Tag Archives: the night butterflies

Sara Wars: The Night Butterflies Vs BL-1 Dark Blue White X-Large 1-Piece Pattern Prayer Muslim Hijab Head Cover Scarf

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 7.39.11 PMYou may remember I shouted out a short while ago that my first novel, The Night Butterflies, was coming out – I wasn’t messing with you, it’s on its way. In fact, it should be out already, causing all kinds of havoc.

This post is about patience. Patience is a close cousin to frustration. There have been all sorts of roadblocks to this book. I’ve been navigating the seas of self-publishing as a greenhorn, one unused to the trials of the ocean, and one, moreover, beset by seasickness.

I’m planning a pamphlet on my story – something like, ‘A walk in the jungle: My path to publication’ – it really is an Amazon rainforest out there. You need a guide. Something to repel the creepy crawlies. And, preferably, someone to carry your luggage.

Despite the delays – the tigers, the sharks, the snakes, the storms – I reached the point where my title was to be sent to a printer for a short run and uploaded to Amazon Createspace for Kindle / print-on-demand simultaneously. It’s also going to Smashwords, so it’ll be available on any/all e-readers. Everything is ready – I’m ready. This is supposed to be the delicious distraction away from all things breakup. This and Instagram (damn, I love Instagram).

But, upon upload, I received a notification that my paperback ISBN (the unique global book reference assigned to your title by the national library of your country of residence) clashes with another title at Amazon. I followed up, because, well, it’s in the nature of an ISBN that it shouldn’t clash with anything. But it turns out that it clashes with a head scarf.

As this shouldn’t happen (it’s pretty much like winning the anti-lottery – they say at Amazon this hasn’t come up before), I figured it would be fixed in a day. But I’ve been liaising with CreateSpace, Amazon Customer Service, Amazon Author Services and Amazon Selling Support for coming up a week. Don’t get me wrong, everyone I’ve spoken to has been lovely. But I would *really* like to release my book now.

Your ISBN goes on your back cover and on the copyright page in the front of your book. It is used to make the barcode for the back of the book. It is used to register your book in databases around the world. It is how you track your sales. Having had my covers created, my barcodes bought, my interior formatted and my registrations made – at cost – I’m not keen to push my timescales even further, pay to perform all of this again, and have to request another ISBN when the one I have is valid.

The scarf is not listed on Amazon as a book, though I have found it on bookfinder.com listed as a title, which it shouldn’t be – because it is not a book. I’m hoping that Amazon can find a way to change its referencing so that it no longer has an ISBN associated with it and no longer clashes with my Night Butterflies, which I’m sure the world is waiting to read!

In the meantime, I’m practising patience. Does anyone have any tips?!

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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The Best Way To Checkmate & The Book To Be

The Book To Be

“There was a war in my head, thundering between my ears.

This had to be the ultimate fool’s errand.”

– Sara Litchfield, The Night Butterflies

Lots of lovely things happened this weekend, large and small: I finally finished Draft 2 of The Book To Be; I gained a new, lovely, editing client; I beat Partner In Crime at the chessboard; it was sunny on Sunday; we made stuffed potato skins; and we finally watched episode 14 of season 5 of Breaking Bad (aaaaaagggghh!!!).

I was (uncharacteristically) aggressive on the chessboard this weekend. Perhaps it’s a reflection of the fact I’m trying to be more aggressive in all of life’s challenges. Sometimes the only route to success involves pushing fiercely forward. I sacrificed quite a few pieces up front in order to give myself the space to manoeuvre and I didn’t end up regretting it.

Life is very chessy at the moment, especially with Project Get Published. Some people agonise over their opening, but I’ve always found making the first move relatively easy. It’s the battle that follows that can get bloody and messy. It can be frustrating that you can only control what you can control. You may think you’ve done everything to force a certain outcome, giving the opposition surely only one sensible option – only to find that they can still surprise you with their response. Sometimes, their move might seem completely counter-intuitive. But they’re playing their game – not yours. And you can’t rush them. They’ll move when they’re ready. All you can do is prepare your onslaught and keep plugging away every time they foil you. You have to not get distracted by anything shiny and concentrate on the goal, using all your powers of prediction to take the best possible position.

Sacrifice with care – you might think capturing the King all important and worth disregarding the other pieces of your life, but it might be better in the end if it takes a little longer but you emerge still having your friends, your partner, your clients and your colleagues to celebrate with. Sacrifice is necessary – I’ve certainly sacrificed the vast percentage of my social life, and it will be worth it. But it’s important to nurture the relationships and still do the chores that you might think slow you down, but in reality are really integral to your long-term success. I don’t want to achieve checkmate but have lost my mate in the process. It can be fantastic to be single-minded, but I think it takes more than one thing to give life meaning.

So I’m sure you’re dying to know. The Book To Be is a dystopian thriller of sorts. ‘Boy monster meets girl monster in post-apocalyptic university town and their fight for survival turns into a fight to bring down the system.’ It is taking *so* much longer for all the pieces to be in the right place to publish than I planned. But the time-investment and dollar-investment and the sacrifices along the way will be worth it. The best way to achieve checkmate is persistence and patience.

Is anyone else struggling to make the right moves at the moment? Anyone struggling to sacrifice the right pieces of life? Keep your eyes on the prize. It will be worth it. 

And, *deep breath* is there anyone out there with the time and inclination who would consider being a Treasured Beta Reader for The Night Butterflies? I have 2, I’d love 3 more. Haters of the dystopian genre / books told from several POVs / people with absolutely no time to read / people who are gleeful and lack tact when pointing out other people’s flaws need not apply lol. Please get in touch, if you would like to help me search and destroy poor plot & character points pre-publication. Do it for the karma / your name on the acknowledgements page.