Friday, 1 November 2013

The Realisation of a Dream

So firstly, I do need to admit that I have been incredibly lazy when it comes to this blog recently! Real life got completely in the way, what with going back to work after a long break, moving house and getting the paperback version of The Last Knight out there. But now I am back, and I do plan on trying to write a little more often on here.

But this post has one purpose and one purpose only. To talk about an event that happened on the 30th of October.

What happened, in a nutshell, was that one of my childhood dreams came true.

When I first started writing, back in my very early teenage years, I decided I wanted to be an author. The way that you do when you're a kid and you don't really understand the work, or the logistics, involved. I just decided that one day I would have a published book, it would be made into a blockbuster movie, and I would hold signing sessions where people would queue for hours to get my autograph.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking, I like to dream big.

For the next 18 years of my life I worked towards that goal though. Not in a particularly determined or focused way for much of the time, but I wrote. A lot. I wrote all the time. I wrote a 20,000 word novel when I was about 15 that I was insanely proud of. It will never see the light of day, but it was a start. When I was 20 I finished writing my second novel. It was the opposite. It was a nearly 200,000 word homage/ripoff of every fantasy writer I'd ever read and loved. But it was far better written. I was growing as a writer with every word I put on paper.

At 24 I finished a third novel. One I was proud of. Really proud of. It was good. It was just too late. Twilight had gotten there first and flooded the market with books about vampires and werewolves. No one would touch Chasing Freedom.

Then at 28 I finished my fourth novel. The Last Knight. A book I was so proud of. A book I wanted to see published.

For two years I worked on it, I edited it to within an inch of it's life and I shipped it around to every Literary Agent I could find. Then I started to think about self-publishing, and the freedom it would give me to do what I wanted. Anyone who has read my blog knows the rest. The Last Knight went on sale June 30th 2013.

Childhood dream #1 achieved.

The blockbuster movie is still a long way off, but on the 30th of October I achieved Childhood dream #3. I held a book signing. And people came...and got their books signed. And I felt on top of the world.

I did a book reading that people seemed to love. I didn't break down and cry like a baby in public (I feel this should be noted because it was one hell of an achievement!).

I did something that I had been dreaming about for 18 years. It does not get better than that!

Friday, 13 September 2013

The Crippling Self-Doubt of a Writer

All right, I'll admit it. Not exactly the most positive of titles for a thread post, but one that I feel is right for what I want to write about today.

It's something few writers talk about, but something that I think almost all of us feel at one point or another. Even the most self-confident writer out there - the one who can stand up and tell the world 'I've written the best book the world has ever seen' - no doubt still has moments when they wondered if they're really good enough.

I know I do. I'm fairly positive at the moment. I might have self-published my own book (which if you listen to some circles is the ultimate delusion of the bad writer) but I've had steady sales and (so far) only positive reviews, even the ones that were critical were still positive in the overall tone (3 out of five stars is a win to me).

But I still have moments when I look at what I've written, ( or I take part in a pitch competition) and think 'why am I doing this. I'm not good at this'. When a sentence just won't come right or a character is sounding like they're made of cardboard. Or when I can't figure out how to pitch my book in just 140 characters and still make people see what makes it different.

Those are the moments when I lose faith. Those are the moments when I wonder why I dedicate this huge chunk of my time (and it is an insanely huge chunk) to something that in all honesty I might not actually be that good at. All that time when I could be doing something else spent scribbling away or spent online searching for ways to promote my book. Time that could be spent with my boyfriend, or my family and friends. Time walking the dog or riding a bike. Time learning something new, or doing other old hobbies that have dropped by the wayside.

Then I remember, and this is the key bit, I remember why I write. I remember why I cry and scream and drive myself round the bend trying to find just the right word. Why I lose myself in a world populated by figments of my own imagination.

I do it because I don't know how to do anything else. Whether I'm any good or not, I am a writer. It's part of who I am. I don't write for money,or for fame, or even for good reviews. I write because I don't know how not to write. I might go weeks, even months when I haven't put pen to paper, but the stories are always there, the words fighting to get out, the characters begging for their story to be told.

OK, so I can't figure out how to write a 140 character pitch. Who cares. OK so my book has only sold just under 300 copies so far. Means nothing. I will write the sequel, and I will write different book, and another one, and another one. Because I have to. If I didn't I would go crazy.

I have my moments of crippling self-doubt, but I come out of the other side because no matter what happens, I am a writer. It's not a hobby, it's not something I do. It's something I am.

