Catch up with a cuppa Ko-Fi (July 2022)

Here is the low down on what I posted on Ko-Fi last month, so you don’t miss out!

Sky Heart – Briefed my cover designer

Taking those next steps towards publishing book two is very exciting. It’s still a way off, but I’ve reached out to my cover designer to discuss ideas and book in.

Content Creation

An update on what I was doing in July. Originally I’d toyed with the idea of doing a project for Camp NaNo.

Instead, I was busy planning my husband’s secret party, and attending all the end of school/nursery events for my kids.

In the end, I was working on remaining present on social media by developing content. This included opportunities to feature in Felixstowe Magazine and interviews with other bloggers.

Smashwords Summer Sale (July)

I posted at the start and end of July to make people aware that Ocean Heart was in the Smashwords sale at 50% off. This needed some prompting and content to spread the word.

Coming Soon – Author Diaries

I’ve also been busy working on this collaborative project, and developing content to start promoting.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel and stay tuned for more info coming soon.

Follow me on Ko-Fi

It’s free to follow me on Ko-Fi and be sure you don’t miss out on my latest news, or any freebies. You can buy me a virtual cuppa or merchandise from my shop, including a signed copy of my book.

[Kofi]

More About Sky Heart

Catch up with a cuppa Ko-Fi (June 2022)

Here is the low down on what I posted on Ko-Fi last month, so you don’t miss out!

Sky Heart Chapter 3

Another draft chapter on Ko-Fi. I wonder how this will compare to final version once Sky Heart is edited, formatted, and published.

Sky Heart Coming Soon

Busy Week

I can’t wait for the holidays and to relax. My best friends wedding was a busy weekend but the lead up to finishing school has been crazy. I’m literally taking one day at a time.

Sky Heart – Sent off to the editor

This is a HUGE milestone. I can’t wait to see what my editor has to say. She is fabulous at slapping me with the truth in a way that doesn’t hurt and helps me make my story better. I know there will be a lot of work but I’m ready for it.

Summer Sale

https://youtube.com/shorts/bNQr3J8Y1Mo?feature=share

Just a quick reminder that Ocean Heart is half price in the Smashwords Summer Sale. Grab a copy on discount before the end of July.

Follow me on Ko-Fi

It’s free to follow me on Ko-Fi and be sure you don’t miss out on my latest news, or any freebies. You can buy me a virtual cuppa or merchandise from my shop, including a signed copy of my book.

[Kofi]

More About Sky Heart

Catch up with a cuppa Ko-Fi (May 2022)

Here is the low down on what I posted on Ko-Fi last month, so you don’t miss out!

Sky Heart by Ally Aldridge

Sky Heart Chapter 2

This month I posted another chapter of Sky Heart. Now you can read two chapters on Ko-Fi.

Update on my website

I realised I hadn’t shared how my website update went so finally did this.

Sky Heart Coming Soon

Sky Heart Update

I’m getting close to finishing my self edit and shared where I’m up to with the plot hole fixes.

Follow me on Ko-Fi

It’s free to follow me on Ko-Fi and be sure you don’t miss out on my latest news, or any freebies. You can buy me a virtual cuppa or merchandise from my shop, including a signed copy of my book.

[Kofi]

More About Sky Heart

Catch up with a cuppa Ko-Fi (Mar 2022)

Here is the low down on what I posted on Ko-Fi this month, so you don’t miss out!

Waterstones Bookshop

I spilled the beans on some exciting news in the works with Ipswich’s largest bookshop.

Behind the scenes for World Book Day

I shared what I got up to on Ko-Fi first but for my followers there I got more personal about what happened leading up to the event, and how it went.

Michelle Raab Marketing Post (Part 3):

I linn to the final instalment of Michelle’s marketing series featuring me.

WIP Cover Reveal for Forest Heart

After updating my website I realised I needed a WIP cover for my next project, Forest Heart. I really enjoyed making it and revealing it on Ko-Fi.

