This week’s Summer Reads guest is…me!

Andrea Baker Author:

Summer Reading Challenge – Week Eight

The lovely Kay, need I say more?…..

Originally posted on Suddenly they all died. The end.:

This week, it’s my turn! I hope you’ve enjoyed everyone’s recommendations so far – this has been a whole lot of fun, and I’m tickled to share my summer book picks with you. Read on to find out what they are, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post! There’s lots of awesome prizes, including a copy of my poetry collection, Tuesday Daydreams!

Summer Reads Blog Tour – Week Eight

Kay Kauffman

Tick tock, tick tock, it’s week eight in our Summer Reads Blog Tour and I’ve come to welcome Kay Kauffman to our madness!  Kay is another lovely online friend from Authonomy who I’ve been chatting with now for a number of years.  She’s fun, has a gentle spirit that I simply adore, and will be the first to gather her popcorn bucket when Sam and I start our online battles!  Let’s hear it…

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Summer Reading Challenge – Week Seven!

So, have you found your favourite reads amongst our lists so far?

This week is the turn of the wonderful Sam Smith – what will you think of her choices?

Summer Reads Blog Tour – Week Seven
Sammy HK Smith

Week seven is already here, and it’s time to introduce Sammy HK Smith! Sammy is another Authonomy friend who didn’t run away when I send a friend request via Facebook! Some do you know…lol. Anyway, along with others on this Blog Tour, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know her and her writings. You won’t want to miss out on her work and recommendations from Goodreads. Here’ssssss Sammy! 
Sammy lives and works in the sunny county of Oxfordshire in the UK with her husband, 14 cats, 2 dogs and hamster, Georgeski. When time allows, she writes. In Search of Gods and Heroes is her first book, and the first  of the Children of Nalowyn series.

Between working and writing, she studies with the Open University for her B.A in Humanties with a specialism in Classical Studies, and is currently learning (albeit slowly) Ancient Greek and Latin. She enjoys reading (obviously!), mythology, music, films, and a host of other uninteresting hobbies.
Sites: 

In Search of Gods and Heroes
Buried in the scriptures of Ibea lies a story of rivalry, betrayal, stolen love, and the bitter division of the gods into two factions. This rift forced the lesser deities to pledge their divine loyalty either to the shining Eternal Kingdom or the darkness of the Underworld.
When a demon sneaks into the mortal world and murders an innocent girl to get to her sister Chaeli, all pretence of peace between the gods is shattered. For Chaeli is no ordinary mortal, she is a demi-goddess, in hiding for centuries, even from herself. But there are two divine brothers who may have fathered her, and the fate of Ibea rests on the source of her blood.
Chaeli embarks on a journey that tests her heart, her courage, and her humanity. Her only guides are a man who died a thousand years ago in the Dragon Wars, a former assassin for the Underworld, and a changeling who prefers the form of a cat.
The lives of many others – the hideously scarred Anya and her gaoler; the enigmatic and cruel Captain Kerne; the dissolute Prince Dal; and gentle seer Hana – all become entwined. The gods will once more walk the mortal plane spreading love, luck, disease, and despair as they prepare for the final, inevitable battle.
In Search of Gods and Heroes, Book One of Children of Nalowyn, is a true epic of sweeping proportions which becomes progressively darker as the baser side of human nature is explored, the failings and ambitions of the gods is revealed, and lines between sensuality and sadism, love and lust are blurred.







Sammy’s bookshelf: summer-reads-blog-2014

Touch the Dark
5 of 5 stars
This is my favourite urban fantasy series of all time. Dark, gritty, funny, and with a splash of romance. What I love is that Karen doesn’t make our heroine the milquetoast MC that bumbles about needing a man to set her right. Cassie is …
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Through Violet Eyes
5 of 5 stars
I picked this book up several years ago in a cheap bookstore. I didn’t quite know what to expect, but after reading the novel I immediately ordered the subsequent books in the series. A paranormal mystery surrounding those with violet ey…
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Wit'ch Fire
5 of 5 stars
This series ranks in my top fantasy books of all time. They’re old school fantasy – good vs bad. With a strong female MC and a band of characters who are neither blank or white. James Clemens writes characters that are complex, interesti…
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Empire of the Saviours
5 of 5 stars
A.J Dalton was (I believe) the first author to officially coin the term metaphysical fantasy – where things such as free will and destiny are swayed by external influences such as gods. Where nature nurtures and we consider more than the…
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Autodrome
5 of 5 stars
Not YA, not adult, this fits wonderfully into the NA reading genre. A perfect blend of dieselpunk, dystopia and science fiction, Autodrome is a city in the desert where racing is everything. I liken it to the pod-racing in Star Wars – th…
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Share book reviews and ratings with Sammy, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

