Anthologies… are such wonderful books!

Aurora in the Dawn
There are many good things about Anthologies. They are created for all sorts of reasons and can be a good way to discover new writers, because that’s often how new writers first get published. There’s nothing like the thrill of getting your very first story accepted to be part of a book – it’s almost as big a rush as getting your first novel / novella published.

My very first anthology wasn’t for a story, it was a poem that I wrote when I was a teenager. Having that print book in my hands made me feel very grown up and gave me the bug to continue. I ended up having my poetry in another two poetry anthologies, but sadly all three are now out of print and I only have the ISBN to confirm that two of them ever existed.

Novus Creatura

My first entry into Story Anthologies was actually through Horror and A.E. Churchyard.
House of Horror was a fairly popular webzine that also put out anthologies, so as well as getting my work published on the webzine, I made it into several anthologies. Sadly the ‘zine closed, so all I have of that part of my writing career is a print copy of each of the five anthologies I appeared in.


The next part of my writing career actually ran concurrently with the Horror section… I began experimenting with Flash stories…

Flash fiction is a style of fictional literature of extreme brevity.There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category. Some self-described markets for flash fiction impose caps as low as fifty-three words, while others consider stories as long as a thousand words to be flash fiction.
– Wikipedia

So it was inevitable that I ended up getting some of them published. Flash Stories can be addictive as there is a certain satisfaction around getting a whole story done in less than a thousand words…

For a long while after that, I concentrated on writing novels and novellas. I still wrote short stories for fun, but I kept them to myself – they ended up going into my first short story collections “The Necklace of Harmony”  and “Darkness in Mind“.

words to music

Then I got involved in a charity anthology through Authonomy.  I actually almost ended up with two stories in it, but at the last minute the Editor dropped one of them – which was a good job because that story then went on to become a novella… which is currently on the rewrite list.


By this time, Facebook and it’s myriad of Procrastination Stations had entered my life and I met a whole load of new people – the majority of them authors. Also by this time, self publishing had become a massive thing in my life. It also meant that the world was suddenly bursting out with anthologies and the next one I slipped into was a fun one – full of murder and mayhem.

bump off your enemies

And that brings us up to the present and the latest anthology to include my work. The story was a swift scribble down based on a conversation with my fiancé and I’m very proud to have been asked to submit it for such a worthy cause.


The best thing about anthologies is that they are books that you can pick up and put down, perfect for holiday / beach reading or for those days when you can’t read for more than a few minutes at a time.

I realised this morning,  that I didn’t have a page for displaying the wonderful Anthologies I have been a part of. So that’s the whole point of this post… to point you in the direction of some truly wonderful books that you can find under the heading of – OTHER BOOKS TO PERUSE… – in my menu system.

I’ll update it whenever I manage to get a story into an anthology, so keep an eye out!

Having a Bad Writing Day…

I don’t understand it. 

It’s a beautiful sunny day. That alone will get me enthusiastic about writing most days…

sunny day

It’s peaceful. The baby may not be asleep, but she’s happy and playing without needing me…

I have three WIP queues to deal with. Formatting has one in it, Editing has four in it and Writing has fifteen in it. A total of twenty books / stories with claims on my time…

That’s without TTATE though – my editor (ooh, I love writing that) is on holiday and we can’t start that process without her, so that’s six books to go into the Editing queue…

Have you ever had one of those days where, no matter what you try, the words just don’t want to form in your mind or you can’t decide what to do?

I thought you might.

Yup, that’s what happening to me. It’s a Bad Writing Day.

Normally I would just pick up my knitting or get my beads out… but when I turned to do just that, this confronted me:

crafting area 10th sept 2014

so first I have to tidy up… and that is probably going to take all day…
But it has to be done… as does the washing up… and the washing needs to go on the line.
Hmmm. Maybe it’s a Bad Writing Day, but a Good House Cleaning Day?NOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I don’t believe it. It cannot be true…

but still…
Oh, all right…
Don’t worry. Maybe tomorrow will be a better Writing Day than today.

The ‘C’ Season is coming…

… and I have two new books out for you to read!

The first one is actually the third book in “The Land Far Away” Series – Father Christmas and Quinza the Linzer.

As Christmas comes to Land Far Away, all creatures make ready for the festivities.

One young Linzer is not satisfied by the prospect of gifts – she wants to capture the big man, Father Christmas himself.

In Linzerland the Linzers build snow houses with chimneys to give Father Christmas somewhere to put their presents, but Quinza is determined to capture Father Christmas’ undivided attention and get hers first. So she makes sure that her house and chimney are the biggest and brightest in the whole of Linzerland.

Unfortunately, she’s gone just a little too far…

* * *

I wrote this story to explain to my kids why capturing Father Christmas and forcing him to stay to dinner would be a bad idea. I never realised that it would inspire Maria K. quite so much! It was the first book that she just had to illustrate and is really the one that set the whole collaboration off. Not to mention a friendship that has developed from it!

Fancy picking up a copy to read to your kids? I have it on the best authority (ie: from the mouths of my children and their friends) that it’s worth reading! Zip over to lulu on the link below and grab one. The pictures are clear and colourful, the paper smooth and the text easy to read. The spiral binding was a conscious choice for us – we wanted kids to be able to read the book with it spread out on their lap, without breaking the spine and the spiral binding does that perfectly.

* * *

The second of my new books is for older kids… and adults. In fact it sits squarely in the older  Teenage bracket…

Cover design by Maria K.

Jenni and her twin sister Morgana have never been apart until divorce separates them. Morgana stays with their mother and Jenni leaves Cardiff with their father, moving to the town of Arkingham across the border in England.

Once there, she makes friends and settles into her new school, determined not to allow the separation change her, but there are still many challenges facing her. Her father gets a job as Head Gardener at The Grange and Jenni meets Aderyn Archington, an eccentric scientist and Lord of Arkingham. 

Aderyn Archington is more than he seems. Racked by illness, his interest in Jenni and her family appears benign. His death brings both rewards and new challenges for Jenni; it quickly becomes apparent that there is more to being Lady of Arkingham than living in a big house.

And life will never be the same again…

This is my first full length novel and is the first book in a new series. “The Secret of Arking Down” came from my 2009 NaNoWriMo entry. That year I wrote the first 50,000 words of the book and almost overnight, a series came flooding out of the world that I created.

“The Angel’s Crown” introduces all the major players of the series as well as the world they live in; an alternate universe where it is possible to move between dimensions and visit alternate universes. So far, there are two finished books and  one in progress and I am planning the fourth book now – NaNoWriMo starts Nov 1st and I am writing book 4 for it!

Fun Huh?

Check it out on: