Got Goals? 2016 Roundup

Big Goals BloghopSo here we are at the very end of 2016. For many reasons, this year has been momentous, and will certainly be remembered in the history books, although not always kindly.

On a personal level, it’s also been a year of big changes. There’s been the joyous birth of my second son, the sad loss of my last grandparent, the anxiety of sending my oldest son off to school, and the beginning of my weight loss journey which sees me triumphantly ending the year more than 3 stone lighter.

And when it comes to books, my Paper Duchess series continued with the release of The Matching, I also released my first non fiction book, How to Survive Working from Home with Preschool Children, and announced upcoming books The Memory Trader and After. I’ve also increased my mailing list from a mere handful, to more than 750 subscribers.

What didn’t happen, unfortunately, was the release of The Visionary, which I’ve had to delay. I could reel off a range of excuses, all of them valid, but they’re just excuses at the end of the day. If I delve deep, if I’m truly honest, I think I’m lacking focus. A focus I will regain in the new year.

And I have a plan. But, more about that tomorrow.

If you want to visit the other blogs in this blog hop, or fancy signing up yourself, check out the linky list here:

Five Year Project: All Quiet on the Writing Front

Five Year Project: Do You Have Goals?Things have been slowly ticking along behind the scenes through August, but it’s another month without anything revolutionary to report.

I’m still writing The Visionary (I’ve also been talking to my cover designer), and writing The Memory Trader, and my non fiction project is waiting on additional content from other people before it can move forward. In addition, an anthology I have a short story in is about to be released, and The Bottle Stopper is set to be included in a boxset of British science fiction.

So there’s lots of things going on behind the scenes, but actual writing time has been scarce this month. It’s the summer holidays here, so I’ve taken my boys on a long holiday to the seaside. And while I might not be writing much, I can’t complain with views like this…


Do you have goals? If you want to visit the other blogs in this blog hop, or fancy signing up yourself, check out the linky list here:

Five Year Project: Slow and Steady

Five Year Project: Do You Have Goals?Over the last month things have been quietly progressing on all fronts. Nothing revolutionary, no fireworks or parties, just steady progress. And that’s a nice place to be. Carving out a writing career can be an emotional roller coaster, so a month of level pegging is rather nice.

Writing of The Visionary  (The Paper Duchess Book 3) is moving forward, I’ve also started writing The Memory Trader, and I’m also working on my first non fiction book  (more about that another time).

In addition, I did a mailing list exchange with another author and grew my mailing list by a nice amount, and I’m taking part in a big cross promotion of urban fantasy books this weekend.

In fact, if you like urban fantasy, you can choose from over 50 titles that are either free or just .99 until tomorrow. Check them out and make your choice here:

Urban Fantasy Book Sale

So, yeah, just slow and steady progress, and I’m happy with that. Have you met your writing goals during July?

If you want to visit the other blogs in this blog hop, or fancy signing up yourself, check out the linky list here:

The Feminine Grotesque (Edge-Lit 5)

Edge-LitOn Saturday I was at Derby’s bi-annual speculative fiction event, Edge-Lit. This is my third year attending its summer instalment, and it was yet another fantastic event where I could be my usual book-nerdy self without judgement.

While I admittedly spent most of my time in the bar (everyone here pretty much knows everyone, so it means a lot of the day is spent shaking hands, hugging, catching up with friends, and getting introduced to people), I did go to a couple of very interesting panel discussions, book readings, and one workshop which I was very excited about.

The workshop was led by Maria Lewis, a journalist and author all the way from Australia. She was raised on werewolf stories, a love that became an obsession, and, according to her website, harbours the belief that unicorns exist. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t disagree with that. Her werewolf novel, ‘Who’s Afraid?’, is out now.

The feminine grotesque is a concept I’ve been fascinated with since I read Jeanette Winterson’s ‘Sexing the Cherry’ at university, sixteen years ago now. As Maria pointed out, if you think about female monsters (whether human, supernatural, or animal), they are usually presented with the usual Hollywood sex appeal we’re all force fed a diet of. Even while tearing someone’s throat out, or ripping them limb from limb, there’s something inherently attractive about them.

Of course, there are fantastic examples of the feminine grotesque; such as Annie Wilkes from Stephen King’s ‘Misery’, the ghosts in ‘Crimson Peak’, or Helena Bonham Carter’s portrayal of The Red Queen (she excells at the feminine grotesque characters, such as in Sweeney Todd and Harry Potter), but we’re more often shown the combination of deadly and sexy, dangerous and alluring, cabalistic and intriguing.

The workshop really got me thinking about the creation of a true feminine grotesque, and inspired me to up the ante with characters from both my current works in progress: ‘The Visionary‘ (The Paper Duchess Book 3) and ‘The Memory Trader‘. So watch out for some truly fearsome women soon!

What are your favourite examples of the feminine grotesque?

Five Year Project: Saying Goodbye, Saying Hello

Five Year Project: Do You Have Goals?Since my post last month, I’ve released The Matching, the second book in The Paper Duchess series. It’s always scary letting one of your books go out into the world, but it’s been selling nicely, and it’s brilliant to see the series moving forward.

And speaking of moving forward, I’ve already started working on book three; The Visionary.

The Visionary Coming Winter 2016

I have the whole book plotted out, and I’m really excited about writing it. This book’s going to really bring the series back to the dark, gritty feel of The Bottle Stopper, and will also contain some big reveals to shake up the whole series.

Alongside that, I’ve also started plotting a whole new story that refused to be quiet. It’s unrelated to The Paper Duchess books, and has much more of a typical fantasy feel. I’m planning on trying something a little bit different for this one, but more about that another time.

The Memory Trader Coming 2017

So, that’s been my June: the end of one project, and the beginning of new ones. How have your writing goals progressed?

If you want to visit the other blogs in this blog hop, or fancy signing up yourself, check out the linky list here: