Musings

Getting the Word Outromance

Posted by Nhys 09 Dec, 2014 12:11:15

The hardest parts of being an author is not writing thousands of words a day. It isn't coming up with new and exciting story-lines that keep me and my readers interested. It's not designing covers or responding to wonderful readers who make the effort to write to me. No, the hardest part of being an author is finding new readers who might like my books. The term for that nightmare experience is Promotion.

When I first started publishing my books a few years ago all it took was running a Free Promotion and letting the sites available at the time know about it. I did this through a great lady called DesertGirl on Fiverr. I got 16,000 downloads in a few days for Barbarian's Mistress and sales that were more than flattering in the following months.

But those days are gone and it is harder and harder to get the attention of prospective readers. I've tried Book Tours and advertising, as well as Free Promotions. I even made The Titan Drowns (Book 6 in the New Atlantis series) permanently free to attract readers to the series.

Recently a new company called Ebook Arrow contacted me and offered to promote one of my books for free. I decided to give them a go. Heck, what did I have to lose?

So I ran a free promotion on Amazon for Lionslayer's Woman and only let Ebookarrow promote it. The results were as good as anywhere else I'd been trying lately with nearly 1,000 downloads over 5 days. What I also found interesting was that during those days I also had an increased in actual sales and the only explanation for that spike is the promotion.

I will be advertising with them again, and if you want to get notified about free or discounted books in your favourite genre then why not sign up at www.eBookArrow.com I think they may well be the site to watch in the future.






HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYSromance

Posted by Nhys 05 Nov, 2013 17:15:43

Blog imagehttp://www.theromancetroupe.com/

WELCOME TO THIS SPECIAL BLOG HOP POST! If you can get past the food, I hope you enjoy my Muse's reflections on this subject!

Gingerbread Cake with Orange Icing

Ingredients:

For the cake

For the orange icing

Blog image

Preparation method

1. Line a 23cm/9in square cake tin at least 4cm/1½in deep with baking parchment.

2. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.

3. Place the butter, sugar, golden syrup and black treacle into a pan and heat gently until the mixture has melted evenly. Set aside to cool slightly.

4. Sift the flours, ground ginger and stem ginger into a large mixing bowl and mix gently. Pour the cooled butter mixture into the flour. Add the eggs and milk and beat with a wooden spoon until well combined.

5. Pour the cake batter into the tin and level the surface with a palette knife or the back of a spoon. Bake for 50 minutes, or until the cake has risen and is golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Set aside to cool slightly in the tin, then transfer the cake to a wire rack and set aside to cool completely.

6. Meanwhile, for the orange icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add about two tablespoons of the orange juice and mix to a smooth paste. Add more orange juice, as necessary, until you get a smooth icing of the consistency you desire.

7. Pour the icing over the cooled cake and spread lightly, allowing it to ooze over the edges. Sprinkle over chopped orange zest and put the cake aside until the icing has set.

(courtesy of www.BBC.co.uk)



BOOK SPOTLIGHTBlog image

Innocent young patrician, Anniana, is to be unwilling pawn in a game of power that will see her wed to the decadent new emperor, Titus, unless she can escape Rome with her only protector, a violent Norse giant. He must get her to Pompeii before Salvia, her diabolical mother, discovers her escape. But when Pompeii is destroyed by Vesuvius and Salvia sends assassins to track her down, it becomes a chase across the empire to keep her freedom.

Vali has every reason to hate Salvia, who used him as a sex slave years before. Now he must keep her daughter safe, not only from hired killers and the many dangers of the journey, but from the biggest threat of all - himself, because a damaged barbarian is no fitting mate for an innocent noble of Imperial Rome.

Ninia, Anniana’s handmaiden, is sent to find her mistress. Her only desire is to save her friend from the barbaric Norseman. But when she’s ship-wrecked with Braxus, ex- gladiator and pirate, she unexpectedly discovers a chance for real happiness for herself. The only problem - the man she’s starting to love is in league with the enemy.

This is an epic journey across the breadth of the early Imperial Roman Empire in search of freedom, respect and love.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B9ZUQF4


NOW FOR MY INPUT ON THIS SUBJECT!!!!


This post is part of a Blog Hop. I’ve only ever done one before, and I’m not sure what to expect. So let’s see where my Muse takes me on this topic.

