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Welcome to the blog.


Here you will find all the updates on how my writing is going, how the quest for publishing is coming along, and details of any new additions to the website. You will also find any announcements, and the details of where you can find my work.



Posted By Michelle Birbeck

For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is big. All the goths descend on Whitby and take it over for two weekends a year. Corsets and capes as far the horizon, vampire teeth and stakes late into the night, and an influx of Steampunked ladies and gents showing off their wares. In short: heaven. And for those of you familiar with Dracula, home of Whitby Abbey.

Only, I’ve never been. Over all my years I have either not had anyone to go with or simply not been able to make it.

That is changing. Not only am I now going, but I am taking a stall. November of this year, I will be attending the goth weekend in all my long-unused finery, with my wonderful friend and Milliner, Rachel. We are sharing a stall there (more details to come), and she will be selling hats, and I will be selling books.

It is still six months away, but I am tempted to start packing. I need my fur lined cloak, all of my corsets, my long gloves, short gloves, hats, wigs, and don’t even get me started on the shoes! For a three day weekend, I’ll be taking more outfits than most people take for a week. Two for each day, and spares. As for the wigs… well, they were bought for The Last Keeper and Last Chance’s book trailers, but it’s about time I got to play with them, too!

So join me in November, even if it is just to pop along and say hi!

Posted By Michelle Birbeck

I haven’t blogged in a while, and there’s a whole bunch of updates to let you know about, so here it goes.

The first and biggest one is that I’ve finally taken a trip into self-publishing. It’s a short story called Isolation, that I wrote to celebrate the release of The Last Keeper. The two are unrelated, but I had the idea of having something new to offer at the launch party and events. It worked well, and the printed copies were limited to 100 (published through lulu), and at first that was all I was going to do. 100 copies in print, then no more after that. However, I like the idea of ebooks (though I’m not a fan myself), so I set about getting it onto smashwords. One afternoon of reading and formatting later, and it’s there. All self-published, priced, formatted, checked, and ready for people to go buy.

Second is that I’ve been working on a new blog. Don’t worry, this one will be staying. This is going to be my writing blog, for all my writing adventures, new books, and other exciting things. But I’ve been toying with the idea of a book review blog for a while. Basically, I like books. I like signed books. And if I can get more signed books by reviewing them, then why not? Also, when Consequences came out, I couldn’t find anywhere that was willing to review it, because it is a short story. So my new blog, Short, Sweet, and Snappy, is going to focus mainly on short story reviews. There will be a full book review section, manned by my wonderful friend Ange, but the focus will be short stories.

It’s not ready yet, but if you’re a writer of short stories and would like yours reviewing, then please use the contact form on my site or drop me a tweet.

We’ll also be hosting blog tours and guest posts there, so if you want help promoting your book or short story, drop us a line!

The blog should be up and running by about the end of July, but there will be an official announcement nearer the time.

And lastly, The Last Keeper. We’re two months in now, and things are going well! I’ve got events booked in until the end of November, including a few fundraising events, and I’m hoping to fill my calendar in the run up to Christmas. There’s also work being done on book 2, Last Chance (2013), and its trailer and book cover. I’m very excited over both, but I’m keeping it close to the chest until everything is in place.

Stay tuned, though! Because things are going to get dark and dangerous, and so very exciting!

Posted By Michelle Birbeck

It’s been another whirlwind week for me. I’ve been off to aikido on Tuesday night, where I got to beat people up once again. Then on Wednesday I got to go to writing group at the library and meet Rachel Dixon, author of Slippery Souls. It was a great night with lots of fantastic information shared. The group had a great time discussing some of the aspects of self-publishing, and I came away with a signed copy of her book. It’s now sat in my rare and collectible books cabinet along with all the other books I’ve obtained through meeting the authors! Of course, now I have to go download the ebook so that I can read it, because I want to read it, but I don’t read signed copies of books. They stay nice and pristine in the cabinet.

But Thursday night and the resulting phone call on Friday morning took the biscuit for most fantastic event of the week. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s one of the most fantastic things ever. Second at the moment only to the day I got married and the day The Last Keeper was released.

If you’ve seen BBC Question Time before, then you might know where I’m going with this. I’ve been watching the show for a little while, and when my friends and I found out that it was going to be in Stockton-on-Tees we decided we’d apply to go on. When Monday came about, my phone started going crazy. Phone calls. Text messages. I wasn’t by it when it started, but when I picked it up, I found that our application to the show had been successful!

