Monday, 12 December 2016

New home!

I've moved to a new home

The post on the new blog explains it all.
I hope to see you there!

At the moment this is an experiment, but I know other people have moved to WordPress and liked it. To fill it up with content, I might go back and find some old posts to revisit, but there will be lots of new stuff too. 

The new blog can also be accessed through my website. Comments have been disabled here, for obvious reasons.

*stops for one last look around, and to scoop up the random mug that didn't get packed*

Monday, 28 November 2016

Pantsing, planning and NaNoWriMo


This is how I feel, two days before the end of NaNoWriMo.

It's been a challenge, and I'm 12,500 words from the end. I probably won't win, but I'm okay with that. I have a new story that probably wouldn't have happened if I hadn't taken part - I'd have been stuck in a never-ending rewriting/editing rut.

I'm posting today for a bit of a rant... a rant against myself!

I'm a pantser. Always have been. It's not the best way to write, I amble around and spend three years trying to figure out the story I'm telling. Pah. Rubbish. Especially as I then spend another three years rewriting, then giving up and hiding it in a drawer, then pulling it out again.

One new novel every ten years is slow, to say the least.

When I decided to do NaNo this year, I had a week to prepare and thought I might do a bit of plotting. In itself, it didn't go too badly, although the story keeps shifting, new characters are appearing and others have vanished off the page. The beach has been a constant feature, my MC's failing art career has stuck too - although she's still nameless - and there's a shadowy character that might be a dead sister, memory of her mother or a childhood imaginary friend.

And then there's X - the real subject of my rant.

X is also nameless. He started off as my MCs female flatmate, turned into her male fiance and - as of the very early hours of this morning - is her student lodger who bakes chocolate cake. At one point he/she was going to accompany MC on a lengthy road trip, but now the trip has taken a backseat and might just be one night in a Premier Inn to break up the trip to the beach. So much for planning!

It was a good experiment, though - I've realised I can neither pants or plot effectively, so I guess I'll just bumble along as I always have, but with the knowledge that bumbling really is the best way forward 😔


How is/was NaNoWriMo for you?
Are you a regular participant, or was this your first time?
What advice would you offer to me?




Sunday, 13 November 2016

A few changes, maybe

I've had a busy week - I think this is the longest I've managed to sit down since last Sunday, so I'm making the most of it by catching up on blog reading.

A work colleague broke his nose last weekend, so I covered a few extra hours which threw out my gym training completely; and I met up with a couple of different friends for a hot chocolate, so I've severely overdosed on sugar and feeling a bit jittery.

However, I kept to schedule on my NaNoWriMo writing, although I might be a little behind now because of some other tasks I've set myself. Yesterday I felt I was just putting random words down, feeling completely bored with the story, and not knowing where it was going. All the ideas I had where either too similar to something I've written before, or too similar to something I've read recently.

But then last night, as I was falling asleep (oh, my writing muse really picks her time!), I had a bit of an epiphany, which I'll attempt to map out this afternoon.

On top of all that, on Friday I had a chat with a consultant-type person about online marketing and promotion. The good news is that what I do is pretty good. The bad news is... all the stuff I don't yet do. So, that's my latest job,

It may mean some changes to my blog, but I don't know yet.

It may mean some changes to how I present myself, but I don't fully know that either yet.



Sunday, 30 October 2016

How to Get Published conference


Yesterday, I went to a writing conference. For various reasons, I've written about it on my website, so rather than repeat it, click


to read all about it, and see yet another dodgy photo of me. Feel free to comment over there, or pop back and comment here. Or not at all... You know, being Sunday and all, you might be way too relaxed...


Sunday, 23 October 2016

Well, that's that, then... (A NaNo confession)

I've just signed up to this year's NaNoWriMo event.

It's possible I've gone completely mad!

I'm not sure what happened. I came home from work this afternoon, made a cup of tea, checked my emails, signed up.

Okay, that's not strictly true - I've been considering it for a while, but coming up with some really very good reasons not to: I've got a two day course to go on for work in November, the kids will need me to be available for specific reasons in November, I'm already booking up my days off with hot chocolate dates with friends, I'm going to be an aunt and will want to see lots of the new baby.

