Monday, 20 February 2017

Monday Musings. The Dark Mirror of Social Media.

This post explores the impact of  current social media issues on me as a creative, and on our community; it's all getting a little Lord of The Flies. 

Some of you who are members of my 'Fierce Wings' group on Facebook were privy to a post a little while ago that started with 'To be honest, I'm not feeling quite so fierce at the moment.'

I'm not one to sharing the darker, gloomier, depressing sides of being a Creative on a creative journey, and this declaration to my wonderful, kind group was not just unprecedented, but it was really hard to admit things were not all rainbows and signings and flowing words. 

Most of you know by now that I am usually a little ray of sunshine; a busy little bee flitting around book world, always something exciting happening, always new places being travelled to, new experiences grasped. I pride myself on being a force of good in a community that is increasingly tearing itself apart; I believe in positive affirmation, balancing the universe and the manifestation of true desires, even if they come in a different guise to what we initially thought .... 

but....

As many of you are all to painfully aware, the social media world and the reality world are often very different. It's not that the social media world is a lie - it isn't, it's a truth, or it certainly is in my instance as I don't like deceit, but it is an alternative truth (My bad for sounding like a speech writer for Trump.) 

The social media brand of Katie M. John is honest and a genuine expression of my creativity but it is of course selective; and the things I choose to omit are for a variety of reasons, all of them for reasons other than vanity or delusion or ego. 

For example, if you hit my Instagram account, you'd have to be very observant to note I am a mother to two daughters - they  feature very rarely (and always in abstract) on Instagram because it is a platform I can't fully control; any old weirdo could be looking at them. But it doesn't mean I am creating a false delusion of my life, it's not that I'm trying to 'pretend I'm foot loose and fancy free' - I'm  just choosing to portray a facet of my life rather than revealing all of it in one space - just as when I go out with my clothes on, I am not attempting to hide my body through shame or fear, it's just private, it belongs to me... and the world probably thanks me for that. 

It's a bit like that and my mental health. It's taken me many decades to fully accept and openly acknowledge that I have high functioning depressive tendencies; the kind of depression that switches me me onto auto-pilot, where I still go through the motions of and responsibilities of my life, (God forbid I ever let anybody down and cause disappointment) but it is done with a very different energy to the periods I am 'well'. It's not that I stop doing things - I don't, but the growth stops, the risks seem more overwhelming, projects are completed with stomach churning self-doubt and fear. Avoidances creep in, and less savoury tasks are left until they absolutely have to be dealt with - and where social media used to feel like a place of understanding, shared experience and support, it increasingly feels like a gladiatorial ring. 

Late last year, for the first time in the decade I have been actively engaged on Social media, I was trolled. Someone ripped my whole creativity and work to pieces; they threw vitriolic, hurtful words into a series of 'reviews' with no care that a human being was involved in the writing process. Don't get me wrong, in the ten years I've been writing and publishing, I have had plenty of 1 star and less than positive reviews - but they've always been respectful, always been polite and a genuine expression of their dislike of the story / book / characters - I have a thick skin, or so I thought, but these particular trolling reviews were just plain nasty about me as an author, as a person. They told me in no uncertain terms that I had no place putting my s*@% out there for poor unsuspecting readers to stumble across and waste their time and pennies on. 

These comments shouldn't have got to me in the way they did, but this combined with other world factors and some of the negativity that our own book world has 'embraced' sent me down that familiar old tunnel of high-functioning depression.  

Then, just last week, a fellow book worlder who doesn't actually know me, decided to actively and aggressively call me out over something they chose to interpret negatively - no one else did. This second incidence of social media aggression in the space of two months is indicative of a shift in the social-media book-world - and it's a shift I don't much like. 

There have been a couple of high profile book dramas this week - but that seems to be the case every week these days. Hurtful, cruel, truly damaging things are being said more and more in our community and it's having a ripple effect - people are adjusting to this increasingly hostile and volatile environment by becoming defensive, protectivist, and creating an almost self-fulfilling culture of conflict - and for people like me, that becomes a serious issue of well-being. 

And I understand why it's happening. The book world is over-populated. It's seen an abundant growth of authors and their books, but rather than some people seeing this as a great and exciting thing, rather than celebrating the renaissance of genres, of reading growth, of a sign that the indie and hybrid market is doing things so right that it's flourishing, they have decided to turn it into some Darwinist fight for survival. It is literally turning into Lord of The Flies and I feel like Ralph shouting that we need to build shelters, and nurture community, and care for one another, when there are Jacks popping up everywhere that just want to, 'Kill The Pig! Kill The Pig!"

