Friday, 13 February 2015

A romantic read for horse lovers on Valentine's Day!

Valentine Horse - now available in print!

Sixteen year old Lara’s world is turned upside down after a riding accident on her lively new horse Skylark, a surprise gift for Valentine’s Day. Recovering in hospital, she meets the enigmatic Ant, an unconventional sculptor. Lara is instantly attracted but her parents don’t approve of the relationship – especially as Ant is older than Lara. As her feelings grow for Ant, Lara questions her relationship with her lifelong best friend, and brilliant rider, Ryan. Struggling with her emotions, she also has to regain her confidence to ride the flighty and difficult Skylark, who is the catalyst for everything that happens to Lara after he enters her life on Valentine's Day....

Torn between Ant and Ryan, and battling with increasing confrontations with her parents, Lara makes the gut-wrenching discovery that her beloved first pony, Spook, may not have gone to the good home she believed. Is it too late to save Spook? And when faced with a terrible choice, how will Lara find the courage to follow her heart?

A heart-warming read for romantic horse lovers.

Buy links: ebook

Print edition £4.99

Monday, 9 February 2015

The last pony books

In May last year, I wrote about what it felt like to be a full-time writer, and it was pretty scary.
In July last year I wrote about my plans - past and future - and what I had managed to achieve.

I worked super hard over December and brought out 5 of my existing titles in print, using Createspace, after being persuaded by some logical arguments that for the children's book market, I needed to offer print editions.  I learned lots in the process, but sales are very low indeed and the ebooks continue to sell better. So I'm unlikely to bring any more out in print unless this situation changes.

I also published two more of my backlist titles which I thought would do well. At the time they were published originally, I was told it was some of my best work, but when I came to update and edit, I realised my writing wasn't nearly as good as I had thought. I spent a week rewriting each one - just focussing on the actual writing craft.  I'm pleased with the results.

However, I'm disappointed overall by book sales.  It's a hugely competitive market, and, if I'm honest, I'm really tired right now with the whole marketing and promo circus.  Lots of other stuff has happened to make me feel cynical, and I realise it's time to make some tough decisions.

I've been a published pony book author for nearly 39 years, and some of my past traditionally published titles, many years ago,  were even bestsellers.  I have 3 more original pony books I want to write which I plan to self publish before the end of 2015.   And that's it.

So maybe it's time for a change, or a rest, or both.

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Saturday, 7 February 2015

A Place to Write

I've been meaning to write another reflective post for ages now, but things keep happening and I change what I intend to say and keep changing my mind.  But here it is.

Last year I experimented with places to write because I found it hard to concentrate and really focus on what I wanted to achieve.  Writing from home wasn't working, as I was too easily distracted and if the phone rang or something needed doing, I stopped writing.  So getting out of the house seemed to make sense.  Many writers go outside to write, like a coffee shop, a co-working space, even renting an office.  I had to find what worked for me.

So I tried taking my lappie to a local hotel and setting up in the lobby by a mains point (my laptop battery gave up a long while back!).  The first time I tried this, I managed 4000 words in a morning session and I was chuffed, promising myself to do this at least 3 times a week.

Two months later (!) I achieved it again, and over a fortnight, I completed a lot of rewriting and new work at the hotel, in 4 hour stretches.  Afterwards, I had a numb behind but it was great to work without distractions, as I found I could switch off from what was going on around me in this environment.

I also tried taking the fold up table in the bedroom and setting up there, and this worked quite well too.

BUT sitting at a computer screen for long stretches hasn't done my body much good - back ache, headaches, stiffness are all end products.  So my next experiment will be trying to change my lifelong habit of hours at a time of writing to taking a break every half hour or so for a 10 minute walk.  Or even trying writing for an hour a day.

Not managed it so far.....

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