Introducing: KD Forsman

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As some of you will know, I love it when I have the opportunity to give a shout out to a fellow NZ author, so today, here is a little bit about KD Forsman.

KD Forsman released her debut novel Fraud & Fabrication in early 2015. It is available on Amazon in both paperback and ebook format. Fraud & Fabrication is the first of the Leighton Park series, about the wealthy and eccentric Leighton family, their successful horse racing empire and their closely guarded family secrets.

Blogging and freelance copywriting has provided a creative outlet for KD since 2008. When asked why she decided to write a book, she replied…:

“I knew I had to get serious about my writing when I realised the characters in my head were not going to leave me in peace. They’re a bunch of crazies, but they’re my crazies.

A couple of story ideas had been percolating in my imagination for a number of years. In the end I thought it would be interesting to mush them all together and see what I could cook up. The result is Fraud & Fabrication. Seeing this book through to fruition was amazing and even I was surprised at how the ending turned out.

There’s definitely room for a sequel – the problem I have now is deciding which character to focus on, as they are all jostling for the lead! I’d be very interested in hearing from my readers about which character should star in the next instalment.”

KD Forsman was born in the UK and immigrated to middle earth (New Zealand) when she was four, where she still lives today. She has lived in rural locations for most of her life and describes herself as a recovering horse addict, having ridden horses competitively and for recreation for many years. These days, she has swapped her four legged antics for the two legged variety, after completing her first ever half marathon in 2014 with plans to repeat the experience again this year.

KD Forsman had the privilege of being mentored by other published authors and hopes to entertain her readers through the stories she shares.

Fraud & Fabrication:

kdforsman-72dpi-1500x2000Genre; Contemporary drama with a bit of passion & crime thrown in for good measure!

Cassandra has finally landed on her feet when she escapes to a new job after a relationship gone wrong. Leighton Park Stud, located in remote rural Canterbury New Zealand, seems a lifetime away from the hustle and bustle of city living, and that’s exactly what Cass needs to make a new start.

Despite the sometimes confronting experiences of life at the top thoroughbred horse stud and training facility, it’s a job Cass loves and she quickly settles into her new role as Secretary of the Stud.

When the mysterious Geoffrey Leighton, absentee eldest son of her boss John, comes to the rescue of a badly injured filly, Cass realises she’s found her soul mate. It’s not long before she’s engaged to be married into racing’s elite; and she’s happy to overlook some of the wackier sides of life with the wealthy family.

Her loyalty to the Leighton family are put to the test when nasty rumours circulate around the sale of a horse and the investigation that ensues. Add into the mix a closely guarded family scandal, an alcoholic step mum, a terribly accident prone husband and soon Cass is left wondering what normal even looks like anymore.

Cass tries to ignore the warning signs that all is not well in paradise. But heavily pregnant with their first child, her house of cards is starting to crumble. Suddenly she is confronted with a very real and dangerous situation.

Cass has the most difficult decision of her life to make. Will she stay and deal with it? Or walk away and blow the whole ugly truth wide open?

On finishing a first draft

I mentioned a couple of posts back that I finished the first draft of a new novel, but I didn’t really stop to dwell on that too much. It’s actually a big achievement for me because it’s the first novel I’ve written from start to finish in a really long time. Like, a REALLY long time.

In The Spirit E-Cover_SMALL FINAL_18-11-2014I’m in this pretty great position where I have lots of work waiting to be revised and published, but it was next to impossible to write anything new last year. In fact, the piece I last started/completed before this novel was In The Spirit, and that was back in the second half of 2013. And it was only a novella. I literally can’t recall the last time I wrote a full length novel. It has been far, far too long.

So completing this WiP was me shaking off the dust, finding my way again with first drafting, and pushing forward into my new life, free of study. I started writing it on November 1st, and finished up on the 13th of January. It felt like far too long, but in the grand scheme of things, I’m actually pretty happy with that. I was still attempting to adjust to life post-study, there was a weekend away, Christmas, and the draw of summertime to contend with.

And, I’m out of practice. While I love it when the words are flowing – there are moments of pure bliss – I also realized that first drafts are the thing I find the hardest. I’m good at revising and editing. I’ve done SO much of that in recent years it’s not funny. But I’m back to learning how I work and trying new things when it comes to the first draft.

It felt strange. Like I was a newborn foal or something, long gangly, awkward legs, stumbling around. I’m hoping that the next first draft I write will be a little smoother. That I’ll have grown into myself as a writer again, found my feet. I have many more projects to write, so there will be plenty of time to remaster the craft of the first draft.

It has no title yet, and won’t be revised for a little while. It falls into place as book 3 in the Kotahi Bay series. I’m diving into what will hopefully be the last major edits for book 1, The Way the Sky Curves, which will be out later this year, as well we book 2, Shell and Bone. Exciting times ahead!!! I can’t wait to publish this series!

Burn – Cover Reveal

So, next month I’m releasing my second novella!

Burn was originally written a few years ago for a specific market, but due to assignment stress I somehow managed to submit my assignment instead of the novella (thankfully, I ALSO submitted my assignment to my lecturer lol)… It is my grandest stuff up as a writer to date. It gutted me at the time, though I can definitely see the humour in it now ;-)

Anyway, it’s a story I love, and I’m super excited to get it out into the world. I know some will say it’s a strange move to publish something so different to my first release, but I love writing in a range of genres, and I want my books to reflect that.

BURN_Final E-cover_JC HART

No parent should outlive their children.  But what if you do?  What if your son’s dying wish is to be burnt in the manner of his people — a people he was taken from as a child?  

Carmel must gather her orphaned grandson and her son’s corpse, and ease her aching bones into the long walk that takes her where she needs to be.  The footsteps of the past nag at her heels as she journeys to once again look upon the face of the Goddess.

Mid-January update

How is it already the middle of January??? And how has it taken me three days to get around to writing this post? lol

2015 has started out well. So far I have already finished writing the first draft of Alyssa’s novel, finished a round of edits on my next release (more on that later), edited one novel for someone else, and am partway through editing another. Critiqued yet another novel, read several books, spent a lot of time lying on the deck in the sun (reading), swimming in rivers, and hanging out with the kids.

Pretty epic, really.

Despite how busy all of that sounds, I actually feel fairly relaxed. The ‘reading on the deck in the sun’ is a big part of this. I can’t remember the last year when I had time to do this. To just relax and unwind. To disappear into a book – not critique it, not edit it, just enjoy the story. Goodreads would suggest it was 2011, because I read over 100 books that year, and since then it’s been pretty dismal. I’m very much looking forward to reading a lot more books in the months to come. I feel like I’m on holiday, and this is all basically because I’m not studying any more. I knew it was stressing me out, but I had no idea just how much!

Thank goodness I am done with that ;-)

I’ve got some exciting stuff coming up in the near future, but will save that for another post! For now, I am off for a bush walk in the rain with a friend.

myWriteClub – Sprint edition!!

I’ve mentioned in the past that I love myWriteClub with a passion. The ability to set goals using a range of units of measure, to track progress, and cheer other people on all work for me – there is little I love more than seeing the deadline approach, seeing my little line go up and (preferably) getting that glee from being ahead of where I need to be – or conversely, that surge of motivation to work harder if I have slipped behind. It’s good motivation for me and I’m a firm believer in doing what works.

I also love word sprints, though at times I get distracted, what with kids and all.

Well, myWriteClub has solved that. Last night a friend sent me a link to MWC’s new sprint page and I was full of “OH MY GOD!”. I’ve used Write or Die in the past and enjoyed the frenetic pace, and I really enjoyed writing in OmmWriter historically as well. MWC has managed to come up with something that ticks both of those boxes for me – A TIMER, and a nice, clean, simple page to write in. What’s even better is that my friends can be in the sprint as well and I can watch their word count bars go up!!! I ducked in earlier to grab a screen shot for you, and saw someone who’d been diligently writing away. He demonstrates the awesome shiny that is the gold star you receive when you hit 1000 words, and the regular stars you gain for each 100 words you write.

SprintWhile it’s still in beta, it’s certainly hitting the spot for me. There are some tweaks I hope we see in the future,  but Andrew is super responsive and hopped into the sprint last night to chat with us about it – yet another thing I love about this site.

If timers and sprinting work for you, then you should totally check it out. Sprints start on the hour and the half hour, run for 25 mins and have a 5 minute window in between so you can pop into the chat window and encourage each other. I was feeling super flat yesterday, had struggled to write a mere 458 words over the whole day. Seriously it was like pulling teeth. But then I decided to test out the sprint function. Well. I started, and before I knew it, 25 minutes was up and I had a massive total of 1148 words or something. I couldn’t believe it.

Happy New Year! + Goals

Hey, it’s 2015!!!

How awesome :-)

2014 kicked my butt, but I came out of it stronger and more ready for change than I imagined I would be going into it. I’m planning to spend 2015 living, learning, and becoming.

