Monday, 30 December 2013

Update: A Noble Arrangement (Book 1 of the Douglas Clan Series)

I am so excited to share an excerpt of my next project. I am currently working on A Noble Arrangement (working title - I'm still undecided on this one), which is book one of the Douglas Clan series. Each of these books will be stand-alone, but will feature recurring characters. I've got book two swirling around in my head right now! : )

For an excerpt of A Noble Arrangement, visit my Goodreads page here.

This series presents a new challenge to me: it is the most historically involved writing I've done to date. The Black Douglases, and their feud with King James II (aka Fiery Face for the large, red birthmark on his cheek) actually existed and are well-documented in history. I'm finding that structuring a fiction story around actual, historical figures presents a difficult, yet rewarding, challenge. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

Thoughts? First impressions? I'd love to hear from you!

Cheers for now,

Friday, 13 December 2013

The Heroes We Love

I picked up Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas from the library, and in about 1.75 days I was done. Dishes went unwashed, laundry unfolded and kitty litter boxes unscooped as I giggled and sighed, page after page, over the best kind of falling in love.

Or, at least I thought it was the best kind of falling in love.

Imagine my utter astonishment when I came across a two-star review on Goodreads for this novel (click here to read full review). This reader did not like the hero and how he fell head-over-heels in love with a heroine who, for matters of self-preservation, denied her own true feelings for him.

I was aghast. I was agog. My jaw hit the floor! She didn’t like this book?!

Now, in no way am I saying this reviewer was wrong. We readers are all entitled to our own opinions about the books we read. It just so happens that this reader cannot stand a hero who chases after the heroine. She makes that very clear. And I have nothing against that. Good for her for knowing her mind.

This review, however, was a startling reminder that ... we don’t all like the same things. Believe it or not, our tastes in hero/relationships are as diverse as we are from each other.

One tends to forget that once in a while.

For me, I absolutely love an alpha-male hero who falls inexplicably, head-over-heels in love with the heroine. Especially if she’s not your typical, extraordinarily beautiful type. There is something so giggle-inducing about an ordinary girl who cannot for the life of her figure out why this out-of-her-league man has become so besotted with her. But he is. And he's not ashamed of it.

My favourite romance novel is Perfect by Judith McNaught. In it, hardened, cynical playboy movie star Zach Benedict falls in love with pretty-but-not-modelesque, small-town teacher Julie Matheson. And he falls hard! Seriously, my copy needs to be replaced, I’ve read it so many times.

And now that I think about it, this is similar to the scenario I wrote in my Highland Loyalties series. Jane is by no means the most beautiful girl to ever matriculate out of England. But handsome Highland warrior Robbie MacGillivray falls unquestioningly in love with her. There is no "does he/doesn’t he" when it comes to his love for Jane. He does. Absolutely he does!

I applaud this reviewer of Smooth Talking Stranger for speaking her mind, and of course I respect her right to feel differently than I do. This was just a startling reminder that we don’t all like the same things.

So I put the question out there: what type of hero do you love the best? Do you prefer your hero, or your heroine to do the chasing? Or is there another scenario you best like to read about? And what are your favourite books which best illustrate this?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Author Interview with Romance Lives Forever

Hello all,

A quick post to let everyone know that my latest author interview with Romance Lives Forever, blog of fellow romance author Kayelle Allen, has been posted.

Check me out here for details on how to win a free kindle copy of my latest novel, Legend of the Mist.


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Adding Detail to Historical Romance

Last night I finished writing a guest post which (hopefully) will appear in December on 4covert2overt - A Day in the Spotlight. The piece was about putting detail into your historical romance novels and making sure that a) you’ve got enough in there, and b) it’s accurate.

I won’t rehash the article, but after it was done I decided I want to say a bit more on the subject. What prompted me to write the post was a reader review on Amazon for Legend of the Mist (my latest novel, for those of you that don’t know). In it, the reader said: “the author took quite a bit of information from the ancient times and made it relevant for me.”

I’m thrilled to hear stuff like that, because obviously that is the most challenging part of historical romance: making it believable and relevant. I’ve had comments and reviews like this before, where the authenticity of my historical detail is praised.  I’ve even had someone remark that they thought I was an expert in the genre.

No, I’m not sounding my own horn, I actually have a point. And here it is …

I’m not an expert. Not even close.

What you see in my novels is the result of a combination of critical thinking and a lot of Googling. And here’s the other thing … it’s not a difficult skill to master; anyone can do it.

Take, as an example, Legend of the Mist. In it, the brochs of ancient Scotland are a key feature. I describe not only what they were used for, but also how they were constructed in enough detail that they are easy to visualize.

But believe it or not, up until February, 2013 when I read Monica McCarty’s The Chief (in which a broch was featured) I had no real concept of what a broch was. All I knew was that it was an ancient stone structure that had fallen out of use by the time of Robert the Bruce. What that structure was for and what it looked like I had no idea.

It could just as easily have been a commode as a castle for all I knew!

To find out, I Googled “what is a broch,” and (besides the occasional image tagged with a misspell of “brooch”) I got enough information to describe one. Only then did I decide to add it to my story. If I hadn’t read The Chief there would probably be no broch in Legend of the Mist.

I can give another example from my first novel, Bride of Dunloch. In it, I had to figure out how Jane would have boiled water alone in the woods to care for a wounded enemy warrior named Robbie. And, of course, the first image that popped into my head was a cast iron cauldron hanging over a fire on a tripod.

This is where critical thinking came in handy. I had to ask: how realistic would that have been? Did peasants use tripods? What about hunters and nomads? It’s unlikely that tiny, feminine Jane would have snuck a heavy tripod from Dunloch castle out into the woods in the middle of the night.

It was then that I realized I would need another way for her to boil water.

So I looked it up by Googling “how did people cook in ancient times?” And not long after I found the specifics of stone boiling, where stones heated by fire were dropped in pots of water to create a boil.

There’s no secret to knowing that kind of detail. It’s nothing more than knowing when to ask the questions.

This is an easy skill to acquire if you are a writer of historical fiction. What I do, anyone can do. When you’re in the writing stage the internet should be your best friend. Assess your manuscript with a critical eye and determine where detail is required (hint: lots of places – the more the better). Then look the detail up to ensure it’s accurate. This is what will make your historical novel stand out and resonate with authenticity.

Remember: your readers are investing a lot of time and effort in you and your historical romance. What better way to show them you appreciate it by investing time in the detail that they want to see?

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Kindle Freebie Boom on the Decline ... So What? Get Over It!

I came across a post today called Do Free Day eBook Promotions Still Work? As the title suggests it talked about why Kindle’s KDP Select free promotion option doesn’t work as well as it used to. Indie authors aren't seeing the same number of free downloads that they used to, and the after sales aren't what they hoped for. 

I just put out a post two days ago, and wasn't going to do another one so soon, but this article got me thinking.

Scratch that, it got me fuming.

To start, there was nothing wrong with the article itself. On the contrary, it was well-written and insightful. The author, Marla A Madison, lists several key reasons why Kindle freebie days aren’t boosting sales like they used to. The three I consider most important are:

1.         the competition for eBook sales has increased exponentially over the past few years
2.         freebie promo sites have increased and are now overwhelming readers with choices
3.         readers’ kindles have become saturated with freebie downloads, further overwhelming their choices

If this blog post is correct – and I suspect it is – then there is a growing frustration among indie authors that they are getting less and less recognition for the same amount of work …

Seriously? Wah, wah, wah!

You know what? Any indie author who is banking on Kindle freebie days to make them a barrelful of money needs to revisit his or her priorities. Success is not an overnight thing for the majority of us. It can’t be gained by resorting to promotional gimmicks. It is a long and continuing struggle. It is our writing, our story-telling ability and our connection with our readers that will build our following.

Any indie who disagrees with that is in the wrong business.

Readers aren’t stupid. They don’t just blindly follow us because we're in the top spot on our free promo days. That doesn't mean anything. 