Follow me on Ko-Fi

It’s free to follow me on Ko-Fi and be sure you don’t miss out on my latest news, or any freebies. You can buy me a virtual cuppa or merchandise from my shop, including a signed copy of my book.

[Kofi]

What I did for World Book Day!

I delivered my first ever face-to-face author event for World Book Day. It was extra special because I got to attend the high school where my book Ocean Heart is set.

The Setting

Ocean Heart is set in Felixstowe. When I started writing the novel there were two high schools in the town. Deben High School and Orwell High School, both named after local rivers. The two schools had some rivalry and I didn’t want my book about that so I merged the schools together and made Felixstowe High School.

Little did I know that the council were going to do this. The old schools were knocked down and a new modern building erected.

I’ve never had the opportunity to visit the high school so it was really fun to see if it was anything like I imagined. The school was lovely, and very modern, and a lot bigger. I was very impressed.

The students

I met up with groups of five to six students from Key Stage 3. The plan was to introduce myself, and my book, and discuss what had inspired my writing.

I’m not great at public speaking, so I took a notebook with some conversation bullet points to boost my confidence and feel more prepared. I’m not sure what I’m scared will happen, other than making a fool of myself.

The students were very sweet and polite. Once I flipped the attention off myself and onto them, I was able to relax and the conversation flowed better.

We discussed my writing, debut novel, and reading. The students came up with some great questions for me, some that madrWhen we discussed their interests they even had some book recommendations for me.

The book recommendations

My notebook came in handy to write down the books the students recommended I read.

Reflection

I’m so thankful to Felixstowe High School for having me. I appreciated that Deputy Head, Darren M arranged for me to chat with a small groups rather than in-front of a large audience.

Darren also got me thinking about delivering some leisure learning courses for Creative Writing. I’ve been going over old books, notes from courses I’ve done, to explore the idea. Ifurther

I think the more I do, the easier it will get. As a natural introvert, I have to push myself outside my comfort zone but this is good for my professional development. Plus, afterwards I was buzzing that I did it.

Discover Ocean Heart

You can pick up Ocean Heart from all good book shops and online retailers, and borrow through your library or Overdrive.

Catch up with a cuppa Ko-Fi (Feb 2022)

Here is the low down on what I posted on Ko-Fi this month, so you don’t miss out!

This month I have been featured in Felixstowe Magazine, and twice in Michelle Raab’s Marketing blog. My posts on Ko-Fi have been to share links to the content:

Felixstowe Magazine Article: https://ko-fi.com/post/Me-Features-in-Felixstowe-Magazine-L4L8AB3N2

Michelle Raab Marketing Post (Part 1): https://ko-fi.com/post/Me-featured-by-Michelle-Raab-Marketing-S6S6ACCL9

Michelle Raab Marketing Post (Part 2): https://ko-fi.com/post/Me-Featured-by-Michelle-Raab-Marketing-G2G0AMU8M

Behind the scenes Valentine’s Video

For Valentine’s Day I did a reading on Instagram of the first kiss scene from Ocean Heart. I then turned it into a YouTube video using Canva.

I posted Behind The Scenes of making this video on Ko-Fi: https://ko-fi.com/post/Behind-the-Scenes-Valentines-Video-G2G5AKXVE

Follow me on Ko-Fi

It’s free to follow me on Ko-Fi and be sure you don’t miss out on my latest news, or any freebies. You can buy me a virtual cuppa or merchandise from my shop, including a signed copy of my book.

[Kofi]

NaNoWriMo Project

My NaNoWriMo Project

New Moon (working title)

This project is set in the same low fantasy world of The Soul Heart Series. In fact, for readers of Ocean Heart they may recognise the main character, Denny.

This story is a prequel. It’s set in the 90s, back when Denny was a teen herself. It will cover how she became friends with Gwyn, started her Sparkle Cake business, and the highs and lows as a new mum.

