Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas from #TETrilogy

During Christmas time, many will be loading up their kindle with some fabulous books!

Christmas is a special time with loved ones, when we eat and drink too much, open gifts, and perhaps remember what Christmas is all about. At the end of it all, the best thing to do is either settle in front of the TV to a great movie (Love Actually is always one of our favourites) or read a book!

I was raised as a Roman Catholic in Gibraltar and I have to admit that I loved going to Midnight mass on the 24th December. The atmosphere within the church, the revered silence, the smell, Christmas carols. It was truly magical. Since I have moved to the UK I have lost this tradition, mainly since I do not attend Church anymore. It's not that I don't hold on to my Christian values, I do. We have a nativity at home, teach our children why we celebrate Christmas and try to have a nice (relaxing - maybe?) day.

Ultimately, if we all show some consideration for others, share, respect each other, and try to be kind & considerate, I believe we can all lead happier lives.

This year I have volunteered at my local library, primary school, Foodbank, and have Face-painted at fundraising events for the PTA. I have also donated money to several charities via the Children and Adult anthologies I published. The amounts are not huge, but in this current economy every bit helps.

So now, it's time to give YOU a Christmas gift.


As some of you know, I wrote a prequel to The Evolution Trilogy, EMILY. I have had great feedback so far and have decided to let you read it for free, via Amazon, for a limited time only.

*~EMILY is FREE~* 25th - 29th December, 2014

I have also set up a kindle countdown deal for the entire trilogy in the UK (sorry, Amazon only allow me to use one site).

*~THE EVOLUTION TRILOGY is on a KINDLE COUNTDOWN DEAL~* 25th - 31st December, 2014

=> The entire trilogy will be over 70% off at the beginning so get in there quick!

However, you can download Hybrid for FREE and get Complications & Return at a 50% reduction via SMASHWORDS during this period, using these coupon codes.

COMPLICATIONS use => VN85E
RETURN use => CR58R

So, enjoy and spread the word... and if you want to make me smile leave a review. Thank you.

I wish you all the best for 2015,
Vanessa

Friday, 12 December 2014

Addicted to giving away free books? #TETrilogy

A year ago, I ran a free promotion via smashwords which led to Hybrid being price-matched on amazon. Since sales had not been easy to come by I decided to permanently leave Hybrid free since I had just finished writing the trilogy and had heard that this was a great way to increase your readership.

Last December, I also launched the trilogy in Gibraltar and got a lot of coverage via the local newspaper, TV, radio, and the Gibraltar Magazine. This led to a surge of downloads of Hybrid in January & February, followed by sales of the subsequent books. It was a fantastic feeling to be further up in the charts.

As the months went on, sales dropped again and downloads of Hybrid also tailored off. During the summer, I had a lucky break with a reader, My Book Fairy in the US, who loved the trilogy so much she promoted it and recommended it to her book club. Again, this was fantastic whilst it lasted.

I also decided to leave FIRST DATE permafree since sales were so insignificant. I then found that Hybrid was not being downloaded as much and so I came to the conclusion that I was better off pricing it again, which I have now done. This was even after I designed new covers (maybe one day these will need a complete rehash).

But, there is a dilemma. I do sell books via iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords. I think these sales come about via the fact Hybrid was free. I also believe sales on Amazon have also resulted from the fact readers enjoyed Hybrid. The problem is that there are so many free books out there that I wanted a break from the pressure of looking all the time. As much as I try not to care and not to look I can't help it.

This is the reason for taking it off. I am trying to ignore the sales and focus on my writing.

If I had tons of sales then the free option would be worth it. Sadly, this is not the case. I hear on a daily basis from authors that sell thousands of books! I think they're lying... I know indie authors that have sold hundreds, but not thousands! If they are truly selling this amount, I say WELL DONE! (Truly, I don't know how you did it, but I respect you for getting there)

Bottom line is my books are obviously not what readers want to read at the moment. So, I am extremely grateful to all who have enjoyed my books and given them a chance. It's time to write something new and hope for the best!

So, I'll start early with my New Year's resolutions!

1) Stop looking up Amazon & Smashwords on a daily basis
2) Write something every day!
3) Don't engage in conversations online I feel strongly about...
4) Keep in touch with readers & writers I enjoy talking to (it's so easy to stop doing this).
5) Read every day.
6) Think about something in my life I am happy about every day.
7) Exercise every day.
8) Drink water!
9) Avoid sugar!
10) Get lots of "warm hugs" from my kids... otherwise statues will do!

It would be great to hear from some of you. What was your biggest challenge this year?

All the best,
Vanessa

p.s. Look out for my post on Christmas day... a special treat for all my lovely readers is on it's way! :)

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Remembrance Day

My father was always telling me about the war when I was growing up and I have admit that I never saw the point of talking about death and destruction. What was so good about re-enacting war games? I have never been an advocate of violence and think that the human obsession to be "alpha" in endemic in society. I guess all animals do this to an extent. They ostracize the weak and kill anyone who is a threat to their family or pack. However, human being have done this over the years for very strange reasons, but to start with it was for a better life. As people had more children and needed more space, they naturally sought to explore and utilise this world's natural resources.


Recently, I have been reading a lot of historical novels and have been interested in the past. Why now? I don't know... I guess the past defines who we are and makes are aspirations clearer. There is something reassuring about knowing we are not alone. In my reading, I have come across many interesting facts which explain the lead up to the great war. Although, it is important to realise that war has always happened. Different cultures and social groups can not agree all the time.

Centuries ago Europeans conquered the "uncivilised" world and claimed it in the name of their King. They killed and destroyed established societies. Yet, we do not remember the many killed then - they are nameless! People were then treated as property and sold to the highest bidder in the name of commericalisation. Sad that slavery still occurs in this day and age. When we buy goods, do we ever really stop to think about how we manage to get them so cheaply. Years ago, commodities like pepper, sugar, and tea and coffee were only used by those willing to pay a high price. Now, we live in a throw-away climate. I am guilty of having thrown away goods that have gone out-of-date on countless occasions.

Industrialisation led to a society that was more clearly defined into haves and have-nots. In the previous century, those with nothing either died, were killed or were forgotten. The advent of accessible paper and record keeping via a census meant it was more difficult to ignore those in need. Trade unions also fought for the rights of the working class. Ordinary people fought for our freedom.

The two world wars were made more bloody and ruthless by the power of new weaponry. Machine guns, larger bombs, tanks, airplanes, and the nuclear bomb. Does man have no limits to the destruction he can bring on humanity?

