Archive for the ‘Spotlight on Death’ Tag

Happy New Year 2017

So here we are at the start of another year – a time to reflect on the year that’s past and look at what one might want to change for the new one. And when you put your New Years’ Resolutions into a blog post, you can’t really ignore them.

I resolved to finish the two novels I was working on in 2016. One of them was SPOTLIGHT ON DEATH, the third Shara Summers novel, which happily was finished, and submitted, and at this point in time it is scheduled for release by MuseItUp Publishing some time in Autumn 2017.

The second was an as-yet-unnamed horror novel. Unfortunately I ended up shelving this project. I got about 20,000 words in and decided it really wasn’t working, all the characters were cardboard cut-outs and the plot was too thin.

I’ve spent some time over the Christmas period plotting the outline of a new idea. It’s very early days yet, but this one I am rather more excited by, and I hope to have the plot outline finished over the next few days, and then I can start writing it. Just as well, since I’m contracted to Kensington Gore (which is now officially known as KGHH Publishing) to release another horror novel in 2017.

So, as at the beginning of 2016 I am once more resolving to have two new novels finished by the end of the year: one is the aforementioned horror novel, and the second is the fourth book in the Shara Summers series. Which is already nearly 30,000 words into the first draft, so good progress has been made thus far. It would be good to be able to have the fourth book done by the time the third book comes out.

And that’s pretty much the only resolution I’m making for 2017. Connected to that is the need to be way more disciplined in the writing. I whinge about having to get up early to fit the writing in around the day job, but most writers have to juggle the writing around other things so I am not in a unique position. We all have the same number of hours in a day. What we choose to do with those hours is up to us.

I am going to endeavour to pay more attention to this blog, which has been somewhat neglected over the last couple of months, but I made the same resolution last year. I am going to carry on with my ‘Monday’s Friend’ feature, which is open to writers of any genre, so if anyone wants a slot, get in touch.

I’m not going to spend time discussing the things going on in the wider world. I don’t have any control over any of it, and I am making a point of trying to be less stressed about the things beyond my control. The only things I can control are the decisions I make that directly affect my life, and the way I organise my time. So this is what I will focus on for 2017. The universe will unfold itself the way it sees fit, whether I like it or not.

I wish you all a happy and productive 2017, and I wish you luck in achieving your goals for the year, whatever they may be.

Monthly Round-Up: July 2016

(Cross-posted on the WriteClub blog)

It’s the end of another month already. Where is this year going?

COMING SOON

SUFFER THE CHILDREN is being released (well- re-released) by MuseItUp Publishing on 9 August. It’s available for pre-order now.

SPOTLIGHT ON DEATH, the third Shara Summers novel, will be released some time in 2017.

PUBLICITY

I made a guest appearance on Barbara Ehrentreu’s blog on 24 July debating the merits of e-books v print books. Barbara wants to do a poll on this topic, and it’s not too late to stop by and post your views.

WORK IN PROGRESS

The WIP is really not going well. I am hoping to have something more positive to say next month.

And that’s about it for this month. Enjoy your summer, and I’ll catch up with you at the end of August.

Monthly Round-up: June 2016

(Cross-posted on the WriteClub blog)

I missed posting the monthly round-up last month, because at the end of May I was driving through the Arizona desert. So this month I am playing catch-up.

COMING SOON

I now have a release date for SUFFER THE CHILDREN – 9 August. More information will appear very soon, including the cover reveal, so stay tuned.

Next year will see the release of the third Shara Summers novel, SPOTLIGHT ON DEATH.

PUBLICITY

I appeared on Chris Mannino’s blog on 19 May, musing about why anyone would want to be a writer.

On 28 June, I did a reading from SUFFER THE CHILDREN for the lovely folks gathered at the Super Relaxed Fantasy Club – a real-space meetup for SFF/Horror fans occurring in London on the last Tuesday of the month. It was a lovely crowd and though I was slightly in awe at the company I was keeping – Paul Cornell and Laura Lam were also reading that night – everyone was very friendly and put me at ease.