But, there are some compelling reasons to give it a go:

  1. I'm staring at a novel that's just been rejected and wondering what to do with it - I'm not happy with it, but it's been through so many incarnations at this point, I've forgotten what the original point was.
  2. Because I've been working on the same novel for most of the year, I think I've forgotten how to write something new. I have no ideas, no characters, nothing even remotely like a plan, plot or vision.
  3. I've recently turned my 2012 attempt into a short story that's out on submission - even if I don't win, I might be able to salvage something useful.
  4. It's a really good excuse to be lavished with chocolate. I don't drink coffee, so I have to get my caffeine from somewhere, don't I?

So, who's with me? Who's already signed up? Who's thinking about it?
Is chocolate a good enough reason?
Do you have any advice for me?


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Another musical guest post

I'm really excited to be featured on Roz Morris's Undercover Soundtrack today. It's a fantastic series looking at how music has influenced the way a writer approaches their novel.

Being different, and not the author of a published novel yet, my post features the songs that inspired my short stories - each of my books gets a mention, so they don't feel left out.

I hope you enjoy reading more about me. I suggest making yourself a hot chocolate to drink while you read it, that's what I'm going to do!


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

My 5 Reasons guest post

This is the scene I was greeted with as I rounded the hedge from one field to the next on Monday morning.

It was cold, and I'm starting to wonder where I put my gloves at the end of last winter. But, so glorious. Artoo doesn't like me to linger for too long - apparently, walking means just that to him!

I thought it was too nice a photo not to share.


Today I'm guest posting on Tyrean Martinson's blog, sharing my 5 Reasons to Write to Music. I hope you'll pop over and see what my reasons are.

I've got another music-based guest post on the cards next week. Details to follow.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Puts down pen and sighs...

... looks up and sees that it's October!




(I'm cheating with the photos - Hubby's just taken them for me on his walk with Artoo, while I write this, still in my dressing gown!)


About a month ago, I started writing and revising four stories for four very different short story competitions - one flash, one with a huge first prize, one with awesome additional publicity benefits and one with huge prestige.

It was brilliant to work on such a variety of different projects, and a relief to finish one and start the next. The flash was so hard because it was only 300 hundred words, and then I immediately set out to turn a 50,000 word NaNo project from years ago into a 5,000 word short story. I think it worked. I hope it did.

I love sending out submissions. I like the blank space that remains when the email has vanished. I sit and stare for a second, then I gather up all the notes and drafts for that project and file them away - and swap in the next thing.

I wrote a to-do list!

I don't do it often, but in August I wrote a to-do list, and last week I found it. Are you interested? Okay, here it is...
  1. Re-start my mailing list. It may surprise some of you to know that you're signed up to my mailing list, because I don't actually ever send it out. My goal was to resurrect it and make it fun. I have not done this... yet.
  2. Write or redraft two stories. Boom - wrote four!
  3. Work through all my old stories to submit them by the end of the year. Obviously, this is a follow-on from the previous point, but it makes sense, because I have a lot hanging around, and it's fun to re-work something to give it new life.
  4. Buy more bloggers books and review them. I realised that I love finding new reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, and figured my blogger friends love it too. So I've been doing this - slowly, but hopefully more when I get into the swing of it.
  5. Figure out what to do with my novel. I've submitted a particular novel to many agents, and no one likes it. I love it. Some beta readers said very nice things about it. I'm not going to give up on it, but I haven't figured out my next move yet.

Do you have a to-do list? How's it looking?
Are you getting prepared for autumn?



Monday, 12 September 2016

Cover reveal: Timeless by Crystal Collier

Who-hoo! I'm so happy to be taking part in the delightful Crystal's cover reveal today. Isn't it gorgeous?


TIMELESS (#3 Maiden of Time) by Crystal Collier #CoverReveal



Book Title: TIMELESS (Maiden of Time #3)
Author: Crystal Collier
Genre: YA Paranormal Historical
Release Date: November 1, 2016



TIME IS THE ENEMY

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her Blog, FacebookGoodreads, or follow her on Twitter.

