Wednesday, 3 February 2016

A Life After Bullying. Silencing the Dominant Voice.

How can our adult self finally begin to reconcile ourselves with past bullying experiences?

We need to open ourselves up to the idea that we are loveable.

Too often we anticipate rejection and humiliation because of a few experiences of dominant voices, which our hurt has transformed into disproportionately significant events - that's not to say that we have over-reacted, or that the experience was not acutely painful or unjust, or damaging, but those dominant experiences have flooded out much of the space that should be filled with the many positive experiences we have lived.

A dominant, negative influence form the time of your emerging self (adolescence) can scar emotional tissue leading to a 'damaged' adult self. The negative opinions and experiences absorbed in adolescence, travel like a forward echo through our present and future. Disguising itself as our own internal voice; that voice of doubt and self-hatred.

Throughout my adolescence, I was bullied - not physically, but emotionally, in the way that so many 'different' or 'unique' voices are. What made this worse is that the bullying came not just from the playground but closer to home. There are still comments and 'jokes' that I can recall with clarity; they damaged the very core of my self-esteem. The result of this was that I spent a lifetime in both my professional and personal life trying to be perfect, trying to prove I was a good person, an intelligent person, a kind person - a person beyond reproach, who would not invite criticism.

It was a form of internal O.C.D and it created in me a crushing fear of criticism - not because I was proud or arrogant or vain, but because I had learned from an early age that criticism comes hand in hand with rejection and total soul-destroying humiliation (especially when it came from those, who by social construct, we are meant to trust and love.)

In order to reconcile ourself with such abuses, it's as easy and impossible as silencing that dominant voice (the voice of the bullies, the abusers) That voice nestled deep down amongst our fears and told us we were unloveable, we were rejected, and strange, and odd, that we were ugly, and stupid,- and most of all we were viewed by the world as something, 'wrong'.

These were lies.

And the reason we failed to recognise them as lies were because they were the same lies our inner voice claimed as truths. Dominant, negative voices reflecting our own sense of failure.

That emerging time, when we are all so vulnerable, when we are beginning to understand we are a self, a being, a person; it open to abuse and damage from those who are older, or in a position of authority, either by position or by tribe hierarchy. Those dominant voices filled your head full of their own fears - they projected their own toxic ideas onto you, because it was a way for them to release them in a way they believed made them look strong in front of others;
It was an entirely selfish act of transference on their part. It actually had nothing essentially to do with you. You just happened to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong person - a metaphorical punch bag, which they used to exorcise their own fears and perceived failures.
When we realise this quintessential truth, we can reconcile ourselves with the understanding that we were not responsible, it was not our fault, we were not deserving - we were purely a vessel to be filled with their own darkness, then we can begin to empty out their poison and reclaim that vessel for ourselves. We can be free from their hatred and fear and we can finally quiet their voice, freeing us to step out build something positive from our own talents and skills.

Internal Reatreat. The retreat for when you can't escape.

I'm undertaking a time of retreat; this doesn't mean that I've flown a thousand miles to sit on a mountain, or headed off into the depths of the countryside, leaving my family behind. I have gone on retreat right in the present here and now - inside my internal space. I am in the same house with the same demands, but I have made the conscious application to give myself February.

I still do the business e-mails, my work to-do list, the school runs, the packed lunches, the laundry, the shopping, the food provision .... the million other small things that it takes to keep our family running - but they are not the focus of now. The focus of now is me. All these other things are just a series of movements to pass through. (Aside from quality one to one conversations and cuddles with the family)

These are my primary goals.
  1. To eat better.
  2. To drink better.
  3. To claim back my head.
  4. To claim back my body.
  5. To embrace my authentic creativity.
  6. To feel confident when I walk into public spaces - which involves dropping a few pounds.

When my kids go to swim class 2x a week, I head downstairs to the gym for a quick 20 minute blast. I've converted the dining room into a yoga and meditation space when the family aren't around. (The cat is intrigued) I've practically cut out all caffeine, alcohol and minimised sugar (not that I ever really had a sweet tooth.) I've minimised my social networking. I run (in a fashion) to pick the kids up from school rather than dawdle along. The high I got from the gym those first couple of short times, means I've even gone down on a morning for longer sessions. I discovered my body can actually sweat, and it quite likes it.

It means there isn't much novel writing getting done - but that's okay; it's okay, because I know that this investment in my well-being means that the writing will be easier, better, clearer when I start again. However, an upside of this focus is that the poetry has returned.

