Merry Christmas!

BROKEN PALACE SHAREABLE - FREE

Merry Christmas to you all!

Very quick post today before I log off until the New Year.

I’ve been busy these last few weeks doing the revisions for book 2, ‘The Principle of Evil’, which is now available for pre-order (final cover still to be revealed)

The publication date has been pushed back to 25th Feb. I’m excited for its release, but also nervous. I hope anyone who reads the slightly revised version, likes the changes I’ve made.

Once book two has been released I will be focusing on book 3 in the DCI Winters series AND working on my standalone simultaneously. I am also putting together ideas for a novella, entitled ‘In The Blood’.

I’ve worked for so long on book 1 and 2 in the DCI Winters series that I am very eager to get some new material released in 2016.

Lastly – My short story, ‘Broken Palace’ is FREE over the festive period.

Short and sweet, eh?

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year whatever you’re doing, and a massive thank you to everyone who has bought my books.

‘For All Our Sins’ has been doing so well with Carina UK/HarperCollins, and it’s storming the various Amazon UK Kindle charts. That’s definitely THE best Christmas present I could ask for.

Here come the revisions

IMAG2171

. . . the second lot of revisions that is.

Yes, the next deadline is looming for me to complete the next lot of revisions for ‘For All Our Sins’, and whilst I admit there is an amount of pressure, in a way I’m actually enjoying it!

Yes, you read that right – ENJOYING it. I know all this extra hard work will pay off. It will make the novel even stronger than it now stands and the deadline that comes with this is completely worth it.

When you go it alone and self-publish, you only have yourself to answer to. If life gets in the way and you are pulled away from your writing, it’s OK. The only deadlines you have (if any) are the ones you impose on yourself.

Now that I’m back in a position where someone else has given me a deadline, things do not always run so smoothly. It’s the summer holidays and that means there are far more distractions than there normally would be. My five year old is at home and can’t simply be dumped in front of the TV so I can write, my husband is at home this week, and I have a holiday coming up. All of these things can make you just want to pull your hair out when you think about that deadline coming up and trying to juggle everything at once.

In truth, I’ve had a few moments where I’ve had that sick feeling that I might not be able to deliver. That’s life though. It doesn’t stop just because you have deadlines to meet, so just ‘get on with it’.

So that’s what I’m doing and I’ve found once I’m into the revisions, I’m enjoying them.

It’s amazing what a second fresh pair of eyes can do for your manuscript. As an author you need to be open to other people’s suggestions. Even the best sellers have their work edited and revised many times before it goes to print and having someone who is not so close to your novel give their expertise is fantastic. It can breathe new life into your story and help smooth out anything that wasn’t working and tie up any loose ends you might not have spotted.

My editor has come up with some great suggestions to improve ‘For All Our Sins’, and I’ve even had a few ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ moments. Having someone invest so much time in your novel also gives you a boost of confidence. There is a team behind your book who want to see it do well. In this super competitive market, you need that support and enthusiasm.

Even if you self-publish, I’d recommend hiring a professional to help mould your novel into the best possible shape it can be before it goes on sale. Don’t be to precious about your manuscript. None of us write the perfect novel. We are always learning and honing our skills as authors.

Despite it being a rocky road sometimes, I think this has to be one of the best jobs in the world. 😀

Finally some news…New publishing contract!

45346f556d3a03a806b4379849307ec122162-v1-197x25401-v1-197x

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!

Just to clarify…

Just to clarify – There’s a new review on Amazon UK for ‘For All Our Sins’, which is written by someone, unknown to me, (thank you, whoever you are) but they happen to have my name (T M E Walsh) as their username. This could give the impression that I have written myself a review, which I’d like to clarify isn’t the case. I do appreciate the time taken to leave a review nonetheless.

Remember – ‘The Principle of Evil’ is FREE from today

on kindleMy second DCI Winters novel, ‘The Principle of Evil’, is FREE for 5 days, starting TODAY!

Although it is the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone, with no spoilers relating to book one.

The novel has had some great reviews, and it’s the work I am most proud of. If you’re a fan of crime thrillers, then give it a try.

I’d be grateful if people can spread the word! 🙂

Links – Amazon UK

Amazon US

‘The Principle of Evil’ – FREE for 5 days

My second DCI Winters novel, ‘The Principle of Evil’, is FREE for 5 days, starting from tomorrow.on kindle

Although it is the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone, with no spoilers relating to book one.