So to my writer friends who might read this, who might go through the same moments of doubt, I can only tell you what gets me through. I write because I love it, and nothing we love can be worthless or bad.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

It's Been Far Too Long

Alright, I admit it. I'm terrible for letting life get in the way of blogging. I swore to myself that I wouldn't let it go too long between posts but the truth is that was never a promise I was going to keep.

And honestly? I don't want to. Because if the choice comes down to writing anther few thousand words of a novel or posting a new blog post, the choice with ultimately be the novel. Writing my novels and my stories will always come first.

Shamefully this time around the long absence hasn't been down to writing. Quite simply I've been too busy.

Somehow grown-up life has finally caught up to me. The job got very busy at the end of our season, and when I wasn't working for my day job I was working on getting the paperback ready to be published. I've also discovered that my previously single lifestyle left me a lot more time for this kind of thing, now I'm juggling other demands on my time (although I'm sure he wouldn't appreciate being just another 'demand on my time'). All of that combined with a trip home to finally meet my six-month old nephew has meant that I have neglegted this blog in a terrible way.

However there is some good to report.

The Last Knight is now available in paperback. And looks amazing! The cover looked great on line but I love it even more in hard copy. The colours are amazing.

Sales have not been crazy or overwhelming but steady as ever. I may near be the next J.K Rowling, but I continue to get positive feedback that is incredibly encouraging.

The as yet untitled sequel is still being worked on, but I have high, and possibly optimistic hopes of having it ready in time for Christmas.

In other parts of my life not related to writing, I have signed up to another year on the tiny island paradise I currently call home. I have a kind of love/hate relationship with the island, love because it truly is a remarkable place to live, and hate because it keeps me so far away from friends and family whom I love. Yet it is also the place that allowed me the time and freedom to finish editing and publish my first novel; I'm hoping it can do the same thing for the second novel.

So there you have it, perhaps not the most exciting of blog posts, but hopefully the start of my return to this particular blog.

So until next time TTFN

Monday, 22 July 2013

Post-Publication Blues

All right. So I admit it. After all the stress and craziness over getting The Last Knight published I got kind of lazy. I had put so much time and energy into getting the book ready to go, and doing the blog tour and all the rest of it that when it was over I was a little lost. I honestly didn’t really know what to do with myself.

And this blog suffered as a result. I don’t think I could face trying to put down in words exactly what it was like to finally have my book out there.

I’m still not sure that I can find the words. It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride but it’s been worth it.

So what’s happening with the book now? Well, it’s not been an overnight bestseller (like that was going to happen anywhere but in my dreams) but it has been better than I expected. I honestly just expected my family and friends to buy it. That hasn’t been the case. It’s not sold a huge number of copies, but it is steady progress.

And most importantly people are enjoying it. A current 4.5 star rating on Positive, encouraging reviews. And people I know reading it and telling me that they can’t put it down. What better comment is there than that?

But the question that’s been plaguing me for the past couple of weeks is ‘what now’? Where do I go from here?

Well the first big news is that I am going to be releasing The Last Knight as a paperback. E-readers are great, but not everyone has one and I want to make the book as available as I can. Plus there is the pure vanity side of it that I just really want to hold a copy in my hands. It’s a longer, slightly more involved process than the e-book publishing was, but I am still hoping to have it on sale by the end of the summer.

The second news is that I am knuckling down and working on the sequel. I’d always half planned on writing a second book – I love Lance and Cara too much not to tell more of their story. Plus anyone who’s read the book knows the ending isn’t exactly a happily-ever-after. I don’t have an exact publication date just yet – but the hope is to have it out sometime around Christmas, or the new year.

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped or supported me over the last few months. I couldn’t have done it without you. I’d like to say that I’ll stop talking about the book so much now – but you know that’s not going to happen.

For now, Lance and Cara are waiting, I have their next story to tell.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Book Launch Blog Tour

So the days have flown by and it’s now just one day until the release of my first novel -  THE LAST KNIGHT.

To be honest, in a weird way I am almost numb to the excitement now – part of me just wants it over with.

However, I am excited to announce that I will be doing a blog tour for THE LAST KNIGHT! This is something quite new to me, but I’m so pleased and grateful to the wonderful people who are taking part. Below is a list of the blogs and dates.

30th June – Down Under Wonderings - - The Truth Behind the Legend Guest Post

1st July -  Delirious Musings of a Writer - - Q&A with my own lovely self!

2nd July – The Tracery of Ink - – Interview with me – because I’m great!

3rd July – Yatopia - - Interview with the gorgeous, sexy and mysterious Lance.

