Sylvermoon Chronicles is an annual short story anthology created by The Confederacy of the Quill, an international writers’ cooperative. I am very proud to have one of my stories, Contaminus, included in the 2019 issue of this highly regarded anthology series.
While the book releases on Valentines Day, it should not be mistaken for a romance collection.
Rather, I like to think of it as a gift for those who, like me, would sooner read genres other than lovey-dovey romance, and a welcome distraction from all the kissy-face sentimentality often associated with February 14th. The Sylvermoon Chronicles series features stories in the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Adventure.
It is an honor to be published in a series which I have very much enjoyed as a reader, alongside a number of authors whose work I have previously read, reviewed and fangirled over. I was both excited and slightly surprised when my story was accepted, especially given the inspiration behind the writing of Contaminus.
New worlds await you in the newest Sylvermoon Chronicles collection, which hit the shelves today. The ebook is widely available now, and the paperback will be available soon.
One of the questions authors are often asked is “What do you write?”
I used to simply answer “poetry”. Then I turned my hand to horror, so my tagline became “Poetry with soul and horror with none”. Then I wrote a couple of fantasy novellas for the Once Upon A Time Anthology.
As my 11th book hits the stores, it’s fair to say now that I am a multi-genre author. While my poetry and horror only occasionally converge, they certainly did so most effectively in A Poet’s Curse.
‘Smoke and Shadows’, though, really is a genuine multitasker when it comes to genre. It’s much more than “just poetry”.
In the pages of this book, you will find:
Whatever genre you prefer to read, you will find ‘Smoke and Shadows’ a refreshing change of perspective.
I’m really proud of this book, and I hope you enjoy my work.
There is something extraordinary about seeing a book you have written hit the shelves on release day.
Months of work. Writing. Refining. Painstaking editing. Preparing a marketing plan and creating ads.
And then the day comes, and you wait for the clock to tick over. Because time is a contrary beast, it drags its heels and makes you wait.
The waiting, though, is as exciting as it is tiresome. It really is a lot like waiting for Christmas or a birthday,
There is another layer of joy in this anticipation for me. After several really challenging years, it feels as though 2019 is starting in a very positive way that closes the door on those painful chapters.
That’s because while there are still poems in this collection that explore the darkness and the shadows that can plague us, there is a greater focus on looking at experiences and challenges with the clarity of hindsight that enables us to see through the deceptions and illusions to which we so often fall prey.
I see in many of these poems a fulfilment of the desperation expressed in some of my darker work. There is, quite frankly, more light and more hope .
It is that positivity and hope that I intend to carry into the new year.
One of the things I love most about the Indie author community is the way people encourage each other and work together.
Of course, you can find bullies and selfish people anywhere, but I have been very blessed to move in really supportive circles full of very positive people.
One such group goes by the name of Sparkly Badgers. It’s a group based on Facebook, although the members can be found on all sorts of social media. The Sparkly Badgers are deliberate about encouraging and supporting each other and the books we write.
They’ve done something really special recently, though, by creating the Sparkly Badgers’ Christmas Anthology.
This book is a family-friendly Christmas themed anthology designed to not only provide readers with an excellent collection of holiday reading, but also to raIse money for the Avon Riding Centre for the Disabled. It’s a project I am most honoured and proud to be part of, and which I am happy to encourage my readers to order.
It contains short stories and poetry in a variety of genres, all related one way or another to the Christmas theme.
All profits from the sale of this delightful book will go towards enriching the lives of disabled kids by providing them with a most enjoyable and memorable experience.
The Sparkly Badgers Christmas Anthology is available for preorder now, and is due for release on November 16. After that date, it will also be available in paperback.
I’ve preordered my copy, and I hope you will, too!
It’s available on Amazon.
My Grandpa used to tell me that there were never any guarantees of success, but there was one sure-fire way to fail, and that was to not try.
It’s good advice, and I’m thankful for that lesson – and many others – that he instilled in me.
What a surprise this morning to realise it has been a year since ‘New Horizons’ was published.
When it launched, I was nervous about how it would be received. People knew me as a poet. Would they be interested in these stories? Would they find them as meaningful and profound as my poems?
