Can’t quite believe that today I have become a published author!
YAY! *runs around* *trips and falls over*
Dancing in the Fire can be downloaded and read right NOW. (All the links you need are at the end of this post!)
This is how I’m feeling in gifs:
But I am at the party hurrah! And I’m very excited to have something published and I hope anyone who has downloaded the story enjoys it.
It’s had a five star rating already *FLAILS*
Mostly I’m just grateful to everyone who has downloaded the story and everyone who has sent me a lovely message about it today!
Download Dancing in the Fire NOW! Available for 99p through Amazon, iBooks, Nook and Kobo; and for $1.48 on Amazon.com. You can also get it in Australia on Amazon and iBooks.
Leighton Messter – Heartstrings
I’m loving Leighton Meester’s debut album – full of lush, dreamy songs that are perfect to chill out to. It’s also proving to be a great writing soundtrack!
Alpines – Saviour
I just discovered UK duo Alpines and this is my favourite of theirs so far – just a beautiful song:
Jessie Ware – Say You Love Me
I hadn’t really listened to Jessie’s music before but this song was recommended on YouTube and I’ve fallen in love with it.
Tove Lo – Thousand Miles
I can’t wait for Tove’s album release in May. Loving this latest song from her!
What have you been listening to this week?
This survey picked literary jobs as being the most desirable to have in Britain with author the top pick. I obviously can see why it would come out on job, it having been my dream job for a long time, but I wonder how many of the 60% that picked it did so because they have fantasies of JK Rowling like popularity and wealth? Perhaps it was the idea of one becoming one of the 1% of authors who make millions at this job that attracted them to it. I wonder if it would be more beneficial for them to play the lottery instead?!
I did make me smile though to know that I’m getting the opportunity to do something that so many other people seem to what to do. Although it’s not my sole job at the moment (and may never be!), it’s very exciting to achieve something I’ve been working towards for years. And that’s key really – although being an author may seem like a dream job for so many, it takes as much hard work as some of the lower chosen careers on the list and it’s arguably a lot harder to break into publishing than it is to break into other industries although they probably pay a lot better.
But that’s why publishing will always be desirable – it allows people to work with what they’re passionate about: books! Whether you write them yourself or work to help get books made and on the shelves, you do it because you get to work with something you’ve probably loved since you were little. And that’s why despite the hard work, the knock-backs and the potential of not making that list 1% of superstar authors, we want this job.
Seeing your book on a bookshelf one day would really be a dream come true.
Is being an author your dream job?
Writing a short story is very different to writing a novel. It’s something that I haven’t tried a lot of because my focus has always been on longer pieces of writing but I enjoyed writing Dancing in the Fire. A short story allows you to get straight into the story – there is no space for heavy backstory, you need a concise plot and in that respect, I think you have more fun with a shorter story. All rules go out of the window!
A short story needs characters that are immediately recognisable i.e. the reader instantly gets to know them and wants to root for them, and you want to throw them straight into a situation. It helps therefore to limit your cast of characters to give yourself time to fully develop them in a short space of time. Dancing in the Fire, for example, focuses for the most part on two main characters – Sam and Becks.
As you only have a few pages to tell your story, you need to think about a setting and a timeframe that will work. You need a setting that you can describe quickly so readers know where they are. That’s why a lot of writers set short stories in the same world as their novels – the readers already know where they are so they don’t have to be as descriptive. And you obviously can’t show a character’s whole life in a short story, you just want to focus on a time where things happen. That’s why most of the action in Dancing in the Fire takes place over two days in a cabin in the woods. It’s a contemporary setting that can be described easily and allows the characters to be trapped in a small space in a small timeframe to make sure sparks will fly.
Generally, a short story needs to have a fixed beginning, middle and an end. You want the reader to quickly get into the story and feel a sense of accomplishment at the end. However, because you are writing something so different to a novel don’t be afraid to break the rules and play around with structure and expectations. I included flashbacks in my short story, for example, to give readers a background to the main characters so they could really root for their relationship, or you may decide to end the story with a twist – maybe the whole story was a dream!
Because you have less words to play with in a short story, you need to really make them count. I think writing a short story provides great writing practice, you can really sharpen your story-telling skills and you may even come up with an idea that you want to develop into a novel at a later date. There are also a lot of short story competitions that you can enter and get your writing noticed by the industry.
Do you enjoy writing short stories?
Good news! You can now pre-order DANCING IN THE FIRE on Amazon.com so my lovely US followers can read it yay! Click HERE to pre-order for $1.48!
This week’s Sunday Songs is themed for Valentine’s Day – here are my current favourite songs about love & heartbreak:
Kelly Clarkson – Heartbeat Song
Paul McDonald & Nikki Reed – I Will For You
Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
Avril Lavigne – Give You What You Like
The Shires – I Just Wanna Love You
Echosmith – Bright
Misterwives – Coffins
Ryn Weaver – OctaHate
Christina Perri – The Words
Taylor Swift – Style
This Saturday is Valentine’s Day, which means it’s a perfect time to pull out a romance and snuggle under the covers and fall in love with a new book boyfriend. I thought I’d share some of my favourite romance novels with you depending on what mood you’re in when Valentine’s Day rolls around ….
If you want a high school romance ….
If you want to try a New Adult romance, my favourites are …
If you want a romance that will also make you laugh …
If you want to cry ….
If you want to escape …
If you’d enjoy a coming-of-age love story …
If you want fantasy mixed in with your romance …
If you want a dystopian take on love …
If you want a classic romance …
What other romances would you recommend?
Dancing in the Fire released 26th February – pre-order the e-novella now on Amazon, iNooks, Nook & Kobo
We are now in February and that means these are my last weeks as an unpublished writer! Dancing in the Fire will be released on the 26th of this month and I’m excited and nervous for people to be able to read it.
This story is a real example of how many highs and lows you can have as a writer. Back in January last year, I was feeling like I would never make my dreams of being published come true and even questioned whether I should keep trying to make it happen. But then I saw that Simon and Schuster were running a New Adult short story competition through their romance imprint The Hot Bed and I thought why not give it a go? I love reading New Adult books (some of my favourite authors are Colleen Hoover, Tammara Webber and Cora Carmack) and had wanted to try writing in the genre for a while. The story came pretty quickly as I imagined a cabin in the woods and two characters stuck there alone and what might happen with them!
I sent it off thinking I had written a cute story that was fun to write and I hoped it would be fun to read but I had no idea what kind of story they were looking for or what kind of stories others would be sending in. I put it out of my mind as all us writers try to do when we submit something (and usually fail at doing this!) and was surprised and delighted when they announced in June on their Twitter @TheHotBed that I was the winner. I stared at my phone not quite believing the tweet with my name in it but then my lovely editor Emma emailed me to confirm the news.
It’s been a long journey to have something I’ve written out there in the world but it has all been worth it to see this cover with my name on:
And don’t forget you can pre-order Dancing in the Fire now so it magically appears on your device on the 26th. Here are all the links you need:
And if you’re in Australia:
Thank you to everyone who has pre-ordered already, I can’t wait to hear if you enjoyed reading it later this month!