To Kill A Curse – Cover Reveal

TKAC (2)It’s here, finally. After months of writing, more weeks editing and a lot of back and forth between the cover artist and I, the artwork for To Kill A Curse can be revealed. It’s blood red for obvious reasons; it’s the end of the series! And don’t you think Luguolo looks quite sweet and harmless there? We all know that’s a completely falsity!

In terms of it’s release; that’s still in question. It’s had one edit and is awaiting a second. Meanwhile, if you’d like the chance to read it first, before it hits the shelves, then please sign up for ARC copies. This is a new group I have solely for those who want to take part in my writing process. To Kill A Curse will be the first release to this group, after which you’ll get a chance to see all my work as it’s written; so that’s more CRYO stories and whatever else lays in the future.

If you simply want to know when it hits the shelves, just sign up for my newsletter. I’ll send you mail on release day so you can head to Amazon, Smashwords or another preferred store and grab the book.

With the editing process now out of my hands, I’m onto CRYO. First, there’ll be a couple of short stories about podmates before they entered the program. And then it’ll be onto CRYO 3. Oh, AND, there’ll be a short story set in the CRYO universe within an anthology to be released at the end of the year so I’ll be sure to let you all know when that’s available too! :)

Smashwords Summer Sale – Grab a Bargain Book

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It’s that time of year again; Smashwords Summer Sale. If you’re anything like me, you tend to read a bit more in the summer. I don’t know whether it’s the idea of sheltering from the sun under a tree or going on holiday that’s conducive to reading more, but I certainly grab a lot of fun reads at this time of year. Lucky for me – Smashwords are always around with some bargains.

If you’ve never used Smashwords before, it’s an ebook site where you can purchase a huge variety of file types. Buy a book and read the PDF on your desktop, enjoy the novel in your web browser or download the .mobi file and next time you connect your Kindle, just drop the files into the appropriate folder.

The sale started yesterday (July 1st) and I’ve reduced my entire catalogue, with 50% savings across the board. With Inside Evil free, that means you can grab the entire series so far (four books) for under a fiver. The CRYO books, and my zombie novella, Pacifier 6, are also discounted. Anyway, I won’t ramble on – I have the final Inside Evil book to write after all – so feel free to follow the link below and grab some bargains during July. If you’re looking for some more science fiction and fantasy reads, there’s a load of my author friends also with their books on sale. :)

Happy Reading

Grab one of my books on Smashwords with a 50% discount here.

Also find discounted books by these authors:

Kate AaronThe Lost Realm Trilogy (25% off)
Patty JansenEntire catalogue of Fantasy and Science Fiction (50% off)
Vincent TrigiliLost Tales of Power (Volumes 1-3) (75% off)
Chris ReherThe Catalyst (Targen Tales 2) (50% off) – The first book, Sky Hunter, is Free.
Deirdre GouldEntire catalogue of Dystopian (50% off)
Annie BellettEntire catalogue of Speculative Fiction (50% 0ff)

Who would you cast?

Hi folks! I’m still around, and working hard on the fourth Inside Evil book which has yet to be titled. Like The Tower of Souls, this fourth instalment is split between Ridgewood and Gathin so I’m having a blast getting back into all these doppelganger minds.

I’ve been having a few conversations on Twitter of late about casting. It seems that all the best books or best-selling series are getting spun into movies or television series, whether to make a quick buck or actually provide us with some real entertainment. Sometimes the casting is spot on, and you watch a show and are enthralled at how close to a character an actor is. At other times it’s way off and you’re left feeling a little disappointed. The most obvious bad casting for me was Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter. I love Imelda and think she’s a fine actress, but she was just too sweet for me. I’d always imagined Dolores as uglier, rotund and altogether unpleasant in looks and manner.

ruth fisherWhen asked about my own casting for novels, I’ve had a hard time. My characters tend to create themselves out of my mind and, as such, are not usually inspired by actors. The only contradiction to this is Valaria Carlody in CRYO: Rise of the Immortals who I always believed would be ideally played by Francis Conroy. Meanwhile, it has crossed my mind that Rebecca Mader, of Lost fame, could be a good possibility for the styled, intellectual and sometimes drug stimulated Evie Zianter.

