May 26, 2016

Date With An Agent 2016

A couple of months ago I entered a competition to win a spot on this year's Date With An Agent. I was delighted to receive an email on April 7th, telling me I had been selected as one of 75 authors who would get to pitch their work to representatives from some of the most prestigious literary agencies in the business.

The big day is almost upon me. I'll be pitching Lady Raven. Just so you know, this in no way affects my plans for Blackened Wings. That book is nearly ready to go to my editor (and details for how you can help crowdfund it will be posted soon), and it will be released earlier this year.

What I'm hoping to gain from this is representation by an agency that can steer me towards a proper book deal, one that'll get my books into bookstores and supermarkets, and while I'm at it, bring me closer to the dream of a movie deal ;-)

I've taken tomorrow off work to do my last-minute prep. It's going to be an intensive weekend, because aside from my pitch session, there will be panels and discussions, and chances to meet agents face to face, and get to know more Irish authors, which is always rewarding.

Wish me luck!

PS: This is also a really good time to leave reviews on Amazon if you've read any of my books ;-)

May 23, 2016

Cover Reveal - Lady Raven Part 3: Blackened Wings

With mere days to go before I send the manuscript to my editor, and plans afoot for crowdfunding the release, I am pleased to reveal the cover for my latest novel, the third part of the Lady Raven saga, Blackened Wings.

Victory comes at a price. Cora Ravenell helps lead the growing rebellion in its efforts to spread dissent and rally more opposition to the Empire. For the first time since her father's funeral, Cora's life has focus and purpose. 

But retaliation is inevitable. 

The Empire reveals its latest weapon, shattering the heart of the rebellion's leadership and scattering its allies to the wind. On the run once more, Cora risks everything to find a way to stop this terrible threat. She and her crew set off on a mission to find the only people who can hold the answer; the last surviving master channellers. 

Laden Fell, now engaged to Princess Idella, pursues the White Raven. Surrounded by the horrors of war, he struggles to reconcile his sense of duty with his ever-weakening moral center. 

And all the while, the Emperor waits, eager to steer Cora and Laden closer to their final confrontation. A confrontation which may bring him within reach of the greatest power left in the world.

May 18, 2016

Funding, Writing, and Updates, Oh My!

Much apologies for my blog silence this year, everyone. I've been neglecting things here while I got things in order elsewhere. So I thought I'd give a summary of how things are, a State of the Author address, if you will.

I spent a lot of time in the last few years pushing myself too hard and neglecting my physical and mental health. You'd think I'd have learned by now, but I guess I'm a pretty rubbish student.


I took some time this year to focus on individual things, like getting back into a sleep pattern that works for me (getting up between 5:30am and 6:30am leaves me feeling so much more relaxed than sleeping in until just before the girls have to get up - which also means my late nights have had to be cut back), as well as addressing some issues with my diet. I still miss keeping a pack of chocolate chip cookies on my desk, but my weight is going down, as is my waistline, so I'd rather be able to fit into my trousers, thanks all the same.

Those who know me well also know I'm prone to stress and I'm very hard on myself when things don'y go my way. Frankly I'm all too aware of the damage stress does to the body, so I'm happy to say that the combination of changing my sleep patterns, improving my diet, and being conscious of how I talk about myself and my career has left me feeling happier than I've been in a very long time.

My back still has issues (sciatica can go to Hell, for real), and I recently pulled a hamstring, so I'm still in some level of pain all of the time, but I'm counting all the wins I can get, and not letting this bring me down.


Last year, as I was pretty much running myself into the ground trying to finish two books, I decided to take an indefinite break from running tabletop roleplaying games. I even avoided spending any of my time with video games, focusing all my attention on writing (and coming out with one particularly poor book, as a result, which will never see the light of day).

The GMing bug got me a little while ago and now I'm back at my favourite hobby. I'm starting a fortnightly WitchCraft campaign this week, which is an urban fantasy game involving lots of magic and monsters. And I'm getting a monthly Star Wars game going, using the Fate system.

I've also been chilling out with some video games. XCOM 2 is wonderful, and everything I hoped it would be. I'm waiting for the rest of the DLC to come out before I start my next playthrough, and am considering posting play reports on my progress. Shadow of Mordor, on the other hand, is a fun distraction, but very repetitive. I'm playing it for the Nemesis System and the vague plotline.


Jen is teaching music and working on getting gigs performing her own original songs, which is all kinds of awesome.

The girls own my heart. We're seeing them grow into real people and every moment is amazing.


This is the big one. I am less than 2 weeks away from finishing Blackened Wings, the third of Cora Ravenell's adventures. Just to clear up any possible confusion; Lady Raven is a tetralogy, a four-part series (I refuse to use the word quadrilogy as it is etymologically incorrect ;-p), so there is still one more book to go after this.

So next up is editing and formatting. This is going to cost money, so I'm looking at my options. It's pretty much certain that I will need to crowdfund this, so I have to decide between Kickstarter, Indie Go Go,, Gofundme, or Patreon. I'm leaning towards Kickstarter, as it has the higher potential audience base, but the other services also have their own benefits. If anyone has any advice, I'm all ears.

The other bit of news here is that I recently won a spot in the Date With An Agent event at this year's International Literature Festival, Dublin! I get a private pitch session with the managing director of the Watson Little agency, based in London. I'm pitching Lady Raven, because as much as I enjoy self-publishing, I don't have the reach or marketing expertise to spread awareness as much as I'd like. And while I can certainly gain that expertise, doing so will take time, and I want to follow every avenue I can to get my books into as many readers' hands as possible.

Here's to 2016

Let's be honest, 2016 has taken a lot from us. We've lost artists, actors, musicians, childhood icons. But on a personal level, this year has been getting better for me. And I'm thankful for that.

We've lost many great heroes. That just means it's time for the next generation to step up.

Here I go. Wish me luck.