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Tag: claire farrell

September 2016 – Upcoming Release(ish)

I’m going to send a free story out with the newsletter next week, so if you want it, make sure you’re subscribed here. I usually send out free codes, but this time, I’m testing out downloads from within the newsletter. I’m scared it’ll go wrong, but if it works, it’ll be much simpler for everyone. 😀

badblood3The story is Bad Blood (VBI #2). I’ve been working on the bloody thing all year, so it’s about time I just shoved it out the door. I didn’t plan on the huge gap between books one and two – it just fit better in the world’s timeline this way. And I’m kind of sick to death of Peter and Val at this point (they existed way before Ava in my head), but they’re up next again with Secret Self (VBI #3). I’m not even going to guess at a release date for that one because we all know I screw up as soon as I do that. 🙂 I’ve no current plans to continue with the series after book three.

Bad Blood isn’t hugely connected to Ava, so it’s not an essential read for Ava readers. (Secret Self is mostly about Ava though, sorry!) The final blurb will be in the newsletter, but basically, (an incredibly irritable) Val and Peter are hired to look for a missing husband -> find a disease that might be coming from the succubi -> have to get to the bottom of everything before it’s covered up.

After this mini-series is done, some more shorts are to follow (that’s all I can manage right now). Crossroads (a Phoenix story which has been annoyingly close to finished for way longer than Bad Blood), Magic Thief, and then Faery Dust. They’ll all come free with a newsletter on release anyway, but I was thinking about bundling all of the short stories (except VBI) in Ava’s world together with some extras like author notes and short stories from characters in the world that Ava hasn’t met. That’s way in the future though.

In other news, I’m pretty distracted right now, and stuff is moving slowly. I did some organising yesterday, but it’s back to editing again this weekend. I think October will be more of the same, but I’m hoping to get some writing down in November. NaNoWriMo is a good enough excuse to try.

The kids have been back at school for only three weeks, and I already hate homework, have been begged to homeschool by at least two kids, have gotten a note that nits might be going around (shudder), and all seven of us have been sick at one point or another. One kid cried the entire first week every time I woke her for school (but she’s delighted with herself this week because she won a writing competition!), two are extremely unhappy with their teacher (not shocked), and one literally uses the schoolyard(!) as a chance to get some peace and quiet from his siblings (which proves my point on how nosy this lot are).

At least the last kiddo is as chuffed with life as always. Although, she’s a bit miffed that unicorns don’t exist. This month, I’ve witnessed her shaking her fist at the sky, shouting, “Damn you, universe, for not making flying unicorns real!” She’s also been telling me all about how terrible existence was for her while she was waiting for me to “born” her. She was in a dark place with lots of stars, and she could shoot fire out of her hands. Awful stuff, indeed. 😀

The twins, usually annoying little gits when they get together, have been making a lot of unprompted observations on equality and prejudice and such that make me think I haven’t completely dropped the ball with them. *Pats self on back* Sadly, that doesn’t stop them from planning my funeral already, so I’ll leave you with this notable conversation from yesterday.

Three youngest kids are playing with my hair because I have no idea why.

Kid #4: Did you see that? A hair fell out. Mom, you’re going to go bald!

Kid #5: Oh, don’t worry, Mom. You’ll be dead waaaay before that happens.

Kid #4: Then we’ll have to put you in a grave. In the ground.

Me: No, thanks.

Kid #3: Oh, so you want to be burned?

Me: Cremated. And, yeah.

Kid #3: Nope.

Me: No?

Kid #3: *Firmly* No. We’re going to put you in the ground, and everyone’s going to have umbrellas, and it’s going to rain. That’s how we’re doing this.

Kid #4: Aw, yeah! That’ll be so cool!

Kid #5: But I don’t want Mom to die.

Kid #3: But you get to have an umbrella.

Kid #5: Sweet!

Me: :/

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March 2016

I’m writing this post early because I’m trying out one of those Pomodoro apps, but I’m stuck on my manuscript and need a little time for the next scene to percolate. Sometimes different words help with that. It’s kind of like a cup that needs to be refilled. When I’m falling asleep or relaxing or whatever, I play through scenes in my head and fill up that cup. That makes it easier to get words down the following day, but when the words come easy, the cup empties quickly, and I need a bit of time to refill it again. I don’t know if it’s like that for other people, but that’s pretty much how it works for me. I’ve learned the hard way that if I give a scene time to develop while I do something else, the cup will refill quickly and my time will be spent more productively. This is an awful analogy, but you probably know what I mean.

