For most of my adult life, I have been writing fiction – my first love. Since September 2007, after decades of completion avoidance, I put aside all my excuses and began to work seriously. Until I realized that "always wanted to be a writer" meant I had to finish the work I had started before I could say, "I am a writer", I had thousands of words on reams of pages. I write about my writing process, philosophies and social commentary at Everwriting: passion for writing. I am also a member of the group blog, Classic and Cozy and Avalon Authors (now an archive). All of my posts from Avalon Authors are now available on Ink on the Carpet as well.
When I first began to write Salsa Dancing with Pterodactyls, the book grew exponetially as ideas came into my head. This was one of the novels in reams of pages I mentioned above.
After several rewrites and revisions, I published this novel in two volumes, much like Charles Dickens. However, after a few months, I realized that this was one book and should be read as one whole book, not a book in two parts. With a new cover and ISBN, Salsa Dancing with Pterodactyls is back. The story hasn't changed. Emily is still a dancing angel and David is still a flying reptile.
Read an excerpt...
Salsa Dancing with Pterodactyls is availabe on Kobo, Barnes & Noble for the Nook and Smashwords. The novel will soon be available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon, and very shortly on the iBookstore.
Serial Novel: Nights Before
In the final story in the Nights Before serial novel, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas Eve, Christmas Past and Christmas Previous haven't been all Jocelyn Tavers wished, but Christmas Present and Christmas Future are in capable hands – her own.
But even the best laid plans have a way of meeting disaster head-on. No surprise that her ex has every intention of spoiling Christmas and any hope of a happy future. He doesn't want her but he doesn't want anyone else to want her either. A burst of wishful enthusiasm sinks her further into impersonating someone she's never likely to be, especially if a certain law-abiding citizen isn't in a generous frame of mind.
Man-trouble doesn't end with ex-boyfriends or those she'd most like to be new boyfriends. Better than holiday spirit, Santa has a special gift wrapped up, warmed up and ready to fulfill all her cherished desires but first she must come to grips with the foundations of any good relationship.
The penultimate story in the Nights Before serial novel is 'Twas the Night Before Veterans Day. Months of job-hunting, land Jocelyn in the protective custody of a close friend and seeking the help of a French-speaking public servant whose absence has cracked her façade of laissez faire and nonchalance.
Who would have thought a tow truck driver would be her rock in a hard place?
Working a few days a week keeps her snazzy 4x4, Spike, from running out of gas and a meal on her table but can’t bring in enough to keep minutes on her cell phone when her former managing editor wants to contact her with a change of plans.
Both of her least favorite authors have made demands and she can’t say no when her rent needs paying.
To compound her confusion, the trailer park nymphomaniac has competition when a new voice with attitude pipes up, giving orders and the occasional sound advice. The Veterans Day weekend brings more than a headstrong lawman to Jocelyn’s door on a night she won’t soon forget. Available at Amazon & AmazonUK.
In the fourth story, 'Twas the Night Before Labor Day, just when Jocelyn believes she has a grip on her job, the publisher throws a task in her path that proves to be wicked near impossible without the help of a friend, if she can find one.
The work she’s editing for her absent father’s apologist strikes chords Jocelyn would prefer to remain silent. The mad scientist reveals his mother’s savory past. Steel proves as reliable as lightning for jump-starting the disheartened. But in the case of one public servant, absence does not make the heart grow fonder.
Read an excerpt...
Now available on the iBookstore & Amazon.
The Nights Before serial novel now has a third story about Jocelyn and her three suitors. In 'Twas the Night Before Mother's Day, Jocelyn faces the first Mother's Day without her mother and the sudden appearance of a well-dressed man who seems to know more about her, her mother and absent father than a stranger should.
An officer of the law, the ex and her eccentric author pick up and scatter pieces all over the Bowdoin College campus in Brunswick, Maine.
All the books in this series have had newly designed covers by the graphic artist, Gwiboz.
Now available on the iBookstore Amazon.
This new cover is for the second story in my serial novel, Nights Before, about Jocelyn Tavers and her unwise princes is 'Twas the Night Before Valentine's Day. Jocelyn is juggling unwise princes, an ex-boyfriend and her rebuilt 4x4 on one of the coldest days of a Maine winter.
Her big date on the night before the day for lovers has some surprises in store but so do her ex and the weather forecaster.
