Every Time A Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington

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Every Time A Bell Rings … an angel gets its wings…!

I’m delighted to be supporting the launch of ‘Every Time A Bell Rings’ by Carmel Harrington published by HarperCollinsUK in eBook on 15th October 2015 and paperback on 19th November 2015 (UK ISBN: 978-0008156565)

Inspired by the timeless tale of beloved Christmas movie, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, Carmel Harrington’s next book tells the story of Belle, a young woman and foster carer from Dublin who faces the hardest decision of her life this Christmas, on The Ha’Penny Bridge, Dublin.

Praise for Every Time A Bell Rings!

“Beautiful, uplifting, magical – a rare gem of a book”  – Claudia Carroll, bestselling author & Fair City Actress!

“A compelling, magical, festive cracker of a book that took me on an emotional rollercoaster that will stay with me for a very long time ….” – Alexandra Brown, bestselling author!

The story

Belle has taken all the Christmas decorations down. This year they won’t be celebrating. As foster parents, Belle and Jim have given many children the chance of a happier start in life. They’ve loved them as if they were their own. They shouldn’t have favourites but little Lauren has touched their hearts. And now her mother is well enough to take her back and Belle can’t bear the loss. Hence, Christmas is cancelled. So when Jim crashes his car one icy December night, after an argument about Lauren, Belle can only blame herself. Everything she loves is lost.

And Belle finds herself standing on The Ha’Penny Bridge wishing she had never been born.

But what happens to a Christmas wish when an angel is listening… Will Belle realise, before it’s too late, that her life is the most wonderful life of all?

Full of Irish charm, magic, and the warmth of the festive season this is an emotional, heartwarming story that will stay with you long after you’ve reached ‘The End’.

‘Every Time A Bell Rings’ is perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Cecelia Ahern, Maeve Binchy and Jojo Moyes.

Carmel Harrington says, ‘The story of Belle Bailey and Jim Looney is inspired by one of my all time favourite movies, ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’. It never fails to reduce me to happy, joyful tears by its conclusion. My Christmas wish is that readers love ‘Every Time a Bell Rings’ even a fraction as much as I do the movie that inspired it.’

Charlotte Ledger, Editor Harper Collins says, ‘I have no doubt Carmel’s wonderful storytelling charm will resonate with the readers once again. She’s put her heart and soul into this story and it’s truly wonderful.’

About Carmel Harrington

Carmel Harrington is the bestselling author of ‘The Life You Left’ and ‘Beyond Grace’s Rainbow’, voted Romantic eBook of the Year 2013.

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Carmel lives with her husband Roger and children Amelia and Nate in a small coastal village in Wexford. She credits the idyllic setting as a constant source of inspiration to her. Her first book, ‘Beyond Grace’s Rainbow’ was originally self-published in August 2012. Grace’s story quickly became a bestseller – fast forward 12 months and Carmel joined the prestigious HarperCollins publishing house, represented by Trace Literary Agency.

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Beyond Grace’s Rainbow was voted Romantic eBook of 2013 and Kindle Book of Year 2013. Her second novel ‘The Life You Left’, was published in June 2013, was also an eBook bestseller and earned Carmel the nickname, ‘Queen of Emotional Writing’.

Carmel writes emotional family dramas that share one common theme – strong characters who find themselves in extraordinary situations. She loves to dig deep and see how they cope, as they grapple with life-changing moments.

She is a regular on Irish TV as one of the panelists on TV3’s Midday Show, as well as being interviewed on RTE1’s Today Show, TV3’s IrelandAM and TV3’s The Morning Show. She has also been interviewed on US TV – Indiana’s WNDU. A a regular guest on radio stations and a popular freelance writer. Carmel is also a popular motivational keynote speaker, at events in Ireland, UK and US.

You can follow Carmel on TwitterFacebook and her website.

The Letter by Kathryn Hughes

The letter

I am very grateful to Katie Bradburn, Headline and Bookbridgr for a copy of Kathryn Hughes’ ‘The Letter’ in return for an honest review. It was published on 8th October 2015.

Tina Craig is in an abusive marriage and when she finally finds the courage to walk out, her life is changed by a letter she finds in an old suit handed in to the charity shop where she volunteers.

It’s difficult to say more about the plot of ‘The Letter’ without spoiling the read for others, but I enjoyed the way it traveled between the 1970s and the Second World War with the prologue and epilogue giving a satisfying cohesion to the novel. I don’t always like books with different times but l appreciated the skill with which the different time frames were blended throughout. Kathryn Hughes pays such attention to details that it is easy to place yourself with the characters in their settings and eras.

