Category Archives: Books

And the novella is live!

Bazinga!

Never Grow Up - High Resolution

Never Grow up is available now on Amazon. Remember I told you ’bout it the other day?

“It’s a funny, upbeat coming of age story about Jude, a tomboy who never wants to grow up. She just wants to live. It’s a quirky little read, filled with letters and texts and lamenting teen rants with an optimistic little sister, a swiftly changing best friend, a despairing dad, a jet-setting older sister and a band called The Manic Flamingos.

This sweet tale is told in just over 21,000 words.”

I also told you it’d be up for 99p, and it is. Alternatively, ask me for a copy! I’ll happily oblige. ❤

Forthcoming Guest Blog & New Novella!

Hurro!

So, on 16th of February, I will be guest blogging over at Shannon A. Thompson’s blog, talking about writing relatable teenage characters. I’m mega excited. Coinsiding with that will be the release of my new novella, Never Grow Up, about how one summer changes the course of a girl’s life and rockets her into the oblivion of adulthood.

Never Grow Up - High Resolution

It’s a funny, upbeat coming of age story about Jude, a tomboy who never wants to grow up. She just wants to live. It’s a quirky little read, filled with letters and texts and lamenting teen rants with an optimistic little sister, a swiftly changing best friend, a despairing dad, a jet-setting older sister and a band called The Manic Flamingos.

This sweet tale is told in just over 21,000 words and will be available on Kindle very soon for about 99p.

As ALWAYS, I’ll be giving away copies via Twitter, here, or anywhere you can find me. If I don’t thrust it in your face, just ask and I’ll oblige.

Honestly, this was such a pleasure to write. It’s a straight-up story of a girl’s choices at 18, when she doesn’t really want to make any. It’s about how one summer can change your life. Given that Honest is a very dark story with an unreliable narrator, this was just so refreshing. I’m hoping to pepper by full novels with novellas, to ease the transition from story to story.

They’re all stand alones, after all, so it’s important to get it across to readers that each book is about a very complex, very different character. I never write the same girl twice and their stories are wildly different. Indeed, they’re from all different walks of life, and that’s what makes it such a pleasure for me. I feel like I’ve got friends all over the place and I’m the one who gets to tell their story.

I think that’s why writing is just the best fun in the world. I’d recommend it to anyone. There’s no better escape!

Best wishes and snippy snappies,

Ava

My First Interview!

My first author interview! Eeep!

It’s terrifying how fast this has all come around. It was only during the summer just gone that I made the massive decision to self publish my books. To me, it was like the fate of my future on my shoulders. I know, melodramatic much? But still, there I was, thinking of all those brave and passionate peeps out there who ‘go it alone’ and wondering if I’d ever pluck up the courage to do it myself.

Well, on January 6th, I made that first step. Honest is out there, and it’s being read and reviewed. More humbling than that is the fact its first review got five stars! This was from somebody who literally just loves reading and reviewing books, and after just a couple interactions on twitter, she read my entire book in just a day or so. Next thing I know, she’s given me a 5 star review and offered me an interview spot on her blog.

To me, that’s just the coolest thing ever. It’s like fancy dress. I  get to put on my fancy-shmancy author clothes and answer questions like a grown-up!

So, thanks to Liisur, I’ve started making baby steps. The support of the book bloggers and the self-publishing community is the thing that really astonishes me. There’s no one-upmanship at all; just lots of people willing to help a brother out. So far, my experience has been really pleasant and I’m so grateful for those people who have contacted me to get a copy of Honest; especially those who started reading right away.

I’ve said it to them, and I’ll say it now: even a 1 star review would be worth everything to me. Even if you hated my work and thought it was a steaming pile of cow dung, I’d still be a happy camper. All I ever wanted was to write books and for people to read them. If you’ve read and considered my work enough to actually review it, then you’re a star.

Of course, I won’t be saying that when the pitchforks come out, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, hahaha…eerrrrh…yeah.

Anyway, if you fancy getting to know me a little bit better, and wouldn’t mind hearing about my writing process and what inspired my first book, you can find it HERE on the lovely Liisur’s blog!

In the interview, I talk a little bit about my other books too, starting with All Girls Cry. That’s coming your way soon, folks, though I don’t want to make any promises time-wise. Soon means soon. Suffice it to say, I made the right choice about the order in which to release them, or so I think. All Girls Cry is about as popular as Honest has been on Goodreads, so I’m sure it’s one of the most sought-after from my little collection.

Of course, the fact that Leap and Beyond haven’t had proper covers this whole time hasn’t helped to get them much exposure. Leap does have a gorgeous cover now, but Beyond is taking a little more time to find the right one. That’s no matter, though, because Beyond is also still being proofread by the lovely Dayna at Secret Lives of Fiction Lovers, so in a funny ol’ way, it’s all worked out!

