Well the start to 2020 has not been all I was hoping for. Some unexpected events have set me back in my plans and I’m struggling to get myself motivated to stick to my writing goals. Life can be a real bastard sometimes.
I won’t bore you with all the details but I did just want to mention that my gorgeous Poppy died January 16th, possibly hit by a car we will never know. She was only 4 years old and she was my baby.
I got her right at the start of my self publishing adventure so I have a lot of memories tying the two together in my head. I remember the tiny bundle of fluff pouncing on my laptop when I was trying to proof read the book and update changes for KDP uploads. She’d grab my pens, sleep on my desk, climb on my back and insisted on having long stroking sessions whenever it suited her. She always liked to get involved with whatever I was doing and she was a great companion to a writer stuck home alone all day.
I loved sharing pictures of her on my blog and today I thought it would be nice to have a memorial post celebrating her life and the joy she brought me.
The Lost Sentinel Silent Sea Chronicles #1
The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel.
The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.
Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains she must leave her old life behind.
On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.
Struggling with self-doubt, Tei joins the exiles search for their new Sentinel who is the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.
I would like to wish everyone a very happy new year. I hope 2020 is a fruitful and productive year for us all.
Before I lay out my quarterly plan, here’s a quick look back at 2019. The year was one of my quietest yet on the blogging front. But I did have the excuse of having written and published the final book in my Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy and also publishing the box set. I also released the audiobook of Visions of Zarua and went to visit the Czech edition of the book in a few bookshops in Prague. I also had three blog tours over the space of five months and a number of author events.
In 2019 reading and blogging took a back seat and with the schedule I’ve set myself in 2020 it looks like it will be more of the same. I have some exciting stories on the go and I’m really looking forward to continuing my self publishing journey. I even plan to finally get my newsletter up and running soon. So here is my quarterly plan…
Plan the remaining chapters of my WIP.
Draft the dual timeline story for my WIP.
Read and develop novella linking to current WIP, which will be offered as a reader magnet for my newsletter.
Enter Visions of Zarua into audiobook competition.
Set up Newsletter
Complete the final draft of WIP including the dual timeline story.
Complete novella and give to newsletter subscribers.
Work on the next chapters of my portal novel.
Read an old completed novel and determine if it can be rewritten. Write out a full novel plan.
Prepare the WIP for beta readers.
Publish novella in ebook format.
Read my second novel written years ago to determine if it’s worth re-writing and complete a novel plan for it.
Continue work on portal novel and start drafting up a plan.
Misc. tasks to slot in when time allows
Work on short story ideas for the book I plan to publish in the future.
Consider whether to work on a how to guide for kindle publishing as I’ve had several requests to do so.
Work on the website look and create a landing page for the newsletter.
Research ways to earn money from home using the skills I’ve learnt writing, editing, publishing and helping with my husband’s business.
Reading for the year
My Goodreads challenge of 2019 was 35 books but I only managed to read about 22.
I am being very careful this year and only going for 15 books. Hopefully I can smash this target and I would love to start reviewing books on my blog again though I won’t add that to the to do list just yet!
As it’s the beginning of 2020 and the start of a new decade I’ve decided on a new look for my author brand. This includes the banner for my social media accounts, plus bookmarks and business cards with the same design.
I love this image, don’t you?
My good friend Gareth, who writes zombie books and thrillers (check out his blog here) has been a great help. He helped me pick the image, added all the info and got the dimensions set up for the different formats.
The quote above is from an Amazon review of Visions of Zarua by Strawberry (Cat). I’ve also used a couple of quotes on the bookmarks which will hopefully arrive in a week or so and in time for our next venture out into the world trying to sell our paperbacks.
Let me know what you think of the new look.
I’ll be back tomorrow with my quarterly writing plan.
Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy
Just to say that I’m still around but I will go quiet on the blogging scene (again) as I plan to concentrate on my next three writing projects. I don’t make it easy for myself do I!
I also have a couple of Christmas events to prepare for and I can’t wait to get out in the local community. I’ll be selling my signed paperback books, which make the perfect Christmas present by the way. If you’re in Ashford Middlesex on 4th December or Wraysbury on 14th I hope to see you there. I’ll update other social media platforms with more details so don’t forget to follow me with the links below.
I hope to bring you some updates in the new year and share my plans for 2020.
Until then, keep reading, writing and enjoying every moment. And have a wonderful Christmas.
Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy
Four years – I can hardly believe my debut book has been out that long! Happy birthday to Visions of Zarua.
I hope you can forgive a bit of a promo post today as I’m so proud of this book and all I have achieved in the last 4 years. Thinking back I really can’t believe I actually had the guts to do it. Releasing my debut novel was a scary undertaking, but thanks to the wonderful reviewers and book bloggers I’ve met along the way I’ve never regretted it. In fact, self publishing is addictive and I can’t wait to get my fifth book out there!
Here’s Poppy, she’s so proud of her human.
2019 has been a massive year for Visions of Zarua with the audiobook coming out in July and the Czech translation in October. I loved visiting the bookshops in Prague and seeing it in real life.
