Death by Bicycle

Last month I took part in a Bewitching Blog Tour for Winged Reaper, the second book in my Reaper Series ,and I wrote a post for I Smell Sheep where I discussed my teenage fear that I would die while riding my bike. After it was posted that I realised I’d left out one major death defying occasions when I almost lost my life while on two wheels.

I was riding with a friend, heading for a fun filled day of window shopping and people watching. We were teenagers. We had no money to do real shopping and back then there were no such things as mobile phones to entertain us so people watching was it.

I was in the lead, on the edge of the road to keep out of the way of passing traffic, when a very very very large bag of something fell off the back of a truck and landed right in front of me. As uncoordinated as I am I have no idea how I avoided crashing into it, while my fiend was hyperventilating because of how close it had come to landing on top of me.

If you’d like to check out the blog post and read about other times when my bike was nearly the death of me you can check it out here  – http://www.ismellsheep.com/2016/10/shelley-russell-nolan-guest-post.html?m=0

Happy reading!

 

 

Awesome October

October is shaping up to be an awesome month. Winged Reaper, the second book in my Reaper series, was released on the 1st of October. Cue the happy dancing. I celebrated with a 20161002_202101family dinner and got to wear a new winged skull necklace made for me by a friend.

On the 8th of October I will be attending Writefest in Bundaberg, spending a whole day catching up with friends and talking writing with people who get that stories and characters are clamouring to be heard in my head. They have them in their heads too.

Then on the 17th of October 20161001_192128-2Winged Reaper and I will be heading out on a Bewitching Blog Tour. If you want to follow along, check out the dates and stops listed below. I’m really looking forward to catching up with readers and sharing Winged Reaper with the world.

Winged Reaper Blog Tour

October 17

Hart’s Romance Pulse

www.HartsRomancePulse.com

Feedmeinbooks

https://feedmeinbooks.wordpress.com/

Share My Destiny

http://sharemydestiny.blogspot.com

October 18

Books,Dreams,Life

https://staceyschneller06.wordpress.com/

The Silver Dagger Scriptorium

http://silver-dagger-scriptorium.weebly.com/

Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer

http://www.coffeeaddictedwriter.com

October 19

Mello and June, It’s a Book Thang!

http://mellojune.blogspot.com

Eskimo Princess Book Reviews

http://eskimoprincess.blogspot.com/

October 20

Butterfly-o-Meter Books

http://butterfly-o-meter.com/

Book Crazy Scrapbook Mama

https://bookcrazyscrapbookmama.blogspot.com/

Infinite House of Books

http://www.house-of-books.com

October 21

The Book Junkie Reads

http://mileythebookjunkie.blogspot.com/

Traci Douglass

http://www.tracidouglass.net

Sylv all about books and films

http://www.sylv.net

October 24

I Smell Sheep

http://www.ismellsheep.com/

A Night’s Dream of Books

http://anightsdreamofbooks.blogspot.com/

Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/

 

The Re-Release of Lost Reaper

Today is release day for Lost Reaper with my wonderful new publisher, Atlas Productions, and I was interviewed by the local paper about being re-released and the impending release of the second book in my reaper series.

Here’s a link to the online version of the article if you would like to check it out – Interview

I’ve been happy dancing all day, and am really looking forward to the release of Winged Reaper on the 1st October. When not scaring the kitties with my crazy dance moves, I’ve been busy jotting down ideas for the third book in the series, Rogue Reaper.

Check out my events page for places I’ll be appearing with print copies of Lost Reaper and Winged Reaper all ready to sign. Can’t wait to share my reapers with you all.

Facebook LR WR now 2016

Kitten Tales

Life has been a roller-coaster the last month or so and it all started with the death of the Demon Cat.

As beautiful as he was cantankerous, Jackson was a cat to be reckoned with. Determined to live life on his terms, he made sure his human family knew he was boss. But a life lived on the edge had a time limit and unfortunately his had run out.

Then Little Miss Justice had a medical mishap and I was prepared to curl up in a ball and cry for a week at the thought of losing her too. But she pulled through and was soon back to her sweet cuddly self.

In the middle of these kitty cat catastrophes I was notified that my publisher was winding down operations and I had to find a new home for my Reaper series. This was a blow, but I picked myself up and decided it was time for some good news. So I adopted another kitten from the same animal aid group that I adopted Justice from.