We all know how that novel ends, in the bloody murder of Simon, in the brutal emotional torture of Piggy, of the physical hunting down of Ralph - any hope for a harmonious, peaceful, productive community burning down around them. 

Simon removes himself away from the tribe when the tensions and conflicts become too much, and I am so sad (and increasingly lonely) to discover that more than several of my dear international author friends are doing the same. They are becoming painfully absent; they are retreating and with that, there stories and creativity are retreating, too - because the devil of it is,  without social media being a financially secure indie author is neigh on impossible, and some amazingly talented, lovely authors are choosing to sacrifice their authoring in order to protect their wider mental health. 

And this has been my desire for the last few months, to run away and hide from the nasty monsters stalking our land, but I know that isn't an option. I love this book world and an army of good needs to fight back. The fires need to be kept lit. The light must continue to shine. I am not willing to surrender  my craft, my stories, my authoring because some people want to cannibalise others. 

I am looking forward to helping be a part of calling to arms when we meet together at Chapter.Con London 2017, a conference model I have imported from the USA, inspired by my incredible mentor and dear friend, Janet Wallace of UTOPiA.Con and Social Deviants,  in which authors gather to share, get to know each other, exchange, support, and create a fiercely positive community that is committed to keeping our book world a safe space - a space where people can grow rather than just survive. 




The White Rose Author Event. York. UK May 2017

I am super pleased to officially announce that I will be attending the White Rose Author Event as a Signing Author along with 45+ other authors.

It is so nice to be returning back to the Motherland; I have such fond memories of growing up in Humberside and spending days in York. I was also born in God's own Country, too ;)

Tickets to the event are £15 per morning or afternoon session, or you can attend the whole day for £25.

It promises to be a really lovely day full of lots of meet & greet in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

If you haven't been to a signing event before and are a little unsure of how they work, it's a bit like a book fair, but the emphasis on engaging with authors, stopping by their stands to have a chat, a nose at their work, pick up gorgeous swag and get your hands on precious signed copies.

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/white-rose-author-event-tickets-24353867072?aff=es2 

Here is the current line up for the event.



And you can pre-order your Katie M. John Books on the following PRE-ORDER form.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdYbKGwN25pDmN4oQywUhXMP9xxIpYasRAiIUKnV-0AALHd0Q/viewform?c=0&w=1 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Rise to the 10 Acts of kindness challenge...

This week is Random Acts of Kindness week. This is a principle I not only believe in, but follow through. I have made regular 'Random Acts of Kindness'  to people in my author / book community and it is now an embedded part of who I am - it really does become a natural way of living after a very short time.

Often it's the smallest acts of kindness that hold the greatest
power. 
 I try to do one significant monthly act, which is often a monetary gift to someone in need or a care package for someone who is feeling the presence of the black-dog, and a smaller daily act, which is often an investment of time or skill. My Fangirl Friday posts are a small part of this belief.

Sometimes, those folks know it is me behind the gift of money, time, sharing, cheerleading, kindness packages, etc, and sometimes they don't. People often find it difficult to ask for help and even more difficult to accept it when it's offered. It's not about rough riding people's dignity or displacing the delicate power balance between two individuals. There's an art to giving, but it's one easily learned.

Now, I know there are some cynics who say there is no such thing as a pure act of random kindness because it makes the giver feel good about themselves - which is a good point, but let's reframe that, in our book community there are plenty of incidences of folks getting all the feels for themselves over being total barstools! Trolling, nasty-reviewing, knocking down other authors, books, bloggers, has become sadly commonplace, and it sometimes feels like we can't get through a day with out some kind of negative drama unfolding.

Kindness is powerful; it's transformative - it has the capacity to literally change lives - and sometimes it's the smallest acts that have the greatest power.

THE  10 ACTS OF KINDNESS CHALLENGE

1) Leave an honest, encouraging review for an author who has under 50 reviews on Amazon.

2) Post on your Facebook timeline, a copy of the book you are reading, tell your friends why you're enjoying it, why they should read it, and tag the author.

3) Head to an author's website and drop an encouraging message into their contact box.

4) Buy a book from an indie who you don't know anything about.

5) Create a fan picture / bookselfie of an author's book and post it on instagram, Facebook etc and tag them.

6) Like an author's Facebook page and write them an introductory message - just say hi.

7) Take $5 and download 5 random ebooks in a genre you love from the bottom of the rankings. (Rankings aren't all about quality, they're a lot to do with exposure - there are some hidden gems lurking in the bottom of the Amazon ranking pool)

8) Create a piece of fan art, photography, colouring, crafting, painting, sketching and post it to their timeline -- I can't tell you how joyful this makes an author.

9) Buy a ticket for a book signing - someone who is starting out and doesn't already have a thousand fans queuing to see them. It's soul destroying to put yourself out there and no one show up. (#BeenThere)

10) For goodness sake, if your friend or family member has written and published a book, buy it - it doesn't matter if it's your kind of book or not - you don't have to read it!
You'd shout them a coffee, a beer or a birthday card - so shout them a book sale. Rankings matter and especially on launch days. Every sale makes a huge difference to Amazon rankings and how much exposure that book will go on to get --- and who knows, you might even enjoy it.

So - this is quite a lot to do in the remaining days of RAK week - but hey, I've always encouraged the healthy breaking of rules -- feel free to do any of these at any point throughout the year. The universe will thank you, and so will the book community xxx




Friday, 27 January 2017

Just leaving this little beauty here....

Fan Girl Friday. Christina Benjamin

Christina and I eating Sushi in a
rare period of downtime at UTOPiA
Nashville USA. #Booksisters
Today I am taking part in Fan Girl Friday, and it is my great pleasure to introduce you to my dear friend and talented author, Christina Benjamin who is celebrating a NEW RELEASE THIS WEEK! YAY! Congratulations, Christina!

I love reading Christina's works and her ability to world build is very special. She is the kind of author which literally picks you up out of our seat and plonks you into the pages of the story. I've had the great pleasure of hanging out with Christina at several events and we connected on so many levels; we share a passion for the magic of stories and the desire to make reading a truly wondrous experience for our readers.



ABOUT CHRISTINA:

Award-Winning author, Christina Benjamin, lives in Florida with her husband, and character inspiring pets, where she spends her free time working on her books and speaking to inspire fellow writers.  

Christina is best known for her wildly popular Young Adult series, The Geneva Project.
Her best-selling novel, The Geneva Project - Truth, has won multiple awards and stolen the hearts of YA readers. Packed with magic and imagination, her epic tale of adventure hooks fans of mega-hit YA fiction like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Percy Jackson. 

Christina loves to read and write across genres. YA is her favorite but she's a sucker for a good love story. Don't miss her romance, paranormal and historical fiction, as well as the multiple anthologies she's been a part of. 

Follow her at:

Facebook @ChristinaBenjaminAuthor


Both Christina and I write primarily Young Adult Fantasy. (Upper YA) but similar, we have diversified, telling heart stories rather than chasing markets. This week saw the release of Christina's latest release, and I can not wait to read it.

THE PRACTICE BOYFRIEND. 



Practice makes perfect...or so she thought.

Nobody likes Cody Matthews, including Cody Matthews. And why should they? He got his high school girlfriend pregnant and then almost killed them both while driving drunk. That’s why he’s perfect for Hannah. She’d never fall for someone like him.

Hannah Stark is a high school senior with a resume of straight A’s. She’s never stepped a toe out of line. But that’s also why she’s never had a boyfriend. While all her classmates are counting down the days until graduation, Hannah is dragging her feet. She can’t believe she’ll be leaving her adolescence behind without ever taking a chance to be wild and free. That’s why she’s set her sights on Harrison. 

Harrison Cohl is everything Hannah wants to be. Gorgeous, wealthy, popular and wild. He’s also notorious for the legendary masquerade ball he throws every year. And this year Hannah is determined to be invited. And have Harrison as her date. 

Her plan is crazy. But she’s convinced she just needs a little practice to make her high school résumé perfect.

A Fun, Fast, YA Romance Read. 
Perfect for fans of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars.
(Note: Suggested reading age 16+ for mature language and content.)

USA https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N1V3FPF
UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N1V3FPF


CHRISTINA will be attending CHAPTER.CON LONDON This August. Find out more at www.chaptercon.weebly.com 


Words: A Poem


Monday, 23 January 2017

The Creative Heart.


#MondayMusings. 

It's difficult to explain to a less creative soul what it is like to be 'A Creative'; how utterly life enhancing and emotionally draining it can be. How being a roller coaster that refuses to be bound by tracks. Someone once used the metaphor of it being like a hundred or more browsers being open on your laptop all at once and your mind constantly flicks and takes interest between each one. 

Sometimes it is very hard to settle on the one point of focus and that is often when the self-disappointment, frustration and psychological self-harm creeps in; that state of suspended, unfulfilled climax of an action to create something meaningful, beautiful, tangible. 

Many Creatives feel this same kind of nostalgia in the present - a painful longing for something in the immediate past. Always internally chastising ourselves for that last half hour we wasted not creating what our heart wants us to create until...

the dam bursts and out pours our creative heart; and we find ourselves caught in an almost magical force of energy in which anything is possible and everything is ours. These moments, some refer to as the workings of the muse, cause a literal neurological high.


It’s then we realise that all those moments we sat drinking tea, watching Netflix, walking aimlessly around, were actually a germination period. 


It’s important to be kind to ourselves, creativity is exhausting.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Folklore Thursday: The Pendle Witches.

The Pendle Witches is a folklore that has risen up around an actual historical event, which ran with many parallels to the more infamous Salem Witch Trials.

The Pendle witch trials took place in 1612 in Pendle, Lancashire, England, and became famous mainly due to the unprecedented detail of records that were kept about the trials. Twelve people were accused of murdering ten local people by means of witchcraft. Of the eleven who went to trial, nine women and two men were executed by hanging and only one was cleared of the crime.

Despite witch trials being common practice between the 15th and 18th century, less than five hundred people are recorded as being officially executed in England for their witchcraft crimes - although less official figures exist of those who died during the often cruel and brutal inquisitions.

Like the Salem trials, small community politics and commercial rivalry played a big part in the communities accusations of the 'witches'.  However, in this case, many of the accused had actually added fuel to the fire by using the commerciality of witchcraft for their own financial gain, claiming to have healing powers and charging for other forms of quackery.

The Pendle Witch Trial was originally more a tale of politics, money and fraud than supernatural powers, but over the years, a rich tapestry of folklore has grown up around the case and many believe that the homes they inhabited, and the site of the nefarious, Malkin Tower,  a meeting point for the 'coven', which was located on the wild heathlands near Pendle, became haunted - with some even claiming they became the portals to Hell.

Now, the village of Pendle boasts a thriving tourist industry around the folklore of the Pendle Witches, one which was boosted considerably by the 2004 special live weekend edition of Most Haunted in which several paranormal events were captured on film during a live broadcast from some of the locations identified in the original records. With several of the film crew, and members of other paranormal investigative teams having reportedly been harmed when attempting to investigate the legends, Pendle has well and truly become a far richer tale of the supernatural.

You can catch up with the episode of Most Haunted at Pendle here but be warned, it is pretty full on, and do heed their own warning that it isn't suitable for younger viewers.




The legend of the Pendle Witches was a major influence on my series, 'The Meadowsweet Chronicles'   and the location of Pendle played a big part in the formation of my village for the series, Heargton.

Book one of the Meadowsweet Chronicle is currently on FREE download and you can get your copy over at iBooks, Amazon and all other major eBook platforms.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

10 Albums that were the backdrop to my teenage years.

I am currently working on a novella for WaWa Productions and their LOVE IN THE...  book project
. It will be out at the end of 2017 and will be a box set of novellas, with each one being a year from a specific decade. The decade I am writing is the 1990's, and the year that I have is 1997 (the year I was just 17 years old)

The other exciting element to these novella box sets is that each novella is titled with a song title that was topping that year's charts.

Selecting a song title was tough in some ways, and then again, in others, it was a no brainer. That spring, summer and autumn was completely monopolised by the song 'Love Fool' by the fabulous band, The Cardigans. If you've not heard it -- then here it is.




As a result of immersing myself back into my 1990's youth, it got me to thinking about the music that really influenced me at that time. I thought I'd share with you the 10 albums that were most influential to me during my teenage years. It's a mixed bag with quite a few retrospective choices - but that was part of the 90's thing; there was a synergy between the present and the past in the arts, which really enriched my own teen experience.

So, without further ado, here is my list of teen albums that were most played and treasured in my single glazed, non centrally heated, incense filled, poster filled bedroom. I'd love for you to share yours.

1. Alanis Morrisette: Jagged Little Pill
2. Radiohead: The Bends 

3. The Doors: The Best of The Doors 
4. Annie Di Franco: Not So Soft
5. Kirsten Hirsh : Hips & Makers
6. Pink Floyd: Division Bell
7. Mazy Star: So Tonight That I May...
8. Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells
9. Led Zeppelin: IV
10. Nirvana: Nevermind


And if the WaWa productions project has got you a little intrigued, The Love In The 80's series is out and available on Amazon.

iTunes link https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/love-in-80s-new-adult-anthology/id1174506501?mt=11

Amazon Link https://www.amazon.com/Love-80s-Adult-Novella-Anthology-ebook/dp/B01N0D99WG


Monday, 16 January 2017

Monday Musings: Why TEND is my word of the year.

After much navel staring, I have finally pinned down my word of the year. What is this crazy you speak of. Well, so many of my author and creative friends were embracing the idea of a Word of The Year that like the human I am, it felt I should have one, too.

But what? Why?

What word - how could I pin down all of my aspirations, hopes, dreams, plans and focus into just one word when it presently looks more like the abstract to a twenty thousand word thesis? That was the point. Condense, refine and analyse -- what do I really want 2017 to look like.

Why choose a word in the first place? My head is like a computer with twenty different browsers open all the time - and most of the time, that's fine, it's exciting and it's energy. It allows me to skip from one task to another with ease and efficiency--- but sometimes, that's not fine, sometimes it can lead to a massive crash and feelings of being overwhelmed and having a word - just a single word that reminds me of my true focus of my true goal is like having a reboot and recovery button all in one. It stops all the words and gives me the answer that I need.

So what is my word for 2017 - It may seem random on the surface but it's a word that has been so carefully selected; a word designed to create a magic sense of soothing calm amongst all the creative turbulence - and my word of the year is....


Tend: To care or look after; to give one's attention to. 


Why the word Tend? Okay, so it's not the most exciting of words - but it really does sum up what my main focus for 2017. Last year was a year of innovation, of change and of creation. Some amazing opportunities came up which will come to fruition this year. I underwent a complete rebrand, released several books and sowed the seeds for a lot of projects.

It's tempting when goal setting to fall into the mistake that goals have to always be out there pushing the boundaries, being all shiny and new, that in order to make progress, you have to accumulate more opportunities, more contacts, more projects -- more, more, more ---- but the revelation that I have come to (after hours and hours and hours of insomnia) is that this year isn't about moving forward, it's about moving within. It's not about accumulating new networks, projects, friends, colleagues, readers - it's about nurturing, tending to the ones that I already have.

I am blessed. I have everything I need in the present to grow something beautiful. I have 9 books out, each of which I love, but perhaps need a little care and nurture in light of the Katie M. John author-thing evolving. I have an amazing network of author friends, who I really want to give my attention to. I want to champion their new releases and spread the word about their work, rather than looking to expand my circle ever bigger and losing touch with those who mean so much to me. I have an incredible conference planned for August, and it's not about scale and glory, it's about gathering and tribe and sharing.

I am involved in several writing projects, which are fun and clever and a great way to give to my readers and to organically reach new ones. I am building a newsletter for my fan base who have supported me over the years. It's a way for me to pay back into that relationship - to nurture that precious relationship between storyteller and listener.

Tend is also a word that reaches beyond my book world into my family world. I am blessed to have two daughters who are growing at twice the speed of light - and it's easy to become absorbed in stories and risk missing the greatest story of them all; that of my daughter's childhood. They are now approaching nine and five.

But TEND is also a word that applies to self. To tend oneself or in easier terms #SelfCare. Self care isn't about being selfish, but for someone who feels so deeply when others' suffer, and who feels the urge to fix things - all of the time - the idea of paying attention to oneself is really important, and one of the hardest things to actually work. I'm a great believer in meditation and mindfulness and need to ensure that this is going to become a natural part of each of my days --- that and the dreaded exercise.

So yes, the word of the year is TEND and I'd love to hear yours and why you have chosen it.


Sunday, 15 January 2017

Wow - A flying start to 2017

Well, already, I have broken the resolution to keep this blog more up to date! But the reason being is that the start to the year has been crazy busy with lots of exciting things.

Firstly, I am prepping like a mad woman for the West Midland's Valentines signing, which was all a bit last minute. As a result I am swagging and crafting and designing for the printers at a rapid speed having thought that my signing season wasn't going to actually start until May. It would be lovely to see some of you in Telford, West Midlands. There are still tickets available but they are going quick so be sure to grab yours a.s.a.p - there are going to be some really cool author folk signing and it promises to be a really good weekend.

Secondly, I have been working on my novella for the Love in The Decades series. The series I am taking part in is Love in the 90's and my year is 1997. The title for my story is 'LOVE FOOL' after that song seemed to be played continually all through out the year. It is so exciting doing historical research for a time period I actually lived through --- ha! History of my teenage years lol. I can't wait to share this story with you, and the main character - she's insane LOL!

Also, after a couple of worrying review comments about some of the *editing* of The Meadowsweet Chronicles, I have been doing an emergency review of the books in the series. As with all my books, I have paid someone to edit and proof read the editions before going to print. It's impossible to do it yourself as an author because you actually go word blind - reading things and automatically correcting things that are wrong. HOWEVER, it soon became apparent that the proof checking phase had not been done adequately; which is really very disappointing and certainly not good enough. As a result, I have enlisted a new proof reader who I know personally and who I trust completely.

It is planned that by the end of January all the editions will be in a much cleaner (almost perfect) state - although I don't promise you 100% perfect; it's an incredibly rare thing, even with traditionally published books to have a flawless book - and of course there are always going to be pedants about old traditional grammar versus vernacular, and of course, those pesky comma usages.

However, 2017 is all about polishing and nurturing and that goes for the books, too. I love the Meadowsweet Chronicles and I believe in it, which is why sometimes you have to tread old ground before exciting new lands.

SO that's what I've been doing in the last couple of weeks and why the blog has not yet become the beautifully consistent thing I know it will come by the end of the year.

Thanks for all your support and care, and I look forward to sharing some exciting new reads in 2017.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Introducing you to Tracie Podger... Adult Romance author

I had the great delight of meeting Tracie in person at The Glasgow Winter Wonderland signing at the end of last year. We had known each other from the TBC secret Facebook book club, and it was super lovely to actually catch up with her and discover more about her work and books.
Tracie is an incredible force of energy with a serious love of all things authoring and publishing. Not only is she a super storyteller, but she is also a wonderful member of the UK book community.

Today, I'm delighted to introduce you to her work and to tell you a little more about Tracie. Her works are 18+ adult fiction.

THE OFFICIAL BIO:
Tracie Podger currently lives in Kent, UK, with her husband and a rather obnoxious cat called George. She’s a Padi Scuba Diving Instructor with a passion for writing. Tracie has been fortunate to have dived some of the wonderful oceans of the world where she can indulge in another hobby, underwater photography. She likes getting up close and personal with sharks.


Tracie is a multi-genre author. She likes to write contemporary romance, romantic suspense, erotic romance, and thrillers. She recommends that you check out the classification on her books, or feel free to shoot her a message and ask.

Although Tracie has written many books, and is most known for her Fallen Angel series (A Mafia Romance) the book I really want to share with you is her new stand alone novel, A Virtual Affair.



A Virtual Affair - a new standalone by Tracie Podger

Do you know what hope smells like?It’s a combination of the sea, of exposed seaweed and salty air.Of wet sand on a winter’s day.Jayne was mid-forties when she experienced the worst and the best times of her life. She fell in love, so desperately in love. She lost everything overnight.



This is Jayne’s story of love and loss, of a battle with depression and learning to love herself again.







Books by Tracie Podger
Fallen Angel, Part 1 – A mafia romance
Fallen Angel, Part 2 – A mafia romance
Fallen Angel, Part 3 – A mafia romance
Fallen Angel, Part 4 – A Mafia romance
Evelyn - A Novella – To accompany the Fallen Angel Series
Rocco – A Novella – To accompany the Fallen Angel Series
Robert – To accompany the Fallen Angel Series
Travis – To accompany the Fallen Angel Series
A Virtual Affair – Contemporary romance & standalone
Gabriel – A thriller/suspense & standalone
The Facilitator – An erotic romance & standalone


All available on Amazon, iBooks, Nook & Kobo
Coming soon
A Deadly Sin – releasing November 18th
Hitchhiker – early 2017
The Passion Series – Jackson – mid 2017
Letters to Lincoln – mid 2017
Harlot
Rocco: The Missing Years

Stalker Links…
Amazon Author Pagehttp://author.to/TraciePodger

Signing Info: West Midlands' Valentine Signing. Telford.

FEBRUARY 4th 2017. 
I am delighted to announce (rather last minute) that I am going to be signing a the West Midlands' Valentine Signing in Telford. Thanks to those folk who have already reached out to ask about a pre-order form --- here it is. https://goo.gl/forms/20qAAFy2nrlcBIXF3 
There's a special 10% discount on all orders over £50 and some exclusive pre-order only book buying options, which will not be available on the day x  Hope to see you there. 
Adriana Lane, Bella Coco, Bella Settarra, C.A Bell, Catherine Green, Chris Turnbull, Em Taylor, Holly J. Gill, J.A Kerr, J.F Holland, Laura Morgan, Lindsey Jayne, Lizzie James, Lucy Felthouse, Maddie Wade, Maria Gibbs, Muriel Garcia, Nichola C.Priest, Nikki Ashton, Pavan Kaur, R.C. Corr, Rose English, Scarlette Flame, Sophia Valentine, T.L Wainwright, Victoria Johns, Zak Jane Keir.... and me. 