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Summer Reads Blog Tour – Week 6

Can anyone tell me where the time is going?

I can’t believe it is Week 6 already! Some of you may remember from my own feature last week that I chose a book by Tricia Drammeh. Well, I’m delighted to say that this week features the lovely lady herself….

Summer Reads Blog Tour – Week Six Tricia Drammeh

Super excited to introduce you to Tricia Drammeh! Tricia is another friend that I’ve had the privilege of getting to know over the last several years from a site called Authonomy. It’s a site where writers go to post their manuscripts and have their peers read and critique. I loved her manuscript, her style of writing from the moment I first read her work. It’s really cool to be able to say “I read her original work before it was published!”And now a word from Tricia!

me-3Hi everyone! My name is Tricia Drammeh, and I’m super excited to be a part of the 2014 Summer Reads Blog Tour. I hope you all are finding lots of great books to read this summer. I know I’ve found a bunch and I’d love to share some with you, but first here’s a little about me and my books. Tricia Drammeh is a wife, the mother of four wonderful kids, and the author of four published novels. She currently lives in New Hampshire with her family. When she isn’t writing, she can be found reading, wrangling cats, or drinking lots and lots of coffee. You can connect with Tricia by visiting her Website or following her on Facebook.

Twenty-three-year-old Karlie is in the type of rut some people never escape from. With few friends, no boyfriend, and no plans to graduate from college any time in the immediate future, Karlie is as stuck in her ways as the elderly neighbor she spends all her time with.

When her world is invaded by two surly twins bound for criminal court, a too-good-to-be-true love interest, and a cute cop who keeps showing up at the most inopportune moments, Karlie can either fight against the changes in her life, or embrace them.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Ninth grade can be a nightmare when you don’t fit in at school, your crush chooses someone else, and your parents tell you they’re having a new baby. Abby was prepared for normal high school problems. She wasn’t prepared for a demon. Abby has always been fascinated by the paranormal, but after an ill-fated séance, she discovers not all Spirits are benign. A dark entity unleashed during the summoning sets out to destroy Abby, and within days, she loses her best friend, incurs the wrath of her parents, and becomes a prisoner in her own home. With time quickly running out, she assembles an unlikely group of helpers: the most hated guy in school, a retired psychic, and the cute clerk from her favorite bookstore. Unless the demon is defeated, Abby and her new baby brother won’t stand a chance. The Séance, a Dark Summons Novel, is a full-length Paranormal book for teens and young adults.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Tricia’s bookshelf: summer-reads-blog-2014

Blind Sight
5 of 5 stars
Jordan has always known she had a destiny. She always expected to die young. When you’re a seeker (or a slayer) in the Celadon Circle, you put the world’s needs ahead of your own and never dare to question the Angels’ orders. But, Jordan…
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Charlie and Pearl
5 of 5 stars
Charlie runs the local bookshop and looks after the owner who suffers from dementia. He has a close relationship with his mom, is well-liked by locals at the bar, but isn’t really going anywhere with his life–until he meets Pearl. The m…
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Heartbreaker
5 of 5 stars
Bailey’s back in town, ready to face the biggest mistake of her life. Two years ago, she left Cam brokenhearted, and though she knows she can’t expect to be able to take up where they left off, she hopes she can find some peace in her ho…
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The Forever Girl
5 of 5 stars
Sophia has a secret she can’t share. If she tells anyone about the buzzing in her head, they’ll think she’s crazy. And, most of the people in her small town already think she’s crazy and dangerous–and possibly a murderer. She tries to c…
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Hold Her Down
5 of 5 stars
Elizabeth has given so much of herself to others (her husband, children, students, volunteer work) that there’s scarcely anything left of the “Liza” she used to be. Her husband takes her for granted. She can’t say no to the constant bar…
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goodreads.com Share &lt;a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/”&gt;book reviews&lt;/a&gt; and ratings with Tricia, and even join a &lt;a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/group”&gt;book club&lt;/a&gt; on Goodreads.&lt;br /&gt;<br />

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Summer Reads Blog Tour – Week Five, and it’s me!!!

