Day #3

And it’s DAY 3!!!

I finished at 3,358 words yesterday. Hit the target but was 200 words shy of reaching 1,667 words for the day. I’m currently at 4,472. With 34 minutes remaining…

I miss my buffer.

This morning I learnt not to fall asleep mid thought. I’ve completely blanked and had to write around whatever it is I was trying to say, which was interesting to say the least.

Today’s words are coming slower than yesterday, probably because I slept in. But the aim is to see out today with at least 5,001 words if not a few more.

I jumped ahead a bit in the story and the plan is to fill in the gaps tomorrow.

Suffice to say it’s been an interesting three days so far. My characters have been misbehaving and are taking me along for the ride.

Goodbye Autumn

It’s Friday… finally. The end of another working week… for some and for others like me it’s the end of the school week which means… for me that my kids will with absolute certainty steal the computer out from under me to play whatever PC orientated game they can find while I concoct devious ways of luring them away from the PC so I can write.

Oh, the life of a mum of four. It’s hell I tell you. Send wine and chocolate. Actually scrap the wine and send Chardonnay, cause I hate wine and beer. Actually most alcohol. Unless it’s Baileys or Writer’s Tears. Yes! Look it up that stuff exists. Cost a small fortune. But it was worth it.

Because… Writer’s Tears… enough said.

I digress.

Winter is coming and truth be told I love Winter. I get to pile on the blankets without apologising. I’m always cold.

And with Winter comes birthdays along with anniversaries of things that I’d sooner forget because no matter how hard I try I’m almost always a wreck by July 24th.

Life is fleeting and I’m trying to not let it pass me by. I’m trying to get my words out into the world.

It’s really all I’ve got tonight.

Oh, and this rose from my garden.

Isn’t it pretty? I’ve been promising myself a red rose for years, partly because I loved the rose garden in my parents backyard and partially because I just love red roses.

I Wasn’t Planning to Take a Break, But…

The internet went out and I had no choice.

And of course I had no contest pre written and there’s only so much cell data available on my mobile phone.

So, I’d love to say I’ve been busy writing up a storm, but sadly no internet meant my kids didn’t quite know what to do with themselves and I had to deal with the cries of boredom.

But it wasn’t a total loss and some new words have been written. And some editing got done on two stories which means everything is moving forward.

While I was away, I did create a group where fans of my work can gather. I’m hoping to grow my readership and this seemed like a logical first step.

You can find the link here. It would mean a lot if you joined. And there’ll be a sneak peek for my upcoming novelette Pendragon coming very soon if you do decide to join, which won’t be shared anywhere else!

200 Followers

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Thank you all so much. You guys are beyond awesome! It’s been an incredible nine months since I hit my last milestone and so humbling to find myself at 200 followers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking with me.

I vowed back in June 2018 that I’d share more about my writing journey and my kids. I think I’ve succeeded in sharing more about my writing but not so much about my kids.

So, I thought I’d use this post to share a bit about the other side of my life, as a mum to four kids. Yep, four… crazy, right? It comes as a shock to some, actually. In fact, I’m asked a lot how I keep my sanity. Sometimes, I don’t. But sleep helps, that and copious amounts of coffee.

I love my kids to pieces, but they do at times drive me up the wall. My husband too, at times, but I guess that comes with the territory.

My eldest son is thirteen… a teenager, and it hasn’t sunk in yet. He’s outgrown me. (That hasn’t quite sunk in, either) I still find myself thinking of him as the same kid who surprised us all by reading at three and a half. He received Harry Potter at seven and devoured the books in quick succession. He’ll still pick them up and reread them to this day. He hates having to clean his room.

My daughter is quite a bit like me. She came into the world incredibly early, at not even a kilo and has left her mark every day since. At eleven she’s an absolute riot. Loves cats, horses and origami and hates the colour pink. Which according to her brother is the weirdest thing ever.

My next eldest son is ten and insanely smart and sometimes frustrating bundle of energy. I think he learnt to run before he learnt to walk, because he never stops. He loves Lego and minecraft and anything and everything space related and is slowly getting into fantasy books. He hates stir-fry and homework.

My youngest son is eight and has never quit trying to keep up with his older siblings. He loves trains, Peter Rabbit and Groot from the Marvel universe. His favourite colour is green. He’s broken bones and had stitches but I can’t think of a single thing he hates right now, when I do, I’ll be sure to share.

And that’s pretty much the snapshot into my kids and each of their very different personalities.

 

Popular Hashtags For Writers

21A34B13-D7BF-4314-A2AC-BD1996B9A506.jpegDo you ever find yourself wondering what writerly hashtags to use on Instagram and twitter? If the answer is yes, then look no further. 

I’ve compiled a list that might help you navigate the never ending sea of confusion that surrounds hashtags.

