Best Novella, books, Burn, change, Fantasy, friends, Kotahi Bay, Maiden mother crone, short story, Sir Julius Vogel Award, Sun-Touched, The Way the Sky Curves

Long time no blog

Hey there! I know, I know, it’s been a long time since I wrote anything here. Not because I’ve been doing nothing, but because life has been so busy lately. I mean, really busy. We’ve been away several weekends, a wedding, a homeschool camp, we’ve been down with colds for almost two weeks now, and there has been SO much going on. I can’t talk about some of it right now, so you will just have to take my word for it.

Basically, the past month or so has seen a massive shift in where my wee family is headed, and that’s been scary, sad, and exciting all at once. We’ve got what feels like a gazillion balls in the air right now, and I’m as okay with that as I can be 🙂 Doing a lot better than I had expected anyway.

Sadly, this has meant not as much writing as I’d have liked. Stress does that to me. I can anxious and can’t think creatively. It’s coming back to me now, though. I’m a bundle of ideas and am looking forward to putting some of them on paper in the next few weeks.

But first, I have to make it through the weekend! Au Contraire is coming up fast, and I am both nervous and excited about it. I am really looking forward to seeing people I don’t see nearly enough, hanging out amongst other like-minded people, talking geeky writerly stuff, and enjoying a great selection of panels and discussions. And I am nervous as fuck about convening a panel myself! On mythology, with some AMAZING authors, one of whom I’ve been a fan of for a very long time now – Juliet Marillier. I’m going to get to meet her! And then ask her questions! And omg!! How am I going to be able to speak? I just have to try not to stutter through the whole thing somehow…

I’ll also be at the At the Edge book launch directly before the mythology panel – my short story ‘Hope Lies North’ appears in it, and I am super excited to get my hands on a copy – and at the SJV’s on Sunday night as well, where all my books are finalists. I have zero expectations of winning an award myself, but I’m thrilled to be able to be there and cheer on some friends who I am sure will be picking up trophies! Fun times ahead. I am very much looking forward to heading to Wellington for a weekend that should include most of my favourite things (that aren’t my husband and kids, but I guess you can’t have everything right?).

I shall endeavour to update on a more regular basis, and hopefully soon I will have something fun to announce.

Take care!

becoming, books, Burn, challenges, change, editing, etherhart press, Fantasy, Goodreads, new zealand independent book festival, NZIBF, Sun-Touched, The Way the Sky Curves, Uncategorized

2015 Year in Review

2015 has been a massive year of ups and downs for me – mostly downs, but I think that’s changing. Despite that, I think I did pretty well with my goals for the year.

While I haven’t yet reached my ‘books read’ goal for the year, I’m pretty close, and I *think* I read more published stuff than pre-published. I did do a reasonable amount of editing work, but it was primarily for cash, and that was a nice change. After much consideration, I have decided to cut back even further on the number of clients I’ll work with in order to really give my own writing time to shine. While I love having some cash I made all on my own, and it’s meant I could cover all my costs without digging into the family income, I’ve come to realize that it’s sapping my creative energy, and that’s not good for my writing (or my mental health).

IMG_20151223_145519638I think this year has gone a long way to the ‘reconnecting with myself’ goal. It’s quite intangible, but I think people can look at me now and SEE that I am more comfortable in myself now. I got my nose re-pierced, and I dyed my hair awesome colours. The general consensus is that I should have done it years ago, and I look more’me’. Glad I’m not the only one who thinks so 😉 Though to be honest, it wouldn’t really matter if they thought that anyway – I did it for ME.

I did some other things that were a little outside my comfort zone, such as attending the Independent Book Festival in Auckland. I had a much better time than I expected, and learned that actually, I can totally be a people person when I need to be – AND enjoy it! (even if I need, like, a week off life after to recover lol).

