We’re #1!

Some weeks are good weeks and some weeks are great weeks. This is a great week and I’m just going to take a moment to enjoy that. I didn’t get into writing with the idea I was going to make money from it. Sure, I’ve had my little fantasies from time to time, I guess all authors have but realistically my goals were more grounded. First and foremost it was about getting my story in the hands of people who would get something out of reading it. Second to that, I had this vain little desire that one day I might walk into a book shop and see my book on a shelf. Who knew that in one week both dreams would come true.

As I’ve said before, I know very little about book promotion, my approach could at best be called scatter gun. I’m not against trying new things however, and when I read a fellow author had great success with a free promotion using Freebooksy, I thought why not give it a go. Well, I only went and reached #1 in the Amazon Kindle free e-book chart for Teen and YA LGBTQ+ didn’t I! Over 700 downloads in a single day and counting. I am, in equal parts, stunned and grateful.

But it doesn’t end there. I was scrolling my FB, as you do and what should I find? A brand new book shop dedicated to indie authors. Wow! I clicked on the link and guess what, it was just down the road from me a few miles away. I hopped in the car and headed on over to chat with the owner, the lovely Kirsty McKay, and she’s agreed to stock both of my books. I’m going to be in a book shop!

So yes, this has been a very good week. If you want your free e-book copy of the Key of Ornoss, head over to Amazon but be quick the sale ends Friday 8th July. And if you want to check out the book shop I mentioned it’s called The Book Dragon, it’s in Stockton-on-Tees in the UK and it’s fab!


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!