it’s always five AM somewhere

I have taken my courage in my hands and committed to something. The #5amWritersClub on twitter is for writers. Who want to get up early and get some words in at the start of the day at five AM.

You can probably guess that from the hashtag.

I have no chance of doing that at my own five in the morning, but it’s ALWAYS five somewhere and I’ve started joining it at about ten my own time for a couple of hours.

I have no deadlines imposed on me from elsewhere; but I do have two works in progress to get to grips with and a few ideas for short stories. It’s just making the time to get the words down on the page.

The last couple of weeks has been awful for the gay romance genre, with various catfishing and publishing troubles. Although I have only been an observer, the sheer horribleness of it all seems to have pulled all the creativity out of me. Despite the impending school holidays, this seems like it might be a good way to manage some time to write.

I have also discovered white noise. How did I not know about this before?


Well that’s February done with, thank goodness.

I’m completely over winter. We’ve had a very snowy few days and the children have been off school, confined to barracks. We are all sick of each other. Everyone but me has a cold-cough thing that sounds revolting. And I’m a rubbish nurse,¬† so I just want to yell at people and bully them in to getting better. On top of that, I’ve been struggling with end-of-winter depression and was just managing to pull myself out of it when the snow happened.

Obviously I love my family dearly. But being shut in a bungalow with one reception room with them for a week with no escape has become tedious. And because of the one-reception-room issue, I haven’t been able to focus on anything properly and I am behind on my self-imposed word-count.

So there you go. That was today’s Misery Infovert. Thank you for listening :).

In other news though, the snow is very pretty; and watching a dachshund navigate it is hilarious and very cheering. And we got to watch Thor Ragnarock, which was also extremely cheering on every possible level.

I am hoping that rambling about nothing in particular  here will start my writerly juices flowing again tomorrow when the kids go back to school.



thank you, everyone!

My review tour for Lost in Time ended today and I have just sent out the Amazon eVoucher to the winner of the Rafflecopter draw. Thank you so much to everyone who participated and Dear Winner, I hope you enjoy your spends!

This is the first time I’ve done anything like this (obviously, with it being a first novel and all) and it’s been a real learning curve, in a very positive way. Once I got over the sheer, blinding terror of realising that people were going to read my writing and have thoughts about it, I’ve enjoyed the roller-coaster ride.

There’s been a lot of talk on social media recently about the way that authors and reviewers interact. I have dealt with my innate fear of judgement by simply avoiding reading reviews at all. Mr AL has been deputised to do that for me and has summarised the things readers liked and the things they didn’t like. I do want to thank everyone who has left feedback in all the various different places, even though I’m too scared to read it! It means a great deal to writers that people feel strongly enough to do that, whether it’s positive or negative, because it means that the book connected with you in some way, and that is a good thing.

I think that once you release a book in to the wild, that’s it, really. It’s a bit like having children. You do your best and then you set them free to live their own life and they have to stand on their own two feet. Readers take their own meaning from your words and that either resonates in a positive or a neutral or a negative way. Writers have no control over that and we just have to try and be confident that the work will stand on it’s own.

Mr AL worked in theatre for a good long while and I think it’s a similar thing- you create the work and people invest it with their own meaning, whatever sort of emotional response that is.

Anyway. With all the launch shennanigins out of the way I can get back to actually doing some more writing. I am nearly half way through the sequel to Lost in Time and I hope that you will join me for more of Alec and Lew’s adventures and those of their friends. I do plan some short stories in the same world in the meantime. My writing time is a bit curtailed at the moment by Real Life ™, but I’m getting there, slowly and surely.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Rafflecopter draw. And thank you for reading!



Beware, this is a bucolic, pastoral post, instead of me doing any actual writing of fiction.

I usually power-down between Christmas and the New Year and this season has been no different. It’s cold and it’s wet and it’s dark and it’s much nicer to spend my time curled up inside in front of the fire watching mildly rubbish TV with the kids than trying to be creative. Or to try and wrest a living from the land, which is is what I attempt to do when I’m not writing.

The children went back to school last week and Mr AL and I spent the time getting our collective heads on straight; putting the decorations back up in the loft; catching the plague of mice that arrived out of the decorations boxes and started eating the tea-towels; and generally taking a breath.

For me it was also a week of heightened anxiety, because Lost in Time was released. I didn’t realise how much boshing up self-publishing early last year had affected me, up until now. I have had to work really hard not to compulsively check for new reviews and get on with the job of writing new words. Mr AL has been looking at reviews and feeding things back to me and that has worked really well as a cushion between me and the world.

This week, then, I feel better about Acting Like A Real Human ™ and despite it being cold and wet and having spent most of the morning standing in my pyjamas shouting things like “WHERE ARE YOUR TRAINERS! HAVE YOU CLEANED YOUR TEETH! TURN ALEXA OFF!” I can feel words bubbling up inside me almost ready to boil over on to the page.

I need to plant lettuce and get the hens back in to lay and decide whether I’m going to mate the rabbits again this year. But for now all that can wait whilst I retreat to 1920s London for a while.




Queeromance Ink

This post is a heads-up about Queeromance Ink. It’s an author-driven directory service that lists books by and for queer authors and readers.

I’ve been a member for twelve months as an author and they are currently having a drive to make more people aware of what a good resource they are, so this is my helping hand.

As an author, I pay them twenty dollars a month.¬† For readers, it’s free. Categories are very precise and searchable. You search for what you want to read and then click through to buy it either direct from the publisher, or from the eReader platform you prefer. There is a ‘To be Read’ section on the site, and you can also click the star next to any author to ‘like’ them and to be notified when they add or release books. Plus, you’ll get an email if any of your TBR list books go on sale.

To join, just go to the membership page and click on the SELECT button next to ‘Reader’. Then fill out the information on the following page and submit the form. As a sweetener for new joiners, you’ll be sent five free queer fantasy books after February 1st. I hope it becomes a go-to resource for QUILTBAG romance books.

There is also a sister site, Queer Sci Fi.

Here endeth the blatant push!