2018 Plans and Resolutions: Morton S. Gray @MortonSGray

Today I am thrilled to bring you a guest post from Morton S. Gray.  She has a varied set of plans for this year, although the ones I most like are the big birthday ideas and the research trips.  Have a read and see if you agree with me, or do you prefer the sound of something else Morton has in the pipeline for 2018?

Guest post

Thank you for featuring me on your blog, Sandra.

I’d like to wish all of your blog readers a very Happy New Year.

Health-wise 2017 wasn’t a good year for me with a major operation and various other health issues, so I’m hoping to make 2018 a healthier year with plenty of exercise and nutritious food. I’ve already signed up for another term of Pilates, which has been very helpful for my operation recovery.

It’s the year of a big birthday and so I intend to have an adventure each month. If any readers have any suggestions for this I would be very interested. The adventures need to be fun and possibly things I could let my heroine get up to in one of my novels, but nothing too dangerous as I’m not too brave. Ideas so far include, standing at the top of the Empire State Building, watching the red kites feed in Wales and a visit to Iona in Scotland.

We’ve been married fifteen years in January and our house is fifteen years old too. One disadvantage of buying a new house is that everything ages at the same rate. 2018 will need to be the year of renovation and decorating. I see curtain material and paint charts in my future and need to make friends with a plumber and an electrician.

One very exciting thing that happened in 2017 was the publication of my debut novel The Girl on the Beach. I’d been writing seriously since 2008 when I won a short story competition and been a member of the wonderful Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme since 2012, so to have a publisher take my work seriously was really something. I won Choc Lit Publishing’s Search for a Star competition in 2016 and that led to my publishing deal.

My writing plans for 2018 include the publication of my second novel for Choc Lit, as yet untitled, my first novel The Girl on the Beach being issued as a paperback (I can’t wait to hold my book in my hand) and completing more novels for my publisher, including a Christmas novella that is well on the way.

I love the background research I do for my books. Those in the pipeline involve visits to a gin distillery and training as a barista!

About me:

I live in Worcestershire, UK with my husband, two sons and Lily, the little white dog. I’m a family historian, love crafts of all types and have a hunger for learning new things. I’m a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Authors. Proudly published by Choc Lit.

About my Book:

My debut novel The Girl on the Beach was published in January 2017 as an e-book after winning Choc Lit Publishing’s Search for a Star novel competition in 2016. The book will be available as a paperback from 10 April 2018 (up for pre-order now).

This is the blurb for the book: –

Who is Harry Dixon?

When Ellie Golden meets Harry Dixon, she can’t help but feel she recognises him from somewhere. But when she finally realises who he is, she can’t believe it – because the man she met on the beach all those years before wasn’t called Harry Dixon. And, what’s more, that man is dead.

For a woman trying to outrun her troubled past and protect her son, Harry’s presence is deeply unsettling – and even more disconcerting than coming face to face with a dead man, is the fact that Harry seems to have no recollection of ever having met Ellie before. At least that’s what he says …

But perhaps Harry isn’t the person Ellie should be worried about. Because there’s a far more dangerous figure from the past lurking just outside of the new life she has built for herself, biding his time, just waiting to strike.
Links: My website and blog are at Morton S. Gray – Author. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

My novel The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available from all e-book platforms – Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play. The Girl on the Beach will be available as a paperback from 10 April 2018 – pre-order now at Amazon.


#Review : Shoeless Child by J.A. Schneider @JoyceSchneider1 

I am thrilled today to bring you a review of Shoeless Child by J.A. Schneider. Today is also the publication day for this riveting read so once you’ve read this post pop on over to Amazon, buy it and see for yourself what I’ve been talking about.

Blurb: A little boy has seen a horrific murder but is too traumatized to speak. Detective Kerri Blasco struggles to connect with him…

Charlie Sparkes peeks out to see his mother and another young woman brutally shot. Hysterical, the brave child bolts into the cold November night for help. He screams and cries, only to fall into more trauma.

Homicide Detective Kerri Blasco is called to the murder scene. One woman lies dead next to the blood soaked rug where Rachel Sparkes was seriously wounded. With little memory of the attack, she has been taken to the hospital – but where is her child? He too, Kerri discovers, now lies in a hospital bed, mute and traumatized in a fetal position, refusing even food and water.

Charlie must have seen what happened. Kerri’s heart aches for this piteous little boy and she struggles to help him; struggles, too to find the monster who did this horrible crime. “It’s your kind of case,” Sergeant Alex Brand, Kerri’s boss and partner tells her, stepping up police urgency when another innocent is shot, and then another…

Kerri Blasco finds herself more emotionally obsessed with this case than with any other, despite clear and onrushing danger to herself...

My Rating: 5/5

Review: Having read and enjoyed the previous Kerri Blasco book I was delighted when I was asked if I would like to read this one too. Crime and psychological thrillers are my favourite type of novels so this one immediately ticked all the boxes but it was the blurb that sold it to me.

The story starts with 5 year old Charlie witnessing his mother being shot and injured and her friend killed. His mother tells him to run and being clever and brave he does just that, despite the killer chasing after him. He manages, with the help of someone passing outside, to get the police but then stops talking and won’t even look at anyone. His mother is alive but injured and her son traumatised. The police have their work cut out for them, trying to find out who would do this and why.

The very first pages of this story get you hooked. A little boy running from a scene of blood and death being chased by the killer is enough to grip you and keep you reading. Obviously the killer doesn’t catch him, the blurb says as much, but then the police start investigating and from what looks like a case with no leads or evidence come quite a few suspects, suspicious people and hidden stories that may all be connected back to the murder and attempted killing.

There are suspects, red herrings, dead ends and woven throughout this a little boy traumatised by what he saw. The story drew me in, every time I had the opportunity to read it I was picking it up. Even 5 minutes reading in the car and I was back with Kerri Blasco, in New York, following leads, getting frustrated at other cops and wondering what was going to happen next.

This is a very skillfully woven tale which shows you the darker side of the Big Apple away from all the bright lights. You get hooked and drawn in, feeling every frustration and tiny glimmer of hope that Kerri feels, wanting to make everything better for Charlie and find the killer at the same time.

There are a lot, let’s face it, crime fiction novels out there so it can make it tricky to find something different. This and the other books in the series, in my opinion, is one of the few detective series that are different, that don’t follow the same mould as many others out there. So, if you want a gripping psychological thriller that will keep you coming back for more you won’t be disappointed with this one. I can’t wait for the next in the series.

Cover Reveal: Deadly Secrets by Robert Bryndza. @bookouture @RobertBryndza

Today I am thrilled to bring you the cover for the latest book in the Detective Erika Foster series.  The blurb for this book is intriguing and I have to saay the cover is quite chilling, in more ways than one. So read on, find out about the book and then check out this fabulous cover.  

Deadly Secrets: An absolutely gripping serial killer thriller (Detective Erika Foster Book 6) 

AMAZON LINK: myBook.to/DSSocial

To commit the perfect murder, you need the perfect cover.

On a cold icy morning, a mother wakes to find her daughter’s blood-soaked body frozen to the road. Who would carry out such a horrific killing on the victim’s doorstep?

Straight off her last harrowing case, Detective Erika Foster is feeling fragile but determined to lead the investigation. As she sets to work, she finds reports of assaults in the same quiet South London suburb where the woman was killed. One chilling detail links them to the murder victim – they were all attacked by a figure in black wearing a gas mask. 

Erika is on the hunt for a killer with a terrifying calling card. The case gets more complicated when she uncovers a tangled web of secrets surrounding the death of the beautiful young woman. 

Yet just as Erika begins to piece the clues together, she is forced to confront painful memories of her past. Erika must dig deep, stay focused and find the killer. Only this time, one of her own is in terrible danger… 

From the global million-copy bestselling author comes a totally heart-racing, hold-your-breath read that will keep you hooked until the very last page.

About the author: 

Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice, which is the first in his Detective Erika Foster series.

The Night Stalker, Dark Water and Last Breath are the second, third, and fourth books in the series, and the fifth book, Cold Blood has just been published.

Robert’s books have sold over 2 million copies and have been translated into 27 languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.

You can find out more about the author at www.robertbryndza.com and on Twitter and Instagram @RobertBryndza

2018 Plans and Resolutions: Patricia M Osborne and Jan Edwards. @PMOsborne @Jancoledwards

Today I am thrilled to have posts from Patricia M Osborne and Jan Edwards.  Both have written quite different, but unique posts that I hope you’ll enjoy. 

What does 2018 have in store for me? – Patricia M Osborne

As 2017 comes to an end, what lies ahead for me as a writer in 2018? 
On March 4th, I shall attend my first book fair in Worthing at the UK Southern Book Show. Here I’ll be joined by many other writers of varied genres. I expect the day to be more about networking with other authors than selling books but of course I hope to sell a few of them too.

Around late spring, early summer, my plan is to release my work in progress, The Coal Miners Son, the next book in line to my debut novel, House of Grace, A Family Saga. The Coal Miners Son may be read as a stand-alone or may follow House of Grace. Its not a sequel but runs alongside.

House of Grace is split into two parts and tells the story in the point of view of Grace Granville, as a sixteen-year-old and later as a woman in challenging circumstances. The Coal Miners Son makes use of two narrators. The first, George, communicates his version of events as a nine-year-old which interweaves with Elizabeth, Graces sister, the second narrator. Readers dont find out much about Elizabeths story in House of Grace so there will be some surprises about her life along the way. A third in the series is planned to complete the trilogy.

In 2014 I embarked on a new journey in my creative writing and began an MA with University of Brighton. I took the slow route to enable me to continue writing and build up my portfolio. To date I have studied varied subjects over six modules, leaving only the dissertation. I start the dissertation module in February, and by the end of 2018 I hope to have been awarded my new qualification.

The theme for my dissertation project is likely to be Fairy and Folklore which I look forward to researching. From that study, I aim to compose a poetry collection with the view to publication. However, the results from the research should also stand me in good stead to use for projects such as future novels, short stories, and poetry. Fantasy is a genre I want to explore in my writing life.

A new qualification isnt the only exciting thing Im hoping for in 2018. Other projects I propose to finish are two poetry collections with a view to publishing. The first consists of a timeline based on a Victorian Park near me, where I spent time as Poet in Residence for my MA Community project earlier this year, and the second a nature anthology including bird sequences. I also hope to study Ornithology to bring enhanced life and imagery into my poetry.

To sum up. What do I hope for in 2018 as a writer? I hope to write lots, sell more books, compile three poetry collections, make new author friends, gain my MA qualification and in the process, lose myself in different imaginary worlds.
Author Bio

Patricia M was born in Liverpool and spent time in Bolton as a child and now lives in West Sussex. Patricia is a novelist, she also writes poetry and short fiction. Her poetry and short stories have been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. She is studying for an MA in Creative Writing with University of Brighton. Her debut novel, House of Grace, a family saga, was released in March this year and may be purchased from Amazon.
House of Grace blurb

Its 1950 and all sixteen-year-old Grace Granville has ever wanted is to become a successful dress designer. She dreams of owning her own fashion house and spends her spare time sketching outfits. Her father, Lord Granville, sees this frivolous activity as nonsense and wants to groom her into a good wife for someone of his choosing…

Grace is about to leave Greenemere, a boarding school in Brighton. Shes blissfully unaware of her fathers plans when she embarks on a new adventure. The quest includes a trip to Boltons Palais where she meets coal miner, Jack Gilmore. Graces life is never the same again.

Travel with Grace through two decades as she struggles with family conflict, poverty and tragedy. Is Grace strong enough to defy Lord Granvilles wishes and find true love? Will she become a successful fashion designer? Where will she turn for help?

House of Grace is available to order in paperback and kindle versions on Amazon:  http://mybook.to/HouseofGrace

Website: Patriciamosbornerwriter.wordpress.com
Facebook: Patricia M Osborne, Writer

Twitter: PMOsborneWriter

UK Southern Book Show:

Jan Edwards – Those New Year Words

So here we are in January 2018 and how many of us did the usual thing and set goals for ourselves with those pesky New Year Resolutions (NYR)? Were they genuine promises to yourself? Do you take them seriously or are they made in the full realisation that they wont last beyond Valentine’s Day? 

