I’m still alive!

But just barely. It’s been less than a week, and my cat has gone absolutely mental. There’s been a temporary change in the household, and Luna has made her opinion clear.

And by "opinion", I mean "fangs".

And by “opinion”, I mean “fangs”.

That’s my leg after Luna went absolutely crazy and lunged at me. My hands were in shreds. She would hiss and yowl at me whenever I moved. She ripped a huge hole my favourite jeans. I was trapped in my bedroom all day Saturday, and didn’t eat for over 24 hours. Basically, I was held hostage by a very pissed off cat.

We managed to get her into a carry case and took her along to the vets. She’s stayed there for a few more days, and now I’ve brought her home. There’s been a few more hisses, but I’m keeping her in the kitchen for now.

I feel like Satan every time she miaows, but it’s the only way I can keep us both safe. That’s why (and I hope you can forgive me for this), I’m more subdued than normal.

We’ve never seen her act this way before. Even the vets were terrified of her when we took her along. They said they’ve had feral and wild cats come in before (cats who’ve never had contact with humans before), and they’ve never seen a cat act so vicious before.

I had to go to the walk-in centre to get some antibiotics. I’ve bought a Feliway diffuser and spray to help calm her down even more. It seems to be working 99% of the time.

So… that’s that. It’s been an interesting week.

My publisher and I have also been talking about a particular chapter, and what changes we can make. I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s definitely made the book stronger, as well as giving more fuel to the sequel (eeek!)

So, we’re only a couple of weeks until the release date. It’s getting very exciting 😀

ToW Cover

There’ll be a preorder option available on Amazon, and once that’s up, I’ll let all of my darling pixies know.

Stay safe x

Blessed be

RK )O(

Cover Reveal!

Well, my lovelies… you’ve waited, you’ve been patient, you’ve been the most wonderfully darling pixies any kooky author could want. And, because I am a gracious overlord empress woman, your loyalty shall be rewarded.

So, without any further ado, here it comes…

ToW Cover

 

If I had a thousand years and access to every language both known and unknown to man, I wouldn’t be able to describe my happiness. I think the only thing that would top this would be if Tom Hiddleston called me up to say how excited he was to read The Old Ways.

*cough*hint hint, Mr Hiddleston*cough*

I’m kidding.

But look how beautiful it is. Look at the detail. It’s just so exquisite.

I’d better go, because I’m actually starting to cry.

Blessed Be

RK )O(

Drive-By-Posting Pt 2

This is just going to be a really quick post. I know it’s really late in the day (I’m so terrible with deadlines 😦 ) I’ve actually spent most of the day packing my case and rushing to the shops to pick up the last-minute essentials for next weekend’s trip.

I’ve made a list. I’m good at lists.

I also realised, while I was in the bath, that although the cover release/reveal date is this Tuesday, it’s also the same day I get my hair done. So. I’ll be at work in the day time (boring day job, ugh 😦 ), and being styled on the evening. However, there’s a 20 minute window when I’ll post the cover with a head covered of tin foils.

For… the highlights, not for, like, aliens or something.

It’s so weird, I love anything to do with faeries or the supernatural (unless it’s a terrifying shadow-demon preventing me from breathing. Please see previous posts), I’m not that into aliens. I’m not particularly interested in “scary” movies about aliens (like Signs or the Alien franchise), although I do enjoy Doctor Who and Star Wars.

I’d still rather watch Merlin.

I’ve also just been shredded by Luna. She’s been outside so she’s all hyped up on catching that one tiny moth.

You see those fangs? Those fangs HURT.

“I vant to suck your blood! Nah, just kidding. Give me some chicken or something.”

You see those fangs? They really hurt… *nurses bloody arm*

Awww, I can’t stay mad at this cute little smooshy face! ^-^

Luna Cute

Who’s my vicious little dragon? You are! Yes, you are!

 

So Dolly Parton just came on my iTunes Shuffle, I’m gonna go sing Jolene into a hairbrush. Why? Because why not? 😀

Blessed be, my darling pixies!

