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Posted By Michelle Birbeck
It has been a long and eventful year for me this year. Not only did I sign two publishing contracts, but Consequences came out in print, sold over 100 copies in the first month, and is still going strong. Among other things this year, editing on The Last Keeper started, I wrote book 8 in the series, rewrote book 4, edited book 2 and started on book 3.

In between all of that, there have been ups and downs, as with any year, but my memories of 2011 will be all positive. I’ve written articles, given work away to help charities, had giveaways on my blog, spent hours in editing and rewriting, and had so much fun.

Of course, during everything, I have been rushed off my feet more than ever before, and between the signings, radio shows, newspaper articles, awards evenings, and interviews, it is hard to balance it all out and find the time to relax.

However, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

So what’s your favourite memory of 2011? And what are you looking forward to most about 2012?

Have a good one! Whether you're already in the New Year or still waiting for it to come!


Posted By Michelle Birbeck

As many of you know, I've been working on my first book, The Last Keeper, and it’s due out in 2012. Given that it’s almost Christmas I thought I’d share with you a little something about my character Serenity.

Serenity has been around for a while, and when she was born Christmas didn’t exist. Instead shecelebrated midwinter, the death of winter and beginning of the longer days that bring spring.

As time progressed, traditions changed, and Christmas became a big part of her family’s life. It's the one time of the year that Serenity lets go and has a little fun. As soon as her family has gone to bed on Christmas Eve, she starts decorating. Not a second before. So when they come down for Christmas morning, the tree is up, glittering with decorations, presents are piled high, and Serenity can be found in the kitchen, cooking dinner. It helps that she doesn’t need to sleep and can spend the entire night dragging around boxes of decorations.

The thing about Serenity and the holidays is that if they weren’t there, she wouldn’t notice. But she has her family, people she cares for and loves deeply, and for them, she’d decorate the house for every holiday in the world, so long as her family was happy.

And that’s the real thing about any holiday celebration, whether by fictional characters or people; it’s about family and friends and seeing people smiling and happy.

Now for the giveaways!

Want a sneak peek at The Last Keeper? Simply comment on this blog and you'll be entered into the draw to win an eARC of chapter 1. You've got until midnight GMT, 23rd Dec. Winner will be announced Christmas Eve. (Please leave email address/twitter in your comment)

TWCS Author Blog Hop - Our authors are sharing holiday traditions Dec. 12 - 23. Each day an author will post on their blog a personal holiday tradition or one of their characters. They'll also post the blog hop icon. In the bottom right hand corner is a holiday/winter object. Write these objects down and keep the list handy. We will have a grand prize drawing on TWCS's site ( To enter you'll need to have collected all 11 objects.

The prize? An ebook of Season of Love, your choice of paperback (Connected, Take This Regret, Slave, or Fourteen), TWCS mug, bookmarks (many signed by the author). TWCS pen and notepad.

Dec. 12 Veronica Breville

Dec. 13 Kathryn Gayle

Dec. 14 JD Watts

Dec. 15 Michele Richard

Dec. 16 Jennifer Schmidt

Dec. 17 Sophia Duane

Dec. 19 Sherri Hayes

Dec. 20 Me!

Dec. 21 Lindsey Gray

Dec. 22 C. M. Smith

Dec. 23 E. L. James


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

Posted By Michelle Birbeck
What are the N'Oscars, I hear you ask. Well, in the lands that are Darlington Von Tease, it is a very special time marking the end of NaNo. It's where we all celebrate another year of noveling sucess, share bits of our unedited masterpieces, eat, drink, and be merry. It is also the absolute highlight of the noveling year. With dresses befitting of any red carpet event, the ladies (and some gentlemen) will arrive in style, having spent an entire afternoon primping for the event. The men (and some ladies) will arrive on the arms of beautiful women, wearing their best suits. There was even a genuine red carpet at last year's event. The fantastic quality of our red banquet paper table cloth, I mean carpet, is also befitting of the calibur of the event. No expense is spared, and especially not when it comes to the awards. Categories include such prestgious titles as Best Pregnant Novelist, Most Grammaticaly Incorrect Sex Scene, and Literary Cyborg Award (of which I proudly hold the title for 2010). The awards themselves are solid goldeque, lovingly handcrafted by our fantastic ML, and often come engraved by Sharpie with the title of the award. These, of course, deserve proudly displaying for all to see! So all in all, the N'Oscars is a fun event marking the end of a hectic month. There will be cake, wine, chocolate, crisps, awards, and laughs, as we welcome the end of NaNo and secretly get a head start on planning for 2012. P.S, sorry about the spelling. It's 2am and I'm on my phone :)