A new year, a new novel

imageI wrote my first blog post here on 16 September 2014. I’d been working up to it for some time. In 2013, I began researching for Farewell to Kindness and several other novels, and in April 2014 I finally committed the first scene to the keyboard. By the time I set up the website and wrote the first post, I’d written 60,000 words. I was pretty sure I could finish the novel, but I was full of doubts about the path I’d set myself:

I feel like the new girl in school.

After all these years growing confident in my profession, I now have a new one. Will I be any good? Will people like what I do?

Since that post, I’ve finished and edited Farewell to Kindness, sent it out to beta readers, and started collating the feedback. I’ve heard back from 12 of the 19 readers, and they have some great ideas for making the draft stronger. I can’t resist sharing some of the compliments.

“…now I can’t wait for the next 2 books! The way you write is refreshing! A lot of books I read are just too obvious. I can figure out the good and bad guys right away and that gets rather tedious. This book, however, kept me guessing, kept me wondering and wanting to find out how it all turns out. ”

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading more.  I am not a huge fan of the romance genre and have struggled (and eventually given up) on other historical romances so I was a bit apprehensive about reading this but there was enough action, intrigue and mystery to keep me interested and the intimate scenes were well placed, made sense to the story and weren’t too abundant (I’m sure some authors are trying to meet a sex quota!).”

“I loved this book.  I thought it was well-written and -plotted.  In fact I would give it the ultimate accolade – I would pay real money for it.”

I’ve also written, edited, and published a novella, Candle’s Christmas Chair (free through most resellers). On New Year’s Day 2015, at 9am of a New Zealand summer’s morning, more than 6,000 copies of Candle have been downloaded, a number of people have subscribed to my enewsletter, and one has even put all three of the 2015 novels on their ‘to-read’ list at Goodreads.

(By the way, if you want to keep up with my release information, please subscribe to the newsletter. I won’t send it often; just when I have news about a forthcoming publication.)

So here’s the plan for 2015.

April: Farewell to Kindness – I’ll start the final edit tomorrow.

September: Encouraging Prudence – I’ve finished the plotting and character sketches, and this morning I’ve written the first 650 words.

December: A Raging Madness – still developing the plot and writing the character sketches. And researching Cheshire and the canal system that brought goods all the way from Liverpool to London.

With beta readers by mid-November for release in 2016: Lord Danwood’s Dilemma – just making the occasional note as I come across relevant facts or visual inspiration.

I’ll continue doing a daily blog post.

And I’ve joined a small group of other indie authors; we’re planning a combined release for next Christmas. More news about this as our plans solidify.

Other ideas are still fluid, but one thing is for certain. 2015 is the year I finally earn the right to call myself a novelist. Yay!

And beyond 2015? Here’s a chart of my planned novels, colour coded by series. I’m working through them more or less in date order.

Happy New Year, all. What are your plans for 2015?

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