Monthly Archives: June 2014

Congratulations to Temple West :)

If SwoonReads weren’t going to pick Damage I wanted them to pick Velvet by Temple West, and that’s exactly what they did.  I’m SO happy for her.  It’s not just really well written and refreshingly different, but Temple has such a great profile too.  Her blog posts are funny and we’ve had a few laughs on Twitter too.  I really wish her all the best and if she’s ever in the UK we’re definitely getting her to do an author event for us.  I bet she’d do it really well and I’d love to go for a drink with her afterwards!

Meanwhile back in Damageland several thought have been going through my head.  Should I try something different?  Write something for younger children maybe?  I’ve got about five other projects that I’ve started, but for some reason I haven’t got really stuck into any of them and I had to sort out why.  The answer seems to be that I’m just not done with Aiden and Cerys yet.  There’s too much story potential there and now I’ve created that world I can’t just let it go.  I just haven’t quite nailed my technique enough yet.

Interestingly when I started the final edit a couple of weeks ago I could suddenly see what wasn’t right with it, in a way that I couldn’t before, so that’s encouraging.  I’m not quite at the top of the learning curve yet.

So I was on the bus last week going somewhere (can’t remember where) and had another one of those literary lightbulb moments.  When Aiden and Cerys meet in Damage they’ve had a whole load of bad stuff happen to them in the past.  Aiden’s tragic relationship with Louise is another whole story in itself.  So that’s what I’m going to look at next.  I suspect Damage was too ‘New Adult’ for SwoonReads.  But by going back and writing about Aiden and Louise when they were 16/17 it puts it firmly in the Young Adult category.

The working title so far is either Don’t Look Down.  Here’s the opening. It’s Aiden’s suicidal moment, that he tells Cerys about at the end of Damage:


If I move just another step I’ll be right at the edge. If I move two steps I’ll fall. One step or two?

I take one.

My trainer scuffs the loose stones and they bounce over the rim. I see them go but I don’t hear them hit the bottom. One step or two?

I compromise. I take a half-step with my other foot. My toes are together, like a diver on the high board. But I’m not thinking about divers. I’m thinking about Louise. I’m wondering what will hurt me more. Another step forward or a step back.


This was a seriously stupid idea and I’m swearing as wipe the sweat out of eyes and fight with the extension cable. I’m tempted to blame Bam for not checking we actually had an electricity supply near the stage. I’m tempted to blame Bam for the whole thing to be honest. I can’t believe he set us up for this gig, and I can’t believe I agreed to it either. I realise I’m actually angry with myself but I don’t want to admit it. We’re not ready….

Luckily we’ve got a week’s holiday in Portugal coming up and I think I might be busy.  I need to finish the third edit of Damage and get it up on Amazon.  Then I need to plot out the prequel and if I have any time left I need to finish the first draft of Distance, though I’m happy to stick that away for a bit.





DAMAGE: The Little Book That Possibly Still Could….

So, we’re all waiting for a big announcement from  Swoon Reads to find out which manuscripts got picked for publication.  I don’t think it was DAMAGE sadly, as I’m sure they’d have been in touch by now if it was.  After all, you wouldn’t announce a new book unless you’d got the author to sign a contract beforehand, I’m guessing.  So, as we’re less than a week away from the big reveal it’s looking extremely unlikely.


So, how do I feel about that, and wherecupcakes does DAMAGE go now?  I started off really loving the Swoon Reads community.  Lots of supportive writers happy to critique each other’s work and leave constructive feedback.  Loads of books to read, most of which made me feel that DAMAGE deserved its place in the top ten and several others that made me feel I still have a lot to learn!  It was great to log-on every day after work and see how my book had gone up in the ratings.  It was fun to read the daily blog too, although it rarely had much to do with publishing. It was more about cupcakes and kittens for some reason.

welcomeBut after six months I’m feeling a little bit jaded with it.  Most of the books on there are obviously American.  It’s an American-based website after all. But, whilst it’s good to get that perspective I found that was the problem after a while.  It wasn’t very multicultural.  Nothing wrong with each individual manuscript, but collectively they make up onekind of world view and I find myself craving other ones now just for comparison.  I want to read something set in India or Australia or Norway.  One thing’s for sure; I think It will be a long, long time before I read another ‘high school’ drama!  Now I fully understand why Paranormal and Dystopian are such popular genres. If you build your own world at least it will be unique and interesting!

So if I was on the  Swoon Reads team which books would I pick and why?

1) Velvet by Temple West because I love her characters.  They made me laugh out loud and cry a little bit too.  I love the fact the main character thought the vampire guy was gay because he was so attractive, and the ending was awesome too.  I also think Temple would do fantastic author events!!

2) Solstice by Jane Redd because she built a great Dystopian world that seemed fairly unique and totally believable and her writing style and plot progression were pretty much flawless.

3) Damage, because if the new big genre is supposed to be tragic realism (aka Fault in our Stars) then Damage is all about that.  It’s about life and death and it’s about my friend Lester who drowned when he was 24, even though someone in the lifeboat had hold of his hand.  He still went under.  And I went under too for a while.  It’s about people who choose to be survivors no matter what, and about people who can’t cope with what life throws at them.

4) Miles to Go by Marisa Kanter because she writes really well and her book totally fits the cute US YA romance brief.  I quite like the USA road trip plot and started following it on Google Maps!

So, what next for DAMAGE.  Well it was never destined to sit in a drawer and since it’s been up on Swoon Reads it can’t go back in the drawer in case someone out there decided to copy it.  So it’s going up on Amazon next month after one final edit and we’ll take it from there. and then maybe I’ll write some fan fiction about the Musketeers!