This is why even though I started out life complacent about the war, we should now not forget - EVER. Remember the sacrifices men and women over the ages have made for our liberty and way of life. Likewise, we should learn to give up our time for those who are less fortunate. Today in the UK, we have poverty still. There are other social issues that plague us - the use of drugs for one. I would even go as far as to say that sugar is a drug, one that I try to resist every day!

So, this armistice day I write this blog post to remember others and hope that in writing the evolution trilogy I help to raise awareness for many issues that still filter through society. The need to look out for your family, respect all life, suppress our power to do harm, and yet live a life that is fulfilled and rewarding.

I leave you with one of my favourite extracts from Complications. I hope we never forget...

All the best, Vanessa

"Steven moved closer and sat on a chair opposite the bed. The room had a rancid smell. It was as though Judith reeked of death.

She must have seen him scrunch his nose as she said, ‘You don’t need to control yourself. I know the smell. I’ve been around for a very long time. Do you know that I am one hundred and fourteen years old? My body is just starting to show its age. Thing is, it’s not impossible to live this long. The longest living human being was a French woman – she got to the age of one hundred and twenty two. And did you know that there is a woman still alive in the United States born in the same year as me? I was born in eighteen ninety six, a couple of years before the turn of the century. Edwardian Britain, a Britain with no real knowledge of war, an invincible empire.’ She coughed. ‘Water please.’

Steven reached for the glass on her bedside table and passed it over.

She took a sip. ‘Thank you.’

‘Don’t strain yourself.’

‘No, you have to listen. It’s important you understand. The Great War changed the world. Did you know that? Millions of people died. I was your age when friends, relatives and acquaintances died to preserve our freedom. Your grandfather was one of the lucky ones, although he did not feel so lucky to survive at the time. It was the worst thing we thought we’d ever see.’ She coughed again and took another sip.

Steven waited. He did not want to interrupt.

‘We were wrong. It was not the worst thing. It was the beginning of the end for many. The roaring twenties brought many good things. Automobiles. Moving pictures or talkies as they then became known as. Walt Disney produced Mickey Mouse. And of course Jazz and the infamous Charleston,’ she giggled. ‘I was quite good you know.’

‘I imagine you were.’

‘You are such a charmer, just like your grandfather. Anyway, I got to dress as I pleased, was wild for a while and even got to vote like a man. What a privilege! You should have seen us girls lining up the street. Imagine. Well, I guess you can’t – you take that for granted now.’

‘Sorry.’

‘Don’t apologise. Each generation is faced with a different set of problems. The thing is it couldn’t last. As you must know, or they surely teach you nothing at school, the bubble burst in 1929. The Great depression brought hard times.’

‘Not that different to now. The latest recession has brought a lot of problems.’

‘Yes, life has a way of repeating itself. Or, humans have a way of making the same mistakes,’ she chuckled.

Steven was mesmerised, he had no idea Judith was so fascinating.

He could not wait to hear the rest. The past was a scary and yet very insightful place sometimes. If only people paid more attention, the world would be a lot simpler."

Monday, 3 November 2014

The tide always turns...

Yesterday, I wrote a melancholy post about how I was leaving smashwords - I have deleted it now! A lot can change in 24 hours!

Today, I found out I have been featured in the Gibraltar Insight Magazine and on the article it tells readers to buy the book via smashwords! SO... after deciding not to publish with smashwords anymore I had to republish everything today.

 

Fate has a way of dictating your life and sometimes its best to just RELAX and stop worrying all the time (I am shouting this at myself right now!)

This article is amazing and I have to thank Kay Xiarras for writing it after she briefly interviewed me.

Now all I ask is this... the next time I complain or sound disheartened tell me to zip it!

Thanks for reading,
Vanessa

Friday, 31 October 2014

EMILY: Prequel to The Evolution Trilogy

I just wrote a Halloween post on my main blog which you can read by clicking HERE

I have included an extract from EMILY, which went live today! Exciting! To tempt you further here is another scene to enjoy. In my opinion, the confident male has been blown out of proportion over the years...

Emily lay back on the sofa and stared at the ceiling, breathing deeply. After ten minutes of waiting, she had given up on Paul actually turning up. She picked up the Agatha Christie book she had abandoned the night before, and resumed the story.

As she read, she thought about Agatha. When the murder mystery stories first appeared on the scene there had been a lot of interest, but no one could have imagined the extent of her success. What an imagination! If she had even an ounce of Agatha’s talent, she would certainly deserve to live forever. Imagine the amount of books she could write. Unfortunately, writing had never been her forte. Truth, she was not sure what was – other than being an outsider. Everywhere.

Engrossed in a juicy bit, where Poirot is about to unveil the murderer with great finesse, she heard Paul return.

She shut the book, stuffed it under her pillow, sat up and patted the sofa. ‘Come sit next to me.’
Something about his demeanour had changed, as he took a seat and eased his hand into hers.

‘Everything okay?’ Emily asked.

‘Yes, I’m fine. It’s a bit stupid. But, I have to tell you something.’

Emily felt her heartbeat race. She imagined the worst. ‘You can tell me anything. I couldn’t think badly of you.’

‘I don’t think you’d think badly of me. It’s just embarrassing.’

She could not imagine what this was about.

After a minute of silence, he squeezed her hand. ‘I’ve never been with a girl before. I have to admit I’m a bit scared of you. You seem so confident compared to me. I think I’m going to disappoint you.’

She felt like laughing, yet held it back. It would seriously hurt his feelings. ‘Is that why you hold back? Is that why you keep running away from me?’

‘Yes.’ He was keeping his eyes fixed on his wardrobe. 

‘Do you trust me?’

‘Of course I do,’ he replied. 

It was her turn to be brave – to take the lead.

You can read the rest and find out what happens by clicking on the links!

Thank you for your support, Vanessa

Amazon    Smashwords    Barnes & Noble   iTunes 

Emily has not changed in fifty years. A freak accident made her immortal, or so she thinks. When she is finally allowed to return to her beloved England all is not as she expected. So much has changed. The past she was holding onto does not exist. Since the Second World War, people have embraced a new age. In this era, people have an obsession with gadgets, strange clothes and weird music.

Added to this her blood-lust has become insatiable and her promise to control herself is torn to shreds. That is until she meets Paul. She never expected to find love... and when it happens, can she do what it takes to hold on to it?

Fate has never been kind to Emily, and it gives her everything she wants at a cost. She must pay a price for being a murderer. For within her twisted heart lies a dark soul.


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Evolution of a Writer...