NYRs are an ancient tradition that at can be traced back at least as far as Ancient Babylonia. I suspect most of us approach them as aspirations rather with any genuine conviction. We want to get fit, lose weight or perhaps change our job. We mean well and intentions are quite genuine, yet made in the full knowledge that many if not most people forget them in very short order.

At the start of 2017 my own goal was to write 1,000 words of the next Bunch Courtney novel every day. Unsurprisingly, to me at least, I admitted defeat quite early on in the year. My aims were far too specific and far to open to sabotage by the vagaries of life. In my defence this was due to a dire conjunction of moving house and a family illness. I did manage to launch my latest title, Winter Downs, in the midst of all of that, but fresh words on a page were mostly confined to short stories and rough drafts for the follow-up novel. In retrospect, my NYR was never going to be attainable, and I knew that, yet it still left me feeling slightly disappointed with myself. 

However, what I had not taken into account was all of those blogs, Q&As and online interviews promoting Winter Downs; something in the region of 35 to 40,000 words in total. Plus there were my regular blog spots and several short stories of 5,000 words each. All of these things had to be slotted in between hospital visits, decluttering the house (a full time job in itself) and the packing of boxes. 

I do realise that I also spent a lot of time when not doing those things noodling about on social media. Keeping up with newsfeeds and blogs and research all takes time. There is the research and fact checking for my fiction, reading up on latest promo techniques, and of course seeking out the best things to read by other people. I love all of that interaction. I often see and hear many writers calling it a thief of writing time and in some ways perhaps it is. Yet without it I would not be sitting here typing this blog, and none of you would be sitting there reading it. Social media can become prevarication on tap, the modern equivalent of cleaning behind the toilet for many a writer if their blogs are to be believed. 

I may not have written 1000 words a day toward the next novel during 2017, so technically my NYR was broken, but I cannot view it as a fail.

In 2018 I am resolved to write every day. Whether that is two dozen words or two thousand, fact or fiction, does not matter. All of those words are important in their way and they all count. 

Happy New Year to one and all, and may all of your NYRs be attainable ones.
Author bio:

Jan Edwards is a Sussex-born writer now living in the West Midlands (UK). Her short fiction can be found in crime, horror and fantasy anthologies in UK, EU and US and include: The Mammoth Book of Dracula; Mammoth Book of Moriarty; Terror Tales of the Ocean and the MX New Sherlock Holmes Vols V, VI and VII. She was part of the script team for the Dr Who: Deamons of Devils End DVD and anthologies. 

Jan has two novels in print:  Sussex Tales and Winter Downs, with a new novel due in 2018. She also has two collections out, which showcase some of her many short stories published to date: Leinster Gardens and Other Subtleties (supernatural) and Fables and Fabrications. She is also an editor of anthologies with Alchemy Press and others.

Blogsite: http://janedwardsblog.wordpress.com/   

Twitter: @jancoledwards
About the books:

Bunch Courtney Series, Book One: Winter Downs. “When Bunch Courtney stumbles upon is the body of her friend Jonathan Frampton the shotgun at his feet speaks of suicide. Bunch is not convinced but has a hard time persuading Chief Inspector Wright otherwise until the second body, and the third. In the winter of 1940 a tiny rural community on the Sussex Downs, already preparing for invasion, finds itself deep in the grip of a snowy landscape with an ice-cold killer on the loose.”

Bunch Courtney Series, Book Two: In Her Defence. (Scheduled for September 2018) “It is May of 1940 and one by one the countries of northern Europe fall under the German occupation. A steady flow of ex-pats and refugees are pouring across the sea and the new PM, Winston Churchill, is promising internment. Amongst them is Bunch’s school friend, Cecile Benoir fleeing Berlin where Professor Benoir had lectured for so many years. Then the Prof is murdered.  Is this a xenophobic crime or does someone have more personal reasons for seeing Professor Benoir dead? “

Cover Reveal: The Child Next Door by Shalini Boland. @bookouture @ShaliniBoland

Tonight I am thrilled to bring you the cover of the new book from Shalini Boland. The blurb has me intrigued already, don’t you think it sounds gripping? Anyway read on and check out the cover, mysterious or what!?!


