April Update

So, Easter has come and gone and the year marches on.

Rememberance Poppy
Attribution: Wikimedia Commons (click on image for original)

New Zealand also commemorates Anzac Day in April (25th). It’s a day when we remember not only the day Anzac troops landed at a beach in Gallipoli during WWI, but our armed forces in general. Fact is, those guys do what the rest of us are so glad we don’t have to. But, sadly, we do live in a world where, I believe, some force is necessary sometimes. To quote one of my favourite movies (How to train your Dragon 2): “Men without reason cannot be reasoned with.”

I’m grateful to my uncle who popped up a little post on Facebook giving a run down of what he’d learned about my great grandfathers’ involvements (his grandfathers). I knew they must have been involved somehow, but I hadn’t managed to do any investigation so far myself. It’s nice to have a few details to add to the family tree I’ve been slowly filling in.

News

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March Update

Here I am a couple of days late. But, here I am.

It’s always a toss-up for me whether I should prepare these posts early if I know I’m likely to get busy when they’re due, but I also want them to capture the month, and where I’m at at a particular time. So I prefer to keep them live as much as possible.

This month, the 20th happened to land on a day when it was just me and Mr4 alone for an entire day, followed by an anniversary dinner in the evening (also with Mr4 as we are short on babysitters at the moment), so by the time I had the time to sit at my computer to type anything, I didn’t have the energy. And then the next day was Saturday, so that was much the same. Here I am on a Sunday morning, eating my breakfast in front of my PC while Mr4 watches some Dinosaur Train with his dad.

Anyway, what I wanted to say first up was: Thanks.

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The Fallacy of Reap What You Sow

I read an opinion piece in an online newspaper on Sunday just been. And then I went on to read the comments. Possibly a mistake, but, meh. It happened.

The article was about private property vs a community’s right to protest what the owner of the property wants to do on or with that private property. In this case, there was a native tree estimated to be 500 years old in line to be chopped down for development. A comment (I’m not going to go on and rant about) disputed whether we knew the age of the tree … Certain trees grow at certain rates. The size of the tree can give you a pretty close estimate). I guess you can see which side of the argument I err on. While I totally understand people’s desire to develop housing where housing is needed and wanted, and I understand people wanting to use their spare capital to grow their wealth, I just think there is more to the whole picture than our (fleeting) human wants and needs.

Anyway … back to the rant.

So, I came across a comment that included this statement:

Society uses self-interest as a motivator, which is fair enough; why should I advance the collective well-being if there is nothing in it for me? I have always regarded pure altruism as pretty stupid & highly unreliable.

Of course, I took some offence. I spent a great deal of time–that I could have put to my own endeavours–fighting to win gigabit speed internet for my city last year. Why? Because this city has been steadily losing jobs because of decisions made by other people and I (along with several others) figured this was a way to bring valuable new businesses to this city. For our own gain? For many of the hardest fighters: no. I (and several others) do not live in one of the areas that can access the fibre to get the gigabit internet. But, I know that there are now businesses already setting up and others looking to set up in Dunedin because of the Gig. Sure, there are flow on effects I hope to benefit from: a more vibrant city (already being achieved through new Street Art initiatives, which I have donated to also), more development and redevelopment which will provide jobs to builders and other services (and, yes, I work with electricians, so …)

Still, in the past I have volunteered for the SPCA and Victim Support. I got little directly out of this other than the sense of a job well done. (And, honestly, Victim Support damaged me for quite some time, but that’s a tale for another time).

Guess I’m just stupid.

But the part of the comment that really got to me was the next bit:

Thus the developing world uses various degrees & forms of self-interest to drive forward improvements in the common-weal. This is a working proposition as individuals who contribute the most get a better share of the returns. (emphasis added by me)

No.

Just no.

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February Update

February 2015, eh? It has certainly been a month. A month of what? I’m struggling to keep track of it all myself!

News

Sad news in our house this week as we said goodbye to our eldest cat, Kitty (Yeah … we tried a few names on him in the early days, but that was the only one that gelled!). 

I've written the story, but it's up to you if you'd like to read it (click here).

On with the show …

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January Update

Welcome to my first post of 2015.

