Well, that's tree planting finished (phew, that was hard work this year!), I've picked and jammed 7kg of redcurrants (tasty!), and painted a stack of watercolour greeting cards ready for sale. The weather is turning seriously autumnal, so it's time to get back to work on Book 4 (yay!). I've re-read the manuscript, (which is about half-way through), in order to get back into the swing of the plot and characters. And, of course, I've done a little editing along the way to improve upon what I've already written. So, off we go again with Book 4. Maybe by the time I set in a new update, I will have a title for the book!
Life on the farm is keeping me busy - we are currently planting 9,500 trees as a part of our forestry project, so writing has taken a little bit of a back-burner! However, if you're looking for another book to read while waiting for my next novel, why not check out INDIE BOOK VAULT
? Indie Book Vault is a volunteer-run site which helps readers like you connect with other great indie authors.
I'm happy with the progress of Book 4 - the manuscript is almost at 32,500 words, and many of the key events have been written. I love the way that the characters are developing along with the storyline. Still a long way to go, though. Looking forward to writing some of the other gritty scenes connected to the domino-effect of infidelity.
Work on Book 4 (still untitled!) is going well, and stands at around 20,000 words so far. I've already written the beginning, which sets the scene of time, place and people, and have written the core scene which sets the domino effect of events in motion. I also submitted my first three novels to an indie publishing house for consideration.
The seeds for my next novel (as yet untitled) have now been sown! The outline and characters have been plotted and planned, with of course, some freedom for an organic spread of ideas. The novel will be once again based in the fictional coal-mining town of Castle Ridge in the 1970s and 80s, and will feature the Watkins family. A tale of deceit, infidelity and maybe a tragedy (or two...). Time to dust off your flares, put on some classic rock/disco, and take a step back in time...
My first two novels, Downhill
and Dark Dreams
, have now been submitted to an Indie publishing house for consideration.
My first two novels, Downhill
and Dark Dreams
, have now been updated and republished. The cover of Dark Dreams
has been lightened and now has a glossy finish, which shows a lot more of the spooky woodland details. The cover text to both books has also been refreshed, as has some of the internal text.
I thought that it was about time to submit some of my work for an award. I have had tremendous positive feedback regarding the cover for Dark Shadows
, designed in conjunction with my good friend and multi-award winning photographic artist, Heather Burns, of Heather Burns Photography. This has now been submitted as an entry into the BIBA (Best Indie Book Awards) Cover Awards section. Winners will be announced at the end of 2022, so fingers crossed!
02.06.2022 - Paperback copies of Dark Shadows are now available directly from myself - signed on request.
22.04.2022 - Dark Shadows - has now been released and is available!
19.04.2022 - Dark Shadows - almost ready for publication!
The print-formatting for Dark Shadows
has now been approved, so the novella can now be prepared for publication. Not much longer to wait...
25.02.2022 - Dark Shadows - now at the publishers!
is now in the hands of the publishers to work their magic! It has already been through the proofreading and editing stages, and is now headed for typesetting (getting it ready for print). Once published, the book will be available in both paperback and Kindle versions. The cover artwork, designed by the very talented Heather Burns, is also ready and waiting.
15.11.2021 - Dark Shadows - now with beta-readers!
Editing the first and second drafts went really well, and the manuscript has now been sent out to beta-readers for their comments and critical feedback. I'm also working closely (once again!) with the very talented, award-winning photographic artist, Heather Burns, on the cover artwork.
02.11.2021 - Dark Shadows - First draft now completed!
Well, what an eventful and busy year so far!
We found our dream farm in the West of Iceland, close to the iconic Snæfells-glacier, so moved house this spring.
Luckily, I managed to find some time to continue with my writing, and have just finished the first full draft for my next book, a novella called Dark Shadows
. The manuscript will soon go under the scrutiny of my beta-readers for their feedback.
Although Dark Shadows
connects back to my first novel, Downhill
, it can also be read as a stand-alone. Watch this space for more news about the release date!
10.02.2021 - Dark Shadows - a work in progress...
