Happy to be Back!

It’s been far too long since I wrote a post and I’ve really missed doing so. Unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way, and/or other things must take precedence. Last year was not a good year for my family. We had so many illnesses to deal with, some of them worryingly serious. All in all, I got little writing done at all, either on my books or my blog. So this year has been a mad rush to get Book 3 of my Sons of Kings series finished, edited and formatted and published on Amazon. And, at last, this is it:

It was uploaded onto Amazon a couple of weeks ago, so I can now start to relax a little and get back to writing a few blog posts. Well, that’s the plan… On the other hand, Book 3 didn’t finish either of my protagonists’ stories, so I am now writing Book 4. My trilogy has become a series (or perhaps a quadrilogy).

All three of my Sons of Kings books will be 99p/$0.99 until July 31st. After that, Book 1 (Shadow of the Raven)  will be 99p for a little longer, Book 2 (Pit of Vipers) will be $1.99 and Book 3 (Wyvern of Wessex) will be $2.99, the usual price for each of the three books.

My book of short stories and flash fiction pieces will be still at its usual price of £1.49/$1.97. Amazon won’t allow it to be any lower because of the number of coloured images I’ve included. I had intended this book to be permanently 99p!


51 thoughts on “Happy to be Back!

    1. Oops, hit the wrong button (new ergonomic keyboard, ugh). Meant to add: I love the cover of the new book, wow! I am a bit terrified that my “accidental” trilogy will turn into an even-more-accidental longer series, too. I hope you have a good idea for how to wrap everything up in the fourth book. And yes, I know exactly what you mean about life interfering with writing. I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been dealing with serious illnesses in the family, how awful! Despite getting almost nothing written myself in the past two months, I have nothing so dire to report, just lots of job-work, and summer socializing, and various miscellaneous problems and tasks.

      Good luck with your next round of writing, and keep us posted (haha) when you get the chance!

      1. Thanks for that great welcome back, Joy. Yes, I began to suspect before I was half way through Book 3 that I’d be lucky to fit everything I’d planned into it. The story would have just seemed rushed and lacking in detail if I had. My main problem has always been the different storylines I need to keep going. They all add up to a lengthy word count. I really was looking forward to starting something new, but that will be on hold, yet again.
        Glad to hear you’re enjoying the summer. I’m sure you’ll be writing again before long. Oh, and thank you for liking my cover for Book 3.I think it suits the main storyline well. I’ll try to visit blogs over the next few days, but I’ll probably only manage to tread a couple of posts on each. I’ve missed so many! It is good to be back, though – and I will keep you posted! 😆

      2. I was about to ask you, “Well, did you outline it ahead of time?” and then I remembered that I outlined my whole novel before NaNoWriMo last year…. and yep, that was the outline that I only got 1/4 of the way through before I hit 60K. So forget I even thought that, ha ha! Having multiple story lines complicates the process even more!

        I have my earlier (first) novel “cooking” on the back burner — I keep thinking of ideas for fixing plot problems, and how to redo specific scenes, and taking notes on them. So in theory, I’m looking forward to diving back in during this November’s NaNo. That said, I still have a couple dozen short stories to cycle through publishers and/or finish revising so I can add them to that pile. So, we’ll see.

        Did you ever post about how you found / chose the covers for your books? I’d really like to hear more about your experience with that.

    2. Yes, I always outline my books quite carefully, Joy, but once I start writing I always find that my characters have a way of taking over! It’s true to say, I’m very character-driven in my writing, and like to make them all as interesting as possible. But back to the outlining question… Alfred’s story basically follows actual historic events, so I can’t veer away from those. The characters themselves and how these events play out are of my own making. There’s little evidence of HOW most things happened in either the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, or in Asser, so I basically describe them to fit in with the snippets known.
      Eadwulf’s story has to fit in with Alfred’s, chronologically, which can be tricky at times. But since Eadwulf is fictional, I really enjoy making up situations for him to deal with. But really, sometimes my characters need gagging. 😀
      My cover images are basically a flash of what I see as a major part of the book. I give the illustrator (Kit Foster) a description of what I’d like to see on the cover, and leave it with him. He usually sends me three to choose from to start with and is always happy to carry on with alternatives until I’m happy. I’ve been pleased with all three covers, although at one time I wondered whether the one for Pit of Vipers was a little dark, so I asked for the one for Book 3 to be a little brighter.
      What a long answer! (Perhaps you can see now why my outlines seem to ‘grow’.)

      1. There are such serious challenges writing historical fiction, I would be totally intimidated to even start. As you say, on the one hand there’s isn’t much known about what really happened so you have to make things up (finding that balance between reasonable but still exciting), but you’re constrained by what *is* known about the time line. So much to keep track of! I often find that the fictional characters end up being more interesting in historical fiction, for precisely this reason.

        A lot of people say that –that their characters take over. For me it’s more that I’m lousy at guessing how much actual showing and dialogue and scene it will take to explore that one line of telling in the outline. Much like how I’m lousy at guessing how long it will take me to do things on my to-do list — oh dear, I sense a pattern.

