Friday, 6 May 2016

WIN copies of the Fantasy Creatures Colouring Book!

To celebrate the launch of the Fantasy Creatures Colouring Book, the Fantasy Creatures Pocket Colouring Book & its companion titles, I'm offering you the chance to win the Fantasy Creatures Colouring Book!

For the first time, this giveaway is open worldwide! The more people who enter, the more copies I will give away, so enter and share – and good luck!

Enter below by midnight on Monday 9 May to win! The Fantasy Creatures Colouring Book & its companion titles will be available from Tuesday 10 May on Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms: open worldwide. Prizes may be withdrawn if entry numbers are deemed insufficient. Prizes may be added to reflect higher entry numbers. Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize and provide a mailing address, or a prize may be redrawn.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Exotic Colouring Book is here! The competition winners are... and here's where you can find copies!

The Exotic Colouring Books are here and ready to raise loads of money for global conservation! Remember, £1 from every copy sold of the colouring book and its companion titles is donated to World Land Trust, and every 100 books sold will save an acre of rainforest and everything living within it for future generations.

What's included? Check out each of the illustrations in the video below.

Where can I buy a copy?

The books are widely available on Amazon.

Companion titles:

The A4 Exotic Colouring Notebook

The A5 Exotic Colouring Notebook

The 2016/17 Exotic Colouring Diary (Week Per Page)

The 2016/17 Exotic Colouring Diary (Week Per View)

Competition Winners

I offered three lucky winners the chance to get their hands on a copy of The Exotic Colouring Book or two of its companion titles. I was blown away by how many entries I received. Thanks very much for your interest in this one of a kind colouring book.

Drumroll please... and the winners are!

Congratulations to Helen, Lynsey and Robyn!

Monday, 15 February 2016

WIN copies of The Exotic Colouring Books!

To celebrate the launch of The Exotic Colouring Book & its companion titles, I'm offering 3 winners the chance to win one of the titles from the series.

Up for grabs is a copy of The Exotic Colouring Book, The Exotic Colouring Notebook (6x9"), and The 2016/17 Exotic Colouring Diary (Week Per Page)!

Enter below by midnight on Monday 22 February to win! The Exotic Colouring Book & its companion titles will be available from Tuesday 23 February on Amazon.

Terms: UK entrants only. Prizes may be withdrawn if entry numbers are deemed insufficient. Prizes may be added to reflect higher entry numbers.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

My creative roadmap for 2016: a year of building the dream

In my last post, I reflected on the surprises and successes of 2015 for me as an author.

Today, I'm excited to look forward into 2016 and see what the year will bring! I have some great plans for my author career.

First and foremost aim is to become a full time author and illustrator this year. I have another 361 days to achieve this! (Pretty glad it's a leap year so I have a whole extra day to work.)

Ideally that means earning £1000 a month from my books & any related activities, because that's the point at which it becomes financially viable. I've worked out roughly that I need to sell about 20 colouring books a day to achieve this. This isn't unrealistic, as in the Christmas period I was selling up to 100 copies a day, but it will require some work to make sure that income is sustainable.

I'm counting fiction sales as a bonus to this, because it doesn't make any money - about £1 a month if I'm lucky - and I am still making a loss on my fiction due to editing fees. I do hope that in 2016 I can see success with my fiction sales. In part, that's my own fault for being so terrible at marketing!

Publish at least 12 projects in 2016.

That's an average one one a month. Initially, I thought this would be quite steep, but I am including my main projects (colouring books, fiction) as well as my additional income streams (like companion books for my colouring books).

It already looks like I'll have published almost 20 projects by the summer, including 2 new colouring books (lots of companion books to go with them), some more children's fiction, and if I can squeeze it in, some more young adult fiction which I am dying to write!

Improve my marketing skills.

This goes hand in hand with publishing more and creating sustainable income. I need to get my books before the eyes of voracious readers and colourists! If I can crack marketing in 2016, I'm sure I can pave the way to a sustainable writing and illustrating career.

This means I need to become more confident at using paid marketing (facebook ads, twitter ads and the like), plus begin to approach local press for publicity (which is especially important for my charity colouring project because it's supporting such a good cause).

I also want to branch into videos this year, including vlogging, video marketing and video trailers. This may also include some audio work because I am quite camera shy and am probably going to be more confident in front of a microphone than a camera!

Focus on my health.

