April Update #Iamdying

Greetings from crazy writer land,

I am on the last 10-15k words of KINGDOM and I am super fried but trying to end strong. It has come together in a weird and wonderful way that I didn’t plan for but somehow works better. This always seems to happen, my writing structural plan more or less hits its original high points but how I get to them always happens in a random organic fashion. I’ve learnt not to stress too much when things go a bit haywire but I tell you, sometimes its hard to relinquish control. It’s fairly different from the other two of The Blood Lake Chronicles as most of the action takes place in Faerie, where we learn HEAPS about the Seren Du family origins and all sorts of shenanigans happens. I’m going to be a little bit (a lot) nuts by the time that it is done but I’m feeling good about it so thats a good sign. I do have plenty of the usual impostor syndrome voices going on but trying to do my best not to feed that troll.

 

The writer brain and anxiety has been a lot less this time around because I am simply managing my shit better. ‘My shit’ being my mental health in this case. I’m pretty new to yoga (only been practicing for about 10 months) but its seriously helping me keep calm and also provides a good way for my to untangle plots while I move. Sitting still is really hard for me so the concept of a moving meditation has done me wonders. I highly recommend Allie- The Journey Junkie on Youtube if you are a newbie and want to learn some yoga. Shes a great teacher and the online community is a good support. I also have had my first go of a sensory deprivation tank this  month and I can’t recommend it enough. I love a long bath and this was the bath experience heightened to perfection. I’m big on meditation and this gave me the deep calm of a really good meditation session. It helped clear a lot of the screaming in my head and general feelings of being over whelmed that comes with tying up a book.

Speaking of books (and this is SO overdue) but I have decided that I am going to do a relaunch of my Western Wars series. So, some of you might remember last year I ran a promo through Kindle Scout for a YA fantasy called ‘Eastern Gods’…it didnt get picked up and I did release it as per the Kindle Scout rules, but then I took it down again after a month. WHY you might be asking? Well, a few reasons, some professional, some personal, but mainly I wanted to get it re-edited with US grammar (I’m Aussie so our grammar is different) and also I wanted to release it with the second book. The second book needed to be edited heavily and when I came to do it last August I was just too burnt out and wanted to throw the whole lot into a fire. Last year, I was mentally and emotionally burnt a lot and its taken me nearly 8 months to bounce back. Anyway, book  2 has sat there until the last month when I got some sound advice from a friend who really believes in the series (hey Kathryn) and convinced me to suck it up, do the work and get it released. As a result of this lecture, I have been doing edits on the second book when I’ve needed a break from KINGDOM. It’s come together in a way that I’m finally happy with which is great, and while it does need to go off to the line editor, both books are scheduled to be released digitally this year. For a paperback edition I’d like to combine the books as it is one continuous story, but I’ll keep you all posted on that. They are written in a different sort of style to my other books (they are epic fantasy after all) but I hope you will enjoy them if they sound like your thing.

The good news is it means you’ll definitely get three books out of me this year; Eastern Gods, The Golden Queen, and KINGDOM.  I don’t know if the Mychal spin off book will be ready to go as it still needs a bit of re-writing and perfecting but I want to try and do this work as a palate cleanser between KINGDOM and the starting of book 2 of NEW SECRET PROJECT.

I’m sure there is other stuff I’m forgetting to add in this update, but I’m too off in writer land to remember everything at the moment. I’m sporadically on social media but mostly hiatusing until the book is finished.

See you on the other side,

Amy x

 

Bad writing day and advice- via Chuck Wendig

There are days when being a writer makes you feel like you are a Creator God, Designer of Worlds, Breaker and Maker of Destinies. But some characters, like man, are prone to do, they turn around and say, “Fuck you Creator God, I’m gonna do what I want!” and they destroy that perfectly structured PLAN that you lovingly designed for them. I guess what I am trying to say is.. “Fuck you, Merlin! Do as you’re told!….please?”

Note: My Merlin is nothing like the above Merlin character. My Merlin is a temperamental lovable psycho like Alucard from Hellsing crossed with a magical reprobate. It’s just therapeutic for me to watch ANY Merlin get slapped today.