After just two weeks. I already feel so much fitter; I can feel muscles tightening, my body evolving. The effects have been almost instant. My energy levels are higher. I'm walking with a spring in my step, making burning those calories so much easier.

You can find yourself making a thousand different quite excuses, space, time, stress, external forces, other people, society -- but in the end, it really is as simple as making the choice to do it, which is a revelation after fifteen years of not acknowledging this choice. It's about making small adjustments, and radical promises.  Most of all, it's saying that you are worth the investment, which is sometimes the hardest idea to readjust.


A poem for the bleak days.


When you are too tired for tears
Too empty for laughter
Too hurt for the receiving of love
Too full of thoughts for peace,


Stop and greet yourself
like an old friend
long since seen.
Smile in recognition
of a person rediscovered
of a future promise
of happiness and adventure
of a hundred million
things you love about
that soul but had
And in that moment
of reconnection,


Forgive the past,
which stole you from yourself.

Katie M John (Jan 2016)

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Goodreads Book Giveaway

When Sorrows Come by Katie M. John

When Sorrows Come

by Katie M. John

Giveaway ends February 26, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Thursday, 14 January 2016

A Week of Sorrows: The Impact of Creatives on the Lives of Strangers.

"When sorrows come, they come not single spies but in battalions"

Today is the day I have been waiting for for 6mths - the release day of 'When Sorrows Come'. I have been so excited about sharing it, and busily organising lots of fun Facebook activities for the launch party -- but I don't feel much like celebrating now.
Now, I just kind of want to sit in a darkened room listening to Bowie, reading Potter, and drinking a lot of red wine. I feel quite bereft; which is not a reasonable response for someone who has no claim over either of these men other than someone who has been moved, inspired, influenced by their artistic endeavours. I have been the distant receiver of their craft, not knowing how deep an emotional connection had been made.
Suddenly, I feel a massive responsibility for the emotions I'm about to catalyse in the readers of 'When Sorrows Come' - the grief art creates is real, and it's almost an act of creative harm to do that to another, whether that's a reader or viewer.
It also feels somehow wrong to be celebrating the release of a book on such a sad day; but, I guess if Bowie taught us anything it was that art and creativity and expression trump all adversity.
It goes to show the impact that a Creative's life can have on a total stranger that I have wept twice this week for men I have never met, but yet feel I have known somehow because of what they have created and shared with us all. 

R.I.P Alan Rickman - "Always" Snape in my heart; one of the most beautifully wrought anti-heroes of all time. 
R.I.P David Bowie - Inspiration to be fearless. heart emoticon heart emoticon heart emoticon heart emoticon

Wednesday, 13 January 2016


This year is going to be an #EPIC year for signings. I am so excited to finally be attending signings in the UK and meeting up with UK readers.

For me, signing events are the absolute cherry on the whole cake. I love meeting readers, hanging out and talking books and connecting with folks who all share a passion for books. Something magical happens when book folk get together - all the usual social rules are thrown out. Instant connections and friendships are forged.

A shared love of book immediately eradicates all of those usual complexities of human interaction. So if you would like to meet up, get some books signed, meet some incredibly inspiring, lovely people, and party until the small hours (because the term 'book signing' is in truth a synonym for party until the small hours with fabulous new friends) then check out these brilliant events.

MARCH 2016

5th March 2016 Leeds Marriott Hotel: HOURGLASS EVENTS 
60 amazing authors, a beautiful city centre venue and a chance to dine & party with authors & friends in the evening!

Leeds Marriott Hotel. 4 Trevelyan Square, Boar Lane, Leeds, England LS1 6ET.
Doors open at 10am and close at 5pm . There is an evening Masquerade Ball and Dinner in aid of the charity MIND.
Please note:
We encourage you to bring books etc with you on the day, some authors will be selling on the day.
Cash sales only

