We’re all here welcoming a new year, and I as much as anyone waves a fond hello to 2017.

2016 was a strange year for me, I said goodbye to a job with East Midlands Ambulance Service that treated its staff so badly that it’s criminal. I can only hope that things have improved since I left, especially in the way of staff support. Last Christmas I was left on the line for three hours per time in a row (a total of six hours) with suicidal callers. This, I’m happy to say, was addressed with new measures put in place and some training on how to help this specific kind of caller. Though, I do hasten to add that I am yet to receive an apology, and I know that if I expect one than I’m going to be waiting a long time. Just to add insult to injury they docked three-hundred odd pounds from my wages as I left. Cheers to you too! I’m glad to have leapt from the sinking ship, no matter how much I loved that job.

Anyway, on 31st March I started a new job with my own giant office and a great supportive boss. Of course the job is stressful, but having support in place seems to keep the hell to a minimum!

Life bobbed along as it always has until August when all hell seemed to break lose. August 2016 seemed as though it was the armageddon of my life. My marriage hit an irretrievable breakdown and I lost half a book with a co-author.

Those were the highs and lows from my personal life that made my life as an author suffer beyond what I honestly thought it would. I lost half a book and could have opted to turn it into a whole again, but honestly, right now, I never want to look at it again. I still have my printed, edited version, which I am keeping in order to burn on one fine day. I think that day will come when I have finally produced something in which I’m proud of that signifies that I didn’t need a co-author (Sssshhh! don’t tell anyone, but I knew I didn’t anyway ;).)

On the positive note of authoring; I released Kissing Katie in January 2016. I also finally, after a long hard slog, managed to gain full membership into the Romance Novelists association. I attended their conference in July and every moment was fun filled and inspiring, even flashing my ass at my flat mates after rather a lot of wine :). Sorry about that!

I submitted Kissing Katie into the RONA’s when I got home from Lancaster. I laughed and laughed at the thought of getting shortlisted and subsequently used up all my annual leave in complete assurance that it will never happen and I won’t have to attend the award ceremony in March.

That leads me on to announcing my next project (a positive), A Winterbury College Novel: Zephira. I attended the best of all the talks at the RNA conference and I can honestly say I don’t know why I chose it other than fate. Catherine Fox is amazing, she completely turned my head to the idea of blogging a novel. So, here I am, probably pissing into cyber space, but none the less doing the aforementioned (blogging a novel, hopefully not pissing into cyberspace, that is.)

I’ve always wanted to write a witchy YA, in a breathtaking location, and chock filled with mystery, angst, and wonder. I hope that’s what I’m doing with Winterbury College and I hope it gets a little readership. If nothing else it certainly sets the deadline I need and the kick up the ass as well. Anyway, if you want to help me not to piss into cyberspace please go ahead and follow the blog here, chapter one is already up and you also have the chance to name a character :). I can’t talk about Winterbury College without mentioning the exemplary artist behind the coat of arms design, Victoria Skye. If you need anything custom made from a painting to a book cover then you need to check her FB page out here, that will also give the link to her Etsy page.

This year has taught me that I can take ownership of my failings, even though others seem to fail in that area. More than anything, this difficult year has proven to me who my friends are. I sincerely thank my writing friends for their undying encouragement to put fingers to keys; MK Meredith and Jenni Keer. Also, to the friend I’ve had for so many years, Caroline, who has listened to me complaining and bitching so much. Most of all, even though he has  utterly destroyed my ‘writers pain’ the friend that turned into my partner, Nick, you’ve helped more than you could ever know.

Happy New Year to all my wonderful followers! I personally wish you all an amazing 2017! 🙂