2018 – a year of didn’ts

I hoped to have two books out in 2018.

Didn’t happen.

The Beauty of our Weapons, the fourth in the Anna and Zenni series, is still due to be published by ProSe Press, but has been delayed. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; StarChild, the third in the series, came out in the final days of 2017 and I think its sales suffered because it slipped under the radar. Beauty should be out soon, I hope.

Warbird has also been delayed. Various household expenses meant that I couldn’t buy the ISBNs I need to self-publish print titles, but I hope to get them soon. Once I have them I’ll probably also bring out the e-books, No Earthly Shore and The Dragon, Fly in print.

Not having any books out in 2018 means that I don’t have anything that can be nominated for any awards. Ah, who am I kidding? I don’t write the kind of stuff that wins awards. I’ll never be a well-known or bestselling author. I have a few dedicated fans and I’m very glad of them, but I ain’t gonna be famous any time soon.

I went to two cons this year – Follycon, the SF Eastercon in Harrogate and Novacon in Nottingham. Both were enjoyable, but I didn’t do any panels or readings, or take a dealers table. I also did a signing event, The Darker Side of Fiction in Peterborough, which was a limited success. Nothing planned this year so far.

I didn’t write much in 2018. The news is so depressing that I’ve had to stop reading it – the world is in such a terrible state. It’s hard to maintain any level of creativity in the face of that, but I’ve started to dabble in prose again. There are several things I need to finish, notably Anna and Zenni volume five.

I’m sorry that this has been such a negative post. I did make one cheerful New Year’s resolution this year, that I’d go out for tea and a cake at least once a month, just to try and lift my spirits. Mmm, cake – think I might be able to keep that one.

Happy New Year to all of you.

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A New Year and A New Book

Happy 2018!

I have a new book. It crept out in the last days of 2017, in that lost, liminal space between Xmas and the New Year. It’s published by Pro Se Press, has another gorgeous cover by Adam Shaw, and is the third volume in the Zenith Alpha 4013 series.

Meet StarChild.

Anna and Zenni are now working for Earth Intelligence and need to prove themselves to their masters. Ile Garoque is a world that closed its borders two decades ago, so when StarChild, a vastly successful group, are invited to play there, EI plan to place an agent in their entourage. Then the lead singer, Taheera, refuses to go and Anna gets to impersonate a rock star. It’s not a great time for Anna to leave Earth as her father, Lewis, is ill. He wants to include her in his will; as Anna-Marie Delany is officially missing, presumed dead, his lawyers need to bring her back to life.

Add in another attempt to kill her, a pair of dragon-storms (weird disturbances in hyperspace that can destroy a spacecraft) and a kidnapping by a group of predatory aliens with four arms and venomed claws – Anna and Zenni have to struggle to stay alive to complete their mission.

Available in print and e-book from Amazon UK and US. The fourth volume in the series, The Beauty of Our Weapons, should appear in May/June 2018.

To promote the new book, I’ve done an interview with the wonderful Derrick Ferguson, a fellow New Pulp author, writer of the Dillon Adventures. Thank you, Derrick, for taking the time to do this.

Spring Newsletter

Had a good evening at Fiction Fix last night. We had two new readers, Will Stebbings and Gary Francis-Williams. Will read from his novel, Off the Mark, a coming of age story set in the 1960s, and Gary read from The Mysterious 1 & 27, a tale of unpleasant relatives scrambling to solve clues and get their hands on a huge fortune left in the Colonel’s incomplete will. Gary said it was his first reading, but he gave an accomplished and most amusing performance. Morgan Fitzsimons treated us to the start of the tale of Betsy Butterfingers, an accident-prone witch – hopefully we’ll hear more about Betsy in the future.  Ron Graves did a spooky mood piece and Helen read some more from her unpublished SF novel, the Zarduth Inperative.

