The next romance is on its way . . .

It’s been hot here, in New Zealand. How I love the summertime, but of course, I spend it out of doors, basking in the clear fresh waters and camping, or cycling to work or on adventures, or holidaying with friends.

However, I DID get my next manuscript in to the publishers in November last year, and I heard last week that it was accepted for publication, and will be going through the edit process soon. I can’t wait. At the moment it is called ‘Tinker’s Boy’ – but that may change.

Set in 1668 in Essex, England, it follows the journey of a young woman who disguises herself as a lad to escape life married to an obnoxious nobleman. She meets a tinker, who is also not what he seems, and the two set out on an onward path toward adventure.

I enjoyed writing Samantha’s story, and the story kept me tripping along, barely able to keep up. It’s one I hope you all enjoy too.

I found an oil painting of the time, to whet your appetites and get you in the frame of mind for the story. Until then . . . watch this space.

17th century

What is someone’s creativity and diligence worth to you?

A word about copyright.

We live in a world bursting with opportunities, with a cornucopia of innovation and design, with an endless stream of entertainment at our fingertips. Much of what is available to us comes free, through a stream of social media apps that allow us to be able to share them with our friends or just enjoy for ourselves.

But are they really free?

If we lived in a world that had to be constructed out of our own abilities, with materials we had grown, and using skills we had acquired, imagine the cardboard kingdoms most of us would be forced to survive in. But we don’t have to rely upon our own abilities. Most of what we use is available to us because someone, somewhere, had an idea, found a producer, and distributed what we want/need to us for something that benefitted them. Nowadays, it is usually money, but it once might have been swapping or trade of some sort.

I digress.

The last two weeks have forced me to face the unpleasant side of human nature, the side that would steal or snatch from someone else what is rightfully theirs. And there is that side in us, that wants something for nothing. (Just check out the terrible videos of Black Friday sales to get some idea of what we become when there’s the possibility of getting something for much less than its worth.)

I was informed by a friend on FB that someone was selling my ‘Gabeaux Tapestry’ mugs on Amazon.com. And sure enough, when I went over to Amazon and put the words Gabeaux Tapestry into the search bar, I saw my small book that I had self-published there, and also a long range of products using the words Gabeaux in the title or copy. These are exact – or close – copies of the actual products sold legitimately through Redbubble.com here. And by the way, I invented the word ‘Gabeaux’ for my tapestry as well!

My mind drifted back to the years I had gradually worked on these 32 panels of tapestry design, and the initial idea that had burgeoned in me when I saw the Bayeux Tapestry and thought of doing the same for Outlander. It was hard work, and took a long time, but I loved every minute of it. IT COST ME. To find that some unscrupulous company or person, (changing their name regularly on the product) feels it’s okay to steal and sell my design is disheartening at the very least.

ALL OF MY GABEAUX PRODUCTS are for sale solely on Redbubble here.

Thanks to all of you who have written a review on these products saying they are stolen. I do appreciate the support you have given.

Then I found that my first published book, An Unexpected Highlander, was offered for free on some sites as a download, and to make it worse, some reviews below the download stating how happy the recipient was because they had searched for a free download for ages. Seriously? It is $3.99 to get it for Kindle – a paltry sum considering how long it took to write. (Smoke was coming out of my ears at this point). I have notified the publisher. Please spend the little amount asked for to download it from Amazon here, or Boroughs here. THANKS. (And yes, please write a review!)

I moved over to Twitter for some light relief, and there amongst the Thanksgiving greetings and memes, was one I had done a year or two ago. I had used photoshop to put each member of the cast of Outlander around the table, and put Mrs Fitz and the Laird at the far end. It took a while to do this, and I got nothing but the pleasure of knowing that people would enjoy it, out of doing it. I signed it with my customary @sniskybobfry twitter handle. In this instance, though, the person who put my old meme up, had carefully cut around the edge of the piece to obliterate my name, (also cutting out some of the people at the table), and added a Happy Thanksgiving over the top. Now, in the big scheme of things, it’s nothing really. I’m glad she liked it enough to save it and use it. But it really wouldn’t have hurt to leave my name on it as author, and I might have even been credited in the post, which would have pleased me. But no, she wanted the credit for herself. Sigh.

Thanksgiving2

And on that note: I AM THANKFUL for all the people who have regularly encouraged me and laughed at my memes, bought my book and my tapestry products.

