Tag: writing

Introducing…Mind A Moment

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I feel weird introducing myself as the creator of Mind A Moment because, although I am, it feels much too formal and like there isn’t really much to introduce.

My blog was born amongst the chaos of dropping out of university after my first year. I had always loved writing and had shown a real passion for it ever since childhood but had never had anything to write about. Ironically, being so lost in life gave me some much needed direction in my writing. My first ever post  did really well, being shared by hundreds of young people who also felt confused about their future. This gave me the confidence to make my blog a regular thing.

I had wanted to start a blog since I was about 13 before blogging was ‘cool’ so all the positive feedback I was getting helped me to forget about the few people who might be laughing at me. I had written about something that nobody else seemed to be talking about and I had messages from so many people praising me for how relatable my post had been. Riding the wave, I scribbled down more things that I wanted to write about and began regularly posting about another taboo: mental health.

I think I always knew I wanted to discuss mental health on my blog because when coming up with a name for it, I wanted something that related to slowing down and taking a moment out of our busy lives. To me, Mind A Moment means mindfulness, a technique that really helped me during some of my darkest moments.

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Fast forward to now, my content has developed with me. I still talk about mental health but in a much broader context. I discuss my (un)luckiness in love, friendship and spiritual healing in a way that I feel hasn’t really been approached before. And through my journey of recovery and self love, my blog has been a creative outlet for me that I am sharing with the internet. My goal has always been to inspire people, to open their eyes and to let them know that they aren’t alone and I hope that I will always continue to do this.

If you like the sound of any of this or want to know more then head over to Mind A Moment or follow me on Instagram

Maddies Blog, Mind a Moment:

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Maddie’s Instagram:

 

To read the previous Introducing… article featuring Our Beautiful Chaos, Click here

 

[Written by Mind a Moment | Edited & Published by Dawson.xo | Photos by Mind a Moment, Maddie Jennings | Subject to copyright]

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The problem with Big Bloggers

I always find starting a blog post is the hardest part of actually keeping up a blog, finding a theme, setting up your social links and adding pictures is the fun bit. But actually sitting down and thinking of something to say is a completely different thing.2018-03-19 10.38.19 1

I have quite a few people who say to me they’d love to start a blog but they just don’t know what to blog about, truth is, neither do i.

Blogging is half about having a passion and talent for writing and half about building up the confidence to actually share yourself online. You could write a fantastic blog piece about ‘All the reasons kale is good for you’ or ‘How to become a ‘girl boss’ in ten days,’ the typical kind of blog post you’re likely to see get thousands of hits but is it personal? Unless that person is a kale farmer or really is making thousands in a few days, then no it isn’t.

So should you make a blog that’s personal and bare all to the world or should you stick to the generic ‘popular’ posts? I realise I am being very hypocritical here because I, like many others, find myself slipping into the cliché stereotypical blogging category a lot of the time (and probably with this post). But blogging should be a passion, it should be something you are proud of and can happily say ‘I wrote this’ or ‘I made this’ ‘I took this photo’ and people to look at it and know that that is truly you.1521202204118

Trouble is, in the past few months blogging has become a phenomenally large, saturated, hobby,  with hundreds of thousands of people competing for a space on the popular page. Because of this competitiveness the lesser known blogs are pushed under the carpet and just like everything else in society, the blogger behind the page begins to try to conform just to get noticed.

Do we not teach people to be themselves and be honest no matter what other people think? Do we not teach people that looks don’t matter? That we should be individuals?

So why is their post not good enough to get the attention?

Whether you are working on an old school hot pink flip Motorola (always wanted that phone) or a brand new Olympic pen. Or if you walk around with a rucksack of different lenses and a camera that weighs more than your entire body, every single individual puts time and effort into the content they create.

It’s not a secret that I know nothing about photography, but the photos I take I try just as hard to make them look aesthetically pleasing as a professional would do. Sometimes I am lucky enough to get to pick the brains of Hayley and learn a bit more about taking high quality images but a lot of the time my content is mediocre.

It’s also no secret that I have the academic level of a goldfish and sometimes can’t seem to even get my words in the right order before a large cup of tea in the morning, but when I sit and write a post I put myself into it, grammatical errors and all.

IMG_20180317_095610_343The problem is however, in the last few months I put all this effort in and I don’t get anything out of it. Instead I see more and more beautifully taken photos by hired photographers in luxurious backgrounds surrounded by the biggest fruit spread dominating the popular page leading to a blog post on……. ‘How to gain 100k followers by just being you.’ But you read the post, you see the photo and it is completely hypocritical. You’re telling people to hire a photographer, is that being you? You’re saying to travel to these locations [Insert some amazingly expensive holiday you wouldn’t be able to afford to go on even if you sold your soul], is that being you? You’re saying photoshop yourself to show your curves and attract attention, is that being you? You’re advising to remove any necessities that everyone has in everyday life out of the image and only have high end, pretty looking objects in view, is that you? And most of all, is the entire blog post YOU? Because im sure we haven’t slipped into some Charlie brooker fantasy where everyone lives their life in a conformed list of instructions just yet.

It is disheartening when you put your real self out there and yet someone with 500k followers talking some utter shit about something they aren’t passionate about blocks out all your content altogether. Because that’s exactly what happens.

If your image doesn’t get a certain rate of engagement within the first 2 minutes, Instagram then blocks your photo from being discovered by people who haven’t engaged with you either; ever, or within the last 24 hours. That means around 60% of even your1521455157978 followers probably don’t see your posts, let alone finding any new followers. And if like me, you are shadowbanned (Instagram claim this is a glitch on their software) then no hashtags ever work on your photos and no exposure outside of your engaging followers is given. At all.

So ‘what’s the point in doing it?’ People say to me. I’ve heard so many people say ‘ I used to blog but I stopped because no one was reading my posts’ and honestly, I feel ya.

Sometimes I sit here trying to think of witty posts or come up with an idea that covers a topic that’s really popular at the minute in order to gain traffic to my blog or my Instagram, but then I read back and think, this isn’t me, this isn’t personal.

I want to look back in a few years and laugh like, ‘oh remember when we first got luna and she shat on my laptop because I took my favourite bra that she was chewing off her’ or cry because I remember the pain of losing my two babies. I want to look back and go ‘aww look how small they are here, remember when she just started sitting up?’ or ‘Gosh look at me complaining about being tired here when im legit dying of tiredness right now, I didn’t have a clue back then.’ I want to look back and remember my writing fondly, I don’t want to look back and read ‘5 self help books that cured me of depression’ because truth is in the future no one is going to care, I’m the only one who is going to care and im going to regret getting a few thousand views on that verses a funny update that reminds me of a great time or a feeling.

IMG_20180319_212906_025I’m not dissing ‘big’ bloggers, they work hard and they are great at it, they deserve the exposure they get but what i’m trying to say is don’t change yourself or your blog to conform with them just because they are popular.

You wanna write a blog on how your dog’s poo progresses through life? You do it. You want to write a diary entry documenting your mental illness in the most personal way possible? You do it. You want to share you latest tinder date in every gory detail? You do it. You write about what you want to write about, write what you enjoy and what you know that ten years into the future you can look back on and say ‘I’m so glad I wrote that, Id completely forgotten about it!’ Don’t write for someone else.

If your blog isn’t getting great views, that’s okay, it doesn’t mean its shit. It doesn’t mean you should change and fit in to ‘what’s popular.’ So please, please, please, if you want to blog but are scared no one will read it, just do it! Do it for yourself. If you already have a blog and are unmotivated by it and low about it, please keep going because you started it for a reason.  Remember the reason why you considered blogging in the first place? Was it to ‘get rich quick?’ probably not. It was to express yourself, share yourself and have a little place on the internet that’s all yours. It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks of it.

YOU DO YOU.

 

xoxo

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As a way for bloggers to gain exposure I have recently started up my ‘Introducing…’ series, so if you are interested in being a guest post on my blog in order to reach a further/different audience please check out my page and show your interest or let know on Instagram.

Thank you to everyone who has already applied to be a part of the series, you guys are what makes it worthwhile!

Introducing Brief

Ngl, Pregnancy kinda sucks!?

I know its been quite the while since I last posted and promised to be more attentive with the blog but I’ve been fairly busy with my head in a sick bowl.

