Category Archives: On Writing

On Writing

NaNoWriMo Prep Rally!

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It’s that time again folks. National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it is affectionately known, is around the corner, peeping back at us from beyond the weekend. 50,000 words of first draft in 30 fun-filled days.

It can be a time of wild desperation for some, unbridled imagination for others. For me, it’s a bit of both.

People have been planning, strategising, outlining – some plot every single step of the way. Others don’t. But everyone preps in some fashion, even if it’s only in stolen thoughts of the month to come, thinking, Wow, I should have done more prep by now…

Either way, when the flag falls, I’ll be there. I’ve finished (and therefore won!) three years in a row. This will be my fourth endeavour.

It’s such a good time for me creatively. Watching a graph of your word count take on the ideal diagonal line is a statistical carrot on a stick (/whip) that drives me to succeed. It makes me prioritise my writing and rally with other authors doing the same. Everyone’s on the same side with a common goal, cheering one another on. No one wants anyone else to fail and you don’t win over the fallen carcasses of your foes, so it’s a special kind of competition with a special place in my heart. Like craps.

Publishing The Night Butterflies came out of my first NaNo skirmish, and this year I’m going to complete the first draft of the final book in my fantasy trilogy in progress, The Luminosa. There is so much work to do when the month is done, but that month is so important. It’s a battle cry that echoes through infinite fictional worlds as well as this one, and sets the intent for success.

So wish me luck! And good luck to you if you have a book of your own to bring home this November – be bold! I’ll see you on the battlefield…

Worlds Gone Wrong

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This week, Vancouver is holding its Writers Fest on funky Granville Island. When I looked at the schedule, I was so excited to see dystopia with a starring role, despite it meaning I was now compelled to drive across the city to attend (I haven’t shared much about moving to the city yet, but safe to say driving in it is one of the downsides!).

It was fascinating. I wasn’t previously acquainted with all the speakers, though it was brilliant to see a New Zealand author there – Anna Smaill, whose book The Chimes was long-listed for the Man Booker last year. Passionate Charlotte Wood, droll MG Vassanji, and the astute Michael Helm made up the panel, with Claudia Casper hosting.

I’ve talked and written about dystopia so much – with students and lecturers at Cambridge, with other readers since, with other writers more recently, but just as it is with the plethora of books that keep coming out in the genre, while similar themes abounded, the conversation was unique. The discussion ranged around a world of issues and the issues of writing different worlds – worlds gone wrong. The speakers were engaging, their excerpts intriguing and they lit a fire under me to do more with my writing.

The tagline of the Vancouver Writers Fest is: Reimagine Your World. I can’t think of anything more fitting for a writer of dystopia, or for anyone at the moment. The world is full of upheaval. Social arenas online and off are full of politics and vitriol. And so many people are struggling, with personal and public battles.

These writers have reached into a troubled collective psyche and brought nightmare worlds to life. Nightmares that don’t seem as far away as they should; nightmares that are, in a sense, already here.

But it’s important to recognise that the opposite also holds true. So long as we can imagine, we can imagine something better. We can imagine a solution. We can escape.

Whatever your challenges and concerns right now, take a moment and reimagine your world. Imagine a better one. Believe it’s possible. And work towards it.

Another Time, Another Place

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Another time, another place

What could have, would have, been?

The ghost of unfulfillment

A parallel world’s dream

The hinge that the tide turns on

A moment lost in time

Opportunities and choices

That might have made you mine

Turning points and pathways

A whisper of regret

But in another lifetime

We might have never met

(c)2016 Sara Litchfield

A Singular Announcement

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I’ve not songed and danced enough about the latest publication I’m involved in. It is a book of blood. It may cause you sweat and tears. And it comes with a wee warning: Tis not for those who cannot read outside the box; tis not for those who are too scared to peek under the bed.

This book is a collaboration. Helena Hann-Basquiat recruited writers of intrigue from around the world to join together and produce something that’s a bit meta. Call it paranormal thriller, call it psychological horror, call it what you will. It comes from the place where the creepy crawlies hide.