Beyond is really special, though, so it’s worth the wait. It’s my most “romantic” (OooOOO) book and I’ve described it in my interview with Liisur as ‘a bitter-sweet tale of letting go’, so that gives you an idea.

So there we have it. Things be a’brewin’, folks!  I’ll be hopefully doing a couple of guest blogs in the very near future too, so look out for those. Or don’t. I could very well bore you to tears. In which case, as you were!

‘HONEST’ IS LIVE ON AMAZON! Free copies available!

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA?!

Yes! It’s here! It’s here!

Honest - High Resolution

That book with the weird girl on the cover that I’ve been banging on about since Halloween? Yeah, that one! It’s finally up on Amazon, at the low, low, low, lowly, loathesome…er, low price of £1.99. Or $2.99 if y’all are across the pond.

I just can’t believe it, folks. One down, four to go.

Honest is a weird little book. It’s quirky, it’s different; it even has an unreliable narrator. If you fancy reading something a little bit ‘wooooooaaaah’, or a little bit ‘wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeey!’ Then please, by all means (I beg of you) download a sample and give it a whirl. Alternatively, you could live your life on the edge and actually put down some cold, hard cash.

Yet ANOTHER alternative is you leave me a comment, or contact me on Twitter, or send me a li’l email, and I’ll give you either an EPUB or MOBI copy for free.

That’s right. Oh yeah. F-R-E-E.

All I ask is that you give me a little star rating or even a review if you’re feeling generous; on Goodreads, on Amazon, on your blog – anywhere you fancy. It’s up to you.

Obviously I’ll  be doing this for a limited time, but I’m not fussed about how long it takes. I’m just super-duper excited to get the ball rolling. So even if you read my book and think it’s the biggest, stinkiest pile of pants you’ve ever had the displeasure of looking at, I’d still love that review. Seriously! Any review is a good review.

All I want is for people to read my work. That’s literally it, folks.

Oh yeah. S’called rock bottom.

But seriously, guys, I’m majorly stoked about this. ‘Honest’ is the first of four books I’ll be bringing out this year, and let me tell you, this is just the beginning. Wherever I’m going with this, I’m happy to go there. Up, down, wiggledy-woo, whatever.

So please join me on this magical, mystical journey – or stand on the sidelines where you can point and laugh. I just like having you around!

Hit me up on Goodreads and Twitter, get yourself a free copy, or just get in touch for a chat. I have something to talk about now, you see! It’s a little thing called a BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK! *happy dance*

I’ll be hopefully doing some guest posts and interview-majiggys and all that fun stuff soon, so please do pop back from time to time to see what I’m up to.

Toodles!

Ava

Amazon

Goodreads

Twitter

Halloween Ebook Giveaway: Honest

Is it really that time of year again? Holy poo-sticks. This time last year I was (badly) making pumpkin pie and (very badly) toasting some pumpkin seeds. I believe I even carved a brain out of a melon with my then-12-year-old cousin and had a movie marathon. Good times,  brain melons. Need I say more?

So, given its spooky nature, and my desperate need to get my book out there and get some reviews, I figured this was *the* best time to give away my book, Honest.

Honestly! Haha. Hah. Haah…

So here’s how it works: if you have a Goodreads account, per-lease mark Honest (and hopefully my other works – even the ones with shitty pre-covers!) to your “to read” list.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a Goodreads account, or just find yourself thinking “Pppffff…sod that.”, then please give me a shout on Twitter, or email me at AvaBloomfield (at) outlook (dot) com and just go ahead and blatantly, obnoxiously, delightfully, ask for a copy. I’ll make a list of those who request it. There’s no limit. Unless of course my some eerie, magical twist of fate thousands of people ask for it, but that’s just too hilarious and wholly unlikely to fathom.

*Laughing men from The Muppets*

I’m giving away as many ebook copies of Honest to however many people ask for it.

ALL I ask in return is an – aha, get this – HONEST review! See what I did there? Did you see? No? Shut up? All right.

Like I said, I’m giving this book away to ANYONE who asks for it. Anyone and everyone. It’s a Halloween giveaway, so I suppose y’all can either see this as a trick, or a treat.

Either way, I’d be incredibly grateful for Goodreads reviews, a blog review, or even a 140 character review on Twitter.

Alternatively, you could Tweet me saying, “Ava, love, this book was shite.”

Anything goes. I’m in that Halloween mood.

I’m still giving Honest a final read-through and polishing up whatever nit-picky-annoying mistakes I can find before it’s ready, but I’m hoping it’ll be all set before Halloween.

