Writing into 2022 – new stories on the way!

Petra Kidd

I like even numbers and for some reason, three twos feels good. Don’t ask me why I have that feeling – I’m not into lucky numbers. My writing life feels great right now, stories are flowing naturally and I am over 30 chapters into my new book.

Because my life is not easy to regulate I write when I can, but generally my stories get created after 2pm. Mornings are for marketing, chores and business stuff. Afternoon hours are reserved for ideas and story-time whenever possible.

Short stories suit my style but this latest work is gradually becoming a novel, albeit by accident. I never set out to write a novel. But then, I rarely set out with a plan. It’s only recently I found the term ‘pantser’ and it sums me up perfectly. I am the type of creator who flies by the seat of my pants when it comes to writing. Characters arrive as if they are walking into a room in my head. When I start a story, I rarely know how it is going to end. This suits me well because I know that if I get surprises, my readers will too.

It’s nearly a year since I published The Isolation Sex Stories. I’ve really enjoyed seeing reader reactions and hearing which stories became favourites. Interestingly, different people had different favourites, often surprising me.

My new book still observes the human condition in lighthearted ways but its much longer and with many more characters. I won’t say too much just yet but hopefully my readers will be amused again and enjoy meeting not just new characters but some of their animals too. I haven’t written about animals before but it is proving to be entertaining. I will keep you updated with progress.

As well as writing, I am busy creating new notebooks and journals using my photography skills so please be sure to check out MyriadLifeBooks – a site for both readers and writers.

I have set myself a publication date in March – so far I am on target… I will keep you updated. There is a lot to achieve by then including editing and illustrations so please wish me luck!

Check out my social media profiles here, it’s always good to interact…

Follow me on Twitter @petrakidd

Instagram @PetraKiddWriter

It would be great if you could subscribe to my blog too, feel free to leave comments, I like to get to know my readers.

Happy New Year – I hope 2022 brings you all you wish for, including new stories!

Til next time…

Petra

Deep in my WIP

Petra Kidd

If you aren’t a writer, a WIP is a ‘work in progress.’ I have been absorbed in my WIP for the past couple of months. The aim being to write a story a day. Of course, it doesn’t quite work out like that as typically life gets in the way. On a good day I write two stories in a day, most days I manage one, except at weekends because at that point I become a full-time carer, and there simply isn’t the time.

Also, I have other business to focus on, I am building up a collection of notebooks using my photography on the covers plus greeting cards. There is always a new project in my head that I am keen to put into operation.

It is a bit soon to talk about a launch date for the new book, but March 2022 is my target and I intend to make it a particularly special launch. Time between now and then is already flying past like a supersonic jet. And yep, I do feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants.

What can I tell you about the new WIP? Well, of course I do not want to give too much away but I will say it involves a fascinating mix of characters, and this time animals too. Unlike The Isolation Sex Stories, there is not much (if any) sex involved. I know this may disappoint some of you, but if you are fascinated by people; I think you will love it. They all live in their own little worlds, but their worlds interlink in small, sometimes poignant ways. It is my belief that there are not many people on the planet who get to live an ‘ordinary’ life, whatever that is. With 7.9 billion humans on the planet and 1.2 million known species of animals, there are endless stories to be told. Even if I live to 150, I won’t be able to write that many stories!

So, roll on March. I am trying not to be too impatient to get the book done and I am certainly enjoying the process. I hope that you will enjoy the book as much as I am writing it.

If you are an indie author reading this, please head over to my sister website myriadlifebooks.com where my latest blog might interest you.

Until next time… please subscribe to be updated with progress. You may even win a free signed copy of The Isolation Sex Stories if you hit the button. Go on, I dare you…

The Eight of Swords

The Putsi

My stories are currently free on Kindle Unlimited – go treat yourself!

Book giveaway! Win a signed copy of The Isolation Sex Stories.

