NaNoWriMo 2017 – Day Two

I was a bit smarter tonight and started writing a little earlier – and I managed 1,726 words, bringing my total to 3,477.  Yay!  I’m ahead of schedule!

But, again, it’s much later than I wanted it to be and I need to go to bed.  Goodnight!

#amwriting #NaNoWriMo


NaNoWriMo 2017 – Day One

Just to make life difficult for myself, I had no idea what I was going to write this year.  Absolutely no clue.  So I successfully procrastinated until 9.00 pm this evening, reading over some of the stuff I’ve written in previous years, trying to convince myself that, yes, I’ve done this before so I can do it again!

Anyway, it worked.  Because I’ve started.  Yay!  I’ve decided to write a sequel to a novel I wrote in 2014, with a crime scene cleaner as the protagonist.  Once I got going, I was fine.  After all, I know these characters, so that makes it a little easier!

So, Day One word count – 1,751 words.  Goodnight!  #amwriting #NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo 2017 begins tomorrow…

It’s that time of year again when thousands of Wrimos around the world take a leap of faith and attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in a month.  That’s 1,667 words a day.

And, yes, I’m doing it – for the 7th year in a row!  I failed miserably at my first attempt in 2011, but since then I’ve ‘won’ every year…  And I intend to do it again.

So wish me luck!  I’ve taken ‘pantsing’ to a whole new level this year as I have absolutely NO IDEA what I’m going to write about!  Maybe I’ll find inspiration in my dreams…

Goodnight all!

They’re heeerrrreeee…

Yes, that’s right!  Copies of Mystery, Mayhem & Magic arrived today and all the Ten Penners got together for a book signing marathon this evening.  It’s been a long but rewarding journey, and we are all looking forward to Saturday morning (4 November) when we have our official launch!  Come along and help us celebrate (and it would be cool if you bought a copy too!).

‘Mystery, Mayhem & Magic’ official book launch!

Just a reminder (in case you missed it during the blog tour) that the Ten Penners (including me, of course) will be officially launching Mystery, Mayhem & Magic  on Saturday, 4th November, at the Broadbeach Library.  Morning tea provided, some surprises for the kids – book now so you don’t miss out!  We’d love to see you there!  See the poster below…

Whoops – “Mystery, Mayhem & Magic” links below…

Dear Readers,

I owe you all an apology.  I don’t think my links worked on my blog post yesterday, so here they are in case you were clicking madly and getting nowhere . . . sorry about that.

Book Launch details – download our book launch poster PDF here >>>  Ten Penners Approved Poster Broadbeach Library

Download the book launch competition form, here >>>Plinko-Colouring-In-Competition-2017_Booklaunch

Hope to see you at our launch!  Woohoo!

Welcome to the “Mystery, Mayhem & Magic” Blog Tour!

Hi everybody, and thanks for following the Mystery, Mayhem & Magic blog tour.  I hope you’re enjoying it so far!

It’s been a lot of fun writing the stories for this book.  When the group first discussed putting a new anthology together as a follow up to Shock! Horror! Gasp! and Fan-tas-tic-al Tales, I wondered what I was going to write about.  I was stumped.  I felt more pressure than Harry Potter did when he faced Voldemort!  (Well, maybe not quite that much pressure, but still…)  Aaaaaggghhh!

And then I smacked myself in the forehead (not very hard, because I don’t like pain) and thought – why don’t I use what’s right in front of me – my family?  They amuse me, and there’s never a dull moment!  And, why not make my stepson, Kai, the hero?  What a great idea!  So that’s how the Kai Russell stories were born.

Each story is loosely based on something that happened in our house – with a bit of mystery, mayhem and magic thrown in.  All the members of my family get to play a part, even our dog, Winnie.

File 8-10-17, 12 26 03 am

Awwwww.  Isn’t she cute? (Photo credit: lukarhys)

So, Kai eats something he shouldn’t, becomes obsessed with an iPhone app, has a wild bus adventure, finds himself in a hairy situation, and, with the help of Winnie, discovers a magical creature in the backyard.  I can’t tell you anything else about the stories though, because I really, really want you to read them for yourself.

Read my stories first, and then everybody else’s.

Just kidding!

We’ve got stories about pirates, witches, dragons, cute aliens, naughty babies, mischievous teddy bears and lots more besides.  There’s 36 stories and poems all together!  I know you’ll find something you’ll like.

Reading is great (better than television or the movies even).  You definitely need to do more of it.  Why not start with Mystery, Mayhem & Magic

Check out Teena-Rafa Mulligan’s post today as well (In Their Own Write  –  which features an interview with me!  It’s fascinating – trust me.  🙂

And please see below for more blog tour dates and details of our competition.


Mystery, Mayhem & Magic is an anthology of amazing adventures for young readers!

Take the path through a forest of imagination into mysterious journeys filled with mayhem and a kaleidoscope of magical creatures.


 From the authors of Shock! Horror! Gasp! and Fan-tas-tic-al Tales, Mystery, Mayhem & Magic is the new anthology written by the Ten Penners … Come and explore!

