As per last year, I’m making it easy for you to refresh your memory of the story so far, by posting a synopsis of The Merchant of Dreams on my website. Of course if you haven’t read the book itself yet, you’d better get your skates on
Also, a reminder of my October schedule, which is starting to fill up! Read more
Ever wanted to smell like an Elizabethan? OK, maybe not literally (eww!), but it was in the sixteenth century that perfume and scented items became popular with the wealthy. If you’ve read The Alchemist of Souls, you may recall Mal’s encounter with Jos Percy – and the loss of an expensive silver pomander!
When my friend and fellow writer Naomi Clark set up an Etsy store for her homemade fragrances and began tweeting about all the lovely essential oils she was buying, that got me wondering what scents my characters would like. Long story short, I met up with Naomi and we collaborated on two fragrances, one for Mal and one for Coby – and they’re now available to buy!
Both are unisex, as befits the gender-bending Elizabethan era, and can be worn as a perfume or used in an oil burner (they’re very Christmassy, too – “Hendricks” smells like posh mince pies, according to my husband!).
Naomi describes them much better than I could, so I’ve cribbed the descriptions from her Etsy page:
Imagine a dusty bar in a London touched with strange magicks and filled with wondrous, dangerous travellers from the New World. Imagine you’re a swordsman tossed into peril and political intrigue against your will…You’re starting to imagine Mal Catlyn’s world…
Maliverny is a tribute to the Elizabethan era, blending together precious woods, incenses, and spices from the far corners of the world. A base of sandalwood and frankincense is topped with warm black pepper and cinnamon. A hint of tobacco ties it all together.
Imagine fleeing your homeland and living in disguise amongst men who cannot know your secrets…Imagine finding yourself thrust into a world of magical and political machinations – and the man you want most believes you’re a boy…You’re starting to imagine Coby Hendricks’ world.
A beguilingly unisex blend of herbs and fruits, Hendricks starts with clean, clear notes of juniper and coriander, spiked with exotic cassia and light touches of lemon and bergamot. Winding through it all is just a distant whiff of gunpowder.
My author copies of The Prince of Lies turned up the other day, so I thought it was about time I did a giveaway!
I have three paperbacks (UK edition) to give away, open to entries anywhere in the world. All you have to do to be in with a chance is to leave a comment on this post – please note that comments are moderated to reduce spam, so don’t panic if yours doesn’t appear right away.
One comment per entrant, please – multiple commenters will be disqualified (unless you’re replying to a question on the post or similar).
For security reasons, please don’t leave contact details in your comment – there’s a space in the comment form for your email address, I’ll use that to get hold of you.
Closing date for entries is noon UK time on Tuesday 10th December. Any comments posted after that deadline will be deleted.
I will be picking three separate winners (using a random number generator), to receive one copy each.
I will aim to get the books out promptly, but given how close it is to Christmas, I can’t guarantee delivery times.
If a winner does not respond by Christmas Eve (24th December) or doesn’t provide a valid email address, I reserve the right to select a replacement.
I had intended to post a book giveaway this week, but the book fairy only just delivered my author copies, so instead I’m going to do a blatant filler post of awesome stuff that’s happened this November
So, I’m even later posting this week than I was last week, mostly because of my day-job. Turns out our team is being relocated to the institute with which we’ve collaborating for over a decade, and whilst physically that’s barely 100 yards, psychologically it’s a big deal because it means reapplying for my current position plus overseeing my team’s transfer. I’m pretty confident of staying in my job, but it requires lots of meetings & discussions and has thus been taking my focus away from my writing. So…
Right now I’m behind and struggling. I’ve gone back and filled in a couple of scenes I skipped, which helped keep the words flowing, but I’m rapidly reaching the point where I’m trying to make up new plot without any idea of what’s going on. I have this annoying feeling that a plot breakthrough could be right around the corner if only I press on, so that’s my current strategy. Keep on keeping on – because that’s the only way a book gets written.
I’m posting this a bit later than planned, because my cold has worsened since I went back to work and I’ve not been getting much sleep. Still, a pro soldiers on even when they don’t feel like writing!
This week’s been one of ups and downs, kind of like last week: I had a great weekend and even a great Monday, clocking up nearly 7k in 3 days, but then the lack of sleep turned that lead into a deficit. On the plus side, on my low/zero writing days I had some interesting epiphanies about my characters, plot and worldbuilding, which I hope will translate into more outline when I’m feeling slightly less crap.
I took a sick day today and, thanks to an important conversation between my two lead characters that I’d been looking forward to writing since I planned out the backstory, I racked up almost 2k without really trying, bringing me close to being back on track to hit 50k by the end of the month. I won’t say “finish” because I won’t have reached the end of the book by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ll have a substantial chunk of it.
The World Fantasy Convention came to the UK this year for the first time in a couple of decades, and expectations were high, especially since US authors were coming over to meet fans, promote their latest books or just see a bit of the UK alongside their convention schedule. Given that I registered back in 2011 when tickets first went on sale, you can imagine I was pretty excited by the time November came around! Read more
So, it’s been 7 days (today is the 8th, but I’m writing this first thing in the morning), my first full week of NaNoWriMo, and I bet you’re all wondering how it’s going. No? Well I’m going to tell you anyway. Read more
Seven years ago to the day I embarked on my very first NaNoWriMo, in a desperate attempt to get over the 25k hump* that had been dogging me for several years. What I ended up with was a crude 50,000-word sketch of a novel, but one with characters and a setting that I loved enough to spend the next four years revising it into something saleable: The Alchemist of Souls.
The trilogy spawned by that first gloriously satisfying NaNoWriMo is now complete and published, so I felt it only fitting that I should use this year’s “30 days and nights of literary abandon” to start a brand new project. Read more