Checking in…a quick update

It’s been a while since I last shared an update. Here goes…

Blogging Break

a random photo…

For a little while I’ve been planning a bit of a blogging break.  Trying to keep up with blogging (on three websites), with writing and editing my WIPs (of which, I accept, I have far too many), submitting work to various places and searching out venues to send it, social media and wattpad, as well as everything life has to throw at us…well, it’s just too much, and in some instances I am failing completely (I’m looking at you Wattpad…).  Hence the need for a blogging break, to give this brain of mine a bit of a rest because it needs it.  It will also give me the time to think about which projects would benefit most from my energy.  A little bit of focus and clarity can go a long way…

This means things will be a little quiet around here for the next few weeks.  I will however, schedule the next few Weekend Writing Prompts…

The Winter Ghost

Last week I made this announcement on Wattpad / Facebook:

This is just a quick update to say that yesterday I put the finishing touches to the final edit of The Winter Ghost. Woohoo!
This little story has come a long way since I wrote the first draft as part of 2019’s ONC. The finished manuscript doesn’t look much like the version that’s posted here – it’s been restructured, extended, there are maps…With the help of some fabulous beta readers I’ve really tried to make this story the best it can be.
Since it can be hard to find a traditional publisher that accepts fantasy novellas, I’m probably going to publish it myself, and with that in mind, I’m going to unpublish the first draft posted here, but not before 13th September 2020. That should give anyone reading it the chance to finish it – or those who have yet to read it, the chance to read it from beginning to end, should they wish.

So if you want to read the original draft, you’ve only a couple of weeks to do so.  You can find the story here:

With this story now completely completed, as I mentioned in the announcement, the next logical step would be to release it out into the world.  This will be one of my main priorities for the next little while.  If I can find a traditional publisher who accepts fantasy novellas I will consider submitting it to them, but it’s highly unlikely, and so I will probably publish it myself.  There is going to be a lot of hard work in my future, but it will be exciting also, I’m sure.

Submissions

I’ve had a few pieces of work accepted recently. A couple of poems and some short fiction.  It always feels good to keep my list of publications ticking over, albeit slowly, even if it’s just for confirmation that someone somewhere thinks my work is ok and maybe…hopefully…enjoys it.  I’ll share more on these closer to the time they become available to read.

WIPs

As I’ve already said, I have more WIPs than I think any sane person should admit to…My goal at the moment is to make enough progress on some of these projects to at least give them a complete rough draft, just to see what’s looking promising and what needs a lot more work.  With others, I’m trying to be sensible and mark at least some of them as “On Hold”.  The problem I have is, as soon as I put a WIP on that list, I’m struck by a level of inspiration that I can’t ignore…Sigh…

Current projects I’m actively working on are:

  • an as yet, not ready to be revealed, historical romance
  • The Dreamer – An Andromache Jones Mystery novella
  • Oathbreaker and other books in the series / world
  • The follow-on to The Winter Ghost

I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe.  What projects are you working on at the moment?  What plans do you have for the near / distant future?

Jingle Spells, Jingle Spells, Jingle All The Way…

I am either late with this, or very, very early…don’t worry; things will become clear in a moment…

I have some exciting Christmas-themed news to share.  I have had another short story published in anthology.  A Christmas anthology, whose very cool title is Jingle Spells.  Now everything makes sense! 😀

The anthology has been put together and edited by the very talented Heather Marie Adkins, who runs CyberWitch Press.  This is the press’s first anthology, and I owe Heather a big thank you for all her hard work.  I didn’t make things easy for her as she not only had to edit my story but change my spelling from British English to American English so that all the stories in the collection are consistent.  Isn’t the cover pretty 🙂

Jingle Spells Cover

I am honoured to have my story feature in such an amazing anthology, alongside such amazing authors.

Here’s the book’s description:

Jingle Spells

Jingle Spells is a feel-good holiday collection of witch-themed tales, from a witch hunt at the winter solstice, to a Christmas dinner in danger of being ruined by an imp. Here you will find a sparkly pair of shoes holding one woman’s destiny, and a magical, mystery-solving cup of latte. Meet a broken young woman unaware of the powers she possesses, and a teenage boy with the fate of the world on his shoulders.

Featuring short stories from veteran authors J. Laslie, Sidonia Rose, and Heather Marie Adkins, and introducing Sammi Cox, Brittany White, and K. Laslie. Sit back with a steaming mug, light up the fireplace, and enjoy these six tales of magic, mayhem, and love.

Solstice Flames by J. Laslie
A Midwinter Manifestation by Sammi Cox
The Witch’s Shoes by Sidonia Rose
Molly by Brittany White
Holiday Dreams by K. Laslie
The Witch’s Brew by Heather Marie Adkins

My own short story, A Midwinter Manifestation is about Maeve Featherstone, a modern-day sorceress whose presence is required when Evie Whitworth dabbles in magic when she’s been repeatedly told she shouldn’t.  So, if you like stories set around the Winter Solstice, if you like imps, if you like all things magical and witchy, please have a read.

Currently, Jingle Spells is available to download for FREE from Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and iBooks.  It is available from Amazon, but we are waiting for it to go free before we start sending people that way – though feel free to keep checking 🙂  A print edition will follow soon.  I will keep you updated!

Links for the Jingle Spells anthology:

Smashwords

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Unqualified in Magic – Short Story News

The latest issue of Bibliophilia magazine is now available to read, and I’m chuffed to have a story feature in this issue, the theme for which is ‘magic’.

The magazine and my short story, Unqualified in Magic, can be read for free here.  I hope you enjoy it, as well as the other interesting articles and short stories on offer in this issue.  And, if you do read it, I would love to hear what you think.

As always, thank you so much for your support.  It’s deeply appreciated 🙂