 Keep these dates pegged.

 The blog tour plan is as below:

 15/10/17 Sunday -Marion Martineer –

Dimity Powell – author The Fix-It Man


 16/10/17 Monday– Yvonne Mes,

Elaine Ousten – author Mystery of Nida Valley


 17/10/17 Tuesday – Jill Smith –

Candice Lemon-Scott, author


 18/10/17 Wednesday– Kate Russell –

Teena-Rafa Mulligan – In Their Own Write


 19/10/17 Thursday – Julie Baythorpe

Gretchen Bernet-Ward – Thoughts Become Words


 20/10/17 Friday – Robin Adolphs


 21/10/17 Saturday – The Ten Penners

We will be attending Gold Coast Writers Meeting to announce our book launch


 23/10/17 Monday – Aleesah Darlison – author of Fox and Moonbeam-Greenleaf Press

 Special Announcement – book giveaway!!

There will be a giveaway of a copy of Mystery, Mayhem & Magic! At the end of the blog tour those who have left a comment on this page, or on any of the other hosts’ pages during the blog tour, will be in the running to receive a free copy! The announcement of the winner will be at our book launch at Broadbeach Library on the 4th November.

So, please make a comment to be in the running! Good luck!

There’s also a colouring competition, ‘Plinko’ our mascot, for children to send in via email. The winners will be announced at our book launch on the 4th November at Broadbeach Library. Book to attend – Download our book launch poster PDF here >>> Ten Penners Approved Poster Broadbeach Library

Download the book launch competition form, here >>>Plinko-Colouring-In-Competition-2017_Booklaunch

“Mystery, Mayhem & Magic” is coming…

Yes, it’s true!  Get excited – “Mystery, Mayhem & Magic”, the third anthology by the Ten Penners (, is coming soon!  The proof has been ordered today, and it should be here next week.  I can’t wait to share it with you.  We’re all very proud of it.

In case you didn’t know (where have you been? :-)) the Ten Penners are a group of eight children’s writers based on the Gold Coast (and a subgroup of the Gold Coast Writers’ Association –  “Mystery, Mayhem & Magic” is the third anthology released by the group – the others being “Shock! Horror! Gasp!” (2004) and “Fan-Tas-Tic-Al Tales” (2009).

Each Penner brings something different to the group, and we think we’ve put together a really entertaining collection of stories that children (and their parents and carers) will enjoy.   Aliens and pirates, dragons and unicorns, adventurous children and heroic babies – you’ll find them all in the pages of “Mystery, Mayhem & Magic”.  Not to mention Kai Russell, my stepson, who has a starring role in my stories!  It’s incredible what that boy gets up to…

This is a preview of the cover – (front cover design by Starla Martineer – thanks Starla!)

Well, that’s it for now!  More news soon…

BookCoverPreview (Final)

It’s Shameless Self-Promotion Time!

As I sit at my laptop, writing my last couple of stories for the next Ten Penners anthology, “Mystery, Mayhem & Magic” (a collection of adventure stories for children aged 8 to 12 – out soon!), I started thinking about how little I had promoted my own book lately and the previous Ten Penners anthology, “Fan-tas-tic-al Tales”.  So to make up for lost time, here are the links:

“Fan-tas-tic-al Tales” by The Ten Penners (including a novelette, fairy tale and poem by me – together with over 30 other stories and poems by the other wonderful members of The Ten Penners):


Kindle e-book:

“Shadow of a Soldier” by Kate Russell (that’s me!) (with a revamped cover and smaller format since the original release):


Kindle e-book:  (

(If you do purchase any of the books on Amazon, I’d really appreciate it if you leave a review too.  Thanks!)

“Mystery, Mayhem & Magic” will also be available on Amazon and as a Kindle e-book, but if you’re extra keen to support a starving author (or actually seven starving authors and our cover artist), you can preorder a copy from me for $15.00!  That’s right – $15.00!  (Plus postage if required).  We’ll even sign it for you.  What a crazy deal!

And now I must go and do more writing/editing/staring out the window blankly.  🙂





Camp NaNoWriMo – The Final Day

Well, I only completed 23 hours of my goal of 60.  Sigh.  But that’s 23 more hours than I had at the beginning of July!  Progress, however small, is still progress!

At least I know how to tackle this novel now, so it doesn’t seem so daunting.  In the words of Baldrick from “Blackadder”, I have a cunning plan.   I just have to find a little bit of time, every day.  Perhaps all that time I spend scrolling through my Facebook feed avoiding GOT spoilers would be better spent actually editing and writing.   Hmmm.  I might be onto something there!

Okay – so I just have to edit and publish six books (before November, when I’ll probably sign up for NaNoWriMo and write another one because I’m addicted), write a couple more stories for the Ten Penners’ anthology (“Mystery, Mayhem & Magic” – a book of adventure stories for primary school children – out soon!), work, exercise, perform my domestic duties – well, that all sounds easy, doesn’t it?  And somewhere in there I have to eat and sleep.

Sleeeep.  Now there’s a plan.  Goodnight!