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Doing It Write Now Posts

Beta Readers – Aug/Sep 2017

I probably should have posted this sooner, but I’ve been having a hard time judging whether this story’s even ready for beta reading – and there’s been a lot going on around here – but I’m just going to throw it out there. So… I’m sending out a call for beta readers for a new story in the Evans Pack world. New main characters, still a young adult paranormal romance type of thing, and, erm, it’s not in the best shape of all time right now, but I’m too close to it to figure out whyyyyyy.

I’m looking for a limited number of readers who are willing to give relatively detailed, honest feedback on the plot, preferably within the next three weeks, and are capable of side-loading a file I send them onto their ereader. Some apps apparently can’t do this, so be aware of that. I need a mixture of people who have read the original Cursed series and those who have not. I’m hoping to be sending copies of this thing out by the weekend, but we’ll see how it goes. If you’re interested, then please either email me or private message me on Facebook, and I’ll get back to you during the week.

I’m not interested in editing/proofreading, or anything like that. I just want personal opinions, what works for you, what doesn’t, that kind of thing. If the thought of offending me or hurting my feelings (you won’t, I swear. I don’t even have feelings) stresses you out, or you’re one of those lucky people who loves everything they read, then this might not be for you. 🙂 I was thinking of getting some kind of group thing going to see what a bunch of you might come up with together (sometimes it’s easier to be critical when somebody else starts), but it might be simpler to stick to the standard routine, so… thoughts?

It’s mostly a wolfy story, as teen-y as Cursed, called Sleepwalker, and if this actually goes okay, then it’s the first in a new trilogy called Harbinger. Terrible last-minute kinda-sorta blurb below!

Margo has a secret – she just wishes she could remember what it is. When she sleepwalks, she wakes up next to things she shouldn’t, and if she doesn’t figure out what’s happening, then her family’s fresh start will have been for nothing.

Dorian’s the most submissive member of his pack, and he hasn’t done anything to secure his place. The pack is over-crowded, and once he turns eighteen, he fears he’ll be one of the werewolves selected to relocate to a place where his guardians can’t protect him.

After a Halloween prank divides the town, pack members start to go missing, and Margo’s scent in the wrong place at the wrong time puts a target on her back. Together, Margo and Dorian must work to uncover her secrets and earn his place in his pack by tracking down a murderer before he/she finds them first.

 

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August 2017

Squeezing in a quick post before the rest of the month runs away on me. Spoiler alert: My progress sucks.

I’m a little busy, so I’m not getting as much editing done as I’d like, but I should have expected that! I’ve had a couple of lock myself away weekends in an attempt to catch up, but now my brain is all squishy and in desperate need of a Netflix binge.

We’re over halfway through the holidays, and we haven’t gotten too sick of each other yet. Although if I get asked who would win in a fight – seven random Marvel characters vs seven random DC characters vs seven random characters from random universes – one more time, I might cry.

Lately, when I sit down to work, my youngest will usually have left little scribbled messages on my notes. I can’t get mad because they’re cute and sweet. Anyway, the other day I was looking through some old notes for research I’d forgotten, and she’d actually corrected my handwriting with a red pen. A future editor, perhaps? 😀

By the way, I have a teenager now! I kind of can’t believe how quickly time has gone by. It doesn’t feel so long ago that I couldn’t wait for his due date so I could finally meet him, and now he’s my height.

Aaaaand now it’s time to feed the constantly ravenous animals children again (because when they feed themselves, they make five times the mess). 😀

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July 2017

So I might be a little bit stressed out right now. Small, tiny, wee bit more than usual. Maybe? Perhaps.

Work stuff defo contributed. For those who have been asking for a million years, (sorry!) some more of my stuff is now available in paperback. I do not like them, but they’re there. Six individual books in the Chaos series, and then one giant monstrosity bundle for the three Lost Souls books. It was not a fun experience, but here’s hoping I learned something for next time 😀

For the audiobook lovers, I continue to feel sorry. Irish writers were recently allowed to dabble in the audiobook production thing, but from what I can gather, there’s a serious lack of Irish accents. I know I’m picky, but just no. It’s not worth it right now.

