Spring News – What have I been up to?

It has been an age since I did a personal update, so this could be a long one. 

Mime – Releases 28th June
[UPDATE – new release date is 28th July]

2019 was a big year for me. I finished my debut novel, Mime.  

I. Finished. A novel.  

That’s big! Huge! 

Around this time last year, I was gathering the feedback from my beta readers and working out how to adjust the story to take their comments into account. Overall the book was received very well. Better than I’d expected. I mean, I thought it was good, but no author can objectively rate their own work. I could have been way off. 

For anyone who’s interested, I’ve also recently posted a couple of articles on the editing process. The first is basically how I understand the editing process, now I’ve done every part of it. Part 2 is a commentary on my beta feedback experience, featuring a few of the more easily explainable examples and what I did to address them.  

Beta feedback done, I then engaged a line editor to help me target the bits that were still a bit weak. I took my time making my decision, getting some sample edits, but eventually went with an editor I know personally who I felt would get my style. I feel like we clicked really well, because everything she highlighted I agreed with. 

And having done that, and done another two or three last minute passes for crutch words, consistency and a couple of other issues I’d spotted and noted down on the way through, and it was as good as I was ever going to make it. 

Hitting that point wasn’t the crisis of publishing indecision it might have been. I’ve been working on Mime for over 10 years now (seriously, I first put pen to paper on 6th May 2009), and all the while I’ve been researching and planning how I wanted to see it published. So I didn’t face the question of whether to start querying with agents, or go the indie route. I already knew I was going with self-publishing service Matador.  

I sent the manuscript off to them in October and we started by working through a final copy edit, then formatting and design, and we set a release date – 28th June 2020.  

This side of the New Year things are starting to get real very quickly and I’m scrambling to get all my publicity and marketing in place ready for the launch. It’s wild! 

Speaking of which… Hey! You should sign up to my mailing list! *wink*

So, yeah, that’s the main thing I’ve been doing. But, what else, I hear you ask? 

BOTH Publishing 

Both Publishing logo

I’m working with Books On The Hill to set up a new publishing venture, focusing on dyslexic friendly quick reads for adults. We’re planning to launch our first 6-8 titles in June/July and we’ll be running a Kickstarter to raise funds for the initial print runs in APRIL.  

If it’s something that would interest you, Books On The Hill have a mailing list where you can keep updated. 

From my side it has been a great opportunity to flex my graphic design muscles with the cover designs and other visuals. 

Etsy Crafting & Book Cover Design 

Last May I was forced to leave my day job for health reasons. I’m in the incredibly privileged position of not having to immediately look for more work. Instead, I’m leaning on my partner while I establish myself as a freelancer.  

Diversification is the modern way, so alongside my writing and publishing I’m starting to take on freelance graphic design work, and I’m investing more time in my crafting business on Etsy. While I’m still a long way from making a sustainable income, my turnover has increased exponentially from when I was working the day job and doing all this in my spare time.  

crafting desk with sewing machine and yellow fabric

Filling up my calendar for 2020 

I’ve been booking events well in advance this year and my calendar is filling up with exciting opportunities. 

28th Feb – 2nd March — At the end of this month I’m going on a writers retreat (run by my wonderful line editor, Jo!) with a handful of other writers, some of whom I know well, others less so. The venue is beautiful rural south-west Wales. It should be a blast! Want to know more? Check out the Meddwcoed website. There’s also a Facebook Group for those interested in attending a retreat.

10th – 12th March — For the first time in 5 years I’m off to the London Book Fair, courtesy of ALLi. Looking forward to catching up with some of my team from Matador and finding out what’s new in the world of publishing. 

April and May — Will involve a lot of publicity activity I’ll be announcing nearer the time. 

Saturday 13th June — I will be at Clevedon’s first literature festival: More than Words. It’s going to be a brilliant and jam packed event, so check out the event listings on their facebook page. 

25th – 27th September — I’m thrilled to say I’ll be at FantasyCon in London for the first time ever. And I’ll have books! So that is about as exciting as it gets. 

I think that’s about it. What have you been up to? 

TL;DR I finished my book last year, publishing it this year. Editing is hard. Went self-employed doing craft and graphic design. Loving every minute! 

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