The Influence of Female Authors…

I can’t remember how I got to this article; more than likely one of my author or reader friends probably shared it on FB…

…But it got me thinking about all the authors on my shelves. I mean any one who has been coming to this blog for longer than a month can probably work out that I love Sir Terry Pratchett’s works or that it was David Eddings who inspired me to start writing Fantasy.

But there are a whole slew of other writers that come up when I really think about all the books that have influenced my work and the majority of them are on my shelves at the moment.

The first author that I ever collected was Enid Blyton and I started with the world of the Faraway Tree; it was the series that inspired my first attempt at Fan-Fiction at the age of 8!
The next one to come along was Diane Wynne Jones – I fell in love with Chrestomanci and read every single book of hers that I could get my hands on; at this point I had discovered the wonder of Libraries…

When I started earning my own money at the age of 13, I started buying my own books. I was a little obsessed with ponies and riding so a lot of the books I was getting from the Library were about horses, but when I bought my own books, I discovered that Here Be Dragons… and that you could ride them!

Yup, I had discovered Anne McCaffrey and the Dragons of Pern.

Between library books and the bookshop over the last twenty years, I have read a slew of authors, male and female, always either Sci-Fi or Fantasy. Anne McCaffrey, Diana Wynne Jones, David and Leigh Eddings, Terry Pratchett, Katherine Kerr, Elizabeth Moon, Janny Wurts, Raymond E.Feist, Sara Douglass, Jack Vance, Ursula Le Guin, Anne Rice, Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks, Tolkien, J K Rowling, Gail Carriger…  and that’s a small proportion of the books that I’ve collected and read over the years.

They’ve all influenced my own work, some of them more obviously than others. The fact that a lot of them were female never crossed my mind; they were just books that I enjoyed a lot, so I bought them.
Another thing that I have only just realised, is that Mr & Mrs Eddings may have ignited my love of epic fantasy, but Anne McCaffrey and Diana Wynne Jones are the ones that showed me that I could write too, and not have to hide behind a male pseudonym.

So here I am, following in their footsteps and hoping that I have created my own books well enough that young readers are going be inspired by them in turn… maybe if they read that I enjoyed certain authors as a kid, they will search their books out and enjoy them too.

* * * * * * *

I’m very bad at blowing my own trumpet and marketing my own work; but that all has to change, so I am going to start doing so today. We’ll go back to my roots as a writer and feature one of my Short Story collections…


One of the fun things about being a writer is responding to a challenge. This book is full of the results of such challenges…

From the wedding celebrations of Greek Deities, to mermaids, ghosts and superheroes, a whole gamut of creatures await your eager eyes.

This little collection of short stories contains some of my favourites from the beginning of my apprenticeship as an author. With each story is a little anecdote from my writing life.

It’s available in ebook and Print formats and from a variety of places including:

If by any chance you’ve already read all of my books… could I possibly persuade you to pop into my Patreon Page and become a Patron?

The thing is, unless I sell more books or get more Patrons, I won’t be able to produce any new books!!

Feed an Author




An Author’s musings on the Past and the Future…

I’ve been looking back at my publishing career to date, in an effort to decide how to proceed with the next few years. I started writing seriously in 2008 and had a few short stories published in various anthologies. I didn’t start publishing my own work until 2011.

One of the questions I get asked from time to time, is how many books I publish a year. I never actually knew the answer to that – once a book is out I tend to forget about it, unless I am actively promoting it.
I used to say that I made about £30 a year… putting me firmly into the “Hobbyist” section of Independent Authors.

I’ve got the new KDP dashboard now… doesn’t look like too bad a system, but I wish I could see which books have sold as well as in which formats / countries etc.
Using the historical tab and a bit of head scratching, I have figured out that I shifted a grand total of 319 books in 7 years. Only 110 of those were paid books. My best total year was 2012 but that was due to a free promo I did that year. The best year for paid books was 2016.

