Got Goals? Blast Off!

Big Goals BloghopI can hardly believe that we’re only two months into the year; 2018 has been crazy busy, and crazy productive too.

On Tuesday, the ebook version of The Smudger, the first book of my Memory Trader series, is released (the paperback is already available) across Amazon and other retailers. This will mark the first release of 2018, and the first of a dizzying planned publishing schedule for the year.

The Memory Trader series has come about in something of a whirlwind. I spent a full month developing the world and the story, before writing The Smudger as part of NaNoWriMo last November. It was edited, beta read, and edited again over just two months before the paperback was published at the end of January. And it’s follow-up, The Sister, is on an equal pegging speed-wise. I started writing it on February 1st, and the wordcount is currently pushing rapidly towards 40k.

It’s been so easy to write, with the story simply flowing out of me. I’m so excited about this world, about the characters that inhabit it, about the stories they have to tell. I wish I knew why, I wish I had discovered some amazing secret method of writing, but all I can say is that it was just the right book at the right time for me. If only I got bottle this somehow, and drink it on the days the words come like blood from a stone.

So, overall, February has been a great month, just like January was. I’m really looking forward to seeing what March will bring…!

How are you going with your goals? Join the Got Goals? Bloghop here.

You Don’t Need Socks to Write!

You Don't Need Socks to WriteOne morning, I was desperately trying to get my five year old to do his homework, and he, as usual, was coming up with every excuse he could think of, ending with “I need my socks on.”

“You don’t need socks to write!” I replied, chalking it down as yet another one of those sentences I never imagined I’d ever have to say to another human being. But it got me thinking, and, actually, it’s very good writing advice.

Some people wait for the perfect conditions to write. Whether that be an active muse, a quiet house, a private space, the right weather, the moon in their star sign, whatever their particulars are. I’ve done it myself. Put off writing because I didn’t feel right, or the house was noisy, or the table was messy.

The truth is, as with most things, there is no perfect time, and if you sit around waiting for this magical moment, you’ll never write a word. Sometimes, you just need to sit down (or perch somewhere, or stand, or whatever) and get some words out of you. They may not be perfect words, they may not be any good at all, but the more that come, the better they will get. Who was it who said you can’t edit a blank page?

So don’t fret over the particulars; don’t worry if the sun isn’t right, or your chair is a little uncomfortable, or your coffee is a little cold, just write. Get some words out. Wonderful, imperfect, foolish, misspelt words. And remember: you don’t need socks to write.

Insecure Writer's Support GroupThis post was written as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. If you want to visit the other IWSG member blogs, or sign up yourself, you can do so here.

Got Goals? Ready to Go!

Big Goals BloghopSo much has already happened, and we’re not even a full month into 2018 yet. It’s definitely setting up to be a crazy busy year!

I’m currently on track with my goals for the year, with The Smudger already up for pre order on Amazon and other retailers, ready to release on 27th February. It’s still more than a month before its release, but it’s already garnered some fantastic reviews from early readers over on Goodreads. I’ve got some exciting plans to really boost its release, and it really feels like I know what I’m doing this time, like I’m not just fudging it as I go. I like that feeling.

The plotting is going well for book 2, although a little slower than I would like. But I’m just impatient to get started on writing it. These books, the characters, the world, I’m just so excited about them. I want to dive into the story again.

Today, three days earlier than I expected, I received the paperback proof of The Smudger, and it is a truly beautiful thing. It’s so sad that all the fonts get lost in the ebook, because the paperback is stunning both inside and out. That’s why I’m a lover of hard copies, of actual books. The spine and the back of the book are gorgeous too, and you lose it all with an electronic copy. So, all in all, January has turned out pretty great.

How are your goals going? Join the Got Goals? Bloghop here.

The Smudger Paperback Proof

Got Goals? A Whole New World

Big Goals BloghopLast year saw the completion of my set goal: to write and release the full Paper Duchess series of books. So what now?

2018 has arrived with a whole head full of ideas and plans and goals. In fact, it’s more than one head’s worth. They’re pretty much pouring out of my ears! And every time I think I’ve fitted them into my schedule for the year (yes, I’ve actually scheduled the entire year!), up pops another idea. It’s starting to get pretty crazy! So, I guess it’s time to get started…

The SmudgerFirst up this year will be the release of The Smudger, the first book in The Memory Trader series. That means new stories, new characters, and an entire new world to explore. The book is currently out with beta readers and should be ready for a late February release.

After that, it’s book 2 of the series, currently titled The Scratch, with a proposed release date of late April. It’s gonna be hectic, but I think I can do it. These books are proving so much fun to write, and I’m totally in love with the characters and the world they inhabit, so that makes things a lot easier.

Next in the schedule is a project I’m not ready to talk about yet. I’m hoping to launch it in the summer, so you’ll have to wait a bit to hear more about that.

AfterThe end of the summer will hopefully see another book release, a full-length novel set in the same world as my book After: A Post Apocalyptic Story Collection. Its working title is When They Returned, but that’s definitely going to change (because, frankly, it’s rubbish!)

