Rewriting and Recovering


Hello, my lovelies.

After boasting that I had finished my latest book, rewrites appeared from my editor, and I had to re-open the document and get back to work. I was expecting edits, of course, but they coincided with a busy time personally (I help out with my the local youth theatre group and it’s been the lead-up to show week) and a teensy fainting episode which resulted in me bashing my head.

In case you missed it, I did a short ‘update’ episode of my podcast, The Worried Writer, at the beginning of the month: The Worried Writer #21: Deadlines and Mild Concussion

I have been off the internet and social media in an effort to focus on my book and get the rewrites done by the deadline and it’s been very helpful. Much as I love the internet (and I do, truly, love it!) it was good to take a step back and reduce the number of external voices in my head. Especially with the turbulent (and terrifying) political times of the last couple of weeks.

I’ve also done lots of reading, which is always a good thing.

I will have to put together a ‘recommendations’ post soon, but for now I’m currently enjoying The Outrun by Amy Liptrot.

Also, a quick reminder that The Language of Spells is now available in audio format. If you don’t already have an Audible account, you can sign for up for a one-month free trial and get it completely gratis! (Or any other audiobook you fancy, of course).

The Language of Spells: Audible UK                      Audible US

Personally, I love audiobooks and if you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them!

And, as always, thank you for visiting.

Hello, February! Writing, Podcasting and Investigating Book Swag

Hello, my lovelies!

Just a quick update to let you know that I’m still here – I’ve just been buried in my Scrivener document, trying to get a first draft finished. I’m working on a follow-up (standalone novel in the same genre) to In The Light of What We See and it has swallowed my brain!


If you’re interested in an audio update on my writing life (complete with a croaky, cold-choked voice), my latest podcast episode is up here. It also features an interview with creative coach, Mark McGuinness, and we discuss motivation, meditation and smashing through creative blocks.

I’m also getting very excited about my next book launch. In The Light of What We See will be published in two months time (meep!) and I’ve been researching ‘book swag’ for giveaways. This mainly involves losing hours to the delights of Etsy. It’s a hard life…

I’m rather fond of these miniature book pendants by NickyDrawStuff:



And these lockets by NovelDesignsUK:



Both sellers offer custom design (so I could get some made with my book cover).

I’m also looking into printed canvas shopping/tote bags and notebooks.

What do you think? Got any book swag recommendations or suggestions?





Starting A New Book: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


Hello, my lovelies!

I had such grand plans for October.

I was going to finish the second draft of my supernatural/fantasy book and send it to my agent. I was going to start the first draft of a new book. I was going to update this blog regularly, take a week off with my family, sort out some DIY tasks, and, in all likelihood, solve the global warming crisis at the same time. In other words, I succumbed to the ‘do all the things’ trap. My perfectionist side likes to do this every so often – it piles on the pressure and watches the inevitable meltdown with a giant carton of popcorn. Sigh.

This was probably a result of finishing the old book completely and finally (copy edits done!) and not having started the new one. After a few weeks of panic (I’ll never have another idea! I’ll never finish another book! The others were flukes!) I settled back to work. And nothing happened. Even if I managed to write, it came out stilted and weird.

First I bullied myself (‘you must write 2000 words today or else’) and my brain froze and refused to work at all. Then I took a week off to read and watch films and walk and think and, by the end, my creative mind was beginning to wake up and send me little snippets.

Today, I finally seem to be in the zone. I have a couple of characters I adore and a ‘feeling’ which, for me, is the most important part. The relief is enormous!

In other news, it appears to be the end of October. If you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year, I wish you lots of luck (and words – lots and lots of words!). I won’t be taking part officially, but I will be trying to write as much as possible on my first draft. I’ll aim for 30,000 and will check in here throughout the month. Do feel free to set any goals in the comments, so that we support each other during November!

theworriedwriter_300Finally, if you haven’t tried my free podcast, yet; do consider checking out the latest interview with Joanna Penn (from The Creative Penn). If you need inspiration to get more productive or to follow your writing dreams, Joanna’s energy and enthusiasm may be just what you need.

Episode #08: The Worried Writer: Joanna Penn ‘I Measure My Life by What I Create’ 

Alternatively, if you’re struggling with getting words down at all and are in a writing slump, this post may help: The Only Way To Defeat A Bad Writing Day

Behind the scenes in The Garden of Magic and an interview

First off, a huge thank you to everyone who has bought, reviewed, or spread the word about The Garden of Magic. I am so grateful. The truth is, without reader support I don’t get to do this, so THANK YOU!

I snapped this house (while on holiday in Wiltshire) as it's just the way I pictured Jon's house in Pendleford.
I snapped this house (while on holiday in Wiltshire) as it’s just the way I pictured Jon’s house in Pendleford.

If you wish to peek behind the scenes for some of my inspiration for The Garden of Magic, you might like this book board on Pinterest.

The very beautiful Bradford-On-Avon was my model for Pendleford, and you can read more about how I chose the setting here.

In other news, there’s an interview with me in the latest episode of the Joined Up Writing Podcast. It’s my first time as a guest and I was, predictably enough, super-nervous. Wayne and Leah (the hosts) were great, though, and we had a lovely chat.

Finally, a quick squeak of excitement:

The Language of Spells was in the Kindle Daily Deal on Friday and it got to number two in the romantic comedy chart and number 22 overall on Amazon UK! Meep!

TLOS_21Aug_2romanticchartRight. That’s enough trumpet-blowing. As you were…






Wait… What happened to June?

Goodness, where did that month go?!

In Scotland the schools break up at the beginning of July so it has been a whirlwind of end-of-term activities (including a school awards evening for my daughter and an emotional last-day-of-primary for my son) and a race-to-finish as much work as possible before the summer holiday.

I will, of course, still be working throughout the six weeks, but I’m planning to move at a slightly slower pace and to allow time for impromptu days out and fun activities. I’m also taking a complete break next week as my lovely husband is on holiday and I can’t wait!

I’m also looking forward to catching up on my reading. I brought this haul home from the library (and my parents’s bookshelves) the other day. Yay!


In other news, Episode 5 of The Worried Writer podcast is up. It features an interview with fellow Carina author, Annie Lyons, and we talk about writing routines, dealing with criticism, pre-publication nerves and comfort blankets. Hope you like it!


The Language of Spells paperback, interview with Julie Cohen and a giveaway

bestsellingebook.jpgHello, my lovelies. How are you all doing?

This week has been both wonderful and a tiny bit stressful. Some of the stuff I can’t tell you (yet!), but I can share that my debut The Language of Spells is now out in paperback. Yay!

My author copies haven’t arrived, yet, but I’m super-excited. I can’t wait to hold my book baby in my arms (yes, writers are nuts).

The Authors For Nepal auction is winding down, having made over £13,000 (at last count). My lot has gone (thank you to all who spread the word/bid) but there’s still time to bid on the last few items.

I also finished a short novella (novelette?), and have been editing an interview I did with CL Taylor for the next episode of The Worried Writer.

ww_episode3_shownotesimage (1)

Speaking of the podcast, have you listened to episode three? There’s a fun interview with Julie Cohen in which we discuss suckage, the importance of failure and knitted owls…  Click here to check it out!

So, to celebrate this random collection of news, I’m going to give away two signed copies of The Language of Spells.

To be in with a chance, just sign up for my (very occasional) newsletter. I’ll pick two names at random from my mailing list on 30th May. Thank you!