Popular Hashtags For Writers

#AmEditing – a short version of “I am editing”

#AmWriting – a short version of “I am writing”

#AmReading – a short version of “I am reading”

#WritersWrite

#WritersRead

#IndieAuthors – independent authors need to use social media in their marketing strategy.

#NaNoWriMo – national novel writing month

#PubTip – publication tips

#SelfPublishing

#StoryStarter – a prompt for starting a story

#WordCount – used by writers who want to share their writing progress

#WIP – work in progress

#WritersBlock – used by writers who are suffering from writers block

#WritersLife  – used by writers to add insight into life as a writer

#WritingPrompt – the perfect hashtag if you’re looking for inspiration

#WritingTip or #WritingTips or #WriteTip – used by writers who want to share tips about writing

#WriterMum or WriterMom – used by female writers who are also parents

#WritersfollowWriters – used for writers to follow other writers

#WritershelpingWriters

#WritingCommunity

There’s plenty more… like for example….

Day of the Week Hashtags

#MotivationMonday

#TeaserTuesday

#WIPWednesday

#ThrowbackThursday

#FollowFriday

#Caturday

#SundayFunday

Keep checking back, as when I come across other hashtags, I’ll update this post, but this is a good start for any writers out there lost in the sea of hashtags.

The Wild Hunt

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With 24 hours until the Twisted II Release Party, I thought I’d share with you the opening to my short story, The Wild Hunt. It appears in the anthology and ties into the world of my novels in the Eldritch Series.

If you like Celtic Mythology then I hope you’ll enjoy my tale as it’s steeped quite heavily in myth.

Here it is…

The wildwood swelled before my eyes. Fey and beast mingled together so much that it was hard to tell one from the other. The smell of death mixed with blood, dirt and fear, hung heavy in the air. Although the fear that I sensed around me was my own.
Ahead of me, sitting astride a huge black stallion, was my father, Herne. Instead of his usual leather kilt, he wore brown leather pants, while an antlered crown sat atop his head.
My older brother, Kit, sat next to me. The lure of the Wild Hunt bored him. I knew he had participated at least once. He had regaled me with stories that were scary enough I’d had nightmares for weeks afterwards. What was even more frightening to me, was the knowledge that fey couldn’t dream. Or have nightmares, because nightmares were the stuff of dreams. Dreams were mundane things. Human things, or so Kit had told me one night when I’d awoken him with the sound of my screams. I was not human.
Everything about me said faerie, so my ability to dream was strange.

I hope you enjoyed it and please do purchase a copy. My full story clocks in at almost 3,000 words. It will be available on Amazon on Friday, 13th July 2018.

Using Instagram as an Indie Author

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Instagram.

It’s a powerful and fun visual tool. It can help you to promote your books and your author brand. While not as fast paced as Twitter it’s still quite active.

I’ve managed to grow my Instagram account quite steadily over the last year.

Some tricks I’ve learnt during my time on Instagram are:

Post to Instagram at least once a day.

I’ve only been posting daily since April but I have seen results.

Don’t be afraid to mix it up. I switch between inspirational writing quotes to inspirational images, writing snippets and character inspiration. Occasionally, I post about my kids. I am a mum after all.

Do keep it on brand and relevant. Of course what’s relevant to you might not be relevant to another writer, but that’s okay.

Share what’s important to you. Your goals and achievements. Big or small. It doesn’t matter.

Don’t be afraid to share yourself with your audience. Whether it be highs or lows. Invite people to know the real you. As much or as little as you want. It’s up to you, but including people in your journey is how you get people to connect because they feel a part of the process and it’s with those connections that you begin to make an impact on somebody else’s life.

Most of all…

Dont forget to have fun!

 

 

100 Followers

wood-3190203_960_720.jpgOMG! Thank you all so much. You guys are awesome! I actually didn’t expect to reach this milestone so soon after I resumed blogging much more often in April. But I have, so thanks.

But, this is not just about the numbers, or the likes, comments or even the follows. It’s about community.

And while I know there’s a few of my followers that probably aren’t writers or authors or even artists, you’ve still taken the time to read my posts and follow me on my journey and listen to what I’ve got to say. And for someone who always hesitates to click PUBLISH every time I finish a blog post that’s a big thing. Huge, even.

So, THANK YOU.

When I started this blog back in 2013, I had a different path for it.  I’d started it with the idea of just sharing my accomplishments as a writer and the odd stories about my kids. And while I know I should continue to perhaps blog about my kids, I do need to share my accomplishments and writing process more.

So, while their won’t be any less of the informative tidbits I’ve been sharing there will be more about me, my kids and my writing. I started publishing in November 2011, which oddly also coincides with when I started writing. I started my writing journey in November 1997. I still have the first story I ever wrote, miracle of miracles it survived to this day despite bad storage methods. Floppy Disks…! Anyone remember those? If you don’t, it’s okay. I’m in my 30s…

Anyway, enough rambling from me. I do hope you stick around though, and continue to enjoy my posts and maybe even find some useful tidbits along the way.

