…you know your readers would rather you spend your limited writing time working on your novel.
Yep, that’s me.
On with editing. It’s getting close. I can feel it.
…you know your readers would rather you spend your limited writing time working on your novel.
Yep, that’s me.
On with editing. It’s getting close. I can feel it.
Just a quick note to keep you up-to-date.
Recording has begun on the Healer’s Touch audio edition. Exciting times…
I was remiss in my post yesterday in that I didn’t mention that Grimbold Books have seven other titles looking for voice actors to turn them into audio books. This could be your chance to be the voice of a publisher… if it so happened that your talents suited multiple titles.
Let’s have a look-see at what’s up for grabs:
In Search of Gods and Heroes (Children of Nalowyn)
By Sammy H.K Smith
Buried in the scriptures of Ibea lies a story of rivalry, betrayal, stolen love, and the bitter division of the gods into two factions. This rift forced the lesser deities to pledge their divine loyalty either to the shining Eternal Kingdom or the darkness of the Underworld.
In Search of Gods and Heroes, Book One of Children of Nalowyn, is a true epic of sweeping proportions which becomes progressively darker as the baser side of human nature is explored, the failings and ambitions of the gods is revealed, and lines between sensuality and sadism, love and lust are blurred.
Since I have read this one, I can attest to its epicness. Go on, have a nosey.
By Ellen Crosháin
Once a year, in the caves deep below the house, the Family gathers to perform a ritual to appease their god. But Faroust only accepts payment in blood.
Cruelty, it runs in the Family.
By C.N Lesley
The wyvern has hunted for the young outcast all her life; a day will come when, after being rejected by civilisation and the tribes, she must at last face him.
A unique and unsettling romantic adventure about rejection and belonging.
I’ve read this one, too, and can agree that there are some rather unsettling parts. But the whole will draw you in and pull you along for the adventure.
By Jude Houghton
Balmoral Murraine works in a Battery, assembling devices she doesn’t understand for starvation pay. Pasco Eborgersen is the pampered son of an Elite, trying to navigate the temptations of the Pleasure Houses, the self-sacrifice of the Faith, and the high-octane excitement of Steel Ball. They never should have met, and now they will rip the world apart.
What happens when a single secret is discovered that calls into question everything we have ever believed? Welcome to the Autonomy. Welcome to your future.
I want to read this one… But I’m going to have to wait. It comes out next month.
The Reluctant Prophet
By Gillian O’Rourke
There’s none so blind as she who can see . . . Esther is blessed, and cursed, with a rare gift: the ability to see the fates of those around her. But when she escapes her peasant upbringing to become a priestess of the Order, she begins to realise how valuable her ability is among the power-hungry nobility, and what they are willing to do to possess it.
The Reluctant Prophet is the story of one woman who holds the fate of the world in her hands, when all she wishes for is a glimpse of her own happiness.
I’ve read The Reluctant Prophet, and I would suspect it would appeal to many fans of Healer’s Touch.
Non-Compliance: The Sector
By Paige Daniels
I used to matter… but now I’m just a girl in a ghetto, a statistic of the Non-Compliance Sector. Shea Kelly had a brilliant career in technology, but after refusing to implant an invasive government device in her body she was sent to a modern day reservation: a Non-Compliance Sector, a lawless community run by thugs and organized crime. She’s made a life for herself as a resourceful barkeep, and hacks for goods on the black market with her best friend Wynne, a computer genius and part-time stripper. Life is pretty quiet under the reigning Boss, apart from run-ins with his right hand man, the mighty Quinn: until Danny Rose threatens to take over the sector. Pushed to the edge, Shea decides to fight back …
I’ve read this one, too. It’s a strong opening to a strong trilogy.
The Art of Forgetting: Rider
By Joanne Hall
A young boy leaves his village to become a cavalryman with the famous King’s Third regiment; in doing so he discovers both his past and his destiny. Gifted and cursed with a unique memory, the foundling son of a notorious traitor, Rhodri joins an elite cavalry unit stationed in the harbour town of Northpoint. His training reveals his talents and brings him friendship, love and loss, and sexual awakening…
This, the first part of The Art of Forgetting, is a gripping story about belonging and identity, set in a superbly imagined and complex world that is both harsh and beautiful.
Another one I’ve read, and another great title, with several accolades, from Grimbold Books.
So, the news is that audio books are a current priority in the Grimbold Books stable, so if you’d like to join us on this ride, dive on in. There’s something for everybody.
Long time no blogging. That would have a lot to do with having a baby and a 5-year-old, as well as moving house.
As always, I’m tired, so this will be brief.
What I would like to share is that I am currently listening to voice actor auditions for reading the Healer’s Touch audio book. There are a… few… to get through, so it may take some time. That’s not to say I’m not keen to hear some more. Auditions have been open for over a year, but audio books took a backseat for a while there. You see, not only am I raising children and doing other work to bring in a penny (actually, right now I’m fully off working a day job, but we won’t be able to maintain that for too much longer), but so is my publisher and many of my fellow authors. We do this because we love it. Don’t get me wrong, we all dream of our writing supporting itself, but we do it regardless.
That’s one of the exciting things about delving into audio. It opens up a greater audience and, yes, a greater potential income stream.
The other bonus is that an over-tired mum can listen to auditions. It’s way easier than editing. That being said, editing Warrior’s Touch is still my number 1 priority when the stars align. And even when they’re just, kind of, almost approaching alignment. It makes me feel as if I am achieving something when I otherwise might not.
