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So, it’s 2022.

What’s up and coming for the year? New Year’s resolutions?

I haven’t made much progress on Princess of Lilies, since the last time I posted, so that’s definitely up and coming. The first draft is written, so I guess it’s time to start the editing process. Might also be time to go back to Riverside Stories (that shameless marketing ploy where I post short stories based in the Golwerra universe just to draw attention to the first novel) and finish those off.

Thinking of becoming an artist too. Paint pouring. Probably easier on the podcasts than it is in real life.

And: Hawk Ridge.

Huh? Fair question. Well, watch this space (assuming that anybody actually does watch this space…)

The Princess of Lilies

So, it turns out I did write the next Golwerra novel in November of 2020. Just finished it a couple of weeks ago. And indeed, it has been a while since I last wrote anything here. But – you’ve probably noticed – we’re living in interesting times these days.

The latest novel in the series is called the Princess of Lilies (or at least it is so far), and it follows and retells the story from the point of view of Saldrian’s wife Amberglild, telling her origin story, the Price of Blood from her point of view, and also carrying the story on a bit further. It’s kinda long at the moment – at least compared to The Price of Blood – at 200,000 or so words, but I imagine I will cut that back a bit when I move onto the editing stage.

In the meantime, I remain an editor for EDF, work in an office by day, and continue to be surrounded by cats.

I’m planning on shortly (in the next week or so) posting a novel I wrote last year as a serial on ABC tales. I’ve been calling it Webworld so far, but I’m not sure if I’m going keep that title.

And what to next? Well, I’m considering a romance novel for this November, and I’ve started some tentative work on a D&D module. We’ll see how those go…


But wait, you say, it’s December already.

Well, yes it is. But back in November – you know, yesterday – I embarked upon another year of NANO WRIMO. My story this year was a short novel about a couple – young and newly in love in 1987, and older, facing a cancer diagnosis in 2019. The idea was for the older version of this couple to be returning to a cabin they first holidayed in when they were young, with the narrative jumping between the 80s and the present.

It didn’t go too badly, I don’t think, but I encountered a new (first world) problem this year: story finished, with a couple of thousand words still short. I decided it was probably not cheating to start up a short story, set in the same small town, and incorporating events from the little novel, which at the moment is still being called First and Lasts, but a formal title yet to be settled on.

Next year: it might be time to write volume two of the Golwerra chronicles? Maybe?

Welcome to the Slush Pile

So, a few weeks ago, I saw a post on Every Day Fiction, looking for a volunteer slush reader.

Now, I’ve read that slush reading is a great way to improve your own writing, and you know, all that power – does this story get a 1, does this story get a 5? Yay or Nay? So I applied. And for reasons unbeknownst to any but they, the good folk at EDF accepted my application.

A couple of hundred stories later, I’m caught up on my backlog…

(Me: I don’t see any stories for me to slush read yet.

Editor: No worries, I’ll assign you a few.

Me: * looks at 102 stories in queue* Okay, then)

…and I’m finding this really interesting. Not just reading the stories but also seeing what the other slush readers and editors have to say about them. Perhaps my tastes are a little bit… odd? unusual? screwy? because I’ve noticed some quite dramatic differences between some of the ratings I’ve given a story, and the ratings given by others staff. It’s true what they say, you can see this (often intangible) different between the ones that are good to go, and the ones that aren’t – it just turns out I don’t see it in quite the way everybody else does.

No accounting for taste, right?

And the lesson learned: write anything, write everything, play with it, experiment, send it to someone. You never know when you’ll run into an editor with some really odd taste in literature.

Why isn’t Anybody Reading It?

So.  This e-book.  The Price of Blood.  Book One of the Golwerra Stories.  Why isn’t anybody reading it?.

I was a good little author, I wrote, I edited, I edited again, I researched publishing ebooks, I checked my novel for errors and inconsistencies, I created a cover, I published the thing.  I did my bit.  But where are all the readers eager to fork over their $US3.00 to read it?.

Since publishing my ebook, a couple of months ago, it has been bought by a grand total of two people (one of them is my  husband, just making sure it works) and the other one…?.

You know you don’t even have to pay money for it.  If you belong to “Kindle Unlimited” you can borrow it and I still get paid for whenever you read a page (so flick through the whole thing, even if it sucks)..

So what have I learned from this?  Not regrets.  I’ll do it again.  But it does appear that marketing is key – my few links from stories on ABC Tales, and a tweet about its existence don’t appear to be sufficient.  So next step: coming up with a marketing strategy that works….

The E-Book

Okay, so you may not know it, but this has been a long time coming.

