OK, so when will Episode be published?

Episode will  be published in November 2018, in time for Christmas!

At least, that’s my aim.

More family aggro, more bad luck, homelessness, illness, death, abduction by aliens, the world ending all notwithstanding, my sixth novel will be published at the end of this year, two years later than intended. But what can you do when real life gets in the flippin’ way!

Yeah, so November’s nearly eight months away, but there’s still a lot of work to do on the book. I haven’t been idle. I’m struggling with an ending, so while I struggle I edit. No point in just doing nothing. I’ll have more time when the football season’s over in a few weeks, too, a major distraction averted.

Am I ready to reveal yet what the book’s about? No. You’ll have to wait nearer the time. I can say this much: it’s for readers age 9-12, there’s time-travel, Greek gods, and a famous mythological (or possibly real, who knows?) queen who states that actually, it’s not really how Homer told it (and when I say Homer I don’t mean Homer Simpson) because it’s not how her story really was. That’s why she’s desperate to escape and for that she needs Travis and Alisha’s help.

Anyway, that’s all for this month, I have a book to finish, bye.

 

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My Facebook author page is no more!

And I’m not pinin’!

It has ceased to be!

It’ll expire in fourteen days and will go to meet its maker!

It’s a stiff!

Bereft of life, it rests in peace!

Its processes are now history!

It’s off the twig!

It’s kicked the bucket, shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!!

IT IS AN EX-FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE!!

 

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The Facebook author page: is it really worth the aggro?

When you spend most of your time writing and editing and you have no time to promote…

Surely you should be doing both? Well, that’s true, but right now my new book Episode is proving to be a lot of hard work, much more than I anticipated! I’ve almost finished it, but I always have this compelling need to edit before I actually do finish, and that’s what I’ve started doing now. I wore myself out today on chapter four! It’s something that works for me though because most of the time editing and rewriting often works out my ending. I get that Eureka! moment!

What about promotion, though? It’s hard finding the time to promote old stuff when you have new stuff you want to get out there.

I have my Twitter account I use a lot (OK so not just for promoting, but without other interests I wouldn’t get a fan base for my books), promo sites and reviews. I also have a Facebook author page and this is causing me a problem: I’m considering ditching it. Here’s why:

  • Likes: the highest number of Likes I amassed was 522 last year. Since then, this has dropped to 498, probably because I haven’t given the page the attention I should have, but also because, in common with other pages, Facebook likes to purge Likes now and again, especially from deactivated accounts. A lot of people are ditching Facebook because they find it a drag. I do myself. I’ve tried to get more Likes and have had no success
  • Getting posts noticed: the number of times I’ve posted news about my books and not got a single thumbs-up like. You can boost a post to the top of the feed for advertising, but it costs a lot of money and I’m not prepared to pay it
  • Pressure: most authors use Facebook pages instead of a blog. What’s the point in doing that though if people are leaving Facebook in droves? With my blog I can just post when I need to, not when I feel pressured into doing so. Facebook invites pressure: if you don’t post you lose friends or Likes and you can’t return the favour because you don’t know who’s unfriended or unliked
  • Having the time: well-known authors with millions of followers probably wouldn’t maintain the pages themselves, they’d have someone else to do it. That’s nice. I don’t have that luxury. It’s bad enough thinking about what to say on my Facebook profile; it’s proving to be a bit of a drag juggling both. I’d rather spend my time writing and editing than have to worry about posting on my Facebook page and frankly I get a lot more exposure on Twitter
  • Profile not page: a lot of authors just keep profiles instead of pages and have a lot more engagement with readers. They acquire followers who don’t have to be friends.

So I am seriously considering binning off my page. It’ll be scary and I’ll lose all those Likes, but at least I don’t have to worry about it any more.

A new review for Big Brother: 4/5 stars!

 

Was I chuffed to find a new review for Big Brother on Amazon.co.uk! My thanks to the reviewer; glad they enjoyed it! 👍

Not Perfect, but a Highly Imaginative Offering Nonetheless
Sci-fi with a dash of horror; street level style. Ash is a young boy from a broken home; while his dad lives and works in the US, Ash is going to school and once home tries to keep things together in his Liverpool home for both himself and his badly screwed up mother, although he is really from Bristol and only came back to his mother’s home town after his mum and dad broke up. I can’t say or explain too much of the plot as it would be a class one spoiler, but Ash, after getting another pasting from a school bully, realises that what he wishes for can actually come true.

