Reflections on Writing, Publishing, and Finishing a Series

NB: I started writing this just after I’d finished, but only just finished writing it.

Today is a strange day. After eleven years and millions of words (yes, really), I have finished the What Happens in… series.

Everyone always thinks finishing a book is a happy occasion, and while it is, it’s often bittersweet. There’s a grieving period involved. After all, you’ve dedicated months (or more often than not, years) to your work in progress. For it to no longer need you is unsettling and confusing. What will you do now?

That being said, even if you do know what you want to do next, it can still feel strange to have these people that have lived inside your head for so long not need to be there anymore.

It leaves an empty space in your mind, one that must be filled by the next project. As many of you already know, I have that next project—Hollywood Gossip.

I have lots of things planned for Tate and Jack, and I’m excited to share them with you.

My first step—and the biggest difference between Hollywood Gossip and What Happens in…—is drafting every book in the series back-to-back. This means I should be able to release much faster.

It will mean slowing down on my release schedule for a few months, but I think I’ve done pretty well to release five books in twelve months. That was never my plan. But after the year that 2019 has shaped up to be, I’ve buried myself in my books to escape reality even more so than usual.

After the year that 2019 has been, I need some downtime. The next few months will be spent writing, training our puppy Millie, and focusing on my health and day job. It’ll also be spent celebrating, because I truly believe that we should celebrate the little things.

Millie the west highland terrier
You can follow her on Instagram: @WestHighlandMillie

I have big things coming up too: a work trip to Mallorca, and mine and Boyfriend’s ten-year anniversary. While we’re not married, we are very much an old married couple in every sense of the term. I wouldn’t be here without him, and I wouldn’t be able to function without him. He planted the suggestion that I should self publish several years ago. Back then, I still carried the prejudice that it was vanity publishing. Oh, how things change.

The prejudice around self pub still prevails in many places—traditionally published friends of mine get invited more speaking opportunities because they have a publisher to make them look more legitimate.

Book sales and online rankings only account for so much in a lot of people’s heads. 

There’s nothing I can do about that, of course. I’m not here to convince anyone that my way of operating is for them. It’s a lot of work, and it really isn’t for most people.

But then, people don’t always know what they sign up for when they traditionally publish either. It’s part of why I published Writing Myths. It’s also why I like to share articles about the realities of royalties on my social media. It’s such a dumb system.

Don’t get me wrong, Amazon isn’t infallible—I regularly get my UK royalties late, which is 99% of my royalties—but at least the money my book makes only goes to me and the distributor, which means I make a whole lot more than someone who publishes traditionally and could make anything from 50% to as little as 1% for every copy sold. Things like that are part of why I stopped shopping at discount book shops like The Works. I feel too guilty about how little authors earn after putting all that work in.

You do put in more work when you go indie, though.

No matter how you publish, you end up working for less than minimum wage. You have to be in it either as a hobbyist who doesn’t care about the money, or for the long haul if you want to receive any reader or critical acclaim, and of course, money.

Which camp am I in? I think you know that already. Writing is my life and always has been. It’s why I’ve hidden in it these last seven months. I wouldn’t have survived without it. That, and a more efficient planning process, is how I’ve published so much this year. 

But that’s a post for another day and another blog.

In the meantime, I’m off to get Millie cuddles while reading a good book. If you’ve got any recommendations, let me know in the comments!

Happy reading 🙂 

Preorder your copy of What Happens in Paphos!

That’s right—you can officially preorder your copy of What Happens in Paphos!

It’s set for release on 15 November, but it’s likely that it will be released before then. The best way to guarantee that you’ll get it when it’s ready is to preorder your copy! That way, it will be downloaded to your ereader as soon as it’s ready!

The final book in the series sees Hollie, Fayth, and the rest of the crew head to Paphos for a quiet getaway. But of course, nothing ever goes according to plan, does it?

Check out the blurb below:

A relaxing holiday in Paphos is just what everyone needs after a stressful few months…or at least, that was the plan. 

With the release of Trinity’s tell-all memoir just days away, the gang are terrified of what secrets it could reveal. 

