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Newsletters are posted in reverse chronological order.

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No. 15 / August 2007

It might not be officially due out until the first of September, but SummerDanse, the final book in The DragonSpawn Cycle, is now shipping on Amazon.com. It should be appearing in bookshops Stateside soon. What this means is that those of you in the US can get your grubby hands on my book before I even see a copy! You can read a spoiler-free excerpt here.

And in other exciting news, I'll be visiting the States in September! I have to go to the Philadelphia area for work, and I'm taking some extra time off to travel, do some bookstore signings and school visits (if such can be arranged), and visit friends in the Eastern PA area and in New Jersey.  At the very least, we hope to arrange a GIANT signing at a bookstore near my company's Malvern HQ, so anyone in that area is more than welcome to show up. I'll post places and dates when things are confirmed.

My current WIP is finally moving along. I struggled with the beginning story arc, but things finally fell into place while visiting Conwy Castle in Wales with a friend. I had to sit down and write several pages of notes right there in the middle of the castle. Of course, what better place to write than a shady corner of a medieval castle on a sunny day? This book is definitely NOT aimed at kids, as you'll see within the first few paragraphs. A excerpt from the opening of the book is here.

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No. 14 / July 2007

The news of the month would have to be that I've made my first foreign rights sale! The deal's not final, so I can't announce the publisher, but I can say that it's a French Canadian publisher who bought the rights. I don't know if this means France, too, or just Canada; I don't suppose I'll find out until the deal is final and they give me the details.

In friends' news, Phil Caveney (of Sebastian Darke fame) has sold another trilogy to Random House. Yay, Phil! And Sam's book, Belonging, has been accepted by her editor so moves into the next phase. Oh, and her book launch will be at the House of Lords! (For the Americans on the list, this would be much like having your book launch in the Senate.) I will SO be going to London for Sam's launch. (That's in Feb 2008. There's no US deal yet, but it'll probably be released there about a year after the UK release.)

Sam and I have officially started our new collaboration. This is a novel for teenagers, and I ain't sayin' nuthin' more than that for now. But it's a totally cool idea!

In parting, I have a real treat for you....the coolest photo ever! (Taken by me, no less, not by my dad!)

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No. 13 / June 2007

 The big news for this month is: SpringFire, book 3 in The DragonSpawn Cycle, has been officially released! You should find it (or at least be able to order it) in US bookshops and from online booksellers internationally. You can read an excerpt and listen to an audio clip here.

A review for WinterMaejic appears in the June issue of the School Library Journal. It's mixed, though more positive than negative. But unlike the positive review of AutumnQuest, this one actually has a quotable line: "... a fun tale with plenty of danger, action, and adventure." And the negative stuff, well, I decided awhile back that I wasn't going to let negative reviews get me down; you can't do anything about them, so might as well not worry. Easier said than done, of course, but (this time, at least) having such a determination seemed to help 'make it so,' as Captain Picard would say.

I forgot to announce last month that I now have an interactive newsgroup at SFF.net. You can sign on as a guest to leave messages for me and converse with others there. I hope to see you there. Please do remember that all posts at the newsgroup are open to the public, so it's not the place to conduct private conversations. And you don't have to join SFF.net to post--as I said, just sign on as a guest. You can access the newsgroup here. For those interested, I also have a MySpace page. And a LiveJournal blog.

In non-writing-related news, I'm doing some major restructuring of my garden and hope to have some before, during, and after pictures available for next month's newsletter. Until then, have a great Summer Solstice (which was almost the name of book 4 in my series).

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No. 12 / May 2007

About time for a newsletter, I hear some of you say. I don't know where the time flew...certainly NOT in being productive. Sigh.

So, what's news in the past three months? Well, I can now unveil the cover of SummerDanse. I'm very pleased with all my covers. I've also posted an excerpt of SummerDanse.

SpringFire is off the press and should be available sometime this month. Its official release date is 1 June, but being as how I'm not exactly JK Rowling, no one is required to stick to release dates for my little books. (grin)

I've been working on a couple of different projects, but not making admirable headway on any of them. One is a futuristic YA novel set in San Diego, one a middle-grade (age 9-12)  fantasy with an interesting magic system, and the last a fantasy for adults featuring a smuggler. For this last, I've actually drawn a map of which I'm rather proud, not being anything of an artist.

Finally, some friends of mine and I have started a spoof blog. It's meant to be snarky fun, but we hope that amidst the silliness, one can also learn a bit about writing.  The blog is completely anonymous, and if anyone wants to submit a query in the spirit of the thing, please feel free; no real names will ever be used. The Ghostwritery can be found here.

And now I have some writing and gardening to do.

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No. 11 / Feb 2007

I'm excited to announce that WinterMaejic has been released in the US and is now available. It's definitely shipping on Amazon.com; it should be in bookshops, but if AutumnQuest was anything to go by, it might not be on the shelves yet. If your favourite bookshop doesn't have it, ask them to get it in.

January was a crazy month. I finally finished SummerDanse, which is the last book in the series. It was a bigger struggle than I'd expected, since I knew everything that needed to be included to (I hope!) leave readers satisfied at the end. I feared my editor would hate it, but he didn't. Yay!

A local newspaper ran a story about the success my critique group, the South Manchester Writers' Workshop, has been having. You can read it here.

On the 23rd, I attended, as Sam's guest, publisher John Murray's reception for their 2007 authors. It was fun to schmooze with other writers, agents, media reps, and, of course John Murray staff. We both had a grand time, although being up from 4:00 A.M. (because I couldn't sleep) until 2:00 A.M. (because we took the last train back home from London) made it a Very Long Day.

Oh, and did I mention that I finished 11 publications for work in January, too?

Like I said, it was a crazy month!

I've started my next project, which is a futuristic sort of thing set in the States. It's fun writing something different!

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No. 10 / Jan 2007

Happy New Year! My wish for you is that 2007 will bring many good things.

I don't have much news this month. I've almost finished SummerDanse and hope to submit it sometime this week. Then I get to start my next project. I think I know which book I'm going to work on, but I haven't decided 100% yet.

Last month, I launched the site for The DragonSpawn Cycle.

(It's a Flash site, in case you dislike or have disabled Flash in your browser.)

Oh! Philip Caveney's book, Sebastian Darke, Prince of Fools, comes out in the UK on Thursday, 4 Jan. This is a fantastic romp for kids 8-12....and for folks who enjoy a fantastic romp for kids 8-12! This is one of the books I 'midwifed' last year, since I encouraged  (read that 'almost forced') Phil to submit his gritty YA to this particular editor, and when she asked what else he had, he sent her Seb. It all exploded from there, and Seb is sure to be a big hit. (The gritty YA hasn't found a home...yet. But it will, it will.) You can also check out Sebastian's blog.