Want the first chapter free? Sign up HERE.


ra

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Baby Moo's Great Escape

Something a little bit different today, meet this little cuite, Baby Moo...


Book blurb:

Baby Moo has a dream. He wants to travel the world and sing on the stage of the Sydney Opera House! While he loves his home at Sunrise Sanctuary, it hasn’t been the same since a piglet named Nathan showed up and stole all the attention away from Moo. Jealous of the new baby, Moo decides now is the time to make his escape and pursue his dream.
But the world outside the sanctuary gates is not quite the fun and exciting place Moo imagined, and he quickly finds himself in big trouble. Moo's friends Missy the dog and Ruthie the cat rush to help him, and land in some trouble of their own.
Lost and frightened, Moo and his friends must rely on each other to find their way back home. Will they ever see Sunrise again?

Release date: September 8, 2016 from Native Ink Press
Check out Julie's blog for the list of places to buy and add on Goodreads

Julie Flanders will donate $1 to Sunrise Sanctuary, home to Baby Moo and numerous other rescued animals, for each copy sold in September.

Share the news by Tweeting:
Baby Moo's Great Escape by @JulesFlanders is here! $1 will be donated to @sunrise_ohio for each copy sold in Sept.  http://tinyurl.com/gpuomwm

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Just a quick note...

... to say that my internet connection is very poor at the moment. I've just had 48 hours without it, and it's randomly come back on. This means I can't visit blogs very successfully - on the few and far between moments I have it, I need to internet bank and send emails with attachments, and all the other things I've come to take for granted.

I've turned comments off, because I probably won't be able to do much with them at the moment. Hopefully it'll be resolved soon - I've tried wishing on eyelashes and crossing my fingers... the next step is to contact a computer guy!

Friday, 26 August 2016

Writers are yellow cars

Every so often, I have a wobble - you've probably been witness to it once or twice: I wonder why I'm even a writer. Because everyone seems to be a writer. Is there really any room for me? I talk to people online, and discover they're writing a book. Or I'll meet someone new in real life, and - guess what? - they're a writer too.

In fact, there seems to be far more writers than readers these days.

#2 son is a budding actor. Today he was telling me about his friends, and they all seem to be part of one acting group or another. As a child, he's drawn to the people who have the same interests, of course - and perhaps acting groups are more prolific for kids these days than when I was at school. None of my friends were actors, and I didn't want to be one - I can't recall any of my non-friends who were actors either.

My husband's first car was a yellow Metro, and I knew how easy it would be to find that car in a multi-storey car park... it would sparkle like a star from a bed of really dull-coloured cars. Until every car seemed to be yellow. Ugh! They weren't all yellow the day before, when we didn't have a yellow car. They were many colours.

Many years later we had an import car - this time, when we met other drivers of the same car on the road, we'd give them a wave. We seemed to be waving an awful lot!

So, perhaps there aren't a limitless numbers of writers oozing out of gaps in the walls or cracks in the pavement. Perhaps, by being a writer, I just notice them more.


This post is brought to you from a really boring bus journey this morning




Saturday, 20 August 2016

No story goes to waste

Having fun on Seaton Beach, Cornwall with Artoo
After working hard on You. I. Us. and turning a novella into a novel for most of this year, I'm now looking back at some of my older stories and wondering if I can create something amazing out of them.

I do this on a fairly regular basis, with various levels of success. One of the stories from You. I. Us. - Redemption - was based on a story I wrote around 1997. The actual story bore no resemblance by the end of the re-write, but it kick-started me, and allowed me to tell the story I'd wanted to initially. Sometimes I find my own improvements as a writer enable past stories to be revitalised in a way that I could never imagine.

I'm currently attempting this process with two stories at the same time. One is basically a piece of description that I'm hoping to squeeze a plot out of, and the other is the first part of my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel.

