New Lore Section

Today I have been playing around with the website. I have added some sub-menus so I can keep the header neat and tidy, and introduced a Lore section for The Miscreant. So far, I have uploaded the maps from book 1 in both pen and digital colour. Over time, I hope to add in things such as pronunciation, character bios, etc. to help give that extra level. I used to love reading interviews with my fave characters, so hopefully I can do something cool like this too.

I would love to add a fan art section…if only I get fans some day who wish to draw my characters!

I have also added in a section for Marsden Park, and have posted about my inspiration for the library and the series. When I get around to it, I might even draw up a floor plan, as it has been pointed out that I didn’t describe the library much in Catalogue of Disaster.

Homeless Affair still needs a name. It is 2 chapters off being finished, though I have been stuck on a single scene for a week. Hopefully I’ll get through that tonight.

In the meantime, today I purchased a Square reader and dock, so at my future book launches, I’ll be able to take card payments! I am so excited about this.

Much love
~AAC

Flash sale

Hello!

Today, I have been able to upgrade my website to allow an integrated store right here on my site! This means no redirections to other websites, everything is kept in one place, and is super easy to use. It is powered by Woo Commerce, which is one of the most trusted e-commerce sites.

This means I can run my own promotions and hand out coupon codes for discounts, and add new books as they are published. It allows payments through PayPal (my fave) or Stripe, which allows the customer to use their credit card safely and securely.

This also means that customers can create an account and will have their own cart and checkout screen, to help keep everything professional and clean. I have waited almost a year to finally take this step (websites are expensive, especially to have an online store), so I am super excited!!

To celebrate, I am offering 20% discount off paperbacks until August 1st! Use code 20JULY20 at checkout to take advantage of this offer.

Much love, AAC <3

Cat armour!

Inspiration strikes us at the strangest (and most inconvenient) times. I’m up to 55k words in my #wip, and I have been having sudden snippets of random ideas come to me for The Darkest Realm (Miscreant book 2).

For one, I’m going to ‘ditch the witch’ and write in a mad necromancer, who is attempting to summon a feathered dragon by blending different bones.

Another idea I had ages ago was at a certain point, give Arnie-Kyn some armour. I just googled ‘cat wearing armour’ and wasn’t disappointed!

I have a few other {ahhmazinggg} ideas and surprises, but I’m not going to give you any spoilers! As soon as I have finished my current story, I’ll be resuming my work on The Miscreant.

I will say that if everything goes well with book 2, I will launch it at Fair Day 2021! Watch this space 😉

That’s all from me now. Here are some feirce pics of cats wearing armour. Have a great weekend!

-AAC

online store launch!

I am pleased to announce the launch of my new online store!

Storenvy is a new type of store – it encompasses a social media-type-platform the enables users to follow their fave stores, and like/share to Facebook. I’ve been trialing a number of different platforms, and so far this one is the easiest to use.

To visit the store, simply click on the BUY PAPERBACKS link at the top of this page (pictured), and the store will launch in a new tab.

The only downside is that Storenvy does not yet offer local currencies – it is an American company. Therefore, I have listed the prices in USD, and these will convert to AUD when you pay through PayPal.

eBooks are still available through Amazon, simply click the BUY EBOOKS tab for the links.

Store view from a mobile device.

I just want to reiterate that I use Print on Demand via IngramSpark for printing my books. They have printing facilities in Australia, USA, Europe etc, which means your books will be shipped from your nearest facility. Only books ordered from Australia will be shipped by myself, and will have the option to be autographed.

If you are not in Australia but want your book signed, email me and I can calculate shipping at your expense. Shipping can be around $60-80 Au to USA and Europe, it’s not cheap!

Homeless Affair is at the 50,000 word mark, so not much longer until it’s finished! Watch this space!

<3 AAC

Happy July!

Hello!

I can’t believe it’s July already. I wonder what disaster we’ll get this month?

I had something interesting happen the other night, while I was working on my novel (still very focused on this project btw, that’s why I haven’t posted for a while).