The author gathered voices in the same way the grim reaper gathers souls and trapped them in the pages. If you want a taster of the type of things they have to say, read Voices – a short story collection that is teaser and terror combined. To read reviews of Singularity, visit Goodreads. To meet the authors, go to Pen Paper Pad, where the wonderful Tamara Woods explored what makes our characters tick. For some background, go straight to the source and read about the route down the rabbit hole: The Road So Far. Also, there be trailers – character trailers as well as a taste of the whole that you can view below.

At the time of writing, there are sixty hours left to order from Indiegogo. If the target is hit, it will continue to be possible to order bundles and bonuses. If it’s not – this is your last chance to get a starter, side or desert with your main.

Singularity is here. Turn all the lights on, get ready to dive under the covers, sneak a sideways glance at the monster in your closet, and succumb to the shadows.

 

Sir Terry Pratchett – A Thank You

Terry Pratchett

‘THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE.’ – Death, Night Watch

My thank you sounds out from upon a disc, which sits upon the backs of four elephants, who stand on the back of a giant turtle, named Great A’Tuin. Who knows what he makes of this turn of events.

My thank you is so loud and so heartfelt that it can hopefully cross oceans without falling off the edge, cross universes without becoming lost in translation, cross even the borders between life and death without getting lost.

Every Hogswatch for a long, long time, I received a staple gift from the Hogfather – the latest Terry Pratchett, the latest Discworld feast for the senses. In this universe, words do more than meet your eyes – they get inside your mind and take up residence there. They treat the place like their own and turn things upside down and inside out and make you crease with laughter and tears more often than you’d think any combination of words in any collection of works possibly could. Words that are seriously funny, but also seriously clever. And, sometimes, seriously serious. There is often a message in the madness, scathing satire in the sands.

If I can make a scratch on the wall of the world even a millionth in depth of the mark made by Terry Pratchett, I will have achieved something. Books that make me laugh out loud, but also make me stop and think, but also make me grieve, but also make me cartwheel at the triumph of craft are among my most treasured possessions – thanks to Discworld, I have whole shelves of them.

It’s heartbreaking, of course, that there’ll be nothing new from someone taken too soon – that’s a refrain I’ve heard a lot these past days. But, oh my life, who else has left us so much? Terry Pratchett knew how to make moving pictures with words. He knew the colour of magic. Thanks to him, we can read all about it in the words he’s left behind. Words with a life of their own. So, thank you, Terry Pratchett, thank you for every single word.

What Happens Over Coffee With Helena Hann-Basquiat

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Something a bit different again this week! As I invite you to be a fly on the wall. The inimitable Helena Hann-Basquiat invited me for a coffee, and this is what happened… One thing I will say before I hand over to Helena – make sure to click the PUBSLUSH link at the very, very end. Anyone who isn’t yet a Dilettante fan is in for a treat!

In October 2014, Sara Litchfield released her first novel, The Night Butterflies. Helena Hann-Basquiat currently has a Pubslush campaign taking pre-orders for Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two, and is also publishing a Shakespearean-style play, a tragi-comedy called Penelope, Countess of Arcadia. They sat down across International Time Zones to chat.

Overheard over coffee at Helena’s…

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

Well, Sara, this time zone thing is quite strange. So I’m going to ask what everyone in the Western Hemisphere wants to know — what are tomorrow’s winning lottery numbers?

me2

I’m afraid I’m keeping that under my hat! I don’t want to mess with the space-time continuum.

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

Timey-wimey and all that. I get it. Now, I’d offer you a beverage, but as it’s kind of tea time for you and nearly bed-time for me, I’m not sure what to offer. I did have the very strangest drink this evening, by a soda company called Jones Soda — it was Peanut Butter and Jelly flavoured soda.

me2

Well, with my nut-allergy, I’ll definitely pass on that! Wrong on so many levels! A cup of English breakfast is always my preference, though I do fancy a chai latte now and again as a treat.