Max joined the family and we all fell in love with him, especially Justice. Max wasn’t too keen on her at first, but after a couple of days the two of them were romping around the house together and then curling up for a nap.

With the arrival of Max my spirits were lifted and life got even better with the news that my original publisher had recommended my work to another publisher. Within days I was offered a contract with Atlas Productions for my Reaper books and we are in the process of getting Lost Reaper back out into the world, soon to be followed by the sequel Winged Reaper.

I’m sure life will continue to throw ups and downs at me, but with two gorgeous kitties to cuddle up to I’m ready for it.

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When a Kitten is Not the Perfect Gift

I recently celebrated a birthday and it got me thinking about what is the perfect gift to give a writer.

For a few years now my answer would have been a kitten, but as hubby finally gave in and got me Little Miss Justice as an early birthday present, bringing my cat total to two, I was left scrambling for ideas when people asked me what I wanted.

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Now the obvious choice might be books, as most writers are readers first, but that doesn’t always turn out so well. I love books, and read most genres, so picking a book that I would like is an easy task for many members of my family and close friends. Two friends did buy me books this birthday and they were great picks. The trouble is they were such great picks that I already have them. Unless you get the opportunity to stalk your writer’s bookshelves, both electronic and physical, you may find yourselves in the same situation.

So, if you can’t give a writer a kitten or books, what does that leave?

How about TIME?

Every writer I know would love more time. Time to write. Time to read. Time to perfect that manuscript before the deadline hits. Time to be Mum or Dad, catch up on chores, meet with friends. Time to take a nap, preferably with a cat or two.

One of my lovely sisters did in fact give me more time for my birthday. Not that it added any hours to my days, not even a minute. But as a writer who loves dragons, castles, reapers and anything fantastical, the time she did give me fits perfectly into my speculative fiction world.

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So next time you are looking to buy a gift for the writer in your life, don’t automatically reach for a kitten. Buy them some time instead. Who knows, it may help them stick to their deadlines.

 

Marching Along

We’ve hit March already and I’m still playing catch up from last year. But instead of panicking about how far behind I am, I’ve decided to reassess my goals. There are always so many projects I want to work on, but not enough time and energy to do so effectively. This means I’ve got half a dozen unfinished projects lurking in files and crying out for attention.

So I’ve decided to stop worrying about what I didn’t get to last year and will focus on more realistic goals and deadlines for 2016. That means taking it one day, one week and one month at a time, and giving myself some leeway for all the spanners that life likes to throw in every now and then.

For March that means doing a read through of Winged Reaper before I send it off to my beta readers. While I wait for their feedback I will finally be finishing a novella I started during NaNoWriMo a couple of years ago.

I’m also taking time out to attend a Queensland Writers’ Centre workshop in Gladstone. Not only is this a chance to learn something new, I get to spend time with a fabulous bunch of writers, meeting up with old friends and making new ones. I love being around people who don’t think it’s strange that I go weak at the knees in front of a stationery shop (love my notebooks) or that I carry on conversations with my characters in my head.

Well, that’s my plan for March. What is everyone else up to?20160302_075304

When wrangling the Muse is as dangerous as patting a cat?

I’m sure most people would not consider patting a cat to be a dangerous pastime, but then most people haven’t met my cat. Jackson didn’t earn his nickname of The Demon Cat for being cute and cuddly.

 

The trouble is that he looks cute and cuddly, with soft soft fur and the ability to make me forget that he is more likely to eat me than let me pat him. He likes to slink up to people, acting like he wants a pat, only to sink the teeth in when they try. He’s definitely the kind of cat who likes to be admired from afar. It’s okay for him to breech your personal space, but you risk life and limb if you attempt to breech his.

 

Honestly, considering he shares a name with one of my characters that is just as handsome yet dangerous, I shouldn’t be surprised when I wind up wounded. (More on the similarities between the cat Jackson and the character Jackson in a future post.)

 

Anyway, patting my cat is a dangerous prospect, not one to be undertaken lightly, and the same can be said for my muse on occasion.

