Ending the year with a wow!

I’m delighted (and astounded*) that my Bombshell Books novel ‘The Serial Dater’s Shopping List’ is Karen World’s book of the year. https://karensworld-writer.co.uk/2018/12/31/best-book-of-2018. Thank you, Karen!
*It’s proven to be a marmite novel (some loving, others not: one review saying “I don’t normally leave reviews for books but this one was so bad…” which made me laugh). Great encouragement as I’m currently 5/8th of the way through writing the follow up.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank you all for visiting my blog throughout the year and I look forward to interacting with you in 2019.

Another NaNo win

I mentioned back on November 18th that I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo this month with the follow up to The Serial Dater’s Shopping List, The Serial Dieter’s Shopping List, with Donna and the helm this time. It’s lovely being back with her, Izzy, William and Duncan.

Set a year later, we start at Northampton but Donna’s then seconded to the sister paper at Hemel Hempstead and stays with her mum in Tring (both Hertfordshire) so we meet a new set of characters dipping back to Northampton at the weekends.

I’ve cracked the NaNoWriMo 50,000 minimum with 52,795, although the widget counter is a tad more generous at 53,088, not sure why but I’m not complaining.

If you’d like to read my writing and be willing to give me feedback on it – being as brutal as you like but constructively please(!), do take a look at my shout out for …Beta Readers.

100-word October results out hopefully tomorrow (Monday)

Yes, sorry about that. I usually aim for the 15th but I’ve been a tad busy this month. Blame NaNoWriMo. I’m currently 7,143 words behind and it’s a new day in <checks> an hour. Oops. So 8,810 tomorrow. Hey ho. I’ve written 5,000 words today so if I keep going at that rate. I’m almost ready with the results but want to go through the stories one more time as I have too many still to select. It just means they’re that good… and I’m a tough crowd.

The good news is that I’m writing the follow up to The Serial Dater’s Shopping List, The Serial Dieter’s Shopping List, with Donna and the helm this time. It’s lovely being back with her, Izzy, William and Duncan (although he’s not featured very much yet – at 22,863 words).

Donna’s been seconded to the sister paper at Hemel Hempstead and stays with her mum in Tring (both Hertfordshire) so if you know that part of the world…

A busy day – five ‘woo hoo’s and it’s only 3pm!

The day started off brilliantly with me finding out I’d been longlisted, with 121 others(!), for my 143-word story ‘Two Peas’, written especially for Ad Hoc Fiction for their theme of ‘door’. To read the story (and if you enjoy it please click on the ‘Vote’ button) please pop along to https://adhocfiction.com/read/#FlashEbook then keep clicking on the ‘xx more’ until it shows ’53 more’. (NB. there are only a few days to do so; the current theme is ‘Feed’ and then votes for that will open October 30th replacing this one.) Thank you!

Secondly, I’ve been interviewed over at TL Clark’s blog, and starts…

Author name: Hello. I’m Morgen Bailey.
Morgen with an E. Not to be confused with the handful of MorgAn Baileys (mostly American), including a rocket scientist, basketball player, Green politician, and transsexual porn star. I get some interesting Google Alerts!

Are you a traditionally published/indie/hybrid author?
I’m both. I self-published seven books between 2011 and early 2018, and my eighth, The Serial Dater’s Shopping List, was traditionally published, the first of a two-book deal, by Bombshell Books (part of Bloodhound Books) in July 2018. (Hello Betsy, Fred, team, and fellow Bombshells!)  Self-publishing means the author has total control but not the support of a publisher or agent. I’ve been very lucky with Bombshell in that I got to choose the (fabulous) cover, and had a blog tour and review promotions upon release. These days it’s generally up to the author anyway to do most of the marketing and I’m hiring two marketeers to help with this.

Thirdly, I’m the judge for the annual Flash 500 Short Story competition! You have until the end of February to submit your stories but it’s never too early to start planning. Lorraine says, “We are looking for stories ranging between 1,000 and 3,000 words, with strong characters, a well-crafted plot and realistic dialogue (where used). Make us laugh, make us cry, but most of all, make us feel!” That’s exactly how I judge too! Click on the link or photo above to find out more.

Fourthly, I’m going to be one of The National Association of Writers Groups’ (NAWG) regular contributors to their bi-monthly ‘Link’ magazine. You can look forward to writing and editing tips, competition advice and more. Click here for more details.

And fifthly (not finally as the day’s far from over…), an anthology I contributed a (very British, based in Cambridge and inspired by Trinity College’s Great Run) story to is available for pre-order from Amazon. See https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cool-Weather-Warm-Hearts-Anthology-ebook/dp/B07G4LK4XQ for details. Clicking on the picture below will also take you there.

 

Why readers are so important

What is a writer… or more appropriately, a published author without readers? Not nothing, because we can still write for pleasure, but most of us put work out there to be read, not to make lots of money… although that would be nice.

I’m prompted to write this following a wonderful email I received today:

“Is there a follow up to The Serial Dater’s Shopping List? It just ended too fast. I spent all this time getting thru izzys adventures and it was just like you, said okay i reached my word quota gotta STOP now.”

I loved it. My book is just over 100,000 words so no mean feat getting to the end too fast. Some, especially those on Amazon.com didn’t get that far, which makes me really sad as an author.

So if you’ve read a book you’ve enjoyed, especially if it’s mine (you can click on the picture to find out more about this one!), please do leave a review wherever you bought it, and on Goodreads (I have over six times more reviews there than on Amazon – the latest is below), and if you could spare the time to drop the author an email, it really would mean the world to them.

My latest review on Goodreads (as of 8th October)…

“31 days – 31 dates truly sounds exhausting, confusing and exhilarating at the same time. “The Serial Dater’s Shopping List” was a great, lighthearted summer time read. Having done my fair share on online dating I thought I would truly enjoy this book and I was right. Some of Izzy’s dates reminded me of my own which had me laughing and all of her dates had me reconsidering doing online dating again.

I do have to admit that the ending was a little frustrating for me. I felt like while some things were resolved there needed to be a little more context there before ending the story. Too much is left up to the reader’s imagination, which while some like that I do not. In addition, I knew before starting this book that it was a UK title and therefore would reference many British things. However, I was not expecting to be so confused at times but the slang terms Izzy used. All in all though I truly enjoyed this book. Not something that kept me up at night wanting me to read, but it was enjoyable. I received my copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.” Thank you, Tiffany!

Karen’s book review of Her Last Breath

Sadly, since losing her .wordpress.com address, I’ve been unable to reblog Karen’s posts but can still, clearly, screen print and share them with you. More time consuming but not the end of the (Karen’s!) world.

Her latest review, of Charlie Gallagher’s ‘Her Last Breath’  can be found at https://karensworld-writer.co.uk/2018/09/26/her-last-breath-by-charlie-gallagher-book-review.

Starting… “I am still struck by how absolutely amazing this book is and it is by a local Folkestone writer! Who just happens to be in the police force doing his day job as well.” Read more here.