More on the way…

I know I’ve been VERY inactive on this blog lately. Well I can sum it up it one word: work. Which I’m actually loving. I started a new job a little under three months ago and it’s going very well but it’s making me tired, so I don’t have much energy to devote to writing, let alone blogging.

But I’m gradually getting used to it and I’ve decided to prioritise writing/blogging/marketing of books etc over watching TV in the evenings – which I’ve been doing too much of lately!! (My excuse is fatigue and I’m sticking to it!)

I don’t know about you, but I find TV very addictive and although I tend not to watch more than one programme per evening (excluding the news), there are certain shows I find I can’t stop watching. But I’ve made a decision not to commit to watching new series as they appear but to try to concentrate on writing and everything that goes along with that.

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to stick with this plan – but hey it’s the start of Lent today and I could decide to give up on a bit of TV watching for 40 days or so, see how I go. I’ll keep you posted with how I get on. 🙂

Some bigger news now: I want to take a different approach on this blog. Reason being is that recently I’ve found that the posts I’ve done which have attracted the most interest have been those which are concerned with the nitty-gritty practical side of writing and blogging – how to start a blog, how to attract more followers to your blog, what about marketing your books and so on.

The interesting thing about this is I’ve had lots of views of my blog when I’ve least been expecting it – and it’s been hard, nigh-on impossible, to replicate. But I’m going to keep trying, because I’m passionate about this blog, promoting my writing, and above all connecting with all of you, my fellow bloggers.

So I’m going to aim to write, at least initially, practical blog posts which will share my progress (or lack of it) with blogging, writing, marketing and publishing. I hope you’ll join me in this quest and let me know what you think of my efforts.

To all you bloggers out there, what kind of blog posts do you find attract the most traffic to your blog?

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My writing’s been sidelined

I thought I’d write a blog post about not writing. Yes, you heard me. OK, so I haven’t given up writing, far from it. Despite abysmal book sales and feeling low about it, that’s not what I’m doing.

But a couple of weeks ago I started a new job and although it’s only part time, it’s making me quite tired so that I just don’t have the energy to devote to writing as much as before. I’m barely keeping up with the housework/looking after the dog etc. And most evenings now I just want to veg on the sofa in front of the TV (shock, horror).

One of the main reasons I have in my life for taking a step back from things sometimes, not just from writing, is because of a health condition, which I’ve written about before on this blog. I’m not going to go into great detail about it now – maybe in another post – but suffice it to say I have to put my health first before anything else, and I mean anything!

So yes, my writing is suffering a bit. I have managed to do a few sessions on it this week but not as much as I would have liked. I would like to say a BIG thank you to everyone who commented on my previous post with their thoughts on book promotion and generally making my books more visible. You’re stars, you really are and that was some great advice, which I promise you I’ll put into practice when I’m not feeling quite so knackered!

I’m sure what I’m going through as far as tiredness goes is completely normal when it comes to starting a new job. And my health condition does make it worse – I generally tire easily. Hence not doing things like NaNo – I simply wouldn’t be able to keep up. But I’m hoping that after a while I’ll get used to the routine of this new job and be able to incorporate working on my writing into that routine.

I feel a bit frustrated about it as I’d really like to be doing more with my writing as well as promoting my two novels which are already published. But I know I need to give myself time to adjust. (It doesn’t help that at the moment I’m fighting off a virus too! 😦 )

So what do you do when you’re busy and you’re feeling too tired to write? Do you soldier on anyway or do you cut back the hours you spend on it?

WIPpet Wednesday and an update on Reunion of the Heart

Parents evening

On Friday I published my second novel Reunion of the Heart. Initially it went well and I had some sales so obviously I was happy.

But then… they slowed right down. OK so it hasn’t been long since the launch and it’s only Tuesday now as I’m writing this. But what’s going on? The Inheritance, though it didn’t exactly set the world alight, sold more than Reunion of the Heart has at this point.

I was feeling a bit miserable about it to be honest.  I spoke to my dad and he had some words of wisdom: that releasing a book in summer is a bad idea because everyone in the Western world is away on holiday – or at least many of them are in the US and UK as well as the rest of Europe.  So it follows that they’re not around to download/buy books.

He’s got a good point.  He also said that, for example, film makers release their films at certain times of the year, depending on what sort of film they are.  They release blockbusters in summer and Oscar-worthy films at others.  He reckoned a good time of year to release a book would be October when everyone is almost certainly back from holiday.

