It seems crazy that another year is almost over.
I’ve now been a published author for three and a half years. With four books under my belt, and another two almost ready for publication in the new year, it feels a whole lot longer!
This year I was asked to join the organising committee for the NZ Book Festival, which came with its own challenges and excitement. The Festival turned out to be my best one yet, sales wise. Due to another exhibitor pulling out at the last minute, I had to lengthen my stand to fill their space in addition to mine. I’m pretty sure that worked in my favour. I’m also a firm believer in engaging with the public when they walk through the door. That might have helped too.
The week before the NZ Book Festival, the NZ Herald ran a great article about the Festival and the independent author scene in New Zealand.
And I didn’t just appear in the NZ Herald this year. The New Zealand Society of Authors interviewed me about being more nimble, as an independent author, for this magazine. The article was a wonderful piece detailing the ability of independent authors to take control of their careers, and finances.
After the Christmas break, and before school goes back in February, I’m also attending New Zealand’s first crime writing festival - Rotorua Noir. And I was honoured to be asked to sit on a panel at the festival - Genre Blenders. So I’ll be spending some of my beach time thinking about that panel and the extraordinary authors I’m appearing with. What an honour!
So although 2018 has been hectic, with the release of Doctor Perry, which hit #1 in the Horror Charts overseas; and appearing as a panellist at Murder In The Library; and helping with the arrangements for the NZ Book Festival; and still being a mother and a wife, and a volunteer at school, it doesn’t look like things are going to slow down in the new year!
Adding to my plate this year, was the excitement of helping my husband launch his first non fiction book - 81 Lessons From The Sky. We quickly followed that with 101 Lessons From The Sky, and just last week, we launched 51 Lessons From The Sky. So he now has three books out, helping to ensure pilots make it home to their loved ones. I’m so proud to be able to help him launch these incredibly valuable resources.
So now I really just want to say, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to you all.
Take care. Drive safely. Exercise. Eat well. Read lots.
Love Kirsten xxx
My second horror novel, Doctor Perry - a medical thriller, is now available for preorder on Amazon.
It's taken a few months longer than I had initially planned, but good things take time! And Doctor Perry will be open for appointments on the 26th April, so preorder your copy HERE.
And because I know some of you prefer your books via Kobo, or iBooks, Doctor Perry will be available on those other platforms later this year. A paperback version will be available in May 2018.
Thanks everyone for your patience while I piece together this latest novel. You'd think it would get easier, but no, it still seems to take me bang on eight months to get a novel done!
No rest for the wicked, it's back to my keyboard to work on Telegram Home - the final instalment in the Old Curiosity Shop series. Sarah Lester awaits her fate...
Eighteen days remain before my horror PAINTED hits Amazon. Eighteen long angst filled days left to do the hundreds of things on my to do list. It could be more. It feels like more!
What I have been doing every morning, is taking myself out for a long walk around the park, listening to Mark Dawson's SPF Podcasts, which are incredibly insightful. If you are an author, I recommend you listen to them. Although, when I get home from my walk, after listening to Mark's podcasts, I'll invariably add another dozen things to my already heaving to do list! At least I feel fitter, and am sleeping better.
At the beginning of June I created an official PAINTED Launch Team over on Facebook, for people interested in helping with the online launch of PAINTED. Thirty three people are now part of my team, and their assistance has been invaluable. It's a place where I ask the team members to share posts, or tweets, or to add PAINTED to their own Goodreads lists, etc. You are welcome to join (there is no obligation to read the book if horror isn't your cup of tea!).
A week ago, a Goodreads giveaway for three signed copies of PAINTED went live, as a way to increase the profile of the book, to create a little bit of buzz, and to get it onto readers To Be Read lists (TBR). So far 442 people have entered the competition for one of three signed paperbacks. The competition ends on June 30th. Have you entered yet?
I've approached a small number of horror book reviewers, pitching PAINTED to them for review. Some have replied positively, which is fantastic news. This week I'll be approaching more. If you have any great blogging contacts, or book reviewer contacts, and are happy to introduce me to them, I would be eternally grateful! Please drop me a line through the contact page and we can go from there.
The members of the official PAINTED Launch Team have all been sent ARC copies of PAINTED for their reading pleasure. They've picked up some minor errors, which is fabulous! Better that they pick them up than readers on June 30th. Their feedback has been invaluable.
PAINTED was formatted using Vellum, which is the most amazing tool every designed. I love it. I have it open on my desktop now and can add, amend, delete, rewrite at any stage, and those changes are shown live on the kindle view to the side of the manuscript. VELLUM IS AMAZING. I can't shout that loud enough, not even using my old Air Training Corps Warrant Officer voice. It was a breeze generating all the different files formats I need for the different platforms.
On a completely unrelated note, I've started work on my next novel, and have managed 4,548 words already, in between editing, formatting, marketing, walking and mothering. Oh, and having my daughter in hospital as her appendix was whipped out! She's all recovered now, but that was certainly a speed bump in the month of May!
Don't forget to join my mailing list for updates about the launch of PAINTED, and where you can get your copies, and the official IRL launch party later this year.
THANK YOU EVERYONE xxx
The feeling of happiness after you've finished writing a book!
Today I typed the words "The End". They were words number 77,070 and 77,071 respectively. And whilst those words are there, at the end of my manuscript, this is not the end of the road.
I will toast the completion of PAINTED, with a glass of Pinot Noir, and the smug satisfaction that it all came together nicely in the end, over seven months. Before 11.30pm last night, I had no idea how it was going to end, not properly. I'd mulled over some ideas in the shower, like always. Some ideas had come half formed as I drifted off to sleep. Walking round Cornwall Park listening to podcasts delivered others. But the end, the last few paragraphs, were as elusive as the winning lottery numbers.
But at 11.30pm last night, just as I was drifting off to sleep, with my rescue cat sleeping awkwardly on my shoulder (I know, she shouldn't be on the bed, but she doesn't know that), the ending came to me as clear as my newly installed double glazing. I turfed the cat off, turned on the lights, and wrote a page of notes. Today, the paragraphs appeared on my laptop as though someone else were writing them.
And so now I'm done. But not really. Not by a long shot.
Today the final chapters were emailed off to Beta Reader #1 - an English friend living in Australia. Three of the earlier chapters were emailed off to Beta Reader #2 - my American friend residing in Washington D.C. Between them, they make sure I don't fill the book with adverbs or colloquialisms only Kiwi's understand.
Also, the first 5,000 words were sent off to a proof reader, with a request for her to quote on proofreading the whole 77,071 words.
Tomorrow I will read PAINTED through, from start to finish, to pick up any inconsistencies, or loose ends.
And then there's the formatting to do, the book to load, and the launch to prepare for.
I think I'm going to need more than one glass of wine.
So, if you would like to be part of the launch team, please message me, and we'll arrange some arc copies to come out to you for review, and as a thank you for your assistance in spreading the word. Looking forward to hearing from you and thanks for all your support so far. x