WORK IN PROGRESS

I’m still working on the urban explorers horror novel, but it has not yet got a name.

That’s it for now and I have to apologise for lack of updates on the blog. I am hoping to be able to make more regular postings from now on.

Monthly Round-Up: April 2016

(Cross-posted on the WriteClub blog)

I am once more a week late with my monthly round-up. Life is a bit hectic. But there is news to report, so on with it.

COMING SOON

Final edits for SUFFER THE CHILDREN are done! I still have no confirmed release date, or a cover, but I think we’re looking at a summer release.

And in case you missed it last month, the third Shara Summers book, SPOTLIGHT ON DEATH, has been contracted to MuseItUp and will be out in 2017 – likely Autumn.

PUBLICITY

I only had one guest appearance this month, but it was a rather interesting one. Susan A Royal interviewed my amateur sleuth Shara Summers on her blog on 11 April.

WORK IN PROGRESS

I’m about 7000 words into the new horror novel, but I’m not happy with what I’ve got so far. I’ve only recently realised how to fix it, and it’s going to need a reboot. Scrap and start over. Oh well. With any luck, some of the words already written will be salvageable.

I’ve also got the muse whispering in my ear at the moment with the plot of the fourth Shara Summers book, demanding to be written. I’m trying to write only one book at a time, so thus far I’ve been attempting to resist the urge to succumb to this one. But the Muse is whispering quite loudly. All I can really say at this stage is that this book will take Shara to New York. I feel another visit there might be required. You know, just for inspiration.

That’s it for now, so go off and enjoy the spring sunshine, and I’ll catch you next month.

Monthly Round-up: March 2016

(Cross-posted on the WriteClub blog)

I’m a week late posting the round-up for March. But life keeps getting away from me, and I was also in the midst of confirming some news I wanted to report on.

COMING SOON

Edits for SUFFER THE CHILDREN are more or less done, and we’re on track for a late spring release. I’m hoping to be able to confirm a release date soon. I’m expecting late May.

And now on to the Big News. I’ve just signed the contract for the third Shara Summers novel, SPOTLIGHT ON DEATH, and am pleased to be able to say that this novel has moved from the WIP section to ‘coming soon’. Although ‘coming soon’ is a bit of a relative term. Publication is estimated at Summer/Autumn 2017. So about 18 months away. I am looking forward to working with my editor at MuseItUp on this one. I have a feeling there’ll be lots of edits on this one, but between the two of us I am confident we can get it into shape.

PUBLICITY

I appeared on Eric Price‘s blog on 7 March as part of a blog swap sharing writing tips. I was talking about what I learned during the process of writing my first published novel.

WORK IN PROGRESS

I am now working in earnest on the new horror novel, which still doesn’t have a title. I’m referring to it as the ‘urban explorers novel’ because this is who it features as main characters.

There’s plenty to keep me busy here for a while. Catch you at the end of April!

Monthly Round-Up: February 2016

(Cross-posted on the WriteClub blog)

February is nearly over, and it has one extra day than usual this year, with it being a leap year and all. The days are gradually getting longer and it’s now still light when I leave the office at the end of the day. It’s still dark by the time I get home, mind, but you can’t have everything.

On with the news.

COMING SOON

No more news on a fixed release date for SUFFER THE CHILDREN, but it is meant to be coming out in Spring. Which means some time in the next three months. I’m expecting it to be around mid-May.

PUBLICITY

I’ve had two guest appearances this month. The first was on Amy McCorkle’s blog ‘Letters to Daniel‘. The brief was to write a letter to a hero who has changed your life in some way. So I wrote to Stephen King, who turned me on to writing horror.

I then had a guest post on Lay Lalone’s blog about why you shouldn’t listen to your English teacher.

