Book Launch: The Darkest Realm

It’s finally here, folks!! The Darkest Realm lives, after two years and three rewrites in the making! Without further ado, here is the stunning cover (and link to pre-order it):

Paperbacks

I have spent the last 2 weeks busting my backside to get this done in time for Fair Day. For those who don’t know, Fair Day is THE day for me. It’s organised by Sydney Mardi Gras, and is a day where queer peeps can hold their own stalls and sell their gear / offer their services. My first stall was back in 2019 pre-Covid (see post HERE), and was a great experience. This year, I’ll have EFTPOS, stickers, and 4 different books to sell!

Of course, the success of Fair Day hinges on whether or not I can get my paperbacks in time. I have just 3 weeks to get them all in…

Anyways, my 3rd announcement will be tomorrow! If you attended the Facebook Live, you will have already seen it 😉 Stay tuned and I’ll do another post when I have the paperbacks!

Much love,
Amex <3

Relaunching: The Lowest Realm!

I know I’ve been quiet on all of my socials and blog lately. I’ve been working frantically behind the scenes, and I’m ready to announce the first of 3 big things!

I am super excited to announce the relaunch of The Lowest Realm!

The updated eBook file is available now, and for the first time ever is now available on Kindle Unlimited!

  • New maps
  • New artwork
  • New chapter art
  • Reworked the cringey sex scenes!
  • Revised punctuation and grammar
  • Fixed disjointed sentences
  • Addition of Patreon supporters
A mock up of an iphone. On the screen is the first page of chapter one. It shows the new chapter art above the number 1, and a drop cap in the text.
A mockup of a Kindle device. On the screen is the map of Ayrillis.

The story hasn’t changed. I’ve simply revised and brought it up to where it needs to be.

Anywho: if you already bought this on Amazon previously, you can now go ‘Manage Content’ and download the updated file for free. If you haven’t bought it yet, you can purchase by clicking ‘Buy on Amazon’ below.

Heads up: the next big thing will be revealed tomorrow – 26th January.

Reflection

My debut novel was published two years ago. At that time, I was still new to publishing and I made so many beginner mistakes. The first print of The Lowest Realm was riddled with poor grammar, some typos, cringe sex scenes, disjointed sentences, POV switches mid-scene, and so much more.

I got there though. I taught myself everything I know using Google searches, YouTube vids, and trawling through groups on Facebook.

I’ve since written several more books, all while my knowledge and experience has grown immensely. Beneath the Grandstand was a milestone – it was the best book I’ve written in terms of voice, grammar and story line. It’s a book I still listen to and read today.

With Covid and lockdowns, I was finally ready to retry The Darkest Realm. I’d previously binned two full rewrites of 40-60k words that were so so awful. When lockdown 2.0 hit, I finally got my head around it, and got stuck into reworking a few things. Once that was done, I sat down to write.

The end result was bloody amazing. The Darkest Realm is better than I could have hoped, and now I’ll have to really push myself to wrap it all up when I start work on The Final Realm. I also wrote Tysion’s Story, which is a shorter story to tie in with some new characters. I haven’t quite finished the ending of this one because it depends where I go with TFR. I expect to release this after TFR.

Stay tuned for the next announcement tomorrow!!

Much love,
Amex <3

New Year, New Me?

Hello all! Welcome to another new year! I wonder what 2022 will bring…

Before I ramble on about nothing, please disregard the Bin Chicken! Post. That one’s a work in progress and will be announced soon if I go through with it!

I’m a little over half way through the rewrite for The Lowest Realm, and my proofreader has just begun work on The Darkest Realm. All of a sudden I have lots to do and I can’t help but feel the pressure. But hey, that’s self publishing for you!

So just before Christmas, I found out I was a close contact of a positive covid case. I was thrust into isolation for 7 days while I waited for symptoms or my day 6 negative result.

Thankfully I was negative, and my parents came and stayed for 3 precious days. I hadn’t seen them for 2 years due to covid border closures, so it was good to see them again. We got to spend New Years together which was priceless.

You may hear a little less from me this month while I work on these releases, but never fear – I’ll keep you posted!