Readers are deeply passionate about the books they choose to love and the authors they choose to trust. However cleverly we market ourselves, however diligent we are with getting the word out, at the end of the day our books that sell themselves, not the marketing options we choose for them.

So, okay, the glory days of the Kindle freebie promo are on the out. Deal with it. It is what it is. If you’re passionate about writing then you’ll watch it go by with an “oh well.” And then you’ll go right back to writing. Because your career is not dependent upon some marketing gimmick. It’s founded on solid, passionate, dedicated writing.

To all those authors out there who write for the love of writing: keep at it. It’s your writing that defines your career, not how well your kindle freebie days catapult you into the spotlight. You will build a following of readers slowly and steady if you do. These readers are the ones that will stick with you book after book because they appreciate your talent, and trust you to give them the emotional satisfaction they demand from the books they read.

To all other indie authors who can’t accept that … quit. You’re probably in it for the wrong reasons anyway.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Badly Behaving Authors - An Indie's Two Cents

Since taking to Twitter over the last several months, I’ve seen a lot of blog posts on what is, collectively, known as Badly Behaving Authors (BBA from here on). There are different uses for the term, but I’m referring particularly to authors who respond to negative reviews and social media criticism. I wasn’t going to write a blog post on this, mainly because I didn’t want it to seem like I was complaining. But after seeing this topic enough, the urge to put in my two cents is just too overwhelming.

I debated whether or not to name names. Of course I don’t want to start partaking of this BBA phenomenon myself by calling out offenders. But at the same time, if I stick to vagueries, the point of what I’m talking about might be missed. For that reason I’ve decided to give a link to one key example. (A disclaimer: I do not condone the one or two personal remarks this blogger makes about the author in question. Just saying …)

To view link to PocketFullofBooks blog, click here.

One of the most important lessons about self-publishing that I’ve taken to heart is “don’t respond to negative reviews and criticism.” By this I don’t mean, “rise above,” or “turn the other cheek,” I really mean “don’t respond.” Why? Two reasons:

1. Most importantly, readers have a right to share their opinions and feelings about whatever they read. Someone doesn’t like my book? They have every right to voice that opinion loud and clear, wherever and whenever they want. If I don’t like it, I probably shouldn’t have written a book and put it out there for people to read in the first place. Goodreads and Amazon especially are reader communities, established to help readers recommend and engage in discussions about books. As a writer it is not my place to engage in discussions about my own work. Period.

2. Even if a review is obviously malicious or unfair (a competing author or a factually inaccurate criticism), responding to it does the author no good. As an example, I refer you again to the link above which clearly demonstrates the fallout of this ill-advised engagement. At the end of it all, it was the author who lost out; she only succeeded in making herself look really, really unprofessional.

The thing with indie authors is that so many of us are new not just to the industry, but to the business of writing, marketing and promoting our own books - and it is a business! We do not have a team of experienced individuals to advise us along the way. Because of this inexperience and lack of mentorship, we might tend to be a bit more sensitive than established, traditionally published authors who have been dealing with the constant flux of praise and censure for decades.

Does that excuse BBA? No, absolutely not. The other thing is that, because of lack of experience, indie authors may tend to continue behaving like the regular, ordinary people they are in their daily lives. Regular, ordinary people snipe at each other. They speak their minds. And they stand up for themselves and the things they believe in.

Unfortunately, if you’re an author, indie or not, being a regular, ordinary person is not a luxury you can afford. At least you can’t afford to show that part of yourself to the world if you want to encourage readership (unless you're making a platform of it). The face we present to our readers is sometimes more important than the books we present to them. Ask yourself: have you ever been put off reading certain books as a matter of principle because of a BBA?

I can’t speak for the entire indie community, but I sure know I’m invested in my career as a professional writer. It is disheartening to see that the BBA-ness of a handful of authors is often perceived as a condition of the entire indie community - of which I am inextricably a part. I am very cautious about what I say online, what I reTweet, what I promote, etc. And when it comes to not-so-glowing reviews, well, I’ve maintained from the get-go that I respect the right of my readers to express their opinions about my work. If they have something to say, good or bad, I appreciate and want to hear it.