DESCRIPTION

The West Midlands Valentines Book Signing & 1940s Ball is exactly what it says on the tin.

February the 4th 2017 is set to be a day filled with books, romance, laughter, love, and live 1940s style music.

With authors covering genres such as romance, chick-lit, erotica, YA, and children's poetry there is sure to be something here for you or your loved one just in time for Valentines Day and something to keep the kids occupied too.

So, why not come and mingle with the authors both at the signing and the 1940s ball and have some fun all in the name of a good cause, as all proceeds made after covering costs will be donated to Help for Heroes.

GET YOUR Attendee TICKETS £5-£12  HERE 

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Always.

My first act of 2017 creation are these lyrics. The image comes from a photograph I took last month. The song is called 'Always'. 


Monday, 26 December 2016

10 Goals for 2017



So here's to the new year; may 2017 be a lot more full of positivity than 2016, which has been a gruelling year for many of us. It's traditional to set resolutions at the end of the old year but I've never been very good at resolutions; it's almost as if making something a resolution curses it. 

This year I am all for goals - and smashing them. That's how I feel about 2017; it's going to be full o energy, accomplishments and goal smashing. So here are my 2017 goals, which I'm setting down here more for my reference than your probable curiosity LOL 
  • Finish The Crow Man for an April publication. My first adult horror title. A psycho-sexual, insanity horror story set in the 1950's exploring the theory of Monarch programming and women in 1950's society. Dark, twisted and graphic, this book has really taken it out of me and I am struggling to finish the last 10-20k words due to the shadows it casts on my soul -- but it will be finished. 

  • Finish Angelicus for a May / June publication. Book 4 in The Meadowsweet Chronicles - a planned 7 book paranormal / occult upper YA series. Modern Witchcraft, ghosts, poltergeists, magic, demons, angels, headless huntsmen and all other manner of ancient folklore, fairytales and paranormal deliciousness. It is 1/3 written, all planned out and ready to be finished. 


  • Have a full table at UTOPiA con, Nashville. This will be the third year I am attending UTOPiA in Nashville. It was meant to be a once in a lifetime kind of deal, but somehow, I keep pressing that buy table ticket. This year, I am hoping to have a full table mostly because I can barely fit all my titles onto a half table any longer, and secondly because I am having guest author hosts who are going to help me out with my table this year. How exciting is that! 





  • Hold an awesome 2 day author conference and public signing event in August. Chapter.Con 2017 is my baby and I am so excited about it. After spending far too many years scribing all alone in the UK, I am bringing over the USA model of author, blogger and reader conventions to the UK; a chance for authors, bloggers and readers to get together and spend some serious quality time talking about publishing, authoring, blogging, social media and all things books,  as well as networking, sharing resources, making friends and also selling some books in an exciting public signing. I am touched how many international authors are already signed up to this very special event. If you're interested, you can find out more at www.chaptercon.weebly.com 



  • Grow my newsletter to 2.5k subscribers with a 30-40% open rate. I've shied away from newsletters for a long time - I wasn't sure that I had anything to say - but I've realised after the amaze-balls year that 2016 has been in many ways, I have loads to say and share with readers. It's also a really great way to give back to a reading community, which has supported me over the last 10 years. The newsletter is a way of sharing other great authors in my community, introducing my readers to fab new reads, but it's also a way for me to easily spoil my readers. For example, I am giving 500 subscribers a free eBook copy of 'When Sorrows Come' via instafreebie at the minute, and also a chance to win a paperback edition of the award nominated book. The newsletter also contains a Three Free Book Roll, which links subscribers to three fabulous free quality reads. If you'd like to join the party, you can do so here http://eepurl.com/ckO6KD 




  • Get this blog organised. This is one of my main goals for 2017. I want to make this blog consistent in its material, creating a clear pattern of posts depending on day, for example, 'Folklore Thursday' and 'Fan Girl Friday' - the idea of this is that you, as readers know exactly when to hit my blog to meet your needs. If it's free books you want, then Mondays, if it's folklore info, it's Thursday etc. 




  • Do more public signings. I've done Leeds, Nashville and Glasgow this year and its taught me one thing - I really love meeting readers and bloggers in the flesh. There's nothing beats having a conversation with fellow book lovers. I've got some great events lined up this year and I can't wait. 





