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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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August 2016 (Also Known As No Good News)

*Inhales*

Okay.

Due to personal reasons, August has been the worst month of all time less than perfect. This last week has been a million times better, so it’s for the best if we pretend the rest of the month never happened. 🙂

*Exhales*

To the actual bad news update then. I intended to publish the first Harbinger novel around Halloween, but that won’t happen this year. I’m just not in a position to fund a series right now. I’m still trying to work on a solution, but if I can’t figure things out, I’ll put it on my blog or Wattpad or something. Not the greatest outcome (those of you who have read my unfinished work can already testify to that!), but I’m stuck in a Catch-22 situation right now. I’m an emotional wreck a little upset. I haven’t published a novel since December, and I don’t know when I will again. In the meantime, I’m going to keep writing and editing in my spare time, and I’m hoping to release a novella next month (free copy with the next newsletter), but I should probably stop trying to predict these things. 🙂

All jokes aside, I am sorry if you were waiting on the series and are disappointed, and no hard feelings if you don’t want to wait on me again. I completely understand.

By the way, this is the cover I originally ordered for Harbinger last year, but it doesn’t work for the series.

Harbinger

That’s it for book-related stuff. Everything else is an epic waffle because I haven’t had much adult conversation this summer. You have been warned. 🙂

The kids are back to school tomorrow (and dreading it). The giddy one has been sick (and eerily quiet) but seems to have gotten better juuuust in time for school (ha). They’ve basically spent the summer playing Minecraft or pretending they were pokemon (all while making a good effort at sounding like at least two dozen kids). Except my eldest, who has spent his time off in a dressing gown (that I’m going to dump as soon as he goes to school) whilst avoiding the rest of mankind. (Definitely my child). The smallest of the smallies is excited to see her BFF again. She’s been telling me the tale of how they first met. It’s full of drama, hyperbole and heroic rescues from bullies. (Also definitely my child).

I managed to get an afternoon away this month to see Suicide Squad. (I know. The cinema twice in one year. Slow your roll, Claire). I was fairly disappointed, but I had overly high expectations going in. I thought it was… a mess (in the same way as a lot of recent films). No structure, no substance, no story. I love me some flashiness, but there has to be more than that. It was just a bit sad to see the wasted potential.

I also jumped on the Stranger Things bandwagon. It was on point in terms of everything the above was missing. (And the eighties are the bestest). I wasn’t going to watch it because people kept comparing it to Stephen King novels, so I thought I’d hate it, but himself watched it and was all, Claire, watch it. It’s your kind of thing. So I watched it for a few minutes, and it was definitely my kind of thing, so I stayed up all night to finish the season. Whoops!

And not to make it sound like I spend every waking hour staring at a screen of some kind (even if that’s mostly true), but I finally finally finally watched Ash vs Evil Dead. Yaas. Army of Darkness is one of my favourite films of ALL-TIME (I just spent way way too long trying to think of what would make it into my top five), so I’ve been dying to see the series. I was not disappointed. (And I might have stayed up all night to finish that, too).

Unrelated to everything else, I got impatient waiting for the pink to fade in my hair, so I mixed (like, five) leftover dyes together and slapped it on. My bath looked like I’d sacrificed a unicorn. It was glorious. 😀

If you made it this far, congratulations. You’re mental extremely well-mannered. 😛 I have to go build myself up to start dealing with boring tax stuff early instead of leaving it to the last minute and stressing out in a panic this year, so I’ll let you go…

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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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Feb Updates

I’m using my phone for this for the first time, so bear with me – WordPress isn’t working on my laptop for some reason. Anyway, as of this week, we have reliable broadband again which means less radio silence from me.

Updates: I thought Death is a Gift would be my next release, but due to one editor bringing forward our schedule, and the other falling behind, Purity is up first. Right now, I’ve no idea when DIAG will be ready. 🙁 Still, expect to see Purity on Amazon, Kobo, & Smashwords early next week – B&N, Apple, etc. will probably take a couple of weeks. I’ll also do a complete Cursed collection option soon, and paperbacks for both soon.

Taste is heading to its editor next week, so I’m hoping for a March release. Traitor, the final Ava Delaney book, should then be available around June if all goes to plan. I will likely have another release in the summer, but I’m not certain which book I’ll choose for that yet.

