From a hobby, writing has become a passion for me. There are stories waiting to be told, adventures hiding beneath the blank pages of the author’s notebook. I love nothing more than bringing them to life and watching my characters as they struggle with situations and encounters in magical realms and far off lands.

Stories offer us an escape from the everyday, a chance to leave the mundane behind and embark on an epic quest while sitting on our sofa or the tube on the way to work. But books need readers and that brings me to a battle I’m ill equipped to fight. Yes, I think I can write and you know, I believe I’m not half bad at art but when it comes to book promotion my report card says D- in large red letters.

So I’ve hit upon a plan. First and foremost this has always been about getting the story out there, not the money. I get it, books aren’t cheap, nothing is cheap these days and I’m a bit of an unknown quantity to prospective new readers. True, I have a few nice reviews but it’s still a risk spending your hard-earned on someone you’ve never heard of. That’s why, from 4th to 8th July The Key of Ornoss will be free to download from the Kindle store. Hopefully that will encourage a few more people to take a punt and try out a new author. Will it work? Who knows but it’s got to be worth a try, right?

Please keep your fingers crossed for me! Much love, AJx

Now for the tricky part

So, my new book, The Rod of Xerus is out and I’m very happy with it. I have a few readers who are eagerly awaiting it and that’s always great to know. But to get it out to a wider audience requires a set of skills that I confess, I don’t have.

Marketing and promoting are my Achille’s heel. I love the writing, I even enjoy the editing and publishing and it’s great fun coming up with cover designs and ideas. But contacting people and asking them if they’ll review it is another matter. Sure, if I had a budget I could pay for a lot of promotional activity but I don’t. As they say in Yorkshire, it’s owt for nowt as far as I’m concerned.

Now, I do have a close family member who is a skilled animator working for the wonderful Silver Lining Animation and he came up with a GIF based on the image you see here. I really hope this attracts some attention and I’ll be shamelessly posting it repeatedly on by Facebook and Insta accounts. If you have any thoughts on it you’d like to share, let me know.

Yes, another new cover

I know Key of Ornoss has had a couple of cover updates already but as I can’t afford a cover artist and have to use my own meagre skills, it was never going to be perfect first time (or second time… third time, oh well). Anyway, I was drifting off to sleep the other night and a new cover image popped into my head, fully formed. I knew immediately it was the one and the next day set to work creating it on my old version of Photoshop.

I think it’s a big improvement and I can’t wait to see what it looks like in my hands but what do you think?

It’s finally here!

Not going to say a lot, because frankly I’m tired. I’ve just got over Covid (thankfully) and I’ve been working like stink to get book two of the Tome of Báirseach out this year, and, well, I’ve done it!

The Rod of Xerus, sequel to last year’s Key of Ornoss is now out and available to buy on Amazon. I have to say, it’s been such great fun to write but I hardly slept last night as the plot and details for book three in the trilogy kept pouring in and whirling round my brain.

Anyway, I hope you like it and if you do, please leave a review as that really helps me out. Thanks!

Editing… meh!

We’re not quite on the home straight but we are on the final lap. My editor has sent back the first section of The Rod of Xerus complete with her usual insightful comments, helpful suggestions and many, many corrections. Lots of work for me but it’s happy work. Where would I be without her!

I don’t generally plan things but my intention is to get the anticipated sequel to The Key of Ornoss out by Christmas. It’s a big ask but having published my first book earlier this year my (slightly unrealistic) hope is that I won’t have forgotten absolutely everything about how to do that.

If you haven’t picked up your copy of The Key of Ornoss yet, you might want to wait, I’m planning a sale to celebrate the launch of the sequel. No dates for that yet, as usual I’m just enjoying things, taking it easy and letting the creative juices flow. Maybe some of that comes down to attitude, being Irish and living in England, I’ve never really bought into the whole ‘hurry and worry’ thing. Life’s too short, isn’t it? So why not just take it one day at time, get through the challenges and enjoy the good bits. For me those are the simple things. Suits me, I’m a simple sort of a person.

(In case you’re wondering, the chap in the picture might feature on the front cover in some way. The first lucky person to guess who he is will get a free copy of the new book in the format of your choice.)