‘Thrilling, intense. Readers of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl will love Shalini Boland.Red Adept

‘Don’t take my baby.’

Kirstie Rawlings is jolted awake by a child crying. Racing up the stairs to check on her new-born, she is plunged into every parents’ worst nightmare.

She hears an unknown male voice in the baby monitor. Is someone trying to steal her little girl?

In the bedroom, her daughter is safe asleep in her cot. But the voice must be coming from a nearby house. And there aren’t any other children living on her quiet country road…

The police don’t believe her. And neither does her husband.

Kirstie knows something isn’t right. She thought she could trust her neighbours, now she isn’t sure. As she unravels the secrets of the people living on her street, Kirstie’s perfect life begins to fall apart.

Because someone is hiding a terrible lie. And they will do anything to stop Kirstie uncovering the truth. But is the danger closer to home than she thinks?

From the top ten bestselling author of The Secret Mother, this completely gripping psychological thriller will make you wonder what really goes on behind closed doors. And will keep you guessing from the first page until the final shocking twist.

2018 Plans and Resolutions: Susan Pape and Sue Featherstone. @wordfocus @SueF_writer

Today on this series I have something a little different. I have 2 authors which is the same as the recent posts (and most of the remaining ones) but these 2 authors write together, something they’ve given us a taste of from their very enlightening post.  So read on and discover more authors to add to your ‘to-read’ list.

Look Ahead to 2018: Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape

Susan: The New Year is going to be an exciting time for us. We’ve spent a large part of 2017 writing the second book in what has become the Friends trilogy. Our first book, A Falling Friend, introduced two women, Lee and Teri – and gave a blunt, honest – and, we like to think, humorous – look at their lives, loves and friendship.

We left Book One on a bit of a cliff edge. The idea was to leave it there and get on with writing something else, but some very kind reviewers said they were desperate to know what happened next, so Sue and I chatted about it – and decided we had to write a follow up.

The sequel, A Failing Friend, picks up the story and will be published on March 21.

Sue: We’ve spent much of the past couple of months carrying out all the edits on Book Two. But we’ve also been giving a lot of thought to Book Three – which will resolve all the dramas and dilemmas that the two central characters have been going through.

Susan: My main resolution for 2018 is to get on with writing Book Three in the Friends trilogy. It took us eight years to write A Falling Friend – because we were both working full time and had family commitments. It took a year to produce A Failing Friend, so who knows how soon we can complete the final instalment.

Sue: We’ve also started to write a murder mystery. It’s a step away from anything we’ve done before, but I think it’s good for a writer to try new things. We’ve already created some characters and have written several chapters – and there’s potential for more development.

I’ve also been working on short stories – and I’ve sold one to People’s Friend. It will be published in their Christmas special in 2018. I can’t wait! The fiction editor was very encouraging and I’m hoping to write, and sell, more stories this year. I’ve got a couple of ideas bubbling away.

When I’m not writing I like to visit places like the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the UK’s leading outdoor art gallery, and the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield, which features work by the sculptor Barbara Hepworth and other artists. 

I also love travelling and I’m planning a trip to Australia to visit my youngest daughter, a spa trip with my eldest daughter, and maybe a couple of camping trips in France with my husband. 

Susan: My notebook is full of ideas, sentences and snatches of dialogue that I have planned for Book Three and I’m hoping that by the time you read this, I’ll have put a lot of these bits and pieces into chapters. 

Sue and I don’t sit in the same office to write – we’d be giggling and gossiping too much! The way we work is to meet and make a rough outline of the story. Then we take a main character each and I will write a chapter based on what my character is doing, thinking and saying. I send this to Sue – and she responds with her character’s reaction in the next chapter. The premise is that the two friends, Lee and Teri, see the same situations but tell the story as seen through their eyes and in their own voices. 