It’s autumn, I’m in the throes of writing a new short story book (set to be published March 2022) and I’m feeling super generous so I have decided to do a book giveaway! ‘Hoorah’ I hear you cry as you jump up and down with excitement.

I have five signed copies of The Isolation Sex Stories to give away. To win yours, this is what you need to do…

Subscribe to this website and also to MyriadLifebooks.com to be in with a chance of winning your very own copy of The Isolation Sex Stories. Please note that this giveaway will only apply to adults of 18+ and to UK residents. I will pick winners from my good vibes only rainbow mug on 1st November 2021 so you won’t have too long to wait. You will be notified by email if you are a winner.

Pleases note that The Isolation Sex Stories is an adult read so if you are easily offended it might not be for you. *Contains sexual references and strong language, so be warned!

It is however a funny read… read the Amazon reviews here.

MyriadLifeBooks.com is a sister site to this one where you will find beautiful notebooks to get creative with, it’s also a site I am growing to showcase other authors and offer tips on self publishing. You will even find a collection of secondhand books to buy, it’s a small list at the moment but I will be adding more soon. It is definitely worth subscribing as every so often I do a notebook giveaway too.

Good luck – just hit subscribe!

Books make me happy…

I’ve been spending more time engaging with the writing community on Twitter and finding some great indie authors. There’s still snobbery out there when it comes to whether your book has been traditionally published or not, but the barriers are gradually being beaten down.

I’ve been doing my bit by offering to feature indie authors and their work on my new website MyriadLifeBooks.com. I know what it’s like trying to market your books to the big wide world and quite frankly it’s daunting, time consuming and at times nerve wracking. However, it is also enormously satisfying! It’s a really special feeling to see your book in print and to get feedback from your readers.

While the debate of whether it’s better to be traditionally published or self-published rages on, I’ve made my decision and it’s to stick with being an indie author for now. Of course, I never keep any door closed and this is not to say I’ll never go the traditional route but I know that it’s hard work either way and you still have to market your work and put the hours in so I’m happy to get on and do it all myself.

While I am still learning (and no doubt always will be) my aim is to pass what I learn along to other indie authors. I don’t see others as competition, I feel we are all in it together and should help one another. People will always want to read and with 7.8 billion people in the world, I think there is enough readership for all of us!

What I want to do with MyriadLifeBooks.com is to create a place where indie authors can show off their work and readers can go to find authors from around the world with a good mix of genres. Supporting indie authors is the same as supporting small businesses, it feels good and you get something away from the mainstream.

In time, I hope to add editing professionals, proof readers, illustrators and cover designers. If you are a professional in any of these areas and would like to feature on the website please email myriadlifebooks@gmail.com for further details.

I’m currently writing my next set of short stories – I’ve set a publication deadline for October 2022, which the way time is going will be in the blink of an eye! Please be patient with me…

It would be great if you could go and read my current stories (scroll down for links), if you could leave reviews at Amazon that will help enormously. Us indie authors need 50 reviews to get into the Amazon newsletters – not a lot of people know that! Every review is hugely appreciated so please take the time if you can.

If you’d like to be updated with new posts on this website please hit the subscribe button here and at MyriadLifeBooks.com

The Isolation Sex Stories

The Eight of Swords

The Putsi

Marketing adventures and balcony earwigging…

Here I am navigating how to market my books as I go. I’ve always been one to learn on the hoof, so to speak. It helps with my impatience to get things done. I am trying to be consistent in what is turning out to be a pretty inconsistent way.

Having video’d myself reading from 12 excerpts of The Isolation Sex Stories I find that Facebook doesn’t want to post the videos – maybe it’s a download thing or maybe they don’t like the content. I have no idea as I haven’t received a notification as yet. They are simply proving impossible to upload. The first introductory one was fine but nothing since has worked. My phone rarely lets me down so I’m pretty sure it’s not that.

WordPress to the rescue where happily I have discovered that by using Anchor my blogposts can be created as podcasts. So now you get to listen to a nice American lady instead of my sultry tones and you don’t have to look at me. This could well be a blessing in disguise! Having said that, videos are fun to do when I’m in the mood, so I will persist with those when time allows.

