The Well of Youth is LIVE!!

It didn’t dawn on me until I was sitting at the launch, the display out for everyone, that I felt like I could be excited! The local Mayor was coming to give a speech, my Dad flew down from the NSW coast unexpectedly, but I didn’t feel until that moment that I’d really done it.

As people started turning up it started to pass in a blur, but I got so many pictures, and I am pleased to say this is one of the few I took alone (the rest are with the many loved ones standing next to the banner with me – or without me, I’m looking at you David);

There was cake too! – Ok, so it doesn’t look like it, but that big fat book is really a big fat chocolate cake that was delicious, thank you Vaye!

I got to catch up with so many old friends, and people I didn’t expect who made the afternoon wonderful! It felt less about showing off what I’d done, and more being grateful to all the people there.

To Scott who spent so much time helping me with it.

To Nushie, who couldn’t be there, but gave me such beautiful artwork, breathing life into my stories.

To Kate for making me look so pretty.

To Caroline for making me not feel awkward when she took pictures.

To Lorna for being my aid that day, unquestioningly making it go smoothly.

And to Emily who cracked jokes when I was nervous.

To Dee who gave such a… moving speech. It was very hard to do my speech afterward!

All the friends who came from far and wide, and it felt far less like I was talking to a bunch of strangers about my self spoken importance, and more about how far I’d come, and that they’d all had a part of it.

To my husband’s family who was there to support me – it meant so much and they have always made me feel so included in their family, even if I was a little odd.

To my Dad… who didn’t just come, he helped inspire all of this. I still got through the speech but it wasn’t easy!

I spent the evening hanging out with old uni friends who hadn’t seen each other in years and eating pizza while we reminisced. And then I went home and tired as I was I couldn’t sleep!

The next day should have been about follow up but instead I was at the Allcan Events Fundraiser for Breast Cancer, giving a speech, not about my stories or that I was an author, but about my very brave aunt who fought off cancer for nearly twenty years.

A beautiful event hosted by a work collegue and friend, Gigi, I was honoured, not just that she took the time out of a busy prep Saturday for her fundraiser to come to my book launch, but she also asked me to speak at her luncheon.

Its been a few days coming but I am glad to see the books finally online everywhere and now the hard part of marketing.

I couldn’t have done any of it without the love and support of my husband to whom I am truly grateful. He probably won’t read that but its OK, I do tell him, every day. And intend to keep doing so even with all the books that are to come.

Thank you all of you who were there on the day, and those of you who couldn’t make it I still got your wonderful messages of love and support and it gave me a sense of accomplishment. Thank you all!

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I’m on a roller coaster I don’t know how to stop…

I’m ordering a banner, right now, I’m waiting for it to load in the background.

I sent an email to the cake lady about when to pick it up.

I’m about to put an update on the Kickstarter page – the print book won’t be ready in time, the funds haven’t come through for print copies to be there at the launch, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t coming. I’m sorry backers, but you will get it soon!

And… I’ve just fixed the last note that the editor made to the script.

Scott – I couldn’t have done this without you. This wouldn’t be this story without you.

I’ll never be able to thank you properly for all this. I’m going to try, but I don’t think anything will cover my gratitude for your help.

The Well of Youth is done. 129 thousand words. 233 pages.

If I thought I could I’d weep tears of blood.

I feel like I’m about to fail, about to disappoint everyone with my attempt at becoming an author.

And then I look at this manuscript. Two years of work.

We’re ten days away from the launch and somehow I want for it to be here now, and another part of me is scared silly.

I don’t think I’ve ever been proud though. That sounds so stupid, you’re proud of doing well at school, at getting a job done. Somehow those things just don’t compare to what is happening inside me right now.

I keep telling myself not everyone’s going to like it, its not a story for everyone and that’s OK.

Its not perfect and that’s OK.

But right now its perfect to me.

And Scott helped make it perfect. If I’m proud of what this story has become its because of all his hard work.

My Dad, my sister, and my husband helped make it perfect.

Perfect to me right here and right now.

Its been a long time coming and I can’t wait until those final moments and I publish. I look forward to seeing those of you that can make it to the launch to celebrate this with me. Thank you.

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Final Hours of the Kickstarter….

When you’re doing something like writing a book you often feel alone.

You can be surrounded by people and you can feel alone.

People say that what you’re doing is awesome, and it doesn’t matter how many times they say it, and mean it, my anxiety often tells me that I’m full of it and what I do doesn’t matter.

