Rise of the Sparrows is FREE today and tomorrow!

In anticipation of Shadow in Ar’Sanciond coming out on Monday, Rise of the Sparrows is free right now–but only today and tomorrow!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘Brilliant!’
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘I absolutely loved this book.’
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘This book’s pacing is as wonderful as the world-building, characters and the overall narrative.’

Go on–treat yourself!

Grab it while it’s free!


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December Goals | Release Day 2/3 & Two Potential WIPs

Happy December, friends! <3

This half of the year is my favourite. First, autumn arrives with its beautiful leaves, foggy mornings, and warming flavours. Then comes Halloween, when the veil between worlds is thinnest, and then NaNoWriMo comes right after that!

But then, after so much excitement, comes Christmas–and for me, that holiday lasts all month. Everything just looks so magical with lights everywhere, and there’s an undeniable buzz when I go into town. At home, everything gets a little more comfy. The house smells of cinnamon and vanilla a lot, because I love baking.

It’s also a time for me to slow down and reflect. I look at what I wanted to achieve this year back in January, and what I have achieved. I remind myself not to be hard on myself when one thing or another didn’t go to plan–I know it’s not because I was lazy this year, but because other things outside my control came up or because some things simply took longer than I expected. All that’s fine.

But there’ll be time for that at the end of the month. Right now, I still have a whole month left to get stuff done!

Relics of Ar’Zac

Shadow in Ar’Sanciond will be out in one week, so I’ll be booking a few promotions this week. If you want it on your kindle as soon as it’s out, you can pre-order it before the price goes up!

Soon after that’s live, pre-orders for the box set will follow. It’s pretty much done, so this shouldn’t be too stressful–just a few clicks here and there.

I also have a surprise later this week, so watch this space!

Dreamer

I’m half-way through the first draft, and since it’s only a short book (or I planned it that way, anyway) I should be able to finish the first draft this month.

Once that’s proofing…

Well, I’m torn. I could jump into plotting the sequels and start writing Book 2–I’m here now, after all–or…

Blood Wisp

I haven’t forgotten about this trilogy. I want to read over Blood Wisp again before I write Blood Song, but if I do it halfway through December and then take my Christmas break, will I need to read over it again in January? Should I just wait for the new year and do it then?

Or should I finish the Dreamer series first?

I wanted to stick to writing one series at a time, but things have worked out in a strange way and now I have two first drafts from two very different series, and I’m not sure which one to continue first. The one I’m currently invested in, or the one I started and promised first?

I’m hoping December will bring some clarity.

Beyond the above, there are Christmas catch-ups, boring but necessary tax stuff, and some last-minute presents to buy. I won’t bore you with the details.

What are your plans for December? Do you wind down, too, or is this your busiest month?


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November Recap | … or How to Destroy NaNo Between Release Dates

November has been a super busy month for me (hello, NaNo!), but it’s also been super productive. In fact, I’m doing so well for time for once that I’m scheduling this post one day ahead! :O AND I’ll schedule my December goals right after! :O :O

Must be all the tea I’ve had this month.

Relics of Ar’Zac

I published Blood of the Dragon without a hitch, and now Shadow in Ar’Sanciond is ready for its big day too. It’s currently up for pre-order at only 99p/99c, so go get it while it’s cheap!

I haven’t looked at the box set again, but that file came back ready from my formatter and I’m not doing a paperback for it, so that’s pretty much there too.

NaNoWriMo

Friends, I destroyed NaNo this year.

I hit 50k words in just 15 days (and then I slept for a year) on Day 21–take off the weekends I didn’t write, and that’s 15 days of NaNo dedication!

I reached 40k on Day 20 (a Wednesday) and realised I could technically finish NaNo that week if I wrote 5k on Thursday and Friday. Finishing NaNo a week early and in time for the weekend sounded nice, so I decided to give it my best shot.

I then wrote 10k on the Thursday.

Friends.

I’ve never written this much in one day in my life! NaNo truly brings out the best in me.

I’m beyond chuffed that I unlocked all my rewards this year. My shirt is on its way <3

Despite that, it didn’t quite go to plan. I finished the first draft of Brightened Shadows and that’s now proofing, but I didn’t move on to Blood Song as I had planned to. I tried, but it’s been roughly half a year since I last looked at Blood Wisp. I just wasn’t in the WIP anymore. The characters felt forced when I wrote the first chapter.

I realised that, to write Blood Song, I’ll first need to read over Blood Wisp again and take notes, but there’s no time for that during NaNo, so I decided to put it aside for now rather than force it and be unhappy with everything.

Instead, I started Dreamer, which doesn’t even have a name yet. I did have some notes since I originally planned on starting it during Camp NaNo in July, but that didn’t work out for work reasons and I hadn’t looked at it again since. I figured I’d start it some time next year maybe, so this was the closest to pantsing a novel I’ll ever come XD

I did have a whole notebook full of ideas and character profiles and I knew where the plot needed to go and how it would develop, but to go in without Scrivener index cards was surprisingly jarring.

Because I wanted it to be a novella, I set the target word count to 20k. It’s currently at 25k and I’m only just at the midpoint, so we’ll see how long this will actually be.

BUT the words are flowing and Esta is so easy to write, which is all I really wanted for NaNo.

How was your November? Make a tea and tell me all about it <3


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Darkened Light has a book trailer!! *flails*

Hi, Sparrows!

