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Tag: claire farrell

Changes, Dilemmas, & A Queen

The kids have two weeks off school, so obviously it was time for another bout of sickness. One kid started puking on Friday. It’s now Tuesday (I think?), it’s three down, two to go, and both parents are borderline. We’ve had some lovely bright mornings, but we can’t go anywhere, so that’s a shame. Maybe next week!

There are some pretty big changes happening in my personal life that will have an impact on writing/publishing. I have two books close to ready, two manuscripts that need a massive edit, and two editing slots in the summer. Beyond that, I don’t know how much things will slow down. We’re on the wait and see train right now. But I will not leave any unfinished series hanging out there.

My dilemma is that I planned on publishing Make You this month, and Queen next month. But Queen came back earlier than expected, and it’s in better condition than Make You. I feel like I should just publish Queen this month and give Make You more time (because something’s irking me about it), but that feels a little unfair to those who are waiting for Make You. Right now, both stories need covers, Queen needs a proofread, and Make You is waiting on another edit + proofread, so it makes sense in one way to get Queen out of the way, but that’s really close to Fade, considering the rest of the books won’t be published a month apart. I’ve been going back and forth about this for weeks, and I’m still no closer to figuring out what to do.

In other, kinda-related news, I’m struggling with Chaos #4. The previous two books were obviously too easy, and this is my punishment. 😀 I’m, again, having trouble making decisions on what goes into this book. I don’t even have a title which is weirdly unsettling. The almost ready to be published books hanging around are distracting, so I’m hoping once they’re out of the way that this will get easier. It’s during months like this that I wish I wasn’t in charge of everything. I’m not decisive enough. 🙂

So yeah, I’m not online as much, but I try to keep people updated as often as possible, hence this (kinda vague) post.

And I’ll end with a place-holder cover for Queen (Chaos #3) because I’m obviously procrastinating if I’m blogging and creating place-holder covers.

Queen Demo Cover

 

Here’s the blurb if you’re interested:

Three kings.
Two queens.
One heir.
Chaos will rule.

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Fade (Chaos #2)

Fade (Chaos #2) is now available for preorder on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords with a sale price of 99c until Monday. It should be available on Amazon this Friday. Apple haven’t listed it yet, so if you’re interested, either keep an eye out there or look for an epub copy on Smashwords.

Edited to add: We’re on the iBookstore. Ignore me; I’m an idiot!

The cover is by CCR Designs. Expect Make You in April, and Chaos #3 (title & blurb reveal at the end of Fade) in May/June.

Blurb and cover below:

Official release date – 28th March 2014

Cara Kelly should have left the faery realm now that it has a king to rule all, but nothing is that simple. The real king is trapped in the Fade, and Cara’s journey is just beginning. Guilt-ridden by the fact Brendan’s soul was sacrificed for hers, she’s determined not to desert him after his one pure act of goodness. Time is running out; even if she makes it past all of the dangers of the Darkside, a shade might await her in the Fade. Running from enemy and friends alike, she sets out on a path that will lead headfirst into danger.

Even if Cara makes it to the Fade, even if a goddess watches over her, she doesn’t trust all of her companions, she still has to find a way home, and freeing Brendan could cause a war between the faeries she cares about.

And all the while, Chaos grows unchecked.

Fade

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What Takes You So Long?

I stupidly talk about “the process” sometimes, and I make it clear that I’m not a slow writer when it comes to first drafts. I like to whack ’em out as quickly as possible.

It’s day 14 of NaNoWriMo, and I’ve hit the 50k without trying hard, while preparing a book for my editor, while being sick and having some sick little babas staying home from school, and, erm, while watching Netflix a lot. I know that a lot of the words in my first drafts likely suck, but that’s okay. I now have the bare bones of the story I needed to write. Editing will just poof that right up into a real novel.