And I am saving something rather special, a very special story, for my book launch, and its about the wonderful people who came together for the Kickstarter. All the backers, please tune in, there is something special I want to share with you all.

We’ve been fully funded since day one.

And then more, lots more, and I couldn’t believe how quickly it all happened. I was so overwhelmed, not because people we backing me, because people wanted to hold my book in their hands too. It wasn’t just about the support, people wanted to see what all the work had been about. And suddenly I didn’t feel so alone.

Years ago a friend of mine asked me when I’d think of myself as successful as an author. This was one of those precious times, times were a liked status or an everyday comment was more, that it was someone I hadn’t heard from in a long time saying: Yes, I want to read your story.

I can’t say the words enough, but thank you to all the backers.

We have 70 hours left on the Kickstarter, and there are only **2** copies of the hardback left.

tinyurl.com/ycxyko3j

If you want a copy now is the time, thanks to the generous backers we’ve made the goal so this is just if you want a copy to hold in your hands now!

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Birthday Book Launch!

Its coming, its so close and I am so excited to start talking about it!

SIX WEEKS TO GO until The Well of Youth will be officially released and available for purchase! To celebrate this culmination of years of hard work and passionate creativity, I will be hosting a launch event in my home town of Trentham.

I invite you to join me to celebrate not only the release of the first book in the Last Prophecy series, but also, my birthday!

The launch will take place at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in TRENTHAM, VICTORIA (21 High Street, Trentham) on Saturday, 14 October, from 4-7pm (AEST).

I will be speaking on the day – as will some invited guests – and I expect that the local, intimate nature of the event will provide plenty of opportunity for you to grill me about what you can expect as we continue through the Last Prophecy stories!

Now, I am very aware that Trentham is a bit of a hike – even for those of you based in Victoria – so I have decided that the event will also be live recorded on my Facebook page. This will mean that the prizes (yes, there will be prizes) will be on offer to my wonderful supporters and network all over the world. Stay tuned as the event approaches for more details!

So get out your bookmarks and save the date – Saturday 14 October, 4-7pm – and come along and join me in toasting the release of my new book, The Well of Youth.

 

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New Horizons…

It is with *great* excitement I announce that, thanks to my dear brother in law and his tireless efforts, that we have a Kickstarter for the Well of Youth!

The Kickstarter is for all of you who have supported and encouraged me, followed my work and become fascinated by the story I am telling.

Please go to this Kickstarter Page to see what we have an offer and what contributions can get you.

As a looksee at the Kickstarter you will also see the preliminary book trailer AND the official blurb during their first publication!

I couldn’t have done this without the help of my husband, brother in law, composer friend Tim, but especially Nushie who spent so much time helping me with the beautiful artwork –Nushie.com

Please join me in my preliminary celebrations of many years hard work, and excitement over my growing plans for the Last Prophecy series.

UPDATE

 

Thank you to everyone who got on board with this, in less than 24 hours we made our goal.

I want to hug all of you, even if you just shared it, for helping me achieve this, it will be one of the highlights of my life that people were so supportive.

Until we can hold the books in my hands, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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Short Update – Setbacks

I had made tentative plans to release the Well of Youth in July 2017, and after meeting with the editor several weeks ago, we’ve both decided that we’re cutting it too fine.
I could release in August, and still be alright, but it’s struck me that for our estimated release schedule (yes, I do actually have one), needs to be tweaked a little to make it the best it can be, and so I will release the Well of Youth in October, on the 14th.

Why?
Well for a couple of reasons, firstly that by then the book will have had a lot of love and care, that it deserves it to be the best novel I can give to you, and show you what else is to come for this series.


The Hidden Monastery has copped flack in a few reviews for some errors (which were fixable) and writing style which was also fixable, but I chose not to amend it more than I already had. Important as the story was, the Hidden Monastery was scary for me.


I’d never done this, I didn’t know what was involved, I learnt a lot and it will still remain very important to me.


With the release of the Well of Youth, what I learnt between when I wrote the Hidden Monastery, and when I release the Well, will come to shape my books for the better, and I hope you see that when you read it.


The other reason is that the 14th of October is International Indie Author Day, and when I found that out, after being disappointed I couldn’t release the Well next month, I decided that it was the right thing to wait. Because that’s also my birthday.


So it’s a bit farther away than I promised, but will be all the better for it, and (ahaha) well worth the wait.


Please don’t kill me for punning.

