About my blogs

Hello, welcome to my blog site.
I use these pages to not only promote my book series:
Crystal Waters, but so you can get a taste of what
really goes on behind the scence, so-to-speak.
My thoughts, idea's and feelings are poured lovely into, what I call, my diary for all to see.
I'm sure there will be many happy moments, emotional traumas and doubts, but it will all enhance my
intention; to capture an honest and heartfelt progression-log of my life, as a writer.
Hope you enjoy :) Any comments are most welcome.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Slow on the Update

Has another six months passed and I haven't written a blog? It can't be! Well, being April 2017 and my last entry was October 2016, I can definitely say that it is.
So, what has been happening? *Scratches chin (that's a scratch on the chin to decide what to tell you first, not for of a lack of things I've done.)

I should first let you know that just before Christmas I published Book 5: Crystal Waters To Australasia and Beyond. I really didn't think I was going to make it, but it pulled together all in the nick of time. Lots of Christmas sales and lots of smiley faces (especially mine).
Secondly, I must say this malarkey of trying to do everything myself is proving rather difficult. Not only am I plotting, planning and writing the books, designing the covers and chapter drawings I'm trying to promote my books too. I've still a lot to learn regarding marketing my books and each day seems to throw a new challenge at me. Like, how do I build a platform for myself and my books and get them where they will be seen the most. I think I've exhausted Facebook and Twitter, there's only so many times you can plug your book to your family and friends, and although I have a Facebook page with a 1000 likes from new faces, it still doesn't seem to drive in the sales. Yes, an ongoing problem that only an agent or traditional publisher can solve. They have the right connections, see. Ah, well, maybe one day, eh?
Another thing I have been doing is getting out and about a lot more. No, I don't mean partying with my friends. I mean getting out and doing book signing and market stalls. I love it when I actually talk to real people, rather than just sitting there behind my computer screen hoping that someone out there is actually listening. The reward of meeting returning customers who love your books is like no other and it really does give me a buzz for days. That's what it's all about, isn't it? Creating stories, that have only been in your head for ages, sharing them and getting positive feedback. Just amazing!

On my stall, I must say, as if I'm not busy enough, I not only sell my books. I also create book inspired charms and crafts. You can check them all out on my website: www.crystalwatersmagic.com Another thing I've been working on. (Busy bee, me).
Anyway, for fear of waffling on too long. I must finish and put my tapping fingers to better use; get on with writing Book Six in the series. As I said earlier, it's April already and I'm way behind schedule already. Only the second chapter in. But at least all the planning's done and a wonderful book cover, created by the very talented Mike Wood (a local artist). What do you think?
Toodle-pip for now folks. See you soon ... or in six months. You never know :)


Thursday, 20 October 2016

Nearly there!

Yet again, I must apologise for not writing sooner, but, you may forgive me as I have wonderful news: Book five, 'Crystal Waters To Australasia and Beyond', is finally complete and is at the editors as I write this blog. And so, providing my editor doesn't come back with major changes, I'm so happy to say it'll be definitely out for Christmas, yey!

So, jumping right in there, I thought I'd show you the back cover and the blurb to tickle your taste buds.
I must say I really loved writing this book. As usual the research into all the history and mythology that this new continent has to offer has just been wonderful. Of course, anyone knowing their ancient folklore may recognise some of the creatures I have used within this story, but will see that I have tweaked them a little to breathe a little life into them.
Hour after hour I spent reading New Zealand's legends, poring over maps and watching YouTube documentaries, and I found that New Zealand is still quite a mystery when it comes to ancient history. The Maori's freely admit that they were not the first to discover New Zealand 700 years ago. There were signs of life when they arrived, and many stories say that the ones who lived there before were either blonde or red hair, but both with very pale skin.
With these thoughts in mind, I felt at liberty to make two of my stories about these strange white tribes, who have mysteriously disappeared through our time. There is still so much intrigue with the hidden ancient tribal villages, which date back way before the Maori's came. I love mystery, and as you know this is such a tantalising hook for any writer, when a place has a history that no one can explain. So, there you have it, my imagination ran wild again and made a terrific story in the end, but don't take my word for it, look out for it in the next month or so and read it for yourself. I will keep you all posted. I promise :)

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Where does the time go?

Is it April already? Where did three and a half months go? It's quite scary really.
And so, you may well be asking what the devil have I been up to? Well, in all honesty I've been quite busy, with not only planning my next book, which I'm sad to say has only progressed with one chapter written, but I've opened up my own Ety and Folksy jewellery shop online.
'What!' I hear you cry. 'But you're an author! What has that got to do with writing?'
I'll tell you now, my friends, it has everything to do with my books.
My new business: Crystal Waters Magic are book inspired crafts, you see. Each and every bottle charm that I make are created with my books in mind.