You can listen to the podcasts via the links at the bottom of this page and all future blogposts will be available as podcasts too. Maybe I will eventually get to use my own voice but for now I’m happy with the American lady as it saves time and time is particularly precious at the moment.

It’s a bit tricky when you have written a book containing adult content. It’s not porn but obviously there are some scenarios and language that could cause offence and that’s why I did put a warning at the beginning at my videos (even though I made sure the excerpts weren’t anything too naughty). This is all a great learning curve. I am glad I wrote the book and I know it has given a number of people great amusement which was always the intention during these tough times. It will certainly be fun to look back on it in ten years time…

My next book of short stories is a completely different subject and looking ahead I now know how much easier it should be to market. Someone once said that I never do things the easy way and that’s pretty much true. However, it does prepare the way and I’m always suspicious when things are too easy. Life has conditioned me to believe that if something is easy it’s probably not worth doing.

Marketing certainly isn’t easy but it can be fun researching what to do next and interacting with other indies and readers on social media.

As I type this we are in the middle of a mini heatwave in the UK and it has been a long time coming. Consequently, for the first time this summer I have been able to move my office out onto the balcony which I have to say is some kind of bliss. As well as roasting nicely in the sun (with necessary precautions of course), I get to listen to the conversations people are having on their balconies. Yesterday some women were discussing which parts of their body tan first and a man was on the phone arranging a date. It’s impossible not to earwig and as a writer I certainly see it as my duty to do so! Who knows what could turn into my next story? The seagulls are squawking, music is playing and the herbs are growing away in their pots. Apart from the odd gnat bite, this feels like the perfect place to work. Oh hang on a minute, the women are back, the word ‘literally’ and phrase ‘going behind my back’ are being repeated quite a bit. If it gets really interesting I will let you know in my next blog. She just told Alexa to be quiet… that’s a shame, I was enjoying Ed Sheeran!

More of my indie author experiences soon…

Check out my podcast at Spotify, Breaker, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic and listen to the nice American lady reading my stuff 😉

While you are waiting, my short stories The Eight of Swords, The Putsi and The Isolation Sex Stories are all at Amazon (free on Kindle Unlimited) waiting for you to read them. If you do, please let me know what you think of them via Amazon reviews or feel free to message me with your thoughts via Twitter @PetraKidd – Instagram @PetraKiddWriter or Facebook/PetraKiddWrites

Social media marketing for indie authors, my experiences.

Social media tips for indie authors and anyone who is a writer or artist.

I have been studying social media and how it works for the writing community. Here I break down my experiences with each platform.

Twitter

Just recently I have been observing Twitter quite closely and how writers interact and support one another there and it’s heartening to see. Twitter has worked in the past for me when I was promoting The Eight of Swords and I got some great feedback and gained new readers. Fast forward several years over the period when I wasn’t writing and now I am back there finding my way again. Of course the writing community is massive and worldwide and even stronger than before.

There are two main trends at the moment it seems. One is to ask questions about any kind of subject ranging from what did you have for breakfast, to: you have been given a boat, you have to name it, what is the name of your boat? The other is: I only need 50 followers to reach 5000, let’s all have a writer’s lift, post your links.

The first method of interaction I really enjoy because there is a vast array of questions and it encourages lots of friendly conversations and interesting outcomes. I’m not so sure about the second one, some days my timeline gets a bit too filled with such requests and I avoid them. It feels like begging as opposed to genuinely connecting with people but there you go, each to their own.

What I always find interesting and useful is the shared experiences of writing. The honesty from people when they get their work turned down by agents. The encouragement from other writers to keep on going. The rightly indignant retorts when an agency, publisher or individual criticises the indie market. The shared experiences and the kindness of people offering reviews.

