Blog Ahoy!

Featured

You’ve reached the blog of Clare London, author – and you’re most welcome! Bookmark and/or follow this blog to catch up on all my latest news and views. It also gives us a chance to chat, something I like as much as writing, and sometimes more LOL.

All my contact details are on the sidebar, including how to follow the blog.

Enjoy!


FOLLOWING ME ON LIVE JOURNAL?

My blog posts there are now archived and I’ll be blogging ONLY here at my website. Thanks!

Advertisements

Pitch IMperfect?! LOL

Wow, that was fun! I found out late last night (here in the UK) that Carina Press were running their annual #carinapitch Tweet Day. Brush up those Elevator Pitches, authors! and pitch to a dozen Carina Editors in the length of a Tweet.

(PSST Subscribe to their blog and you can bookmark it for next year :D.)

Isn’t it a brilliant idea? Maybe a novelty, I know, and not intended to be a substitute for proper, ongoing, submissions procedures, but for me, it was the chance to pitch a story I hope will fit perfectly in one of their imprints, there’s time to get it polished even further before submitting (if requested), PLUS the chance to keep practising my Blurb skills!

And fascinating and educational to read everyone else’s pitches, too.

New serial from Sue Brown at Patreon

Are you following this witty serial from the talented author Sue Brown? I’m loving it :).

Are you already one of her fans / do you like one or more of the books she’s written? This serial’s a special treat, only available at the moment through her Patreon group.

Personally speaking, I subscribe to a few Patreon accounts, for authors, bloggers and artists I’m interested in knowing more about, and want to support beyond buying their public work. Obviously none of us have money to waste nowadays, but I reckon for the price of (yet another *g*) ebook a month, I can help them build the funds to keep going with what they – and I – love.

There is NO obligation at all, but if you’re encouraged to invest in a truly talented and hardworking author’s work – and get all kind of sneak peeks at work in progress LOL – you can join up for Sue’s account from HERE.

(PS and how fabulous is that graphic, from the equally talented Meredith Russell???)

Autism Blog Hop + Giveaway

I’m honoured and eager to take part again in this year’s blog hop for Autism Month, lovingly initiated by RJ Scott. 30 authors will be featuring a fact each day – which you may or may not know already – and sharing their own thoughts on the topic.

And there are GIVEAWAYS too! Mine is below. Please visit other posts this month, all links are hosted HERE.

Today’s fact: 34% of children on the autism spectrum say that the worst thing about being at school is being picked on.

Today’s fact is distressing. Not only the fact that children are picked on at school – because so many of us are and were, for all variety of reasons: as a mother, it always breaks my heart –  but because so many instances of bullying are because of ignorance. Autism takes many different guises, and appears more or less obviously, according to the individual. We would hope that everyone treats a fellow human, child or adult, with respect and a tolerance for their own unique behaviour.

It doesn’t always happen! But any way we can help promote and ease the awareness of autism, by formal or informal education, will help to familiarise and reassure people dealing with it.

The BBC is featuring the stories from many people diagnosed later in life HERE. Five times as many males as females are diagnosed, and this is a small selection of interviews with women. It’s often harder to diagnose in females, and these stories are fascinating, heart-wrenching, and heartening to read.


**My Giveaway**

Please comment on this post, or on my Facebook where it’ll be copied, and I’ll enter your name for a £10/$15 Amazon voucher. I’ll draw the name on SUNDAY April 8.

For the Left-Behind-ers

I first called this post “Catfish Confession” then thought it may be misleading LOL. So I renamed it the Left-Behind-Ers, for reasons I hope become clear.

You see, I’ve been catfished. I’ve been emotionally manipulated and then dropped / shocked / made to face the horrible and humiliating truth that I was FOOLED.

My sympathy is always with the catfish-ees – those Left Behind. And I want to shout out a HUG to them, to assure you I’ve suffered it and am happy to talk about every humiliating, painful detail if it helps you come to terms. Then I have a fairly fierce Demand that you (i) grieve, but then (ii) you regain perspective, rebuild your confidence, and get on with the important thing i.e. Your Life.

My catfisher was a gay man I wrote online with, for over a year (I don’t know his real name, or if he was gay, or a man at all *sigh*). On another continent, so the timezones only overlapped for a few hours, which meant I was always up late and/or early to share time, which took its toll on my sleep, and also made my family worry.

It was fun and challenging, he was outrageous, told me exotic and intimate stories of his lovelife, always led the way on our provocative, edgy writing. Never showed me a photo – though we exchanged gifts a couple of times – never gave any other personal details that I could have checked *if* I’d wanted to. But I didn’t give too much away either, so it seemed fair. This was early in my writing career, and maybe I had some self-protection in place even then, or maybe I just thought my life was totally boring compared to his, so not worth going into detail! I’d never heard of the term “catfish”, I was relatively new to online chatting.

He was in general amused at my naivety, but sometimes asked my help and advice, so I felt a personal connection. Then one day he claimed an upset in his personal life and just vanished offline. Good God! It was devastating. No contact, no trail, no recourse. I was shocked, hurt, suddenly aware of how emotionally fragile online relationships can be. Me, a professional, intelligent, mature woman, in floods of tears over an online chat friend. Ulp.

He came back online briefly, several weeks later, but we slowly dropped contact. He never admitted to being anything other than his writing persona, but I suspect now he was a catfisher. During the time he was offline, I’d found other women online who’d been in contact with him, equally horrified to have “lost” him, probably on an equal fan footing as I was. Ouch. I’d been amazed and horrified at my response, and I determined not to be hurt like that again.

It still makes me wince, to think of ME as I was then! but I’m proud of myself as well, in that it spurred me to learn more, develop more, so I’m confident now in who and what I am.

But if anyone wants to talk about it? I can and will, to prove you shouldn’t feel humiliated or embarrassed or a fool – at least, not for ever. I can stand outside now and see I *was* a fool, but also how cruel *he* was. It may have been deliberate, though I suspect/hope it wasn’t, just someone seeking attention, which ultimately came at my expense. No money changed hands, no physical harm was done. But I was in emotional distress for a long time afterwards.

Also, don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself – you were fooled, you were misled, you were lied to, whether deliberately or by omission. And you know what? Admit that it was LOVE. Maybe not sexual (my guy was gay, apparently, what sexual relationship could I have had, even if I’d wanted?) but these connections are so often a combination of romantic love / fascination / titillation / pride / flattery. We’re not honest enough with ourselves, trying to avoid the self-hate, embarrassment, shame at falling for a non-person. The admission that, at the time, we were looking for someone special for ourself. But it’s not wrong to love – it just needs to be the right kind of love.

I feel I lost a lot at the time, because of it. But I’ve gained so much more since then.

**HUGS ALL ROUND**

My friend, the author Sue Brown – and thankfully a real person! 🙂 – shares her feelings too in a very honest and compassionate post here:
https://suebrownsstories.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/catfisher-of-day.html

Smashwords promotion – discounts all week!

Displaying raew 2018.jpg

This week, all my JMS titles will be discounted at Smashwords by 50%.

Here’s MY PAGE at Smashwords, where the JMS books are listed. There are plenty of other great authors with discounts, too, so check in on the JMS Books page this week for all the bargains.

PSST: this is also currently the ONLY place you can buy my new version of SAY A LITTLE PRAYER, due to the fact Amazon have blocked it for some undisclosed copyright challenge that I never raised in the first place *grrr*. And if you use the following Coupon Code, you can get it at the bargain price of only $1.00!** FA96S

**The coupon lasts until March 10, or until a set number of copies are sold, so hop on over there soon if you’re interested ;).

 

 

Signed Paperback Giveaway – today!

Come on over to the latest feature on the BecauseTwoMenAreBetterThanOne blog today. A Mystery Book Giveaway starts with one of my books – a signed paperback to anywhere in the world! All for the effort of deducing 3 (pretty easy) clues :D.

The draw lasts until March 18th. Please pop over to the blog and make your guesses! And watch out for more paperbacks on offer in months to come.

What’s in a Name?

Visit me over at Not Your Usual Suspects today where I have a Guest Author Spot, talking about how I choose names for characters in my books – and how book titles can take on a life of their own!

Should my new (re)release FREEMAN have been called “Romance Blossoms Between Two Very Different Men While Foiling Dastardly Plots” – and why wasn’t it?

What do you think about names? Do you like seeing unusual ones? Readers, do they turn you on or off in a book? 😉

 

Red Carpet interview – J Scott Coatsworth

ScottTo celebrate the new release of his MM Sci Fi book LANDERJ. Scott Coatsworth is visiting with an *exclusive* interview for us.