As you know, I spent a lot of 2015 ill. As a result, I am really out of shape (that's an understatement!), and writing is not complimentary to a healthy lifestyle. So, it's important for my long term health and also my productivity (short and long term) to have a sound body and mind.

I'm focusing on healthy eating at the moment, and when the weather picks up, I can get back into my favourite outdoor hobbies/exercise; walking and archery.

This year will be about facing my fears of new things and failure, and grasping the opportunities that appear. As usual, I'll continue to push my comfort zone - even further than before - and hopefully reap the rewards.

I hope in 12 months time, when I reflect on 2016 and plan for 2017, that I can write to you as a full time creative! :-)

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Reflections on a successful and surprising 2015!

A year ago, I sat down to reflect on 2014, after publishing my first book that July. I couldn't have imagined then the amazing opportunities that would come in 2015!

It has been a year filled with surprises and success, and I've enjoyed every minute of it!

I have continued on my independent author journey this year and published a further 7 titles (after only hoping to publish 1!).
  • 1 YA fiction (the sequel to my first)
  • 2 illustrated children's fictions
  • 2 adult colouring books
  • 2 companion books for the adult colouring books.

I have so many ideas that I haven't had chance to pen yet too. Right now, I have I think about 30 books plotted or planned that I need to schedule to time to actually write/draw!

Of my 8 books, all are top 100 bestsellers or better on Amazon. All are positively reviewed and it's so wonderful hearing that readers have enjoyed my work. I write because I love to, but I publish because I want my books to be enjoyed.

In the case of my colouring books, I'm touched and honoured to hear from those with health problems that colouring my books has helped them cope and recover. You may recall I've had my own health problems this year - so drawing and writing has helped get me through the tougher parts of 2015 too.

A year ago, I was on the cusp of selling my 100th book. Now I'm on the cusp of selling my 4,000th! I know that's not a huge number to some, but it's much more than I was expecting or hoping for - and I'm so grateful to everyone who chose to read one of my titles. This for me, is just the beginning.

It means that I am so so close to what I would deem financial success from writing and illustrating. I have a number in my mind that I'd like to make each month from creating, to justify and enable me to go full time without needing a part time job. So to exceed that number greatly for several months of this year is fantastic. It shows me it's possible, with hard work and time - and luck!

In my personal life, there's been a lot of changes, so 2015 has been quite tumultuous! I finished my 4 year teaching degree in May and recently graduated as the only woman in my year with 1st class honours. I am so very glad to be free of teaching. It was clearly the wrong career for me.

I also changed job/working hours a few times at my part time job and am now (as of December) working a new stable pattern that allows me to have a large chunk of defined writing/creating time each week. Not being at university has certainly freed up lots of time!

My fiance and I (and of course our beloved cats Jet and Pixie) moved house this Autumn too. This is one of the biggest changes of the year, because it totally alters our lifestyle. We have upsized to a good-sized family house further into the countryside that we can grow into in the coming years.
It's in a lovely location and I have a beautiful office space to call my very own, that looks out over my favourite moors. It is a wholesome and uplifting place to be that is very good for my ongoing productivity and mental/physical health (which is really important as sitting/writing is so bad for your health!). I look forward to lots of happy years living and working here. :-)

So 2015 has been a year of transition, from university student to actively planning to become a full time author. This year my eyes have been opened to what I really want to pursue with my life, and that it's possible. I've changed from being quite naive and pottering about publishing, to wanting to make a serious go at it.

It's been exciting to stumble upon and take advantage of the unforeseen opportunities that have arisen. I am so excited to share my 2016 goals with you to illustrate exactly how I plan to achieve that, so stay tuned! :D

Have an awesome New Year's Eve, and let me know how you got on in 2015/what your 2016 goals are!

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Diary of a Secret Witch 2: Worst Witch is here!

So excited to announce that my latest children's book (aimed at ages 7-11) is here! Readers of Diary of a Middle Grade Princess, Princess Diaries, Geek Girl and Tracy Beaker would enjoy the Diary of a Secret Witch series.

I have some exciting launch events including a competition to win signed paperback & eBook copies!

Enter here to win —

Sharing is caring: the more entries I receive, the more I'll give away!

Worst Witch is available for just 99p on Kindle....

...and £4.99 in paperback!

Not started yet? No problem; download 'Diary of a Secret Witch 1: Wackiest Week', for free on Kindle this week!

Hope you enjoy Worst Witch!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

WIN The Calm Colouring Book & Colouring Tips from Colour With Claire!