RK )O(

In Other News

I recently downloaded the new Nightwish album, Endless Forms Most Beautiful. I don’t review music, so I won’t attempt to. It takes a true musician to review music properly.

But wow, EFMB is pretty fantastic. The new singer, Floor Jansen, has a wonderful voice, very operatic, and it takes their music back to its roots (back when Tarja was the lead singer). That doesn’t mean I didn’t like Anette Olzen. When she was their singer, their music was less “fantastical” and seemed to focus more on simplistic styles and lyrics, rather than poetry, folklore and fairy tales, but still they played some great songs. Amaranth continues to this day to be one of my favourite Nightwish songs.

I like both styles. I love all music, if I’m honest. Well… most music. I’ve never been a big fan of R&B or pop.

First song on the album, Shudder Before the Beautiful, has a full choir to provide a majestic contrast to Floor’s softer vocals. That doesn’t mean she can’t seriously belt out those powerful vocals with her awesome set of pipes.

I think my favourite song on EFMB is My Walden. It has a very sweet melody, almost like a lullaby. The lyrics always blow me away. I think it’s mostly the heavy Celtic influence, and the Welsh introduction.

Seriously, check it out if you enjoy well-written music or if you love fantasy. The lyrics read like a Yeats poem.

My Walden is swiftly followed by Élan. I think (if I remember correctly), they released a demo of this one before the album, so I heard this a few months ago. It’s beautiful. It was a taste of the epic grandeur of the new album.

Okay, that’s enough gushing about Nightwish. I saw them once in concert when Anette was the singer. It was a-may-zing! Tuomas smiled at me and I haven’t stopped fangirling since.

 

In other news…

Happy birthday to my best friend in all the world, Tatty! It’s only 9 days until Tatty and Katie Take London 2015: Slytherins on Tour!

It’s also only 21 days until my birthday, too! Eep! I get childishly excited about birthdays. I don’t know if it’s maybe just the promise of cake?

Aaaaaand 48 days until the official paperback release of The Old Ways!!! AAAAAAHHHHH! Who’s excited? I’m excited! Are you excited? You look excited! I’m excited AAH 😀

And it’s out of my system. For now.

Also, I have a little surprise for you darling pixies. You extra special ones who follow my blog and like my posts. Next week, instead of a blog post on Wednesday, there’ll be a super-exciting-special post on Tuesday 18th, where I will…

Are you ready?

antici

Are you ready?

pation

Couldn’t resist, sorry ^-^

 

RELEASE THE COVER FOR THE OLD WAYS!!!!

That’s right, you darling pixies get to see the front cover first! Unless you follow me on Facebook, and even then it depends which page you look at first.

(PS follow me on Facebook!)

BUT YAY OMIGOSH THE COVER! 😀

Super exciting, right? I’ve seen the original designs, it’s pretty gorgeous. Also, I’m still working on Age of Magic in the meantime, in between playing Dragon Age: Inquisition for the billionth time (PS, please Bioware, release the new DLC for PS3!!! 😦 ) and marathoning Firefly on Netflix.

Blessed be, my darling pixies!

RK )O(

Thanks, Winchesters

I’m trying to post twice a week, once on a Saturday and once on a Wednesday. As you can see, the first week of doing so and I’m already a day late -_-

Having recently “updated” my laptop to Windows 8.1, I pretty much had to set up everything from scratch. Reinstall Skype. Reinstall Norton Antivirus. Reinstall the stupid Mail app tile thing that is meant to make my life easier but is actually harder to control than a hyperactive puppy with ADD. Only good thing is that I didn’t lose all of my files. (I had backed everything up JUST in case, but thankfully it wasn’t needed).

In short, I HATE DOING STUPID UPDATES ON A STUPID COMPUTER EVERYTHING’S STUPID GAH.

I became irrationally stressed about the whole thing 😦

Onnnnn the plus side, we’re officially halfway through the final edits before the manuscript goes to the formatter. Obviously it has to go through the “final tweaks” stage. D’you think it’s too late to introduce a new character? (I’M KIDDING!!!)