For me, the meaning of the word Home has changed a great deal over the years. Home used to be the place where I ‘had’ to go, even though I might prefer to be elsewhere. Home had a lot of negative connotations attached to it – duty; responsibility; isolation; loneliness; mixed in with a painful kind of love.

I remember many adult Christmases that typified those feelings. The crazy compromises over whose place you had to drive to, in the sweltering heat, for Christmas Dinner this year. Was it my husband’s family’s turn or was it mine? Then there was the mine-field of familial antagonism. Who was going to make the first crack and who would get insulted and sulk?

I still cringe remembering one year at my place when I had thrown a short tunic on over my swimmers (we had a pool) and my brother-in-law thought it was funny to pull the bottom of it up to display my fat thighs for the video camera. That particular video did the rounds for many years, always eliciting much chortling at my expense. Then there was the time my grandmother’s jaw locked and we had to rush her to Emergency and my mother considered it a stunt designed to get attention and so she sulked over our spoiled Christmas, and then sulked some more. Then there was the time…

I think I’ve made my point. When both my parents died, first dad with prostate cancer and then mum with breast cancer; Christmas became a lot less complicated. There was only my husband’s family to placate and they were a cheerier bunch than my lot. So we’d pack up the kids and drive hundreds of miles to go there for the holidays.

Then my marriage broke up and so my ex took the kids ‘Home for the Holidays’ and I spent Christmas alone. The first few years were odd. I kept expecting to feel bad about being alone at Christmas. But what I felt was relief. No one to answer to, no stress. I could do what I liked when I liked. I looked around at the people I passed on the street and I was the relaxed and happy one. They were the stressed out messes over Christmas.

I started spending Christmas with friends in a wonderful quirky version of the celebration. My friends were Reiki Healers and I remember one rather amazing Christmas Day at my place when it was so hot the air con couldn’t keep up with the heat, so we set up the massage table in front of the open fridge and did healing on each other there.

Then my elder son died. He was born on Christmas Eve, (and that year I got to opt out of the Christmas Day debacle, thankfully). After Chris’ death Christmas took on a darker hue. Instead of enjoying my ‘alone time’ it became the time when my grief would come up and grab me by the throat. So when I moved to England, 12,000 miles from my Aussie ‘Home’ I had to find ways to get through the Holiday Season without too much maudlin self-pity and grief.

One year, I bought the full series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to occupy my time. I’d watched part of the first season when it came out in the 90s but had lost interest quickly. I still don’t quite know how I ended up buying it, but once I started watching I was enthralled, particularly when Spike the Vampire became the love interest for Buffy. By the time he sacrifices himself for the good of humanity, (well Sunnydale anyway,) I was bawling my eyes out. I didn’t stop crying for days. By that time I’d started to see the deeper meaning in it for me. Spike was a lot like my son Chris, a tortured soul who wanted to be better than he was, and my grief for Spike was really another way to grieve for my son. So much for avoidance.

Then I found the answer to Christmas. I was working on a spiritual board game at the time, and on Christmas Day I was making little graphics of pebbles and placing them on a labyrinth I was creating. I’m talking thousands of these little pebbles all placed individually into their place on the larger graphic. I paused some time during the day and stared out at the frosty scene outside, (no hot Christmases for me anymore, thank heavens,) and I realised I was truly happy. Blissfully happy. I realised that when I tapped into my creativity I was tapping into the God Within. When I was there, nothing else mattered. I was Home.

So ‘Home’ for me is not a place or people anymore. It isn’t duty or responsibility or even love, painful or otherwise. Home is connecting with my Muse, my Higher Self, my God Within. When I do that, usually while I’m madly writing a story that has to be told, I’m Home. Do I still get lonely or sad at Holidays? Sure I do. I miss all the people I have loved, for better or for worse, during my life. But if I tap into that Energy that can loosely be called Love, then I am in a place of perfect acceptance, perfect peace and I feel Joy.

However you find your true Home, I hope you’re there for the Holidays.

x Nhys

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On Perfectionromance

Posted by Nhys 28 Oct, 2013 10:34:25

ON PERFECTION

As human beings, many of us seek perfection in one form or another. As human beings we are incapable of perfection. Yet striving for that Platonic ideal is often a driving force that takes us to heights we might never otherwise have achieved. But like most quests for the unattainable, the search for perfection can lead to dissatisfaction and poor self-esteem when we don’t come up to our own high standards (or those of others).

