My Writing Year – 2021

Most of my time over the past couple of years has been spent in fictional worlds, which might sound peculiar but has for me, been a blessing. As an author I’ve found it easier than many people to accept national and international travel restrictions. Late in the year I fitted in trips up to Scotland and across to Amsterdam. In both cases I witnessed a different real world from before Covid 19.

I started my writing year as usual, with targets. Four new titles was always going to be ambitious, but without ambition, there’s little point in setting goals. Next Steps: and other stories, Sylvia: Beyond the Apocalypse, Codename: Foxglove, and Crusader were all in the line-up. Of those, only Crusader remains a Work in Progress.

What else filled my time?

A challenge I’d set myself was to produce my mainstream titles in paperback, which created a lot of work. The task was accomplished. A secondary job was to publish my short stories in paperback but not include tales from my anthologies which had been submitted by guest authors.

To cut a long story short, if you’ll pardon the pun, I had eighty tales which I mixed to produce four volumes of twenty short stories. My aim here was multi-faceted:

– produce books which were value for money for readers.

– an approximately equal word count.

– a mix of genre but without erotica.

– all my own work.

Did I maintain any other author interests?

As always, I filled in many hours reading, reviewing, beta-reading for fellow members of the IASD, and mentoring a couple of aspiring authors.

Apart from those things, I offered my services to my pseudonym. For her part, she produced five new titles. Her books are slightly shorter than mine but have plenty of action, albeit for a different taste. Five may sound like a lot, but they are written over a longer time period because most are based on notes and short story ideas from over the years.


Do I believe I’ve had a productive writing year?

Yes, I do, and as we all look forward to 2022, I’m content with the titles I have planned. One of next year’s stories is Selena: Sea Nymph, my first attempt at sci-fi paranormal fantasy. The first five chapters are available for reading and comments in my Work in Progress menu.

I already know how most of my author’s year will be spent in 2022, and 2023, so I’ll drop a hint with my New Writing Year blog in January 2022.

Comments and suggestions are welcome as always, and thank you for taking the time to read my blog.


Selena – the first five chapters

As I’ve said before, Selena: Sea Nymph is my first foray into the paranormal and fantasy arena. I have intentionally avoided reading mermaid or similar stories because I’d prefer my creative notions are not influenced by other authors.

In a relatively short time, I’ve revised the original blurb and the introductory chapter. My Work in Progress for this tale now boasts the new blurb and the first five chapters. I have enabled ‘comments’ for the blurb and all of the chapters, a decision not made lightly.

If you’d like to read and comment it is not a prerequisite that you either read or write sci-fi, fantasy or paranormal. You can use the links from this post, or select chapters from the Work in Progress menu.

Why am I taking such a step so early with this story?

There are authors who are comfortable writing one genre, their work is well-received, and therefore this produces a win-win situation.

I thrive on pushing myself, stretching the boundaries of my creativity. On many occasions, for me, a single image will inspire a new short story or novel, and so it joins my shortlist.

I’m hoping that any responses to these early chapters are encouraging, but we shall see.


Chapter 1 – Realisation

Chapter 2 – Friendship or Alliance?

Chapter 3 – Negotiations

Chapter 4 – Friends or Foes?

Chapter 5 – Dangerous Assumptions