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  • Announcements,  Writing and publishing

    Where are you, online? (Looking at some social media options)

    Hello! Given the world (and especially the Internet at the moment), it seems a good time for me to look at where I’m spending my time online in the authorial sense.

    I’ve put together a survey form to ask some questions about what spaces you’d be interested in, so I can think about some options. I expect to get whatever new options I add set up by the end of December 2022 at the latest.

    It’s completely anonymous unless you give me your email address at the very end. You can also use the contact form or email me at celia@celialake.com if you’d rather do that.

    Cover of Fool's Gold displayed on a tablet, set on a desk with a pink rose, a fountain pen, a jar of ink, and paper.
    Robin does love his fountain pens. Not so good for online communication, though…

    Where I am right now online

    I send out a newsletter on most Fridays. It has my latest news, a highlight of a book that’s been out for a bit, links to any blog posts I’ve made, and notes about the week’s writing. It also usually includes a couple of links I discovered while researching that week.

    Twitter is the place where I’ve shared more flippant commentary on the writing process, often with some back and forth with Kiya, my friend and editor (and other half of my brain who makes my books so much better.) If you haven’t been following this bit of the news, I’m not sure how much longer that’s going to be viable. I’ve also shared links to new books there or other news.

    I’ve really enjoyed some of the conversation with readers there, and seeing what they say, too, when they tag me in to the conversation.

    Facebook is the place where I spend the least time, but it also gets announcements of new books and other related material.

  • Announcements,  Books,  Land Mysteries

    Best Foot Forward is out!

    Best Foot Forward is the one Kiya (my friend and editor) described as “M/M aroace/bi-allo-(incidentally polyam) enemies-to-it’s-complicated there-was-only-one-bed espionage and WWI trauma-healing romp”.

    Cover of Best Foot Forward displayed on a phone, resting on folded golden linen with a mug of coffee. Yellow flowers lie on a book with Scrabble tiles spelling out "spring is in the air". The cover has a deep red background with map markings in a dull purple. Two men in silhouette stand, looking up at a point in the top left. An astrology chart with different symbols picked out takes up the left side of the image, with glowing stars curving up to the title.

    Best Foot Forward also contains:

    • Vienna and Berlin in 1935
    • The power of spring
    • Healing and becoming who we were meant to be
    • Love of music
    • Egyptian theology
    • Land magic and the good it can do
    • Chosen family

    Music turned out to be a big part of this book, so there’s an additional playlist and explanation of the music references. (It does contain spoilers for the book, but there’s a link in the author’s notes to remind you to go look and listen, or from the book page here on my website or on the authorial wiki.)

    Land Mysteries

    Best Foot Forward

    Buy now!
    Best Foot Forward
  • The cover of Ancient Trust on a tablet, surrounded glasses, bottles of alcohol, and a man in a tailored suit. The cover shows a man with a monocle in silhouette, leaning on a table stacked with books.
    Research adventures,  Writing and publishing

    Keeping research notes

    In a recent newsletter, I mentioned that working on Old As The Hills had let me test a research note model for more research-demanding fiction that’s working pretty well. (This is also in service to my contemplating a 1480s series set around the time of the Pact sometime down the road. I have a ton of background reading to do before I can even think about it, so no time soon.) 

    As I suspected, more than one reader was interested in how I set that up, so here’s a glimpse into my research notes. (Click through on the screenshots to see a full size version, but I’ve also described the contents in the text.)

    The cover of Sailor's Jewel by Celia Lake shown on a tablet resting on a bed of pale blue flowers. The cover is a vibrant blue, with an ocean liner at the left, facing the viewer. At the bottom right stand two silhouetted figures, a plump woman in a long dress and a taller man leaning against the side of the frame. Highlights of golden yellow from the title, lights on the liner, and a sprinkling of stars across the top pop out against the blues of the cover.
  • The cover of Ancient Trust on a tablet, surrounded glasses, bottles of alcohol, and a man in a tailored suit. The cover shows a man with a monocle in silhouette, leaning on a table stacked with books.
    Albion,  Ancient Trust,  Questions and answers

    Lords & Ladies: A guide to the land magic

    Are you curious about the land magic? Carillon’s background? What it means to be a Lord in Albion?

