Can you help me?

Photo by Brooke CagleI need help. Can any of you fellow writers help me, please? I have two books to re-release, A Flight of Thieves and Gifted, but I’m too sick to do the jobs they need before I can publish them.

A friend helped by converting the two novels I got back from my former publisher from PDFs to Word docs, and I started fine touch formatting them just before I got too ill to continue that job. All that’s left to do on each of them is to correct two finicky things: (i) paragraph inset at random places where lines have merged; and (ii) remove some random erroneous page breaks.

The other thing is tweaking Georgia Woods’s fabulous steampunk cover for¬†A Flight of Thieves, by adding my logo and blanking out a “Book 1” text (because I’m too sick to write any more of the series so it’s remaining a standalone).

Two friends offered to do these things for me, but life has happened to both of them the way it does.

Sorry. I’m so sick just posting this so far has my mind all hot and confused now. I hope this request makes sense.

Can anyone help me get these books back out there?

EDIT: Lovely Jodie Griffith is helping me with the Word formatting, and lovely Vivian Arend is tweaking my cover! ūüôā

How are you doing?

public & private faces of ME

Considering how dangerously ill I got last winter, 2015 has been an excellent year for my writing.

It started when clever, insightful, magnificent Kate Pearce took me as her mentee. I’ve mentored two authors, one of whom is still with me and is welcome to stay as long as she wants to, and now I’m a mentee too.

Do you have a mentor? Are you a mentor? It’s a wonderful experience. I recommend it.

So. To the writing.

I finished my novel The Honesty of Tigers and have submitted it to a select group of agents. Everyone who has it, has it because I genuinely admire her or him. I really think this is my best novel so far. One of my first readers said it’s my masterpiece. I enjoyed writing Tigers more than any other book I’ve written so far, and that’s saying something.

Took some weeks off to recover from the physical and mental workout of finishing Tigers, then I got back to work on my novel The Orphan Age. I rewrote the half that I’d completed in 2014 before my health fell off that cliff, and enjoyed doing a big chunk of ancient history research (the Celts of Gaul when the Roman Empire was getting all fascist on their arses, fact fans) for when I’m ready to write the other half.

Eye surgeries looming on the horizon will play their part in the timing of this. It might be next spring before I can finish Orphans, but finish it I will.

Meanwhile, I’ve started¬†several other projects, including adapting the first chapters of my novel¬†A Flight of Thieves for a TV drama series. Its working title is Sky Ships.

All of which sounds great, and it is great, but it points up the difference between my public achievements and my physical condition. Always, every year, between the peaks I achieve, are deep valleys shrouded in mist. Sweating my way through them is as much part of my journey as the satisfied thrill I enjoy when I reach a peak. It mightn’t be as visible, but it’s there.

Which is why I ask, how are you? Really. Not just in your celebration dances on the mountains, but down in the mist too. Are you sweating through a valley?

How are you doing?

This is what scares me

This is the eye that didn’t have unsuccessful retinal repair surgery 7 months ago. It’s my working eye. My good eye.

my writing eye

Except that it isn’t.

It’s deteriorating rapidly, as the surgeon warned me would probably happen within 12 months of the unsuccessful surgery on my other eye.

At 10 o’clock this morning (Monday) I have an “urgent” appointment at the eye hospital. All The Tests. Exactly the same long day of exhaustive tests and drops and examinations that I had on my other eye back in February. With more surgery to be scheduled at the end of it, I expect. Probably urgently. Almost inevitably.

I’m a novelist with only one working eye, and it’s going dark on me.

Physical things don’t scare me. Medics have remarked on my calmness while they’re doing unpleasant things to me. I’m not brave. Just been through so much painful shit, it doesn’t scare me anymore.

This, though? This scares me.

So what am I doing right now, at just gone midnight? Apart from fretting.

I’m working on my A Flight of Thieves¬†screenplay and yomping a big bag of salted popcorn. The show must go on, for as long as it can. Scared or not.

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