Friday, July 16, 2010

I like Surprizes

I had a pleasant and unexpected surprize today. My e-book is currently number 3 on the bestseller list for young adult fantasy at

To be honest I nearly fell off my chair!

Thanks to everyone who has purchased a copy of my book.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Smashwords Summer/Winter Promotion

I am participating in the Smashwords Summer/Winter promotion. The Amulet is now available as a FREE e-book download for the month of July. Please feel free to tell all your friends about this offer. Use coupon code SW100 at checkout to get your FREE copy. Enjoy!

Click on the title to take you to the website.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Reading at the Library

It's been a while since my last post due mainly to my travels back home and then having to catch up on two weeks of work when I got back. Getting there phew!

Today I was invited to read excerpts from my novel at the local library. I was flattered and obviously accepted with enthusiasm.

The reading went very well and I was really pleased with the comments I received. We are blessed to have such a beautiful library for such a small town, and I like to get involved in anything like that.

So thank you Morgan Co Library for inviting me to speak today. It was a great opportunity and much appreciated.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

How Time Flies

I can't believe I've been in the UK for a week already, that's half of my vacation gone and it only feels like I've blinked a couple of times.

Catching up with friends is always good, and a visit to a quaint old English seaside does wonders for the spirit and the inspiration. Having an ice cream cone on the pier is so typically English it sends shivers down my spine.

The next week will be spent having lunch out every day with a different friend, wow didn't realize I had that many :-)

Getting more writing done and it is exciting to be pushing the story forward. On track to get the book out by Apple fest in October this year. Hoping to have another sucessful book signing.

This evening will be spent sipping wine, eating left over curry from last night and watching one of my favorite shows that I can't get in the US... Midsommer Murders. Life is good!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sitting on top of the Stairs

At the moment I'm sitting on the top stair in my Mum's house. My mum's house is devoid of technology but the neighbors have wifi. They kindly let me have the passkey so I can check my e-mails etc. but the only place I can get a strong enough signal is on the top of mum's stairs. Not that I'm complaining it is very peaceful up here and after living in the country for several years I have noticed that I am becoming less and less tolerant of being around lots of people, and England is filled to brimming with lots of people. So after a day out with mum it's nice to come up here and de-stress for a while.

I am enjoying my visit. I'm getting more writing done and doing some editing.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

An End in Sight

There is a light at the end of the tunnel and I don't think it's a freight train. Only 10 days left of "headless chicken" mode, then life will return to normal. Well as normal as my life can get. I have managed to write a few more chapters of my next novel in amongst all the W-2's and 1099's, so I didn't completely lose my sanity to the IRS.

I should be able to start blogging again on a regular basis. I am going home to England for a couple of weeks soon and I am hoping that being immersed in the surroundings where I base my story will give me oodles of inspiration and maybe even help me finish off the first draft of my novel. If that doesn't do it, being stuck in JFK airport for 6 hours waiting for my connecting flight just might. Thanks Delta for changing the itinerary on me!

I hope everyone got their fill of Easter eggs and chocolate today. I certainly did :-)

Happy Easter everyone.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tax Season in full swing

Tax season is in full swing and for that reason I am not going to be blogging for a little while. Please visit my website for further infomation about me or current projects and links to other sites.

Be back soon, I promise

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

English or American

I read a review that someone had written about my book today. It was a good review but she brought up a very good point.

She said although the story is set in England and the characters were English, they sounded American. Well I guess I can explain that, I think.

You see, as you will note from my profile, I am a Brit and the story takes place where I grew up, in a quaint village in the English countryside. The 'problem' if it can even be called that comes from the fact that I have now been living in the States for nigh on 9 years.

Although in those 9 years I have not lost my accent in any way shape or form, I learned very early on that it was just easier to 'adopt' the American way of saying something, rather than have to explain what I meant all the time (which got very tedious let me tell you). For example, rather than say rubbish bin, I now say garbage can. It's just easier that way.

Now in the context of my writing, I tried mostly to use the 'English' word but because I live in the US and am marketing the book over here, I thought it would be simpler to use the 'American' words instead. This was mostly a conscious decision on my part.

You will notice, if you have ever read Harry Potter, that the UK and US versions differ vastly when using specific words. One quick example is using sweater instead of jumper (as we would use in England).

I hope this answers any questions you may have regarding why my characters sound a little too American. Believe me, if ever the book gets big enough to distribute to the UK it will get edited to use 'English' words.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Most Likeable Character

You would think that an author would say their most likeable character is their protagonist. The main character around which the whole book revolves. But when I really thought about that question and put it in the context of other books, I really don't think that is the case.

Take Harry Potter for instance. In my opinion I think Ron and Hermione are more likeable characters than Harry. No offence Harry, that is just my opinion.

If I am totally honest with you, I would have to admit that I think Jocelyn is the most likeable character in my book.

I write all my main characters with love and affection but something just evolved with Jocelyn and when I read my novel I find her just really loveable. She's fun, girlie, adventurous and stunningly beautiful, oh and the best part, she can shimmer from a fun loving border collie to a really cute girl with wings. How much more likeable can you get?