It makes me think that perhaps I chose the wrong time of year to release Reunion of the Heart and that maybe I should have waited till the autumn.  Do you have any thoughts/advice?  I’d love to hear from you.

Anyway on to today’s excerpt, from my WIP.  I still haven’t chosen a title yet lol.  But it’s the one set in a school.  I thought I’d be generous and share with you 8 paragraphs for the month.  In this scene my MC Rebecca is coming face to face with Audi-Man again. It’s parents’ evening where the parents of kids at school get to meet with their kids’ teachers for an update on their kids’ progress.  Unfortunately for Rebecca, she’s teaching Audi-Man’s son.  Here’s a snippet of their conversation:

Taking a sip from the glass of water on the corner of the table, Rebecca looked at the list of parents still to see on the list in front of her.  She stifled a yawn.  It’d been a long evening.  She’d seen twenty eight sets of parents, although sometimes only one parent had attended, usually the mother.  There was only one parent left to see, the one she was dreading.  She would rather have seen him first.  Mr Leavis, Daniel’s father.  What could she say to him about his son?  That Daniel mucked around in lessons and never bothered?  That he could be a grade A student if he just knuckled down and did some work?

Her encounter with Mr Leavis in the school corridor came back to her and Rebecca’s cheeks warmed.  What was the meaning of it?  And why had he arrived so early at the school?  What on earth had he been doing for the last two hours?  But there was no time to dwell on those troubling thoughts.  She watched as Mr Leavis – Audi-Man – strode across the hall towards her.

Feeling her resolve falter, Rebecca took a deep breath, pulled her shoulders back and remembered what she’d learnt at drama school about portraying confidence.  As Mr Leavis approached she gave him the biggest smile she could muster under the circumstances and stood up to shake hands with him.

‘Good evening, Mr Leavis,’ she said, forcing the smile to remain on her face, though she would much rather have scowled at him.  ‘Please sit down.’

He did so frowning at her; it looked like a puzzled frown to Rebecca though she couldn’t be sure.  ‘Good evening Miss… Ms Engleton,’ he replied.  He sounded flustered.  Good, Rebecca thought.  The boot’s on the other foot now.

She gave a little nod and looked down at Daniel’s grade sheet.  It was woefully inadequate, when she knew he could do so much better.  She looked up again and nearly bashed heads with Mr Leavis, who she saw was also looking at the grade sheet.  Her face became hot, hotter still when he began to speak.

‘I don’t see what could possibly be so wrong with my son’s performance in class that you’re giving him such low grades.  It’s his GCSE year – he needs good grades to go on and do his A-levels.  There must be something wrong with your teaching methods for him to be failing so miserably.  Your predecessor never had it in for him as you clearly do.’

Mr Leavis’ voice was angry, as was his expression.  The word thunderous came to mind as Rebecca watched him, trying to remain cool while inside she was seething.  When she spoke she was surprised by how calm she sounded.

So there you have it.  If you’re reading this and thinking ‘I’d love to join in’, all you have to do is post on your blog an excerpt of whatever you’ve been working on writing-wise lately.  Just make sure it relates to the date in some way.  Then add your details to this linky.

Thanks once again to the lovely K. L. Schwengel, our wonderful host. 🙂

Call for volunteers for cover reveal for Reunion of the Heart!

cover reveal

Well this has certainly come around fast! I’m in the final stages of preparing to publish my second novel Reunion of the Heart.

To tell you a little bit more about it (without giving too much away!), it’s a romance and the story of a young woman who returns to her school for a reunion.  She finds that her life won’t be the same again…

I’m not gonna say any more about it because (obviously) I don’t want to give half the plot away.  But to cut to the chase, I need some volunteers to do the cover reveal for it.

I didn’t do one for my previous novel, The Inheritance.  To be honest I was learning the ropes – I still am but last year when I published it, I had no idea about cover reveals, so I simply shared the cover for it on Twitter.

This time around, having seen other people do it, I thought it would be a good way of generating some interest in my novel.

I’ve decided to do things differently in other ways too for the launch of Reunion of the Heart.  Last year when I published The Inheritance, I did a blog tour which I’ve decided I’m not going to do this time.  Organising and promoting the blog tour was a lot of work and while it was quite fun to do, I didn’t have a lot of people commenting on what I’d shared and it didn’t really seem to translate into sales.

So.  That was then and this is now.  I’m doing this cover reveal and I’m going to do some other promotions for Reunion of the Heart… Watch this space!