Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

Top Ten Self Publishing Tips for Indie Authors

August 19th, 2012

If I had known what I know now about the work involved in self publishing, would I do it? The answer has to be yes but it is so much work,  and you have to be dogged.

So I thought I would give you my top 10 tips about self-publishing.

The Old Dark House of Secrets at Winderling Spires

*The top one has to be get your book edited, professionally. I know that costs money but you don’t want grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. After reading the book through 3 or 4 times you will be unable to see the errors no matter how good your writing is.

* Get a professional illustrator to do your book cover. This is the first thing that your potential reader will see and you don’t want to put them off with an unprofessional approach.

* You have to be very patient and persistent.

*Join all the usual writing and reading sites on Face Book / Linked In and see if they work for you. Join a GoodRead to connect with other readers and writers

* The successful Indie writers say that you have to write the next book to increase your presence ( I’m doing it, honestly!)

* You have to have a good website that is updated regularly with interesting content and can attract readers

* Build a blog presence. This will take time and a lot of effort. Build a posting plan of things you want to blog about.

* Be generous with other writers, share experiences, do guest blogs and hang out generally.

* Get on twitter, there are lots of us out there

* Keep up with all the social networking. Join Face Book and Linked In

* Received wisdom from the successful Indie writers out there say that doing things in person do not scale up. This is a global market so extent your reach through the internet. You can always do book signings when you are in print…

There are many more, these just happen to be the ones in my head today!



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Posted in Being An Author, books for 9-14 year olds, Creative Writing Process, Fantasy Trilogy, Gothic Fiction, Research, Self Publishing, Self Publishing Tips, The Morrow Secrets | Comments (0)

Secret Rooms & Hidden Floors in the Gothic House of Winderling Spires

August 9th, 2012

 Tallitha’s story is a gothic fantasy adventure of clandestine exploration in the mysterious house of Winderling Spires, full of secret rooms and hidden floors. The rambling house is a complex interwoven web of staircases leading to abandoned wings and towers.

Will she be able to unearth the secrets as the ghostly spectres bear down on her from the Morrow past?

The house of secrets at Winderling Spires

 It is a house of many secrets to be discovered.

 Inhabited by strange exotic characters.

 Then the journey begins…..

 During my research into the gothic stately homes in England, I came across Highclere Castle

Amazing floor plans of the most enormous houses. I have always been fascinated by labyrinthine, complex

dwellings where rooms have been shut

up for years… with family legends and ghostly stories. The Morrow Secrets, is just such a tale…

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Posted in Gothic Fiction, Gothic Influences, New Children's Adventure Story, Research, Supernatural, The Morrow Secrets, Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Top 10 Children’s Books of all time

August 5th, 2012

Winderling Spires

I spoke to a number of 10 to 14 year olds about their favourite books of all time and this is what they came up with ( in no particular order):   Then you can tell me which books you have loved the most! Just blog me here…

The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe by CS Lewis

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner

Charlotte’s Web by EB White

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Borrowers by Mary Norton

The Hobbit JRR Tolkein

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

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Posted in Being An Author, Best Children's Fiction, Creative Writing Process, Gothic Fiction, How to Write a Children's Novel, New Children's Adventure Story, Research, The Morrow Secrets | Comments (0)

Gothic Cemeteries and Gothic Book Research

July 31st, 2012

Last week I went to the Western section of Highgate Cemetary in leafy North London  to do research for the next book in The Morrow Secrets series. Oh what a fantastic gothic haven! The cemetary is packed with ideas – the amazing Egyptian Avenue filled with family vaults leading to the a circle of gothic catacombs.

The Egyptian Avenue


Many famous people are buried there: three women authors, George Eliot ( “Middlemarch”) d.1880; Radclyffe-Hall d.1943 who wrote “The Well of Loneliness” and Stella Webb d. 1989 better known as Stella Gibbons who wrote “Cold Comfort Farm” –

On the tour we heard about supernatural writers and films. Dracula has been filmed there and A Picture of Dorian Gray with Colin Firth.

As a writer I always take a camera and something to jot down ideas. In the late Victorian era families would often visit their dearly departed and take tea with them in the vaults!

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Posted in Being An Author, Gothic Influences, How to Write a Children's Novel, Magical Adventure, New Children's Adventure Story, Research, The Morrow Secrets | Comments (0)

Gothic Fantasy Fiction & Research for Writing

June 27th, 2012

Winderling Spires

Spent most of the day doing research on gothic houses, fantastic gothic photographics and spooky houses.

Check out  the Facebook page for the wonderful site the “Macarbre and the Beautifully Grotesque”!/grotesqMB which is full of gothic castles and supernatural photographs taken from across the world. Very inspirational for a writer of children’s fantasy fiction.

There were photos of paranormal events, magic, inexplicable events , fantasy castles, creepy churches and fabulous interiors of gothic houses.

I needed inspiration for the interior of Hellstone Tors, the winding staircases and individual palaces… the towers and magical turrets inhabited by the wicked Morrow Swarm.

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Posted in Being An Author, Gothic Influences, Research, Supernatural, Teen Fiction | Comments (0)