Much love,

Amex 💜

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Merry Covid Christmas…

…a 2021 Recap

Well here it is, another Christmas Eve and another one of those boring Xmas Wishes posts. I did plan a festive video for Patreon and wanted to write a short holiday story, but these last few days have been flushed down the dunny like a stinky turd. And so I decided to post a recap thing instead, because I actually have some GOOD news to share!

2021 has been a strange year. Although I haven’t published anything since Beneath the Grandstand, I now have 2 novels to be released during 2022, plus a re-release of The Lowest Realm. When I was sitting here pondering what to post, I realised that every single month this year, I’ve done something big that relates to my writing as a business. Check it out!

January

Beneath the Grandstand was named one of Kyler Warhol’s top 9 books of 2020! You can see the review and the link to the post HERE.

February

My friend Davo Hardy and I held a stall at the Blacktown drive-through market. We started out in high spirits, but neither of us made a single sale. What we didn’t realise was that because of Covid, only around 20% of the usual number of visitors attended. It was still a fun day!

Stacks of books and DVDs on a red tartan table cloth. the table is shielded from the sun by a white gazebo and behind the table is a white car.
March

I participated in the Soldier On challenge to help raise money for Aussie veterans. I walked just over 96km (via a treadmill in the gym lol) which is the length our diggers had to march on the Kokoda Track.

April

Originally, hubby and I shared one of the spare rooms and had our desks in there together. As he used his more and more, I couldn’t concentrate on my writing. I finally had enough and cleaned out the other spare room, and set up my own office. It’s a much better place for me to write in.

Two desks side by side with a bookshelf in between, sideways (attached to one of the desks)
May

For the first time, I finally plucked up the courage to start streaming on Twitch! I did a number of map streams, and also played 7 Days to Die and Diablo III. It was a lot of fun, but I haven’t kept up with it due to time constraints. Several of the map vids are on my YouTube channel.

June

June saw the return to lockdown for NSW. What was supposed to be 2 weeks turned into three months. While most people I know were pissed and hated it, I blossomed and was able to focus so much time and energy into my work. I resumed working on The Darkest Realm with a rekindled passion. I also recreated all of my maps and made new ones digitally for The Miscreant.

Digitally drawn map of The Miscreant's world
July

In July, I finally bit the bullet and made a Patreon account. I have so much bonus content such as deleted scenes that I needed a place for it to go. I’m slowly building up the content on there, though I will admit that I haven’t updated it for a couple of months. I simply have not had any news to post for October to December (until now).

August

I finished writing The Darkest Realm! This book is better than I could ever dream, so much so that I decided The Lowest Realm needed a rewrite. I’ve never been happy with that book, so I enlisted the help of my fab proofreader and flicked it over to them, along with The Darkest Realm.

I also commissioned a piece of artwork of Nika and Freyne from a very talented artist. I was blown away with how beautiful the piece was.

And finally, I buckled to social pressure and created a Tik-Tok account for my writing stuff. I made my first vid the day I went to get my first Covid vaccine. Check it out HERE!!

September

Given the amazing work that my artist did, I commissioned more pieces, because why not? I launched my Red Bubble store and have been going crazy buying merch! The link is up there ^ so check it out!

This month, my dear friend Kon wanted to make one of those hashtag Twitter prompt things, so we teamed up together and #WRITEboyslove was created. We’re now in the 4th month, and have something huge planned from March 2022, so stay tuned.

Freyne, Nika, Ashavan, and Tysion - hand drawn by an artist.
October

During October, lockdown finally ended and NSW was allowed to reopen. I had to stay in lockdown for another two weeks until my 2nd Covid vaccine, and then I was thrust back into work. Instead of the slow return like lockdown 1.0, this time we hit the ground running, and it was intense. By this point, I was still waiting for my proofreader and cover designer to work their magic. I had nothing to report, other than news that I was writing a spin-off story called Tysion’s Story.

November

Unfortunately, I missed my November 9th relaunch deadline. I was getting worried about losing the momentum on my blog and social media, so I decided to start going out to different cafes around Sydney and writing simple reviews from the perspective of a writer. I have more posts coming in 2022.

I think it was November that I got the cover for TDR!

