Top Five New Year’s Resolutions for the Procrastinating Writer

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1. Buy more notebooks – the more beautiful the better. Not that you’ll actually use them for writing in, obviously (that’s what scraps of paper and the back of old envelopes are for) but you owe it to the 57 notebooks you already own. They might get lonely otherwise.

2. Rearrange your writing space. It turns out January’s very own Janus (Roman god of beginnings, doorways and transitions) is a bit of a crafty ‘Changing Rooms’ type of fellow too. Nothing makes him happier than moving desks and bookcases round and creating new storage solutions for overflowing collections of notebooks. Of course I may be confusing him with Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen..

3. Research, research, research. Now, some people come at this all wrong, by letting the writing project dictate the research. All well and good if you want to spend your days in dusty library books about Victorian shoemakers, or endless Google searches on the mating habits of crocodiles, but less good if you’re hankering after a healthy slice of lemon drizzle and a bit of winter sunshine. Why not make this the year you thoroughly research a book about a hapless writer/notebook collector who tours the local cafes feeding his/her face with endless cake and cups of tea before heading off on a round-the-world cruise? Ah yes, I can practically hear the waves lapping against the ship now… *sniffs air* And is that a bestseller in the making I can smell? Oh no, wait, I think it’s lemon drizzle cake.

4. Yes, you guessed it, spend more time on the internet. After all, once you’ve clocked up 4,000 tweets of 15 words each you’ll have written the equivalent of a 60,000 word novel anyway. I make that about 11 tweets a day… Easy! But don’t forget the #MmmLemonDrizzle hashtag.

5. Plan the soundtrack to the film version of your as yet unwritten novel. It really doesn’t do to leave these things to the last minute. (Bet you’re glad you ditched your Victorian shoemaker book now aren’t you?  Good luck finding songs about cobblers with big beards and pocket watches). Don’t forget to watch each YouTube video all the way to the end, just to make sure the timing’s 100 percent accurate. And if you don’t have a scrap of paper or the back of an envelope to hand for jotting down your perfect playlist, you could always pop out for a new notebook…

 

Cover Reveal – ‘Halloween Night: Trick or Treat’

Shut the curtains. Turn off all the lights (except your reading lamp – you’ll need that) and find a nice big cushion to hide behind.  Halloween is about to get a whole lot scarier…

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“Graveyards, spirits, witchcraft, black cats, candy, and haunted houses. 

Strange things happen on Halloween. All Hallows Eve is the single night where the veil between the living and the dead is opened. And now spirits, monsters, and candy will collide!”

Halloween Night: Trick or Treat (Hocus Pocus & Co) is due for release on 27th October – just in time for the big night – and contains the following spooky MG and YA stories, including my Trick-or-Treating tale, ‘Knock, Knock’:

Big Brother Zombie by Evan Purcell

Give Us Something Good to Eat by Rie Sheridan Rose

Halloween Ritual by Amy Giuffrida

Haunter by Ryan Bartlett

Hello Annie by Tiffany Morris

It’s All a Bunch of Hocus Pocus by Violette Ulalume

Knock, Knock by Jennifer Moore

Ms. Holstein’s Special Halloween Treat by Chad P. Brown

Night of Monsters by Matthew Wilson

Something Good to Eat by Patrick Hueller

The House of Sam Hain by Betty Rocksteady

Sweet Nothing by Julie Hutchings

The Ghost by David N. Smith and Violet Addison

The Peeping Trick-or-Treaters by Kevin Lewis

Tricks and Treats, and Chicken Feet by Shawn Anderson

What Lurks in the Darkness by Kathleen Palm

Doctor Who, When & Where – Welcome to The Time Machine

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Greetings Earthling.

Welcome to the Writing Room.

From the outside it’s just a normal-looking door.

But, like all the best time machines, it’s much bigger on the inside…

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Just a quick few thousand touches of the buttons on  the control keyboard and the entire universe is your oyster…

Recent top destinations have included Victorian England, an alien maternity ship, the inside of Schrödinger’s box, Frogner Park in Oslo and the bottom of the ocean.  But that’s merely the tip of the travelling iceberg.  The writing room time machine promises to take you wherever and whenever you want and still have you back in time for tea. Not bad, eh?