If you would like a copy, just let me know, and I’ll get it to you as soon as I can in time for Halloween.

PLEASE do. I’ve written many books and, quite seriously, this is the one I’m most proud of. It’s hella weird.

So, if you love creepy YA books, re-acquaint yourself with Honest below and bag yourself a freebie. Thanks!

Honest - High Resolution

Honest is the ghostly tale of a drastically unhinged girl in the midst of a warped psychological breakdown.

This is the maybe true, maybe not story of Ellen Woodley and her journey with her father back to the scene of a boat accident three years ago; an accident which killed her boyfriend, Peter, and left her disabled.

She escapes reality into the superficial world of women’s magazines, the glossy bibles that point the way to womanhood. Trapped in the void left by her boyfriend’s death, Ellen is tormented by his ghost in the cottage, reminding her of the terrible secret she has kept from the world since that day.

Double Cover Reveal!

W00p!

So it’s about time I got a shift-on with my books, and the place to start in terms of marketing, what with the books themselves being written and semi-edited – some written years ago, in fact – is with the covers.

Now, I have gone on quite a journey in terms of covers.

For a while I convinced myself that, seeing as my grand plan was to just get the book out there and get some reviews, I didn’t want to “over do it” by dressing them up as…you know, books.

Stupid, isn’t it?

I actually now realise that was my lack of self-confidence talking. Somewhere inside me was that evil voice saying, ‘What’s the point in dressing it up? It’s still crap. You can’t polish a turd, love.’

We’ve all got the Evil Voice inside us. Some are better at ignoring it than others, and I’m afraid I’ve always been particularly weak to it, even though I do truly believe in my work. It’s probably why it’s taken me so long to consider self-publishing to be an option for my hard-to-place works. Before, it just seemed like failure. I now see that a book being difficult to sell doesn’t make it bad.

Anyway, so there I was, convinced I had no right to pretty-up my work and spend money on it, so for some ridiculous reason, that converted to making some “simple” covers. Long story short, that was not working out. I’d made many attempts at making my own covers in Gimp,and they just looked like cut-and-paste collages, so I abandoned anything complicated. But even when I copied some “minimalist” covers that I loved, the best I could produce was some MS paint lookalikes that didn’t transfer well to the story at all. At all.

Problem was, I knew I needed good covers. I just had no budget at all, and the only “affordable” cover artists I’d found were, let’s say, uh…a bit shit. I wouldn’t ever name names – I can’t remember them anyway, because they were just Google results – and I know everybody has to start somewhere, but most of the pre-mades and even custom covers were overpriced for what wasn’t a very professional job. In fact most of them were down-right shoddy. Perhaps I wasn’t searching in the right places; perhaps I didn’t ask the right people. How these awful examples transferred to making my own awful covers, I’ll never know. Remember: Evil Voice.

So I was pretty down in the dumps about it all, until I stumbled upon Humble Nations. I was in love with the quality and style exhibited throughout this guy’s portfolio, and though he doesn’t appear to specifically make products for YA books, he does absolutely everything in between. His designs are such that you can think outside the box. There’s no “YA” tab, sure, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t great YA covers. The pre-made designs – of which there are hundreds – are very much symbolic, in that they aren’t all completely “literal” covers, although for some genres that require that, there are covers to suit.

He was my wish-list cover artist before I realised he did pre-mades, and after that, I was stoked. Seriously, go check out the prices on pre-mades. Amazing, right? Considering what the shoddy people charge, you can get a pro on a budget. If, however, you do have a budget for custom covers, it’s still the best place to go, in my opinion. Judging by the details on his website, the custom process is quite intimate between him and the author, so you work together to build the perfect cover, with concepts and several mock-ups to choose from.

Well, it was the best place for me, anyway, and each to their own.

So, after adding my crappy “minimalist” covers to Goodreads, I waited. Turns out not a lot of people like to add books with crappy covers to their “to-read” lists, and in truth, I wouldn’t add mine with covers like that either. A friend of mine said it’s vital because, even if they’re “okay” covers and not necessarily bad, it just doesn’t ignite much faith into the author and their book if there’s no effort in the window dressing. She was so right. I’d convinced myself that it was okay to skip probably the most important aspect purely because I was afraid of making that step. Oh, and the budget, of course. Mustn’t forget that.

When people did start adding my books, however, I picked the two most popular – which, unsurprisingly, was the darker, grittier two books of the four I’ve listed; Honest and All Girls Cry – and chose them to get covers first. When I find covers that match my other two books on my perusing, then I’ll go ahead and update those. There’s no rush, though. They won’t be available for a while, but I’m working on it.

I’m actually toying with the idea of getting Honest ready to come out around Halloween, what with it being a dark story, but we’ll see.