Alongside these things I published three new pieces. Two novellas, and my first full-length novel. Sun Touched has been a long time in the making, and it’s been amazing to get it out there and have people read it. The most common thing I hear from readers is that they could barely put it down, and just had to keep reading – mission accomplished! Dad doesn’t always enjoy my stories, but he loved Sun Touched, and gave it to a friend of his to read while she recovered from a hip operation – and she is going to try and get it in at the library near her! lol

I have LOTS of hopes for 2016, but primary among those are to treat myself more kindly, give my writing the time it needs, and continue to build on the things I started this year. More on that in the new year – until then, enjoy the last of 2015, hope you had a lovely Christmas, and have a happy New Year.

authors, Awards, Best Novella, Burn, etherhart press, Fantasy, New Zealand, new zealand author, self publishing, Sir Julius Vogel Award, Sun-Touched, The Way the Sky Curves

Sir Julius Vogel Nominations are open!

smback-v5The nomination period for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards has officially opened! Between now and 8pm on the 28th of February 2016, you can nominate your favourite NZ works in a range of categories.

This year I have several works eligible, so if you feel like any are worth nominating, below are the essential items – you can just copy and paste (one email per nominated work), and add your contact details to #7, and boom, it’s done!

If you do – thank you very much! And if you don’t – that’s totally cool too 🙂 Nominate something else, because there are plenty of AMAZING eligible works. This past year has been really great for kiwi fiction, and I know I’ll be nominating a fair few myself.

ESSENTIAL Information

This is to enable SFFANZ to verify and process the nomination.

  1. Sun Touched
  2. J.C. Hart
  3. Novel
  4. 2015
  5. Professional Awards
  6. Science Fiction
  7. [your contact details here]
  1. Burn
  2. J.C. Hart
  3. Novella
  4. 2015
  5. Professional Awards
  6. Fantasy
  7. [your contact details here]
  1. The Way the Sky Curves
  2. J.C. Hart
  3. Novella
  4. 2015
  5. Professional Awards
  6. Fantasy
  7. [your contact details here]

Nominations can be sent to:

Burn, publishing, Sun-Touched, writing

On making mistakes, silver linings, and working too hard.

SunTouched_ECover_10-8-15v2Last week a dear friend let me know that there was an error in the digital version of Sun-Touched. My heart stopped beating because I knew I’d generated that from the same file I’d generated the print copy, which meant that the print books I had ordered all had the same error.

A doubled up chapter. Somehow, I had inserted Chapter 21 in its slot, as well as Chapter 27. (the book is there in it’s entirety, I later realized that there was NO chapter 27 in my final proofed doc for some reason! lol)

Much to my amazement, I didn’t cry, I didn’t even feel anxious because it was DONE. No way to change it. The books were printed, the order had shipped. There is very little point ‘crying over spilt milk’ as they say. I was miffed that I had missed it, and initially worriedsick about losing the money I had sunk into those books – I work hard editing to save the funds I need to pay for my publishing, and pride myself on paying for all my business expenses from money I’ve earned – but then I tweeted about it, and Fb’d some friends and you know what? So many people want a copy of the version with the error that I know I’m going to have no trouble selling them. And when people say things like ‘It will be worth heaps when you’re famous!’ it’s a lovely boost.

So, I might have screwed up, but I was reminded of how supportive my friends and fans are, and I got to see that actually, I’m really am a lot better balanced than I thought I was these days. Husband dearest had no worries with me ordering a new lot of books for the NZ Independent Book Festival with his money, and I will be able to pay him back in the very near future.

Feels good! Boom! First massive stuff up made and recovered from!

In other news, I’ve been a tad flat this last week or so as well. I’ve been working my butt off for the last several months, first on my own stuff, and then on a bunch of jobs for others. My slate cleared and it felt AMAZING, and then I slumped. Apparently a Cassie without a project isn’t really a good thing. She kind of just wanders around feeling out of sorts with the world. I had reached the end of my ‘plan’ and failed to make a new one – I’ve rectified that issue now!

Today, I start work on the sequel to Burn. It’s untitled yet, but I have a plan! Really excited to get writing 🙂

Oh and happy September!! WTF?! How did that happen?!

it's live!, Release day, Sun-Touched

Sun-Touched is now live

SunTouched_ECover_10-8-15v2It’s here it’s here it’s here! Sun-Touched has been published! It’s live on Amazon, and slowly coming up on other stores, and for the first time ever, I’ve got the print version available right from the beginning. I’m probably as nervous as I am excited about this. All the things!!!

Anyway, I’ll just leave the cover here again, because it’s so pretty, and note down a couple of other exciting bits of information…

Burn, and The Way the Sky Curves are also available in print now!

At the end of last week I found out that a short story I wrote for an anthology call was accepted. YES! More information to come on that when I’m allowed to say.

