Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2016


I've been something of a writing machine these last few years, and I have a heavy summer ahead of me, editing two books, undertaking exciting opportunities - more when I can - and promoting some cool anthologies I'm in (have a scroll to the end of the post). I've been invited onto three new anthos, all of which need a short story. I've just sold the audio rights of Inish Carraig to Garcomm Media, and that will take a bit of proofing and what not.

All of this is fantastic, amazing, and near to the dream.

I also have a busy job which, in June, goes a bit crazy.So far, there is only one of me. Cloning technology is sadly behind the times.Which means, there is truly only so far I can stretch. Since I'm also fitting a holiday in there, one where I don't want to be a frazzled bundle of nerves, something has to give.

Which means I'm not writing for a few weeks - and certainly not committing to anything regular. It will do me a lot of good. Already, ideas are rush…

On community

I have a fairly typical science fiction writer's conversation at least once a week:

"Oooh, you're a writer. That's exciting. I must look you up. What do you write?"

"Science fiction."

And there's the odd little scuffle of feet, and a murmured admission that science fiction isn't something that person reads. (Either that, or there's a "Cool. Where, where, where?")

I have no problem with that. There are some forms of fiction I'm not into - crime, apart from the odd writer, leaves me fairly uninspired and I've never got into mysteries at all. People read what they like, and for many that isn't sci-fi (although, I'll just put it out there that sf has a huge fan base. In fact, here, sf accounted for 6.6% of the fiction market. As it's a genre that has thrived on indie sales on Amazon, I expect this number to have grown somewhat.)

Where I struggle, much, much harder is with the wri…

It's not all about the muse

It's five o'clock on Friday afternoon. The sun is shining. So far today I've had an enjoyable work meeting (yes, such things do exist), I've promoted a 99p book, a Goodreads giveaway and my new audio book. I've done some facebooking and some tweeting, and even some foruming.

What I haven't done is my 20 page edits (normally I might aim for 50.)

So, it's head down and away I go. Editing ahoy. A deadline awaits.

It's not all about the muse, this writing game. In fact, it rarely is. It's about words and discipline and grafting.

See you all around dinner time.


Excitingly, Abendau’s Heir is coming out in audio format. I thought it would be fun to chat with its narrator, the fab Travis Niesler from Ravenwood Audio, about the process from his angle since it’s something I didn’t know anything about a few months ago.
I’ll be honest, I dragged my heels on agreeing audio rights. The reason was a straightforward one – fear. These were my words, from one of my book-babies and I was worried I’d hate the version. But, having heard a sample of another book by Travis, I decided to take the plunge and go for it.
Travis – how do you decide projects? Do you have a specialism, or a type you especially enjoy. 
Of the books that I am currently working on I’ve pursued a rather eclectic bunch. Abendau’s Heir is actually my first finished product and Gary Compton over at Tickety Boo tapped me for it without me having to ask for it! I enjoy reading a variety of books, so when I go out for an audio project I usually go for books that seem like they would be reall…

To review, or not to review....

I see them all the time on Facebook. On Twitter. On forums. I've left them myself like little droppings - the meme begging readers to leave a review on Amazon. The claim that if I get 50 I'll suddenly find myself promoted as never before, be put on 'other customers also bought this lists', that the magic book-selling point will be turned.

I see them and I get guilty. See, I'm not a particularly good reviewer. Not in terms of my scoring (although my goodreads average indicates I'm not a give-everyone-five-stars-and-have-done-with-it type). In terms of the actual review. For someone who studied English Literature at university, I'm woeful at analysing a book in such terms as to make people want to buy it.

I'm also terrible at reading on kindle. Frankly, my kindle is on my ipad. As are games, surfing, music and a million other things to take my attention. In addition, I've reached the heady heights of being a writer worth approaching for a cover blurb,…


Today’s blog is a rant. About bookstores, and fantasy ranges therein.
I’m lucky to live within kicking distance of several good bookstores, which I like a good browse in. Many, many moons ago I was a bookstore manager (albeit I didn’t manage books, but fiddled around with magazines instead.) One of the shops I worked in was a quirky shop, over three floors, with lots of very loyal customers. Eclectic was the word for the shop’s range. Books about tractors were very popular, as I recall, and I know I stocked magazines there that I never would have thought of elsewhere. It was something of a treasure trove.
Going back to about the same time, my husband worked in an academic bookstore, again years old with bookshelves containing books not found anywhere else (and not just academia – the shop did a fabulous range of Irish interest books, second to none. Signed Seamus Heaney’s; Michael Longley’s, numbered and bound in kidskin; a lovely range of maps.) I used to go …


This week, I was doing the goal-setting thing everyone should from time to time. One of the things that came out of that was where do I plan on going with my writing. Do I want to do it full time, given the opportunity? Or is it, in fact, something I’d rather keep part-time?
To give context, as well as writing I run my own consultancy. I manage my own hours, I set my own targets and I’m able to blend writing with my work needs very well. It also, crucially, provides something writing doesn’t – security. Coupled with that, I enjoy it and have a number of close colleagues.
Writing is incredibly time-consuming. Not just the writing, but the promotion, the networking, the producing enough words on a screen to maintain visibility. It’s hard to maintain on a part-time basis, especially once you have books out in the wild.  Which got me to thinking about what other writers aspired to. Being all scientific, I put the question out on facebook, on my own timeline and in a couple of groups wh…