Am I alone out there? Are you an indie author who has an opinion either for or against what I’ve said? What about readers? How do you feel about BBAs responding to your reviews?

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Why I am NOT doing NaNoWriMo

November. National novel writing month. The challenge: finish a book, or at least 50,000 words in a month. That’s about 1,600 words a day.

Started in 1999 in the San Francisco Bay area by freelance writer Chris Baty (yup, totally Wiki’d that one), the idea behind NaNoWriMo is to get people writing. No matter how bad the end result, at least you’ve got a first draft. You can go back and edit later if you want.

It’s a great idea, I’ll openly admit to that. If you’re scared of starting a novel because you don’t think you’ll be any good, the NaNoWriMo challenge celebrates quantity, not quality. A backwards notion? Not for writers it’s not. Quantity over quality is often the first hurdle we scribblers face.

By the way, if you think NaNoWriMo is for you, check it out here.

Me? I’m not going to do it. As great a challenge as it is, it’s not for everybody. NaNoWriMo doesn’t fit my writing or life style. With the recent release of my latest novel, Legend of the Mist, much of my time has to be dedicated to getting the word out any way that I can. On top of that, I can’t commit to writing every day (though I would absolutely drool at the opportunity to do nothing but) simply because my lifestyle is too hectic. Only a select few, relatively speaking, are able to set aside dedicated writing time each day.

If those were the only reasons, though, I still might considering jumping on the NaNoWriMo band wagon. But there is also the matter of my writing style.

I am very much a revise-and-edit-in-chunks kind of girl. I will spend a day madly hammering away at the keys and producing anywhere from 500 to 3,000 words in one sitting. But I can’t move on to the next chunk without editing first. I need to know that what I’ve hastily spewed onto the page makes sense. I need to make sure that I haven’t introduced any characters that won’t serve the story’s purpose later on, etc. etc.

Also, for me, switching between editing and writing keeps each task fresh. When I’m getting sick of revising, I’ll switch to uninhibited babbling. When that becomes tiresome, I’ll settle into some slower-paced editing.

Writing blog Creative Writing and the Crimson League seems to agree with my position: NaNoWriMo is not for everyone. They’ve written an article called Authors and National Novel Writing Month: 4 Good Reasons NOT To DoNaNoWriMo. Check the full article out for more detail, but below are their four points, and I think they are good ones. They suggest you should rethink NaNoWriMo if:

1. you will judge yourself if your draft is horrible
2. you will judge yourself if you don’t reach 50,000 words in November
3. you feel pressured to join in by everyone else who is doing it
4. you want to compete against other people or feel superior when you win and they don’t.

Okay, for me, number 3 would be the only point I can identify with, but it’s enough of a reason. As I said, NaNoWriMo is not for everyone. I know it’s not for me, and I would be bowing to online peer pressure if I decided to join.

To all of you out there who think NaNoWriMo is for you, I wish you the best of luck. It is a great way to get the writing bug going if you don’t already suffer from it (if you are a writer, then you know what I mean by suffer). But if you don’t think the challenge is quite your cup of tea, I’d say don’t feel bad.

Those are my thoughts, but what are yours? Will you be joining in the NaNoWriMo challenge? Why? How does it fit your writing style or creative ambitions? If not, why not? I’d love to hear your opinions.

Monday, 28 October 2013

To Blog or Not to Blog ...

This summer I participated in a social media seminar because, well, it was free, it was local, and I didn’t have anything else going on. I went in thinking, “okay, I’ve got this in the bag. I’m on Facebook, I have a Twitter account, I’ve set up a website for myself. I’m a pro.”

Four hours later I came out feeling a bit dazed, a bit irritated with myself and with this fast-moving online world and, above all, like a complete amateur.

The upside was that I had at least an understanding of the basic premise of this strange online world. From my random Googling about how authors – especially indie authors - can market their books I know that social media is an important part of the platform. Heck, for many of us it’s the only platform.

