Posts Tagged ‘self publishing tips’

5 Star Reviews for The Morrow Secrets YA Gothic Fantasy, Book 2 The Shadow of The Swarm

June 13th, 2014
The Shadow of the Swarm

The Shadow of the Swarm

5 Stars! Another cracking story from Susan, 13th June 2014

I loved the first book and couldn’t wait for this one, I was not disappointed. It is just as intriguing, sinister and riveting as it’s predecessor. The characters are excellent. I like the way Tallitha is plucky but can also feel nervous…it’s much more real than a hero who is all gung-ho and brave. The shroves repulse me….can’t imagine why anyone would have them in the same house…I can smell them from the description….yuck! It is well written and holds ones interest all the time.

As with the prequel Susan leaves us with a cliff hanger of an ending…now we have a year to wait for the final book….that is my only criticism!


The Cat, Slynose in Pursuit5 Stars A brilliant sequel!,

This is the second of Susan McNally’s Morrow Secrets books – the first one came out last year – and it’s just as good as the first one. It’s centred around the same main character and she’s joined not only by lots of the other characters from the first book but by new ones too. They’re all brought brilliantly to life and have more fantastic adventures. I don’t want to give anything anyway but there are some new locations which are unlike anything I’ve encountered before – spooky gothic indeed. Read it!

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How To Write A Children’s Novel

August 7th, 2012

Listen to my radio interview with Viv Oyolu on the Dream Corner Radio Show about

the creative process of writing the fantasy children’s story, The Morrow Secrets.

The rambling house of Winderling Spires

The interview includes ideas and tips on how to write children’s fiction, the new e-book phenomenon,

the ups and downs of self-publishing and how to develop your approach to characterisation.

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

How to Improve Your Search Engine Optimisation: Getting Your Book Blog Out There

August 7th, 2012

When I started writing my book I just thought I’d write it, polish it and edit it a few times then post it on Amazon and that would be it!

How wrong I was. Writing the book was fun and easy compared to the marketing and PR needed so that people ( beyond your friends and family) find it. Even then that’s not enough.

The Black Hound from Ragging Brows Forest

So you’ve uploaded your fabulous book on to Amazon, you’ve had some sales then you realise that your book is a tiny little needle in the huge Amazon haystack. How will anyone ever find the book I have written? That’s the BIG, BIG question. This is what some of what I’ve learned so far:

You’ll need a website and it must have interesting content; you’ll need to blog on a regular basis to attract people to your site. You’ll need a blogging plan that covers all the things you want to say to your readers.

How will anyone find your website… you’ll have to increase your SEO (search engine optimisation) How will the google spiders find you? How will you increase your presence? By adding your site to blog directories. I have just started doing this so I’ll see if it makes a difference. This takes a lot of time working out which URL they want in the format they want it.

You must reply to the people who take the time to comment on your blog. You then need to understand google analytics and feedburner, to see what sort of website traffic you’re attracting. Then experiment with different posts. What do your readers like? How much traffic have you got? Which countries are they from? Do they stay on your pages? Which pages? Do they blounce off again…

So you see I didn’t know I had to be a marketing, IT, social networking, analyst. I thought I’d just write my children’s fanatsy adventure and the rest would be history….. how wrong I was!



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Posted in Being An Author, Better Blogging, Creative Writing Process, Improving your SEO, The Morrow Secrets, Writing | Comments (0)

Radio Interview with Susan McNally Author of The Morrow Secrets

August 5th, 2012

This is the link to the radio interview where I talk about the writing process, the ups and downs

of self-publishing and how to sustain creativity.

Winderling Spires

 If you know someone who is interested in writing fiction please share the link with them.

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Posted in Being An Author, Best Children's Fiction, books for 9-14 year olds, Creative Writing Process, Gothic Fiction, How to Write a Children's Novel, Improving your SEO, New Children's Adventure Story, Self Publishing Tips, The Morrow Secrets | Comments (0)

How to Write Fiction: Radio Interview with Susan McNally author of The Morrow Secrets

August 5th, 2012
Winderling Spires
Listen to this radio interview about how I began writing fiction, my top tips on sustaining
the creative writing process and the ups and downs of self-publishing.
Tell me what you think!
Please share with anyone you know who is interested in becoming a writer.

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Posted in Being An Author, How to Write a Children's Novel, Self Publishing, Self Publishing Tips, The Morrow Secrets | Comments (0)

How to Self Publish

August 4th, 2012

The first thing is you have to get over the embarrassment of publicising your work. You have to network; talk about it and enthuse people

Use Facebook; twitter; and all social media. This is something I am still learning about.

Winderling Spires

The great thing is that you’re in charge of everything. No one can make you change anything in your book, a character’s name or a plot line.