When I work hard, I can write a lot more. (I can also burn out easily). When I’m working on a first draft, 5k is usually my minimum goal for the day. Have to watch out for the wrists though. There’s always at least one trade-off. (I didn’t just wake up one morning capable of typing fast, by the way. It comes with practice and having a very clear idea of the characters and storyline. I know my characters inside and out, and I visualise scenes all of the time, so they make it easy on me).

Because of this, I get asked things like: What the hell takes you so long to finish a book?

I work at home full-time. That job is writing. That job supports my family. I should theoretically be capable of a lot more than I’m doing when you compare my day with most other people. But I’m not good at editing, so I can’t cut corners, or the finished product will be embarrassingly bad. It takes me a hell of a long time to edit a book. I read threads on writing forums which make me want to weep. People actually let other people read their first drafts. Excuse me while I vomit in my mouth. I can’t even write if someone could possibly maybe slightly see my screen, never mind voluntarily allow another person to read the first unedited piece of crap set of words I spew onto a page. I spend an excessive amount of time editing one sentence emails before I can bring myself to send them. And I still make stupid mistakes. I don’t even…

Right, we get it, I suck at life and organisation, and all of that good stuff, but this is what takes me so long. My editing cycle – it’s more of a hellish nightmare really – usually goes a little something like this:

  1. First draft in Scrivenor – Awesome!
  2. First edit in Scrivenor – Hopeless despair. Countless hours fact-checking and researching things that never make it into the story.
  3. Chapter by chapter edit to transfer manuscript into word document – Frustration that this isn’t going any faster. Unsure if research is helpful or procrastination.
  4. Kindle edit – The story is actually working!
  5. Typing in changes from Kindle edit – Holy shit, there’s no way I can actually publish this crap.
  6. Days of ignoring the story and being incapable of writing because I’m so worried about the story that I can’t fix and won’t fix because I can’t even bear to look at it.
  7. Massive paper edit – I can do this. Maybe. No, wait, I can’t. I can fix it. This is unfixable. I may cry. Chocolate and coffee. Lots of it.
  8. Typing in changes from paper edit – What the hell does this scrawl mean? I love these characters. Ignore a lot of these changes and feel guilty about past me’s hard work. Laugh at my own jokes that I then delete. Glare at my window in case somebody happened to be creeping by (what? It could happen!) and caught me laughing at my own jokes.
  9. Kindle edit – Tweaking sentences. This has to be productive.
  10. Kindle edit – Tweaking sentences. Falling asleep. Panic that I’ve made a massive booboo in the timeline/continuity. Start over and double-check the timeline and continuity. Google the shit out of everything else I can think of. Reassure myself I didn’t mess up, but have stress nightmares thereafter.
  11. Kindle edit – I have to let my editor know I’m not going to be bloody well ready for editing. Tweaking sentences. Spending way too much time reading about grammar and not understanding any of it. Why didn’t I stay in school? Why didn’t I learn any of this when I did go to school?
  12. Big frustrated crying jag – Feeling a little better. Determined not to let this bitch book best me. Er, yo.
  13. Kindle edit – Pretty sure I’m just undoing changes I’ve already made. Tweaking sentences again. How have I missed this stupidity? Why can’t I read English? Why can’t I write English? Oh, my God, I’m so bored of this hateful book.
  14. Kindle edit – Inspiration. Three sentences change the mood of the entire book. La-la-LA! The pieces are finally clicking together. I am a freaking creative genius, people. How on earth did I manage to spell the main character’s name wrong though?
  15. (Somewhere amongst the Kindle edits comes the beta reading stage – if I have time. That’s when I rock to and fro wondering what to do when everyone contradicts each other, leaving me more confused than ever).
  16. Final Kindle edit – At least most of the words are spelled correctly. Probably. Some insane sounding cackling from my office terrifies the rest of my family. Extra obsessive fact-checking. Freeze my laptop with the amount of open tabs in Chrome. Cross out all of the notes I’ve scrawled in my notebook. That has to count for something. Squint to understand most of the scribbles, but feel like I’ve sorted everything I intended to fix. Maybe.
  17. Work up courage to send to editor – Can’t concentrate on anything but feeling sick with worry that the editor will think it’s the worst book ever written and ban me from hiring her ever again.
  18. First editor edit – Um, lots of repetition. You know, as usual. Delete seven thousand instances of variations of the word look. Rewrite the scenes that I’ve rewritten the most during my own process. Hate myself. Relieved somebody else is taking care of my mess.
  19. Second editor edit – Fix the new errors I’ve added because I’m a gobshite.
  20. Proofreader edit – Fix the highly embarrassing mistake that I’ve missed during my countless edits. Thank the universe for editors and proofreaders who must worry about my rapidly decreasing IQ.
  21. Final proofread – Doubt myself. Panic. Worry about the likelihood of missing small issues that most people won’t notice, but the ones who do will HATE ME FOREVER.
  22. Publish – Fall into a state of depression because I miss the book that put me through hell.