Anyway, I am just so stoked about the covers. I love them. For the first time, I actually managed to find covers that I felt expressed not just the story but the tones  of the stories; the atmosphere. That was really, really important to me. I didn’t want them to look like typical YA novels and I’m certain they look every bit as awesome and unique and above all, professional, as I’d hoped they’d be.

So without further ado – here they are! 😀

All Girl Crys - High ResolutionHonest - High Resolution

For me, I loved how the artist could take seemingly non-cover-pictures and make them work with the right font and the right style of genre/title in the pre-mades. For example, there’s a cover of a cheesy-looking guy with glowing white teeth and folded arms. You’d think that’d make a silly romance cover, or something – but the artist made it work by giving it the title “The Smug Shit”. Now it looks like a hilarious, anecdotal memoir or maybe a quirky business management book, or something like that. He just seems to have this insight into what photographs actually should convey, rather than what you’d initially expect them to convey.

The point is, for me, this graphic artist – and any great cover artist, I’d imagine – just communicated to me. I think that’s what I’d been missing before; that aspect of an artist’s work speaking to me. I guess to enjoy your own work, you need to be open to persuasion and allow yourself to be “spoken” to, or to receive that “Calling” to a particular graphic designer.

Oh, and it’s also important to remember that the Evil Voice is an idiot, and unhelpful, and that they can just go shove a sock in it.

Book Haul

Just a quick post today to show off my new book haul!

 

I was wandering around town in the sweltering heat, when I stumbled upon a shop selling books with some really great offers. I actually go there a lot and have bought some pretty great books from there, and quite cheaply, too.

Anyway, after perusing a little while. I spotted Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, and was instantly enamoured with the cover art. It’s truly beautiful. Another reason this book struck me is because I avidly watch Lindsay Mead’s book reviews on Youtube, and she mentioned this quite some time ago in one of her book hauls.

I like Lindsay’ channel because she chooses genres that I wouldn’t usually go for, and she always has a great range of tastes. She also reviews self-published works, too, so I think that gives the audience a great all-rounder view of what’s out there. Go give her a follow! 🙂 I’ve also subscribed to a few other book-bloggy channels through her, as well. They’re based in the USA, so it’s cool to see what’s popular over there.

So once I decided to go ahead and pick up that book, I discovered that not only did they have the sequel, but they had the whole TRILOGY! I got ALL THREE BOOKS for £5!

I know! Am I jammy, or what?

So naturally I stuffed them all in my arms, admiring all the gorgeous matching covers, and bought them.

neversky

 

I started reading the first book last night in bed. It was pretty late and I’d been working hard all day doing my transcribing, so the fact that I managed to get through the first three chapters with droopy eyes is a miracle. I suppose it shows that the story was intriguing enough to keep me awake. 😉

So far, the writing is pretty choppy, but I like that. It’s action-packed.

The dystopian setting with all the different sectors and the artificial fruit, etc, reminds me a whole lot of Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, which is an astonishingly great novel, by the way, and probably my favourite dystopia ever. I’ve only just met Pereguine, too, but the character looks a lot like a tribe member in Oryx and Crake. They’re called “Crakers”, and they’re basically a test-tube grown species who are allowed to live in their own little Eden. They were created by a young genius called Crake and socialised by Oryx, who are lovers in the novel. It’s an amazing story told from the point of view of a guy called Snowman who, in the fallout after an apocalypse, basically recounts how jealousy destroyed the universe.

I know. Amazing. There are spliced creatures called “Pigoons” and “Rakunks” running wild, too, so you NEED to read that. If you love the Fallout games, like I do, then you’ll love reading Oryx and Crake.

So yeah, there’s many clues so far that hint to me that perhaps Veronica Rossi was quite heavily inspired by Margaret Atwood. I’ve no idea if she actually was.

That’s my book haul and my current reading. I’ve also managed to plug a Youtuber and one of my favourite novels to boot. Not bad for one blog post!

I’m hoping to soon give you an update about my current WIP, which I picked up after a long break. It currently sits at about 50k, and it’s coming along nicely. I prefer novels to be in the 70k/80k range, but I usually let them run and see where it takes me. As a rule, my novels have never gone much over 90k.

The working title is “Prom Spirit”, but I’m warming to the title being “Beyond” once it’s done. I think that’s a beautiful title, and fitting, too.

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I am hoping to build up a network of writers/bloggers to give me emotional/practical support during the writng process. I’ve been going this alone (barring my lovely, very helpful fiance!) for a long time, and seeing as I’ve decided to re-brand myself with a pen name, I think it’s only fitting I start reaching out a bit more.

So, if you’re a writer/blogger, please subscribe to me and I will subscribe right back.
Than we can be pals. 🙂