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!


Mon- Ah, Wednesday round up!

Apparently I am now that person who posts sporadically and can’t even remember when Monday is. Maybe it’s just that things have been so busy and I have SO many balls in the air right now that I just can’t keep track of where I am. The list is large.

It feels a little ridiculous actually, that I am feeling this stress. The NZ Independent Book Festival isn’t until the first weekend of October – AGES away – and yet in order to make sure I have print books for it, I need to be organized way in advance of that (or spend a fortune getting books here with faster shipping). I’m opting for being organized. I am on track (which never ceases to amaze me), and yet there is this fear that the books won’t be here on time. I hope that after I have done this once, I will feel a little less anxious about the whole thing.

Which brings me to the status updates. I’m just going to list things, because there are a few!!

20150803_203741Burn is just about ready to order. The print proof arrived with a friend and it looks beautiful ❤ Can’t wait to get my hands on copies.

Sun-Touched is FINISHED. I literally just need to write the blurb, format the thing and get the cover sorted and then I’ll pick a release date. YAY!

I now have a spiffy new imprint name, and a gorgeous logo to go with it (designed by an amazing friend), which I will unveil in the very near future.

I have banners and stuff being designed by the eternally wonderful Kate over at Dwell Design and Press, and they are beautiful!

I finished all the editing and proofing jobs in my queue! This has never happened before. I am enjoying a few days off, as there was a lull in my personal workload as well. I’ll have my next job incoming on Friday and I am (strangely) looking forward to getting to work on a new project. I will also really like getting paid as it means I can order the next lot of books 🙂

Which reminds me, the print formatting for The Way the Sky Curves is also nearing completion! I’m just waiting on that cover as well (working Kate VERY hard right now, poor thing. I owe her a nice bottle of wine or something after this).

It’s ALL on right now. I can barely keep track of what needs doing, but I *think* I’m managing to get everything done. I just hope something doesn’t smack me upside the head that I’ve failed to think of… And, well, with different projects coming to the end of various stages, it is pretty exciting in general 🙂

monday check in


This week has been… well, ‘a game of two halves’ as captains of sports teams so often say. I spent much of it battling against nerves, and the rest catching up and doing some epic edits. Once I realized that the giant wall I seemed to be bashing my head against was really massive anxiety about handing Sun-Touched over to my editor, I could work on breaking the wall down and getting on with things.

You see, she’s REALLY good. And her opinion matters oodles to me. I am probably more nervous about giving her the book than I am publishing the thing. And yet at the same time, I know she enjoys my writing and it’s actually not HER that I am nervous about, it’s me. I have a lot of self doubt when it comes to my writing and so I’ve managed to convince myself that the novel is going to need a boatload more editing and that there is no possible way I have done a good enough job. And maybe I haven’t – that’s actually not the end of the world. I just go in again and do some more work. I am not afraid of hard work.

But I just so want this novel to be done. It’s the FIRST full novel I’ll release. I LOVE this book. I want it to be good. So I’m nervous. And that’s actually okay too. And once I worked through all of that I could get back to those all important edits.

And I am almost on track. I hand it over later this week and I am confident I’ll get it done in time. Woo! And then I’m going to take a weekend off editing and try to write something short and new – fun times.

I’ve had another distraction this week as well… A friend needed to rehome her adorable kitten and I somehow (still not sure how) got Hubby to agree to let us take her in. I’ve loved this kitten since the moment I saw her, and I know she loves me because she always purrs up a storm. So we picked her up on Tuesday and amazingly she’s slotted into the family with very little difficulty. The cats tolerate her, the kids are in heaven, the dog thinks it’s awesome to have a new animal to play with, and I am one very content writer.


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?

Burn, in the spirit, January, Kotahi Bay, publishing, round-up, The Way the Sky Curves, writing

January round-up

It’s February!!!!! A whole month of 2015 has already passed us by, and wow, it was a busy one. I’m thinking if I can keep January as ‘busiest month of the year’ that would be nice, and if I can manage even half the productivity, this year is going to be awesome.

A quick break down of how I spent my time:

Edited: 3 novels and one novella.
Critiqued: 2 novels and one MA book.
My stuff: finished the 1st draft of a novel, plotted out the rest of the Kotahi Bay series, edited Burn, began final edits on The Way the Sky Curves.
Read: 9 books on GR and a couple more besides. NINE!!!!!!!! And I only set my goal at 40 for the year.

On top of that we still had home school trips, catching up with old school friends, lots of swimming and exploration, lots of fun times with the kids. January was a really busy month, but it was completely awesome as well. I’m not interested in being *quite* that busy again for a couple of months, but it feels amazing to have started out the year so well.

I also made a few tweaks to my site the other day, changing the Books tab around so that there are pages for each current series, as well as adding an In Progress page at someones request – apparently, he couldn’t keep track of what went where and how they connected! Sorry if I confused anyone else. I want to do a complete overhaul of the website, but that might have to wait until I move to a self hosted one – if you have any suggestions, or things you’d like to see on my site, please feel free to let me know 🙂

Oh, and I found out yesterday that In The Spirit was nominated for a Sir Julius Vogel award for Best Novella! Thank you, kind reader! That was really lovely. I may not make the final ballot, but it was pretty awesome to get that email. While I’ve co-won an SJV before for editing an anthology, this is my very first nomination for something I wrote, which makes it pretty special.

So, what does February hold??

Oh so many things!

BURN_Final E-cover_JC HARTFirstly, releasing Burn. Gosh I can’t wait!! I don’t have a release date yet, as I’m waiting to get it back from proofers, and need to go over it again myself before I can set that. But it will definitely be February.

I’m looking into doing a limited print edition of Burn because I’ve had a few requests. I’ll also look at doing a small run for In The Spirit for the same reason. It would be kind of nice to have a copy of my own too, just for giggles – I’ll blog about it before I go ahead just in case anyone wants to order a copy.

I’m hoping to get through this final big edit of The Way The Sky Curves and have that ready for a final reader by the end of the month. It should only need a few tweaks, copy-editing and then proofing before it’s ready. I was worried before I dove in a few days ago, sure that it was going to need a lot more work, but it’s a great story! I’m going to become a broken record ‘I love my WiP so much!’ lol, I seem to say the same thing for every WiP.

I’ve got a few editing jobs lined up as well, and plan on doing a lot more reading. It’s the first February in a long time that I’ve not been gearing up for study, which is a bit weird, but also wonderful.

I hope January and 2015 in general is treating you kindly – here’s to an awesome February!