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You are currently viewing archive for March 2011
Posted By Michelle Birbeck

NE Followers Online

Lots of things seem to be happening this year. First with Consequences being accepted, then with The Last Keeper, and now with NE Followers Online. It’s an online magazine for the people of the North East, and I’m now writing articles for them.

There are two that are up so far. One on the victory of the Darlington NaNo group, and one on the Gig for Gaza. There are loads of interesting articles on the site, all by people in the North East about people, businesses and events in the North East.

Journalism isn’t something that I’ve done a lot of, and I’ll be the first to admit that I much prefer prose to article writing, but it’s good to expand my horizons, and there is a nice relaxed feel about NE Followers Online. The articles are short and to the point, and easy to ready, with lots of information about events and charities and businesses.

There is more information on their site here, an the articles I have so far can be found via the links above.

For up to date information on when new articles are posted, you can follow NE Followers Online on twitter, and there will be links posted on my facebook page and twitter.

Don’t forget, you can use the sign up box on the left to sign up for email updates when new blog posts are up.



Posted By Michelle Birbeck

So, it's been a month since my first acceptance, and a few weeks since signing the contract on my second. Two acceptances for publication, from two different publishers, for two different pieces of work in less than a month, but it doesn't feel real yet.

I've been sitting and working on another book, further down the line in the series, and I'll get little giddy moments when I realise that someone other than me will be reading this one day. Not one day soon, most likely in a few years time, after lengthy edits and contracts and the first books in the series have been published, but one day. And yet after those brief moments of giddy giggling where I smile like a loon and think to myself, 'wow, this is happening' it stops feeling real and starts seeming like a far off dream.

Perhaps because it has been a far off dream for a while now. I didn't start working on these books until the year I left work to look after my husband, and that seems like a long time ago now, even though it was only just four years. Still, I'm only 27, and 4 years is a long time. So for 4 years of my life, that's one seventh of my life, I've been working on my writing, going to college, and trying to get published. So I've spent more time looking at it as a far off dream than I have thinking that this is actually happening. Even with the signed contracts staring me in the face (and I do get them out often to look at them) I don't really feel as though anything has changed.

Sure, I've got deadlines and contracts and marketing and editing and all sorts of other bits and pieces to go through. But I had deadlines before. I did marketing on a small scale, I edited my own work more than once, so the only new thing is a bit of legally binding paper. It's a fantastic bit of paper; the most highly prized bit of paper in my possession, but it's just a bit of paper.

So when will it all feel real? When will I finally sit down and realise that yes, this is really happening? I've a feeling it will be when that first review comes in. The first time someone whom I have never met writes about what I wrote and tells the people they know whether they like it or not.

I don't think it's going to feel real during the editing process, because I've been through it on my own before. I don't think it will feel real when I see the book cover, because I've played about with banners and photoshop and book covers in the past. I'm not even sure it will feel real when it comes to holding the book in my hands, but I've participated in NaNoWriMo for a couple of years now, and used their fantastic Createspace code twice, so I've seen what my work looks like in print. So I think I might feel this sense of detachment from the reality of the situation right the way up until the moment of that first sale and that first review.

Of course, I could be completely wrong. I've done lots of bits and pieces before, but this time it has a purpose. This time it matters if I miss a deadline. This time it isn't my notes in the margin pointing out where it could be better. And the cover won't be images that I borrowed from a Google search that will never see the light of day outside my computer. This time it will be real.

But until then, it doesn't feel it. I know it is, I've got that pretty piece of paper to tell me so, but it doesn't feel it.

For anyone who has been through this, that first publication, when did it feel real for you?

Posted By Michelle Birbeck

Time for the weekly meme of top 5 books from Indie Reader Houston. This week is the books that I never wanted to end.

1) The Lake, by Richard Laymon.

Safe to say that I adore Richard Laymon. Every book of his, I own. I even have a whole collection of signed, first, and rare editions that I keep adding to whenever money and availability coincide. But this book is without a doubt my favourite. I loved the clashing of past and present storylines, the merging the two worlds together making you think that it was something else entirely going on. When it got to the end, I was sad to see it over. When I saw the epilogue, I was very happy, it gave me a bit of a glimpse into what came after, and I enjoyed that, but still I wanted more.

The Lake, by Richard Laymon

2) The Beast House Series, by Richard Laymon.

