Blog Wander: Making My Mark

Wanderers 8 - Small CopyToday’s Blog Wander is a guest post on the trials and tribulations of self-publishing.  I’m lifting the curtain and letting you see the crises behind my apparently-on-top-of-it blogging about the process!  Hopefully, if anyone else is looking at self-publishing, it can save them some of the same problems…

Our host today is T. B. Markinson, self-described as “a 39-year old American writer, living in England, who pledged she would publish before she was 35. Better late than never. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling around the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in England, or taking the dog for a walk. Not necessarily in that order.”  She’s the author of A Woman Lost and maintains two blogs: Making My Mark is all about authors and publishing, while the 50 Year Project is her movies/books/travel blog.

Check out the guest post here!

Blog Wander: The Bookworm Chronicles

Wanderers 8 - Small CopyIn another wandering today, we’re heading over to The Bookworm Chronicles, for something a bit different…  So far, there have been interviews and an excerpt–for today, I wrote a guest post about retelling fairy tales.  You already know I love writing and reading retold fairy tales, and this post explores some of the different approaches for tackling those original Grimm stories to create something new.

The Bookworm Chronicles shares the reading of Jessica, self-confessed bookworm.  She recently read The Complete Brothers Grimm, and her rereading of the Narnia series helped inspire my journey through the audiobooks.  She writes a great blog I hope you’ll enjoy exploring!

And if you wander over for the guest post, you can get a coupon for The Wanderers too…

Blog Wander: Little Lion Lynnet’s

Continuing my blog wander, today I have a very special event!  By wild coincidence, my friend Lynn also published her first book this month, Feather by Feather and Other Stories.  Today we’re doing an interview swap to share about both our books.  Read on for Lynn’s thoughts about writing and publishing, and wander over to her blog for my answers to the same questions.


Lynn E. O’Connacht is a writer by twilight and, occasionally, sunlight and moonlight. At all times she is a cisgendered white woman. She holds an MA in English literature with a focus on creative writing and fantasy literature. She has geographically confused spelling despite her education’s best efforts to fix this and has been writing stories for as long as she has been able to write. She used to type her works on an old-fashioned typewriter using red ink, but alas both the equipment and the stories have since been lost to time.

Lynn blogs at Little Lion Lynnet’s and can be found on GoodReads, Twitter and LibraryThing.


Feather by FeatherTell me a little about your book.

Feather by Feather and Other Stories is, as the title suggests, a collection of short stories and poetry. It’s a bit of a mixed bag. There are some pieces of realistic fiction, but it’s predominantly fantasy. Which isn’t much of an answer, I know. It’s pretty hard to respond to a question like this concisely when you’re dealing with a collection, I’m afraid. There’s such a large range to cover… Which story do you want to know about? It has biscuit-baking demons, QUILTBAG protagonists, utterly alien stories with nary a human in sight, a bunch of fairytale retellings, poetry, a one-legged dog, witches, bobble hats, sentient steam engines, fairies… Actually a lot of fairies. I blame the fairytales. Apart from space ships and the kitchen sink, it might have everything. (Warning: it may not actually have everything.) Continue reading “Blog Wander: Little Lion Lynnet’s”

Launch Day! My Novel Is Out!

Wanderers 8 - Small CopyAfter all these weeks building up, it’s finally here–Launch Day!  My novel, The Wanderers, is now available!

You can get a copy on Amazon (paperback and Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook) or Smashwords (alternate ebook formats).  It’s $2.99 as an ebook or $11.99 in paper–though right now Amazon is offering a sale on the paperback.  I don’t control that and I don’t know how long it will last, so you may want to jump now!

If you’ve somehow missed previous posts on this subject and are feeling a little perplexed, you can jump over to the Novel News page for more information about the book.  If you’ve been following along, the journey doesn’t end today!  Starting next week, I have a series of interviews, guest posts, giveaways and coupons lined up that I can’t wait to share with you.

And I have to give a big thank-you to all you wonderful people who have been so supportive along the way.  It’s always hard for writers to send their words out into the world.  Sharing my blogging words with such a great community has made the next step a little less intimidating.  🙂

Novel News: Release Date!

First of all, Happy Halloween!  I wish you lots of chocolate and the opportunity to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  Or whatever your favorite Halloween movie is!

Wanderers 8 - Small CopyHalloween wishes aside, as the title suggests, the real purpose of this post is to let you know that I have a definite release date for my upcoming novel!  I’ve been promising it as “mid-November,” and that turned out to be more literal than I thought it might.  I’ve settled on a release date of November 15th.  I had to tell you so that you can mark your calendars… 😉 and so that I’m committed to it, by virtue of having told everyone!

