Thursday 28 July 2011

Progress Report...

I'm now well over halfway through the edits for Alone and my editor is way faster than I am, so she is patiently waiting for me to get some more chapters to her. It feels great to finally be on, not quite the home straight, but certainly close to it.

For the most part, I've enjoyed this re-edit. Because this book has already been out there and has received some fantastic reviews, I'm not filled with all the usual paranoia that accompany a new release (will people like it, will people buy it?!!!). Okay, maybe the 'will people buy it' part still applies but I think I'm learning more and more about what parts of promotion work and which don't. I plan to release Alone at the $0.99 price mark for at least two weeks (possibly a month) to try to get it up the sales charts. Alongside that, I'm working on a short story which will be about Sebastian (the main vamp in Alone) being turned by his maker, Madeline (the vamp-bitch in the novel). The short story is set during and just after the Spanish American war, two hundred years ago. I've never written anything historic and I have to be honest, I'm a little nervous about how I'll do. I have a couple of friends who have written historic pieces so I intend to let them have a good critique before I release it to the public. However critical other writers are, having critical readers is definitely worse! Anyway, the short story will be  freebie, along with a nice chunk of Alone to get people interested.

Another thing that is coming together is the cover. I can't wait to show it off! The designer Rebecca Treadway, has so far done a fantastic job to putting together exactly what I had in my head. I'll be previewing it here very soon!

As always, I'm also looking forward to what I'm going to do next. I've got The Dark Road to re-edit and re-release, but depending on how well Alone does, I'm also tempted to get the sequel, Buried Alone finished. The book is basically done, minus the last chapter so all I need to do is give it the usual ten edits (and write the final chapter of course).

As my husband always says when I complain about being busy...there's always another book, Marissa. I guess he's right. As long as I stay as motivated and determined as I am, I'm always going to be busy!

Sunday 24 July 2011

An unexpected break!

Our local beach in Spain!
This weekend my lovely parents have very kindly offered to fly both myself and my two girls out to Spain to visit them. Unfortunately, my poor husband will have to work, but he's planning on spending the week eating what he wants, watching whatever he wants on tv, and not having to get up at the weekend, so I don't think he's too upset.

So three weeks from now, I'll be jetting off to sunny Spain and escaping the crappy British weather, hurrah!

Of course now I know I'm going to be away for a week, I have to get organised, work-wise. Alone is now being filtered over to the editor and I'm hoping to have the rest of the book with her before I leave, which I think is do-able. On top of that, I have three short stories I need to finish; one for the Digital Digest blog and publication, one for an anthology, and another for the 'Just One Bite' competition over at AllRomanceeBooks (check out here for info).

So I'm going to be a busy bunny and I need to get focused. Alone is my top priority, but I have committed to the others as well and I hate to let people down. My short for 'Just One Bite' is pretty much done but does need to have a visit to an editor before submission. The continuation of 'The Body Farm' for Digital Digest is probably going to give me the most problems. I still need to schedule all my blog posts plus have the next installment due in by the 15thof next month, just before I leave.

On top of all this, the kids finish school next week so I'll be juggling work with looking after two under fives as well. Phew! So what's everyone else up to? Busy with work, chilling out with the kids, or (like most of us I expect) trying to juggle both!

Friday 22 July 2011

Interview with vampire author Lorelei Bell!

M.F Today I have author of Vampire Ascending, Lorelei Bell with me to tell us a little about herself and her books. I met Lorelei when I first started blogging and she's always been a great support in the blogging world and a lovely lady to get to know.

Hi Lorelei, thanks for stopping by my blog and sharing a little about yourself and your work.

L.B.  I'm excited to be here, and thanks for having me!

M.F.  Let’s start with the most important thing: your books. Give us a brief description of the novel you want to talk about today.

L.B.  Vampire Ascending is about a Touch Clairvoyant who needs a job, and is offered one as a clairvoyant for a vampire magnate in Chicago. On her way to the interview, she's attacked and bitten by a werewolf. Nicolas, who was to interview her, comes to her rescue. After she is hired, she's entangled in a mix of mystery, suspense and adventure that include romantic trysts, and dangerous situations involving vampires, werewolves, and shape shifters, and demons. Sabring isn't exactly thrilled about working for vampires, but she needs the money, and also, she wants to find the gorgeous and mysterious vampires who has been lurking around her house, and who bit her when she was ten, marking her for his own, and also turned her mother into a vampire at the time.

M.F.  What got you into vampires and when did you first notice the attraction?