Whoever said pregnancy is supposed to be the loveliest 9 months of your life was clearly a joker and my previous two pregnancies had me fooled. Now i know the whole concept of pregnancy is so wonderful, a life is growing (extremely slowly and painfully) inside you and your life and body is changing for the better and all that bullshit but to be quite honest, its actually pretty shit isn’t it?

For starters, my handbag has now been emptied of expensive perfume, light coverage makeup for touch ups and all things girly that are assumed to be hiding around in there. Instead I have jars of vitamins, some granny looking headache stick so I don’t go blind from these ‘pregnancy migraines’, foundation thick enough to disguise my appearance completely, and copious amounts of ugly panty liners, cause someones gotta say it, girls the amount of random shit that’s coming out of your vagina is not pre-warned or talked about! Okay you don’t get a period, but you piss yourself every day for  6 months straight if someone makes a joke and lets not discuss the latter. All i’m saying is no period for 9 months is no cause for the sexy thongs, you want those granny pants more than ever!

Every week I get a notification saying what week in my pregnancy I am in and how big the baby is now, which okay is cute, but instead of telling me my baby is now the size of some exotic vegetable ill never eat, how about telling me that at this week my boobs are gonna explode into mismatched bag of potatoes and ill be freeing the nipple for the next 4 months because no bras fit?

You’ll be blooming soon everyone keeps saying, but im struggling to understand how one can bloom without starting the day with a strong coffee or being allowed to devour a whole camembert for lunch?

‘Your skin may start changing now’ the midwife told me at our last appointment to which I was eagerly awaiting the morning I looked in the mirror to discover I was no longer a reincarnated Michael Jackson and my skin was glowing and full of colour. What I seem to have developed instead, is a reptilian trait of shedding my skin every day, my face is literally peeling faster than the snakes that live in the corner of my dressing room. Also, to add to the long list of nice things us pregnant women can’t have, we add hair dye. I was quite happily continuing my façade of being a natural light blonde and ignoring the fact that my hair had turned into a grey brownish colour by keeping up with my roots every few months. The confusion when people tried to work out whether it was my hair or my eyebrows that were the real deal was a much preferred first world problem (both are fake incase you hadn’t worked that out) because now im walking around with proper ‘council house’ hair, it’s a good job its winter because im living in hats so no one knows my true identity. The best thing about us moving to burton is the fact that I am 95% anonymous and I don’t have to bump into anyone I know for them to offer me some change and directions to the nearest St Basils.

We are nearing the midway point of my pregnancy and with that comes the gender reveal, probably the most exciting milestone in the pregnancy and everyone keeps asking me whether I will be finding out. To which the answer is of course I am, I’m not a philistine. I will be spending the rest of my pregnancy hoarding every single gender related item I can, so yes, I will be finding out the sex, (If the second child is a different gender they’ll just have to lump it cause everyone knows you go all out for the first and the second gets the leftovers). However, finding out the gender isn’t all that simple either, especially when your baby thinks your womb is some sort of Guantanamo bay and must escape any detection. It’s hard to tell whether I am feeling them moving, despite the fact the midwife informs me they are constantly wriggling away when she tries to use the doppler, because im not too sure what im expecting to feel? Having Crohns, I have a load of weird feelings inside my body like a Chest-Burster is gonna be born any day (Dropping in Alien references so John shuts the F*&k up) and so its hard to tell what is the baby moving and was is just a fart building up. We have tried many different techniques to try to get the baby to do a 180 just so we can tell the difference between constipation and a baby kick. At around 16 weeks your baby can detect light and will turn away from it, so we have been using our phone torches as some sort of siege to terrorise our child to ‘come out with its hands up.’ (Not literally come out I mean like show yourself, im already having a heart attack thinking about childbirth and ive still got 4 months left).

Finally, its not a secret that with pregnancy comes a whirlwind of hormones, whether it changes physical attributes or your mental state it is important to report any changes to your dr or midwife. But im not sure my midwife was expecting to have such a paranoid pregnant woman on her, when she said you can text me at any time I don’t think she was expecting me to be like a bad smell and be texting her like ‘I’ve had diarrhoea and three farts in one go, is this normal? Is the baby still alive!? Have i gassed them!?’ ‘I’ve got hair growing in weird places, is this normal!?’ ‘I can’t stop eating olives, does this mean my baby will have good skin?’ ‘I rolled onto my back for like 10 seconds, have I killed my child!?” “Can you tell me if it’s a boy or a girl based on my symptoms? Go on! Just give me a guess?!’ Needless to say I bet she is looking forward to me having this baby more than I am. John has gone into a vegetative state of nodding with glazed eyes and saying ‘Yes, everything’s fine, here have some Mcnuggets” (HINT HINT. MCDONALDS SPONSER MY POSTS!)  to shut me up when I’m having a 2007 Britney meltdown.

