The long silence…

It’s been a long time since anything was posted on the blog and we thought it was time to explain our absence and give a little advance notice of some of the things that are coming your way. Neither of us has been slacking and hopefully this post will explain why we haven’t been so active online!

Ivory has been hard at work on the third book in the Darkness Falls series. She’s also sketched out a significant portion of the fourth book, so we have every hope that both will be released by the end of this year. I’ve made time in my schedule to edit them over the summer so it’s all planned out. She’s also been working on a Session, set in the Darkness Falls world, that’s a series tie in with another author. More details of that will hopefully be coming soon. I know she’s been working closely with the other author on her book, so hopefully it will be good for both of them.

I’ve been working on a number of things.

As many of you will know, I was rather ill in September, right through Christmas and beyond. In February I was finally sent for a chest X-ray and diagnosed with linear atelectasis, which is a partial collapse of the lungs, across both sides of my chest. It was frightening and painful and a real wake-up call. I’d been coughing for almost six months. My initial response was to stop everything. I needed to take some ‘me’ time to heal and reinflate my lungs and start making healthier changes. I took up exercise classes and changed my diet significantly. In April the coughing stopped and I was feeling a lot happier. Unfortunately this last week I’ve had a cold and the pain has returned, reminding me how easily they can collapse. A visit to the doctor confirmed that it’s probably residual from the last time. It hasn’t completely cleared. I need to focus on getting well.

Part of that is my emotional wellness. Walking away from the things that make me happiest, ie spending less time writing, is not the answer. I began to spend more time writing. In January I completed A Kiss from the Grave. It has remained unpublished as yet because I’m still waiting for a response from an agent, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped working with it. It’s now been formatted for kindle release, I’m looking into getting a cover for it and we’ve also been buying props to film a properly scary book trailer!

Since that project completed the writing phase, I took part in Camp NaNoWriMo in April. Knowing I needed to cut down and take it easier this year, I set a goal of 25k instead of the standard 50k and achieved it, sketching out the beginnings of three different books. One of those I have continued on with and expect to have finished in the next two weeks – it’s called Bloodlines and it’s a YA re-imagining of A Handmaid’s Tale, set in a post-apocalyptic world. It’s been a lot of fun to write and it’s in a completely different style to anything you’ve seen from me before, so I’m looking forward to releasing it in the next month or so. My beta reader is telling me that she’s really enjoying it, so fingers crossed that’s a good omen!

I’ve also started storyboarding on Pinterest. If you haven’t seen them yet, I’d encourage you to go and look. It’s a great way for you to see what I’m envisioning as I’m writing books, as well as hearing what I’m listening to while I write and also some of the artworks that I reference.

Recently I’ve come to the conclusion that writing in my free time isn’t enough. I need to get my priorities straight and work towards doing it full time. My dreams have always been tied in with writing, with the ultimate goal being to write full time, or at least be involved with books full time. If I’m at home then I can be more in control of my health and resting when I need to rest. For the last several months I’ve been considering the idea of starting up my own digital publishing imprint. Over the last year or more, I’ve been editing work for other authors and freely giving of my advice and experience to any who take the time to ask. It’s clear that 2 years of publishing have set my up with skills that a lot of people starting out don’t have.

So this month I’ve taken the bit between my teeth. I attended a meeting at my local business gateway and have purchased the domain name for the publishing company website. I hope to have it up and running in two months time. It will work as a traditional company – I’ll accept submissions and any that I see potential in, I’ll edit, put a cover on and then distribute through digital channels such as Createspace and Smashwords in return for a percentage of royalties. I won’t be paying advances, although depending on the success of the imprint, that may change in the future. Never say never!

As part of this process, Ivory and I have been looking at re-releasing our back catalogues under the umbrella of the new publishing imprint. For those of you that already have them, there won’t be any changes to the text. We may change the covers on some of them and will be releasing omnibus editions of our series. What it will mean is a “book blast”. We’ll be asking blogs to review and promote the books so if this is something that you or blogs you know of might be interested in, please keep an eye out for the sign up sheets. We’re expecting the blast to take place in September/October when I have some leave from my day job and any initial hiccups with the website have been sorted out.

So that’s what’s going on behind the scenes with us. We haven’t abandoned you and neither have we been slacking! I think we’re both hoping that you’ll be as excited by these changes as we are. Sometimes you just have to take a little time out to give a lot of time back 🙂

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