Life Changing

Update

Well this is ridiculous, I was going to say happy {insert correct month here} to you guys, but I just got seriously confused about which month it is! This may say something about how tired I am! I’d like to say I’m Astonished but I’m not surprised.

As the title suggests there have been some life changing events as I’ve welcomed a baby into the world. It’s been a little busy, but the tiny beast is currently asleep so I’ve snuck away to take care of some typing!

I’m still working on the final three chapters of the Poisoned Well, and I’m so proud that this project is continuing, even if it is slowly! Line by line, paragraph by paragraph it will be finished!

Free Short Story

In the meantime a brand new release is available for download!

HopeCover

Hope is a second short-story from Arenith. It also takes place during the events of Burning Embers and has some characters you might recognize…

Burning Embers

I’ve also reached my second target of sales with Burning Embers! 50 copies sold! I know it’s a rather modest target, but I’m so excited to have so many people read my book. They seem to be enjoying it to! There are some new reviews popping up!

**** This story was gripping throughout, and you want to see Feia through her whole journey. Probably my favourite character was Vesta, Feia’s friend who winds up travelling with her. I couldn’t help but be swept up by her. There is a depth there that made me so vested in knowing more about her.

What I loved about this book was that it brought in so many strong women, but they were all strong in very different ways, and not all of them in a way that helped others. Feia herself developed far more strength as a result of being around these women, though she still found her own way of expressing and using it. – Pysgrad April 2018

*** I enjoyed Burning Embers. It certainly starts out with a bang… I wanted more. More of everything. But I think that will make me enjoy reading book 2 to satiate that craving. – March 2018

**** This was a really good book!! It was hard to put down! There is magic and a little romance and friendship all mixed in! – Dec 2018

Friends of Fibi

Finally, in my connection without writers and artists I’ve come across this author whose box-set is releasing this week!

The Isolde Saga

The Complete Story has just been released on amazon! A fresh box-set release this week it’s receiving excellent reviews and is a real gem of a find.

The Dead Walk. Magic Has Returned. The Netherworld Awaits.

Death plagues Isolde’s village and everyone thinks that the demon, Orlog, has returned from the northern wastes. Isolde knows it is true because she hears the demon’s voice whispering for her. But as the pox spreads, no one has time to listen to Isolde or her warnings.

The wanderer, Skaldi, hears Isolde though. He believes that she is telling the truth, because he knows that her future is tied up with the fate of the north lands. For Isolde is a netherwalker – one who can pass the veil of death unscathed, one who is a dancer between worlds! But Orlog knows the truth too and Isolde realizes that the demon never wanted her village… but only her soul!

While the land is torn apart by war, demons and the undead rise to rip apart the world. Isolde is forced onto an epic quest to end the evil that threatens her world. But it is not just her soul on the line, but the fate of all humanity.

The Isolde Saga is an epic fantasy series. If you like fast-paced adventure, heroic deeds against impossible odds, and magic darker than the abyss, then you will love this fantasy adventure.

Finally

I’ve updated my instagram and can now be found #bookstagram(ing) like a pro at greypixi.

I also just wanted to say a huge thank you for all of your support so far! Have a lovely May and happy reading.

Fibi xx

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Take it from the top

I’m going to try and catch you up with my year behind the scenes. Something that has gone in the space of a Blink. However realising how enormous this subject is, I’m going to split it into a few sections and post over a few days.

This is my long promised post of the decisions I’ve made with self-publishing and how it’s all going so far…

The journey so far –

Last January I made the decision that Burning Embers was finally ready. It was a polished as a shiny squeaky thing and in the best shape that I could make it. With my dream of following a traditional publishing route I started to send BE out to agents.

I think it went well. I had a spreadsheet to monitor who I had e-mailed my book baby too, their contact details and what they required in their submission package. I even had a column with an approximate date of response. Generally I had positive feedback from agents and publishing houses that would accept direct submissions. I even accidentally sent it to a few self-publishing companies and received some encouraging results.

In the end however, the answer was no. I was told that Burning Embers was well-written, engaging, had excellent descriptions…but just wasn’t quite right for anyone’s list or didn’t suit their personal tastes. It was discouraging, but important to remember that this is a subjective business. I know that the opening of Burning Embers is tailored more towards literary fiction than a straight YA Fantasy-Romp. I also know that the book really hits its stride after the first six chapters (maybe I shouldn’t be so honest!) However, I also had faith that in the hands of readers who love fantasy, strong-female protagonists and want to be pulled into another world –it could really work.

One of the self-publishing companies did have this to say after requesting opening chapters:

‘Blimey exciting start, its made me think of Game of Thrones, Divergent and a female Uhtred of Bebbanberg all at once, which is a good thing – great imagery and sense of place. I think this would be very popular right now, with the right cover and mega saturation on social media, you will get noticed. I’m sure of that. Keep me posted as to how you get on with other publishers, I would love to work with you on this’ – In the end, this enthusiasm translated into an offer of publication with them for a much discounted fee.

In monetary terms they were willing to remove £500 from their usual price.  I really liked this company and probably would have published with them, however it was at the start of the year and I was determined to exhaust more ‘traditional’ enquiries first.

I also received an evaluation of Burning Embers:

‘The book is very well written and the story is original, exciting and engaging.  

The author creates a rich fantasy world with its own history and mythology. Feia is a sympathetic character and I enjoyed following her story.

I think fans of the fantasy genre will really enjoy this. It combines all the best traits of the fantasy genre but with an original twist. 

 An exciting story set in a rich fantasy world that will really appeal to readers. I can imagine this making an excellent series and, once hooked, I think readers will keep coming back for more.’ 

So what to do next?

I carried on writing.

I started with pieces of flash-fiction for competitions, and I even won a few. As a result of flash-fiction I was published in two additional books last year.

Amongst all the sting of rejection, I started the Poisoned Well a simpler, more linear YA Fantasy which was always going to be shorter than the 120,000 word beast that was Burning Embers.

The plan was to finish Poisoned Well and publish it on Wattpad.

Now Wattpad is amazing. It allows you to post you story in serial. You’re encouraged to post on a regular slot at least once a week and to interact with the community. This in turns generates ‘reads’ for your story and you gain followers. Followers who get excited about your work and are eager for the next instalment. Theoretically this can translate into sales of a book. One ‘success’ story of Wattpad recommends you have  the full text published on Amazon and provide that link to Wattpad, so your impatient readers can skip along and buy your book instead of waiting 30-odd weeks for the next part.

However, as I was sending BE out to agents at the time, I was aware I shouldn’t be publishing it anywhere online! This is where Poisoned Well was dreamt up – something that was specifically geared towards a Wattpad posting schedule. Another hint is to keep chapters at approximately 2000 words each, just enough to keep the story moving, but short enough to keep the reader engaged and hungry for more.

Then summer came around – and life changed. I’ve mentioned it in the occasional post, but over the summer I realised I was expecting a baby. Now among all the preparation for new life and feeling like I had the flu for a few months, I realised that I wanted my book baby project to be done. Signed off, sealed, delivered – fin. Burning Embers had been such a huge part of my life and in order to move on completely I would need to let it go. But it deserved more than staying in my desk drawer and on the computer. Because I’d been feeling so poorly, I’d also stopped writing Poisoned Well – a mere two chapters from the end! SO CLOSE!

So I decided to self-publish. All of the queries that were going to have a response had received one, and I’d exhausted the pool of agents I could harass. I had twittered, blogged, researched and finally it was decision time.

So what to do first?

Well, initially panic. I’d spent years reading articles about self-publishing, marketing, social media…and I immediately lost all confidence that I knew what I was doing and had to go back and re-read everything again!

Self-publishing – there are some big decisions to make. – this is where the next part of the story will continue…

Let me know what you think so far!

Happy Reading Fibi

xxx

Short Story, Poetry and Novel Competitions Open for Fantasy Writers…

I can’t help but feel a bit chuffed with this post, as it is, all about me! Hooray! In all serious though, please find a beautifully compiled list of competitions and prizes, for fantasy and generally fiction writers to entre, from Featherhead. She has done such a brilliant job in setting up and sorting out the very jumbled list that I sent to her yesterday. A brilliant post!

As Featherhead explains, we met during the final year of a degree. I always aprpeciated having a fellow fantasy-brain reviewing and critiquing my work! She is sucha  brilliant and talented writer and I’m really excited to see where her writing journey takes her!

Thank you again, soo soooo much!

Fibi xx