Here, let me show you:

For example, one of my first bottle charms I made was a frog spawn charm. This is, of course , if you have read book one in the series inspired by the storyline where Emma and Grace find frog spawn at the back of Fowesby Hall in a little pond.
My charms come, when purchased, in a little bag with information about my book series and a beautiful scroll, made by a talented crafter: https://www.facebook.com/JuliesCardCupboard/?fref=ts which gives you a little info about the bottle contents and where it relates to in the book.
The Frog Spawn Charms: The frog spawn and their evolving concept (frog spawn, tadpoles to frogs) was the first initial thought when crafting the series and how things are created (the monsters in book one evolve from the DNA in Gran's hairbrush).
Julie has made scrolls for the next lot of bottle charms too, which of course has to be Crystals, a bit of a give away in the book series title.
As my readers know, each country they travel to, to ancient times, has its very own Crystal.
In book one: Crystal Waters It Began in Europe, the children travel to ancient Crete. The Crystal for Crete is a Selenite Crystal. Book two, they go to ancient Canada (North American Continent) and the Crystal for this country is an Amethyst. Book three, the Angelite Crystal represents ancient Antarctica and book four, a Rose Quartz, they go to Egypt in the Continent of Africa.

My books and my charms are now available to buy at my Etsy and Folksy online shops: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CrystalWatersMagic 
So, back to my books, where am I now in the series? Well, book five is well under way, and although only one chapter is written, I have the whole book planned out thoroughly enough that when I do come to write it I know exactly where I'm headed. My aim is to get book five: Crystal Waters To Australia and Beyond, out before Christmas this year.

Anyway folks, it's time to get back to the grind stone. My book won't write itself will it?
See you all soon :) 

Thursday, 31 December 2015

New Year, New Book

Well, it's nearly 2016, which means of course it's time to put behind me the festivities of Christmas, not to mention all the mince pies I've eaten (gasp!) and knuckle down to some serious research for book five. Perhaps a stroll to the park with a book and my notepad will be in order.
As many authors, who delve into history, will say; all reputable novels are backed up with research and so I thought I'd take this opportunity to show you how my mind works and where I get my facts and inspiration from when starting a book.

I must admit, I can get totally immersed in, not only the chapter plotting and building the skeleton of the book, but when it comes to fleshing it out the research can take you down completely new paths that you thought you would never go.
The first books I usually turn to when I'm researching are mythology and legends on the area I have chosen to write about. And because each of my books focus on one continent at a time, I have real fun fine tuning all the wonderful folklore of the countries involved.
My first book, Crystal Waters It Began in Europe, goes back to Minoan times of ancient Crete, and as many people know who have studied Greek mythology, it was written in a quite brutal fashion with Gods having affairs left, right and centre with mortals and often eating their offspring. I decided, because I don't want to scare away my young audience, to tone it down a tad. I still wanted to capture the excitement and the moral story behind them, but tweak it enough that it not only fits into my story well, but it won't mentally scar any child who reads them.  
With my time era in my book chosen, in book one's case it was The Bronze Age in ancient Crete, I turn to the books to study their way of life: what they ate, how they lived, what they wore, what religion they followed, and so on. I even research some of the ancient languages. This mind set helps me focus on the roles of my characters and how they would react and what they do.
I also look in to what weaponry they used at that time and what beasts they were to slay. Some of the creatures I have chosen for book one will seem familiar, such as the Pigasos, Minotavros and Medousa, although I have changed their name slightly for this is how the Greeks pronounce them. Some creatures are new, however, and are my own creation like the Firefish and the Gloop monster of the swamp. Perhaps not that original, but I didn't want to overshadow the true myths.
Of course I then look at routes and how my characters get to their destination. So after they step through the magical doorway in Gran's Cellar (Fowesby Hall, Middlesbrough) they then travel along the great waterways of the world in carefully selected boats of the time (further research). I then add a little more to this fun mix, and as they sail along they travel back in time, which means checking on what they see outside the boat. For instance, as they travel down the River Ouse (book one) they pass through the City of York, which turns into the Victorian era. I am really quite fanatical, as is my editor, in keeping my facts right and even go to the lengths of drawing myself up a chart to keep me on the right track. Here's a peak behind the scenes.