But the kindle is still in it’s infancy … it will grow bigger and bigger. Many people don’t own a kindle so they need to download one of the many kindle apps

You will need help. Invest in marketing, a decent website with a blog. You may also need help loading the book on the amazon self-publishing site. It isn’t straightforward as the book needs formatting in the kindle format.


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Ten Rules for Writing Fiction!

August 1st, 2012

I had a gap between finishing The Morrow Secrets and starting the second book in my trilogy… about a week! Then I got caught up in my website, how to do a blog, self -publishing and all the other things you have to do by yourself to be an indie-writer! I didn’t know there was so much stuff to do apart from write my books. Now of course I know differently and try to divide my time between actually writing book two in the series and publicising book one… and that’s hard.

So now book two is underway, which tips would I like to remind myself of? Here are some of my favourite ones.

* Sometimes you have to kill off your favourite children… that means at times you may have to write a character out of the story because he/she doesn’t work anymore.

* Don’t give up writing, even when you’ve had a bad day just keep going and it will come right… write more, not less!

* Read books all the time in your genre and outside of it. Observe what writers do – how they write dialogue; build tension and create great characters that leap off the page

* Good dialogue flows from knowing your characters inside out, how they will react in any situation. You don’t really know them until they begin to inhabit your head space !

* Continuity is key. You don’t have to remember every one of your character’s idiosyncracies … keep note cards on each character, different themes, any activity that is repeated ( for me it was Tallitha’s trances) and key events that you refer to in the plot.

* This is a good one. Take no notice of the criticism people you don’t respect. But take notice of the criticism from people you do respect. Have a thick skin, you’ll need it.

* Defend your work. You know best how it was meant to be. It’s your story, your characters, just love them! That’s why self publishing is so good – no one can tell you to change a character’s name.

* Most importantly – write the book you want to read. If you don’t love the story, no one else will.

* Writing is never a quick win. It takes a lot of time and patience. If patience doesn’t come easily …try and acquire some.

* Characters will grow and evolve as you write the book.. be prepared to change them!

Most of all, enjoy yourself! When the writing really flows being an author is the best ever.. it transports you to a magical world all of your own creation. Treasure it…


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Posted in Being An Author, books for 9-14 year olds, Fantasy Trilogy, How to Write a Children's Novel, Magical Adventure, Self Publishing Tips, Writing | Comments (0)

How To Write Fiction: Gothic Fantasy and The Creative Writing Process

July 28th, 2012
Winderling Spires

I wish there was an easy answer but I guess my top 5  tips would be:

1. Write the book you want to read; if you’re not gripped no one else will be.
2. Your first draft is only that… now edit and get someone else to edit the book too.
3. Know your characters inside out and what will they do in any situation.
4. Good dialogue comes from knowing your characters really well, then the words will flow.
5. Always stop when you are brimming with new ideas then it will be easy to start the next day.
If you get blocked do something else, leave the writing alone and do some research. But don’t
stop completely – stay with the project.

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Posted in Being An Author, Best Children's Fiction, books for 9-14 year olds, How to Write a Children's Novel, Self Publishing Tips | Comments (0)

How to Write a Great Children’s Novel for 9 to 14 Year Olds

July 16th, 2012

Be ever alert, collecting snippets of random information from people, the TV and newspaper articles.

So always carry a note book, or a phone so you can make a note of these ideas.
The Morrow Sisters, Edwina & Sybilla experimenting with their perfumes.

The Morrow Sisters, Edwina & Sybilla

Believe me, if you don’t do it there and then you will have forgotten that magical moment by the time you find a pen!

I find art a great inspiration for vignettes in my book, particularly gothic art from the Macarbre and the Beautifully Grotesque. These paitings lead me on a thought journey, moving from one idea to the next until suddenly the solution comes to me.

Always be alert, listening for words that inspire you and that will work in your book so listen to what people are saying. This will help with your dialogue too.

Keep lists of inspirational ideas, words, thoughts. At some point they will be useful.

If someone or something catches your eye, make a note of it. How someone wears their hair, their expression, even if you don’t like them! It can be a resource for your wicked characters.

You have to be a bit of a magpie! Collect all sorts of things…



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Self Publishing Tips

June 18th, 2012

After many hours, glitches, taking the book down and starting again, my book is loaded on Amazon!

To other budding authors – Do not under estimate the work involved to get to this place – the rewrites,

Ruker, the Skink in Hanging Tree Islands

the editing, getting the format ready to upload onto the Amazon site.

But at last I can see The Morrow Secrets on my kindle…. all my words, my story, the characters and Luke’s great illustrations…. and that’s what I aimed for, now I just want people to enjoy reading it and to blog me!!

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