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

Would you believe that it was NUT FREE???? Worrying, I’d say. I’m glad I tried it, but I never want another again. And Chai lattes are a special treat now and again, aren’t they?

me2

Haha no way – and I’m still not tempted.. But a chai is deeeelicious.

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

So, I confess, I’ve been looking forward to sitting down and talking to you ever since I finished Night Butterflies — but life and time zones, and Pubslushes and such. But here we are.

me2

It’s a pleasure! Sorry I’ve been hard to pin down myself, moving country every two weeks… Congratulations on the campaign being live!

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

Thank you – yes, your vagabond lifestyle has definitely kept you in the wind. Did you get any inspiration from travelling? Any new insights?

me2

Definitely – the funniest ideas come to me when I’m sleep-deprived and in transit for one! But I also try and capture the feeling of excitement I get on entering a new country, with the boundless possibilities lying in the landscape, and try to pin that feeling into words – I want people to feel that kind of excitement when they turn a page of my books-to-be.

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

Sleep deprivation tends to be an inspiration for me. The last three days I’ve woken in the middle of the night, and after tossing and turning for a couple hours, I start dreaming up story ideas. Sometimes I ask myself the strangest questions – like, “What if Jessica B. Bell had written The Velveteen Rabbit?”

me2

Haha! Gosh, maybe she did! That is one creepy piece of work…

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

Wait ’til I’m done with it…

me2

Was your Star-Crossed (People of the Manatii) idea a middle-of-the-night episode?

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

NO… would you believe the genesis of that came from my daughter? She had come to me with a story idea about an island of women, and mermaids and such — and I dumped in a spoonful of Lord of the Flies, an ounce of Heart of Darkness, and just a pinch of Call of Cthulu and Dagon by H.P. Lovecraft, and it became something a bit more mature. She still helps be brainstorm stuff for it every now and again.

me2

That’s amazing!! I wish I’d kept a log of some of the out-of-the-box ideas that came to me as a child – I’m sure I could work with them now! I can see those elements – and having been privileged to sneak a peek at the first part, I am so over-excited to read the next!

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

All good things… now, you and I happen to share a favourite book — do you want to talk a bit about how Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 influenced Night Butterflies?

me2

Well, from the starting line in both – we’re playing with fire. Burning, on so many levels, permeates TNB as well as F451 – burning up, burning out, incineration of ideas and hope.. And there’s a return from an internal inferno – a revolution against turning free-thinking to ash.

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

I saw a lot of parallels in terms of blind acceptance — in Fahrenheit, people voluntarily drug themselves to accept the state of society — it’s a bit harsher in Butterflies. I also saw a lot of Faber — the retired university professor from Fahrenheit — in Butterflies. That sort of shell-shocked, cowardly response. Hiding from the truth of things.

me2

Yes – there’s definitely a retreat and regression, partly-medicated but partly from the loss of a will to fight on. And you have people playing the opposite of their roles – Mothers who are not nurturing, leaders and scientists who are not improving or progressing welfare, just as firemen are starting fires, not quenching them – hurting people rather than helping.

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

Oh, what a great way to put it – that role reversal. Forgive me if I’ve asked before, but have you read Wyndham’s Midwich Cuckoos? (Readers might be familiar with the film version Village of the Damned). The kids in Butterflies are every bit as creepy as the kids from Cuckoos.

me2

No but I know the film! And when you mentioned it, it went straight on my to-read list!

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

Brilliant. And Handmaid’s Tale by Atwood. Big influence on me – in fact, I once described the whole People of the Manatii trilogy as a mix of Handmaid’s Tale, Lord of the Flies and Lovecraft. A strange mix, but I’m a strange person.

me2

Ah I’d agree with that – the description of the book rather than you! Atwood is a massive influence. The Handmaid’s Tale is a story that stays with you. Have you read Oryx and Crake?

