WULFSUNA in HARDBACK!

For a limited time only, ‘WULFSUNA’ is available in hardback from all usual retailers, as well as Book Depository, Foyles, Waterstones and Fishpond plus several others.

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WULFSUNA is E S Moxon’s debut novel and was published on 21st January 2015 by SilverWood Books. The first adventure in the ‘Wolf Spear Saga’ series, it centres around a 5th century Saxon tribe, the ‘Wolf Sons’ named in the title. Returning to Britain to honour their warrior-lord’s dream and reunite with kinfolk who remained on the isle following Rome’s departure, little do they know the ancient saga is weaving their destiny. Meanwhile, in a small village near the west coast, a young female seer is struggling with her new-found gift. Eventually paths cross and the saga unfolds, but a treacherous rival threatens their fate. The Wolf Sons are coming. View the book trailer for ‘Wulfsuna’ here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuU4xV9fur4

You can purchase WULFSUNA in paperback direct from the publisher http://www.silverwoodbooks.co.uk/product/9781781322734/wulfsuna and it is available as an eBook via https://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/wulfsuna. You can also purchase both paperback and eBook from Amazon (UK) and Amazon.com as e-Book and paperback.

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Bristol Festival of Literature: 2016

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This was my second year at the Bristol Festival of Literature and I very much enjoyed myself! Unlike the previous year I wasn’t featuring on a panel and, although that was a fabulous opportunity, it was good to simply be a participating writer in attendance. I took along a friend who loves reading and is a regular member of a book club. I find these events are often enhanced by good company and for us, the entire weekend was our special treat.

By the time we arrived on Saturday 29th October, the festival had already been running nicely during the week, with a charming cocktail of writing events. Our room for the night and the main attractions were in the Mercure hotel overlooking Welsh Back. The cobbled streets were strewn with gold and amber leaves from the rows of maple trees along the quayside. The festival was being held in the hotel mezzanine and our first session was on research with an all-female panel of Alison Morton (Roma Nova series), Lucienne Boyce (Dan Foster Mysteries) and Wendy Percival (Esme Quentin Mysteries) moderated by the charming David Ebsworth.

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Welsh Back

Alison dived straight in with how to research the emotional and psychological effects of trauma and extreme circumstances on characters. Using her own action-packed Roma ova series to provide examples, she mentioned several excellent resources that could provide insight into the effects of extreme situations. For instance, reading explorers’ exploits in remote regions, such as Ranulph Fiennes or polar expeditions and desert crossings. Another suggestion was to obtain a simple psychology ‘101’ fact book from a book store, with which to explore the subconscious and the games it can play. The ‘Emotional Thesaurus’ also entered the discussion and this appeared to be a popular resource for many.

Lucienne Boyce was next up and her advice centred around the inclusion of what many would call ‘ordinary people’. She told us how she prefers to uncover the past and write about it through the eyes of those not-so fortunate or born out of nobility and wealth. Here, as she evidenced through some intriguing historical transcripts, were a plethora of untold tales and alternative versions of the past. However, Lucienne cautioned us to consider these “against the grain” and to always ask ‘why are they writing this?’, ‘who are they?’ and ‘what is the purpose or intention of this piece of evidence?’. Some of the transcripts were written as hate-mail or the last desperate plea of a poor man against a severe criminal sentence.

 

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Llandoger Trow

Last on the panel was Wendy Percival whose research subject was time and place. She reminded us (especially the writers among us) of the pitfalls of marking time and place in a novel. She uses a tabled chart to plot her mysteries, so that if a scene is removed in editing, your sequential timeline doesn’t fall ‘out’ of sequence! I found this a handy hint as I often list my timeline on a sheet and felt the tabled method would be much more useful. Wendy listed most of the things I consider when writing ,y historical fiction, including time of year, weather, phases of the moon, changes of daylight hours with the seasons and passage of time for journeys and general ‘quiet times in novels (eating, sleeping, waiting for vital pieces of evidence or the arrival of an enemy for battle). She gave a humorous example of how passing time over a meal could be botched if the writer did not accurately note the passage of time. A warning to us all!

 

In addition to the above, Wendy also advised the writer to be aware of time and place in connection with events. For Wendy’s character Esme Quentin, it was to be aware when the archives are closed for her investigations. For me, it is knowing what historical events are coinciding with the lives of my characters. She concluded that we are all “products of our time”; we talk and act as per the time we live within.

David Ebsworth concluded the discussion by thanking the panellists for their research tips and added one of his own: keep a record of where you took your research from, in case you need to refer to it again in the future or need to add it to your book’s acknowledgements.