Get Tickets via Eventbrite 

Join the Facebook page 

19th March 2016 AINTREE RACE COURSE: DEDICATED TO BOOKS With Over 90 authors coming together across all genres for one amazing day. The signing will take place March 19th 2016 at 11am until 4pm in the Golden Miller suite at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool. We will then return for an after party event also in the Golden Miller Suite at 8pm until late.
20% off ALL tickets just use JANSALE16 when you check out  via Eventbrite 
JUNE 2016 23rd-26th June 2016 Millenium Hotel. Nashville. Tennesse. USA: UTOPiA
Join us June 22-26, 2016 in gorgeous Nashville, Tennessee to celebrate 5 years of connecting writers of Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult and Adult paranormal and contemporary fiction to the resources and fans who love them.
With over 150 authors and bloggers, the event also includes panels, workshop, social events, an awards ceremony, after party, film premiers, and other truly awesome things.
Visit the website here
Secret Signing Event: Paris with SOCIAL DEVIANTS.
By the very nature of a secret signing, there isn't much information I can offer you at this point. In this exciting Parisian adventure, myself and 9 other authors (who have to remain a secret too at this point; but what I can tell you is they are all bestsellers and international names) are gathering in Paris on the weekend of 16th-18th of September. As part of our time in Paris, we will be doing a signing event at an awesome Parisian location. Keep posted for details and Contact me if this is something you are interested in.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Why is it so dark? Because nobody gives you a manual when your parents break.

This week sees the release of 'When Sorrows Come', which is categorised as a Contemporary Romance but wears it like an ill-fitting coat.

The reaction from Beta Readers has been incredible, almost every single one has told me how it moved them not just to tears but turned them into an emotional wreck - as much as I am distressed about this in some ways, there was a sweetness to the idea that it was job well done.

You seen, When Sorrows Come deals with some pretty major issues in it's small 52k wordcount; the death of parents, the remarriage, emerging sexuality, sexual abuse, recreational drug abuse, self-destructive behaviours, parental mental illness, obsession, academic pressures, murder, suicide. It's heavy going but there is a tremendous amount of hope and light too.

As a result of this somewhat gruelling journey I have taken readers on, there is the recurring theme of a question - why is it so dark? My answer is, it's not dark, it's real.

In this post I'm sharing with you some of the personal background that informed, influenced and inspired this story - they are sadly not unique experiences, but they are extraordinary, and I already anticipate some readers will find it hard to understand the events portrayed are not wildly unrealistic.

When Sorrows Come narrates the intense, passionate, twisted and unhealthy relationship of Ophelia and Malachi, but their relationship is the product of their own inner demons and desire to defeat them, rather than any kind of indulgence.
These are just some of the reasons that 'When Sorrows Come' has been one of the most emotionally draining things I have written; why every single god-damned read through has reduced me to a tearful wreck; but I know there is truth in it - and it's a truth that needs to be shared because nobody gives you a manual when one (or both) of your folks break.

Both characters in the novel are dealing with massive emotional issues. Malachi has lost his father, an eminent intellectual; a giant of  a man who Malachi feels the pressure to live up to. His mother's emerging sexuality and her hasty marriage to her late husband's brother, leaves Malachi in a maelstrom of emotions; anger, grief, resentment, disgust, humiliation, fear of failure. Added to this melting pot of fears and confusions, he begins to believe that his uncle is abusing Malachi's fourteen year old sister, who he feels he must save.

Ophelia's mother is bi-polar, her father a working-class shift worker who works hard not just because they need the money but because it offers him a valid escape from the situation of home. Ophelia's mother's bi-polar manifests in extreme highs and lows, which result in regular suicide attempts and committals to the psychiatric unit at the hospital. Ophelia is an only child, who has increasingly travelled inwards in order to survive.

Some readers will read Ophelia's character and story and believe it is too far fetched, too dark, too extreme in its representation of bi-polar, but it isn't - it really isn't, and the reason I know this is that I lived much of what is represented in the novel.

My father, a wonderful father in so many ways through my early childhood was diagnosed with serious bi-polar disorder when I was just 13 years old after a series of psychotic episodes. The ins and outs of that story, of how and why are not mine to tell, but what I feel I can tell is the experience of being a teenager living in a home where the mental illness of one parent threatens to consume the whole notion of what life is.

At seventeen years old, as an only child, I was making regular trips to an outdated and underfunded 'provincial' psychiatric unit in the local hospital. I had witnessed several 'sectioning' processes, several suicide attempts and other elements of psychotic periods. I was attending Consultant Reviews, panels and boards, fighting - literally- for the appropriate care of my father. My bedtime reading was The UK Mental Health Act so that I could go into reviews and panels armed and informed, citing and challenging the 'professionals', who were somewhat bemused and rather resistant to a 17 year old feisty, articulate girl challenging their years of medical practice. Although I was fighting for the rights of my father, more importantly (because it wasn't recognised that carers had rights at this time) I was fighting for the rights of my mother.