I started writing again back in September 2020, with what I thought would become my third novel (Dark Minds)
. But, well, 2020 was hardly an inspirational year, so that project ground to a halt.
However, I have now started a new manuscript, Dark Shadows.
The story-line centres around Alana, an author who is being stalked by her "No. 1 Fan".
26.09.2020 - Release of Dark Dreams!
I am delighted to announce that Dark Dreams
has now been released! See BOOKS
for more details.
09.09.2020 - Author interview...
I was recently interviewed by author, Matt Ferraz, for the blog-page of his new website. Matt gave a fantastic 5-star review for Downhill last year. Here's the link to the interview.
Matt has published several books, including short stories. I recently read his latest book, Sawara: A Jaguar's Memoir, and thoroughly enjoyed it. He's a master of first-person storytelling, making it easy to fall into the mind of the characters.
Details about Matt and his books are on his website.
06.09.2020 - Here I go again...the urge to write has taken over!
Novel 3 is now a work in progress...
This is a manuscript that I started back in July 2018, called Dark Minds
. As has become my usual "writing-era", it's set in the 1980s (life was so much simpler back then!) and tells the story of Jess. After a really shitty upbringing, she decides to head for the bright lights of London, aged 18. En-route, she is offered a job too good to be true - so why not take the chance...? Surely she deserves to grab this opportunity to make a better life for herself?
And she's not the only one to be lured with this promise...
18.08.2020 - Dark Dreams is almost ready - should hopefully be available in early September 2020!
10.06.2020 - The end of coal is nigh...
I wonder if I should re-categorise Downhill
as "Historical Fiction"!
Time for a cleaner, greener future.
NEWS - March 2020:
The Star of the Cover!
I had a great trip to Derbyshire in February, to promote Downhill.
As well as meeting lots of wonderful, friendly people at the different book-signings and workshop events, I used the opportunity to visit many of the locations connected to the novel.
The imagery for Downhill
was taken at Pleasley Colliery, which is now a Heritage Museum site, so it was a particular pleasure to see the real "star" of the book cover.
I also visited the area on which the fictional town of "Castle Ridge" is based. Sadly, many of the places relating to Ged and Julie's "story" are now but a distant memory of the 1980s.
My grateful thanks to all those involved, and to EVERYONE for making me feel so welcome!
NEWS - Feb 2020
I'm delighted (and honoured!) to be working once again with my good friend and award-winning photographic artist, Heather Burns
, of Heather Burns Photography
Heather designed the cover for my first novel, Downhill.
Her creative genius will grace the cover of my next novel, Dark Dreams
. I can't wait to see her design ideas!
*** -oOo- ***
I'm excited to announce that I will be visiting my native Derbyshire for a few days in February 2020, to promote Downhill.
Friday 14th February
Eckington Library Readers Group - 15:00-16:00
Sunday 16th February:
High Peak Bookstore & Cafe, Ashbourne Road, Buxton, SK17 9PY - from 14:00 onwards
LOCAL AUTHORS EVENT
- This excellent event will feature a wealth of local Derbyshire authors, giving guidance and answering questions regarding the writing and publishing process. Featured authors will include Sophie Draper and Roz Watkins among others, as well as myself and my good friend, the enigmatic J.B. Bass, author of the debut novel, 89, Manning Place
(a Victorian Detective novel).
The Cafe is reputed to have excellent cakes and coffee! We look forward to seeing you there!
Monday 17th February:
Alfreton Library - 13:00-14:00
In conjunction with LoveLit, a part of the 'writing ambitions' workshop programme presented by Arts Derbyshire, I will be presenting a FREE creative writing mini-workshop. The event is ticket-only, and there are just a few places left.
(UPDATE: TICKETS SOLD OUT)
Book a ticket:
This will be followed by a book-signing at Alfreton Library, from 14:00-15:45.
BOOK CLUBS / READING GROUPS / WRITING GROUPS -
I still have some time available on Tuesday 18th February to present either a book-reading/signing, or give a mini-workshop for creative writing.
Either use the CONTACT
link, or send me a message via FB to arrange this.
Looking forward to my visit!