Preparation

I feel more prepared now I have created a title, cover, and blurb. Of course these are all just a work in progress, so could change but it helps me feel more focused.

I’ve started writing an outline. I intended for this to be a novella but I already have a sneaky suspicion this could become a full length novel.

I’ve also made a spreadsheet to help me track my word count. If this works successfully, I will look at making a version available to my followers on Ko-Fi.

The Goal

I’m going to aim for the big Five-O (50,000 words). If I don’t make it, I will still have made progress, but if I do, it’d make me so happy.

I’ve been struggling with motivation because Sky Heart is on hold until I can afford the professional services I need to move it forward. I’ve also been bummed out with all the germs (sick kids) ruining September, and fracturing my ankle ruining October.

I really want to get back into the habit of writing again. My ultimate goal for November is this: To write!

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? What’s your project, goal, and how do you prepare?

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

About Ocean Heart

About Sky Heart

About Work In Progress

About Ko-Fi

Collaborating on a New Exciting Project

Elzevera of Willowtree Editing needed some extra help in managing her Mighty Network: Under the Willow

I joined the Mighty Network back in 2019 and Elzevera helped me with self editing, Ocean Heart.

It inspired me to want to create my own Mighty Network and I set this as a goal at the start of 2020.

I have been exploring creating a Mighty Network. It is a social site for creatives. I’m currently a member of a Mighty Network by Willow Editing. I have been Beta Testing a self-editing course by Elzevera of Willow Editing.

I am considering the network as a potential way to share extra bits with my readers. I am also exploring it as a space to share writing resources as many of my followers are fellow writers.

http://allyaldridge.com/writing-progress-january 2020/

But, I’d also decided to self publish Ocean Heart, and this was my priority and keeping me very busy. I didn’t have time to build my own Mighty Network. I ended up abandoning the goal to focus on my debut novel.

Early this year, I stepped back from my volunteer role with World Indie Warriors. I created their indie books brochure and eZine. Collecting all the info and publishing four times a year was taking over too much of my free time. When I started a new job, I didn’t have the energy to continue with both. It was hard to let go but I’m still very close with the members and support them however I can.

Now I’ve settled into my new role, I have more energy again. When I saw Elzevera call for help on Instagram, it sounded like a perfect new fresh challenge for me.

I applied to help, and we had a little chat about what she’d need me to do. From October, I shall be Elzevera’s new co-host. I’m excited to take on this new role.

Under the Willow is inline with my original Mighty Network goal. Elzevera’s created her network to empower writers to have the tools they need to self edit their work, and improve their writing craft in a supportive community.

If you want to join a supportive group of writers and improve your craft, please do come join us on Mighty Networks in Under the Willow

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this you will like:.

12 Tips for Self Editing

My Process – How to Publish a Book

Different self publishing platforms

Writing Progress – January 2020

Behind the Book: Wilcroft Chronicles: The Waterfall Warrior by Owen B. Lewis

Thank you so much for agreeing to an interview about your debut fantasy novel.

Tell me about your beautiful book cover?

The beautiful artwork was illustrated by Yu-Hsuan Tseng who I happened to find online. I came across her wonderful art from a graphic design website and fell in love with the colours and imagery that she used. The style felt the right vibe for what I was imagining for The Waterfall Warrior. I got in touch with her and she was very happy to create my front cover. I was hugely honoured as it can be hard to find the right image for your work that captures what was originally in your mind, but not in this case. Yu-Hsuan Tseng listened to my ideas and with her talent and unique style she made the most perfect artwork I could ask for.

The Waterfall Warrior is book 1 in the Wilcroft Chronicles, how many books do you anticipate in the series?

I plan to do two more. When I came to write the first one I always had a trilogy in mind. It’s exciting because now the first book is out there, people can find out about this world and these characters I have created. I have lots of ideas for what’s to come. I know how it all ends, but there’s a lot of exciting things to happen before that. 

