Start of a new teaching term – feeling all fresh and shiny!

This summer has been filled with lots of great things, none of which have been very disciplined! Time to get a regular writing schedule, exercise schedule and healthy eating plan. I’ll start after this next gin.

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Seriously though, I keep seeing that quote everywhere – the one that says if you always do the same things, you’ll always get the same results. Stuff like that normally annoys me, but there is a valid point here. I definitely need to make some changes!

If you’re planning to get organised too – good luck! Check back here occasionally and hold me to account please 🙂

Time flies!

Well, I seem to be averaging two blogs a year at the moment! Not brilliant for a writer. In my defense, we have moved THREE times this year and I’m mindbogglingly shattered. Still, I am writing – plowing on regardless – but it’s slow process. I’m still working through book 1 of the murder mystery series and trying to find new ways to promote the trilogy. If anyone fancies reading and reviewing any of the Eshla books, please let me know. I’m happy to send a free mobi file, for use on kindles, or a pdf.

It hasn’t all been hard work though – got in a few good days at the beach (with best friend in picture below) and an amazing 12 hours on the flying Scotsman in vintage luxury (strictly for historical research you understand!).

A quick update…

November since my last blog! That’s shocking. I’m in one of those tunnels of time where days and weeks don’t seem to behave like they’re supposed to. Another house move, a new job for my husband and a battle against disability discrimination with the Department for Work and Pensions (!), and here I am six months older but still writing!

Murder mystery writing, it turns out, is much slower than fantasy. With fantasy, solutions can be dreamed up from the depths of your imagination. With mysteries they have to be real and believable – the clues, just subtle enough not to give the game away but obvious enough to the reader when the truth is revealed. Add in the need for historical accuracy and I find myself triple checking every line!

In short, the first draft is going slowly. But it is still going and that, I keep telling myself, is what matters!

Here’s a picture of my desk. Just to prove I’m still working!

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Musing on marketing

October will be an exciting month! I’m finally starting to write properly again and have twisted my brain back around to marketing the Eshla series. So, the trilogy will be available free for two whole days on the third and the fourth.

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Which means the next two weeks, I’ll be like a headless chicken trying to get all to get all three books advertised as free on as many sites as possible!

I tried a countdown deal before the summer but found it was nowhere near as effective as the free days that Amazon offer. Has anyone had any success with countdown deals, and if so, how did you run them?

It’s tricky, trying to focus your brain on marketing one series, while you’re writing in a completely different genre!

If you do pick up a copy of any of the books free, please help out and leave a review.

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Powering a Planet!

One of the most enjoyable aspects of creating Eshla was deciding what was going to make the world tick! This type of creative writing is quite unique to fantasy/sci-fi writing and I wanted to take full advantage of it.

Firstly, it was important that Eshla was sustainable. I didn’t see it as a smoky industrial world, but I didn’t want something that felt medieval either. The challenge was; how can I create a technologically advanced civilisation without destroying its natural resources? The answer was to create a kingdom where the humans worked alongside the flora, utilising their natural resources in a way that didn’t destroy or over-use them. Here are some of the special plants that Eric came across:

Ignis – The leaves of the Ignis plant, when pulverised, create a tremendous heat which is carried around rooms by pipes under the floor and blasted out into the air via the trumpet. The crushing process releases pollen which is pushed up and out of the castle via the main duct. The wind catches it and carries it back to Jarmuthe where it takes seed and grows more Ignis.

Goleuni flowers – They give off a strong golden glow that can be used in the same way as an electric light

Hedfan – Little blue flowers that are always trying to fly away, unless cold air is blasted on them, in which case they close. These were used by the inventor Drake Owren to power flying ships

Buwun – Legend has it the Buwun tree was the first plant on Eshla. They grow mainly in Cedwigod and supply light and energy throughout the forest region, via luminous green tendrils which stretch out for miles.

Cufithum – A plant with pollen that has a direct impact on a person’s auditory senses, enabling them to hear whatever language is being spoken, translated into their own tongue.