So that’s pretty much it! The hell-cycle is complete. And now I can start all over again. Except I can’t because I’m still missing the characters from the book I just finished. While I’m editing, I tend to get trapped there and forget about writing anything new. I’m trying to wean myself away from the obsessiveness and prioritise some new words on a different story every day that I spend editing. And it would be great if the whole editing thing could be more efficient and less soul-destroying. And while I like to tell the world I hate every moment of editing, I do love the finished product way more than I would if I didn’t act like a crazy Gollum person over my manuscripts.

So that’s what takes me so long and why I end up with so many first drafts and not enough completed ones. If I didn’t book editing slots, I would never finish anything. And yes, despite all of this, I know quite well I’m going to get complaints about using British English, but it’s worth it. Pinky swear.

(And I finally wrote an entire long-arse blog post without using a smiley. Maturity. Go me).

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Soul Release Day!

Today’s the day. First book in a brand new series. Woo. Now on to the next one. I’m actually halfway through the NaNoWriMo word count on the sequel to Soul which is called Fade. I have an editing slot for that in February. Next brand new release should be Tested. I still need a cover for that, but I might post a teaser thingy next week.

On to the details!

Soul is available to purchase on Amazon USUKCA etc., iBookstore USGBAUCAIE, etc., Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.  Thanks so much for the feedback and reviews so far!

Soul

You might like to read One Night with the Fae first to get some insight into the world. It’s free on Barnes & NobleSmashwordsKobo, iBookstore IEGBCAAUUS, etc., and Amazon UK & US.

One Night with the Fae

Also Free! Darlings of Urban Fantasy is a free collection of nine young adult urban fantasy novel. My novel Stake You has been included. You can download Darlings of UF on Amazon USUKCA, etc., Kobo, and iBookstore IE, AU, CA, GB, US, etc. If it isn’t free for your location, it will be very soon. 🙂

Darlings of Urban Fantasy

Soul blurb:

Cara Kelly’s life is going nowhere when she’s lured to a faery festival. There she sees darkness and magic, madness and lust, and she comes out the other side with new eyes and an addiction to the fae.

When the faery who saved her life returns to her, Cara knows there’s something wrong. Two souls exist in one body, and both need her, but to help one, she’ll end the life of the other. At first, her mind is made up, but both souls know how to charm her.

As the days pass, it becomes clear that the faeries need a leader, and Cara finds herself sucked into a world where morals don’t exist. The truth of her past is hidden in the magic, but all Cara needs to do is survive the king’s coronation, then the fae will let her go forever.

But that’s not what she wants anymore, and it’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference between a king and a half-blooded solitary faery. Cara’s losing her way, and her heart, to the fae, but there’s still her life, and her humanity, left to lose.

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Belated October Updates

Hey, hey, peoples. The more frequent blogging thing has obviously not worked out very well! This month has been full of the crazy.