I tried the official Pomodoro thingy back when I was working on Purity (before I forget, the Cursed boxset will be going on sale next week). It kind of helped, but I kept forgetting to start the timer, and the buzzer thingy scared the shit out of me so many times that I kept checking the app’s timer to brace myself for the sound rather than write. 🙂 I’m using an unofficial one called Pomodoro Time now, and it’s been much more useful. I can set a goal of how many sprints I want to do in a day which helps me set proper targets and figure out how much time I’m spending actually writing. I get distracted more often than anybody I’ve ever met, so every little trick helps. I could write a long blog post about all of the little tricks I use to get me back into the flow of things, but I suppose the end goal is to get to the point where I don’t need the tricks.

This week, I started a brand new story in a brand new world as a refresher because I got really bogged down with all of the novellas in Ava’s world. It doesn’t feel like work because nobody’s waiting for it, if that makes sense. It’s not just the newest shiny making life easier though. Some good news came our way, and the relief that followed made me realise how stressed out I’ve been. The fun is back in the words – until I remember I still have to actually release something at some stage, and my cover artist forgot about me again, and I don’t even have anything fully edited anyway. Aaaaand, the anxiety circle is back in action. 😛

Anyway! Actual updates. In the last week of Feb, I went on a mad one and managed to finish the first drafts of Magic Thief and Secret Self. I haven’t gone back into the old books to take notes yet (and, yes, I am absolutely procrastinating on that). In March, I spent a lot of time in Stardew Valley got Phoenix’s story done – I’m thinking of calling it Crossroads (and ZOMG even I was surprised by the ending. 😛 ) I wrote most of yet another novella called Faery Dust (Ember says hi. Brownie points if you even remember who I’m talking about!), and started a silly story about angels and demons and death and the afterlife (and I heart it so much) that I’m going to finish writing by the end of the month.

All of these manuscripts might sound impressive until you remember that I tend to write very lean first drafts that are more like detailed outlines, and it’s not unusual for me to write a 250 word synopsis instead of an actual chapter. I probably write more words while I’m editing than I do in my first drafts these days. I’ve always been a hardcore pantser (excuse me, discovery writer), but I think outlines are pretty damn efficient and snazzy, so I’m constantly trying to figure out a way to use them. But it’s kind of merged my first drafts into these ugly outliney hybrids that I need to stop doing. I think the Ava and Chaos novels are the only ones in which the first draft ended up close to the finished story, and I didn’t bother outlining most of those, so that should probably tell me something!

The plans for April are to take part in Camp NaNo and either write some sequel action to that angel/demon/hot mess I mentioned, OR get cracking on with the new Cursed books I’m planning for release at the end of this year. The first new Evans Pack book is already written, but I’m thinking each consecutive book might be in a different POV – just to concentrate on a wider circle of characters to keep it fresh. I will have to knuckle down with some editing, too, of course.

I think that’s more than enough waffle for one day. One of my kids stayed over at a friend’s house last night for the first time, and I’m counting the hours for her to come home. It’s just unsettling having only four kids in the house. And quiet. Eerily quiet. I feel like I can’t relax properly until everybody is under the one roof. So, yeah, I need to get back to fretting. 😀

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Feb 2016

February hasn’t been as productive as I’d hoped. I’ve a serious lack of focus going on (only partly attributed to a new pet bunny and, er, Sunless Sea).

I was supposed to write Secret Self this month, and I have worked on it, but I also started a new Phoenix story. (Currently untitled because I’m still shit at naming things). I doubt I’ll have either one finished by the end of the week, so next month will be busy! (Please send help…)

Unexpected stories frequently (and inconveniently) happen. Usually, I ignore the new shiny as best I can, but I couldn’t resist this time. Some of the events in Phoenix’s new story were supposed to fit into the next Ava story, but I’m liking his POV, so Imma experiment a bit. Even if it ends up a better fit for an Ava book, I can always post Phoenix’s unused POV on Wattpad. (That’s fashionable now, righ’?)

I’ve only edited Relativity (Lorcan & Lucia story) to change some third person chapters to first person, so that still needs work. (I swear this is where half of my time goes). I also still have to read through ALL of the old books (this is not my happy face) for fact-checking because my organisation for this world (all of the worlds, in fairness) has been a miserable effort.