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The Granary

The final seminar of the day was rounded off very pleasantly with an informal interview with thriller writer Rachel Abbott. Answering questions posed by SilverWood Books owner Helen Hart and publishing assistant Emily Heming, Rachel gave us an insight into how she achieved 2 million book sales as an independent author. Some key points were:-

Awareness – People need to keep seeing and coming across your book and its cover. It can take people 7 times before they consciously recognise your novel’s cover. It is therefore prudent to place your book cover in as many visible places as possible. For instance:

  • on the end of emails
  • on your Twitter profile
  • on your blog
  • on your website
  • on your Facebook Profile/Page

Social Media – Rachel made maximum use of top social media sites, building Twitter followers, sending review copies to reviewers with a stylish ‘Author Introduction’ sheet and paying for Facebook marketing adverts. She also found places where people ‘talked’ about the kinds of books she writes and joined these discussions. She found readers engaged more on Facebook. Conversely, posts on a Facebook page only reach 6% of your followers, so it is more effective to post on a profile.

Branding – She chose her cover design carefully, wanting to create a brand for her entire series of novels. She picked a single colour to represent each book, but retained the same font and layout on each cover. She explained that it was important to be recognisable, so that readers would see the covers and know it was a ‘Rachel Abbott’ thriller. Reader perception also helped. A high-quality, well-printed paperback meant her books could stand beside those of traditionally published authors and be seen as equal.

I found it an absorbing and informative festival with something for everyone, reader, writer or observer.

Bristol Festival of Literature is on each year in October and details of next year’s event will be on their website nearer the date.

SilverWood Books can be found here.

Photographs: my own     Logo: courtesy of unputdownable.org

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London Book Fair 2016 – an author’s view

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Well, my first London Book Fair is over. I left with a tinge of sadness, wishing I had spent more than a mere six hours swimming in a sea of books. What a day!

I left home at 4am on Thursday 14th April and by 6.28am the dawn greeted me. There’s something sublime about watching the sun rise, even when you’re sat on a coach heading down a motorway. The sight of it reminded me of the awe of our ancestors who worshipped the golden orb, giving offerings in the hope it would return each morning to warm and nourish their world. Listening to Honeyroot’s ‘Sunrise Sunset’ a while later I knew that was my hope for the day; to find literary warmth and nourishment among the exhibit stands.

As the light returns to lift the shroud of night, there is a wonderful moment of clarity and a great sense of self-awareness. It is a personal commune between you and the enormous burning sphere that gives life to our galaxy. From high roads overlooking an expansive landscape, I was not on the M40 heading south, I was atop a hillfort surveying an ancient view; transported, not in a commuter sense, but in a spiritual sense. That same feeling returned later that morning as I climbed a staircase to the first floor and turned around.

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A sumptuous sea of stands and a bevy of beautiful books, pouring round every corner like shoals of tropical fish in a rainbow of colours. Pure heaven! Emotion welled inside me as I realised my book was one of those fish, sitting snuggly in the cosy coral also known as the SilverWood Books stand. Suitably overwhelmed, I headed for Author HQ, feeling ready to share my love of books with a myriad of other authors, agents and publishers.

At 9.30am SilverWood Books hosted the ‘Breakfast Book Club’ and several authors, including myself, read from our books. Poet Bobbie Coelho was hands-down my favourite, reading from her anthology exploring Parkinsons ‘Finding the Light’. Her work is emotive and embraces you. I was very moved by her poem ‘Peter’.

I finally met the marvellous Alison Morton, who launched her fifth Roma Nova novel ‘Insurrectio’ at the fair. One of the opportunities I look forward to immensely at these types of events, is finding online acquaintances face-to-face. You can build relationships from far and wide on social media, but it still does not compare to meeting in person. We shared author experiences over lunch and attended the ‘Author Collectives’ seminar in Author HQ. This I thoroughly enjoyed and continued the discussion afterwards with Alison, and Melanie McGrath of female crime writer collective ‘Killer Women’.

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Melanie McGrath (Killer Women), Jill Marsh (Triskele Books), & Mary Hoffman (The History Girls)

I shared my knowledge with others who were beginning their publishing journey and gleaned wisdom from longer-published authors. I hopefully managed to fulfill my role for the day as ‘Author Ambassador’ for SilverWood Books and had the chance to chat to my publishing team about book 2 in my ‘Wolf Spear Saga’ series. I didn’t want it to end! Basking in the warmth of shared book-love and nourished by inspiring authors I headed home. I’m already looking forward to LBF 2017 (14th – 16th March). Note the date in your diaries, set aside you comfiest shoes and get ready to dive in!

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Making Words Go Further…

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Well, it’s been an exciting few months since I last posted. Since my first video diary I’ve been busy writing and researching more of my second novel in the Wolf Spear Saga series. I’m hoping to have a second video diary for you soon and perhaps a little taster from book two!

As you can also see from the above picture, it’s London Book Fair week. I’m proud to be attending this year, for the first time, as an Author Ambassador for my publishers SilverWood Books. I’m part of the Breakfast Book Club Thursday morning between 9.30 – 10.30am, so if you’re there perhaps I’ll see you.

My first novel WULFSUNA is also on the SilverWood stand as part of their ‘virtual’ bookshelves, alongside a wonderful collection of other SilverWood authors. My colleague Alison Morton is launching her latest Roman alternative historical ‘INSURRECTIO’, the fifth in her Roma Nova series.