This weekend I attended the Isle of Wight Literary Festival. I was lucky to be given a slot alongside some fantastic authors, which I mention on my main blog - click HERE for more.

I also managed to get my books sold by the Waterstone's stall on site - I was organised enough to ask them a month before they event and they put me on their system!

It is an impressive sight to see my books alongside those published traditionally and to think "they look good!" Createspace did a great job with these - I love the smooth silky feel of the cover and pages, and the whole effect is fantastic!

Either way, I am an unknown author and my books were stacked alongside the YA books (even though I am not YA) so I did not sell many...

... so I'll tell you a bit about how it went.

There was a fundamental problem (as much as I am grateful to be included). It was not possible to buy adult tickets for my event unless you had a weekend pass! The reason for this is unknown to me, but I suspect that when I was given the extra session in the afternoon, since it was a talk geared at adults, they failed to take it off the children's program.

This would have been a great turnout
for my talk!
At one point, I figured I'd go with my friend Donna for tea & cake and forget it all if no-one showed up! I also came up with a plan B and changed the room layout so that I could do a writing workshop instead if the turnout was poor.

Luckily, adults managed to get tickets, although it was strange to see them enter with a child ticket!

Anyway, I was glad to see about 20 people arrive and all the chairs were filled. Trust me, I breathed a sigh of relief. Compared to the last talk I gave in Gibraltar this was a small cosy affair.

My plan was to talk for about 30 minutes and then do a writing workshop for the second half. Well... I talked for 50 minutes instead. What exactly I said is a blur, but I think everyone enjoyed it. Ultimately, I could have said so much more, but I focused on the lead up to my writing career and read excerpts from my trilogy that focus on topics such as relationships, war, my upbringing in Gibraltar, and personal conflict.


If I had been more organised I would have shown the trilogy video I made, but I did not think of that!

I was not focused on selling and it showed.

Honestly, I barely slept the week before and felt sick on the day of the talk... I was so nervous! I guess I am out of practice and lack confidence.

If I ever make it (and I doubt I have to worry about that too much) I'll laugh about this one day...

For the last ten minutes, I carried out a writing workshop. I gave them 2 minutes to write something about a character chosen by chance. Three of the adults read aloud what they had written and I was stunned by the quality. There are so many writers hiding in the woodwork, waiting for a chance to peek out and shine! Self-publishing has helped many do this already...

Ultimately, if my talk helped anyone discover hidden talents then it was all worth it! I can't help but think that I love to teach not to sell. Therefore, I am going to try to focus on what I started this for. To write and have fun. I am lucky to have achieved what I have since 2012. I have not done as well as others, but I simply am not ruthless enough. I can not change who I am and refuse to. If this means I sell no more books, then so be it.

I don't think Vincent Van Gogh would have ever believed how much his paintings are worth today... talent is not always spotted until someone gives it credibility.

I must thank my wonderful friend, Donna, for helping me on the day and for being incredibly supportive.

I also have to say a huge thank you to a lovely friend I have made via the web, My Book Fairy. She is also trying to drum up support for my NEW release, Emily via a BLOG TOUR. If you have a blog and are willing to get involved please contact her. Again, I am over the moon to have someone else who is willing to wave my flag!

In 2010, I had the foolish idea that I should write for fun... nearly five years later I have self-published three novels, seven anthologies, and am about to release a novella. My weakness is the fact I have wanted to do it all myself (I should get someone to design my covers one day), but I am proud of what I have achieved and hope some of you see something good in what I do.

Thank you for reading,
Vanessa

Friday, 26 September 2014

EMILY: Prequel to The Evolution Trilogy

I finally finished it! I am thrilled to share the cover for the prequel, EMILY. It is now available to buy via the pre-release options Amazon & Smashwords have set up... how exciting!



It will go live on the 31st October, 2014 - Halloween's day... a good day to release a book about a Vampire lady!

I am currently waiting for feedback via my fantastic readers & friends. It might still need some tweaking, but it is going to happen now regardless. Sometimes, you have to just set a deadline, otherwise a project can go on indefinitely...

The book is my first novella, coming in at just under 30,000 words - or roughly a third of the size of the other books in the Trilogy. I hope it allows you to get some insight into Emily's twisted mind and why she is so bitter and strange towards Steven. I always felt sorry for her (I know, she is a character, but a writer is allowed to get attached to some of their creations!). 

Either way, I will continue to read it over & over again over the coming weeks... and then will wait and see what you all think!

Thanks for reading,
Vanessa

***


Emily has not changed in fifty years. A freak accident made her immortal, or so she thinks. When she is finally allowed to return to her beloved England all is not as she expected. So much has changed. The past she was holding onto does not exist. Since the Second World War, people have embraced a new age. In this era, people have an obsession with gadgets, strange clothes and weird music.

Added to this her blood-lust has become insatiable and her promise to control herself is torn to shreds. That is until she meets Paul. She never expected to find love... and when it happens, can she do what it takes to hold on to it?

Fate has never been kind to Emily, and it gives her everything she wants at a cost. She must pay a price for being a murderer. For within her twisted heart lies a dark soul.

***

EMILY is the prequel to THE EVOLUTION TRILOGY.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

What a lot of reviews! WOW & thank you!

After weeks of a dry spell on the reviews front, they have been pouring in this week! Must have been the fact I was on holiday and not able to check as much!

It means so much to me when people take the time and it has been fantastic to get some feedback. It's so easy to want to give up, and this is the kind of motivation I needed before the kids head back to school and I can write again!

IN THE US...

Hybrid (The Evolution Trilogy Book 1)

Awesome - August 23, 2014

This story is top-notch. Every character has story of their own. All were told with clarity and love. Can't wait to read the next one. Fantastic.

The Evolution Trilogy: Hybrid, Complications & Return

I ready enjoyed this Trilogy - August 24, 2014

A very different look into Vampires and the lives we have read about . I ready enjoyed this Trilogy . I was fully engrossed in this story . Well written The charters were easily followed . A must read!

IN THE UK...

I got a few 3 star reviews, nothing amazing... BUT then, one of the reviewers who was not as keen on HYBRID then read the other two. I am blown away by the reaction... it certainly made me smile!

Return (The Evolution Trilogy Book 3)

5.0 out of 5 stars A well deserved 5*, 31 Aug 2014

Yes. The conclusion to this trilogy was so good. I never expected the turn of events. I'm glad Caitlin found her way. Sometimes, you need that space to realise what you had all along was the real deal. Loved the story and wish I could have read more about their reunion.