He's my all time favourite author, the man has a whole shelf in my house dedicated to his books. Most of his work involves stand-alone books, but not these four. The series comprises, The Cellar, The Beast House, The Midnight Tour, and Friday Night in the Beast House. Not only did I not want the series to end, but the end of the fourth book left me with a feeling that it wasn’t really over, that maybe, somewhere in the depths of a country the size of American this was really something that could have happened. 

The Beast House Series, Richard Laymon

3) Night World series, by L J Smith.

I read these books when I was still in school, some fifteen years ago, and to this day I can still tell you exactly what happened in each and every one of them. I read them over and over again, borrowing them from the library just so I could read them. It saddens me greatly that the series was never finished, and though the final book occasionally pops up on Amazon, it’s never actually made it to the release date before disappearing again.

Night World Series

4) Pandora, by Anne Rice

Out of all the Vampire Chronicles books, Pandora is the one that left me wishing it had been three times as long as it was. There is just something about her that drew me in, took hold of me, and then said it was never letting me go. It is most likely because I am in love with pretty much everything supernatural related, but even so, this was one book that I put down, then picked back up and started reading again straight away.


5) Journey’s End, by R C Sheriff
It’s a play, I know, but it is the only thing that I read in my AS Eng Lit course that I actually liked. Of all the stuff that we had to read, this was the one that stuck with me. It made me laugh and cry, and when it came to the end I didn’t want it to be over. But despite my dislike for almost anything war literature related, Journey’s End really stuck with me.

Journey's End

Posted By Michelle Birbeck


I'm joining in with the Author Blog Hop, so here are a few things about me.

Where can we learn more about you and your writing?

All the information on my Internet short stories, stories for charity, and my publications can be found on my website:

How long have you been writing?

Since I was in school, though I stopped for a long time after getting married. Then I took it up again a few years ago, and now I have a short story and my first book being published.

Why do you write?

Because there are no rules. I can do anything I want in my writing, and there are no limits to where I can go with it and how far I can take things.

What do you write?

A bit of everything really. Though my passion lies in supernatural beings and all that implies, I like trying my hand at a bit of everything. The darker the better normally. My short story, Consequences, is a horror, whereas the short I am doing for charity at the moment is a comedy, and another I did was very light and fluffy. I enjoy trying new things and styles, but I think I will always come back to the supernatural stories and the horror. I also like writing for charity to help raise money for fantastic causes. You can see some of the sneak peeks and details of them at:

Who are you?

I am me. I'm a wife to my wonderful husband, I like riding my motorbike, collecting books and reading. I love living in a world that isn't really real but something that I've made up. I love singing really loudly (and badly) to whatever music takes my fancy. And I love picnics in my back garden with a bottle of wine, a good book (or notebook) and my bunny, Poppy.

The books that I am under contract for at the moment are: The Last Keeper (March 2012) (The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing house) and Consequences (Winter 2011) (Pocket Novel Publishing)

For more info on the Author Blog Hop, click here

Author Blog Hop

Posted By Michelle Birbeck

I got this from Indie Reader Houston’s blog and thought it was a fantastic idea. So here it goes, the top 5 books that have made me laugh.

1: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by Shakespeare.

Though not strictly a book, I love the faeries, and they always make me laugh. If you haven’t read this, then I highly recommend doing so. Not only is it a classic, but it’s so much fun watching everyone gallivant around not knowing what’s happening.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

2: Dark Lover, by J.R Ward

Though it is not a comedy (I don’t really read many), there are parts to this book that are just too funny for words! In between the heartache and despair there are some hilarious anecdotes that really take the edge off.

Dark Lover

3: The Book of Answers by Carol Bolt

I love this book! I’ve had it for years, and every time I open it I get a different answer. Some of them are fantastic, others are scarily true, and some of them you just have to laugh at.

The Book of Answers

4: Guilty Pleasures by Laura Lee Guhrke

I found this in asda one day when I was looking for something quick to read, and to this day it is the only historical romance that I own, and was the first romance that I owned, too. The constant miscommunications are very funny and made me laugh even on the several times that I’ve reread the book.

Guilty Pleasures

5: Guilty Pleasures by Laurel k Hamilton

I love this whole series for the most part, and this first book is one of the best, in my opinion. I love Anita, and am constantly laughing at the things she says and thinks.

Guilty Pleasures