The Fifth Wheel

Too busy to write? Not me!

The best part about being a writer is the writing (oh, and research – I  research), so it came as quite a shock when I realised that summer was over and I’d barely written a word.
The reason: Eddie & Marcia – aka editing and marketing (two words that fuel my procrastination like no others)

Editing, in the form of Eddie the Evil Reaper, is a natural by-product of the writing process, complete with scythe to chop away those words and trim your text.

He demands your complete attention, being one of those necessary evils. You just have to do his bidding and get on with it.

Fortunately, I’ve come to the end of the line and am now able to pass my WIP – Casualty of Court – onto my editor, who will no doubt cast the mighty red pen over all those changes I meticulously made in an attempt to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.

Marketing, however, enters your life as a mischievous minx named Marcia, but who is known by the wise  as the very devil herself. Wearing a shiny dress and flapping her gossamer wings she offers all the treats in the world if you, the author, deign to share your book with her. She teases you with images of glittery success, forcing you to promote your stories in places you would otherwise fear to tread – SOCIAL MEDIA!

I played along though, running a promotion for Lacey’s Law that garnered more downloads than ever before. However, it didn’t translate into reviews, so Lacey continues to die a death in obscurity. Personally, I think Marcia is jealous of Lacey and so spiked the whole process – promising the world in one hand and then taking it back before any benefit could be found.

Magic O’Clock had much more success with The Story Cartel, where in a month it received several new Amazon reviews across different countries. The same could be said of Goodreads where Magic had a  growth spurt as well as featuring in some wonderful – and I truly mean fabulous – blog posts. Not even Marcia could knock the shine off Magic’s time in the spotlight.

But now the marketing must take a backseat as I work towards bringing Fern & Raven back into the limelight. The prequel – A Fifth Wheel – has been well received, but it’s time now to tell the rest of the story. Casualty of Court (as mentioned earlier) has gone to the editor …which means I have time to write. Yay!

Heirlooms & Heiresses is now under construction, and Fern & Raven are back again, this time as private investigators in their own agency – The Blackleaf Agency. This story requires some research, so I’m mixing up my time, writing and planning as the story unfolds. (Naturally, there is no outline, but I just don’t … !)

And while that’s rumbling on, I’m polishing off another short story – To make the birds cry – ready for release in a couple of months.

It’s great to be back at the writing stage – although I know Eddie and Marcia will return to spoil my fun in the not too distant future.

But in the meantime, I can safely say – too busy to write? Not me!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Dangling the carrot

Call me crazy – you wouldn’t be the first – but, for once in my writerly life I am thinking ahead. My next full novel is months away from publication – and that’s a good thing. I want it to be perfect, or as perfect as it can be anyway. It’s doing the rounds with a few beta readers right now, then it’s off to the editor in October (after I’ve absorbed the readers’ feedback). Another round of betas follows, then a final proofread and it will be good to go.

So, you’re probably wondering why I’m “dangling the carrot” when there are still so many stages yet to go.
Great question.
I thought the same way with my first book, and didn’t bother creating any “buzz” (although, I did follow all the same stages pre-launch) As a result, once the book went on sale, I then had to find readers.
Not an easy task – let me tell you. Especially when no-one really knew I was even writing a book.
I’ve learned a little since then – which is why I’m trying to get ahead of the game.

I’ll be adding a short book to this site soon – available to download at no charge – to accompany the book being available to pre-order.

Meet the Cast introduces the four main protagonists of Casualty of Court and gives the reader an insight into their mindset, outlining their thoughts, wants, issues etc. It’s a brief glimpse into their personalities – a trip behind the looking-glass.
Hopefully, it will plant a seed in the minds of readers – who knows, maybe a few will even pre-order it. But, whatever the outcome, it’s a step forward on the launch path.

I promise you – Casualty of Court is coming.
Sooner than you think.

Casualty of Court is the main story that follows on from The Fifth Wheel. You can catch up with the story still. For Amazon users click here, or here for other ereaders.

But if you’d rather wait then don’t worry – you don’t need to read the prequel to follow the main novel. Just think – blue skies, sunshine, the wind in your hair … and then you’re plunged into the Mediterranean, abandoned and left to drown. That’s what happened to Fern Mortimer – and now she’s back in Portugal to face her attacker in court. Only one of them can win. Who will be the Casualty of Court?

Sign up to my newsletter by clicking here for insider info, a cover reveal and details on the book’s progress prior to launch. Free ARCs will be offered (Advanced Reader Copies) in the October newsletter, and will be with the lucky winners just in time for Christmas.