As usual, I will end the post with a little positive disclaimer, because if you hadn’t already gathered I have a dry sense of humour but some people still seem to think im deadly serious in my posts. Obviously, there are negatives and positives to all pregnancies and I am thoroughly enjoying the experience of becoming a mother and can’t wait for the baby to come despite any nasty symptoms. There are also a hundred different things going on and I cant fit them all into a readable blog post.

*Featured photo designed and shot by Hayley Leaver Photography, click here to see more of her stuff.

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I’m now on Vero  as Chloe Dawson!

 

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I’m not entirely sure what this post is gonna be about or even going to include but I thought I hadn’t written one in a while so imma try whack one out of these chubby little fingers of mine. As you know I turned 22, it was kind of unavoidable considering I’d plastered it all over social media and I’d promised John if he didn’t get the giant balloons so I can sing Taylor Swift ‘22’ and quote it in a cliché insta caption, then his life wouldn’t be worth living. But he pulled it off blaring it at 5am in the morning.

I spent my actual birthday doing the craziest, wildest shit ever, literally the best day of my life, I spent the morning…wait for it…completing a Sudoku. Not just any Sudoku, the extreme level Sudoku in the take a break mag. Really was a wild 22nd. But mom and dad did surprise me by coming to visit in the afternoon and we had cupcakes and did what civilised people do before I got to change into my ‘I don’t have to uphold a reputation and am free to ruin my life’ persona. My friends came over and we stuffed our faces with posh food, talked about politics and drank prosecco, like how 22 year old adults are supposed to act…(That’s adulting, right?) I’m joking I have the mental age of a 16 year old and go out with a man child so it was just like any other day, we were dicks that drank too much, broke the ‘No smoking we are sophisticated adults now’ ban, argued about Donald trump and slavery, cried about how old we are, wondered how the world began, joked about how we manage to hold down respectable careers, argued over who was paying the bill, bitched about our mutual enemies, smothered our dogs, laughed till we peed, shotted Raki till 6am and I shan’t go any further than that cause I’m sure you’d only love to know what Josie (professional accountant by day) gets up to by night…….

Turns out being 22 is the exact same as being 18 except you wake up with a horrible headache, next to the same man as the night before, a dog that’s pissed all over the floor and weep silently because you spent too much and can’t afford the mortgage. Oh, and a parking fine for parking outside your own house and being too fucked to drive it.

Same shit another year.
On the note of birthdays and friends I have a few blog posts coming up in the future (I’m lazy and they are all half-finished so imma say at least sometime before the year is up) about the lodge me and john spent my birthday week at and another one about “real friends” which is a little controversially honest to say the least, but until then, adios amigos.

xoxo

 

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Back where I belong.

I’ve got a lot of shit on my mind at the minute and it sparked me to decide to write it down, because that’s what I do best, writing. When I was old enough to write I’d make up stories, my dad worked at a printing company and he would bring home a box of blank a5 books for me and Alex to write in and we’d spend hours decorating the front with a title page for whatever shit story we decided this weeks was going to be about, my main debut novel (and I quote) ‘a girl going to Tesco and buying baguettes to go to France.’ I truly was the next Steven King, thrilling stuff.

When I was 13 and obsessed with heroes and prison break and just wondered why the fuck haven’t I got some sexy ass man trying to break out of prison for me, realising the kind of man who actually would be doing that in modern society would be some heroin smack head chav who had a long history of sex crimes and was in £10,000 debt to the JD store. Or when I called up my friend Beth one night (Calling was more efficient for us because our pay as you go bill would not cover the amount of shit we talked) because I realised super powers weren’t real and never in my life would peter petrelli fly to my bedroom window and we’d go ‘save the cheerleader’ together. (Kind of forgotten the point I was making here) oh yeah, I’d write it down.

When I was 19 and in hospital because my need for a Michael Scofield went too far and I ended up with some poor ass 30 yr old pussy who still shared a bedroom with his brother and thought he was hard cause he sniffed coke every night, who ultimately bullied me for 9 months, I wrote it down. With everything in my life I have resorted to writing, it is what I am meant to do and how I make myself feel better. Whether its real life or fiction, I immerse myself with a cute ass notebook and pen or the times new roman of a computer screen and let it out.

The point I’m trying to make by waffling on is that YouTube isn’t my thing, the people that manage my Instagram (Shameless plug here) or blog thought the best way to increase my revenue was to transfer into video content. Yes, I enjoy making videos and I love sharing my life with you all on my insta stories and of course I want to increase my fortnightly pay check so I was going to give it a go. But it’s been two weeks of making the YouTube channel and mentally it just isn’t right for me, it feels fake and staged and it feels like it’s so much hard work for nothing in return, it shows me it just isn’t for me. I get on YouTube you have to flaunt your ‘hypebeast’ vibe or start fake drama by claiming someone sexually assaulted your assistant (yes Jake Paul, you ignorant c*nt I’m talking about you) and that’s what get views, that’s what makes money. But I’m not about to go throwing some fake allegations just to get 10 year olds to watch my videos, I also am not going to sit down and show you all the amazing expensive clothes I’ve bought because it just feels fake. I love watching people’s videos, and it’s their talent, that’s what they are good at, but I’m not good at that, I’m good at writing it down.

I know for my phobia of always quitting things this is just another to tick of the list, but mentally this one is good for me to do. This one is detrimental to my mental health, I am not going to start making videos because it’s just not me, its forced and it shows in the content I make because I’m like the wooden plank from ‘ed, edd and eddy.’ Watching the insights page and subscriber count gets me down and makes me feel shit about myself for not posting the most controversial stuff or having an interesting and rich lifestyle. Instead I am going to continue the YouTube channel, but as a side project, I will do weekly vlogs and that is all because that is all that feels right to me. It feels natural and unstaged and it’s like an online diary of my year for me to look back on. If people decide they want to watch my boring ass life then cool, but I’m not going to take it to heart if you don’t.

And without further ado, if you guys, the people who empower one another, the people who make my day when they share their own experiences, the friends I have made in this community with their own amazing blogs – Trust your gut (Billie), The Alice Edit (Alice, obvs), Mamas Scrapbook (Anna) to name a few – or anyone else, want to follow some waffling posts then, “chatty” things will be on here.  

If you do decide you want to follow my weekly vlogs feel free, you will find them here, but like i said don’t expect them to be that interesting

Thanks guys

xoxo

 

*If you want to learn how to monetise your blog/instagram click on one of the photos below

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We Bought A House

So, by the title of this it’s pretty obvious what this little update is going to be about; moving out. It’s been 9 months…not that I’ve been counting every treacherous day being in a conservatory or anything…but we are finally at the day we are leaving what can only be described as what life would be like living in the blitz. I don’t mean that mom and dad are Nazi’s (just to clarify – debateable to Alex probably) but one minute you’re trying to sleep with the sun blazing through your eyelids in a sauna to thunderous bangs of rain on the top of a conservatory roof, wind blowing all the trees onto the windows and a blinding car light every few seconds waking you up like someone’s just shone an interrogation torch into your corneas. Needless to say, I cannot wait for a solid brick wall and a real roof.

I’d be lying if I said I won’t miss being back at home I mean I actually have to make my own cups of tea now, but it’s going to be quite lonely not being woken up at 4am as Alex comes back from some Chav bar, slamming all the doors and complaining about her lack of money despite the fact she has about £300 on her eyelids. I won’t be able to come home to find the front door wide open and my parents passed out on the floor or watch as dad gets so drunk he thinks it’s funny to start setting off paint grenades in the garden or forcing me to sniff chilli until I cry. I won’t have the power of mom to rule the tv for me every time I want to watch EastEnders or go on secret shopping trips where we end up pretending to be sophisticated ladies of leisure drinking prosecco in the middle of the day with john and dad’s bank cards. Then Margo, (who obviously I’ll miss the most) I won’t get to cuddle up to because homeLuna’s the only dog to ever hate affection or have her wipe her bloody bits over my sheets when I’ve just changed them or hump every object I own. I will miss home but knowing me I’ll be back haunting them all every weekend.

