It’s here -publication day!

2015 Edition - published by Carina UK/HarperCollins

2015 Edition – published by Carina UK/HarperCollins

‘For All Our Sins’ is published with Carina UK/HarperCollins today, available from all good e-retailers, across all devices, (Kindle, nook, Kobo, iBooks, Sainsburys etc).

No e-reader? No problem – You can download free apps to any tablet or smart phone to read books on your device.

This novel has been a long journey since its 2007/2008 origins.

The book has different aspects to it from the 2013 version. I hope the characters feel ‘richer’, and the story has a greater depth to it from the 2013 self-published version.

All that remains to say is a BIG thank you to those who bought the 2013 version, and took a chance on an indie author.

I promise this new version is worth perusing.

Finally some news…New publishing contract!

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Things have been pretty quiet from me on here (and social media in general), but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy behind the scenes.

I’m pleased to announce that the DCI Claire Winters series has been picked up by digital first publisher Carina UK, an imprint of Harlequin – a division of HarperCollins!

Many of you who have followed me from the beginning of this journey know that both novels in the series were self-published in 2013. I have had complete control over the whole process for all this time, so there was a bit of nerves when I clicked the ‘unpublish’ section over on Amazon’s KDP site, BUT the response from the team at Carina UK has been fantastic. They have been so enthusiastic about the series, championing DCI Claire Winters and that’s given me a lot of confidence to sign with them. I feel like my ‘baby’ is in good hands.

This new venture means the books will be available across devices and sites, reaching a far wider audience than before.  There will be new front covers, and a few differences in the text itself.

I’ve spent the last few weeks working on strengthening the first book, ‘For All Our Sins’, after my editor’s suggestions. I’m waiting for her to report back, but I’m hoping (praying, biting nails!) that she approves. I’m certainly happy with it, and I think some changes bring more depth to the central characters and their motivations.

There is a chance the novels will be available as paperbacks if eBook sales prove strong.

A BIG thank you to everyone who bought the novels since 2013, and left reviews. I’m told the reviews should all transfer over to the new listed versions on publication day – fingers crossed!

What next?

Well, I’m currently working on a new standalone novel, ‘The Shattered Ground’, which I hope to really get stuck into now I’ve signed with Carina UK, but a third book in the DCI Claire Winters series is in the pipeline.

That’s all for now. I hope to have more to share soon!

Should you set a deadline?

Back before the summer break, I gave myself a deadline to have most of the first draft of book three completed by the time my daughter went back to school.

I started with good intentions, and all was going well until…the inevitable spanner in the works came hurtling along.

Whenever I have given myself a deadline with this third book, something always crops up to sabotage my goal. This never happens when I am given a deadline by someone else, but me, when I set a goal, it often backfires.

Over the six-week holiday my daughter caught the Noro virus (which she kindly passed on to me – sharing is caring!) Actually, I shouldn’t joke, because we were both very ill – I actually lost 6 lbs in three days! Yes, a nasty stomach bug can have its benefits to the waistline, but I think 6 lbs in that short amount of time is pretty extreme.

I’ll spare you all the nasty details, but we were ill for over two weeks, and even after the worst of it had passed, I still felt awful and had no energy to get back to book three.

From now on I will not give myself a deadline. I seem to jinx it every time, and with the  How to Hook an Agent event coming up in a few weeks time, I hope to have more of book three completed, but if it’s not, I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

I can’t help but wonder how many of you are the same? Do you ‘jinx’ your own progress? How to you tackle deadlines or do you refuse to set a target for yourself?

Let me know your thoughts and tips 🙂

Posting your writing online – Read an excerpt of ‘The Principle of Evil’

I have finally added an excerpt of the second DCI Claire Winters book, ‘The Principle of Evil’, up on the site . . . It’s only taken me since February!

The fact it’s taken so long probably has something to do with the fact I get so nervous showing people my work when it’s in its pre-submission form. I’m a perfectionist. I never feel my writing is the best it can ever possibly be, and that’s fine, because I know I’ll carry on trying to perfect my work with each new book.

I’m sure a lot of you will agree that posting your writing on your blog/social network site, leaves your nerves working overtime as soon as your work goes ‘live’. It sounds silly, considering many of us don’t just write for ourselves – we hope to release our work to the public, whether it is by self-publishing or submitting to an agent/publisher. Someone else is going to see our work at some point.

There comes a point when we need to take a chance, bite the bullet, and actually ‘post’ or submit our work and hope we make an impression. Preferably the right one!

Some of you may have seen a few blog posts back where I talked about cutting the word count of your novel (you can find it here if you missed it before) I’m awaiting ‘The Principle of Evil’ to come back from my proof reader before I can consider re-submitting it back to the agents who requested the complete MS originally. After such a drastic cut in the word count, I hope it all makes sense.

Writing, for many of us, is much more than just a hobby. A lot of authors I speak to have this ‘writing itch’, where we just have to write and feel guilty if we’re not bashing away at the keyboard. When we put our work out into the public domain, it can feel like you’re laying your soul bare and open to criticism.

It’s scary but sometimes you need to take the plunge and share your work, whether it be with the literary agents and publishers or those in the writing community.

I’ve mentioned before that the need for a thick skin is essential to be a writer – I hope mine’s tough enough.

You can read an excerpt from the opening pages of ‘The Principle of Evil’  here.