Coffee, Cake and Keanu

Happy New Year! Five months in and this is my first post in 2018!

Besides being busy with renovating and working, I’ve been enjoying coffee and cake with friends and family. And we’re still loving living in town and being five minutes from the sea.

Here’s a photograph I took yesterday evening. Warmish sun, a gentle breeze and the sea lapping at the shore. What more could a person want…

After making the decision to self publish Ordering Flynn Matthews in 2016 I’ve not bothered sending any work off to agents or publishers, however this January, after much nagging/encouragement from my gorgeous friend Jenni (newly signed with an agent!), I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme. It’s allocated on a first served basis and the membership allows unpublished authors to take part in all RNA activities and also submit a manuscript of a full-length novel for appraisal. I have one ready to send however a casual comment about Scotland from my lovely friend, Tina, after a Reiki session, had a new idea spinning in my head. Now, a few weeks later and 35,000+ words in I’m thinking I’ll have it finished by Aug 31st deadline. I suspect the only thing that will hold me up is the synopsis which usually takes me as long to write as an 85,000 word novel.

I’ve also joined the newly formed RNA Bristol Chapter – we first met in March and they are a wonderful friendly bunch of authors who are willing to share their experiences to help each other especially us newbies. I’m looking forward to our next meeting on 21st July. Ooh and we meet at River Cottage restaurant in Bristol. Great venue and delicious food.

This month I have published the third and final (sorry Nicki!) novel in the Addicted Series, Working Flynn Matthews. To please one of my readers (Nicki) there will some more extras posted over on the Flynn Matthews website soon!

And if you haven’t read any in the Addicted Series yet, get over to Amazon now where they’re available for only 99p each. Plenty of 5 star reviews on all three! Thank you to everyone who has bought them and an extra thanks to the people who have found the time to leave reviews, they help in raising the profile of each novel 🙂 so it’s much appreciated.

A big thank you to my family and friends for their continued support for my writing. You’ve been amazing!

Anyone who knows me well is aware of my love for Keanu Reeves and today I saw a trailer for a new movie he’s in called Destination Wedding. The story of two miserable and unpleasant wedding guests, Lindsay and Frank, who develop a mutual affection despite themselves.

The Matrix is in my top 5 movies and I liked John Wick however it’s good to see him free from blood and not holding a gun. Most people say he can’t act, I disagree.  Bim Adewunmi in her article Why I love…Keanu Reeves says it better than I can:

Reeves is somehow reassuring, with an enviably serene manner. This makes people see him as wooden, but I think it’s actually more about a man who likes to measure his movements; a movie star who understands space.

And I love the way she describes his walk: rangy and relaxed, but precise; the gait of a man who never needs to hurry. 

Back to the movie coming out late August. He’s playing opposite a woman of his generation and not a young twenty something. How novel is that. I love Winona Ryder, especially in Stranger Things. I tend to write stories about younger people but watching the trailer for Destination Wedding got me thinking that at least one of my novels should be about similar aged characters to me. I have plenty of ideas 🙂

Anyway, here’s the trailer:

 

Glit-er-ary

Don’t you just love it when WordPress goes all Christmassy and falling snowflakes appear across the page.

Eeek, can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted! And I’ve published another novel since then too. Failing Flynn Matthews is available on Amazon now and only 99p! It’s “totally addictive reading” and apparently an “‘Effin’ awesome book!!! This is every bit as gripping, enthralling and at times frustrating as the first book.
You won’t want to put it down until you get to the end.” Thank you dear reader 🙂 and thanks to all the other 5 star reviewers too for Ordering Flynn Matthews and Failing Flynn Matthews!

I’m in the middle of formatting Working Flynn Matthews so you never know it might be published before Christmas. Move over Ellie, there’s a new girl in town.

A short story of mine, The Stuff of Fairytales, has been published in Bridge House Publishing‘s anthology, Glit-er-ary and is available in book and kindle form. There’s a wonderful variety of stories, some sad, some funny and some glittery 😉

I love the cover of the Anthology.

Click on cover to take you to Amazon

A little teaser from The Stuff of Fairytales:

I’ve been paid a mighty sum to kill her. It would cost the villagers nothing to do it themselves but they are simple god-fearing folk who don’t want her blood staining their hands
darkening their souls. Still I’m not complaining as their fear gives me work.

