So, where’s Warrior’s Touch at?

Hi!

Quick note while my toddler sleeps in the car (windows and boot are open–I can do that safely at my home–he’s got plenty of air and a cat).

I thought I would post a brief update on Warrior’s Touch here. I often post on Twitter when something happens, because Twitter is easy. Or Facebook, because Facebook gives ready feedback from the few people who actually see my posts. I haven’t wanted to pester people on my mailing list with little tidbits, but they’ll get the first cover peek and that sort of stuff, depending on how all this stuff rolls out.

Anyway, what you’re here for…

Warrior’s Touch has been through edits, formatting, and a final proof-read by me. It is back with my publisher to get my recommendations implemented if the publisher agrees they’re good ideas. And, of course, just to get those silly errors that slipped by us all the times before but that I caught this time… Doesn’t mean I didn’t still miss some, but so be it.

I have no news at this time on publication date, nor release build-up schedule. But I will let you know when I know. Because I want you to be excited, too! I finished the first draft in 2014! It’s been a long road getting it out to the world already. I can’t wait to finally share it (although, I’m still nervous it’ll get ripped to shreds by critics)… it’ll be great!! [forced smile]

 

“You felt it, didn’t you?” Braph squinted up at his half-brother, his narrowed eyes sparkling in the low light. “The power.”
Jonas took his time answering. “I felt it.”
Braph smiled. “Isn’t it…?” He closed his eyes, sucking in air as if he’d just injected himself again.
“It ain’t right.” Jonas half turned his head as if intending to look to Llew, but unable to make eye contact. Just how good *did* her blood feel to them?

–Warrior’s Touch

A Brief History of Healer’s Touch…

A brief history of Healer’s Touch and its sequels

Now, when I say brief, I mean that I am just going to write, and it may turn out not to be brief at all…

So, now you know.

A sexy manga manThe story of how HEALER’S TOUCH came about really starts back in the late 1990s, when I was attending high school. I enjoyed a wide range of books, comic books, and cartoons that I watched on Saturday mornings and after school. In this sojourn back in time, the cartoon Gargoyles particularly comes to mind. I had also taken up collecting Robin III comics (from Batman fame, of course).

I was always well known for my horse drawings, but I had an interest in challenging myself to do better art, including drawing people. And so, I had a go at developing my own super hero. His name was Equus (of course… and I bet no one has ever come up with that idea before…

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And so it begins… again

The blank page.

That dreaded blank page. It’s horrible!

Why do we do this to ourselves?

I think, largely, it is because writers are gluttons for punishment. We’re never happy, and if we should be then we will find something to keep us down. And what better way than to start a new project?

Read a 1-star review of our work, you suggest? Yes, that is a good plan, too… Unless you get the kind of 1-stars you’re proud of (and I have been, lately… I’ve really liked them).

I am lucky this time around in that I’ve written two previous books in the same series I’m continuing on, so I have a decent string of events I already know I need to cover to tie off the loose ends. But

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My Writing Process Blog Hop

So, yet again, I’ve had several thoughts of possible blog post topics over the course of the week, and even had words flow through my mind that I could have shared. Just not when I had the time to sit down to do it. And when I had the time to sit down, my mind drew a blank… or, the passion was gone. And I’m not much good at topical blog posts when the passion is gone…

Thankfully, though, I was once again tagged in the “My Writing Process” blog hop by Kat Hawthorne and, since I’m onto a “new” project since last time, I thought I may as well. So now I have something to post!

I prefer doing personal posts to scheduled info-only posts… but I have limited writing time, so I tend to prefer to use that writing time to actually do writing of some sort. Excuses, always excuses.

Anyway… in the name of doing a more personal blog post, here is my writing process at this moment in time…

1. What are you currently working on?

I am currently “between books”, but they’re in the  same series so it’s not exactly down-time. Beta Readers are checking out WARRIOR’S TOUCH (the follow on from HEALER’S TOUCH) for me, and I’m pondering my plans for MAGICIAN’S TOUCH (the last of the series). I’m also considering

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My Writing Process – Blog Tour

I was tagged twice in the same week (same day) for the My Writing Process Blog Tour, so, I have both Zoe Harris and Clare Davidson to thank and introduce you to (if you haven’t come across these lovely ladies already).

Zoe is an Australian now living in Bærum ( just outside Oslo), Norway. Zoe makes up one half of Grimbold Books, and is the driving force behind Tenebris Books. She also writes her own fiction, and will be my editor when I submit WT to Kristell Ink… Phew!

Clare is a mother, wife, teacher and writer, based in Lancaster, England. She first published the fantasy novel Trinity in 2012, before going on to work on her YA Paranormal series Hidden. The first two books in the series, Reaper’s Rhythm and Broken Bargain are available now.

—-

The next part involves me answering a few questions:

What am I working on?

Well… I’m still working on Warrior’s Touch at the moment, although, I am in the final stages.

WT is the sequel to Healer’s Touch, which was released early in 2013 and enjoyed a quiet first year in the market. Then Kristell Ink did a promo in February this year and, well, it’s done quite well. So, yes, people are waiting on WT. I’m working on it!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Probably the easiest way to answer this is to look at what my work is like…

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Welcome New & Faithful Few

Well, hello there.

