I’m lost for words…

… which believe me is a little unusual for an author!

Just recently I have been feeling more than a little lost. My writing has been slow and getting words onto a page has been like pulling teeth. It’s the reason I haven’t posted anything here for a while; every word I can muster has been put into a WIP.

Then this morning, I woke up to some wonderful news.

The beautiful and talented Maria K.  has been steadily putting her books into Audiobook form, and has quite a catalogue building up.

I’ve thought about putting my books into audiobook form, but as I’m struggling just to get my books finished, edited and published in e-book, I’ve been putting it off as I only want to focus on one project at a time.

So when Maria asked me if I was okay with her putting the Land Far Away books out in audiobook form, I knew that it was a sign that I should dip my toe into the Audio Sea…

I didn’t expect it to happen very quickly, so I kept the news quiet…

But this morning I woke up to a wonderfully sweet surprise!

 

Maria had already been working on getting the Land Far Away books into audio; she engaged the services of Trista Shaye to narrate the books  and this morning,  I woke up to something that cheered me up immensely!

I was feeling yucky (I’m currently fighting some kind of virus) and tired and generally depressed about my lack of usefulness. I slipped into Facebook to see what my friends from the rest of the world had been getting up to…

The first Land Far Away book had appeared in Audio!

Ahkoo is actually the second book in the series (don’t question it – Audible has its own timetable by the looks of it) and is the one that my oldest son inspired – the main character was his creation. Trista has a smooth, calm voice and manages the strange words that I made up with aplomb – she brings out the characters personalities perfectly!

I just wish there was a way of combining Maria’s gorgeous pictures with the Audio too… maybe that’s a project for another day.

Now I feel so much better – I suppose I ought to get on with some author things, you know, writing, editing etc…

But I’ll leave you with the blurb:

While all respectable fligaphluphs make a point to stay away from the enticing lair of the terrible and powerful Snafflewich,

Ahkoo is determined to do the opposite and pay her a visit.

An adventurous and irrepressibly curious Fligaphluph, Ahkoo’s parents have trouble getting him to go to bed at sunrise when all the other Fligaphluphs do. So his Granddad tells him about the Snafflewich, hoping to make him stay in bed when the sun is in the sky.

Unfortunately, this has the opposite effect and off goes Ahkoo to discover what the Snafflewich really is like…

All the links to Ahkoo in all his glorious forms you can ever need can be found here

I hope you enjoy listening!

Continuing Personal Development…

A while back I was feeling pretty unsuccessful.  I don’t sell a lot of books and for some reason I equate the number of books that I do sell with my personal sense of achievement. That hasn’t changed… I have.

Since we moved to this town, I’ve been feeling very low and trying to write when my brain refuses to focus and co-operate with my muse is almost impossible. I started doing various art & craft courses – mostly to get myself out of the house and talking to adults more. I was also trying to keep my hand in with the techniques so that I could teach them if I ever went back to work (I’m a Design & Technology / Art & Design Teacher remember?)

One thing that the courses have done is give me more confidence in my own abilities. Writing is a very solitary pursuit and I had thought that doing the courses would stop me writing, but  practising my other creative skills and socialising with people face to face, other than just with Writers and Artists online,  I found it revved up my writing muse and I found that I was managing to write something on my WIP’s every day.
Don’t get me wrong – I love my online friends; they stop me going crazy and make me feel better about myself, but the face to face interaction makes me feel less like a hermit.

So here I am nearly at the end of may, with over 50,000 words into Teacups & Time Travel. I’ve also written a flash story and a short story for two different anthologies (although I have no idea if they’ve got in or not) and I’m working on another one. I’ve also started looking at my blogsite here and my branding etc in the hope that I can improve my chances of selling my work, using the Panoptic Foundations Website Planner.

I’m not going to be going back into teaching for a long while – and when I do, it’s almost certainly going to be Adult Education rather than Secondary Education; it’s not that I don’t like teaching kids (I do) but I need the freedom to be able to teach what I want and how I want, rather than having to stick to the Curriculum that the Dept of Ed force on us and I find the other side of Secondary education (marking, reports, politics etc) far too stressful to enjoy the Teaching side.

So I’m going to continue writing and publishing. I’m going to continue taking courses, crafting and designing… and hopefully between the two, my sense of achievement will latch onto something other than my sales figures!

Giving a Title a Makeover…

One of the things that an author has to think about is the impact that the cover has on your sales.  It’s all very well having a superb story, but if you don’t give it a cover that grabs the attention of a browsing reader, it’s not going to get read.

One of the books that I am currently revamping is “The Heir of The Dragon”.  I love the original cover by Bradley Wind  :

 

but because I am adding some new content to the book, in the form of a new, never before seen story and a couple of of other pieces, I have a new cover to go with it.

And that’s what I want to show you…

Ta Dah!

This one has been created by the wonderful Cheri Lasota, who is a brilliant established Author as well as being a talented Cover Designer.  She has also worked on the cover for the next Dark Cities Chronicle, “The Curse of the Jade Cat”, which gives them a series feel, despite the fact that they are completely separate stories.

However, I’m going to save the cover reveal for that book for another time!

So keep your eyes open and watch this space – I’ll be back as soon as I can to tell you when the new edition is available!