Saying Goodbye to 2015

There’s always something quite nice and refreshing about a new year. I always find myself gearing up ready for exciting things. I make goals for myself and put in plot points to reach them. I relish the idea of starting afresh and while 2015 has not been a particularly arduous year, I feel like 2016 is signalling great new things to come.

Already I have had news that a co-written novella by myself and David Owain Hughes has been accepted for publication. I have a novel in with Dark Chapters Press which I hope to hear about come February and already a couple of short stories lined up to be in anthologies.

I have plans to finish writing a series of novels that I’m working on. This year I wrote two which means I’m challenging myself to write five novels next year in that series. I have another idea brewing that could possible be something in the middle grade/YA range which I’m excited about and of course I’ll try and keep up with short story submissions.

In other things I want to challenge myself to read more. Although the latter half of this year has gotten relatively better, I’ve picked up an actual reading challenge and started compiling a list of books that I want to acquire.

And of course there are those usual personal goals in amongst all of that including being more organised and certainly more assertive. That’s always a hard one, isn’t it?

Whether you’re a goal setter or not, I wish you all the most happy of New Years and hope that 2016 brings everything you could want.

 

 

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!)

Pinehurst: A Novel Review

I’ve just finished reading the first novel in the Young Adult Pinehurst series and I have to say, I really enjoyed it! I read this novel within around three days and read half of that in one sitting.

Pinehurst, written by Nicole Grane, was a great novel that kept me hooked throughout. I found that I loved Evie’s carefree, rebellious attitude and even though she realised her magical abilities were above average, she wasn’t one to brag. The reader gets a really clear insight into her thoughts and emotions on several things including school, family, magic and the most important thing, guys! It’s written from a first person perspective which allows the reader to get very close and I have to say, I really liked the girl.

 

*Spoiler Alert!*

The reader follows Evie, the protagonist who has a problem with authority and constantly rebels against her dad using her magical abilities. When she’s shipped off to Pinehurst she thinks things will go just as she wants them as she always has, but she soon finds out her dad won’t budge an inch. As she finally begins to settle into life at her new magic school she makes some friends, learns a lot about her dad that she never knew and finds out that she must travel to the Underworld in a bid to save him. All of this is done with her mentor, and complete hotty, Antonio.

I’d give this novel 4.5 stars out of 5. Why minus the half star? Towards the end of the novel I noticed a few typos etc that distracted me a little and therefore upset the flow. That’s the only reason. Looking forward to the next one!

 

Where to find it

 

I got the Kindle edition of this novel from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pinehurst-Olympian-Adventure-Young-Romantic-Adventure-ebook/dp/B007Y2PURA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398653460&sr=8-1&keywords=pinehurst

What am I reading?

Right now, I’m reading a young adult novel called Dollhouse by Anya Allyn. The novel follows the protagonist, Cassie, who moves to Australia from the sunny Florida when her mum gets a new job. She finally feels like she fits in when she meets Ethan, the only problem is, he already has a girlfriend. As she embarks on these new friendships with Ethan, Aisha and Lacey, she finds herself lost amid the mountains of the outback only to realise that she didn’t really know them at all…

I’m about halfway through the novel at the minute and it’s been a good read so far, pretty original. It comes in a series of four books and I’m yet to see if I want to read on to find out what happens in the rest, only time will tell I guess.

I’m also reading The Hobbit again for about the hundredth time! It’s my all time favourite book and no matter how many times I pick it up, there’s always something new in it. I saw the second part of the movie, The Desolation of Smaug in December and I have to say that although it does stray slightly from the book, I really enjoyed it. I think it was one of the best films I saw last year, full of action, intrigue and even a little mixed race romance!

I just recently joined Good Reads… http://www.goodreads.com and if you’re interested to see what I’ve read and what I intend to read, please feel free to add me: alicejblack 😀

What are you reading at the minute?