I’ve been ridiculously busy since October, but I didn’t write much in January (stoopid editing), so I’m looking forward to that changing this month.

I have some writing related stuff on my mind, but it’ll keep until the big anniversary post next month.

Non-updatey stuff: We are probably the only place not to get snow. We got a little flooding, but no snow. We also got an unwelcome mouse, so we’ve stolen a grumpy cat and are hoping she doesn’t assassinate our dogs. (She’s gone into super-stealth mode, so anything can happen). My big scary guard dog is afraid of cats. She’s also afraid of shadows, bin collectors, closed doors, and steam from the kettle, so I may as well put up a Beware of the Cat sign.

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Catch-Up, Clarity, and Clarification

I thought I would skip my usual end of year post and go straight to a few things I have to catch up on.

I haven’t posted in an age because I’ve been busy preparing for the holidays, training a new pup (yeah we got her after all), and obsessively researching a couple of new book ideas by spending way too much time watching Sister Wives and reading SHTF forums.  Oh, how I love research.  And I may start hoarding toilet roll.  I have been writing and editing too, just not always the things I’m supposed to be working on. 🙂

I have been asked about this, so to clarify, I will not be taking my books down from Apple or B&N.  Good luck to anyone taking part in Amazon’s KDP Select, but as much as I would love my books to be part of a lending library, exclusivity is not an option for me.  I know people complain about abysmal sales on B&N and Apple, but for reference, it took me a year and a half (and a freebie) to sell anything more than a handful of copies over there.  There are no guarantees either way.

I’ve sent out an email to Clarity beta readers, so if you haven’t heard from me even though you offered to beta read, please contact me and let me know.  I’m stupidly disorganised and Santy didn’t bring me an assistant for Christmas.  🙂

I’m not doing a best of books for 2011 because I’ve forgotten most of what I’ve read, and I stopped updating Goodreads ages ago.  One book that did stand out – a lot – is One Insular Tahiti by Thea Atkinson.  I loved this book soooo much; I’ve recommended it a lot this year, and I think it says bucketloads about it that I remember it so clearly out of all of the 100+ books I read.

I’m already planning out my to-read list and trying to figure out when I can actually get the time to read.  In my grubby little hands are books like Glow, Anomaly, Dark Relic, Madly and Wolfhardt, Hetaera, Dhampir, Sacrifice, Eden, Chop Suey, Compis, The Doom Guardian, The Fall, The Skull Ring, The 19 Dragons, Reunion, and probably way too many others to actually finish, but I can dream.  I’m on a “short buzz” at the moment, so I’m open to recommendations.  Anyone find any good short novels or novellas?  Or decent zombie offerings?

The number of freebies at the moment is crazy and overwhelming, so I’m relying on snazzy titles, pretty covers, and recommends.  Sometimes all three fail, but that’s okay.  I’m not complaining about the freebies, but I tend to finish more books that I’ve chosen myself (due to taste or mood) than just downloaded because they were free.  Still, it’s fun to have so much choice, and I’ve definitely found a couple of books by new-to-me writers that I enjoyed.

Next year is going to be even more crazy than 2011 was for me.  I probably won’t be online so much because I have a lot of work to do.  All seven of us (plus three dogs) will be relying on me for a while which is terrifying and exciting all at once.  The writing related plans are to finish the Cursed series, release an Ava book (two if I’m lucky), hopefully find time to work on Soul and maybe O&D, and get some new stories written – at least in first draft form.  Writing isn’t the problem, editing is.  I’m still learning not to despise that part. 😀

Lastly, and most importantly, I wanted to thank everyone who downloaded/read/reviewed/recommended/beta read/critiqued/edited/proofread/etc. one of my books in 2011.  I seriously appreciate it, and it’s been kind of overwhelming really.  I know I’m more of a storyteller than a good writer, but I’m learning a lot, and it’s been so good to hear from people who related to my characters.  Some of the emails I’ve gotten have literally made me cry.  In a good way.  😉  Between Amazon US and UK, Thirst has been downloaded over 70,000 times since it went free last summer.  That’s kind of crazy to me, and it doesn’t count the other ebookstores.  Obviously, most of those people will never look at it again, but thanks to the ones who did.  Whether they liked it or not, they gave it a chance, and that’s all we can ask for. 🙂

On that note, have a fantastic year, and meet Keiko, the newest member of the team (in the middle of some destructive mischief).

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