Months In Ink

The past three months have passed by in a blur of professional tasks and activities, centred on my everyday roles as editor and publishing consultant, whilst also devising and filming courses in my new role as a lecturer for one of the world’s largest learning organisations. Beyond this busyness in my schedule, however, I also have been directing my efforts towards the latest in my literary works.

This in-progress musing—which is all it qualifies as, so far!—will be released for pre-order at the height of Summer 2016, with publication to follow late-Autumn, and is, without question, one of my most exciting works so far in that it is an entirely new genre, and therefore carries an altogether different tone when compared with my past publications. I find myself treading an unfamiliar path that is both exhilarating and frightening, yet I find myself strangely at home with something so far away from the fantastical work of Alice. Perhaps I love to mix my two worlds; to dip my toes in and out of reality and fantasy, and then back to reality once again; to take differently coloured droplets of oil and add them to a globe of water, and rock them back and forth like a hypnotising self-made lava lamp.

The details of my next publication are bursting to be shared, but the secrecy must remain—at least for now. I do, however, very much look forward to releasing details of its title, the cover and blurb, and receiving feedback from my reading audience. This is always one of the most exciting processes!

For now, however, it is back to the profiling of characters and the tying up of loose ends and the unweaving of woven tapestries. Soon, I am sure, all will become clear…

P.S. Wishing those of my readers who celebrate a very Happy Easter! Who doesn’t love to see a bunny hatching from an egg?!

Published: ‘Alice: Queen of Hearts’ (Lost in Wonderland #1)

November 22, 2015 marked the official release of my most anticipated project, ‘Alice: Queen of Hearts’. The first in the Lost in Wonderland series, this book has been a little seedling sprouting and growing in my imagination for the longest time—and now it’s a real, finalised, hardback book. The realisation is surreal and humbling, and even leaves me feeling a little lost myself…

Yesterday, on Publication Day, the status of the book on Amazon UK went from Available to Temporarily Out of Stock, which was a moment filled with both happiness and despair: whilst I’m delighted to know the book is causing an excited stir amongst Alice fans, I also look forward to when Amazon has replenished its stock! (The book can still be purchased from Amazon.com, with thousands of distributors and retailers picking up the book in the next coming days/weeks).

Now that the writing process is complete, I must admit I feel at a loss. I have spent so much time venturing and exploring Wonderland with Alice that, now the tick-tocking of the white rabbit’s watch has ceased to sound, I feel like I am wandering alone, with neither direction nor destination. And although I will enjoy focusing on other areas for a little while—marketing, book signings, brainstorming, outlining Lost in Wonderland #2, and also enjoying a much-needed break away in Cyprus (lost in the works of other authors: it has been such a long time since I’ve sat down and indulged in reading a book!)—I will miss Alice and the times spent dancing across pink stepping stones. It has been a beautiful and memorable journey, filled with magic, surprising twists and turns, and countless dark nights spent writing by candlelight. This part of the story has now come to an end, but Alice’s story is far from over.

The wisp of more magic still spirals in the air…

 

‘Alice: Queen of Hearts’ Now Available for Preorder

Alice Cover Final

Past articles published on my website have spoken of the passion I have for ‘Alice: Queen of Hearts’—passion that never has dwindled in the years since I first imagined taking my favourite fairytale and completing a dark, fantastical reworking. This project has been unlike any other endeavour in my professional life. But now, the hard work, years of worry and countless hours writing deep into the candle-lit night (literally speaking!) have reached their conclusion…

Alice: Queen of Hearts is now available for pre-order, with November 22, 2015 marking its official publication!

No words can ever describe how it feels to reach such an incredible stage in this journey; it is overwhelming, with emotions ranging across all points in the positive–negative spectrum. I am, of course, over the moon to see what was once just a seedling of an idea burst to life and become a physical, tangible product, soon to line bookshelves in my favourite stores. But conversely, I will miss Alice—at least until it is time for me to tackle the sequel!

From Sunday, Alice will be free to wander across the globe and venture into the hands of her fans everywhere. I am sure she will be made to spend her hours held long into the night… Maybe some will choose to enjoy her on a train, on a plane, in a car or maybe even just on a soft sofa, cuddled into a corner as the fire blazes. Regardless of where she is taken, however, I have only one hope: that she keeps you turning her pages.

I know nerves will follow me like dark shadows every step of the way as I find myself far from the safety of my own writing retreat and out there in the vast world, where my words will be put under the microscope, examined and  analysed. But nonetheless, I will look forward to people’s comments and reviews.

I’ll see you in Wonderland…

[The first in the Lost in Wonderland series, ‘Alice: Queen of Hearts‘, can be ordered here.]

‘Alice: Queen of Hearts’: Cover Revealed

One of the most exciting and exhilarating milestones to reach in the writing and publication of a book is the moment the book cover, in its final detail and glory, is revealed. That moment of seeing your work spring to life—something that has, up until that point, been intangible—is indescribable. It inspires a wave of emotions and the recognition that, in some small way, you are fast on your way to leaving your mark on the world.

As discussed in the revealing of Alice: Queen of Hearts, this work has been the most important and passionate undertaking of my life. For years it has been at the very core and heart of my life’s aspirations, and so the cover coming together and laying yet another stepping stone towards the conclusion of this journey is both overwhelming and humbling. It is around Alice that my writing life currently pivots, and so I am taking time to bask in the moment.

Sharing the cover with my reading audience is another exciting but also nerve-racking part of the process, and so I present, admittedly with slight anxiety but mainly overwhelming passion and adoration, the book cover for the first in what will be a two-part series:

Dark and enticing fantasy… All I have wanted Alice: Queen of Hearts to be. I am so beyond thrilled.

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.