The Calm Colouring Book and its companion books are here!

To celebrate their release, I'm giving away a signed copy of each book.

To be in with a chance to win a copy, enter the giveaway (below)! 

You can grab up to 7 entries into the competition. The competition closes this Friday at midnight. Good luck! (Competition open to UK residents only)

You can already download 3 free pages from The Calm Colouring Book!

If you'd rather just buy a book to make sure you definitely get one, they're available on Amazon.


With a new colouring book coming out this week, I spoke to the lovely Claire of Colour With Claire. Here are some of our top tips!

1. What colouring tools would you recommend to a beginner?
Claire says:
When you first start colouring there's no need to buy expensive materials (regardless of whether you can afford it) because you won't know what medium you prefer until you try for yourself!
I recommend Staedtler Triplus Fineliners & Fibre Tips markers and Staedtler Ergosoft coloured pencils. They're fantastic for new colourists as they're inexpensive but give great results. The pens come in 30 different colours, and the pencils are easily blendable if you want to try your hand at shading and gradient techniques. Crayola Twistables are another economical option which lay down vivid colour.

If you don't like the marks pencils leave over large areas, opt for chalk pastels and rub them on with a cotton bud for beautiful and simple soft backgrounds! (Tutorial here)

Gel pens are another great product you might want. For lusciously thick colour I recommend Sakura Gelly Roll pens, which leave an embossed, 3D finish and are excellent for adding detail and making pictures pop. They aren't ideal for larger spaces ( the ink is so dense they will quickly run out), so for that I recommend Artworkz gel pens.
Meg says:
I agree with Claire about not buying expensive materials to begin with!
I recommend Letraset pro markers as an inexpensive market set to begin with. They have 2 nibs and come in a great variety of colours. They lay down intense colours so are fantastic when paired with Letraset marker paper.

For colouring pencils, I'd agree with Claire but also recommend Start watercolour pencils. These are very inexpensive – the colour they lay down isn't as fine a quality (and personally I don't think they blend well as a pencil) however the ability to add water to blend the colours makes them something a bit different!

2. What are your favourite colouring tools and why?

Claire says:
My favourite tools to colour with are alcohol markers, because they come in hundreds of different tones and can be seamlessly blended together for professional-looking effects. I use Spectrum Noir and Promarkers mostly, but there are lots of different options. These kinds of pens can be expensive and take practise to get right, but the bright colours and quality of the finished product when you get the hang out of it can be outstanding. 

My favourite pencils are Faber Castell Polychromos. Again they are going to set you back more than the budget options, but they are artist grade quality and make blending and shading a doddle. They come in up to 120 different shades and are long-lasting and have superior pigment laydown compared to other brands.

For backgrounds, I now use PanPastels. Cheaper chalks are great for giving subtle colour, but PanPastels are absolutely LOADED with pigment and create minimal dust. You only need a little to create vibrant colour strokes, and they can be mixed together to develop your range of shades.

Meg says:
Alcohol markers – copic sketch markers in particular – are my favourite! The colour choices are fantastic, and the double tips (especially the brush tip) allow for brilliant coverage and shading.

I also love working with KarismaColor pencils. They are so wonderful for blending and are really rich in colour. Unfortunately these went out of production a number of years ago (I am lucky to have a big stash!), and ultimately became some of the better quality Prismacolor range. I also like Caran d'Ache pencils for their high quality blending. Both these brands are on the more expensive side, but come in a wide range of colours and offer fantastic coverage and blending.

3. What's your favourite colouring/shading method and why? 

Meg says:

For me, it has to be a mix of artist markers and pencils. I lay down a base layer (sometimes including gradients) with my artist markers. I then use colouring crayons to build up mainly shadows but also some highlights over the markers. You can do hard edged shadows and highlights really well with this technique, though I personally prefer softer shading.

Even with high quality colouring pencils, you can still see the paper grain when shading, so this method allows me to produce artwork with a completely solid laydown.
Claire says:
I love to experiment blending my alcohol markers as the finish is just so consistent, but I'm no artist by any means and still class myself under low-to-middling as a colourist. I'm always learning!
Pencils are somewhat easier because you can slowly layer up. Another technique I've been trying recently is to colour a hard border around the edges of the pattern before colouring the middle with a light/medium pressure. It looks great on books like The Wild Colouring book that have lots of leaves and foliage for you to practise on.
Thanks very much to Claire for taking the time to share her top tips! You can follow Claire's colouring journey on Facebook, Twitter and sign up to her email list.
The Calm Colouring Book, Notebook and 2016 Diary are available at Amazon UK, USA and EU - claim your free samples at!

