New Books Eve

There is something rather weird about the eve of a new book release. That mix of excitement and nervousness battling for dominance. It doesn’t matter how prepared you are, or how much work you have put into it, you know that there will be those who love it, and those who don’t.

So, every time this night comes around, I try to focus only on the positive. That I am privileged to be able to do this. That it’s okay if someone doesn’t like it because its always the case that many more will love it.

And if its not my biggest hit, then it just means someone else is having a great release and absolutely support all of my fellow authors in this community.

When I wake up in the morning, I will have published my 9th book, In Dyer Need. In little over 2 years I will have accomplished something that I never dreamed I would do.

If you buy my book, Thank you! If you read it on Kindle unlimited, Thank you! If you review it, good or bad, Thank you!

I’ll be here again for number 10!

Available Now!

Pre-order your copy of In Dyer Need. The new romance novel from Claire Highton-Stevenson.

It’s the end of the world,

Who said you can’t fall in love?

Ren Dyer is at the pinnacle of her career. Newly appointed as head of the protection team for Home Secretary Andrea Fielding, she is a woman focused only on her job.

Andrea Fielding is a woman who is looking for love and finding it in all the wrong places.

When the worst happens and the world changes dramatically around them, will Andrea finally see what’s been right in front of her all along?

On the road, together with a group of people that includes Andrea’s ex, Dutch Foreign Minister Marja Stegenga, they must try to reach the safety of HQ at the other end of the country.

For Ren Dyer, it is simple: keep her safe.

For Andrea Fielding, it’s anything but…

As protocols shift and rules go out the window, will Ren see there is more to life than work, and will Andrea finally find the love she is searching for?

Amazon UK, Amazon FR, Amazon DE, Amazon NL, Amazon Aus, Amazon US

Events and me…

I have two events coming up. One is local to me and is more about authors in general from all genres and I will blog about that later, but in November I will be attending one that is much closer to my heart. Weston-Super-Lesfic-2019.

You might remember back in May, that I set up the SCLHO in Crawley? A free event for readers to attend, and the hope was, that it would inspire others to take up the mantle and set up their own events so that readers around the country would be able to take part. And that is exactly what my fellow author, Jenn Matthews has done.

On November 16th in Weston Super Mare, we will be gathering to once again bring authors, narrators, cover designers and even editors, all together so that you, the Reader, can come along and meet us. You’ll be able to ask those burning questions you all have about how, when and why we get a book to its finished product. You can fangirl with your favourite writers, get books signed and meet loads of other like minded people.

And best of all… its still all free! No ticket required. Just turn up on the day and join in the fun.

And the winner is…

I am still in a little disbelief. The Promise won a Goldie at this years G.C.L.S awards.

Months go by and you try to put it out of your head. Which is pretty simple when you’re a writer with a lot of work to do, but then one morning you wake up and theirs a list of potential books that might become finalists… and your name is on it!

The dream starts to become real…but you keep working, try and ignore the possibility, until one morning the finalists are announced…and you name is on it!!

I wanted to go to Pittsburgh and be there, but it was just not possible right now and so I had the anguish of having to go to bed, with the awards taking place during the night. My fellow author, Lise Gold, offered to bring it home for me if i were to be that lucky.

So, you can imagine how exciting it was, when I woke up needing the loo at 2am, to find I’d gone and bloody won!!

I am so grateful. To Michelle for editing. For the people who bought and reviewed it, loving it as much as i do… for the judging panel who saw a self-published book and went with it anyway! For my colleagues who no matter what, always lift each other up and push each other forward. Its been a blast these past two years. I can’t wait to see what the future brings from here, but no matter what, I can honestly say Award winning author sounds pretty damn good!

Forget it – Cover reveal!!

So, my next book is due out next month (Fingers crossed) and so, I employed the services of the very talented May Dawney and this is the beautiful creation… I love it. I’ve gone all Gollum and just sit here staring at the screen whispering My Pretty!!