 

In other news, I experienced sleep paralysis for the first time last night. I would very much like to never ever experience it again. All I remember is “waking up” to find a dark shape hovering over me (that for some reason I could only see out of the corner of my eye), being utterly unable to move my body, unable to draw breath, but trying to shout for my mother to come and “get rid of the demon!”.

Honestly, with my imagination, I’m really surprised I’ve never experienced sleep paralysis before. I’ve had extravagant dreams and terrifying nightmares, but nothing like that before. Everyone assures me it’s normal. Probably the only thing about me that’s “normal”. Thankfully, a rarely-heard rational voice in my brain told me I was experiencing sleep paralysis, so I closed my eyes and waited for my body to wake up naturally. It was possibly the most intense 10-15 seconds of my entire life.

“If I close my eyes, the demon will get me!”

… that’s it though, isn’t it? What if it wasn’t a dream? What if there really was a demon in my room last night? What if I’m not really me right now? What if I’m possessed? How can I be sure?

Nah, I’m pretty sure demons aren’t stupid enough to trip over their own feet while walking up stairs and bite the insides of their mouths while eating a brioche for breakfast. Almost certain demons don’t have brioches for breakfast, anyway.

Quick check though; best to be safe…

Okay, so I just drew a circle of salt on the floor and I can quite easily pass over it. I’m not possessed. Awesome ^-^

Thank you, Supernatural, for teaching me how to get rid of demons. And for bringing the adorableness of Castiel to my attention.

If you're pretty and you know it, nod your head!

If you’re pretty and you know it, nod your head!

Best get back to editing. Blessed be, my darling pixies!

RK )O(

British Weather

It’s too hot. It’s too cold. It’s raining. It’s sunny. Hailstones. Thunder. Hellfire. I really wish British weather would make its mind up 😦

It’s reached that part of the year where I start out the day wearing two layers of nice warm clothing and my smexy black beret, then by midday the sun comes out in blazing glory and I sweat until I’m a puddle of ew.

Look at that disgustingly happy son of a bitch -_-

Look at that disgustingly happy son of a bitch -_-

Being a Northern gal, I don’t cope with the hot weather very well. Hence the reason why I’m not going abroad with my parents this year. My first ever time I’m not going away since I was about 10. Although I love going on holiday with my parents (contrary to popular belief, I do actually like them), I just can’t deal with how hot Spain and the Dominican and the Canary Islands are.

My most favourite holidays in the past few years have been when I’ve stayed in the UK. Definitely Scotland and Cornwall. Although, Cornwall, there’s a story…

Okay, so I’d always wanted to go to Tintagel, the mythical birthplace of King Arthur. We drove all eight hours down to Cornwall, to live in this beautiful cottage for a week. Admittedly, the cottage was tiny and full of abnormally large spiders. We (read: my stepdad) went through the entire house for the first hour to rid the place of the too-many-legs.

So, the first few days went fantastic, we travelled around Cornwall, finding ancient places and mystical secrets. Then the third day in, we received the news that my Grandfather had passed away in his sleep. As it’s quite distressing, I’m not going to go into it too deeply, but I just wanted to mention it because I’ve dedicated The Old Ways to him.

Sorry, had to take a moment, there.

Okay, so The Old Ways.

*takes deep breath*

WE HAVE A RELEASE DATE!!!

fireworks4

 

Mark this date on your calendars, my lovely pixies! 25th September for ebooks, and 29th September for paperback!

I will be throwing a party for the release. My mother has already appointed herself my Marketing Manager. It seems to be her life goal to make sure every single person on earth reads The Old Ways. I’m in two minds about this decision…

She’s already made a start on some leaflets that I can fashion into paper-planes and throw at people in the street. I can see the headlines now… “Local Author Violently Throws Paper at Passers-By”.