I’ve been working on the final edits for Tested because it’s due to go to the editor very soon, but I’ve been super distracted. I feel like there is a lot going on right now. Soul is available on pre-order on Amazon, B&N, the iBookstores, and Smashwords. One Night with the Fae has gone free everywhere, and the kind folks at Wattpad have been promoting it this month, so I’ve started using the site again. Links & covers & blurbiness below. (Just pasting what I sent out in the newsletter).

We have an unwelcome furry visitor to the house that’s driving me crazy. I can hear the fecker in the walls, and he’s the type that steals food from traps then saunters off like he owns the world. Jerk.

The kids are on their mid-term break. this means there’s much of the noise. They got to dress up in their Halloween outfits on the last day of school. The twins (who had their birthdays this month – happy birthday, shitheads) were vampire kings because they are made of awesome. (This is starting to sound like a My News schoolwork thingy).

The countdown to NaNoWriMo has begun! I told myself what I was going to write, but I’ve decided to work on Fade (sequel to Soul, and I still don’t have a title for the series, grr!) instead because I can’t wait. I’m excited to get back into the constant writing jazz after so many months of the constant editing jazz.

And it’s our anniversary today, so I shall probably lose a day tomorrow!

Have a great week and happy Halloween – and just ’cause I’m currently obsessing…

Linkys:

Soul is available for preorder on Amazon USUKCA etc., iBookstore USGBAUCAIE, etc., Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.  Release date is set for 8th of November, and the first 50% is available for sample on Smashwords if you’re unsure. This is the first in the series I’ll be concentrating on from now on, so I hope you all will love it as much as I do. Still sending out advance review copies, so if you’re interested, let me know!

Soul
Soul blurb:
Cara Kelly’s life is going nowhere when she’s lured to a faery festival. There she sees darkness and magic, madness and lust, and she comes out the other side with new eyes and an addiction to the fae. 

When the faery who saved her life returns to her, Cara knows there’s something wrong. Two souls exist in one body, and both need her, but to help one, she’ll end the life of the other. At first, her mind is made up, but both souls know how to charm her. 

As the days pass, it becomes clear that the faeries need a leader, and Cara finds herself sucked into a world where morals don’t exist. The truth of her past is hidden in the magic, but all Cara needs to do is survive the king’s coronation, then the fae will let her go forever. 

But that’s not what she wants anymore, and it’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference between a king and a half-blooded solitary faery. Cara’s losing her way, and her heart, to the fae, but there’s still her life, and her humanity, left to lose.

 

One Night with the Fae

One Night with the Fae is also free on Barnes & NobleSmashwords, iBookstore IEGBCAAUUS, etc., and Amazon UK & US. It kickstarted the idea of this series, so you might like to read that first.

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Updates – Now with 80% More Waffle

I’m trying to get back into the whole regular blogging thing. I’m seriously stressed out this month (for lots of boring reasons I won’t lull you to sleep with), so talking about positive/different stuff might help.

Darlings of Darkness has been released, and I’ll leave the info at the bottom of this post.  If you don’t know, it’s a vampire-related anthology that Thirst is a part of. Hopefully, it’ll be free everywhere by Halloween. Over half a million words in the thing!

My editor is done with the first pass on Soul, so that might be my next release – I’m still not sure when exactly. I’ve been thinking of holding it off when it’s finally ready and doing the pre-order thing on Smashwords so everyone can get it on the same day, but I’m not sure if it will work out perfectly. I’m still looking out for a new cover for One Night with the Fae. I want to make that free because it’s connected with Soul, and it’s so old now. I’ve wanted to make it free for a long time, but I thought it would be better to wait until Soul was ready. Soul decided to be a series, but I don’t think I’ll be working on the sequel (Fade) until next year because I found it so intense to work on the first book (and it’s 100k!), so I need to work on shorter, less suffocating stuff for the rest of the year (she says now) because next year will be full of Soul, methinks. 🙂

