Moving, Game of Thrones, Chambers, and Reading…

After 10 months of a mix of no interest, false hope and disappointment we’ve finally got a buyer for our flat, and the end of selling is in sight. Our anxious cat, Dean, who hid from every viewer can finally go back to regular anxiety levels. Same for me too, I guess. It happened about a month after we’d found somewhere we liked, so the timing was good. It’s a bittersweet move, as I really like our flat and love the area, but we want different things from our home now and we’d need to take on more mortgage to stay in our current area in a different property, which I really don’t want to do. So, off we have to go. It’s a really nice house though, old but all done up as new, so hopefully it’ll be low maintenance. We’ll just need to make sure we come back to this area to enjoy all the food and the surroundings. It will hit my finances a little, so the writing budget will be zero for a while, which stalls my big motivational push of my self-publishing. Thankfully actual writing is free so I can keep plugging away until I have a self-publishing budget.

Game of Thrones
Just wow. I’m loving this series. I’ll admit I’m not loving how short it is in episodes, but it makes up for it in episode length and pace, and the action and imagery has been epic. I was surprised that the Battle for Winterfell ended the White Walker story so soon, but with so much to tie up I guess it had to end around that time to pick up the pieces and decide the world. There seems to be a lot of criticism, for the way the White Walkers were ended, sidelining Jon as the hero; and for Daenerys going full on mad Queen; and Jamie and Cersei’s end.

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Moving, Gaming, Baking, Umbrella Academy & Friday the 13th…


It has been busy. We have our home on the market at the moment. We love our home, but over the last seven years what we want from a home has changed, so it’s time to move. My next novel will be about the perpetual cleaning and show homing, anticipation, disappointment, compromise, frustration, pressure, rejection, loss and general stress of home hunting and home selling. It will be a horror. Blood everywhere.


The biggest thing that has happened to me this year is that through my addiction to podcasts I stumbled across a show called the Creative Penn all about the indie writing and self-publishing scene by Joanna Penn. There are about 400 episodes, so I am very late to the party, but there was one on writing successful horror with the guest horror author Iain Rob Wright. It blew me away, and has influenced the shift in how I think about my writing, and how I am going to approach it. It’s made me face up to the fact that I have written my writing off as a hobby due to the lack of sales, reads and reviews, when what I have always known is that I should be marketing my work and giving it the time and energy it needs and deserves to get seen to stand a chance of succeeding.

I am no longer going to treat writing like a hobby, I am going to treat it like a business, and potentially my job. Don’t worry, this isn’t some feverish mid-life crisis where I quite my day job and live off toast–I’m going to save up to have some capital, and then I am going to invest in my writing. Possibly pro covers, further editing, advertising, print editions and audio. Listening to the Creative Penn has made me realise how I have let the self-publishing changes and advances pass me by, and I now know so much is possible for indie authors. Inspiration and motivation does not guarantee success, of course, but it’s better that my write and upload actions so far. It’s a saturated market, and as a self-publishing writer I need to be publisher, manager, marketer and accountant.

The first change has been to focus this blog. It is now going to be writing centred, with two posts a month. A writing update post on the first weekend of the month and this post about life and the inspiration around me on the third weekend of the month.

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Reflecting on February…(2017) A new look for ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’…

BEHIND THE WRITING DESK_optFebruary has all been about photoshop. So, after some drawings, downloads, and lots and lots of mouse clicks and drags, I have tweaked and changed all the covers for ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ and created a new logo. Being the perfectionist I am, I’m not a 100% happy with them, but I think they are an improvement on the previous covers. I like the boldness and the simplicity of the new look. I think they read better, but I’m not sure the silver leaf effect works well on the images at the centre of each cover if there’s too much detail in them. Especially so as a thumbnail–although I guess there aren’t too many covers which do actually work at thumbnail size.

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Reflecting on January… (2017) Non-writing writing…

BEHIND THE WRITING DESK_optThe first month of 2017 is gone already. Free from studying, I’ve been a little slower at getting back to the writing desk than I expected myself to be. I’m taking time to look after my inner child after a year of neglect. I have a lot of making up to do to the poor guy. So, there has been lots of flumping into my bean bag, drinking tea, eating, and watching ‘He-Man’. That’s been a bit of a rediscovery for me. I love that show. Sometimes, when things have been complicated, it can feel good to go simple. You can’t get much simpler than cartoons. Well, maybe not anime… And there has been lots of fun and games with the husband. Board games that is, you filthy people. Because, I’ve felt that I’ve been neglecting him too. He thought me being on another planet with writing was bad, then I pitched myself into studying and he probably found I was even less present. But, I’m back now, in life, into my interests, and I’m back at the writing desk too…

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Reflecting on May to December (2016)…

BEHIND THE WRITING DESK_optReports of my admission to rehab for cake and board game addiction are greatly exaggerated. *I say, wiping chocolate frosting and meeples from my cheek*. This blog, and pretty much all social media attached to my writing have all been neglected. I just couldn’t keep up with it all. Life interrupts…

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Reflecting on September (2015)… Thinking Write…

FB Think Better Feel Better

My latest book launched recently. ‘Get Over It’, a self-help book using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). A slight departure from horror and mystery titles, but therapy and thinking better to feel better was my day job for a number of years, and has been a big passion since my counselling training. Soon after finishing the book, though, I found I was strung out and a bit blue myself.

I love writing; creating characters and worlds and formulating stories. I can write all day, and could write every day. At the risk of sounding pretentious, it’s really liberating, and there’s never a dull moment for me when I write and my stories unfold on the screen in black and white. However, I have noticed that as much as I love writing, there are low periods when I’m creating. Instead of reflecting on the practicalities of writing, editing and marketing as a self-published writer, I thought I would use this post to reflect on the thinking behind my writing that can get me down. In writing ‘Get Over It’ I’ve realised that I have been a bit lax in using CBT myself. In the book I suggest sharing the way we think in blogs, or with friends, as a way to not be on our own with our issues and to reduce the stigma attached to not feeling happy 100% of the time and bring self-help work out into the open. So, I guess it’s only fair that I should show you mine.

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