I also really liked the characters and the realism of their experiences, even though I found the direct speech a little stilted at times. I thought the characters developed well as they are gradually revealed to the reader.

Whilst this is, ultimately, a love story, there are larger themes at work too, with adoption, illegitimacy, abusive marriages and loyalty all explored beautifully. Tina’s self-delusion about Rick’s behaviour is sensitively portrayed so that, although I was as frustrated by her responses as are Linda and Graham, I could fully understand her actions. Similarly, the reactions of Chrissie’s parents and the church are totally evocative and convincing.

If there is a flaw to the book, I think it is that there are too many coincidences and I would have left out the final scene in the charity shop. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Letter’. I thought it was emotional, interesting and a cracking read and I’d highly recommend it all readers.

Guest post Death in Byzantium by Barbara Nadel

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I love travel and Istanbul is one of the most interesting places I’ve been to so I am delighted to be hosting Barbara Nadel as she explains the jealousy, intrigue and mystery of her setting for ‘Land of the Blind’, published by Headline and available in hardback, paperback and ebook.

Death in Byzantium by Barbara Nadel

 Istanbul history is a bit of a chocolate box. By this I mean there’s so much to choose from it’s almost impossible to know where to start. Do you want 19th century Ottoman history? The early Republican history of the 1920s? Or would you opt for Byzantine history?

Much of my inspiration for ‘Land of the Blind’ came from the Byzantine period (approx 330AD – 1453) when Istanbul was ruled firstly by the Graeco-Roman ‘Empire of the East’ and then, after the Emperor Constantine by the ‘Christian Empire in the East’. A rival to Rome and ultimately of the Roman Catholic Church, the Byzantine Empire was an inheritor of traditions from Athens, Rome and later, the Holy Land.

One of the architectural features of early Byzantium that still survives today is the Hippodrome, which was built in 203AD before the city was actually designated a city. It was inaugurated by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus and was the scene of great carnage at the many games that were held within its walls. Even when the empire became a Christian as opposed to a Pagan administration under Constantine the Great (272AD – 337AD), the Hippodrome was still used for the type of ‘games’ most people today would find a tad too bloody.

It is into what remains of the back of the Hippodrome that I have chosen to place a body in ‘Land of the Blind’. It’s that of a female archeologist – few other people can get actually inside the back of the Hippodrome these days – and she harbours a dangerous secret. You’ll have to read the book to find out what that is. The book will also introduce you to a palace you will never have seen.

The Great Palace of the Byzantine Emperors was located between the Hippodrome and the building  called the Aya Sofya in the part of Istanbul known today as the ‘Old City’. Aya Sofya, once a church, then a mosque, now a museum was where the Byzantine Emperors went to pray. So their palace was situated between the divine ‘greatest church in Christendom’ and the very earthly pleasures of the Hippodrome and the games.

The Great Palace was heavy on murder and intrigue. The emperors were very jealous of their power, their wives and mothers even more so. Constantine the Great in league with his mother Helena, had his own son Crispus and his wife Fausta murdered. During riots in 532 the Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora had all the former’s political opponents executed and the Empress Zoe not only had her first husband murdered but also had her sister forcibly confined to a convent. So what remains of the building that saw all this crazy Byzantine action?

Not much and a lot. When Byzantium, then called Constantinople, was conquered by the Turks in 1453 much of the city was destroyed, including the Great Palace. Over the years other structures were built on top of what had been the Palace of the Byzantines including the Ottoman Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque. But every so often something comes to light. For instance I know a carpet shop which has a Byzantine chapel in its cellar and a few years ago a room was unearthed which is thought to have been the Library of the Great Palace. It’s all still there, underneath the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi and other, more modern buildings too. It’s just inaccessible.

As well as the Hippodrome, the Great Palace plays a central part in ‘Land of the Blind’. Cetin Ikmen and his officers have to contend not only with modern property developers moving into the area and a possible lost baby, but also with a great historical mystery about the exact location of one particular room in the Great Palace of the Byzantines.

Which room and why? Read the book and you will find out. If, of course, that particular room even existed. Unfortunately for us the Byzantines, like so many empire builders of the past, didn’t always tell the truth.

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You can follow Barbara on Twitter and find her books here in the UK and here in the US. You can also find out more about her on her web site.

Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe by Rebecca Raisin

Christmas at the Gingerbread cafe

‘Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe’ was originally published by Carina in ebook on 12th November 2013. At the time of this blog post it was free here.

Working in her cafe during the run up to Christmas, Lily is miserable and missing the husband who walked out on her. When a rival opens up across the street, she doesn’t believe life can get much worse. Fortunately for Lily, she has CeeCee who isn’t prepared to see Lily waste another Christmas dreaming of what might have been.

This is a quick festive read and not a genre I usually read. However, ‘Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe’ is well written, engaging and just right for a cosy winter afternoon.

The characters are surprisingly thoroughly developed for such a brief text and it its Rebecca Raisin’s skill in weaving their physical details into the narrative and providing them with natural and realistic dialogue that creates this depth. I felt I knew them immediately and especially warmed to CeeCee as a foil to the sadness Lily feels.

I also really enjoyed the descriptions of food. Rebecca Raisin manages to create the festive spirit through her images of food so that it is easy to picture a traditional Christmas scene.

The plot is relatively simple and the outcome to the story is inevitable. This appeals to lovers of feel-good, light fiction. It is perfect for readers who love this genre, being both what they want and expect. Reading ‘Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe’ will not disappoint. It’s a super story and I enjoyed it so much I shall be reading more of Rebecca Raisin and am now converted to short, quick read and thoroughly entertaining fiction.

The Turning Point by Freya North

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I am incredibly grateful to LoveReading for providing a reader review copy of Freya North’s ‘The Turning Point’ published by Harper Collins in ebook and hardback on June 4th 2015.

When divorced writer Frankie has a chance encounter with Canadian musician Scott, she has little realisation just how her life will change. Moving to Norfolk for a fresh start away from London, Frankie suddenly finds herself conducting a long distance relationship. However, not everything will go according to plan.

I have read and loved all Freya North’s novels and honestly believe ‘The Turning Point’ is her best yet.

Recognisably Freya North’s style, there is something slightly different about ‘The Turning Point’, as if the writing is more organic and beautiful than ever. I found the variety of sentence structure, for example, had the power to manipulate my emotions without my permission so that I was on a roller coaster of an experience in reading this lovely novel. It is utterly engrossing and totally devastating. I enjoyed too the jolt when the perspective changes from third to first person after one of the turning points in the plot. I found it added to the intensity of emotion.

There are several turning points in the story, from characters’ realisations of what different relationships mean to them, to pivotal plot moments that change the whole course of the story and to readers understanding the central message of the novel – that we should embrace and cherish what we have. This is not to say that the writing is saccharine, but instead totally satisfying and poignant.

What I also thoroughly enjoyed was how believable the characters were. I don’t usually like the portrayal of children in fiction, finding that portrayal often wooden and unnatural, but both Sam and Annabel are perfectly drawn so that they are not incidental adjuncts to the central characters of Frankie and Scott, but have a life and realism of their own too. As I read I got slower and slower as I didn’t want to leave behind Frankie and Scott and finishing the novel would mean I had to.

Whilst ‘The Turning Point’ can be simply enjoyed as a gorgeous love story, it also has fundamental themes that weave through the text giving it depth and substance. Jenna’s epilepsy, parent/child relationships at all ages, what makes a home, how we stifle or encourage our creativity, the importance of place and nature in our lives all reverberate throughout to become a totally wonderful whole.

The attention to detail in scene setting means that ‘The Turning Point’ is a vivid picture in the reader’s mind. I could see the cottage in Norfolk of the mountains in Canada so clearly it was as if I was there.

To say I enjoyed reading ‘The Turning Point’ would be an understatement. I adored it.

The Pool Boy’s Beatitude by David Swykert

Pool Boy

One of the things I like best about blogging is that I get to ‘meet’ authors from all over the world whom I haven’t encountered before. I’m delighted to introduce a new-to-me writer, David Swykert.

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David is a former 911 operator, so he is well placed to write about crime. He is also a wolf expert, having raised a couple of them himself, and has used wolves in several of his novels.

DJSWYKERTbooksburpsAWDJSWYKERTbooksburpsMEHHere David tells us a little bit about how he writes and his novel ‘The Pool Boy’s Beatitude’:

I write a book like you’d watch a movie. I develop a character and then invent a conflict for him to resolve. I’m pretty straight forward as a person and a writer. I am a former 911 operator, and in 911 you don’t have the luxury of a lot of pondering, you need to get to the essence of a problem quickly. It was good training for writing a book. I also use a tip a literature teacher long ago gave me: “Never use a ten dollar word when a ten cent one will do.” I’ve tried to do that, keep my writing direct, succinct, and understandable. Too many writers try to impress readers with their massive vocabulary, but few readers, including me, want to read a book with a dictionary sitting next to them. If I have to look up definitions to understand the sentence, it closes my interest in the story and the book.

I don’t use detailed outlines to write a story. I have the character, conflict, and the ending in my head before I begin. I put the character into the conflict, and since I know how it will be resolved, the chapters always move forward to that ending. Like my character, Jack, in The Pool Boy’s Beatitude, I have always been attracted to the great mysteries of life. While Quantum Mechanics continues to search for a Theory of Everything, so have I. And I can write with authority about addiction, rehabilitation and jail. If you add the desire for a real and loving relationship into the equation you come up with the story of The Pool Boy’s Beatitude. Though it is fiction, it’s perhaps the most cathartic piece of writing I have ever produced. Not only does Jack discover anomalies to the large physical world we exist in, but also poignant truths about his own personal little universe.

In his search for the God particle Jack Joseph has lost control of the most important particle of existence, himself. Jack’s intellect may have expanded at the speed of light, but his emotional development is mired in the darkness of addiction. Without change Jack is accelerating towards a personal collision that would render his interest in the cosmic one irrelevant.

Read an extract from The Pool Boy’s Beatitude 

I believe God thinks in numbers. Most of what I know best can be described with an equation, numbers predicting an outcome, relating the position, velocity, acceleration and various forces acting on a body of mass, and state this relationship as a function of time. And isn’t that what we are, what everything is: accelerated particles in space time.

And this velocity of motion is what creates gravity and holds everything together. But what creates the motion? I think about this shit all the time. Until I feel like I only know one thing: nothing.

I sat out on the grass and opened a bottle of Mad Dog 20-20. Drank it to the bottom, sucked it in like a black hole swallowing light. Alcohol goes through the brain in stages, first the cerebral cortex, the thinking brain. A friendlier, more daring person emerges, and becomes ever more creative, imaginative, as the drug continues deeper into the brain. Last to go is the limbic brain. That’s when you go numb.

I got ultimate this night, left the past, present, and flew into my future. It was brilliant, until in the morning, when I stared into the eyes of a cop. I realized I had evolved, I was homeless. Passed out on the lawn I had merged my present into my future and lost the past. I had become what I refused to change. There are no corners in a round expanding infinite universe. But I had turned one.

You can find out more about David and his books here. They are available in paperback and ebook:

The Pool Boy’s Beatitude is available here in the UK and here in the US.

Acolyte Author Chris Tetreault-Blay on NaNoWriMo

I belong to a fabulous online group for authors and bloggers called Book Connectors where I encountered another new-to-me author Chris Tetreault-Blay. As I am intending to take part in NanoWriMo this year I was fascinated to hear about Chris’s own experience.

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NanNoWriMo: Finding Beauty In The Belly of The Beast

I love this time of year.  I have never been one to hold summer as my favourite time of year.  Being a hayfever sufferer, it actually brings more problems than it does good.  But once the leaves start to change colour and fall, the evenings (as well as the early mornings) become darker and cold, I am in my element.  For most for my life, this has been because I am a total Christmas freak and can’t help but get excited at least a couple of months early. October and November are mostly all about the build up to the festive season, for me;  a time to plan the big day (and the traditional Christmas Eve party food spread that has been customary in our house for many years now), deciding on gift ideas well in advance, that sort of thing.

Although I was never a child who partook in trick-or-treat or many Halloween parties or games, being a huge horror fan and now author, I love the thought of doing nothing more on October 31st than settling down, lights low and enjoying a marathon of my favourite scary films.  Although since last year this night has taken on a whole new meaning for me, for it is the eve of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

Ok, so what is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo is a global event that encourages – challenges, if you will – any budding or published author to write a 50,000 word novel in one month.  Unlike most events that we all want to partake in, it is totally free (but welcomes donations from those who wish to contribute) and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home or happy place to take part.  The beauty of it is that YOU make the rules; the only target is to hit your minimum 50k word count by month-end.  How you do it, what you write about, where you write it is completely your call.

Talk about being given a ticket for freedom, to unleash your imagination to run amok for four weeks!

For me, it all started when I liked a Facebook page called ‘The Novelist’s Blueprint’.  At the time, I had the kernels of ideas for short stories that were only just starting to materialise onto my computer screen.  I hadn’t ever thought of writing an entire novel – that it was something I wanted or even was capable of doing.