Whenever I am having a bad writing day, I go back and read THIS by Chuck Wendig… but this paragraph in particular is resonating hard with me today:

“Consider: the act of telling a story is you CONJURING AN ENTIRE UNIVERSE INSIDE YOUR MIND and then using words as knives to CARVE THAT UNIVERSE INTO REALITY SO THAT OTHERS CAN VISIT YOUR IMAGINATION. “Today I am going to make a world out of my brain that you can go to in your spare time,” you say aloud, hopefully realizing that this is far more significant and far more bizarre than tying your shoes or blowing your nose. Creating whole worlds is pyroclastic. It is volcanic. It’s heat and fire, it’s molten rock, it’s lightning inside black smoke amid the nose and clamor of thundering earth and boiling air. It is an astonishing, generative act.

And it’s sometimes hard.

Sometimes what we do is stage magic. Sometimes the magic is sacrificial.

Stage magic requires hours of practice where you get it wrong.

Sacrificial magic requires blood on the altar.

In both cases, the magic — be it trick or spell — is hard as hell.

As it should be. As it must be.” 

I love writing, and if it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be fun OR worth it.

Okay, bitching over. I’m off to be a vengeful God. xo

 

Origins of WYLT : The Blood Lake Chronicles

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Wylt’s launch is one week away! Thank you to all of the lovely ARC readers who have given me feedback in time for me to fix a few formatting mistakes so the finished copy is perfect.

This blog is going to be as spoiler free as possible but I wanted to share with you how Wylt came into being. Like many of the more interesting things I’ve done it started with a dare.

My best friend and I go through ‘Monster Porn’ stages where life and study becomes so full on that the only books we can consume are romance. Usually with monsters, sometimes with time travelling knights and aliens with questionable anatomy.

The below video by the wonderful Rachel Hollis is a pretty accurate representation of every conversation we have during our romance binge phases:

We were going through such a phase which included me complaining about how disappointing I’d found a top selling vampire romance when the bestie said, ‘You should write one.’ I laughed hard. I have romance elements in my stories but write a full-blown romance? That was a completely different genre. Then she said the magic words ‘I dare you.’ And I agreed to give it a shot.

Writing romance is a strange and wonderful experience. I recommend that every writer try it at least once. There is a definite formula to it but the things you can do within that formula are fantastic. Structurally it has a different beat to every other book I’ve written and I cannot thank JamiGold and her wonderful Beat Sheet Guides for keeping me from wandering off.

I knew I wanted to have a classic gothic feel but with a modern setting, I wanted vampires but a new take on them (I hope you like my new origin story) and I wanted an older female hero that was no nonsense. I was tired of reading stories of 20 something innocent (or highly damaged) girls that you find so often in such novels. I wanted someone real thrown into a world that she thought she knew and then slowly flip it on its head.

Removing all the fantasy elements from the story, the focus has a lot to do with family and the way they interact with each other, the roles that siblings and ourselves fall into. The deep obligations that transcend blood  and that bind people together.

I am a really big nerd when it comes to faerie and a character that had always haunted me was The Autumn Queen. She made her first appearance in a nightmare that I turned into a short story called The Red Shoes that you can find here. She’s never removed her claws from my imagination and I’d always intended to explore her story line. WYLT gave me the perfect opportunity to do that. It’s also given the chance to really explore Celtic themes (and in later books a few Arthurian) that I’ve always loved and wanted to write mash-ups of.

Music always plays a big role in my writing and helps give me a feel for the world in which I am playing in. I’ve released my WYLT playlist on Spotify for anyone who wants a soundtrack while they are reading the story. Its a pretty good mix of modern and classical (including a few waltzs that are mentioned in the novel) and is good at capturing many of my themes.

Pictures and art are also great at feeding my imagination for world building so I also have a massive Pinterest board that is covering all three of The Blood Lake Chronicles if you want to check it out.

My cover has been designed by the incredible Fiona Jayde who was extremely patient with my descriptions of what I was chasing.. ‘You know like old horror movies with the woman running away with a mansion in the background!’ She knew exactly what I wanted and has rendered it beautifully.

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WYLT is a mix of familiar and the new…there is a definite Jane Eyre and Beauty and the Beast vibe going on…but with enough new to keep it interesting.

To quote Rachel Hollis ‘You can pre-order the crap out of it‘ right here.

I hope you like it,

Love Amy and Duke (who does not understand Bookstagramming AT ALL.)

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