Cover Reveal & Pre-order Special Deal

It is with great pleasure that I announce The Lion Gods will be released for sale on 1 June 2018. At this stage it will be available only as an ebook — epub, mobi (for kindle) and pdf. The print version will be available at a later date, which is yet to be confirmed.

Today, I want to offer two things:

1. The first look at the cover for The Lion Gods.
2. A pre-order special deal.

Drum roll please…

I present the cover for The Lion Gods…

The Lion Gods - ebook cover

As mentioned, the ebook will be published on 1 June 2018 and will be available from most online ebook stores in due course. However, if you pre-order the ebook from me — within the next three weeks — you will get not only The Lion Gods, but also the first two books of the series thrown in for free. And, to make the offer even sweeter, you will pay just $1 for the lot.

Yes, for $1 (Australian dollar) you will get the complete set — The Land of Miu (Book 1), The King’s Riddle (Book 2) and The Lion Gods (Book 3). This offer is only available through this website and will end at midnight on 31 May 2018 Australian EST.

Place your order now and be one of the first people to receive and read the full series.

How? Simply go to the pre-order purchase page for The Lion Gods, pay your dollar and download your confirmation entitling you to the three books. I will email your ebooks to your nominated email address between 29 and 31 May 2018 (depending on number of orders received).

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The Lion Gods Moves into Stage 3 of the Editing Process

I know it’s been a little quiet here lately. I’ve been busy editing The Lion Gods. Gone are the days when the website and my online presence took up all my time. These days, I write (or edit). I think I’ve got my priorities right … finally.

The second phase went well. I love the end results; which has to be a good sign. Yesterday, I printed the manuscript and will commence a line edit in coming days. Possibly tomorrow.

Today, I get a well-deserved rest day.

Editing: Phase 1 – Listen!

The Lion Gods has entered the first editing stage. Everyone does things different. My recommendation is to do what feels right for you. Normally, I would read through the story first, making notes as to problem areas such as random sub-plots that go nowhere, scenes that make no sense, and other ‘jump out and smack you in the face’ sections of the story and/or character plots.

This time I thought I’d try something different. I thought I’d use the text to speech function on my laptop and allow the computer-generated voice to narrate my manuscript back to me. I set the voice so it wasn’t too slow as that would be mundane and could easily put me to sleep. 😀 Yes, the voice is monotone and emotionless, but that worked well as it helps make problem areas really stand out. Actually, I was surprised by how well it works. I’d be listening to this expressionless voice just speaking the words at an even pace and suddenly weird stuff would be said and I’d think “Ah, what’s that supposed to be” or if the words were right “that sounds awkward”. I’d make a notation in my notebook and, I must say, I have a (big) list.

I’ve listened to the entire manuscript in this way, making notes. And now I’m ready to go into Phase 2 – Fix Up.

First Draft: The Lion Gods is Finished

Over recent weeks I’ve been doing some tweaks to the website and I saw a notification saying that The Lion Gods was due for release in 2014. Here we are in 2018 and that still hasn’t happened.

In my own defense, a lot has happened since I wrote that notification — my father passed away, my mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I took on the primary carer role for my mum and moved house and job location, my own house flooded leaving damage that made the house uninhabitable (it had to be sold), G’s dad passed away, his mum was diagnosed with dementia, he moved in with her and became her primary carer, G had a burst aneurysm and a stroke and lost his memory for three months, mum went into permanent care, I moved and relocated my job again, and I took on the primary role of carer for G. During that time I moved house three times and I had to clear out my mother’s home of 40 years and G’s mum’s home as well. As you can see the list is all major, stressful stuff, not little things. I’m glad to report now that G is doing well and is improving each month, mum is extremely happy in residential care and wishes she went there earlier and G’s mum is now living with his sister and also doing well. G and I have our own place at last, and we are now married. All good.

Over the last few months, since everything has settled down to a more normal way of living, I have been writing again. And I am so happy right now, because I can finally say that The Lions Gods has been completed. It might only be the first draft, but that is beside the point. I rediscovered the urge to write and the story has been written. I’m ecstatic.

I would dance on my desk if it wasn’t totally covered with my writing stuff (and if I were 100% sure it wouldn’t collapse). 😀

I intend to put the manuscript aside for a few days and then start the editing stage. I’ve decided that for the first round, I am going to use a generated voice read it to me as I take notes and make minor corrections. I’ve never done this before but feel it might be useful. I’ll let you know what I get from it after that phase is done.

Right now it’s time to party…or at least go make myself a cuppa!

Update from My Writing Desk

It’s the second month of the year already. Time flies when you’re having fun … or just when you’re older. Not sure which is truer these days.

Today, I’m glad to say that during the month of January, I averaged about 800 words per day. It may not sound inspiring to you, but to me that is one hell of a job well done. I am super proud of myself.