So, about ten days ago, my publisher advised me there had been some 37,000 free downloads of HEALER’S TOUCH. Now, this is where I have to remind myself that these are downloads that would not have happened had it not been free… because, well, I still have a student loan sitting there… looking at me… and I’m looking at it… yeah. Maybe next time.

Anyway, that was a highly successful promotion we had there… and we didn’t expect it. I guess it just goes to show what a decent cover, blurb and the few kind reviews I already had can do…

Over the course of the month, I’ve gone from having just 22 reviews on Amazon US to over 90. That’s amazing. 22 in a year… another 70 in a month. Goodreads has seen a jump, and I even got my first review on Smashwords. B&N also got some action.

It has been an amazing time

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Mailing List

So…

We have had a highly successful promo campaign already, and HEALER’S TOUCH is still free for the rest of the month! And after a little BookBub boost at the end of last week, there have been a ton of downloads… I mean that. LOTS. And some of those downloaders have read it already, and some of them have even liked it. And people are, understandably, asking about Book 2.

Well, I have been working on WARRIOR’S TOUCH since before HT even hit the shelves… yeah, that long. Some fifteen months to date. It hasn’t been an easy ride. There have been some parts of the book I’ve been so enthusiastic about, but that just haven’t worked. And there are other bits I’m so excited about and I can’t wait to get them out there. And then there are the slightly less exciting point-A-to-point-B parts… They’re OK. I’ll shine them up a bit by the end.

The point is, I have

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Blog Hop

What a fab way to finish the year: With a re-cap/where-I’m-at post as part of an Author Blog Hop. So, here goes.

A brief run-down of 2013 from me: My book, HEALER’S TOUCH, was released at the end of January by Kristell Ink (part of Grimbold Books). I think it’s done not too badly for a debut novel published by a small publisher. My understanding is that Kristell Ink are really taking off, so I feel privileged to have got in on the ground floor. It’s all up, up, up from here.

We hit a bit of a snag when we split from Holland House to become Grimbold authors, but that’s all done and dusted now, all smooth sailing (Gosh, look at the cliches! Just look at them!).

As far as the rest of life goes, my son turned 3 in September and finally moved on from his terrible twos soon after and is becoming quite a pleasure to have around (phew!). And work has just seemed to get busier and busier. I’m sure it’s all very positive, but we (my husband and I) are stressed a good deal of the time (we work at the same company). Not super great for our parenting and my writing, but we’re managing. There are positive moves being made at work that may lead to reduced stress… or more, who knows?

Anyway, back to the Blog Hop. I was tagged by Elaine White. You can also see what she’s up to on her Facebook Page, Twitter and Goodreads profile.

Here’s how a blog hop works. Elaine tagged me, so I answer the four blog hop questions in my blog, which I will link to Elaine’s answers to the same questions on her blog. Then I will reach out to five random authors to continue the hop!

Read on to find my answers to the blog hop questions.

What are you writing?

I am currently (still) working on

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The Way Things Are, Could Be, and the Role of Fiction

I don’t write these kinds of posts often… but, well… I just can’t not, this time…

I’m going to say some stuff that people won’t agree with. That’s fine. Say I’m wrong, I’ll listen, and I’ll consider. That’s as much as I can promise.

Amid all this rape culture media coverage (earlier in the year with the boys in the US and more recently with, shamefully, NZ’s own), I have realised that as I happened to include sexual assault in HEALER’S TOUCH it is a responsibility of my characters to deal with it in a realisitic, and hopefully healthy way.

Something I have been realising with fiction: it’s one thing to go out there and say, “Look, this is a bad guy doing bad things, we blew him up… that’s what happens when you do bad things… but, look, this good guy isn’t totally shiny, but he’s not that bad, so he’s cool”… But what about saying “Here… this is how it could be done… grow up like this guy/gal”? Just a thought I’ve been having.

It’s a tough one. Because to go out there and design a character, or three, that you think are the best role models for the world is to assume that you know best… which, well, who can?

I like to think that Jonas is a good

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Details to inspire (& pretty horses)

Those who have followed me for some time will know that I based Jonas’ horse, Chino, on my very own mini horse… Chino.

Looking gorgeous! I just adore this photo.
Looking gorgeous! I just adore this photo.

That’s him in his full-colour glory.

Now I want to introduce you to my inspiration for Llew’s Amico. I don’t know his real name. If I’d had a place to keep two horses, I would have done a little research into acquiring him, too.

Beeautiful!
Beeautiful!

What this photo doesn’t show is the tiny spot of chestnut on his shoulder. That sold him to me, I gotta say (if I’d had a home for him).

Of course, the fictional Chino is much taller and has a military background, & Amico has a history of carrying highwaymen. But having such a strong image in mind has helped me give both horses their own personalities in the books, even though they are clearly minor characters.

Both horses raised their heads as the pair approached the fence. Chino nickered, snorted and took a tentative step towards them before Amico rounded him up, threatening to nip his legs, and led him in a chase away from the couple.

Jonas and Llew grinned at each other to see the bold hack leading the warhorse in play.

Personally, I struggle to say my human characters look just like real people (horses are easier in that regard), but I think this is a great example of how character research can help us with our writing.

What about you guys? Do you keep photos of what your characters look like in your writing files?  Only human? Or animals, too?