Complications (The Evolution Trilogy Book 2)

4.0 out of 5 stars The story got better, 30 Aug 2014

The 2nd instalment got better. Really loved the story. Steven got his girl back but with some complications. Loved the way the story turned out. Shame about a few of the characters. On to the next one.

Hybrid (The Evolution Trilogy Book 1)

3.0 out of 5 stars good read 3.5 stars, 30 Aug 2014


I actually enjoyed reading this book although I felt it wasn't descriptive enough. I mean it's supposed to be a YA novel about a new kind of vampire species. So you expect to read the odd violence here or there, but there was none. You get the impression someone was attacked but no detail about it.. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the story but the author needs to up it a bit. In any case, I am going to read the rest of the series.


When I wrote this trilogy I did not want to have the same boring ending and the same predictable end.

Life is never predictable and it rarely turns out as you expect. The view changes as you move around...

I am beginning to think that perhaps I nailed it on the head. It's a huge relief to me to know that my instincts paid off. A sickly sweet happy ending is not what everyone wants when they read a book! PHEW!

Thank you for your support & keep reading...

Vanessa

Saturday, 9 August 2014

The Evolution Trilogy ***NEW PAPERBACK***

Exciting news! A new paperback is on its way for the entire trilogy!

After a lot of work sorting the formatting and arranging a new cover, I have put together a paperback which will hopefully be cheaper for people to buy.


I love paperbacks and still prefer them to eBooks. I now own a kindle, but call me old fashioned...

With Createspace, the price of books is still too high. Considering they print on demand, it is a great price - if I paid a publisher it would cost me thousands! However, when competing against the traditional publishers and their online deals, my price is too high!

At £7.95 per paperback, I currently make about 50p on each book!

However, I will now be able to price the entire trilogy via amazon at £18/ $28 a book! That's a huge saving for you all... and I make the same for all three books!

Either way, I wanted to buy them in to sell at the Isle of Wight Festival where I will be giving a talk! I am also doing a fun session just for kids! I do love all things creative! :)



For more information CLICK HERE

If you are local and would like to meet me then visit the Isle of Wight on Sunday 19th October... tickets available now!

I hope some of you appreciate my efforts.

All the best,
Vanessa :)

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

SMASHWORDS PROMOTION


I did not realise smashwords were having a reduced month so I am late to the party...

Either way, for one week only and exclusive to smashwords, get the entire trilogy for only $3!


I have had some fantastic reviews recently... THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR SUPPORT :)

Check them out on AMAZON

"Once again Vanessa has created a flawless story, I didn't notice any grammar or spelling errors, which means there either were none or I was so absorbed into the story I didn't see them, which is a HUGE deal to me. I loved the entire trilogy and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a paranormal story with a twist and some romance. I am impressed that the scenes that could have quickly turned these books into erotic were kept "clean" and "classy" while still bringing all of the emotion of the action between characters."

MY BOOK FAIRY

Thursday, 3 July 2014

MASSIVE KDP Countdown Deal

*** Promotion running from 4th July - 10th July via Amazon.com only***


It seemed apt to start my first ever KDP Countdown deal on the 4th July! 

Amazon gave indie authors like me the freedom to publish books to the masses, and earn much higher royalties (yes, I can now buy a sandwich AND a cookie! Ha ha).

There has been a lot of mixed press since I first published HYBRID in 2012 about the downfall of books! I have read both sides of the story from different perspectives, but the bottom line is if people buy more books and read more then going digital is a fantastic thing to do.

When music first went digital there were a lot of skeptics, but now sales are at an all-time high! It takes time for consumers (us) to adjust to the new way of things. Ultimately, there is room for everybody. I still buy CDs and DVDs, AND I download digital copies of music and film. I now also buy paperbacks AND download ebooks. I like both.

Some readers now only download to kindle... that is their choice & this promotion is aimed at the Kindle market! If I could offer paperback deals I would, but it's not possible - I'm sorry!

Ultimately, we readers have so much choice and freedom to choose now. I understand that even this promotion might be a hard sell. Why pay when there are so many other books to choose from for free? The bottom line is we will pay for what we want to read - and I hope you choose to read my Trilogy.

Let's be honest here... 3 full size novels at $6 is cheap! With this Kindle countdown deal you get them all on the first day for only $0.99! Awesome, right? 

So what else can I say to convince you to give my trilogy a chance? Not much, but I have been extremely chuffed today after receiving the most amazing feedback from THE BOOK FAIRY. 

She certainly is my fairy... with perfect timing, since the promo starts tomorrow and I had no reviews when I went for it.

Enjoy, I certainly did!

Thank you for visiting my blog,
Vanessa :-) 

MY BOOK FAIRY review for THE EVOLUTION TRILOGY

"I've left the reviews on each individual book, but I downloaded Hybrid for free and borrowed the books in the trilogy format from the Kindle library, which I would suggest for anyone wanting to read the entire trilogy. I've rated each individual book at five stars and although I am sad to be finished with the trilogy, I think it was absolutely amazing.


This is a story that could be considered a paranormal romance, but it’s so much more than that. The story starts out with a young woman, Caitlin, headed to college and introduces you to her and her four “roommates”, getting right into the feel of starting out in a new place in college and the different types of people you will meet. I immediately liked Caitlin and could understand her situation and the feelings she had of being in a new place, both excitement and intimidation. A new place, new people and an unsure environment and the last thing she’s worried about is a boyfriend or falling in love, even though it seems that people are looking all around and yet she bumps into Steven, a “tall, dark, handsome and athletic” guy you expect to be another womanizer and yet he’s not. Steven is a complex character and he’s sincerely intrigued by Caitlin. You spend the first half or so of the story learning about Caitlin and Steven and watching their relationship develop. Then there is an unexpected turn of events, which sets the baseline for the remainder of the story. You see Steven taken away from everyone he knows and everyone he loves, no one knows who he is, or that he exists. You come to learn about the next evolution in humankind and their trials and tribulations, their wants and needs and the story leaves you wanting for more. All of the main and supporting characters are well built with complex personalities which brings the story to life. You can feel the pain they feel and understand their feelings from excitement, fear, love and lust to sorrow and uncertainty about the future. I couldn't put this book down and read from the start to about 63% in before I stopped and by the time I was about 80% done I knew I’d be buying the remaining two in the trilogy.

