Long time, no speak… hear the latest!

Hello Again

“Books at Beverley Races” took place last October and was a roaring success. Lots of happy smiling faces, many books sold, hilarious conversations had and long overdue catch-ups finally achieved after, in some cases, two years apart. It was a lot of hard work but it was so worth it – and let me tell you, I wasn’t always sure it would still go ahead, what with Covid lingering in the background. Truth to tell, this event was a bit of a crazy late-night idea of mine. I had no idea what it would really require, but I met each challenge head on, knowing how much this meeting would mean to people.

Also, what it would mean to me. The idea of organising a book event such as this arose from a desire to challenge myself, to test my capabilities. I’ve always been a bit of a leader in every job I’ve ever had, yet since becoming an author, I’ve obviously only been in charge of myself, and I might have somewhat forgotten the broad spectrum of what it is I am capable of. Yet this desire to challenge myself wasn’t just about reconnecting with long-forgotten skills… it was an urge to level up with everyone around me. So many people have been in pain for one reason or another this past couple of years. Yet they’ve stepped up. They’ve shown up. Especially some people close to me – mostly, my husband, who’s not only about to lose his dad from cancer, but this past few months or so, has had to deal with some terrible, cruel manoeuvres from people within his career orbit. That’s not something you need or expect, especially when these people know your father and best mate won’t be here for much longer. But what does not destroy us, only makes us stronger (or stranger), and we are stronger and more defiant than ever. It was at this event actually that someone told me just how much my partner had helped her that day – and I agree – my husband is normally the one propping up everyone else.

See more photos from Beverley on our Instagram Page or Facebook Group!

So last year was a productive year indeed. Under my third (secret) pen name, I published four books which have been very well received. And after the success of Beverley, I really wasn’t sure about organising another event. I was exhausted. And if you’re anything like me and you can see a lot of moving puzzle pieces inside your mind, then you’ve accounted for everything but you’re also prepared for it all to go wrong, too. Yet – and I am sure many other events organisers experience this – after pulling off something like this, you have a sort of withdrawal (if not right away, eventually) and all you want to do then, is do it all over again! Maybe one day I won’t want to do it ever again, but right now… I can announce that I AM DOING IT AGAIN!

The feeling I got after Beverley was not only that people wanted me to do another event, but that they also want me to make it more varied. There were many constrictions I was under at Beverley due to Covid and other factors, preventing me from going further, but now I think I have found a terrific venue that will give us the platform to create something even more special.

I find that at every event I attend, whether as a reader, author or organiser – they just zip by too bloody fast! All the people you wanted to speak to you don’t always get to and all the things you told yourself beforehand to absorb and suck up…. Well, in practise, it just doesn’t always happen. So with “Authors at the Armouries”, I am organising a dinner-dance after the main signing – and also hoping to lay on some small, intimate seminars/panels on the Sunday morning, too! There may be some interesting conversations that morning!

So if you are an author and would like to register your interest for my next event, click here and input your details! If you’re a reader and would like me to approach your favourite author, send me an email… smlpublishinguk@gmail.com. So far, it is shaping up to be an exciting and unforgettable one. All genres are welcome and we have already had interest from thriller writers, PNR, fantasy, romance, poetry, contemporary and children’s.

Other News

I’m sure not one of you has not been affected lately by what we’re seeing in the news. We all feel useless and mortified we can’t do more. Yet all over the place, small acts of kindness are brimming – sometimes it’s those that push me over the edge, not to mention the images we’re subjected to every day. I am contributing but a poem to this anthology organised by Danielle Jacks, but there are several authors writing short stories centred around military romance. All proceeds will benefit the Red Cross Ukraine Appeal. You can find out all you need to know here:

Pre-Order on Amazon UK or Amazon US

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A New series from s. m. lynch

This year, it’s 10 years since I first started publishing and I find myself more and more going back to my roots. I began my writing career publishing sci-fi novels and as S. M. Lynch, I find myself able to explore avenues and areas of my writing I can’t as a romance writer. As a thriller writer, I can vent about a lot more – and considering my past self of ten years ago predicted a pandemic to occur in 2023 (I was a couple of years out), maybe we can read quite a lot into my other predictions, too. It’s the fate of an ex-journalist, I am afraid, to be always on the pulse.

So it gives me great pleasure to announce my next publication, RUTHLESS! I can’t wait for you all to read it. Read the blurb:

A new series which adds a fresh perspective to the frightening, alternative S. M. Lynch universe . . .