I shall share my experiences with you soon!

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Party Time!

WULFSUNA BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY!

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CONGRATULATIONS to the winners –

1st Prize – Marsha will receive a signed paperback copy of ‘WULFSUNA’ & a 2016 SilverWood calendar.

2nd Prize – Kat will receive a 2016 SilverWood calendar.

3rd Prize – Guthbrand will receive a 2016 SilverWood calendar.

For those of you who did not win, you can still purchase a copy of the SilverWood calendar for ONLY £4.99 here and there’s FREE p&p for a limited time!

And you can head over to my ‘Books’ page for links to purchase ‘WULFSUNA’ in paperback or eBook.

Finally, I’d like to extend a BIG ‘Thank You’ to everyone who participated in the WULFSUNA BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY, to celebrate the anniversary of the publication of ‘WULFSUNA’. It’s been a fantastic year and wouldn’t have been possible without readers and my publishers SilverWood Books. Thank you to everyone who bought my book and also those who took the time to review it. It means so much to know my Wolf Spear Saga is out there for people to enjoy. I’m busy writing the second Saga in the series, which you can keep up to date with via my NEW ‘Video Diary’ page.

I wish you all a very happy New Year!

Elaine x

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Spring/Summer 2015 Update

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One thing I am learning is to never, ever say you “don’t have much on this month”. It’s dangerous to tempt fate, as those in my Wolf Spear sagas know. She is devious and will strike without warning. Ergo, you can one day be admiring all the clean, empty boxes on your wall calender and on another find it hard to see where one day ends and the next day begins! The Norns have scribbled all over your diary, like a spider sprinting through an inkwell and onto your blank page. You have much to do and little time to do it in.

This is how I feel about 2015. Where has it gone? We are heading towards what our ancestors called the dark half of the year, All Hallows Eve or ‘Samhain’ to my heroine Morwyneth. The veil thins and we are closer to spirits. It’s a time when she and the rest of the Wulfsuna would leave edible offerings to evil spirits in the hope they would eat and leave, and also a time to feel closer to loved ones who have left us for the Otherworld. The coming and going of life is celebrated with a feast akin to a modern wake and baby shower combined. For the Celts. November 1st was the start of the year, so perhaps it is natural to have a ’round-up’ of the year’s events. Well, here goes!

Following the most enjoyable WULFSUNA book signing at Big Comfy Books in March (paperbacks still available there if you’re in/near Coventry) came London Book Fair 2015. My publisher SilverWood Books had a fabulous display on their stand. Having been published in January 2015, they gave WULFSUNA centre stage on the coffee table. Most considerate of them.

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To boost creativity, I took a few trips out and about. One soggy summer’s day I visited Alcester in Warwickshire. Although a bustling market town, for me it retains a village charm. Meandering through the high street, Tudor buildings greet you inside of which are modern pharmacies, shoe shops, gift shops and quirky tea rooms with very good fare.

During the Roman Empire it was a walled town and fort known as ‘Alauna’. Located on Ryknild Street, it connected to the important trading route ‘Fosse Way’ at Bourton-on-the-Water. It’s modern name is derived from the nearby river Alne and the Saxon suffix ‘ceastre’ meaning Roman fort or town. My Wulfsuna would have travelled southwards through it on their way to the harbour market, where they find a saturated Seer on the roadside. Unlike Morwyneth, I was able to dive into a coffee shop to avoid saturation. And Alcester remained beautiful even in the rain.

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My next adventure was at another Roman town, Letocetum at Wall in Staffordshire, which I’ll cover in the following post. Thank you for stopping by. Did you have a busy summer? How do you keep the creative generator going? I’d love to hear from you!

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‘Wulfsuna’ – Book Signing

On Saturday 14th March at 1pm I was at The Big Comfy Bookshop to sign and sell copies of ‘Wulfsuna’, along with my trusted Saxon warrior ‘Wulfgar of Mercia’!

The Big Comfy Bookshop is nestled amid a plethora of unique boutiques in FarGo creative village on Far Gosford Street, Coventry. If you have never been it is well worth a visit. There is something for everyone.

1426337091096The proprietor, Michael, welcomed me warmly into his miniature empire of books, comfy red sofas and tempting cakes (I had the fudge brownie). For true food connoisseurs there is a sumptuous-looking Chocolate & Guinness cake!

After I gave a short reading from ‘Wulfsuna’, one of the lucky clientele won a free signed copy in my draw and then a happy hour or so was spent chatting about history, mingling with those who came and sipping coffee. Wulfgar of Mercia was on hand to demonstrate the battle tactics of a 5th Century Saxon warrior, which proved a hit with some of the younger attendees.

I’d like to express my gratitude to all who came along and congratulations to the competition winner – enjoy reading ‘Wulfsuna’! And if you happen to pop along to Big Comfy Books you just may find a few of the Wolf Sons lurking among the shelves…

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