Taking the marketing bull by the horns.

So there seems to be a trend of readers taking pictures of books in ideal settings and posting them on social media. The pictures are lovely, well thought out, and such a nice way to show the author that their book is ‘out there’ being enjoyed and appreciated.  Oh, here’s my book sitting amongst the shells on a serene beach.  Here is another copy of said book surrounded by flowers in a garden, and another being used as a door stop or fire starter.  (btw. highly recommend we were liars … good read … it probably deserves special pictures.)

Whatever. Back to me.

No one has sent me pictures of Liornabella surrounded by beauty.  Why not?  Well, I guess I need more readers or a fan club or just a club of any sort perhaps. I have never been much of a joiner, that could be part of it. I’ve always been more of an introverted free bird, preferring my solitude. A loner you say? Man, maybe I should lie down for this …

Setting my need for therapy aside, I have been thinking I should market more.  Let me rephrase – I should market. There, I said it. I Instagram and Facebook at times. I even tweet a little on twitter. If no one reads the tweet, did the tweet happen at all? That’s the big question. You should follow me on twitter, it would probably cut down on my need for therapy and I’d look more popular if I had more followers. This yellow bird is tweety bird, different from the twitter bird who is blue and much less personable, like the app.

Tweeting aside, it is time for me to take the marketing bull by the horns. I am going to make a sign at the very least. I might even pound the pavement, peddle my basket of books door to door … that’s not a picture of me, that’s Postman Pat and his little black cat. I’m a bit taller. With book two of The Viridian Chronicles, Morosa, hitting the shelves later this month, the need for outreach is huge. Although, if I peddle about with both books, I may need a bigger bike. Guess I could ditch the cat?

OR I could just take my own pictures of Liornabella and post them for all to see and make myself appear more popular. Candids, unplanned, all willy nilly ~ the book as I see it. The photos could document my current state of mind, my travels and everyday life. Maybe it will morph into a coffee table book some day? Probably not, I’d have to market that and they’d be a bit heavy for my bike.  Just carrying Liornabella around with me today has allowed me to produce these beauties:








This was all while just carrying on with my normal activities around the house! I think this is really going to catch on!  I feel my fan base expanding even now. I’m doing it … full send.  (Did you catch that? I am just super hip with the lingo (thanks Rachel), you should follow me.)

Liornabella is in stores!!

Seeing my book for the first time in stores was almost like seeing a winged pig fly by my window. It was unreal. I mean there was a slim chance it could happen, the book in stores that is –  not the winged pig. When Chapters/Indigo/Coles agreed to stock my book at their local stores, I was over the moon.  Not in the flying pig sense but certainly in the riding high, in a luxury jet sense, glass of wine in hand.

Once I knew they were on the shelves, naturally I planned my route and went on a book tour … not to talk to people, simply to see my books, in store.  I might not go to all of them, just a couple, to see where my book had landed.  Who would its shelf mates be? Would my book hold its ground, stand out and make a statement?  I needed to know and well, you did too.

When I arrived at the Chapters in Ancaster, I went straight for the teen section, calmly.  I was not running folks, I was totally casual, just to be clear.  Instantly, I was overwhelmed with the number of new books.  Holy bananas, that area was stocked.  I tentatively walked to where I believed the “O” author section would be, browsing nonchalantly, looking cool and nonplussed.  I ran my hand inconspicuously along the spines of the M and N section, just to complete my casual façade, and then looked up, painfully, faced scrunched, ego braced for my book to be unnoticeable when suddenly, what did I see?  Liornabella, carefully shelved in the “O” section but facing outward for all to view!  I felt a flutter in my chest, a restlessness in my bones … I was totally going to go to every store on the list to check out my book placement!  Game on!

The other stores on my tour were the same, Liornabella had a prominent place on the shelves.  In one store, even though it was not on the teen table when I arrived, when I left there was a small stack right next to “Truly Devious” which I thought was quite fitting.  No idea how that happened but I was stoked.  😉

Finally, I landed at my last store, I boldly walked to the “O” section, expecting to see a full frontal, (of my book people, my book), and it wasn’t visible.  I froze, unable to move forward, my heart sank, my chest tightened. I could not believe it.  The “O” section was behind a … er… a chair!  For the love of pete, what was I going to do? I realized right then, that it could happen to anyone, you never know what part of the shelves will house your alphabetical section. But, for a newbie author like me, that could be the nail in the coffin so to speak; game over, the end. Buh bye.  I also had the other authors in that section to consider, what about their books? They probably didn’t even know.  They wouldn’t even know! So, for the other “O” authors and a few of the “Ms, Ns and Ps”, I did it.  I moved the chair.  There is no photo of this act, it had to be quick and then, before slyly dumping just one book on the hot ticket teen table, I had to make a quick exit.  But rest assured, Danielle Paige, Christopher Paolini, James Patterson and the like ~ I’ve got your back.

All this to say, it is easy to find my first YA novel, Liornabella, in stores.  Go and get it.  You might even find the odd copy on the teen table, maybe, and if not, feel free to accidentally leave one there while you are browsing.  😊

LIORNABELLA receives a starred review from Pacific Book Review!

Thank you, Pacific Book Review! Read on for their fantastic review of Liornabella!

