Update on my books

All my books and short stories have now been withdrawn from sale. I have decided that the edits I want to do are quite extensive so I won’t get them done by my self-imposed deadline of 17th December, and I don’t want the original version to be out there while I’m not happy with it.

Sale on 1st Edition books


First Come First Served

In December, with any luck, I will have a 2nd edition of both Hidden Fire and Fire Betrayed available, ahead of publishing the third FIRE novel, Fire Awakened, in the new year. I know it’s been a while but I’m feeling more up to writing and stuff. I got the new Prologue written for Fire Betrayed this afternoon and some corrections made to the text.

Anyway, I have three of each of the first edition left from my author’s copies. Normally I sell them for £8 each but to clear stock, as it were, if you buy Hidden Fire I’ll send you Fire Betrayed for free. £8 + postage.

Email me if you want a signed copy. I take paypal payments.

My First Rejection

To be fair, this is the only publisher I’ve submitted to.

I heard back from Sara at Inspired Quill yesterday evening, although I only read it this morning. Unfortunately, they aren’t accepting Hidden Fire this time round but the advice she gave was really useful. I’m going to go back and look at both Hidden Fire and Fire Betrayed again, with her feedback in mind.

I was chuffed with this:

wonderful authorial voice that flows well and is a pleasure to read. Your characters are interesting, and it’s obvious that you know every detail about the world you’ve created.

… I like the way you don’t end every sentence with ‘said’ or ‘she shook her head’ (or similar!)…

I’m just sorry that currently, Inspired Quill doesn’t have the resources to offer you a contract and work with you.


The feedback boils down to:

  • Dialogue can be hard to follow when there are groups – non-verbal cues
  • More telling than showing – non-verbal cues
  • Episodic (good because keeps readers engaged) but needs a unifying arc running through.

The autistic writer has a problem with non-verbal cues and tone of voice. Now there’s a surprise! (This is a humorous comment, not a criticism of the feedback).

I can work with this. It’s not a problem.

I published Hidden Fire and Fire Betrayed a year ago, and I’ve learnt a lot since, especially during my dissertation writing. My supervisor, although a bit harsh at times, pushed me to write better, and his advice coincides with what Sara has written, to a certain extent.

Yes, it hurts my ego a bit and I’ll be shying away from doing anything for a while, but, I know how I react. Give me a couple of weeks and I’ll start work on them all again.

Completely random thought re: criticism and autistic people:

People say auties are rubbish with criticism, but I think it’s just a case of us needed longer to process and reflect so our automatic response is ‘nope, not happening, not doing it’, because, I at least feel like, when people criticise they expect immediate change and improvement and it’s just not possible, so ‘shut down and refuse’ is the go to response. Given time and no pestering, it’s possible to integrate the criticism into my worldview and work on it, but I need enough processing time (about two weeks). I don’t know if that’s how other auties feel, but that’s how it works for me. Maybe, instead of just listing ‘doesn’t respond well to criticism’, people should ask about how we feel and approach criticism, how we process and integrate it, instead?

Writing updates


I’ve been quiet recently, I know, and it’s not all because of the dissertation. I’ve had things going on, and my body and brain have been complaining. Lots of sleeping has been done.

However, I’m feeling a touch better this afternoon. I printed out my complete dissertation, all 91 pages of it, to read through and check over. That’s my mission next week. Read, and make any changes to the document before I print out the final, final version for handing in next month.

I’ve also started reading through and making a few edits to the third Fire novel, Fire Awakened. My sister has read the current version, enjoyed it, and has told me off for leaving it on another cliffhanger. I happen to like leaving novels on a cliffhanger, partly because I enjoy torturing my sisters, and partly because I want to induce antici….


….pation in readers.

Yes, that is a Rocky Horror reference.

Also, I haven’t finished writing ‘Fire Storm‘, the last Fire novel yet. I know what happens, I just need to get it on paper.

And Charley’s War is coming along. Slowly, I’ll admit, but I have managed to write a bit during the last few months, a couple of thousand words. It’s all hand written at the moment, so you’ll just have to wait.

However, if anyone wants to have a read of the first two novels and one of the shorter stories, they’re available in paperback and ebook through Amazon. I just checked, I got another 4 star review from a reader. So pleased!