Using Twitter as an Indie Author

twitter-2048133_960_720Twitter.

It’s a powerful tool. It can help you to promote your books and your author brand. It’s also very fast paced. It’s a world which, despite my decent following, I haven’t managed to crack just yet.

But, don’t let my experience (or lack thereof) prevent you from building something great.

Some tricks I’ve learnt during my time on Twitter are:

Post to Twitter at least 3-5 times a day.

This is actually what lets me down. A lot. I don’t post often enough. But being aware of it, means I can correct my posting habits.

The reason here is that you want to be seen. You want people to interact with you and like and retweet your content.

You also want to space your tweets. Being in Australia, I’m at an automatic disadvantage for those connected with me in the Northern Hemisphere. To correct this, I try to post at a time that works for both Southern Hemisphere folk and those in the North too.

I don’t always get it right, but that’s okay.

Retweet and Like other peoples tweets. It’s the simplest way to build connections with other people. Because they will notice and possibly reciprocate in return. Not always, but sometimes. You won’t know if you don’t try it for yourself.

Take the time to comment and reply to people who’ve commented on a tweet you’ve made. No matter how small, the action goes a long way.

Be professional. Have a picture and header that project your brand. Share things that matter. Getting personal is fine. You want your followers to care about you, and your books.

Retweet your own tweets. I’ve found some success with this. Given how face paced Twitter is, tweets do have a tendency to get lost along the way. New followers cross your path daily so it’s definitely something worth doing.

Lastly, don’t give up. Your brand won’t be built in a day. But as long as you commit, even if all you can commit to is one tweet a day.

Social media may seem like a race at times, but it’s really not. As long as your prepared to put in the work. It will pay off.

 

Using Facebook as an Indie Author

facebook-3391214_960_720Facebook.

It’s a powerful tool. It can help you to promote your books and your author brand.

I find it one of the best ways to connect to other people in the writing community.

But knowing how to reach out to your audience on your Facebook page can be a little daunting at first.

So, here’s a few things you might like to think about when creating and growing your own Facebook page.

Know Your Audience

You have to know your audience. Who are your books aimed at? Genre? Age bracket? What makes your brand unique? All of these things matter. Don’t neglect them.

Be Responsive

It’s not just about writing posts it’s about engaging with the people who take the time to comment on those posts. You have to make connections.

Be Consistent

There’s no real secret formula to posting on Facebook pages. Although, I do suggest posting no more than three times a day. Anymore than that and you risk annoying those who have taken the time to like your page.

It’s not rocket science, but these are definitely the best ways to build your brand. I don’t personally pay to boost content on my Facebook author page, but through networking with Facebook groups, and other indie authors who’s pages interest me, I’ve managed to build a page with over 2,500 likes.

What’s up with Social Media?

social-1710317_960_720I came across an interesting post about the pros and cons of social media in a Facebook group earlier that caught my attention. It’s actually what prompted me to write this blog.

Social Media. It’s huge and often daunting.  And sometimes when you’re an indie author and you’re having to do it all, such things can seem a little overwhelming.

But let’s face it, you need a web presence. So you need to be active on some of the social media platforms.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Google. And that’s only the first six off the top of my head.

You might think that you need to have them all. Right? Wrong! But you do need a web presence. Readers need to be able to find you and connect, not just with your books, but with you, the author.

The trick? Start small.

Start with Facebook. Why Facebook and not a website? Simple. Almost everyone already has a Facebook profile.  Setting up a Facebook page, when you already have a Facebook profile is easy. People either love Facebook or hate it. I personally love it.

Limit yourself.

Stick to two social media platforms to start with. That way you don’t get overwhelmed.

If you’ve already got Facebook you’re half way there. As a second I’d suggest Twitter or Instagram. Both have huge followings and are easy to learn the ropes of.

Be present.

There’s no point having a Facebook page, twitter or Instagram if they’re going to sit idle. I suggest posting at least once per day on each platform. It’ll take some time but you’ll eventually learn what works, when your followers are active and what content they enjoy seeing the most.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. And use hashtags. How else are you going to be seen without them?

Interact.

Don’t just post content and expect it to do well. It needs to be engaging. Something other’s will want to click on, and you’ll need to interact with others and comment on their posts. This will also help you to grow your audience and gain a decent following.

There’s a lot more I could write, but I’ll expand on what I’ve written here later. For now, the best course of action would be to think about what social media platforms you deem necessary as an indie author or writer and pick your favourites. Remember, the goal here is to not get overwhelmed, less is more. Later, when you have the hang of it, you can increase your viewership, by adding other platforms.

If you want to see what I’ve done with my social media profiles check out the tips and tricks here:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram