The AQH Project Revealed: ‘Alice: Queen of Hearts’

The AQH Project is a writing endeavour that has been close to my heart for several years, but is one that, ultimately, I have been too frightened and overwhelmed to undertake: the pressure of such an eagerly anticipated project and the potential to fail at something so close to my heart has kept my pen far from paper, and despite the years passing and the constant nagging voice in my mind chastising me for letting yet another 365 days pass without progress, thus far, I have remained cemented to the spot, too scared to begin.

This past year, however, has changed all of that.

A heartbreak I suffered in 2014 changed everything; changed my world, my future, my perspective on life and love. And with that experience came the courage to write, to finally make my dreams a reality, and, unexpectedly, to embark on what has turned out to be a cathartic journey.

It is finally time to reveal the AQH project. It is finally time to throw caution to one side and focus on achieving something that has been such a huge goal; the brightest star twinkling in my professional sky.

Alice: Queen of Hearts.

This project is a reworking of my favourite classic fairytale, Alice in Wonderland. With dark twists and a world far removed from the Wonderland we have come to know and love, Alice: Queen of Hearts is a different take on the story; told through a different lens and with a completely different conclusion.

Alice will come to life on November 22, at which time the book will be published and made available for purchase worldwide in hardback format. This date marks a very special time in my life, both professionally and personally, and it is my hope that the publication of this work—which has my heart and soul ingrained in its pages—will give Alice fans across the globe the opportunity to view one of our most-loved characters through darker eyes.

Alice is, and forever has been, so close to my heart. It is my hope that Alice: Queen of Hearts will take my passion and admiration to a greater level, and will provide my readers with an exciting page-turning experience.

Join me in Wonderland on November 22, 2015. Alice and I will be waiting.

If, however, you find you cannot wait until then, you can sign up to WattPad and review both the Prologue and Chapter 1; giving just enough of a glimpse into Alice and her life to tempt you to journey down the rabbit hole…

A Book Without Pictures

The writing of a book is one of the most complex, colourful, brimming-with-twists-and-turns projects a person can undertake, but the many different challenges and obstacles encountered during the writing period—which, in some cases, can span years—are quickly forgotten when the time comes for publication. At this stage begins an exhilarating, indescribable journey towards that pivotal end moment of holding the book, in its physical form, in your hands. The tangible outcome of intangible investment; emotions, time, ideas and imaginative scenarios. Flicking through the finished book, skim-reading page after page of black letters on white pages, is such a humbling moment.

Next time, however, I want more. I want pictures; not only printed words. Pictures. I want to flick through the complete book and see flashes of difference, a break in the text, something else to further separate this book from countless millions of others.

This is one element that sets aside the AQH project from anything else I have tackled and considered so far.

The AQH project is something that has been close to my heart, burning deep in my soul, for years, and is a work I still find daunting to tackle. My desperation to make it something memorable and inspiring, distinct from others of its kind, weighs on my shoulders every time I try to pick up the metaphorical pen. The weight emphasises the fear of not making this book as special as I need it to be. But I know my fears will subside when this part of the journey is complete. Until then, a welcome distraction from my reservations and contemplations is pictures. After all, what is the use of a book without pictures?

I have a friend who I first met 18 years ago, who is so much of an inspiration to me in the way she lives her life and how she approaches all goals in her life. She has recognised my love for all things related to my AQH project, and often surprises me with little gifts and thoughts to brighten my day. She is also a talented illustrator (I prefer doodler!), her imagination pulling little sketchings from a place I could never dream of accessing! And so, with all of this in mind, I have asked for her expertise and input with the AQH project.

The third little snippet for the project arrived in my Inbox last night, and, as with any time I receive an email from her, I opened it up with excitement and anticipation, and was not disappointed when I saw the beginnings of her latest creation. She is incredible, and I feel her parchment inkings will give this huge project an additional little sparkle; something special and magical to give this work that extra definition.

The daunting weight of writing seems to lighten when, as an author, I gain a little bit of insight, a glimmer of perspective, into the finished article; how it will unfold, how it will look, the emotions it will inspire. All of this keeps me motivated and focused on maintaining momentum in fulfilling what is one of my biggest ever goals. I only hope that the outcome will create the reaction I am hoping to garner, and that I can feel I have done justice to the many years and countless imaginings directed towards achieving this dream.

G72

The G72 project was an idea that struck suddenly, like a bolt of lightning across a night sky. I remember reading the news, and suddenly it was there; it was one of my first real light-bulb moments. Immediately, I wrote a one-page abstract (adhering to one of my book-writing principles: quickly detailing ideas before they become lost in my hectic mind!), and, suddenly, G72 was born.

This project is unlike anything I have ever considered writing before; nonetheless, I feel it has the potential to leave a deep imprint; dark and scar-like. Even before writing, I feel a book of this genre—a thriller tackling some close-to-the-bone, genuinely worrying phenomena—will leave a bad taste in the mouths of my readers, and quite possibly could become either a loved or hated read. But isn’t that the whole purpose behind writing and making books: to leave an impression, to create something that induces emotions and thoughts, to spark discussion?

Although work has already begun, unfortunately, publication will have to wait: I plan for this to be made available ready for sale in Autumn 2016. These things can’t be rushed!

The Book Creatives Series

The Book Creatives is a non-fiction series centred on teaching skills and techniques, and providing the tools necessary, to facilitate a career in some aspect of the book scene, such as writing, editing, and publishing, for example.

The first in the series, ‘Writing Course: Teaching the Time-Efficient Principles of Planning and Writing a Book‘, was born several years before its publication; the idea sat dust-covered and waiting for revival for a total of 7 years. Then, in 2015, the folios were polished, perfected and sent to print. April 24, 2105 was Publication Day, with the book made available through a number of the world’s biggest distributors and retailers.

The second of The Book Creatives series, ‘The Beginners’ Handbook of Professional Copy Editing and Proofreading’, is set for publication on August 24, 2015. This book will teach the key principles underpinning effective editing, with the lessons and teachings geared towards providing aspiring freelance editors with the knowledge and skillset to facilitate a self-employed career.

Again, this book will be made available through some of the world’s leaders in book distribution and retail.

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The third book in this series is a work in-progress, with ideas still floating across my writer’s mind. It is hoped 2016 will witness the publication of Book No. 3 in TBC series!

The AQH Project

The AQH Project has been, for the longest time, nothing more than an idea; a wispy cloud of thought with only the most fleeting flutters of sparkle and stardust. But in the years it has taken me finding the courage to begin seriously considering writing this book, the tiny nothingness glimmers of ‘possibly something’ have grown and developed into something more believable, more feasible and more beautiful.

Where this project is concerned, it has taken the longest time to find within myself the strength to put pen to paper, with my doubt and procrastination all stemming from a lack of faith and self-belief (Can I actually do this?). But over the last 10–11 months, after experiencing betrayal and deceit that reached a level I could never have imagined, I somehow found a way to channel my broken self into this long-held objective, and from that soul-splintering pain, the AQH project’s flame was finally ignited.

Progress has been slow-going since first starting, with some element of fear still holding me back. But whenever those chattering doubts creep into the back of my mind, I pull out the passages written so far, and read. I read as if I am impartial, and I am transported to a different land where anything is possible; where time is wound backwards and forwards all at once; where the heartache and sickening memories are gone, never to have happened, and the AQH project is a success.

With a little passion and self-belief, I expect that the AQH project will be revealed in all its whimsical beauty on September 14, 2015, ready for purchase and download on November 22, 2015. Before this point, however, teasing excerpts, cover design and character insights will all grace my site, so don’t journey too far…

The Colours of Me

Sometimes I feel that my life is passing by in a swirling whirl of colourful chaos, with so many projects, responsibilities and activities to squeeze into my routine that, by the end of the day, when the quiet descends and the house is still and the moon shines down, I feel like I have barely taken a breath in the preceding 24 hours.

The busyness of my life is not a bad thing; it makes for interesting, full-to-the-brim days, and I’m blessed to have so much going on that I am happy and smiling for a million different reasons each and every day.

At the moment, my days are spent tackling a number of different projects. Not only do I have my more-than-full-time roles of copy editor and publisher to fulfil, but I am now also home-schooling my eldest, very bright daughter (also an author herself), marketing and promoting the recently published first book in The Book Creatives series, writing the second book in this same series (to be published August 24, 2015), penning various extracts and segments for my two upcoming fictions (the first of which has me very excited—the AQH project, due for publication in November, 2015; whilst the second is very much in its early stages, and will be available in 2016), completing my author website, making changes to my businesses—oh, and not to forget playing full-time single mummy to two little girls! I’m pretty confident this list is non-exhaustive…!

Nevertheless, all of this (relatively organised) chaos allows me to watch in wonder as loose ends get tied up and projects come to fruition. The excitement induced as a result of the publication of The Book Creatives No. 1 has been overwhelming and humbling. I am so very blessed and so so grateful to be fulfilling my dreams.

A number of twists and turns in my life’s path have brought me to this point; to a point I never would have reached had some of my previously held hopes and dreams become reality. As much as I can’t ever be thankful for the pains and damages inflicted upon me in recent times, it remains that I am now in the very best position to be making the most of the life, opportunities and skills made available to me. I am very much focused on making the very best of what I hold in my heart at this present time. Everything happens for a reason, and there is method in every form of madness. I look forward to watching as the dreams I have for my life—which are so different to those I held even 12 months ago—slowly transform into something more tangible.

Until then, there are pages awaiting decoration!