WORK IN PROGRESS

SPOTLIGHT ON DEATH, the new Shara Summers book, is nearly finished! I know I’ve said that a few times, but this time I am confident I’m on the final draft. Now I just want to get the damn thing finished and submitted, so I can get back to writing the new horror novel, which has been languishing in a ‘barely started’ first draft stage for ages.

I’v got a busy month coming up in March, including my first convention of the 2016 season, the Sci Fi Weekender in Wales. Join me next month for the low down on how it went!

Monthly Round-Up: January 2016

(Cross-posted on the WriteClub blog)

I’m not a big fan of January. It’s a dark and dreary month, no bank holidays, and everyone’s broke after Christmas. So this is one month I’m glad to be nearing the end of, as it’s time once more to round up my writing-related activities.

COMING SOON

I’m pleased to say that SUFFER THE CHILDREN will be released in Spring by MuseItUp Publishing. This is a re-release of my first published novel, but it’s undergoing a whole new editing process. I don’t have a release date yet, but watch this space.

PUBLICITY

I was pleased to be a guest on David O’Brien’s blog this week, especially since I’m his first guest horror writer.  I’m talking about a previous experience that made me aware that not everyone likes horror writers.

WORK IN PROGRESS

Revisions to SPOTLIGHT ON DEATH continue at a good pace. The end is in sight on this manuscript now. I’ve also moved past the stage of thinking, “this manuscript is complete rubbish” to “actually, this manuscript’s not half bad after all.” This is usually followed by the “this manuscript is amazing! I rock” stage, and then finally back to the “this manuscript is rubbish” stage. But for now, I remain in a happy place about it. The fact that my editor is already looking forward to reading it gives me incentive to finish.

That’s about all the news for now. Join me next month, when hopefully we’ll be seeing longer days, warmer weather and maybe even the first signs that Spring is round the corner.

Monthly Round-Up: December 2015

(Cross-posted on the WriteClub blog)

As we come to the end of another year, it’s an appropriate time for me to look back on what I achieved in my writing in 2015.

OUT NOW

It has, on the whole, been a good year for me regarding publications. My horror novel THE WHISPERING DEATH was released by Kensington Gore Publishing in the summer.

There were also two anthologies released this year with stories from me: FORMER HEROES, released by Far Horizons Publishing in July, includes my story “The Unending Scream”; and my story “The Haunted Dolls’ House” appeared in FEMME FATALE, published by Kensington Gore in September.

In addition, I also contributed to a short book featuring writing tips from romance and mystery writers, released by Gardener Publishing in April.

PUBLICITY

I was aiming to have an online guest slot every month of 2015. I almost got there – there was nothing in May or December, but I managed to get spots in every other month of the year. The publicity game for writers is hard work, especially for those of us who have to make time around the day job to fit it in, along with the writing, and I fear the blog has suffered as a result, since I posted a lot less often this year.

All of my online guest blog posts and interviews for 2015 are now listed and linked on my website. I hope to keep up the momentum next year, but I also plan on paying more attention to the blog as well. I just need to create more hours in the day first.

WORK IN PROGRESS

I was pleased to be able to get to the end of the first draft of the third Shara Summers book, SPOTLIGHT ON DEATH, earlier this year. Well technically it’s draft 2.5, since I’ve restarted this manuscript three times before actually getting to the end. I hope to have it finished and ready to submit in the first quarter of 2016.

I have also started work on a new horror novel, as yet untitled. This one I am also aiming to complete in 2016.

So, some lofty goals there, and I am in for another busy writing year. But I think it’s good to aim high. You never know what you are capable of until you push yourself.

I wish everyone a happy and productive 2016, and may you succeed in whatever you set out to do.

Monthly Round-Up: November 2015

(Cross-posted on the WriteClub blog)

Here we are in the penultimate month of the year, when the days are too short and the nights are too cold. Winter is not my favourite time of the year. So it should mean I have the perfect excuse to stay in and write, yes?