What does it take for a girl to get some adoration of her own?
'Twas the Night Before Valentine's Day is a bestseller at AllRomanceEbooks and is also available on the iBookstore as well as Smashwords, Kobo, Diesel-ebooks and Barnes & Noble. Now also available on Amazon.
My New Year's Eve Romance, 'Twas the Night Before New Year, has a new cover and is available on Smashwords and at other major online booksellers Barnes and Noble, Kobo, All Romance Ebooks.
New Year's Eve is a time for reflection and change. Jocelyn has more changes coming at her from all directions on this Portland, Maine winter day than she's faced since her mother's death.
None of it bodes well for the junior editor's fledgling career when her fiancé abandons her to spend this holiday alone. If not for three unwise princes, a Viking warrior and a sinkhole...
A short story – alone for New Year's Eve, what can be worse for a single girl? A lot!
Now also available on Amazon.
Debut Novel, April 2012
My debut novel is Wait a Lonely Lifetime published by Avalon Books, New York. This was a work in progress when I spoke to Lia Brown in July 2010. By the end of September, the book was in her hands. You can read about this book, my process in writing it and what happens next in my online writer's journal, Ever Writing. I was a guest at Four Foxes One Hound on the 28th of April 2011, and was interviewed at USAToday by Joyce Lamb, whose two Paranormal Romances are finalists in the RWA RITA®. After completing Wait a Lonely Lifetime, I realized I had many other works in progress about Americans in Love abroad, two of which will be published in the near future.
My Facebook page, Leigh Verrill-Rhys, Novelist, has details of the publication date, what my editor says about this novel and other information. Wait a Lonely Lifetime is now available in Public Libraries and online book retailers: as ebooks or paperback on Amazon & a paperback at Barnes & Noble or a signed hardbound copy here:
Read an excerpt....
Please let me know your thoughts about Wait a Lonely Lifetime . You can write on my Facebook page, comment on my Blog, send me a Tweet or write a review at Goodreads or on Amazon.
Anthologies of Women's Autobiography
I have been a Director and Editor for Honno: Welsh Women's Press since 1987. During the same period, I have been an international book distributor and marketing consultant for writers, artists and businesses in Wales.
I began my writing career in San Francisco as a short story writer for several small magazines and the Public Broadcasting Service. Once I had moved to Wales, I concentrated on editing the autobiographical and non-fiction writing of women living in Wales with the publication of On My Life - a collection that won second prize in the Raymond Williams Award for Community Publishing in 1990.
I was given an Arts Council of Wales grant to join the masterclass of the poet, Leslie Norris, at the Hay Festival a short time later. I had been involved with the Writers on Tour scheme of the Arts Council as well as a member of the Undeb Awduron Cymru for several years. When the influential Welsh language writers' union and the Writers' Union of Wales were incorporated into the Academi Gymreig, I became a member of the Academi.
In 1992, I had the privilege of working with the historian, Deirdre Beddoe, on the collection, Parachutes & Petticoats, inspired by my mother's experiences during World War II, a book that has enjoyed several reprints and is available again in a new format since January 2010. And, in 2002, Iancs, Conshîs a Spam was published as the Welsh language companion volume to Parachutes – stories and experiences of Welsh-speaking women in Wales written in their first language, offers a different perspective on the experience of women in war.
These books have found their way into bibliographies in books such as Shelter Me by Alex McAulay, Older Widows And The Life Course: Multiple Narratives Of Hidden Lives (New Perspectives on Ageing and Later Life) by Pat Chambers, The World We Have Won: The Remaking of Erotic and Intimate Life by Jeffrey Weeks, Women's History: Britain, 1850-1945: An Introduction (Women's and Gender History) by June Purvis, Ail: Webster's Timeline History, 450 BC - 2007 by Icon Group International among others - about which I am very proud and a little surprised.
Also in 1992, I had the opportunity to contribute to the collection, Discovering Welshness, edited by Oliver Davies and Fiona Bowie. As part of the preparation for the book, Bowie and I had a discussion in which I talked about my fiction. Sometimes, a question can trigger a revelation.
During the interview, I realized that all of my writing has a consistent theme: searching for home. As an emigrant to Wales, this made perfect sense, but I had been writing about that search long before I left San Francisco.