L.B.  My attraction came when I was a teenager. I simply began watching all the vampire movies that were on TV, other shows such as Dark Shadows, Bewitched, Adams Family, The Munsters were my favorite shows. Halloween is my favorite holiday. I don't know what actually triggered it, but I definitely was walking to a different beat.

M.F.  So what are you working on at the moment? Have you got any new projects in the pipeline?

L.B.  Very definitely! My second book of the series, Vampire's Trill, is with my publisher, and I'm hoping for a late summer release. I've got the third book in first draft done, and begun writing notes and even a couple of chapters of the 4th one. I simply can't shut my characters up. (chuckles)

M.F.  Is writing something you’ve recently got into, or have you been writing for ages?

L.B.  I've been writing for ages. Okay, let's see, since 1971, in high school. It took me a long time to learn how to write. The old adage goes "No one can teach you how to write." But you can eventually learn by reading and really studying your favorite authors.

M.F.  I don't think someone can teach talent, but you can definitely learn all the technicalities of writing! I know you’re dyslexic. I’ve heard that people with dyslexia can make their minds work in different ways. How do you find that’s helped or hindered your writing?

L.B.  Oh, wow. My dyslexia was never diagnosed. I self-diagnosed. I just figured it out and I was in my 40's when I did. I couldn't spell worth a darn. I'm sure it's one big reason I was always rejected. Until the modern computer came along with the spell check, I was spinning my wheels. Even then you have to know grammar basics and all sorts of things that I just never knew or learned. I'm sometimes amazed when I actually know how to spell some odd word now now and then.

I also, have attention deficit, and my mind wanders. Which leads me to make up stories on just about anything. Which is why my brain is able to work on things--sort of split between the things I'm doing and what I'm able to think about. It took my husband a long time to figure out that I wasn't ignoring him. I had to explain it to him that I'm probably working something out in my head.

M.F.  What do you make of the changes in the industry, with so many more people going ‘indie’?

L.B.  What I'm seeing is people are now in control, where as 15 years ago, the industry was in control, saying whose books they wanted, rejecting others that were just as good--or better. After all, a lot of publishers did turn down many authors who went on and had best sellers--among them J.K. Rowling. I think we are seeing a turning point here. We'll just have to wait until the dust settles, see what takes shape. It's like a new piece of art being chiseled, and we just have to wait and see what happens. But, I think a lot of voices have been heard that have been ignored in the past. And if those who have gone "indi" are truly passionate about their work, and learn from their mistakes (or other's), I dont' see why they shouldn't be successful at it.

M.F.  Who is your greatest influence when it comes to your writing?

L.B.  I'll have to say a lot of different authors influenced me. The main ones, are J.K. Rowling, Dean Koontz, and a few others, mainly for certain works. Rowling's books where what made me realize I love fantasy, and should begin writing it. Koontz for sheer ability with the English language and being that he writes thrillers, I use his books for studying how he milks suspense. Janet Evanovich for humor and mystery. I just love her Stephanie Plum mysteries. Charlaine Harris, and Kim Harrison in the genre I write are my favorites there.

M.F.  Now for some more abstract questions: If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?

L.B.  Probably my heroine, Sabrina Strong, because she's basically more like me--a big chicken. But I'd like to have abilities like she does. Oh, and all the hot men (vampire, etc) around her.

M.F. Sounds good to me! If aliens landed in front of you and offered you anything you wanted, what would it be?

L.B.  Make a movie of my book so I can retire from driving a bus. Do aliens make movies, you think??

M.F.  Lol! You never know! Tell us something quirky/interesting that people probably don’t know about you.

L.B.  I'm probably about 90% quirky. I have a bachelor's degree in art. I did crafts for a while, but had to come back to writing--even though I made more $ at crafts--because I know of nothing else that satisfies me when I get a scene done, or a chapter, or figure out some problem for the plot. I drive a transit bus for a living, I love living in the country away from people.

M.F.  Thanks for taking part Lorelei!


***Author Bio***

Lorelei Bell has always liked vampires and wanted Dracula to be the romantic hero! She lives with her husband of 24 years, and is the manager of a park, and drive transit during the off season. When not at work, She writes, reads and loves to watch Buffy.

You can find out more about Lorelei at her blog, Lorelei's Muse. More information about her novel, Vampire Ascending, can be found at Copper Hill Media and can be bought from and Barnes & Noble.

Monday 18 July 2011

Anthologies Looking for Submissions..

I love writing short stories. I'd even go as far as saying I prefer writing them to novels. With short stories, there is none of the angst that goes with writing a novel, figuring out plot lines, worrying about not hitting the needed word count, the endless editing that happens once the novel is completed.

