I hope you are all keeping well!
Spring is upon us. It’s rained quite a lot the last couple of weeks, so I’m hoping that April has some nicer walking conditions and a bit of heat in the sunshine. (Fingers crossed!!)
March has been a busy month. It was my dad’s 80th birthday – so we had lots of family over for that, which was lovely. Always nice to celebrate and see friends and family.
Lots of writing and editing has happened too. And we’ll get into that below!
During the month, I also thought a lot about how best to connect with my readers. Newsletters are great because I can update you with all my news, however, it doesn’t allow for two way interactions.
If anyone here is on Goodreads, I’ve set up a public group – called The Children of Gods and Fighting Men Forum – where people can chat about my books, and indeed other books you are reading. Its completely brand new and I’m hoping it will allow for some in-depth conversations about the world I have created.
If you want to join, here is the link…
The Children of Gods and Fighting Men
As I told you last month, the paperback is out in May 2023 in the UK and August for USA/Canada. They are off to the printers at the moment and I am hoping to get my author copies sometime soon.
As soon as that happens, giveaways shall be happening!!
I’ve always wanted to reward my newsletter subscribers, so some copies will be given away to subscribers picked at random without you having to do anything. Even if you’ve already read the book, there is an extract of The Words of Kings and Prophets at the back of the book which you might enjoy!
If you are not a newsletter subscriber, here is the link for that. Remember to look for the confirmation email in your junk folder.
Another exciting thing that happened this month, was that I received my pen from The Brothers Gwynne.
For those of you who don’t know, they held a book award ceremony earlier in the year celebrating their favourite books of 2022 – and I won ‘Best Debut’. As a lovely prize, they had pens engraved for each of the winners. If any of you intend to see me at the events mentioned below, this is the pen I shall be signing with!
Another fantastic thing that happened was that I received some lovely artwork from Súsanna Ingvardsdottir (do follow her on Instagram – her artwork is amazing! – here is her link S • I • D | Artist | Føroyar (@susanna_ingvardsdottir) • Instagram photos and videos
The red hair represents Gormflaith’s fire magic, which I absolutely loved.
In terms of personal milestones, I reached 820 ratings on Goodreads this month, which is amazing. If you have left a rating or a review, thanks so much. It means a lot.
(And if you haven’t left a review, please do – it really helps with word of mouth!!)
The Words of Kings and Prophets
Aside from the paperback, the next big thing for me will be the release of The Words of Kings and Prophets – Book 2 in The Gael Song series.
In February, I completed the structural edits. In March, I completed the copy edits. This took a couple of weeks, but was really nice to go through it all and whip the story into shape.
It’s now off to the typesetting – and then printing. I’m very excited to see these hardcopies. Oh, and it’s got a new map, with a few more locations added that are pertinent to the story.
Release dates are expected to be:
UK/Ireland/Europe/Commonwealth publishing area – 14th September
North America – 3rd October
Audiobook – is expected to be ready around the same time as the UK book release, however, that is not confirmed. I will keep you posted as soon as I know more.
If you are a blogger/booktuber/Tiktoker, please let me know if you are interested in reviewing!!
Social Media & Reviews
This month, I did the most amazing podcast with Becky Hadid at the Storied Recipe Podcast.
This was the most wonderful conversation, because it focused on Ireland, my books, why I decided to write them – and also – it was about food.
If you want to listen to the podcast here is the link to her website, but it’s also available on Spotify and Apple podcasts.
I gave Becky an Irish recipe, which was Irish Stew, which she then made and took lots of photographs. I’ve never seen such wonderful photographs in my life. I feel hungry just looking at them. I’ve added a few below so you can see!
Another fun social media event I participated in was Mythology March with the Fantasy Fellowship discord group. As part of this event, I recorded an ‘Women in Mythology’ discussion with fellow authors Kate Heartfield (author of new release Valkyrie) and Rosie Hewlett (author of Medusa).
In person events that I will be attending in 2023 are:
London Comic Con (28th May)
Cymera, Edinburgh (4th June).
A few more details have trickled in – and I know I am appearing on Sunday the 28th May at the London ComicCon at 2:30pm. My panel is on fantasy and folklore – should be very interesting!! I am also doing a book signing with Forbidden Planet bookstore straight after!! This is my chance to use my pen from the Brothers Gwynne!)
Another panel I am doing is for FanFiAddict. I’m actually moderating this time (my first time ever). The topic of conversation is on ‘How SFF is changing’. Taking part in the chat is Rob J. Hayes, Xueting C. Ni, Moses Ose Utomi and Kritika H. Rao.
I’m currently working on book 3 of The Gael Song series and I’m 128,000 words in.
I’m happy with this progress as much of March was spend on edits.
However, I’m even happier because I’m nearly at the end of my drafting phase. Just this next week I think is needed to have a finished draft, which means I can get on and work on the edits.
All writers are different. Some writers tend to have very clean drafts and the editing phase doesn’t take too long. I’m not quite like that. I do need a few months to clean up the prose and tighten the plotting. Which means I’ve a very busy few months ahead of me! However, I do love editing. There is nothing nicer than turning something a bit lukewarm into something beautiful.
During the month of March, I read two (nearly three) books. These included Scarlet by Genevieve Cogman, The Tyranny of Faith by Richard Swan, and I nearly finished Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan.
The books I am currently reading are:
- The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson (4% through)
- Of Darkness and Light by Ryan Cahill (4% through)
Next on my TBR is:
- Heart of the Sun Warrior by Sue Lynn Tan
- The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence
- Demon in White by Christopher Ruocchio
- When the Tiger Came Down the Mountainby Nghi Vo
It might take some of May to get to all of these, however, now that the rush of the edits for The Words of Kings and Prophets is over, I’m hoping to read most of them.
If you want to read more of my blogs and book reviews, hit the link below.