I was writing a sad scene, and before I knew it I burst into tears. I have NEVER cried while reading, let alone while writing!

There is a scene towards the end of The Lowest Realm where I felt sad and my eyes watered a little bit, but I didn’t actually cry. Well, this time, I was sobbing my heart out.

It is said amongst the writing community that if the writer doesn’t cry or feel an emotional response, neither will the reader. I’m a little nervous to see what my beta readers will say about this one…have I made it too sad?

Have you ever cried while reading a book? If so, which books? Leave a comment below 🙂

As of this week, I am back up to 5 days per week in my regular job. This means less hours for writing, which sucks. I’m getting the itch to return to book 2 of The Miscreant, so once my current project is done, I’ll be back to it. I think I mentioned previously that my goal is to have book 2 published by Feb 2021 in time for Fair Day (part of Sydney LGBTQ+ Mardi Gras).

Stay safe peeps ❤️

AAC

The Marsden Park Series

Since when did May end?? I swear I just posted a week ago…..and now we’re halfway through June! I doubt that anyone actually missed my posts or me…(except my number 1 fan, my mother ❤️ Hi Donk!)

I’ve been back at work for a few weeks now. The fun part is that I’m not yet full-time – our max hours per week are 25 hours, which is 4 days of work, 3 to write.

I’ve been working on A Homeless Affair (temp title) almost every non-work day since I submitted my assignment for uni. I’m still dreading that result coming back…but anyways.

A Homeless Affair is taking a lot of time to come to fruition. I have put in endless research for this one, and it is very close to my heart – even more so than Catalogue of Disaster.

I can’t remember if I discussed this in a previous post or not. AHA is a much darker story, and touches on childhood abuse (not sexual abuse), homelessness, and mental health.

As this plot has evolved, my characters have grown into two complex (and lovable) souls. Every time I think about writing ‘the conflict’ scene, which is about to happen, I get all upset because I know it is going to hurt them both deeply, and I feel like a bad author-mum lol.

Warning: some readers will probably cry while reading this book.

Why so dark this time?

I want to draw attention to homelessness. For many, we see people sleeping at Central Station, and begging in Dawson Mall or near Westpoint (Western Sydney). We don’t see the ‘why’.

It can be financial woes, drug addiction, or mental health issues.

There are many reason why, and this can be something such as domestic abuse causing someone to be homeless. It can be to escape family abuse (in the case of a child), fear of being institutionalised, or it can be because housing is so bloody expensive in Sydney.

Whatever the reason, homeless people are people, and they matter too. The Australian government is still slow in addressing this issue, but luckily we do have a lot of services here to help. We do need to do more as a country to address this though.

There are a lot of themes in this book, and I want to get it absolutely right. This isn’t a rush-job like Catalogue of Disaster. This one is a special project, so it may take another month or 3 before it’s ready.

I should mention that AHA is set in the same area / timeframe as COD. If you have read COD first, you may even notice a few sneaky crossovers in there. As such, I have nick-named this the Marsden Park series.

Series? Yep. I may write more Western Sydney stories over time, and I may even flesh out COD a little more and re-publish down the track. But for now, I will be revisiting The Darkest Realm once AHA is sitting on my bookshelf.

I know some of you are begging me to hurry the eff up with TDR. This is how it is: write something crap that is a shitty book 2, of sit on it for a while, and come out with something that’s even better than book 1, that carries the story forward and does Nika and Freyne justice. I’m sure you’d just love to meet our villain and get inside his head, right?

My goal is to have TDR published in time for Fair Day 2021, which is in February. So that’s 8 months. I can do this! This will give me 4 books to sell at Fair Day 😁

Anyways….don’t forget to follow me on Twitter or Facebook – those are the two socials I am most active on. You can also subscribe to this blog, and receive emails whenever I post to my blog.

I love to hear from my readers, so don’t be shy! Reach out via any social channel or email, I’m always keen to have a chat 🙂

Take care lovely’s 😘

My bookshelf is getting full, but there is plenty of space for my upcoming books 🙂

Paperbacks are here!