4th July – Cassandra Page - – Self-Publishing Guest Post

5th July – The Fault in Our Words - - Ideas and Sticking with Them Guest Post

6th July – Hexbound – - Self-Publishing Guest Post

7th July – Book Nerds Anonymous - - Book Review

Hope to see you all there!

Friday, 21 June 2013

The Last Teaser...

So it’s getting real now, people. Just over a week to go until THE LAST KNIGHT hits the shelves.

Nine days to be exact.

Nine days. Wow, that’s a scary thought. Emotionally, it’s been a crazy rollercoaster ride over the last couple of months. I’ve gone from incredibly excited to feeling sick with fear and worry. And I doubt that’s going to change in the next week.

I’ve had days where I am so excited to get this book out there – to see what people think. And I’ve had days where I think I’ve made some huge, crazy mistake.

But what’s kept me going along this path has been the overwhelming support of the people around me. Friends, family, people I barely know,  who are still supporting the launch of this book. They have all made it possible for me to follow through on the promise I made on the spur of the moment back at the beginning of April.

Spur of the moment it might have been, but it’s still the right decision. Panicky feelings aside. This is the right choice for me. Because being a writer for me was never about making money or being famous. It was about telling some stories that are fun and entertaining, and hopefully touch people in some way. I don’t have to have a publisher or an agent to do that.

So this week, seeing as we are getting so close to release day – just a teeny, tiny snippet of a teaser, from about midway through the book. It might give a little something away, but it’s not too spoilery.


My fingers tingled with static electricity building in the air. My heart hammered in my chest.

I turned the corner and stopped dead, like I’d hit a solid brick wall.

At the far end of the corridor was a big glass case with a suit of gleaming armour. I could have blamed the overhead light for the way it glowed, but I’d have been lying. Perhaps to anyone else it looked like a regular display, but not to me.

I edged forward, my feet like lead weights. The glass case grew closer, and I could feel Lance just one step behind me.

There it was in front of me. A huge broadsword hung on a set of supports. The hilt was bound in leather, turned black with age, and a blood red stone was held in place on the pommel by a metal griffin, so perfectly moulded that it almost looked alive, its eyes tiny chips of ruby. The blade was unmarked and undamaged, as flawless as the day it was forged.



Chapter Twenty-One, THE LAST KNIGHT

Read, enjoy and share!

Friday, 14 June 2013

Not Long Now!

So another Friday has rolled around, and it is now only 17 days until the release of my first novel. Wow!

It’s strange. When I first started on this journey, when I first decided I was going to self-publish, it felt like I had so much time ahead of me to plan and work, but the time has flown by and suddenly in just over two weeks my first novel is going to be on sale.

It’s a scary, exhilarating feeling! There are still parts of me that are terrified. I’m scared that people won’t like the book – that perhaps I have jumped the gun and published THE LAST KNIGHT before it’s really ready. I’m worried that even if it is good, it simply won’t sell – that no one will ever hear about it.

But that said I have been incredibly lucky to get more support than I could have ever expected. Not just from my family and close friends, but from everyone around me. Friends who have gone out of their way to spread the word for me – to try and get this book out there in the public eye. Their support is invaluable. The lovely Sharon Johnston gets particular thanks in this regard.

For this week’s teaser I’m going to just give you the ‘cover blurb’, the synopsis that is hopefully going to make people want to read the book:

Seventeen-year-old Cara Page knows what mark she's going to get on her English test next week. She knows in three days her history teacher is going to be late because his car broke down. She knows she's going to give the new boy a nose bleed on his first day.

She knows because every night she dreams of the future, and every day those dreams come true.

Now she's dreaming of a boy, and a future that can't be real. Because if it is, then everything she thought was myth and legend is actually true, and there is an evil coming that will tear the country apart.

Lance Filwer is a boy with secrets of his own, and a past full of mistakes he can't undo. Cara is his second chance, his chance to succeed where he failed before - if only she'll trust him enough to let him help her.

Cara needs to know what's happening, but the answer lies in a long forgotten past, and an ancient legend. To find it Cara will have to travel into the depths of Wales, and the heart of ancient Britain.

With Wraiths, creatures from the darkest of myths, dogging her every move, Cara knows it's only a matter of time before they catch up with her. And myth or not, they will kill her.

Her only hope is Lance, and the birth right she must claim, if she is to prevent the future she has foreseen.

I honestly believe that writing the cover blurb was ten times as hard as actually writing the novel!

I’m going to leave you today with a few links:

Follow me on Twitter - @NSDorrington

Or add it to your shelf on Goodreads -

Friday, 7 June 2013

Book Cover!