I can’t believe how quickly these weeks are flying by!

We’re into week five of the tour, and the guest author this week is…..me (if the title hasn’t quite given it away :P )

So, what more can I do but handover….

Summer Reads Blog Tour – Week Five
Andrea Baker

It’s week five already, and it’s time to welcome Andrea Baker. I had the privilege of meeting Andrea a number of years ago on a forum, we became fast friends and have watched each other’s work develop over the years. It’s always amazing for me to look back and see all the changes we’ve been through. Take a peek at not only Andrea’s reads list, but also her books. You won’t be disappointed!

Andrea Baker has had ideas for stories, and poems all of her life, and as a child and teenager, many of these were written in one shape or another.  

As she grew older, and graduated University, she convinced herself that writing was a childhood adventure, and something that she should have grown out of – that these daydreams belonged in the realms of childhood.  For many years she stopped herself writing – although her mind continued creating these worlds and stories, she refused to write them down.

Over the last decade however, she has returned to allowing herself to develop these stories, and as a result, the Worlds Apart Series, an idea that has floated around for quite a few years now, has been created.

Nightmares are just dreams aren’t they?

They can’t hurt you, not really…

Leah’s can.

They’re trying to tell her the truth, and won’t stop until she understands.

Nineteen year old Leah struggles to cope with normal life after the recent loss of her mother.

Her heart-broken father decides to uproot them to Little Virginia for a fresh start, so they can bury the past behind them.

At once Leah is captivated by the castle ruins near her new doorstep, and whilst exploring she comes across a mysterious stranger.

Recurring nightmares long thought dead reawaken, and new strains appear in her relationship with her father.

But as Leah attempts to piece together the connection between them, she will find herself thrown into dark and dangerous worlds beyond her wildest dreams…

Twitter: @RoseWall15

Andrea’s bookshelf: summer-reads-blog-2014

The Seance
5 of 5 stars
The Séance is a story about a young girl who, like many others before, decides to try a Ouija Board, without appreciating the possible consequences. Even a smattering of appreciation however would not have led her to expect what we disc…
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Hooking Up
4 of 5 stars
I have to admit, I’ve come to this book pretty late. I’d read “Blood Lust”Blood Lust, so when I saw the new book “Holding On” was released, I went back to read Hooking Up, as it is the first in this story.

It is a fun, somewhat poignan…

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Blood Brothers
5 of 5 stars
I’m writing this review against Book One, although I’ve read and loved the series. NO SPOILERS HERE

I read the series back in Summer 2012, when recovering from major surgery – stuck at home and unable to drive, a friend had chosen it f…

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Morrigan's Cross
4 of 5 stars
Fantastic!!!

Again, although reviewed against Book One, I’ve read all three, and will not post spoilers.

This trilogy was a turning point for me – I’d previously read literary fiction and romance, as well as the odd chick-lit that caug…

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Share book reviews and ratings with Andrea, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

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Summer Reads Blog Tour – Week Four

This week, please welcome Will Macmillan Jones, one of the most prolific authors I have ever met, with his Banned Underground series, The Showing and of course the wonderful Snort and Wobbles for children.

So what features on Will’s Summer Reading list?

Summer Reads Blog Tour – Week Four
Welcome Will Macmillian Jones!

