Another book down!

The Last Prophecy went to the editor last weekend which is why there was no update last week.

I was sitting there, sipping champagne, and thinking it was good, and while I’m sure Scott will come back with all the little changes that perfect it I’m *very* happy with the storyline and I can’t wait to start telling you about it.

But not yet…

Release is planned for April at this stage, depending on a few things.

That will mean the first two novellas in the series are done, and now I can get cracking on the first book. If it was going to be the size of novella I’d be doing well. But it really isn’t.

What’s fun is the research; pirates, sea monsters…. treasure!

Oh yes, precious, treasure.

Depends if you want it or not….

The Well of Youth is becoming an exciting book to write with all sorts of hidden depths and challenges for the characters, but is the groundwork for much to come, hiding in the shadows, which will eventually come to light, whether or not we are ready for them.

On another note I have been periodically thrilled when the ratings for the book shoots up and suddenly I’m number #15 on the steampunk list for Kobo, or the top #100 steampunk books on Kindle. And furthermore the book sold 100 copies, which I may or may not have danced around the study at 6am one morning, and had to be convinced it wasn’t a good time for champagne. Still not convinced.

Thank you to all those who bought it, and thank you for the reviews!

Continuing On

The last couple of weeks have been a challenge.

It’s been a struggle to write, because I’ve been so caught up in the Hidden Monastery’s release. So rapt up in people’s approval and the sales for the book, frustrated, tired and sad and ecstatic. I’ve only written in dribs and drabs here and there really haven’t been enough, not for me.

I seem to have forgotten that the Hidden Monastery was the beginning in more ways than one.

No change to your life like this ever happens overnight.

And I did get to do what I wanted with  my life for once.

I got to be an author, and people I didn’t know, who weren’t my friends or family, bought my book and loved it.

I feel bad it’s taken me this long to come to that conclusion.

And I know some people will hate the book, but for those of you who loved it, and told me so, family friends and strangers, thank you.

Thank you for loving the Hidden Monastery and its beginning.

The Last Prophecy

The Last Prophecy

I couldn’t be more thrilled at the reception of the Hidden Monastery this last week, the amount of interest and support has been so thrilling I couldn’t sleep! Thank you for those of you that wrote reviews, and if you’ve read it and haven’t reviewed please do so, I can’t tell you how important it is!

Now… on to exciting things!

I discussed briefly last week the fact that this was a long series, named after the second novella in the series; The Last Prophecy. I thought long and hard about keeping my plans all secretive, and then have decided that there will be time for secrets, you should know what kind of a story you’ve signed up for.

The first two novellas are the Hidden Monastery, followed by the Last Prophecy. The first official book of the series is technically the third book in the series and whose title for the interim will remain secret. There are then ten books in the series, between each is a novella. There are then eleven novellas in the series in total.

The first novella, The Hidden Monastery, features Captain Katarina Salisbury, who we will also see in the second novella, The Last Prophecy, though the story is not from her viewpoint.

She has a great part to play in the entire series, the depth of which won’t be known for some time, by which time all that was confusing will become clear. Kat is one of my most loved characters, and she has a long road ahead of her, the trials of which I will not tax you over now, only to say I hope you stay with her, as I will.

I have a plan to write a novella and a book every year, and I’m currently ahead of the year at the moment as while the first novella has only just come out, the Last Prophecy will be ready in late March/early April, and the book will be available later in the year.

One thing to note, is that the novellas intertwine through the book series, so it will be strange to read them without reading the books or the novellas before hand. However the books are stories designed to be read as stand alone books, though that will become harder as the series progresses.

Don’t worry, I won’t torment any of you about it too much.

 

….
*laughs* Who am I kidding? My sister is going to disown me…. again.

I’m so very pleased to announce that the book went live today and is available on ibooks and Amazon, and will shortly be available on Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play.

I thought this would be a good time to talk about the series.

The series is a fantasy/steampunk inspired adventure that I started writing, and its a book we won’t see for several years because while I was writing I realised it wasn’t the first book, it was actually a later book in a series that I hadn’t even planned. I spent weeks writing down ideas and plots as it arced across years of a realm I hadn’t even created yet.

But it was exhilarating and fun and I couldn’t stop until it came together into the Last Prophecy.

The Last Prophecy series is about things best left forgotten, things left to time that should have stayed buried. Its set on an alternate world, and begins on the continent of Illisia with Captain Katarina Salisbury.

The Hidden Monastery is the first novella in the series, to be followed by a second coming out sometime near the end of March called The Last Prophecy. The first book in the series will be available later in the year.

This isn’t a short series either, the entire arc will be written in twenty novellas/books by the time I think it will reach its completion, for the most part planned or at least pencilled out. I didn’t know this was going to go so far when I started but I’m happy writing it and I hope you like reading it.

Update: Pronoun have since contacted me and sorted out my dedications page. I cannot say enough how patient and helpful they have been in during this stressful process, and I can’t recommend them enough to those of you I know who write.