I’ve been working on Book 3 of The Land of Miu series, The Lion Gods. And, I might add, I am very close to writing those magic words “The End”. I should finish the first draft by the end of February. In fact, if I continue with my current average, I should finish it by mid-February. Then the editing stage begins. Without putting pressure on myself, I feel as if I will meet my goal.

In other writing news, the consistent writing has also awakened my mind to thinking about other ideas. I’ve written them down, but refuse to allow them to distract me from my goal. However, the ideas are quite vivid and I find myself thinking about how I might expand the ideas into another series for young readers. But this set of ideas will remain just that for the time being. Perhaps I will do something about writing these ideas when I’m in editing mode to give myself a break. I’m not sure yet. All I know for certain is that I do not want to lose the consistency of writing every day. So maybe writing 800 words for this idea and editing for an hour or so each day may be the way for me to go. I’ll see.

Lastly, I’m super excited to say that I purchased a cover for another of my manuscripts, known here as Mirror Image, but will be published with the title “Domino Effect”. The first draft of the manuscript is complete. This one is NOT for kids. It’s a very dark novel for adults. Totally the opposite to the stuff I write for kids. I have done a read through and corrected obvious errors, but that was in 2015 and my plan is to work on this one after The Lion Gods has been published.

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Question: Do you like to write one project while editing another?

The Mythology Behind the Land of Miu

Until now, the mythology behind the Land of Miu has not been shared with anyone. It wasn’t a secret, but I enjoyed writing the first two books without ever mentioning that the Land of Miu was built around Ancient Egyptian mythology.

Book 2, The King’s Riddle, does have a clear reference to the myth. Book 3, The Lion Gods, will be where all is revealed.

However, today, I am going to reveal the myth behind the Land of Miu.

For those of you who are familiar with the original publication of the first book (soon to be released with the title The Land of Miu, but originally published as “Cat’s Eyes”) you will recognise the image above as a similar version to what was used on the front cover.

This was not something I made up. It is a real Ancient Egyptian myth called Aker, also referred to as Akeru and Akerui. Aker was an ancient earth-god in Egypt. It is said that the two lions are guarding the entrance to the underworld to ensure evil spirits cannot escape when the sun entered the tunnels at dusk, travelled through the underworld during the night and exited the tunnels at dawn.

The image itself depicts two lions seated back to back with the symbol for the horizon on their shoulders with the rising sun. The lions themselves represent the sun setting in the west and the sun rising in the east. They were named Sef (Yesterday) and Duau (Today). The strip at the top is the sky, which is held up by the two peaks of Djew.

Now we get to the bit that involves the Land of Miu. The Egyptians believed there was a cosmic mountain range that held up the heavens. The western peak was called Manu while the eastern peak was called Bakhu. It was on these two peaks that the heavens rested and these are the two cities found in Miu.

We have the lions protecting the entrances to the underworld and we have the two peaks of the mountain supporting heaven. I found this to be a fascinating combination and the Land of Miu was built entirely around the image and the mythology associated with it.

How the Land of Miu Began

On 29 July 2005 I wrote in a post, “Cat’s Eyes. What mysterious land is hidden within their depths?”

I was talking about the eyes of my female cat, Sophie (on the right in the photo above). She would (and still does) sit and stare at me with a knowledgeable look. I often wondered what she was thinking. And she always came across as a being that is older and wiser than her years. She is an aloof cat and she expects obedience from her human slaves … for that is how she makes us feel. For instance, she’s too good to use a cat flap; a cat of her status has door men or women to do her bidding. She acts like royalty.

On the other hand, there is also her brother, Jasper (on the left). He’s always been a loving cat and it’s not unusual for him to walk into the room, straight up to where you are sitting, jump onto your lap and pat your face with his paw. He wants totals focus from us. He wants lots of patting and loving. He’s bigger than his sister and he portrays a fearless leader. However, he’s not as courageous as he would like us to believe. On numerous occasions his sister was the one that killed a rat, but he would snatch it from her and pretend he was victorious in the hunt. And in a scuffle, we’ve seen Jasper hiding in the bushes while his sister exerts her authority in the cat kingdom.

Somewhere around this time in 2005 I had a dream. The exact date is not noted anywhere, but I still remember the dream clearly … mainly because it was referred to in the book.

I dreamt that a little girl went butterfly hunting in her large, secluded back yard. At the very back of the yard (and this really doesn’t make sense, but remember, it was a dream) there was a large rock that overhung a secluded spot below. There was a bit of a drop involved. Anyway, the girl rested on the rock and presently heard voices. When she gazed over the edge of this large rock she discovered two cats sitting together, talking about a mysterious underground world. The girl listened as the cats spoke of the trouble they were in, about another cat who was trying to kill them and what they intended to do to outsmart their pursuer.

I believe I woke up around this time. If not, I remember no more than this.

