The Knight and the Beta Reader

Hi everyone! I hope you are all well.

It’s been aaaages since I’ve written anything at all, I don’t really have an excuse either. In all honesty I’ve just been tired. I started a new job a few months back and it’s spreadsheet after spreadsheet so the last thing I want to do at the moment is look at a computer screen when I’ve finished. I did have a brief spell on Football Manager and yes, I know that’s a contradiction. But for the passed few months, once the little one is asleep and we’ve settled for the evening I’ve been building Lego…yes Lego…yes I am an adult. I’ll go into the details a little more in another post but ultimately it’s relaxing.

Anyway, I digress.

A while ago I enlisted two Beta Readers to read my latest WIP and provide feedback. Firstly I want to say how grateful I am that they agreed to look at the manuscript for free, it’s a massive job even though it’s not a particularly long book. Secondly I would like to express further gratitude to them as finding any kind of free Beta Reader is near impossible. Thirdly I wanted to thank the Twitter Writing Community who are so supportive and helped me in finding a Beta Reader. I feel so bad as I haven’t contributed to the Twitter Writing Community for almost as long as I haven’t been writing, terrible.

I would like to digress again if I may. I just wanted to touch on an important topic; mental health. Every one has a mind which means every one can suffer from some from mental health issues. It’s especially hard at the moment with COVID-19 for everyone including myself but I just wanted to say that if you’re reading this and feel lonely, depressed or just not yourself then I am always here to listen. I’m certainly no psychiatrist or qualified in any way but I can be a good shoulder and happy to be ranted at. Drop me an email to and I’ll reply as soon as possible. It always helps to talk but sometimes it helps to talk to a stranger. I’ll go into this topic in more depth in a later post but I just wanted to touch on it now.

Anyway, back to the Knight and the Beta Reader. Oh by the way, I’m the Knight. I don’t know why it just sounded good at the time of writing.

So, early Jan I received an email from one of the Beta Readers who was full of apologies. They felt bad as they meant to send me some feedback in November but it was stuck in the drafts! Within the email was a sentence that seemed logical at the time of reading; it was along the lines of: “I don’t think now is a good time to pursue Beta Reading” or something similar. I thought fair enough, you do you.

But then I read the feedback. Oh my god this person should be a professional Beta Reader and earn some good money doing so, the feedback was perfect. It was honest, constructively critical, complimentary and so well rounded. I couldn’t have asked for any more and I’m so SO grateful to them for the feedback. I, of course, replied to the email and told them as much, hopefully when their lives are not so hectic they can pick Beta Reading up again, and when/if they do I want to be there to support in any way I can (that includes paying for the service).

I feel Beta Reading is such and under rated thing. I see a lot of people on Twitter looking for free Beta Readers (I was one) and I totally understand why. I think maybe the lesson I have learned here would be useful to a lot of writers and hopefully some will read this and take heed. Perhaps professional Beta Readers should offer a “free first chapter” service or something along those lines, just to give the “free hunters” a taste of what they can really do. Having said that maybe some of them already do!

I’ve rambled a bit here (I’ve not checked through it either to be honest) so to summarise:

I have a lot of work to do
Sorry to the Twitter Writing Community
It helps to talk, feel free to get in touch
THANK YOU to the Beta Readers
Don’t begrudge paying for Beta Readers

Thanks for reading.


Flick and the Beta Readers

So finding beta readers for my latest WIP is proving difficult…more so than anticipated.

My wonderful wife did the alpha read for me and she loved it! So that’s something.

Having said the above, my friend from my old job wanted to beta read for me and she has an English Lit degree so that good news. I also have a new connection on twitter who is just starting out as a professional beta reader/editor so has offered to beta read for me, free of charge!

There are some lovely people about, few and far between but definitely out there! So watch this space for more updates on the upcoming YA story about Flick. For now I’ll leave you with the below synopsis.

You do you ✌🏻

Flick would describe her life as “mundane” right up until the death of her Dad. Now a bully is zoning in on her vulnerability and a family friend is spiralling. 

Flick is desperate to help those she cares for, but she stretches herself too thin. Some unexpected new relationships help to guide her, but also threaten her safety. 

Journey with Flick as she fights with herself, her friends and her enemies all whilst mourning her Dad.

Our Daffodil Dancing in the Wind

Another year floats by

And the scar remains

Sure the wound has closed

The shock has subsided

But the pain will not dull

We think about you all the time

We talk about you often

To each robin we see

We extend our greetings

It’s as though you are here bedsides us

There’s comfort in that

But the tears still won’t dry

Our daughter talks about you too

Though you didn’t get to meet her

“Nanny Dot in the sky”

Who loves her liquorice allsorts

You would be so proud of her

I hope you’re proud of us too

We love you

We miss you

Our daffodil dancing in the wind

1st Draft Hangover

Honestly…I feel a bit lost! My every waking thought for the past few weeks have been about Flick and her story, now it’s on a screen instead of rattling around in my head.

Its probably unrelated but I’ve had a headache since I finished it…to be fair it was an emotional ending and having lived with the characters in my head for so long it was bound to have an effect.

