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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

Read more…Blog Hop

The dreaded DNF…

I know I’m not alone in this — whichever side of the fence I choose to stand on.

I strongly dislike not finishing books.

But books that I just can’t seem to get into… well, they stress me out. They take time away that I could put into books that’ll pull me into their world and teach me how I want to write. I strongly dislike reading books that don’t suck me in and books that I don’t feel I’m learning from.

I’ve said here on this blog that I will consider reviewing books for other writers, but I’m really not sure what I really mean by that. I love reading. I’m not one of those writers who stops reading while they’re in the middle of a writing project. Nothing aginst those who do, because they probably have way cooler lives than me. Me? My life is

Read more…The dreaded DNF…

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

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

Just keep on steppin’ And you’ll be just fine…

My (3yo) son is a not very closet Michael Jackson fan, so I have this song (amongst others) in my car…

So, for you fellow writers out there, as well as the rest of you with a dream you’re pursuing, here’s another anthem to add to the playlist…

‘Cause there maybe times
When you think you lost your mind
And the steps you’re takin’
Leave you three, four steps behind
But the road you’re walking
Might be long sometimes
You just keep on steppin’
And you’ll be just fine, yeah”

Yep, this is from The Wiz, and that is Diana Ross singing with MJ.

Other songs to keep in your bag of tricks:

Read more…Just keep on steppin’ And you’ll be just fine…

Stories have a tendency to write themselves…

… no matter how much you think you know better… you probably don’t. The story knows.

So, I’m still writing. Yes, yes, I know, I haven’t kept you updated… been too busy writing, or thinking up marketing strategies for HEALER’S TOUCH – often having to remind myself that the best marketing strategy for HT is to get WARRIOR’S TOUCH out there…

But I just felt like sharing something…

This may not be true for everyone, but for me, it really is: my stories write themselves, and if I try to go against them, I get stifled.

I’ve been reminded of this fact a couple of times recenty.

A few weeks ago I had an idea for WT. I thought “That’ll be really cool, and according to well-established story beats, a good time for that to happen would be… later in the story.” Cool, I thought. I have something to work towards.

Wrong.

I stagnated.

I kept pushing on, telling myself “Come on, write, there’s good stuff coming.” Not that I thought what I was writing at the time was terrible, or even bad. I was just struggling to find momentum in my writing.

Then I had an epiphany. That idea that I thought would work best coming later in the story could easily

Read more…Stories have a tendency to write themselves…

Going Local, Going Real

I originally posted this as an article in a Newsletter I edit…

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As writers, we’re pretty well used to interacting with “people” via text… it’s how our characters live. We write/type, and they live.

But what if the only way you intermingle with other writers is through the internet: WDC, Twitter, Facebook, G+… whatever…? Are they real? Or have you made them up? Am I real? Or are you just imagining me?

The thing about meeting up with real life fellow authors is you get to interact (gasp!) face-to-face. Foreign, I know… but let me tell you something…

Several years ago I finally discovered why I had been feeling so “odd” as I clawed my way through day-to-day life and went to work, blah blah. You see, I rediscovered my writing bug. I started penning a story. When it started to grow into something more than “just a story”, I joined WDC and combed through various websites looking for the advice and experience I needed to shape my story into a NOVEL. My best progress was made through the more personal relationships I formed both on WDC and on other sites (I found my strongest supporter on Jottify). It’s all good and well sending a review here and there and getting the odd one back, but there really is something about forming allegiences with other writers with the goal of helping each other succeed in whichever way they wish.

Then one day, for some reason I forget, I decided to seek face-to-face writing groups in my area. I learned of two. One I had to contact someone to get the details, the other one had all the details online, so I just rocked up. In both cases, it turned out to be the last meeting for the year before a 2-month break. The one I had to contact someone about was alright, but I never heard anything about things starting back up the following year, and I ended up not following it up, because…

The other one

Read more…Going Local, Going Real

Write.

If you want to play this game, you have to be stubborn and push through all your own doubts and just have some silly little part of yourself keep telling you “I can do this”… it’s the only way. I suck. I’m no where near as good a writer as I want to be… but people do seem to like reading HT, if they know it exists… but first, it had to exist… in completed form…

There, I said it…

A Review: Healer’s Touch

Oh my…

That is all I can say. Honestly, when I read reviews like this, it makes me wish I could read the book the way readers can.

Healer’s Touch is a mix of romance, steampunk and high fantasy done the right way and written in just the right kind of style. I have to say that this book has made me a fan of Deb E. Howell.

I have a fan (o: It’s exciting and scary all at once. I mean… RESPONSIBILITY! Argh! Right, back to falling back in love with WARRIOR’S TOUCH.

Read the rest of the review HERE.

Author Interview: Yep, me again…

Sometimes I feel like all I ever do is talk about me, me, me… Perhaps I do. But then, that’s one reason I love doing things like celebrating NZ Music Month – it’s a chance to celebrate other artists! (Wow, I’m starting to include myself in the rank of artists… It still feels weird, but I suppose… sort of… ).

Anywhay, this was the first Question-Reply-Next Question-Reply… style interview I’ve done. It was fun and gave Ana, the interviewer, the chance to react to my answers. I think she did a great job. I’m her first interviewee, and she’s looking out for MORE! So go check her (and me) out HERE!

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I’m working on a new drawing:

  1. So I can call myself an artist, and
  2. To give myself the chance to zone out now and then – drawing is a whole different art to writing.

And buy my book.

 

A Gift For You …

 

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No, really …  Well, all right, you might not be interested, in which case, toddle off once I reveal what I’m about to share with you. But if you are curious, stick around, because I am about to share my thought processes regarding the genetics of my two major magical people in my little fantasy world

Yeah. That’s right. It’s geek-speak time!

So, I’ve written a whole book without really investigating this so far. Sure, I’ve thought about it. But I haven’t really delved. But as I set down to work on my future books and think about the implications of some of my previous work (one of which can be seen in my supporting “prequel” short story Toes Across The Floor*) I find that I really do need to know this. No, it’s not going to be explained in the books (we’re talking equivalent to 1860s, here, people. Mendel himself was only just figuring out the basics).

Read more…A Gift For You …