I’ve lined up a few specific challenges. There is, naturally, the Goodreads challenge, and then Andi roped me, along with some others, into the 101 in 1001 challenge. I’ve already managed to tick one thing off each of these lists – but I can’t update the book until it’s published. Damnit! The trouble with reading pre-published books ;-) The beauty, on the other hand, is that I was among the first to finish the series, and DAMN. I want to be Melissa Pearl when I grow up lol. Well, the Spec Fic version of her anyway.

Back to the whole new year goals thing…

This year is a lot about me working through some stuff. Hopefully the last ‘big’ stuff I’ve got sitting in the back of my brain. I may post more about it at some point, but I’m still processing. It’s stuff I had thought/naively hoped I had dealt with, but as with all trauma stuff, it crops up at the most unhelpful times and I know now that it’s something I need to really face head on in order to finally put it to bed. So I’ve given myself some overarching goals for the year so that I stay conscious of the direction I want to be moving in. As follows:

Work towards spending more time on my own writing than on other peoples – I LOVE helping other people out, but I have a tendency to prioritize it over my own writing. If I have a piece of my work to edit, as well as a piece of someone elses? Yeah, I will pick theirs almost every time. I am starting the year off by always working on my own stuff, even just a little, before so much as looking at whatever else is on my plate. MY writing is important too.

Read more published works than pre-published – this ties in a little with the above. I read a LOT of pre-published stuff. I love to help out! And while that’s all well and good, it’s not really helping me push my own writing forward. I need to be branching out, exploring more, learning more from people who are further into their careers than I am.

Reconnect with myself, feel at ease in my body and mind, and fight against my fears – this is a hard one to quantify. I have a number of books lined up to read which have been suggested by others or selected by myself. I am focusing on being more present, more aware. Of owning my feelings, of being comfortable just being me, and casting off what I have felt others expected from me.

One interesting thing that I learned/rediscovered this year was that I really love the way my body feels after exertion. The massive hike with the kids made me feel alive in a way I haven’t since giving birth and I want more of that. I want to feel the pull of my muscles, I want to be out of breath with it. I want that elation that comes along with achieving something awesome. Something I didn’t think I could do. I don’t imagine I’ll be climbing mountains in the very near future, but hey, one day, I might be.

So, there are the goals, the plans. The hopes. I guess, over all, I want to make me an important person to myself. That might sound stupid to some people, but I’ve spent most of my life making myself insignificant and putting everyone else ahead of me. Sometimes, this is vital – for example, when you have small kids – but a lot of the time, it’s not really helping anyone. It’s certainly not helping me. I’m important too, and I need to be an advocate for myself.

I still feel a little resistant about writing that, but hopefully by the end of the year it will just be a normal thought. A part of who I am.

*forces self to actually post this and not relegate it to the bottomless pit of ‘drafts’*.

Meet Maleficent

A month ago now I purchased a new computer. It is shiny, and beautiful, and weeks later I am still singing it’s praises.

MalI went with the Surface Pro 3 because I wanted something with kick ass battery life, all the laptop power I (personally) need, super portability and fabulous versatility. It ticks everything on that list. And it’s so shiny and pretty and I love it. I’m still finding out all the fantastic ways I can use it, but it’s just superb.

Normally I balk at buying expensive things for myself. I hate spending and my brain keeps saying things like ‘you could get by with something cheaper’ ‘do you really need this?’. I told my brain to shut up. My husband insisted I get the thing I wanted and nothing less, and so off I went. I actually got it at a nicely reduced price, and selected the purple type cover for it. (OMG I have a purple keyboard!!).

Despite a little worry about keyboard stability and potential fumbling around on a smaller one, I really like it. The whole thing being smaller means there is less travel time between keys and I’ve noticed a significant improvement in my carpal tunnel as a result. The screen is simply gorgeous and now whenever I look at my old laptop I can’t help but think it’s huge and ungainly. Mal is sleek and sexy. She is stunning and begs to be touched. I don’t think I could go back to a non touch screen computer now. It is loaded with everything this writer needs for productivity and I adore it.

Which brings me to the name. I asked for suggestions over on my much neglected Facebook page and the lovely Serenity Woods suggested Maleficent. We hadn’t actually seen the most recent incarnation (and, much to my disgust and shock, I’d never seen the original Sleeping Beauty… Don’t worry, I fixed that), so we went and grabbed a copy of the movie and sat down to watch it. The kids loved it, and I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would, so it was decided. Maleficent (Mal for short) would be the name.

I love it. Thanks Serenity!!