It’s been a long while since I last posted a blog entry and much has happened. It’s been a crazy year so far and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings. The best thing that’s happened this year? I signed with Elephant Tree Publishing, an Australian-based publishing company.
I have written a few books, most of them involving crimes such as murder and kidnapping. There’s never any sunshine and puppy dogs in my work and I get antsy if I can’t kill off a character. My 7-year-old son wants to read my books, of course I say no, totally inappropriate for your age bracket kid. But the other day, I was typing away, not paying any attention to anything but my work in progress when suddenly a little voice screams into my ear “swear word!” I very nearly had a heart attack. I quickly scanned the page, yup there was a swear word alright, plus a death scene. So how much had my little munchkin read? I quickly closed the laptop and asked what he’d seen.
“I can’t tell you,” he whispered, “it’s a swear word.”
“Read anything else?” I asked.
Thankfully not and there were no nightmares about screwdrivers being plunged anywhere. But I think the moral of this story is, always make sure you know where your kids are when you are writing!
Most stories require some degree of research, whether you’re writing a biography or making up a fantasy world or writing a mystery novel, research will help you build your book and round it out.
I am working on my latest crime novel, What Lies Beneath Us and I must admit, I’ve done a fair amount of research for this one. First of all, I have had to familiarise myself with police procedures in general and some specific to Victoria, Australia. I have also had some questions answered by a wonderful police officer who availed themselves to me and my numerous questions, giving me direction and insight into being a police officer and just what it is that they do.
I’ve also included several scenes where autopsies have taken place, which has required in depth research about procedures and the way autopsies are conducted in Victoria. I had help from a very lovely gentleman who gave me some extremely helpful advice.
My philosophy is, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know. If you need help with certain aspects of your story, then go ahead and ask. The worst they can do is say no, they might even say yes!
While having expert help in the field is great, you still need to know what questions to ask in the in the first place. This is where the research comes in. You need to research your autopsy procedures, or whatever you’re writing about, so you have a basic understanding about your subject matter, so you can ask the specialist questions that maybe Google can’t answer but a professional can.
So go on, get stuck into your research. It will make for a more cohesive book, one that your readers can really sink their teeth into.
I’m in the process of writing another novella called Hazard. I’m loving writing this one, it’s a bit of a role reversal for me. Instead of a strong female lead, I’ve written about a strong, yet deeply flawed man. His name is Jasper Larson and he is an alcoholic. But after a terrible incident, he realises that he needs to change, and quickly.
Then he meets another damaged soul, Serena, a woman that he is drawn to and who is drawn to him despite who he is and what he’s done.
I found it easy to write about Jasper’s character as I feltI can draw on my emotions about changing your life. It’s all about transformation and the journey to get to the person you want to become.
I have no idea when it will be released as I have many more to be released before this one, but it is consuming me at the moment so I’ll keep going with it.
Just a quick update on what I’m doing right now. I have recently finished a novella based on the paranormal called The Reckoning.
It’s about a woman called Beth who is in a loveless marriage with Alan. She meets widower Jack, a regular guy with a dark secret and falls in love with him. But is he as regular and as nice as he seems?
Alan becomes convinced that Beth is possessed by a demon due to her happiness for no apparent reason and goes to great lengths to rid her of her demon.
I have to admit that I had a great time torturing people in this story. I was going through a bit emotionally and I took it out on my characters in a variety of gruesome ways.
I’m hoping to release it sometime in 2017.
Last year instead of making a New Year’s resolution, my best friend and I made accomplishment jars. On New Year’s Eve 2016, we opened our accomplishment jars. It put into perspective all of things good things that we’d done and had happened to us throughout the year.
For me it was a big year, I released four books and wrote another nine, which I will release in the coming years. I also reached some milestone sales and met some wonderful people along the way.
Having a great support group helps so much. For me, that’s my family and friends.
So to you all, I say good luck in the coming year and try keeping a record of all the good things that happened to you. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.
Last year I began the self-publishing journey with Little Girl Dead. While writing it, I felt that I had a connection to the main character Lila who was dealing with the death of her daughter. As I wrote her story, I became engrossed in her tale. I needed to know more. So what was supposed to be one book spawned another and then another. So now there are four books in the Little Girl Dead series.
I have just released number two, Little Girl Revenge and I’m very happy with it. It picks up straight after the end of Little Girl Dead and continues across the border into Victoria. I introduce some new characters, one in particular I loved writing. An independent and stubborn girl named Bonnie.
Next year will see book three, Little Girl Silent and hopefully book four, the prequel Little Girl Lonely released. So what started as one turned into a slight obsession to finish Lila’s story. But I got there in the end.
So what’s next? Glad you asked.
In November, I released Severed Heart which is about a woman called Avery who returns to her family farm in New South Wales to deal with issues from her past that are affecting her present. There’s a decade old disappearance case to be solved but how does it tie in with Avery and her family? And will they ever make peace with each other? You’ll have to read it to find out.
This one is set in Howlong, New South Wales and is one of the towns I’ve lived in, as was the Little Girl Dead series, which takes you from New South Wales to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and back again and a few other places in between. I’ve moved around a lot so there’s always inspiration to be had.
I’ve got a few other books in the works, but so far I only have plans to release the conclusion of the Little Girl Dead series next year. I will post release dates as soon as I figure them out.
On Saturday 3rd December, I will be having a book signing of Severed Heart in Sunbury, Victoria. I am so excited as this is my favourite book so far. I left my heart on the floor with this one. It’s set in rural New South Wales at the farm that I grew up on. It’s a cozy mystery with a little bit of everything in it that I hope people will enjoy.
The cost is $12.99 for a signed paperback or for those who prefer a digital copy, it’s on Amazon for $5.99. If you can’t make it to the market, don’t worry, you haven’t missed out, just contact me and I’ll organise it to be mailed to you.
At the same market, I will also be signing a new erotic book that I co-authored with my best friend Tarnia Evans. It’s very different from the crime and mystery that I normally write, but I thought “why not?” So if you want seduction with a storyline, pick up a copy of Fire and Rain for yourself or a loved one for $12.99 for a paperback and again, on Amazon for $5.99.
I have written a few books, most of them involving crimes such as murder and kidnapping. There’s never any sunshine and puppy dogs in there and I get antsy if I can’t kill off a character. My 7-year- old son wants to read my books, of course I say no, totally inappropriate for your age bracket kid. But the other day, I was typing away, not paying any attention to anything but my work in progress when suddenly a little voice screams into my ear “swear word!” I very nearly had a heart attack. I quickly scanned the page, yup there was a swear word alright, plus a death scene. So how much had my little munchkin read? I quickly closed the laptop and asked what he’d read.
“I can’t tell you,” he whispered, “it’s a swear word.”
“Read anything else?” I asked.
Thankfully not and there were no nightmares about screwdrivers being plunged anywhere. I think the moral of this story is, always make sure you know where your kids are when you are writing!
It’s been a busy couple of months for me. Apart from the usual mumming jobs, I’ve been working on getting my new book Severed Heart polished and ready for release. I’m so happy with this book, it’s my favourite so far and has a lot of heart and soul in it. As always, I thank the wonderful people in my life who are always there with encouraging words and boosts of confidence right when I seem to need it most. I had the new cover sent over today and I couldn’t be happier with it. I love it! Hopefully it will be release mid-October but we’ll just have to see what else crops up in the meantime.