I have ordered a bunch of stuff for the Independent Book Festival coming up in October and am now anxiously awaiting arrival of many packages. It’s going to be like Christmas for the next month. Fingers crossed I didn’t stuff anything up too badly… lol. I’m really excited about it, and will post some of the reflections I’ve been having in a few days time when my promo stuff has arrived. Can’t wait to share!

There is so much to be excited about right now – both in my book life, and also in the real world. Spring seems to be making an appearance, and I am loving the recent sunshine. Hope it continues 😉

cover reveal, publishing, Sun-Touched

Cover Reveal – Sun-Touched

Well, it’s almost ready for release, so I thought it was about time to reveal the cover for my upcoming book. Here it is!

SunTouched_ECover_10-8-15v2Madea knows the price that must be paid when Diamara’s harsh sun leaves you Touched: you are Hollowed, your inner self stripped away, leaving a mindless shell. As aide to the brilliant Sullivan, Madea has assisted at a few of these procedures, but it’s not until she witnesses the Hollowing of a young woman much like herself that Madea begins to question the ethics of their work.

Caught in a struggle she didn’t know existed, Madea finds herself pregnant, and over-exposed. She doesn’t know how long until the madness sets in, but she does know what it will mean for her and her unborn child.  No life at all.

Madea must turn from those who would Hollow her—friends, family, lover—as well as the protective rules she has clung to her whole life, to the enigmatic stranger, Garrett. He is the only one who can help her now, but he might also be the one who made her Touched to begin with.


And I would have met my deadline if it wasn’t for that pesky flu!

I have just emailed Sun-Touched to my editor…

I can’t believe I’m finished this round of edits. And only two days late – though I have a VERY good reason for that. I was knocked down by the flu on Monday and am still recovering. Tuesday and Wednesday found me bedridden, struggling with the most ridiculous head pain (no amount of painkillers worked to dull it). Thankfully by Thursday I was well enough to get back to work, and today, I finished.

I take solace in the fact that had I not gotten sick, I would have finished on deadline. It gives me hope that I’m getting better at this whole setting achievable, realistic goals.

And now I get to do something else!!!! WOOOHOOO!!!!!

Burn, February, in the spirit, Kotahi Bay, Sun-Touched, The Way the Sky Curves

All the things

There are so many stories running through my head. So many. Not just mine, but all the stories by authors I have been editing recently as well – a huge range: contemporary, thriller, mystery, MG, science fiction. In fact, I’ve taken about a week off from editing in general just to try and dull the clatter in my brain.

BURN_Final E-cover_JC HART
Sick of seeing it yet?? I don’t think I ever will be!

Well, editing other than my own, anyway.

Final edits on Burn are now complete and the MS is off with the proofreader. I’m both nervous and excited to bring it to the world – as pure fantasy, it’s quite different to In The Spirit. There is none of the lightness and laughter that my first release had. The characters are completely different, and where Alyssa is young, a bit of a slob and maybe a tad too fond of wine, Carmel is old and weary, and never had any kind of freedom or joy in her youth. I worry that readers of one won’t like the other, but then I have to remind myself that books are allowed to have different readers, and I can trust people to read blurbs and samples if they aren’t sure. It’s not my job to stress out about it, only my job to make sure I’m telling the best stories I can – regardless of the genre.

I’ve headed straight into what will hopefully be my last major revisions on The Way The Sky Curves. I’m enjoying it so much that I’ve just loaded Shell and Bone onto my Kindle so I can start reading through and making notes. I can’t believe I am THREE books deep in this series already, with just two left to write. It’s actually kind of bizarre. I’m going to be starting planning on the last two very soon – I know how it’s all going to end though!!! I’ve never seen that end picture until recently and I can’t wait to write it!

Alongside all of this are thoughts of the other book I want to publish this year. Sun-Touched is one of my favourites, and will be the first full length novel I bring out. It’s different again from the world of Kotahi Bay, and Burn. Science fiction set on a relatively newly colonized planet. I am itching to get back to Madea and do my final edits on that book. Oh, it’s going to be so good!

So, there are all the things going on right now. I’m going to need to find some new tactics for keeping the noise in my head under control. Maybe not editing four books back to back is a good idea, just for starters 😉

How is Feb treating you?