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

Yes, and Year of the Flood — but haven’t read the newest one in that line. She’s a force of nature. But then, so are you, I think. You, like our mutual friend Lizzi, seem bent on making the world a better place. Can you tell me what brought about this philosophy of yours — the whole Right Ink on the Wall idea?

me2

Ah! To be mentioned like that along with Atwood & Lizzi is beyond compliment thank you! The philosophy of Right Ink On The Wall began as the story behind my editing business. I believe in the power of naming, and I just really wanted to convey in a play-on-words the idea that what we do matters. That the world is like a wall on which we leave our mark. And that whatever we write, whatever we do – we should remember that it is recorded, and aim to leave the right sort of ink behind us for others to witness, encouraging them to live a life of ideas as well – one worth reading. The root is the doom-laden phrase ‘the writing on the wall’, which I reclaimed in a fashion – we may have these short lives, but that gives us a reason to really live. Lots more on the background here if you want to go a bit deeper – http://rightinkonthewall.com/2013/08/whats-in-a-name/

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

I think it’s an excellent reminder. I’ve left such a mess behind, I’m trying to embrace it ironically and hope no one notices. But speaking of the past, I really go into it with Volume Two of Memoirs. I remember you and I just happened to stumble into each other on line when I was writing one of the more painful stories.

me2

Ah yes, but you can really learn something from making a mess. And sharing your past makes one hell of a read! Very excited to receive Volume Two. When I first spied you on that Valentine’s, it was literally love at first read. If I remember a’right, both instalments of the story were freshly-pressed – it blew so may people away. So if that’s the stuff Volume Two is made of, I’ll start stock-piling tissues now!

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

I do feel like I picked up a better stride with Volume Two, as far as storytelling goes. But don’t worry, there are plenty of laughs as well. I can’t stand just one flavour. Always have to keep moving on to the next thing. So what do you have on the go at the moment? Any new writing projects?

me2

I look forward to the laughs as well then! Well, I have a fantasy trilogy in the telling, tentatively-titled The Luminosa… Another dark world where the question is whether hope can win out in the end…

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

Well, like Penny says, ‘It’s all about the trilogy, bitches…”

Have you done much writing on it? Or is it still in the brainstorming stage? Part two – how much planning do you usually do before you just dive in?

me2

Well I wrote the first draft of the first book during NaNoWriMo, as I did for TNB – so there’s a hot mess there to tidy up! Parts 2 and 3 require some heavy-duty brainstorming, which will be a departure from my norm – which is minimal planning, maximum pantsing, seeing where the words take me.

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

It can be surprising. I started writing this morning, not knowing exactly where it would go — I just had a scene in my head and about 3/4 of the way through I suddenly realized what I had, and the excitement just took over. But I can’t say any more about that just yet…

me2

Ooh, the suspense! I never know what you’re going to come out with next – you seem able to master so many styles / genres – so it’s always very exciting!

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

You know, I actually don’t know what to do with myself when I’m not working on a project! And I’m thrilled that we’re going to get to work on one together very soon! Sounds like we’re both going to have exciting years.

me2

Absolutely! I can’t wait to see what comes out of it! Thank you for inviting me on board the Dilettante express.

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

Okay, a couple of random questions:

a) Blue and Black or White and Gold and b) You go to a record store. You have London Calling by The Clash, Small Change by Tom Waits, Automatic for the People by R.E.M. and Let it Be by The Beatles in your hands, but you can ONLY buy one. Which one do you buy?

me2

Oh lord, that bloody dress – white and gold. And in perfect harmony with my thoughts on a), my other answer is Let It Be!

——

 

me2Born in the English midlands, Sara earned a Masters in Theology at the University of Cambridge before becoming a reluctant big-four accountant in London. She is now recovering in the southern hemisphere, where she devotes herself to all things words and wonderful from her base in Middle Earth (sometimes known as New Zealand). She blogs on happiness and hope at www.rightinkonthewall.com, which is also home to her editing business and publishing division, RIW Press – all aim to make the right mark on the wall of the world.