Time for this week’s teaser – and this time it’s something a little different. With just 23 days left until THE LAST KNIGHT goes on sale I have finally gotten my cover art work finalised, thanks to my wonderful sister and my brother-in-law who put this together.

I am incredibly happy with it – it feels just right for the book – and I am still hoping one day to see it on  proper hardcopy version.

But for now, here it is.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Another Tasty Teaser...

So I’m a day late, but a few real life things got in the way!

This isn’t even going to be a long post, just the promised teaser. It’s getting harder to find good scenes that don’t give away too much of the story!

I had the next period free and found a quiet corner of the courtyard to read the book we’d just started in class. It was freezing cold, but there was no way I was venturing into the Sixth Form common room. As far as I was concerned it was one of the circles of hell.

“So, Cara, getting in with the new boy I see,” a familiar voice drawled from above me.

“Go away, Anderson.” I didn’t look up from the page of my book, even though I wasn’t seeing the words anymore.

The bench creaked beside me. “Well, that’s not very friendly, is it?”

I looked up when he sat down next to me. James Anderson. Brown haired, green eyed, and Captain of the school rugby team. My ex-boyfriend and bane of my existence, and the person who still made my heart clench painfully every time I saw him.

“What do you want?”

He smiled. To anyone else it might have looked like a friendly grin, but I knew the viciousness lurking behind it.

“Can’t I just be friendly?”

“You’re never friendly. Least, not to me.”

Looking away from me, out across the courtyard, he shrugged. “Maybe I’ve changed my mind about you.”

I snorted. “Bullshit.”

“Yeah, you’re right. You know me too well.” He paused, a smirk playing on his lips. “Bet you were excited about the new guy. Did you think maybe you’d finally found a friend? Someone who didn’t know what a crazy, psycho bitch you are?” He spoke so calmly, making it sound like a statement of fact rather than an insult.

My body tensed. So that’s why he was here. To let me know they’d already told Lance all about me. To let me know that making my life miserable was still top priority.

“I don’t care.” I said the words, but I didn’t mean them. I did care. I cared a lot, too much probably. It was hard to believe I’d been in love with Anderson once. It was a misplaced love, and trust, that had turned me into a social outcast and the betrayal still hurt like hell.

“Oh, come on, Cara. Samantha and Rebecca were just doing their civic duty. Got to warn the poor guy about you after all.”

“They didn’t have to,” I muttered.

“No, but they wanted to.” Anderson smiled down at me, his green eyes cold.

As I looked up into his eyes I wondered again what had possessed me to trust him. But I had. I’d told him everything. About my mum, and my dreams.

It might’ve been alright if I’d kept it vague. He might’ve thought I just had a wild imagination, that maybe I was an attention seeker. But I hadn’t, I’d told him about the latest dream, the dream about his sister and the car crash. He’d told me I was sick and refused to answer my calls or texts.

It might have ended there, but four days later his thirteen year old sister had been killed in a horrific car accident, and every time I thought about it I felt sick to my stomach.

When Anderson had returned to school after his sister’s funeral he’d told the whole school about my crazy mother, and that I was crazy too. Of course, in his version I’d made up the dreams after the accident. I still didn’t know if he really believed it, if somehow he’d twisted it in his own memory because it made more sense, or if that little flash of emotion I saw in his eyes sometimes was fear. Fear because he alone knew even if I was crazy, I wasn’t lying. I really had seen the future, and he blamed me for it.

He was still looking down at me. I blinked first and looked away, and he chuckled. Leaning back on the bench he stretched his legs out in front of him, crossing them at the ankle, the picture of ease.

“Do you think you’ll start hearing voices soon, like your mother? ‘Cause I really want to be around when they cart you off to the mental institute.”

I stood abruptly. “Go to hell, Anderson.”

“Only to watch you rotting there,” he called after me as I stormed away.


Read, enjoy, share…

Friday, 24 May 2013

It's Friday!

Another week gone by and a week closer to THE LAST KNIGHT hitting the virtual bookshelves.

The nerves are mounting, as is the feeling that I’m never going to be ready in time, but so is the excitement. In 37 days I will be a published author – even if I am self-published. Strangely enough though I am feeling less and less concerned with the ‘self-published’ part. Sure there is a certain amount stigma still attached to the self-publishing route, and I am taking a big gamble, but I’m also making myself responsible for my own success, and that feels pretty good!

I promised a teaser or taster every week between now and the release date, so here is the next one. This is the opening scene to the book – a scene I wrote over three years ago now. So much has changed about the novel, the plot and the characters since then, and this scene itself has probably been re-written and edited a dozen times, but it is still where it all began, when I first put down on paper the idea of a modern character tortured by images, visions and dreams of a past that was not her own.

