An update.

Hello, hello. Yes, it has been horribly long since my last blog post or update. I suppose this is the point where I rattle off the relevant excuses – work and life in general – reasons why I have not penned anything much of late. Blog posts are usually low down on my list of priorities and I do admire those authors who manage to fire one off daily (monthly would be an achievement for me). They are important, but when you have your next novel pushing to be written or artwork needing to be produced, it’s difficult to fit them into a routine.

So, a quick summary of where I’m at. Logres Volume One: Book Two – still not fully drafted. My children’s book – where it was about 6 months ago. I think it’s safe to say that 2016 was not a good year for me creatively. There was far too much going on and not nearly enough time to focus on the projects I wanted to see finished. Being knocked into the cycle of ‘working to afford somewhere to live close to where you work so you can afford to live somewhere you can work‘ absorbed more recourses than I anticipated, and any free time that I did have left me feeling uninspired and unable to produce anything of any real substance.

It’s been over a year since I self-published The Future King: Logres, and though reviews are still trickling in it’s been tough accumulating them. I’ve learned a lot about self-promotion and advertising this year, have been burned by one or two ‘reviewers’ (be weary of the ones who approach you asking for free copies of your work), and understand well why people prefer to have publishers. Had I not had to do all the promotional work myself I’d have had more time for writing. Well, no excuses this year – I’ve done what I can. The reviews will hopefully come in eventually, more (with some luck) once I publish Book Two. This year it is my goal to kick myself past my own goalposts.

My new year’s resolutions list is expanding and ever-changing like some organised hydra (scratch one thing off, three more appear), but the core aspect of it is that I need to write, need to draw and I need to get my next novel properly drafted. It has to be extracted – no ifs, no buts – and it needs to happen sooner rather than later.

The first step is to be more transparent about my writing progress, it’s the only way to hold myself to my new goals. It worked the first time round, posting word count updates on Facebook like some race against myself, so I’m hoping it’ll work this time if I update my homepage with daily (being optimistic here) word counts.

So you’re aware I’m starting my next draft from scratch, starting on Monday (that’s the 16th), working with what I already have and refreshing myself by reading The Future King: Logres from a new viewpoint. If you’re feeling impatient and think I should be working faster – you’re probably right, but in the meantime you can help by spreading the word about The Future King if you enjoyed it. Then if the reviews keep coming in while I’m writing my next draft, it’ll be at least one thing from my new year’s list that will be taken off my mind.

Goodreads Giveaway Week #1

Giveawayweek1

Giveaway dates: Jun 01 – July 31, 2016
Availability: 1 signed copy
Available: See giveaway page for list of eligible countries

The grand opening of my second Goodreads Giveaway is here! Today marks the first day when you can enter for the chance to win a signed copy of The Future King: Logres. All you need to enter this raffle is be a Goodreads account holder, and enter the giveaway via the Goodreads Giveaway page. This raffle is available to the countries listed on the Giveaway page and runs for two months until the 31st of July 2016. Once the Giveaway has ended Goodreads will select a winner at random – who will then receive a signed copy of The Future King: Logres, posted by me!

Please see the Goodreads terms and conditions for this giveaway.

You can find the event page for this giveaway here, where you can invite others to enter. The purpose of this free raffle is to get as many people involved as possible – so don’t forget to share it with your friends! Remember to add The Future King: Logres to your ‘to read’ list as well.

Thank you and enjoy the Giveaway!

Britain, 2052. In a world of war, disease and hunger the UK stands alone as a beacon of prosperity under an all-powerful ruling party. Life at new school Logres seems promising for fifteen-year-old Gwenhwyfar, and quickly she falls for the school’s handsome catch, Arthur. When Arthur’s rival, Lancelot, returns after a suspension, her heart is soon divided. Realising that behind the UK’s prosperity lies unspeakable cruelty, Gwenhwyfar sets off on a path to dismantle everything the government stands for. Suspenseful, raw and awash in a dystopian setting, The Future King: Logres is a story of identity and discovery against this backdrop, the second coming of the Arthurian legends.

100% of readers liked this novel. Check out their reviews here.

M.L. Mackworth-Praed creates a multi-layered and inventive story, based on the Arthurian legends, through concise and descriptive prose and a unique sensitivity to the elements of successful storytelling. The Future King: Logres is an amazing novel and a great literary achievement.

Check out more reviews from Amazon here.

What this book does beautifully is describe and explain the world it is set in without you even realising it. You never have to read through a history or exposition explaining the background; you learn through the conversations, narrative and action of the story about the England that Gwenhwyfar and her friends and family live in.

Good luck!

