It's book time!
Want to get your hands on some new releases?
Check this out: https://vocal.media/bookclub/new-indie-releases-february-2024
Thrilled to say that my upcoming release, The Betrayed Bride, is there!
Have a look at these other books coming out and fill your boots!
Do you think like a villain?
When I plot out mysteries, I often take time out to think plotlines through from the villain's perspective. You don't want just black and white villains who are bad because they're bad. They need to have goals and wishes of their own. It makes them interesting and less one-dimensional.
In my book The Poisoned Clergyman, I have a female villain who will do anything she can to get what she wants, including take advantage of the main character for her own ends. Will she get her comeuppance? You'll have to read to find out. But writing her was a fun exercise for me in writing about villains.
Here's a great post on why writers should think like villains when designing twists and turns in their books.
Wow, I can't believe it's taken me so long to write more in my blog.
If you're at all curious about what I've been doing this year, here is a round-up of my writer doings for 2023:
My big news: I signed a contract for 7 books! I also...
Coming up in 2024, I'll be working on my medieval series, some novellas and even taking part in the Writer's Workout conference in March!
Watch this space, readers.
Hope you all have a wonderful winter holiday season. Happy New Year!
This month I was interviewed by the author Jean M. Roberts for her blog, The Book's Delight.
We talked about my series with Dragonblade and how my stories all began, what started me on a path to writing historical fiction, and what question I'd ask Mary Shelley.
Follow the link for the full piece, and big thank you to Jean for the interview!
Today I'm taking part in Write-A-Thon 2023! It's a chance for 36 authors to write non-stop to fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support.
My family is no stranger to cancer. I remember as a child, walking around DisneyWorld as my grandmother was wheeled in a wheelchair and wearing a turban, having lost her hair due to chemotherapy treatments. In my twenties, my future husband and I had just begun dating, when he lost his father far too soon from a brain tumour. I think everyone wants to do something to help raise money for cancer research and support, but I am a poor baker, and doing walks for charity isn't for me. But I can write.
So I'm taking part in this fundraiser. It's for a good cause. If you like, donate. If you can't, that's okay too. Cheer me on if you like. Every little bit helps.
This month, I'm one of 36 authors taking part in a Write-A-Thon to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
From 9am to 9pm on 19 February, I will be writing non-stop! Or at least that's the plan. I might take cookie breaks. If you fancy donating some money for a good cause, click on the image and it will take you to the fundraiser.
This has been quite a year.
As I reflect on good and bad, here are the standout positives from 2022.
Since January, I've had 3 books come out with Dragonblade Publishing! I'm so grateful to the talented team there, including Kathryn, Shawn, Evelyn, Elizabeth and my wonderful editor Amelia! I am also hugely thankful to Rachel Ann Smith, Melanie Rose Clarke, Emily Murdoch and Aviva Orr for guiding me and answering all my author questions.
I've got a beautiful author logo to use forever more
I learned how to set up my very own author's newsletter and a few months later, have 2500 subscribers, with a good open rate, decent click through rate and only about 30 unsubscribes each month.
I've got more positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads for my books, and with the publication of my third book, it's only been 4 and 5 star reviews and ratings! This is huge.
My first book with dragonblade now has over 100 ratings on amazon- this is like an author achievement I've unlocked
I gave 3 author interviews to journalists, include 2 to the metro, a national paper
I took part in NaNoWriMo and while I didn't win, it's helped keep me writing.
I've made decent royalties from my books and have signed up to newsletter author promo sites which have really helped
I gave a talk to my local writers' circle on my publishing journey
I took part in a book fair with my local writers' circle
My second book was sent to a review magazine and got 4 stars, and my publisher is sending my third book to be professionally reviewed as well!
I've made more author connections and buddies, which is great.
My first book, The Strangled Servant, reached #1 for Free Kindle reads in historical mysteries!
Other stuff - Since I turned 40, I've started looking for fulfillment in my life. I've done volunteering before which was fine, but I didn't get much out of it. I was an extra in two films and learned that whilst it was fun (somewhat), it wasn't great fun. Unless you're being paid or have lines to say as a principal character, it's essentially volunteering your time to help someone else and isn't very fulfilling.
I started up my own band and it's going great! Seriously, these guys are supremely talented.
Not so fun: for the entire Christmas period, my husband and I have been sick with the flu. We've had to cancel all our plans and just look after each other. I'm looking forward to when I can get a full night's sleep again without coughing.
Here's to a proper 2023.
My motto: Keep writing folks. Just keep writing.
Hope you have a lovely New Year!
This past month, I ran a selfie contest for my newsletter subscribers. All they had to do was post a selfie on twitter or instagram of themselves holding up a copy of my book, The Strangled Servant, the first in the Perfect Poison series published by Dragonblade Publishing. This could be on ereader format or in paperback, but I wanted to see some selfies.
I'm delighted to share that fellow author S.E. Reed has won the contest!
Congratulations S.E. Reed!
She will be a character in my next mini-mystery, be immortalised in print and have epic bragging rights.
Thank you to everyone who participated. There will be more chances next year to win fun competitions like this.
Thanks all, and big congratulations to S.E. Reed!!!!
Fancy taking part in a giveaway?
Since I moved to the UK, I really enjoy eating Haribo sweets (like gummy bears but in fun fantastical shapes).
If you like fun mini mysteries to solve, or historical mysteries starring feisty heroines, why not sign up to my newsletter, or pick up one of my novels?
Follow these great authors for a chance to win!
Here's my blog posts on the latest news and thoughts I have about the craft of writing.