Well, week four of the Summer Reads Blog Tour brings us a dear friend and fellow author, Will Macmillian Jones. Will’s the comedic act in our group with his dry sense of humor, I can’t help but smile when I read his posts or chat away in a lively conversation.
Will Macmillan Jones live in Wales, a lovely green, verdant land with a rich cultural heritage. He does his best to support this heritage by drinking the local beer and shouting loud encouragement whenever International Rugby is on the TV. A fifty something lover of blues, rock and jazz he has just fulfilled a lifetime ambition by filling an entire wall of his home office with (full) bookcases.
His major comic fantasy series, released by Safkhet Publishing, can be found at: http://www.thebannedunderground.com and information on his other work and stuff in general at :
http://www.willmacmillanjones.com

Links:

Here are some of Will’s favorite reads:

Will’s bookshelf: summer-reads-blog-2014

A Long Way Down
5 of 5 stars
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The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
5 of 5 stars
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The Iron Hand of Mars
5 of 5 stars
This was the first of the Falco series I came across in a bookshop, and bought it on impulse. Subsequently I’ve invested in all the series, but this is still perhaps my favourite.
Davis’ descriptions of the Ancient World are vivid and …
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Share book reviews and ratings with Will, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

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Summer Reading Blog Tour – Week Three

So, here we are in Week Three of the Summer Reading Blog Tour – have any of the books and authors given you ideas yet?

This week it is Carrie’s turn – so let’s find out a bit more about her, and her favourite Summer Reads here :)

Summer Reads Blog Tour - Week Three
Welcome Carrie Fetzer!

This week it's our beloved Carrie's turn to share her favorite reads with you. I can't tell you how grateful I am to have her come into my life and support me the way she has. Last November, I half jokingly put it out on the page that I needed a page administrator, and our lovely Carrie messaged me! Not only did she volunteer, but she's run with it wholeheartedly.

She's done an amazing job with keeping the conversation going, and filled a huge gap for me when I needed it most. This was supposed to just be a temporary position, but Carrie wanted to stay on! The best part of having her admin my page? She's become a dear friend in the process. I'm lucky to have her come into my life, thankful for all she's done and continues to do. We love you Carrie!

Hey all, it's Carrie. I'm so excited to take part in the Summer Reads Blog Tour. I love reading, it's a passion, and after finding the Timeless Series, which wasn't easy by the way because I didn't have a kindle at the time, I knew I was hooked on Lisa's work. If you think you've got CATTS bad (chronic addiction to timeless series), then I'm in the final stages that Sam posted about here!

Anyway...

I'm a music addict, love animals, and adore spending time with my girls and husband when I'm not working at Curves.

So enough about me, listed below are the five books that I'd recommend for this summers reads. Enjoy!!

Carrie's bookshelf: summer-reads-blog-2014

Forsaken
5 of 5 stars
If you are looking for a good Young Adult fantacy novel this would be it. It is an easy read and keeps you intrigued. It's a good light read.
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Hush, Hush
5 of 5 stars
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Fallen
4 of 5 stars
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The Perfect Game
5 of 5 stars
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The Hobbit
5 of 5 stars
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Share book reviews and ratings with Irishcarrie, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

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Summer Reads Blog Tour – Week Two

Andrea Baker Author:

This week sees the introduction of Sam Dogra.
Sam is a fellow member, in fact the Vice Captain, of the Alliance of Worldbuilders. Although one of the youngest members, she’s also one of the longest serving of the group, and likes to keep us all in check!
I’ve known her virtually for about 4 years now, and finally had the pleasure of meeting her earlier this year, although we all wish it had been under far different circumstances, as it was to attend the funeral of a friend and fellow member.
Sam’s books are gritty, action filled fantasy, and personally I can’t wait to read the end of the Chronicles of Azaria series, as I vividly remember reading one of the first drafts…

Anyway, let’s see what Sam has to say, and find out more about her Summer Reads Recommendations:

Originally posted on Author Lisa L Wiedmeier:

Let’s welcome Sam Dogra!



Hey everyone, this week it’s my turn to feature in Lisa’s Summer Reads Blog 2014! This summer, Lisa will be showcasing the top 5 favorite books of various authors, in the hopes of sharing hidden gems for new readers to get into.

My name is Sam. By day I’m a doctor, running around taking blood samples, saving lives and getting grilled by consultants. When I’m not on duty, I’m also the author of The Chronicles of Azaria Series.



It’s a YA Fantasy Romance with a slight twist. The first two books, The Binding and The Parting, are available on Amazon and Smashwords. If you’re looking for something outside the paranormal genre, I’d definitely recommend it (but I would say that, I wrote it!).