 

My first author interview

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Amazeballs Book Addicts and they even posted all my books and buy links, etc, etc, etc.

I was truly impressed by the detail they went into with and for me 🙂

Thank you!

You can read the details here if you missed it – after all, posts have a habit of getting swallowed as time passes.

Interview With LS Fellows – Author

1. Can you tell us a little about your books?

So far, my books have little in common other than my authorship, all 3 being in different genres. My first, Lacey’s Law, sits on the Women’s Fiction shelf, but could easily get misplaced into the suspense or chick-lit categories. It’s a revenge novella – and something of an acquired taste as Lacey is not the most likeable of leading characters at first (although, I’m pleased to say that she is warming on people)

My second book, The Fifth Wheel, was written as part of an anthology – hence its short length. But I knew these characters had more to say. After all, when a girly holiday to Portugal goes awry, there’s always more than one side to the story. This has led to my forthcoming release – Courting Danger – which resolves the incident during that holiday in court.

Thirdly, my latest release, Magic o’Clock, is a more personal piece of fiction, dealing with the difficulties faced by families whose loved ones have dementia. It’s a short story, but hopefully one that gets across the hope that people need to see that you can still have good times.

2. When did you know you wanted to write a book?

I never did really. I’ve always loved reading, but writing wasn’t ever on my radar. Only when I moved to Spain and looked for new challenges (because moving abroad wasn’t challenging enough?? LOL). I came across NaNoWriMo and have never looked back.

3. Do you have a favorite food or drink you must have nearby when writing?

Depending on the season, this changes. Living in a hot climate, my summer needs are simple – ICE, ICE and more ICE- I had to buy a smoothie maker just to meet my own needs.

But in winter, I’m a cappuccino addict – just the regular type, lots of froth and maybe a chunk (or bar) of chocolate.

4. Do you have a favorite spot to write?

Again, weather permitting – I have a writing desk in the solarium, with views to the sea. But it can get too hot up there, so then I’ll settle anywhere with aircon or whirring fans.

5. What is a usual writing day like for you? How is it structured?

I don’t have a fixed structure. It all depends on what free time I have and making the most of it.

6. For a reader who hasn’t read your books yet, which book do you suggest they start with?

As my books are so different, then it really is down to the reader’s preferred genre. They’re all short or novella-length, so not too demanding of time.

7. What’s one random fact about yourself that you can share?

It’s widely known I’m a chocoholic and am currently working my way through a series of recipes to replicate my favourite treats from home – and can now make my own Fudge, Bounty, Crunchie and Creme Eggs

8. What is your favorite comfort food?

This might surprise people, especially after my previous answer … but bacon is my go-to food, possibly because it smells as good as it tastes 🙂Bacon and fried tomatoes on a sandwich – YUM! (This was also the last thing I remember my dad making for me)

9. What are writing projects are you currently working on?

I’m editing one story – Courting Danger – which is the courtroom sequel to The Fifth Wheel. I’m also writing another story with these characters (Heirlooms & Heiresses) as well as a conspiracy thriller (The Untruth Hunters) and a Fantasy series (The Nasrid Charm series)

As you can see, I’m still finding my feet – or should that be fingers?? 🙂

(I’ll steer clear of comedy after that though … )

Feel free to drop by my Facebook page, or that of Amazeballs – we’d all love to see you 🙂

Z is for … Zilch

Today’s the last day of the AtoZChallenge, and I’m all blogged out – I’ve got zilch left to add.

Other than to say, if you’ve read / liked / shared any of these posts, left a comment, joined my mailing list or even bought a book of mine, then from the bottom of my heart, I send you my greatest

Courting Danger has been well and truly exposed, in readiness for its cover reveal in the summer and book launch soon after.

If you have any space on your bookshelf or reading device, then you can always check out my other books

 Lacey’s Law, The Fifth Wheel or Magic O’Clock

Thank you for joining me during this month of blogging – it’s been fun, exhausting, thought-provoking, tiring and wonderful to be engaging and interacting with you all.

See you soon 🙂 x

 

W is for … Who, What, Where, When & Why?

The 5 Ws of storytelling – as applied to my  next release Courting Danger 

  • Who

Who’s involved? From the character profiles already posted, this should come as no surprise that the story revolves around the four lives of Fern, Raven, Nessa and Stefan.

  • What

What’s it all about? Principally a court case, following on from Stefan’s attempt to kill Fern last summer. The story aims to look at both sides of the case and deliver the reasons behind each character’s actions and motivations.

