Almost Midnight: Three Classic Fairytales is HERE!

When I had the idea to publish a small collection of fairy tale retellings (back in June), I thought it would take maybe four months, tops. After all, I’d already written a retelling of Hans My Hedgehog that I felt very proud of, I’d started my own version of Cinderella and I’d always wanted to have a crack at my favourite fairy tale, The Little Mermaid.

What I didn’t expect was for Ella to have so much to say that her story stretched out to 25,000 words (the accepted minimum for a young adult novel) or to be so intimidated by completely rehauling a story that meant so much to me as a child that I had to rewrite The Mermaid nearly five full times.

But here we are, nine months later. The stories say everything I want them to, and they’ve been beautifully illustrated by my very talented friend Ben Sigas. I’m very proud of this book. I hope you like it.

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You can buy the eBook for US$2.99 from Amazon, iBooks, Nook and Kobo. The paperback is available for US$11.99 from Amazon.

The Edge of the Woods: Happy One Month-sary!

Today marks one month since the launch of The Edge of the Woods! Happy days! Although I still have much to learn about the world of effective marketing, I’m very happy with how things have been going and the feedback I’ve been receiving.

To celebrate, I’d like to share my favourite review so far, from Brandi on Amazon:

‘I truly enjoyed this book – as in, I was laying in bed at 2am in the morning trying to finish it knowing full well that my alarm was set to go off at 4am for work, but I could not put it down! The characters were all well written and I loved the little world she created. I love that as I was reading and thinking ahead to what I thought was going to happen, I would be surprised when Langley took the story in a different, but refreshing direction. I loved the main characters strength of character and loyalty to her loved ones, friends, and town. She had great morals and principles that we all could learn from.

I also have to add that my pre-teen daughter is reading this book right now and is thoroughly enjoying it as well.

I hope to see more great books from this talented author!’

This isn’t my favourite review because it’s so positive (though frankly that is nice!) but because it reminds me of what I loved most about reading when I was younger: sharing books with my Mum. I’d read them first and pass them on, or vice versa, and then we’d talk about them. I especially remember doing it with Isobelle Carmody books, which we still share today. Knowing that somewhere in the world a mother and daughter have done that with my book is more special than anything else I could hope for.

So happy month-sary, The Edge of the Woods! And happy month-sary, readers! Thank you to anyone who has bought and read the book, anyone who has spoken about it or recommended it, and to anyone who has taken the time to send me a kind word of support. You’ve all made the first month of my publishing career a wonderful one.

x

PS. I know you’re not supposed to read your reviews, but I’m a month in and there’s only about eleven of them so how can I not?

The Edge of the Woods: Launch Day!

IT’S HERE!

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Well, it’s kind of been. It’s 7:52pm and I launched this morning, woken up at 6.30am by a text from a friend who’d just ordered her copy. Which was sweet and exciting and fuzzy in the ‘Jesus, what time is it?’ kind of way.

But here we are. My first novel has gone live. It’s out there, like one of those baby turtles who has to scuttle (crawl? Land flap?) its way to the ocean and try not to get eaten alive. And like a million year old mama turtle, all I can do is watch and refresh the KDP reports page.

…bad metaphor?

Anyway.

It’s been a great day, with lots of people saying lots of lovely things and being all around very supportive. Thanks to them The Edge of the Woods is sitting at #1 in the Australian Kindle store under the Young Adult Women & Girls category, #860 in the Australian Kindle store overall and #33,274 at Amazon.com. Which is pretty cool!

So now we press on! A friend asked a while back that when I publish I make a blog post about my self-publishing process, so I’ll spend some time on that over the next few days, but otherwise it’s on with Book #2 and following up some leads and opportunities re: actual paid work.

It’s been a big day! Let’s all kick back with a beer and a good book.

You could always try mine, if you’re into that sort of thing.

x

 

The Edge of the Woods: Sneak Peek (Prologue, Chapters 1 – 3)

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I’m all on track for a May release! My test readers and final edits are done, and I’m down to the finishing touches: proofreading, formatting, and finalising the cover.

So to celebrate, here’s the prologue plus first three chapters of my forthcoming young adult fantasy, The Edge of the Woods.

Hope you enjoy!

Continue reading “The Edge of the Woods: Sneak Peek (Prologue, Chapters 1 – 3)”

The No Scrubs Book Club: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

The No Scrubs Book Club assembled Sunday, six weeks after our first meeting to allow everyone to settle comfortably into 2014.

6a00d83451bcff69e20120a4d81e15970bThe book was nominated by a member who had had it recommended by her mother. None of us had seen the film, or read it before, so we all went in blind.

The story follows Oskar, a nine year old boy struggling to come to terms with his fathers death, two years prior, in the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001. Finding a strange key in his father’s cupboard, and having been taught by his father to look for clues (to anything and everything) everywhere, he begins a quest of sorts to discover the meaning of the key.

For the most part, the book is written from Oskar’s point of view, staying close in first person past tense. However there are also chapters written, in the form of letters, from Oskar’s Grandmother and missing Grandfather, recounting their tragic marriage following the blitz in Germany.

The writing could be said to be experimental, and is accompanied by pictures and handwritten passages and notes and blank pages.

Opinions on this book were mixed.

Most members liked the book, finding it extremely moving and poignant, though depressing. Some enjoyed it for the most part, but found the endings too sudden and left everything feeling a little purposeless. One member found it incredibly hard to get through, because the writing style and wacky formatting did her head in, which I know, because that member was me.

Anyway.

It was a long, and interesting discussion – partly because, even if you didn’t like the book there was still plenty to discuss and partly because I’m friends with some very intelligent, thoughtful women – and ranged from Oskar’s believability as a nine year old, the abusive nature of the Grandparents relationship, the positive male relationships, the way the women were defined by the men in their lives, the occasionally overwhelming quirkiness, how hard to read some of the conversations were due to formatting and unclear character voices, which chapters and passages we found the most engaging, how bad this family is at communicating, how we interpreted the ending and, inevitably, where we all were when we found out about 9/11 and its impact on us as a society and a generation.

At the conclusion, most of the group agreed they were glad they’d read the book, calling it beautiful, engaging, and thoughtful. And I made a face.

I rate this book two stars out of five, but plan to watch the film to see if I enjoy the story when removed from the writing.

Next month’s book is Written on the Body, by Jeanette Winterson, which I have never read or heard of. But it’s well loved by the member who nominated it, so I’m excited to dive in.

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