That was the week, that was (well, two weeks, actually).

You know the feeling when you decide to do something and you’ve no idea how to do it and it’s probably crazy anyway?

Well, that was my position two weeks ago. I’d entered the newly released Fortitude into the Kindle Storyteller Award in the full knowledge that what I needed was ‘reader engagement’ on Amazon, but not a clue how to achieve it. (Not having a zillion followers on FB or Twitter or any other platform.) And with only a couple of weeks left before the closing date of the competition, things did not look hopeful.

They still don’t as a matter of fact – I’d need oodles of downloads per day from now till the 1st week September to have any chance at all of shooting for the shortlist, but what the last two weeks have shown me is how supportive the historical fiction community is. I have not only been given opportunities to guest post and be interviewed, but folk have squeezed me in at short notice – which is extremely kind of them.

Each focused on a different aspect, but taken together they give a brief overview of how I got from an idea to a finished product.

So here’s some links for your enjoyment – you may just discover some new blogs to follow.

Tony Riches posed questions on my writing routine and on the research for Fortitude.

Sharon Bennett Connolly gave me the chance to talk about how I approached this book and in particular finding a ‘voice’ for Katharina.

Mary Anne Yarde published an extract from the opening of the novel, to give a taster of my writing style.

M.K. Tod asked me about some of the unique challenges posed in writing about an historical character when the concrete information is scanty to say the least.

All I can say is a huge thank you to each of them.

Update: I didn’t make the shortlist, though I think I came close – reached no. 9 in the listing out of the 000s of books entered – but for the support and encouragement alone the process was worth it – not sure if I’d try again though – it was all a wee bitty stressful and the system does seem skewed to favour the popular genres – maybe I should switch to crime…