First of all, I’ve never known hell like buying a house. It has taken almost 5 months and a shit ton of money to get to the day we can finally move all the crap we (John) have hoarded. We found the house after finding what we thought was the perfect 2 bed home on a quiet road just on the Boldmere/Erdington border but when making an offer of the asking price we got rejected a mortgage. I’ve decided that for the rest of my life I am looking after my credit score more than my own life because one payment of £65 on an old Nokia phone that john lost on my 19th birthday in a drunken gay bar, lost us that house. £65.00 almost 3 years ago. I cried for hours and hours and the struggle for saving enough money for a house the same price was practically impossible, especially when to get a mortgage now we needed 15% deposit rather than the standard 10%, but as a believer that things are meant to be sometimes, it meant we found our house now. When I was in a major strop thinking id be stuck at moms forever being forced to watch Judge Rinder, I looked at houses on the market along the Birmingham train line. A house came up 0.1miles from the train station for cheaper than any house we had been looking at here in Birmingham, it just meant travelling around 10 more minutes to Birmingham centre than we were already doing from Sutton. We travelled to Burton upon Trent kind of defeated, thinking it would be pointless but nonetheless it was an easy way for john to get out of work early. But on the train we started into the countryside and I was just in awe. We looked around the house and it was huge in comparison to what we had been looking at for a higher price, 3 beds and a bathroom as big as the master bedroom, two reception rooms, a hallway, a modern(ish) kitchen, a utility and a large garden, we just fell in love. It didn’t matter that we were 20 miles away from home because the house just felt perfect. We took a whim after talking to our advisor and solicitor and offered under the asking price on the grounds the garden had no grass and there was no parking, and they accepted. I thought now y’know you sign the contract, you hand over the deposit, you get the keys, but no. It has taken so many weeks, so many signatures, searches, surveys, declarations, everything (none of which are free mind) until we have finally got the keys. It has been soul destroying, I didn’t even realise that a mining search was a thing or that you can’t be a homeowner without taking out life insurance? (Not that I’m complaining I mean I’ve watched enough crime documentaries to be able to kill john off now for a healthy profit) but honestly, I’ve never been so drained of words I have no idea the meaning of or money for someone just nodding a head in my life.

salesignThe town we are moving to is small, known as the national forest and on the river Trent, the house is in the town centre next to the church and a farmers’ market every Sunday, 5 minutes from the river Trent and more importantly a giant shopping centre. I’m so happy with the area, not knowing much about it before we took a chance and made an offer but it has definitely paid off. Jaiden loves it and I’ve already taken him to the college there, trying to convince him that it’s the best college in the world and he must attend as a matter of life or death. The house is next door to a café which sells cream teas so I know what I’ll be doing in the daytime and then a traditional old man pub (Like the good old anchor) at the end of the road which no doubt ill spend half my time looking for john in when he hasn’t returned home from work. 

I know a lot of you that follow me are first time buyers also and are into interior design so I plan on doing a post about the house once we have moved in to show you all, but right now there is half ripped up floor and wallpaper, (I’m too impatient to wait till we are actually in to get shit done) boxes everywhere and just junk from like the 1980’s john has decided he must keep.

I never know how to end posts so I’m just gonna put a disclaimer now that most of them are gonna just end abruptly to avoid me sitting here pondering over how to end it.

xo

HEIR: Lauren Wood talks Heir, beating writers’ block and her mental struggles

*No Spoilers

I am lucky enough to be able to share with you a private interview I had the pleasure of doing with someone who I not only get to call a friend but someone I am proud to say is an internationally published author and winner of numerous competitions. Lauren Wood is placed high within the world’s top 100k of authors for her debut novel ‘Heir’ described as “A whirlwind of tension and romance.” Since the release of ‘Heir’ Lauren has become an active advocate for inspiring death row inmates to read and use their imagination as an outlet for their anxieties and struggles. She has donated copies to Prisons in America for those who are about to be executed to enjoy and immerse themselves in another world to escape their own and has been rewarded for her compassionate donation in helping those who society does not want to help.