Next month, I’m supposed to read through old stuff & take notes, finish writing Secret Self and an untitled Phoenix story, start writing Magic Thief in earnest, and edit Relativity and Bad Blood – all while my five lunatics are off school from Paddy’s Day through Easter. (Yeah, I have my doubts, too). Wish meh luck!

To be less confusing, here’s a projected reading order from the latest release onward:

Tithes (Lost Souls #3)
Relativity (Lorcan & Lucia novella)
Bad Blood (VBI #2)
Secret Self (VBI #3)
Untitled Phoenix novella
Magic Thief
Ava???

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2016 FTW… Maybe

I thought I should update – it’s been too long since I did a proper post. I’m not going to be officially announcing any upcoming new releases for a bit. I haven’t even scheduled editing or covers yet. I took a couple of weeks off over the Xmas, but I’ve been back in the office this month. I’m working on a number of things, but I don’t want to tie myself down with deadlines because every single bloody time I say I’m going to release a book, my brain decides I need to write at least three other books first. 😀 I’ll update when I’m closer to a release.  Just know for now that I’m planning on spending the next three months writing my arse off.

I’ll just briefly update on books/series you might be interested in. Some stuff is already written, but I still have a lot of work to catch up on.

Chaos – Probably nothing in 2016. I have already written in the world again with a new character, but I think I’ll be putting it aside while I clear up other stuff. I love this world, and I put a lot of work into it, so I’m definitely going to revisit, but right now, I’m already juggling too much stuff.

Evans Pack/Harbinger – I held back Harbinger last Halloween because I had another release that month (and the book is way bigger than I expected). I’m aiming for another Halloween release, but only if I’ve made some headway with the other Evans pack books that I’ve been planning for yonks. So, maybe?

Ava & Lost Souls –  I’m still not wholly sure if Ava will be the star of the show at all this year. These books, man. 😀 I’ve been on a slow build, dropping hints all over the place, trying to piece stuff together, and I think I’m finally getting there. It’s taking me a lot longer than I expected because, well, it’s me. I can’t do anything in a straight line. Right now, there’s a pretty good chance that I’ll be inserting a new trilogy (more similar in style to the original series) in between Lost Souls #3 and #4. I’m hesitant about estimating dates and such. Just because I want to write something doesn’t mean it’s easy it ends up published, so there’s that.

Hollow – Hollow is that contemporary story I thought would be therapeutic but couldn’t face editing. (I just checked. I wrote it in 2012, bought a cover, and then pretended the whole story didn’t exist because I couldn’t deal with the emotions – ha). Every now and then, I take it out and read it and think I’m going to whip it into shape before realising I’ve underestimated how painful it is for me to work on. I’m going to crack on with it one last time this year to see if I can finish the thing. If I can’t, I might upload it to Wattpad for the curious. (This is project pan in book form, people).

Something new – If I don’t work on something new sometimes, my brain decides to melt out of my left ear. I’ve been sitting on three or four different series that I haven’t had time to focus on, and I’d like to do some work on one of those. I’m leaning toward something witchy, but we’ll see what happens. I’m open to taking requests. 🙂

Current work in progress – This week, I’m working on Bad Blood, the second VBI story. I thought this was going to happen earlier, but I kept changing the timeline, and it only fits now. It’s going well (or it will once I stop making new playlists or editing this blog post for the seventeenth time). Basically, Layla hires Peter and Val to prove that her ladies aren’t the ones spreading a new super(natural) STD. Hehe. After that, I’ll be back to Secret Self (book 3) in which Peter and Val hunt down Ava. I’ve never been this excited about anything ever. 😀

That’s about it. Not gonna lie, 2015 was a tough year for me writing-wise. I struggled with pretty much everything I worked on because I let myself get stressed out about… all of the things. It was really disappointing and frustrating. That’s partly why I went offline most of the time. Over the holidays, I just put it all aside and focused on my family, and while it’s been tough getting back into the office, I’m slo(ooooo)wly finding my confidence again. I’m looking forward to what I have planned, but if those plans need to change, then I’m going to be less hard on myself about it. She says now… 😉

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October 2015 Update

Well, hello there.

Remember me?

Sorry for the disappearing acts – lots going on. I’ve been drowning in paperwork all morning, so a blog break might help keep the madness at bay!