There’s no need to splash out on psychic paper before boarding – as soon as you take your seat and fire up the controls you’ll find yourself slipping seamlessly into the skin of any chosen creature, be they human or otherwise, living or dead.  They’ll probably require regular feeding, however, so be sure to bring a plentiful supply of tea, coffee and snacks.

Don’t forget to pack a spare pair of plotting pants and maybe a sonic biro or two for in-flight doodling. Next trip commencing in four… three… two… one…

So Long Easter Bunny, Hello Little White Rabbit

The Easter Bunny may have hopped off into the warm melty sunset for another year but there’s a new member of the Leporidae family ready and waiting to take his place.  BEWARE THE LITTLE WHITE RABBIT (Leap Books) launches today!

All thirteen Young Adult stories in the collection are inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, but this is Alice as you’ve never seen her before… from rich historicals, castle towers and deathly plagues, gritty urban explorations, intrepid reporters, would-be car thieves, watchmakers, futuristic wormholes, secret workshops… to the last human in a world ruled by machines.

You can read a sample of my story, ‘Undercover Alice’ and all other twelve tales over on the Leap Books blog site or head to goodreads for links to stockists.

How To Be a Plotter AND a Pantser

It’s a question as old as the Twitter hills: are you a plotter or a pantser?

Ponder no more because now you can be both!  Ladies and Gents I give you (dum, dum, dahhhh)…

THE PLOTTING PANTS OF POWER!!!!! *cue trumpet fanfare and lightning flashes*

Yes, it’s the product we’ve all been waiting for, the answer to every desk-bound scribe in search of underwear-based inspiration.pants 2

When it comes to your novel there’s nothing quite as important as a good opening. THE PLOTTING PANTS OF POWER come with a choice of 3 different openings (4 in the mens’ model) and are available in 2 delightful shades of excitement and adventure.

For writers looking to add a touch of humour to their plot we also offer a whoopee cushion insert and of course our reinforced gusset for added seated comfort comes as standard.

Please note the world-building power residing in every pair of pants can NOT be harnessed by the forces of evil.  We do not recommend the use of our product for:

  • Plotting the downfall of the monarchy
  • Overthrowing peaceful nations
  • Harnessing the evil powers of Dr Who Baddies for one’s own personal gain*

*the application of the Cybermen’s ‘DELETE’ function is permissible in certain circumstances

 

COVER REVEAL – BEWARE THE LITTLE WHITE RABBIT

Soon her eye fell on a beautiful new book lying on the table: she opened it, and found an amazing collection of stories that seemed to say ‘READ ME’…

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Leap Books will be celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with this beautiful collection of Alice-inspired stories.  Expect Cheshire grins, moments of terror, fantastical settings, romance, and, of course, mayhem!

BEWARE THE LITTLE WHITE RABBIT releases on April 14, 2015 with stories by Laura Lascarso, Charlotte Bennardo, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Norris, David Turnbull, Jacqueline Horsfall, Medeia Sharif, Tom Luke, Jessica Bayliss, Crystal Schubert, Holly Odell, Liam Hogan & ME.

UPDATE 12th February: CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ANIMATED COVER! 

THE SECRET OF PLOT PERFECTION

 

Plot Tie-er Upper

 

ROLL UP, ROLL UP, sew up all your loose plot threads here!

Writing ladies and gents, I give you The One… The Only… The ultimate must-have accessory for the discerning novelist: yes, it’s THE INCREDIBLE PLOT TIE-ER UPPER, complete with needle-wielding monkeys (fresh from typing the Complete Works of Shakespeare) and a state of the art out-tray to capture your finished work of genius.

You’ll be the envy of all your writing friends with this essential piece of editing kit, and thanks to its impressive dual-powered renewable energy sources* the Plot Tie-er Upper costs just pence to run.  Simply feed your loose plot strands into the integral feed-funnel (along with a generous serving of bananas) and let the magical monkeys do their work.  Forgotten sub-plots and unresolved problems will be a thing of the past thanks to THE INCREDIBLE PLOT TIE-ER UPPER. Don’t delay. Order yours today.

*N.B. The Incredible Plot Tie-er Upper is powered by wind (sighs) and traction (head-scratching).  A back-up battery pack is also available at participating outlets.