Taking Time Out

lt_george_teddyIn the ‘General Hospital’ episode of Blackadder Goes Forth, upon hearing that Captain Darling has been given the job of frisking soldiers to look for spying equipment, Blackadder quips ‘how lucky you are then that your job is also your hobby.’ 

A lot of the time I feel very lucky that everything I do is something I love and care about. Whether that’s writing, reading for reviews, or teaching literature, my job is something I would choose to keep doing even if we lived in the socialist future-utopia on universal basic income and didn’t have to work.

But that also means that the lines get blurred as to where your work time starts and your relaxation time ends. After all, I’m sitting here writing this on a Sunday afternoon, after a day of “writing for relaxation” and I’m wondering if it really is a good idea to have a job that is also your hobby.

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Time to relax by walking some children in nature

Passion is important, but so is balance. Especially when a lot of one’s work is at home (research, writing, editing, promoting) it becomes hard to get that work-life balance right. Either I’m in my pyjamas eating graze boxes all day (they’re healthy, OK?!) or I’m up at 7, and pinging around the house until I fall asleep at 11pm.

I don’t imagine that this is a problem unique to me, and perhaps the solution lies in having a hobby that is both absorbing and relaxing. I’m open to suggestions! My latest one has been gardening, but now it’s getting cold outside and my natural inclination to hibernate for the winter has come out.

How does everyone else make sure they relax as hard as they work?

Grateful for any suggestions!

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NEW RELEASE! MERLIN’S CURSE

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Grab it now on Amazon, just 99p!

A queen or a prisoner?

Freshly widowed, with a child she can’t possibly have in safety and two grieving daughter, Igraine must negotiate the dangerous politics of a court in turmoil, unsure of if she is its new queen or a prisoner. With Uther’s promises not yet kept, and him slipping further under Merlin’s control, to protect her unborn child, her daughters and the home she has left behind, Igraine is forced to make deals with people she knows are not to be trusted.

MERLIN’S CURSE is the second book by Lavinia Collins in the Igraine Trilogy. Check out the first in the series, THE CORNISH PRINCESS, out now on Kindle.

 

Do you read your books in public?

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image1.JPGI’m gearing up for my first ever public reading of my book at a public library, and I’m feeling pretty nervous.

I really hate reading my own work out loud. There’s something about it, like listening to a recording of your own voice, which is the most uncomfortable, self-conscious feeling that I can think of.

I have read my books out loud before. To friends, at launch parties, after being lubricated with a not insignificant amount of Aldi’s finest prosecco. 

image2.jpgHas anyone else done a reading? What are your top tips?

There’s also an opportunity to sell books at the reading which is great because, y’know, income, but also I’ve left all of the cringe “buy my book” stuff to Amazon and twitter. I could, of course, just leave the books on the side and say nothing, but that’s a missed opportunity to share my stories with readers.

How does one negotiate thing?

So wish me luck! Here I go, out into the real world…

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MERLIN’S CURSE available for pre-order now

  A queen or a prisoner?

Freshly widowed, with a child she can’t possibly have in safety and two grieving daughter, Igraine must negotiate the dangerous politics of a court in turmoil, unsure of if she is its new queen or a prisoner. With Uther’s promises not yet kept, and him slipping further under Merlin’s control, to protect her unborn child, her daughters and the home she has left behind, Igraine is forced to make deals with people she knows are not to be trusted.

Pre-order for a bargain 99p on Amazon – just click here!

FREE! A CHAMPION’S DUTY

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Grab yourself an ebook bargain! Click the picture below to buy for free!

Reviewers say:

“If you want scandal, lust, and feeling the pain of love, this is your book. I think anyone who enjoys a good romance, legend, or medieval story will enjoy this novel.” 

“I don’t know what I can say about this book except declare my undying love for it! I had high expectations when starting this book and I wasn’t disappointed! It can be read as a stand alone novel as part of the trilogy and if I were you I would read the first before reading this because you will learn to love the characters and the story and by the time you are finished you will be dying to read this book.” 