I’ve been working hard on Peter’s voodoo zombie Halloween novella. (Looking for a cover for that, too. I have looked at so many premade covers lately and, holy crap, there’s a lot out there to wade through). I might not have time to get it ready before Halloween, but I’ll try anyway. It’s written, but I’m struggling between choosing first or third person. I keep switching because I can’t decide. I wanted to use third person because I mostly use first person, and I think it’s good to make yourself uncomfortable as a writer sometimes. But while third person works for this story to a certain extent, in some places it feels very far removed, and I miss the intimacy of first person. Also, I forgot how seriously Peter takes. Every. Bloody. Thing. so it’s not as light-hearted a story as I anticipated. If I haven’t mentioned, it’s set years before he met Ava, and I’m really enjoying looking at that stage of his life. The only familiar characters are Aiden, Eddie, and Koda btw.

The third thing in the works is a book set in Ava’s world. I originally said (and thought) that Ava would be in the second half of this book, but it’s far, far longer than I expected, so it might be a two-book thing. The main character is mentioned in the very last pages of Traitor, and the first part is set across Taken, Taste, and Traitor. The ending will correspond directly with Traitor’s ending. The second part will continue on from there and involve Ava pretty heavily, exploring her and the new main character’s heritage and how it relates to Seth. I originally planned on this story happening within Ava’s series, but it would have dragged out the series too much and taken too much focus away from other characters.

This one may be released before Christmas, if not, January. It’s written, but it’s taking me a long time to perfect the timelines because certain points coincide with what we’ve heard in Ava’s books. Also, using real places without naming them and figuring out their escape routes has been tricky because it’s an alternate universe, but I still want to maintain hints of reality. The main character is already on the run in the UK with her father when the BVA takes over, and society basically shuts down. The clip of Ava revealing herself to the world has a real effect on their path. They head north with the idea of getting a boat out of the country, but obviously, nothing is that simple. It gives a little insight into what kind of effect the BVA had on the UK, and how it worked. Also, some details on “the games” that were mentioned at Fionnuala’s dinner party. And how the changes in Ireland affected people not in Ava’s circle. It’ll be called Tested/Tainted.

I’m also working on the first draft of Make You, a direct sequel to Stake You. It’s too early to tell if it will be released, but I like the characters a lot, and it’s kind of a break for me between heavier stuff. Which is probably a weird thing to say considering some of the themes within, but it’s a very simple story, and it was fun for me to write. I don’t want to say too much about Make You in case I drastically change storylines, but it’s set in the summer after Stake You, and the characters are just settling down and readjusting to their new lives when people start dying and disappearing, and the only person who has actually seen the bodies is the one suspected of foul play. This kind of story is like my time off. 😀

It’s getting closer to NaNoWriMo, so I’ve been thinking about what to focus on for that month. Last November, I wrote Hollow, which is a contemporary y/a that has been literally sitting on my desk in print form all year, mocking me with its unedited state. It was very close to home in some ways, and it took a lot out of me. Mucho depressing, and I wasn’t happy with the ending. Anyway, recently, while I was supposed to be editing the half a million things I seem to need to finish, I got a shiny new idea that I couldn’t shake. For two days, I wrote down scenes just to get it out of my head and go back to work, but I realised it had a very NA vibe, so I ditched it because I knew I wouldn’t finish it. But it wouldn’t go away (still haunting me, people!), and I slowly realised that if I strip away the NA vibe then the basic ideas would work really well as a sequel to Hollow (if I rewrite a huge chunk of the poor neglected thing) and therefore fix the ending of Hollow into something far more realistic. (It’s such a weird kind of relief to finally have the right ending). I called it Halo, and it’s on the first draft list for November. It probably won’t work, but I like to think of NaNoWriMo as my unofficial excuse to experiment month. 😉