  • Where

Where is it set? Primarily in Portugal for the trial, but then it’s back to England and the fictional town of Framleigh.

  • When

When does it take place? It picks up eight months after the girls’ summer holiday. Since that time, Stefan has been in the remand centre awaiting trial, and plotting for his freedom. Fern & Raven returned to Framleigh after the attempted drowning and now make their way back to Portugal for the trial. Nessa had also returned to England, but kept away from the others and soon found herself back in the Algarve, renting a villa near to the remand centre to be close to Stefan.

  • Why

Why am I telling this story? The summer holiday tale was originally planned as a short story for an anthology, and is told in The Fifth Wheel. But I soon realised I couldn’t leave it unresolved. The pursuit of justice meant there had to be a follow-up story. Then, the characters took over and wanted more attention. So much so that there is another story (or three) to follow – Heirlooms & Heiresses being the first one that sees the girls start up a new venture as Private Investigators in their very own business: The Blackleaf Agency.

V is for … Village life

 Framleigh: a profile.

Framleigh, where Raven, Fern & Nessa grew up is a fictional village in rural England

Here are some facts to fill in the blanks regarding the girls and their village.

  • How does the setting uniquely belong to your characters?

It’s their birthplace and home – although Nessa moved to the city a while back, before the holiday in Portugal. All three girls grew up in the area; Raven and Nessa attending the same school while Fern lived on the outskirts in one of the modern estates.

  • Why is this setting important to them?

Fern sees the village as a secure place, somewhere she can avoid life and restrict her time to her family and Dougal. For Raven, the village is all about family ties, childhood memories and community spirit.

  • How do they feel about this setting?

Fern considers it to be her safe haven, calm and steady. No nasty shocks or unexpected dramas. Raven, on the other hand, does feel a sense of claustrophobia at times. Yet, she also appreciates how it makes her feel comfortable and competent.

  • What does the setting look like?

Framleigh is centred around a village green. The old Tudor Manor House is now a hotel. The village pub and the community centre at the church are the regular haunts for Nessa and Raven. The river Sreve skirts the village, marking the boundary between the hamlets of Frampton and Tonleigh. To the west is town of Gaukwich, where other facilities exist (police station, Post Office, Library)and the ‘big’ city of Worford lies approx twenty miles to the east, through arable land and midsized farms boasting award-winning livestock breeds.

  • What does the setting smell like?

The village now boasts a mix of old-world charm, farm land and the occasional office block giving a nod to more modern times. Traffic has increased, bringing pollution to the area and smog, which together with the stench of farmer’s spraying crops, animals and hops gives the area a unique and varied perfume. On top of that, the villagers partake in traditional activities such as cook-offs (cheese, jams, cakes and local ale  all feature heavily.

  • What does the setting sound like?

Generally peaceful, except on market day or during fetes, when the local hotel and shops are filled with tourists and competitive stallholders vying for prestigious rosettes.

  • Is there a taste or touch sensory experience related to this setting?

The experience is one of overwhelming peace and quiet,except during rush hour or when the schools end for the day.

  • What role will this setting play in your story?

The setting provides both background and back story and memories. In future stories, for example in Heirlooms & Heiresses, the village and its residents, facilities and layout feature more heavily.

  • How would a stranger coming into this space feel?

The vibe is calm and unsuspecting, homely and comfortable, quaint and traditional – but with modernity advancing at a steady pace in future tales.

Welcome To Framleigh – Have a Good Stay 🙂 

U is for … Re-United?

Repairing a friendship is easier said than done.

Fern Mortimer turned her back on her old life after a hit-and-run accident, and it was only years later when she rejoined the workforce that a persistent redhead – Nessa – made the effort to be her friend. The invitation to join Nessa and three others on a summer holiday offered Fern the chance to start afresh.

What followed was supposed to be a relaxing holiday in the Algarve, but meeting the other girls – particularly Raven – only fuelled her self-doubts, sending her scuttling back into the safety of her shell.

Yet, when Fern became the victim of an apparently unwarranted assault – albeit an unsuccessful attempt to drown her in the Med – it was Raven who came to her assistance. The question arose regarding Nessa’s whereabouts and the answer was hard to stomach.

Supporting Fern throughout the trial months later back in Portugal, Raven showed herself as a loyal friend. But Nessa had all but ostracised herself from the girls, taking the side of the attacker – her boyfriend, Stefan Pereira.

Could their friendship ever be repaired?

Read the prequel – The Fifth Wheel – now and sign up for my newsletter to find out what happens before, during and after the trial when Courting Danger is released later this year.