I walked slowly, my fingers trailing along the white wall as though the physical connection could keep me grounded. My free hand clutched a little shrub sprouting red flowers. It was a gift I knew wouldn’t be appreciated, but I would deliver it anyway. My trainers squeaked on the tiled floor as security cameras clicked and whirled in the corners, tracking my progress along the corridor. The astringent smell of bleach scratched at the back of my throat, but I fought back a cough.

Snedham Mental Hospital. God, how I hated the place.

A distant babble of raised voices shattered the silence and my feet faltered. I froze, trying to make out the words. Only one voice, pleading and begging for help, stood out, but the pitiful sound made my heart ache. Only a moment later the voices died away and silence crept back, somehow louder than the shouting.

“Miss Page?” The orderly escorting me stopped a few feet ahead and looked back.

Shaking myself, I started forward again, feet dragging as we drew towards door at the end of the hall. My stomach churned, making bile rise in my mouth. Wrestling a crocodile was a more enticing prospect than taking those last few steps.

“Here you are, Miss Page.” The orderly stopped outside the door. “You can go straight in.”

I hesitated, staring at the plain white wood. There was no lock, but a small, square observation window sat at eye level. I didn’t look through it as I took ten deep breaths before pushing open the door. A blast of warmth hit me, bringing a stale, musty smell with it, the smell of old sweat and dust.

“Who is it? Who’s there?”

A stranger sat in the armchair beside the window. Blonde hair hung lank and greasy around her face, and even though her blue eyes were wide open I knew she wasn’t really seeing me. Another deep breath steadied the trembling in my legs, and I was able to take a few more steps into the room.

“It’s me, Mum. It’s Cara.”

My voice cracked, but I refused to cry. The one and only time I’d given in to the tears she had looked at me so blankly it broke my heart. The fact my own mother couldn’t, or wouldn’t, comfort me was too much for me to cope with. I’d been twelve years old at the time.

“Cara?” She frowned. “I know that name.”

Two steps took me across the tiny room, with its narrow, single bed, and I sank to my knees beside her chair, my fingers stroking her forearm. I couldn’t hug her, not when she would sit there as still and immobile as a statue.

“Yes, Mum, it’s me. Your daughter.”

I knew it wouldn’t help. It didn’t matter how many times I told her who I was; she still looked at me like she’d never seen me before. That was the hardest part; this woman, who’d given birth to me, didn’t even recognise me.

She blinked and looked away. “It’s cold. Why is it always so cold?”

The room was swelteringly hot, and she sat right beside the radiator. At least, her body was by the radiator, her mind was somewhere else entirely. She’d been somewhere else for the last five years. I sometimes wondered what she saw. What had that small, sterile room become for her? I privately hoped it was somewhere beautiful, somewhere she could see the sky.

“I brought you a new plant,” I told her, placing the little green shrub in its yellow pot on the window ledge. “You need to remember to water it – or it’ll die like all the others.”

“I think I’d like the roast pheasant for supper tonight,” she ordered, not even glancing at the plant. “Please instruct the kitchens.”

“Sure, Mum, I’ll tell them.” Of course, I wouldn’t. She would get the same food as the rest of the residents at Snedham, but it was easier to go along with her fantasies. Why pheasant I didn’t know, she’d always been a vegetarian.

“I can’t stay long, Mum.” A ball of guilt felt like a lead weight in my stomach. I hadn’t even been there ten minutes. Was that really all the time I could spare my own mother? I shook it off; I couldn’t stay, it was too hard. “I’ve got homework and things to do. But I’ll come see you next week.”

She didn’t seem to hear me. Her face was turned towards the window, but I knew that she was seeing something completely different. I reached out and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. It had once been long and honey blonde like my own, now it hung limp and flat around her face.

“It’s my birthday, Mum,” I whispered, tears burning my eyes. I’d promised myself I wouldn’t do this, but the words slipped out. “I’m seventeen today. Can’t you at least say ‘Happy Birthday’?”

Nothing. She didn’t even look my way. Sobs clawed at my throat and I pushed back to my feet, rocking on my heels. Looking down at the stranger in my mother’s body, I wanted to scream and rage. I wanted to shake her until her teeth rattled; anything to get a reaction out of her. It wasn’t fair. I remembered the vibrant, beautiful woman she’d been once, and for her own sake, as much as mine, I wanted that woman back.

Instead, closing my eyes, I bent down and pressed my lips against the top of her head.