    Did you know there’s a new novella out? It’s my treat if you sign up for my newsletter. (Feel free to unsubscribe when you need to, of course. But I hope you’ll stick around, at least for an email or two that will let you get all the other treats I share with my newsletter subscribers.) 

    A copy of Ancient Trust displayed on a tablet, surrounded by drinks on a drinking cabinet. A man holding a book and glass wearing a grey suit stands at the right of the image.

    Ancient Trust is all about what happens when Geoffrey Carillon inherits the title on his brother’s death. It has quite a lot about the land magic customs at Ytene. It also led to some interesting questions from a reader. 

    (I love reader questions. Sometimes I haven’t settled on my final answer about something. But I’ll let you know if you ask something I can’t answer yet. Or if you ask something that’s too much of a spoiler for something that’s coming out in the future.) 

    The questions: 

    It got me thinking, how do the Lords of Albion engage with the House of Lords? Is attending Westminster an additional responsibility for Carillion? Do Albion peerages result in having the right to sit in the House? And what about the women? How does the Land Magic recognise women?

    These are great questions – and also some that I haven’t quite found the right place to get into text. Let’s take this one by one in an order that should help.

  • 1: Best Foot Forward,  Research adventures,  Writing and publishing

    A glimpse into editing Best Foot Forward

    I’m currently in the editing process for Best Foot Forward, and thought you might find a glimpse into the process interesting.

    I do most of my writing on the desktop that lives in my bedroom. However, I do most of my editing on the laptop that lives in the living room, which has fewer distractions.

    Here’s a shot of what that looks like. Read on for a description of both the image and the process.

    A laptop with a black fountain pen with shimmery metal lying on the keyboard on top of some index cards. The screen shows a Scrivener window with multiple areas of text and notes, in shades of dark green, black, and gold backgrounds. The content of the screen is described in the following text.
    Getting ready to edit Best Foot Forward
  • 7. Mistress of Birds,  Mysterious Powers

    Mistress of Birds is out!

    Cover of Mistress of Birds, set on a table surrounded by pinecones and red berries, against a white background. Cover of Mistress of Birds. A man and woman in 1920s clothing silhouetted on a purple and deep blue-grey background. He holds a walking stick as tall as he is and wears a cap, she wears a hat and long sweater. Apples are inset in the top left.

    Mistress of Birds is the final book in the Mysterious Powers series, exploring the impact of the Great War on the people and institutions of Albion.

    Thalia has had a certain small success with her literary writing. But her inspiration is gone, and no one is buying her stories. When her family volunteers her to stay at her great-aunt’s house on the edge of Dartmoor, she figures at least she’ll be fed.

    Adam had a bad War. Ten years after he was invalided out of the Army with shell shock, he still hasn’t recovered. His family have lost patience, and when his uncle breaks his leg badly, they ship him off to lend a hand. Adam isn’t sure he’s able to do anything useful. When his uncle wants a report on the apple orchard, though, Adam realises something isn’t quite right.

    The mysteries of the house and the apple orchard bring Adam and Thalia together, in search for answers. Together, they might just be able to figure out what’s going on, what’s making the eerie noises in the house, and why the apples ripen so late.

    Mistress of Birds is my take on a Gothic romance (spooky house and all). All of my books can be read in any order, but this one stands alone particularly well.

    One particular content note on this one (also on my content notes page). The book does deal with long-standing PTSD (what we’d now call CPTSD). If you’re sensitive to discussions of it, chapter 31 briefly references the barbaric treatment of it in 1917. (One paragraph, strong implications of what happened, few explicit details.)

    Get your copy!

  • Albion

    People together (groups and organisations)

    Welcome to the next stop on the tour of the authorial wiki. Last time we talked about characters, so now it’s time to take a look at groups and organisations.

    Groups

    There are a number of common group connections in Albion – notably related to the Five Schools, but also secret societies and professions. Read more about the professional and social organisations in general over here.

    Copy of Point by Point against a cream brocade wallpaper with a key and aquamarine brooch.
    Point By Point shows what a group can do together.