I did get my Evans Pack series bible done though! That wasn’t fun either, but the fact that it’s over for now puts a bit of a rosy glow on the whole thing (until I remember I still have to finish Ava’s, and that’s going to be much harder). I made a bunch of notes for Harbinger, and I did a pass on Sleepwalker with the changes, and I’m starting to feel a little less like it’s the worst thing I’ve ever read. But only slightly. 😀

In non-work stuff, I took my eldest out of school before the end of term because I was sick to death of him being bullied, like, every day for fucking years. He’s an easy target because of his particular needs, and I’m less than impressed with the way it’s been handled. I’m rolling up my sleeves, (highly recommend not getting me to this point) but that’s a tale for another day. In the meantime, he’s had a break away from the torment, and his smile is back. I missed his smile. And the singing to himself when he thinks nobody’s listening. You can almost see the weight lifting off his shoulders. He’s going to officially turn into a teenager very soon (although he’s the only child of mine who doesn’t act like they’re already one), so I’m highly motivated to make sure he can say goodbye to the bullshit for good.

As for everything else? My eldest dog is going senile, the car is being… problematic, the gas for the cooker just ran out (so dinner will be… erm…), the heating oil is no more, my laptop battery needs to be replaced, and after a delivery was missing an item, the company needs ID, a written report, info on the safety of my location, the name of my first crush, the colour of my underwear, and probably what’s left of my soul before they’ll even let me get past an automated response.

So, yeah, maybe there’s a little stress happening up in here. 😀

On the plus side, the real world stress makes it easier to retreat into fake world stress, so Firestarter, here I come. Have a better week than me!

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June 2017

It’s June. It’s hot. It’s two weeks out from the school holidays. I am nervous. My children hate their school more than each other right now, but even so, I may not survive this summer. 😀

This month, I’ve gotten some work done on the Harbinger trilogy. I have a beginning, middle, and end in each book (I know, slow clap), and I’m about to get stuck into hard-core editing. For some reason, the second book is what’s slowing me down, which is weird because I like it best. I still have to go through the original Cursed series and deal with details that need to go into a series bible, but I’m starting to feel like I’m actually getting somewhere. Edit: I wrote that part yesterday. Today I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, so…

I’m about 35k into the first draft of a weird new story that veers a little too close to reverse harem territory. It’s loosely inspired by Slavic mythology, and like most stories I’ve written this year, I have no idea who would want to read it because it’s not like any of my other stuff. Woe is me and all that. 🙂

Right now, I have no plans to publish this summer. With the kids at home for the next two months, I won’t have any uninterrupted time, so there’s no point promising anything. I might (might) look for beta readers for Sleepwalker in the summer, but I won’t be releasing that until all three books in the trilogy are ready to go. I don’t feel comfortable with this trilogy, and I’m not sure why. Maybe I’m getting too old to be writing about teenagers. 😀

Speaking of getting old, my kids aren’t toddlers anymore, so I desperately need to write a new bio. (My baby is going to be seven this summer, and my eldest will be a teenager. I am officially ancient). The only thing worse than writing a synopsis is writing a bio. Just. Yuck. It’ll have to be something like Claire Farrell writes every day and yet magically never manages to finish anything. 😛

Just checked the time and had a mini heart attack. The kids will be home soon. I seriously need to stop using this blog to procrastinate. By the way, does anyone have any recommendations for a new series to obsess about? I’m overwhelmed whenever I try to look for something. Fantasy or urban fantasy, preferably a finished series with a female POV (or joint if it’s not too cheesy/sappy – black-heart here, and second-hand cringe has been destroying my life lately).

Ooh, or gothic romance if you really want to spoil me. 😀

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May 2017

It’s probably a bit early for an update, but I can’t see me magically doing anything of note for the rest of the month *cough* new Fire Emblem game *cough*, so here we are.

I’ve been editing Sleepwalker this month, mostly adding new scenes based on changes to the rest of the trilogy, but I wanted to write a bit to break up the day, too. A couple of years ago, I had a dream that inspired a story (loosely connected to Chaos), so I got up, went Yaaas, let’s file that in our folder of random ideas that we never look at again, and tried to forget about it. The idea never went away, but I couldn’t figure out the ending, so I didn’t touch it. Because I didn’t have an ending, I thought the story would be a quick novella that I’d blast out whenever I got stuck on editing. That was three weeks ago, and I now have the longest first draft I’ve ever written on my hands. Thanks, brain.

And I’m not the only one writing in the house right now. My kids always write stories and stuff anyway, but kid #2 is taking it very seriously right now. It’s a werewolf novel, with chapters, and word count targets, and she’s completely devoted. She gets extremely irritable if anyone disturbs her because she’s desperate to know what happens next. It’s adorable. She came home today all excited because there’s a writing competition at school. “I don’t really want to win first place because you only get a trophy. But if you come in second, you get book vouchers. Book vouchers.” She’s so my kid.