I gave this book a rating of 5 out of 5 stars because aside from a single sentence which didn't seem grammatically correct, the story was nearly flawless. The characters and story had me enchanted from day one and the plot unfolded at just the right pace. This isn't your typical paranormal or vampire story, but it will keep you on your toes and isn't full of “fluff”, but has a lot of deeper issues going on in the sidelines along with the main plot. When I found out this was the authors debut novel I couldn't believe it. I can’t wait to see what else Vanessa writes in the remainder of this trilogy and beyond. I've already borrowed the trilogy on the Kindle so I can decide if I want to buy them all in the Kindle edition or in a physical book.


This is the second book from The Evolution Trilogy by Vanessa Wester. I was already in love with the main characters of the story from Hybrid, but this story took us through the changes experienced in the new evolution of humankind by Steven. How far would you go for the woman (or man) you love? The characters are real and you spend the better part of the time wondering about the changes Steven is going through, the choices he makes and contemplating alongside him if the choices he's made are right. In addition, you learn more about Steven's biological family. Without spoilers, the relationship of his grandparents is amazing and beautiful. Going through the emotions with the characters in the story is easy to slip into, you feel the confusion, the happiness, the joy and the pain right alongside them if you allow yourself to get swept away like I did. It truly is about life and that sometimes there are complications you never could have seen coming, you have to confront what happens in life, even if it's not what you anticipate and everyone has questions on their choices. I read it in one sitting and couldn't put it down, at the end I was left conflicted I wanted to read the third book in the series, but I also didn't want to rush this series to the end, knowing there was only one book left.

I gave this book a rating of 5 out of 5 stars because aside from a single sentence, the story was nearly flawless. The characters and story had me enchanted from day one and the plot unfolded at just the right pace. This isn’t your typical paranormal or vampire story, but it will keep you on your toes and isn't full of “fluff”, but has a lot of deeper issues going on in the sidelines along with the main plot. When I found out this was the authors debut trilogy I couldn't believe it. I can’t wait to see what else Vanessa writes in the remainder of this trilogy and beyond.


This is the third and final installment of The Evolution Trilogy by Vanessa Wester. I read it in two sittings, once I got about 30% in I just couldn't put it down. The environment and characters were so realistic, even with the paranormal twist I found myself in the world along with the entire cast of characters. From the lovable Susanna to the love/hate relationship I developed with Ingrid I was for all intents and purposes part of this world. I had my suspicions along with some of the characters that things weren't quite what they seemed initially, and that seems to be the underlying theme of the wrap up of this trilogy - not everything is what it seems. Over the course of the story you see change and growth in the characters, much in the same way you see changes as people mature and grow. The ideas and thoughts of the main characters grow, making the characters grow as individuals. I think one of the most powerful underlying themes in the book is that sometimes love isn't enough, and other times it makes all the difference in the world. Another point is sometimes the end is just that - the end, and others it's just the beginning of something else. The raw emotion displayed in this book caught me off guard in comparison to the others and drew me deeper into the story, feeling the pain of the characters so much so that I found myself crying over some parts. I found myself both thoughtful, sad and wanting more at the end of the book. I slept on it, only to realize today that sometimes art (fiction) imitates life and "it is what it is". Overall, the entire trilogy was fantastic and I hope that Vanessa works on the prequel for Emily one day.

Once again Vanessa has created a flawless story, I didn't notice any grammar or spelling errors, which means there either were none or I was so absorbed into the story I didn't see them, which is a HUGE deal to me. I loved the entire trilogy and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a paranormal story with a twist and some romance. I am impressed that the scenes that could have quickly turned these books into erotic were kept "clean" and "classy" while still bringing all of the emotion of the action between characters."

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

A time to reflect...

This year has been really interesting as far as book sales go. I did not know whether the complete trilogy would be a success or not, and had no way of knowing whether I would actually sell any books.

A few factors helped me along the way...

Being featured in the Gibraltar magazine in January & February meant a lot of downloads of Hybrid (especially in the UK), which resulted in sales of Complications & Return. The sales continued (to my surprise) and I was lucky enough to be featured on FREEBOOKSY recently, which again saw Hybrid downloads rocket (this time in the US)!

To have to be known you have to be seen...

Over the past few weeks, as downloads started to slump again on Amazon, I downloaded a new cover. I thought this might help. Unfortunately, it hasn't and my downloads have got worse. So, I have decided to revert to the original cover. It doesn't really matter since I am learning new tricks all the time, and I hope that I can use my new knowledge of making covers for other books.

As an indie writer, you have to be prepared to evolve and learn as you go.

In time, I might believe in myself enough to pay for a cover designer, editor, proofreader, etc. For now, I have been lucky enough to have brilliant friends who could help me with these jobs and I owe them a lot (they all got a signed copy at least!)

I have failed to mention or discuss sales on smashwords, iBooks, and Barnes & Noble. The reason for this is that they barely happened, BUT... smashwords have recently introduced a feature that allows you to see sales/ downloads on a daily basis (as you can via amazon KDP) and to my shock I am selling books regularly, especially via iBooks - WOW! So, I guess when it comes to smashwords... time will tell! A free book is a great way to get new readers.

ANYWAY... what I mainly wanted to say was ***THANK YOU*** especially to all new readers who give my trilogy a go. I know not everyone likes my books (I have had low ratings - knew it would happen...), but I am apparently connecting with a few of you.

I have to look at the bright side! For a while, I was selling at least a book a day, which was shocking at first... The strange thing is that when you make no sales, any sale is heavenly. When you make them regularly and they seem to stop you miss them more!

All I ask is that if you do read HYBRID and enjoy please make my day by leaving a review. I can only assume that the people who go on to buy the other books enjoy the trilogy, but I don't know since I rarely get reviews.

I know many authors are much more aggressive than me at getting reviews, but I guess my British nature dictates that I only ask those who I know have actually read it. I will never personally review a book I have not read.

Anyway, I will now update the pictures for Hybrid and see what happens.

As for my writing, it has been a real struggle recently. This blog is actually therapeutic! I find my time has been eradicated by family life, lack of motivation, migraines, dry eyes, etc... I guess I still need to recover from my lazer eye surgery operation since I find I can't stare at the computer for long periods of time.

I have started a prequel to the trilogy, but my main project is a historical fiction novel based on the life of my great, great, great grandparents. It is an exciting project, but extremely time-consuming since I have to do loads of research. Patience never was my strong point!

Well, to finish off (& try to get some writing done) I will remember the saying "Rome was not built in one day"... 

Have a great day & thanks for reading,

All the best,
Vanessa

Sunday, 8 June 2014

HYBRID

I decided to have a play around to come up with an alternative cover for HYBRID, since I have a suspicion this is what lets it down on the FREE charts. Let's see if it makes a difference...