How about you, who do you think is the most likeable character in The Amulet?

Friday, January 22, 2010

That Pesky Mouse

Well, it's 9.30pm on a Friday evening and I'm exhausted. The reason for my lack of energy and wakefulness, a tiny little mouse.

Yesterday a little mouse seemed bound and determined to keep me awake all night long. He somehow got into my bedroom and just as I was falling asleep the sound of chomping could be heard from the closet.

I quickly sat up and turned on the light to investigate but there was nothing there and no noise. Thinking that it was just my imagination I went back to sleep. Again just before I fell into the deep blissful nothingness. Chomping could be heard from the closet.

Rinse and repeat several times, until finally I grab the flashlight and throw a spotlight on the little critter fast enough to prove I am not going mad.

Enter Lizzi, my dog, who is the best mouser I have ever seen, but she's a lab/chow and just a little too large to catch said mouse who has now escaped under the bed. Enter Louise, my cat, who's about a much use as two knobs of goat poo in a high wind. By this time it's 3.30am YAWN.

I decided to take affirmative if not barbaric action and dig out a mouse trap. I put some chocolate on it and put it in the closet. Then went back to bed with ear plugs shoved in my ear canal. Even through those, the sound of chomping scrapes at my senses. Now 5am.

How can a tiny creature have the ability to create so much noise???? After about 3 hours of sleep total, I awake to see the cheeky little buggar has done away with the chocolate, leaving the mouse trap untripped. So I replaced the latter with peanut butter and hope for the best.

I don't go completely pyscho over mice like alot of people would, but I do get very protective over my sleep and this little critter just forced sleep deprivation on the wrong girl.

The only thing I want to wake me up tonight is a snap and squeak. Then blissful silence.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Writing Goals

I didn't have any major aspirations when I first started writing. I just knew I loved to write and it was one of my goals in life to write a book. It took 18 years from when I knew I wanted to write a book, and when I actually started.

I knew I was going to write a book about my trip around Australia but I didn't want it to sound like a biography, although I did get up to some pretty exciting stuff, mainly with sheep and cattle (don't ask). It took me 18 years for the light bulb to switch on and the thought that hey, this doesn't have to be a non-fiction book, I can make it a novel and use my trip and adventures as a back drop. So that's what I did. I wrote a romantic comedy. The romance in the story is completely made up but most of the adventures happened to me in one form or another.

I had no intention of trying to have this book published traditionally, I published it on Lulu and got a great response from the people who read it. One lady told me she went through the entire emotional spectrum when she read it. Probably one of the best compliments I've ever received about my writing.

Since then I have learned a lot more about writing and have taken that version off the market. After finishing my current project I am going to re-write my original book and try to get it published traditionally.

My goals have changed alot since then. Now it would be a dream come true to become a best selling author. Not for the money or the fame, but for the fact that I can write something good enough that so many people would want to buy and read it. That is what I now aspire to.

How about you? What goals and aspirations do you have?

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Very First Gun... and it's PINK!

Don't worry it's just a BB. I was so excited though, I got home on Friday and the very special person in my life had bought it for me. He knew that I have wanted a pink gun ever since I learned how to shoot his revolver about 9 years ago. I've never wanted to learn to shoot a rifle because I scared of the kickback in my shoulder. When he saw this he thought it would be perfect for me to learn with, and it is.

I had fun target practising this weekend and got a bullseye with my very first shot. It went downhill from there though :-) Most people get their first BB gun when they're 10. I got mine 3 decades later and I'm so proud of it.

So now when I'm not doing taxes, feeding umpteen animals and writing my book, I'll be in my back yard plinking cans with my bright pink BB gun. Oh what an image.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Half Way There

I'm half way through my next book, Yippee! Just had to yell that from the roof tops. Sorry I didn't write yesterday, as previously promised. But I had my very 1st tax return of the year and got a little side tracked. Ready for the onslaught any day now.

I am so excited that I finally made it to the half way point in my sequel. To be honest I never thought I would get there. I put it on a hiatus for a couple of months at a complete loss as to how to get from one point to the next. Then Bam, it hit me right between the eyes and my fingers started burning across the keys again, much to my relief.

Unfortunately that happened at just about the same time as tax season, so now I can see that I will get frustrated because I'll want to be writing but I'll have taxes to do and they do somewhat take priority. As yet proceeds from my writing will certainly not keep a roof over my head.

I may not be able to blog tomorrow, my soulmate is home and I haven't seen him for a while. So I would feel kinda bad spending time on the computer when I only get to spend time with him for a few days every few weeks.

If I don't check in tomorrow, have a great weekend everyone.

Monday, January 11, 2010

When you get your groove back

I know that every author out there will agree with me that you hit a brick wall sometimes and nothing comes to you. This happened to me just recently but Saturday evening it all came flooding back, much to my relief.