Also, it’s only … *counts* … 16 days until I go to London with Tatty! 😀 😀 😀 We’ve tentatively named our trip “Tatty and Katie Take London: Slytherins on Tour”

This is gonna be the most awesome trip ever 🙂

Blessed Be

RK )O(

Super Quick Blog Post

This is what I like to call a drive by blog posting.

I’m just popping in to say I’m still here. Just been a shade busy the past few weeks. I’m currently working on The Age of Magic, rewriting some characters, pushing back the appearance of one or two people.

I’ll be honest, I started working on this about a year and a half ago, but I had to dedicate more focus to The Old Ways as the release date grew closer. Now I’m getting a nice balance.

Previous drafts of AoM had a certain character being very wimpy and sickly, and I never really liked that. I felt like, with a family like his, he should have more of an attitude. I’m rewriting him to be more of a trouble-maker. Picking locks to get to places where he shouldn’t.

A few characters from ToW return, older and (hopefully) wiser.

Okay, so one of them (I won’t say who) has just pulled me aside to say none of them are any wiser. *sigh* -_-

 

In other news, keep your eyes peeled for a sneak peek at the cover of The Old Ways coming up soon!

Back to writing, my darling pixies!

 

Blessed be

RK )O(

On the Road to Publication

Goooooooooood afternoon my lovely little pixies!

Currently trapped in my bedroom as there’s an obscene amount of pollen flying about in the air today. So I’m stuck indoors, behind closed doors, locked windows, sat beside a steadily-heating-up air purifier from 1999. So far I’m thriving on six cups of coffee and one sausage roll. I’m Northern, I can do this.

Few things to update on:

Just sent the blurb, acknowledgements, and dedication off to Inspired Quill. I was gracious enough to thank the people that matter, and curse the people who were mean. And the blurb… Oh, the blurb. YOU EVIL LITTLE THING. I’ve spent almost every waking minute thinking about it. I’ve shown it to a few friends to get some feedback. After wrestling with it for two weeks, I think it’s good enough to get a good proper editing now.

Speaking of Inspired Quill, guess who’s got a smexy shiny new website?

Ohhhh yeah.

Ohhhh yeah.

Go on, click the image. It’ll take you flying through space and time to the beautiful new site 😀 Click it, go on. Go on. I spent longer than I should’ve done trying to figure out how to link it up, go on.

In other news, in August I’m heading down to London. What’s that? To a convention, you ask? No, silly. I’m going to the Warner Bros. Studios with my best friend, for the Harry Potter tour. Just bought myself a Slytherin t-shirt for the day, too. Yes, I’m a Slytherin. No, I’m not a Death Eater. WE ARE NOT ALL EVIL.

Look at that cutesy-wutesy face ^-^

Look at that cutesy-wutesy face ^-^

So, between now and August, when I’m getting the edits back from IQ to do the final once over before it goes to the proofreader, I’ll be working on… (drum roll, please)…

 

THE SEQUEL TO THE OLD WAYS!

fireworksanimation-13

Since The Old Ways ends so ambiguously (you’ll see), I thought it only fitting that certain characters get some closure. However, closure is definitely not what they’re going to get. They’re going to get severely tortured. I won’t lie, it’s gonna hurt, guys. Check out the tagline:

 

Fragile alliances will be forged in flames.
Ancient evils will be resurrected to seek vengeance.
Powerful foes will rise to sow discord.
The Age of Magic has come.

 

Catchy, huh? 🙂 Oh, that’s also the current working title, The Age of Magic. Old favourites come back to play, new faces make an appearance, Albion gets shaken to the core. To be crude, shit hits the fan.

 

Best get writing!

Blessed be, my darling pixies.

RK )O(

Humans Are Weird

I recently learned that someone I know doesn’t like bread. I mean, what? Who doesn’t like bread? It’s like the blandest of foods. How can you not like bread? It’s so versatile. Don’t you eat toast? What about sandwiches? What about bagels? Is it just white bread? Is it the texture or the taste you don’t like? This has really messed me up.

