2014: A year of massive change?

January 1, 2014

I have high hopes for this year. Last year, 2013, was a weird year. After a great first half, the second half became one giant effort to just cope with everything that was going on. I had my oophorectomy, but lost four work leads because I was off recuperating. As a freelance, that’s really frustrating, [...]

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Final oophorectomy post

December 2, 2013

It’s been six months now since I had my left-hand ovary and fallopian tube removed, along with a shit-ton of endometriosis, and there’s one final, very short update that I wanted to do for any other women who are going through this process. Though, as usual, I must note that this is just my experience [...]

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A quick word on gender parity at WFC2013

August 28, 2013

There’s been a kerfuffle over World Fantasy Con’s response to an author, Tom Pollock, who stepped down from a panel because of a lack of gender parity and was told by the organisers that he had “just excluded himself from all panels”. The tweeter, Pollock’s wife, quoted WFC’s response in a later tweet: Actual quote: “As [...]

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Where did the Queen of the May come from? It’s faerie complicated…

August 18, 2013

Faeries. Fairies. The Fay. The Fae. The Tylwyth Teg. Pixies. Piskies. Pizkies. Pigsies. The Tuatha Dé Danann. Brownies. Titania and Oberon. The Fair Folk. The Wee Folk. The Good Folk. There are, it seems, a boatload of different species of faerie, not to mention a multiplicity of spellings. Had he ever made the attempt, their classification would [...]

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Queen of the May 24 hour sale!

August 5, 2013

It’s four weeks since I released Queen of the May, and so far I’ve been very happy with how well it has been received. As a way of celebrating, I want to give all my blog readers a treat – a 60% discount! Yup, you can get Queen of the May right now for just 99p [...]

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Eight weeks later

July 30, 2013

Eight weeks ago I had my partial oophorectomy, so I thought it was worth writing a little update. Obviously my story is just my story, it’s not medical advice or anything. I write it because there seem to be so few first person accounts of an op like this online, and it might prove reassuring [...]

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A slightly different approach to book cover design

July 28, 2013

There’s a lot of advice on how to design book covers floating around the internet. Lots of it is very sensible: Your book cover should reflect the genre and cleave to its tropes. It should reflect the tone of your story, communicating to potential readers what they are getting before they even open the book. [...]

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Why all self-publishers should sell direct

July 25, 2013

I’ve written a piece for The Writing Platform on why I think all self-publishers should control at least one point of sale and sell direct to their readers.  The self-publishing process has become pretty well established by now, a received wisdom that shapes every entrepreneurial writer’s secret dreams: 1. Write book 2. ??? 3. Profit! [...]

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Why ‘free’ is neither a panacea nor the enemy

July 24, 2013

This blog post started off as a comment on Glyn Moody’s Google Plus post linking to this post on Medium about ‘free culture’, and the discussion that ensued. You might want to read those first. The biggest problem with discussions of how to financially support the artistic sector, as per the article Glyn linked to, [...]

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The genesis of Queen of the May

July 9, 2013

I started writing Queen of the May, which I published Monday, towards the end of September 2011, a week or two before Kevin and I were due to leave our flat in Arsenal for the quieter (and cheaper) environs of Woking. Kevin was working abroad and I was packing up the flat on my own, [...]

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Argleton and Queen of the May by the numbers

July 5, 2013

I finally sat down and trawled through all my website stats and Kindle sales reports for Argleton, which I published in August 2011 on my website and then the next month on Amazon. The results are interesting, to me at least, because the numbers are far higher than I had anticipated. I counted downloads of [...]

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Queen of the May reading at the Brixton Book Jam

July 1, 2013

I have been invited to read an extract from my upcoming novella, Queen of the May, at the Brixton Book Jam, 7.30pm, 8th July, at the Hootananny in Brixton. It’s free, so there’s no excuse not to come along! Each reading is about five minutes long, and I’m hoping to be on in the first group of readers (so that [...]

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Left at the lights

June 23, 2013

Sometimes, just when you think you’ve got everything nailed, when your plans are coming along nicely and all the pieces of the jigsaw are slotting neatly into place, something comes along and blows everything out of the water. For some years now, Kevin and I have been plotting our move to the US. A few [...]

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Queen of the May Kickstarter pitch video: What should it include?

June 12, 2013

I’m slowly working my way through the final stages of preparing Queen of the May for publication. At the moment, I’m thinking about the new Kickstarter project whilst my beta readers get back to me with typos and other bits of final polish for the manuscript. I have to say that I’m very excited about [...]

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Partial oophorectomy done, not quite dusted

June 10, 2013

Last Monday, at the hideous hour of 7.30am, I went into Ashford (Surrey) Hospital to have my partial oophorectomy, the removal of my left-hand ovary and the 8cm chocolate cyst that was attached to it and still growing. The staff at Ashford were lovely (once I found the right department!). I was rapidly seen by [...]

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