Happy New Year 🙂
It’s that time of the year, usually when I look back at what the year has given me, and what I hope to do in the coming twelve months. I had been truly blessed in 2015 – another new granddaughter, my daughter completing her second year of nursing studies, my son becoming a fully qualified builder and my other son doing so well with his painting and plastering business. I published ten books, including my first one in French, and the first one in a collaboration with my builder son.
But a quick look at the reviews for my two latest books reminds me I still have so much to learn. A lot of people ask why I set my books in the US – after all I live in NZ and I am actually British born. I am planning to go to the US this year for an extended trip, but I haven’t done it yet. So why the US? It’s simple – I write about predatory shifters – wolves, bears and big cats, and I am planning to add others in books planned for this year – eagles, hawks, and even a raccoon. We don’t have any of these animals in little old NZ. So I read, research and do my best to make my books as credible as possible.
Unfortunately, sometimes I slip up. Unless you are a writer in a similar situation you probably don’t know how hard it is to keep my creative groove going, while thinking “no, not trousers, it’s pants,” and damn it all, “a hood is not a bonnet, or is it?” Which way round does it go? Crap! Believe me, when one of your MC’s is in the process of pulling down a zipper, the last thing you want to be thinking about is “trousers or pants” – why do you think so many of my MCs wear jeans? It’s easier for me to remember.
I was shocking at this in the beginning – take a re-read of The Reluctant Wolf and see for yourself. But I had thought I had got a lot better with it, until I saw one of the latest reviews on Copping A Lot Of Sin. I am clearly still getting things wrong, and that makes me sad, because as much as it is all about getting the story told for me, I do want to do it in a way that my readers enjoy. So even one negative comment gets me down and makes me want to kick myself because I have got it wrong again – I am a perfectionist like that.
The answer? Beta readers. I have had a couple of really good friends check my books over, before I publish them, but clearly this is not enough. I need at least three people who are from the US and who are prepared to go through my current work in progress line by line on a weekly basis (or when I get stuff written) and tell me when I get things wrong BEFORE I publish the book. I hate upsetting anyone who has paid good money to read one of my books, and I am on a definite “I will do better” for this year. So if you are interested, have the time and are from the US, please email me.
And speaking about new books, there is a lot coming up this year. I haven’t been able to write for two weeks due to a number of things going on at home, but I am back with a fighting spirit this week. The Artist and His Alpha is now at just over 30K and I will post a few excerpts for that later this week. That should be out in the next two weeks. I have started Tobias in Turmoil, which is the next Cloverleah Pack book and at the moment I plan to release that in February. Phillip’s story in Bound and Bonded and the next Shifter’s Uprising story are being worked on after that (this one is where the eagle and the hawk come in), and I also have two short stories I want to write as well – Sully and Q from Stockton Wolves, and of course Diablo and Griff’s trip (No, I haven’t forgotten).
So a busy year ahead :). I’m looking forward to it, especially as I get to know you all a little bit more. My readers, my friends on Facebook, you are all really special to me, so no matter where you are, or who you are, I certainly hope you have the best 2016 you could possibly have.