Perhaps somebody out there has been reading my occasional notes regarding the editing of this book. Well, at last, it’s here. The Price of Blood (Book One of the Golwerra Stories) has finally made its way on to Amazon.

It’s taken a bit of doing, from the writing (started about ten years ago) to the editing, to the cover art, to the navigation of KDP to the eventual hitting of the little Publish button.

This is a fantasy novel, set in the fictional kingdom of Golwerra, where a young nobleman, Saldrian Larrancost, awaits execution for the (mostly) crimes of his family. It’s about his friendships with the king, with the servant who brings his meals, with a woman who comes to the well beneath his window and is not all she seems; also about his wife, his cousins, the kingdom and the civil war being fought for it. And yes, this is book one, it’s my hope that books two, three and four will follow in its wake. So keep watching…

So has anybody bought this book yet? Maybe you’d like to be the first…? Anybody…? Anybody at all…?

Ah, well…


Or to be more exact. Bonsai: Best Small Stories from Aotearoa New Zealand.

This book of about 200 short stories has just come out in the shops. I’ve been waiting a couple of years.

But to begin at the beginning. Flash Frontier. Best known as one of the few sites that will actually accept any of my work. Three stories published there: The Great Race; Treasure Chest; Memories. A couple of years ago the good people at Flash Frontier decided to create an anthology, and The Great Race was among the stories selected.

Time passed. And then the book launch was scheduled for September 2. Some speakers, a few readings, a photo, and some snacks. A good crowd attended, and there were plenty of copies floating around. And now those are out in the world. So check them out. Particularly page 113; you definitely want to check that out.

The Tidy-up

So I had a look at my website today, and noticed that as usual, it’s way out of date, and a bit of a patchwork of disaster mixed with catastrophe.  I’m years behind with linking to my stories.  But-  But-  You see, in my defence, there are about 200 of them out there.  That’s a lot of links.

It is for this reason that I have decided to redesign my stories page to a more manageable format.  The stories are all still out there and linked to, but rather than linking to them individually I’m just linking to the site where they can found (and in most cases to my profile/content on that site.)  The good news is that it seems to have more or less worked (and this is without my having to call on my beloved Tech Support for assistance.)

In regards to that novel: you remember that rash New Year’s resolution about self-publishing it.  Well, I’m working on it.  I feel as if the editing is about as good as it’s going to get, a bit of grammar and spell-checking, a few names to change (a lot of main characters do seem to have names starting with ‘A’).  So onto the research.  And it seems as if self-publishing a novel is both a lot easier and a lot harder than I had anticipated.  I mean you can certainly go to Amazon and click on a button to publish stuff.  But there seem to be a bunch of steps that need going through after that, and the tutorial isn’t as fine on the detail as I’d like: things like dimensions and resolution of cover pages, formatting details, tax information etc.  I suspect the only way to do this is just step by step through the process as I go…

Oh, well, another six months and two weeks before I have to have it all figured out.


So today is Easter Sunday. Today is also the 1st of April (April Fools Day). How often has that happened?

I said to my husband today: guess what day is it is? Easter Sunday. I got you some Easter eggs. Oh wait, guess what day it is too? April Fools Day. Psych!

(Okay, so I did get him eggs. I’m not that mean.)

Daylight saving ends today in NZ as well. So put your clocks forward an hour tonight.

April Fool! (They went back an hour).

And 2018 Begins a New Year

So once again I notice this: it’s been while since my last post. Since somewhere in the depths of 2016 there have been more stories, a couple of novels, some promised formatting that has gone undone. The weeds have grown, and while I hope some of them are wild and pretty, well… maybe they’re not.

NANO-WRIMO having been and gone, another novel has been added to the collection. A short novel this time that sits outside my usual style and genre – a romance entitled The Bakery Girl, in which a young man begins a tentative relationship with the woman at the bakery who always saves him the best muffins. Things become complicated by his own family dramas when he discovers his estranged sister is his new girlfriend’s flatmate. Not sure if or what I’ll do with this one as yet, being too short for most markets. Considering The People’s Friend Pocket Novel as a potential market option.

Indeed, while I continue to pursue my unrequited quest for professional publication, I take comfort in the few (non-pro) markets where I can continue to strut my stuff. ABC Tales (which didn’t, by the way, close down at the end of 2016) provides me with attention and confidence, along with Every Day Fiction and Flash Frontier. I remain hopeful of another story one day in 365 tomorrows. Small victories – like the cherries I’ve been getting on ABC Tales lately – make a big difference in this line of activity.

I made a New Year’s resolution this year: to self-publish online my novel of the working title: The Prisoner in the Tower. I intend to embark any day now on the third round of editing. I wish myself luck.