In other news, I’VE SEEN THE INITIAL DRAWING OF THE FRONT COVER FOR THE OLD WAYS AND IT LOOKS AWESOME 😀 I was almost in tears when I first saw it. Which wasn’t good, since I was at work and everyone thought some nasty person had upset me. I’m too emotional for my own good.

Heeeeyyy who’s been watching Game of Thrones? (I HAVEN’T SEEN THE LAST EPISODE OF SEASON 5 NO SPOILERS EVERYONE SHUSH.) I just wanted to bring it up because of this:

#relationshipgoals

#relationshipgoals

It’s been my dream since I was a wee child to ride a dragon. So when I saw this scene, I was so hyped. I mean, my face was actually the shape of the :O emoji. BUT, my only problem is– well… look at that gif again. Really look at it. It’s really bugging me. It bugged me when I first watched it, and it’s bugging me watching it again here.

WHY ISN’T HER HAIR MOVING?

Okay, I know it’s moving a little bit, I’m not completely mental. But for those of you with uber long hair (like myself), you’ll know how less-than-awesome you feel when you get lashed in the face by your own locks. Sometimes, if it’s really windy, and I’m talking to someone, I will actually inhale my own hair. I pull the most gruesome of faces and start hacking up hairballs like a giant cat.

But Daenerys? Oh no. She gets this lovely doe-eyed look and a gentle breeze tickling her face, while she’s currently RIDING AN ENORMOUS BLACK FIRE-BREATHING DRAGON. I mean, come on! Try to look a little less Juliet and a little more Xena.

Also, it kinda looks like she’s wearing jeans under that delicate silk frock. Just sayin’.

I miss Viserys 😦 sure, he was a psychotic megalomaniac Disk One Final Boss, but he was still a cool villain. And it was Harry Lloyd.

I'm starting to suspect I have a thing for sharp cheekbones.

I’m starting to suspect I have a thing for sharp cheekbones…

There was something else I wanted to talk about as well, but for the life of me I can’t quite remember what it was… oh, I guess it wasn’t that important. I’m sure I’ll remember at ten to midnight tonight when I’m just about to fall asleep. Oh well.

Blessed be, my darling pixies,

RK )O(

Bandit Book Bloggers: A House of Light and Stone, by EJ Runyon

A HOUSE OF LIGHT AND STONE

by

EJ Runyon

Cover

Giving a voice to the silent. A House of Light and Stone is the first full-length novel from writer E. J. Runyon, which follows the daily struggles of an abused young girl as she takes her first tentative steps into growing up. Secrets and lies abound in the backstreets of late-sixties Los Angeles, and coming of age here is no mean feat. For Duffy, whose talent and creativity far exceed her years, growing up is about making immutable choices and learning one simple lesson: that understanding oneself is absolutely everything. In charting Duffy’s quest, Runyon illuminates the dark corners, shedding credible light on a subject that could easily slip into the realms of melodrama. The result is something believable and profound; a true testament to the strength of the human spirit.

PURCHASE LINKS for A HOUSE OF LIGHT AND STONE

Amazon

Amazon (eBook)

Website

Blog

Twitter

Interview with EJ Runyon

E.J. Runyon lives in the US Southwest. Since 2002 she’s found herself moving on to smaller and smaller desert towns, while working to become the author and writing coach she planned to be. First, she quit working in software and sold her home to finance her degree in Creative Writing and her Grad-work in Online Teaching and Learning. She’s never looked back since. Now, her life revolves around her own writing and Bridge to Story – an online creativity coaching business that she runs– and you know, being a better person day to day. E.J.’s passion is focused on writing fine prose and on getting folks writing, her aim is coaching them in writing well. She participates yearly in National Novel Writing Month – an event she’s been involved in since 2001. Her first collection of short stories, Claiming One was published by Inspired Quill in 2012, which was followed in 2013 by Tell Me How to Write a Story, a guide for writers new and old alike.

 

Thank you for this opportunity, EJ. Let’s start at the beginning. Who designed that eye-catching cover on your debut novel?

