Thursday, 15 January 2015

January news roundup

It's 2015!
Which means that come September it will be ten years since I was made redundant and I embarked upon my career as a fiction author. Ten years! I know it's a worn-out cliche, but it really does seem like yesterday--well maybe last week at most. I had a nice Christmas and hope you did, too. It's been an exciting start to the year, which began with a few emails from Amazon Publishing to congratulate me on passing a milestone sales figure for my first book In the Blood since Thomas & Mercer re-published my titles last March. As a result, In the Blood has been featured in Amazon UK's 'Top Selling Books of 2014', which was a very nice surprise.

I was also contacted the other day by a charity organisation called CLIC Sargent, who are the UK's leading charity for Children's cancer. They invited me to join in a fundraiser called 'Get in Character', whereby an auction is set up on eBay enabling people to bid on the chance to have a character named after them in the authors next book, of which they also receive a signed copy when the book is released. I think it's a great incentive and I jumped at the chance to help out. I'll be posting more details about it as soon as I have the auction date. Please bid as much as you can afford to donate, and the winning bidder will forever become a part of my Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mysteries! I think that's pretty cool--like donating to charity and having a star named after you, only smaller. :o)

Also this month, my second book To the Grave is being featured in a Kindle UK January sale and is on offer for just £1. I'm very pleased to see so much interest in the book, which entered the top 100 Kindle bestseller charts early in the month and is currently residing at No.45. The offer runs until the end of January, so if you've not read it and think you might like to, there's still a couple of weeks left to get it at the low price. You can find out more about To the Grave on my website, or the Amazon Kindle store, and you don't need to have read In the Blood first to enjoy it.

My next book... 
I hit the ground running just as soon as 2015 dawned--okay it was the 2nd of January and I've been sitting down ever since, but you get the idea. I'm hard at it. The word count has increased by about 4000 words, which doesn't seem that much to show for two weeks, but I'll put my hand up now and say that I'm finding this one a real toughie, and the research is slowing my word count down more than I had hoped it would. Still, some things shouldn't be rushed, and I believe that writing a book is one of them.

I'm trying to get inside the head of an historical-narrative character,  a man this time, and we don't even speak the same language. It also dawned on me recently that I set myself quite a challenge as soon as I published In the Blood, because it began a legacy that has meant I have to juggle three stories in each book: the historic and present-day narratives, and JT's larger story that is beginning to unfold across the series of books. Perhaps even more challenging is that I'm not writing historical fiction set in the same period each time, whereby my knowledge of that period grows with, and can be used in, each book. I have to learn about that period in history afresh every time I sit down to write a new book.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. In fact, I think this setup helps to keep things fresh and interesting for me as the author, and for the reader, who gets something a little different with every book. It just takes time. Rest assured though that I'll remain hard at it, and gradually we'll see that word count over on the right reach the target of 100,000 words. Only 81,639 to go!