Camp NaNoWriMo

I’ve never successfully completed NaNoWriMo, for many reasons. Well, actually, for two reasons. The first being that November has always turned out to be a ridiculously busy time of year for me, and the second being that I’m a terrible person with poor time management skills.

So this year I’m going to try Camp NaNo instead. Which is exactly the same thing, except in July and you can set your own goal rather than November’s set 50,000 words. July, as it turns out, is also looking to be ridiculously busy. I’m starting a new day job on the 4th (goodbye casual video game sales, hello full time movie, TV and comic tie-in merch), but hopefully this will be a clever way to kickstart new writing habits to fit around my new schedule.

So what am I writing? Good question!

I have four novels currently in various stages of first draft/development hell, but this month I’m trying to move forward with my YA dystopian science fiction project, which I’ve been periodically working on for several years now. It’s based on Subject, a short story I had published in Perehelion Magazine in 2014. I love the concept and the characters, but due to a lack of confidence and fear of the scope (my silly brain has decided it’s the first book of a trilogy), I’ve struggled to write it down. But that’s a terrible reason not to do something, so I’ve decided to charge ahead.

I’ll be aiming for 30k words (though ideally the finished book will be up around the 70k+ mark). This is quite an ambitious goal based on my past output – I’m ordinarily quite a slow writer, and I fuss over things instead of just letting the ideas flow – but what’s life without a terrifying challenge?

Wish me luck!

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Almost Midnight: Cover and Blurb reveal!

Well, I’m officially a hermit. I’ve been chained to my desk for weeks hammering away at rewrites and rewrites and rewrites, and I still have plenty more rewrites to go. But while I do that, why don’t I finally introduce Almost Midnight to you properly?

Almost Midnight is a collection of three classic fairytales: Cinderella, Hans My Hedgehog, and The Little Mermaid. While we all know the basic stories of all the great fairy tales, I think the details, themes and lessons change depending on the person telling them. So these are my versions of the fairy tales, and while they still have happily ever afters, the getting there involves a lot more talking hedgehogs and dancing scarecrows than you’re probably used to.

So without further ado, here’s the cover, the blurb, and a sneak peek of one of Ben Sigas‘s stunning illustrations, featured in both the eBook and the paperback.

Almost Midnight

 

‘Keep a careful eye to the hour,’ said the white bird. ‘Our magic will last only until midnight, and everything we’ve changed will be as it was.’

Meet Ella, a young woman who has lost everything; Hans, a boy doomed by his father’s greed to live as a monster; and Nameless, a lonely mermaid who yearns to be loved. Each seeks their happily ever after, but wishes and magic will only get them so far…

Almost Midnight takes three beloved fairy tales and retells them with new twists and turns, uniting them with the powers of love, courage, hope, and the magic of midnight.

 

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Release date to be announced!

The YA Spring Fling Giveaway

If you’re broke but in search of exciting new YA fiction, then I have some cool news for you. I’m participating in a HUGE YA ebook giveaway, running from the 20th of March to the 3rd of April. There are over 100 books from over 70 indie authors, plus a whole bunch of loot up for grabs. I’m offering signed postcards for ten winners, but other authors (with cheaper postal systems!) are going above and beyond and dishing out signed paperbacks and other great swag.

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So how does it work? For now, you can sign up for the mailing list (no spam, promise) which will guarantee you at least one free ebook of your choice, and will notify you as soon as the giveaway goes live. Then you just nominate which books catch your eye, and wait to to find out what you’ve won! Super easy.

Other perks? This giveaway is 100% populated by indie books – really good ones. If you’ve been hesitant about trying out indie books, then this is the perfect opportunity to dip your toes in without paying out.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up and give some wonderful indie authors a shot.

Better go sign those postcards.

x

The Edge of the Woods: Release Date!

20th of May, 2014!

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It’s finally happening, folks! After one year, five drafts and probably a couple of hundred emails with editors, proofreaders, test readers, an artist and a formatter, my debut novel is going public.

