Indie author of fantasy fiction. Author's books have a sense of adventure and mystery, and a good twist. If it's fantasy she'll write it and all its creatures – wizards, sprites, elves, vampires, sorcerers, dragons, demons, and of course dwarfs – they all get a mention in at least one series.
After the launch of my eighth book and with spring just around the corner, I'm taking a couple of weeks off...
I'll be bunkering down in my hobbit hole, next to the fire and with a cup of tea in hand, to read mostly, but I've also got a fair bit of work around my five acre property to get everything ready for spring. I'll be back in a few weeks with another promotion and news about the next writing project.
Until then here's what I'll be reading...
I'm currently halfway through Elizabeth's Kostova's The Historian. It actually reminds me a lot of my own vampire mystery story, and I can't believe I've never picked it up before. It's quite the page turner and I would highly recommend it for anyone who loves the mix of vampire, historical and mystery fiction.
Next I'll be picking up Book Three in David Kazzie's post-apocalyptic 'Immune Series', Evergreen. This is a great quick read and I've been picking up the books as a palate cleanser between heavy epic fantasies. Kazzie's writing is crisp and the story is an intriguing one. Another one I'd easily recommend.
The Borderlands: Return is now available for preorder. But if you sign up to my monthly-ish newsletter, you can enter the draw to win a free copy. In the meantime, interested readers can now add it to Goodreads.
New to the series? Now's a good time to get your copy of Book One. It's free for a few days only.
The Borderlands begins with sixteen year old misfit, Dale, who has trouble with bullies at school and an overbearing mother at home. Dale keeps a secret deep inside – she can see auras. As a child she saw much more – strange little creatures like gnomes and sprites used to dominate her world, until her mother did away with them through visits to psychologists. When a new boy, Rhys, starts at school, Dale is compelled one night to tell him all her little secrets, but this turns out to be a bad idea. The bullies have a field day.
Dale does escape her daily tortures, but does she leap from the frying pan to land in the fire? The bullies were one thing. A dark sorcerer is something else altogether. To find out you can get a copy of the first book, The Borderlands: Journey, right now. It's free for a few days only.
If you enjoy The Raven and would like to learn more about Iluna's story, sign up to my monthly-ish newsletter and request a free copy of The Doom of Arlg-Teg, the first installment of a short trilogy called, Iluna's Song.
The Viscount's Son trilogy would be the perfect example of a book-child born of a marriage between a dark, broody vampire classic like Dracula and a page-turning, clue-hunting mystery like The Da Vinci Code. .
The woman's footsteps echoed through the alley and the vampire paused his pursuit.
(First line from The Pharaoh's Mistress, Book 3)
It's the perfect read for fans of vampire and mystery fiction. A trilogy that brings together the gothic allure of vampires with the rewards of tantalising mystery. And it's the perfect description for The Viscount's Son trilogy.
If you've been on planet Netflix recently, or on planet Earth for that matter, you would have heard of the phenomenon that is Marie Kondo and her decluttering manifesto, "To put your house in order is to put your life in order". If you haven't heard of her (yet), Marie Kondo is a professional organising consultant from Japan who is also a bestselling author and (more recently) Netflix super star.
Time is our most precious resource.
So why am I (a fantasy author) talking about Marie Kondo? It's a long story, but I'll try to make it short...
I've always been a messy person. My bedroom in particular has consistently been in some sort of disarray from childhood, ranging from mildly disordered to wildly chaotic. The rest of the house has suffered too with clutter building up through the week until I have to begrudgingly spend a few hours every Friday putting everything away and creating a veneer of order in case of visitors on the weekend. The bathroom cupboard, and generally every cupboard in the house was always a mess, and you generally took your life in your hands when you opened them, crossing your fingers that nothing would jump out at you. Needless to say, whenever I needed to find something it would take me a very long time to seek out the desired object, or I would just give up on the idea of finding it altogether. The laundry was a danger field and was not a place you could walk freely without tripping over or entangling yourself on a cord or laundry pile.
All this mess would add to my stress, waste my time, and make me miss daily goals I had set, like writing so many words, or reading so many books. It reached a point at the end of last year, after searching for a favourite DVD (and failing to find it) that I actually realised I was sick to death of being messy. I'd always wanted to be that tidy person with the neat house who knew where everything was. In desperation I typed into Google, "How to be a tidy person." And there she appeared, the one I'm calling my new priestess... Marie Kondo.
Her 'KonMari' decluttering method has actually changed me for good. After that google search I downloaded her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, read it in a couple of days. I then read her second book, Spark Joy. The stars were in alignment because shortly after that I heard about her Netflix show, and when the new year ticked over I binged the whole thing.
I started doing the KonMari method in my house at the end of last year, and I have very nearly finished my whole-house decluttering process. The effects of the declutter were almost immediate. The main thing I've discovered is that I am less stressed, I have more time and I can find anything I want in less than a minute. I've since learned that we can spend up to an hour, every day, looking for things and I suspect this is partly where I've found more time.
Being tidy has been a lifelong dream and I've finally achieved it and am now enjoying the calmer, more organised life of being clutter and mess free. Just take a look at my bookshelf:
Before: A danger zone! Good luck finding anything. And what the hell is the fireman's hat doing there?
After: So peaceful. So calm.
As a result of being tidier, I've been able to dedicate more time to writing and reading. I can sit on the couch and read guilt-free without thinking that I should really be tidying up. Next I'll start organising my computer crap and all online files, which will help my writing out immensely, so... more books will be released this year!
If you're a messy person like me, and you've always wanted to be tidy, I highly recommend my priestess to you too.
The Solstice has been celebrated by humanity for millennia, and when it visits Earth again on the 22nd, I'll be celebrating too. I'll officially be on holidays! The laptop will be packed away and you'll find me in the hammock, with a tea or wine in one hand and a book in the other, for a good chunk of the Australian summer.
Come the solstice, I'm taking a break!
I'm fairly satisfied with my achievements for 2018. For one thing I managed to publish two books, which is two more than last year. Though, if I'm being honest, I have suffered a little from the old 'comparitonitis'. Those authors churning out a book a month remain a constant source of awe and terror for me. My only comfort lies in telling myself they mustn't be writing two hundred thousand word epics! (Please don't tell me if they are!)
In February, I published Dragonshade (a 230,000 word epic), and later entered it into the Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off – while it was eliminated from the competition, Dragonshade received an honourable mention by Adam Weller at Fantasy Book Review. Which tickled this author pink.
This month I published The Pharaoh's Mistress, the third instalment to my vampire mystery trilogy
. With its release I finally completed a series – something I've been dreaming about for years, and the champagne was popped! The smart authors out there do 'quick releases' these days, publishing every book in a series within a month of each other. I'm just not that smart (or efficient), but I'm learning, and I'm looking forward to completing a certain other series next year.
2018 has been a good year. I've had my ups and downs, my inspired moments and writing blocks, good reviews and a few one stars. I'm learning it's all part of the journey that is writing and publishing, and I'm looking forward to learning more lessons next year.