The Wanderers is currently listed on pre-release (ebook only) through Smashwords, and on November 15th it will be available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.

I also have to say that I am very grateful to the wonderful book blogging community, as several bloggers have kindly agreed to help me spread the word.  Along with scheduling my release date, I’m scheduling interviews, guest posts and giveaways for after the release.  I’ll keep you posted when they happen–although I highly recommend you follow all these bloggers anyway!

So far I’m making plans with…

If you have a blog and think your readers might be interested in hearing about a young adult fantasy novel, we should talk. 🙂

And I am also grateful to all of you for coming along for the ride.  The talking cat and I both thank you!

Addendum: The novel’s out!

Fiction Friday: A Sea Serpent and a Prince

I haven’t done a Fiction Friday in a while, and since I’ve been chattering on about my upcoming novel release, The Wanderers, it seemed only appropriate to share an excerpt, no?

This scene is towards the middle of the novel.  Julie, Jasper and talking cat Tom have just made a deal with a Sea Queen, which involves rescuing her sea serpent from Prince Randolph.  Jasper and Tom met Randolph on a previous adventure, and were not impressed.  Not every sentence here will make sense out of context, but I think enough is comprehensible…

Julie, Jasper and Tom exited the water abruptly.  One moment they were skimming along just above the sea floor under the power of the Sea Queen’s magic.  The next, they fell out of a wall of water to land in a heap on wet but not at all submerged sand.  Julie’s hair fell in tangles around her shoulders, and Tom shrank to a third of his former apparent size.

Julie got to her feet, wet skirt clinging to her legs, and looked around.  They were on bare sea floor, in a trench formed by walls of water rising dozens of feet above their heads on either side.  The trench was maybe a hundred feet across, and several times that long, the floor covered in mounds of sand and wilted seaweed.  At the far end, she could see the serpent coiled like an enormous snake, while Randolph stood before it with sword drawn, his back to them.

“Damn,” Jasper remarked.  “He must have a useful enchanted sword.”

“You think he used it to part the ocean?” Julie said.

“Can’t explain it any other way.  Randolph just isn’t that talented on his own.”

If Jasper was right, the sword was giving him a considerable advantage.  Julie didn’t know much about judging the health of giant sea monsters, but she thought it looked ill.  It was snapping at Randolph, but its movements were sluggish.  “It’s probably sick outside the water,” she said.  “So to rescue it, we’ll have to move it back into the sea.”

“You want to move a giant serpent?” Jasper said.  “I’ve seen buildings that were smaller.”

Tom unhelpfully added, “I’ve seen entire towns that were smaller.”

“All right, so maybe we don’t move it,” Julie said, keeping her chin in the air and a positive tone in her voice.  Someone had to be the optimist.  “We’ll move the water back around it.”

Jasper caught the idea and the optimism.  “We get the sword from Randolph, and if he can part water, why can’t we put it back?”

Tom groaned.  “We’re going to get wet again.”

“You can’t get any wetter,” Julie said.  “Come on, let’s go steal a sword.”  Continue reading “Fiction Friday: A Sea Serpent and a Prince”

Novel News: Book Blurb

Wanderers 8 - Small CopyIf you’ve been following the progress of my soon-to-be-published novel, then you probably already saw the cover. If you’ve been wondering just what the story (and maybe that cat) is actually about–I have finally finished writing the official blurb for the back of the book.  As a writing friend observed, that’s even harder than the novel!

Well, maybe not, but it probably did go through just as many drafts. 🙂

So today, here’s some hint of what goes on behind that cover…

Any wandering adventurer hoping to survive needs rules—and Jasper has many.  There’s Rule #2: Never make plans; Rule #20: Never make a Good Fairy angry; and the surprisingly challenging Rule #18: Always travel alone.

The talking cat breaks Rule #18 badly enough.  The witch’s daughter, desperate to escape her horrible mother, is even worse.  Between them, they up-end Jasper’s previously simple life (when all he had to worry about was an occasional giant or dragon), and prove that sometimes, rules are no help at all.

You might recognize the countryside and you may think you know what to expect.  But whether it’s a refined ogre, a youngest son in need of lots of questing help or a very dangerous Good Fairy, things here rarely go quite as the Brothers Grimm would tell it.  You’ve strayed beyond the tales.