Friday, 21 August 2015

It's the weekend - have two free books! :-)

Hi y'all,

Just a short post today. My two books, The Tainted Crown and The Brooding Crown are free on Kindle from Friday 21 to Monday 24th August! :D

Snap up a copy this weekend. :-)

The Tainted Crown:
The Brooding Crown:

Friday, 31 July 2015

A Year Of Publishing

So it's July 31st, which means a year ago today I published my first book!

How different ... and perhaps in some ways also the same ... life is today! I hope I've managed to keep the good things and improve in other areas.

A year ago I was a third year teaching student, filled with despair at the career path I'd chosen... and discovered wasn't for me. I'd just stumbled upon indie publishing: this strange but alluring world where anything was possible and the horizons were changing daily.

I published that book - The Tainted Crown - not knowing what was next on the horizons. It's done ok to date - broken even - what more can I ask for? Nothing, only that it's enjoyed. :-) It was always an experiment, if I'm honest.

Now a year on, I'm no longer a teaching student, and am not going into teaching. I still have a day job... for now. One day though, creating will pay my bills. That's a promise.

I have three books out now. The sequel to The Tainted Crown - The Brooding Crown - and an adult colouring book - The Wild Colouring Book.

The fiction sequel was to be expected. It's been an amazing project to work on and publish, especially with my new editor Sophie Playle polishing my manuscript. I'm proud of that project. It's got a long wait to go before I break even but I'll get there! :) Fiction, I've learned, is very hard to make profit (aka a living) on! I have a lot more work to do before that will be a sustainable source of income.

The Wild Colouring Book was a total wild card. I never expected to produce anything like that! But I'm so glad I did!! It's been such a fun project - fulfilling in a different way to writing. And to be honest, for a year when I've been really ill, too ill to write, drawing for that has kept me going.

It's given me my first real taste of success too. I appreciate every sale... because I know I'm so lucky that anyone chooses to buy something I created! But the sheer amount of success has overwhelmed me. Wow. To date, it's sold over 500 copies in under 2 months. With no marketing or advertising budget. Out of 28,000,000+ books on Amazon, it's reached rankings of 382. And its a top 25 bestseller in self help books.

I've had nothing but praise for it - and it's beyond amazing to hear that not only are people enjoying it for a creative past time, but that it's helping people rehabilitate in hospital, and helping them through periods of depression and anxiety. Like... wow. What a privilege, that I can create something that goes on to genuinely help people. Wow. That's humbling.

So standing here now, 1 year on and 1 year into this publishing malarkey... I'm so grateful. And so determined. I've come so far - further than I imagined and in a different direction than I first thought - but this is only the beginning.

I look forward to taking stock next year on July 31st 2016! Where will things be then? Who knows...

Onwards and upwards! :)


Ps. I'd love to hear what you're up to - reply or connect with me on social media. What goals are you aiming for in the next year or so? How are you getting along?

Thursday, 16 July 2015

The Brooding Crown is here!

Soren has defeated his usurping uncle and the semblance of peace has returned to Caledan, but surrounded by the twelve noble houses of Caledan, King Soren can trust few. In the shadows, treasonous thoughts grow. When news of Zaki’s presence in Roher reaches Soren, can he ally all of Caledan to his cause – and keep them?
Zaki has not given up on his plans to regain Caledan’s throne. First he must prove himself to Harad, the mighty king of Roher, but Zaki will stop at nothing to gain the support of Roher’s army, march on Caledan’s borders and take back the throne of the dragon kings.

War returns to Caledan, but a greater threat looms. The pact is broken. The Eldarkind are fading. The dragons war amongst themselves. A power too terrible to name grows in the North, and He seeks revenge. Only Eve stands in His way – but can she stop magic as old as time?

I'm so so excited to finally share The Brooding Crown with you! You can pick up your copies here...

Amazon UK
Amazon US
(The Brooding Crown is available on Kindle in all Amazon territories worldwide)

In print
Amazon UK
Amazon US
(The Brooding Crown is also available to order on Amazon EU stores, and through bookstores and libraries using its ISBN number:

I hope you enjoy! Please do let me know what you think. :-)

Bye for now,