Dreams of The Black Petal Dashed

Receiving a contract offer from Ghostly Publishing for my YA fantasy novel (yes the one I have been banging on about for ages) was one of the happiest moments of my life. The Black Petal was the first full-length novel I ever wrote, and although I worked hard on the editing side, I was inundated with rejection letter after rejection letter. The book has been written and finished now for well over two years. Sadly, publishing is a slow industry.

So it was all guns blazing with the publication however. Sadly, recently, I received word that my dreams had been dashed, just short of the finishing line. Ghostly Publishing is no more. They have closed their doors and are shutting down, which means The Black Petal is not to be published by them.

I think it is safe to say that I was in shock for some time when I found out. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling. Especially as I am writing the sequel at the moment. Being positive isn’t easy and I think it may take some time before I get over the dismay of it all.

So, where do we go from here? There are a few of you out there who have shown real interest in the story and I can tell you that it will be published. I’m just not sure when or by who just yet? I have sent the manuscript out to agents, clenching all fingers crossed that one of them may see the potential I feel is in the story.

But until then, stay with me folks, I’m sure there is that light at the tunnel somewhere. We just need to find it first.

Do I Have a Daily Word Count?

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I was asked earlier today by fellow writer Kate Foster, if I had a daily word count to aim for when writing. We were talking about my epic fantasy series, which starts off with The Black Petal, published by Ghostly Publishing and available to preorder here. I’m currently writing the sequel, and I’m up to chapter three so far. I still have a lot more to write – more chapters than The Black Petal, but hopefully just as magical.

I had a think to myself – do I have a daily word count? The definite answer is no, no I don’t. But I do count how many words I have written during a writing session. You may notice that I update my FB page when I’ve just had a session.

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My life isn’t simple; I’m guessing most writers’ lives aren’t. I work full-time night shifts as well as raising my daughter too. I have to fit my writing around everything else I do. Paying bills, doing the shopping, reading, working, cleaning …. With everything going on, I simply cannot write every day, but I certainly aim to write every week. My current goal/aim is write a chapter a week, but I’m not going to scold myself if I don’t quite make it.

I’ve learnt that adding deadlines and pressure into my writing only makes failure more likely. I get stressed quite easily, and I thought I would have my previous novel Here Lies Love ready before it actually was. I got down, felt stressed and ultimately had to go away for a while to clear my head.

I’m not setting myself any deadlines for The Golden Lyre. I’m going with the flow and taking things as they come. I feel already that my writing has come a long way since I first wrote The Black Petal. I can schedule myself better. I’m looking forward to writing again – there were times earlier in the year when I wasn’t looking forward to writing. I’m happy where my writing life is going at the moment.

If you are a writer, do you have a daily word goal?

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Book Giveaway – Firebolt by Adrienne Woods

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I am pleased to host a giveaway for Adrienne Woods in regards to her YA fantasy story Firebolt.

firebolt_title2For the love of blueberries, Elena Watkins was destined for greatness, even though she didn’t know it. Before entering Paegeia Elena was not special, she wasn’t even average until the night her father was killed by a creature she thought only existed in fairy tales – a dragon. With her father’s death leaving her orphaned, Elena is whisked away to her true birthplace, Paegeia. Arriving at Dragonia Academy, the premier school for young Dragonians; a school she was never meant to attend because her father was a dragon. Unbeknownst to Elena danger is lurking behind the enchanted vines concealing the once thriving capital of Paegeia – Etan. Goran, the darkest sorcerer in the realm, has lain dormant for over a century behind the crumbling city. There, in the shadowy ruins he plots his revenge to destroy the only weapon that can kill him – the King of Lion Sword. When the sword is stolen without a trace Elena doesn’t think twice about seeking it; knowing deep down that it is her destiny to save her new home.

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Adrienne Woods is born and raised in South Africa, where she still resides on the East side of Johannesburg with her husband and two little girls. She’s been writing for the past four years and in her free time she likes to review books of new and upcoming authors.

 

Enter the Giveaway here!

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Here Lies Love to become Audiobook

Audible 2Isn’t it great news? I’ve been searching for a producer for a while now and I’ve found the perfect person: Corina Marcos. It was really important for me to work with someone who sounded like Abbey, and Corina does an absolutely marvellous job with it. The audio book is currently in production, which basically means it is currently being recorded. I’ve listened to the first fifteen minutes and I love it. I am excited to see (or listen rather) how the finished audio turns out. The planned release for the audiobook is October, but that isn’t definite.

Do you listen to audiobooks? Being a member of Audible will mean that you can listen to the book by using one of your credits, but it will also be available from Amazon and iTunes too. The audiobook market is increasing in favour and this is a step I am keen to explore.

In other news, Here Lies Love is changing distributor, making it available to various other websites and bookshops. When the new edition of the paperback is available, I will let you know. For the meantime, you can still pick up the kindle version over at Amazon US / Amazon UK or any other Amazon site come to think of it.

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My Publisher for Here Lies Love, Autumn Orchard is looking for likes on their Facebook pageThey are giving away two brand new paperbacks when they reach 100 likes. Can you help? Spread the word!

 

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Supporting my local Library

Being able to support my local library by donating a couple of copies of Here Lies Love was a great honour. The press came along and took some pictures, and you know what, I quite liked the photo they published. I’m not very photogenic you see, but for some reason, the picture didn’t make me feel embarrassed. What do you think?

HLL Donate

Not too long ago, I was asked by author Jack Croxall to take part in his What do libraries mean to you? debate. You can head on over there to see what my local library did for me. It was really important for me to take part in both the discussion as well as donating to my library as over here in the UK (for all you guys who aren’t aware) the government is cutting grants and funds that are needed by the library. In my county alone, a good chunk of local libraries are under threat to shut their doors for good.

