Updated… Meet My Character – Carlie…

May 24, 2016 at 4:46 pm (Interesting stories, Into the Mists, News and updates) (, , , , , )

ITM_Trilogy_LRWhat is her name? 

Carlie (named for the goddess Kali) Parker. She’s the main character in Into the Mists and its sequels Into the Dark and Into the Light, and the story is told from her point of view…

Is she a fictional/historical character?

She’s fictional, although many of the rituals she takes part in are based on my experiences, her questioning and scepticism around magic and spirituality echo mine, and she drinks her tea the same way I do, so I guess there is a little of me in her – or her in me… I’m not sure which way that goes:-)

When and where is the story set?

Carlie is from Sydney Australia, and there are flashbacks to her life there, but most of the story is set in Summer Hill, a small village in south-west England, shrouded in the magical mists that are a character themselves in these books. It’s set in modern times, although I avoided the whole Facebook/iPhone aspects of today, in favour of Carlie being able to connect with the magic of nature and the landscape around her. Summer Hill is a fictional place, but it could perhaps be a parallel universe that sits atop the town of Glastonbury – a different kind of Avalon…

What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?

When we meet Carlie she is seventeen, and on a plane to the other side of the world. Her parents have just been killed in a car accident, and she’s being sent to live with a grandmother she didn’t know existed. She’s devastated, obviously, and angry, and already hates her new guardian – her mum had left England as a teenager, and always told her that her grandmother was dead, so she believes that this woman must be a monster, to have driven her daughter to flee to Australia and break all contact with her.

What should we know about Carlie?

She’s full of grief and loss, which has also made her angry and bitter, and she’s drowning in self-loathing and guilt. She’s angry at her circumstances and at the world, and cynical of anyone she meets – real or magical – that wants to help her. But her journey into the mists becomes a journey into her inner self, and she has the potential to reveal another self, one that’s smart and funny and caring and full of love, if she has the courage to let go of her teenage defiance and the walls she’s built around her.

What is the personal goal of the character?

In the beginning, she doesn’t really have any goals – she’s not even sure she wants to live. She’s so broken by loss – of her whole family as well as her best friend, her home, her school, her whole future life that she had planned out – that she wishes she had the courage to end it. But eventually the darkness recedes a little, and so her goal becomes to get through each day, to start to heal, and to make amends for her own bad behaviour. She also becomes desperate to uncover the secrets of her mother’s younger life, which have left her shattered and unsure of who she really is, and to unlock the mystery of the woman in blue and the cottage within the mists that isn’t always there…

How does she develop over the time of the Trilogy?

She faces loss, and love, and more loss, and new friendship, and hope… She learns a lot from her wise priestess grandmother – but she does grow a lot from when we first meet her to the events at the end of the Trilogy, and she ends up teaching Rose a thing or two too…

Trilogy_smallerWho is the publisher, and where can we read more about the book? Are there more in the series?

Into the Mists, Into the Dark, Into the Light and the brand new Into the Mists Trilogy Hardcover Omnibus, are published by Blessed Bee Books, and available in print and ebook formats. You can order them through Amazon, your local bookstore or my store, where you can read more about them too. I am currently working on two Into the Mists Chronicles…

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May news…

May 18, 2016 at 5:06 pm (Events, Magic, News and updates, Publishing) (, , , )

squeee1NEW RELEASES

Exciting times! Last week the first copy of the Into the Mists Trilogy Hardcover Omnibus arrived, and it’s sooo beautiful 🙂 And thick, and heavy 🙂 But I love it!

I have an exclusive preorder offer for it running at the moment, which includes a free copy of  Into the Mists: A Journal or A Magical Journey: Your Diary of Inspiration, Adventure and Transformation. Check it out here – Trilogy Preorder. It’s for Australian shipping only though, as it would cost $65-$70 to post the Trilogy internationally 😦 But it will be available internationally very soon, through Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc, so I’ll keep you posted…

_launchONLINE LAUNCH

I’ll be sending the Into the Mists Trilogy Hardcover Omnibus and Into the Mists: A Journal out into the world with an online launch on May 27. Because for the third year in a row, Janna Chronicles and I, Morgana author Felicity Pulman and I have new books coming out at the same time, so we’re having another shared launch party. Chat with us and other book lovers, win cool prizes and join in the fun at Serene and Felicity’s Book Launch.

SeeMEatMBS_600pxX600pxEVENTS

I’ll also be at the Sydney Mind Body Spirit Festival from May 26-29, launching Into the Mists: A Journal and the Hardcover Trilogy Omnibus. You can register for a free ticket here – Free MBS Ticket – and there are loads of great free workshops and seminars, including ones from Lucy Cavendish and Cheralyn Darcey, and heaps of exhibitors…

And in June, magical writer and artist Selina Fenech and I will be doing Sydney Supanova together again (June 17-19), which will be awesome fun – I’ve already started work on my outfits 🙂 And I’ll be doing Perth Supanova for the first time the following week. (Eek! But yay!)

