This blog has been more neglected than the bag of withered carrots lost at the bottom of my vegetable drawer. But as they say, blog announcements are like buses. None for ages, then three come along at once. I don't like to pad this blog with meaningless filler. Lucky for you, I've got some meaty content to share today.
Drafting, Editing and Beta-reading
The first and most exciting thing is that I finished the 6th draft of Bovine Intervention: A Lawnmowers, Inc. Sequel in mid-April. That's only about four months after the previous draft, which I'm pretty pleased with. At this point I have done everything I can and I'm now seeking external opinions - absolutely crucial part of the writing process. Whatever you're writing, however long you've been working on it, you simply cannot have too many eyes on it before completion. The more feedback, the better.
I've turned the manuscript over to Blueberry Books (my editoral expert of choice) for some professional feedback and then within a month or two I'll be reaching out to beta-readers for the next stage. If you've already agreed to beta-read then thank you so much, and I will be in touch soon! And if you are thinking that you might like a sneak peek at my WIP, please do get in touch because I'm still taking on more beta-readers. (It'll be around the 115k mark, urban-fantasy with elements of humour.) You can contact me in the comments below, or message me on social media.
The driving force behind this huge spike in progress is due to the fact that I actually left my job at the start of April. I decided to leave the workplace behind to take some time to finish this project and get started on the next ones. (Ones?! Yes. Multiple.) I am absolutely loving being able to dedicate all of my time to writing (hence why this blog is getting a bit more love as well) and honestly I have surprised myself with my dedication at the moment. I know that not everyone is in a situation where this leap of faith would be feasible, so I'm being sensible and making the most of every moment.
The month of April was also a huge success in terms of sales. With a little help from a freebie weekend, the Lawnmowers, Inc. series accumulated over 280 downloads across three titles! Thank you so much to everyone who had a look at them - and if you enjoyed them, please do leave a review.
Please also note that everyone who has purchased a copy of Déjà Moo can now access the most recent edition! Simply log into Amazon and navigate to Your Account > Manage Your Content and Devices. From there, scroll down until you find Déjà Moo - it should be highlighted with an orange banner. Use the ... dropdown menu to update the book to the newest edition. It'll come through when your device is connected to the internet. Happy reading!
Coming Soon...er or Later
So what about these new projects I'm working on? First and foremost, I am putting together a short, instructional ebook of writing prompts, the sort of thing new and experienced writers can both benefit from. The working title is 101 Ridiculous Writing Prompts and it's a tongue-in-cheek guide to productivity and tackling the blank page. I will berate, chide and guilt you into producing something worthwhile and I hope that the writers among you will pick up a copy in a couple of weeks when it's finished.
Besides that, I've started the preliminary planning for the next Lawnmowers, Inc. book, tentatively titled Herd Mortality, and I'm also working on a standalone sci-fi comedy novel about a bungled alien invasion. These projects are way, way off yet but I am having a lot of fun getting started with them.
Just so you get your money's worth, I've curated a bunch of links and resources that I found particularly useful this month!
Copywriter & Digital Marketing expert Ann Dayleview (whose help was invaluable putting this site together) has now compiled a fantastic query letter tool to help aspiring authors hone their query pitches. Check out Ann's resources here and subscribe if you like what you see! Or you can follow Ann on Twitter.
If you're looking for editorial services, I couldn't recommend the above-mentioned Blueberry Books more highly. Your work will be examined and considered from a multitude of angels and I can attest to the fact that the feedback I've received in the past has been invaluable in turning a decent manuscript into a great one. Click here to check out Blueberry Books' services and decide if they might be right for you. Alternatively you can follow them on Twitter.
Writer and Presenter Sarah Banham has shared with me a fantastic opportunity for writers under 35 - the Sunday Times/University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award! It's open to trad-published and self-published books. Click here for full details - deadline is June 15th! And for more opportunities and resources from Sarah, check out her website here or follow her on Twitter.
Last but not least, I have to give a shout-out to Mike Aaron who has put his second novel, Thousand Sunny Queen, up for pre-order. Not only is that one of the greatest titles for a novel that I've ever encountered, but the book is a lot of fun as well. (I was lucky enough to get a glimpse at an ARC!) It follows the life of a young girl who grows up wishing to be a pirate, and it's heavily inspired by the anime One Piece. Big congratulations on this huge release - and if anybody wants to check it out and pre-order, have a look here! UK / US