For a laugh, I did a bit from my Poltergeist: the Legacy fanfic, The Harrowing of Hell (you can find all of it here on my blog). It went down pretty well, and Gary told me he’d enjoyed it even though he didn’t usually like horror. I must admit that I’d never thought of it as horror before. These genre categories are very blurred and slippery to pin down and I’m always interested when readers find something in my work that I didn’t realise was there.

Pro Se have announced that three of my books will be coming out this year – no firm dates yet. The first will be The Spook and the Spirit in the Stone, which will be in print for the first time along with a bonus Afton & Jerome story. I’ve seen the sketches for the cover, once again by Adam Shaw, and it looks very good. The other two 2017 book will be three and four in the Anna & Zenni series, StarChild and The Beauty of our Weapons. I’ll keep you posted on progress.

Dave and I are going to Eastercon for the first time, Innominate at Birmingham. I’ll be doing a reading and also appearing on a panel about Biohacking. Should be interesting!

This Writing Life

I went to Fantasycon by the Sea, which was in Scarborough at the end of September. I’d never been to the town before – it’s delightful. We stayed at the Grand Hotel, a slightly faded Victorian gem with wonderful views of the bay and harbour. Although the weather forecast was cloudy with some rain, we had a very sunny weekend. We met up with a lot of old friends and found some new ones. I was particularly glad to see Irene Soldatos and Harriet Goodchild, who I’ve known since the old Authonomy days but had never met before in the flesh. They were there promoting their books, Irene’s Bad Bishop, and Harriet’s The Crooked Path, which had only just come out.

I went to some panels, the Elizabeth Bear and Frances Hardinge interviews, and even did a reading from Dead Men. As usual, the reading venue was tucked well away from most of the con, and I only got an audience of eight. We did sell a few books over the weekend, so that was a bonus.

I’m trying to do more readings. Like most authors I suspect, I’m not a natural performer and I find it hard to read my stuff out loud in public. I used to hate reading around the class at school (we even had to do it in French once!) and I was usually several chapters ahead, and so had to stumble back to the right place when my turn came, but these are my stories, so I ought to be able to tell them. A friend has organised a monthly reading evening in a local pub – it’s called Fiction Fix. Here’s a link to a report on her website from the first one, with incriminating photos! I’ve done two readings there so far, and although the venue isn’t ideal and I struggle with using a microphone, it’s good practice. I found that the Anna and Zenni books are difficult to read from, due to the telepathic conversations that make much more sense on the page. Last time I read from The Third Worst Thing That Can Happen On Mars, and I found Vonnie’s voice was much easier to do.

The next date is November 6th, so if you’re near Peterborough, drop into the Draper’s Arms at about 8 pm. I plan to read something from my unpublished space opera, Warbird, which is waiting for a cover and will probably appear next year.

In other news, The Spook and the Spirit in the Stone is due to come out in print and e-book from Pro Se Press soon. I’m waiting for the galleys and to see the cover. I’ll post updates here.

Two New Jilly Books!

Two new books have just landed, both with my name on.

The first is ‘With Amber Tears’, the sequel to ‘To Die A Stranger’, from Pro Se Productions, and here’s the cover, the work of the very wonderful Morgan Fitzsimons.

AmberTears

From the announcement:

“In To Die a Stranger, Jilly Paddock introduced readers to the rather unique and dangerous world of Anna-Marie Delany and Zenni.  Pro Se Productions proudly announces the release of Paddock’s second novel in this action packed and innovative series.  With Amber Tears is now available in print and digital format.

“Science Fiction,” says Tommy Hancock, Pro Se Productions Editor in Chief, “is a field that, although many feel has little innovation left within it, is just waiting for someone to come and redefine it.  Jilly Paddock is in the process of doing just that with her Zenith Alpha 4013 series.  Jilly infuses every aspect of the universe she is creating in each book with emotion.  From Anna-Marie’s relationship with Zenni to the very way the world functions, how the technology works, Jilly is pouring life into all elements of the tale and that shines through.  With Amber Tears will wrap readers into the experience Jilly is creating and carry them on the ride of their lives.”