The audiobook has been brought to life by Guy Barnes and I can never miss an opportunity to share a clip with you.
You can buy all editions of Visions of Zarua from Amazon here.
You can also buy the audiobook on iTunes or audible where it’s free to listen to with your monthly credit. If you don’t have a audible account, you can follow these links to set up an account and receive a free months trial.
(Note – If you use this link, order Visions and decide to keep your membership I will get a referral bonus from audible.)
Visions of Zarua has received some wonderful reviews on Amazon and Goodreads in the last few years. I love to read them and I thought I’d share a couple of new ones today.
Shelley Clarke – ‘The author created such believable, magical worlds with wonderful characters that I didn’t want it to end. There’s everything in this story, good v evil, romance, crime, mystery, passion & fabulous magic, all put together in a wonderful writing style.’
Jenn – ‘It perfectly mixes past and present timelines into one unique story that will have you enjoying each moment. And who doesn’t like some magic and magical beasts? Guy Barnes does a great job narrating this book.’
Rebecca – I found this book to be fresh and unique because the author combines my favorite elements of fantasy with an engaging and suspenseful mystery. I was on the edge of my seat and I couldn’t stop listening…’
Tiffany T – ‘I absolutely loved Visions of Zarua. It was very interesting to go back and forth in time to the two different stories and then see how they intertwined at the end. I almost felt like I got two stories for the price of one!’
If you have read Visions of Zarua would you consider adding your review to Amazon, Goodreads, BookBub or where ever you can think of? These reviews show other readers my book is worth a try, and if I can get enough reviews I might have a chance of getting accepted for that elusive BookBub Ad where I have a chance of reaching 1000’s of readers in one day.
Thanks for being there with me on this incredible journey. Long may it continue.
If you want to pick up your copy from Amazon, here’s that universal link again for Visions of Zarua.
I’ll leave you with the blurb just in case you haven’t seen it enough in the last four years…
Two wizards, 350 years apart. Can they save the realm of Paltria from Zarua’s dark past?
An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria.
Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of annihilation. When his master dies in mysterious circumstances, the Royal Order of Wizards refuses to investigate.
Helped by his childhood friend, the skilled tracker Varnia, and her lover Leyoch, Paddren vows to find the killer.
The investigation leads Paddren down a sinister path of assassins, secret sects and creatures conjured by blood magic. But he is guided by a connection with a wizard from centuries ago – a wizard whose history holds the key to the horror at the heart of the abandoned city of Zarua. Can Paddren decipher his visions and save the Paltrian people before the dark menace of Zarua’s past is unleashed?
Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy
I recently spent a wonderful few days in Prague enjoying the sights, the food and the drink. But the real highlights of the trip was seeing my translated book – Zarua Ztracene Mesto (Visions of Zarua) in the bookstores and visiting my publisher, Albatros Media. I signed some books for competition prizes while I was there and found out the story behind how they discovered my book too!
The holiday to Prague was months in planning and ran into its fair share of problems. I was supposed to go with my daughter and husband, but we didn’t have anyone to leave the puppy with so I transferred the flights to my parents and they came with me instead. We had various issues doing the transfer and I experienced a lot of frustration trying to get hold of the airline on the phone, but I finally got everything sorted a few days before we were due to fly.
The morning of the flight didn’t get off to a good start either when my alarm didn’t go off! My phone had decided to switch off and I woke up at 4.25am with only 5 minutes to get dressed and brush my teeth before the taxi arrived. We got to the airport on time, but my phone refused to switch back on and was heating up. It’s a closed unit so I had not option of removing the battery and I feared it wouldn’t be allowed on the plane. Thankfully a lovely man at the Dixon store showed me how to get it to switch on and it started to cool down almost instantly. The phone had hardly any charge left, but the pressure was off and I could finally relax and enjoy the start of my holiday. So much stress and it was still only 6.30am!
We arrived at our grand hotel and spent four days exploring the sights, having first got to grips with the transport system, which I must say is cheap and very simple to use once you understand it. The weather was beautiful and warm on the first day and we only needed a cardigan as we started our first adventure into Prague.
The remaining days the temperature dropped and we needed coats, scarves and gloves! We decided to take a bus tour through Prague, which included a walking tour of Prague Castle, a traditional lunch and a boat trip under Charles Bridge. The guide was very knowledgeable and we had a lot of fun despite the cold.
I would love to share some more pictures but I will save them for another post. I’ll end by saying that Prague is a great place to spend a few days exploring on foot or jumping on and off the many trams that run through the city. There are beautiful buildings everywhere you look, and don’t forget to look up or you’ll miss some great architecture. The eagle-eyed might also spot a few of these cute little guys in the River Vltava (Coypu).
Until next time…
Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy
I am really happy to be sharing news of a new release from my author friend G J Stevens. Before the End is out today!
