There’s going to be a party!!!

Yes, there is. Not today, though. And not tomorrow either. No, this party is going to be on Tuesday. Why Tuesday? Well, that’s the day James Rollins releases his new book, The Devil Colony.

James is a New York Times bestselling author but even that rare breed gets performance anxiety about new releases. So, we want to give him a party. I know parties per se don’t necessarily help with the anxiety, but just think about it. If the launch day goes well, there’ll be champagne!! And if it doesn’t? There’ll STILL be champagne!!! Win-win, methinks!!

So, come Tuesday we’ll all be congregating on Twitter at the #DevilColony hashtag. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it – it’s NEW!! And we’re going to make it FUN. Because, let’s face it, anyone can make a new hashtag. Kristen Lamb is behind this one which makes it pretty cool to start with, but it’s not exactly rocket science (unless you’re using a different keyboard where what’s on the keys doesn’t match what actually happens when you press it. In those cases, it can come close to rocket science. But moving…). So, new hashtag = not hard.



BUT… FUN PARTY FUN??? That takes special people. You need the right blend of smart, attractive and, let’s be honest, WEIRD, to make a fun party.

You know what else you need?


Yes, which is why I’m going to have great fun putting pictures into this post when I’m done with it. I don’t usually do pictures so I expect much encouragement and happiness in the comments. GOT THAT???

But seriously, we’re all having fun with this – putting up pictures on the theme of Devil and seeing what everyone thinks. Well, personally I’m not bothered what anyone else thinks. I’m only going for the champagne. BUT… if you are bothered, there will be judging of said pictures (I think as a whole blog post rather than individually – ‘mmm, yes, this one captures that devilish essence very well, one can almost smell the sulphur’) and there will be a MYSTERY PRIZE. So get going with the camera!!!






Now, if the idea of having some fun isn’t enough to convince you to join this party, how about this? James Rollins, as previously mentioned, is already a bestselling author. Traditionally published and doing well with it, so guess what kind of people will be going to his party? That’s right – IMPORTANT PUBLISHING PEOPLE. Editors, agents, other awesome authors, me… What’s that? What do you mean, I’m not an important publishing person? Oh bugger, the time machine’s gone too far back. I hate it when that happens. No one bows, no one feeds my Chihuahua…



So do up a blog post with stupid entertaining pictures and come along to the party on Twitter at #DevilColony to get virtually tipsy on virtual champagne and mingle with real people. You never know, you might even have… oh, damn, what’s the word again?

Oh yes.


Girl, Interrupted

I went to bed last night wondering what I was going to blog about today. Truth is, I’ve been blogging a lot about writing and it’s not exactly giving the world a well-rounded idea of me. Although I don’t do MUCH else at the moment, writing isn’t my only passion. It’s the only passion I hope to turn into a job (I can’t see me becoming a professional dancer at the age of thirty-one) but I do have other interests. And isn’t it fun when other people tell you these things just as you’re thinking them? See Kristen Lamb’s post on the subject which I found via Rebecca Enzor’s post today.

I wasn’t always stuck on a bed tapping away at a keyboard all day. In fact, this time two years ago I… Hmmm, no, that’s a bad example – I was in Peru and had completely run out of money. Handily you could buy four ciabatta rolls for one sol (about 20p/$0.30), and that’s what I was living on while spending all day on the sofa (thank god for small differences) tapping away at a keyboard. I had managed to find a job online writing articles for the internet. I can honestly say it was the most soul-destroying job I have ever had (I simply don’t need to know that much about haemorrhoids or acne or the X-box Red Ring of Death) BUT it did pay. Very little. But it paid. The rent. It didn’t cover food, though. Inevitably, the day came when I had no food left at all. I’d eaten all the spaghetti and there was no flour/sugar left for making cake mix (batter to the U.S. folks, which I also ate quite a lot of).

Luckily I was roped in to help with a salsa class that evening. My ex-boyfriend made friends with every tour leader coming through Cusco and this particular one had become a good friend, so when he got my ex to give a salsa class he asked me and another mutual friend (we’ll call him Joe) to come and help out (we’ll cover me and salsa later on). At the end of the class, the tour leader bought some VERY large bottles of beer and I told Joe I couldn’t have any. He asked why and I said, well, I haven’t eaten all day, I’ll be on the floor. Which brought us to ‘why haven’t you eaten?’ and ‘why didn’t you tell me you were so broke you can’t even buy bread?’.

He was very annoyed with me – my argument that he wasn’t my husband, brother, father or boyfriend and therefore wasn’t responsible for me cut absolutely NO ice at all. Bless him, he then regularly gave me money so that I could at least eat. And yes, I did pay him back – he had to move out of his room so I moved him into my place. Which I came to regret because he wasn’t the most conscientious of roommates, but still.

I miss Peru. I miss dancing and speaking Spanish. I don’t think I want to move back there specifically, but I’m definitely on the wrong side of the Atlantic.

And they’re off! Day 1 of the new website!

It’s a beautiful day outside and I am very happy because I finally got Google Friend Connect to work on here, which means I will finally be able to know how many people are following my words of, er… wisdom?

Things have somewhat got away from me over the last couple of weeks and I am hoping this fresh start, of sorts, will herald the beginning of me sorting myself out and getting to grips with the writing life. I seem to have several projects in various stages of completion, none of which can be said to actually be completed. This isn’t healthy for either my career or my state of mind, so I have to get everything organized. I feel a list coming on.

Since today sees me resolving to act just a little bit more like a grown-up, I feel it’s time to do a grown-up thing and draw attention to someone other than myself for a change. This blog has, up until now, been a monument to self-obsession!

If you can, please spare a moment to pop over to Leona Bushman’s site. Leona is an unspeakably wonderful lady. A mother of five, she is an extremely talented writer and my critique partner, which means she has effectively gained a sixth child. I can’t count the number of times she has talked me down over the last three months – now it’s my turn to support her. Her eldest child and only daughter are very ill in hospital following a blood clot in her leg, a bleed in her brain and another clot in her other leg. Please follow this fantastic lady’s blog as it is well worth your while – her monthly review of talented writers deserves your attention if nothing else!

I also finally found out today about the #MyWANA hashtag, implemented by Kristen Lamb. Kristen is a social media guru, specializing in the benefits and uses of social media tools for writers. I have implemented a number of her recommendations from her book Social Media for Writers – We Are Not Alone and they were instrumental in increasing my blog’s visibility on the web. I am talking immediate results the very same day I introduced simple elements, like the word ‘fantasy’ in my blogs and meta tags – I now get a number of hits a day from fantasy related Google searches. Kristen has introduced this new hashtag (see her blog post on the subject) as a way of bringing together writers from around the world who are aware of the importance of social media in writers’ careers and I look forward to meeting other writers with it.

Kristen’s post that I linked to above also includes a mashup of various other blogs which looks horribly juicy and tempting, so I’m just going to have to stay away from it until I’ve done a chunk of editing and a chunk of writing and finalized the synopsis for my Splintered Lands novella. I also have to do a number of things for this website. Self-discipline is not my strong point, but I’ll never make my dream of being a full-time writer come true without it.

Once more I would like to welcome you to my beautiful new website and I look forward with great anticipation to getting to know you all!