Ah well, it’s amazing how precious one’s own work can become when you labour over it for hours, or days, or years—and had I never done so, I would probably not have felt the surge of disgust and dismay over the last two weeks that I have. Regardless, I will keep creating and keep hoping to make a little money out of some of what I do. And I will be careful to credit others I see doing the same—even the big fish in the pond, like Starz/Sony and their Outlander production. When I hear people suggesting there might be a way to get a copy for free from somewhere, I am equally disappointed.

Anything worth having, is worth paying for. You will value it more as well.

Summer almost here

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I finally got out this morning early and went for my walk along the inner harbour here at Te Atatu, Auckland. It feels a long time since I did one, and I am looking forward to starting this pattern of exercise again. It’s just so easy to slip in front of my computer and start typing and suddenly look up to find it is already lunchtime.

I handed another completed story in to my publishers last week, and eagerly waiting – make that nervously waiting – to hear back. Meanwhile I am editing and expanding on my younger teen’s story of a young boy who discovers a magical pearl that allows him to swim underwater. Nice to keep a variety in writing styles.

I’ll get back to it then.

An Unexpected Highlander now a print book from Amazon Australia

Today the paperback copy of my book became available on the Australian Amazon site here. 

I have been waiting to buy it from there myself, but they don’t sell to New Zealand. I presume I need to go back and purchase it from Amazon.com now. If you are a kiwi, I suggest you do the same – by the time you pay for the shipping it brings it up to the cost of the book in Aussie dollars anyway.

 

Thanks for the reviews!

Just a word of thanks to everyone who have been kind enough to let me know what they think of the story. Many have done that by a comment or post on FB or TW and it has made my day. Special thanks to those brave few who have put their review on Amazon or Goodreads! It really makes a difference to book sales and means a great deal to me. I don’t write many reviews myself – and reserve 5 star ratings only for exceptional books – so if you are thinking of writing one for my book, don’t think I’m hoping/expecting that kind of response. Honest.

Anyway – I’ve been so encouraged by the feedback that I’m working through the edits of my second book right now.

An Unexpected Highlander

Saturday 27 October 2018

I just checked with amazon.com.au and they are looking in to getting the paperback up in the next day or so. I cannot buy it in bulk myself except from the Australian site, so I am waiting eagerly for them to put it up. Patience patience. . .

The paperback is now available on Amazon.com!

Check out this link.

Goodreads

I’m on Goodreads as an author — never dreamed this day would come. Would love you to follow me on there. Thanks.

An Unexpected Highlander is out now!

Available in any ebook format from two sites. Boroughs Publishing here, or Smashwords here. Hopefully Amazon will soon have the book available there in both paperback and ebook.

Enjoy! AND PLEASE review it. I don’t expect 5 stars, honest, would be thrilled with 4 stars, hope for 3 stars – you get my drift.

How did ‘An Unexpected Highlander’ come about?

My first book comes out TOMORROW – yee ha! And yes, it is available in paperback and as an ebook. This story started back about five years ago when a small group of keen writers got together with a published author, Anne Ashby, and spent a weekend at the stunning location of Piha beach in Auckland to learn a bit more. One of the tasks we set ourselves was to dress in character with someone from the story we each were writing. I chose to dress as my main character’s mother: Constance Attwater. Here I am dressed in costume as the poor woman who just lost her husband.

Constance

We had a great time – and let’s face it, it was a wonderfully inspiring location.

FiveWriters

When we returned I set aside the story and only picked it up again last year (2017). In the meantime I had done a reconnaissance trip to Thames and Grahamstown where the story is set, and found a wonderful museum of gold mining artefacts and lots of history to discover.

The setting was now clear in my mind, the characters had made their introductions, it was left to me to see if I could make their story continue for about 80k words. Actually, once I got started and made myself sit there typing, the story flowed out with twists and turns and I found myself enjoying it immensely. I was truly surprised when it resolved and was finished.

Being a visual kind of girl, I did various covers of my own, and chose pictures of people who resembled my characters, and I offer a couple of them here, for you to enjoy.

I cannot describe the joy I felt – the day before I left for an overseas holiday – when an email confirming that the publishers wanted my story arrived. Since then it has been an undercurrent of excitement building up until I will see that book completed and ready to read. And that happens TOMORROW.

I would be very grateful if you have ordered a copy, if you would please write even a brief review of it. It makes a big difference to the sales, as well as informing me of how I might improve my writing. Thank you for your interest! (Reviews can be written on Amazon as soon as the book shows there.)