“I’ll see you soon,” I mumbled against her hair.

When the white door closed behind me I pressed my back against the wall. Sinking down till my butt hit the floor, I drew my knees up to my chin. Iron bands wrapped around my chest and hot tears rolled down my cheeks. I hated it. Hated how visiting made me feel, but the guilt that ate away at me when I didn’t was far worse. I dreamt sometimes of her coming home, normal and sane, but the doctors told me that was never going to happen. Mental illness wasn’t something they could cure, and the meds never seemed to work.

My mother would never kiss me goodnight again. She’d never ask me how my day was. She’d never giggle with my dad about some inane thing that only made sense to them, or sing along to the 80’s pop music she used to love so much. My mother was a ghost, a phantom, barely even real.

With my face pressed into my knees, I let the tears fall.


Read it, share it, enjoy it!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Teasers and Tasters and Trailers Oh My!

With release day creeping ever closer it is about time I started getting The Last Knight out there. After all, a little advertising never hurt anyone – right?

So every Friday between now and the 30th June I am going to be posting some kind of teaser or taster here on my blog – be it extracts from the book, a sneak peek at the ‘cover blurb’ or most exciting of all, the reveal of the actual cover art.

So today let’s start with a little snippet from the book – and because I never do things the way most people expect it’s not going to be the first chapter.

The stench of rotting flesh grew stronger as the shadow stepped towards us. A shaft of moonlight lanced down through the trees and I saw what had been stalking us for the first time.

Ancient, coal black armour shrouded a form even bigger than Lance. There was no shine to the metal, it was matte black, dented and pitted with rust. Yet it was the eyeholes in the helmet that drew my gaze; there were no eyes, just empty pits, burning with dark fire.

“What the hell is it?” I screamed at Lance as the creature straight out of my nightmare strode towards us, booted feet crushing the undergrowth.

“A Wraith,” he muttered.

The thing unsheathed its sword and swung at Lance. Ducking under the blow he lashed out with his foot, catching it on the knee and its leg buckled.

“Come on.” He grabbed my arm, pulling me away through the trees.

It was impossible to run with the undergrowth catching at our feet but we stumbled along, Lance in front of me and Percy on my heels.

“What exactly is a Wraith?” I gasped when we seemed to have put some distance between us and it.

For a moment it didn’t look like Lance was going to reply, but then his shoulders sagged.

“A wraith is a creature of old magic. They’re not alive. They’re spirits of long dead knights drawn back into this world. You can’t kill them. You can’t fight them. They won’t stop until they finish the job they’ve been summoned back to complete.”

I screamed as another wraith stepped from the trees to our left. Lance spun, but Percy was already there. He charged under its outstretched sword and slammed his shoulder into its chest. They tumbled out of sight into the undergrowth.


“Leave it, Cara. He’ll be fine. Come on.” Lance dragged me onwards, but I stared back over my shoulder, praying for Percy to re-emerge from the trees.

A root caught at my foot and I fell, almost pulling Lance down with me. He dragged me back upright and we staggered on.

“You said they don’t stop till they complete a job,” I said, trying to stop myself thinking about what might be happening to Percy. “So what are they doing here?”

Again Lance hesitated. “You really want to know?”

He stopped so suddenly I slammed into the back of him. He caught me as he turned, his eyes gleaming in the moonlight. I threw up my hands to steady myself, palms pressed against Lance’s chest.

“They’re here to kill you, Cara. They’ve been sent to kill the only threat to their master, the one who raised them from the dead.”

His voice seemed to be coming from a long way away. My vision blurred at the edges. I felt sick, I couldn’t seem to breathe. My fingers clutched at the fabric of his shirt.

“Kill me?” The words came out as a strangled gasp.

“This is why I didn’t tell you,” Lance said, grabbing my face between his hands. “I need you to be strong.”

“I’m scared,” I admitted in a whisper.

“No one is immune to fear. It’s how you deal with it that matters.”

I nodded just as there was a rustle behind us. Lance shoved me backwards, but it was Percy who staggered out of the trees. He was covered in blood again, but he seemed relatively unscathed.

“What are you two standing around chatting for?” He grinned like a schoolboy and shoved us both towards the trees.

Only seconds later we stumbled across a small ditch and onto the tarmac of a road. With a firm surface under our feet we could really run, pounding down the road. All I could hear was the pumping of my own blood.

Tyres screeched ahead of us and a car cornered at high speed. The full headlights illuminated one of the wraiths waiting in the middle of the road for us. It turned too late and the car hit it full on, sending it flying into the ditch.