I collect her from the gaol, shackled at the ankles and wrists and wrapped in an oversized cloak. People never cease to surprise me. They want her dead but still they give her protection against the winter cold. A tiny slip of a thing, possibly no more than seventeen winters old, she is easy to bundle in the back of my cart. I make sure her chains are secure so there’s no means of escape. She doesn’t struggle. How this girl evokes such fear astonishes me. True her kind exist but I refuse to believe that she could tear me to pieces and rip out my heart – that is the stuff of fairytales.

It’s usual to provide some proof of death, the body for instance but not this time. Not one single drop of her crimson blood is to return to the village. I’m an honourable man so I’ll do as they ask. I will earn the bag of gold that’s stowed away in my cart.

As I drive the horse along the track it clears of people, dust flying up as they hurry towards the safety of their homes. Doors bang shut and the scraping and rasping of furniture being pushed up against them echoes out. As we round the corner and disappear from view a breath-like breeze ruffles my hair as if the villagers sigh in collective relief.

Renovating first, formatting last

We have moved into our new house and renovations are under way. Real life has nudged fictional life to the back of the queue and my next novel Failing Flynn Matthews is waiting, not so patiently, to be formatted. Any spare time I have involves writing something new so I’d be grateful if anyone could recommend a professional kindle formatter, please. There’s not much left to do bar the contents page and links to headings and the indents, paragraphs etc, ie the fiddly bits!

The house we’re renovating is a house of two halves: Upstairs flat and ground floor flat – we’re living in the latter, our dog needs a garden and the cellar is perfect for all the clutter we can’t fit in! For renovation guidance we’ve bought a book (no surprise there!)  The Victorian and Edwardian House Manual  which is proving to be very useful.

Hubby wielding a power tool!

The ceilings are high, no standing on a chair like in our last house!

Besides renovating, we’ve been enjoying the warmer weather and the easier access to town, five minute walk to beach and restaurants. Can’t get better than that! Pimm’s o’clock anyone?!

If anyone fancies some summer reading with their Pimms and you haven’t read it yet Ordering Flynn Matthews is available over on Amazon! Click on title. Thanks!

Through The Decades

Writing and publishing Failing Flynn Matthews is on hold for now as moving house may be happening quicker than we thought (panic!) so this past weekend has seen a flurry of activity and this morning I took another car load to the charity shop. I’m not sure how we accumulated so much and if we ever needed it all.

Sorting through our belongings I unearthed many memories. From the decade of my life I call the Carefree years (age 1-10) I found my first teddy and a framed picture that hung on the wall above my bed.

Isn’t my teddy cute?!

From the Awkward years (11-20) books, loads of them! Some my Nan gave me, beautifully illustrated but battered from the 1930’s.

From the London years (21-30) a huge A4 binder with examples of typesetting – you know, the old way we used to print newspapers! I learned how to set type during my Occupational Therapy course – loved that module!

Typeset by me – ok, ok these words were cool at the time!

From the Child Rearing years (31- 40) there is so much and it’s hard to let go of anything – everything has a memory whether it be of our children or family. Sorting through the thoughtful gifts my mother bought reminded me of how much time she dedicated, sitting for hours playing games, doing puzzles and reading with them. It reminds me of how much I miss her and how much our children and her other grandchildren have lost out on since the dementia took what makes her, her. It is a cruel disease. We still have her to hold and hug but we do miss how she would have been without it.

My Mum and kids spent many hours having fun with these 🙂

The next decade I will call the Finding Myself years (41-50) – first I was ill but on the upside I finally put pen to paper and wrote. My first short story was published and I haven’t stopped writing since. I think it’s the first interest I’ve actually stuck with. My past is littered with discarded hobbies: pottery, water colour painting, oil painting to name but a few.

And now we come  to this decade – no name yet as it’s early days however we’re going on adventure and renovating (sort of) a property and are trading this:

for this:

Very excited 🙂 Wish us luck! Publishing and writing will resume shortly! 😀

Meandering Through Life

February has been interesting.

Sold our house, subject to contract. The meander through to the actual move and the clearing out of ten years of accumulated junk has begun. How is it after numerous trips to the tip the garage still looks as full?!

The decluttering was put on hold while I nursed a swollen ankle and foot. Just tissue and ligament damage. Nothing fractured fortunately, unlike my editor who has her foot in plaster, but it did mean I couldn’t get a shoe on for over a week. Now back at work and despite the bruising the pain has gone, just left with an ache 🙂

Failing Flynn Matthews came back from my editor after a proof read/copy edit. Good news, she loved it and only minor copy editing amendments, mainly use of commas. For the laughs I have to share this one with you: Ellie says, “I am eating Dad.” No, I’ve not started writing crime novels! Think I should’ve consulted Eats, Shoots and Leaves.