Do you have any strange writing habits or superstitions?
Hmmm, not sure how strange it is, but when I get ready to sit down to write, I go into the kitchen and break up four squares of a Trader Joe’s dark chocolate bar into eight pieces total. It’s my “writer food” and incentive to finish scenes. 😛

I also like to be alone when I write, though it’s not always possible. It’s not like Mark looks over my shoulder or anything – LOL. It’s more that I don’t have to worry about any distractions.

What fantasy realm would you choose to live in and why?

Oh, there are soooo many. But I think it would have to be Lothlorien. I lost my heart there the first time I wandered through the Golden Wood when I was maybe ten years old? Galadriel stole it…

What’s your writing process?

Butt in chair, write. Oh and outline. And re-read what I already wrote so I don’t miss anything. And lots of daydreaming time to figure out plot knots. And a ton of dark chocolate and caffeinated iced tea.

Do you ever base your characters on real people? If so, what are the pitfalls you’ve run into doing so?

Usually not, but yes, in River City. I found that it’s a tricky proposition. If they don’t know, it’s not a big deal. But if they do, they can feel that your character is how you feel about them, and that can lead to problems. Some characters were based on a person personality-wise, but not in biographical details, and when the character made a bad choice, I got a bit of blowback for it. So yeah, you have to be careful, at least if you want them still to be talking with you afterwards. LOL…

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Generally I only read my “professional” reviews – those done by reviewers on established review sites. But every now and then I’ll wander into the Amazon or Goodreads reviews – and that’s a rabbit hole most authors are better staying out of. Even with professional reviews, one bad review can wipe out the happy fluffy feelings from ten good ones. We authors are fragile creatures, after all.

I did get one that was so horrible it made me laugh (and possibly squirt iced tea out of my nose). It said I was a terrible writer, and in no way worthy of the fancy name “Coatsworth.” Or something to that effect. You just gotta smile sometimes.

What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?

So many things.

After “Lander”, the next up is “The River City Chronicles,” the book form of my successful web serial about a group of friends (mostly queer) in Sacramento. It will be my first self-published work.

In October, “The Rising Tide” comes out – book two of “Liminal Sky” (after “The Stark Divide).

Sometime this year, Mischief Corner Books should start releasing “Marionettes in the Mist,” a four author serial I participated in over there, as a trilogy.

I’m already writing my 2019 releases – “Ithani” will be the last book in the Oberon Cycle, and “The Shoreless Sea” the last in the “Liminal Sky” trilogy.

Oh, and I have a bunch of stories coming back to me from anthologies and the like that I might either turn into an anthology, release as self-published stand-alones, or expand to full novels. Or all three!

Thanks for sharing your news and insight with us, J!


LanderBOOK info: LANDER by J Scott Coatsworth

Sometimes the world needs saving twice.

In the sequel to the Rainbow-Award-winning Skythane, Xander and Jameson thought they’d fulfilled their destiny when they brought the worlds of Oberon and Titania back together, but their short-lived moment of triumph is over.

Reunification has thrown the world into chaos. A great storm ravaged Xander’s kingdom of Gaelan, leaving the winged skythane people struggling to survive. Their old enemy, Obercorp, is biding its time, waiting to strike. And to the north, a dangerous new adversary gathers strength, while an unexpected ally awaits them.

In the midst of it all, Xander’s ex Alix returns, and Xander and Jameson discover that their love for each other may have been drug-induced.

Are they truly destined for each other, or is what they feel concocted? And can they face an even greater challenge when their world needs them most?

The Oberon Cycle: Book Two

About the Oberon Cycle:

Xander is a skythane man whose wings have always been a liability on the lander-dominated half world of Oberon.

Jameson is a lander who has been sent to Oberon to find out why the supply of the psycho-amoratic drug pith has dropped off.

What neither knows is that they have a shared destiny that will change the two of them – and all of Oberon – forever.

Dreamspinner – eBook | Dreamspinner – Paperback


Author Bio

Scott lives between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, he devoured her library. But as he grew up, he wondered where the people like him were.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

He runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their own reality.

Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com  
Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth  
Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor/  
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/jscoatsworth  
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth  
QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/  
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