 

Most of the time she behaves herself, finding inspiration wherever we go and making sure my creative well is filled with fresh and exciting story ideas, and letting me extract some on them without sinking her teeth into me. But sometimes she decides that the well is off limits and no amount of hair-pulling, begging or bribery gets her to change her mind. That is when it is time to back away from the muse and give her some space to work out her issues.

 

Sometimes those issues are resolved in the time it takes me to have a quick nap. Other times she needs longer and I read a book or two, or catch up on one of the television shows I have stockpiled on DVD. Then, once she is convinced the well is in no danger of being depleted of all precious resources, she lets me dip a hand in again and the words flow once more.

 

After having neglected my muse over the busy Christmas period she wasn’t inclined to let me near the well after I sent the kids off to school. But after much apologising on my part, a stint of catching up on season nine of Stargate SG1, binge watching seasons one and two of The 100, and a little light reading thrown in, she has forgiven me. The well is open, the muse is happy and it’s time to get back to writing.

 

Now, I wonder if the cat will let me pat him today?   20160128_115340

Could Your Book Obsession Be Lethal?

I’m quite comfortable with devising tortuous and deadly encounters for my heroines, I certainly put Tyler through the wringer in Lost Reaper, but it never occurred to me that reading books can be just as dangerous.

I mean, you would think reading is a fairly passive exercise. Then I thought about the reading habits I cultivated as a teenager (many years ago) and realised just how wrong I was.

Most book lovers would be familiar with the one-handed mode of operation. I could make a cup of tea, water the yard and complete most of the chores my mother set me with a book in one hand. I might have risked scalding myself with my tea, but at least my life wasn’t in danger.

At high school I would often walk from classroom to classroom while reading and I could not count the amount of times a teacher would confiscate my book because I’d been reading during class. Other than walking into a pole or winding up in detention, again, not so bad.

On sports days my friends and I would skip school to hang out at the library. We were such rebels. No smoking behind the toilets, skulking around the shopping centres or running wild in the streets for us. No, we rebelled by expanding our minds, escaping into other worlds and feeding our imaginations. It wouldn’t have been fun to get caught skipping school, but I could have lived with the punishment.

It was when I was on the way home from the library that I really put my life on the line. Unable to resist the lure of a new book, I would ride with one propped open on the handlebars of my bike. I have no idea how I did not have an accident whilst engaged in this most precarious of reading situations.

That gets me to wondering, how many other avid readers out there have risked their lives for the sake of a good book?

Does anyone else have a tale of death-defying book devotion to share?

How far would you go to read just one more chapter?

Multi-Tasking and the Muse

As I write this I am at my desk, sandwiched in the dining area, while two metres to my right builders are hammering and sawing away as they work on a room extension. Not exactly the best environment for me to be creating the sequel to Lost Reaper, Winged Reaper. I’m three quarters of the way through the first draft and continually getting distracted by anything and everything, not just the building project happening in my backyard.

I can console myself with the knowledge that the building project will not last forever, and that at the end of it not only will I have gained a new bedroom, but this will free up space for me to create my very own library/study that I can read and write in to my heart’s content. But even though the builders will eventually leave, many other distractions remain.

As a stay-at-home mum, with one child at school and another at kindergarten part of the week, the hours I have to write without interruption are few and far between. I try to set myself goals for each day, gluing myself to the desk until I’ve achieved my word count, but some days it is a struggle to even get near the computer. My family and friends all know I’ll be home so some days I have a stream of visitors popping in for a cuppa and a chat. Then there are the days the school or kindergarten rings and I have to race off to pick up a sick child. And don’t get me started on the phone calls. I mean, seriously, some days I swear the telemarketers have my picture up on the wall and are throwing darts at it, I get that many calls.

So I’ve learned to steal a few moments here and there. Doing the dishes, washing my hair, getting the washing in, these are great times to ponder a plot point or work out the kinks in a bit of dialogue. Driving in the car, radio off, once I’ve dropped the kids off or I am on my way to pick them up is another great moment to consider what happens next in my story. But more often than not, it’s after I’ve gone to bed that my muse starts to fill my head with ideas. I keep a notebook handy for late night flashes of inspiration and wake up the next day eager to get to the computer and turn those flashes into a story. I’ll be even more eager to get to work once I have a brand new study to hide away in.

So, what keeps you awake at night? Is it your muse or are you too tired from a day of multi-tasking to do anything but sleep and dream big?