(Side Note in reference to some points in the novel) In the mid-nineties, the psychiatric  hospital ward my father was admitted to did still have a safe room (A padded cell) and did still use a 'modern' equivalent of a straight jacket (which looked very much like the traditional type). These details are not fanciful imagination.

At seventeen, I was also undertaking the study of 5 A-Levels, applying for Cambridge University, (which didn't happen due to a 1 grade slip; the result of a particularly harrowing month which had involved several high drama moments of police, GPs and the psych ward; there was no one to fight my corner on that one) working evenings and weekends at a local supermarket, and I was also a very committed member of a Youth Theatre; I had also started a relationship with a boy from college, who went onto be (and still is, 15 years later) my wonderful hubby.

Looking back, I can't fathom how all these multi-faceted sides of my seventeen year old self existed in the same place, time and space of my life - but they did. Despite the literal horrors I witnessed during that time, I still partied (a lot), had a fun and wide social circle, studied, played in theatre productions, started a positive romantic relationship, worked - and experienced many of the scenes which occur in 'When Sorrows Come'.

There were moments of extraordinary darkness. There were times I wished I ceased to exist - but there were other times that I felt the full force of life in all its adolescent glory. That's why the representation of Opehlia and her mother's relationship will confuse some readers; it will challenge everything they think they know about such a situation - they may find it callus in places, dismissive in others, disconnected and unreal, but it isn't that - it's that when you're in it, living it, along with all the other facets of your life, sometimes it just isn't a priority - and that's a survival mechanism.

These are just some of the reasons why, 'When Sorrows Come' has been one of the most emotionally draining things I have written; why every single god-damned read through has reduced me to a tearful wreck; but I know there is truth in it - and it's a truth that needs to be shared because nobody gives you a manual when one (or both) of your folks break.

'When Sorrows Come' is out THIS THURSDAY on all eBook platforms, Amazon Worldwide, Smashwords, Kobo, NOOK, iBOOKS, Scribd. Just type in When Sorrows Come. Katie M John and it will flag up.

It is also available in paperback from Createspace, Amazon worldwide and direct from me from February 21st.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

When Sorrows Come. Come and Party With Author Superstars!

Thursday January 14th is release day of 'When Sorrows Come'. As part of the celebration launch we are having a FB party, spanning two evenings / afternoons, and by 'WE' I mean this amazing line-up of fabulously talented authors. Seriously, I feel surrounded by superstars.

If you haven't been to a FB party before, then you're in for a serious treat. It's a special timeline where guests (and you) can post, effectively creating a virtual cocktail party. Guest authors post fabulous content such as giveaways, exclusive extracts, tell you about their books, play fan-games and generally hang out ready to engage with other folk who love books and stories.

Click on this link to activate your invite, and press going.
2.30 EST is 7.30pm GMT (1.30pm CST 11.30am PT)...
2:30-3:00pm est - Author Katie M John
3:00-3:30pm est - Tricia Copeland, Author
3:30-4:00pm est - J.N. Sheats - Author & Illustrator
4:00-4:30pm est - Author Katie M John
4:30-5:00pm est - Susan Burdorf
5:00-5:30pm est - Christina Benjamin
5:30-6:00pm est - Mary J. Williams
6:00-6:30pm est - Elle Henry
6:30-7:00pm est - Author Katie M John

2.30- 3.00pm est - Author Katie M John
3.00- 3.30pm est - Carlyle Labuschagne
3.30- 4.00pm est - Mercedes Prunty Author
4.30 -5.00pm est - JoAnna S. Morris
5.00 - 5.30pm est -C. M. McCoy
5.30- 6.00pm est - Author Hazel Robinson
6.00 - 6.30pm est - KD Wood
6.30-7 .00pm est - Author Katie M John

Looking forward to seeing as many of you there as possible. It promises to be a really lovely event.

Fierce Wings. Secret Group.

January saw the establishment of 'Fierce Wings', the secret fan group of Katie M John. If you want all the inside info, behind the scenes access, heads-up about secret signings; exclusive giveaways, limited edition swag, exclusive extracts, and to generally be loved by this author (me) then this is the group for you. Membership will be capped at 250 folk as to keep the group a true community.