Pacific Book Review Star
Awarded to Books of Excellent Merit

Author A.E. Outerbridge has written a smart and enchanting fantasy novel titled Liornabella: Book One of the Viridian Chronicles, which is a sweeping adventure guaranteed to transport readers to a magical place and time. Lionabella is the story of Elle O’Sullivan, a teenager who is admitted to Eidolon University, one of the most prestigious schools in the Viridian Isles. While studying, she comes across diaries from an ancient princess, Sinead. As she delves more into Sinead’s history, she embarks on an adventure into the dark Castle of Liornabella, where she encounters creatures which changes her life forever.

Liornabella is an exciting novel with a strong female protagonist. Elle is a fearless young woman who has the strength to stand up to bullies in school such as fellow student Ashana, plus mythical monsters in the woods of the Viridian Isles. Ashana is a formidable antagonist to Elle and is the ultimate villainous mean girl. Although she is haunted by the taunts of other students, Elle fights against self-doubt to become a dedicated student. She survives the twists and turns of school with the help of her dedicated friend Naomi and entrusted school guide Wiggins. Naomi and Wiggins provide much-needed support to Elle as she adjusts to life at a new university. In a refreshing change from male protagonists, Elle is a female character in a fantasy novel, getting to take action and have breathtaking escapades. In addition to the compelling story, the settings of the university and the Viridian Isles are pivotal parts of the novel. The sloping hills and majestic mountains of the Viridian Isles and the foreboding ruins of an old castle provide an excellent backdrop for this imaginative storyline. Readers will easily transport themselves into many rugged settings similar to what one might find in the Old English countryside. A.E. Outerbridge has a distinct flair as she creates beautiful landscapes and memorable characters with her vivid descriptions.

Liornabella would be best for readers who love the mystical magic of Harry Potter, yet want more girl power with their fantasy novels. The book would also be perfect for young adult readers who want to read more adventure novels that have scary moments, but aren’t graphically violent. The novel would also be ideal to liven up junior high and high school literature courses as well. As the series progresses, there should be ample material for the creation of a block-buster movie!

Liornabella is a captivating novel that makes Outerbridge a worthy successor to J.K. Rowling. With the thrilling story of Book One of the Viridian Chronicles, readers will morph into becoming dedicated fans, as they await with bated breath for the rest of the books in the Viridian Chronicles.

What does procrastination look like? 

Why I’d say it looks like an eight foot, ill stitched, multi-coloured scarf!  When it comes to procrastinating, not many can compete with the likes of me.  Lately, I have been suffering from writer’s block, but not from a creativity block it would seem.  My main character has been stuck in a hallway for a ridiculously long time. Every morning this week, I have sat down and tried to chisel her out but alas, the hallway is where she remains.  Elle is getting somewhat tired of being in the dim passageway, in her pyjamas no less, but there is nothing I can do for her right now.  I can however, focus my creative energies on other projects, which are not entirely non-book related.  I knit a scarf!  Just like the one Elle made for Martine in book one AND, I built a 3-D model of the Viridian Isle.  Why would I do that you ask?  I am not trying to compete with Mr. Bean’s Christmas Nativity scene.  I do not intend to play with the characters and re-enact the book, but I did think it would be interesting for my readers to see what the Viridian Isles looks like, in my mind.  It is not often that I invite people into the depths of my mind, that dark, twisted place where ideas spring forth, but for procrastination blog day, I am going to do just that! No architect am I so the model is not to scale … it is simply a general layout.  The trees are absolutely massive, I know this.  If one fell, it would take out an entire castle and in some cases a small village.  That is not how I see things, at least not in this series.  I share with you now, a photo of said model.  If my procrastination continues into next week, you may get a video tour.  I wonder if I can fly the drone inside? 🙂

I see I have also included my wine rack in this photo, which is just an added bonus for you all.  It is precious to me. Cheers!

From Art to Book Cover


 I have been trying to figure out how to describe what it was like for me to see the cover of my book for the first time.  I had an illustrator – a wonderful illustrator – and it was a bit of an awakening for me.

Writing a book is sort of like painting a pottery pot but not quite.  You spin the pot, and then glaze it just so, you have a vision, and you try to make it all come together. (If you are me however, the vision and actuality will be quite different … I can’t paint).  The paint covered pot then goes to the kiln and comes out all shiny and aglow and slightly different than you first imagined.

The difference with the book cover itself is that you add all the ingredients, you write the characters, build the worlds and create the atmosphere but you don’t know exactly what the cover will look like because every reader, illustrator and designer will have a unique minds-eye.

Let’s go back to my pottery example because you are probably wondering where I was going with that.  Let me tell you a story.  🙂  When I was in Mexico on vacation a few years back, I painted a pot. It looked pretty good, or… perhaps that’s a stretch, it was a colossal mess, I even struggled to stay in the lines they provided. (This may have had something to do with too many cervezas but I digress …) Unbeknownst to me, on the warm Mexican night when my paint soaked pot was to be fired, it was someone’s job to duck in and improve the pot. They added detail and finesse before it went to the kiln.  Essentially they took my vision, my globbed up, painted massacre and made it art.

For my book cover, I submitted all my wild imaginings all mismatched and scattered and my illustrator and designer created something magical.

Seeing the finished cover for the first time is when the entire writing process finally seemed real to me. Up until that point, it was hard to envisage that someone else reading my book would have a different vision of how things look and how they feel – an equally wonderful vision but different nonetheless. A good book cover captures the essence of the book and mine did just that.

When I first saw my cover, I was reminded, that as the writer, the book is not all mine anymore. It will soon belong to the reader, who will imagine the characters and places differently than me but the spirit of the book will remain the same.

I am thrilled with how the cover of Liornabella turned out.  Thank you so much to the Tellwell team for the illustration and the design!