WRITING

June is also when I’ll be getting back to finishing the first Into the Mists Chronicle, which makes me happy! In April I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo again (yes, possibly a little crazy), and wrote another 32,000 words of Rhiannon’s tale. Added to last year’s Camp NaNo effort, her story is definitely weaving itself together and emerging from the mists, and I’m hoping to have release date news on that soon…

Have a magical month! Sxx

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Book Expo – Cool Events

October 11, 2015 at 2:52 pm (Events) (, , , , )

trilogy_mock1Book Expo kicks off Saturday October 17 in Sydney, and there are lots of fun talks and seminars that will be running both days. And I’m looking forward to hanging out with Selina Fenech again – check out her beautiful Memory’s Wake Trilogy for an amazing fantasy read – as well as her stunning Colour Your Year Calendar for 2016.

MemorysWake_3D-510x600There are two Fantasy and Magic talks, one on Saturday morning on building worlds and characters and one on Sunday morning about what needs to be changed to create another world.

There are others on Mystery Crime, Climate Fiction, Romance versus Erotica, Autobiography and Screenwriting and Film Production, as well as sessions on how to encourage children to read more, and an Interactive Children’s section running all of both days, along with illustrator demonstrations and tutorials.

Conrad Walters, author of Journeys on the Silk Road: A Desert Explorer, Buddha’s Secret Library, and the Unearthing of the World’s Oldest Printed Book, is speaking both days, and there are lots of other authors too.

Check out the Book Expo site for more details…

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Book Expo…

October 3, 2015 at 2:51 pm (News and updates, Publishing) (, , , , , )

day1_aselina

Last year’s Book Expo with lovely and super-talented artist and writer Selina Fenech…

It’s almost time for the last festival of the year!

Book Expo is a dedicated event for readers to engage with authors and publishers. It includes workshops and talks by writers, illustrators, publishers and more, more than a hundred exhibitors (including myself and awesome artist Selina Fenech), author meet and greets and events, three performance areas (including an illustrator skills one and a children’s authors interactive one), chances to win free books, interactive crime and mystery scenes to solve and much more. Book Expo is also hosting the Bloggers Conference, Getting Published Conference and PitchFest Australia…

day1_stand2 copyLast year’s Book Expo was lots of fun, with so much for people to do, and I got to chat with some lovely readers, bloggers and writer friends too (it’s such a solitary, hermity life, that it’s nice to occasionally get out and chat in person). And it will be very cool to have book three of the Into the Mists Trilogy this time around – I was just looking at last year’s photo, and it seems strange now that there were only the first two 🙂

day2_chez_sel copy

With gorgeous artists Selina Fenech and Cheralyn Darcey…

Book Expo is on October 17 and 18, at Homebush in Sydney. And I have fifty free tickets to give away, so email me at BlessedBeeBooks@yahoo.com.au or comment below and I’ll give you the code…

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The Upside of Bad Reviews

October 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm (Interesting stories, Publishing) (, , , )

A fascinating blog post from author Anne R Allen, who not only survived bad reviews from the Amazon bullies – she got a huge sales lift. Thanks Mean Girls!

Read the full blog post here.

All successful authors get terrible reviews. Every. Single. One. Here’s a hilarious sampler of one-star Amazon reviews of classics from the Huffington Post. But bad reviews don’t always bring down sales.
In fact, bad reviews can actually stimulate buying. It happened to me.

I got a swarm of one-stars on my buy page for my Camilla Mysteries Boxed Set as “punishment” for standing up for a bullied writer on a high profile publishing blog. Probably not a wise thing to do at the time my mother was dying and I’d been diagnosed with a breast tumor, but I thought I was in a safe place when I wasn’t (there are no safe places).

Even though the blogger wisely deleted the troll-infested thread almost immediately, the mean girl army had already been deployed and had orders to swarm. “Swarming” a buy page with one-star fake reviews is a major sport on Amazon. It has even happened to the Zon itself. Its new Fire phone has over 1500 one-stars, apparently as a protest from Greenpeace, who don’t like Amazon’s environmental policies.

But when it’s just you and you’re already stressed this stuff can be pretty upsetting. I dreaded booting up my computer every morning for months. I knew better than to go to Goodreads, the native habitat of that particular denomination of meanies, but I had to go to Amazon occasionally. Each time I had a new review it would be one or two stars, containing a veiled personal attack that also showed the reader hadn’t read anything but the “look inside”.

