Ordering Flynn Matthews

Drum roll … last week I published Ordering Flynn Matthews!

While struggling with formatting it for kindle there was a moment of regret in not accepting the publishing contract I was offered but in the end we got there. So folks it’s available on Amazon for only 99p!

Cover 3 D 143 x 220

Buy Me 🙂

 

We’re off to see the Wizard

I’m coming to the end of my holiday and had some good news waiting for me when I got back from Rome. My short story We’re off to see the Wizard has been accepted for Bridge House Publishing’s 2016 anthology ‘Baubles’.

It’s dedicated to my mum and is another story about dementia – although it’s fiction I’ve drawn on my relationship with her and my experience of working in a dementia unit. Losing a person to dementia is sad but there are real moments of joy. It helps to remember them.

Here’s a photo of a cobbled street at the Roman Forum – not yellow bricked though!

dav

What Makes Me Novel

Last week I went to a monthly writers event held by Novel Nights in Bristol with my friend Tina. Great evening spent with lovely writers and listening to readings and hearing from three guest speakers about their different experiences with getting published and marketing their books and of course marketing themselves.

With Ordering Flynn Matthews due out in June it’s the latter that makes me feel uneasy. I’m not sure there’s really much about me that people will find interesting. Went to school, college, got a job, went back to college to train to be an OT, got a job, got married, got a dog, had two children etc. I’ve loved every minute but not sure any of it makes me marketable or remarkable!

It got me thinking hard. Surely there’s something remarkable about me? Then a couple of nights ago round the dinner table the one talent (weird though it is) was brought up… drum roll please… I look the part if I wear the gear, like I could do the job, be a professional.

I can’t swim very well. I attempted to resolve this in my twenties by going to classes. It was a small pool and the water only came up to my waist. Compared to everyone else I was a mermaid. Yes there were worse swimmers than me! And I had this navy blue swimming costume with go faster stripes and more than once people thought I was a member of the medal winning swimming team who used the main pool. In my costume I looked like I could have swam for Olympic gold. You want pictorial evidence? Sorry there isn’t a pic of me in my swimming costume, plenty of me in bikinis – nope I don’t look like a model! My talent doesn’t always work, vertically challenged sadly!

However I did do some modelling (it’s who you know!) for a Horse Riding magazine – jodhpurs, riding jacket, boots and crop, add the horse and I looked like a professional show jumper. I do have photos just not sure where they are though…shame!

Every August bank holiday we meet up with family in Wales for what we call the FlanFamClanShazzam. Approximately 14 of us in a bunk house for a weekend of activities including canoeing (count me out, can’t swim very well – see above), horse riding – did that spent rest of weekend sitting on a pillow…ouch! Last year we went paintballing – oh my that was fun, I was useless…army fatigues three sizes too big – check, very heavy gun – check, 100 paint balls – check, arms weak no muscles – check, ability to hit moving target – no check, ability to run, crawl, avoid being hit – no check. Photograph of me looking like paintballing ninja expert – check! See below:

Liz - Paintball 2

 

Not sure any of that makes me novel, remarkable or marketable but it’s all I’ve got 😉

Welcome to the chaos

My mind is bursting. Chaos reigns. Fleeting thoughts of the things I need to do: Keanu Reeves, finish proof reading OFM, again, write extra OFM fics, market OFM, read ‘how to’ articles, go to work, see family, contact friends, meet up with friends, tidy the house, help decorate the house, catch up with The Night Manager. And then there’s all the new fiction ideas that continue to write themselves in the dark recesses until I grab my notebook and scribble them down.

And there’s the moment when asked a question on a course that I search the chaos for an answer to find nothing. Nothing I tell you. Nothing at all in all those thoughts. Why? Because it’s not part of the chaos, it’s nothing to do with the things I have to, want to do. Not good when you’re meant to be ‘in the room’ and not miles away working through the list. All eyes on me waiting for the simple answer that never comes.

Today I am fortunate to be back in the room, my room. I’m proof reading OFM again for grammatical/punctuation errors. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve done this. I’m still finding errors. Surely I eradicated them last time? There has to be a grammatical goblin, a punctuation Puck sneaking them back in, sniggering as they do it.

