Thursday, 13 February 2020

ARRA20 Ticketpalooza - chance to win a ticket to event

As some of you will know, I am participating in A Romantic Rendezvous, a book-signing event in Adelaide on 17th March, alongside authors like Darynda Jones, Susan Donovan, Trish Morey, Elizabeth Rolls, Lilliana Rose, Suzie Hindmarsh-Knights, Maggie Mundy, Leesa Bow and more.

And ... drumroll ... I have a ticket to give away to one lucky reader on Valentine's Day. What better Valentine's Day gift could I give you than the opportunity to discover some new book boyfriends?

If you don't live in Adelaide, don't worry, there will be five events - Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide - and you can win a ticket to the event of your choice! All the details on these event, including the authors signing at each one, are available here:

To be in the draw, please comment on the relevant post on my author Facebook page or on this post and let me know who your favourite, or most recent, book boyfriend is. Feel free to share this post with all your friends - if I receive more than 50 entries I'll be able to give away a second ticket! So spread the word! I'll draw the winner on Valentine's Day and announce them here.

The more who come along on the day, the more fun we'll have. (If you don't want to wait to see if you're the winner, tickets start from $20 and are available for purchase now at Trybooking.)

Hope to see meet some of you at the signing.

~Eleni :)

Friday, 25 October 2019

Writing Tribes - Fiona McIntosh's MasterClass National Conference 2019

I've been very lucky in my writing journey in finding groups who have been instrumental in keeping me going in writing.

One such group is Fiona McIntosh's Masterclass. I was in the Autumn 2018 class and this past week, I with over 100 delegates attended the inaugural Fiona McIntosh Masterclass National Conference (NatCon), which was open to alumni only.

I'm not going to go into detail of the weekend as Faran Silverton has done a great job blogging about  it.

Michael Robotham gives his keynote.
Fiona McIntosh opens the conference.
What I do want to say is that it was a great mix of catching up with class mates, meeting other alumni, listening to the amazing keynote of Michael Robotham, and getting industry news from publishers, booksellers (great to hear how books get on the shelves) and other authors. We had the opportunity to pitch which I took advantage of (and had a request- yay!).

The energy of the conference was amazing and a great boost. Even when the fibromyalgia was playing havoc, the enthusiasm of the room kept me going. Not surprising with Fiona McIntosh at the helm and the setting O'Leary Walker Wines in the Clare Valley giving inspiration.

There were smiling faces everywhere. I love smiling faces. Smiling faces rock. And while there was some nerves over pitching, there was also encouragement from fellow delegates keeping others grounded.

Overall, everyone had wonderful a few days.

Speaking of nerves, one thing I do have to work on (and you wouldn't know judging by this blog) is approaching publishers and published authors. Part of this is the CFS making me feel slower and part is general nerves. These days authors can't just sit behind the keyboard and not worry about making appearances. So while I'm fine (though nervous) at giving talks, it's the off the cuff stuff that has me stumbling a little.
Idyllic setting

Fiona McIntosh (middle) with successful graduates of her Masterclass,
Adam Cece and Tricia Stringer.

I was lucky enough to share a lovely cottage with my writing buddies from Adelaide who have been keeping me going by attending regular meetings since our Masterclass. Thanks Kate and Amanda.  It would have been lovely to stay longer but real life beckoned.

Cooke Cottage, Clare Valley

Would I go again? The answer is an assuredly "Hell, yeah!"

I'm looking at making realistic plans for the coming few months to keep the momentum going. While I can't go at the pace of NatCon, I can definitely kick things up a pace.

Me (L) with the lovely Mandy Mackay from Dymocks, and fellow
MasterClasser and SARA, Mercedes Whibley (R).

Thanks Fiona, Nathan, and team for a fabulous conference.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Writing Update - Pre-order, promo, rebranding, & newsletter

Pre-Order and Promo Price

Enchanted Dreams is now available for pre-order at retailers (not Amazon yet. I'm waiting on Amazon who because I've gone through a 3rd Party, will not review until release date of 4th October.)

I decided to have promo price of 99c (US) until the end of October (regular price: $1.99)


For a couple of years, I've wanted to rebrand even undertaking Nikki Logan's Author Branding online course (via Romance Writers of Australia) last year to help me along with that.

Finally, the rebranding is done and I've launched my new brand - Beyond The Looking Glass. I fell in love the image by artist Elena Schweitzer. It has an other-word magical feel, which is exactly what I wanted.

I even came up with a symbol which I used in to seperate the stories from my Author's note in Enchanted Dreams.

The fairy served me well for years but alas it's time to move on. So long...

And finally last but not least, I have changed newsletter providers and created a new signup.


Saturday, 14 September 2019

Enchanted Realms Cover Reveal and update

During the course of a number of blog posts over on the DarkSide DownUnder blog, I've been going through the process of cover design as my alter ego, HelzKat Designs, using my upcoming release, Enchanted Dreams.

The latest blog post reveals the final tweaks and the cover.

But don't worry, here's the cover here.

I've gotten the edits back from my editor.  I'm still recovering from a bad cold. It's drained me and of course stirred up the usual suspects, but I'm hoping to get to the edits in the next couple of weeks.

I'll keep you updated with a release date once I have that all sorted. 

I'm really excited that this project is almost here.


Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Writing Wednesday: Writing tools...trying to kickstart the muse!

I've been working on gathering my stories for the upcoming short story collection - all the previously published ones - check, all the previously unpublished ones to beta readers - check, writing a new short story.... no check yet.

But I'm working on it.

I've been tidying up my office after it was painted earlier in the year. In the clean up I collated all my hand written notes for story ideas - and would guess not one of them appealed to me! Gahhhh!

I just couldn't seem to start a story and stick with it. After a few false starts, I have started on a short story. I know already know it needs changes but it's started and I now have 8 A5 pages.

I used the Wacom Bamboo Folio to write these pages. Basically it's an electronic pad and pen that work together so that the text can be then scanned electronically by using the app. The app can then convert it to text or Word, which helps with the retyping.

Retyping a short story - not so bad, but I plan to work on my current novel long hand so typing up all those pages wasn't something I was looking forward to especially with the arm and shoulder pain I have been having lately.

Of course, I need to have legible writing so it can then convert it but even if 80% of it is correct and I need to correct the rest, that is better than retyping the whole thing.

One of the reasons I love this product is that I can use my own paper and since I'm a stationery nut, I can use the A5 pads and notebooks I have purchased over the years. I just have to place them on the folio pad and use the pen (which is lovely to work with). How cool is that?

The muse has responded some but not as much as I would like because of low energy. Some pages is better than no pages, so I'm taking this as a good start.

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