Writing is such a mixture of culture and business and the two make for an interesting mix. I still see authors who don’t get that it’s not enough to write a book, it has to be marketed if readers are to be found and money is to be made. In my other life I am a photographer and occasionally I see artists and sometimes photographers claim they aren’t bothered about selling their work (trying to look cool) and later on whooping because they sold something. There is no shame in selling your work! You are not considered a professional at what you do until you do sell it. Yes, it takes effort but how much effort did it take to write that book? Money is what makes the world goes round and enables us to keep writing so don’t fight shy of selling just don’t push it too hard and end up boring everyone. You have to find the right balance and a balance that suits you. I’m no expert, |’m still trying to find the right balance myself. Watch and learn.

I guess I am lucky because I have always enjoyed and been fascinated by social media. It is like most things in life, try not to take it too seriously, stay away from the crazy and unpleasant folk, be kind and enjoy making new connections.

Over the years I have made a lot of friends through Twitter and it has been pretty good for my love life too as it happens… so it is always the first place I go to when I want to promote something because in my experience it has been a friendly and encouraging place. If you don’t go looking for trouble it is unlikely to find you. If you are careful about who you follow and respectful about what you say, I don’t think you can go too far wrong.

If you are a writer who is reading this and haven’t already given it a try, go do it! I remember when I first joined, I didn’t have a clue how to use it but there were plenty of friendly tweeters there to greet me and help me on my way. Persevere.

If you are a reader reading this, go look for some authors, read their books and be sure to leave them feedback. Before social media, readers never had the experience of connecting with authors so easily so it’s a great privilege.

Facebook

Years ago, when I wrote The Eight of Swords I managed to gain quite a good following on Facebook. I let it lapse when I stopped writing for a while and when I revisited my page there earlier this year upon the launch of my new short story book The Isolation Sex Stories, I found I need to do quite a bit of work to get it going again and regain the interest.

While Twitter hasn’t changed all that much, Facebook has evolved in a number of ways. Now you can ‘go live’ and I used this to do my book launch. That was nerve wracking! However, it did create interest and great feedback plus some sales. It’s a great time for authors to be seen and heard as well as read so take advantage of it if you can. If you can’t face going live, try videos. People love watching videos, I know I do, so it make sense.

What I didn’t think about when I titled my book was the controls Facebook would put on such content so I’ve had to rethink a bit on that platform but it’s all good and I’m learning fast. Recently I learned that you don’t have to do paid advertising if you learn how to reach your potential readers organically. I’m still finding out about this so when | understand more I will do an update. It’s been a bit of a problem with Amazon too as they won’t allow me to advertise given the title/content of my book so bear that in mind if you are writing something that could hit this little wall. Where there is a will there is a way so it’s not stopped me, just slowed me a little.

I am trying to spend more time on my Facebook page so I will give more detail at a later date.

Instagram

As a photographer I loved Instagram from the off so I decided to see how it works as a writer. Obviously it is very visual which is good for me as I am enjoying learning to promote my books in this way. My photography account was relatively easy to build for obvious reasons but my writer account took more getting to grips with. Rather than posting my usual landscape pictures I had to be extra creative and personal with my writer account. I’m generally a private person so it wasn’t easy but I think I am finding my way now.

The eye opener is Reels. If you can create some fun stuff they work well and this attracts more followers and I’m hoping in time, it will encourage more interaction. While Reels may seem an unusual way to do this, it’s a challenge worth trying I think. Keep an open mind. You wrote a book to entertain or inform, this is a way to extend that to people who wouldn’t necessarily be your usual audience but may be encouraged to check out your work.

Of course you don’t have to go on about your books all the time and this is the fun part. Show off your interests, be interactive and encourage conversations. Enjoy yourself, this applies to all the social media platforms. You simply need to find the one that you feel most comfortable with and work at it. It’s probably best to focus on a couple if you can but one is fine. I am spread across three because I like to see how they all differ and develop.

Obviously this isn’t an in depth analysis of social media and how to market your book on the different platforms but I hope it will help if you are dipping your foot into the writing world.

