Circle of Trees: the characters

A short while ago, I wrote a blog post telling you about my latest novel in progress which I call the Circle of Trees (for the moment). I haven’t done much editing on that in the past few weeks, mainly because I’ve been working on a host of short stories (and a novella) for submission to anthologies.

However, I’m getting back to the point of not being so over-run with shorts that I want to enter, that I’m going to have more time to go back and edit again and it got me thinking.

When the idea for the Circle of Trees was born, the idea of both Francesca and Bryony grew with it. Two female lead protagonists whose relationship develops over the course of the novel and yes, they do become partners. It’s the first piece of fiction of a substantial length that I’ve written whereby I have same-sex characters who become at item. I knew, as soon as I saw them in my mind, that they would come together. It seemed like a natural course of progression and they are so well suited to each other.

The story follows Francesca and her belief in the supernatural. When Bryony goes missing, the only thing she can think of doing is going after her and bringing her back. The two have a very natural love story that is both strong and passes through a lot of trials and tribulations. I have really enjoyed writing their story.

Francesca is a down to earth girl, a worrier and someone that takes things to heart. Bryony on the other hand is a little more carefree, loves to party and will cross boundaries all the time. They balance each other out throughout the story and their lives and when they come together, it’s a moment that won’t easily be forgotten.

Same-sex relationships, although becoming more of the norm in today’s society, will still face criticism. There are some that don’t believe in it, some that don’t agree with it and some that don’t mind. I’m of the mind that if two people are in love, why does it matter what sex they are? And Francesca and Bryony are perfect for each other, the way that Rose and Jack from Titanic were perfect for each other despite their difference.

How do you feel about having a relationship of two characters of the same sex in a novel? Would it put you off reading? Would it make you pick up the book? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Are you a Goal-Oriented Person?

Different people work in different ways. If you’re anything like me then you need to have lists of things to do, lots of ticky boxes that you feel great about crossing out and goals to work towards. If not then perhaps you’re the type of person who likes to wing it and see where it gets you.

I’ve tried both approaches in the past. And I guess it depends what I’m doing. I like to be organised. It helps me keep things in line and know where I’ve got to be and what I’ve got to write for when. However, it doesn’t always go to plan and I think it’s important to know when to step outside the box and wing it along with my counterparts.

Currently, I’m working on a few short stories for submission and I’m starting the edits of a nano novel. So that’s all going well. But in the middle of all of that my brain came up with this ingenious idea. And I couldn’t let it go so I’ve started planning it and while I’m not writing it yet, it won’t be far off. I’ve just gone with the flow of this and those deadlines are still niggling in the back of my mind so I know just when I’ve got to work on something else by.

Being flexible and adaptable is probably a very important to being a creative person. Rigidity is good but so is change and I try to aspire to both. Sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it blows my mind a little trying to stay focused but going with the flow but I’m learning as I go.

Are you goal oriented or do you wing it? Which approach is better for you and how do you go about it?

Post-publication and cats

Life post publication is still a little bit surreal. I still can’t quite believe my novel is out there and that people are buying it and reading it. I haven’t had any reviews for it yet though the people that I have spoken to ensure me that they are enjoying it. Still, I feel a little uneasy, you know? Having a review would at least be something concrete and give others a way to judge the book and hopefully encourage them to pick up a copy.

I’m getting quite involved in some anthologies at the minute too. So it means that although I’ve finished Nano and I’m taking a break from longer writing, I still have something to keep my brain ticking over. I just entered a short story to Sirens Call Publications this morning about a man stuck in a mental asylum who is desperate to get out. I’ve also got another short to work on today if I have time (as it’s due tomorrow) about spirits but considering I’m at the beginning of a twelve hour shift, I’m not convinced I’ll have time to get it done!

I’m looking forward to tonight too when I finish work as we have a night of bad food (burgers) and movies planned which should be nice. Then I only have a few more days left at work before I have a week off. It’s my six year anniversary with my partner and we’re celebrating my going to visit the Harry Potter Studio. I cannot wait, you would not believe! It’ll be awesome just to get away and to not have to drive it a brilliant concept too hehe.

We’ve also recently adopted another cat into our family. It belongs to my sister but her situation has changed dramatically which means she can’t keep her. At first it was a bit sketchy and she hid under the sofa out of claws reach of our other kitty for over thirty hours. She came out overnight last night and ate all of her food and used her litter tray which is a big improvement. And this morning I was in for a shock when she crawled out from under the sofa right in front of our kitty and done a few laps of the living room (with kitty following like a lost puppy dog) and then came for a cuddle before going back under. It’s slow but it’s progress!

For now it’s more work and contemplation on writing.

Hours to go…

It’s only hours to go until the official release of my debut novel, The Doors. I cannot describe how I feel! It’s like a mix of excitement coupled with a bit of apprehension. I can tell you one thing for certain, I won’t be sleeping early tonight!

Today saw the delivery of several copies of The Doors that I ordered for the giveaway that I’ve organised (there’s still time to enter if you like). And a few of them are going out to some people who helped me along the way too.