When I’m not writing, I love walking and cycling. I live on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and can be in the countryside within minutes. Living near Leeds means I’m right in the middle of Britain and as far from the sea as you can be, so I love going over to the east coast – Filey and Scarborough – and walking for miles along beaches and cliff tops.

Oh, and I also play the ukulele – so I’m hoping to have time to practice more chords.

About the authors

Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape are both former newspaper journalists who met twenty-five years ago when they job-shared at a public relations office in Leeds.

More recently they have worked in higher education, teaching journalism – Sue at Sheffield Hallam and Susan at Leeds Trinity.

The pair wrote two journalism books together – and, after completing the academic texts, thought it would be fun to co-write a novel. 

The result was A Falling Friend published in 2016 by Lakewater Press. The success of their first novel encouraged them to turn the story into a trilogy.

For more about the co-writers and their books, please visit: https://bookloversbooklist.com/

The first book…..

This “witty and pacy” character-driven masterpiece is “reminiscent of BRIDGET JONES” and proves that there really are two sides to every story. “A fast and easy poolside read!” 

After spending her twenties sailing the globe, making love on fine white sand, and thinking only of today, Teri Meyer returns to Yorkshire – and to studying. That’s when she discovers John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester, and poet of all things depraved. What she doesn’t realise is even beyond his grave, his influence over her is extraordinary. To hell with the consequences.

Having gone out on a limb to get old friend Teri a job at the university at which she teaches, it doesn’t take long for Lee Harper to recognise a pattern. Wherever Teri goes, whatever she does, every selfish choice she makes, it’s all setting her up for a nasty fall. But Teri’s not the sort to heed a warning, so Lee has no choice but to stand by and watch. And besides, she has her own life to straighten out.

2018 Plans and Resolutions: Chantelle Atkins and Judith Baker. @thewriterjude

Today on my 2018 Plans and Resolutions series I welcome Chantelle Atkins and Judith Baker.  Every day this series gives me something new, today it’s a new book on my to-read list from Chantelle and a slightly different post to the others I’ve had from Judith.  I hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I did.

January Guest Post – Chantelle Atkins

I am already really excited about 2018. I will be releasing my seventh book in 2018, Elliot Pie’s Guide To Human Nature. Currently, I am completing the final edit/proofread before I send it to potential publishers. While I am waiting to hear back, I will be preparing a book launch should I end up self-publishing again. Whatever happens, I am tremendously excited to get this book out there. I’ve been working on it for over two years now and it’s going to feel fantastic to finally release it. I write YA and adult, and this particular book has a young protagonist of twelve, but is a book aimed at adults. It’s thrilling to think about starting the new year with a brand new release! 

I’m also looking forward to taking my creative writing business to the next level. I started Chasing Driftwood Writing Group in 2015, and I’ve been running writing clubs and workshops for adults and children since then. I’m extremely passionate about several community writing projects, and after taking advice, I decided to apply to become a Community Interest Company. This hopefully means I will be able to better access funding for all the ideas I have! The paperwork has been sent off and I would love to start 2018 with the happy announcement that I now run my own CIC! 
Latest book and buy link:

‘There will always be those who say no, Lissie. There will always be those who do not believe what they are told. There will always be those who rebel.’ It’s 2145. 13-year-old Lissie Turner lives in the peaceful community of Province 5. Everyone is provided for and everyone is grateful. Everyone obeys the rules. Lissie has never questioned her society until she falls into a daydream and wanders beyond the fence that keeps them safe. She finds an apple tree which changes her life and threatens to blow her world apart. Growing food has been forbidden since the last war ended 70 years ago. All food is raised under the Domes. With the discovery of the tree, Lissie finds herself breaking the rules. And if she believes what her dying Great-Grandmother has been trying to tell her, she must question everything she has ever been told. Who really started the Endless War? And is it really over? As she uncovers the shocking truth, Lissie must choose between conformity and rebellion, between living a lie and tearing her peaceful community apart… A YA dystopian adventure about a future disconnected from nature.