I remember seeing a movie made about Karen Carpenter (of the Carpenters. Hopefully you’re old enough to remember them, LOL!) She was this amazingly talented woman who achieved world-wide success in her field, but because of one reporter’s comment about her putting on weight she fell into the anorexic trap, which finally killed her. I remember being both furious with that reporter and saddened by the thought that such a bright shining light could be destroyed by her perception of her own imperfection. I also realised that it didn’t matter how many people applaud us, if we focus on our imperfections they can destroy everything else in our lives. The Dark can overtake the Light.

I am the first person to acknowledge that I’m not a great writer. For a long time that fact stopped me from getting my stories out into the world. When you’ve studied the masters it’s hard to look favourably at your own poor scribblings. But then I realised that I didn’t aspire to be a great writer because it wasn’t the writing that interested me, it was the story or message I was conveying that was important. If I could do a ‘good enough’ job conveying that message then I was the kind of writer I wanted to be.

A wonderful writer (a serious contender for greatness in the future I believe) called Blakely Chorpenning read the first in my Werewolf Keep Trilogy and wrote a very incisive review of it here: http://indiscriminatewrites.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/guardian-of-werewolf-keep-by-nhys.html

She later offered to betaread my next Werewolf Keep story and I jumped at the chance. She finished that a few weeks ago and I took almost all her suggestions on board and made it a better book. It’s available now on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Imprisoned-Werewolf-Keep-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00FYXBHRS and will be free for 5 days starting 31st October 2013.

That’s the plugs over. Now for the point of this post. I can’t leave well enough alone, when it comes to my stories. What I love about the ebook revolution is that you don’t have to. I can publish and then republish and then republish again, nipping and tucking ad infinitum. So, after working through Blakely’s suggestions for Imprisoned at Werewolf Keep I started applying the same suggestions to the first in the Trilogy, Guardian of Werewolf Keep. So, even though the original story has been polished repeatedly and proofed professionally, I could still see how it could be improved. Which meant that instead of writing more stories, which is my passion, I’m backtracking again, working toward a perfection I know I will never achieve.

There is a fine line between working toward perfection to produce the best you are capable of doing, and getting side-tracked away from your goal by the unimportant details. The key to determining which side of the fine line you fall is the word unimportant.

A friend of mine insists that paving stones in her yard be laid perfectly, something her more slap-dash husband has problems with at times. But for her, because of a physical challenge that makes walking difficult, having those pavers just right means she can walk securely across them. That focus on detail is important.

So, how important is improving Guardian to my main purpose – conveying the message? That’s what I have to keep in mind every hour I spend on rewrites. Because the Werewolf Keep stories are not really about werewolves. They’re about Jung’s Shadow and our need for self-acceptance. Therefore, because the message is incredibly important, I have come to believe that spending the extra time improving the form will get the message across more effectively. So in this case the details are not unimportant. But I never want to become like a writer I heard about who has taken years to write one book and is still doing revisions before he puts it out there.

Bottom line: a poorly conveyed message is better than no message at all.



The Pieces Have Come Togetherromance

Posted by Nhys 20 Sep, 2013 12:18:49

I couldn't help being punny, as the title of the latest New Atlantis novel lends itself to so many possibilities. One friend even commented on the fact that it was Pieces of 8, as in pirate gold. I didn't have that in mind when I chose the title.

To me people are like jigsaw puzzles that need to come together to be fully understood. In real life you never really have all the pieces, even when you live with someone for years. You may never have all the pieces to your own personal puzzle either. There are always times you go 'Why did I do that?' and not have an answer.

I think I loved astrology because it so symbolically reflected all the pieces that make up an individual. But even when you look at a chart you still haven't got all the pieces, as the Soul that inhabits that chart gets to use the building blocks in a unique way that suits them.

The person who pointed out the pieces of eight also let me do her chart recently. Her cousin was born in the same hospital within ten minutes of her, so for all intents and purposes their charts were identical (all right, there is a slight difference in the Ascendant). But my friend and her cousin couldn't be more different, and yet its likely that the dynamics at work in both lives are the same. Just different choices made by their unique Souls.

I think that's why I find human nature so fascinating. It has so many possibilities open to it, within the genetic/social framework the person was born with.

When I was exploring Dirk's personality in Pieces I had to see the shades of grey while describing him as a person who couldn't see the shades of grey. To him there was right and wrong, and when he did something that countermanded that sense he beat himself up badly.