Can you introduce the main characters, Hannah and Callum:

Hannah Barrington is a twenty-five year old woman who works at a hotel. She roams Epping Forest whenever she is feeling depressed. It brings comfort to her as she has fond memories of staying there with her grandparents and siblings when she was little. One day she comes across a waterfall which seems out of place; she walks through and finds a portal that transports her to a different world called Therrhain. Hannah befriends a Warrior there called Fay. To get Hannah back they must go to Wilcroft University to meet a woman named Carol Wells, but first Hannah and Fay must unveil the secret of the ancient prophecy before Therrhain is destroyed.

Callum Barrington is Hannah’s youngest sibling. He’s currently a student at university in Manchester. He also deals with mental illness. There’s a young man named Elliott Heartwood that he can see through his mirror, and in the early chapters Callum isn’t quite sure if he’s real or if his mind is playing tricks on him.

Is the Epping Forest in your book based on the real Epping Forest? Why did you choose this location for your fantasy book?

Yes and no. It’s real in the sense that in the story Hannah is walking through the actual Epping Forest, but I have added things that aren’t there in real life, such as the house that her grandparents lived in. I chose this location because I needed a forest that was out in the middle of nowhere but also close enough you could travel there from London, and also because Hannah needed somewhere to go that gave off a childlike and magical atmosphere. 

The book includes your main characters facing mental health issues. Is mental health something that’s important to you?

Most definitely. Over the last few years I have been very open about myself having mental health problems. I also used to be a care worker before I became a writer, so I have worked with a lot of people who also have had mental health issues. I think it’s an important theme to put into stories, especially when it’s not the main plot device; the character just so happens to have these issues, but they also are shown to still live a life and have other qualities to them.

What advice do you have for anyone that may be struggling with similar issues to your main characters.

I’m not sure I am the right person to give advice, but I guess all I would suggest is to talk, and not be ashamed of the difficult emotions you are facing. From personal experience when I talked about it I felt better for it. 

Can you share a short snippet from The Waterfall Warrior?

Walking through the forest brought back so many memories. It seemed smaller than it had when I was a child. I remembered the time I had fallen over a branch, the one that was still sticking out menacingly between the trees. It had made me fall and cut my knee. I had cried for hours. I used to play there with Chloe, Laura and Callum. They were my only friends back then. It was a time in my life before I realised you could have friends that were not part of your family. We used to use sticks as swords and playfight with each other. We even made dens with blankets. There was a house there that looked as though it was about to collapse. It used to belong to my grandparents, Grumbles and Numbles I called them for some strange reason. Back then I used to think this forest was their garden. When I passed this area, I could almost smell the cooked dinner that my grandmother used to make. It had always tasted as good as it smelt. My mouth was watering. The memory cheered me up but not for long. I was now further into the forest. I wasn’t very familiar with this part. We were told to never cross this point when we were kids, or we would be in “very serious trouble”. It was hard to believe it now, as this part of the woods felt very innocent and peaceful compared with the rest. The ground was flatter, there were no stones to graze your knees if you fell, and no hills to climb and fall down. I came across the stump of a tree. It was right in the middle, all by itself. Lines of trees standing tall on either side of it, squashed together like sardines. I went and sat down on the stump. Without even a thought I broke down and cried for about ten minutes. I didn’t understand why I suddenly felt so upset. I was feeling low, but I didn’t think I was as bad as all that. Then something startled me. The strangest, but most beautiful sound. Someone was singing.

Where can readers connect with you and discover more about your books?

The best place to do that would be at my book launch. It’s being held at Bristol’s Waterstones on September 28th at 7pm. I will be talking about the book, and there will be readings by two actors who narrated the audiobook edition of The Waterfall Warrior, which is also out soon. I will be signing copies of the book. It’s a free event but you still need to claim a ticket by visiting Waterstones website and going to the event section.

https://www.waterstones.com/events/book-launch-with-owen-b-lewis-wilcroft-chronicles-the-waterfall-warrior/bristol-galleries

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this you will like:

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Behind the Book: Meraki by Naomi Kelly

Behind the Book: Tenebrasco by Hannah Reed

Behind the Book: Kairos by Naomi Kelly

Kairos is book 2 in your The Syren Story series. Who is this series for?