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Poetry products of NaNoWriMo2015

I set out to write a novel, but amongst the prose, poetry formed. Here is one of the poems that the MC Rafe writes for Juliet. It's called Heart Storm and it is a poem about love that should not be, but is. I hope you enjoy it; it's a good few years since I wrote any serious poetry.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Beautiful Freaks Season 1 Introduction & Giveaway


#UpperYA #Gothic #Dreadpunk #VictorianLondon #FairyTales #Feminist
#ParanormalRomance #Detective #Murder

Beautiful Freaks: A Serialised Story in 12 parts.

SEASON ONE. Episodes 1-12

A dark and twisted saga that winds its way through the Victorian streets of London like a luxurious and lethal ribbon.

When a series of terrifying and seemingly paranormal murders occur at a rapid rate, panic and fear grip the city.

Still haunted by the ghost of the Whitechapel Ripper case, Inspector Steptree is forced to admit the murderer he now pursues maybe even more wicked and brutal. As the case closes down on the mysterious No.7 club, owned by the enigmatic Evangeline Valentine, Steptree discovers that evil is far from a fantasy.

It is against this backdrop that Kaspian Blackthorne turns eighteen and begins his apprenticeship under the scientific maverick, Doctor Greyson, a pioneer in brain surgery, and human transplantation. Whilst Kaspian is introduced to the horrors and wonders of man’s scientific progress, he also begins an epic adventure of self-discovery and infatuation. Guided into the decadent and luxuriant world of the London West End night scene by his new friend Hugh Denvers, Kaspian tastes the sweet temptation of a life less ordinary, but such a privilege comes at a terrible price.

A cast of timeless characters and dark, grown-up fairy tales interweave to create a rich and haunting tale of fear and desire.

Based on the original novel, ‘Beautiful Freaks’ written and published in 2013 by Katie M John, this series is a development of that world. This is the first season of a planned three seasons. You can find out more about this season and forthcoming seasons on the official site. 

You can pre-order Episodes 1 and 2 which are both out on December 3rd 2015 from Amazon worldwide platforms

For your chance to win a very special Beautiful Freaks Hamper, to include a beautiful Freaks Mug, pen, signed paperback of the original novel, 'Beautiful Freaks' on which the series is based, then follow the Rafflecopter giveaway prompts below.
The giveaway is open to international, but please be aware for places outside of the UK and Europe then prize will be sent surface mail and may take 6-8 weeks to arrive (especially over Christmas period)

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Thursday, 19 November 2015


On Thursday 3rd of December episodes 1 and 2 of Beautiful Freaks, Season One are released. The rest of the episodes will be available weekly on a Thursday for the duration of the Season.

About Beautiful Freaks

A dark and twisted saga that winds its way through the Victorian streets of London like a luxurious and lethal ribbon.

When a series of terrifying and seemingly paranormal murders occur at a rapid rate, panic and fear grip the city. Still haunted by the ghost of the Whitechapel Ripper case, Inspector Steptree is forced to admit the murderer he now pursues maybe even more wicked and brutal.
As the case closes down on the mysterious No.7 club, owned by the enigmatic Evangeline Valentine, Steptree discovers evil is far from a fantasy.

It is against this backdrop that Kaspian Blackthorne turns eighteen and begins his apprenticeship under the scientific maverick, Doctor Greyson, a pioneer in brain surgery, and human transplantation. Whilst Kaspian is introduced to the horrors and wonders of man’s scientific progress, he also begins an epic adventure of self-discovery and infatuation. Guided into the decadent and luxuriant world of the London West End night scene by his new friend Hugh Denvers, Kaspian tastes the sweet temptation of a life less ordinary, but such a privilege comes at a terrible price.

A cast of timeless characters and dark, grown-up fairy tales interweave to create a rich and haunting tale of fear and desire.

Based on the original novel, ‘Beautiful Freaks’ written and published in 2013 by Katie M John, this series is a development of that world. This is the first season of a planned three seasons.

Episodes 1 and 2 are out on Thursday December 3rd. They are both currently on Pre-order on Amazon Worldwide


ALICIA: The Snow Queen
One of the several 'Beautiful Freaks' that is resident at No.7, Alicia is a beautiful and mysterious young woman with a heartbroken past. Having travelled over continents, seeking to change her fate, she meets the mysterious Evangeline Valentine on a cold winter night.