Some readers have mentioned that the existing cover tells them nothing about the story... so, what do you think?

(BITES NAILS... I have now changed it around 5 times!)



The paperback will have the original cover, since I do not sell or print many of these.

I would love some feedback...

Thanks so much (another 2 hours of my life gone by in a flash...)

All the best,
Vanessa

Read the first book of my trilogy for FREE today!

"A very original paranormal novel with great romance and a unique story-line..."
Christopher Fischer, TOP 500 REVIEWER

"When you first start getting into the story you automatically think Vampires, but as you discover more, Vampires is not the correct term for Steven's new family... It's well worth the read and as I got to the end I was frantically swiping my kindle screen looking for more as I wanted to know what happened next. I will definitely be reading the next book and would highly recommend it."
Orchard Book Club

"Not usually the kind of book I like to read, although I was a big fan of Anne Rice in my youth. The unexpected twist in the tale made for compulsive reading, literally forcing you to discover what happens next. This story had it all, brilliantly written, loads of interesting characters, mystery, romance with an unsettling undercurrent of tension. I cannot wait to read the rest of the trilogy!"
A Dawes

"I was not sure that this book was going to be my thing, but I couldn't put it down. I loved the characterisation and Vanessa's style of writing - these are 'unbelievable' characters made completely believable!"
Charlotte

"This is a captivating work that crackles and pops off the page with sparkling originality, wit, and insight into the larger themes of love and the human condition. Do yourself a favor and read it.
D. Byron

Amazon
Smashwords
YouTube

Monday, 14 April 2014

TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY... MY BOX SET

My daughter took this picture on the ferry and I have played around with it to come up with a cover for the entire Trilogy. So... what do you think?


I have now pressed the button and have published THE EVOLUTION TRILOGY as a box set to celebrate TWO years since HYBRID was released via Amazon... where did the time go?

It comes at a slight discount, via the Amazon KDP scheme, so any of you are on Amazon Prime you can download the entire trilogy for FREE... CLICK HERE!

THE COMPLETE BLURB...

Steven Thorn is about to discover that his life is not going to be straightforward. Before he does, he meets Caitlin and discovers the irrational attraction of first love. But, regardless of what he is and where his loyalty should lie, decisions have to be made and rules will be broken.

From the University of Southampton to the depths of the amazon jungle in Brazil, Steven and Caitlin will discover that in the game of love, destiny is always the winner…

PRAISE FOR THE EVOLUTION TRILOGY

“The Evolution trilogy was so much fun to read! All the components of a good series are there and I found myself thinking about the characters constantly. For me that is the sign of a good book - I can’t get the characters out of my head, they come to work and the gym with me and I try to figure out what will happen next.

I fell in love with Caitlin and Steven, the main characters in Hybrid, joined in on their adventures in Complications, and was rewarded with a finale that tied up all of the details and loose ends in Return book 3… A very satisfying ending! I highly recommend this trilogy.”
Susan L. Gerdon

“A great set of books. A must read for all. Imaginative story somehow believable. I would like to visit the community myself.”
Lovely Lane

“Really enjoyed all 3 books, find them so readable and hard to put down. As soon as you start reading you feel involved in the story.”

Julieb!


Speak soon & thanks again for all your support,
Keep smiling :-)
Vanessa

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Happy Two Year Anniversary, HYBRID

Two years ago, I published Hybrid on smashwords... and started blogging online via blogger.


It is amazing to think how much I have learnt and how much I have done since then. In celebration of the day, I have decided to recap the last two years... for all you budding authors out there wondering whether to self-publish!

27th March, 2012 - Published on smashwords!
My second ever blog post

"Well, I was going to wait some more... but then I thought "what's the point?" So I self published last night and I have sold 4 books already...so cool... Whoever you are, thank you...you made my day.  Let me know how you got on, did you like it?  Would you like to read more?  The sequel is written and in need of an edit... I guess I should get into that now.

For those of you who don't know me, a little sneak peak... I love to read paranormal romance and thrillers... so if you have any suggestions please let me know.

At the moment it looks like I'm about to sink my teeth into The Hunger Games...it might take the edge off my obsession with Twilight. (groan... I hear some of you say)  I will not apologise for this, if it have not been for an interview I saw of Stephenie Meyer I would never have started writing...I owe her one.  Since I started to escape into fiction I've been a happier person.  And I hope you like what I write as much as I enjoyed writing it...

Thanks for reading!"

So sweet and innocent... I had no idea what I had started!

Once I started on smashwords, I waited to try to get "Premium Status" ... eventually I did, but it is confusing if you are doing all the formatting yourself. I followed Mark Cokers' Style Guide to get it right.

I realised that selling on smashwords was not an easy task... SELF-PUBLISHING IS HARD!

I decided to branch out and joined the Beast => => => Amazon. I published there on May 8th, 2012.

It was at this point that I started to see the brutal side to selling books - FAKING REVIEWS!

It happens, there's no point lying about it - some people do rate a book without having read it, either to swap reviews with an author or to make the author look worse online - terrible, right?

If you look at my reviews, you will see that they are not extensive - I like to think they are genuine, from real readers. There are many books that have hundreds of reviews... I have no idea how they did this. The mainstream books will have them, because they sell thousands of books, but for the average author, I would estimate that for every 50-100 books sold, you might get 1 review if you are lucky.

Harry Potter in the UK has currently got 1554 reviews... think about how many thousands of books this has sold! In contrast, Fifty Shades of Grey (the masterpiece-NOT!) has 7049 reviews (2022 are one star!)... even though it was published only a few years ago. It is also in the top 100 of the charts - erotica (is this what these books are?) obviously sells. It's a shame I don't write it... I need to lower my standards!

For the record, I have sold several hundred books, and given away in the region of over 6000 books of Hybrid for FREE as an eBook and have 14 reviews on Amazon US, and 36 on Amazon UK! So, for FREE books the ratio is even lower, since most of the time they might not even get read!

I then joined GOODREADS in June, 2012. This is a great way for me to keep track of the books I read and occasionally I dip into discussions - the fun side of reading! :)

I decided to try out the Amazon KDP scheme, left smashwords, and worked with another author to run a joint promotion. amazing to think that in 2012 you could get 300 downloads in a day as an unknown author - this does not happen now to many of us without a paid promotion or excessive use of social media! I got over 400 downloads in a day for Hybrid, which rocked me up the charts last month - but that was because I was featured in a free magazine distributed in Gibraltar!