Kid #4 is about as sad as I am over Chris Cornell’s death, (Can’t Change Me is one of his favourite songs), so we’re going to spend the rest of the day listening to his music.

Stay well, and enjoy your weekend.

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April 2017

Sunday:

It’s been a weird month so far. This is week two of the mid-term break, and we’ve managed to lose all sense of time and routine.  The whole Hobbit/Lord of the Rings marathon  we had here last weekend (in hindsight, not the smartest idea we’ve ever had) didn’t help with that. (Although, I was already a month late with my indieversary post, so not being punctual is sort of a running theme around here). Last month, the youngest trio of loons fell in love with Harry Potter and ran around with sticks making up spells. Now they’re all fighting over who gets to be Legolas and who gets to kill the most orcs. Luckily for our pets, orc costumes for dogs aren’t readily available here. 😀

I’ve been devouring books lately, which is a good sign, and my imagination has started to work again, which is an even better sign, but my ability to focus on one thing at a time is extremely broken. I’ve written a lot of scenes this month, but no more than two in any given story. My brain is just flitting from one thing to another, like old files from nine years ago that I suddenly desperately have to update on the off-chance I find a way to stop needing sleep so I can write backburner books for kicks.

I think I’m just restless in general. I’ve been itching to move house again for a while now (but we’re kind of stuck here for a bit). When I was a teenager, an older co-worker told me about finding her dream house, how she knew it had to be hers as soon as she stepped through the front door, it felt like home immediately, etc. I’ve moved around a fair few times in my life, so the idea of settling into one place and knowing it was The One was fascinating to me. I’m more of the, “okay, we’ve been here for too long, it’s time to pack now” sort. This is why I love renting. I could never be trusted with owning a place. 😀

Monday Edit:

The kids are in school. They were outside in the garden playing at about six this morning, so I won’t be surprised if any of them nod off in class today. This is how I know we can’t homeschool. We need the routine of an actual school day to make us act ever so slightly normal. 😀

I’m going to look for a cover for Crossroads this week, and as soon as I have everything sorted, I’ll send a free copy out to newsletter subscribers. If I’m lucky, it’ll be before the end of the month, but don’t expect it until May.

I feel like I’m forgetting something. Again. Oh, well! Enjoy your week. 🙂

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Belated Seven Year Indieversary

Previous posts:  one, twothreefourfive, and six.

I completely forgot about my little indieversary! (Does it count if you didn’t do anything of note in the last year?) I was so confused, I thought I’d already gone through this year’s post, but as it turns out, that was last year, and my memory sucks. I can’t even blame pregnant brain anymore because I haven’t had a kid since way back in the day. Ageing will just have to take the hit from now on instead. 🙂

So, yeah, a year in review. On the surface, I’d rate the last twelve months (well, thirteen now because I’m perennially late for stuff) as embarrassingly poor. No novel to be seen. That makes me itch. (That could also be the crappy ironlicious hard water in my house though). I’m pretty sure that this time last year I told himself indoors that I had no words left. (Er, again). *Iz still dramatic*

Here’s the thing. When I looked through my notes and files and the work I actually did, I realised I wrote a lot. I wrote novels and created worlds and planned new series. A bunch of them. I just didn’t, you know, do much of anything else with them. Our lifestyle has changed, as I keep harping on about, and apparently I got too used to undistracted time for a while there because even though I started when I had four kids under six (my womb just gasped in horror), a baby on the way, and zero quiet time, now I can’t lose myself in a story if I get interrupted even moderately frequently. It’s been scarily easy to stay in the real world (for the first time in my life because I am a known spacer).

The other day, I told myself I was going to book in editing slots for the Harbinger trilogy, but I chickened out because I convinced myself I wouldn’t be ready. And that’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Not helped by the fact I partook in too many writing courses due to an obsession with improvement that’s worse now because I overanalyse everything to a disgustingly over the top degree and can’t enjoy reading… anything. (This river I’m crying, it’s all for you.) Other people chase sales and fame and a rock and roll lifestyle, but I’m like “My kingdom for the perfect sentence.” I never said I wasn’t boring, okay?

I released some novellas as a means to give back to the newsletter subscribers, but honestly, each and every one of those gave me So. Much. Stress. because they weren’t Perfect. And I felt guilty firstly because I didn’t publish those for about an eon because I endlessly tweaked every freaking sentence (you know, just to make sure I sucked the fun out of every scene), and then even more so for actually releasing non-Perfect stories, which, let me tell you, is not the path to sanity. (The epic level of run-on sentences in this blog should be a clue).