MARIANA: The Mermaid
After a dramatic high-seas adventure involving a blood thirsty band of pirates, Mariana has to come to terms with the brutal loss of her sister, seeking revenge on all those land-dwellers who dare to ride the story seas.

SERPAHINA: The Fire Angel.
After fleeing the threat of her family home, Seraphina meets a mysterious stranger in the forest. He offers her refreshment in the form of a pomegranate, and she enters a world of divine enlightenment. When she wakes from her slumber, she discovers she has powers beyond her wildest dreams.

Promised by her materialistic mother to a wealthy count, Sylvania's instincts tell her she is in terrible danger. A fear that is confirmed when Sylvania begins to ask questions about the Count's previous wives. On the evening of her engagement, and the night of her coming of age, Sylvania discovers her secret identity just in time.

EVANGELINE VALENTINE: Owner of the No.7 club & The Palace of Beautiful Freaks.
Evangeline (Eve) is the enigmatic owner of the gentleman's club, No. 7. Shrouded in mystery, Evangeline is a respected, and feared member of London Society. In a world where men rule the world, Evangeline owns the men. Evangeline has exacting tastes, and is an obsessive collector of all things beautiful and paranormal - but it soon transpires that the mysterious Evangeline is perhaps the most paranormal of them all.

COUNT ELI ASTAROT: Evangeline Valentine's first love.
Count Astarot, the exotic, charming and entirely captivating gentleman who is the first love of Evangeline's life, introducing her to a world full of beauty, blood and fire. Despite his death, he is still very present in Evangeline's heart.

HUGH DENVERS: Kaspian's Guide into The Underworld.
A dandy and a handsome, charming rogue, Hugh Denvers has travelled the world as a companion to a series of academics and visionaries. His travels to Africa and Asia had made him worldly and given him an insatiable appetite for adventure. After attending Kaspian's eighteenth birthday party, he becomes the unlikely friend and guide to Kaspian's own adult awakening.

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Tuesday, 10 November 2015

5th Year anniversary of The Knight Trilogy Giveaway

This December marks the 5th Year Anniversary of 'The Knight Trilogy' and as part of many other things I am doing all over social media, I am giving away this lovely Birthday hamper to one lucky Rafflecopter winner. The giveaway is international and will be delivered by surface mail.

So if you fancy winning a collection of signed paperbacks, jewellery from the magical forest of Broceliande, and many other gorgeous hand crafted book swag goodies, enter the rafflecopter giveaway below.

The Knight Trilogy tells the story of Mina Singer, an ordinary seventeen-year-old college student whose life is nicely ordered until the arrival of the mysterious Blake Beldevier. With his arrival, Mina is catapulted into a world she thought only existed in fairy tales, but she soon learns that fairy tales aren't for children, and that Morgan Le Fay is the wickedest witch of them all.

In this contemporary Arthurian series, readers are taken on a fantastical adventure from the wilds of rural Cornwall, to the temples of Egypt, to the magical Forest of Broceliande, and to Templar Head Quarters in the savage mountains of Switzerland.

In a true romantic quest, Mina, Blake and her friends have to undertake quests, recover lost objects and under go heart break in order to slay their own personal dragons.

In its 5 years of publication, The Knight Trilogy has been a Number 1 bestselling YA series & Fairy Tale series in both the UK and USA. It has also been a bestselling title. Book 1, 'The Forest of Adventures' won Reviewer's Choice 2011 from The Kindle Book Review, and the series was a finalist in the Silver Ink awards 2013.

Book 1 The Forest of Adventures
Book 2 Immortal Beloved
Book 3 Star Fire

To celebrate, EVERYBODY can get a free eBook edition of 'The Forest of Adventures' on all eBook platforms. (Except for Amazon, but PLEASE let them know, using the button at the end of the Amazon page, that it is cheaper elsewhere and hopefully they will drop it to free there too)


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NaNoWriMo: Update.

I'm dashing here between word-sprints to share with you a little moment from the NaNoWriMo WIP. The current status is day 10 and wordcount is 25,062 so I am officially over the half-way mark. I can't stop long because the piece is demanding to be written.

Here's a little extract to give you an insight into what I am writing and to introduce you, albeit briefly, to the three main characters of, 'I Defy The Stars'
Only Cutz knew that in the dark and silent hours this was how Rafe spent his time. Bleeding words. Building philosophies. That painful tension of seeking perfection and knowing, always, it was going to fall short – no matter how far you pushed the outward boundaries of your thinking, there were always words that fell clumsily, no matter how beautiful they were in themselves. There were always lines that read too empty, or too full.
These words were entire poems in themselves, and yet to some they would not be enough. And this was the same for people. In Rafe’s mind, the most perfect poem about about Juliet would be the simple and most profound act of writing her name in the middle of a blank space.