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

23rd-march-sunday-writing-inspiration

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.

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.

Finding the Right Words

On the weekend I was telling someone, sitting around a campfire in rural Victoria surrounded by the bush with only the stars to witness, that I had no idea where to begin for my first blog post on my very own author page. She said, as you might expect, at the beginning; when and why did I want to become an author, how did I get started? Which was obvious, except I didn’t want to start there.

 

I didn’t want to bore you with my dreams as a three year old of being a Disney princess. I didn’t want you to pity me when I talked about how bullies in high school tore up the first book I had laboriously handwritten for a year. I didn’t want to talk about the novels I’d written before that I’d lost thanks to hard drive failures and lost USB sticks, or worse, stories I knew were really, really terrible. Telling you to feel sorry for me wasn’t how I wanted to start this.

 

So instead I’ll start with the Last Prophecy; the story that, after a time, I felt was good enough.

 

It began in a moment last year, where I just needed to write, to start work on a new story; new genre, new characters, new worlds. This was without the intention to publish, but solely to write for the fun of it. It took a lot of mindless internet image searching and a few random generators to push me along for inspiration and then I found myself writing a great story.

 

It was gripping, detailed, fantastic and nothing like anything I’d written before. I couldn’t stop writing it, the entire story, beginning to end, was there before me, and it had all the things I loved. Airships and adventure, hidden agenda’s and things that went bump in the night. The detail and intricacy and vivid desert landscapes scenes my mind’s eye was creating was inspiring and fun. And then I ran into a problem. This wasn’t the first story in this series. I backtracked with the main character, went over details of where that first story would end up, and standing back realised this was far greater than anything I’d done before. So I stopped writing it.

 

Taking my trusty journal I started to pen in the bits that were missing, there was a several books that took place before the one I was writing, and several more after. The character’s destinies seemed completely out of my control as their lives interwove with others, all different people living different lives, not even aware the effect the actions in one story would ripple across to affect someone else. Through many scribbled notes and 3am dreams I finally penciled in the outline of Last Prophecy.

 

I moved on to what I knew the first novella was; The Hidden Monastery.

 

It was fun to write and the characters were interesting, and like that first book, it was nothing like I’d written before, but it started to become like nothing I’d read before either. I’m an avid reader and I combed through various books online looking for something similar, and found nothing I liked. So I kept writing.

 

Hidden Monastery was finished very early in the year of 2015, which became over time, one of the worst years of my life. My partner and I went through several personal medical problems, there was sickness and death within our family. There were too many times we knew it wasn’t going to get better, and there was so little we would take away from this year that made us happy.

 

The silver lining on our clouds was that my husband found his dream job, and it was clear he couldn’t have been happier. It was something for us both to take away in the darker times of this year. And I was happy for him, ecstatic at his newfound enthusiasm for his career. Before I then felt left behind.

 

Because I wasn’t happy.

 

It would be wrong to say I wasn’t satisfied, I had a good job, good friends, a man I couldn’t live without and my life was ambling along nicely. But in the face of our personal trials I had to admit to myself I was satisfied; but I wasn’t happy, mostly with myself. I wasn’t doing things I loved, and I felt so frustrated because I knew I loved to write.

 

I’d asked myself over and over what do you want to do with your life, and I’d always answered that I wanted to be a storyteller. I wanted my place by the fireside, I wanted people to read my books and ask me what happened next. The doubts that had plagued me all my life; who’d publish what I wrote? Who’d even be interested in reading it? Did I even have a story I thought was good enough? They were all insurmountable. How could such a ludicrous dream be brought to reality? I had inspiring quotes from all my favourite authors and the one advice that was repeated amongst them all, over and over again; write. Just write.

 

I also took another quote very strongly, the words of J. K. Rowling; rock bottom was the foundation on which I began to rebuild, if not my life, then a part of me that had been too long neglected and left in the dark.

 

I knew the Last Prophecy would be a saga, and it was one I wanted people to read, because I knew for the first time I had something good, something that I thought you’d like. So I joined a writing group, I found an editor, I started working at upping my social media skills, I found myself trying to find what on earth I’d post in my first blog and it was soon spiralling into something tangible, something real that felt right. I remember describing it to my mother as being not unlike the first time I asked my now husband if he wanted to go out with me; terrified he would say no, but unable not to try.

 

My hours became filled not with mindlessly playing games, or reading books and being unhappy that they were not what I wanted to read, or looking at my life and realising there was nowhere for my creativity to flourish. They became filled with writing.
I made it my personal goal to have publish my own book via e-publishing before the end of the year, something to take back for myself. I don’t know yet if we will see Hidden Monastery this year, but given how far I’ve come I’m not going to judge myself for being a few days late. For now, this is enough, because I’m happy, and we should all try to do the things we love because it makes us happy. We should be the last people to leave ourselves in the dark.