http://authorsaralitchfield.com/books/

https://www.facebook.com/rightinkonthewallbysaralitchfield

https://twitter.com/saralitchfield

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8729036.Sara_Litchfield

http://www.pinterest.com/rightink/right-ink-on-the-wall-by-sara-litchfield/

CoverIt is always dark. Warmer than it should be. The sun is a dull glower of reproach, only sometimes visible through the fallout. A once-majestic university town is crumbled, ashen and divided. The Men have made their home the Facility, where they develop the medication to combat the radiation that would otherwise kill those left alive.
 –
Another day at school for Teacher. Another morning of bullying and torment from a batch of doll-like triplets more violent and unbalanced by the day. They are the nightmare product of Project Eden, the operation devised by Leader for the survival of the community, seeded in the Mothers without their consent.
 –
Teacher has hope. She has a secret. When it is uncovered by Jimmy-1, a triplet who might be different, what will it mean for his future and hers?
 –
Not just another dystopian novel. New author Sara Litchfield explores what it means to be a child, a mother and a monster in a chilling world devoid of comfort.

NOTE TO READERS:

I LOVED this book. I’d go door to door selling this book. Here’s the review I wrote on Amazon:

In a world saturated by Hunger Games clones, The Night Butterflies is a refreshing, intelligent, well written alternative to the pseudo-dystopian novels that currently fill the shelves. This is no teenage angsty love triangle story. The characters in this novel aren’t complaining that their freedom or rights have been taken from them — they are, instead, stripped of their very humanity. In a post-war world where the very air is poison, Men and Women are separated, as a mysterious Leader and his circle of Men seek to develop medicine to keep everyone alive, but also, that thing that is crucial for a species to continue — healthy procreation.
This is where they have gone wrong — as wrong as possible — and the Mothers live in fear of their cruel, compassionless, inhumane children.
But suddenly, something begins to change for a couple of the characters, and a ray of hope begins to shine. Some of the children appear to be different, and some of the Mothers appear to be waking up from the drug induced stupors they usually stay in.

Lichfield uses multiple narrators, each with unique voices, even incorporating a sort of raw patois for one of the narrators, a young man who has not learned how to speak correctly. This was an inspired choice of storytelling method, giving the reader multiple points of view, and glimpses into the thoughts, fears, and motivations of each character.

One of my favourite novels of all time is Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, along with Wyndham’s Midwich Cuckoos, Moore’s V for Vendetta and Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale. Sara Lichfield’s The Night Butterflies handles the topic of degradation and fear, and a society that has forgotten how to be human with equal skill and maturity. The rediscovery of the joys of connection with other human beings that happens with her characters is just as powerful as, for instance, Guy Montag’s awakening in Fahrenheit 451.

She is a truly gifted writer, and I will be adding this book to my list of books I read every year or so just to remind me why I read and why I write. To try — to keep trying — to create something as beautiful and inspiring as this.

—-

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettanteThe enigmatic Helena Hann-Basquiat dabbles in whatever she can get her hands into just to say that she has.

Some people attribute the invention of the Ampersand to her, but she has never made that claim herself.

Last year, she published Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One, and is about to release Volume Two, along with a Shakespearean style tragi-comedy, entitled Penelope, Countess of Arcadia.

Helena writes strange, dark fiction under the name Jessica B. Bell. VISCERA, a collection of strange tales, will be published by Sirens Call Publications later this year. Find more of her writing at http://www.helenahb.com or and http://www.whoisjessica.com Connect with her via Twitter @HHBasquiat , and keep up with her ever growing body of work at GOODREADS, or visit her AMAZON PAGE

Available now! image06 JESSICA image07

BECOME A FAN at PUBSLUSH and pre-order Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two and Penelope, Countess of Arcadia

A Little Bit O’ Fan & A Wee Smidgen O’ Fare

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(c) 2013 NKW-Illustration. All Rights Reserved.

I feel torn into two people at the moment: Personal Me and Professional Me. They could as easily be called Whiney Me and Writer Me.

Whiney Me still has what’s left of her heart weighed down with an anchor. She wakes and huddles in the covers, limbs heavy, takes a peek into the cavity in her chest and continues to feel sad that she doesn’t miraculously feel better post break-up. She holds out hope, though, that one day she’ll wake up grinning again.