Last Day – TFK Logres Goodreads Giveaway!

lastday

Giveaway dates: Feb 01 – Mar 02, 2016
Availability: 5 signed copies (1 copy per winner)
Available: Worldwide (see giveaway page for list of eligible countries)

The final day of my Goodreads Giveaway is here! Today is your last chance to win one of five signed paperback editions of The Future King: Logres. All you need is a Goodreads account and to enter on the Goodreads Giveaway page. This raffle is available to everyone and runs until the 2nd of March 2016. Once the Giveaway has ended Goodreads will select five winners at random – who will then receive signed copies of The Future King: Logres, posted by me!

Please see the Goodreads terms and conditions for this giveaway.

You can find the event page for this giveaway here, where you can invite others to enter. Again, the purpose of this free raffle is to get as many people involved as possible – so don’t forget to share it with your Goodreads friends and remember to add The Future King: Logres to your ‘to read’ shelf as well!

Thank you and good luck!

Britain, 2052. In a world of war, disease and hunger the UK stands alone as a beacon of prosperity under an all-powerful ruling party. Life at new school Logres seems promising for fifteen-year-old Gwenhwyfar, and quickly she falls for the school’s handsome catch, Arthur. When Arthur’s rival, Lancelot, returns after a suspension, her heart is soon divided. Realising that behind the UK’s prosperity lies unspeakable cruelty, Gwenhwyfar sets off on a path to dismantle everything the government stands for. Suspenseful, raw and awash in a dystopian setting, The Future King: Logres is a story of identity and discovery against this backdrop, the second coming of the Arthurian legends.

100% of readers liked this novel. Check out their reviews here.

I liked the characterisation of the characters in this book, you loved who you were supposed too and hated who you were meant too! It was so fluid and strong in it’s writing style that it’s hard not to love this book. I’m so excited for the second book to come out, and to see what happens next!

Check out more reviews from Amazon here.

Set in a dystopian future that you fear could all to easily come to pass, with a well-written and engaging storyline and believable, intriguing characters, this book pulled me in and kept me hooked until beyond the last page. With the hope that M. L. Mackworth-Praed has already started on the next instalment in this series, I strongly recommend that you read it yourself.

 

Time is running out!

Work, work, work. I haven’t been doing much of it lately, mostly because I’ve been tied up in an (unsuccessful) stint at Paris Fashion Week. Those of you who know the industry will be aware of just how fickle it is, how options and confirmed jobs can evaporate at the final hour, leaving you with nothing but a hole in your pocket and a sense that perhaps you shouldn’t have bothered at all. Though of course, it is human nature to always be happier with the fact that you tried – that way at least opportunity is something that isn’t left unexplored.

With my time in Paris came the inability to do much else but castings and go-sees each day, which inevitably impacted on the progress of self-publishing. Now I am fairly certain that my release date of The Future King is premature, and am having to readjust my expectations to early November instead. This is no disaster given that I have no contract binding me to a completion date, and the few who are waiting with baited breath for the book release can be easily updated via Facebook. After all, I never released an official release date, so I have some time to consider when exactly it should be made available. A lot is influencing this date – awaiting news from my proof-readers (and re-reading it myself) is one, making any changes is another, and then adding hyphens into the whole document is an unexpected third. In a way it is good it has taken me so long to get myself organised, otherwise I would have made the mistake of releasing a formatted novel that has only been justified, and not amended to look pretty with the odd sentence strategically hyphenated here and there. Apart from that there is the “tax interview” to sort out through Amazon, the amending of my spine width to match the new page count, the finalisation of the book cover, and then the ordering of the first printed copy to check that all is as it should be. This is all pressured by an immediate move, scheduled for the end of this month.

The text for my children’s book is finalised however, and I am halfway through drafting the illustrations. In the meantime I have started writing the text for another children’s book (I’m excited about this one), and have identified yet another written project which is pressing prominence in my head as probably the most important and most lucrative idea to run with next  – and I was considering writing something unrelated to TFK over the Christmas holidays before I start on book two, anyway (sorry, fans).

Here in Belgium the leaves are turning despite the glorious sunshine and hot weather we’ve been enjoying. The park is filled with the usual reds and golds, splattered amongst the still-deep greens, but also with bright fuchsia – a colour I had previously not expected to be possible in a leaf at this time of year. My to-do list has peaked at the annoying number of  14, and though I have stormed through some of it already it is one of those lists with points that take months to strike off. My priority for today however is to get through another hundred pages of TFK (still noticing missing speech marks and a few comma/full stop swaps), and to hopefully organise a few more illustrations for my picture book. Oh, and I need to milk the plants. The apple trees have powdery mildew, and an effective treatment is to spray them with part-milk part-water. So far it seems to be working, and for the first time in weeks there is new, undamaged growth. They’re still a long way away from being proper apple trees yet, but as I have no garden currently in which to plant them, I won’t be hurrying them along too much.