The dream and my two cats gave me the first glimpse of the Land of Miu. I wondered how I could make a story from these scant ideas and very soon had the basics of a world and at least two of the characters. Of course, I didn’t want the story to be about cats so I decided that the Miuan people could shape shift. Sophie and Jasper made a cameo appearance in the beginning of the first book (which at that time was titled “Cat’s Eyes”) as did a reference to the dream itself.

When the cats changed back to their Miuan form, they insisted they be called by their Miuan names which are Alara and Siptah. These two characters are joined by Kate and Emma, two human girls.

On 13 September 2005 I began writing the first chapter of the first book. It would be five years before the first book was published with the original name “Cat’s Eyes”. That was in December 2010. This month the second edition will be published with a new name, The Land of Miu.

Together, the four characters go on one adventure after the other. So you can expect to see more of them in the future. Apart from that no one can say what the future holds for the series, but where it came from is now quite clear.

The Land of Miu Series – New Titles

The Land of Miu series is changing, as announced in my post “Cat’s Eyes” to be Renamed. Yet it’s more than just the first book to be renamed and republished … and it’s all very exciting.

Regardless of my statement, “The cover for this book will remain the same…”, I have once again changed my mind and there will be a new cover too. It is in the process of being designed by a third party and I simply cannot wait to receive it and start promoting it to the world! That will happen by the end of next week, I think.

Besides the above, books two and three will also undergo a radical change. Both books have received new titles and I will commission new covers for them as well, once the first cover has been finalised.

The series name is unchanged. It has been and will remain The Land of Miu series. The three planned books are as follows:

The Land of Miu (Book 1), previously published with the name “Cat’s Eyes”, the second edition will be released on 25 November 2011.

The King’s Riddle (Book 2) will be released on 25 January 2012.

The Lion Gods (Book 3) will be released in late 2012 or early 2013.

“Cat’s Eyes” to be Renamed

A decision has been made to republish Cat’s Eyes as a second edition using a new title The Land of Miu. It has been a concern for some months that people will look at the former title and think the book is about cats, when in fact it isn’t. The book is about two young sisters who have an adventure in another world. It’s filled with magic, mythology, suspense and family. The only connection to cats is that the Miuan people are shapeshifters and often take the form of cats. They are also not human and have a resemblance to a cat with the top half of their face being very cat like, but don’t dare say that to a Miuan as they become highly offended by the comment. 😀

I feel “Cat’s Eyes” is a good name for the story, however, it does give the wrong impression and for that reason I know republishing with a new title is a good move.

Besides, it means the book will be updated in some ways. The cover for this book will remain the same as I think it’s highly important that the two versions resemble each other. It is also extremely important that the people who have already purchased the book KNOW this is the same story. I don’t want anyone feeling cheated and deceived.

Cat’s Eyes is the first edition. The Land of Miu is the second edition. They are one and the same book.

Books 2 and 3 will also be given a name change. The titles are yet to be confirmed.

Please refer to Kayelle Press for more details.

Walking the Indie Publishing Road

No, I have not fallen into a black hole. Yes, I am still writing (even though the progress bars in the sidebar are not moving). So what have I been doing? The last few months have seen me more focused on writing than I have been in some time.

My progress with Whispering Caves was going quite well. However, writing in first person presented a problem where I couldn’t present vital information as the main character had no way of knowing about it (or finding out about it). I came up with a solution, but am not convinced it is working that well. Having written 15,000 words, I must admit that the manuscript has been placed on the back burner, once again. I’m not entirely happy with this decision, but feel I should be moving forward on other completed projects before finishing this one.

The reason I’ve put the manuscript on the back burner is due to another decision I’ve made about my Cat’s Series (for young readers). There are four books in the series. Two have been written and edited. The other two have been planned, but need writing. As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve decided to publish this series of books myself.

At present, I’m trying to decide if I want to set up a publishing company (small press) or find out if there are other options that would be more suitable for my situation. I’m usually quite resourceful, but have had little luck finding any good information on what options are available to me. This may mean the options are limited, but I want to make an informed decision so I’ll keep searching.

Ideally, setting up a business would be great except I have no knowledge how to go about it or what it entails afterwards and this scares me…a lot! In fact, my own fear is holding me back from taking further steps and this not only annoys me, but frustrates me too.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on covers for the four books. As I’m not an artist, I’ve decided to go with a theme that will cover (excuse the pun) the entire series. The background colours will be bright, the main image will promote the essence of the series and then there will be another image that will be unique to each book. Books 2 and 3 are done, but I’m having a devil of a time with the cover of book 1 – Cat’s Eyes. I’ve been to many royalty free websites and have not found anything suitable. I have used family photos of my own cats to try and achieve a pair of cat’s eyes that would be right, but haven’t come up with the right look yet. A simple pair of black eyes on a transparent background, at a size suitable for cover artwork, will not defeat me!

That’s what I’ve been doing – artwork, editing, refining plans for the unwritten books, writing blurbs, researching and reading websites regarding indie authors, thinking about formats and publication. All these things are writing related.

If you know of any resources that may help me, please let me know. I need all the help I can get.