Writer Me has much to do, gearing up to win National Novel Writing Month at the end of the week and trying furiously make sense of her story, all while watching last year’s effort spread its wings and working to see opportunities blossom and scratches ratchet up in the ‘win’ column.

Of course, despite a little duality, Writer Me and Whiney Me being in essence the same person – they each have a little say in each other’s lives. Writer Me can’t help but at times find her pen a little woebegone, her protagonist a little weak, her work-in-progress a little wistful. But, meanwhile, Whiney Me can’t help but smile at some of the surprises and delights cropping up for Writer Me, and it’s those I’d rather focus on today.

So, in the spirit of cheer, here are some raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens in the form of five pieces of Night Butterflies news:

1. I had my first author interview with the lovely Sara Letourneau over at her brilliant blog. 

This was a lot of fun. Sara is one of the people I’m most happy to have met during Project Get Published. Take a peek for a look into my messy mind and some insights into the story. Sara’s also interviewed Mary Weber, author of Storm Siren – so I’m already keeping good company!

2. A short-story prequel to my novel has been published in the ‘Secrets’ issue of New Zealand magazine The Source.

This gives me thrills because it’s awesome to appear in something I always read myself, and it’s my first published magazine piece!

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3. My book is breaking into libraries.

As with all books published in the country, two copies of The Night Butterflies sit in the collections of the National Library of New Zealand. But approaching a library I frequent as a reader was a completely different experience and getting onto the shelf was such a brilliant piece of news to receive. I’d been so nervous for my first meeting as a published author when I went in to speak with the buyer for The Queenstown Lakes District Library. She kindly arranged for The Night Butterflies to be reviewed, with the result it was purchased for their collection. As far as milestones go, it’s a *big* one for me, made all the better for so many lovely people being delighted about it as well.

4. My book is having a party!

Upon reading one of Anne R Allen’s (always) valuable posts, on talent perhaps being overrated, I arranged for The Night Butterflies to be listed on Bookbzz.com. Little did I realise that posting about it would lead to the wonderful opportunity to have a virtual book party next week! And you’re all invited 🙂 It will be hosted by the lovely Nicole Grabner at The Whole Plot Thing (Facebook invite here). If you can’t make it (a little on the late side for my UK friends, sorry!), do pop over & visit Nicole’s lovely site anyway! Her book parties are just spreading their wings and I’m so happy to be a part of it all – The Whole Plot Thing is going to be a brilliant place to visit for news on fresh, engaging reads and their authors.

5. The Night Butterflies is starting to get some reviews.

So far I’ve had the book picked up by two wonderful book reviewers at Through The Wardrobe Door and A Bibliophile’s Reverie. I can’t wait for their feedback! And so far reviews are off to a promising beginning on Amazon. Garnering reviews is such a boost and so, so valuable for an independent author. If you can add to the collection, please oh please do!

***

And there we have it – five things to backflip about 🙂 It’s so easy to focus on the negatives in your own life and the positives in everyone else’s. It’s wonderful being happy for your friends, but, with a little effort, I think you can find value in celebrating your own successes too.

Have two sides of your life ever taken drastically different trajectories? I think it’s important to focus on the one that’s looking up and find cause for a party where possible 🙂 On which note, do RSVP

RIW Press Presents The Night Butterflies

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The Night Butterflies – Out Now!

It gives me great pleasure to announce that my first novel, The Night Butterflies, has been published by Right Ink On The Wall’s publishing division, RIW Press, and is now available to buy in paperback and e-book.

What’s It All About?

It is always dark. Warmer than it should be. The sun is a dull glower of reproach, only sometimes visible through the fallout. A once-majestic university town is crumbled, ashen and divided. The Men have made their home the Facility, where they develop the medication to combat the radiation that would otherwise kill those left alive.

Another day at school for Teacher. Another morning of bullying and torment from a batch of doll-like triplets more violent and unbalanced by the day. They are the nightmare product of Project Eden, the operation devised by Leader for the survival of the community, seeded in the Mothers without their consent.

Teacher has hope. She has a secret. When it is uncovered by Jimmy-1, a triplet who might be different, what will it mean for his future and hers?