As I work through the list – perhaps there is order in the chaos – I pull on that part of my female brain that is hard wired to multi-task but come up empty. Looking back it’s probably never been there. I do try. I mean I have four novels on the go for heaven’s sake but am I working on them all at the same time? No. I spend the majority of my time in my head. Perhaps that’s part of being a writer. Has the chaos got away from me though? Does it need to reigned in, just a little so I can move forward? Maybe. Or perhaps I should take heart in these words taken from the book of I Ching,

Before the beginning of great brilliance, there must be chaos. Before a brilliant person begins something great, they must look foolish to the crowd…

The brilliance is coming folks 😉 Ordering Flynn Matthews, the novel, out soon in digital format, along with a new website, extra fiction and fan forum.

Keanu-Reeves_the_matrix

Perhaps, as it’s Shakespeare Week I should have gone with a picture of Midsummer’s Night Dream with its chaos and I did mention Puck after all.  So why is there a picture of KR? It’s relevant, honest, he gets a mention somewhere, I think!

 

To sign or not to sign

The promised update about Ordering Flynn Matthews.

Gosh where to start! In November 2015 OFM was offered a publishing contract (yay!) with a US Indie, mainly ebook, publisher. They appear to have a wonderful set-up, great cover art, promotion and their authors seem very happy. I’ve signed contracts for my short stories before however this contract was more extensive. On the advice of my editor I applied to join Society of Authors and emailed the contract to them. Great piece of advice! They offer the service free although you pay to join – well worth it in my opinion. I didn’t have to wait long before I received a reply containing their valuable comments.

The SoA also queried if I’d considered self publishing as an option. The answer to that is no. In my head it was a last resort and here was a well respected organisation suggesting it as an option. With the reality of signing a contract scaring me with its deadlines and the fact I would lose a bit of control over my creation I started to give the idea serious consideration.  And although the publisher was willing to negotiate the contract I declined their offer. Cue thoughts of have ‘I made the right decision?’

Having finished his PhD a couple of years ago my husband declared he is now ready for another project. He is researching what self publishing entails while I re-edit OFM. Can’t believe I’m still finding typos! Gutted I’m unable to attend the Ebook workshops the SoA have organised for March as it would’ve been extremely helpful.

One of my son’s housemates, Tom, is a design student who wants to extend his portfolio and has offered to do the cover art for the ebook. So the poor lad is currently reading OFM for inspiration. Not his usual reading material! It’ll be interesting what he comes up with. He says I don’t have to use it if I don’t like it bless him. I have a couple of ideas and two friends (thanks Carrie & Jenni) have made good suggestions too.

So it looks like I’m heading towards self publishing Ordering Flynn Matthews as an ebook. Who’d have thought it. I think it’s a beach read so the month of May seems like a good time to publish!

It doesn’t mean I’d never sign a publishing contract. It’s just at this time self publishing seems the way to go.

We’re looking at going to Rome this year which is a good thing as the follow up to OFM Failing Flynn Matthews includes a trip to the city and prior to writing I did my research virtually! Be good to check out my facts and take some photographs.

Ordering Flynn Matthews is based in London and Bristol – I’ve been to both of those cities 🙂

 

 

Extract from Murmuration

Since December 1st Bridge House Publishing have been posting on their blog interviews with the authors from the Snowflakes anthology along with extracts from each story. Yesterday was my turn. To see it click here or see below.

From Bridge House Publishing Blog:

Day 15 – Murmuration – L.G. Flannigan

What gave you the idea for your Snowflakes story?

Although it is a work of fiction its storyline is a personal one. My mum has dementia and I’m aware of how much my dad has to do for her  on a daily basis. I hope Murmuration gives a little insight into being a carer and shows some of the symptoms a person in the latter stages of dementia may experience, and how precious moments of recognition are a joy for their family.

How would you describe your normal style of writing?

You won’t find long descriptive passages in my writing. I use a conversational style with dialogue driving the plot. I tend to write my novels in the first person and the present tense. My short stories are written in the third person and the past tense.

Have you published other material?