The Edge of the Woods, a 64.5k word young adult fantasy adventure about friendship, strength and courage will be available as both an eBook and paperback from Amazon on the 20th, with other ebook retailers to follow.

I can’t tell you how exciting, terrifying and weird it is to have reached this point. I’ve wanted to be a novelist for a very long time, and now to be able to call myself one for real is just… awesome. I’m very proud of my first story, and I look forward to sharing the next (and the one after that, and the one after that…) with all of you.

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I don’t know whether to drink a glass of wine, or get cracking on book #2.

Yeah, let’s go with both.

x

Note: If you’d like a chance at a free signed paperback, my Goodreads giveaway is running until May 31st.

Short Story: Hayfever – The Ultimate Period Anxiety

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Just over a month ago (on my birthday, in fact) I was approached by BirdeeMag to write a thousand word story on the subject of periods, sponsored by Carefree as part of their Period’s Happen, We Might As Well Be Real About It campaign. This is what I came up with!

 

ISBN Shopping (and other practical accomplishments)

This week signals the end of my calm, lazy month. At the end of the week I’m going to speak to a high school, next week I’m heading over to Melbourne to see about some paid work, and after that my notes for The Edge of the Woods are due back from the editor.

Scary. Awesome?

Both.

So today, even though I stayed in my pyjamas and hung out with my nephews, I managed to get some practical things done in preparation for the book.

To begin with, I set up a mailing list with MailChimp (which I’m honestly still figuring out how to use, but I have one, and that’s the important thing). It seems to be the most recommended of the mailing list sites, and the logo is a monkey in a hat. I don’t know about you guys, but animals wearing hats is a pretty good way to get my business.

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I’d vote for him.

After that, I bit the bullet and forked over some cash in exchange for ten ISBN numbers. This is an optional expense for self publishers, as Amazon and Createspace will supply a free one for you, but I wanted to cover my bases and make sure the copyright for my work stayed 100% with me. I got mine from Thorpe-Bowker, the Australian ISBN supplier. It costs $84.00 for a set of 10, though they charge a one-time $55.00 fee if it’s your first purchase. For non-Australians, you can get yours here.

And then, because I was on a roll and/or wanted to use an ISBN straight away now that I’d spent all the money on them, I set up a Goodreads page. Since the book is still a few months away from being published, I’ll use the page to (hopefully) drum up some more interest and organise a giveaway.

So there you have it. Productivity! And some things crossed off the to-do list.

As for writing, I’ve been tinkering with a few things to see what I’d like to focus on once The Edge of the Woods is done. I have 20,000 words of a Young Adult zombie novel done, and have started playing with a fantasy and a few fairytale shorts. My gut is telling me to go with the fairytales, as so far they’ve been the most fun to work on. But we’ll see! I know have to just pick something, but flitting between ideas has been kind of a pleasant change of pace.

Anyway, if you don’t hear from me in a while (though I’ll be back next week for Book Club), it’s because I’m working, working, working.

Happy writing!

UPDATE: About twenty minutes after publishing this post, my edit notes came back a week early and really positive. So I guess my calm, lazy month ends right now!

Short Story: Sext Best Thing

Warning: some language, some body parts.

The phone sat on her pillow, playing innocent. But even through the dimming screen the text message was clear. Staring at her from inside its obnoxious little blue bubble.

‘Hey nudes?’

Her cheeks were still burning, her heart pounding embarrassingly from the shock of it.

‘Hey nudes?’

Okay, so he’d seen her naked before. Plenty of times. But this was the first time he’d asked for a record of it. Nude pictures just felt like a whole new level of intimacy. After all, wasn’t it actually just a way of saying ‘Hey, I trust you not to put my tits on the internet?’

But if he was ready to cross into this new relationship zone of trust and HD arse shots, shouldn’t he have been a little less casual about it? And maybe have been on his way to the Great War, or announcing his early onset Alzheimer’s?
Continue reading “Short Story: Sext Best Thing”