Saturday, 26 October 2013

My Journey to Being a Published Author

Since I started actively promoting my novels in my local area, I find an increased number of people asking me how I managed to get published. For me it seems quite strange in this world of eBooks and DIY publishing. I have taken forgranted the fact that for many people, being a published author is still just a distant dream. It was my distant dream only three years ago. My, how things change!

I did not actually self publish my books. I did not have the time or the finances to enable me in that arena. I spent several months writing to agents and trying to secure support for my Redcliffe novels. I began to submit short stories to competitions. And I researched the industry to figure out what my options were. It was the short story competitions that got me my ‘big break.’

I had submitted a short werewolf story, My New Master, to a partnership published in Somerset called Mirador. The editor was compiling stories for a new anthology entitled The Mirador Fantasmagoria. She accepted my story, and then asked if I had anything else to publish. Apparently my genre and style of writing appealed to their business model. I was so excited! I sent an eager reply and an attachment of my first Redcliffe novel Love Hurts. And that was how I got published.

My editor at Mirador very kindly worked out a practical financial agreement, and she gave me some guidance and advice on my manuscript at no extra cost. She really showed an interest in my work, and she gave me such a boost that my Muse went crazy! For the next eighteen months I spent every spare moment writing and editing, and now I have my first three Redcliffe novels published, all by Mirador.

However, I could not sustain that model much longer. I have no access to what I would call ‘serious money’ that would enable me to continue publishing in this way. It is an expensive business, and we have to acknowledge that fact. Fortunately for my fourth novel I was accepted by a traditional publisher, Chances Press. I believe I found their details in the monthly Writing Magazine that I subscribe to. They published The Darkness of Love and now here we are. I am up to date, promoting all my books, and raring to go with the next project on my list.

That was my story to being a published author. Now you tell me yours…

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

#Halloween Haunted Open House Giveaway Blog Hop #ReadMe

Happy Halloween my spooky supporters, or for my pagan friends, merry times for All Hallows' Eve! I have always loved this time of the year, when the weather is crisp and fresh, we start to snuggle up in our big jumpers and winter boots, and our tastes turn toward hot chocolate and toffee apples. Here in the UK we have never really been encouraged to celebrate Halloween, although the pubs and nightclubs usually host fabulous fancy dress parties. One popular pastime of recent years is ghost hunting. For those of you unfamiliar with this hobby, it is basically a group of people who spend the night in a reputedly haunted building, and they participate in séances in order to communicate with any ghosts or spirits that might want to speak with them.

I am a ghost hunter. In fact, I have had the pleasure and excitement of participating in ghost hunts on All Hallow’s Eve. The traditional belief here is that the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is at its thinnest on this night. Therefore we can more easily communicate with our departed loved ones. Now, I know there are sceptics out there. But I also know what I have experienced so far in my lifetime, and what I continue to experience in daily life. I know that ghosts and spirits exist. I have seen them, I have spoken to them, and I have even chased them! If you are interested to read my Ghost Hunter Diaries, take a look at my personal blog, SpookyMrsGreen

 My last Halloween ghost hunt was actually at Carnfield Hall in Alfreton, Derbyshire, UK on 29th October 2011. I attended with my younger sister and fellow ghost hunter, and in the spirit of the season, all guests were invited to dress up. We chose our favourite ‘goddess gowns’ and teamed them with fairy wings and wands for the occasion. At the time we were enjoying a spiritual connection with our faery kin, and while we still feel it now, we do find ourselves distracted by other pursuits. The ghost hunt was great fun, and you can read a full account over on my SpookyMrsGreen blog.

Back to the Haunted Open House giveaway blog hop. I am here today sharing news of my recently published Victorian vampire romance novel The Darkness of Love. Here are the details:

Lord Gregory Stockton is a powerful and respected businessman embracing the modern era of the Victorian industrial revolution. He has a grand and beautiful manor house complete with a repertoire of servants, and his young wife is charming, attractive, and the perfect lady to his gentleman. The only thing they lack is an heir to the family estate. Lord Gregory knows he can never produce a child, for he is a vampire, although his wife and servants know nothing of his secrets. There are other ways to provide heirs for his estate, however, and Lord Gregory has noticed the romantic attraction between his wife and the young stable hand Marcus Scott. He hatches a plan to bring the would-be lovers together, and then cruelly tear them apart as he continues to build his empire and secure his power base in the south of England. The humans are pawns in the vampire’s game of lust, love and control.

