Finding the Bright Side

I wanted very much to give you all the first novella in the series tonight and I’m sorry to say that won’t be happening.

I was ill for the start of the holidays and it took away too much time.

Putting in so much effort to have this done by the end of the year, to have done something worthwhile, and have it not come to pass, is gut wrenching.

There will be no tirades of what I went through to get here, what’s more important is that I can do two things. Acknowledge that I started this journey, that there is still more to come, and that I can thank all of you.

The support I’ve received for this, the people who have asked me in the final days of the year where they can get the novella, has meant so much in the closing of the year. Thank you all for that, it means so much to me.

Instead of the story, I will leave you with this, which I have been waiting to do if the novella wasn’t ready in time; a synopsis of the first novella.


The Hidden Monastery

Captain Katarina Salisbury of the airship the Iron Lady and propaganda tool for the Illisian government, has been given a very simple assignment; to go and rescue villagers threatened with avalanches in the far southern Drezusk Mountains.

With unwelcome nobles on her vessel, diminishing part of her fame and good press from the venture, she is determined to do her duty and be done with them as quickly as possible.

They destroy an avalanche within reach of the village on their first day in the valley.

Except the fall of the avalanche reveals something beneath the tumbling snow and rock; a hidden monastery of a dead religion, never seen before this far south on the Illisian continent.

It’s stone doors are opened to reveal a secret, and something malicious moves in the shadows, to keep that secret.

Captain Katarina Salisbury is drawn to the monastery, as she struggles against forces that would stop her. As the weather worsens she is forced to make choices for herself and the future of the Iron Lady.

Just write


I made a goal of getting ten thousand words done today, and it didn’t happen. I slept in, thanks to too much excellent German beer and good company the night beforehand. I had all those pesky things one needs to use a weekend for, and it got right up my nose that, as I sat down, an excellent idea I’d had for dialogue had slipped through my fingers. I didn’t want to write at all. I was tired and so annoyed that the dialogue had escaped me that I wanted to leave it be for the day.

So I sat and wrote.

I didn’t make my goal but there is still a part of the evening left and several thousand words already done.

Writing stories isn’t just about finding the time to write, it’s about writing when you know the story is missing something, about pushing on through past the barrier of writer’s block. It only stops you as long as you let it.

I’m not going to be happy with today’s writing and that’s alright. It’s more important that the plot moved on, that there are good bits coming up, and that I at least got something done.

I know too many people who want to be authors and couldn’t get past this point, and it won’t stop me and shouldn’t stop you.

Just write.

Write through the writers block, put word after word down just to get to the bit you know well. You can always come back to the bit you didn’t like and edit it.

It’s hard to grasp the concept that it doesn’t have to be perfectly formed, or even the way you like it.

It doesn’t do anyone any good if you walk away, saying you’ll do it when it comes to you and letting it lie for a day. It becomes a week, a month, a year.

As I have just discovered, pausing to write my weekly update, it’s a far better thing to push on and find something new about your character you didn’t know was there because you pushed through that barrier.
It’s important to keep pushing through your own barriers, you won’t know how far you can get until you try.

Have I told you about my book yet?

I spent several months reading and researching self publishing after it became apparent that publishing an ebook would be better than a publishing company. This came about for a really simple reason; I couldn’t pigeonhole my book into one genre. I didn’t want to be rejected because it wasn’t just steampunk. It wasn’t just fantasy. It wasn’t just horror.

It was a story that had all those elements and more.

I wasn’t going to write to one particular genre and so it seemed natural to self publish. Further research and reading concluded one thing if you were going to follow that path; you had to self promote.

Make a website, get on social media, get your name out there! Oh, and by the way, do it all before you’ve done the first book, it builds up excitement about it. Wait… what?

I cringed when I first started.

It sounded so terrible, “Hey, I’m self publishing,” and I’d watch some expressions appear delighted, others to minor concern, and some right along to flat out sympathy. If I was self publishing… wasn’t it going to be… uh… not very good? Explaining my reasoning was fine, and then I’d talk about my book. I could do this for hours, and have done so. I’m passionate about this story.

I’ve felt I took it too far and monopolized the conversation to the extent of boredom for some people, who were simply being polite, and then I’ve let my excitement over it get the better of me and gushed over the new cover, my editor, the map, etc. There is a certain glazed expression I see, and I know I need to talk about something else. These people aren’t my fans, they are family, friends, and acquaintances that are politely listening to what I’ve been doing lately, and being supportive. I had a nightmare the other night that my mother called about Christmas planning and during the phone call told me I needed to stop talking to her about the book, which I don’t think she’d actually ever say to me… right, Mum?

I got my own business cards and get scared every time I hand one out because I feel like such a jerk.

Except… it worked.

People I haven’t spoken to in ages are coming out of the woodwork, interested and supportive. It’s been overwhelmingly wonderful. It’s actually stopped me having panic attacks about the book being completely slammed when it’s released because so many people have said it sounded great and can’t wait to read it. People who’ve admitted they don’t like the genre I’m writing have said that they’d give it a go because of the way I’ve talked about it.

It’s a reminder that I have a very clear and definite purpose behind all of this; I want to tell you a story.

My self professed number one fan was also promised that the map for Hidden Monastery would come with this post.

It won’t be the first time I’ve lied to my sister.

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