Unfortunately what I didn’t understand when I started out is just how involved with my social media platform I need to be. I was shocked to discover that I should be blogging at least once a week, posting on Facebook at least once every other day, and Tweeting roughly three times per day. And the hosts of the seminar were even kind enough to outline when I should be tweeting: nine (just before people settle into their daily routines), noon (when they’re copping off for lunch), and six (at the end of the day, just before they’re winding down).

Er ... okay, maybe my efforts had been piddly and unfocused up to that point (groan). But at least I learned something, and I took the message to heart. Sort of. I went home and promptly upped my twitter activity … while simultaneously letting my website and Facebook presence all but die. Oops.

I was, however, amazed by the results of my ramped-up tweeting when I saw there was an increase of traffic to both my Facebook and Web pages. It looked like people were interested to see who this Veronica Bale person was that was jumping into conversations about things like history, writing, and publishing. Crazy - people actually wanted to know who I was!

And isn’t that why I took to social media in the first place? I am a writer of fiction. I live in my cozy little world of characters and plots and better-than-the-real-world danger and intrigue. But I am also a person. There are thoughts and feelings behind each story I create. And I wanted to share that with my readers. I wanted them to see me, not just my books.

Of course the traffic to my Facebook and Web pages never found much of anything except a couple of old posts because, of course, I’d let those balls drop. Again … oops.

Since having this epiphany (which, it appears, everyone else already had years ago) I’ve decided to blog. Why? As writer, editor and publishing consultant Belinda Pollard says in her article Do authors really need a blog?, “if you plan to self-publish globally, your blog or website will become the hub of your book marketing.” And if people are coming to my page to see what I’m all about, they’re probably going to want to see more than just, “hey, check my books out.”

I’ve seen the positive effects on my visibility as an author from my activity on Twitter. I know that people have at least some interest in what I have to share. The whole reason I’m an author in the first place is because I have something to share with readers that I think they’ll enjoy. If blogging helps me reach more people with whom I can share, then so be it. I’ll find the time somewhere, somehow.

So, then, on the question “to blog or not to blog,” this amateur says, “bring it on!”

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Legend of the Mist is Here!

It’s here, it’s here …

As of this morning Legend of the Mist, my first stand-alone historical romance novel, is available on Amazon (click here to view). And as with any book release I’m a bundle of nerves right now. I’m not sure whether to be excited about the release, nervous about its reception or disappointed that it’s over. I can assure you that all three emotions are vying for top spot at present.

I’ll be releasing Legend of the Mist on KoboBooks within the week, and I’m also planning on releasing a print version through Amazon’s Create Space platform. Now there’s a scary new venture … starting to wonder what I’ve gotten myself into.

Ahead of me now is the arduous task of marketing and promoting my work. I admit that it’s one of my less favourite aspects of the indie author’s pursuit, but it’s unfortunately one of the necessary evils. That does not mean, however, that my next book will be on hold while I work on marketing and promotion. In fact, my next story is already in the works and I’m currently fleshing out the storyline. I’ll be in touch with more detail shortly.

In the coming months I’m hoping to broaden my presence within the multi-faceted social media sphere. I hope to become involved in writing blog posts more often that are about things other than mere status updates. I participated in a social media seminar this past summer, and was surprised that I’m supposed to be blogging once a week, posting on Facebook once a day and tweeting at least three times a day. (?! Talk about labour-intensive.) But that in itself is a blog post so I’ll save that thought for later. Suffice to say that I hope you’ll all see more of me in the reading and writing web community in the coming months.

In the meantime, if you happen to pick up a copy of Legend of the Mist, or if you read my Highland Loyalties series I would love to hear from you. Leave a review for me on Amazon or Kobo, stop by my Facebook page or check me out on Twitter. I always love hearing from and interacting with my readers.

That’s it for now. Take care, and lots of love to you and your families.