So there are things I need to work on this year. Stop waiting for ideal working conditions, stop aiming for the Perfect story that will never exist in anyone’s reality, and stop being a big cowardly baby. Not being insane would probably work, too. 😀

Seven years on, and I’m still learning. (And I’m sorry if this blog is particularly rambling and nonsensical, I’m just super tired this year week). Onward!

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March 2017

I don’t have much in the way of an update this time. March wasn’t the most productive month of all time.

Sadly, our rabbit died suddenly earlier this month. She was the best bun, and it was the first time the kids have really experienced the death of a pet, as well as it being a shock (because rabbits hide their sickness), so it was extra hard for them. 🙁

Last week, it snowed, more than I’ve witnessed since we moved here, then two days later, the kids were running around in shorts, milling into ice-cubes, finding random sticks to use as wands (the smallest three recently discovered Harry Potter – send help), and complaining of the heat. Raining today though, so back to normality.

One of my kids was out of school for two(!) weeks, and there’s been Paddy’s day off and stuff, (next month, they’ll be off for another two weeks for mid-term – seriously, send help), so we’re all driving each other crazy. I had a birthday and Mother’s Day this month, so we let the kids pick out a cake for me. They came up with an Assassin’s Creed one then proceeded to spend two days arguing over who got to eat Ezio’s head. I’m waiting for the sugar withdrawals to kick in so the madness fun really dials up a few notches!

I did some work on Crossroads and Sleepwalker but the going has been slow because I’ve let everything distract me, and I miss my little furball, and… excuses, excuses, excuses. I’m going to focus more on the Harbinger trilogy next month. I’m finding it harder to jump from adult characters in one series to teens in another. Not sure why. Maybe I’m getting too old. 🙂

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March Updates

Just a couple of timely things I wanted to mention:

I’m sending out a newsletter with a free copy of Secret Self next week, so if you want it, make sure you’re subscribed. Probably later in the week to give people a chance to sign up. I currently have no plans to write more of these VBI stories.

Starting today is Smashwords Read An Ebook Week event. Check it out for freebies and discounts all week. Use the RAE50 code for a discount on all of my books over there.

The Cursed bundle will go on sale everywhere at the end of this month.

That’s it, I think. I don’t have much of a “work” update since the last post. It’s a bit early in the month, but things have been good. Mostly editing, but the kind that makes me feel like I’m making progress rather than just sucking the life out of everything. 😀

One of the cats who likes to drop in on us every now and then appears to be pregnant and has decided our house is the place to be. I would have thought the three bouncy dogs we own would be a turn-off, but apparently not. She keeps hunting the slow one. :/ Not sure what I’ll do if she gives birth here!

I’ll do the usual update later in the month. I’m hoping to squeeze in some writing starting tomorrow because I’m feeling unusually inspired. Fingers crossed there will won’t be a kitten distraction.

Have a good one!

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February 2017

There’s a drug awareness programme running in my kid’s class (for what seems like ever), which led to my kid thinking I have a life-threatening coffee addiction, which led to me giving up coffee, which led to me being tired, which led to this blog post having a 5% chance of being coherent.

Still a better chance than Donald Trump.

Yeah, it’s no fun when it’s that easy. Anyway, this month’s update isn’t exactly full of splendorous news. I did finish a final edit of Secret Self, which means I just have to find it a cover and a proof-read, and then it’ll be sent out as a freebie in the next newsletter. Hopefully sooner rather than later. (In semi-related news, the first Ava bundle is 99c for the rest of the month). I’d love to write for the rest of February, but I should probably start editing something because the written but unedited pile is starting to resemble a mountain. Thinking about it kind of stresses me out, so I should probably stop, um, adding to it. 🙂

Oh, man, I started counting manuscripts. *Hyperventilates* So I’m kind of glad I’m taking this weekend off. It’s a birthday weekend in our house, which I love because chocolate. But also, it’s an excuse to spoil the little suckers, and I love that, too. My coffee-hating kid is even allowing me one precious coffee tomorrow. So generous. 😀

The gang are supposed to be doing chores right now (prime bickering time), but I haven’t heard an argument in a really long time which is unusual, so I should probably check on… No, wait, there they go. And now a dog is barking. And a bunny is thumping. My bat signal has been well and truly fired. Time to go. 😉

Enjoy your weekend!

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