After all, it doesn’t have to be true for people to believe it. 

Will Fayth’s photography career be over before it’s begun? Will Liam have to say goodbye to Hollywood? Can Astin overcome his injuries to climb El Capitan? Can Hollie’s fashion career recover from her failed fashion show – and does she want it to?

Want to preorder your copy? Here are the links you need:

Stay tuned for more updates 😉

What Happens in Texas: Part 4

Ok, so it’s been a while since I posted a chapter of What Happens in Texas. I apologise. I got sidetracked, and also a little stuck. I know nothing about horses. So my friend Sarah, who’s both a trained vet and adores horses, helped me out. Thanks Sarah!

If you haven’t read parts one, two, or three yet, you should check those out first 🙂


What Happens in Texas

Four

Astin entered Pablo’s stables and came across an old friend. She was just as regal, just as beautiful as he remembered. She turned her head to face him. Her ears were forward. He allowed himself to think meant she was pleased to see him, but thenhe did have treats in his pockets. And he was desperate for someone not to hate him. He’d reached a whole new level of pathetic.

‘Hey, beautiful,’ said Astin, running his hand through her mane. Her bay coat was starting to grey around the eyes, her back was a little more swayed than he remembered, but she was still the quarter horse he’d spent his teenage years riding.

‘You can ride her if you want. She’s the better behaved one anyway,’ said Pablo.

‘Thanks.’

Sheila had been his horse when he’d lived with his grandparents. He’d sold her to Pablo when he’d moved to New York. As much as he loved horses, he knew he couldn’t stay in the countryside forever. Sheila would be better off with Pablo than in New York, where she’d have to go through the trauma of moving and he wouldn’t get nearly as much time with her.

They saddled their respective horses. Pablo offered to help him mount, but Astin wanted to do it alone. Just to see if he could. And he did. Without hurting his back. He smiled. Small wins meant everything after what he’d been through.

Pablo climbed onto his horse – a leopardspotted appaloosa called, funnily enough, Spot. The two of them cantered through the fields. The wind blew past them, rippling their clothes and caressing their skin. It was a gentle, soothing breath that took the edge off the Texan heat. ‘Not so bad, is it?’

‘I missed this. I’d forgotten how good it feels,’ said Astin.

‘What else have you forgotten?’ asked Pablo.

Talk about a loaded question…

Astin asked Sheila to speed up. She obeyed. Pablo and Spot caught up with him.

‘Well?’ said Pablo.

‘Can we just enjoy the moment?’ said Astin. ‘Please?’

‘Race you to the trees?’

‘I can’t risk it.’

‘Did the doctors say that?’

The doctors had told him to do what felt right. They said he seemed fine, but his back might hurt sometimes. He’d have to keep his strength up. The stronger his muscles were, the happier his back would be. Horse riding was good exercise…

Astin touched Sheila’s sides with his heels and they raced Pablo and Spot to the trees. The cool breeze hit him in the face. It made him feel alive. He beat Pablo to the trees, but only just.

‘Good race,’ said Pablo.

Panting, Astin slid off his horse and sat down. His back wasn’t protesting. He took that as a good sign, but he wanted to sit down and enjoy the moment all the same. While it was good he’d managed to do so much, he still didn’t want to push his luck. He needed rest, too.

Pablo dismounted and sat beside him.

‘I’ve spent my whole life working towards a career in stunts. When I lost that, I lost sight of who I was,’ said Astin.

‘But you can go back, can’t you?’

‘It’s dangerous. I could end up in a wheelchair permanently.’

‘Like danger has ever stopped you before. Besides, aren’t there other things you could do? Like co-ordinating and stuff.’

‘How do you know?’

‘I read,’ said Pablo. He lay back, resting his head on his hands and staring up at the cloudless sky.

Astin picked at some grass and threw it at Pablo. Pablo ignored him.

‘I don’t know if I could. Plus…I’m not sure that I want to.’

‘How come?’

‘Hollywood turned its back on me. I don’t know if I could go back.’

‘Hollywood is fickle; you know that. Heck, even the horses know that,’ said Pablo.