Route - Middlesbrough – Crete (Book One) 

1, 9am
Ormesby Beck
Present day-1910
River Tees (Middlesbrough)
River Tees (Yarm)
4, 10am
River Tees Sock burn Hall or Moulton Hall
2.Edwardian 1910-1901
(Floats to) Langton Upon Swale
River Swale (Joins River Ure)
7, 11pm
River Swale becomes River Ouse
3. Victorian 1901-1836
River Ouse (York)
Trent Falls (near Faxfleet)
10, 12pm
River Trent (Trent Lock meets River Soar)
4. Georgians 1836-1714
11, 1pm
River Soar
5. Stuarts 1714-1603
River Soar (Ratcliffe On Soar)
River Soar (Leicester)
Grand Union Canal
G.U.C Hertfordshire (Kings Langley, Watford & Cassiobury Park)
G.U.C Middlesex (Uxbridge, West Drayton, Hayes & Brentford)
17, 2pm
River Thames (Kew Gardens, Westminster, Tower of London, Greenwich)
6. Tudors 1603-1558
18, 3pm
Into North Sea at Graves End (Margate)
7. Middle Ages 1400-1200
19, 4pm
North Sea Heading South
8. Normans 1200-1066
Across the Channel
21, 5pm
The River Rhine (Strasbourg, Borders of France)
9.Vikings 1066-800
22, 6pm
The Danube River (Ulm-Germany)
10. Anglo Saxons 800-410AD
The Danube River (into Austria)
24, 7pm
The Danube River (Linz, Vienna, Bratislava, Borders of Slovakia & Hungry)
11.Romans 410-43AD
The Danube River (Budapest Hungry)
The Danube River (into Croatia)
27, 8pm
The Danube River (into Serbia & Montenegro)
12. Iron Age 43AD-500BC
The Danube River (Belgrade, Borders of Romania & Bulgaria)
The Drina River (between Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina)
The Drina River (Dinaric Alps)
Into the Adriatic Sea
32, 9pm
Into the Mediterranean Sea to Crete
13. Bronze Age 500-2100BC

 This is further enhanced by visual aids I get from the internet.

My research for further books, which I won't go into now as this blog will be far too long, was exactly the same process: Book Two - Crystal Waters and on to North America, took me to ancient Canada where we meet Native American Indians. Book Three - Crystal Waters Next Stop Antarctica, was quite a pinnacle point of the series, where we find out the history behind the gateway and where all things began in the universe. And book four, Crystal Waters Onward Bound to Africa, takes us back to the times of Tutankhamun and the history along the River Nile. 
So as you can see, there are weeks of fabulous research ahead of me, which I must add I am going to revel in. This time I'm going to New Zealand, to the continent of Australia and I'll be researching ancient Maori tribes. 
Well then, all there is left to say is, see you in a month or so when my brain will be swimming with wonderful new ideas and all ready to start my next book. Ta ta for now :) 

Thursday, 3 December 2015

New and Exciting

What a week! Two great book talks and to top it off; Book Four in the Crystal Waters Series - Crystal Waters Onward Bound to Africa, has been published, and is now available on Amazon as well as many other online stores.
I have to admit, although I was rather nervous, I thoroughly enjoyed the talks at an English Class at Marton Community Centre and the Saltburn Community and Arts Centre this week.
   As a self-published writer, it goes with the job to get out there and tell people about you and your books. So out of my Bat cave I climbed and made my way, despite the constant knee-knocking, to these events. I'm so glad I did. What lovely people I met there. The class at Marton Community Centre were wonderful and with only a small class I was soon put at my ease and felt like one of the group. After my book spiel we all had a little chat and was delighted when I discovered they had done some research and googled my blog.
    Great interest was shown and there were some great questions too, like: 'Could I start reading book four and know what was going on in the series?' I replied with: 'You can start by reading Book Four first, there wouldn't be much of a problem, but the first few books goes into depth about the characters: who they are and where they came from. Book Two, Crystal Waters and on to North America, has at the beginning a recap of the characters. Book Three, Crystal Waters Next Stop Antarctica, only briefly mentions previous events and people, and Book Four has even less.'
   I find many authors use this method in a book series, as they probably figure by the time you have got to book three or four you will know the characters quite well, and it isn't necessary to keep repeating info for them in further books. So yes, you can most certainly read book four in my series, however, you may just miss out on some vital facts that may be important later.
My second book talk was great. Again I met some lovely people there who showed great interest in my books. We had a fabulous line-up of local authors (although, two couldn't make it) and Simon, Will, Jennie and I all had great fun telling a truly wonderful audience about our books and fun facts about our selves as a writer.

So, to the cherry on top: Book Four has arrived!! I can't wait to hear what people think of it. Just remember feedback is essential to an author and reviews on Amazon, or other similar sites are so greatly appreciated.