One thing I will say… it’s not cool to try to be cool, just be you.

Don’t be shy, come say hello at Instagram @PetraKiddWriter

Find me on Twitter @PetraKidd

And of course on Facebook where you will find me reading excerpts from my short story book The Isolation Sex Stories

The story so far…

It is almost two months since I published The Isolation Sex Stories and what an amazing time it has been. I’m feeling a little worn out if I’m honest. Putting a collection of stories out into the public eye is a pretty daunting exercise and I waited with bated breath to see what people would say.

I didn’t really worry too much about the title I’d chosen, until it came to the day of the book launch, then suddenly it hit me that all sorts of people would be watching my live reading. Suddenly I felt nervous! It’s one thing to joke about the saucy stories with your friends, quite another to launch them out onto the unsuspecting general public. Let’s face it, everyone has an opinion. What offends some folk will tickle others. Pop the word ‘sex’ into the title and who knows what might come back at you?

It has been very amusing and gratifying to get feedback. Most readers have a particular story that they enjoy the most, or strikes a chord. One said he felt like he was actually in the room with the characters of Don’t Touch Me and while he felt like he was a voyeur, he found it really funny. Another said that he could identify with a character from almost every story. This is brilliant for me, any writer wants their characters to come to life and be truly believable.

Here are some of the things my reviewers have said so far…

A great collection of short stories! Written with intelligence, warmth and wit. Some much-needed light relief after a difficult year.

Witty and amusing, a really good fun read. Petra Kidd puts warmth and understanding with humour into what has been a difficult time for all of us. This is an easy quirky read that will make you chuckle. I loved it. Makes a good present for friends who are struggling, it will give them a good laugh.

Petra captures the mood of our Lockdown Nation in a saucily humorous way, she nails it! Each short story is captivating, intriguing and very funny … I actually found myself laughing out loud so many times with tears rolling down my face.

It’s also entertaining to find out what shocks readers. With Fifty Shades of Grey being one of the most successful books of our time, I hardly thought my little collection would raise many eyebrows. The everyday antics of my locked down characters seem nowhere near as shocking to me as Christian Grey’s predilections. However, we are all different and apparently some people have even learnt new words thanks to my stories. I’m feeling proud, it may help them when next they play Scrabble!

I am wondering if I should create another cover/title for The Isolation Sex Stories for people who might feel embarrassed reading it in public places. My other idea is to run a competition called ‘I dare you,’ daring readers to take a selfie with the book while reading it in a public place. Let me know what you think… As the world begins to open up again, this could be the right moment, the prize will be sweet, I promise you.

While I am working hard on promoting The Isolation Sex Stories, I have started writing my next two books. They are two very different subject matters so I hope I can pull it off.

If you do go ahead and read The Isolation Sex Stories, please leave a review at Amazon. Every review is incredibly important and special to me. I worked hard to produce the book so it’s a very much appreciated reward to receive them. Please be honest, that’s even more important. I want to know what you didn’t like, as much as what you did.

Also, please use Smile.Amazon.co.uk or .com to buy my books because that way Amazon will make a donation to charity (at no extra charge to you.) I’d love it if you could choose the Samaritans but of course, whatever charity you choose is fine by me. I love to think that others will benefit while readers enjoy my books.

Being an indie author is a never ending learning curve. Follow my blog to join me on this adventure!

For now, stay safe and please connect with me via social media. Don’t be shy, come say hi!

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for daily updates.

Please vote!

They say not to judge a book by its cover but I need you to do just that. If you liked the cover of my book The Eight of Swords, please vote for it in the ‘Cover of the Month’ contest on AllAuthor.com by clicking on the link below. There’s not long to go before the first round is over, just a day left to vote!

All Author cover of the month.

Read below what reviewers had to say about this suspenseful short story.

If you haven’t read The Eight of Swords yet, it could be the perfect read for you . It’s a short story with plenty of drama and intrigue.