Not just another dystopian novel. New author Sara Litchfield explores what it means to be a child, a mother and a monster in a chilling world devoid of comfort.

So… Release The Kraken Links!

The Book is available in paperback and on Kindle from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com.au (and elsewhere in the world if you’re so situated, message me for a link or search your local Amazon for the title, woop!)

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It’s also available as an e-book from Smashwords, iTunes, Barnes & Noble and Kobo 🙂

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Special Edition On Preorder

Last but not least, I’m offering a limited number of paperbacks on preorder from RIW Press. These special edition books, with a choice of two cover designs, come signed with a message from the author and a complementary bookmark. This print-run is in the pipeline and shipping charges apply. Contact me with your address for a quote and pay via Paypal once the books come into stock (eta 28 days).

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Save A Bunny Rabbit, Write A Review!

If you do end up reading, please, please go one step further and take a couple of minutes to leave a review – on Amazon, Goodreads or wherever it is you buy! Or get in touch directly! I’d love to chat 🙂 Honest reviews are so valuable to independent authors – it’s hard to be a teeny tiny fish in such a talent-filled pool.

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Thank you for reading!

I’d like to take a moment to say thank you to my constant, faithful readers and to first-time visitors, all the new friends I’m constantly making on this crazy publishing journey. Your support, advice, encouragement and engagement mean the world to me.

Sara xxx

Without The Sun

broken boat

How can I be warm again

Without the sun?

Its playful light

Chasing away shadows

How can I be free again

Without the key?

Unlocking life’s joy

Securing its sorrows

Where will I go now

Without a compass?

No reason for direction

No seal upon a home

Where will I set sail

Without a rudder?

I’m nothing and I’ve nowhere

Till my heart’s returned to me

(c) 2014 Sara Litchfield

The Night Butterflies

Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 8.23.10 PM(c) 2014 NKW-Illustration. All Rights Reserved.

ONCE UPON A TIME, a seven-year-old girl put the finishing touches on her latest masterpiece. The house was littered with them. Little stories that came from who knew where in her head. By eleven, she decided it was time to release a bestseller and sent a gritty horror novel to Penguin (it was a novella really – but she was smaller then). She’d like to take this opportunity to thank Penguin for their kind and encouraging letter of 1996 – hopefully you’ll be hearing of her.

Penguin said, ‘Don’t stop writing.’ But ten years later and what had happened to that wonder; that wit; that imagination; that self-belief in being a best-seller waiting to happen? It was all still there – just buried like hope at the bottom of Pandora’s box. As she grew up, she continued to read like the clappers but her creative writing whittled. After leaving school, she only wrote academically. She put away her childish things. She went to Cambridge and studied theology & philosophy. She wrote a dissertation on whether human fulfilment was possible and immersed herself in utopian hopes and dreams. She was published in an international theological journal. Her inspirational supervisor said, ‘Don’t stop writing.’

From this promising point, she got sucked into the city and became an accountant. Always she told herself it would be worth it one day to do for accountancy what John Grisham did for law. She would write thrillers about regulatory compliance some day – just you wait. Meanwhile, it was worth it because one day she’d have her own business and be able to do her own bookkeeping. The writing bug was still there, just distracted by spreadsheets and financial reporting on risk and control.

Anyway, one day, one internal audit too many was too much. She escaped. She went on an epic adventure to the other side of the world, defying near-death experiences and finding love along the way. She decided to make a living doing something she was passionate about and studied to become a freelance editor. She started her own business. And she took back out her childish things – her hopes and dreams, crumpled but still creative. And she started to write…

***

The Night Butterflies is the long-awaited debut novel from Sara Litchfield. It is about neither accounting nor regulatory compliance. Described as: ‘I don’t like the way your mind works’ and ‘Don’t you realise the dystopian genre is saturated?’, this book looks forward to joining the ranks of the colourful and creative works out in the world that touch on what Wells described as ‘the essential solvent without which there is no digesting life’. Hope.

Due for release August 2014.

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