This series is for anyone who loves mythology of Percy Jackson or Circe, and who is enchanted by the magical worlds of Holly Black or Sarah J Maas. My series contains fan favourite tropes such as enemies to loves, and the chosen one which woven into unfamiliar worlds with unsung creatures such syrens and centaurs.

Can you tell us more about King Kellan?

Kellan is the eldest son of late King Lachlan and Iseult, and a Descendant of Ares. Although this ancient tie to the god of war is generations old, Kellan is something of a warlord and is willing to fight hard, particularly if his family is involved. His act first, think second nature often lands him in trouble, but when he awoke from a dream about a syren, he didn’t hesitate to take the seas and find Wren. 

What inspired you to write this series?

I was walking along a coastal cliff walk with my boyfriend when I started talking about mermaids and the sea. As much as I adored the Little Mermaid growing up, as an adult it bothered me that Ariel was willing to give up her voice for a prince, so I began toying with the idea of a King who needs a syren’s voice. 

Tell me about your writing routine?

I usually scribble ideas in my notepad throughout the day, especially on my commute to work, which I can type out and expand on in the evenings. I write with a cup of tea beside me and complete silence, I don’t know how other writers can work with music. 

I tend to edit as I write which is viewed as a sin in the writing world, but I find rereading what I wrote the previous day helps me get back in the flow and I can tidy up typos along the way. 

What is your greatest challenge as an indie author?

Marketing. Hands down, marketing. I had watched a ton of BookTube videos and done my research before diving into the indie author world, and I thought I was prepared, but no. Nothing can prepare you for how much marketing you have to do in order to get your book scene. 

As much as I adore being an indie author, I would love the big marketing campaigns that some bestselling authors get! Imagine seeing your book in Times Square!

Can you share a short snippet from Kairos?

Sliding his forearms under me, he carefully prises me off the soiled garment, positioning me on the thick, plush sheepskin rug in front of the now roaring fire instead. He feeds my dress to the flames without hesitation.

“Hey.” I croak, watching the beading melt whilst the gossamer fabric billows out smoke, “I liked that dress.”

“I’ll get you another,” Kellan says, as he makes his way to the bathroom adjacent to his suite to fetch a basin of water, “Recover from this and I’ll buy you an entire wardrobe.”

“You’ll need clothes. Not me.”

My voice barely carries over the sudden ripping sound of him destroying yet another shirt. This time to make linen strips.

“I don’t need anything bar you surviving, okay?”

I nod, or at least I think I do. I don’t feel my body move. I don’t feel my body at all anymore.

Even with my eyes shut, the dancing flickers and shadows penetrate through my lids. I try to remind myself it’s just from the fire, but an ever-growing part of me fears it is Hades stoking the pits of the Underworld in preparation for my arrival.

Kairos by Naomi Kelly

Can you tease us with what you are working on next?

I’m currently working on a companion novel which features two characters readers will have met throughout the Syren Stories. This story will be able to be read as a standalone and will be the first book of mine to not be classified as YA. The tale will be jam packed with forbidden romance, magical creatures, a hint of smut and of course more magic and mythology than even Atlas could carry.

Where can readers connect with you and discover more about your books?

Readers can learn more about me by following my Instagram and Facebook page (@naomikellywriting) and they can read reviews for Kairos over at Goodreads.

Both books are available on Kindle Unlimited and Amazon.

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Behind the Book: Meraki by Naomi Kelly

Book Review: Tenebrasco by Hannah Reed

Behind the Book: Tenebrasco by Hannah Reed

About Ocean Heart

The links below are affiliate links. Please visit my Affiliate Disclosure page for more information.

[kofi]