With Amber Tears is available now in e-book and paperback at Amazon US and Amazon UK, at Pro Se’s own store at www.prose-press.com for $15.00 and for most digital formats via Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/597724.

The second book is ‘From the Dragon Lord’s Library‘, published by 18thWall Productions and currently available as an e-book. I have a story in the first volume, a reprint of ‘The Dragon, Fly’. Sometimes you write a story that just keeps on giving, and I’ve been paid for this one twice, plus the royalties from sales of my e-book collection that it appears in. Again, the cover is by Morgan Fitzsimons.

Dragon-Lords-Library-Cover

Slow Meandering Blog Tour, Part Two

There’s another interview up, thanks to Lee Houston Jr.

Find it here. I’ve tried to give all the facts in a fresh way – this promotion stuff is hard!

It also looks like With Amber Tears, the sequel to To Die A Stranger, will be coming out in the not too distant future. The book is formatted and we’re adding a few more details to the cover, but it’s nearly ready.

I’ve also got a story in Legends of New Pulp Fiction, the benefit anthology for Tommy Hancock, my publisher at Pro Se Press, which is coming out from Airship 27 in late October/early November. Not sure if I’ll have print copies of this to take to Fantasycon, but I’ll try. Here’s an image of its back cover, so you can see what an amazing book this will be.LegendsNewPulpBackCover

 

Free Book!

To celebrate the first Digital Book Day I am making my collection of SF & fantasy stories, The Dragon, Fly, and other flights of fancy FREE on July 14th! It contains such delights as assassin nuns, a woman who can walk through the holes in reality, a super-intelligent cat called Ishtar, and two excerpts from future Anna & Zenni novels.

Get it here at Amazon US or at Amazon UK.

As Amazon works on Pacific time, I’ve made it free on both the 13th and 14th to cover other time zones.

 

The Dragon, Fly

 

Spring Newsletter

The Pro Se version of To Die A Stranger is now three months old. Not sure how it’s selling – one disadvantage of being with a publisher is that you don’t get the instant feedback on sales that you do when you’re self-pubbed. I bought half a dozen and gave some away to friends and relations, my sister bought three and I know of a few others sold in the UK. It’s POD, so it won’t vanish from the shelves. Amazon did discount it for a while, so it’s worth watching out for a reduced price in the future. I have no control over that, as it’s all down to Amazon.

After a dry patch, I’m starting to write again. The sequel to TDAS, With Amber Tears, has been finished for a while, but I’ve never been totally happy with it and it was a little on the short side. I ripped the first half of it apart – rather like opening up a tin of spam along one side with an old-fashioned can-opener – and added two new characters and a bit more world-building. I think it’s better now. Dave’s going to read it and run an edit then, if we’re happy with it, it can go to Pro Se.

Warbird was accepted by a small publisher – it’s being edited and is in search of an appropriate cover. The plan is to bring it out later this year.

Judging from its Amazon rankings, the e-book of Blood Type is still selling. It isn’t out in paperback yet – I’ll let you know when that happens.

Spring has sprung here – we’ve had snowdrops and daffodils, and are now into violets, honesty and forsythia. The apple blossom is still in bud, and seems a little late this year. My father’s lawn is full of self-seeded primroses – not only yellow, but blue, pink, purple and red – plus violets in several shades of purple. He even has violets growing in his drive!

Three… two… one… we have lift-off!

To Die A Stranger is now officially out – here’s its page on the Pro Se website. It’s available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon, US and UK, and from other outlets including Smashwords.

I ordered two copies from Amazon UK and got them within a couple of days. In my opinion (and I admit that I’m very biased!) it’s a good-looking book, with a lovely cover and nice formatting on the inside. Pro Se have done a great job.

Pro Se's To Die A Stranger cover

To Die A Stranger

Pro Se Press have just released To Die A Stranger in a lovely new paperback version. It’s available on Amazon US and Amazon UK. New e-book versions will follow.

Have ordered a few copies and can’t wait to see it in the flesh!

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