Authors For Nepal

firststepsFollowing the tragic earthquake in Nepal, author Julia Williams has set up a charity auction to raise money for the relief effort.

Loads of authors, editors and agents have donated fabulous prizes, including signed books, illustrations, mentoring and manuscript appraisals, book swag and more.

The auction is live on eBay  now and all funds raised will go to Earthquake Relief for Nepal which has been set up by First Steps Himalaya. The charity works closely on the ground, so the money will go where it is needed most.

And since Nepal suffered a second earthquake this week, the money being raised is more important than ever.

I’ve donated a six month mentoring package, ideal if you want hands-on support from a friendly and motivational author (me!) to achieve your creative goals. The package includes monthly email contact, three live sessions (via Skype or telephone) and up to 10,000 words of your work read/critiqued.

Whether you want to overcome self-doubt and procrastination to establish a regular writing routine, help with crafting your story and creating memorable characters, or advice on polishing your submission package,  I can help.

Please visit the auction, bid if you can, and spread the news far and wide.

Thank you!


Authors for the Philippines

phil_badge11In 2011, following the Japanese tsunami, YA author Keris Stainton, set up a charity auction called Authors For Japan. She raised £13,000 to help those in dire need.

In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, she’s doing it again. Authors for the Philippines is live now. You can bid to win amazing books, swag, author critiques and more, and all the money raised goes directly to the Red Cross Typhoon Haiyan Appeal.

The auction ends at 8pm on Wednesday 20th November and new items are being added all the time (including a little something from yours truly). Please head over and check it out.

Thank you.

Friday Five: Wunderlist, books and do-goodery

Goodness, it’s Friday already.

1. I love this by Nathan Bransford (ex-literary agent turned author). It’s the publishing process in GIF form. Very funny.

2. I saw this on Twitter (via Chris Addison, I think) and it’s a great (and hassle-free) bit of do-goodery. Mothers and children who have escaped domestic abuse and are spending Christmas in a refuge are likely to have fled their homes in a hurry leaving even the essentials behind. You can provide a gift for a child who would otherwise have nothing on Christmas day.

3. Laini Taylor’s follow up to Daughter of Smoke and Bone is out next month (8th November in the UK). It’s called Days of Blood and Starlight and I can’t wait!

4. (And 5. It’s that good).

I’m a list kind of girl (can’t you tell?!) and have always kept to-do lists on scrappy bits of paper and in notebooks. However, all that has now changed. Keris wrote about Wunderlist – a brilliant (and free) cross-platform application earlier in the week and I’m very, very grateful.

I’m in love. It has a neat and attractive interface, is simple to use, and it syncs between your devices so you can keep your list updated on your phone, Mac, PC, netbook, tablet, whatever.  You can have as many different lists as your organised little heart desires, swapping tasks easily between them. You can also click to view only the tasks for that day (or week), safe in the knowledge that you’re not going to forget anything because it’s in your ‘master list’. Oh, my stars; I feel faint.

Also, and fellow list-makers will understand this, it executes a pleasing ‘strikethrough’ when you tick something off and stores  it at the bottom of the screen under ‘completed tasks’.

In all seriousness, I’ve been more organised and productive in the last couple of days than I’ve been all month. I’ve even remembered to post my Friday Five!*

*Okay, Friday Four. Nobody’s perfect.

Friday Five: The gratitude edition

My office immediately after installation. The surrounding has since been prettified and I have a step in front of the door.

I’ve sent the rewrite to my brilliant agent, had a relaxing day out with my Mum yesterday, it’s almost the weekend, and I’m feeling very grateful for my life. Happy Friday all!

1. Oh, my office, how I love thee. I love stepping out of the house and actually *going* to work. I love the peace and quiet. I love that I can surround myself with MY things. I love the fact that my overflowing desk, piles of paper and massive desktop PC are no longer in the bedroom. Happy sigh.
2. The beautiful ‘office-warming’ gifts that I’ve received from family and friends. Honestly, I have been utterly spoilt and I’m so touched. Thank you! Thank you!
3. I’m grateful for this mad urge to write things down, create things, make stuff up. Even on a bad day, there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing and that, in itself, is incredibly lucky.
4. I’m grateful that other people – far more talented and imaginative than I – have this same urge. Quite apart from my life-long love affair with books, books, and more books, I’m loving (adoring, worshipping) the new Doctor Who. Haven’t ever watched it? Haven’t tried the reboot? Never fear, you can just jump in, but if you want a guide author Joe Hill has compiled one here.
5. I’m grateful for my husband and children. Soppy? Yes. But truer than true.

No More Page 3

Lucy Ann-Holmes has started a campaign to get The Sun to drop the out-dated and offensive page 3. I’ll be honest, I’ve been dealing with the reality of page 3 by pretending that it doesn’t exist, but that’s not helpful. And it’s not going to halt the sexual objectification of women (something that has been proven to contribute to violence against women), either.

So. Please read Lucy’s excellent piece here and then go sign the petition. Thank you!

Stop Press! Lucy’s campaign has been featured in The Huffington Post. Fabulous. Let’s do this thing!

Also, Keris Stainton wrote a wonderful, personal piece about the campaign here.