Brooke Chambers is forced to leave the Army and the job that she loves. Moving back into civilian life, she never imagined it would mean looking after her teenage sister and searching for a new career.
But, with the sudden loss of their dad, Brooke finds herself stepping up, and in the process, looking for a new job; any job.
Getting the chance to let off some steam, she heads to Art, a lesbian bar, and meets Catherine. It’s lust at first sight as both women feel that instant connection, despite the obvious age gap.
With Brooke’s new job being the same place where Catherine works, she assumes it was meant to be. Catherine, however, has other ideas and puts a halt to any prospective love affair, much to Brooke’s confusion and heartbreak.
When she tells Brooke to forget it, she didn’t quite mean it so literally and wishes she hadn’t said it, but Brooke is injured on the job and loses her memory…and forgets Catherine….

Will they get a second chance to work things out?

All of my books are available via Amazon and Kindle Unlimited

Realising, I am not a moron!

You ever try and do something and everyone around you is doing it, and you just cant get it? That was me… this past year, all i kept reading about was AMS ads… So, I looked at it and then closed the page. My brain just wasn’t built for that!

I kept coming back to it because I kept hearing people talking about it. But still, the old noggin was far from impressed and refused to even attempt to work it out. So, I listened and read when anyone brought it up, but it was always technical…or in some cases, downright vague, like they didn’t want to let you into the secret. Many people tried to be helpful and explain it, but because I felt stupid in asking what I thought was basic stuff, my questions went unanswered.
All these words that didn’t make any sense to me and in many ways, they still don’t, just floated about in threads between people that got it.

Sales were dropping and page reads were decreasing. I was pretty much in full panic mode thinking nobody likes my books, when I saw the topic come up again, this time I bit the bullet. So what if I am a thickie when it comes to techy stuff, I’m going to bloody learn if it kills me and my brain explodes!

So, I asked the questions, in as simple terms as I could and ya know what? I got the answers back in the same way! Without judgement, without feeling thick. I know now that most things are trial and error, but I also know where I was making those errors!

So people, ask those questions! Cos someone will help and YOU will discover, ya not thick!

A massive thank you to those authors out there who continually put themselves forward to help others… YOU are what makes this community so great!

Dialect and dialogue.

I am a writer that likes reviews. I love to hear what a reader thinks about a book, where the author got it right, or in fact wrong. That’s part of how we learn, from constructive criticism. However, I am not supposed to actually have an opinion on what the reader thinks…which I think is a little pointless if the reader got it wrong or completely missed the point and therefore they didn’t enjoy the book. Shouldn’t we all be open to an explanation if we haven’t understood something?

One of the things that often comes up is this… Dialect differences.

I am from the UK. I grew up in London and my accent is very much a part of who I am. As I imagine it is for a lot of people. Now, you might be reading this and imagining that I speak like Mary Poppins, or maybe you hear an Australian like Cate Blanchett, wonderful beautifully spoken English. Who knows, but that isn’t how I sound. How I speak is with a dialect, an accent, common and often vulgar. I speak like I neva learnt how t’talk proper, Ya get me?

I speak with words like cos and ya know and yep and yeah, I used words like init and isit?. And sometimes, that’s just how one of my characters speaks.

So, when you read a book and a character speaks a certain way, its the author’s way of helping you hear the voice… Just the same as when Texans say Y’all or Hippies are all ‘Yeah man, and Californian surfers are Hey dude, that’s so rad!

Cam Thomas comes from London, she’s from the south of London. Where people say was and not were. Mate, you was great! Lemme get ya a pint.

It isn’t bad editing, terrible proofreading or a lack of intelligence… it’s just about characters and opening the door to more than just well-spoken people. It’s about using words to create sound! It’s about using sound to establish a character trait. It’s background.

And also, there are many, many words within the English dictionary which America and other parts of the world might not use or understand… that’s fine if you never learnt them. It doesn’t make it any less of a word just because you choose to ridicule it, it just makes you look a little dim when you sarcastically try to imply the author doesn’t understand.

So, please read books with an open mind… understand that dialogue isn’t always meant to be perfect grammatically. It’s part of the story.

Next time you pick up a book and the dialogue looks a little different to how you expected, just go with it and maybe, just maybe you will get a feel for the character that perfect grammar would have lost!