The car fishtailed as it braked and came to a halt side on to us. The driver’s door flung open and Wyn looked out at us, eyes bright with adrenaline.

“Well, get the hell in.”

Chapter Nine, THE LAST KNIGHT.

Read it, like it, share it!

Friday, 10 May 2013

The Countdown Begins

In 51 days and approximately 12 hours my first novel will be going on sale on Kindle.

Even typing the words almost gives me heart palpitations. It’s possibly the scariest thing I’ll ever do. For most people it might be sky diving, or bungee jumping – for me taking the plunge will be the mouse click that will submit my manuscript to Amazon.

In the weeks since I made the decision to do this I’ve swung between thinking this is the greatest thing I could, and the most stupid mistake I could make.  And I think I’ll still be oscillating between the two on the day I hit the button.

But I’m still going through with it.


Because I have nothing to lose – or at least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

 Firstly I tell myself that self-publishing doesn’t have the stigma attached to it that it once did. After all, it used to be that self-publishing was synonymous with vanity publishing. It was something people did when they couldn’t do it the traditional way, and they just wanted to see their names in print.

I think there might still be an element of that involved, but it’s evolved. The publishing industry has changed. It’s a different beast.

The editors and Literary agents are no longer the gatekeepers. They don’t have the same power as they once did to tell us what we should, or shouldn’t read. The power has shifted into the hands of the reader. And with digital publishing making it easier than ever to get your book out there, more and more authors are taking the risk of letting the reader decide.

I’m taking that risk. After all, as I said, I have nothing to lose. I could spend the next ten years fighting to get my manuscript seen by an agent or an editor, fighting because it’s always just going to be stuck in that slush pile. Fighting because the people reading it have almost made their decision before they’ve even read the first line. And I don’t blame them – not really. They are a business, an industry that’s struggling, why take a risk, and risk money, on an untried and unknown author? With as much industry knowledge as they have, even they can’t be 100% sure of what will be the next big thing. So I could spend years of my life desperately trying, and getting nowhere. Not necessarily because I’m not good, but because I’m not exactly what they’re looking for, or because, quite frankly, I suck at writing queries.

Or I can take the plunge, take the risk and let the reader decide. I can let the people out there with their Kindles decide if my book is something they want to read or not.  It’s not going to cost me anything, so if I sell ten books, or I sell ten thousand (though even in my wildest dreams I know that’s unlikely to happen) it doesn’t matter financially. I haven’t spent a penny.

But I don’t need to sell ten thousand books (though it would be nice). I don’t even need to sell ten books. I just need to sell one. I just need one person to read this book and enjoy it. For it to make them laugh, or cry. For it to touch them in some tiny, but significant, way. I am not a writer of great literature, I know that, I am a writer of stories, good ones I hope. But the only way I can ever know that is if people read them.

I may not be the next big thing, but I don’t need to be. I just need to take this risk – for me, so that I know that at least I tried. Even if I fail.

And if I fail, it’s not like I’ll stop writing. I can’t. I have to write. It’s in my blood.

So the countdown begins. Succeed or fail at least I can say I tried. And that is all I can ever do.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Life's Too Short

This is a random sort of post - it isn't about writing and it isn't about the tiny island I call home - it's just about life and something that I want to write down.

There are days when the dramas in our lives seem all encompassing - when the little things seem like huge insurmountable problems. Days when you get worked up over the problems rather than finding the solutions.

I won't go into too much personal detail, but recently some things happened in my life that seemed like such a big deal. I got upset and angry and frustrated and very, very sad. I couldn't see a way to fix the problem and it felt like everything had gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Then I went to see a friend and poured out my problems to her, got emotional and upset. She listened to me rant and then told me that she was facing a few problems of her own. When she told me what they were I felt terrible. My drama suddenly seemed so small and trivial.

My friend had found out that someone close to her was very sick, and he didn't have long left. Suddenly a guy treating me badly didn't seem like such a big deal. As bad as I felt about it, it wasn't life and death.

I came away from that conversation with two realisations. The first is that my friend is an incredible person. With all of her problems on her mind she still sat and listened to me rant, and provided a sympathetic ear, when she could have simply told me to get over it.

The other realisation is that life is too short. It is a brief and fleeting thing, and if we get caught up on the little problems we will miss out on so much.

I am incredibly lucky and blessed. I am young, healthy, I have my whole life still ahead of me, and I live in one of the most beautiful places. I get to live a life most people can only dream of. And I need to stop worrying about the little things - like irritating men - and focus on the big picture. Making the most of the life I have.