You can find the novel for sale in all the usual places online, and links are on the dedicated page accessed at the top of this blog. If you would like to win a free eBook copy of The Darkness of Love, enter my competition. My question is this: What was your most exciting Halloween experience to date, and why? I will choose a winner during the first week of November and will contact you via email. Please leave your contact email address at the bottom of your comment.

Now why not check out my fellow Haunted Open House participants and see how many fabulous free gifts you can acquire? Happy Halloween! 

Saturday, 19 October 2013

My Ideal Writing Day

I wake up early in the morning, but not too early, maybe between 7am and 8am. I get up, take a shower, have breakfast, and then I sit down at my computer and write until I can write no more or my stomach begins to growl. There are no interruptions, and I am free to stay there until the job is done. That would be my ideal writing day. That is not my current writing day.

My current system is more like this: I wake up between 4am and 6am to breastfeed my newborn daughter, after getting to sleep at around 1am when she finally settles. We go back to sleep for an hour or so, and then I have to get up and deal with my toddler when she wakes. I spend the morning doing ‘motherly’ and ‘housewifely’ chores which include changing nappies, feeding the children, doing the laundry, washing dishes and whatever housework takes precedence on that particular day.

My toddler attends preschool three days per week, so I try to use this time for my computer work. I don’t really get much writing done at the moment. By the time I have soothed the baby and dealt with my need for food and drink (greatly increased because of the breastfeeding), and I have made sure my daughter’s nappies are washed and drying on the line or the airer depending on weather, I seem to lose my day. I barely manage to skim through my emails and respond to the most urgent ones, try and update my blogs, and do some freelance work.

I am resigned to my fate for now. I wanted to have children, and I adore my two daughters. I could not be without them. My writing can wait. I have a whole lifetime in which to create my masterpieces, and I already have four published. I have several notebooks scattered around the house that I can refer to when the mood takes me. For now I am satisfied if I can keep my blogs up to date, and I will simply write as and when I find the time and my mood is right. I am gearing up to attempt NaNoWriMo this year. That will be a challenge indeed…

*Image courtesy of Natalia Sylvester blog

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

#ReadMe – Dangerous Liaisons in Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel) - #HDH

Hello and welcome to the Hump Day Hook. Today I share an excerpt from my first novel Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel), at the beginning of Jessica and Jack’s fated relationship…

“Perhaps you would be wise to take a breather in your relationship.” Simon said, “I knew that Jack was licensed for firearms; it’s part of his job, and Danny’s.  But I would’ve expected him to tell you if he was carrying to prevent something like this happening.” He continued, “To be honest I’m almost as angry as you.  Please Jessica, believe me when I say that the Mason brothers are trouble.  They don’t mean to be, but they will cause you more grief if you continue this relationship with Jack.  It will be worse now that Danny is back in town.  And I’m not just saying that to get you away from them.  As your friend I am concerned for you, I don’t like seeing you upset.”

If you enjoyed this one, why not pop over to our dedicated Hump Day Hook blog and peruse some new and exciting authors. We write about romance, love, science fiction, fantasy, erotica and everything in-between, so you are sure to find something that delights the senses. You can also find us on Facebook. Happy Humping!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

#ReadMe – Beware the Wolf in My New Master - #HDH

Hello and welcome to the Hump Day Hook. Today I share an excerpt from my second published short story My New Master, featured in the YA anthology The Mirador Fantasmagoria. This gives some back story to our favourite lieutenant werewolf, Simon Bunce from the Redcliffe novels…