Anybody who knows me knows I am the world’s slowest reader and half the time I’m mid-daydreaming of Tom Hardy not realising I’ve past three pages and still have no clueheir who the characters are, but when I found out that Lauren had written her novel I thought it was the perfect excuse to sneak off to the bath and let John deal with cooking the dinner and trying to get Luna to stop eating my mom’s plants.

I was lucky enough to receive the unpublished script to read through before the final edit was done and all the artwork had been produced and subsequently I had my own special mention in the acknowledgments which I’m genuinely considering framing to show off in the new house.

There’s nothing worse than feeling obliged to do something out of courtesy and so I was a little apprehensive at first thinking, how do I tell her if I don’t like it or break it to her that quite frankly its shite. But as you could’ve guessed by the fact I’m writing this post, i literally had nothing more to say to her other than ‘wow’ and constantly pestering her to tell me what is going to happen before I’d get to read it because I’m an impatient bastard. I am proud to say that someone I call a friend has written this and how honoured I feel to be one of the first to read it, there was no question about it that the book was going to be a huge hit when it got published.

The novel follows an ordinary girl named Fallon as she returns for her final year at college in the tightly knitted town of Kilmore Quay. The Irish town has a tiny population of only 400 people where everyone knows everyone and so when teenage girls begin to disappear one by one the town starts getting suspicious and begins to live in fear. Around the same time that the community are on the hunt for the monster that was taking their local girls, the lights to a long-abandoned castle light up and soon word spreads of new inhabitants in the neighbourhood. When Fallon finds herself dragged into the mystery of the missing girls and caught up by the mysterious owner of the castle her world begins to change. Her ordinary life begins to distort around her and she is faced with the cruel reality of the long kept secrets her friends and the people she’s trusted all her life have been hiding from her. She finds that no one she knew is truly who they said they were and everything around her begins to change, even herself.

I’m not going to be one of those annoying people who ruin the book or tell you what happens so that is all I am going to say on what the book is about. It is full of action and a thrilling page turner with twists and turns that will take you on the journey the characters endure. Full of imagery, the novel is captivating and the world created is truly immersive.

To purchase Lauren Wood’s debut Novel ‘Heir’ and support her through her career click here. 

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Here are a few reviews I have taken from various platforms about ‘Heir’

Jessica S – 3rd May 2017

Kindle Edition.

*****

Lauren Wood is a new author with beautiful ideas. Heir is a story about a girl called Fallon who becomes immersed in a world she knew nothing about. When it turns out her friends have been lying to her, she doesn’t know who to trust. I found the blurb intriguing and loved the story.

 

Eleanor Livett – 15th May 2017

Paperback edition

****

“I was so shocked when the books major theme is revealed. I thought it was a great surprise and I loved the characters.”

 

JamesSStubbsdoesreviews – 16th May 2017

Paperback Edition

****

“Complete page turner. Thrilling till the end”

 

Jenna H – 2nd June 2017

Kindle Edition

*****

“Couldn’t put it down! I can’t wait to read more stuff from this author, her writing and her passion are evident on every page.”

 

Bookloverjane101 – 10th June 2017

Kindle Edition

*****

“Thrilling book. I couldn’t put it down! I hope there is more to come!”

 

StevenUCI – 1st July 2017

Paperback Edition

****

“When I received Heir I was so grateful, having spent a lot of time on my own reading books I was excited to find a book that re-sparked my love for reading and imagination. I didn’t put it down and finished it within 2 days.”

 

Susie – 20th July 2017

Paperback Edition

*****

“ A story that captures the imagination and makes you question the world around you. It pulls the reader into a world where subtle hints can lead down the darkest paths.

 

The following is an exclusive Question and Answer interview with Lauren Wood about Heir, Writers’ Block and her mental struggles.levi

What led you to decide that writing a novel was something you wanted to focus your spare time on?

“For many years I had been doing my own creative writing and a few people had told me that I was good at it so I thought why not. My friend, who is also an author, published her own book so I thought I can do the same. I felt like I had enough practice and to just see the job through and publish a book.”

What influenced you when writing ‘Heir’ ? “In the Spring of 2016 I had visited Kilmore Quay to visit family. I had heard many stories of Kilmore Quay and I was so excited to go. When I got there I truly felt free. The air was so fresh and it just burst with inspiration and imagination. When I got home I had major holiday blues so I decided to write Heir and set it in Kilmore Quay. All of the places in the book are real and I’ve been to every one. Words don’t do it justice. I recommend to any reader to visit Kilmore Quay, especially if you’re looking for an escape”

At what point in your life were you at that helped you to grow ‘Heir’?