It’s raining books!

Head on over to the book store to get your copy today 😁

WIP – What will she publish next?!

Hello!

It feels like it’s been months since my last post, but it’s only been a week or so. Quick update: paperbacks are on their way!

I’ve had mixed reviews with Catalogue of Disaster- it seems that people either love it or hate it. Me – I love it, I don’t give a shit what people think 😂

That book introduced the Marsden Park Library, which is a fictional library I created while I’m studying my Information Science degree (librarian). Throughout my studies, I have often been required to use a pretend library to base my assignments off. So me being a writer, of course I took this to the next level, and wrote a book on it.

I started writing a part 2 for it which is 2 years later. It’s a bit more dramatic than book 1 and touches on some more serious topics. I shelved it though, as it didn’t feel quite right. I might revisit it later and offer it as a free read, who knows?

So, what am I writing now?

My current project is *loosely* titled A Homeless Affair, though this will change. It is a love story between a lonely security guard who is ‘a bees dick away from being homeless himself’. He has hit rock bottom, and is close to doing something ‘irreversible’.

By chance, he meets a young homeless man who keeps getting in trouble. They quickly become friends, and agree to be alone, together. The young man is fighting his demons of an abusive childhood, which soon catches up with him.

This story is a lot darker than my other two published works. I have drawn on some of my own experiences with depression, anxiety and feeling helpless, and have embedded them in my boys.

I don’t have a deadline for this and I’m certainly not rushing it, the nature of the abuse and emotions mean I have to be very careful to get things right.

This book has a few sneaky crossovers with Catalogue of Disaster. I am considering making this the Marsden Park Series, but no promises yet. One book at a time.

Here is a sneak peak of one of the characters who will feature on the cover. He’s gorgeous and a complete sweetheart ❤️

Finally, some of you will be pleased to know that The Darkest Realm (The Miscreant Book 2)has been simmering in my mind lately, and I am almost ready to pick it back up and have another go. I’m tossing up with totally redesigning my map and starting it again.

I’ve been asked (by both my sister inlaw and my dearest mother) when I’m going to write something ‘heterosexual’. Sorry Mumma Donk, you’re stuck with gay characters for a while 😘 There are already millions of books out there with cishet characters. I write LGBTQ+ 🏳️‍🌈 because unless we writers write about it, we will never normalise it in literature. So yes there will be lots of gay, plus trans, enbys and whoever I feel like writing about. These amazing people are just as valid at hetero people, and they deserve to be seen too ❤️

Much love,

AAC

Paperbacks

G’day folks!

I just wanted to post a quick update regarding paperbacks. I am having trouble ordering from my POD printer at the moment, due to an issue on their website. Therefore there will be a bit longer delay before I can get some in stock.

In the mean time, you can still purchase the eBook on Amazon (free on KU). Visit the Book Store for links.

A few people have been asking me about Book 2 of The Miscreant.
The Darkest Realm has been on hold while I sort out a few issues with characters and logistics. Yger wasn’t playing nicely with Nika and Freyne, and as such I need to re-develop her (either that, or throw her back into the dungeon where her journey began haha).

Here is the original unboxing video of the proof copy.

Take care <3
-AAC

Reviews and bias

Happy (or not so happy) Monday!

I’m going to take a step away from writing and promoting for a moment, and talk about reviews. I’m not talking the quick two-line 5* review that we leave when we’re happy with a product or service. I’m talking about the blogs that make a job out of reviewing books / free advance reader copies, pre-publication.

I’ve said it before how reviews can make or break an indie (self published) book. It is hard for an author to reach new readers outside of their immediate circle and fan base; reviews build a sort of ‘word-of-mouth’ aspect that also brings a small level of trust.

I have had fantastic reviews where the person has raved about how much they love my book, yet only leave 3 or 4 stars. And I’ve received a 1 star review of how much they hated my book. That’s fine, people are entitled to their opinion, and everyone is different. As an author, I have to be prepared for that (it’s not the reader’s problem if it’s a kick in the gut, and the author spends the day feeling like they’re shit and shouldn’t be writing, right?)