But I'm going through the whole spectrum of writing within one page. I'll write a sentence I think is perfect, then another which is rubbish, then I'll decide the whole idea is a waste of time, then I'll sweep right back to writing something brilliant again.

This makes it really hard to know if I'm actually writing anything that's any good. In fact, the original title of this post was "How do you know if you're writing a good story?" but that sounded like I was going to give advice and actually explain, rather than appeal for help myself.

(If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you'll know giving advice isn't my forte!)

As far as I can tell, from my own experience, you know when you get that gut-feeling. I've had it many times, and I'm usually right. Which should mean that when I don't have that feeling I should give up, right?

But I won't. Because I'm stubborn.

How do you decide which projects are worth the effort?
Have you ever shelved a story and gone back to it?

___________________________________________________________


In other news, You. I. Us. has been getting some really great reviews recently. Thank you to everyone who's taken the time to leave a review on Goodreads or Amazon.

Whenever I get a good review, I treat myself to some chocolate - and you should know how much I like chocolate by now, so I really appreciate it on a whole new level.





Friday, 5 August 2016

Me and the Doctor

I've been quiet this week, because I've been away. First we stopped off at a very normal and grown-up National Trust property, then we went to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff. If you're ever in Cardiff, it's well worth a visit. We spent almost three hours there.

I thought I'd share some photos, because I know some of you are just as big a fan as I am! (Some of these are blurred, and I'm in a few of them... sorry, on both counts.)

Clara's display and TARDIS tribute
Davros
The TARDIS from the 70s and 80s -
with the all-important hat stand



The Silence

Me with Eleven, kinda

The TARDIS of Nine and Ten

Some random baddies and the Face of Bo
I really thought I was acting
nonchalant here. Turns out I was
just smiling a lot!

River Song's outfits


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Man Booker time again

It's Man Booker longlist time again, and it looks like a good one.

I was a little uninspired by last year's list, but this year I already had some of the books on my TBR list, so I spent time today adding a couple more.

I hadn't realised it was being announced today until one of my friends on Facebook - the owner of Salt - shared the news that another of his authors had been included, Wyl Menmuir for his book The Many. I wrote about Salt's story in 2012 when Alison Moore made it to the shortlist. You can read my post here - it's an inspiring story in itself.

I love the Man Booker Prize, because I'll be winning it when I'm 56 (it's been a long standing conviction since I was 17, I might have mentioned it once or twice).

Every year, when the prize rolls around, it makes me super focused on my writing. I've been a bit aimless (again... *sigh*) since I finished my WIP at the end of last month, so today I started re-reading a novel I've been submitting to agents, and decided to refresh it. None of the agents have been interested, so it's probably a good time to have another go at it. Beta readers have given it thumbs up, so it might be just a case of jiggling with it and trying again.

It can't hurt, right?

At the moment, I have chopped up/taped back together scenes strewn all over my floor, and I'm fending Artoo off with my foot. So, it's probably time to get back to work.

What have you been up to?
What gets you motivated to write? Do you even need motivating as much as I do?



Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Visiting Crystal

I'm over on Crystal Collier's blog today, taking part in her Writerly Wednesday feature. Decide which of my facts is a lie for a chance to win a signed copy of You. I. Us.

In other news, it's hot. The UK is sweltering under a heatwave - although it might already be over by the time you read this. At least I work in an air conditioned gym!


Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Laptop woes and holidays

Good morning! It's good to be back. You might not have noticed my absence, but I have been very aware of the lacking of blogging, networking and laptop in my life over the past week.

Such a long week...

Laptop woes

I had grand plans when I finished my blog tour of visiting all the people who'd commented on my blog and replying... But my laptop went away to be serviced. I waved it goodbye last Monday evening and waited. Then I vacuumed, and cleaned the bathroom, and washed the windows, and  gave the box of You. I. Us's a proper home.

Holidays

Then I went away for the weekend.... Yay! I went on a trip with my dad and sister to Bletchley Park, the Duxford Air Show and Milestones Museum in Basingstoke. I promised myself I'd take lots of photos, and then didn't. So, to illustrate my weekend away here I am, looking very scared, in front of the bar used in The Imitation Game, in a display at Bletchley... Ready?