Romance novels are usually not the place to explore psychological complexity. The heroes are usually good, the baddies are usually bad. You can't afford to have your reader lose their attachment to your hero by letting them behave in an unacceptable way and fall below the line of morality we all commonly share.

So saying, I can't help making my characters play with that line. Allyn in Liquid Fire rapes the heroine. Vali in Barbarian's Mistress is a violent prostitute. Braxus in that same book is a thug for hire. Julio kidnaps a child in Dreamer's Prince. Luke in Savage gets pretty close to the line of psychologically abusing Faith... and the list goes on. So it wasn't a big step for me to want to see if I could get a Gestapo agent, who would normally be cast as the baddie, crossing over the moral line so he could be a good guy. He still did things he considered reprehensible... things we consider reprehensible... but because he is so hard on himself we get to make allowances for him. Or I'd like to think we do.

I found Faith giving some powerful messages of forgiveness and acceptance in this book. And I think that is a message we all have to get sometimes. It easy to cast people into the role of goodie or baddie based on superficial evidence. Sometimes we have to let go of those labels and just accept people for who they are, and allow that they're doing the best they can in any situation. Even a Gestapo agent in Nazi Germany.






Can't Stay Awayromance

Posted by Nhys 03 Sep, 2013 15:04:08

Blog imageWhen I finished 'The Key' I was sure that was the end of the New Atlantis series. I knew I'd miss New Atlantis, but you do have to move on.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your take, I was not ready to move on. I got an idea for a new book and I couldn't leave it alone. I was challenged with the idea of turning one of the world's most despised villains into a hero.

It was quite a challenge I quickly realised. What saving grace did the Gestapo have? Well, for one thing they weren't, for the most part, Nazis as I thought. They were cops who just got a new remit and more power.

Even so, there had to be more than 'I was just doing my job,' to save my hero. So I had him only being new to the Gestapo (1936) and blackmailed into joining from the criminal police (KRIPO). And he already had a guilty conscience.

What was interesting for me was the effect this Gestapo agent had on New Atlantis. There were those who wanted him rejected because of what he was. Those people then brought the violence of the old world into the peaceful New Atlantean world.

So this book really challenged both me and my world. I will be interested to see what my readers think when it's published.

What do you think of the cover?





Book Trailersromance

Posted by Nhys 12 Jul, 2013 10:54:39

One of the wonderful things about the internet is that you can connect to people you would never have met any other way. They may live on the other side of the world or in the town next to yours, but your paths might never have crossed.

I have been making some incredible new friends and workmates here on the net. People who share the passion of writing or reading. And what is wonderful is that we all pass on valuable information to each other, for not other reason that we found it useful or helpful and want others to know about it too.

I have been making my own book trailers for several months now using One Media and the results were okay. Not great but okay. And they were fun to make. Then I discovered this great guy in Wales, Dave Williams,(https://www.facebook.com/PlainSightVfx) who made trailers using book covers. But for 50 GBPs, which was inexpensive for what he does but was way out of my non-existant budget.

Then I found Petra Ortiz (https://www.facebook.com/petralovesbats) who reviews books and I asked her to review one of mine. She offered to make me a book trailer. I was gobsmacked but said, why not? She put one together for me for the New Atlantis series and it was brilliant. If you haven't seen it, go to my webpage. I've given in pride of place on the home page.

The great thing about this is that I get a great product and because I'm so excited about it I pass the word out about her, and hopefully other people will decide to get her to make them a trailer.

In a maze of information overload sometimes you find yourself in the right place and the right time to connect with the right people. Petra is an example, Desert Girl at Fiverr is another, Carla at FreeDiscountedBooks.com is another, Sharon Platz (editor) is another... the list grows longer everyday.

When I started this marketing kick it was with my heels stuck firmly in the ground, being dragged along by friends and acquaintances who told me this is what I needed to do to get my books out there. Now I'm finding I enjoy the process because of all the discovers I've made, all the people I've met, and my world has grown larger and richer because of it.

TRIAL AND ERROR OF PROMOTING EBOOKSromance

Posted by Nhys 02 Jul, 2013 16:24:17

I have been watching the Indie phenomenon for a while now and what blows me away is the number of talented, creative people who are finally finding their outlet. People who, like me, have been writers forever, (or it feels that way anyway,) but never thought that they’d get out there because the mainstream big boys were Gatekeeping. So they wrote for themselves and hid their manuscripts in the bottom draw, gathering dust.