Thursday, 8 August 2013

August Update

Hello everyone, and welcome to the home stretch of summer. Here in Canada we’re experiencing a bit of a cool spell. We’re all wondering where summer went and when it’ll be back. But that’s alright because this cool spell is coming on the back of a heat wave, and personally, I’d much rather the cool than the muggy heat we get here. Then again, I’m a bit of a northern girl; my favourite time is mid-fall through to early spring … I know, I know: I’m probably alone on this.

I hope everyone’s summer has been fantastic, filled with memorable experiences and even more memorable reading. I was fortunate enough to be invited to a cottage for a week in July, so spent many long, sunny days by the lake … hunched over my laptop writing Legend of the Mist. It was awesome!

Speaking of Legend of the Mist, it’s going very well. I’m quite pleased with how the story is progressing and which characters I am meeting along the way. I am still on track to deliver a finished manuscript early autumn (I think I’ve missed the boat on end of summer unfortunately), and I hope it will be as much fun to read as it was to write.

This summer I’ve also had a lot of time to engage in other writing projects which have been a lot of fun for me, including blogging about local travel for a non-profit organization. It’s provided me with many fantastic experiences. I’ve also had time to think about what I want my next book to be about, but I haven’t gone too deep into that wilderness just yet. I still want to spend my energy making Legend of the Mist everything I hoped it would be.

A quick note on my e-presence, I am going to try to be a bit more active on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and my website than I have been in the past, so check me out for more regular communication. And, of course, don’t be afraid to touch base with me and leave comments or post your own ideas and messages to me. I always love to hear from you.

Cheers and take care for now,


Friday, 7 June 2013

June News

We’re rolling into June and the weather here is rather cool and rainy. Far from being disappointed, though, that the summer sun is not lending its rays to my vegetable garden’s well-being (cabbage, tomatoes and green peppers this year ... hopefully), I find the weather quite inspiring. It’s days like these that I step outside my door and think, “this feels like a Scotland morning.” Funny that almost nine years after my visit to that wonderful, mysterious and rainy place, I still measure the cool, wet days here in Canada by how closely they resemble the land of my ancestors. It must be a previous life thing ...

Legend of the Mist progresses nicely. I had a wonderful writing session the other day where I got to describe, for the first time, Norah’s inexplicable connection to things of the past on the island of Fara (if you’re not sure what that means, I invite you to check out the sample chapter I’ve added to my Goodreads page here). I love those times when my writing goes like that: the story seems to take on a life of its own, and by the end of it, I’ve woven passages with so much more detail and depth than I had ever suspected were lurking in the corners of my mind.

I had said that I hoped to have Legend of the Mist out by the end of the summer, and I still think I am on track to hit that deadline. Fingers crossed. I am also considering releasing Legend of the Mist through CreateSpace, so that those who might want it can order a hard copy of my book. And I will be first in line to do so, you can be sure! Details will follow here, on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter when I’ve got it all straightened out. And finally, I continue to work on other, separate writing endeavours, including blogging and article writing, for the fun of it. And under a nom de plume : )

Well then, so marches on the summer, and so must I with my writing. Until next month, my dear readers, when I promise to have another update, cheers to all.


Monday, 13 May 2013

Update for May

Well, April has come and gone and I’ve broken my resolution to write a monthly update on my website. Where does the time go?

On the up side, though, my lack of presence on the internet does indeed indicate that I’ve been busy writing. Legend of the Mist is going beautifully, and I find I’ve made new friends out of a number of characters that I had no idea would exist when I set out to write the story. Their appearances here and there, though surprising to me, just seemed to fit, and now I cannot imagine the story without them. Characters like Cinead, Siri, Cook ... well, you’ll meet them all in time.

I was nervous at first about writing Legend of the Mist, as it would be my first full length novel. I had no doubt that I could do it, but I did wonder whether it would be harder to meet the word count. Above all I did not want to create a story that rambled on and on, and that contained obvious fillers for the sake of quantity. I’m happy to say my fears are proving to be unfounded. I am already 13,000 words into a book that I’ve committed will be at least 75,000, and I have not even thought once about word count.

