Aug 202013

ratThis second post to celebrate the Indie Block Party is all about my new book!

My current work in progress is the first book in a fictional new series about the adventures of Emily, a young woman who lives in York, England.
Fiction writing is new to me and quite a challenge and to make it a bit easier for myself, I took something that happened to me while I lived in York, and used that as an inspiration. However, most of it is made up!

As the book still needs a major edit, I haven’t come up with a blurb yet, but as it stand now it could be something like this.

Emily’s once quiet and idyllic neighbourhood on Milbury Hill is rudely awoken one day when a rat invades her back garden and house. The sight of the furry creature inspires a mean streak in her bitchy neighbour Priscilla that brings the two women on the brink of war. Never could Emily have imagined the disasters that are about to happen.

I hope that the above, together with a cartoon on the cover of a woman holding a knife and a rat holding an axe, should tell potential readers that it is a funny slightly surreal book.

My writing process is definitely one of plotting, but I feel some pantsing coming on with the major re-write that I have to do soon. Don’t feed the Rat! is currently in the hands of my beta readers and early reactions already show me that it needs lots more work.
This immediately shows the paramount importance of having critical beta readers, specially when like me, you are creating something you have never done before.

At the moment, I am planning on publishing Don’t feed the Rat! in November.


Interested in reading about the other writers in the Indie Block Party? Then follow this link! (Scroll down the post a bit until you see the picts of the participants.)

Aug 192013

026 me spoonIn this first post to celebrate the Indie Block Party, I am going to tell you all a little about myself.

I was born in the Netherlands, 43 years ago. I spent seven years of my life abroad, meeting people and doing the weirdest jobs (all legal, of course).

I started writing when I was in my early teens, but none of those stories was ever finished. I knew ‘I had a book in me’ though and when I moved to York in England in 2004, I was immediately inspired by the beautiful architecture and fascinating history of this city. The results were my first two books – Romans, Vikings, Churches and Chocolate and From Dissenters to Fire Engines. Both non-fiction, both self-published in the old-fashioned way (give a printer a lot of money and he prints you a large pile of books, which you then have to sell).

Besides living in York, I lived in Australia for two years and in New Zealand for six months. On top of that, I worked on two container ships. The trips on these ships inspired me to write two more books – Time Zones, Containers and Three Square Meals a Day, and its sequel More Stories of Time Zones and Containers. These two books were self-published as ebooks via Amazon and Smashwords (a much less risky business).

I am now back in my hometown in the Netherlands where I work part-time as a receptionist at the town hall. I have started writing a fictional new series about the adventures of Emily, a young woman who lives in York. The first book is this series is called Don’t feed the Rat!, about which more tomorrow.

When I am not writing I’m either reading murder mysteries or watching them on TV.


Interested in reading about the other writers in the Indie Block Party? Then follow this link! (Scroll down the post a bit until you see the picts of the participants.)

Jul 312013

pogo stick2The Summer Splash Blog Hop 2013 is over once more and I like to thank everyone who hopped by and subscribed to my blog!

This morning I had my neighbour pull the names of the three lucky winners out of a hat. They can expect an email from me soon.

I am not finished blog hopping this summer, as at the end of August I will participate in the Indie Block Party hop. This promises to be fun hop for authors and readers to get to know each other and their current works in progress. It starts on the 19 August and I will post more info about it soon!

Talking about current works in progress, I had an interesting days writing yesterday. As part of my first round of editing, I completely rewrote the final two chapters of my book. This involved some on the fly research on Facebook about electricity substations and some moaning on my part about how difficult the life of an author is. As a punishment, a friend set me the mini-challenge to work the word ‘Octopus’ into the last chapter, which I am happy to say, I managed to do.

The first round of editing is now finished and save for a quick read-through in the next few days, the manuscript will be off to my beta readers! Of course, that’s when the big test starts. I am looking forward to hear their comments.

In the meantime, I have to seriously start thinking about how to market the book. Always an interesting challenge.

Picture via subsciption to iClipArt

Jul 262013

splashlogoWelcome to my blog! Why don’t you join the blog hop and win some great prices!

What is a blog hop? Click on the blog hop image and it will take you to the main Summer Splash Blog Hop page. Here you will find over 40 authors, who are all giving away amazing stuff! Click on their links to enter their contests and come back to the hop page for the next link and a chance to win great prices!

Entering my contest is simple – just subscribe to my blog! Three lucky subscribers will be picked out of a hat to win a copy of my narrative travelogue Time Zones, Containers and Three Square Meals a Day.

Subscribe to my blog (including the confirmation email) and go hopping! The Summer Splash Blog Hop runs from 26th – 29th July.


UPDATE! The Summer Splash Blog Hop 2013 is now closed. Thanks everyone for dropping by! it ws great fun! I will announce the winners of my contest in a few days.


Jul 102013

cameraI have been working hard all weekend on the Homework my illustrator gave me to come up with a look and bio for my main character, Emily. Of course, I already had a vague idea what she looks like, but putting it all down on paper is not easy.

As luck would have it, I came across a blog post about how to use Pinterest as an aid for writing and marketing your book, in particular with regards to visualising a look of a character or place.
Until now, I had steered clear of Pinterest, mostly because I feel that there are already too many forms of social media and it is an impossibility to participate in all of them. However, the blog post made it sound interesting enough for me to check it out.

On Pinterest you can create ‘boards’, which are basically collages of pictures based around a theme of your own choosing. Other Pinterest members can follow your board and see what sort of pictures you post, excuse me, pin to it.

It seemed that it is possible to have three ‘secret boards’ on Pinterest, which only you can see, until such time that you make them public. The writer of the blog post used these secret boards to collect pictures of what she thought her character looked like, such as hairstyle and clothes, but also hobbies, likes and dislikes. As a marketing tool, she would then make the board public, so that her readers could get an idea of the character and interact.

Seeing as I have to build interest for my new series, this Pinterest approach didn’t seem like too bad an idea. Specially as I had to think about Emily’s looks anyway.
Therefore, I created three secret boards and one public one about York, the main setting of the series. On top of that, I added an extra page to my website, where I left some fun info about the new series. A bit scary, as making them public, will mean I have to use them in the book, but also fun as people finally get to know more about the new book.

Please check out my New Page or have a look through my York Pictures on Pinterest and let me know what you think!