This month, I have been busy preparing Tithes (Ava Delaney: Lost Souls #3) for my editor as well as putting the last touches to Sacrifice (Chaos #6) which should be available to buy by the end of this month. If you haven’t already, you might want to check out Kings (Chaos #5.5) in the meantime. It should be free, so please do not pay for this novella – if it’s not free on your usual retailer, try Smashwords. My bad scheduling (and life) has put the editing of Harbinger on the sidelines so that might end up on hold this month.

Still waiting on covers, so nothing new to reveal there yet.

I’ll be taking part in NaNoWriMo next month to finish up some drafts, but I currently have no plans for next year’s writing schedule. If you want to throw me suggestions, I’m happy to hear them, but I’m not making any concrete plans until I have everything else off my plate. 🙂

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New Release – Break You

BreakYouBreak You is finally available everywhere – 99c this weekend only. Purchase links & blurb below.
Smashwords, iBooks US, GB, etc., Amazon US, UK, etc., B&N, Kobo, and Google Play.

Devlin O’Mara’s world has been turned upside down time and time again since she first came across a vampire. And it’s not over yet.

The vampires may have left her small town alone for a while, but they’ve provoked curfews and martial law in the capital city. The aftermath of their last attacks are still rippling outward, and it soon becomes clear that Emily’s sire is gathering an army. 

Even though her personal life has fallen apart, Devlin can’t let the vampires win, no matter how much they hurt the people she loves. Death is everywhere, and the only way to win is through joining forces with unusual allies.

One final battle is coming. But who will survive?

And if you haven’t picked it up already, you might be interested in HuNted, a free shifter anthology. Verity is part of the bundle which is now available on iBooks US, GB, etc., Amazon US, UK, etc., B&N, and Google Play Books.

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RockStarz

I’ve had like seventeen cups of coffee and eaten the entire contents of my fridge today, so a blog post seems like the next logical procrastination method. Until last week, there had been at least one kid home from school for over a month, and I’m obviously so trained for distractions that I’m providing them for myself now.

Aside from sick kids (and a medicated dog), we’ve been all Animal Kingdom up in here. Every time I go outside to call one of my dogs back in, somebody else’s dog and/or cat shows up first. (One particular dog likes to sneak up on me in the dark. We call him Brown Dog because my kids are about as original as I am when it comes to naming things. We call the three-legged cat Dubh, fyi). So then I have to make sure other people’s dogs don’t eat other people’s cats. And wild birds (the fact that they’re looking a bit fat this year has nothing to do with me) keep getting into our kitchen when the door is open for longer than five seconds. The nutters get into the car sometimes, too. It’s getting a bit weird. But as you can see, I truly live the rock star lifestyle.

Anyway, work crap: I’ve ditched everything else to work on finishing up Break You, otherwise known as the Unfinishable Nightmare Book. I thought Clarity was tough going. Holy shit, I was sooooo wrong. I’m mortified by how long it has taken me to get this sucker done (the reasons why have been a combination of wanting to write other things and getting too emotionally involved and therefore not wanting to write the “tough” scenes – I’m a wuss, in other words). I could have written ten novels in the time I’ve wasted staring at this bloody manuscript. And it’s still not done! Even today, I’ve been poking at scenes with a stick. I’m at the point where I’m not completely sure that any of it makes sense. But that might be the seventeen cups of coffee speaking. I am looking forward to seeing the first draft of the cover though! Should be soon. 🙂

I still don’t know if I should concentrate on finishing up the Chaos series or if I should release an Ava book in between those final two books. Opinions appreciated, as always. I probably shouldn’t have released the first Ava book earlier than planned, but I couldn’t resist. When Chaos is done, I’ll probably stick to Ava’s world for a while. Dividing my attention can be a little hit and miss. It’s good for me to switch it up to keep the oul brain refreshed, but I spend too much time rereading previous books to get my brain back in check when I switch series. Because I’m ancient and can’t retain information any more. One of the twins keeps reminding me how old I am, wondering aloud why I don’t need a walking stick, and warning me that he won’t want to give me snuggles when I have a wrinkly old gross face. Apparently, he’s going to bring me everywhere with him when he grows up as long as I don’t let my hair go grey or white or old. What a charmer. Just like his dad. 😛

And my lab-cross literally just leapt up onto my lap (and half-killed me, the big oaf) because she got a fright, so now I have to go calm her down. And help with homework. And possibly (probably?) lose my mind. Have a good week!