True to form, the road to publication is slow – give me a story to write and I’ll do that quickly but when it comes to getting it out there I falter. It was meant to be published a few months after Ordering Flynn Matthews.  Oh dear, and I never really got round to promoting Ordering Flynn Matthews properly either. Maybe this time round! Failing Flynn Matthews is ready to go bar the Kindle formatting – eeek! I can’t quite face that yet. I need to push myself. So perhaps a cover reveal and a tagline might help. Drum roll, please…

failing-flynn-matthews-medium-sized-icon

Sometimes holding on hurts more than letting go

Out soon!

Happy New Year!

Nine days in and finally I’m posting you a Happy 2017! I’m hoping for and wishing you all a year of love not hate, inclusion not exclusion, peace not war.

I can’t believe I haven’t posted since September last year. Baubles was published in November and is available in paperback and eBook if you fancy reading an interesting selection of short stories including mine, We’re Off To See The Wizard. Go on, you won’t regret it!

Late October we decided to move house in 2017. I have been preoccupied with that and you all know my inability to multi-task so the publishing date of Failing Flynn Matthews has been delayed. It is about to be sent off for proof reading. Fingers crossed for a February publication date. I will be doing a cover reveal soon!

Meanwhile Ordering Flynn Matthews is still available on Amazon and has wonderful reviews. Thank you to everyone that has read it and also if you’ve taken the time to write a review. I really appreciate it.

New Year 2017

London’s New Year fireworks! ©lgflannigan

Not Hard Wired To Multi-task

Well I’m not doing very well at this social media presence am I? I’ve mentioned before I can’t multi-task so I won’t go on about it however what with having fun with family, writing, editing, working etc I haven’t found the time to tweet, post etc.

But behind the scenes exciting developments are afoot!

I’m doing the final edits to Failing Flynn Matthews so I am hoping that will be published soon! Ordering Flynn Matthews is making steady sales however I designed the cover and was not completely happy with it so I’ve been on the look out for a new one. I was lucky enough to come across a blog that recommended a few cover designers and that’s how I found James at GoOnWrite who has a wonderful selection of premade covers at very reasonable prices. He also does custom covers. Very quick in responding too, great service!

So OFM has a new cover!

ordering-flynn-matthews-new-cover-medium-size-icon

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 🙂

 

 

Three Manuscripts Later…

This year has flown by. My last post was in February. I had intended to post every month which is a reasonable aim I think however ten months later here’s my second post of the year!

So where was I? Ah yes, Ordering Flynn Matthews  – no agents interested yet so after being ‘nagged’ by a couple of my readers, you know who you are ;), I’ve entered it into the Choc Lit Search for a Star Competition hoping they find my flawed heroes irresistible! You never know…

My Blood Rain manuscript is currently with an agent. In anticipation of her liking it, channelling positivity, finally this month I edited the second novel in the trilogy, Blood Moon. I need to write the finale, Blood Stone – story outline written so I’ll get to that after I’ve finished my latest project.

So what have I done in the ten months since I last posted? Written three novels (80,000+ words each) that’s what! Whether they get published is immaterial (although it would be vindication for the time spent away from my family and all the burnt, late dinners!) I won’t give up writing. I get agitated if I don’t get time to write! It’s an addiction. It truly is.

Ordering Flynn Matthews is a stand alone novel however I have written a sequel Failing Flynn Matthews. I took a break from Flynn and wrote a romantic suspense novel No Blame – it’s dark and unlike my other novels has two points of view. Two weeks ago I completed Working Flynn Matthews. I’m resting all three for the moment. I will do another edit before sending them to my kindle for a read. I find it helps me with spotting typos and seeing if it flows like an actual book! After saving up the pennies I’ll send them to my editor Debz Hobbs-Wyatt who provides a wonderful service. In celebration of the first birthday of her debut novel she’s offering a limited number of reduced price in-depth novel critiques this December. So for anyone looking for a professional edit I can’t recommend her highly enough and her normal rates are very competitive too.

I have plenty of ideas for new stories and have started on my next project The Horse’s Head inspired by a gorgeous notebook (my weakness) I bought on a trip to Camden Market in the summer. It’s become our favourite market to frequent, slightly inconvenient considering we live in Somerset!

Owl Notebook

The inspirational notebook!