Friday, 30 November 2012

So, NaNo

How was it for you?

I gave up on my attempt less than half way through. I've completed it in the past and may, just possibly, attempt it in the future.

Come on - confess to your failure or brag (quite justifiably) about your success.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

It's FREE now

Get you free copy from or and please pass on the links to anyone who might be interested.

update - ranking 910 in UK and 3,163 in US. Not too bad.

update on the update - 502 and 1,853 now. Better.

updated update of the update -  143 and 1,194. Pretty good.

Not that I'm obsessively checking or anything ... 136 and 1,107.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Slightly Skiffy

My recent blog posts are starting to feel like a series on 'genres what I don't normally write'.  I have written Sci-fi* but I've done even less of that than I have children's stories. I might have a go at something for this competition though. There's plenty of time to work on it and the prize includes a sparkling trophy thing as well as books, paid publication and other stuff. I've never won any kind of trophy for writing (or anything else as far as I can remember and I think I would remember)

If you have something already written, or can come up with an entry by 16th December then this competition is worth a look. First prize is £300.

On a totally different note, Escape to the Country (US link here) will be free to download on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Anything you can do to help publicise this will be greatly appreciated - and please do download yourself a copy if you haven't already.

*and it's had almost no adverse effects at all.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Friday, 23 November 2012

A legend!

As they say in the navy, I'm a legend in my own stand easy*. I'm not telling you why.

Fortunately you don't have to write about me to enter this short story competition. You do however need to create a strong female protagonist (unless your stories are entirely about men you're doing that already, aren't you?)

The prize is $50, publication and an author interview on the site.

You don't need to be strong or female to enter.

Who do you consider to be a legendary female? (dead, alive, fictitious)

*tea break

Monday, 19 November 2012

For the kids

Win this competition and you'll get £2,000 plus publication of your children's novel. Alternatively, this one could earn you £1,500 plus an editorial consultation and a meeting with Literary agent Caroline Sheldon.

My granny made me this bear. He's called Brilly as I thought (and still think) he was a brilliant present. My dear brother used to call him Brillo pad. I'm still plotting my revenge.

I still have a book I was given (by my Uncle Grahame) the same year as I got Brilly - Aesop's Fables.

Do you remember any books or bears from your childhood? Do you still have them?

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Adults only?

When I told someone that I'm a writer he asked (slightly sarcastically I thought), "Going to be the next JK Rowling are you?"

"No," I said. "I write for adults." (this was before The Casual Vacancy hype.)

Suddenly he seemed much more interested. I don't think he was thinking of My Weekly fiction, more the sort of thing that might win this competition. I didn't explain, just said I had some research to do so he'd have to excuse me.

I don't write erotica, but thought I'd have a go at creating a fruity character. Do you like him?

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Celebrate shorts.

Today's post is by Rosemary J Kind from Alfie Dog (the best short story download site!)

National Short Story Week is a real time of celebration at It's our first since launch and we already have over 650 short stories to offer our readers. We have recently begun publishing collections of stories as ebooks as well and in addition to Patsy's 'Not a Drop to Drink' which is absolutely free, have 3 by Alpha Writers Group and the 'One Word Anthology' from Talkback Writers, all of which have been brought out in whole or part for charity.

In the next couple of weeks we will be launching our Christmas category with some fantastic stories for both adults and children bringing out all that is best and worst about Christmas. With over 180 authors we are just coming to the end of encouraging our readers to read their way through the alphabet of writers with Q, U and X the only letters we didn't have covered. In the new year we are going to be reading around the world covering the many writers our authors are from East to West around the globe.

We have also started advertising the site with Google Adwords and are seeing what response rates are like, while considering other avenues.

Having achieved all this in six months we are hoping by next year's National Short Story Week to be even stronger.

I know some of my blog followers have stories in the One Word Anthology - if you do, please tell us about your contribution.

Today's photo is by me. It has a very tenuous link - award yourself 23 points if you work it out.


Rosemary is hoping to reply to comments, but as her dog is just about to have puppies she might not be able to do so. I reckon we should forgive her if she promises to let us see pictures - what do you think?

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

I'm giving up

I've found it difficult to get into my NaNo novel. To keep the word count up, I cheated by writing a short story an mc read in a magazine. Then I had someone tell a different character about a family legend, which was really just another short story. As I seem to be in short story mode, I'm going back to writing those for now. I still like my NaNo idea and will probably get back to it after I've done some research and planning.

Maybe I should have stuck to this? (Maybe I'll still try that competition)

Do you (if you're a writer) ever find you can't work on a particular story and instead move onto something else? Or maybe the same thing happens when reading?

If you have stuck to a novel and completed it, you might be interested in this competition.

Short story writers might prefer this one or this.

Something else I'm giving up is buying lots of new tulips every year.

Gary's going to be totally convinced by that statement - right up until the point he remembers I'm a fiction writer.

One last thing ... it's national short story week, which makes it the ideal time to download Not a Drop to Drink, if you haven't got it already. (It's still free.)

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Aaaargh! and thanks.

It's time for another Insecure Writers' Support Group post. Why would I be insecure? OK, I'm doing NaNo which means I have to write around 1,666 words a day and complete the first draft of a novel in 30 days. Even if I succeed it'll obviously be rubbish* but I'm not bothered (much)

So why, faced with a choice of failure or writing rubbish, am I not feeling insecure? Simple - I don't have time. Gotta go write now.

Word count total due - 11662
My total - 8807 Eeek!

*There may be people who can write a decent novel in a month, but I'm not one of them.

Thank you so much to everyone who reads this blog, my short stories and my novels. Extra special thanks to those lovely people who give me such useful and generous feedback during the writing stage, those who comment here and everyone who has reviewed one of my books.

Without your help and encouragement I simply couldn't keep writing.

This is a blog hop from Vikki and Tara.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Horsing about

Jane Ayres was first published in a UK pony magazine aged 14. Since then she's written quite a few books, many of them involving horses. She says, 'horses have always inspired me to write'.

Jane has published three books on Kindle and will be donating the proceeds to the Redwings horse sanctuary.

I wonder if she likes horses ...

As I know some of my blog readers do, I thought you'd enjoy a few pictures. (All photos courtesy of Celebration Carriages.)

 I know plenty of you like a freebie, so I've got one of those for you too. Matty and the Problem Ponies (or here for US) will be free to download between 7th and 11th of November.

(apologies if you're suffering deja vu - I accidentally posted this a few days ago)

Friday, 2 November 2012

It's all happening today

I got up in the middle of the night to go to the BBC studio in Southampton. You can hear my radio interview here. My bit starts 13 mins in. We had breakfast in the van afterwards.

I got home (via IKEA) to discover I had a story up on 5 Minute Fiction. Then I discovered this wonderful review for Escape to the Country. After that I completed my NaNo words for today (I've only killed one person so far) and popped out into the garden for an hour. Then I got cooking. I managed to use lots of our lovely wedding presents for the first time by creating and eating a scrummy cream tea. (I had help with the eating part).

The scones all vanished before I could photograph them, so here's a garden picture instead.

After that I had a message from a publisher. I'm feeling slightly optimistic about that, but also a bit superstitious so that's all I'm saying about it for now.