That was Venetia Jackson, out of the UK. Is it fab or what? We all went around a few times, IQ, she and I, and that was the end result. I love what she captured of the novel’s essence in her work, back and front covers. I’ve used her artwork to make many Book Memes for posting to FB and a lot of folks mention how much they think of that cover. Lots of thumbs up.

Have your life experiences influenced your work in any way?

For real long time, my life experience was to work really, really, hard and ignore my art, as if it was something to shove aside for a later time. The biggest shift in that experience was realizing I was really good at working hard and really good at writing, so why not work hard at the writing for the rest of my life?
I think that’s the biggest life experience that’s influenced my work. Because now that’s all I do. I work at my writing and I work at other people’s writing. And I work really hard at both.

As a writer, are you a planner or do you jump right into it?

I’m the type who gets an idea in the form a scene or a line of dialogue that pops up in my mind then I jump right into planning what I’m going to do around it.
I’ve written ending lines first. And then built backwards. When it comes to planning, mine takes the form of a whole bunch of ”What if…?” questions that I ask. Mostly about how would someone react…, what would happen when…, how would they think…, what would lead to…
Answers
to those types of of question make it very easy for a not-much-of-a-planner to get a grip on what the story might end up being about.

How long have you been writing?

As a non-dilettante, non-lip service, not posing at it, really siting down and writing, then editing writer-person, since 1992.
That’s when I became very serious about everything. Even though my doing so was small and confused. And very novice at my attempts.
I started sending my work out in 1996 or so. The first short story I sent out got accepted. In 1997 I stopped my day-work to focus on a group of 8 short stories, by 2001 it was on to novellas via NaNoWriMo. Then in 2011, the first short story collection got accepted, then the first novel…
Now there’s three titles out by Inspired Quill, and I’m self-publishing my 2001 novella this year. In 2010 I built my Bridge to Story coaching site. And Writer’s Digest has let me guest-blog a time or two for their ‘There Are No Rules‘ web posts. But as we see, there were years of revisions in the mix. This year it’s another Writer’s Guide. Next year, another novel.

You’re also a skilled story editor, how much of your time is split between writing your own work and editing others?

I work maybe 14 hours out of the day, because I run my own business and no one can say, Hey stop that!
And I’d say it’s about 40%/60% for my work/their work.
That’s just because any time where there’s no editing to do, the full time then goes to my own work. As of 2015 I’ve got three other novels ready to go for submissions. And five others under final round edits. In the years altering with placing those novels to good homes, it’ll be working to put out writing guides.

When you’re not writing or editing, what hobbies keep you busy?

What I enjoy is miniatures. 1 inch scale types. Though I’m much more the armchair enthusiast. I’ve only made a few things of my own that I’m really proud of. I did splurge once and got to go to a Miniatures conference, where I signed up for a class in ¼ scale room box creations. I made a spectacular (in my eyes) adobe casita, and furnished it to look like a painter’s studio.  It was brilliant. Out in the patio were planters with flowering bushes, a tree, a cat, brickwork, and a tiled fountain. Best time in my miniatures career to date.

What book or books are you reading at the moment?

I’m re-reading a few things and also working through a list of 50 books that I planned for this year’s reading agenda. The re-reading is above and beyond the 50 books. And I usually have two or three things going simultaneously. So as far as re-reading goes, it’s Catherine Ryan Hyde’s ‘Earthquake Weather’. And for the book off my 2015 list, this week it’s, Lev Raphael’s ‘Rosedale In Love (The House of Mirth Revisited)’. Strangely, I happen to post a lot on FB with both those authors.

 

And lastly, do you prefer mermaids or flapjacks? 🙂

If you mean which do I prefer for a nice long chat, I’d have to say Mermaids—hands down.
Now if you meant what I’d like to share with a Mermaid I’ve experienced an excellent conversation with, that would have to be the flapjacks. No question. 🙂

 

Of course we’re keeping this one, that’s the most sensible answer to that question I’ve ever heard! Goodness, I’m building quite a collection of authors here, I’m gonna have to build a bigger pen…

 

Blessed be, my darling pixies

RK )O(