Even though my New Year's Resolution was to take a selfie a day for the year, I'm obviously still very bad at taking them.

But this is one of the better photos I took, apart from this one, from the air show... Taking photos of planes is really hard. You should have seen the calamity of me trying to catch the F-22 fighter jet!




More laptop woes

We came home on Sunday evening, and I was still without my laptop. On Monday, I wandered the house, watched telly, read a book, wrote some notes for a new flash fiction, and went down into town to buy a mop.

Reader, there was no mop! I bought a duster instead.

My laptop didn't come home until late yesterday - Tuesday - evening. It was a harsh eight days (and I was away for four of them!)

But, I'm back!

And because I've done very little marketing in the past eight days, I'll just leave this here...

Find the book in all these places:

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository // Kobo // iBooks // Nook

And add to your TBR list: Goodreads







Friday, 1 July 2016

Blog Tour: Day 15, finishing with Christine

It's been three weeks, ladies and gents, fifteen blog posts and countless comments, (plus three hot chocolate dates with friends and family - including one today!- and a completed round of edits for my WIP) and I've finally reached the end of my tour. Thank you all so much for sticking with me. I've enjoyed every second.

Huge thanks go out to the fifteen bloggers who made the tour a success with their fascinating and thought-provoking questions.

I'm heading to Christine Rain's blog today to discuss the most important element of a short story.

I'll leave you with one final picture of Artoo, and my leg - this is the view I had for most of the England v Wales game (the game we won during our Euro campaign) when he couldn't understand why I was watching telly instead of taking him for a walk.


Thursday, 30 June 2016

Blog Tour: Day 14, shipwrecked with Stacey Bryan

It's been a busy day for me today - not only has Stacey Bryan shipwrecked me on a deserted island with a villain, I've been signing books at my local library.

In fact, as you read this, I'm still there, probably packing up. There will be photos to follow, probably next week when I've had a chance to breathe.

I couldn't find a picture of the library or a deserted island -funnily enough, I've never taken a photo of either! Here's a picture of St Michael's Mount just off the Cornish coast. Quite an easy place to escape from, due to being able to walk there and back during low tide.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Blog Tour: Day 13, being arty with Nicola

It's raining today. I had plans to go to the gym and be really busy, but I've woken up with really sore wrists and a headache. So I think I might take a relaxed day and read a book that I want to review for one of my author buddies.

While I hide from our weather, my blog tour is heading to Germany to visit Nicola Burgraff's Blog to talk about art.

This is a sunny photo to combat the rain. I'm not sure why I took this photo - it's just the end of my road - but apparently all photos can be useful eventually.

Here's another shout out for My Facebook Page and You. I. Us. Goodreads Page.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Blog Tour: Day 12, marketing with Sandra

Good effort, Iceland...


And moving on, today I'm with Sandra Cox, talking marketing, or lack thereof. This is a topic that always makes me shudder, because I never know the best way to do it... Like revising for exams - I used to spend more time on the revision timetable than the actual revising!

Today's photo is of me, dazed and confused, after the Costa Award ceremony. Coincidentally, dazed and confused is how I approach marketing...


Monday, 27 June 2016

Blog Tour: Day 11, sharing wine with Suzanne

Hi guys, are you still with me? It's the final week of my tour!

I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was spent mostly reading lots of newspapers trying to get to the truth about what's going to happen to my country next. As far as I can tell, not much for the moment. But that hasn't stopped a lot of people calling a lot of other people some nasty names, and all the political parties seem to be in turmoil. I think we've broken the political system...

In need of a cut?
(Yes, there's a reason why I'm not a political blogger!)

Today I'm telling Suzanne Furness all about my dream place to write, and simultaneously having my hair cut.

Tonight, England play Iceland in the first of their knockout rounds. On past experience, they only really need one!

Friday, 24 June 2016

Blog Tour: Day 10, with queen Elizabeth Seckman

Yesterday, Britain voted in the EU referendum.

