Blog

Blog

Happy New Year!

This holiday season has looked very different to any that have gone before, and was very different for everyone depending on where they were in the world. Wherever you are, whatever degree of restrictions you are currently subject to, I hope that your holiday period was as enjoyable as humanly possible.

I was very quiet on the blog front for the second half of last year, as I was deep in the writing and publishing process of two brand new supernatural short stories, Bedouin Boy and Grave Bargains. My blogging efforts have been inconsistent at best in recent times, so I have set myself a blogging goal for 2021 which I feel will be more achievable.

I post much more regularly on my socials, so if you would like a daily injection of writing, reading and general inspiration (and beach sunset photos), be sure to follow @katekelsenauthor and like my Facebook author page.

On New Year’s Day, I made myself a pot of my favourite black tea and sat on my balcony with my new diary and brainstormed a masterplan for 2021, including absolutely everything I wanted to do this year. This plan includes study goals, writing, publishing and marketing goals, and also some personal and spiritual goals for good measure.

I divided my year up into four quarters of 90-day periods, and made plans for what I want to achieve in those periods. I am going to start off each of these 90 day periods with a blog post to share with you what I am up to, including my progress from the previous three months and what I have planned for the following three months. If time permits, I will try and post an update on here once a month. I intend to eventually turn these updates into a newsletter, when I get around to setting up my author newsletter. For now, I will work with what I have, which is this blog. If you’d like to see more frequent updates on what I’m up to, and receive more regular injections of inspiration, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

My publishing theme for 2021, at least for the first half of the year, is ‘Nothing New’.

This year is very much going to be about the completion of projects that have been in the works over the past 12-24 months. Most of my previously published titles are now available as eBooks, and in 2021 I will be focusing on completing my book distribution with the print versions. By January 2021, I want all of my previously published books to be available in both print and eBook, so that in the New Year I can shift my focus completely to new writing and publishing projects.

2021 marks ten years since the publishing of my first book, The Wilted Rose. I am aiming to re-release the print version of The Wilted Rose in March, and publish the long-awaited sequel in October in time for Mental Health Week. I have some exciting plans to celebrate this ten-year anniversary and the new release in the coming months- watch this space!

I will also be diving back into book marketing and promotion, something that has been basically non-existent for me and my books in 2020. Last year, everyone was extremely distracted, and for the most part book marketing and promotion felt like a bit if a waste of time. In order to deal with what was going on, I focused on reconnecting with the pure joy of writing, which was the fuel I needed to face the challenges of the pandemic, and a much-needed escape and distraction. In 2021, I aim to get my head back into this marketing and promotion space, and hopefully start selling some books! Make sure you keep an eye on this blog and my socials for book promotions and giveaways.

As for writing, for NaNoWriMo 2020, I started the first draft for the sequel to The Wilted Rose, which I am continuing to work on in these early months of 2021. I am hoping to have this first draft completed by the end of March, and well on the way to completion by June.

I am also continuing to collect stories for Wander Woman, my upcoming collection of women’s travel stories, and start a travel blog to which this book will be connected, and where I will also share my past travel experiences. If you are a woman with a unique travel experience, please get in touch. I am not looking for trips to Bali with the girls- I am looking for stories from women who have traveled off the beaten track, or who have overcome some adversity in order to travel, e.g. disability or hardship. If you know someone who has a story that might be suitable, please pass this information onto them. I have already received some incredibly inspiring stories, which I cannot wait to share in this book.

My professional study goals include finishing my Certificate 3 in Business, and start my Certificate 3 in Fitness. My personal study goals include completing The Artist’s Way.

Last year was so full of fear. Fear of uncertainty, of the unknown. Last year I gave away so much of my time, energy and mental space to the fear. In 2021, I am giving COVID the absolute bare minimum attention required. I will be sensible and safe of course. I am not in denial of reality. But this year, my blinkers are on, and I am focusing on my goals. I hope you will join me on this journey, and that my example can be of inspiration to you. I love communicating with my community, so if you would like to reach out, please do. If I can be of any assistance to your creative journey in 2021, please let me know.

