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  • A J McDine

Life update: In which I meet a legend and make a confession...

Hello!

I'm just catching breath between two trips so I wanted to put the time to good use and keep you posted on Stuff.

Adrian and I have spent the last two days in London attending SPS Live, the biggest conference for indie authors in Europe.

We were part of the volunteer crew, hence the fetching yellow teeshirts, and I spent two days wielding the mic and running up and down the (many) stairs in the Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall during the Q&A sessions.

It was certainly good training for our next trip. But more of that later.

The conference was both informative and inspirational, but most of all it was a chance to meet so many of my author friends In Real Life.

They included my fellow psych thriller author friends AJ Campbell and Daniel Hurst and my cover designer Stuart Bache, to name but a few.

Talks were given by indie authors who are crushing it - including bestselling romance author and absolute legend Lucy Score and Kindle Storyteller Award winner Rachel McLean.

I have come home completely fired up about my own author career and where I want it to go. (I have also come home completely knackered because of the aforementioned stairs!)

Anyways, here's a little montage of some of the best bits, featuring Lucy Score, AJ Campbell and Daniel Hurst.

We are only home for a couple of days before we head off to the Lake District with our youngest son Thomas for a week's holiday.

We have lots of walks planned, including a hike up to the top of Scafell Pike, which at 978 metres is England's tallest mountain.

You might remember we climbed Mount Snowdon last summer, and next year we'll tackle Ben Nevis so we can say we've notched up the three highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland.

I'll let you know how it goes.

In book news, I'm happy to report that Book #5 is going well, and I have just reached the 25,000-word mark. I will take a week off from scribbling while we're away, but I will still be thinking about the book while we're hiking, trying to work out some dastardly twists and turns for my poor cast of characters.

I do have a confession about the book. That corker of a premise I mentioned in my last post didn't pan out in the end, so I went back to the drawing board and thought of a whole new plot. Which (in my humble opinion) is SO much better.

I hope I can do the story justice.

Last time I wrote, I asked you what was most likely to make you buy your next read.

As always, your answers were very revealing:

6.5% of you said the cover

30.4% said the blurb

4.4% said the 'look inside'

13% said the reviews

45.7% said when you love the author

So I guess the answer is for me to write great blurbs and work out a way to inveigle myself into your hearts!

In other book news, my friend AJ Campbell (one of the people I got to meet IRL at the indie authors' conference) launches her latest thriller, The Phone Call, today.

I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to read the book. I was hooked from the start - it had so many twists and turns and an ending I didn't see coming.

AJ Campbell is queen of the progressive complication and you'll soon be rooting for her big-hearted protagonist, Joey, as he tries to protect everyone he holds dear. The book is at the special launch price of 99p/99c at the moment, so grab yourself a copy while you can! Just click this link to check it out: THE PHONE CALL

That's all from me for now. Wish me and my poor old knees luck for the scramble up Scafell Pike, and happy July!

Amanda

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