Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy Memorial Weekend

So, after posting a picture of Gyspy, yesterday, dressed in her parade gear, I suddenly realized that it's Memorial Day on Monday. With that in mind, I thought you might like to see what The Tribute Riders look like when we are riding in a parade.

Each one of us flies the flag for a different branch of the military. I usually fly the US Air Force flag because my other half was in the Air Force. Unfortunately I'm not in this pic and it's the only one I have of the group.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday. Enjoy what ever it is you are doing. After all the rain we have had I'm hoping it stays dry enough that I can mow before the grass gets too long for my mower to contend with. I know, what an exciting life I do lead. That's exactly why I have to create one in my head :)

Still trying to get some inspiration for the next book. Not sure where it's vanished to, but I'm hoping it will come back soon.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Meet Gypsy

Let me introduce you to Gypsy. Here, she is decked out in her parade gear. I am a member of a group called The Tribute Riders and the parade theme, for the year this photo was taken, was Mardigras. So I decked her out in patriotic beads, although I'm not sure whether she looks altogether happy about that :)

One of the best pieces of advice I have read, about being a writer, is to write what you know. That's how you can make your writing feel real to your readers. Well, I know horses!

Unfortunately, Gypsy is in retirement now. She contracted COPD (Heaves) and finds it difficult to breathe, especially when the pollen count is high. She is comfortable and looks happy in the field with the other horses but it breaks my heart that I can't ride her anymore. She's a Tennesse Walker and her gaits are so smooth it's like riding a magic carpet. She's also a little famous. Her 1st owner was Zsa Zsa Gabor, the 1960's film star.

Horses, with famous backgrounds, have a habit of finding me, for some reason. My 1st horse, back in England, was a grandson of one of the Queen's stallions.

I love horses, they are a big part of my life, that's why they tend to be a big part of my books.

PS. I figured out what was wrong with Blogger. I upgraded to Internet Explorer 9 and Blogger doesn't like that yet. So I uninstalled it and voila!

Monday, May 23, 2011

When what you put your characters through becomes reality

I went for a ride this morning with a good friend. I didn't take Gypsy, she's in retirement now, bless her.

We were ambling down the gravel road, chatting. The horses were calm and happy. Then without warning my horse stumbled and went crashing to the ground taking me with her. I landed on my ribs on the gravel, and she rolled over my legs before she got up.

I sat there for a few minutes with the wind knocked out of me, unable to take a proper breath. My jodpurs covered in mud and my boots all scratched up. Then it suddenly dawned on me that I was in the exact same position I'd put my main character in, in The Amulet and I started to giggle. Such as I could.

My friend, who had gotten off her horse now and was checking me over, was totally bemused that I could find that amusing.

Luckily nothing was broken, just some very bruised, very sore ribs. And yes I have had a couple of Epsom salt baths today. I just wished I healed as quickly as Faedra, coz I can see this being painful for a while yet.

Friday, May 20, 2011

When Things Start Happening...

When things start happening, they really start happening.

I was running errands this morning and I was in town around lunchtime so I decided to treat myself to lunch at a little bistro cafe nestled at the back of a lovely gift shop. The owner of The Village Shoppe is very kindly letting me do a book signing there in a couple of weeks.

When I walked in, she immediately introduced me to a gentleman having coffee in the cafe and told him what had happened with my books. He was a news reporter from a fairly good sized paper in the local area. So I ended up being spontaneously interviewed over lunch. But wouldn't allow him to take my picture coz, well, let's put it like this, ponytail, no makeup. You get the picture. He said he would come back for my book signing and take some then.

After lunch I nipped to my local Walmart and bumped into Bob. Bob is somewhat of a local celebrity due to him and his brother being the actual brothers on which the tv series Prison Break was based. They have a book out, and a possible movie deal in the pipeline. Upon hearing about my news he told me he would talk to his agent and see if she could recommend me to one of her colleagues (she doesn't rep YA books).

Wow, what a day. Then to put a cherry on it, when I got home (still in an unheathly relationship with the refresh key). The Emerald Staff was #18 on the Children's Hot New Releases list and #62 on the Childrens Top 100 list.

Thank you, Thank you, to everyone who is helping me make my dreams come true.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Confession time. I have developed an unhealthy relationship with the 'refresh' button on my computer (okay, so there really isn't a refresh button but you know what I mean). Over the past week my Amazon Kindle reports page has become my best friend. I guess the first step to make in any recovery is admitting you have a problem LOL!

Seriously though, it was a week ago today that my writing world was turned on its axis by Amazon Kindle and for that I feel blessed, whatever happens from here will be the cherry on the cake. The fact that I have had the opportunity to reach out to so many readers fills me with joy.

Things are stabilizing out now and I am coming slowly down from cloud nine and finding that I am able to focus once again on my other business (which is much more boring, but sssh, don't tell anyone, I'm supposed to be a professional).

Now I have to look forward. I realize now that I can't just stop at 2 books. One of my readers told me that in no uncertain terms when she sent me a wonderful e-mail the other day. Gulp, I guess that means I better start writing.

Any ideas? Just kidding, my mind is flooded with snippets of this and that, I just have to figure out how to weave them into a story.

If anyone wants to tell me what they would like to see more of, please feel free to do so in the comments section. I'm all ears (or eyes).

I know what the title will be already, but I'll leave that for another post.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The "Power" of Amazon

I was a little shocked when I came to write today and saw that it's been nearly a year since my last post. There are a couple of reasons for that. 1) I wasn't sure if I had anything to say. 2) I was trying to get my 2nd book finished and build a business.

Well, this weekend all that changed.

I did finally finish my 2nd Custodian Novel. It is called The Emerald Staff and there's a picture and some links in the sidebar. I released it as an e-book at the end of April this year and decided to do a free promo with The Amulet. Lots of other authors do this and I thought I'd give it a go. The Amulet at the time was sitting around #80,000 in the Amazon rankings and had probably been there since it was released in 2009. Writing I can do, marketing, despite my best effort, not so much.

So on Tues 5/10/11 I got an email from Amazon telling me the book will be free by Weds afternoon. Thursday lunchtime I was curious to see if it had shifted at all, maybe to #79,000 :-) I nearly fell off my chair.

Overnight The Amulet was torn from total obscurity to #22 on the Top 100 Bestseller list for free books. By Friday it was at #14 overall and #1 on the Children's Top 100 Bestseller list for free books, where it stayed for 3 days.

Ecstatic could not describe my feelings appropriately, but it just keeps getting better. After a couple of days, sales of The Emerald Staff started coming in and today it debuted at #25 on the Children's Hot New Releases list and broke onto the Children's Top 100 Bestseller list for paid books at #93.

And that, my friends, is the "power" of Amazon.

It has been a roller coaster ride and I'm still a bit dazed. For all of you who are now curious to find out more about me, firstly, I thank you sincerely for your interest in my work and secondly, you're welcome to stay right here and join me on this journey.