In those six black scribed marks, in that semi-colon the whole poetry of her past, present and future. The proxemics of the letters to one another, a whole song of her being. Of the name sung to her in her infanthood, to the name breathed out between kisses, to the name that would one day be carved in cold stone, each letter fading with the ravenous appetite of time.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

#ReaderReviewsMatter: Be the Returned Voice

There's a lot of talk about the Reader and Author relationship, but I wonder if sometimes that idea is mistranslated. Sometimes, there is a sense that a novel is like a monologue performed in front of a silent audience.

There is no doubt readers engage and connect, and words have the power to move and to evoke strong emotions, (I'm a reader first and foremost too and I have been moved to shout and cry and laugh) but it is almost always an internal transaction, making the relationship between reader and writer, paradoxically, the most intimate and the most distant.

But when internal absorption and translation suddenly becomes and outward expression; a communication of empathy, and resonance, and feeling, then something truly wonderful happens - a dialogue is born. A two way running stream of understanding and sharing. That is the moment of magic to an author. It's like a voice travelling back from a distant planet - and the sound of that voice is all it takes to keep that writer creating and sharing.

Today, the first reviews came back for 'When Sorrows Come' and they have literally stopped me in my tracks, they've caused me to reflect on where I am an author and how I move forward. I guess you could call it the sudden onset of an existential crisis - but that can only be a good thing, right?

So if you have read something that moved you, made you cry, hit home, made you laugh, gave you hope, made you feel just a little bit less a crazy party of one, then reach out and tell the author, write a review, drop them an email, write them a letter. Be the returned voice, because your voice matters.  #‎ReaderReviewsMatter

If you're interested in reading 'When Sorrows Come' it is out on January 14th 2016 on Amazon Kindle exclusively for a three month period, after which it will be available on all eBook platforms. Paperback copies will also be available on Amazon and direct via the website.

#UpperYA #ContemporaryRomance #Relationships #MentalHealth #Survival #Hope #Love #Loss #SubstanceAbuse #SelfHarm

'When Sorrows Come' deals with some complex issues which are not suitable for younger YA readers.



Saturday, 7 November 2015

Author Demons: Conquering the Fear of Reviews.

This morning I opened the Goodreads page for the first ARC reviews of 'When Sorrows Come' which have just started to come in. It's always an incredibly scary moment, no matter how many books down, no matter how many previous good experiences, no matter how much you know in your soul, your head and your bones that the story is good - it's damned good because it came from a place of truth, of integrity, of experience.

Whenever I go onto Goodreads, I literally have to dare myself to do it, and when I click that dashboard button, it's almost as if my stomach sees those little red stars before my head. It was with the greatest relief and soul-soaring delight that there were no 1 stars or 2 stars ---- note that is how I work. I check off the low stars before the high stars; it's text book isn't it? That self doubt, that fear that you've f-ed it up. That you've made an ass of yourself. That you're just not good enough. (Sorry to you newbies who are hoping those feelings are going to go away, they might not)

And when I had scanned from the bottom up, going past the empty 1 star, the empty 2 bar and the empty 3 star I began to relax. It's okay - it's all going to be okay.

I always have these feelings, but they've been quadrillioned for 'When Sorrows Come' for a couple of reasons. 1) Its' COMPLETELY different genre for me. It's contemporary YA - I guess it would be labelled for ease as Contemporary Romance. 2) It slays many personal demons. It's the story I had to write - and if it hadn't been for the freedom and challenge of NaNoWriMo I wouldn't - the internal editors would have destroyed it.

I was worried readers would find some elements too far fetched, even though there are so many personal first hand experiences woven through the scenes and characters. I was worried readers would find it too heavy; it deals with mental health, death, love, obsession, self-harm, substance abuse --- yep, all in one story, but as one reviewer said, "these things all feed off one another" - and yes, yes they do.

So, I guess the point of this rambling post is

But at the same time, if you are afraid, if you are in doubt, if there is a worry you've failed your reader, then USE those demons to make it the best story your heart can write. Your readers will see the truth, they will see the authenticity, they will share with you and cry with you, and that's what this is all about - those deeply, intimate human connections between reader and writer.

