Welcome to the World, Leo – WIPpet Special

Leo instigram close upIt’s been more than four months since I last wrote a post for this blog. It seems like a lifetime ago because on the 27th February Nik and I welcomed our beautiful baby boy, Leonidas (Leo for short), into the world. If someone had told me this time last year that in less than twelve months we’d have our long-awaited baby I wouldn’t have believed them. But miracles do happen and our little miracle is having a cuddle with me at the moment.

Leo will be 16 weeks-old tomorrow and the time seems to have flown by. The last four months have been hard work but absolutely magical at the same time. I lost count (by about day two) of how many dirty nappies I’ve changed and I spend most of my time feeding him, but it’s an absolute joy after wanting to be able to do these things for so long. What’s even more exciting is how interactive he now is and how interested he is in us and the world around him. And as for those smiles… just lush.

Car seat smiles instigram

So, my blog has been abandoned for quite a while and I won’t be posting regularly for the foreseeable future (although hopefully I will manage to do occasional posts including another one this week after being invited to take part in Debbie Young’s The Writing Retreat Blog Hop). Instead I want to spend what time I have available (usually when feeding Leo) to continue writing book two of The Time-Shift Trilogy. Which, as today happens to be Wednesday, brings me neatly on to today’s WIPet – admittedly a short extract but it is new stuff from the middle of book two. My WIPpet maths is simple: 1+8 = 9 sentences for the 18th June. This snippet sees Maisie in 1940s London contemplating time-shifting and the adventure she’s had so far.

The four of us fell silent. I scratched the groves of the wooden table with my fingernail. This time-shifting was getting way too complicated. As soon as we’d found one person, someone else would go missing. Wherever we’d been since time-shifting from Danny’s room we’d managed to put other people in danger and it was all my fault. We’d been chased in ancient Rome, nearly caught by Hunters in 1481 and attacked in Roman Chedworth. My heart skipped a beat. “We’re not even safe here. I mean, if Hunters managed to track me and Danny down in Rome and in 1481 Towcester, then they’re going to find us here too.”

By the way it’s good to be back and joining in with WIPpet Wednesday again. I’ve missed you guys. A big thanks as always to K L Schwengel for hosting. If you fancy reading or joining in with the WIPpeteers then click here.

I’ll get round to reading everyone’s WIPpet posts at some point today but that’ll have to be in-between Leo and I heading off to Bristol Zoo on this beautiful sunny morning for a picnic with a couple of friends and their babies. Have a great day everyone!




5 Minutes With… Jade Reyner

AnnMarie 3I’ve only known Jade Reyner for a couple of months but in that time I’ve got to know her via her blog and enjoyed a lovely coffee and a chat with her about writing, our books, hopes and dreams along with fellow writer and friend, Elaine Jeremiah. Not only is she an exciting new author but she’s incredibly supportive too and I was honoured to be her first guest blogger on Wednesday.

Jade published her debut novel, Twelve Days – The Beginning, at the end of April and she’s busy working on its sequel, Twelve Days – The Future. Jade took the time to talk to me about both books, her ideal writing location and exactly just what inspires her…

For anyone who’s not read your debut novel, Twelve Days – The Beginning, how would you pitch it to them?

I would say that it is a hot and spicy romance with an element of thriller and plenty of twists and turns. It’s one that you can’t put down (but then I would say that!)

What books, if any, would you compare it to?

Gosh, that’s tricky as it’s not the sort of book that I have ever read before. It’s kind of a cross genre, sort of Fifty Shades meets Stephen King I suppose.

Can you describe the writing process of Twelve Days from initial idea to finished book.

The plot line for Twelve Days is based on life experiences and those of others that I have met on my journey and is something that has been rattling around in my head for a while. I started a Creative Writing course last year and that gave me the confidence to believe that I could write a novel and so I just sat down and started writing. It only took me a month or so to write, but the cover art, editing etc… all took up more time than I anticipated.

How is work on Twelve Days – The Future coming along and are you finding that because it’s a sequel it makes writing it easier?

Twelve Days – The Future is progressing well, I am about a third of the way through it Cover 2now and it should hopefully be ready late autumn. In some ways it is harder to write a sequel as you have to remember all the details about the characters that you dropped into the first book and make sure that you follow them through – although I feel that I have more freedom with the plot line for this one as this is completely new and is not based on anything other than my imagination.

Where do you write and if you could live anywhere what would be your dream location for writing?

I am very lucky in that I have just had a section of the spare room made into an office space for me so I write from there. In my ideal world I would have my own room overlooking the countryside and it would definitely need to have a field full of cows!

For anyone who’s thinking about self-publishing do you have any tips or advice?

I would say don’t underestimate how long the process takes and be prepared to spend a huge amount of time marketing. This is an area that I am struggling with, as do many self-published authors and for anyone starting out, you have to realise that it is an ongoing journey – even once the book is out there.

Did you write the kind of book you like to read?

At the moment yes, although I have some others in the pipeline which will more than likely stray from my normal reading/writing genre.

What inspires you?

Truthfully, my family. I am blessed with a wonderful support network and without them it wouldn’t be possible to do what I am doing. Their never ending faith in me is what keeps me going.

If you could only take one book to a desert island what would it be and why?

Could I take a trilogy? Wow, that’s a hard question. It would have to be real escapist type book, maybe something by Sylvia Day or Colleen Hoover.

What are your plans once you’ve finished Twelve Days – The Future?

The initial plan is for Twelve Days to be a series and I have plans for two other books in the series featuring two of the other characters. After that, I have two more completely different books in the pipeline so I am hoping to get all six books out there eventually. After that, who knows?

I’ve no doubt that Jade will have all six books out in the not-too-distant future. With her debut published this year and another one due to out in the autumn it’s clear that she’s a hard worker and is certainly not at a loss for inspiration. If you’d like to find out more and follow Jade’s writing journey then she has a great blog where she publishes lots of interesting and informative posts. She can also be found on Twitter @twelvedaysjade and her book is available on amazon.

The Year Ahead

I ordered a 2013 writer’s diary from Mslexia yesterday. My husband has bought me the Mslexia diary every Christmas for the last few years but this year I didn’t want to wait another seven weeks until Christmas Day to get my hands on it and start making plans. The diary is invaluable for writers (or anyone creative for that matter). It has loads of blank pages for scribbling down ideas, a section for keeping track of your submissions, plus plenty of informative and inspiring pages detailing writing competitions, literary festivals and book suggestions. As you can probably tell, it’s the best diary I have ever had.

Ordering the diary late yesterday evening got me thinking about what kind of year 2013 will be writing-wise for me. I’m anticipating that it will be a good year. To begin with I’m going to self-publish my novel, The Butterfly Storm, so that in itself will be a very positive start. I had hoped to publish it before the end of 2012 but life and other writing work has got in the way and delayed things. I also want to do it justice and feel there’s no point in rushing it.

So, with The Butterfly Storm published at the beginning of the year I want to then focus on my second novel, Time Shifters, a time travel adventure story for children. It’s already written and edited, I just need to decide what to do with it – whether to send it out to agents or consider self-publishing it too.

As well as all the promoting and marketing that will be involved following the release of The Butterfly Storm, there’s also other writing work to concentrate on – work that’s actually guaranteed to earn me money such as writing articles, blog posts and online content for easyJet holidays and lowcostholidays.com. Ideally by this time next year (if not before) I would love to be working as a writer full time. Only time and a lot of hard work will tell.

What are your plans, writing or otherwise, for 2013?