The most popular paid book is currently at an even heat between “Heir of The Dragon” and “Blossom and Kitsune” with “TTATE: A Beginning” close behind.
Kira Morgana is definitely the more popular of my pen names, but that’s probably because she’s published more books!

I’ve sold an average of 16 paid books a year (not including free books because they only occur in one year)… It’s positive that I have actually sold books… but I thought I’d sold a few more than that…
Doesn’t include anything sold on Smashwords though… hmm.

*wanders away to check figures on Smashwords.*

So, having deciphered Smashwords’ reporting system, I find that I have sold a total of 32 paid books in 7 years. Adding those to the KDP ones, I have a grand total of 142 paid books, giving me an average of 20 paid books per year.
Obviously the figures I’m quoting are all my self-published books. Anything published with the Small Presses I’ve been with or my collaboration with Maria K., I don’t have the figures for.
So, am I a successful author? Depends on the measure of success that you use…

What am I going to do?

Well I’m not giving up on writing; it’s often the only thing I can do that keeps me sane – my craft hobbies aren’t child friendly in the same way… and besides, I do have a few fans or I wouldn’t have sold 142 books in the last 7 years!
So I have a duty to get some more books finished and published.

However, this is where I run into a Catch 22 situation.

As an independent author, I am responsible for the whole process of publishing my books; there’s no publishing company vetting it or giving me an Editor / Proof-reader / Cover Artist / Illustrator / MS Formatter to work on getting it out to my Fans.

That’s a hindrance in a lot of ways, because it means I have to do or source all those things myself. Which means I have to have money to pay for (at the very least) an Editor and a Cover Artist. I’ve been incredibly lucky up until now in that I’ve got some incredibly talented and lovely friends who have helped me get this far. I also have a group of lovely people who beta read for me, which helps immensely.

Sadly, my current financial situation (in real life) is rather difficult. I don’t have the spare money to pay for the things I need to continue to publish my work, and the books I have out at the moment don’t bring in enough money to pay for it.

So I have some decisions to make.

I currently have 10 books that are complete first drafts in the Beta Reading Pile, 2 that are in the Formatting Pile and 5 that could be published as is, but that I am wanting to add to, so they are in the Re-Write Pile. There are another 9 that are in the Work-in-Progress pile.

I’m not even considering the ones in the Idea Pile.

So that’s another 26 books to add the 9 that are currently published.
Obviously the order I need to work on them is:

1) Formatting
2) Rewriting
4) Beta Reading

Before I even CONSIDER looking at the Ideas!

However, before I can publish any of the books going through Beta Reading, I need to run them past an editor and get a cover for them…
Which brings me to the crux of the matter. I would be able to publish more if one of two things happened:

a) I sold a LOT more of the currently published books
b) Those of you who believe in me and like my work support me through the Patreon system.

(Or I win the lottery, but we all know the odds of that one!)

I’ll be working on getting (a) sorted out, but one of the best things that will influence it, is getting another book into publication. So the Formatting and Re-Writing piles are going to the head of the work queue (with one WIP at a time being worked on).

One of the best ways that you, the reader, can help me, is to write a review of my books that you’ve read (no matter where you got it) a review on Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads, Apple, Kobo or Nook can help me to sell books.
Another way, is to recommend my work to friends who are looking for something to read, be that by real life conversation or virtual conversation on Social Media.

If you want to take route (b) and support me through the Patreon System, I will be incredibly grateful and shower you with perks…
This is my page is –
Pop over and check it out!

Oh and if you got all the way to the end of the blog post, whatever you decide, I want to thank you for reading it!

Sunday Book Review: How to Bee

How to BeeHow to Bee by Bren MacDibble
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ever wondered who would do the job of pollinators if they all died out?

“How to Bee” takes a look at how the world would be if the Bees were almost extinct. It’s a beautifully written story and it takes you on an emotional rollercoaster.

My 12 year old read it first (snatched it out of my hand when it arrived) and said:
“It made me open my eyes to how some families work. I really enjoyed it and I would really recommend it.”

View all my reviews