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When I’m Breathing

‘So…. How many novels have you actually written?’ A work colleague asks.

‘Three of the novellas for my series, they’re pretty short, about 45k words. The novels though, are about 130k words, and I’ve done a couple of them as well. Plus I have two others about the 50k marks, they’re longer ones, and another book series I’m starting that’s at the 30k mark.’ Running the numbers of my current projects through my head tells me it’s still not enough.

He actually sits on those numbers for a moment before responding. ‘Wow. I can’t imagine sitting down to write fifty thousand words. Let alone 140!’

‘Yeah, it’s a lot, I’m pretty pleased with it.’ I’m not. It doesn’t seem like much at all, and there is still so much to do that isn’t about writing.

‘I don’t even know how you find the time to do that.’

And for a moment I don’t know how to respond.

Its unfathomable.

I can’t describe the ease it takes to find my place in a story, stick on the head phones and punch word after word hour after hour, forgetting the total as the story wraps itself around my thoughts. There is the greatest freedom feeling the wind on your face the sway under your feet as your imagination takes you further than the stars, to new worlds where the infinite is tangible. Dipping your hands into the waters of creativity and drinking deep, slacking a thirst you never knew you had.

Stirrings of ideas grow and flourish inside, and they come pouring out, a fountain of unstoppable colours, thoughts, and feelings, and unable to contain the flow you decant it down in words. It takes time but you pull them all together, string them like glass beads on the thinnest of strands until you make something whole. Something beautiful.

Telling someone what you have done, and the frequent congratulations that devolves into uncaring incomprehension. Their inability to see what you have created doesn’t matter so much, you just need to get better with your expression and design.

I think about them all the time, all of the stories, as I’m walking to the shops, talking to my pets, doing the laundry, working in the real world. They are my constant companions, the voices in the dark, they are my bravery, and telling them my deepest desire.

Reminding myself that this is just the beginning and there is still so much to come, as I bite my tongue against the mockery for spending so much time on something that isn’t real, as though vindication of my work’s value must come from someone who’s never read a book.

Those people add flaws to characters I have yet to create, and the first impressions of them only hint at what they will become in spite of those failings. Some I recognise in myself even as I describe completely different people, who hide themselves in the shadow of my stories. In other cases they are as clear as the glass windows of my car as I drive home, working out how they will face this chapter’s challenge.

I’m the antagonist wishing to leave the dinner table so I can plot my protagonist’s demise, knowing as soon as I sit down after a long day’s work I will have to slice open my soul and cut the pieces of emotion out I need to articulate this arc of my character’s journey. To put aside what I feel, from warmth and love to sink into despair and hopelessness of my character’s suffering. Or on darker days, to pull myself from this ravine of desperation and find the light of joy, giving it to the pages of my passion.

As I turn up the music and sink myself into the turmoil of indecision and uncertainty they face, I, as their creator, have no time to dither on such emotions, though they hover about me, as though a plague. I go to bed, tasting their sadness and unspoken words, unstoppable sorrow eating a hole in me my husband has no idea how to stop.

Maybe tomorrow we can watch a movie instead, except where am I supposed to find the time when I get up and continue the façade that I am here and a functioning member of society who’s perfectly normal. And I watch it go by from the inside grieving over the time I am not punching ideas into my phone’s reminder, writing down plot twists during my lunch break, pulling over by the side of the road when traffic is awful and crying while trying to remember an escaping facet of the narrative.

I’ve forgotten I needed to be somewhere this weekend, so I can’t edit that piece. I don’t have the funds to upgrade the website because I need to pay the credit card bill used for advertising. Somewhere in all this I need to find the headspace for myself, to take my estranged spouse out, to play some computer games with him. And then I berate myself that I shouldn’t have spent so much time on that when I forget the passing hours. Or avoid the guilt by stating I’m letting off steam, there has to be a moment I can let go. But if there is then I should use it to read for a while, except I feel disconnected as I critique the writing, or worse, suffer through anxiety I am not as good as this writer. Why am I trying?

The dread that I am as awful as that two star review I received, and I’m burning myself up on a fruitless endeavour, even when it’s the only thing that makes the harshness of life bearable. The stories surround me and some days I don’t know if they are strangling me or holding me together. When the loving words of my husband can’t crack through the shell of self doubt, even as he is screaming them at me, with the quietest of whispers, that one day I will make it.

‘I write a lot in my spare time.’ I answer my work colleague.

My spare time is when I’m breathing.

 

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