SaveLincsLibraries is a campaign over on twitter. Please follow them and give your support. The next generation could miss out on the cultural and social input libraries offer. It would mean a lot. Thank you.

Now, back to my writing. I’m currently writing the sequel to The Black Petal.

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Guest Post: Just One Reason You Will Love Scrivener by Rebecca Bradley

Before we get to today’s fantastic guest post by emerging crime writer Rebecca Bradley, I just wanted to ask my fabulous readers if they’d go over to Goodreads and vote for my upcoming YA Fantasy novel The Black Petal on a list called UKYA in 2015. It showcases some of the most anticipated young adult and teenage novels being released in 2015. The higher up we can get The Black Petal, the more reach it will have. You have my eternal thanks in exchange :)

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Just One Reason You Will Love Scrivener by Rebecca Bradley

 

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In 2013 I did a post on why I was starting to use Scrivener.

I attempted to use it last year. I downloaded the trial. Had a couple of sessions with it and gave up. I liked the idea of what it could do, but, practically, working in it, I just couldn’t do it. It didn’t feel right. I was used to having a full blank page in front of me. This however was a full open piece of software.

I’ve since changed my mind.

It is a complex, or should I say, fully functional piece of software for a writer, having anything you could possibly need, right at your fingertips. I have seen multiple posts on why people love Scrivener and why you should try it, so I thought I would let you know why I use it and the freedom it has recently given me in my writing life.

Just one reason I love it and will stick with it from now on.

You know how if you’re working on a word document, you work in a straight line? Sometimes you could write the ending earlier than you get to it if you know what it’s going to be, but you save it somewhere else maybe, but other than that, you’d be left with folders all over if you tried to do anything other than write in a straight line.

Well, that’s just what I’m loving about Scrivener. The internal folder system that lets you drag and drop them around at will and then compile them in a straight line when you’re ready. I found that at times I would get stuck in a place and I’d sit there staring at the screen with no word output, but because of this wonderful ability of the folder system, and the fact that I have a full synopsis so know what is happening, I can move on to a scene/chapter that my mind at that point in time feels it wants to work on. So this way, I am always writing. I’m currently working on all the chapters for one of the threads of the story because my heart is there right now. I can move them all into the right places as the rest of the story progresses. I’m not confined. I’m free to write what I want, when I want to. It’s liberating, my word count steadily rises and my story progresses because of this. I think I’d find it extremely difficult to write a first draft in a word document now.

If you’re not using Scrivener, you can get it on a free trial. It’s worth taking a look. Anything to keep those words and that story moving forward.

Rebecca Bradley has an engaging and insightful blog that you must check out.

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Fuzzy Hedgehog Press Accepting Submissions

A small update to kick things off today, which is that 600 people have now added Here Lies Love to their Goodreads shelf. This is the most I’ve ever had before, and I really hope it means people will remember the book and buy it sometime down the line. If you haven’t added it yet, you can do so here. There is also an upcoming Review Blog Tour coming up soon and if you haven’t bought the book yet, you will be able to read the reviews and see what others think. Across different sites (and not counting the same reviews) Here Lies Love has 8 FIVE STAR REVIEWS ***** which is absolutely amazing. I can’t thank people enough for their support and kindness.

You guys rock!

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Fuzzy Hedgehog Press Accepting Submissions

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I know that many of my readers are also writers, novice writers and wannabeAKA The Summer writers. I feel that it is my duty in bringing certain information to you that can better help your move forward in the industry. Which brings me on to, well, exactly what the title suggests. Fuzzy Hedgehog Press is currently accepting submissions for novellas and full-length novels. I have read quite a few Fuzzy Hedgehog Press books now, including A. Ka’s Isaac the Fortunate series, as well as Zachary Bonelli’s Voyage: Embarkation and Alterra. And let me tell you, their finish and quality is superb. Even though you could say it is a small independent publisher, it is the perfect opportunity for someone to get involved and get their début out there! FHP publish both ebooks and paperbacks of their novels across many mulitple forms and retailers’ websites, which include Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, Nook, Kobo and The Book Depository. They also distribute their books through local bookstores, getting involved in the local community and presenting Q & As too. As someone who reads a lot of their books, you may never know, I could be reading yours in the near future.

Before I give you the link, I want to provide you with the submission details, guidelines and information (which I have silently and stealthily stolen borrowed from their website).

What FHP Accept

Fuzzy Hedgehog Press is a publisher of weird speculative fiction for all orientations. If your story could be classified as fantasy or science fiction, we are interested. If the terms “new weird” or “slipstream” apply, even better.

We are open to stories that feature LGBT characters as well as those that do not. We are, however, wary of heteronormative societies and gay characters who function solely as a sidekick or best friend. We respect our LGBT characters’ whole lives.

We do not publish works that are strictly romance (though we remain open to cross-genre submissions). We do not publish any form of erotica.

Speculative Fiction Novella or Novel

AlterraFrontCover_600x914What do you notice about the world? A great speculative fiction novel is about seeing our real world in a way that most people don’t, and then using the strange and weird to help others see what you see. Show us your vision for what the world really is. Let us in on what you think is orderly or chaotic or real or unreal or ethical or immoral or right or wrong, with everything and anything in between.

Interested? Here are some of the submission guidelines:

  • If submitting a novella, word count should be between 17,500 words and 39,999 words in length.
  • If submitting a novel, word count should be between 40,000 words and 100,000 words in length.

You will find the full guidelines over on their submissions page, which you should read and follow very thoroughly. When I speak to agents and publishers, one of their pet-hates is when applicants do not follow the simple guidelines. I’m not sure when submissions close again so best get your writing boots and polish everything up now. And besides, you can’t say no to the hedgehog, can you?

Click here to visit the Submissions page on FHP!

Good Luck!

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