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Unofficial Detective’s 2nd book birthday!

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, then you probably already know this, but Unofficial Detective, the first book in my Half-Wizard Thordric trilogy, has been out for two years today. And looking back, things have been a little crazy since then.

These past two years have been full of personal struggles, but one thing that’s been a constant throughout, despite lack of time, depression and overall burnout, has been my writing.

[Side note: I’ve written at least one book every year since 2011, and though I had so many manuscripts, I only found my first publisher in 2017.]

Since Unofficial Detective has been out, nearly every book I wrote before then has either been released or is currently under contract for release next year. And the books I’ve written since its release (3 novels, 3 picture book manuscripts, 3 poetry collections – including A Book For Pandora, which came out in February this year) are either awaiting editing/being edited or on submission. Add that to the fact I blog every day at the moment, and even I have to admit it’s a lot of work.

Now, I often forget the sheer amount of effort I’ve put into a project as soon as I move onto the next, and as my focus is usually on what I’m currently working on, it’s been a long time since I’ve looked back and appreciated how far I’ve come. But today I stopped to think about it, and it left me both overwhelmed and immensely proud.

Being a writer has been my dream since I was a little girl, and while it’s true I earn very little from it – for me, earning money from writing has never been the point – I can genuinely say I’ve achieved my dream and will continue living it.

So, I think the note I want to end with is that for any aspiring writers out there wondering if getting published really is attainable, just stick with it. Yes, it probably will be hard and you will feel like quitting completely at some points, but if it’s what you really want, then no one can stop you. And that remains true regardless of whether you’re looking into traditional publishing or self publishing.

books_mine

Lastly, a list of all my published works to date:

Half-Wizard Thordric trilogy

Unofficial Detective

Accidental Archaeologist

Unseasoned Adventurer

 

Stand alone books

The Door Between Worlds

The Origin Stone

 

Poetry

A Book For Pandora

Uncategorized

Writerly Updates!

Hi everyone,

As well as my usual poetry post today, I thought I’d let you know about a few things that have been going on.

Firstly, as you may have read before, my speculative young adult book, The Origin Stone, is set to be released next year at the end of April, so that’s exciting. I do have digital ARCs, so if you’re a blogger or reviewer and would like a copy, please do get in touch.

Secondly, I’ve just signed a contract with Black Opal Books for a stand-alone epic fantasy! I don’t have any more details yet, but should do in the new year.

Thirdly, I am now offering proofreading services for manuscripts, blog articles and website content, as well as *friendly* query letter and synopsis critiques. Prices will depend on the project, and I’m more than happy to fully discuss things before giving a quote.

So there you are!

Kate out.

Poetry

Vanishing Time

It can overtake you, if you’re not careful.

That little bug, that tightly sealed jar that cracks with every move

and is just waiting for a chance to burst open

and flood the carpet with alphabet shapes that form words,

sentences, scenes, chapters,

faster than you can say, ‘I’ll just get in five minutes’ work before bed.’

Oh, what a lie. A page full of typed lies

that keep you from realising the time until

the strikes of midnight–no, I stand corrected–two in the morning.

Thank you brain, for that mad dash of creativity.

No, I mean it.

The pages would be crisp and white forever without you.

Poetry

Good afternoon, how

may I help, what can I do

for you today, oh sir, oh madam, oh

leech of my sanity. Strangled

by the curled black cord, tightening

by the hour, squeezing

the voice from my throat.

 

The record begins to skip,

the doll wobbles on her rotating stand,

mouth a sing-songing, singing

techno jumble instead of pretty songs.

The mynah bird’s voice fails.

Annoyed it flies away, ignoring

the deranged bell’s ringing.

 

Poetry, Uncategorized

Pi inches of parchment

Unfurling the scroll, it seems

it will never end,

a list upon a list that is

stuck in my hands

for an eternity I don’t want to face.

Ticked boxes, completed tasks,

I’m winning,

then the scroll is reversed

and instead I see

how much I’m losing.

Losing, or lost? That’s

the question now.

All I need is a chance.

Just one,

and then I’ll feel like me again.

Uncategorized

Cool hashtags that help

So I was in the query slump again recently, where I wait and wait to hear back and end up losing hope that my books will ever get picked up. This happens quite a lot (every time I send out a new round of queries, in fact (and by round, I mean I make a list of 12 agents and then send off to them individually, but usually all within the space of a few days)), so I know by now that I’ll get over it. ┬áMostly it’s by hearing stories by other authors about how they got picked up by agents or publishers (there are a few of these in the Writer’s and Artist’s yearbook, and of course, if you look at author bio pages on the web, you’ll find them there too) and copious amounts of chocolate or cake, or simply chocolate cake…

This time, though, I discovered the hashtag #500queries, which shows you queries from an agent’s point of view (in this case, Laura Zats of Red Sofa Literary agency), which may seem harsh at first, but after reading a few it really helped reassure me that my query wasn’t a total shambles, and also showed me what needed to be improved, too. There’s also a #10queries/#tenqueries version, which is equally helpful.

I also recently discovered #MSWL which is a great tool to find agents interested in your genre, and a few other cool hashtags that help with querying, like #pitmad and #PitchCB (Curtis Brown’s twitter pitch tag).

So, even though I’m sure I’ll slump out again, for now I’m feeling more positive about all those queries and submissions I sent out.

Still rather impatient, though.