“I was going through a mentally hard time. I was battling a bad case of anxiety and depression especially towards the end of 2016. I put my heart and soul into Heir. I felt like that was my escape and I felt control of what was happening. It was my book and I could do anything I wanted with it. It felt good to put my emotion into my characters and reach out to people that were struggling too.”

Would you say ‘Heir’ reflects your personality and emotions? “Definitely. I don’t think it reflects me 100% but it certainly has some of my qualities in there. Whilst battling my anxiety, I wanted to create characters who I wish I could be. Those that lived without fear of minor things.”

What draws you to the fantasy genre? “Fantasy can be whatever you want it to be. You have the ability to write some really crazy stuff and people can’t call it unrealistic. There will always be Debbie downers who say ‘that’s not possible’ but with Fantasy it doesn’t matter. I felt like to really spill my emotions out, I should write a book where I am free without constraints of humanity”

What/where inspired the character of Fallon and the Setting of Kilmore Quay “Whilst I was down in Ireland I saw many beautiful girls with lots of striking features. Flaming red hair, tight curls, square jaws, you name it. Although Fallon isn’t Irish I wanted to her to have striking features too. Kilmore Quay just captured my heart from day one. I saw it as the perfect place to write a novel.”

What was the hardest thing you faced during ‘Heir’

“Towards the end of 2016, I was going through editing my third draft and I just lost all motivation. Nobody had read my book apart from my editor and I felt like scrapping it all. My anxiety and depression was spiralling and I lost love for writing. In truth, I lost interest for even reading books. It just angered me because I felt as if I couldn’t do it and that it wasn’t good enough. That’s when I became a pen pal and they were telling me about their love for books and it really gave me a kick up the arse that I needed. By the end of the year it was all polished off and I was so happy.”

Do you have any tips how to get through writers’ block that you used during the process of creating ‘Heir’? “Writers block is the devil. Honestly, I’m currently experiencing it now. There is and will be a light at the end of the tunnel. I wouldn’t recommend putting it off and ‘waiting for inspiration’ because you’ll only stress about it more and it’ll never come. I’d recommend leaving it for a night and come back to it at a time that you know you’re more productive at. For me, I prefer to write late at night around 9pm when it’s dark outside with both earphones in. Make sure to have breaks away and don’t force it if it’s not flowing properly.”

Are you working on anything at the minute?

“I certainly am. I’m writing a Crime/Thriller novel at the minute which is different to my usual genres. I’m not sure when I’ll be publishing it as it’s been such a slow process”

What was the moment you realised that you’ve actually written a published novel that people enjoyed reading?

“I don’t think it’s really sunk in. I think that I just got so comfortable with my plot, knowing the ins and outs that I couldn’t see how others would find it interesting. I think one moment were I realised people were enjoying it was when I was in work and colleagues would say they read a chapter and really enjoyed it and spoke to me about what was going on in the book to where they’d read up to. I think the biggest moment for me was when I got a letter from my pen pal after waiting two nervous weeks for them to read it. He is such a picky reader and very particular with everything. He began by saying ‘When I read the first three chapters I thought I wasn’t going to like it’ and my heart sunk because he was the one person I really really wanted to love the book but then he went on and said ‘but I stuck at it and I was hooked!’. Bingo.”

What is your main influence/inspiration throughout your life?

“I’ve not had the best nor happiest upbringing and childhood but regardless I see my inspiration as my Mom. She’s always encouraged me to follow what I’m passionate about and she was emotional that I included her in the acknowledgements. Everything I do is for her.”

Can we expect a sequel to ‘Heir?’

“Lots of people have begged me for a sequel and I am currently in talks about a sequel plot!”

Where can we grab a copy of ‘Heir’ ?

“You can grab Heir on Amazon. It’s available on Kindle or Paperback. If you do read, I would really appreciate a review as positive reviews give me a lot of confidence! I have also attached the link to my ‘Heir’ playlist, it features the tracks that I was listening to as I wrote and what inspired me throughout different scenes. Heir Playlist

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