Here is what some of the reviewers on Amazon have said…

Really enjoyed The Eight of Swords, the storyline was original and kept you guessing! Rich descriptions throughout and really quite evocative … It divides opinion too, perhaps like me you will side with the story teller and then as the story unfolds your heart leaps in-between!

I downloaded this to my phone- which was a bonus as I couldn’t put it down; it was engaging and made me think of what I would of done, how I would have dealt with the same situation- it was intriguing to follow

Just finished reading this short story – it kept my attention from beginning to end (no mean feat!) and I enjoyed reading about Jayne’s reactions and feelings about the family who had moved into her home. Looking forward to reading the sequel.

The Eight of Swords and its sequel The Putsi are available via Amazon Kindle.

Please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for regular updates. Connect and say hello, I’d love to hear what you are reading!

The Date

The Covid-19 pandemic sure threw a spanner in the works for all of those singletons out there who were going out on dates and looking for the next Mr/Miss Right. Overnight everyone had to isolate and give up any hope of amorous adventures for the foreseeable future.


Recently I found a big box of old letters from my younger days, some of which are from friends detailing their romantic lives at the time. We all took it for granted we could go out and meet whoever we wanted. Oh, how we complained and revelled in the ups and downs of our youthful adventures, no clue of what the future might hold. In one letter a friend says her boyfriend complained about having to wear a condom, if only he had known that by 2020 a condom would be the least of his concerns!


Fast forward quite a few years (no, I am not going to say how many) and suddenly single people found themselves having to not only date online but having to have virtual dates rather than real ones. Previously, those home alone were used to online dating sites like Tinder and Grinder, they knew that they could meet the dates in real time if they wanted to. Covid-19 changed all that. While they might find someone they liked online, now they could only see and talk to them online. No meeting up at a restaurant or bar. No first kiss. No one nightstands. No holding hands on romantic walks, no weekends away.


The whole conversation about ‘protection’ came with a new aspect to it. Not only are sexual diseases an issue; The Virus is a major problem too. We are all wearing masks and keeping our distance, all physical intimacy quashed. It’s all very bizarre and lonely for the singletons right now.


One of the stories in my new book The Isolation Sex Stories takes an older couple on a first date via Zoom, it is a fun story but I can imagine all the lonely people who have been in need of companionship. It’s an exciting date for the lady in the story but will she be thrilled to find a new companion? There’s only one way to find out…

The Date


All of the stories in my new book are quirky and different, let me know which one(s) you like best.


The Isolation Sex Stories


I wonder how many people ended up dating via Zoom. If you have a funny or unusual lockdown story check out this page and you could end up winning a free signed copy of The Isolation Sex Stories.

Please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for regular updates.

Win a signed copy of The Isolation Sex Stories!

Tell me your lockdown story – a free signed copy of The Isolation Sex Stories could be yours if it gets published on this site.

It’s time for you to tell me your funny lockdown stories… I am you must have some!

I will choose five of my favourite stories to publish on this website and if your story is chosen, you will win a free signed paperback copy of The Isolation Sex Stories. (Please note the book is meant for 18+ only as it is adult content. )

Please keep it to 300 words max, 150 words minimum. If the story involves real people, please obtain their written permission before sending the story. I can’t publish without their consent to do so.

Sorry but this competition is restricted to UK entries only and will close on April 1st.

The story can be about anything that has happened during lockdown over the past year. Did you lock yourself out during lockdown? Did your baking efforts go spectacularly wrong? Did your pets get confused by you being home all of the time? I’m sure you must have had some funny experiences. Please do share!

You will need to subscribe to my website with your email address to enter.

All of the stories in The Isolation Sex Stories are entirely fictional, I have a very vivid imagination. They are saucy, sometimes dark but always meant to amuse. This has been a difficult time for most people so hopefully funny stories will lift spirits and help folk see the lighter side of lockdown.

I look forward to reading your stories!

Please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for regular updates.