Did you notice the last time I blogged was August 2015? And we’re halfway through April 2016 already. Absolutely zero excuse and I am going to try and be a better communicator and stuff. Plus, I’m doing a few new things with the site & trying to find the best new template for it, so please do bear with me as things change.

But, I suppose the good news is that I am still around and nothing bad has happened, apart from life being partly busy, partly not really busy.

We launched the last book in the Blackhart Legacy trilogy, Judged, in January 2016 and it was rather splendid.  Loads of people turned up and we had a good old fashioned signing and there was cake and much excitement. I didn’t cry, at all.  I completely forgot to do a speech but I ‘did’ do a reading, and I didn’t even screw it up.

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How beautiful is this cover?!

Apart from that, life has gone on pretty much evenly. I’m writing, trying out loads of different ideas and hoping something would stick.  I have, as I’m sure you’ve heard other writers say, too many ideas and not enough time. Fortunately my agent is lovely and patient and so I recently sent her the first 20k of a fantasy idea and a full synopsis to read through. (Basically me fangirling about my own creations and going and then and then this happens but also this and then that! and then there’s a fight and then they run but then this happens and arrrgh exciting!) (This not the way to write a synopsis, I am aware!)  And I’m relieved to say that she got back to me with her sanity intact and her eyes weren’t bleeding and she wasn’t being violently ill into a bucket at the ideas I’ve put forward in the book, so I’m going to give it a go and see if I can finish this little fantasy.

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What I enjoy most about writing is the feeling I get when I’m writing. It’s this whole way you can disconnect from the real world and go and be boss of somewhere else. Basically, you’re the one who runs the show and has to answer if something goes very badly wrong. I love this feeling of bossness and creating the world, the mythology and the characters. Yes, I’m aware it sounds like I have a goddess-complex happening here, but that’s not really it. Not all of it really.  It’s knowing that for now you can play in this sandbox, quite safely, and not screw things up for anyone else apart from your characters.  It is very freeing but it is also very scary.

Creating a whole new world with a whole new mythos is scary-fun. I walked around for days going: but HOW did my world come to be?! What is the thing that went boom and here they all are?  How far into the BOOM are we? And who are the players in this world currently? How big is this world overall? How much will I be showing? Who are my gods? Who are the guys ruling all these different bits of this new world? And the questions went on and on from big questions to little questions about trade and life in towns and villages and society, how it’s set up and how do the poor get fed and what about schooling?

With the Blackhart books it was almost easy. Oh, I had the Dragon Lords rule over the Far East. We had the Empress rule over Russia. Thorn’s dad, Aelfric, ruled the rest of Europe and the UK.  In America we had the Little Spirits and so, really, it was easy to know how Kit’s world was broken up, because it was broad strokes and nothing I really had to get involved in, apart from Alba and Aelfric but yet, I still had to know.

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Art by Terri Windling

I think one of the reasons why I’m a writer is that drive to know to understand. I remember reading books as a small child and wondering if it was true. I would hit our completely out of date encyclopaedia we had at home (the were so old they didn’t even have the moon landing in them!) and I’d research the stuff I wanted to know and if I couldn’t find it, I’d go to school and ask the librarian there (often much to her consternation!). This is where my love for research developed, but not just that, it’s where I learned about mythology and legends. Because even though these books were old, they did have pretty damn decent stuff to say about the stuff I did find interesting. And luckily enough, even though our school library was pretty dire, they had more up to date books and from there, the town’s library was a place of magic and beauty, even if it was housed in the ugliest building that looked like it dated from the Cold War, because it had books I hadn’t read. *heart eyes*

So anyway. I’m in the first draft where everything is shitty and awful stage but also in the creating the world, populating it with gods and governments and therefor everything is awesome stage because anything can happen. And just anything, but anyone can happen too, and I like that.

So that’s where I am. Writing. It’s not a commissioned book, but it is something I’m hoping that will sell in the sometime future.  And if it doesn’t, I hear you ask, knowing how precarious the market can be, what will I do? Well, then I put it away and write something else because, and this is something my agent told me whilst we were waiting for edits on Banished, and I was playing around with a spin-off book, no writing is ever wasted. The more you write, the better you get at it and the more your voice develops.  And I’ll be very sad if it doesn’t sell, but it happens, so you pick yourself up, pull up your big girl panties and you hit that other thing you’ve always wanted to write and get stuck into that instead.

Happy writing & reading, creatures of earth!