It doesn’t feel like there’s much to tell … so I’ll just get on with it.

News

Well, some a-little-bit-sad news, actually. Matt Donnici, who did the cover art for HEALER’S TOUCH, is deeply caught up in his work for the next Pirates movie, and so my publisher and I have opted to seek another cover artist. I’ve identified some possibilities from Deviant Art, so now we wait to find out if any are up for a commission …

Feel free to let me know if you know (or are) someone interested. We’d be looking for a similar drawing style to Matt (strong realism).

 

Writing Progress

Wow. Holiday Season, eh? It’s a strange one. In theory, you have all this time that you don’t have during the rest of the year … Yeah. Not so much. I worked through to Christmas, and my son’s kindy/daycare was open till Christmas Eve, then I couldn’t work on the non-statutory days because I had a child at home, but neither could I write because I had a child at home and my husband was working the non-stat days … Long days, too. So, it has been a very tiring time all round. However,

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December Update

And where did December come from, eh? Every year it just seems to come from out of nowhere, pounce on our backs, dig its incisors into our necks and shake us like a terrier to a rat?

No? Just me, then?
That’s right. I see you shrugging meekly over there. Takes you by surprise, too, doesn’t it?

Well, here we are now, barely more than a week from a whole new year and all that it will bring.

Roll on 2015? I think so.

News

Right, news.

Not a lot, other than that I now have an approximate release date for WARRIOR’S TOUCH, which is Spring (that’s Autumn for us Southern Hemisphere-ites) 2015. Before you get too excited (I saw you), I feel a need to caution that it will probably be late Spring/Autumn, especially when we consider that my cover artist won’t be available until March as it is. But at least we have something to aim for. And between now and then there will be cover reveals and other marketing ploys to get us all excited and stuff …

 

Writing Progress

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Books For Christmas

(Oops. Ignore my premature post… clicked “Publish” instead of “Save Draft”, didn’t I? Duh!)

Fellow Grimbold author Paige Daniels had this idea for a little cross-promotion since, you know, Christmas is coming up. So, just in case you wanted some ideas for books to hunt out in your local bookstore (sorry, I’ve probably left this a bit late to order physical copies), or to add to your wishlist should you find yourself with a digital voucher of some sort, I’m going to share a few ideas with you right here, you know, to help you out.

And, I’m totally going to borrow Paige’s categories/descriptions, too.

But first … I say, I say, FIRST, I’m going to pay homage to Paige by doing a plug for her books, because she plugged mine but didn’t even whisper her own books’ names (Yes! Plural!) in her post.

So without further ado, check these books out if you like your cyberpunk a little dystopian.

 

Non-Compliance--The-Sector COverNon-Compliance--Transition
Equilibrium Thumbnail
Non-Compliance: Equilibrium -- Coming soon!

Do you like pirates? Pterodactyls? Then look no further than the book below if you like swashbuckling adventures on the high seas.

 Sea Stone Sword Cover

Perhaps you like to mix it up with a bit of space opera?

Artifial Absolutes CoverSynthetic Illusions Cover
Do you like epic fantasies adventures complete with battles, adventures, Gods, Goddesses, mystical creatures, and sword fighting? You won’t be disappointed if you check out the books below.

Art of Forgetting Rider CovernomadIn Search of Gods & Heroes cover

If you like traditional fantasies with dragons, magic, demons, battles between good and evil then give the books below a go.

Darkspire Reaches CoverreluctantWhite Mountain Cover

Maybe you like less traditional fantasies, maybe those that occur in the future or even the present. The books below are sure to delight.

shadowoveravalon-smaller11Sword of Shadows CoverBook of Prophecy Cover

And for some more great reads, check out these indie picks:

New-Cover-Front-Small-194x300Fire Dragon by Mary FanAtlantis and the Game of Time Cover
Never Trust A PrinceHeiress of HealingHeiress of Magic
Ghost Hand Ripley PattonGhost Hold Ripley PattonGhost Heart Ripley Patton
Soul Fire Aprille LegacySoul Blaze Aprille LegacyNecklace

 

Season’s Greeting! Have a wonderful time whatever you are (or are not) celebrating. Snuggle up against the cold, or get out in that brilliant sunshine (? … um, she says, looking outside and at the weather forecast … sigh) with a good book, of course!