I then started blogging about other stuff... food, sports, personal stuff. I realised blogging was a great way to share photos with family. So I decided to start new blogs...

VANESSA WESTER, first blog started March 2012.

A READER'S PERSPECTIVE, April 2012. A place to vent about books I have read, or movies I have seen.

TIME TO ESCAPE, Oct 2012. Adult anthologies I have published for charity.

FESTIVAL OF WRITING, started Oct 2012. A one-off blog about my experience.

This one, THE EVOLUTION TRILOGY, started January 2013.

INTERVIEW OF AN AUTHOR,  links and some posts of the authors interviews I have done.

STORIES FOR ALL, June 2013. Anthologies that can be enjoyed by children & adults which I have published, raising money for charity.

A lot of my time over 2013 was taken up with the charity anthologies. This is a great thing to do in order to meet great authors, support a worthy cause, and to find an outlet to write about different genre's and try out new styles. I found the experience rewarding and even though it has raised some money for these worthy causes I have decided not to publish any more.


The reason for this is that it took too much time and I also felt a bit used. Most of the authors were fantastic to work with, but I found the process frustrating and made the decision to focus on my own projects. I will still promote them, and they do sell a few every now and again, but I think the market is saturated with these collections. I have seen a successful free one, where it is clear all the authors promote it since they have linked to the amazon page.

A great blog I wrote which has had over 700 views is HOW TO PUBLISH A BOOK - MY JOURNEY! Worth a read, I think...

I blogged about editing (the pain of it all), negative reviews (the first one I got was weird!), publishing Complications (the stress involved), interviews, the first time I sold paperbacks via a Fair, skiing, FoodChocolate Muffins, Easter fun with kids, pets, the completion of my trilogy - I did it!... and recently, I have started to interview authors I have read and enjoyed. I have set up a Facebook page to keep track of these a few weeks ago.

The world of blogging is immense.

Tools like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, FREE promotion sites, authors groups (like ASMSG), and Goodreads help you to create a profile and network with readers and authors (and family of course! Do not underestimate how helpful family & friends can be at spreading the word when you first start out).

You should also set up an author profile on the amazon sites, as recommended by Amazon when you publish via KDP or createspace. This also helps you to "fine tune" your book description.

Along this arduous road, I have learnt how to format an eBook and paperback, self-edit, create a cover, create a You Tube video (this was fun - I used windows movie-maker).

BUT, I have not gone alone... I did have help from friends & family who proof-read and suggested recommendations for all three books, and recently HYBRID underwent a thorough proofread & edit via Susan Buchanan.

Might I add, that since Hybrid has been free I am actually selling books - the fact the trilogy is complete has certainly helped & I got my first review for RETURN via Amazon US yesterday! Yippee... someone in Texas rated it as a 4 star and said they wanted another one - I could kiss them! :)

For my next project, I will know a lot more and I will actually try to get an agent (I think... on the fence about whether it's worth it!).

Truth, in order to sell paperbacks to the masses, I believe you need to have a mainstream publisher behind you. Also, to translate your work worldwide, it's easier to have help. If you are lucky enough to come up with a break-through idea the advertising that will go into it will make it big (regardless of quality, might I add!)

However, in the main unless you are known or famous, the chances of selling thousands of books are slim. So long as you accept this fact, you'll do great!

Happy 2nd Anniversary to Hybrid, I hope you enjoyed reading my rambles.

All the best,
Vanessa

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Library Time

A few weeks ago I started volunteering at my local library. It's fun to be among books and to help out with such a worthy cause.

I grew up going to the library. My dad would roam the styles and I would gather a bunch of books to take home with me. I was always in awe of the amount of books on offer, and slightly intimidated by the silence - it gave it an almost holy feel.

Anyway, I finally got round to donating my trilogy to my local library and so had to take a picture!


So there you have it... best thing was I noticed this week that Hybrid is missing - which means someone has taken it out! Fingers crossed they enjoy it.

If anyone had told me years ago that I would have written a novel, let alone three, I would have laughed my head off... seriously!

In fact, I am shocked at what I have done in four years. I feel at a loss now, and hope I can continue and write another. Insecurity is my biggest enemy, especially when I know there are millions of books out there - why would anyone care about mine?

I have to remember to write for me, to escape.

Perhaps the issue is that recently I have needed to escape less and embraced motherhood. Life is a lot easier when you don't have a toddler to look after. You start to get your life back. I want to make the best use of my time - is writing it? Who knows? I certainly don't.

My next project, along with other novels in the pipeline, is more personal and therefore more daunting. Historical fiction is something I love to read. I am scared that I will not do 'it' justice.

But, as the saying goes 'if you don't try, you won't know'.

Luckily, my eyesight is finally on the mend - phew... so back to the drawing board I go.

Have a fantastic week all.
All the best,
Vanessa

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Eyesight is a wonderful thing

This is not going to be a long blog post since I am recovering from corrective eye surgery (laser!!)

Just wanted to say thank you to anyone who is reading this Trilogy.

It still amazes me when I get wonderful feedback and I have been lucky enough to get a few great reviews recently via Amazon & Goodreads (not everyone likes it though, but hey... everyone is entitled to their own opinion).

Whatever you think... have mercy on me and please be kind - thanks :)

Have a great day and thanks for visiting my site,

All the best
Vanessa

p.s. Hybrid has now been edited by Susan Buchanan! If you want the new version simply delete it from your kindle library and then download the latest one - it is FREE via most Amazon sites, smashwords, etc...

Friday, 14 February 2014

I need to stop looking...

Okay, so I will admit it... due to the fact some of you lovely readers out there have actually been buying my books I am becoming obsessed with statistics! Now, seriously, this should be no surprise - I mean, I am supposed to be a maths teacher after all... HA! So, truth - I LOVE IT!

It's been amazing to see my books shoot up and down the charts - THANK YOU!

Every day I think my sales will stop and they don't! TRULY GRATEFUL! Don't worry, it's not getting my head or anything. If sales continue, I really will be in shock.

Moving on... This Monday, I started volunteering at my local library for a couple of hours. I get to help, and am surrounded by loads of lovely books. FAB! Anyway, I saw a book on display that I have actually beaten in the charts at times... this made me smile. So, I have to make a move and donate some of my books to the library so that readers without an eBook can take a look. (Mental note - on "to do" list!)

Yet, I have to admit that I am in awe at the moment... a parent at school, Jane Watson, made the most amazing Gruffalo and backdrop EVER for my daughter's reception class. Isn't this amazing?! WOW, WOW, WOW... Here is an extremely talented, kind and giving parent willing to go above and beyond what certainly I can do. It makes me realise how much other people do out of goodwill. Without the time and effort many volunteers give many organisations would struggle. SO THANK YOU, JANE! 