Until the day I first saw someone mention something called NaNoWriMo…

So what made me want to take part?  If I’m honest, I’m not sure.  Without trying to make myself seem a little disturbed, it was as though I could hear a voice telling me to go for it, which was soon met in unison by my wife.  At the time, I was working on two short stories, neither of which seemed to be going anywhere fast; I had what I considered to be very strong beginnings but in truth had no idea where they were going or what I wanted them to be.

One of the stories was titled ‘The Pit of Harper Falls’, and would be a tale of abduction of supernatural terror, culminating in a demented scientist being revealed as the creator of some horrific abomination to which he fed his victims to.  Light stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree (!)  The other was an alien abduction story, written in a first-person narrative and set in a fictional town that I had named Wildermoor.  The story would follow the central character before, during and after his wife is abducted by aliens, and had a working title of ‘The Sowing Season’.

When I discovered and read more about NaNoWriMo, I started to wonder if one of my stories could be expanded to work as a novel, or whether I needed a new idea.  I struggled to find a way of padding out either of my stories so decided to sit with my laptop one day and see what ideas would develop.  What came out of this was a story about a psychologically troubled man who has been haunted by something – a ghost, or phantom – for most of his life, resulting in him turning to murder (supposedly under orders from the phantom) to rid himself of the apparition.

I titled this work ‘Dexler’, and it would be the moment that the threads of The Wildermoor Apocalypse would begin to bind together.  I wondered if I could introduce the phantom – ‘The Reaper’ – into the other stories somehow and, when I got the idea of The Reaper and the pit-dwelling monster being connected somehow, the story just started to fall into place in my mind.

Every day I thought about the story more and explored all of the possibilities, whether I was driving to or from work, or trying to close my eyes to sleep at night.  Wildermoor could not seem to escape me or me from it.

With a shaky plan for my novel in mind, I decided to take the plunge, take on the challenge and sign up to take part in NaNoWriMo to write ‘Acolyte’.

Acolyte

As I mentioned, the main and only aim of NaNoWriMo is to encourage you to write 50,000 words in a month (this word count is considered to be the length required to be classed as a novel).  I believe that throughout the event, I passed through three mind-states:

THE BEGINNING…

Firstly on November 1st, armed with all of the scrawling and notes that I had already amassed for ‘Pit’, ‘Season’ and ‘Dexler’ I was ready to take on the world. “50,000 words?  In 30 days?  No problem.  Piece of cake!”  It was this optimism that carried me through the first week or so, especially as the ideas were new and free-flowing, the characters were writing themselves and I felt good about my progress.  Every night I would log onto the NaNaWriMo website and input my word count for the day and see my progress bar grow, giving me the push I needed to meet the following day head on.  During my sleeping hours, new ideas were forming.  In order to achieve the 50,000 word count and to help stay focussed, I broke this down to a daily world target of 1667 – harking back to my GCSE revision coaching that ‘bite size’ chunks are easier to digest.  Within the first two weeks, I had reached around 30,000 words and was on a high!

THE MIDDLE…

Then came the second stage – the feeling that you are stuck halfway across a muddy field ankle deep and unable to move.  I had reached a wall and well and truly run into it.  The middle section of the book was where the story needed to transition, the plots that I had laid needed to move forward and start to tell what would become the ending.  But I had no idea how to do this.  I kept writing and writing, always chasing my daily word count and lost sight of the fact that it still had to remain relevant to the overall story and make sense.  I could see my word count go up and felt good that I was steadily reaching the target, but now had no idea how the story was going to end.

It was at this point that I had to commit a sin to myself and take a couple of days break, to step back from my work and view it from a distance, to try and re-acquaint myself with the story that I was trying to tell.

“Are you mad?!  You only had two weeks left; you can’t afford to take time out!  Every day counts, remember?”

That’s all I could hear me telling myself each of these nights that I logged on and entered the same word count; evidence that I was in a slump and had lost my way.

It would have been very easy for me to give up at this point, to admit that I had taken on a task that was simply too big and that I wasn’t cut out to be a writer.  What I didn’t realise was happening at the time, though, was that these two days break was giving my mind a chance to rest, clear and catch up with myself.  Yes, it is a great thought that my book would just write itself and be seen one day in its raw and natural nature, but even my slap-dash seat-of-my-pants style needs a bit of moulding at times.  I had two threads of the story – the 1684 and the 2002 ones – hanging loose with no apparent direction.

