Sunday, 9 March 2014

500 Word Stories

Thanks to my awesome day job as a school librarian, I was lucky enough to get to spend today judging entries for Radio 2's 500 Word Story competition. 

I really enjoyed getting involved with this competition this year; there were so many original, well written entries and I was excited by the quality of the work. Writing a complete story in just 500 words is difficult to do, but is also a lot of fun. I think that after reading through my entries, my top tips for anyone taking part in this sort of competition in the future would be: 
1) Focus on originality - I read quite a few entries with similar plot lines
2) Make sure your work has a complete plot structure.
3) Just because you've only got 500 words, don't forget to put some effort into characterisation. 

If all of the entries were as good as the ones I was sent, I'm excited to see the finalists for this comp - they are going to be brilliant!

As someone who likes to enter my writing into competition myself, I feel like I've learnt a lot from getting the opportunity to do some judging. Hopefully this will help me to improve my writing in the future.

Reading back through Air (my first job of the day) I definitely came up with some ideas which would make some good 500 word stories (and much longer ones if I could find the time). 

I have now finished editing my first print copy of Air and have lots of adaptations to start adding in on my laptop. I'm extremely excited as Air is getting very close to a point where I can share it with some beta readers for feedback; and I can't wait to find out what they think!

However, following the beautiful weather we've had in the South East today, I think my chances of getting some snow for the front cover photography are growing increasingly slim...

Monday, 3 March 2014

Read an Ebook Week

It's Read an Ebook week over on Smashwords, which means that until the 8th March, you can download both Fire and Water for free!

You can get hold of Fire from here and Water from here and the code you need to enter at the checkout to get them completely free of charge is RW100.

Once you've downloaded the Elements of Power, you can check out the other novels enrolled in the scheme here

I've gone on a downloading spree and have picked up Falling by Amber JaegerThe Fallen Star by Jessica Sorensen and The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton. And I'm still busy looking for more. 

   

On the subject of ebooks, the current novel I have open on my Kindle is Fire Study by Maria V Snyder. It's the final novel in the Snyder's Study Series and features one of my favourite ever heroes: Valek. If you haven't checked this series out yet, I really recommend it. 


Happy ebook reading! Let me know in the comments if you come across any bargains you want to recommend.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Half Term!

One of the best things about working in a school is getting plenty lovely holidays which give me lots of time to catch up on writing. 

I have been putting this half term to very good use and am now one chapter away from finishing my second draft of Ari {spoiler: this chapter contains a date and lots about Arcan and Helian clothing} Once it is written, I can then go all the way back to the start and try to see if all my latest editions make sense with the original story.

A few things I can tell you about Air so far:

1. It will be longer than Fire or Water. Not massively longer (unless my next read through leaves me with lots of holes to fill!) but it will be longer. 

2. Roxy is very much back to being Roxy, but she is still showing plenty of development and is continuing to progress towards becoming a less awful person!

3. Tristan is great. Really, he is. 

4. Brae has some very tough decisions to make and a lot to deal with on his return to the Arcan Realm. 

5. Cinaer is even more awful than before and I have had immense fun with him in this book. 

6. Jasmine probably has the most growth in this book and you're going to get her to see her becoming a lot more comfortable with who she is and what her powers mean for her and the world she lives in. 

I hope this gives you a little bit of a taste of what is to come! I was hoping for a summer release for Air, but a happy yet unforeseen circumstance has meant that I haven't been able to spend as much time writing over the past few months as I would like and also means that my summer is going to be a lot busier than expected. I'm still aiming for summer at the moment though and will just have to see how it goes! I think you can definitely expect to get hold of Air within the next 6-9 months. I'm also still hoping for a bit of snow over here in the UK, as I want some on the front cover... (Plus snow days: writing days!)

In non-writing news, I have just finished Wonder by RJ Palacio. It's an utterly amazing and extremely moving novel. I really, really recommend reading it if you haven't already. I've now started An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, which I am hoping is going to be a bit happier than TFIOS and Looking for Alaska...

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Fire is one year old!

A year ago today, I clicked 'publish' on Amazon, sending Fire out into the world in the hope that other people would read and enjoy it. The response has been amazing: I have received so many wonderful reviews and lots of positive feedback. So much so that I was able to follow it up with the release of Water a few months ago and I'm currently hard at work on finishing up Air, hopefully for a release this summer. This has been an unforgettable year and I have had so much fun - and I have many, many more plans for 2014!

To say thank you for all your support, I am having another giveaway, for 10 copies of either Fire or Water (depending on whether you have yet to start the series, or are still waiting to read the second installment).

Happy New Year!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Water Christmas Giveaway

Not read Water yet? Well make sure you enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a copy of the e-book in time for the Christmas holidays.

There's a pretty short time scale for entering as I am away from Friday (Boston and NY here I come!) and I would like to get the prize sent out before I go.

Good luck and Merry Christmas!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 7 December 2013

NaNoWriMo

So you may have noticed that the blog has been a little quiet recently... That is largely because NaNoWriMo sort of took over my life during November and I have still been hard at work on the story I have been writing for it. However, all the hard work has been worth it because I did manage to achieve this:



For NaNo, I moved away from Elements of Power and started working on my follow up novel to the series, which is a sci-fi/dystopian story set in a futuristic London. If you are interested in finding out more about my WIP (which is currently titled Amber & Ice) you can check it out over at Wattpad, where I have posted the first few chapters. 

However, now that we are well into December, I am focusing my attention back on Air! I have lots of new chapters to add into it but I am already excited to share it with you - particularly the opening (and Roxy's chapters) which I think you are all going to love. 

While you wait, if you have already read Water, can I ask you to please leave a review on Amazon? I would really appreciate it if you could as the page is looking a little bare and I know that there have been plenty more readers than reviews. 

If you haven't read Water yet, however, keep an eye on the blog as I am going to run another competition next week...

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Featured Review: Girl in the Woods Reviews

Today's featured review of Water can be found at Girl in the Woods Reviews.

This is a really lovely review, and it begins like this: 

"I am in love with this book. Heather James has once again broken and satisfied my heart. Every word she wrote, every page was so filled with delicacies that it makes you want to devour the book all at once without even stopping to chew through it. That's what Water is. It's like a favourite food you'll never get tired of eating."

Please check out Elicia's blog to read the rest - it really is a great review!