In reading news, I am doing a happy dance because I’ve got hold of a digital ARC of Tamora Pierce’s new book, Tempests and Slaughter about Arram Draper and Prince Ozorne, before they become Numair Salmalín and the Emperor Mage. If you’re a fan of Tamora Pierce’s books you’ll know how long awaited this is. I read the Lioness series and the Immortals series avidly and repeatedly as young teenager. My sister read them after me. The copies I bought have almost fallen apart, although my original, hardback ex-library edition of ‘In the Hand of the Goddess’ that cost me 50p from the library, is still in relatively good condition. The pages are browning a bit and I’m not sure the binding will cope with many more readings, but it’s not bad considering it’s at least thirty years old (I’ve had it 22/23 years, the library hold on to books for a while).

In other reading news, I’m reading a digital ARC of C.J. Skuse’s follow up to Sweet Pea, In Bloom. Rhiannon is a cracked as ever and now has a faetus talking to her.

Choices, choices, which one do I devour first? Fantasy or crime?



Dissertation update: Week 9

I got a bit of feedback from my supervisor earlier in the week on the most recent draft. Still need more of the city in the description. So on Wednesday morning I added 1400 words describing the first trip Lucie and Robbie take from Nettleham to Washingborough adding lots of details about the route and scenery.

Google Maps is a life saver! I’d mostly remembered the route correctly but it helped to have it mapped out with images.

Apparently the essay is good now. I just need to get everything arranged properly for the final presentation, provided my supervisor is happy with the creative piece.

I’m other writing news, I managed a thousand words this morning and a read through of everything I’d written so far of Her Last Death. I’m up to 21949 words now. I’m hoping to reinstate my 1000 words a day policy but it depends on what else is going on. I’m currently achy as hell but I can’t decide why. I think I’m going to do nothing this weekend.

In reading news, I’ve read one of the London Mysteries I’m reviewing a week today, and my copies of Wrecker and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot which I’ll be reviewing later in the month have arrived.

I’m what else I’m doing news, my rainbow draft excluder is coming along nicely, the garden is beginning to pick up and my cross-stitch is looking okay. I’ve been swimming and to the AAF café this week. That’s probably why I ache, I’ve pushed myself a bit. Oh, and next week I meet my support worker!

Last blog tour of April!



When a homeless woman, Cheryl Whiffen, hears voices in her head telling her to do bad things, she can’t help but obey.

But when Cheryl becomes the victim of a serial killer who is collecting angels, this time the voices can’t help her. She is deemed not worthy of being an angel and the killer has to find another way to dispose of her body.

TJ Tulley has connections in the police force – her brother Jacob is a digital forensic analyst and her soon to be sister-in-law is a CSI. She knows many of their colleagues so when someone breaks into her house at the riding stables she owns, it’s not a surprise when the police dispatch CSI Jackson Doherty.

Is there a link between a suspicious fire at the stables and the serial killer?

As TJ and Doherty get closer to the truth they don’t realise the danger they are in. He is a killer – he’s angry at their investigation and he’ll do just about anything to protect his angels…

This could be an interesting one, I haven’t got the book yet but I’m going to download it from Netgalley soon.

This’ll be my last book review of the month, and after that reviews will be a bit spotty. I have one booked in for May, two for June, two for July (on the same day) and one for August. Normal service will probably resume in October, after I’ve handed in my dissertation. I will also be getting on with the re-write of Fire Awakened after the end of my course, so be prepared for posts about that, and the new book I’m starting as part of my dissertation, a crime novel featuring D.S. Lucie Burns, who first appeared in my short Shot Down

‘Fire Betrayed’ update

fire betrayedSave the date!

Fire Betrayed is now available for pre-order from Amazon.

Publication date: 1st December 2017

Price £1.99


If you buy the paperback of  Fire Betrayed through Amazon, you can get the Kindle e-book free between 1st December 2017 and 31st January 2018. From 1st February 2018 the price will increase to 99p.

And as a bonus, Hidden Fire will be available for free for just one day – 1st December 2017

‘Fire Betrayed’ update and a way you can help me

In the past it wasn’t unusual for books to be published by subscription, where an author would solicit funds to pay for the publication of their book, in return the subscribers would receive a copy of the book and their name in the book. A list of subscribers was included. This idea has modernised, with sites like Patreon and Go Fund Me helping creatives raise funds to produce their work.

Continue reading “‘Fire Betrayed’ update and a way you can help me”

Novel updates, leaking roofs and doggie birthdays

Nothing much, I’ve finished another edit of Fire Betrayed and sent it for reading by my beta readers. It’s getting there slowly, but I want to polish it some more. I expect to be sworn at again.

Continue reading “Novel updates, leaking roofs and doggie birthdays”