Now, some things to point out. This is YA but at the back end of the age-group / target audience, verging on grown-up reading. The central character, although perhaps he has reasons to be the way he is,is not the nicest lad on the planet. He seems to resent authority (his drunken drugged-up mother, teachers, social workers, the usual suspects as it were), just as much as he resents those who use him as a punchbag and as the butt of their jokes. He gets angry, swears and rejects whenever he’s threatened, and is rather amoral in some serious issues, although always with pangs of guilt lurking in the background before occasionally coming to the fore. Contradicting this is his sense of duty which sees him reject the chance of a better life, either in the US with his father, or back in Bristol, where he could stay with his Gran, who he likes and respects, and which would also allow him to return to his old school in Bristol, and be with his old friends in his old haunts where he was happiest. Instead, realising he is all his messed up mother has got, stays in Liverpool.

There are also a few references to sex and sexuality, but in a very general sense, not in the least graphic; for any concerned parents looking for a good book for their kids, yes, this is at times realistic and even raw, but it’s nothing that isn’t readily available on all YA bookshelves and on the TV and cinema.

So, we have an anti-hero as the central character, some rather odd, spooky stuff going on (science or magic? That would be telling.) And an ending which may not appeal to all, but is highly effective.

All in all, a book flawed in some ways at some points, but nonetheless a good, solid read, weighing in somewhere between a novelette and a full length novel.

What did you read on World Book Day?

World Book Day

I spent most of it reading the BBC Weather App today as we in the UK continue to be gripped by the Beast of the East (freezing temperatures and snow from Russia) and Storm Emma. March 1st, the first day of spring, and it’s been snowing like mad! Crazy weather and it’s set to continue into the weekend. I have a very confused and unhappy cat who can’t understand what’s going on and why she isn’t allowed to go outside! When I  open the door for her, the wind and snow rush in and she runs and hides! As far as I’m concerned, there’s not much else to do but read and write. I’m in the middle of two books at the moment: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick and A Daughter’s Choice by June Francis.

As a corny bit of fun, here’s a suggested reading list to fit the current climate:

  • Emma
  • A Touch of Frost
  • The Snowman
  • The Snow Queen
  • War and Peace (it’s Russian!)
  • Storm Warning
  • Gone with the Wind

Meanwhile, the good news is I’ve nearly finished Episode! I won’t be sorry when I finally do finish it because it’s gone on and on. Thankfully, the family issues are now resolved and I can get on with my books as well as my life! I’ve already got my seventh book planned.

 

My review of White Nights by Ann Cleeves

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After the impressive first book, Raven Black, I’m afraid I found White Nights too much of a slow burner. A visitor to an art exhibition is found murdered. Detective Jimmy Perez has very little to work on other than to find out if anyone in the small community knows who the man is and the history of personal relationships form the basis of his investigation. To his frustration he can’t head up the case himself; that’s down to Taylor, sent in from Inverness. Taylor is actually from the big city of Liverpool and he finds Shetland too insular for his taste. He also likes to show Perez who’s boss. When another murder is committed, and bones are found on a cliff edge by climbers, it is Perez who manages to solve the case first.

I was kept guessing right up until the end whodunnit, which is a plus, but then I was left feeling dissatisfied and cheated when the perpetrator got away with it by dying! I hate it when that happens!

While the case is going on there is an insight into Perez’s private life, but he really does come across as a colourless character without much personality and it’s difficult to find sympathy with him or any of the other characters in the story.

Got a bit of reading to do!

So I asked Father Christmas for some reading material: a copy of The Man in the High Castle (to help me understand what he TV series is going on about!) and the complete series of Poldark books. All twelve of them!

 

 

It appears I have a bit of reading to do this year as well as writing! Twelve Poldark books will keep me busy! I’m going to start with The Man in the High Castle first, though. Back in August I wrote a blog post about what should come first when following a story: the book or the film/TV series. It was the series on BBC 1 that inspired me to read Poldark. I didn’t mention The Man in the High Castle in that post, but I should have. The Amazon series has left both me and my husband scatching our heads. We’ve realised it’s an alternative history, a parallel universe, but we still don’t get it, so I asked for the book in the hope that I could better figure out what’s going on. I’ll let you know in a review.

As for Poldark, I can’t wait t get stuck into those. Should take me about six years I reckon. Just hope I live that long!

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