This post is already 1000 words long! I’m becoming extremely long-winded in my old age. So, yeah, the rest of my year feels pretty full. After the releases mentioned here, I won’t have anything new ready to publish until March at the earliest, and that will likely be a sequel. I really wanted to write the demonolatry series this autumn, but it looks like I won’t have the chance until this time next year at the very least. 🙁 And I’m not sure if/when I’ll get around to working on Death is a Trial again. I absolutely love the characters, and I want to revisit them, but I’m not certain there’s enough of a story to work with yet. It’s missing something, and I think I’ll find it if I wait. And also, I’m kinda afraid to commit to the amount of work and editing these super-sized (by my standards) stories need. I miss novellas…

And Darlings of Darkness is available right now on Amazon US and UK for 99c/77p, and on Smashwords for free. There’s also a Facebook page. Here’s the pretty cover:

Darlings of Darkness

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September Updates

Howdy, y’all.

It’s been a while. That’s because I’ve been busy working on the neverending story. The story that just doesn’t end. The story that keeps getting added to, even when I think it’s finished already. It. Doesn’t. Want. To. End. So I caved, and it’s now the first in a series. Now everything’s cool, and everything’s smooth. Over three years of wondering why I couldn’t finish the story, and all along, the answer was that I hadn’t reached the actual real live end. So now it’s done-ish, and the entire family is celebrating.

So, yeah, September already. Nothing has gone as planned, but that’s the summer for you. We had heat, actual heat – seriously, how do people who live in hot climates get anything done? I mean, ever? The kids drove me insane, the dogs drove me insane, work drove me insane, and everything I said would happen did not and will not happen. Because that’s how we roll around here. 🙂

The kids are back at school. The twins started big school – they’re so freaking adorably miniature in their over-sized uniforms – and the 6-yr-old has already made every excuse possible not to go to school because she hates all of the work and homework. Plus, her teacher is scary, and there’s a high chance of there being insects anywhere she doesn’t like to go. Also, going to bed early sucks because it interrupts everything fun like tormenting her brothers into an uncontrollable rage, and I can’t even brush her hair without hurting her, so what’s wrong with me? Not to mention the fact seeded bread actually hurts her throat now, and her runners have (ohmigod) grass on them (on the actual shoes I expect her to wear on her actual feet) which means they can’t be worn again. Or something. The big dude is counting down the years to secondary school, and I’ve been spending way too much time with the 3-yr-old. My mornings now go a little like this (in between pretending to watch Monsters Inc. Thank you, headphones inventor.):

Me: Okay, I really need to get a little work done this morning, okay?

3-yr-old: Yay, work! *Attacks me with a cracker* The crocodile’s eating you! The crocodile’s trying to eat up your belly, Mom!

Me: *Screams*

3-yr-old: *Drops her arms with a sigh* No, Mom, look. It’s just a cracker. It’s not really a crocodile. Look. *Stares at me* C’mere. *Leads me to door* Hey! Hey, you birdy! *Bangs glass with cracker* The crocodile’s trying to eat you!

Crow: *Stares at me with eyes of death*

3-yr-old: See, Mom? The birdy knows it’s just a cracker. No crocodiles in this house. Okay, Mom? You okay, Mom? Just. A. Cracker. Okay?

Me: Oh. I see.

Or this:

3-yr-old: You gonna work, Mom?

Me: Yep. So we need to be nice and quiet for a few minutes, okay? I just need to finish something.

3-yr-old: Sure, Mom. I just need to sing my special song, okay? *Grabs pink guitar and carries it up the stairs after me.*

Me: *Heavy sigh*

3-yr-old: *Almost drops guitar* Whoa! That was a close one! So dangerous, guitar. So dangerous, you cheeky little–Oh, wow, you so boo-ti-ful, guitar. Isn’t that right, Mom? Isn’t the guitar so boo-ti-ful?

Me: It’s very beautiful, but not as beautiful as you.