So today I am making a deal with myself - and this is where the writing comes in. I am not going to wait around, wasting my life when I can MAKE things happen.

On the 30th of June two very important things are going to happen. The first is that I'm going to turn 30. The second is that my first novel is going to hit the bookshelves - virtual ones at any rate. On the 30th of June my first novel will become available to buy on Kindle, and hopefully if that goes well I will make it available on iBooks and Nook and all the rest of them.

Life is too short. It's time I made the changes I want to make rather than just thought and talked about them.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Good Days, Bad Days, and Completely Amazing Days

When it comes to writing, for me there is no forcing it. I cannot make myself write if the muse isn't there. I can sit there with pen and paper in hand (I write completely long hand - me, computers and creativity just don't go together) staring at a blank page for hours and if the muse isn't there then nothing in the world can make me write.

So there are good writing days, and there are bad writing days. And then there are days like today. The completely amazing days.

Those are the days when my muse isn't just around - she's hovering over my shoulder, screaming in my ear.

It started at 1am, when I woke up with an idea already in my head. Stories come to me as movie trailer voice overs. 'So and so was an ordinary girl, until one day everything changed forever...' for example. And at 1am this morning I had a movie voice over playing in my head. It wasn't going to go away until I put it down on paper.

I spent the entire day thinking about the idea - fleshing out the plot and figuring out exactly what's going on.

Now, somehow, I just need to find the time to write the thing. All I can ask is that my muse doesn't desert me now. Not when I need her most.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Happy New Year

I feel that right now this is the only post I can make today.

There are a few things I want to talk about – a few things that I would love to share, and I feel that today is the day to do it.

Today is a day to say Happy New Year.

It might be a few days late – but then it’s probably taken my brain a few days to recover enough to put words together properly, to find the right things I want to say.

The whole New Year thing for me has always been a little odd. Do I really want to celebrate yet another year of my life gone? I suppose if I had had an eventful year I would want to celebrate those events.

There have been some good moments. My sister got pregnant. This won’t be the first time I’m an Auntie, but considering that the first time it happened I was two years old, at least this time I’m old enough to actually understand what it means and get excited about it. So I am looking forward to 2013 bringing someone new into my family, a nephew for me to coo over and spoil rotten.

But to be honest 2012 went by so quickly I’m not sure I even know where the time went. It’s strange to think that when I first moved across the world to this little Caribbean Island it was 2011 – it’s now 2013.

So am I sad to see 2012 go? Not really. It was a good year for me, but it wasn’t a great year.

2013? Well –I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

I’ve never been one to make New Year resolutions. I think most of them are kept for about two weeks before they get forgotten – and why make a promise to yourself that you’re not going to keep?

I know that I could swear to drink less – god knows my bank balance and my liver would probably thank me for it – but it would only last until the next big night out. And to be honest it won’t make me any happier – healthier maybe, but that’s a different story.

I could swear to lose weight – but I make that promise ever year. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. mostly I just torture myself when I fail.

So this year I am making just one resolution. I’m going to try harder.

At one thing in particular, but mostly just try harder in life in general.

I turn 30 this year. I’m not as scared of that as I once was, but it still feels like a big milestone. 30 years on this earth and as ashamed as I am to admit it, I’ve never really tried hard to make my life better.

I’ve been lucky. I’ve had opportunities and chances and experiences that most people would kill for. I have lived in half a dozen different countries, I have met incredible, wonderful people, and I now live a life that most people dream of. But most of that was lucky breaks. I had wonderful parents who took the biggest risk of their lives about 28 years ago, and gave me a childhood I will treasure forever. Without really trying I got the grades to get into a brilliant University and met some incredibly special people, one of whom continues to shape my life even today by helping me get to the porch on the beach in the Caribbean where I’m writing this. I worked in one of the most iconic places in the world, in a job I loved even when I eventually decided it wasn’t really for me. And now I live on a small island that most people would describe as paradise.

To be honest I have been one lucky, lucky (insert swearword of choice).

But have I really tried and worked for any of it as hard as I could? I don’t feel like I have. Sometimes it feels like the universe has just dumped it all in my lap.

Now I want something more than I have ever wanted in my life. And this time I am going to try to get it. I’m going to try my hardest. I am going to put everything I have into achieving the one goal that really means something to me right now.

Will I succeed? Who knows. But maybe all I can ask for is that when I look back I will be able to say that I gave it my all. That I did everything I could. After all, what more can I do?

So that is my New Year resolution. I’m going to try. Really try.

Oh, and Happy New Year. 2013. It’s going to be interesting….