I’ll be wrapping up the year with a book that’s been rattling around my head for over a year now. It keeps getting pushed back and pushed back as other projects come to the fore. It’s a standalone book, so it’s become something of a forgotten child. It will be called The Notary of Gotliss Street, and is planned for an early December release.

There you have it: my crazy busy 2018. Of course, somewhere in all this I still have to eat, sleep, oh yeah, and be Mummy to my two boys!

What are your goals for 2018? Join the Got Goals? Bloghop here.

Hey, 2018! I’m Coming For You!

Insecure Writer's Support GroupSo, here we are, just a few days into 2018. A new year. A new start. A fresh start. A new chapter. An empty book. The first step of a journey. Whichever tired old metaphor you’d like to use. Because they are tired and overused, but that’s just because they’re true.

Even if you try to avoid all the hype over resolutions, all the motivational quotes pasted onto images of sunrises and rainbows and people climbing mountains to look at sunrises and rainbows, it’s hard not to get caught up in that overall feeling of hope. Of hoping for this year to be better, bigger, brighter. For you to go places, to take yourself places. Because, believe me, those places aren’t coming to you.

Despite the sarcasm, I feel it too. That fresh chance to do things right. To put the mistakes of last year behind me, and push forward, bolder and wiser. I’m even planning things. Me! Planning! Little Miss make-it-up-as-you-go-along. And I have big plans, exciting plans, secret plans.

Despite my determination to make 2018 fabulously wonderfully brilliantly excellent, I can’t help but wonder if I felt like this at the beginning of 2017. If I sat here and thought “This is going to be my year”, just like I am now. I also wonder if I thought that in January 2016. But it doesn’t stop me thinking it now. There’s only one way 2018 will be fabulously wonderfully brilliantly excellent, and that’s if I strive to make it so. It’s down to me. Just me. Little ol’ me. So, you’d better get out of my way, because I’m coming through.


What do you have planned for 2018?

This post was written as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. If you want to visit the other IWSG member blogs, or sign up yourself, you can do so here.

Closing the Book on 2017

I love looking back over the past year, especially if I can be pleasantly surprised by how much I’ve achieved! (More often than not it’s regret over another year that failed to meet its potential.) But this year, I really feel like I’ve had a shift. I really feel like I’ve stopped thinking like a hobbyist, and started thinking like a business woman. My mindset has totally changed.

So, let’s see what I have achieved this year.

The VisionaryFebruary saw the release of The Visionary, book 3 of The Paper Duchess Series, which was quickly followed by a March release of After: A Post Apocalyptic Story Collection (which has turned out to be unexpectedly popular!)

It was a bit crazy doing two book releases in such quick succession, and I feel like I’ve learnt an important lesson from that. It did not go as smoothly as I’d hoped, but that lesson has led on to exciting plans for 2018.

Edge-LitFast forward to July, and I was at Edge-Lit literary convention. While I was there, I attended a workshop on running literary events, and this sparked a whole heap of ideas I plan to implement next year. It also prompted me to approach the organiser of Edge-Lit with a workshop pitch.

The MothersOctober saw the release of The Mothers, the 4th and final book in The Paper Duchess series. I had officially completed an entire series of books which was quite monumental.

Again, I’ve learnt a lot of lessons through the two years I’ve been writing and publishing the series (which you can read about here), and it’s already making the writing of my next series so much easier in a lot of ways. You see; mistakes are never just mistakes if you learn from them. And lessons are valuable, and something to cherish.

NaNoWriMo 2017 Winner BadgeNovember proved to be a ridiculously busy month. I decided to give NaNoWriMo another shot. This was my 7th year doing it, and I had 3 wins and 3 horrendous losses under my belt. I hadn’t come anywhere close to completing it since having children.

But I felt determined this year. I spent all of October planning, and I put my success down to that. I stormed in at just over 51,000 words by the end of the month. And a very nearly completed novel draft (which is now completed).

Sledge-LitNovember also brought around Sledge-Lit, the Christmas edition of Edge-Lit literary convention. Remember that workshop pitch? This was my first ever time as a guest author, and my first ever time on a discussion panel. I also ran a very successful worldbuilding workshop which I’ve had amazing feedback from. You can read more about my Sledge-Lit experience here.

The Paper Duchess Series Box SetAs if that wasn’t enough for one month, I also put together and released The Paper Duchess Complete Series Box Set. This was not nearly as easy as I’d anticipated, and I spent days fiddling around with the coding and the format to get everything working properly.

But, I did it, and people can now get the entire series in just one file. Phew! What a year!

2017 has also seen a lot more going on, both on and off stage: promos, newsletters, giveaways, author takeovers, secret plans, upping my social media game, bettering book delivery, having a short story accepted for an anthology, and I could go on forever. It’s been so busy. And December isn’t going to let up either.

December has already seen the completion of my next book’s first draft, The Smudger, which was mostly done in NaNoWriMo. As long as editing stays on track, I’ll be sending it out to my beta readers before Christmas. And that means I can spend the festive period with my feet up (at least, as much as a mum can!)

I’ll see you in the new year to talk about my plans for 2018 (the non-secret ones, at least!)

Insecure Writer's Support GroupThis post was written as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. If you want to visit the other IWSG member blogs, or sign up yourself, you can do so here.