3-yr-old: *Snorts* Well, yeah, Mom. I already know that. *Shakes head at me*

That’s my girl. 🙂

Anyway, actual updates for this month are as follows:

Thirst is going to be part of a free anthology called Darlings of Darkness which features ten vampire stories by female writers. It’ll be published by the end of this month and hopefully be free everywhere by Halloween. The cover is pretty, so check out the Facebook page if you want to take a look at that (and the rest of the stories). I don’t personally know the writers involved, so I’m looking forward to checking out their work myself. 🙂

Soul (yeah, baby–we’re still celebrating up in here) will be with an editor this month. I’m not sure on a release date yet (probably some time in October) because of a couple of things coming up, but I’ll probably post the first chapter or so on the blog when it’s edited & proofread by people who actually know what they’re doing (hint: not me). It’s been extremely challenging to work on (because the characters are an extra special flavour of screwed up), and it’s the longest story I’ve ever written – it’s more than 40k longer than I expected. So it’ll be the first in a series, it’s inspired by One Night with the Fae, it’s about faeries, it has my favourite cover (my OH even had it put on a birthday cake) and I’ve been promising to finish it for years now. More about that when the time comes.

Right now, I’m working on a novella set in the Ava Delaney world for Halloween. Kind of. I’ve wanted to do a Halloween story with Peter Brannigan and voodoo zombies and Kate’s grandmother forever (all of those characters came before Ava). I’m not sure if I’ll publish, but even if I don’t, I’ll make sure newsletter subscribers can get a copy if they’re interested.

I’m also sitting on another novel set in the Ava Delaney world that will hopefully be published in December. I did say that Ava would make an appearance in the second half of the book (it’s about the first lost soul btw), but the first half is so bloody long that I might have to split it. I don’t want to do that, but I’ll have to leave out a lot of details about the war (and the games!) from the UK point of view to keep it in one book, so I’m torn right now. Hence the sitting. And the lovely indecision I’m so well-known for.

I’ll have other updates soon, now that I’m rejoining the world of… well, just the world in general really. Ciao for now!

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Massive Springtime Book Giveaway

Elle Casey is hosting a pretty huge giveaway at the moment. There are 190 different titles and over 1,500 copies up for grabs. Two of mine (Death is a Gift & Stake You) are taking part, and after a quick glance through the other entries, I see some books I really enjoyed including Water Witch and Sojourner.

Anyway! If anyone is interested in entering this giveaway, sign up here. The entry stage ends on the 15th of May, and you can enter to win as many different books as you like.

Also, Free Ebooks Daily have hosted me on their blog for some Q&A/random facts type of stuff if anyone wants to check that out or is looking for freebies.

And now I’m off to wash my hands for the fiftieth time in a vain attempt to remove hot pink dye stains from my skin. Have a great weekend!

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Quicker Than Quick

Ka-Chow!

Currently watching my two-year-old trying to pin up her hair with a peg. o_O

Anyway, just a quick post. Death is a Gift is now available on B&N, Kobo, and the various iBookstores, so I’ll leave the sale price as is until next weekend. (Although, it could take a week for the price to actually change everywhere).

Sent Traitor off to my editor which ends what seemed like a never-ending deadline of deadlines this year. Never again will I arrange such a long schedule of non-stop editing. That way lies madness, and my brain is tired.

In good news: our car is back and fixed and running and working and not breaking down in the middle of motorways. And it wasn’t as expensive as first predicted which is just… thank you, good karma, I’ve missed you.

In great news: April 2013, the Farrell Family’s Unluckiest Month Ever is almost over. (That does not count as jinxing myself, universe).

In better news: Game. Of. Thrones. (Tomorrow).

In best news: New baby in the family! (Was going to make a kidnapping joke, but if people keep taking me so seriously, I’m going to get myself arrested, and the weird internet history on my laptop probably won’t help. At all).

Okay, so it was a quick post for me. Have a great week!

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Three Year Indieversary

Note: Smashwords are running their usual Read an Ebook week promo – a few of my books are taking part.

This is my annual dull indieversary post in which I traditionally talk about myself more than usual. Check out year one and year two if you’re interested in how long I’ve been this much of an egotistical arsehole. 😀

Boo-yah. Three years ago today, I clicked publish for the first time. Little Girl sold something like five copies that month. 🙂 (Incidentally, it had its best sales month ever in January of this year, which was odd and reinforces the whole unpredictability thing).