November Update

And so another month rolls by… In some ways, it felt long, and in other ways it (as so often happens) has zoomed by.

News

Sadly, there has been very little progress on WARRIOR’S TOUCH’s road to publication in the last month. Grimbold Books are busy with multiple books to sort, along with submissions to read, etc, etc. They’re a small team, and they’re doing the best they can. But it means we do have to be patient. I’m hoping that by my next update I will have more of an idea of what’s on the cards.

So… last month, I mentioned that Matt Donnici, the cover artist for HEALER’S TOUCH, was on board for the WARRIOR’S TOUCH cover, too. Well, progress is also slow for that… but it might just be for the best possible reason. He’s working on prop design for the 5th Pirates of the Caribbean movie (due out in 2017… WT will beat that, at least!). So {rubs knuckles up and down shirt}, you know, I guess I need to make concessions to allow my cover designer to work on these projects… sigh.

In case you missed it (it was waaaay down the bottom of last month’s post), I did an interview over on The Time Warrior’s website that went up last month. I consider it my best interview to date simply because I think I’m starting to get a bit more comfortable with all this stuff, so I was very “me” in it… and I guess I’m learning to be comfortable with me.

On with the show…

Writing Progress

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October Update

Wah! It’s the 20th October already. Where did the time go?

News

Well, not long after last month’s post, I signed a contract with Kristell Ink (Grimbold Books) for them to publish WARRIOR’S TOUCH (look, it’s on their Future Releases page).

Matt Donnici, the cover artist for HEALER’S TOUCH, has given us the nod for also doing the WARRIOR’S TOUCH cover. Hope to get started on discussing ideas soon.

Ooh, yeah… I wrote a guest blog post last month for A Woman’s Wisdom. After attending the talks by the marketing manager from Smashwords, I decided to write a post about doing it your way. If you’re a(n aspiring) writer, the amount of advice online can seem overwhelming, and some of it can come from such a convincing voice of reason it may truly seem like the best/only way to do things. But, if there is one thing I have learnt on my short journey, there is no ONE right way to do any of it. Outline/don’t outline, Self-publish/seek representation, publish as you write/amass a back-catalogue first… Half the time, you won’t know what’s right until you’re doing it/have done it. And that’s OK! So, yeah… I wrote a POST.

And… that’s about it!

Writing Progress

October has been the first month of real progress on MAGICIAN’S TOUCH. After a very busy September

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September Update

News

First up, the Grimbold Books Kickstarter project “From Dream to Team” surpassed its target and, I believe, reached its stretch goal. Thank you so much to everyone who backed it.

The fact is that not all of us authors are ready to self-publish right out of the gate, but neither may we be prepared to sign our lives over to a large publisher. But good small publishers are hard to find and be confident in. Oh yes, they’re out there, but you just never know.

I took a punt on Kristell Ink, just as they took a chance on me. They were new, I was new, but both sides felt each had a future.

It’s hard to get a brand new book from a brand new author noticed. It’s not a lot easier when it’s pushed by a brand new publisher. Kristell Ink, and Grimbold Books as a whole, have done their darnedest to give each of their books a good shot, but it’s been a slow road for us all (well, except for the success of February’s HT BookBub promo). Sammy and Zoë have funded the book productions themselves, so far, with, I imagine, little reward to date. This Kickstarter will help them fund the next round of books, and get them under the kinds of noses that other people listen to. Yes, this may mean that WARRIOR’S TOUCH will have something of a delay in coming out (it takes time to get books onto NetGalley and the like, but that’s what the big players do, to help their authors make a big splash come release day). If WARRIOR’S TOUCH is as good a book as I think it is (and, in my opinion, it is significantly better than HEALER’S TOUCH), then I want to make sure it has the best chance of being noticed by the many when it launches onto the world’s stage. I want to please my already keen readers and get it to them as soon as possible. But my “career” (she says with a day job still to go to) is still very much a fledgling. I’d love to see it make inroads to taking off.

So we wait.

Writing Progress

About a week after my August Update I penned a new opening to MAGICIAN’S TOUCH that I feel is a keeper… for now. It’s enough

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