Blog reviews though? These are where the reviewer sits down and reads a book (that is usually gifted to them for free), and offers their take of the book. The sites I’ve been reviewed by all offer ‘honest’ reviews – but at what point does ‘honest’ turn into an attack on the author?

A review should be written based on fact, not the reviewer’s personal issues, sexuality, and opinion. It should give their readers a snapshot as to whether or not the book will suit their reading taste. The post is about the book, not themself.

I read two blog reviews of the same book today. The first one basically invalidated the gay characters and sex scenes, all because the reviewer themself is asexual / non binary and couldn’t relate. This reviewer tried to cover up a whole post of nasty comments by saying that it’s a good book, but hey, too late M’theydy.
They also tried to downplay the historical events that had occurred, just because their family member hadn’t validated that it happened that way. I’m here to tell them, it happened.

The second review was professional and based on fact, and as a reader, would have me more inclined to purchase the book than the former review.

I understand that every reader takes away something different from a book; we all interpret a story based on our own morals, values, opinions and beliefs. But let’s face it, a reviewer’s job is to review a book, not sit down and analyse every single chapter as though they are in year 12 English. At the end of the day, most people just want to read a snapshot to see if the book is worth buying, they don’t want to hear about perceived pacing issues or a missed typo.

As for Goodreads, I just want to say one thing: before you decide you hate the book, please actually read it properly before you go blasting the author. One reader actually thought that The Lowest Realm is some sort of dystopian story set in the future, post-apocalypse. What the? Add then we have the one for Catalogue of Disaster, which I have responded to below. Note: I do not engage with readers over their reviews, as I said above they are entitled to their opinion. But I thought it was important to address some of her points below.

SPOILER BELOW!

In response to Goodreads review:
I just wanted to call out the 1 star review I received yesterday on Goodreads. The reviewer labeled Catalogue of Disaster as completely unrealistic, and went on to list a number of things about Jake that couldn’t possibly be true.
* Sex toys in readiness for a first date? Sorry love, that happened.
* Falling for someone who isn’t usually the gender you’d fall for? Yep, that’s happened.
* Accepting that ^ and rolling with it? Yep. It’s called being open minded.
* Falling in love in two weeks? Hell, I’ve fallen in love in a day!
-These three points were all modeled on my own experiences while I was dating back in the day.

As a demisexual, once a bond is formed, I have fallen head-over-heals very quickly! And being pansexual, that bond can be with anyone. As one of my author friends put it, it’s falling in love with the person, not their gender.

The point about Garret putting Jake at risk of HIV:
I want to make this clear. Garret is portrayed as a responsible character; he is on ART, which is a treatment for HIV that, in simple terms, makes it almost impossible to transmit the virus. Garret is already on this treatment since he was diagnosed.
He and Jake used condoms, and although some semen was shared outside of intercourse, there is almost no risk of transmission in this way. When Garret and Jake are texting, and Garret advises him to go on PrEP “maybe we can talk about ditching condoms” – ART + PrEP = impossible to give Jake HIV.

Garret’s reaction to Jake’s suspension:
His reaction was due to being dragged over the coals by his boss all afternoon, and he snapped. We don’t hear what Riley was blasting Garret about, but as the author, I can tell you that it was about being gay, HIV and AIDS etc – homophobic hatred. Garret does explain this later, and how it triggered his past with his ex.

So anyways, that’s the end of my rant. If you have such a deep negative reaction about a book, rather than call out the author on it, try and remember that we are people too. We battle every day with thinking that our writing is not good enough. For many writers, our characters are a part of us; each of my characters are an embodiment of myself or someone I love dearly. To attack our writing, is to attack us. So be respectful, always, and if you feel you have to leave negative feedback, do so in private DM or email, not on social media! (Or if you write a negative review, do NOT tag the author in it!)

-AAC