You can find out more about the series, including character artwork, book previews and more, by clicking on the following links:

Now, enough about me, here…

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A Summer of Reading – Summer Reading Blog Tour Week One

As you’ll know from my earlier post, my wonderful friend and fellow author Lisa has put together a 13 week experience where you get to meet new people, and discover some of their favourite summer reads.

Lisa is one of my favourite up and coming authors, her “Timeless Series” is a fantastic read, and there are already four of them available. Be warned though, you may become a fellow sufferer of CATTS (chronic addiction to Timeless Series) ;)

Find out more about Lisa here

I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself!! Sam, Carrie and I wanted to provide for you, my avid readers, a way to not only meet new authors, but also books you might not have seen or heard about. A way to expand your reading list for the summer.

Over the next 13 weeks, I've asked various authors I know to come share not only about themselves and their books, but to also share five books that they'd recommend you take a peek at. There's going to be a wide range of genre to choose from, so there should be something for everyone.

So not only are you going to meet new authors, and hear about new books, but the exciting part is there's going to be giveaways!! You've got 13 weeks to enter, and 13 weeks to share these new reads with your family and friends. I encourage you to tweet, share on Facebook, Google+, and any other social media site you want to get the word out and have others join in on the fun!

So here goes...

Since I'm the host, I'm going first. Most of you already know me, but I'll share just a little bit for those that are new. I love hiking, camping, watching my boys fish and taking long walks with my Alaskan sled Labs, Taylor and Mandi. lol, okay, they're not Alaskan sled Labs, but that's what I call them when I use the dual harness to walk them, it's quite comical.

I've got a kindle chocked full of reads that I want to tackle over the summer, but I wanted to share with you some of my favorites.

Lisa's bookshelf: summer-reads-blog-2014

Beyond the Highland Mist
4 of 5 stars
I love Karen Moning's Highlander Series-love them. I'm a romance junkie, so that's probably why, but I also think it's the fact that Karen weaves romance & plot so very well. I also love the fact that I can pick up any of these books and...
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The Binding
4 of 5 stars
What can I say but "wow". Once again Sam has shown talent in telling a tale with wit and witty comments that bring a smile to my face. I love Eliza's sassy attitude, and yet the realization of what is taking place and how she choses to f...
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Aidan
4 of 5 stars
I stumbled upon Abby Niles work when looking for a new read on Amazon. It was an adult romance, which I'm fond of, but it was about shifters which typically isn't what I'd pick up first. I know this sounds funny coming from me, since I w...
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The Governess 1
4 of 5 stars

I had the pleasure of reading The Governess when it was still in its draft form and loved it then, as I love it now. If you want romance that's clean and heartfelt, then this is the read for you.I love Ellise's style as you're easily s...

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The Claiming Words
4 of 5 stars
I was given the privilege to read Tricia's work when it was still in its draft stage, I loved it then and I love it even better now. Tricia's style of writing is smooth and flows very well. I find myself disappearing inside her work and ...
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Share book reviews and ratings with Lisa, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

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Summer Reads Blog Tour – Week One

On these beautiful long summer evenings, how often do you wish you could find something new to read – perhaps a new genre, or author you’ve not read before?

My friend and fellow author Lisa has had a fantastic idea!

Over the next thirteen weeks we’re going to be bringing you a selection of ideas – interviews with new authors, and a selection of their recommended summer reads for you to enjoy.

Being the host, and one of my own favourite authors, Lisa has week one, so visit the dedicated page here to follow our summer of reading :)

Writing can be an isolating business…

Writing can be an isolating business…

A friend posted this blog yesterday, and it really made me think.

I’m an introvert, which is something many writers share.  There may a connection between the creative imagination and the way the brain works that leads us in that direction who know?

But as humans we need social experience and contact.  When I started writing Leah I didn’t tell a soul – not even my Husband or Parents, yet my Mom had always told me even as a little girl that I should write.  

Why?  Fear – of being ridiculed, of having expectations laid at my door that would stifle the creativity and cause too my pressure.  Those that know me in the professional world would be surprised at that – I work hard, and thrive under a certain type of pressure, but that is just it – that is work.  Writing is part of me, and a part that very few people get to see.

