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 😘
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?
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 ❤️
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
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.
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!)
Good morning my amazing peeps 🙂
I just wanted to share that I have been making a few behind-the-scenes to my website. The main change that you can see, is the addition of the Book Store link. This has replaced the Buy page, and has been designed to look more professional.
I have been looking at options to integrate a proper online store for the sale of paperbacks, but this requires an expensive site upgrade that costs more than the number of books I sell. So for now, we still have the secure PayPal buttons which are safe and secure.
As for the other changes, you may notice that I have reordered the right-hand panel with my social media widgets. There is also a box with links to take you directly to my blog posts on map making.
And finally, don’t forget to pre-order Catalogue of Disaster HERE.
Why the big push on pre-orders? This helps the book’s rank when it’s launched, and can help it move into the best seller range. it also means that as soon as the clock ticks over to May 7th, the book will automatically download to your device, ready to read 🙂
And on a final note, please remember to leave a review a possible – these are the backbone for indie authors to help promote their work. Amazon reviews can be left using the link used for purchase. GoodReads can be found HERE.
Thanks so much for your continued support. I can’t express just how much you all mean to me <3
It’s finally here folks!
I am so proud to unveil the cover for CATALOGUE of DISASTER!
The eBook is available now for pre-order on Amazon Click me!
Paperbacks will be available from this website hopefully by the 7th May.
I just want to give a huge thankyou to everyone involved in making this happen – my designer, proofreader, beta readers, friends and family <3
I’d also like to give a quick shoutout to my cover designer – Germancreative on Fiverr, and my sketch artist, IMarts, also on Fiverr. I highly recommend both.
I’m pleased to announce that as of 1:42am this morning, I have submitted details to my cover designer, and have started the publishing process with IngramSpark. The book file is 98% set up – I am just waiting on the cover so I can mock up a title page, and of course the cover. I am preparing for a soft launch on May 4th – hopefully I can at least launch on Kindle by that date.
Catalogue of Disaster will be priced at US $2.99 on Amazon ($4.99 AU), free on KU.
Paperbacks will be priced at $22.95 RRP, but will be cheaper directly from this website.
When Jake starts his new job in a large modern library, he is determined to make new friends and a new life. On his first day, he is warned: stay away from Garret James.
But after repeated bouts of bullying, and disaster after disaster, Jake realises that Garret may be his only friend in the entire library; a friendship that soon has him doubting his sexuality.
A funny MM romance set in Western Sydney, Australia.
Also representing trans women, a polyamorous relationship, and demi/pansexuality.
Just a quick update – A Catalogue of Disaster is written!! I never dreamed of writing a book in 13 days, but thanks to iso I was able to 🙂
Next I have to read through and tidy it up, self-edit, and rewrite some sections. Then I’ll send it to my editor, and hopefully have it published real soon!
G’day g’day! Today marks the 2 week mark since I was stood down from work due to the Rona. I think I am one of the few people who are actually enjoying isolation; indeed, when I catch up with some of my colleagues on WhatsApp, it does appear that I am handling this much better than some.
I have a bit of an announcement to make. 8 days ago, I randomly had a story idea pop up in my head, and I sat up til 5am tapping out the details on my phone. When I reviewed the outline the next day (well technically later that day), I really liked what I had plotted.
I am now 24k words into Catalogue of Disaster (temp name), a raunchy Aussie m/m romance story. When Jake starts his new job in the Marsden Park Library, his excitement for working in amongst so many women quickly wanes, as disaster after disaster happens.
He was warned, stay away from Garret James. So why didn’t he heed that warning?
Jake and Garret’s story is cute, funny, and riddled with disaster. Watch this space for a cover reveal pretty soonish 😉