“Ok Marie, tell me about this family.  What do you want me to do?” 
She smiled again. 
“Simon you are so young, so innocent!  I know about your mother.  But I am not like her.  Actually I am like Danny.” 
Here she nodded in his direction and I half turned to look at him.  His face was serious, his blue eyes blazing as he spoke. 
“Marie please don’t do this.  You cannot destroy this boy’s life.  Let him go.” 
He moved towards Marie and suddenly she lunged at him.  I shouted her name and tried to block her but she was stronger than I thought.  Marie shoved me so hard I staggered back to the sofa and suddenly she was on top of me again, her hand clamped around my throat as she hissed in my ear. 
“You shouldn’t have done that, Simon.”
            She lifted her face and I whimpered as I saw her eyes, not human.  They were animal eyes.  She sniffed my face and nuzzled my neck.  I struggled but she was too strong and she held me firm against the sofa with her body.  I heard Detective Mason behind her and sensed him moving cautiously closer. 
“Mistress please let him go.  You are frightening him.  Your business is with me now;, punish me, not him.”
            She laughed and spoke while looking at my face. 
“Oh Danny you are so vain!  I will deal with you afterwards.  But first I must bring Simon into our family.” 
Suddenly she struck my neck, tearing at the flesh and biting me.  I cried out but the sound was muffled by the sound of her hand over my mouth.  I felt something clawing at my stomach, heard the sound of cloth and flesh tearing, then I felt searing pain as blood poured from my body.  Everything went black.

If you enjoyed this one, why not pop over to our dedicated Hump Day Hook blog and peruse some new and exciting authors. We write about romance, love, science fiction, fantasy, erotica and everything in-between, so you are sure to find something that delights the senses. You can also find us on Facebook. Happy Humping! 

Monday, 7 October 2013

Why do I Write?

I am currently experiencing a lot of changes in my life, and yet outwardly everything appears very normal and unspectacular. My big change is that of becoming a parent and subsequently a 'responsible' adult. Several years ago my then fiance (now husband) and I bought our first house together. We got a dog. We acquired several baby turtles (and now have 2 surviving). Then we got pregnant. Well, I did. The husband did his bit, but we won't go into detail...

Anyway, I now have one daughter aged 2 years and 10 months, and one newborn daughter aged 9 weeks. I tried to keep up with my writing schedule all through my second pregnancy, although since the birth of my first daughter I haven't really kept a writing schedule. It is more a case of write what I can when I find time and energy. It didn't help when my Muse packed up and left town. She just disappeared about six months into my pregnancy. I was devastated!

I now have an abandoned manuscript that will be reassessed at some point in the future. I recently released my fourth novel, The Darkness of Love, which I wrote while my first daughter was a young baby. I plan to participate in NaNoWriMo 2013 as a method to reinvigorate my novel writing enthusiasm. So far my Muse has begun to make small noises and offer tantalizing snippets of dialogue, the occasional new idea, and some very vague plot fillers for book 4 in my Redcliffe series. I am hoping that my children will miraculously settle down during November and allow me to indulge my passion.

Which brings me to my point. Why do I write? Why do any of us write? The simple answer is because we have to. The urge is so strong, our characters are so forceful, and the stories simply have to be written or we would go insane. Recently I have lost some of that insanity, although I gained a whole new version as a mother and wife. I now eagerly await the return of my 'writer eccentricity' so that I can reconnect with myself in the best way possible. We all have our vices. Mine are reading, writing and chocolate.

Friday, 4 October 2013

#Cheshire Book Launch Event – Catherine Green

I am pleased to announce my book launch event at the Drinks and Bites café on Wheelock Street, Middlewich, Cheshire.

The event takes place on Saturday 2nd November from 12:00pm – 3:00pm and I will be there to showcase my latest novel TheDarkness of Love, along with my Redcliffe novels series.

I look forward to seeing you there… 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

#ReadMe – College is a Dangerous Place; The Teen Game - #HDH

Hello and welcome to the Hump Day Hook. Today I share an excerpt from my first published short story The Teen Game, featured in the YA anthology Devils, Demons and Werewolves

That afternoon I sat near to the boy I wanted.  He was tall and slender with short black hair in a spiked style.  I learnt that his name was David Samson and I set about making small talk while we had our first practical art lesson.  He was extremely shy and seemed confused as to why I wanted his attention but slowly he began to respond, amid much cajoling from his friends.  He was another local born and bred who had come to college straight from the affiliated high school.  I was very much the outsider in this place but that didn’t faze me in the slightest.  Shelley and I ended our first day with invitations to join a group of boys at the pool club in the nearby cinema complex on Wednesday evening.  Naturally the group included my David.  Everything was progressing smoothly.

If you enjoyed this one, why not pop over to our dedicated Hump Day Hook blog and peruse some new and exciting authors. We write about romance, love, science fiction, fantasy, erotica and everything in-between, so you are sure to find something that delights the senses. You can also find us on Facebook. Happy Humping!