A teaser of the cover for The Darkest Realm. The title is on a blueish background, and the rest is hidden by a black veil.
December

Once again, I missed my December deadline for both TLR and TDR. I have received TLR back from my proofreader and am working to rewrite the cringe parts. As it turns out, so much is cringe – it’s amazing to see just how far my writing has evolved and improved. I’m so freaking happy with how this story is improving!

I was fortunate to be invited to attend the premier showing of Davo’s latest film, Public Eye. Bloody amazing film that has won numerous awards already! Be sure to check it out.

This upcoming week, I’d made plans for my parents to come up just after Christmas when I get some time off work, and finally see each other after 2 years of border closures. It’s been hard not seeing my family for so long. Well, you can imagine my chagrin when I found out just 2 days ago that I’m a close contact with a positive case, and therefore must get a test and isolate. Just one day before my test, the rules were changed…

I now must isolate for 7 days, and minimise my presence in public for another 7 until I return a negative test on day 12. My parents are a mere 67km away, waiting to come to Sydney on the 27th, and now I may only get to see them for a day or two IF I don’t test positive. So that’s been a kick in the guts. But on the good side, I can focus on finishing off the rewrites for TLR and get that baby relaunched in January!

What’s next?

My new schedule is to have TLR relaunched by January 14th, so i can give it a minimum of 2 weeks of promo before I release TDR in February.

On Sunday 20th Feb, Davo and I will once again have a stall at Fair Day, and will be offering our signed books and DVDs at discounted prices. While I fully intend to release this Feb 1st, the official book launch will be at Fair Day.

TL;DR

It’s been a bloody long year, and I have accomplished so many things. I feel like 2022 will be a big year for my publishing quest, especially when I get to sit down and write book 3, The Final Realm. All of my focus will be going into finishing this series and promoting it.

I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Thank you all so much for standing by me during this crazy year. Whether you celebrate Xmas or not, have a safe December and I’ll see you all in the new year.

Much love,
~AAC <3

Merry Christmas spelt out by Scrabble tiles on a pink background and bordered by snowy pine cones.
Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

Public Eye: a Davo Hardy Production – review

Image used with permission.

Last night, I had the absolute pleasure of attending the premiere of Public Eye, directed by my dear friend Davo Hardy.

Davo has a number of films under his belt, in which he also stars. Complex, The Lives We Lead, and A Silent Agreement are some of my fave Hardy films (you can purchase DVDs right here in my shop).

What sets Hardy’s films apart from others (in my humble opinion, that is), is his ability to touch on sensitive issues that we as a society don’t talk about. Things we should be talking about. In Complex, we learn about nudism and non-sexual nudity. In The Lives We Lead, we see a woman rape a man, and how unfair he’s treated because he’s a man, not a woman. And in A Silent Agreement, he covers ableism and navigating the world with a disability.

Before I go further, I will warn that Public Eye is rated R18+ and contains adult sexual themes, attempted rape, and on-screen boners 🍆 Viewer discretion advised

Public Eye follows the story of Elliot Sinclair (played by Hardy), who is a children’s TV show host. At the start, we see he’s married and has a 16 year old son. Elliot is shortlisted to act in a film which involves a front-on nude scene, and he is keen to act in the serious acting role.

Elliot comes under fire from his family who strongly advise him against it. They point out the damage a nude scene can do to his career if he’s not careful. This leads him to having a private moment of masturbation while he’s watching porn, and accidentally broadcasts his own jerk-off vid.

When he realises it’s recording, he says ‘fuck it’ and finishes his job at hand. For just a moment, he wants to see what it’s like to be sexual on screen.

What follows is Elliot’s life being turned upside down as a result of the video going viral and being shared to countless online platforms. To make things worse, the TV network gets wind of it, and Elliot is labeled a perve and even a pedophile.

Here is the trailer:

This film is very relevant to today’s cancel culture, and how SJWs (social justice warriors) can gang up on and dox people who don’t agree with their views. For instance, Winston Marshall from Mumford & Sons was recently cancelled just because he tweeted that he read a book that conflicted with America’s views on facism.

There is so much I want to discuss about this film, but to do so would drop massive spoilers which I don’t want to do. One thing I do want to discuss, though, is a tactic used to combat the SJWs and move on from the uproar.