In regards to Inside Evil, I often find it hard to cast Martha, Roberta, Sam etc because they’re visions in my head who don’t look like anyone else. I’ve had Felicity Montagu mentioned as a possible Martha, and today, another lovely fan said she’d always thought of Susan as Helena Bonham Carter. I know, odd right? But then I looked up a blonde HBC (see below) and guess what? She could easily play Susan Lingly and could create a very interesting take on this lady! This had never crossed my mind before but now I feel enlightened as a result!

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It got me thinking; everyone who reads a book has an interesting take on both the story and characters. I avoid putting obvious characters on my book covers for this exact reason.

So, if you were casting Inside Evil, CRYO or Pacifier Six, which actresses and actors would make your lineup? Which books to movies have you seen where the characters were perfect or far from who you’d imagined?

Inside Evil, Spirits of the Middlelands, is completed

Spirits of the Middlelands 270pxI’m so happy! Yesterday, I wrote the epilogue for Spirits of the Middlelands and finally got that all important final sentence for this third book in the Inside Evil series onto paper – aka – word. I have to admit, it didn’t start off so well. Having taken several months out to complete CRYO and Pacifier 6, getting back to Ridgewood and rediscovering Roberta, Susan and Karl took a while. I had writer’s block, I tried to force the story, and I got absolutely nowhere. But, then things started kicking into place, twists that even I hadn’t foreseen began to occur and my nimble fingers were back on track. I got the great cover art done and released a few teasers and everything started to snowball in the right direction.

Having now finished Spirits of the Middlelands, I’ll need a week or so to re-read the first draft, make improvements, fix some continuity issues and take out a couple of paragraphs that began story threads which didn’t actually transpire into anything. Then, it’s off to my editor. So, with us already heading towards mid-March, I would think this release will due at the end of the month at best, but more likely early April. If you don’t want to miss it, then make sure to sign up to the newsletter.

WHAT’S NEXT?

As much as I want to write the next CRYO book and have ideas formulating for another Pacifier 6 novella, Inside Evil fans will be pleased to know that I’m going to crack straight on with book number four. My mind is filled with Ridgewood right now, with each character’s fate, and I’m keen to capitalise on this. With the middle book now complete, there’s just two more to write – I can’t believe it! If you haven’t had a chance to read Inside Evil yet, grab it – it’s FREE ;P

Now, I must be off to correct typo’s and ensure continuity!

Spirits of the Middlelands (Inside Evil 3) Cover, News and Teasers

Spirits of the Middlelands (1)As many of you know I’m extremely busy getting involved with the Ridgewood gang again. I seem to have left this bunch behind for far too long, and I’ve loved getting back into the thick of it with Roberta, Susan and the other cast members. Today I hit 40,000 words for Book 3 of this five book saga, so I’m just over halfway through and there’s some interesting developments occurring. You may all be wondering about the child at the end of The Tower of Souls….well, she’s a very important piece of the puzzle! There’s also some old faces appearing (Galdur and Vronny), as well as the story of the Ammokra and Gathin progressing nicely.

I’m aiming at an end of March launch for this Spirits of the Middlelands, so if you want to be the first to know when it’s released, then feel free to sign up to the newsletter.

Here’s a couple of dialogue teasers:

“Don’t bring them through here, Barry! Down the hall!”

“Like I would,” Barry replied with a grin, though he cast his hand towards the pristine carpet and watched as Martha’s eyes bulged when the wet trout tails dripped perilously close to her furnishings. 

“I need to know about the Middlelands.”