Anyway, if you happen to come across this and happen to be a voice actor, feel free to put in an audition and I’ll see if I like it. It’s hard to put a deadline on it at this stage, but I would say it’s drawing close. Perhaps in a week or two I will have narrowed down the current choices significantly. So, if you want to get in there, get in quick.
And to all the voice actors who have already put in an audition: Don’t be offended if I don’t pick you. I’m having to put on my super brutal judgy pants to do this, otherwise I’d never pick. It’s amazing hearing all these beautiful voices. Some I love for how smooth they are. Some are quite sultry. Some are wonderful at taking on a different ‘voice’ for different characters (they do get my attention). All are appreciated for the time and interest you have taken in my debut novel. As always, I feel blessed.
I started writing this on my Facebook Page, and then I remembered that I really, really needed to post something here. So… here’s the goss:
I’ve been full up with a cold over the last month (actually 2 colds… I was nearly over the first when the second struck) and, of course, I’m still full up with baby. And so, when I haven’t been doing the things I need to do in life (office job, house work, childcare, midwife appointments, scans, obstetrician appointments…), I have been sleeping (or coughing).
Somewhere in there, I strained an abdominal muscle (better now), and now I’m just working on clearing the last of the gunk from my lungs.
Our house is on the market… Not sold yet, sadly, but neither has anyone whisked the other house out from under us (the vendors have a “cash out” clause, so if they get a better offer than ours they can take it… unless we can pay right then), so all fingers still crossed. The vendors for the house we want were planning to restart an advertising campaign around now, though, so… eep! Nervous times.
The struggle we have is that even though we’d love a swift sale (therefore, a low price would be ideal), we are constrained because we simply can’t afford to grow our mortgage by too much… We’re already taking a financial risk just contemplating moving. But… mental health vs. financial health… Hopefully we can achieve both. And I need more space around me. And horses.
Aaaand… my baby has a mid-November due date… and tomorrow (NZ time) is November… And the pressure is on. My first son was born via c-section after several days of labour, so, of course, another c-section is very much on the cards. For the sake of quicker healing after, though, I’m aiming for VBAC (vaginal birth after c-sec). However, the hospital is watching me closely. I have another large baby in me, and if he goes past due date + 10 days, the hospital won’t risk artificially inducing me (which I don’t like the sound of anyway) because the added stresses introduced would put me at risk of rupturing my scar, so they would be pressing for an “elective” c-section at that point. Hence, pressure: on. Come on, baby. Feel free to come early (I have had to make peace with still being in this house when he arrives).
Needless to say, the creative juices are not flowing. This happened in my last pregnancy. I wrote very little of Healer’s Touch in the year I was pregnant with my first son. But I got back into it the following year, as I was up at interesting hours with a silently feeding baby, which allowed my mind to wonder, and then that baby slept for two decent chunks of the day, which allowed me to write. Obviously, things will be different this time, with an older child already, but he is 5 now, so he has school (o:
Both Warrior’s Touch and Magician’s Touch are in limbo at the moment. I have ideas floating in my head for how to tackle my editorial letter for Warrior’s Touch, but I won’t likely be actioning those until the new year. My apologies. Of course I want to get these stories out to you (which would help me a–very–little financially while I’m not working, at the very least… but, come on… I’ve created something and I can’t wait to share it and–hopefully–you’ll love it, but I don’t know until you guys have it in your hot hands…). I can’t wait… but I have to. I have to get it right.
And, then I’ve been a little bit naughty as I simmer ideas for a whole new project to come after Magician’s Touch. Which, I guess is a good thing. If you like my writing, hopefully you’ll like more stories by me. But, if you just want to conclude this series, that might make you a tad grumpy. Don’t worry. The next project is very much just a collection of jotted thoughts for now. I won’t allow myself to actually write any of it until a decent 2nd or 3rd draft of Magician’s Touch is winging it’s way to Kristell Ink. So, never fear, I’m doing what I can.
At least next year, while I’ll have a new baby and (hopefully) a lifestyle block to get my head around, I’ll have some breathing space from the office job. More of my headspace, while I do the not overly mentally stimulating work I need to do, can go to my fiction. Woo!
Right. Well, that’s a bout it from my brain today.
Time to get on with nibbling dates and pineapple.
Book title: DARKHAVEN
Author: A.F.E. Smith
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release date: 2 July 2015 (ebook), 14 January 2016 (paperback)
Price: £1.99/$3.99 (ebook)
Ayla Nightshade never wanted to rule Darkhaven. But her half-brother Myrren – true heir to the throne – hasn’t inherited their family gift, forcing her to take his place.
When this gift leads to Ayla being accused of killing her father, Myrren is the only one to believe her innocent. Does something more sinister than the power to shapeshift lie at the heart of the Nightshade family line?
Now on the run, Ayla must fight to clear her name if she is ever to wear the crown she never wanted and be allowed to return to the home she has always loved.
A.F.E. Smith is an editor of academic texts by day and a fantasy writer by night. So far, she hasn’t mixed up the two. She lives with her husband and their two young children in a house that someone built to be as creaky as possible – getting to bed without waking the baby is like crossing a nightingale floor. Though she doesn’t have much spare time, she makes space for reading, mainly by not getting enough sleep (she’s powered by chocolate). Her physical bookshelves were stacked two deep long ago, so now she’s busy filling up her e-reader.
What A.F.E. stands for is a closely guarded secret, but you might get it out of her if you offer her enough snacks.
Author social media links
So, Easter has come and gone and the year marches on.
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.
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.
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)
February 2015, eh? It has certainly been a month. A month of what? I’m struggling to keep track of it all myself!
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!).
On with the show …