Quite often on Facebook and Twitter, I see ‘phobes of every type ganging up on queer author’s posts and spewing their hatred and disgust that the author dares to write such content. I’ve personally been told I’m disgusting and need to read the bible on one of my Facebook ads. It’s disheartening to say the least.

Lately, I’ve been seeing something else. When one of our people is attacked in such a way, instead of lashing back, a bunch of us will go to that post and fill it with positivity, effectively drowning out the troll’s voice. I was surprised to see this happening in Elliot’s story.

Out of all of Hardy’s films, I have to say that this one resonated with me the most, and it’s my new fave.

The final thing I wanted to comment on was the humor. This film is sprinkled with puns and jokes related to jerkin’ the gherkin, and it had me in stitches in times. The most amusing thing to me was that Davo, a proud gay man, played his role as a cis married man so damn well – I even believed the on-screen chemistry between him and his stage wife. Knowing Davo so well, I did laugh when Elliot was having a wank to straight porn, and still managed to hold his boner on screen. Now THAT is great acting!

I rate this film 5 stars, not because he’s my friend, but because this is an amazing film that captures today’s issues with the internet and weaves a compelling tale with an unlikely villain.

For the month of January, Public Eye will be showing every Friday night, 7pm, at Chauvel Cinema in Paddington, Sydney. Easily accessible on Public transport via the 333 bus from Circular Quay.

The DVDs will be available in my store once they become available.

Also, catch Davo and I at our Fair Day stall in Feb 2022! More on this to come.

Much love,

💜 AAC

Cafè Explores: Caffe Cherry Beans, Mt Druitt.

This morning, I decided to get to work an hour early and stop by the newish Caffe Cherry Beans in Westfield, Mt Druitt. This cafe used to be Espresso Warriors for the longest time and I haven’t been here since it changed.

Image borrowed from Google.

One of the things I love about this cafe is the long bench seat that runs down the entire wall. It’s comfy enough to sit on for long writing stints, that’s for sure. They also have a small single stemmed rose in a little bottle on the table which is super cute!

I ordered a fresh squeezed OJ, a flat white with lactose free milk, and a ‘small breakfast’. I’m glad I didn’t order the large! It was so good though – the eggs had subtle seasoning that really set them apart from other breakfasts I’ve bought out. They didn’t burn the bacon, either!

As for the coffee, my palate is used to Gloria Jeans coffee blend, so my taste was a bit off for this one. That’s ok though – it’s a me problem, not the barista’s fault. I firmly believe that if you switch from your regular coffee, it can be hard to adjust to the taste of different blends. For the longest time I couldn’t stand Gloria Jeans, but now they are my fave.

As for the chai latte, I didn’t order one (I needed coffee!) I’ll grab one take-away and update this post later with the verdict!

(Update: they gave me a normal latte not a chai latte. That’ll teach me for cheating on Gloria Jeans 😂)

Anywho, the staff were lovely and I felt most welcome. I will DEFINITELY come back here since it’s not far from work and life <3

A Sneak Peek

Hellooo!
I haven’t had much news lately to warrant posting an update, so I’ve been sharing my little cafe visits instead just to keep things fresh. Today, though, I finally feel like I can share with you a sneak peek of the cover of The Darkest Realm and a few other snippets!

So without further ado:

I am so freaking excited about this – I think I keep saying that same thing every time I post but it’s true!

NaNoWriMo

November is NaNoWriMo month, which sends authors into a frenzy to write an entire book in a month. I did this back in 2019 and it was a flop; November is a super busy month for me, especially with the increase in sales events at work (Click Frenzy / Black Friday / Cyber Monday). But this year, with the encouragement of Kon and #WRITEboyslove, I decided to participate in a slightly different capacity.

I’ve been doing a LOT of work on Tysion’s Story. Due to work, I actually started writing this in October, and was at around 30k words when NaNo started. My goal is to write the remaining 20k words to finish off the story (which I’m increasing – see the tracker on the right of the screen > )

A screenshot that shows progress for Tysion's Story during NaNoWriMo. Overall word count is 52,711 and word count for NaNo is 19,320.