Leah was wrenched from everything she knew at a young age and turned into a killer. It became that she didn’t know anything else but the day’s toil of hardening her body and her mind.

Her mentor Caleb was the only person she saw and she couldn’t escape him. We only know that at some point they fell in love, but it didn’t quite go according to plan.

The present Leah Feltham is now the toughest assassin in London, a woman in her thirties working alone, existing for the job, nothing else.

Then, something goes wrong.

War is brewing. She knows it.

And she’s about to find her true love, right before it all kicks off . . .

**This series can be read without any previous reading, but for added context, it’s recommended you read the Ruthless Series after reading the Collective Series**

S. M. Lynch Connected Novels Reading Order:

Chimera (Collective 1)

Panacea (Collective 2)

Exodus (Collective 3)

>>>>Ruthless<<<<

The Radical (Unity 1)

The Informant (Unity 2)

The Sentient (Unity 3)

The Awoken (New Unity 1)

The Rising (New Unity 2)

Add Ruthless to Goodreads: here

Catching Up . . .

Has 2020 been all about Covid? In a way, yes. In many ways, no.

For a lot of people it’s been about re-evaluating. It’s been a wake-up call.

Do I need to commute so far every day? Do I love this person I’m living with? What’s the point of continuing in this job I hate? Why am I putting up with so much outside of my control? I could go on… the list is endless. Everyone has been forced to stop and THINK.

2020 has been a shit year for many. There we are. In the words of Mad-Eye Moody, “End of story. Goodbye. The End…”

But it hasn’t all been about Covid.

For instance, among my family and extended family three people are living with cancer at the moment. The worst moments of some people’s lives have taken place, all while Covid exists as an annoying accomplice in the background. Cancer hasn’t gone away. Nor have any of the other ailments killing people every day.

My husband’s work has changed completely. He’s adapted and is a podcaster now and wants to do a Masters for himself, because as he put it, “You just sometimes realise if you want to do something for yourself, you’ve got to do it now. There’s no time.”

We had a major financial scare at the beginning of this year. Suffice to say, there are some dodgy, dodgy companies out there… and they will still be doing what they do post-Covid, because some things never change.

I’ve heard numerous times from my daughter, the words, “I hate coronavirus!” All she sees is that she cannot meet her friends in the same way. She can’t stay over at Grandma’s. She couldn’t go to school. She hates seeing her parents in the scary masks and doesn’t understand why so many people are angry and impatient everywhere. And all the adults ever seem to talk about is fucking coronavirus. LOL.

I started writing a series of books last winter, almost a year ago now. I put fingers to keys to create the Bad Series well before any of this kicked off.

I wrote this series during some of the worst times of my life, but I worked SO HARD throughout to stick to the brief I set out a year ago – to write it as it was meant to be written from concept to completion. I oftentimes write my books real-time and that’s why more often than not, I write in first-person present tense because I want it to have the feel of “happening right now” – that you’re living the story alongside the characters. The epilogue of the Bad Series brings the characters right up to about now (2020 – the year which in future shall not be named). However, I am no way going to ever mention the C-word in any of my books. WHY? Because it doesn’t have a place. Not right now. Maybe not ever. The issues I chose to write about and have been detailing for ten years are, to me, much more prevalent, evergreen and pressing. Issues such as family, relationships, friendships, mental health, overcoming trauma, acceptance of one another and love.

If you want to discover what my post-natal brain conjured eight or nine years ago about the future (2023) then read my predictions in the Unity Series. If you’d like a window into what my highly sensitive nerve endings picked up on as being our future, Unity comes very close in a lot of (interpretational) ways. If there was a message in the Unity Series, it was to think for yourself. To not allow ourselves to be pushed apart. Broken, we can be divided; together, we’re unbreakable.

Fiction, as it turns out, is more important than ever. To me. To you. To the world. A safe space in which to translate and work through everything going on around us.

I know how lucky I am every day to be able to venture into my own private domain. To have the skill to be able to knit my concerns about the world within good stories. To have my safe space.

I recognise, now more than ever, there is pain out there which goes far beyond the virus and it is being squashed away because of this C-word thing going on and interrupting our lives.