 

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Dystopian Freebie & A Shout Out

I know, I know, two blog posts within a week. But this one isn’t all about me, so it doesn’t count. 😀

Fellow spec fiction writer R. Mac Wheeler (he writes fantasy & paranormal fiction of all kinds, even down to vampires & shifters) asked me to share his milestone celebration – he just published his 24th novel. I feel like a slacker now! The latest release is the third in Mac’s post-apocalyptic series, and he’s offering up free mobi copies of New Order Apocalypse, the first book in the series, to my special non-imaginary friends. If you’re interested (cover & blurb below), just visit his blog (where he posts his photography) or his website (where you can read excerpts of his books), and send him a message telling him I sent you for something deliciously dystopian to read for the weekend. 😉

Freebie!

    New Order Apocalypse

  Thirty-three years after the onslaught of an engineered plague that has shredded Earth’s population, technology keeps a starving  segment of the population on the eastern seaboard going, where the death rate from the virus slows only because there are few alive  who it is designed to kill. 

 Jason Kates is recruited to join the inner circle that controls what’s left of civilization. A distrusted outsider, he’s forced into a mission  west to learn if there is anyone left in the heartland, if fields are tilled. He’s not expected to survive. His journey diverges from an  exploration for food, to man’s last chance of survival—New Order.

About Book #24

!NO 3 4x6

This volume of the NEW ORDER APOCALYPSE series continues thirty-three years after an engineered plague shredded Earth’s population. 

Chloe and Ginna Lee must decide whether to continue Jason’s dream to unite survivors, or concentrate on surviving. Chloe hasn’t the tact to play ambassador, and Ginna Lee is more likely to take heads than spread good will. Promises little hope they can build an alliance, especially if peace hinges on a cure for Jihad. Meanwhile, the landscape they must cross still writhes with roamers and desperate clans.

Mac spins tales around rich, gritty characters with a lot of baggage, and puts them through a bit more grief than they can handle. His tone leans toward the sarcastic, passive aggressive. He writes speculative fiction, fantasy, SF, suspense, and paranormal with a twist.

24

 

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Make You and… Yeah.

Happy May, people. It’s after 6am, so excuse the half-asleep/kinda wired weirdness that will surely follow.

First off! I forgot to post this here, but I did release the sequel to Stake You. Make You is still on sale at 99c until Sunday. Next release (hopefully this month) is Queen (Chaos #3) – it’s (annoyingly) ready to go, just working out cover options still. (I am gleefully dying to hear responses to that book!) Beyond that, I’m looking at a September release – likely Chaos #4 (title & blurb reveal in back of Queen), but I’m not 100% sure right now.

Between mid-term break, sick kids, a mental block, and some other boring schtuff, I’ve gotten way behind schedule, (yeah, I know, play a new tune, Claire) so I reckon I won’t be online much for a while. I am behind on emails, post, and all that jazz, and even though I’m trying to slooooowly catch up, I’m on kind of an introverted disconnect right now. I vant to be alooone. My life is going through a major shift, so I’m just going to accept that 2014 is a behind schedule kind of deal, embrace the stress, and do what I can. Which is really going to screw with the fantasy I had of taking October off to play Dragon Age: Inquisition. 😉 (And the bigger not-a-chance-in-hell fantasy of going to see Faith No More, Black Sabbath, & Soundgarden in England this summer. Tear).

Also! Am I the only person who’s getting bored with Game of Thrones and ridiculously over-excited about The Vikings? I’ve been having serious trouble sleeping for the past few months, so I’ve been spending way too many wide-eyed early hours of the morning time (well, hello there, sun) with Netflix watching Sons of Anarchy (dude, why am I crying over bikers?), True Detectives (anything remotely gothic ftw), and now Rectify. I am loving the slower pace of the last two. Mini-series are my new thang. (Until Claire gets her sleep back).

/Vague nonsensical waffle. So not why you’re here.

Make You is available on Smashwords, Amazon US,UK, etc., Barnes & Noble, and Apple iBookstore IE,GBUS, etc.
Make You

Cover is by CCR Designs. Blurb below:

It’s been months since Devlin O’Mara’s boyfriend killed a vampire for her, months since her family and friends covered up the incident for her. But now teenage girls are going missing and dying, and it seems as if Sully could somehow be back in town.

As the kidnappings draw too close to home, Devlin sets off on a mission to find the truth. But as she soon discovers, enemies can become allies, allies could be the true source of her problems, and vengeance is one of the few emotions vampires retain.

It’ll all end in blood and tears… but who will survive?

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