I have to say that I finally made the decision to give up teaching swimming as a volunteer. There comes a time when you have to say enough, and it had come. I gave nearly 5 years being a member of the committee at first, sorting medals, as secretary, treasurer, and of course, swim teacher and coach for the younger squad members. I have done my bit to "give back" for all the coaches I had when I was a competitive swimmer many moons ago. I wish the club all the best...

As some of you may realise, today is Valentine's Day, I have blogged about it HERE. Make it a good one! (wink, wink)
Indie Love Blog Hop

Enjoy the rest of your day... and a special thank you to Kyra Dune for featuring me in her BLOG today. It's always very special to see my book cover somewhere else...


Have a Gruffalo-tastic DAY!
I am heading off next week with the family to see the in-laws, since it is half-term, so I hope you all keep enjoying my books. Oh, and it would be great to know what you think of them. As of yet, I have no reviews for RETURN on the US site. Of course, I don't want bad ones on amazon... so feel free to comment on here too!

Until the next one, hasta luego,

Vanessa :0) xx





Tuesday, 4 February 2014

I am in SHOCK!!!

I am soooooo EXCITED!

Last night, HYBRID had over 400 downloads in the space of an hour! This made it rocket to no. 88 in the ENTIRE free charts for Amazon! WOW... But, it gets better... this morning it was at no.70!

I suspect it came about due to the wonderful article written by Elena Scialtiel in the GIBRALTAR MAGAZINE.

Vanessa Wester: Evolution of a Writer

When I launched The Evolution Trilogy on the 16th December, 2013, in Gibraltar, Elena asked to interview me.

I met up with her the next day, and we sat on a park bench as she conducted the interview and recorded it. It was an enjoyable experience - I do love to ramble. The article she put together truly encapsulates what I am all about. She got me completely.

All credit goes to her for writing it so beautifully.

It means a lot to me to be featured in this way. In England, I have managed to get some publicity for my book, but it is truly limited, since as an "indie" author I have no idea where to go, or who would be interested.

However, in Gibraltar, I got a TV interview, radio advertising, reviews in the Gibraltar Chronicle and a full page feature.

And now, I am featured in the Gibraltar Magazine!

And they have done this all for me for FREE... in the interests of promoting a Gibraltarian!

Sometimes, there is a hole in my heart that can not be filled in England. It is in times like this that I understand why. To grow up in a community like Gibraltar was not always easy, but one thing I know for sure... it is a community that gives, and gives, and gives.

People from Gibraltar, a tiny Rock populated by around 30,000 people, can do amazing things.

Sports - the entire range...

Drama - fantastic productions...

Food - Spanish, Moroccan, English, Italian cuisine... and those CAKES!

And last, but certainly not least, EDUCATION - a brilliant school system that encourages youth to go to university - FULLY FUNDED!

Without the support and encouragement I got in Gibraltar, I would never have got my education and certainly never gone to university - it would have been too expensive! I did grow up in a 2 bed flat after all!

So, THANK YOU... sincerely,

I am truly grateful to the support you have all shown, and only hope I do not disappoint you with my books.

Have a fantastic day... un abrazo grande ha todos!

La llanita 'Beany',

Vanessa :) xx HUGS

p.s. To top it all... this blog has now reached 10,000 views! Amazing :)





Wednesday, 15 January 2014

You Tube Advert


I have made a promotional video for the Trilogy... Click on the => LINK

I am very excited since I only put it together last night & today, so I hope you enjoy it.

Let me know what you think & please like it so that it gets lots of  views!

Thank you...
Vanessa :)


Friday, 10 January 2014

A HUGE thank you...

I have just written a melancholy blog post on my main Author blog called "Perseverance" - where I discuss (or talk to myself as I write) my dilemma for the year.

Mainly, the question I ask myself is "should I continue writing or get back to my "real" job?

I don't have the answer to this yet, time will tell... but, from what I know most writers lead a double life - they have their day job and then at night they write.

Either way, I am extremely grateful for the moderate success I have had to date. Since HYBRID has gone free (or permafree - what a word!), I have had sales for Complications and Return. I have not had any new reviews on Amazon though, which makes me think readers don't love or hate it, or just have not read it! But, tracking sales/ ratings is driving me to insanity... I keep thinking "Why does that one sell?" "Why does that one get downloaded all the time for free and mine slips down the ratings?"

I am convinced that publicity and promotion is key, but if I do this all the time when do I actually write?

So, I have made a decision to write - yay! And I will have to watch as my books slide down the charts again - easy come, easy go!

If you happen to enjoy my books, it would make my day if you leave a review - on this blog, amazon, anywhere...

To those of you who have - THANK YOU. You are the reason I have worked so hard over the past few years. I know a lot of you have had enjoyment from my writing and so I know I have some promise. To those of you who don't like my writing - you know what, I respect you for sticking your neck out and saying so. I can be pretty critical too, but find I have to bite my tongue recently or I'll get accused of "jealousy".

Anyway, to anyone who visits this site for the first time... I hope you forgive my rant. Being an "indie" author is really hard, not all of us can achieve the sales Amanda Hocking got - she is what I call a true indie success story. She inspired many of us to give it a go, but I am afraid the bubble is set to burst or perhaps just loose air and fizzle out.

If you are a new writer I suggest you try to get an agent first, they are still looking for new talent. In this current market, they have found their feet and will use their marketing knowledge to sell books in a way indie's will struggle to compete against. Not every book should be represented or published, not every book is a mass paperback, but there is certainly enough out there to know that your book might have a place amongst the big boys! Don't lose faith, persevere... and if nothing works, ask me for help. I might be able to give you a few pointers.

Publishing a book is no longer hard - getting noticed is.

All the best,
Vanessa :)


Monday, 6 January 2014

Featured again - thank you :)

I have been featured in the Gibraltar Magazine... yippee!

When I look at the picture, I wonder if that is really me?

Sometimes, I find it hard to believe that I have written this Trilogy and that I have an online "presence". It makes me smile anyway, I guess I am not just "Mum" anymore... maybe?

My parents & Aunt with me at my
book launch in Gibraltar...
Thank you so much everyone for your support and constant downloads. HYBRID IS FREE!

HUGS

Vanessa xx






CHECK OUT PAGE 63


http://issuu.com/thegibraltarmagazine/docs/gibmagjanuary2014?e=1132895/6160476