Well, there's only one thing let to do folks ... it's time to go back in time ... through that ancient doorway and go and meet Tutankhamun himself. Go on! what are you waiting for? Happy reading :)

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

New releases

My goodness! Is it October already? Time does fly when you're having fun, as they say.
And, before you cry out with words of; 'You're a terrible blogger,' and 'You're hardly ever here!' I will quickly step in and tell you, in my defence, that I have not been idle. I have indeed many projects now complete and a few new ones just getting started. So here's the latest:
Firstly, as I mentioned in my last blog, my friend, Mel Hayward, and I were working on the audio book for book one: Crystal Waters It Began in Europe, and I'm pleased to announce it is now for sale at Amazon. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crystal-Waters-Began-Europe/dp/B01596CBWE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1445335466&sr=8-1&keywords=diana+Rozevskis

Working on the audio book has been a fantastic journey for both Mel and I, and I can't express how much I appreciate all the hard work Mel has put into this project. She really is a true professional and I couldn't be more happier with the result. My family and I have laughed and cried through many scenes in this audio book and have loved every minute of it. Mel is fantastic with the character accents and has really brought them all to life. It's well and truly worth a listen folks, so go and check it out. 

Secondly, I'm delighted to say that book four: Crystal Waters Onward Bound to Africa is now complete. Liz (my editor) and I are just working through a few edits and it will be definitely out for Christmas.
Again, it must be said, I have loved writing this book and I may sound presumptuous, but I'm sure you will too, especially if you are passionate about ancient Egyptian myths and legends. As usual the research has taken me to places I never knew existed and I adored getting totally submerged into this magical world. A trip up the Nile, in this ancient land, and you will find mythical beasts such as Sphinxes, Serpards and carnivorous serpent creatures, along with the stepped Pyramids of Sakkara and the wonderful golden Palace of Thebes. The families quest, in this fourth book, is to find their friend, Olga, who brewed the Elixir of Youth for too long and has gone back to almost beyond her years. A challenge that seems almost impossible! Will they succeed? Join Emma and Grace and find out in the next exciting instalment. Coming very, very soon!

And so, while I twiddle my thumbs waiting for my editor, I start a thinking (dangerous, I know) and I began planning a new little business.  It is only in the early stages, but I have so many ideas running through my head. The new business, which is connected to The Crystal Waters Series will be a jewellery craft business, which take themes from all my favourite teen and young adult books. Most of the jewellery and pendants for key-rings will be created inside a bottle. Here are a few examples I have found on the internet:

These remind me in many ways of: Crystal Waters, Harry Potter, Clockwork Orange, The Little White Horse, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Book Thief.
Of course, these are all other artists works and I will be creating unique ones of my own, but I think you get the idea. So as they say, stay tuned and watch this space, there is certainly plenty more to come :)

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Creating the Audio Book

With Audio Book sales on the increase and becoming extremely popular, because of our fast pace life most of us lead, I thought it was time to look into the Audio Book Production World and start the process of transforming my books into audio format.
   Although I have an absolute passion for reading, and always have a few books on the go at a time, I must admit I love listening to audio books. It's such a great way to make the hum-drum of household chores and the monotony of long car journeys all the more better. Or even just a time to relax, close your eyes and drift into another world. I've listened to many, in my time, with always the same result; to find yet another magical way of truly getting into the stories I love. 
   An audio book can breathe life into a book, bringing out some wonderful character accents and transforming them into an almost 3D image for the mind.

   Of course, looking into Audio Books, I found, requires quite a lot of research; studying web companies who offer their services to transform your book into audio, such as ACX, Audible UK, Audio book Producer and CDBaby.com. For all of them I ask the same questions: 
  • How much it would cost to set up, 
  • What it all involves 
  • And most of all asking where they supply to and the demand for them.
   The former query - How much it would cost to set it up - varied from company to company. But the main thing to ask would be; are you getting a good deal for your money. Most offered different packages - whether you did the recording yourself or hired one of their narrators to read the book for you. 
   To do it yourself was so much cheaper. And when I say do it myself I don't mean I personally recorded reading it. I maybe a writer and know my book inside and out, but to narrate it I knew required skill - a skill in which I certainly don't have. And so I managed to find, through my Facebook friends, an actress who has started to work on it and I must say I'm truly over the moon with the results so far.
   Mel Hayward is a British actress from Cornwall. She has worked on many films, acting, and performed audio broadcasts for newsreader roles and  has a wonderful singing voice. She can adapt to all kinds of accents and can throw herself into any role, which is great for the mixed-bunch of characters I have in my books.
   I feel with Mel narrating my books it has given them a new dimension and have really opened up a new way to enjoy them. 
   Here is her link for you see this talented lady for yourself: http://www.starnow.co.uk/melhayward 

A sneak Peak: 

   Just as a treat I thought I'd let you listen to the first chapter of Book One: Crystal Waters It Began in Europe. So kick off your shoes, make yourself a nice steamy mug of your favourite hot beverage and enjoy :)

   To answer the next questions on my list I will have to cover it in a second blog. But I will keep you posted on my progress and how things fall into place Fingers crossed it's all smooth sailing after a fantastic start. 
So until next ta ta for now :)