Then along comes this amazing new way to communicate that costs almost nothing and allows a writer to find their audience, anywhere in the world. I can’t tell you how in awe I am by this development, not just because it has given me my lifelong dream, but because it has allowed for an outpouring of creativity the world has never seen before.

History has always been important to me. It gives me a perspective on the world I see around me. From an historical perspective this shift is as big as the invention of the printing press. Before that time, clerics spent their lives bent over desks laboriously copying a few manuscripts that were considered of value by the Powers That Be. And only the most educated, (and most of them men,) had the ability to read those precious works.

Then the printing press exploded onto the western scene and the creative outpouring began. But it was always limited by financial constraints. It costs a lot to print a book. And even today when it is so much cheaper, it is still a gambling. So publishers stay safe and go with a sure thing. So you see the same old authors churning out the same old stuff, year after year, because publishers know it sells. If those authors try to write something different, the publisher squashes the idea. Stick to what sells they say.

Occasionally someone new breaks through and there’s a thunderous reader response. Remember when ‘The De Vinci Code’ came out? That was so different to what was on offer at the time that the public lapped it up, and all Brown’s other unpublished works got published in quick succession. And then the copy cats started getting picked up because they fitted the new mould.

The same thing happened with Harry Potter and the Twilight Saga. Some brave publisher took a risk and the reading public responded. Then the copy cats start to get published, trying to fit in to these new moulds. ‘This framework works, let’s do more of it’.

Then along comes ebooks and costs of publishing become minuscule. The cost of reading, once you have a Reader becomes nothing, if you play your cards right. And that hasn’t been possible since Libraries became common. Now anyone can read books about anything that takes their fancy. And the financial risk is none, if they use the free days or lending libraries like Amazon Prime makes available.

So the diversity of creative outpourings is now infinite, limited only by one’s ability to get the word out. And that becomes the new Gatekeeper. It’s not talent that will stop you, its media manipulation and promotion. Even though it doesn’t have to cost a lot, costs do begin to mount up when you try these paths. Unfortunately, it’s likely to cost more and more in the future, as the ever-increasing numbers of writers vie for a finite number of readers’ attention. But we aren’t there yet, thank goodness.

To compete, authors, whether mainstream or indie published, have to find their own way to their audiences. This has been a steep learning curve for me, and I think I had a lot of luck at the start. When I discovered Fiverr and a lady called DesertGirl I risked $5 and got her to put my new book ‘Barbarian’s Mistress’ up on free sites for my KDP Select free days. I got 16,500 downloads over 5 days, shot to #1 Amazon UK and the top #5 on Amazon.com, for Historical Fiction.

I was shell shocked and delighted when the reviews started pouring in and sales followed. I replicated the process with my other books but, though Desert Girl was doing a great job, I wasn’t getting the coverage. Too much competition and my other books were very niche – let’s face it, time travel romance isn’t for everyone, especially books targeting the older female reader (my heroine in the first in the New Atlantis series was 45. Not too many of the kids want to read about a middle-aged woman with all her insecurities around aging.) But I knew my reader- the 30 something and upward woman who likes her romance a little hot but still loving, and wants to go places that are different, thought-provoking and quirky.

So I followed DesertGirl to FreeDiscountedBooks and joined a Book Tour with Orangeberry Tours. They said they’d get me 25 reviews, but there was no guarantee that the reviews would be good. They put my book out to Book Clubs across the UK, Europe and the States. I also took Carla’s advice and had some work done on my cover of ‘The Titan Drowns’ (she’s brilliant a graphic artist) and got the book professionally proofed. Articles I wrote and interview questions I did went up on blogs all over the place in the next month. But nothing happened. I think I got lost in the rush. Carla at FreeDiscountBooks even created some social media attention by using something called Empire Avenue and Twitter, but it didn’t seem to work for my books. And though I’ll get my reviews, and that will encourage new readers, I’m not sure it was a successful exercise. Not for the money I paid. But maybe it’s a slow burn and in the months to come I’ll see results. All I know is that although I think Book Tour companies are meeting a need and are professional and doing their best for their clients, it didn’t meet my needs, so far.

So I joined Author Marketing Premium Club to see what tricks I could pick up there, and I’ve vamped up my blurbs with pretty headings and added review quotes and selling points. But though they have good ideas, most I already knew and joining mastermind courses in the US doesn’t work for me here in the UK because of the time difference. I also joined a Kindle Club that showed potential, but after the initial flurry of interest, people faded away and so nothing useful transpired over the long term.

