Archive for the General Category

Do you judge a book by its cover?

Posted in General with tags on May 12, 2018 by Kate Jack

In the past, I’ve read some great books that’ve had terrible covers and conversely I’ve read, or tried to read, some dire books with great covers.  Nowadays, with the rise of self-publication, it’s more important than ever to present your work in its best bib and tucker, and although it should go without saying, that includes the content.

My first published works were published the traditional way, which meant I had no control over how they looked. That said, I was so delighted to have obtained a contract I wasn’t too unhappy.

However, in retrospect, although the covers were okay, they didn’t truly reflect the stories which are set in my chosen genre of urban fantasy. Looking at them now, they have a definite sci-fi look about them. Anyway, eventually my publisher decided to pull out of the book business and to give them their due, returned the rights to my books free of charge. So here I was, at liberty to revamp the look and the contents of my first published works – heady stuff! 😀 Whilst I was rewriting and re-editing, I began to shop for covers and during the process, came across an article which said that it was preferable that the covers for Trilogies should have a similar theme. Now I don’t personally consider that to be a hard and fast rule, but as it happens I stumbled across a set of eBook covers that I considered perfect, both for their look and for their connection to the stories.

Covers by James, at

Their dark, dystopian look was spot on and after purchasing them, I waited impatiently for them to be made ready.

Since regaining the rights to my first set of books, and my retirement in May 2017, the writing floodgates have opened for me and the pleasure of being able to pick my own covers is fantastic! I have also returned to writing short stories, something I hadn’t done for years. I was revamping my website, and decided to offer a free eBook of short fantasy tales to entice subscribers. Once the book was completed, I then commissioned a cover for it and was more than happy with both the service and product supplied.

Book cover by Matthew Jones

And that was just the start of the renaissance of my short stories. I have since written and published two more compilations both with, I think, brilliant covers!

And so the journey continues, as I am preparing to self-publish the first book in my new Trilogy, Elawyn, book I of The Songstress Trilogy.

All in all, this journey has been fruitful and has given my writing a new lease of life, one which I’m very grateful for. When I first embarked on a writing career, I had most of the misconceptions of a newbie, such as fame and fortune; but now? I’m happy to be in charge of my own creativity and hope to continue on for many years to come.

Coming soon


The Keyboard Tap Dance

Posted in General with tags on April 9, 2018 by Kate Jack

Since I retired last year, I’ve re-edited and republished The Silver Flute trilogy, written three new books of short stories, and am now working on my current WIP Book I of The Songstress Trilogy, Elawyn.


My writing output has increased enormously, when compared to my previous activity, mostly because my time is now my own. However, I still retain, although not as much, that curse of the author – procrastination!


When I returned to my WIP, having put the project aside to concentrate on the trilogy, I mentally girded my loins to resume work on it. Several games of Spider Solitaire later, plus other distraction activities, I finally opened the word document and sat looking at it with absolute dread.

Of course, once I forced myself to begin writing, my fingers flew over the keyboard with all the dexterity of a tap dancer’s feet and my enthusiasm for the story came flooding back, along with a positive tsunami of ideas; why is that? Why do most writers carry on like this, when creating worlds, characters and stories are their reason for being?

I think that as far as I’m concerned, I don’t relish kick starting my brain into doing some work for a change. Sheer laziness? Possibly 😀

Fantasy fiction fans! It’s easy peasy to grab a freebie!

Posted in General, Uncategorized with tags on March 28, 2018 by Kate Jack

Calling all speculative fiction fans, if you love reading and you love freebies, why not combine the two and download a copy of my collection of short fantasy stories? Visit my swishy, revamped website today and subscribe to my emails list, also for free, and claim your copy today. 

You can also browse, and learn more about, my other books and learn a little bit about me.

So don’t wait, don’t be late; drop by and say hi 😀

Why a great book…

Posted in General with tags , , , on March 22, 2018 by Kate Jack

…can really lift you up.

As an avid reader, I really appreciate the effect a well written novel can have. No matter what kind of mood I’m in, getting stuck into a brilliant read lifts me up. Discovering new writers and stories that I really enjoy, is like hitting the mother lode. 

I’m pretty eclectic when it comes to what genres I read, but my absolute favourite out of all of them, is speculative fiction; more specifically, urban fantasy. A few years ago, I was stuck in hospital with a viral infection and as I began to feel a bit better, bored off my head. A friend kindly loaned me a book by an author I’d never come across before, writing in a genre I’d never heard of; urban fantasy. The author’s name is Jim Butcher and the book was from his Harry Dresden series.

Initially, I was bit dubious as to whether I would take to it, with its mixture of dark magic, mythology and faerie; let alone that the main character was not only a private investigator, but a wizard to boot! That said, the minute I began to read I only stopped, when the consultant dared to interrupt me to discuss my prognosis – bloody cheek! 