I have read on other blogs and in magazine articles that authors will force themselves to write something everyday on their current project, even if there is nothing there to write. I tried that tact and it just doesn't work for me. So I didn't write anything on my novel for about a month. It was the strangest thing, I felt guilty every day. I felt like I was letting someone down, but how ridiculous is that? There is noone to let down. I don't have deadlines to meet, I don't have agents and editors to please, I write for fun and the story will get finished when it gets finished.

It just struck me as odd that I would react that way. This is supposed to be my hobby, something I do to relieve the stress of my everyday work life, but the opposite was happening.

So, I sat myself down, told myself to stop fretting and I would write when I felt like it. I allowed myself to let go and it was the best thing I could have done because my characters started talking to me, and each other again.

The lesson I learned from this is that sometimes you need to be a little less hard on yourself .

Friday, January 8, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside

Okay, I couldn't resist. The true Brit in me was just fighting to get out and talk about the weather. Flippin' Heck It's cold!!!

In England they tend to have similar weather as we do here in Mid Missouri, but they don't tend to have the extremes of hot or cold like we do. Not this time though. A freezing blast is hitting them too, and they are having temperatures almost as cold as us, and nowhere near as prepared to deal with it.

I have to admit, I'm so glad it's the weekend. Other than venturing out into the subzero temps to feed my animals, all of which I might add are doing fine. I baby my horses and they are toasty and warm under their blankets. My goat has holed himself up in his hut and refuses to come out, and the chickens have not come down off their perch for days.

Me by the same token will be wrapped up in a thick fleecy blanket and comfort eating for the entire weekend. I'll let my Wii Fit work overtime next week :-). Now where did I put that Terry's Chocolate Orange?

Have a good weekend everyone and I hope you stay warm wherever you are.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

For the love of your characters

I think most authors fall in love with their characters. I know I did and that was the main reason why I decided to write more books in the series. I just wasn't ready to let them go at that point and ended up writing in several unanswered questions and a cliff-hanger just so that I would be forced to write another. I also wanted to see how they would develop as people and how their relationships would evolve.

Now you may think that is quite an odd thing to say because aren't these characters already in my head? Surely I should know everything there is to know about them already, right? Wrong. You may be surprised to learn that it doesn't really work like that, not for me anyway.

My characters are growing as a I write them. At this point I have no idea how they are going to turn out because they could change at any time. You see when you write a book storylines can change. A plot line you thought was headed in one direction could suddenly change when an idea hits you right between the eyes while you're rinsing your hair in the shower. Which happens to me with worrying regularity.

Actually, scary as it may seem, alot of my ideas come to me in the shower. For some unknown reason, my characters will not shut up when I am covered in soap suds. Whole scenes of dialogue will unfold between massaging shampoo into my scalp and rinsing it off. Then I'm desperate to hurry up and get out so that I can write it all down.

Personally I think that as an author you have to love your characters, because let's face it, if you don't love them, why would anyone else care about them? And that's one of the main things you want your reader to do, is to be able to connect with your characters. Join them in their adventures every time they open the book and start reading.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Most Unusual Character

I was asked who I thought my most unusual character was. I had to think really hard about that because most of my characters are unusual in someway or another. To explain the intricacies here would spoil the twists and turns, for the reader, that unfold for some of the characters on their journey through the series.

Obviously Faen and Jocelyn are unusual, in the very fact that they appear as ordinary pets at the start of the story. If I really had to define one, I would have to say that Todmus is probably the most unusual character at this stage in my head. He starts out as this unassuming little man, a trusted friend of Faen, but he has some surprises up his sleeve (in a good way) that surprise even the people who have known him the longest.

The redcaps are definitely unusual, just for the simple fact they are so grotesque and evil.

The king and Henry both have a past they'd rather Faedra didn't find out about, but I don't know if that would class them as unusual. And I have so many other characters in my head that haven't even made it onto the page yet. They are scrabbling to get out and some of them will be emerging in the next book.

What do you think? Who would you choose as my most unusual character?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Welcoming in the new decade

Happy New Year everyon. Not only do we have a new year we have started a new decade.

I for one am very optimistic about this coming decade, although what they are goin to call it is anyone's guess. To be honest you can hardly top the "Noughties" now can you? Any suggestions on what to call the next decade please leave your thoughts in the comments section.

I refuse to make New Year's resolutions but I promise to make a concerted effort to blog every Mon, Wed, & Fri and try to be consistent about it. How that will work with tax season looming just around the corner is another matter, but I'll try.

I have a feeling that things are going to get very interesting over the next 10 years, and I for one am going to strap myself in, put my arms in the air and scream with childish exitement for the whole ride.

I have one main goal for this year and that is to finish the 2nd Custodian book and have it published by the last weekend in September, ready for Apple Festival in my town so I can do a book signing again. It was very successful last year and word is a spreadin'. Please let me know what your goals are for the coming year, I would be very interested.

I hope you all had a safe and fun New Year's eve. I did. It was spent with friends, a good meal and few glasses of rather excellent wine.

Stay warm in the frosty weather, and the fates willing I will be back here bloggin again Monday.