“It’s 4.30 in the morning,” Galdur groaned, his face still scrunched up, his hands tiredly wiping his eyes.

“I know, I’m sorry, I couldn’t sleep and I just thought you might be up,” Susan apologised as realistically as possible. She’d known quite well that she could be waking him, but Susan was becoming tired of waiting for answers to magically appear out of the air.

“I’m up now,” Galdur groaned again, reaching out of view and pulling a vest over his head. “Are you still guarding the portal?”

“I was a lot of fun in college, I’ll have you know,” Roberta replied as she allowed her guard to slide slightly and enjoyed a sip of wine. “It wasn’t until my little sister ran off with a sailor that I found responsibility.”

“He was incredibly handsome. I just couldn’t say no.”

“Not saying no is the story of your life,” Roberta smiled as she rolled her eyes in Sam’s direction.

I think those few quotes have a few interesting titbits to mull over for you! In more book news, I’m also in the process of making Inside Evil FREE in the lead up to the launch. It’s already listed for FREE on Kobo and I’m waiting for the price match to trickle across to Amazon.

Now, I better go and continue writing!

Pacifier 6 is released!

Pacifier final art 600 pixelsIt’s February 1st, and I met my goal; Pacifier 6 has been published! There was a slight glitch on Amazon, so I spent the night worrying, but when I awoke, there it was, shining out at my from the browser!

If you’d like to pick up a copy of Pacifier 6, it’s just $2.99 and available at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Smashwords (soon to come to iBooks, B&N and Kobo). I had a blast writing the story, so I hope you enjoy it!

If you’d like to read the first chapter to get a taster, then pop over to my website page which has the cover, blurb and entire first chapter excerpt – Sheila’s Escape – to enjoy.

Now it’s back to work for me, I have Inside Evil book three to write! :)

How to create promotional postcards for books

Christmas is coming up and I’m, well, rather under-prepared. It seems like an age ago since I read that interview with Amanda Hocking about self publishing books on Amazon, even though it was only back in February. Since then, life has changed considerably. But this is my first Christmas, and I’ve no idea what sort of promotion I should be doing.

Other than writing the article about creating Christmas book hampers, the only other idea I had was to create some actual physical promotional tools. I went to a family christening back in July, and lots of people asked about the books. I told them, chatted about Inside Evil, said ‘oh, you can find them on Amazon,’ but I had nothing to give. This Christmas I decided to go one step further and create some postcards that I could hand out.

photo (17)If you haven’t got much time for promotion, or have little money for buying adverts, then these postcards are perfect. I’ve created them with a view to giving them to friends, family and acquaintances rather than leaving them in stacks at book fairs, but they could be used in that circumstance too. I created and ordered them from Vista Print very easily and, more importantly, they were very affordable – just £30 for 50 postcards. That price also included an online proof that I won’t have to pay next time I order. Plus, I went for two weeks shipping to get them in time for Christmas, and hey presto, they were here within 10 days.

Why did I go for postcards?

There are a vast variety of options to choose from in customisable merchandise, and I nearly got sucked into creating mouse-mats, pens and even keyrings with the Inside Evil cover on. BEWARE, they do try and lure you into spending – you can’t really blame them.

My main reasoning behind postcards rather than bookmarks is that the Inside Evil is largely in an ebook form. Yes, you can buy paperbacks, but I’m promoting the ebooks more than anything. Someone who uses a bookmark on a regular occurrence may well be more likely to read traditional books than fire up their kindle. And, if they do fire up their Kindle, my bookmark isn’t going to be anywhere in sight to remind them to buy.

Secondly, I like that you can fit more onto a postcard. Rather than reaching out to strangers, I’m reaching out to people I already know are interested in my books. Therefore, I want to provide them with a few more details and incentives to buy.

I’m very happy with the overall look of the cards, and the price. I’ll be giving them out this Christmas, so I’ll let you know whether they help remind people of my work and bump up sales as a result.