I’ve created a private project for the overall count – since I started pre-November, I felt like I was cheating a little. I just don’t have time to write in Nov though so too bad lol.

This is a side story, sort of like Solo / Rogue One in comparison to Star Wars. Although it’s almost finished, I won’t be releasing this for a while.

Fair Day 2022

I have applied for a stall at Fair Day which is in Feb 2022. It hasn’t been confirmed whether or not FD will be going ahead yet, but if it does, Davo and I will be there. If I can’t launch The Darkest Realm sooner, then this will be my absolute deadline for a launch. Even if I have to go ahead with the unedited copy for now (which I really don’t want to do).


That’s about it from me for now. If you want to be first to see the full cover reveal, don’t forget to sign up to my Patreon. I’ll be adding the reveal there before the big launch. I’ll also be adding a video update on there hopefully this afternoon with the next chapter of Catalogue of Disaster.

So stay tuned, folks! Thanks so much for your continued patience and hopefully I’ll be ready to launch soon!

Much love <3

Cafè Explores: Max Brenner, Blacktown.

Today, my chai latte cravings took me to Westpoint in Blacktown. There are a number of cafès in this centre who do good coffee, but many of them are kiosks that makes writing a little harder.

My quest had me looking all over for a little place called Ricco’s, but despite trudging upstairs to lvl 3, I couldn’t find it. I may have been in the wrong place, so next time I’ll try again.

Coffee Club, one of my fave places in Westpoint, were busy, and I wanted to try somewhere I haven’t been for a long time. And so I decided to try Max Brenner, an old fave.

Image borrowed from Westpoint’s Facebook page.

As I mentioned to the lass who served me, it’s a little odd that a lactose intolerant person would choose to visit a Max Brenner Chocolate Bar. They do good coffee though, and I love the spacious room and ambiance there.

This time, I got to sit in the back corner on a comfy padded bench seat, and sip at my chai latte. It was frothy in a fancy glass, and of course it was yummy.

This is a good place to sit and write. I totally intended to order more drinks and a bite to eat, but time ran away from me as the words finally started flowing. I managed to push through the wall that has been blocking my story’s progress for the last few days, so I’m really happy!

The ambiance was relaxing. I was there for a good half hour – 45 mins before I realised I’d forgoten to hit play on my music! It wasn’t til a group of ladies started laughing loudly that I realised I needed my word juice aka music 🤣

A few years back, Max Brenner went through some financial difficulties and many of their stores were closed. Blacktown is lucky to still have one, and out of the 3 I’ve been to, is by far the best. Overall, this was a great visit and I will definitely be back to write here!

Cafè Explores: piccolo me

After my long journey down the abandoned Church Street, my quest took me back to the Parramatta station, where I decided to explore the new underpass that leads to Parramatta Square. There are some cute little eateries there, including a burger place that I’ll try one day.

I seemed to remember a small cafe around the side of Parra Sq. building, but I couldn’t find it. There were two fancy restaurants on the ground floor, and finally I found the cute little cafè called piccolo me.

Looking back at the new building next to Parramatta station.
I think this will be the new council building? This open space was beautiful and peaceful to sit in and enjoy my chai latte.

The cafè had a number of small tables and chairs outside which drew me in. Inside it was a compact space, with 2 or 3 small tables, and one beautiful tiled table for four. The staff were lovely and made me feel most welcome. I ordered my lunch, the Classic Burger, and a bottle of peach iced tea.

The burger was simple but tasty! The size made it easy to eat without the juices running all over my fingers, and instead of chips, they served fries. These were seasoned and tasted great. I found them a little salty, but that’s a me-problem, not theirs.

Once lunch settled down, I used the QR ordering system to order a large Chai Latte. I was just about to pull out my laptop and I noticed they were closing up. I felt so bad ordering while they were closing – I totally forgot it was Melb Cup Day. The staff were lovely and apologised profusely, but I was more than happy to get out of their hair and have my drink to-go.

The Chai Latte was amazing, I might add!

This is a lovely little cafe and I would love to go back some time and chill out while writing. Definitely worth a visit if you want a quick bite to eat or a delish Chai Latte!

~ Amy-Alex Campbell.