Blog Hop, Insecure Writer's Support Group

What the People Want

Insecure Writer's Support GroupSomething I’ve been thinking about a lot, is writing to market. This is when an author either picks up on a current popular trend, or predicts an upcoming trend, and specifically writes for that market, to, hopefully, hit upon a bestseller by simply writing what the people want.

Among authors, it’s actually something of a controversial issue with accusations of writers ‘selling out’, or not being true to their craft. Honestly, I feel conflicted myself. So often, the act of writing books, of creating worlds and characters, of giving flesh to your dreams, so often, that feels completely at odds with the actual business side of selling books. The marketing, the numbers, the accounts. I know many writers for whom, once their hobby became their income source, they lost all joy for the act of writing.

Creativity and business seem to be uncomfortable bedfellows.

But, at the end of the day, it is a business, and it has to be run as a business if it’s going to succeed. Last year, I published a collection of short stories set in a post-apocalyptic world. I largely wrote it just to get it out of my head, where it was like a niggling thorn in my brain. And then I didn’t think much more about it. Until it started selling. And it sells well, and regularly. And my business brain said “You need to take advantage of this.”

So, yes, I’m now writing to market. A full-length post apocalyptic book I’d never intended to write. It’s a different thing for me; both the specific genre (although it’s not that far from dystopian fiction), and writing to market. It’s going to be interesting to see how it all turns out (especially as the story and characters seem to be insistent about taking it in an interesting new direction!)

Do you write to market?

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.

Blog Hop, Got Goals?

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.

Blog Hop, Insecure Writer's Support Group

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.

Blog Hop, Got Goals?

Got Goals? Endings and Beginnings

Big Goals BloghopHello strangers! I completely missed last month’s post, but I have a very good excuse: it was my son’s 1st birthday. Such an important milestone. So I now have two months to catch up on.

So, The Visionary (The Paper Duchess Book 3) was published as an ebook at the end of February, and after a lot of fiddling and to-ing and fro-ing, I finally published the paperback version just yesterday. It’s so nice to be able to wave that book goodbye at last, and let it fend (mostly) for itself. Alongside its existing siblings of course. And, as every motivational poster tells us, endings always herald new beginnings. You know; doors opening and closing and all that.

So what is next? Well, a beginning and an ending, in a sense. I’m just about to start writing The Mothers (The Paper Duchess Book 4), and I’m so excited about wading into a brand new project. First drafts are my favourite bit. But The Mothers will also be the concluding book of the series. That’s actually a really sad thought. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to those characters, and that world.

But you know what? There’s those doors again, because I have got some other projects I’m really excited to get started on.

How’s your month been? If you want to visit the other blogs in this blog hop, or fancy signing up yourself, check out the linky list here: sylmion.blogspot.co.uk/p/do-you-have-goal.html

Blog Hop, Got Goals?

Got Goals? Third Time’s the Charm

Big Goals BloghopWell, February has been something of a whirlwind, and, thankfully, really, really productive.

The Visionary, the third book in my Paper Duchess series is all ready to go for its release on February 28th. It’s been a heck of a journey to get there, a journey that, at times, I didn’t think I would ever finish. But February came with a renewed determination, and it’s been absolutely fantastic.

So the series continues, and The Visionary is available at Amazon, iTunes, Nook, and Kobo. What a relief. Normally, I would take a well-deserved break now, but I have After‘s release on March 6th. Here we go again!

How’s your February been?

How has January been for you goals? If you want to visit the other blogs in this blog hop, or fancy signing up yourself, check out the linky list here: sylmion.blogspot.co.uk/p/do-you-have-goal.html

Blog Hop, Got Goals?

Got Goals? Implementing Deadlines

Big Goals BloghopI’d love to say that January has been a big month of working hard, high word counts, and continuing progress. In actual fact, the first three weeks were filled with procrastination, avoidance, and constant excuses. This past week, on the other hand, has been amazing.

It took me a while, but I’ve definitely found my mojo.

The Visionary, the third book of my Paper Duchess series, is now available to preorder. I work well when I have a deadline, and imposing one has definitely spurred me on. And talking of deadlines, my story collection, After, is also on preorder.

I’ve also been busy with Instafreebie and other promos, with more scheduled next month, including the first one that I’m hosting, and my mailing list is a healthy 2,000+ now.

So I’m looking forward to a very productive and exciting February. Long may the momentum continue!

How has January been for you goals? If you want to visit the other blogs in this blog hop, or fancy signing up yourself, check out the linky list here: sylmion.blogspot.co.uk/p/do-you-have-goal.html