OUT NOW

Nothing new to report, but there’s plenty of my stuff out there from earlier this year. I’m in the anthology of women horror writers, FEMME FATALE. I’ve got a story in the FORMER HEROES anthology. And of course THE WHISPERING DEATH is available in both paperback and Kindle formats. So that should be plenty to take you through the holiday season!

And just a reminder that if you read any of my work and enjoy it – or if you don’t, for that matter – reviews are always appreciated, as it’s the best way for a writer to get her name Out There.

PUBLICITY

This month I did a blog swap with US mystery writers JQ Rose. On hers I was talking about making time to write, something I seem to forever be juggling.

WORK IN PROGRESS

Work continues on both of my WIPs. I have almost completed the first draft of the third Shara Summers novel, SPOTLIGHT ON DEATH. I’m not very happy with it at present, though. It needs some major rewriting before I am willing to send it out into the world.

Progress has also been made on the new horror WIP, though this one still doesn’t have a name. I’m referring to it as the ‘urban explorers horror WIP’.

By the time of the next monthly review, the presents will have been opened, the crackers will have been pulled and I’ll still be stuffing my face with mince pies and Christmas chocolate and getting ready to say goodbye to 2015. So a review of my writing year will be timely.

See you then!

Monthly Round-Up: October 2015

(Cross-posted on the WriteClub blog)

Here we are at the end of October, rapidly approaching the Witching Hour. The clocks in the UK went back last weekend and it’s now dark by 4:30pm. I really hate the long nights, but there are things about Autumn that I really like. The beautiful colours of the trees. The crunch underfoot as I walk through fallen leaves on my way to the station. The anticipation of bonfire night, and of Hallowe’en. And of course October is my birthday month. This year I happened to spend it at FantasyCon. It’s the first time I’ve spent my birthday at a convention, but it was quite nice to get all the extra birthday wishes. Since the date of FantasyCon 2016 has already been announced and it’s in September, it’s looking unlikely that will happen again next year.

Anyway, on with the news.

OUT NOW

Nothing new to report, but just another reminder that THE WHISPERING DEATH is available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon. If you’ve read it and feel inclined to review it, I would be most grateful. Word of mouth is the best way to promote a book, and reviews really help.

PROMOTION

I’ve been fairly busy with online promotion over the last month.

14 October – I made an appearance on Theresa Derwin’s Terror Tree blog talking about the questions you shouldn’t ask a writer.

14 October – on the same day I was part of the Horror Writers’ Association’s Hallowe’en Haunts feature, with a blog post about what Hallowe’en is like in the UK.

25 October – I appeared on Iva Valentino’s blog talking about my lifelong love of reading.

In addition, I did two Cons in October – Bristol Horror Con and FantasyCon – and two book launches.

Ready for punters at the launch for THE WHISPERING DEATH on 14 October

Ready for punters at the launch for THE WHISPERING DEATH on 14 October

The first book launch was locally on 14 October. That went rather well, and we had about 20 people turn up, including two who happened to see my poster and liked the sound of the book. So proper punters, as opposed to people who already know me. I was very pleased about that. It felt like one more small step on the path to notoriety.

The second book launch was at FantasyCon, and didn’t go quite so well. I am grateful to the five people who did turn up and show support, but clearly all the promotion, Tweeting and cajoling people at the Con didn’t have much effect. I think launches at Cons only work if you’re well known enough to have a following. Evidently I’m not there yet.

WORK IN PROGRESS

I’ve made some progress with SPOTLIGHT ON DEATH – in fact the end is in sight. This is only a first draft, though, so there’s still lots of work to do yet. Not so much progress on the urban explorer horror novel, however.

I’ve set a new pledge to write 3,000 words a week between now and the end of the year. Most weeks I’ve managed to meet my target, and every little helps.

Well that’s it for now. I wish you a happy Hallowe’en, and I will see you here next month!