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 It’s allocated on a first served basis and the membership allows unpublished authors to take part in all RNA activities and also submit a manuscript of a full-length novel for appraisal.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 ūüôā 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 ūüôā

Anyway, here’s the trailer:

 

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!

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 ūüôā

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

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¬†ūüôā

 

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‚Ķ drum roll please‚Ķ 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‚Ķshame!

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‚Ķouch! Last year we went paintballing – oh my that was fun, I was useless‚Ķarmy 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 ūüėČ

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 ūüėČ 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¬†ūüôā

 

 

Merry Christmas!

I’ve been meaning to post news about¬†Ordering Flynn Matthews but have run out of time as about to go off line for the festive period! I’m going to have to make some important decisions about it in 2016 ūüôā

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Christmas Tree