New Look for ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’, & the End of My First Kindle Countdown Sale…

WebsiteWUNew Look for ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’…

Finishing up on the last in my latest run of ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’, I have taken a break from writing to rethink the covers for the series. For anyone who has stuck around long enough, you will have seen the covers change four or five times. Starting from the ugly to the acceptable. I will admit, I was daunted at having to get another 11 covers done. While I can have my insecurities about writing, I know one thing with a certainty–I am not an artist. And, after doing 2 or 3 new ‘art’ elements for the covers I decided that my stories deserve better than what I can produce with pen and paper. So, for each individual story I have opted for photo elements, and I am dropping individual art elements for each story–only the number and title of the story will change. The collections will remain as the leather look with just a few tweaks as I do like that classic style.

I spent hours trawling shutterstock for images. People who tag these images have a very loose interpretation of Victorian. Regency isn’t Victorian. Images ranged from original period, to Gothic romance cover, to cyberpunk, to… well, ‘sexy’ Victorian… There has always been one image I have fancied as Darkwood, and ended up just going for that one in the end. What I have always liked about is that her hat hides much of her face, so the reader can keep her looking just how they think she looks. That set me the task of finding a male with a similar hat over face style. I ended up having to do a bit of cutting and pasting for Hobbs, and both had to be recoloured, but I was pleased with how they turned out. I wanted some kind of detailed background, and trawling images of Victorian London and fog, I ended up just lifting a smoky element I use in my banner. That was handy. So… here is what the standard cover will look like:

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October 99p/c Sale, Book Promotion & Proofreaders Wanted…

WebsiteWUOctober Sale

Starting today, every week in October, one of my horror novels will be on sale for 99p/c. It’s the first time I have tried a Kindle Countdown promotion, and aside from sharing links on social media, this is the first time I have tried promoting my work in quite a while. But, I knew I couldn’t just leave this to Amazon. So, I have been trawling the Internet for Kindly book promotion sites, and then every night this week I have been uploading them. A lot of the sites seem very similar in structure, even down to author interviews having exactly the same questions and requirements–so, I hope they aren’t just multiple reskins of the same site. I also hope they aren’t closed markets with Indie authors promoting to one another. I will be keeping a close eye on my sales to see whether the countdown promotion and the uploading to the promotion sites do anything. I plan to do more uploading every week through October.

Promotion

These are the sites that I used where I could. [SOURCE]

$0.99 Thrifty Thursdays:

Each Thursday, they put up a post calling for anyone who has a book priced at 99¢ every Thursday. They will not post erotica, religious, or political books: http://www.indiesunlimited.com/category/indies-unlimited/thrifty-thursday/

Digital Book Today:

If you have a full length fiction novel with at least 25 reviews and an average rating of 4.2 stars, you can submit your book to be featured on this site for free. They do have a limited number of spaces you you need to submit early: http://digitalbooktoday.com/register-weekly-featured-great-read

Pixel of Ink $0.99 Bargain Book:

http://www.pixelofink.com/advertise/

Daily Cheap Reads:

If you have a 99 cent eBook that is not in the exclusive KLL and you would like them to consider posting it, they require a minimum of five reviews.   http://dailycheapreads.com/your-two-cents-worth/

Reading Deals:

They currently offer a free and paid option:  http://readingdeals.com/submit-ebook

eBook Lister:

Submit here: http://www.ebooklister.net/submit.php

Choosy Book Worm:

You can submit your book here: https://choosybookworm.com/free-ebook-promotion/

Awesome Gang:

Submit here: http://awesomegang.com/submit-your-book/

Free 99 Books:

Submit here: http://www.free99books.com/author/add

And the Awesome Gang (above) sent me the following links in an email:

Book Goodies.com – Free online book promotions with a large audience waiting to find good books. Use coupon code Awesome25 to save 25% off a featured listing.

Pretty-Hot.com – Home to the hottest books on the planet. Use coupon code Awesome to get $10 off a featured ad.

Book Reader Magazine – Submit an interview and get more free exposure. You can now submit your book and use coupon code kboards at checkout to save $10.

Discount Book Man – If your book is under $2.99 list it here. Coupon code for featured book is kboards to save $5.

My Book Place – Your place to find great books online! Submit your book and use coupon code Awesome25 to receive 25% off a featured listing.

Read Write Club – Great site with featured submissions and author interviews.