I believe I promised you a book trailer? 😉

Becky and James at Platform House Publishing have outdone themselves this time. Don’t get me wrong, I love my trailer for Rise of the Sparrows SO MUCH, but I think this is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.

Look:

You can’t convince me that this isn’t the coolest thing you’ve ever seen <3 <3 <3 Don’t you just love it?

*swoons*

And if it’s intrigued you, you can get Darkened Light here 😉


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WIP Inspiration: My Recent Trip to Winchester

Hi, Sparrows!

Since one of the most common questions writers get asked is, ‘Where does your inspiration come from?’ I wanted to share what has sparked my inspiration recently.

Now, I don’t usually base my worlds on real places–at least not previously and not to the extent where I snap a picture for reference–but when in Winchester…

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the city, Winchester is a beautiful, historical city in the south of England. Way back, it was the capital! You know, before London claimed that title.

So, it’s unavoidable that some of its charm rubs off on my WIPs.

Have a look at these stunning spots, which will find their way into my Dreamer trilogy:

The last two are from May, which is why the wisteria is in full bloom.

To come back to my current WIP, this hidden spot will likely feature in Brightened Shadows:

It’s not a great picture because we only had our phones and it’s pretty dark down there, but it does prove that I am the shadow.

If this doesn’t look like the entrance to an underground prison… Which is exactly what it’ll be in Brightened Shadows.

Bringing real-life locations into my books is something I want to do more often. I tend to loosely base all countries on real countries, but politics and economics don’t make for pretty aesthetics.

Winchester does, and every time I’m there I find something new. Next time I’m there I’ll have to get a picture of the little cafe where Esta will spend a lot of her time, which is also a personal favourite ^-^

I hope you enjoyed this little insight into my recent inspiration. Let me know if you’d like to see more!


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Darkened Light #2 TITLE REVEAL

It’s official, friends!! 🎉🎉🎉

The sequel to DARKENED LIGHT is called BRIGHTENED SHADOWS!!! 😍

*swoons at own title*

I’ve been sitting on this one for years–I named both books at the same time–so I’m relieved I no longer have to watch what I say where this sequel is concerned 🤣

I’m making a start on it next month during NaNo (more on that change of plan on Friday) and will continue writing through August and finish it in September. All being well, it’ll be out sometime around autumn/winter 2020, which would go soooo beautifully with the cover–but that’s a reveal for another day 😉

(I haven’t booked the cover yet, so don’t expect it any time soon <3)

What do you think? Do you like it? 😍


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Meet Esta Anderson (WIP: DREAMER)

Hi, Sparrows!

*waves* I bet you didn’t expect to see me halfway through the month!

I want to share more of my writing progress with you, so I’ve lined up a whole host of things I can show you 🙂

I’m making a start this month by introducing you to my MC from my Dreamer novella trilogy, Esta Anderson. It’s my project for the July Camp NaNo, so I’ve spent quite a bit of time with Esta lately.

Some things about Esta:

  • Her full name is Estelle Anderson, but she prefers Esta because it has an edge to it and doesn’t sound like a pampered princess.
  • She’s an introvert and prefers a good book and a hot chocolate to a night out.
  • She’s allergic to cats but not dogs. She adopted a rottweiler puppy together with her BFF, Bonnie, when they moved in together, and she has a feline spirit guide in her dreams.
  • She lucid dreams at will. There’s a door in every dream that’s giving her bad vibes–so, naturally, she’s gonna open it. She gets a little (*cough* OMG understatement of the century!!) more than she expected when she does.
  • She doesn’t give a shit about fashion and wears whatever’s comfy.
  • She swears a lot and is sarcastic as fuck.
  • She wants to be an art photographer focussing on surrealism, but that industry is hard, guys. In the meantime, she works part-time in a university art gallery.
  • She can’t lie to save her life.
  • She has misophonia and what we both call Bookworm Syndrome.
  • Her greatest fears include losing Bonnie, dying with regrets, time slipping away from her, no longer knowing the difference between dream and reality, everyone hating her photography, and spiders.
  • She’s not super close to her family and has lost touch with everyone but her parents and her grandma. Her BFF since childhood, Bonnie, and her rottweiler Buffy are her real family.
  • She wants to uncover the world’s hidden secrets. The witch next door (who I haven’t named yet) teaches her sometimes.

That’ll have to be enough for now or you won’t have anything new to learn about her when the books come out 😉

I LOVE character aesthetics, so I’ve done another one besides the one above. It’s a little different:

Character aesthetic: Esta Anderson (WIP: DREAMER, urban paranormal fantasy)
Character aesthetic: Esta Anderson (WIP: DREAMER, urban paranormal fantasy)
Character aesthetic: Esta Anderson (WIP: DREAMER, urban paranormal fantasy)

I mean, what are notebooks for?

Both are early aesthetics, so I might make a new one now I know Esta a lot better. They are still accurate and very her, but they can be even more so. Neither features her dog or her BFF, for one.

While every character I (or indeed every author) write has some parts of me in them, I’ve put more of myself into Esta than any other character. There’s still plenty that’s different too, but I still feel like you’ll meet me when you meet her.

I’m excited I got to introduce her today. I hope the first impression is a good one <3

I’ll post roughly halfway through the month in addition to my monthly goals (first Monday) and my monthly recaps (last Friday), so expect new insights around the 15th.

There’s also a new category to go with these posts. WIP Sneak-Peeks is now live in the category drop-down menu, which I’ve added to the News page.

Is there anything else you’d like to know about Esta? Make a tea and ask away 🙂


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