I finished that book in one day – something I rarely do. I waited, with increasing impatience to be discharged and when I was, did I go home? No, not straight away. The hospital I was in wasn’t far from the city centre, so I jumped a taxi to the nearest book shop, this was before I had the internet, and had never heard of Amazon, and bought the next two books in the series, then I went home to start reading.

So why did these books engage me so much? Well, it was the freedom of choice the writer had. By that I mean, he had the freedom to craft his stories around the real and the speculative. The setting is Chicago, a Chicago imbued with the gritty realism of everyday life, but also coexisting alongside the world of Faerie. As a reader that really appealed to my imagination and I had no problem suspending my disbelief. The books possess a number of elements that appealed to me: mystery, detectives, murders to be resolved, the fantastical and so on. As I said, what made me dubious about the first book was what seemed to be a chaotic mixture of all the above, but boy was I wrong! The stories work – really work!

So, what’s your favourite reading matter and why? What floats your reading boat and carries you away into the realms of imagination and wonder? Whatever it is, carry on reading and never look back 🙂


Moronic spam

Posted in General with tags on February 21, 2018 by Kate Jack

In an article I recently posted, reconcilliation I mentioned the necessity to be persistent when going after what you want. There are, of course, different reasons for persistence, one of which is spamming. Recently, I have been receiving spam from a company called, I don’t know what they sell and I don’t want to know. Their technique is interesting. They pick out one of my articles to “comment” on and quote part of that self same article. For example, this particular piece of cretinous spam comes from my post called, I’m melting, I’m melting!

extraproxies.comx Malia Drozda

Being British, I naturally moan about the weather; most Brits do. We bemoan the fact it

As you will see, they’ve copied and pasted the opening lines of the post. Why? What is their intention? Is it to beguile me into visiting their site and purchasing whatever their product is? Great sales technique – not 😀 Is it intended to annoy? Possibly, but it again begs the question, why? Prior to them sending me moronic spams, I’d never heard of this so-called-company. If they do intend to annoy, well they can now reap the fruits of their labours.

So go for it,, I’m sure your unusual sales technique will send your profits soaring 😀


Posted in General, Uncategorized with tags on February 13, 2018 by Kate Jack

When I first entered the world of writing, I learned a lot and am still learning things today, amongst which are: persistence, optimism and reconciliation. When I first obtained a publishing contract for The Silver Flute Trilogy, I was filled with elation. However, that joy soon turned to ashes in my mouth. My enthusiasm for promoting my books was not matched by my publisher. Oh, promises were made, but rarely followed up on. Very soon the black dog of depression began to follow me around.

Fortunately, this state of affairs did not last for long and when my publisher began not answering mine and my fellow writers emails, I girded my loins for battle.

I began by joining the Society of Authors, a sterling organisation which I heartily recommend, and consulted them about my publishing contracts. Alas, it was to no avail, as they were watertight and it seemed I’d shackled myself to an anvil.

The black dog reared its ugly head again, that is until a friend advised me to forget about my books and move on. What the hell! Forget that! They were mine, my creations and there was no way I was letting all that work go to waste.

So all the writers concerned, grouped together and emailed the publisher over and over, until he finally capitulated and returned our book rights free of charge. See what I mean about persistence?

So now that my books and I are reconciled, I have the opportunity to revamp and republish them myself  and so turned  good reads, into great reads – ain’t life fab? 😀

2nd edition of Land of Midnight Days available from:

To review or not to review?

Posted in General with tags on February 10, 2018 by Kate Jack

As a reader, when you purchase a book, do you bother to leave a review when you’ve finished it? I do, as I think it’s important to share your opinion with others. Why? Well, if I’ve enjoyed the work, I want others to enjoy it too. If I haven’t, I must admit I chicken out and don’t say anything. I don’t want to hurt the author’s feelings, or project a negative image of myself. It’s a sad fact that some reviewers positively relish eviscerating writers, just out of pure nastiness. 

It’s possible to give honest criticism without the need to destroy someone’s confidence and maybe even help them out, so that they can take a fresh look at their work and improve it. I have one review, three stars, which gave me feedback that proved invaluable. 

So what else puts readers off posting a review? Well, it could be that they think they have to write reams and reams, and critique every aspect of the book they’ve just read; not true. A few words more than suffices, giving a brief outline of why they liked/disliked the work.

Not long ago, I published my free eBook, A Pocketful of Stories and a lovely lady messaged me on Facebook to tell me how much she enjoyed one of the stories, The Dreamer and the Realist. It made my day, I can tell you 😀 However, she didn’t, for whatever reason, post a review. Perhaps it didn’t occur to her, but at least she took the time to give me feedback and every little bit helps.

So, fellow readers, the next time you read a book, consider posting an honest review and always remember that there’s a person behind the writing, so be as positive as possible 🙂


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