‘The Darkwood Mysteries’

I recently finished writing the 20th of ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ and the last I need to write for the next run. Now, I will be going back to the earliest ones of the second run and editing those. I’m hoping the distance I have from those first drafts will make editing them easier. Then I will be ready for second and third edits.

Beta Readers & Proof Readers

Any of you lovely people want a first read and to proof read some or all of ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’? I can’t offer much in return, but I would place dedications to you in the front and thank yous in the back of each tale and any omnibus editions they might appear in. You might also get a character named after you.

If you’re interested then get in touch with me on Facebook and Twitter.

 

The Freedoms & Limitations of Writing Historical Horror…

WebsiteWU

One of the joys of writing historical fiction with my Victorian horror and adventure series, ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’, is being released from some of the limitations that modern technology can place on crime writing–it’s hard planning crimes when science and DNA can do so much of the detective work! Also, the limitations of modern communication for creating tension is no longer an issue–my characters can’t suddenly pass on information to each other, and can’t call for help so easily. It frees me up from convoluted ways of disconnecting my characters in the increasingly connected world of modern horror fiction.

It can have it’s issues though, one is being mindful of what doesn’t exist yet… And as I have found in my latest project–long distance communication. My story is an origin story of sorts, set in 1851–about 25 years earlier than normal for the series, and sees Darkwood’s parents separated through her father, Edward, being in India steering the family teasing business and her mother, Anne, left to run the Darkwood estates. Communication through letter would take weeks each way, creating a big disconnect between their back and forth–which has been a problem for me as both will experience shared events through Anne coming into possession of the guide stone which is so important to the series.

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Rise of The Dragon Progress, Making A Villain, Research into Men of History–Who Were Women…

WebsiteWUThanks to my husband cooking up a super-virus and then giving it me just when I was boasting a year of good health, I haven’t been in the greatest frame of mind for writing this past few weeks. Thankfully that target of 3000 words minimum a week seems pretty easy to achieve within a lazy morning, so despite being ill I managed to hit my weekly targets. ‘The Darkwood Mysteries: The Rise of the Dragon’ has now reached 40,000 words and I’m a little over half way through, so this is already in novella territory.

Making a Villain

I’m enjoying writing the return of my my reocurring villain, the Mandarin–now in his third plot. I’m finding he is a shadowy threat. Being a master of disguise and mesmerism, he is present even if not apparent, as he can be other people or influencing other people from afar. It makes him quite a palpable and formidable threat, but a game player. He’s not one to sweep the board clear, but to play the board to keep himself safe, and his plans moving.

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Writing Goals & ‘The Darkwood Mysteries: The Rise of the Dragon’ Progress…

WebsiteWUWork in Progress

Currently I’m working on ‘The Darkwood Mysteries: The Rise of the Dragon’, which sees the return of the Mandarin. A child has been abducted, and a Chinese man stands accused, threatening to ignite the London mob. But, as ever, things are not what they seem. The Mandarin has Darkwood and Captain Carstairs playing one game, while he is playing another–he can’t lose…

It’s been a different experience writing this entry into ‘The Darkwood Mystery’ series–Hobbs isn’t present for much of it, so it’s in the third person from all the information given to Hobbs after the fact and wow, I have always written in third person for my contemporary horror novels, but switching back after so long writing this series has been jarring. I would be in the flow, tapping away at the keyboard and then find I’d slipped back into first person… Cue swears.

I have a bit of an issue with the end, which revolves around parliament and Big Ben, as I need some technical information about the Great Clock. So far I’m drawing a blank through the Internet of things, and horologists and parliament aren’t getting back to me. I really don’t want to blag it. If there are any horologists who know about big clock mechanisms and it’s 2019 and I haven’t published yet, then hit me up!

Goals

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December in Writing: The ‘Not-Writing-Writing’ & The ‘Not Good Enough’ Monster…

BEHIND THE WRITING DESK_opt

After finishing the first draft of ‘The Darkwood Mysteries: The Rat King’ short, I decided not to start another project in 2018. I have ‘The Darkwood Mysteries: The Book of Lies’ short plotted and ready to go in 2019, so it’s there for me on my next proper writing day. I say ‘proper’ writing, because there was some other writing stuff I needed to do–the ‘not writing writing’. A tax return and rebuilding my homepage.

Thankfully, one ‘bonus’ of not being a successful writer is that as I earned less than a £1000 in the 2017/2018 financial year, under new UK tax laws I found I actually didn’t need to complete a tax return. ‘Yay for being unsucessful!(?)’. That was one less chore with my Xmas break coming up, so that was nice.

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