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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.

 

Chelle

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

It has been all go here for what feels like years. Between the two pre-launch events, virtual tour, virtual release party, physical release party, editors, pre-readers, and reviewers, it is a wonder my to do list is only just hitting the five page mark.

But through all of this several things have happened, and I am seeing some kind of return on the many days of 3am bedtimes. The first of these is Goodreads. I have two more entries up on that wonderful site now.

Last Chance has been up there for a little while, but it is now complete with book cover, summary, and release date. And the newest short story is also now there. It’s called A Glimpse Into Darkness, and will be released on the same day as Last Chance. Instead of a new horror story this year, however, I opted to write an accompaniment to The Keepers’ Chronicles.

So for now I am off back to my to do list, but if you want more information on any of the launch activities, check out my facebook page. I would say check out the website, but I am currently redesigning it, so things are somewhat out of date on there at the moment whilst I recode everything.


 
Posted By Michelle Birbeck

So I’m in the middle of the final edits for Last Chance, and one thought occurred to me; I love my editor. She tells me everything straight, isn’t afraid to pull her punches, and gives me everything I need to know in language I understand.

Now, I’ve done my A Levels in English Language and Literature, and I got a high B in both of them. But I always had one problem with them; the language. For me it’s like trying to remember names. Introduce me to Fred, Jack, and Melissa, and ten minutes later, I’m sat wondering who the hell all these people are. I just don’t do names. It takes ages, and countless tries to do so.

How does that affect editing? Well, having someone tell me that my prepositions and my verbs are backwards is going to mean very little to me. I would have to look them up in order to work out what words you were referring to. Now if you told me my doing words were all wrong, I’d know what you were talking about. It’s not that I’m stupid or daft in the head, I just learn a different way to most of the people I know.

I learn by doing. So in order to pass my A Levels, I spent hours sat with a notepad and pen writing down the technical terms and their meanings over and over again. And then I reversed it and wrote down their meanings and then their names. It’s the only way they stuck long enough for me to do anything with them.

So editing the first book was a bit of a chore in places. It was all technical terms and proper names for everything, and quite frankly, there were times when it gave me a headache. Of course, that could have been the sixteen hour days in front of the computer.

Editing this time around has been fantastic. It’s all been in easily managed chunks, one chapter at a time. And everything has been put in a way that I not only understand, but in a way that is clicking in my head like magic. Everything is working. I don’t have a headache when I’m making changes, and I understand why the changes need to be there.

With just fourteen weeks until Last Chance is out, and all the heartache that’s come with everything that happened, I am extremely glad of one thing; my editor. She is an absolute star.

Now I just need to persuade her to come work with me again for the next book.


 
Posted By Michelle Birbeck

2013 is now here, and despite the disappointment of the world not ending (I was looking forward to the zombies), I am excited for the coming year. Last Chance is perhaps the biggest thing on my agenda for the year, but it isn’t the only thing happening. So here’s a run down of what you can expect in 2013.

March; ARCs of Last Chance will be available.
May; Last Chance will be release on May 30th
June; Last Chance’s launch party.

Also, Playthings will be out with Pocket Novel publishing. My short story erotica blog over on tumblr is going well, with a smutty update every Tuesday. And there will be a new, free short story up around September, as well as paperbacks being available from any of my signings.

But outside of the things definitely happening, I have plans. I’m away almost every month this year, except September so far, and though it is something I am looking forward to anyway, it means travelling. And travelling means trains. Trains mean writing time.

At the moment I have been working on the Keepers’ series for the last five years, and in that time I started an ideas folder. In that are more book ideas than I know what to do with, and all of them have been percolating for a while. So this year I plan on writing some of them. Not all (I can’t write that fast, despite what my friends believe), but some of them.

By the end of the year I am hoping to have made some space in my ideas folder, and with any luck, there’ll be a few more getting jotted down in there for the future.


 
Posted By Michelle Birbeck

First off, a Christmas Sale!

On Christmas Eve, The Last Keeper will be on sale again! Down to just $4.99, it is a great last minute present for vampire lovers and those after something a little different. Click the picture below to be taken to the publisher’s site.

TWCS Xmas Sale

2012 has been an interesting year, in both good and bad ways. The most notable events of the year have to be The Last Keeper’s release, and the signing of the contract for Playthings. Fantastic events that warranted celebrations and ball gowns and an evening to remember.

There have, of course, been signings and reviews, royalty payments and new friends, and a whole host of other little triumphs that culminated in a fantastic year.

However, there have also been events on the opposite side of the scale. Being dumped by my publisher wasn’t exactly a highlight, and the recent slew of people marking my books to read under derogatory shelves on goodreads, as well as giving it false ratings without actually reading the book… well, those weren’t so fun.

I’ve also seen a lot of changes this year. I have a new editor, and I fully intend to procure her services for the rest of the Keepers’ series. I have left the fandom world completely, thanks to the bullying tendencies of a small group of people. And I have written three new books. All of which will be seeing the light of day in the next couple of years, including the start of a new two/three book series.

So my career as an author has gotten off to a very rocky start, but it has also taught me a lot. I know for future reference what I need to do and how I need to go about things, and I know what to avoid. My skin has thickened, and I discovered that warranted low reviews aren’t that bad. After all, I can’t please everyone, and if someone didn’t enjoy my work, then that is perfectly fine. I am still trying to harden up against the other sort of reviews out there, the low ratings, plain mean titled shelves, ect. However, I am starting to feel sorry for the people who feel the need to do that. If their lives revolve around making other people feel like rubbish, then that isn’t much of a life.


But regardless of all of that, the positives of this year have been fantastic, and I am hoping that next year will result in the same. In the meantime, I am taking two weeks off for Christmas, and will be working on Last Chance, due out May 2013.

 

Chelle