(I'm actually writing this last night, just as the polls are closing, so I have no idea of the result - all I know is we've been left with a deeply divided country which will take a long time to heal.)

Anyway, that's as political as I'm ever going to get on this blog. There's no football talk today, either, because no one played last night - it was weird not to have a match to watch mid-afternoon.

Elizabeth Seckman's blog is today's stop, talking about my favourite monarch... any guesses?

No, it's not this guy, although a long time ago - when I worked in a library and had a desk in an office, Alastair Mackenzie was definitely one of my pin-ups!


I've given up (um, did I start?) replying to the comments on this blog for the time being. Keeping up with the tour posts, drinking hot chocolate with all my friends and relations, working, and editing my WIP (two chapters to go!) has been challenging. My plan is to go back over all the comments at the end, and go visiting.

Have you liked My Facebook Page and You. I. Us. Goodreads Page yet?


Thursday, 23 June 2016

Blog Tour: Day 9, being literary with Mac

Euro 2016 update (coz I know you're all really interested now... I'm making you love European football, aren't I... aren't I??): England weren't playing yesterday because they played on Monday night, but the results of two games were important because one of those teams will be our opponents next Monday. For a long time it looked like Iceland, then it switched to Portugal (argh! no!), then in the very last seconds it switched back to Iceland when they won their game. Who-hoo!

Ahem... a now for some book stuff. Today, I'm on R Mac Wheeler's blog discussing the importance of a variety of literary elements.

I love Mac's blog because he posts some fantastic pictures of wildlife, his dogs and all nice things. As a picture-a-day has become an established part of this blog tour, I felt the pressure. So, here's a photo I took the other day.

It was on purpose, even though it looks like an accident. I was struck by the number of different tiles on the floor, and because my current WIP is set in the area, I thought I'd take the photo to remind me.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Blog Tour: Day 8, talking films with Libby

Ah, the half-way stage of the tour, but no slacking from me! Apart from the fact that I'm out for hot chocolate again, this time with my sister (yes, the shadow from Monday's post). And yes, there may be a little more shopping.

Today, I'm on Libby Heily's blog, talking about turning stories into films. As you'll know from Joanne Faries question the other day, my eldest is a budding film-maker, so perhaps I can ask persuade him to help me out...

I searched through my photo albums to find a good picture for this post, and stumbled across this one. This is the very notebook where all of the stories in You. I. Us. were conceived. In that beer garden, while listening to Hubby's lazy afternoon gig, I wrote two of the stories, one of which is In The Beer Garden...

The cider was nice too!

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Blog Tour: Day 7, chatting with M.J. Fifield

(The link is live now, sorry if you tried and failed earlier.)

I'm very happy , because England scrapped into the last 16 of Euro 2016. I wasn't so happy last night, when they played a very average 0-0 game. But, at least they've got a week to get better! Can they? I don't know...

I'm having a few computer/internet issues at the moment, which is making commenting on my guest posts quite difficult. Randomly, my computer will just freeze, the internet will vanish, my cursor will disappear or my words will take several seconds to register on the screen - all of which is making this blogging lark mighty difficult. Please bear with me.

Anyway, today, I'm chatting with M.J. Fifield about my writing process. I hope you'll pop over and witness my oddity for yourself!

Here are some dog-walking photos - when I'm struggling with my WIP, the dog always gets extra walks.




Monday, 20 June 2016

Blog Tour: Day 6, crying on Yolanda's shoulder

'Tis the start of the second week of my tour. Has anyone read You. I. Us. yet?

I've had a couple of people from my home town tell me that one of the stories especially is making them quite emotional - both of them were men! Is it just me who likes to provoke that kind of reaction in my readers?

Coincidentally, I'm talking about stories that have made me cry over on Yolanda Renee's Defending the Pen blog today.

To counterbalance all this crying, here's a photo that makes me very happy - my sister and me on a weekend away a couple of years ago. I'm on the right!

Friday, 17 June 2016

Blog Tour: Day 5, magicking with Chrys Fey

We've reached the end of the first week of the tour, and already I feel like I'm slipping behind slightly. I've got Saturday and Sunday off, to catch up with commenting, though - I'm happy I was clever enough not to schedule every single day for three weeks!