‘I guess,’ said Astin. ‘I don’t think I could do co-ordinating, though. You know me: I’ve always been more of a do-er.

‘Then do something. Find something to work towards,’ said Pablo. He grabbed some grass and threw it at Astin. Astin stopped picking at the grass and lay back too.

‘Like what, though?’

‘You’re the action man, not me. What have you always wanted to do but never had the chance to?’

‘There was one thing I wanted to do as a kid, but my grandparents told me to never think about it. It was too dangerous.’

‘What was it?’

‘Climbing El Capitan. The Dawn Wall way.’ It was the steepest, most dangerous way to climb one of the tallest mountains in the world. He’d dreamt of it as a kid, but his grandparents had always talked him out of it because of how dangerous it was. His mother had told him to jump back down from the top.

‘Yeah, that is nuts,’ said Pablo. ‘But it’s not impossible. Three guys have done it this past year.’

‘It took them days, though.’

‘Isn’t that what training is for? So you’re unfit and can’t push yourself too hard right now, but it’s something to work towards, isn’t it? Maybe in a year, eighteen months, even two years, you’ll be ready. And how awesome will you feel when you’ve done it?’

Astin sat up. ‘Yeah, you’re right. You’re so right.’

I’m insulted you thought I’d be wrong.’

Behind the Spotlight arrives 30 May!

I am suuuuper excited to share my next book with you!

Behind the Spotlight has been three years in the making.

Behind the Spotlight by Kristina Adams

I like to call it my Frankenbook (which I know is technically wrong, but it sounds cooler than Dr Frankenstein’s Book).

I first drafted it in 2016, after What Happens in New York was published. It didn’t take long to write—at the time it was only 20,000 words or so.

But it had a massive, gaping plot hole (which I can’t tell you more about without giving you spoilers, so you’ll have to trust me on this one).

Since there was this massive, gaping plot hole, I couldn’t do anything with it. I also had no idea how to fix it.

So, as much as I loved Cameron and Luke, I put the book to the side for a while.

I’d return to it in between each Hollie and Fayth book, but I never made much progress.

I started to get somewhere when I talked to my (very talented) friend Sarah about it. We came up with a solution for the massive, gaping plot hole.

Then I bloody well forgot it.

But in the end, the final plot hole became a combination of what Sarah and I came up with, and, annoyingly, the original ending.

It all worked out though—I now love the ending. I also love that no one that has beta read it figured out the twist, which makes me insanely happy considering that that is tied to the massive, gaping plot hole that drove me mad for three years.

But that’s enough about me and plot holes.

Here’s what you really want to know:

You can preorder your copy on everywhere but Amazon by going to its Books2Read link.

For reasons that are too complicated to explain, it’ll be live on Amazon nearer the time (probably early next week).

And of course, here’s the blurb to whet your appetite:

One’s famous. One hates fame. Second chances don’t get more complicated than this.


Cameron has a secret. It’s not a life-changing secret, just a secret. 


Or at least, he didn’t think it was.


His first love – his first everything, really – was Luke Andrews, one quarter of the world’s biggest boy band, HATT. Cameron hasn’t spoken to anyone about Luke since he left. He buried his feelings for him in a deep, dark cave when Luke broke up with him to pursue his lifelong dream.


But when Cameron and Luke see each other again for the first time in five years, they can’t deny that the spark is still there. Will they rekindle their romance, or will Luke’s stardom get in the way?

Ready to preorder your copy? Sweet! This is the link for you.

Want to get notified when it’s live on Amazon? Join my mailing list.

I can’t believe there’s only one week to go until you get to meet Cameron and Luke! Eep!

What Happens in Barcelona is out now!

Yep, the day has come—you can finally get your hands on What Happens in Barcelona!

Shit goes down in this book, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Here’s the blurb, to give you a taste:

A tragic death. Trial by social media. The beginning of the end?

When someone the gang loves to hate dies unexpectedly, everyone is left feeling volatile. Not only that, but it puts everything they’ve worked towards – both individually and together – in jeopardy.

Can their careers handle the backlash? And, more importantly, will their relationships survive?