Digging up this once-in-a-lifetime story could have lethal consequences…
Jess Carmichael longs to break a news feature that will change the world. But the TV reporter never expects a mysterious telephone call from her ex to be the source. Rushing to a shady government facility, Jess struggles to believe the outrageous reports…
With her loyal camera crew by her side, the intrepid journalist arrives in Cornwall at her partner’s last known location. But when Jess pushes for access, she gets more than she bargained for. Still kept in the dark, she’s about to play a starring role in a twisted and grisly exclusive…
Can Jess expose a sinister cover up before millions fall prey to a zombie outbreak?
Before The End is the second and standalone book in the thrilling post-apocalyptic series In The End. If you like dark horror, fast-paced action, and bloodthirsty zombies, then you’ll love GJ Stevens’ high-stakes tale.
GJ Stevens started writing fiction at the age of thirty. Even as an engineer with a large family and a full time career with plenty of adult responsibilities, he has always had a creative side. After years of self-suppression, the flood gates opened and his novel In The End is the culmination of many years of finding time from nowhere to learn the craft.
Whilst working to independently publish and make a success of his novels, Gareth lays bare his publishing journey through his blog, drawing together advice and knowledge from those already in the industry.
As a lover of the outdoors, every year he spends weekends out in the desolate countryside of the UK hiking and camping with his long-time friends which he uses as inspiration for both his creative fiction works and the subject of many a blog post. GJ Stevens is on the beginning of his publishing journey and wants to share the highs and lows with anyone who will listen.
I read book 1 earlier this year and highly recommend In the End. It was a real page turner and I loved the fact a zombie thriller was set in England, especially as Cornwall was a childhood holiday destination of mine. Thankfully we never had to deal with any zombies!
My mini review of In The End from Goodreads – 5 stars ‘This is the first zombie book I’ve read and I’m so glad I took a chance on a different genre.
I loved the fast pace and short chapters which kept me turning the pages. For the poor characters thrust into this nightmarish situation there is no let up. Even when you think they’re safe to lie down and rest, just for a moment, another shocking twist is waiting around the corner.
Be warned, it ends with a cliff hanger and I can’t wait to see what happens next!’
I’m excited to join the blog tour for Jaye Marie’s latest book, Silent Payback, which was released on 22nd October 2019.
Silent PayBack Book Description
A city on edge – a detective on shaky ground…
A serial killer roams the streets of Brighton, hunting for his next victim.
When the case lands on detective David Mallory’s desk, will his personal demon prevent him from bringing this vicious monster to justice?
As the body count rises, Mallory finds himself sinking under the weight of his heavy secret – one that could jeopardise his job and his reputation.
With the pressure building, can the troubled detective reconcile his issues and solve the case, before more women die?
Jaye Marie is affectionately known as the giant redwood, probably because she is very tall, but also because of her love for trees. Most afternoons she can be found repotting or taking care of her bonsai collection, but her love of detective mysteries soon brings her back indoors. She has written three fiction novels in this genre, Nine Lives, Out of Time and Crossfire and is looking forward to publishing Silent Payback, her fourth book.
She spends any free time learning everything she can about self-publishing, and despite all the obstacles, she never gives up on anything and is as stubborn as a mule. She also shares a website http://jenanita01.com with Anita Dawes…
2019 has been a busy year for me. Despite feeling as though I haven’t been doing much writing, as I look back I realise I’ve achieved a lot – publishing the final book in my Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy, producing the box set in ebook format and working with my narrator on the audiobook of Visions of Zarua which came out in July.
I’ve been involved in 3 blog tours to promote the above mentioned publications and have run several book stalls and pop up craft shops.
I’ve attended two major writing events this year – London Book Fair and Winchester Writers Festival and also ran a book stall at Hastings Literary Festival.
I’m off to Prague in a few days. I plan to see the translated version of Visions of Zarua in the bookshops and explore the city. I’ll be sharing lots of pictures upon my return.
Another major event has happened in my life and she is the reason I haven’t been able to write much over the last few months…
Daisy. She is a crazy puppy who has stolen much of my writing time but she has also stolen the hearts of the family. She still has a lot of growing to do and lots of training ahead of her, so who knows when I’ll find time to get fully back into writing.
At the moment I’m continuing to edit a novel that I started a few years ago. The working title is Child of Destiny and it may turn out to be a standalone dual timeline story like Visions of Zarua. The comments from beta readers so far has been positive and all three of the agents / publishers I saw at the Winchester festival with the first chapter were happy to see more when its complete.
During the summer I spent time looking over the third novel I wrote back in my early twenties. I’ve formatted it into one document, spell checked it and prepared it for a read through. It’s a whooping 200k and needs a huge edit but I do see potential in it and look forward to seeing just how much work is needed to pull it into shape.
Finally, I’ve really got the urge to write a hero again. I have a couple of story ideas that fit the bill and I want to develop them whilst I complete Child of Destiny. I think it’s important to have more than one project on the go and preparing writing for the three writing groups I attend certainly keeps me busy!
That’s it on the writing front for now. I’ll leave you with another snap of Daisy. It makes a change from all the book posts!