

How are things going in your writing world? Share in the comments, if you dare!