Free story and things!

Well, my new book is now available in print from amazon.com and co.uk and European Amazons, alongside the kindle. And if you buy it in print, you should get a free kindle version too! :)

And I have a free short story available on smashwords. Medyna’s Choice is the prequel to my novel series, also included in the Rules of War and Other Stories short story collection.

And, there’s a new interview with me on the website/blog of me friend and Bristol con manager and grey hound slave, Joanne Hall :) Read it HERE!

Ah doubts

So, I spent a long time working on my Greek myth short stories, I got it checked by friends and my mum, I made sure that it was the best that it could be. And today it went live, with the cover and everything.

And instantly I regret it! I have doubts! Will it not be horror enough? Will people find it boring? Will they find it confusing? Is it not close enough to the original myths? ARG!

Never had these doubts when my novel came out, probably because a publisher did it. This I released myself because, as I’ve said before, it’s not long enough for a small print publisher to take on. And I really like some of the stories. But still I have the doubts that it sucks! I have the same doubts with Rules of War, even though those stories were all published in magazines at one point.

Doubt, you’re very annoying. Please get out of my head and go away! I put a lot into these stories, I’d like to enjoy them!

If you’d like to see for yourself:

The Child-Eaters’ Society and Other Stories

Not US? That’s okay, there’s a link at the side that will let you get it in your own local Amazon :)

My writing progress. A blog hop thingie

I was tagged by the Britol Con manager, grey hound owner and fantasy author, Joanne Hall, to answer some questions and tag other people. So here it is!

What am I working on?

Children of the Shadow, the third and final book in my Ellenessia’s Curse series. Just trying to get the start together so I can finish it and move on!

How does my writing differ from others of its genre?

I think it differs, or I like to think it differs, because I take things from a different angle. My Ellenessia’s Curse series is from the POV of a demon’s prophet. I don’t think we often see things from the ‘dark’ point of view very often, or deal with prophets, though we often have prophecies in fantasy. I also like to think that it’s different because my characters are human, none of them are perfect, they all have flaws and in that respect I try to have a balance. I have strong women, weak men, strong men, and weak women, no one is written to fulfill an aim, to make a point, they’re all people with back stories of their own, with their own wants, no one is just there to be evil, or to be the strong woman token, or the love interest and so on.

Why do I write what I do?

Because I like it :) I write what I like to read. A mixed bag of characters, none of this gorgeous perfect woman/hero bollocks, but a mix of people. And there’s a lot of dark stuff, mild horror maybe, character driven peril, because that’s what I like to read and watch. I don’t care for action driven stuff, where the characters are flimsy and I don’t like rape heavy/war heavy books or TV, so I don’t write it. I write character driven, mild horror, often gay, stuff, because that’s what I like. Often I draw on things in real life that I like, cats, mythology, ghosts and so on.

How does your writing progress work?

Um. I sit here and write when I can think of what I want to say! And often I hate it, remove it, put it back, rewrite it, and faff getting no where. When it flows, i just write until it’s done, go back over and tidy it, send it to friends to check, tidy it again. When it doesn’t, then I’m just frustrated and cranky. I’m cranky a lot :)

Progress

Well, the short story collection has had all its betaing done now, names have been lost, waffle has been cut, and it’s off to my mother for proof reading (or my dad, whoever decides to do it) then it’s ready to go! I’ve decided to enter it in the KDP select program, which means for a while it will only be available through Amazon, in exchange for more exposure, because I’d be interested to see if this does lead to more sales, compared with the Rules of War collection which I also launched on Smashwords (so not in the program.) I’ll also be doing a giveaway of the print book, once I’ve set that up, so hopefully it will get lots of attention because I am rather proud of some of the stories in it. My first horror collection and it didn’t come out half bad :)

Other than that, I’ve nothing going on in the writing world until a market in June (then another in July, con in August and October, and a market in Nov and Dec) so nothing to do but get on with my novel writing. And so I shall.

Out and About

Well, I’ve been a fairly busy bee again. I’ve signed up to do a market on 6th April, at Sketty, here in Swansea. Another, a craft fair, on the 28th June, Scardiff, in Cardiff in October (see the Calender for details on all this)

And now, I’ve got a table for the weekend at Margam Park’s Heroes and Legends Convention. This is pretty exciting for me because a, it’s local, and b, Sylvester bloody Mccoy! :) He was my first Doctor Who and, before Matt Smith, my favourite! By then my collection of short stories, based on the Greek Myths will be out and ready to go! I’m actually rather proud of the stories, the way they came out, so am looking forward to sharing them with the world. And I have to thank Rohaa Langenhof and Natalie Walker Millman for proof reading them and helping me to perfect them (the latter for also being a very supportive friend when I had neighbour issues. I had wanted to put that into one of the stories too, but I couldn’t get it together. Maybe for a later collection :) ) I’d like to thank my parents, too, for offering to give them a final edit. They will be as good as they can possibly be by launch time and I really hope people will enjoy them.

And I set my novel finish deadline for July 27th, when I do race for life. I’m really going to have to work to get it done by then!

Spring has sprung!

About bloody time, it’s spring outside! And I’ve been a fairly busy bee. The short story myth collection have had another edit, they just need another couple of betas to check the changes and they’re almost done. I’ve signed up for two craft fairs, in Swansea, and have plans to attend a convention in Margam Park in August, which is about half an hour away on the bus, as well as Scardiff in October and the occasional pagan markets, also in Swansea. You can find all the details on the Calender section. Next year I’ll hopefully be spreading further afield with a convention in Warrington! But we shall see. I’ve also been getting on with the third book, with my target set for July as a finish for the rough draft.