Your creativity is a source of strength during these challenging times, and I implore you to draw on it in 2021. When times are tough it can be hard to motivate yourself and find the mental, emotional and physical energy to be creative. But creativity is a source of energy in itself, and sometimes we have to put the proverbial horse before the cart and be creative in order to replenish our energy levels. Sometimes we just need to show up, for ourselves and our creative endeavours, and do the thing even when we don’t feel like it, and we will be delighted to discover how inspired we feel as a result. And, of course, let ourselves rest when we need to.

We all knew that January 1st, 2021 wasn’t going to be the magical day when everything went back to ‘normal’. To the contrary, this year is already presenting new, unique challenges. But if we can take this New Year off its pedestal of expectations, and let it be what it will be, we will be much more content as a result. This can be a great year, if we choose to make it so.

Let’s do this!

Blog

What Now?

Yesterday I posted an update on what I’ve been up to writing and publishing wise these past few months while I’ve been quiet on the blog front. With the publishing of Bedouin Boy on Halloween and Grave Bargains on Friday the 13th of November, my publishing goals for the year have wrapped up, but its full steam ahead when it comes to writing.

I’ve now switched my attention to writing the first draft of my new work-in-progress, a sequel to my first book The Wilted Rose. In October 2021 I will be celebrating ten years since publishing the first edition of The Wilted Rose, so it will be very fitting to release the sequel next year. I am aiming to do this around March, but no date has been set yet. For now I am taking the foot off the pedal, and am going to enjoy working on this story at a leisurely pace over the holiday season. I’m using NaNoWriMo this year to get a head start.

The below image captures the early stages of the prequel planning process, unfolding last Sunday afternoon on my mum’s front porch in Brisbane, Australia. Creativity fuelled by wine, cheese and crackers. I have since written an overall story outline, and a scene outline. Just yesterday I finally started on the writing process. Here goes!

Blog

UPDATE: New Releases

Hello hello!

I’ve been quiet on the blog front for the past few months, as I have been so busy with study and working on my two new releases, Bedouin Boy and Grave Bargains, ahead of their release dates on Halloween and Friday the 13th of November. I am still sharing my Daily Writing Inspiration posts over on Instagram, so if you’d like to keep seeing them you can find me @katekelsenauthor.

I wanted to jump on quickly and share about my two new releases.

It all started back in late May, when I decided to revise and republish Grave Bargains, a supernatural short story I originally published a few years ago. I had an idea for a prequel to explore the background of my main character Jasem, and the events that lead him to become a sinister vigilante seeking justice for the dead in Grave Bargains. I also discovered that there was a Friday the 13th only a fortnight after Halloween this year, and this was how my goal was born. I decided I would spend the next five months working on these two stories, and publish Bedouin Boy on Halloween and Grave Bargains on Friday the 13th of November.

I didn’t think I was going to get Bedouin Boy published by Halloween. As I worked on the story, more and more ideas continued to flood my imagination, ideas which were adding more and more layers to the concept. I was researching and learning so much in the process, about Bedouin nomadic tribes, pre-Islamic paganism, Arabic black magic and geomancy divination. But I was faced with a serious dilemma- these ideas were fantastic and I wanted to include them because I knew it would make the story fuller and stronger, but I had a deadline set, and the more time went on the less likely it seemed the story would be finished by October 31st. However I knew the detail would only benefit my story, even if it meant I had to delay the release of Bedouin Boy for two weeks to give me extra time. In the end I didn’t need the extra two weeks, and I achieved my goal of publishing on Halloween.

It has been a busy five months working on Bedouin Boy and Grave Bargains, and I certainly had my moments of doubt that it would be done in time. But here they are! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing them!

BEDOUIN BOY

Bedouin Boy tells the story of Jasem Bahar who, having inherited psychic abilities from his mother, attempts to use his gifts for the greater good but instead finds himself on unlikely journey seeking justice for the dead. From the Negev Desert in Israel to the cities of New York and Los Angeles, Bedouin Boy is an intriguing story with equally intriguing characters, with a mix of history, reinvention, crime, inheritance and horror.

Bedouin Boy is available for purchase HERE

Also available from Kobo and Google Play Books

GRAVE BARGAINS:

In the wake of a life-shattering act of betrayal, Dylan is determined to bury the past and start fresh. His good intentions are challenged by a sinister stranger, who is determined to dig up his sins, and threatens to jeopardize his efforts to make amends.

Grave Bargains is available for purchase HERE

Also available from Kobo and Google Play Books