Gats stones – Possibly the most important natural resource on Eshla, thanks to the Bradwar family. Gats is used to stop evil tyrants from controlling people’s minds with Bel-Arayba stones.  It is created when you smelt down Bel-Arayba and mix it with Meddul soil. This scrambles the mind-controlling Mennif rays and makes them completely useless.

Kussgull – A flower which grows in Jarmuthe. In powder form, it sends people to sleep almost instantly for at least eight hours. Great for sneak attacks!

A Busgot – A large see through leaf used in fishing. You hold it in the water and when you see a fish swim under the leaf, pull hard on the stem. The Busgot curls up and traps the fish which you can then pull out.

Gwella – A fantastic healing plant, which sends the patient to sleep while their wounds heal.

There are a lot more plants and natural resources on Eshla to discover – you’ll have to read the books to learn about them all!

Jarmuthe

Reviewers urgently needed! 

It’s an eternal problem for authors – how to get people to review your books! Most people just don’t realise what a difference it makes. 

Now I have three books out, it’s even harder – if I want someone to review book three, I’m asking them to read three whole novels! I have 17 reviews for The Lost Heirs, 4 for The Second Stone and none yet for The King’s Chamber. 

So, if anyone out there would be willing to read and post reviews for the trilogy, I’ll love you forever 😁 

I can send the books in a pdf format, or send an Amazon gift card so you can buy the kindle edition, or even post you a paperback copy if you prefer?

Thanks! From a struggling author xx 

 

And time marches on…

It’s been an amazing year – in the last twelve months I’ve hit the ‘publish now’ button three times… and the series is complete!

The Eshla Adventures were supposed to be for my son – just four when I began the first book – but lack of confidence stopped me from finishing that book for twelve years! I don’t know what changed, but I’m, glad it did; writing Eric’s adventures in Eshla have seen me through a difficult year career wise and shown me what I really want to do with my life.

The next project is already well underway – a cosy (or cozy for US readers) murder mystery set in the 1920’s – but meantime, here are the links to the Eshla Adventures. If you would be willing to read them and write a review, please get in touch through the contact form and I will send a copy.

Many thanks x

Book 1 – The Lost Heirs

The adventures begin, as Eric Grayson – an ordinary fourteen year old schoolboy – discovers Eshla and begins a quest to help Prince Joel rescue his trapped brothers. Things get complicated when the villain who imprisoned them turns out to be closer to home than Eric expected, and the location of the missing key is lost in time!

Armed with friendship, bravery and a fluffy blue alien creature from Eshla, Eric rises to the challenge!

The Lost Heirs US – Link: http://amzn.com/B00NJX2DQY

The Lost Heirs UK – Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NJX2DQY

Book 2 – The Second Stone

In the second installment, the quest continues with Eric, Corbin, Rose and Lydia trying to release the next prince from the Bel-Arayba Cave. The four friends have some tough decisions to make while looking for the second stone in 1842, and things are getting pretty tricky in their own time too, as Lowick Bradwar, masquerading as their head teacher, steps up his plans to get back to Eshla.

Meanwhile in Eshla itself, things are far from peaceful, as the malicious Galed continues her campaign against the Arwain family.

The Second Stone US – Link: http://amzn.com/B00TDR1YRE

The Second Stone UK – Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00TDR1YRE

Book 3 – The King’s Chamber

Time is running out for Eric and his friends to release the lost heirs of Eshla! With the final prince, and true King of Eshla, still trapped within his icy blue chamber, the lost stone must be found before Lowick Bradwar can return to wreak havoc.

Eric, Corbin, Rose and Lydia (and not forgetting Espog) find themselves mingling with Jane Austen’s polite society in 1795, whilst desperately hunting for the missing key. As they get caught up in the lives of people from the past, the four find themselves beginning to consider their own options, and how Eshla has changed their futures forever.

The King’s Chamber US – Link: http://amzn.com/B00XUO0XGE

The King’s Chamber UK – Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00XUO0XGE

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Mailing list?

I have a quick question for any other indie authors out there: do you keep a list of email addresses for people interested in your book? I keep reading articles that mention the importance of having a mailing list, but how do you develop such a list? And don’t people mind if you keep sending them emails?!

As ever, I’d appreciate any feedback. Thanks!

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