Domestic abuse is up. Cancer patients are waiting. Many elderly are suffering because they simply cannot get out. They are missing that VITAL chance to be around the younger generation and feel connected to the world. People are telling themselves their suffering is small and therefore they aren’t going to the doctor with that ache or pain or lump they’d normally get checked out. And MONEY still isn’t being placed where it is needed most. And the WRONG sectors are benefiting from this crisis while the pre-existing and various struggles of millions are ongoing and far outweigh some people’s reluctance to don a mask.

And the very fine balance of people’s mental health is being tested like never before. Those of us who have never had a mental health issue – are wondering if it’s coming for us next. Because sometimes, some days, you just wake up and think, “What the fuck next…?”

For someone who processes events slowly, and then all at once, the next writings from me might be very interesting indeed.

Is 2020 a write-off?

I don’t know.

Personally, this year has taught me that I am there for a heck of a lot of people. And I will always be. But stepping back sometimes is something I have to do. Trying to save people is something I can’t accomplish. Even when I can see what they’re doing is causing damage only to themselves, I can’t step in. But maybe somebody reading one of my books might read it… and be moved to see things clearer than if someone in their lives had sat them down and told them.

For some, lockdown was their saviour. It was finally their chance to take stock. To catch up on sleep. No more boarding a flight every week. No more sardine-in-a-can train journeys. Time spent catching up with their partner and/or kids. Time to spruce up the house or driveway or back garden, or front – maybe all the above. Time to grow out your hair and/or nails. Time to breathe. Time to actually speak to your neighbour. A chance to buy local. A chance to sell local. A chance to be local.

If I’m anything to go by, let me tell you, one thing is for certain.

Post-2020, creativity is going to be UP!

Things are going to change, and it is going to hurt, but through the enormous amount of creativity that is coming – because nothing can come from nothing and who we are, the experiences we’ve had and the hearts we own are everything – we can be together.

Watch this space…

Autumn and Other Things

483c0dc1ddc26f93d3952375b208c964How has this happened? How is it autumn already? I asked myself this when I looked at the calendar this morning. Life seems very busy and rushing by at the speed of light right now. It was yesterday when I was selling stuff at a car boot sale that my husband said, “You’re really good at selling.” I had to take a moment to think about that. Yes, I may have only been selling tat, but evidently I can sell tat! Anyway, what is one man’s junk may well be another’s treasure.

We say it every year, but this year it seems more true than any other: the past few months have zoomed by. I find myself sitting here wondering what I have achieved in the past nine months. So instead of thinking, “Oh god, no, it’s already October and I haven’t done half the things I wanted to do this year…” I have instead decided to think about the things I have achieved. Like for instance, selling loads of tat at yesterday’s car boot sale – result! I also sold our house this year – result! I’ve lost count of the amount of books I’ve published this year and the amount I’ve currently got in the queue to write. I think the point is, it is just so easy to let time pass you by without reflecting on your achievements and progress. Many of us have probably looked at the calendar this morning and thought, “Oh, god,” while many others – like me – are reminded October is our favourite month, even if it does bring us closer to the dreaded C word. LOL. (CHRISTMAS!)

It’s so important to reflect and to acknowledge all the little things we do on a daily basis as achievements in themselves. There are still three months of this year left and maybe the ground work we lay down earlier in the year will soon bear fruit. Even though I have got a lot going on right now, both personally and professionally, I will try to take time for myself and stop awhile to admire the beauty all around. After a summer I couldn’t wait to be shot of (too hot and sticky!), I felt a little sad with the onset of the cooler weather, but only because I’d wished the summer away, dreaming of that cooler weather. It’s a paradox, I know! It feels like I’ve experienced a little bit of lost time this year – and I am sure I am not the only one.

Anyway, my response to my husband when he said I’m good at marketing is that I must have picked it up since becoming an author. I have learnt a lot from publishing books, possibly more than I have from any other career… The broad range of skills you develop, the all-rounder you have to become … it is a never-ending learning curve, it really is. Being an author isn’t just sitting on your bum writing, it involves so much else, and for that I am thankful. So as we pass into this thankful phase of the year, I will keep reminding myself how lucky I am to be doing something with my life so challenging, yet so fulfilling.

With all this in mind, I thought I’d let you know what I have coming up in the next few months:

  • Leticia, a vampire novella, publishing around Halloween
  • Deadly Virtues, a collection of poetry – TBC
  • The Awoken, a YA science fiction novel – TBC
  • Illicit (working title) – TBC
  • Panacea – TBC
  • Assassin – TBC

There’s a lot to be thankful for!

Sarah x