To that end, I’ve uploaded more of the book to my Goodreads page. It’s part of Chapter 1, and is the part that immediately follows the previously posted Prologue. It gives a better idea of where the story is going, and introduces the reader to some of the integral characters of the story, including the heroine, Norah. A word of caution, though, to all who read it, this is not your typical Viking romance, and Einarr, the Viking leader, is not the hero of the story ... but you’ll have to wait to find out who is : ) As I’m writing it, I’m also discovering that this is not a story with an easily definable ‘bad guy.’ There is no true villain among the characters, and each one will develop into a likeable character in his or her own way. It makes for interesting writing, I’ll admit that.

For the Prologue and Chapter 1 together, click here.

I hope to have Legend of the Mist out by the end of summer or early fall. That’s the plan, at least. For now I return to the grind stone ... which is not really a grind stone because I’m having a great time living in Viking-era Orkney at the moment. As always, I invite you all to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads, and for those of you who have read the Highland Loyalties trilogy on Amazon, I would love to read your customer reviews for Bride of Dunloch, Uniting the Clans and The Laird Returns.

Take care for now,
Veronica Bale

Monday, 25 March 2013

My Latest Author Interview

A very happy spring greeting to all ... although here in Canada we're still waiting for signs of a season change as we don our thermals day after day.

Today I'm pleased to share my most recent author interview which fellow Sea Anan Saga author Jessica Kong was kind enough to conduct and post on her website. My author interview can be found by clicking on the following link.

In the interview, I offer a bit of insight into my writing process, and also into the way in which Robbie and Jane's world came into being. It was fun to write, and I hope you all enjoy it.

Well, that's it for now, cheers to all!


Thursday, 28 February 2013

March at a Glance

A big sigh for me because I have released the final volume of the Highland Loyalties trilogy. It is available on Amazon for anyone who wants to know how Robbie and Jane’s story finishes off (working on uploading it to Kobo, too). But even though I am relieved to have completed it, the end is bitter sweet. I have lived with the characters of Dunloch for so long now—contemplating their thoughts, shaping their dialogue, determining their destinies—that it feels like I’m saying goodbye to some really good friends. It’s the way I feel every time I finish reading a book, I guess. Anyone else feel like that or is it just me?

But, now that I’ve finished that major project, I’m sitting here flexing my fingers wondering what else I can do. I thought I was going to take a break for a month or so (I have a beautiful ball of yarn and a great knitting pattern that’s been begging me for attention), but I have to be honest, now that I’ve got no book on the go, I’m getting anxious to get stuck into the next one. And yes, I already know what it is! I’ll fill everyone in on the details once I get underway ...

In the interim, I’ll be working on promoting all three volumes of the Highland Loyalties trilogy. Anyone who’s ventured into the writing world knows that self-promoting is an exhausting business. We indie authors are fighting each other for elbow room in an already saturated market. As much as we appreciate and want to support each other, we are each other’s competition for attention. And then, of course, we’re also up against the powerhouse names, those well known and well loved authors that have realized the dream which we writers are all trying to achieve. So getting ourselves noticed takes up a good deal of our time.

To that end, I have no idea when I’m going to be able to put out my next novel, but I can promise that it will be my first stand-alone. And like Highland Loyalties, it will be a love story which focuses on the love first and foremost. I can promise that it’s a story idea about which I’m excited, and which develops more and more each day in my head. I can’t wait to put it on paper and see how it turns out.

I’ll be updating my website with occasional posts from time to time, and I am also going to at least try and commit to posting a newsletter-style update like this one each month, so check back and see what I’m up to. And I am always on Facebook and Twitter, so check in and ‘like’ me or follow me at @VeronicaBale1. I do read and appreciate all your comments, and always look forward to hearing from you.

Well, until next time ... cheers and happy reading, as always.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Welcome to My Page

Hello readers, and welcome to my very own author page. Currently my page is under construction, so please bear with me while I am learning all the ins and outs of setting up a website.

Once my site is up and running (in any functional capacity, that is) I will be posting updates here as well as on my Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter pages. In the meantime, don't forget to visit me at these existing sites for everything that I've got on the go, or just to say 'hi!'

Cheers, and happy reading,