Now… I’m working on my nano project which, as all of my nanos have, has had it’s ups and downs. It’s a young adult dystopian novel which is something quite different than what I’m used to writing. I am enjoying the write and some parts, as always happens, are easier than others. Now I’m hitting a part that is almost like a dark side to the story. My mc is literally in the dark for a whole week. The novel has been entirely in her point of view so don’t want to jump out just because of that but I’m not sure how I will work around it. I haven’t had a chance to do much writing today what with doing shopping and getting my hair cut for the first time in a verrryyy long time (really, it wasn’t as traumatic as I thought and I love my new hair!) Perhaps I’ll be able to do some when I finish work at 10 tiredness and excitement levels permitting.

Am I a technophobe?!

At one point I never thought this question would be on my mind. Yes, I’m not brilliant with computers but I know my way around them pretty well and when it comes to the internet, well I pretty much grew up on it so when I’ve been working on things using my blog and especially this Giveaway and I can’t seem to get the links to work etc, I get a little frustrated.

That being said, I think all is well now! So check it out at:

a Rafflecopter giveaway “>

(I REALLY hope that works lol).

Oh wow. It’s less than a week now until my release date. I’ve got a bunch of books coming ready for certain things (who knows, there might be another giveaway on the cards at a later date) and to do a couple of signed copies. I also plan to approach my local book stores to see if they’d be interested in stocking it. I’m feeling pretty nervous for that. After all, it would be an all out face-to-face rejection if they said no. Still, it would be my first rejection and that’s something, right?

There seem to be a lot of opportunities coming my way at the minute which I’m very thankful for (particularly to my good friend TS who has pointed me in the right direction) but I’m really excited to be getting involved in it!

Giveaway!

Hey guys

in order to commemorate the release of my novel, The Doors, on 20th November I’ve decided to give two lucky winners the chance to win a copy! There’s an e-book and a print book up for grabs and all you have to do is take a look at these few simple things…

a Rafflecopter giveaway “>

a Rafflecopter giveaway

11 Days!

With just eleven days to go until my novel is released, I can’t tell you how I’m feeling. The excitement is unreal to know that my story, something that I’ve created and brought up from a young short story has made it into maturity as a full blown young adult novel and is about to get out there. I suppose that’s exactly it. I’m letting my baby out into the big-wide world for the first time and you know what, it’s a little scary!

I’m excited that other people are going to get to read Amanda’s story, but at the same time I hope they enjoy it in the same way that I enjoyed writing it. Let’s just hope the world likes it!

In the mean time I am busying myself with nano. I have to be honest and admit I’m a little behind. Up until Fri I was actually ahead but this weekend has brought two twelve hours shifts and a sleepy Alice so unfortunately, I haven’t been able to write. Well, except snatches of something here and there. And actually, that something isn’t too bad and it’s pretty emotional! Let’s hope I can catch up tomorrow (which is what my plan is!)

Cover Reveal!

So guys. this is it! The moment that I get to share my cover with you. It’s been such an amazing experience working through this and finalising the details of my book cover and here it finally is!

SBibb_-_DOORScover[1]

What do you think? I know I love it, I’d like to know what you think too 🙂 It was created for me by Stephanie Bibb. What wonderful artwork she has made for me! Stephanie can be contacted at if you would like to get in touch about any personal projects or just take a look at her blog. She’s a lovely woman to work with.

It finally feels like my dream is becoming real, you know? I’ve started proof reading my novel and now this and I’m finally at the end phase of the publication where I’ll almost be able to have the novel in my hands!

ps: I think I’m finally figuring out the intricacies of this blog thingy!

Editing begun!

I started the edits on the second round of my novel yesterday. I know I planned for Thursday but life just seemed to get in the way. Still though, I got through four chapters yesterday.

How did it go? It was tough but fun and I found my creative juices were flowing and all these new ideas were coming out the wood work. Perhaps not the most brilliant time considering it’s at the end stages now, but still! I’m at work over the next few days so it’s unlikely I’ll get much of it done (long shifts and all). I’m getting more and more excited as the days pass. I can’t wait to see what the cover is going to look like and then find out the release date.

I think Wed is the next day I’ll be able to sit down properly and work on it again and until then, I’ve got my thinking cap on!

It’s here!

Can you guess what landed in my mailbox last night? That’s right, the second round of edits. My stomach did this little skip-jump. Was it excitement or apprehension? I think a mixture of both. I read the email from the editor who told me she loved the first round of edits that I did and hopes that this will only improve it further. Great! She’s so helpful. There were a few more points to look at within the email, suggestions if you will and then, onto the main manuscript. One hundred and twenty nine pages of novel. Doesn’t sound like a lot but the prospect of going through it is really quite daunting. I’m dying to get stuck in right now but at the same time, I think I want to wait until I have a substantial amount of free time and really start to rattle through it, you know?

So I’m waiting for my days off which happen to fall Thursday and Friday this week. Not long to wait really and I do have a few things planned on Thursday but they shouldn’t take all day and then I plan to make myself a pot of coffee, gather up my supplies around me and get stuck in.

Until then I plan to live a life of normalcy, work, and possibly cram in as much reading as I can. I’m reading a couple of books at the minute, Sphere by Michael Crichton and Gena Showalter’s The Darkest Night so I have a few things to keep me going.

Oh and during the editing process, I will require lots of chocolate!

Wish me luck!