My Writing Process Blog Hop

Blog HopI’ve been invited to join the My Writing Process blog hop by Margie, a writer I met when we were both quarter finalists in the mystery and thriller category of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2014. Thanks, Margie!

Margie’s blog is mlortega. She’s just published her first book, Turn Key Condition, a cosy mystery with a dark side, so do take a look.

The way the blog hop works is, a writer answers four basic questions about their writing process, and then passes the baton to two other authors. So here we go! Continue reading

Opinion: Quantity Plus Quality – Why Sometimes More is More

badge-185x185-authorI’m a member of ALLi – the Alliance of Independent Authors, a non-profit association for self-publishing authors and advisors, that provides advice and help to independent writers and a writing community to share thoughts and problems with. As part of that sharing, I wrote a post for them on how I reconcile the commitment to quality with the need to write more, and they’ve kindly allowed me to share that post with you here.

Opinion: Quantity Plus Quality – Why Sometimes More is More

‘I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.’ William Faulkner Continue reading

ABNA Quarter Finalist!

Amazon Quarter Final blog postThe Cherry Blossom Murder has been selected as a quarter finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2014!

The contest runs annually and accepts 10,000 entries worldwide in five categories – general fiction, mystery and thriller, romance, young adult, and science fiction, fantasy and horror. The Cherry Blossom Murder is in the mystery and thriller category.

In the first round, entries are reduced from 10,000 to 2,000. In the second stage those 2,000 compete for a place in the quarter finals, open only to the best 500 (the top 100 in each category). That means that 95% of entries fail to make it to the quarter finals.

So you can see, it’s pretty exciting to still be in the running as one of the top 5%, especially as a competition as prestigious as this, run by the biggest publisher in the world, attracts a mass of high-quality entries.

It’s a long, slow process, the ABNA. It began back in February when it opened to submissions and it won’t finish until July when the eventual winner is announced. But just now I’m savouring the taste of victory and crossing my fingers for the next stage. Wish me luck in the semi-finals!

Screen Shot ABNA Quarter Finals

The Cherry Blossom Murder reaches Round 2 of ABNA!

I’m so pleased and excited! The Cherry Blossom Murder is through to Round 2 of ABNA!

ABNA is the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. It runs annually and is open to books in the English language regardless of where in the world they are written. It accepts ten thousand entries so you can see it’s a big competition.

There are five categories in ABNA – The Cherry Blossom Murder has been selected in the Mystery/Thriller category. ABNA selects the top four hundred books in each category to go through to the next round, which means that, overall, eighty percent of the entries fail to make it through to this stage. So you can see why I’m pretty thrilled still to be in the running.

So have I won anything? Yes! I get a third prize, which is an Amazon Editors review of the first chapter of my book. If I make it any further there are more goodies. Second prize, for getting though to the quarter final, is a Publishers Weekly review of the book, first prize is an Amazon publishing contract and the grand prize is a publishing contract plus 50,000 dollars.

A long way to go yet, and plenty of fabulous books to compete with. But I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for the next round!