Thanks for reading this week, and I hope you'll join me again next week for Part 2 of my tour.

Today, I'm with Chrys Fey, answering a Harry Potter question.

The photo is from a couple of months ago, outside my back door. I thought it had a particularly magical feel to it.

I'm just going to leave these links here again today, Goodreads and my Facebook page, because I love it when I get a new liker!


Thursday, 16 June 2016

Blog Tour: Day 4, splashing with Joanne

Today I get to be a proud mum, because Joanne Faries is asking me about my kids.

I'm going to be a but slow replying today, however, because I'm meeting a friend for a hot chocolate - which always turns into at least two, and then some shopping as well.

When I get home, England will playing in Euro2016, against Wales, which will probably end up being a very nervy and nail-biting game.

And here's a picture of hot chocolate, and Artoo, who seems to enjoy hanging out with my blogging buddies now!


Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Blog Tour: Day 3, causing havoc at Julie's place

I'm having a great time on my tour so far, I hope you are too. Today, I'm on Julie Flanders's blog with my pup Artoo. I'm going to try to convince you that this little bundle of cuteness is actually a terror!

Have you added You. I. Us. to your Goodreads list yet?

Have you liked my Facebook page?

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Blog tour: Day 2, Murees's turn

Thanks to everyone who visited Misha's blog yesterday, and got my tour off to a great start. Today I'm over with Murees Dupe answering possibly the most flattering question on the tour.

Here's a photo from a book signing at the weekend, in which I was completely unsure what to do with my legs, and my arms... In retrospect, the chair might have been a mistake.


Monday, 13 June 2016

Blog tour: Day 1, off to see Misha

My book and I are on tour.

Over the next three weeks, I will be visiting fifteen blogs and answering the single question that the blogger asked me.

Today, I am on Misha Gerrick's blog, answering a question on listening to music while I write.

See you there!



Note: I normally post between 6 and 8am BST, but during the tour, I'll be posting the links around 12pm BST, because some of my US tour hosts won't have the post up if I direct you there too early. Please be aware that, for some, even 12pm might be a little too early.

Friday, 10 June 2016

You. I. Us. is finally here!

Happy birthday You. I. Us., you gorgeous thing!

It feels like I've been anticipating this day for a long time - in fact, I signed the contract in April 2015!

Writing these stories was a lot of fun, and completely different from the way I usually write. Because of the short length of each one, I curled up for a week - wrapped in a thick cardigan, because it was winter - and just wrote whatever came into my head. Several stories remain unchanged from those initial sessions, others merged together, a couple were thrown away for being rubbish. A few more - for example, Ode to River and Growing Apart - are autobiographical, which was an interesting experiment.

I want to say a huge thank you to Jessica Bell and Dawn Ius from Vine Leaves Press for all their hard work on this book, for the cover art (still so beautiful!) and for rapping my knuckles every time they saw a semi-colon. I have not completely overcome my semi-colon addiction, but I do consider their usage a little more.

Thank you too, to Kyra Lennon, for reading the first draft of the stories and throwing out the weakest links.

Next week, my blog tour starts. I'll be answering a question a day, provided by some awesome bloggers. I hope you can join me!




Publication date: June 10, 2016 Genre: Short Stories (Single Author)

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository // Kobo // iBooks // Nook

In You. I. Us., Annalisa Crawford captures everyday people during  poignant defining moments in their lives: An artist puts his heart into his latest sketch, an elderly couple endures scrutiny by a fellow diner, an ex-student attempts to make amends with a girl she bullied at school, a teenager holds vigil at his friend’s hospital bedside, long distance lovers promise complete devotion, a broken-hearted widow stares into the sea from the edge of a cliff where her husband died, a grieving son contacts the only person he can rely on in a moment of crisis, a group of middle-aged friends inspire each other to live remarkable lives.

Day after day, we make the same choices. But after reading You. I. Us., you’ll ask yourself, “What if we didn’t?”