I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been bored at all since lockdown. In fact, I’ve had more to do than usual.

I miss going out to folk dancing, which won’t take place for another month, and that date, of course, relies on the coronavirus figures going down. Fortunately, they are, despite the gradual relaxation of the rules.

What have I been doing all this time? It’s hard to remember. There have been a lot of Zoom meetings of different sorts. I’ve written, and edited, and submitted. Lately, I’ve been trying to keep afloat in a vast sea called Self-Publishing. (More about that, later.)

What I want to tell you now is that this book:

Dark London Volume OneDark London Volume One

is available for pre-order from Amazon and will be released by Darkstroke on 25th June.

This is a collection of short stories from authors across the world – Miriam Drori, Jess Popplewell, Ted Bun, Anne-Marie Ormsby, Kate Braithwaite, Donna Cuttress, Sue Barnard, Sam Hall and Cathie Dunn – with a special foreword text from international bestselling London author, Alice Castle.

Yes, that’s me up there.

All monies received will go to two London-based charities – The London Community Foundation and Centrepoint.

If you pre-order now, the book will land in your e-reader on launch day and you’ll have helped those charities. Here’s the link again.

UPDATE: Volume Two can also be pre-ordered now from here.

At the beginning of this month, I pledged to:

  • Read 1 book
  • Write 2 short stories
  • Write 3 poems
  • Do 4 submissions
  • Write 5 blog posts

How did I do with that?

I read more than one book. In fact I read two whole books (although one was very short). I also finished the one I’d been reading before May, I gave up on one book part of the way through because I wasn’t enjoying it, and I started another that’s interesting but heavy-going. Not bad!

I wrote one short story and two poems.

If you count two submissions to the same competition separately, then I managed four submissions.

And this is my fifth blog post this month.

I also did quite a lot of work on my WIP. And I gave my first ever author talk, which went well and led to a lively discussion. So altogether I’m very pleased with what I’ve achieved this month. I think, in general, goals are good, as long as they are realistic and you allow yourself some leeway.

Next month I will mostly be preparing for an exciting time ahead.

Flyer for author talk

The people at Crooked Cat (who are going to publish my novel, NEITHER HERE NOR THERE, in 20 days’ time) have produced an anthology of 20 short stories written by 20 Crooked Cat authors.

The wonderful thing about anthologies is the way they are so varied. Each story is written by a different author in a different genre with a different theme and set in a different place. And all of these are interesting, well-crafted stories.

I came to a decision about short stories: they need to be read in one go. Fortunately this is not hard, because each story takes only a few minutes to read. But it’s no good starting a story last thing at night when sleep will probably take over before I’ve reached the end. When I pick it up again in the morning, or later, it’s hard to remember what went before. Short stories are great for bus or train rides, as long as you’re going further than one stop.

Anyway, this anthology is free from Crooked Cat Books and Smashwords, and definitely worth a download.