And my marvelous website designer has been fiddling with the shopping section, so hopefully I’ll be able to do discounts soon, and other magical type of things!

I have decided that I won’t be selling the short story collection, Rules of War, through my website after the last three copies are gone. I want to concentrate on my newer stuff really. But you can still get the book from amazon and smashwords and so on.

So yeah. Busy bee! :)

Sunny Sunday!

We’ve had a nasty start to the year here in the UK, lots of floods, wind, rain. I’ve been lucky, up a hill as I am, no flood, nothing damaged in the wind, but it’s been noisy and scary.

But today we have sun! And with it comes that positive feeling. I’ve signed up to do Scardiff and hopefully will be doing a convention in Bath in November too. I love conventions. People are so friendly, chatty, they dress up, they get involved, and it’s nice to meet new people. Both conventions will be a first for me, as so far I’ve only done Bristol Con and the Cardiff fantasy and comic expo, which isn’t running this year, and I’m already pretty excited about both.

Along with conventions I’ll be doing race for life, for cancer research. A 5km walk, with a bit of jogging, and I also have a holiday planned for Shrewsberry to celebrate Mum’s birthday, as well as my own birthday, of course. So a busy, hopefully fun year, after a horrendous start.

And it will be the year I publish my Greek myth horror stories, they’re just in the editing stage, and finish the Children of the Shadow, the last book in the Ellenessia’s Curse series. So I better get writing, I guess!

New month, time for update!

Going to check in the first of every month, just to see how I’m going.

Diet, okay. Exercise not so much. Gotta do better.

More importantly, I have finished the short story collection, bang on target. Okay, I had to drop one story, and I might be able to introduce a replacement in a week, when I’ve had a break from it, but basically, it’s done. And it has a cover.

Which is fabulous, as you can see :) I’m hoping to get it released by end of April. There will be a rafflecoptor giveaway, for a copy of the print, and ebook, so stay tuned! The page with info about the book is already up, so check it out under the Fiction: short story tab.

And on with book 3. :)

 

Two more stories done!

Hecuba was finished last night and today I knocked out another flash fiction story, based on the myth of Dryope. And here it is, as a taster.

This is very rough, please remember that!

 

IN SILENCE

Amy had been going to the woods since she was a child. They backed onto the back of her house and, growing up, she had seen them as an extension of her parent’s neatly tended garden. It was an ancient wood, vast and silent, home to monsters and faeries, and Amy roamed them freely. The woods were hers and she knew every corner of them. She took treats to the faeries that lived in the clearing, and talked to them for hours, even though they never talked back. She fought dragons and ogres with swords made from branches, snapped from trees. And when she was ten she built a den, with leaves and branches woven together around the frame her father had built from her. The sound of her laughter and chattering voice always carried easily in the quiet.

When Amy was fourteen she started taking boys to the woods. Sometimes they carved her names into the rough bark of ancient trees, other times they would chase her around, and she would shriek and laugh, as she ran. And when they caught her, they would fall together to the ground and roll around on a blanket of crunching leaves.

Amy got married when she was twenty, to a young man called John, and when she was twenty-two they had a child. She took John and their baby to the woods one crisp autumn day and showed him her old den and all the places where boys had carved her name into the trunks of the ancient trees. But when she broke off a twig, to show him how to slay a dragon with a sword, she found her feet stuck fast.

She laughed, at first, supporting herself on her husband’s arm, as she tried to pull her feet out, but the more she pulled, the more stuck she found herself. She reached down to try and free her feet that way and found that they had, somehow, become tangled in some roots. Amy yanked at them until she managed to snap one off, sending a sharp ribbon of pain, shooting up her leg. She cried out, swore and rolled up her jeans to rub her leg.

Rough brown bark covered her calves like some sort of vast scab. Amy picked at it with her fingernails and managed to peel away a small chunk, which stung painfully, as though she’d peeled away a small piece of her own skin. She swore again, more from the surprise of it, and tried again, peeling away a larger bit of bark. It came free with a painful tug, but already the scabby growth had spread its way up to her knees.

John knelt down in front of her and, reaching around their baby strapped to his chest, he tried to help, peeling and ripping chunks of bark from her skin. But it carried on growing, spreading, creeping up her body, faster than either of them could tear it away.

It reached her arms, fixing them in place, as it continued to spread along the length of her fingers, turning them from flesh to wood, from fingers to twigs. Tears streamed down Amy’s face, becoming knots of wood as the bark moved up her throat, across her jaw, along her nose, covering her eyes, until, finally, a tree stood where Amy had been a moment before.

And once John had stopped screaming, and swearing, and crying, and had finally left, clutching his baby tightly to his chest, the silence returned.

New year, new review!

Got a new review on Book 2 from fellow writer Joanne Hall. You can see it here:

And I have promised her, and other readers, that book 3 will be finished by the end of July. Six months. I can do it, if I push myself. The problem so far was getting the beginning right, but I think I have that now (though I had thought that before!) And as soon as my short story collection is done, it will have my full attention.

Short story collection is also coming along. End of Jan is my deadline for that. I have two more stories to go, Echo and Cassandra. I had to leave out Philomela and Daphne, because I just couldn’t seem to come up with the right way of doing it, but I’ve not ruled them out entirely. When the ones I can do are done, I will brainstorm and see if I can come up with something for the last two. In any case, it will be done by end of Jan, and out soon after, so it will be certainly ready for this years Scardiff Convention.