When I won my publishing contract I finally found the nerve to tell those closest to me, I’d told my husband after writing 25,000 words, to explain that it wasn’t really my paid job that was keeping me at the computer at all hours.  I told my parents and my sister when I won the competition, and they were delighted for me, and on the day Leah finally came out I “went public” including in the dreaded playground where my daughter goes to school…

My family were hugely supportive, my cousins ordered copies online and read it, my parents, both of them, read and claim to love it, despite it being YA/NA.  One of my daughters friends is probably my biggest fan, having read it now NINE times – despite only being 9.  My husband however has never read it, and probably never will.  He hates anything connected to the Paranormal, so I guess I need to excuse him, but yes it still hurts, and makes me find it difficult to justify another expense on something writing related.  Our nephew even wrote a brilliant piece of music, named “Leah” for use exclusively to market the book – the introduction is now part of the book trailer, which you can find on my website.

So, what right do I have to empathise and associate with Tricia’s comments?  There are people who have never once mentioned to me about the book, no congratulations or even acknowledgment of this achievement.  If I heard that a friend, family member or even colleague had just achieved something, I would offer my honest congratulations – achievement is a wonderful thing, and we are all different, so regardless of what it is, if it is something they worked hard to do, it deserves congratulations!  I associate with Tricia’s comments though because I now dread having to admit that Book Two isn’t ready to be released yet, and it is so difficult to explain why I struggle to write at the moment, when Leah came so easily.  That’s sharing too much of myself, and what’s going on with me for comfort.

You see, amongst friends there has been a change, rather than the usual catching up conversation you have – in my experience there are now two questions that people start a conversation with the “why are you still working, surely you got paid a huge amount now your a published author” type of question, and the inevitable “when is the next one coming out”.  People will avoid me because they don’t quite know what to say, they find it “funny” that I write Fantasy, and see it as immature and easy (!).  Others avoid me because writing is also their own dream, and jealousy is driving a wedge between us.

To an introvert who values her few friends and her family deeply, anything that drives a wedge, or is the cause of ridicule, or just puts pressure on what was a good relationship, is likely to cause further withdrawal, leading to further isolation.  Many of my friends are online, and have been made during the writing journey, and can completely associate with the experiences I’ve had, yet even to these I’ve struggled to be able to explain, and therefore start to withdraw from.

One of the things that really struck a chord with me though in Tricia’s piece here was the expectations that go with it.  In general, people only really hear about the multi million sellers, or the author that got a six figure advance.  Those stories are so far and few, that’s why they are news, but the perception is that this is the norm.  Therefore, if you are published and not living that lifestyle then you must be a failure.

As many of you will know, there was no huge advance – or advance of any kind.  Statisticians claim that 95% of published books receive no advance, so I am in very good company there.   Leah was published by a small independent publisher who, to this day, has never paid me a penny (or cent) of what I am owed.  Yet, I know how many paperbacks family bought – my Mum proudly ordered and posted to aunts and uncles to start with!  I also know from rankings that the ebook sold too, so I should have earned something by now.  As Tricia says, when there is no visible payoff to all the work that goes into writing and marketing that novel, people begin to question, and resent the time dedicated to it.

Leah is no longer under contract to that company.  We parted ways at the end of 2013, and it is now being released elsewhere, however the experience has left me feeling used, and cynical about the whole thing, which is a death knell to creativity.

But, I wrote a book that was considered good enough to win a competition for a publishing contract – and that people have since bought and enjoyed.  I have people genuinely ask me when they can read the next one, which means that something must be right in the first one, doesn’t it?

So why do I feel as though I’m letting people down?  As though I’m the failure?  Not one single member of my family or closest friends has said it to me, although there have been the “it needs to wait until next month, or a few months” comments when I want to buy something, but there is a voice in the back of my head repeating it like a stuck tape, and that is destructive.

We are our own hardest taskmaster and critic – that is certainly true of me anyway, but I have love and support from those closest to me, most of the time anyway, and my heart and love goes to those who are struggling along this path without it.

 

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