Then a weird thing happened. My sales started to climb. And climb. After a couple of weeks, it hit the bestseller list in humor. One day I woke up and found I was ahead of five Janet Evanovich titles and my favorite humor book of all time, Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The book sold over 2000 copies that month and stayed on the bestseller list for half a year. Thanks, Mean Girls!

Read the full blog post here.

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Best-selling Author Goes Indie

October 12, 2014 at 12:20 pm (Interesting stories, Publishing) (, , )

There’s an interesting article about indie publishing at Publishers Weekly. Read the full story here.

New York Times bestselling author Eileen Goudge has written 32 novels, sold millions of copies, and been translated into 22 languages. But you won’t find her next novel in a publisher’s catalog: she’s doing it herself.

Back in 1989, Goudge published her first novel, Garden of Lies with Viking Books. It went on to become a New York Times bestseller that shipped over a million copies and was published in 22 languages. “I was riding high, touring the country, doing book events, being interviewed by major newspapers, and appearing on TV talk shows,” says Goudge of her early success. And she continued to garner six-figure advances — for a while.

Once the 2008 recession hit and digital publishing revolutionized the industry, Goudge found her book sales declining and her career in trouble. “To my horror,” she says, “I found I was facing a major crisis as my career went into a death spiral.” Luckily, she found a solution. “For me, she says, “it was self-publish or perish.”

In order to learn more about promoting her books as an indie author, Goudge says she’s joined several indie-author groups as well as subscribing to blogs about the subject. In particular, she recommends following the publishing blogs of both Jane Friedman and Anne R. Allen. “I’ve implemented many of their tips, which have helped boost my SEO,” Goudge says.

Read the full story here.

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The 7K Report

March 28, 2014 at 12:47 am (Uncategorized) (, )

I’m posting this here so I can read it properly later, but a brief skim shows it’s a very interesting read!

The 7K Report – Author Earnings by Hugh Howey

It’s no great secret that the world of publishing is changing. What is a secret is how much. Is it changing a lot? Has most of the change already happened? What does the future look like?

Read the full report here.

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Mermaid Magic hits the Top 30!

September 18, 2011 at 8:59 pm (News and updates, Publishing) (, , )

Today I was so excited to learn that Mermaid Magic is on the Australian best-seller list for the last quarter – it’s number 28, in company with Doreen Virtue, the Dalai Lama and Louise Hay. I’m also over the moon that Lucy’s Oracle of the Shapeshifters is number one, and her Oracle of Shadows & Light is number 14!

And I’ve been teaching myself to transform our books into eBooks – check out our Kindle store, where you can buy Mermaid Magic, Faery Magic and all seven of my Sacred SItes series for Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Mac, PC etc…

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Why Blessed Bee?

July 27, 2011 at 2:41 am (Bees, Magic) (, , , )

From my blog, October 2008…

I thought long and hard about a name for my little publishing empire 🙂
I wanted it to reflect me, and this book [Seven Sacred Sites: Magical Journeys That Will Change Your Life], but also be relevant for future books I will write. And so “Blessed Bee” was born.
It comes partly from “Blessed be”, a magical charm and pagan blessing. Witches and other magical practitioners say “Blessed be” as a form of welcome and of farewell, and within rituals. It has a similar meaning to the eastern blessing Namaste – “The divine within me recognises the divine within you.” It is a reminder of how beautiful each person, and the world, is, how blessed we are to be here, and a reminder to appreciate every sacred moment. It encapsulates love, forgiveness, gratitude, inner strength and power… Some consider it a wish for good health, love and happiness, others that it’s encouraging you to be a blessed person and to find the sacred within your self.
And one of my Cute Husbee’s nicknames for me is “Cute Bee”, because when we walk through the streets of our neighbourhood I always stop to smell the flowers (the star jasmine that’s blooming everywhere right now is so beautiful).
They seemed to fit well together, hence Blessed Bee. And now when we watch Charmed together we always smile when their grandma arrives, and later farewells the girls, with “Blessed be.”
* Juz drew the bee, which is not only a tattoo on my wrist, but also now, in July 2011, appears on the spine of my four books, seven mini books and meditation CD.

The Fivefold Kiss
In some pagan rituals the Fivefold Kiss is performed, as a way to recognise the inherent beauty and divinity of each person…
Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these ways.
Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar.
Blessed be thy womb, without which we would not be.
Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty.
Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names.

And from Thursday October 9, 2008…

It was a long and winding journey, but I’m finally holding a copy of my first book in my hands! Who knew when I set out on this writing adventure in the autumn of 2006 that I would end up breaking my contract and designing and publishing the book myself! It’s been challenging and terrifying and quite the endurance test at times, but having the finished copy makes it all worthwhile. And now it’s going out into the world, which is even more scary in a way 🙂 A new journey begins…

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