But by the time I was ready to continue writing after those two days, the idea just came to me whilst I was driving to work one morning: what if one character could be linked to both time periods but not yet know it? That would be the next phase and that would be what would lead my book over the finish line in the end.

Say hello to phase three…and welcome back optimism!

THE END…?

With a new idea, sense of direction and vigour I attacked the next two weeks, driven not only by my increasing word count and lengthening progress bar, but by the knowledge that I was creating something that I – and hopefully those around me – would be proud of. Having turned a corner in my creative process, ‘Acolyte’ was coming together nicely, the characters were interacting perfectly with the world around them and I had a clear idea of the ending that I was working towards.

Or so I thought.

THE FINAL BOSS

As I was writing the final scene, my old nemesis ‘word count’ and his sidekick ‘deadline day’ came marching proudly towards me, chests puffed and ready to give me a hard time.  However, this time the roles were reversed – my story had come to life so much that I was going to struggle to finish it in time.  At around 45,000 words I approached the final scene, which proved more challenging and more powerful than I had expected. I could not find a way to write my way out of it. The dialogue kept flowing but I felt further and further away from reaching the ending.

The scene is set in a cell, with a heated exchange between Truman Darke and Mason Stamford.  I won’t say anymore as I do not wish to give anything away to those who have not read my book yet, but I am sure those who have, know the scene of which I speak.  I also hope that the struggle I had trying to reach the climax of this part is not obvious.

Great, I thought.  So close yet I felt so far from finishing my novel and achieving my goal.  I still had so much more to tell and was rapidly running out of time.

That is when it finally dawned on me (again!) – NaNoWriMo does not set out to pressure you to write a great novel in only 50,000 words.  It inspires you to write 50,000 words of a great novel.  On my final night writing during NaNoWriMo – which was November 27th, if I remember rightly – I took a breath, let the final lines of this final chapter appear on the screen and smashed through the 50k barrier and could finally call myself a winner.

I went to bed happy that night, with a feeling that a huge weight had been lifted from my chest.  At that point I had no idea that anyone would ever get to read my story, and merely planned to use my ‘2 free paperback copies’ prize that I had earned so that I could give a physical copy of it to my children one day.

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Whatever would happen with ‘Acolyte’, I didn’t care at that moment.  I had set out to create something from my own mind – a world in which I had lived for a whole month; morning and night – and could even soon be able to hold it in my hands.

Since NaNoWriMo, ‘Acolyte’ has taken on a whole new life.  I stepped away from it throughout December and didn’t even have any intention of adding to the story.  As far as I was concerned, I had left it at a strong point to set up the sequel, if I indeed wanted to write the rest of the trilogy. But my imagination had other ideas, and a better ending began to take shape.  Throughout January, I added a further 20,000 words to the book and in February responded to a submissions ad on Facebook.

The ad belonged to Bloodhound Books.  The rest of my own journey is still being written.

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I was hoping to participate in NaNoWriMo 2015 but my newest novel ‘The Sowing Season’ would not wait that long.  I am currently 40,000 words down on this book, but have set myself the same 50,000 word target throughout November to help me reach my target of having it written by Christmas.

For anyone wanting to participate in the event themselves, I can only say ‘do it’!  Let it be the push you need to get your stories onto paper where they belong.  If I am to impart any wisdom at all, however, I would say make the word count your friend. It should give you something to focus on and work towards  But don’t let it become your sole focus; there’s no point having a 50,000-word novel if it makes no sense and doesn’t achieve anything that you want it to.

Don’t be afraid to pass the word count. If you have time to go and still more to write, smash through that barrier.  If you find you can’t achieve it, so what?  You’ve given it a go.  It may just be the start that you need for your novel to grow in your own time.

I’d like to thank Chris for inspiring me to get cracking this November. How about joining in too?

First-time author Chris originally hailed from Basingstoke but moved to sunny Devon after graduating from Staffordshire University in 2005. he lives in Newton Abbot with his wife and twin children, and currently works as a logistics supervisor.

Chris cites James Herbert, Dean Koontzz, H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe amongst his literary heroes.

Being a fan of horror film and fiction, sci-fi and heavy metal, he naturally worked towards his own novel whilst writing three different short stories – all of which will have morphed in some way to form what will become ‘The Wildermoor Apocalypse’ trilogy.

Catch up with Chris on TwitterFacebook and his Website

You can find out more about Chris’s books here and buy ‘Acolyte’ here. There are other blogs too that are featuring Chris:

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