News and Plans for 2018

This post is a little later than I intended owing to being away over Christmas, domestic interruptions (fridge delivery, Virgin cutting off our internet), other things needing attention (tax return) and time-management issues.

Writing news

Words and Women writing comp logoIn 2017 I started submitting short stories to competitions and devoted regular mornings to writing (and editing) them. Earlier this week I was encouraged to find that my story “The Gift”, about young girls trafficked from overseas, made the Top 40 for the Words And Women national prose competition.

I’ve also sent off my story “The Last Trip” to a few competitions. Inspired by a visit to Canada last year, it is about a couple with terminal conditions who encounter a grizzly while seeing the world together one last time. I’m still working on a more lighthearted story about a married woman who becomes infatuated with a famous author with an uncanny resemblance to a certain Norwegian literary sensation. This is threatening to become a novella, despite trying to keep it short. (Flash version on Sebnem Saunders’ blog.)

One thing I love about writing ‘short’ stories and flash fiction is how they can be perfected – or at least redrafted in days rather than months. They are good practice for learning what is and isn’t essential in a manuscript, and a great way to experiment with different genres and writing styles.

Blind Side news

There’s now over 100 reviews on Amazon UK and Amazon.com combined (109 at time of writing) {feeling faint emoji} plus a fair few lurking on other Amazon sites, Netgalley, Goodreads and other places. THANK YOU everyone reading this who has left a review anywhere for my book, whether you’re a dedicated blogger/reviewer or a ‘normal’ reader! That sounds wrong but you know what I mean 🙂

I’m hoping to announce a temporary price cut for the e-book soon (currently £2.99). The paperback is still £9.99 in bookshops and Amazon/Apple (secondhand versions also available). If it ever goes on sale I will let you know. (I’ll probably have a giveaway later in the year.)

Plans and resolutions

To start the year on an optimistic note, I thought I’d list all the things I’m going to get done – or try my darndest to do – in 2018.

2017 turned out to be the year of the Blind Side paperback – it came out on the last day of February 2017 and much of my time was spent contacting bookshops, libraries, book groups, generally getting it into the hands of readers.

2018, I’ve decided, will be the year of Book 2. (Title may change, so won’t announce yet.) It’s a very dark, potentially shocking novel about what happens when a child abuser who’s a successful businessman pursues a 12-year-old girl desperate to get into fashion modelling. I started the novel years ago and it’s undergone an insane number of redrafts, so it’s about time I let it out into the world. Last year I rewrote it one more time, ramping up the thriller elements. After a spate of contacting agents, I’m now going direct to publishers with this. Any news will be conveyed immediately 😊

2018 will also be the year that I:

  • Write more short stories and enter them into competitions
  • Get more poems published (my latest is due in Ink, Sweat and Tears soon)
  • Plan publication of Book 3
  • Finish draft of novel 4
  • Learn how to manage the business side of being an author (haha)
  • Improve my planning and time management, and stop putting off potentially difficult/technical/frustrating things (e.g. tax return)
  • Become a better blogger (e.g. post more regularly, stop forgetting scheduled guest posts (yes, planning again) and include some video and audio)
  • Set up a mailing list (how hard can it be?)
  • Make my Goodreads reading challenge (cut to 15 books from 30 last year – managed 28)
  • Implement some of the WordPress features on my website that I’ve been meaning to for ages
  • Don’t stress about not being able to do everything perfectly all the time

Fire And Fury - Inside the White HouseLooking at this list, I feel more daunted than motivated, and am tempted to delete or edit a few items. But I will resist. Perhaps, though, I need to add a few more:

Stop checking Facebook, my messages, notifications, emails and other random stuff on phone in bed first thing in the morning

Stop watching TV dramas and Netflix (Stranger Things series 3) and the latest news about Donald Trump, and last but not least,

Under NO circumstances be tempted to buy Fire And Fury – Inside the White House by Michael Wolff

Any thoughts on this post are most welcome. I hope your goals for the coming year come to fruition!


8 thoughts on “News and Plans for 2018

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