It was certainly fitting that these stories are about how people encounter and respond to changes and new situations in their lives. Heaven knows, I was experiencing that for myself at the time.
Since then, it has sold around the world in paperback as well as ebook, and has won the 2017 SIBA Award for Best Short Story collection. It now has a shiny badge on its cover to announce that recognition to the world.
This gave me good reason for positive reflection this morning. There are times when life feels as though it’s at a standstill, or when it feels like I’m not achieving what I want to as a writer.
Yet in the past year, I’ve achieved more than I ever would have thought or dared to imagine twelve months ago:
Three new poetry collections, all of which have been nominated for awards.
Of those three books, Nova has won awards for 2017 Top Female Author – Poetry, Reality Bites 2017 Best Non-Romance, and the bronze medal for a poetry collection in the 2017 SIBA Awards.
Two poems in two different themed anthologies, nestled in amongst the work of some incredible writers.
Two macabre/horror titles.
Two ‘reinvented’ fairy tales about to be published in a magnificent anthology titled ‘Once Upon A Fabulous Time’, with other stories written by five of the most creative minds I know.
If you’re a writer – published, aspiring, or just for your own enjoyment – be encouraged. You may feel like you’re not achieving much, but you are. You may feel like you’re a small fish in a very large sea, but every small fish has its place and a purpose, too.
If there’s something you feel you’d like to do, or try, but you’re lacking confidence – be encouraged. You will never know what you can do until you try. The only way to find out where any road will take you is to follow it.
My Grandpa used to tell me that there were never any guarantees of success, but there was one sure-fire way to fail, and that was to not try. It’s good advice, and I’m thankful for that lesson – and many others – that he instilled in me.
So here’s to another year and whatever challenges, journeys and victories it brings.
Most of my poems reflect some element of my own life in an honest and hopefully creative way.
I want people to understand that life is full of challenges and trials as well as moments of victory and celebration. I want people experiencing those trials and challenges to know they are not alone, and that someone else knows what it’s like to go through that.
Poetry isn’t always whimsy and romance. In fact, my poetry is only ever infrequently either of those things.
Most of my poems reflect some element of my own life in an honest and hopefully creative way. I want people to understand that life is full of challenges and trials as well as moments of victory and celebration. I want people experiencing those trials and challenges to know they are not alone, and that someone else knows what it’s like to go through those things.
The Passing Of The Night is a new collection of my poems that reflects those truths honestly and, I hope, in beautiful language through varied and interesting imagery. It’s true that there is a piece of my soul on every page.
People experience all kinds of night: loneliness, grief, depression, anxiety, fear, pain, and countless other darknesses.
This newly released collection of profound lyrical poems explores the poet’s own experiences and observations of both dark and light, revealing her determination to not only survive, but to conquer whatever tries to overcome her.
At the end of it all, the poet demonstrates that the smallest sign of light is enough to help a wandering soul find hope in the passing of the night.
I’ve just opened Vol 4, No. 25 to find that it contains another of my poems, Rogue Wave. That’s the poem that was shortlisted by Wildsound Festival of Poetry in November, and performed by Michelle Alexander as part of the Wildsound Festival.
The amazing editors there have given me a great bio and a three page spread for my poem, ‘The Sea’, enhanced by some lovely photography, on pages 22-25 of Issue 24.
It’s always a thrill to find out someone likes something that I’ve written. That kind of connection is why writers write, and why artists paint, sculpt and create.
Can you imagine my excitement when I saw the beautiful treatment they’ve given my poem?
I hope you’ll take the time to click through and read my poem.
Of course, my poem isn’t really just about the sea. It uses the sea, and the shore, as an allegory for depression and anxiety. The poem itself is about living with and through that, and surviving.
TAT Poetry is a great magazine every month, and I am really honoured to be featured in it!
I’d also really appreciate it if you’d share it around on twitter, facebook, or your other preferred social media.
‘Leaf’ is my first published collection of poems in which I explore my own humanity, experiences, and observations about life in a way that will challenge the reader to see things from a new perspective.