        I’m so happy for you that you found a cover illustrator/designer who’s a good fit for you. You make the process sound so smooth! I have heard less positive stories from other writers, so I’m wary.

        Well, speaking of list of things to do… (If you recall, I write long comments too!)

      2. Yes, I’ve always thought we had a lot in common re writing comments! Lol. You’d think with all the flash fiction writing we’d learn to be a little more succinct! Seemingly, not so…!

      3. The scary thing with my “accidental trilogy” was that I *was* being quite succinct. The draft version that was three times longer than expected? That was without hardly any description or world building at all — nothing extra that could be cut, and lots more that needed adding. I think the flash fiction writing does help, at least at the editing phase. But the initial drafts, those always have some exploration in them, so it makes sense that they’d go off the rails a bit.

  1. Welcome back, missed you all the way. Congratulations on your third book. I bought it and can’t wait to start reading it. Wish you all the best with book 4 too. It is such an interesting time slot in history.

    1. Hello, Ineke. I’ve missed you, too. I often wondered how you were and whether you were still writing. We’ve had a strange couple of years, although this year has been a lot better than last. At least I’ve managed to write and no one else has been ill. Thank you for your kind words about my books – and for buying Book 3! That is so much appreciated. 🌷😆🌸

      1. I also kept on wondering how you were and if you were doing some writing too. I’m still writing my memoirs, also going for the writing class on Fridays. I’ve got a good collection of pieces on my life. For this years end of year book I’m planning to put my school After and Before care experiences. Enjoy your week.

    2. Your memoirs should be really interesting. I’d love to hear more about your life in South Africa and early years in New Zealand.Our youngest son travels world-wide in his work and has been to NZ a few times. I keep asking him to smuggle me with him in his suitcase. I’m only little, after all…! Glad to know you’re still enjoying your work at the school. You’ve been there a while now. I imagine your little granddaughter is now getting into everything, too, as little ones do.

  2. I’m so glad you are back, Millie! I’ve missed you and hoped it was only writing and not personal or family illness keeping you away, but now I see it was both. I hope things are improving on the health front now!
    I am in the midst of reading Wyvern of Wessex and really enjoying it. I for one am glad that there will be at least one more book to come about these characters!
    Take care! –Timi

    1. Hi Timi, I’ve missed you, too, and hope to be on my blog a lot more often now, It won’t be five times a week – which is what I was doing at one time – but a lot more often than the once a month I was doing earlier this year before stopping altogether! Yes, health issues have eased with those who caused us the most worry last year. Cancer and severe pneumonia were hard to cope with.
      I’m amazed that you managed to find Book 3 so soon. Other than tweeting about its publication I’ve don nothing to promote it, Thank yo so much for buying it and I’m delighted to know you’re enjoying it.
      As for health issues, I hope you have been keeping well, too, and still enjoying attending all your Viking festivals and such like. I’m sure I’ll find out when I visit your blog. By the way, is that your new profile pic I see? What happened to the pixie-look? But the photo here is a good one and makes you look very sophisticated – and quite young!

      1. Hi Millie, great to hear from you! I’m actually back to the pixie look since that photo, lol. I heard about your book because I’m following you on Amazon Kindle, and they sent me a notification about it. Yay! I am having health issues unfortunately right now, and will have surgery next week, but it shouldn’t be bad. It has disrupted my summer plans, though, but I’m looking forward to fall semester at university. Anyway, it’s great to hear from you, and I really enjoy Wyvern!

      2. Sorry to hear about your health problems again, Timi. I hope everything goes well with your surgery next week. Another summer in which your plans have gone awry.
        I had no idea you were following me on Amazon, but thank you for that. I must spend some time writing something useful on that page. I tend to simply overlook such things. Goodreads is another site I ought to pay more attention to, as well. I admit, I’m basically just rubbish at self-promotion and that’s that. 😀 Thank you for liking WoW so far. That’s encouraging to hear.

  3. I am so glad you are back! I suffered from a bout with life getting in the way of my writing as well I am well versed in that story line. I hope your family are all doing well now. And congratulation on the new book. I will have to check it out. 😊

  4. Hi Jo. Yes, life has a habit of doing that. In my case, I can cope with most things life throws at me, except such serious illness in two of my children – especially when neither of them never had anything seriously wrong in their lives, until then, And both ill in the same year nearly finished me off!
    I hope all is well with you now, and you are able to get lots of writing done. It’s a good feeling to be making progress. My new book is the third of what was intended to be a trilogy, so the storyline has been ongoing. So, although ‘Wyvern of Wessex’ would stand alone, parts of it wouldn’t have much meaning without knowing what went on before. Thank you for taking an interest, anyway. Hope to visit blogs very soon. 😀

    1. Thank you, Arv. It’s good to BE back! Life in general, including family illness and writing my book, have given me little time to do much else – as I explained in this post. But I hope to be back on my blog more often very soon, Hope you are still taking lots of photos of beautiful Jaipur.

      1. I can understand, life keeps us busy. I haven’t been going out much but I’m reasonably regular at posting. I’m sure you will find something of your interest among the posts which you missed. So what’s”cooking” on your blog?

  5. So good to see you back and huge congratulations on completing the third book. Had to laugh when you said they’re going from a trilogy to a quadilogy.

  6. Hi Peggy, and thank you – wherever in the world you might be right now! (I’ll be sure to check that very soon). Yes, it seems my garrulous nature can’t be held in check! Oh well. what’s another year… or two? 😀

  7. Thanks, Ali. 😀 Yes, we had a bit of a rough ride from early March onward last year. We couldn’t wait for 2017 to end. 2018 has been much easier, except that I’ve been rushing like mad to finish the book I should have finished ages ago. I hope you are well and still writing your hilarious pieces of flash fiction. I intend to join in with some of the challenges again soon. I haven’t written any flash for a very long time. 🙂

  8. Thank you so much, Ann. It’s been a few months since I last wrote a post and it felt a little strange doing this one. It is lovely to be talking to old friends. I hope both your photography and writing are progressing really well.

    1. Thank you, Prabhat. I’m just relieved I actually got there in the end. It’s been a tough 18 months for us and I’m looking forward to better times now. 😀

    1. Thanks for that wonderful comment, Galit. It’s lovely to hear from you. The cover was created by the same illustrator who did the others in this series, and he’s very nice to work with.
      Yes, it’s ages since I posted anything on my blog and I hope to be here a little more often for the rest of this year!. I also hope your first book is getting close to publication – or perhaps you’ve already published it? I’m trying to visit people’s blogs at the moment, and will visit you as soon as I can. Have a great week. 😀

      1. I hope so too, missed your posts 😀
        Sadly I am not that close. Worked with an editor but her mom died and her father is extremely ill. She did that for free for me.
        My mom was too sick lately and was in the hospital a few times, so the stress really did a number on me (and still do).
        I am trying to write a lot but the editing with all the stress is hard for me, but I am trying to work on it more 🙂

    1. I’m just relieved to have finished writing my book, Peggy. Most of last year I either didn’t have time to write, or simply didn’t want to. Looking back, I really was depressed. But 2018 has been so much better. I’ll pop over and read a couple more of your posts as soon as I can.

  9. Welcome back, Millie! I hope all is tickety-boo now – and congratulations on the new book. I have just bought ‘Shadow of the Raven’ in paperback and I’m looking forward to starting it.

  10. Thank you for the nice welcome back, Mike! I feel a bit like a stranger here at the moment, although I’ve had some lovely greetings from people. And thank you so much for wanting to read my book. I really appreciate it and can only hope you enjoy it!
    I’m in the process of editing photos for my first post about our week in Scotland in late June. I noticed you have a post about Scotland – probably more than one, but the post I saw was in Perthshire, So I’m just about to hop over to your blog and read it. (We were in the West Highlands, 12 miles N.E. of Fort William.)

    1. Look forward to reading it, Millie. And thanks for your lovely comment on the Queen’s View! Yes, if you look at the drop down menu under ‘inspiration’, or click the ‘Scotland’ tag over on ABAB, you’ll find a bunch of articles about places in Scotland. We’re very light on Wales, though – give me time..!

      1. There are some fab places to visit all over Wales – lots of great castles and gardens (like Bodnant). Snowdonia itself is a must, so is the Great Orme. The Bronze Age copper mines there are well worth a visit. My aunt lives near Llandudno, so we visit Bodnant Gardens and the Great Orme regularly. I also love Pembrokeshire in South Wales. So many wonderful places all over Britain and your great posts are doing a splendid job of showing so many of them to people.

  11. Inese, I don’t know what to say, other than a huge Thank You! Book 3 has been such a long time in coming, and I don’t intend to take so long over Book 4. I had hoped to write a ‘one-off’ about a completely different historical period after Book 3. Ah well, it can wait.
    I hope your health has improved since we spoke earlier this year, inese. Ill health plagues many of us at times. 😀

  12. Glad to see the trilogy has expanded. Looking forward to reading this one, and sort of glad I hadn’t noticed it was out until now, else the suspense would be over already. Well done for getting past the things life chucked at you enough to soldier on. May 2019 be a better year.

  13. When I wrote this post, I had every intention of posting more regularly on my blog. Unfortunately, life has a way of spoiling many a good plan! I’ve written a few post since this one but, as much as I’d love to get back to doing some flash fiction challenges, there never seems to be enough hours in a week! Thank you for the nice things you’ve said about my books, Christine, but sometimes it’s a hard slog to keep on writing. I was really looking forward to writing a completely different book after Book 3, but found I couldn’t finish Alfred’s story without making ‘Wyvern of Wessex’ into a monster-sized book. But I’m happily writing Book 4 now and hope to have it published later this year.
    If you have time, I’d love to hear how your writing’s going. I imagine your second book is well underway by now, if not finished.
    Hope you’re coping with the heatwave you’re having in Australia at the moment. Someone on Twitter mentioned 43 degrees C earlier! That IS hot! Daytime temps. here aren’t getting much above freezing. I suppose all we can do is grin and bear it. 😦

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