Friends in the Writing Community in Twitter were generally of the opinion to keep the first draft to themselves, which I definitely agree with. HOWEVER I’m going to take a break before editing, just a mini one. With that in mind my wife has agreed to give my first draft a read and provide some feedback.

Its a strange feeling allowing someone – even someone you love and who loves you – to read your raw emotions and ramblings and actually critique you on them. My fingers are crossed that she enjoys the story and can see past the “word vom” as she so eloquently puts it.

Once I have my feedback I shall make another post, probably through tears and stating my regret.

You do you ✌🏻

The Princess and the Petals

A lesson of ego

Please allow me to tell a tale of a beautiful princess and the painful destruction of her remaining petals.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess who was loved by many, but not all, for her beauty invoked others to envy her. Not only was she beautiful on the outside, but on the inside she shone as the moon against the long dark of the night.

One fateful night the princess journeyed home from a friends house where she read to the neighbourhood children. On her way she met with a witch who was fair on the outside but rotten within, much like the gift she gave to our princess. The gift was a flower almost as beautiful as the princess herself, but entwined in the petals was an evil magic.

“Fortune favours me at last!” The witch cackled “you have had your last piece of good look fair princess. The flower you hold is now

your destiny, every time some one pays you a compliment, a petal will form. But beware for every time someone pays you an unkindness, a petal shall fall. Should all the petals fall then so will you!” She cackled again before disappearing into the night.

The princess was shook, she took great heed to what the witch proclaimed and vowed to be kinder than before. She listened to her neighbours, she helped them with their chores, she travelled far and wide to spend time with friends and most of all, she thought not for herself, but for everyone else first.

Those who were white of heart and truly cared for the princess had returned her kindness and the flower gained petals, yet petals continued to fall. Eventually the the petals evened out but the poor princess had no time for herself, that is when she met a prince.

The prince was handsome and worked hard, the princess loved him so. At first they were happy but steadily more petals began to fall than were added to the flower. It took too long for the princess to realise the prince was black at heart and throughout the years that had passed he had slowly chipped away at her petals until only a few remained.

On that day a tinker came to town, he had several wares rusty and unusable but his eyes reminded her of a kindness she had never received before. She talked to him and they became firm friends, though they disagreed on many things they found also they agreed on some too. The tinker had a grey heart, not perfect but not unkind, grumpy but generous. She soon found that the attention of the tinker had added petals on her flower and she began to feel better about herself.

But the prince continued to berate the princess, it grew worse with each passing day. She found herself going to the tinker each evening as he made her feel good about herself, and was always ready with a compliment to lift her spirits.

The princess continued her good deeds, continued to go to the tinker for conversation but still the petals fell. The princess, in an effort of self-preservation, finally told the prince to leave and never return. The prince cried his tears and left but the damage was done and the princess would always be a little broken.

The tinker was there to comfort the princess and they soon fell in love, he did what he could to patch the broken pieces and they quickly built a happy life together. With thanks to the tinker who could truly see her inner beauty, the flower finally has more petals than ever before.

But this is not a happy story, for there was still those who envied the princess and saw only darkness where there was an abundance of light. Despite the best efforts of the tinker the comments and unkindness multiplied.

The worst of it all was the final few petals fell at the hands of close family and friends, criticism and arrogance swarmed the sea that lay above the bed of compliments that the tinker had laid.

The End.

Author Addendum.

Please, it’s not enough to just not criticise someone, let them know what they mean to you, let them know they’re doing a good job. Their petals might be falling.


Okay so a while ago I took advantage of Amazon allowing me to make my Kindle eBook version of The Mask Made of Bone: The Trilogy free (for a week) to celebrate its release.

The response was overwhelming and as a thank you I set up a competition for a chance to win a paperback copy of The Mask Made of Bone: The Trilogy to everyone who wrote a review.

The awkward part of this post is…there have been no reviews! Which is absolutely fine obviously but if you’re reading this then please leave a review or get in touch with me (best way is DM @daydreamerlucas on twitter or leave a comment on here) for a chance to win! I have 10 to give away!

Thanks x

Click here for the Amazon UK page

Competition time

WIN a FREE paperback copy of The Mask Made of Bone: The Trilogy!

All reviews received in April for The Mask Made of Bone (all books and formats) will be entered into a draw for a chance to win a signed paperback version!

Make sure you leave your name on your review and check this site periodically to see if you’re a winner!

Thank you all for your continued support.

SALE ENDED: Amazing Response!

Wow, I’m delighted to announce that in the last 5 days ‘The Mask Made of Bone: The Trilogy’ has sold an incomprehensible 223 units!

To put that into perspective; before Sunday 5th April I had sold 87 units (in all formats) in the last 12 months so to reach this kind of figure is just unfathomable to me.

Thank you to all those who have downloaded a copy, it means a great deal. I will be doing a review based competition to win a signed copy of the paperback version shortly!

I also want to thank those who shared and helped to spread the word, this means more than I can ever tell you!

Stay tuned for the competition…