““I stayed up to the wee hours of the morning tearing through the pages. It got to the point that I became so captivated with the story I had to force myself to stop reading so I could eat. Lavinia Collins is a gifted writer whose genre of female centered storytelling perfectly balances the line between myth, fantasy and history.”

Read more reviews here! 

THE CORNISH PRINCESS out now!

Delve into the dark past of Arthurian legend with my new release!

Destined to become Queen, but at what cost?

The King of Britain is dead, without a male heir. The politics of her country never mattered much to Igraine, until now, when they threaten to rob her of her home, Tintagel castle.

When the witch Merlin tells her destiny will make her queen, a defiant Igraine refuses an offer of marriage from Uther, a rough soldier and unlikely pretender for the throne.

But destiny cannot be avoided and the harder she fights it, the more brutal it will be when it comes.

THE CORNISH PRINCESS is the first book in the last series by Lavinia Collins based on women in Arthurian legend. Check out her chronicles of Guinevere, Morgan and Morgawse.

Click here to get your copy!

Do Men Read Books by Women?

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It’s a well-documented truism that while women read books by and about men, men are far less likely to read books by or about women. As a woman who writes books about women, this is bad news for me, but also a woman living in the world that is full of both men and women, it’s also a troubling puzzle.

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Ladies be readin’

Here’s something worth a try: ask your nearest man what was the last book they read that was written by a woman. The nearest man I asked cheated, because he was reading Orlando by Virginia Woolf at the time, and he threw off my survey and ruined my favourite hobby which is maligning men while complaining that women are subject to constant calumny in the opinions of said men. But, several friends have had responses to the effect that the last book by a woman their nearest men read was Harry Potter, when it came out.

So why not? Is it that men, as a rule, have no interest in women? I have observed this, broadly, not to be true. Is it that they feel that these stories won’t be relatable for them? But in that case, wouldn’t women mostly or only read women authors? Sure, there are far fewer, although the gap these days is closing and there are still enough that you could read exclusively women writers if you wanted. Is it the kind of stories men expect women to write about or something imagined about “feminine style”? If that were the case, wouldn’t every woman under a male nom de plume be instantly unmasked?

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This woman is sick of your foolish chatter about how books by women are just for girls

For my part, I wonder if it’s something subtler and more insidious than this. If it’s the idea that many men have that they don’t want to be associated with something “girly”, the pervasive message in society that men must be super-manly all the time. It’s coming into question more and more, but it’s still there.

Being not a man myself, I do not have the answer. Feminist theory of the C20th has plenty to say about women and men and who should write for whom, but as the world moves forward some of that absolutism feels out-of-date.

I’m optimistic that we can look forward to a future in which there’s less of a gender divide in readers. Books are books, after all, not books for boys and books for girls. All books are for everyone.

99p eBook Bargain!

Grab the bestselling Guinevere trilogy in its complete version, just 99p!

‘It is a beautifully written novel which any fan of King Arthur and his court will love. I found the story so much more enjoyable than the original as it is told from a whole new and unique perspective…

I would definitely recommend this if you are looking for an old story made even better’ 

Read more reviews here. 

*FREE EBOOK* THE CURSE OF EXCALIBUR

Grab it free while you can! Part II of the #1 Arthurian Amazon bestselling MORGAN trilogy, THE CURSE OF EXCALIBUR

“As always, Lavinia Collins doesn’t disappoint. This first book sees Morgan grow from an innocent child to a young woman who discovers betrayal, the cruelty of a men’s world, and sex.
[…]
Once again, Collins has created complex, intriguing characters, and a vivid world that makes you forget the Arthurian legends are just that, legends. They seem real. It’s also refreshing to see them told, for a change, by the female protagonists who are often relegated to one-dimensional characters in the background. Here, Morgan comes forward to tell her own story. And it’s a very compelling one.
If you like the Arthurian legends, or even just a good story, check it out.”

Read more reviews of the trilogy here. 

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