There’s only one way to find out what happens next…

Want to find out? Grab your copy on Amazon now.

If you purchase your copy before 31 March 2019, you’ll also be able to download it for the bargain price of 99p (or 99c).

Aaaaand if you get it before then, you’llalso find details of how to enter an exclusive giveaway to win the rest of the series!

The only way to find out more is to download your copy on Amazon now.

Go go go!

Not an Amazon fan?

It’s coming soon to other platforms like Apple Books and Kobo as well.

In the meantime, you can grab What Happens in New York over on there, and pre-order your copies of the rest of the series too!

Happy reading! 📖

Meet the cover for What Happens in Barcelona!

I’ve been planning the events in this book since long before I started working on What Happens in New York.

The key scene that happens in What Happens in Barcelona has always been inevitable. It wasn’t a question of what, it was a question of how.

Continue reading “Meet the cover for What Happens in Barcelona!”

Return to New York is out now!

It’s been 364 days since I published my last book.

It’s been 507 days since I published Hollie and Fayth’s last adventure.

There were a lot of cliffhangers and unanswered questions in What Happens in London. (Sorry about that.)

But now, you can finally start to get some answers.

Are you ready to find out what happens next?

You finally can!

Return to New York is out RIGHT NOW!

Continue reading “Return to New York is out now!”

What Happens in Texas: Part 2

So in the last instalment, we met Astin’s childhood friend Pablo—whom he’s moving in with while he’s back in Texas—and his ex-girlfriend, Martha.

In this week’s instalment, we find out a little bit more about his family…

Continue reading “What Happens in Texas: Part 2”

Return to New York is out 28 September!

It’s been a long time coming, I know.

There are several reasons for that.

The first one is that at the end of last year, after Productivity for Writers was published, I decided to focus on The Writer’s Cookbook and developing my marketing skills.

I did take a break to take part in NaNoWriMo, but I honestly hated doing that so much that I almost never returned to writing fiction again.

No really. I genuinely hated it that much.

So I ended up needing a break from fiction.

My birthday present to myself (back in March) was meant to be returning to fiction for a week, but then when I tried…it was like putting on clothes that looked like they were in my size but just didn’t fit right.

I really, really struggled to get back into writing fiction after taking a nine-month break.

Then, to make matters worse, we had some really cold weather. My fibromyalgia is exacerbated by cold weather, meaning that the snow and ice and freezing temperatures ruined me for several weeks.

THEN, my nan fell ill. Really, REALLY ill. We thought that that was it—she was on her way out. But fighter that she is, she kept going.

Needless to say, writing fiction and poetry wasn’t a huge priority for me for a while. I still did it, but I did it slowly. I focused on my mental and physical health first and foremost.

Writing fiction and poetry is part of how I look after my mental health, but the pressures of publishing can sometimes distract from that.

So, instead of rushing to publish Return to New York, I decided I’d get a version of that I was happy with, send it to beta readers, then move on to writing What Happens in Barcelona.

Originally there was going to be an overlap in the timelines, so it would’ve helped with that.

Instead, the overlap that was going to be in What Happens in Barcelona you can now read on this very site under the name What Happens in Texas. (The next part will be coming on Friday!)

Doing it this way meant that I had more time to focus on writing and the pressure was all off. Writing was fun again!

When we put too much pressure on ourselves, the stuff we love can very quickly turn into stuff that we hate—we can end up losing the very thing we loved about it in the first place.

I knew that with a long enough break—and the right project—my love for writing would return. And it has.

Now that Return to New York is finished, I’m going to focus on editing What Happens in Barcelona. When that’s ready to go back in the drawer, I’ll work on what comes next. While I’m not ready to share what happens beyond Barcelona just yet, when I have decided on the order, you’ll be the first to know.

In the meantime, you’ll be pleased to know that you won’t have to wait as long between Return to New York and What Happens in Barcelona as you did between What Happens in London and Return to New York!

If all goes to plan, What Happens in Barcelona will be out early next year 😉

Now, I’d better get back to editing if I want to maintain that timeline!

Oh, and don’t forget to preorder your copy of Return to New York! 😉