Short stories are the times to take chances with your writing, try something different, or controversial, and you know what, if it doesn't work, then who cares. You've only wasted a couple of weeks of your working life instead of a whole year!

I've not been going the normal route with submitting my short stories to anthologies lately, mainly because I'd rather keep hold of my rights than sell them to a publication. However, a couple of anthologies have come up lately that I'm planning to submit to and I thought I would share them with you.

The first is Mark Crittenden's new anthology from Static Movement, called 'Frozen Fear Deluxe'. He's looking for your best tales, taking place in frozen/arctic climate. The stories must be between 2 -5K in length and can be in any style you like (supernatural/monsters/psychological) as long as they're horror! You can find out more about the submission guidelines here!

I've had a short story published by Mark before, in the vampire horror anthology, Their Dark Masters. Their Dark Masters has been shipped to Ellen Datlow, to be considered for Best Horror of The Year Vol. 4 ( which covers all horror published in 2011 ) so wish us luck!

The second anthology is from fellow author Blaze McRob's new publishing house, Angelic Knight Press. They're looking for submissions for the anthology 'Satan's Toybox: Demonic Dolls. I've always hated dolls, the damn things are always guaranteed to scare the shit out of me, so I knew I had to write something for this one! You can find out more right here!

Happy writing everyone!

Wednesday 13 July 2011

Having to reply to comments through new posts!

Not being able to comment on blogger anymore in really annoying (I've tried everything, even switched my email accounts, but no success) so I've decided to reply via new blog posts. Okay, it might end up reading slightly strange to new readers, but I hate not being able to respond and makes it look like I don't either read or appreciate your comments, which I do!

So, in response to yesterday's post; the changes I'm making to Alone don't involve any of the storyline or changes to character. The book will essentially be the same but I'm hoping by tightening up the writing, it will push the book from being good, to great. Readers probably won't even consciously notice the difference but the scenes should be more vivid, the action more immediate, the emotion in the book more powerful. They're small changes I hope will make the book even more readable.

I know you can't please everyone in this business and for the most part Alone has had great reviews, but I just feel my writing has come a long way in the last two years and I want my older work to live up to that standard. There are people in this industry who I've had the good fortune of meeting who have given me loads of advice and help. I trust their opinions and I know if I'm being told something (even if its a bit hard to take sometimes) for the most part its to help me grow as a writer.

Thanks for all your encouragement guys. I'm so glad so many people are enjoying my work!

Oh, and I meant to say thanks so much to Denise for becoming my 100th follower!

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Who'll Be My 100th Follower???

My writing life has been under going a lot of changes this past month. My novel, The Followers, has now been put aside (only for the moment) while I make some changes. Honestly, I've never worked as hard on a book as I have on this one, and I'll always listen to constructive criticism when it comes back from Beta Readers. Of course, you can never change everything people throw at you, but if it makes sense and more than one person had brought it up, then I think it's always best to listen. I'd hate to put a book out simply to hit a deadline and for that book to be less than perfect.

In other news, my other two novels, Alone and The Dark Road are also having a revamp. I've learnt a huge amount in the past two years and my writing has come along way (though I still have loads to learn!). Because of this, I couldn't help but feel that both books needed to be worked over again and they'll also both be launched with brand new covers.

While these changes are happening they'll be unavailable to buy. As I mentioned before, I want everything I have out to be nothing short of perfect. But watch this space, guys! They'll be better than ever and I'm super excited about seeing them all in paperback.

So... I'm up to 99 followers on my little old blog. Who will be number 100, I wonder??? Whoever you are, it's lovely to meet you!

Friday 1 July 2011

Launch Day for Digital Digest...and anyone out there got a Kindle???

Whoo-hoo! Today is the official launch day for the brand new Kindle blog and eBooks, Digital Digest!

What's Digital Digest? I hear you ask..

Well, in this era of technological reading, a group of us authors from all different genres decided to put together a blog which consists purely of fiction--that means short stories, monthly serials, flash fiction and reviews. We're having daily posts, which if you're a kindle user, you can subscribe to in order to have all this fiction sent directly to your Kindle every day.

At the moment, the subscription is $1.99 but you will get two weeks free, obligation free, to try it out. If everyone who reads this who has a kindle could subscribe to the two week free trial that would be amazing. It would really help to push us up the rankings and get us noticed, even if you decide not to carry on with your subscription.

So, daily doses of original fiction, from horror, to paranormal romance, to urban fantasy and more, from fifteen talented authors. What are you waiting for? And if you really can't wait, we've put all of our stories together in an eBook for you to read ahead of time!

I hope you'll all help to spread the word about our new venture and if anyone has any questions or queries, please ask!

Happy reading everyone!