A couple of big things have happened since the year two post. We moved out of Dublin. The bukes hit a nice even sales milestone. I have my own space to work. I shocked everyone who knows I’m the laziest person on the planet by temporarily turning into a raging workaholic. I finally finished a series. *Insert some kind of embarrassing yet appropriately celebratory dance here*

That was the biggest deal for me, actually. I finally accomplished my first Big Dream that never seemed possible before (I’m looking at you, Cursed, you nightmare of my soul). I’ll be thirty this month(!), and I was afraid I wouldn’t finish that series before then. I did it, so suck on that, impossibly old ideas that never go away, make me love you and hate you at the same time, and leave me in some kind of weird writer depression when you end.

I’ve put a lot more money and hours into my books than before. While I would love to publish more frequently, I can’t without sacrificing editing, and I can barely get away with using British English. 😉

Not judging anyone else’s output, nor am I saying any other writer sacrifices editing, just that I’m not that good. 😀

I feel like I’ve worked harder over the last year, partly because the Big Burning Desire is to see obvious improvement. Sometimes that doesn’t come fast enough for me, but I’m a trier. (And there is nothing like the hell of reading your old embarrassing stories while cringing at every sentence you could now rewrite into something better – the best part of finishing a series is never having to read the first book again…) I do sometimes feel like I’ve maybe sacrificed a little bravery for the sake of learning the craft, but this is a lifelong learning curve. And while I enjoy working on my series, I spent most of last year looking forward to the end so I could move on to what comes next. I feel like I’ve learned a lot from the old stuff, but I’m ready to move on with the new.

On the negative side of this past year, I’m exhausted. 🙂 Let’s just say my kids love it when I burnout. The most frustrating change since year two was probably relying on people who let me down at the last minute. It happens for various reasons; you have to rely on other people, and I’ve learned you really need a backup plan. This is partly why I’m glad I decided the series stuff needed the same people. I’ve been lucky enough to find an editor and cover artist I trust and enjoy working with and who are worth the cost, but I seem to have heard of far more people being ripped off or let down during the last twelve months than before. Inevitable, but sucky.

I still love writing, and I’m even beginning to appreciate editing – there’s something kind of fun about layering. In the coming twelve months, I expect series two to be done and dusted, but I’m not certain there will be a fourth indieversary post.

That’s not some kind of weird, vague threat or anything! I’m genuinely concerned about the quality of book I can produce right now. Besides that, I’m supporting a large family on something incredibly unstable, sales aren’t steady, and when my partner goes back into full-time work, I’ll have to write while five young kids clamour for my attention. All. Day. Long. (Wait, that happens now…) I’ll still write, even if I can only finish one book a year. 😉

This isn’t supposed to be gloomy btw. Last year was probably a peak year for me, and I’m okay with that. For an Irish writer, I believe I did good. Honestly, I was very lucky, but luck can run out. I don’t have any stand out bestsellers, and I still avoid the active promotion thing like the plague, but across all markets, the numbers happened to add up last year. (Still advocating diversity vs. exclusivity. After my experiences with the whole copyright thing, I’m extra loud about this one). There are way, way, way more writers out there doing the same thing as me. Plenty of them doing it much better. More than the outliers we hear about. I don’t think I’ve met any Irish ones yet, but I’m sure they’re out there. The problem remains the same though. No stability. No way of knowing what will come next, and that isn’t something that everyone can handle. Most of us can’t predict what book will rise or fall, and plenty of people have gone into this full-time only for it to fall apart. While I kind of enjoy the risks, I have to make joint decisions that put my family first, and in that regard, I keep myself prepared for change, whenever the need arises. 🙂

Tl;dr: Writing good. Publishing hard. Guarantees non-existent. Life exciting. 😀

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