2015: The Greatest Hits

Snow Jabba
Snow Jabba says ‘Hug me – it’s Christmas!’

Hello, my lovelies!

The snow has all gone (for the moment) and Jabba the Hutt, lovingly moulded by the Painter family has sadly melted away… However, school has finished and pre-Christmas holiday excitement is in full force around here!

I love the turn of the year and the chance to reflect on the previous twelve months. It’s been pretty wonderful both personally and professionally and I’m so very grateful.

InTheLightofWhatWeSeeMy agent sold my dual narrative novel, In The Light of What We See.  It’s out in April 2016 in paperback, ebook and audiobook, and I can’t wait!

Earlier in the year, I wrote (and had published) a Pendleford novella The Garden of Magic.

I also finished the first draft of my urban fantasy and started another book. And I’ve got an idea for series which is tugging at my sleeve. Hush now, series idea, you’ll have to wait your turn…

 

 

 

theworriedwriter_300I started a podcast and have been amazed and delighted by the lovely authors who have given up their time to be interviewed for the show. It’s been wonderful to hear from fellow writers (from those just starting out to the very experienced), and I’ve been so touched by all the positive comments and support for the show. I hope to make it bigger and better in 2016 and have lots of plans to make the site www.worriedwriter.com an even-more valuable resource.

I have ordered a shiny new planner for next year and am excited about making plans and setting goals for 2016.

My main plan, as in previous years, will be to write as much as possible. Ideally, I want to write/finish three novels, but as long as I’m working hard and creating lots, I will be happy.

I also wanted to say a big ‘thank you’ for visiting and reading, and for all your kind words over the year. THANK YOU!

Happy holidays to you all!

 

Holiday fun and novella news

Well, I’m FINALLY allowed to tell you all that I have a new book coming out. Yay!

It’s just a short one (a novella, in fact) and is a prequel to The Language of Spells. It’s called The Garden of Magic and I believe it’s out next month (I will let you know exact date when I am given it).

I’ve had quite a few messages from readers (thank you!) asking for more from Iris Harper (who we get to know through her journals in The Language of Spells) so when Carina asked me to write a novella, I thought it would be fun to get to know her better. I really hope you like it!

In other news, I took a week off. Yes, a whole week with no editing, no writing and precious little internet time (how did I cope?!).

Truth be told, I was feeling a little frayed around the edges before the holiday, and I feel so much better for the break. We did lots of lovely family stuff, including a hill walk in the beautiful Glen Clova, a visit to these fine silver beasts, and a roller disco. Yes, you read that right; I donned wrist guards (the caution of age) and some bad-ass black rollerboots and whizzed around a darkened hall for a happy couple of hours. It was brilliant!

The Kelpies
The Kelpies against a grey sky – it’s summer here, honest.

I hope you are having a good summer and, as always, thank you for reading!

Extreme cuteness AKA dog sitting

The summer holidays have landed here in sunny Scotland and to kick off the festivities we borrowed a dog.

Maisie is my mum’s super-cute Jackadoodle and the children had a blast looking after her. I’ve stolen this photo from my mum’s blog so that you can see the extreme cuteness:

Maisie Expectant

 

I had to use mum’s picture on account of all my attempts to capture Maisie’s image turned out like this:

 

Maisie-dog is not a fan of sitting still.
Maisie-dog is not a fan of sitting still.

That dog is fast.

However, although the weekend was high on walkies and playing fetch, it was low on words written.

Back to it…

 

 

 

More France! So pretty…

As promised, here are a few more pictures from my trip to France.

The Dordogne in June is very green – every hill is thickly wooded and the hedgerows bursting with plant life. The landscape is a sea of undulating slopes, dotted with picturesque cottages: It’s like the West Country on steroids.

beynac_small

When you get close the main rivers, though, the Dordogne and the Vézère, you find deep gorges and mighty bridges, plus towering limestone cliffs, studded with castles of various ages and stages of ruination.

ruin_small

 

Around each corner you might find a medieval village full of fairy tale houses or a beautifully preserved château with turrets and landscaped gardens.

Castelnaud was a big hit with the family, due to its extensive collection of medieval weapons.
Castelnaud was a big hit with the family, due to its extensive collection of medieval weapons. Like them, it looks so sweet and innocent from the outside…

 

 

Perfect house is perfect... Sigh.
Perfect house is perfect… Sigh.
In a quiet corner of Sarlat.
In a quiet corner of Sarlat.

 

As always, I was captivated by the pretty windows and doors, but somehow I failed to take as many pictures of them as I usually do… However, I did manage to snap these pretty curved shutters:

Fairy tale window.
Fairy tale window, complete with ivy.

 

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed my holiday snaps!

A Week In France

Hello! I’m back!

I can now reveal that my week of internet silence (offline for a whole seven days – gasp!) was spent in sunny France. In the Dordogne to be precise. To be even more precise, we stayed in a lovely cottage:

 

LaFermette2

 

It has beautiful gardens with a small river and a swimming pool, and is on the edge of a village which is set against a limestone cliff with buildings cut into the side of the rock. Very cool:

village2

 

And it was glorious. I didn’t write a single word and I feel rested and refreshed.

The food was, as you’d expect, delicious. After a week in France, my body composition is now: 50% bread, %30 cheese, 10% wine and 10% these little beauties…

Macarons. They taste EVEN BETTER than they look. And, yes, this is a stock photo. None of our macarons stayed around long enough to get photographed.
Macarons. They taste EVEN BETTER than they look. And, yes, this is a stock photo. None of our macarons stayed around long enough to get photographed.

 

Look out for a more picture-heavy post later in the week, but for now I must attend to my neglected WIP. Allons-y!

[Macaron Image Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos]

Friday Five: The Summer Holiday Edition

hyperbole book

I had planned to show you pretty pictures from my holiday last week. Yes, my writing cave was situated on the west coast of Scotland, surrounded by breathtaking scenery and beautiful (and beautifully quiet) beaches. *

However, technology is thwarting me today. Maybe next week?

Of course, as soon as I returned to the land of Wi-Fi, I immediately read the internet. All of it. Here are some carefully selected links so you don’t have to…

1. I love it when author Laini Taylor talks about the craft or practicalities of writing – she’s always eloquent and inspiring. This piece on Writers With Kids and what that means day-to-day is a little bit humbling (man, some people work really freaking hard), but it’s also comforting to know that many other folk are trying/struggling to fit creative work around family life.

2. Another of my must-reads is Chuck Wendig. His writing advice is profane, profound and very funny. This piece: So You Just Had Your Book Published really resonated with me. I wonder why?

3. YA author Karen Mahoney is running another of her supportive writing challenges on her blog during August. If you’ve got a writing goal in mind and want to join a group for cheer-leading and support, head over here to sign up.

4. I just discovered Thug Kitchen. It’s not safe for anyone who is offended by swearing, but those who like their vegetarian recipes yelled at them in an amusingly offensive way, click away. Plus, the food sounds really good. I’m planning to try these smokey bean and spinach burgers ASAP.

5. You guys know the insanely-talented  Hyperbole and a Half  (Allie Brosh), right?  Well, she has a book coming out. Hurrah! Pre-order it here.

* Don’t worry, I took my family to the cave (AKA holiday cottage), too. I’m not that mean.