  • Complete NaNoWriMo. This year, I crashed and burned - actually that's not true at all, I didn't even start the car. For the first year in five years, I didn't do NaNoWriMo and the reason why was because of really poor time management - this year, that won't happen. I have to ensure that I am protecting my own creative writing time as well as giving to a community that I love.  




  • Get Fitter and Healthier. Last year, I had a really good run from February to July I was super healthy. I had made a commitment and I thought I had passed the habit forming zone -- alas, due to a whole heap of excuses (and legitimate reasons) I gave up on the lot of it. I had built going to the gym 3 times a week into my schedule, I was doing mindfulness for at least 10 minutes a day. I lost that annoying stubborn stone and a half and I was feeling great - and then I hit a wall and rather than climb up it, I slumped down it and sat on the floor at the bottom of it, stuffing my face with comfort cheese. No more. I'm back on it --- just as soon as.... LOL. 






  • Wednesday, 21 December 2016

    Introducing S.M. Boyce

    Today I want to introduce my lovely readers to a very dear friend of mine S.M. Boyce, (Boyce) who also happens to be a truly talented storyteller. This post is a little more about her, and also a heads up that her horror novel ARI is on offer over Christmas, and the first of her series in her fae series is on FREE download. What better way to get to know a writer than read their stories eh?



    I met S.M. Boyce at UTOPiA 2014 and we bonded over being fellow fae-world writers (We seemed to be few and far between then.) S.M. Boyce and I also bonded over having a love of the horror genre. I have had the great privilege of being able to call her a friend over the last two years, one whose writing, authoring and professionalism I admire. I am super excited to be sharing with you an offer she has on her ghost / horror novel series, To Each His Own Ghost, and the first book in the series ARI.

    BOYCE in her own words...

    S. M. Boyce is a pseudonym I’ve had since middle school. I sign my checks as Sarah Montee, but Boyce is my writing hat. My creative hat. My it’s-totally-legal-to-kill-this-person-because-he’s-fictional hat.
    (GASP did she just tell us her real name?!)Some readers call me Sarah, but I prefer Boyce. So, you know, 10 internet points if you do it right.
    My favorite authors are Neil Gaiman, JRR Tolkien, George RR Martin, and JK Rowling. Coraline is probably my favorite book, though that’s a bit like choosing a favorite child. I enjoy cartoons, animated movies, board games, hard cider, bagels, and woo-woo things like crystals and tarot cards.

    I make shit up for a living, and I love every second of it. This writing life of mine has been a roller coaster, and half of it is liquor and guessing. My writing career has been a well-researched experiment peppered with “why the fuck not?” moments, and that approach has led me to some of the best decisions of my life.
    As a perfect introduction to SM. Boyce's more darkling side, ARI is on offer this Christmas period


    $0.99 / £0.99 OFFER

    A Ghostly Paranormal Horror Novel

    The moment Ari Bowers stepped inside the abandoned farmhouse on the outskirts of White Haven, Pennsylvania, she wanted to hightail it out of there like the ghost-fearing girl she was. Instead, she let her crush, Marcus Wagner, lead her into the shadows.

    Oops.

    As she predicted, they ran out screaming. But something followed her home.

    Since that night, Ari is haunted by something she can’t see. It watches her when she sleeps. It caresses her in the shower. It carves words into her skin and lives alongside her, never satisfied with her terror. It always wants more, and Ari begins to fear it will take her and her date back to the farmhouse… forever.

    For Ari and Marcus, it’s not a matter of whether or not monsters are real; It’s a life-or-death race to figure out which one is out to drag their souls to hell.


    LINKS https://www.amazon.com/Ari-Each-His-Ghost-paranormal-ebook/dp/B01B52WEVE


    FREE eBOOK DOWNLOAD

    If Fae is more your thing, then SM. Boyce's series, 'The Grimoire Series' is for you, and you can get your hands on her first book for FREE by signing up to her newsletter on her official website http://smboyce.com or by visiting the Amazon page below.

    The final page will leave you breathless.

    When Kara Magari uncovers a secret door in the middle of the forest, she discovers (and trips through) a portal to a hidden world full of terrifying things: Ourea. She just wants to go home, but the natives have other plans for her. She clashes with immortal shapeshifters, is carried off by a dragon, nearly dies on several occasions, and somehow becomes the master of an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire. Every time she thinks she's safe, her new "friends" show their true colors.

    Kara needs an ally, or she might not survive Ourea's monsters. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn't know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.

    For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this stranded girl, there's something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.

    Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.