So when Thursday evening came about, we all got dolled up, hopped on the bus to Stockton, and went to join the show. The pre-show briefing was done by David Dimbleby himself, and then we were ushered through to the set and sat down. It was then that I got the most fantastic chance. For the sound check they asked for five members of the audience to come and sit on the panel and pretend to be panellists. Of course, I volunteered, got picked, and got the chance to sit there, on the panel, in front of the entire audience and do a mock question. Safe to say, sat in front of that many people, I was scared stupid! But as soon as the ball got rolling, I was fine, and thoroughly enjoyed it!

I then got to express my opinion, twice, on the TV! I was more nervous watching the show that night and seeing myself on the TV than I was sitting in the audience with all the cameras, and even more so than sitting on the panel.

Safe to say, it was an awesome evening. And to top it off, I woke up this morning to a phone call from my local paper. They’d seen me on the TV and called to interview me! So not only did I get to go on the TV, I get to go back into the paper again tomorrow!

I’ve got so many bits and pieces to put in my scrapbook now, I think I’m going to have to buy a new one!

And here’s a pic someone got off the show!
BBC Question Time

Posted By Michelle Birbeck

It’s seven days now until the release of The Last Keeper, and then just a few days after that until the blog tour starts, so I thought I’d kick things off with a bit of a blogging spree in the run up until the release.

So I thought I’d kick things off with a bit of info on some of my favourite characters.

Of course, top of the list has to come Serenity Cardea. Not only is she the main character, but she’s the one I’ve spent the most time seeing the world through her eyes. It’s a strange world, given her age and what she does, but it is an interesting one, nonetheless.

Second would have to be Helen. Despite being basically human, she holds her own better than anyone. She’s strong and defiant and puts everyone in their place with ease. If I had to sum her up in one word, it would be kick-ass.

Thirdly is Ray. I have no idea why he ended up being a history professor, because personally I’m still not a fan of the subject. But through him I have opened up to it a lot more. Also, he’s just so adorable!

Fourth on the list would be Poppy. What we see of her in The Last Keeper captured my attention fully. She is, without a doubt, one of the best characters for speaking to that deep, dark place inside me. I’m pretty sure she may actually live there.

Fifth up is William. I love him to bits. There’s a short piece that I wrote about him and when he told his wife about what he is, and it’s a story that not only amused me but taught me a lot about some things that all the Keepers have in common.

Sixth place goes to Al. I love his outlook on life, the way he sees everything, and the fact that he can teach so much to people older and ‘wiser’ than he is. Also, there’s a certain humour he has that hits my funny bone.

Seventh is a very special place. It goes to Herbie. In the book he is Ray’s childhood bear. In reality he is a small hedgehog that belongs to my husband. Of course the two are nothing alike, and my husband’s Herbie is actually a puppet who has a thing for hugging women (I’m convinced that’s really the hubby’s fascination, though).

And there you have it, seven of my favourite characters. If I listed them all, every character I have would be on here and I’d run out of space. Though there is one character I haven’t mentioned, but she’s someone I’m going to let you discover for yourself in seven day’s time.
And lastly, here is a picture of Herbie. It's not the best picture of him, as he's being hugged, but there he is!



Posted By Michelle Birbeck

This weekend is the first time I will be doing an author talk and signing. Safe to say, I’ve been a bit nervous about the whole thing. What should I wear? Should it be formal, like a suit, or informal, like jeans? What am I going to talk about? How long should I talk?

Now, I’ve been to a number of author talks and workshops at the library, and I’ve been on the radio and had interviews more than once. So it isn’t as though I don’t know what I’m doing. I can answer questions, and think fast enough on my feet to not give away important plot points. I can talk about my writing for days at a time if people would let me.

So what’s the problem standing up and talking to people in a public setting?

I have no idea.

But there is something about going and standing up there and talking to people that scares the living hell out of me. Not that it is going to stop me doing it. I will be there, having panicked on the morning over what to wear, and I will start spouting random facts about me and how I came to be a writer, and then I will happily sign books for anyone who wants to buy them.

Then afterwards, no doubt, I will start shaking and be so nervous that I’ll wonder how I ever got through the thing in the first place.

Of course, if you want to come along and witness the nerves of my first author talk, here are the details.

Saturday 17th December.
Doctor Coffee’s Café
Parkgate, Darlington
(opposite the Civic Theatre)
Start: 3pm

Consequences Giveaway