The novel has had some great reviews, and it’s the work I am most proud of. If you’re a fan of crime thrillers, then give it a try.

I’d be grateful if people can spread the word! 🙂

Links – Amazon UK

Amazon US

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year 2015 & a FREE ebook

I can’t believe it’s Christmas Eve already. Where has the year gone?

I hope everyone has a safe and peaceful Christmas and I hope the New Year brings every one of you lots of new opportunities and writing success.

I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has bought my novels, and for the positive response and support for my DCI Claire Winters series. It has opened a few new avenues for me, and I’ve had some fantastic advice from people in the publishing industry, that I might not have had if I’d left my manuscripts on the hard drive.

To the other self-published authors out there, I hope your endeavours are working out for you and to those who are considering becoming an independent author the message is simple. Make that leap. It might be the best thing that has ever happened in your writing career.

Because it’s Christmas, my short story ‘Broken Palace’ will be free from tomorrow until the 29th December. If you’re getting a tablet, smart phone or Kindle for Christmas, what better way to try out your new gadget than with a freebie? 😉

Don’t forget you don’t need a Kindle to download from Amazon. You can download the Kindle App for FREE to most tablets, smart phones and even your PC.

Right, I’m off to start the celebrations early, as is the tradition in the Walsh household.

MERRY CHRISTMAS & A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Big decisions. Follow your ‘gut instinct’

In my last blog post I hinted that I had some news about my DCI Winters series. I don’t like to announce anything until ‘the ink is dry’, and I’ve been quiet on here for a while, but since I’ve made a decision about the series, I thought I’d update my blog.

Back in September I had an offer for a three book deal with a digital publisher who has a lot of brand recognition with its various imprints. I submitted my second novel, ‘The Principle of Evil’, to them last year and didn’t hear anything back, so assumed I’d been unsuccessful.

I got an email out of the blue from one of the editors saying she loved the book and wanted to offer a three book deal, to include my first two books and a third (which I was working on).

It was an exciting offer and the editor was very enthusiastic about the series, which gave me a much-needed confidence boost, but I didn’t get too smug because nothing is certain until you see and sign a contract and after several ‘so close, yet so far’ moments, I didn’t want to build myself up too much.

Since September I’ve also joined The Society of Authors. I highly recommend anyone who is eligible to join to do so. One service that has been beneficial to me is their contract vetting.

Once I received my contract from the publisher in question, I sent it to be vetted.

In the last few months I’ve been faced with a ‘fork in the road’ moment. Whilst I love my DCI Winters series, I’ve also felt pulled towards writing a standalone novel. The novel would still be of the crime thriller genre but wouldn’t be a police procedural.

I pitched the idea for this book at the ‘How to Hook an Agent’ event at Bloomsbury Publishing in September, to an agent who had previously read the full manuscript for my second novel, ‘The Principle of Evil’. She gave me positive feedback about the pitch and the idea, which was reassuring.

Getting back to this contract…

The Society of Authors got back to me quickly with their thoughts on the contract and gave me much to think about. There were certainly pros and cons, and I had to have a long think about what I wanted out of all this and if, in the long run, the book deal would benefit me.

In the end I decided not to go ahead with it.

Some may think this was a silly decision, after all I had the opportunity to get my novels on more platforms other than Kindle, but I’ve had to take into account many other clauses that are buried in a contract.

I’ve been burnt before, rushing into something I didn’t completely understand, and maybe I’m being over-cautious, but I can’t sign up for something that I am not 100% sure of.

It also meant that I would’ve had to finish that third DCI Winters novel, and now, that’s not at the top of my list of priorities.

My heart is telling me to go with the new standalone novel, and experience has taught me to go with that ‘instinct’.

So, for now, the DCI Winters series is on hold. I’m proud of how the third book was shaping up and I loved the story itself, and at some point I WILL return to it. Until then, the two books in the series will stay on sale on Amazon, and I hope more readers will continue to enjoy them.

We all have moments when it’s tempting to jump at the chance when you are offered something that could get your work out there to more readers, but I believe it’s important to think with a clear head and not view everything through rose-tinted glasses.

Take a step back and seek some advice from an expert to give any contract you are offered a thorough comb through.

What will be acceptable for some, might not work for you.

Never just ‘settle’ if your heart is not in it.

Always trust your instincts.

 

 

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 🙂