So, you may have noticed in my last blog I was pretty grumpy about having the wrong genre connected to my novel. But, after contacting the omnipotent Google herself and writing the correct genre in as many places as I could think of, it's fixed! I am stunned. My prayers have been answered.
But why, you may well ask, am I making such a fuss? E r o t i c fiction (I'm writing it like that in case I connect the book to that genre again) is meant to be the hottest thing in fiction. Surely I should be pleased that this might boost my sales? Well, if Bone Rites was the next Dulux shade of grey I would be laughing all the way to the bank. (100 million copies sold, and counting). But Bone Rites isn't that kind of book and if anyone bought it thinking that they were in for a bodice ripping delight they would be so disappointed.
Sure, this story has love and passion, but that's not the same thing at all. I make no mention of body parts sliding into other body parts. I say nothing about panting or panties for that matter. There are syringes, knives, scalpels, bone saws, blood–lots of that–and a truck load of bones. But no explicit S-E-X. There IS almost an orgy, but like old Bollywood films there's just a rustle of sheets off-screen. E r o t i c fiction just ain't my style. If I tried to force myself to write that way I'd be up for the Literary Review's Bad S-E-X in Fiction Award where they draw "attention to the poorly written, redundant, or downright cringeworthy passages of sexual description in modern fiction." And that's not an award any writer wants to win.
Once you've written a book you might think your work is done, but that's hilariously wrong. Once its written, you have to edit it. Again and again and again. And then again. And some more after that.
Once it's in shape, then you have to market the thing, which is a whole new skill set. I'm learning, but it's hard to sell yourself. You feel like your mum is going to leap out from behind a curtain and tell you to stop showing off. Or that you're boring the bejeezus out of people (sorry).
But marketing is happening. I'll be launching the book in Australia in October, watch this space for more details on that. Then in January I'm heading over to the UK to promote the book there. Yes, I'm leaving the Aussie summer to tour the UK in the depths of winter. How I suffer for my art!!
Another fun fact is that once your book is out there it has a life of its own. This book has murders, blood and gore, but barely a mention of the old S - E - X. Yet several bookshops and now Google have it listed as e r o t i c fiction. IT SO IS NOT!! The genre of this book is dark historical fiction. I'm currently writing that fact on every social media outlet I can find. My serial killer ain't saucy!
It is with great delight that I can announce the prestigious , independent UK publisher, Aurora Metro Books, is publishing my quirky dark novel, Bone Rites on October 1st 2023. I will be attending several events to promote the novel, so watch this space!
...My novel, Bone Rites!!! I still can't quite believe it. This has been a rollercoaster year of close calls and near misses for this book, which after being chosen for the 2019 Blue Pencil long list, went on to be shortlisted for the 2021 Blue Pencil First Novel Award and long listed for the 2021 Caledonia prize. So this is really the start of a new chapter for this dark story. Watch this space for more updates.
Longlists and Shortlists
What a lovely week; shortlisted for a story at Retreat West, PLUS I just found out that my last book, Blood Bones, was long listed in 2019 for the prestigious Blue Pencil Agency first novel award. Horah! I'm still not quite sure how this thrilling news escaped my notice until now, let's just say junk mail and lack of faith and leave it at that.
These two signs of recognition have really given me a boost. Sometimes it feels like I'm writing in the dark for no-one, so positive feedback like this is so welcome. On the back of it, I will be giving Blood Bones a final polish and sending it to an agent. Expect a sample on here soon...
Did I say final?
Took me a year to realise that there's no such thing as a final edit until your book is printed... I've just started an editing course at Curtis Brown UK, an intense 6 weeks of whipping my grannies into shape. I can't wait.
Meanwhile book seven, 'Blood Bones' is rollicking towards the denouement. Watch this space.
Grandmothers are Go!
Just completed the final edit on The Secret Life of Grandmothers. It's been the best fun to write. I'm going to miss hanging out with the characters though. May, 87-year-old ex-prostitute and accidental madam, has been a joy. I've attached a sample chapter below if you want to check it out. Now to get cracking on book seven!
I enjoyed the modern day so much writing The Witch Who Saved Paris that I've eschewed my Edwardians yet again. I'm now quite seriously addicted to the lives of my four, very atypical grandmothers and their peculiar situation in a small country town. This book is making me laugh aloud as I write it so I'm hoping you will enjoy it too. Expect delivery around this time next year...!
Raring to get back to my Edwardian adventurers after spending almost a year in the present day.
I've loved writing 'The Witch who Saved Paris'- setting a novel in the here and now presents the opportunity to bang on about everything I'm thinking/concerned about, but I do miss the elegant charm of the Belle Époque. A read-through, edit and proof read of the Witch and then it's back to 1907...
Book four is finished!!
And horah for that. This book took me by far the longest out of the four to write, largely I suspect because I've been editing books 1-3 at the same time.
I really enjoyed this one, partly because the British Raj is such a fascinating time (as can be witnessed by the current popularity of the series 'Indian Summers', but also because this is the book where I finally get to reveal the dark secret of Brooks's past. It's a cracker of a secret too- I knew Brooks wouldn't let me down.
This book was interesting for another reason. The characters are so real now, so three dimensional that I can't boss them about at all. If, for the sake of my silly plot, I want them to do X, they will insist on doing Y instead. I have been very surprised by what they have insisted, but I've learnt to listen.
I'll be proofreading this for the next few months, then it will be available for my select band of merry readers (and any keen agent/publishers) to peruse.
Onwards to Book Five!