But instead of being disheartened, I am spurred on to explore further. I continue to get my free days promoted by DesertGirl and it’s the most effective process I’ve come across so far. I try to keep the big picture in sight – I’m a published author, my lifelong dream fulfilled, and in the five months that I’ve been doing this marketing lark nearly 40,000 books of mine have been downloaded and a good proportion of those have been actual sales. I’m not making enough to live on yet, but I think there’s a cumulative process at work here. The more readers find me, the more of my books they will want to read and will tell their friends about. So the more I look for ways to get my name out there, the better my chances of finding my possible readers are.

I feel like an adventurer exploring undiscovered territory. It’s exciting, and the potential is awesome, but it is also challenging and disheartening, and some days I just want to go back to writing just for me. It was more fun that way. But then I get a wonderful review and find out I’ve touched someone’s life, and it all feels worth the effort.

Milestonesromance

Posted by Nhys 23 Jun, 2013 12:07:19

The other day I got word that one of my books had got to the second round of the selection process by a mainstream publisher. I was elated. And then I took a step back and wondered at my reaction, and even the fact that I’d submitted the manuscript for consideration at all.

I’m a big believer in the ‘self-made (wo)man’. Large institutions strangle the uniqueness and individuality out of creatives. They mould them into sausage factory products to reap the financial gain. So why have I placed one of my beloved babies in reach of that machine?

Credibility. Though I hate to acknowledge it, there is something to be said for gaining the notice of the ‘big boys’. On some level, it isn’t enough to have had nearly 40,000 of my books downloaded across the world in less than five months. It isn’t enough that on average 300 of my books are downloaded daily. (That one really rocked my world when I did the calculations!) I wanted ‘authority’ to recognise my efforts.

I became an Astrologer without the aid of schools or teachers (beyond the wonderful man who taught me the calculations.) I had a thriving practise and I knew I was good at my work. But I wanted credibility with my peers. So I sat for the exams for practitioner accreditation by the governing body, the Federation of Australian Astrologers. I came 2nd, nationally.

Did that change my life? No. Did it bring me more clients? No. All it did was allow me to measure myself against others in my field and be deemed equal, even without mainstream training. And that gave me more confidence in myself.

Another woman I met had tried to do the same thing, but failed. She asked for my secret. I knew it instantly. I had a formal education. I was a teacher. I knew how to organise learning so that it met the needs of a curriculum. In a way, I was my own school, my own teacher, and my textbooks were the same as any accredited school would have used. I knew how to write an essay and to present an argument with evidence. All that, I acquired as part of my formal education, and I just applied it in another field. The woman who had failed hadn’t had my background. She needed a school.

And I think that is the case with writing. The Indie Revolution has opened doors for writers to experiment and explore new genres, new methods of storytelling that the big publishers would have rejected as unprofitable. The world is a better place because of the Indie Revolution.

But the freedom that’s now ours doesn’t mean poorly crafted work is going to make you a fortune. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to learn how to write, to tell your story. You still have to be able to string a sentence together so it makes sense. You have to create believable characters and a plot that holds together with a clear beginning middle and end. You have to learn your craft.

Maybe any success I have as an Indie published author comes because of my years as an English teacher drumming the skills of creative writing and analysis into my students. It may also have come from the years of writing I’ve done since I was old enough to hold a pencil. And maybe it’s partly due to some innate talent I have. Whatever it is, it’s not luck. And it’s come with hard work. Lots of hard work. And constant, on-going learning, so each book is better than the last (I hope).

And if my book gets picked up by mainstream, that won’t mean I’ll stop publishing Indie. I’ll be a hybrid, like so many other authors are becoming these days. If I get picked up, it will be because I found a publisher who saw profit in a specific piece of my writing, not because I tried to write to fit their formula. I can’t do that. I’ve tried. I really have tried. But my Muse doesn’t play that way.

And if I get picked up, it won’t mean I’m going to sell any more books than I have already. It will simply be another milestone for me, personally. One that goes next to 16,500 downloads in 5 days, an Amazon UK # 1 Best Seller Historical Fiction ranking, and the cancer survivor who wrote to me because ‘The Way Home’ made her finally realise and acknowledge that she HAD survived.

So, keep your fingers crossed for me. (Did I say there was no luck involved?) It would be nice to add another milestone to my life path.