You can pre-order your copy of 'When Sorrows Come'

Say Hello to McCallum J Morgan

Today I am sharing with you the cover reveal of my fellow Little Bird Author, McCallum J. Morgan's new book, 'A Hole In The Sea', Book 2 of 'The Weathercaster Saga'.

McCallum sporting one of his rather dapper
outfits of his own creation
As part of the Little Bird editorial team, I have had the amazing pleasure of working along side McCallum on his books, and I can tell you, I have rarely come across such exquisite word wrangling or such super world building. Working with McCallum's books is never like working at all.

McCallum's books refused to be defined by a single genre, and this is what I love about them. It is mermaid, it is adventure, it is steampunk, it flirts with dreadpunk, it is folklore and fairytale, historical and paranormal, but at the same time it is none of these things exactly -- and this is what I LOVE about McCallum's works and McCallum himself; he refuses to be conventional, he weaves his own magic.

McCallum deserves a huge readership and readers deserve to have books like these in their lives. So if you are looking for all the elements you love about the above genres, but are looking for something fresh, innovative and ultimately, MAGICAL then dig deep into your pockets, pull out a $1 and get hold of Book One before the release of Book Two on January 28th. (Book 2 is now on Pre-order)

So here, without much further ado, is the cover for 'A Hole In The Sea'.


As the chase continues into the extraordinary seascape of a mysterious ocean, where sea monsters reign, deadly mermaids hunt, and pirates skulk, Parsifal learns that staying alive on the high seas is no easy task; especially when being hunted down by the vengeful and determined Lady Vasille. As beautiful, deadly, and driven as ever, Lady Vasille will stop at nothing to retrieve the compass and the power it contains. In this fantastically wrought, nautical fantasy adventure, McCallum J. Morgan transports the reader into a truly magical realm. Available on all eBook platforms and paperback from January 2016. ‘A Hole in The Sea’ is the second book of ‘The Weather Casters Saga’ Book One is available on Amazon worldwide in eBook and paperback

Paperbacks are available from Amazon

PRE-ORDER links are also live.

In order to celebrate the launch period of 'A Hole in The Sea' I have a spare paperback edition of 'A Hole in The Ice' that I'm happy to send to one random UK reader who leaves a comment in the box below. Please help spread the word by sharing this post on Twitter.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015



Title: Unloved
Author: K.D. Wood
Genre: Paranormal, New Adult
Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing


The kid wasn’t supposed to be real.

Back home, after her ordeal in New Zealand with Andrew, Neely McIntire has convinced herself the awful memories she cannot seem to shake are nothing more than bad dreams. But, when the picture of a child that could be her clone lands in her mailbox, everything she has fought to regain starts to crumble.
Even with the extra support from Hayden’s brother, Nathan, Neely is ready to break under the pressure that seems to be coming from all sides. Hayden wants to move their relationship to the next level. The Tribal Guard is stalking her. Worst of all, Andrew’s mother, Margarette, has given Neely an ultimatum: deliver her monster as promised or put everyone Neely loves at risk…starting with Hayden.
Drowning in secrets, Neely must convince Andrew to help her save the people she loves. But when Andrew introduces her to the child, Neely’s resolve wavers. Will she be able to sacrifice a child wearing her face? Or will she make the choice to save someone she never expected to love?
**This is the second of 3 books, it’s recommended that they be read in order to fully enjoy the experience of the story**

Book One of the series is called 'Unwilling'. I had the great privilege of reading it this summer whilst sat on a beautiful sunny French beach. I had grabbed  my copy at UtopYA in Nashville, June, where I met the fabulous K.D.Wood.

I can't tell you how much I LOVED this book. It's always tricky when you become friends with an author before reading their stories - I mean what if you hate them?

Fortunately, K.D Wood's book 'Unwilling' is just as quirky, smart, funny, together and brilliant as its author.
It's currently  On SALE for just 99 ¢
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords

ABOUT the Fabulous K.D.Wood
K.D. Wood lives in north Mississippi with her family and a very spoiled White Waug. She creates love stories and smokin’ southern erotica, but not your mama’s happy ever after. She’s a consumer of chocolate but not spiders and is completely composed of liquid awesome. When not in her office pounding the keys she can be found under a snuggly blanket, cup of Donut Shop close by, with her nose in a book.