Author Bio:

Chantelle Atkins was born and raised in Dorset, England and still resides there now with her husband, four children and multiple pets. She is addicted to both reading and music, and is on a mission to become as self-sufficient as possible. She writes for both the young adult and adult genres. Her fiction is described as gritty, edgy and compelling. Her debut Young Adult novel The Mess Of Me deals with eating disorders, self-harm, fractured families and first love. Her second novel, The Boy With The Thorn In His Side follows the musical journey of a young boy attempting to escape his brutal home life. She is also the author of This Is Nowhere, This Is The Day and a collection of short stories related to her novels called Bird People and Other Stories. Chantelle has had mulitiple articles about writing published by Author’s Publish magazine, and is also a reviewer with Underground Book Reviews. Her latest novel, a YA dystopian was released August 2017.

 The Dream v Reality – Judith Baker

I spent so long wanting to be published, so many years of rejection and changing and fine tuning my manuscript that I gave little or no thought to what being published would actually involve; how the entire process would look. Now, after three published novels, I can honestly say that the past year has been a huge learning curve and probably the busiest time of my life. (I did an MA whilst working full time with four children so when I say busy, I mean BUSY!) This is also due to the fact that I still work full time, so have to fit my writing in around the working day, cramming most of it into evenings and school holidays. I’m fortunate to have that time to be able to scribble away furiously, sometimes getting 20,000 words done in a week off work. 

I had no idea whatsoever, how the world of publishing worked. Many authors had already self published but it was a completely new area for me, learning about editing and formatting and self promotion and having a presence on social media. Even creating an author page on Amazon had me utterly flummoxed. Although excited by it all, I don’t mind telling you, it was also extremely daunting. All of a sudden I was an author and people wanted to know all about the thoughts and ideas I had roaming around in my head. I had to do book signings, carry out online interviews, take questions from readers, have answers at the ready about my interests, favourite writers, where I got my inspiration from etc. But the truly nerve wracking stuff was making public appearances and reading in front of an audience. I’m not sure anything can prepare you for what that entails! It’s just one of those times where you don’t think too deeply about it and just jump right in. 

I also naively believed that writers led secluded, slow paced lives, writing a few hundred words a day whilst pondering over the how they will spend their millions once they become a bestselling novelist. I can’t begin to tell you how busy my days are now I have a second job as an author. Even if I’m not writing, I am constantly thinking up new ideas, working out plots, trying to get them all to slot together in my head before they go down on paper. It’s a constant balancing act, fitting it all in. Ask my husband and he will soon tell you how my mind wanders to my latest book whilst he is talking to me. I often find myself staring at him, desperately trying to recall what he’s just asked me while I was wondering about how long a body takes to decompose or how someone could tunnel their way out of a place if they’ve been buried alive. I’m a fairly reserved person but if people could see inside my head they would be horrified by the myriad, warped thoughts that I constantly have rumbling around in there.

I like to think I’ve now got a pretty good idea of what to expect when my next book is released although the one thing I don’t ever want to get is complacent. The world of publishing is fiercely competitive and each new book has to offer something fairly unique and special and resonate with readers in order to sell.  I am constantly on the lookout for new locations, places that will capture a readers’ interest, thinking of plots that will enthral, inventing characters that will spring to life on the first page, and of course, that all important first sentence that grabs a reader and draws them in. 

My next novel, which I’m still writing, is due for release next August, by which time I will have reduced my hours at work so will have more time to dedicate to putting the finishing touches to my latest book.

It’s not easy, this writing malarkey and nothing like I imagined it to be. It’s way, way better…

J. A. Baker
About the book:

My latest release is The Other Mother, which was published on December 5th.

Three troubled women. One deadly secret.

Lissy and her daughter, Rosie, live a quiet life in Yorkshire, however when events at Rosie’s school come to light, their peaceful existence is shattered 

Meanwhile, middle-aged women Erica and Beverley appear to have perfect lives but behind closed doors things are not as they seem.

All three women are tied together by a dark past that goes back to their school days. A child was murdered and one of the women is to blame. 

But is the person responsible for the child’s death the same person who was blamed for it all those years ago?

As secrets from their past begin to surface it becomes clear that someone has revenge in their sights…



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