#NaNoWriMo Day 7 update. #amwriting #NaNoWriMo2017 #WIP @Gingerbread

So today is day seven of NaNoWriMo 2017. The target is to end today on 11,666 words if you were doing the 1,667 words a day.

I have to say that, so far, NaNo is going remarkably well! I can’t believe how well. My average daily word count is 2,714 which is fab and unexpected. My book has just flowed, I haven’t felt stuck or unsure of what to write next, as long as I can think of the first sentence in the morning then the rest just flows.

I’ve no idea what it’s like to plan a novel and write it according to the plan as I’m a pantser through and through but what I am loving about writing is how I just don’t know where things are going. I often think as I sit down to write that character x is going to do y but when it comes to it character x actually does something completely different and unexpected.

This book currently has one chapter told from each character’s perspective which is something that I’ve never written before. I also decided to change tense a couple of days ago so I am going to have to re-write 12,000 odd words which is annoying. A lot of my book is also set in the online world which I’m finding quite fun to write.

A couple of months ago I saw a post on Twitter by the charity Gingerbread. Gingerbread focuses on single parents and supporting them, they do a lot of good work and I know are a lifeline to many single parents. Together with publisher Trapeze Books, they have a competition for people with experience of single parenting, either by being one or having had one and to write a fiction book with a single parenting theme. I loved this, how great to set out to make books with diverse characters that represent the varied world that we live in and as a single parent myself I was immediately keen to take part.

I thought about it for a bit and talked to a single parent friend of mine and together we brainstormed and came up with a concept. Over the next few weeks, the ideas niggled my brain and I came up with various ideas before settling on my incredibly vague that I am now writing.

I need to submit 5,000 words in early September, along with a synopsis and short bio. So, while I’m doing NaNo I also have in my head that I have to have a really polished and fantastic 5,000 to submit which I have to admit, is more than a little bit scary. I’ve also never written a synopsis and as I currently have no idea what will happen past the point that I have written so I need to keep writing so that I know where the book is going.

Ok, I’m starting to feel my stress levels rising just writing about it!! Any advice or tips most welcome!!!

So, now what you have all been waiting for…my total wordcount currently stands at…19,000 words!!! Woohoo!!!! I have to say that I am really very happy about that!

If you are interested in the competition then you can find out more about it here.

Blog Tour & Review: Dark Minds by Bloodhound books.

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Publishers, Bloodhound books, have done something very special. They have brought together a group of crime authors and each of them has written a short story that together makes up the new book, Dark Minds. The proceeds of the book go to two amazing charities, Hospice UK and Sophie’s Appeal making the book even more special.

You can watch a promo video of the book to get you in the mood, but there are so many authors contributing to Dark Minds that everyone is bound to find something that they enjoy. Perfect Christmas present I think, so much so that my brother will be getting a copy.

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I was sent one story to read but I really wanted to support the book and was keen to read many of the stories by some of my favourite crime authors so I also bought an ebook of it. I’m still reading the book but loving it, I’ve never read short stories before, it’s something that I’ve never really been interested in but I think that Dark Minds has changed my mind. I’m enjoying the fast pace and the stories are short meaning that I can read one or two in a sitting which works well for me. At 400 pages the book is a big one, but broken down into smaller stories it is easy to read. As I haven’t finished the whole book yet I’m just going to talk about the stories that I have read.

15542133_1185300924868380_8347541699500614332_nAuthor B.A.Morton kicks the book off with the story Ten Green Bottles, telling the story of Zoe who wakes up in hospital, covered in blood that isn’t all her own she slowly pieces together the pieces of what happened and faces the full consequences of her actions. Is it her fault that people died?

londoncrawling-darkminds Next Emma Pullar gives us something completely different. Jody leaves work to find London deserted, a thick fog covers everything and she has no mobile reception. As she walks the empty streets she can’t help feeling spooked but is there a good reason for that? Of course there is! This book was really creepy and definitely got under my skin!

theshoe-darkmindsThe fabulous Louise Jensen‘s The Shoes Maketh The Man gives us some twists and turns as Bill, an old man living in a nasty area fearful of being attacked in his own home like many other pensioners in the area. When he hears his upstairs neighbour Bill’s reaction is not what you think it will be, that’s for sure! She has another book out this week, The Gift, and this short story has made me determined to read it soon.

15621584_1313581865350367_6086013827764944870_n-1Then comes Never Tell a Lie by Tara Lyons who co-authored The Caller which I really enjoyed. I loved her story about a man working in a coffee shop and looking for the woman for him. He has some unusual ideas about what that might mean though!! Yikes.

15590180_1313623128679574_8747783979732814351_nRichard Burke gives us his story, A Christmas Killing about a man who gets an intriguing delivery and has some very strange things in his fridge. The story leaves you guessing and trying to get your head around just what it is that is in his fridge.

15622219_1314657988576088_4639021279306110985_nAuthor Betsy Reavley who has published two brilliant book this year, The Optician’s Wife and Frailty, doesn’t disappoint with the unsettling By The Water, about a woman who finds herself in a river covered in blood, did a doctor’s attempt to cure her from her mental health problems actually cause more damage?

15578915_1315061125202441_1666168732298414783_nNext up is Tony Cox with his story, A Cup of Coffee and a Slice of Life. A man in a cafe overhears two old ladies talking about old times, it all seems innocent until the woman start to talk about events that are anything but innocent. This story gave me the shivers.

15349549_1315098708532016_7459202053480914597_nS.E. Lynes gives us Slow Roast Pork, a woman’s husband goes missing and she deals with it by cooking. Guests get given plenty to eat, including the police who particularly enjoy her roast pork. But is all as it seems?! This one got under my skin, and the end was not what I was expecting!

dark-minds-strangers-eyesFinally, I read Paul Gitsham‘s story, A Stranger’s Eyes. In this story, we follow a man who wakes up in a hotel room, beaten and bloodied he can’t remember anything, not even who he is. In his room, he finds a stash of money and soon enough a knock at the door tells him that whatever he has done, the police want to talk to him about it. Panicked he runs, but what is it he did and will he get caught by the police?

 

So far I have enjoyed all of the stories and I hope that many of you are tempted enough to buy a copy for yourself or for someone as a present. It always feels even better buying something when the proceeds go to two amazing charities. I will be publishing my full review when I have finished the complete book.

Dark Minds is out now and available from Amazon UKAmazon USWaterstones and all good book stores.