I emailed my first short story Trojan to Bridge House Publishing’s World Stopping Events competition. It was a runner up and was published in On This Day anthology in 2012. My novel Ordering Flynn Matthews was shortlisted in Choc Lit’s Search for a Star competition in 2015. I’ve had an offer from a US Indie digital first publisher to publish it but I am also looking at self publishing as an option. Either way I hope it’ll be published in 2016!

Do you have a writing routine?

I used to have a very structured writing routine but recently I’ve started a new part time job in a library and, along with my daughter, have taken up two new hobbies knitting and sewing.  However  I am writing on Monday and Thursday and every other Wednesday. The ideas keep flowing outside those times so my notebook is filling up.

Do you have a favourite place for writing?

In the dining area of our living room. It means I’m not hidden away from my family even if I am absorbed at my laptop. My children have learnt that they can ask for anything while I’m writing and I’ll say yes! The table looks a mess most days and I have to confess to tidying it up for the photograph.

Writing Space

Tell something quirky about you. 

I have notebooks I don’t write in as they’re too gorgeous to use! See the Owl notebook in my writing space photograph above.

An extract from Murmuration:

Gwen retrieved the Christmas decorations from the back of the cupboard praying it would keep Fred occupied for at least half an hour before he was yanking at the front door wanting to go out. This need had been manageable a couple of weeks ago when it had been unseasonably warm but now a bitter Arctic wind blew and she was tired of being cold or maybe she was just plain tired.

As Gwen walked into the hall Fred was making a grab for his woolly hat that hung over the newel post at the bottom of the stairs. Nodding to the over flowing box she said, “Fred dear fancy helping me with the Christmas decorations?”

He rolled his eyes. It was his new thing. His way of expressing his dissatisfaction at anything he was unimpressed by. He pulled his hat on. “I want to go out. You can’t keep me here.”

Gwen kept her sigh inside. It didn’t help matters expressing her exasperation. “I know I can’t Fred. We’re going out in half an hour so help me while you’re waiting.”

Fred tugged back his jumper sleeve and stared at his watch. He circled its dial with his index finger. It broke Gwen’s heart. He’d lost the ability to tell the time over eight months ago.

“It won’t take long. I promise.” Deliberately she staggered a few steps and tilted the box as if she was about to drop it.

Tutting he said, “Let me take that. Where do you want it?”

It was at times like these, when the old Fred kicked in, that Gwen had to remind herself that there was no point saying ‘in the lounge’ as he wouldn’t know where that was. “Follow me.”

With thoughts of the world outside their front door momentarily forgotten he did as she said placing the box in front of the real Christmas tree that had been delivered yesterday.

Still wearing his hat Fred prodded a branch, “Where did this come from?”

“Bill dropped it off.”

He frowned, “Bill? Do I know him?”

“Yes. He owns the grocers in the village.”

Fred rolled his eyes and shook his head. “You’re wrong. Herb owns the grocers.”

He didn’t, not anymore, not for thirty years but Gwen knew better than to argue the point. “Of course. What was I thinking?” She forced a smile. She spent most of her time pretending to be wrong to placate him. “He chose well didn’t he?”

“Herb’s always had a good eye.” Fred leant in and sniffed the needles. “I love that smell.”

His words warmed Gwen. It was one of his favourite scents. Maybe, just maybe, this would jog his memory for a while. She knelt down and opened the box. “Tinsel first, then the baubles.”

“Fairy lights first.”

Gwen leant over the box and flicked the plug switch. “I put them on last night.”

Fred took a step back and grinned, “I like them. They’re new.”

They were the same lights they’d had for the last decade but they shone as bright as when they’d first bought them. “They are.” She handed him a long piece of tinsel.

His eyes crinkled as he stared at the gold foil touching his fingers. Gwen took a handful of tinsel and got to her feet. She proceeded to weave it between the branches. Out of the corner of her eye she saw her husband watching her hands. Copying, he put his tinsel on the tree. He surprised her by reaching for more and adding that to the branches.

Murmuration - Somerset Levels - Love Alice Photography

Click on the Snowflakes cover below if you like to continue reading Murmuration along with 23 other stories.

Snowflakes Small