The First Draft is the Idea; Editing Finds the Story.

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A writer chat with Savannah Gilbo, Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast

I had the pleasure of chatting with Savannah Gilbo on her Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast. Savannah helped with the structural edits in my new release, Memories Don’t Lie. We talked about the editing process that she took me through, how I turned an idea into a story, and how she helped me to find my character’s voice (and mine).

I also shared insight into my querying journey, and why I chose to go with an independent publisher. We talked about how writing short stories helped hone my novel-writing skills, how I developed my characters and my struggles with world-building. And we finished off with some tips for writers who receive more rejections than acceptances.

If you’re looking for guidance in any of those areas, you can listen to the podcast on the link below. I hope you enjoy it.

Ep. 89 – Student Spotlight: How She Used Short Stories to Hone Her Craft (and Publish Her Debut Novel) with Pauline Yates
Links: – digital, paperback, hardcover.

New Story Release and Author Interview


My latest short story, Mirror Mirror, has just been released in Tales of Fear, Superstition, and Doom, the latest anthology by Redwood Press. This superb collection of short dark fiction contains twenty-seven terrifying tales from a diverse group of authors. This is the second story I’ve sold to this publication, the first being The Jump in The Lost Librarian’s Grave: Tales of Madness, Horror, and Adventure, and I’m thrilled to be included in this latest ToC.

Find out more about Tales of Fear, Superstition, and Doom HERE, and it’s available for purchase HERE.


I also caught up with Andrea at Brightside Story Studio to chat about my debut novel, Memories Don’t Lie, available now in digital, paperback, and hardcover. We dived into questions about my writing life, the science behind my story, and the querying journey that led me to publication, among other things. You can read the interview HERE, and purchase Memories Don’t Lie HERE.

I hope you enjoy the reads,

Pauline Yates

Memories Don’t Lie Release Day Roundup

My debut sci-fi novel, Memories Don’t Lie released on March 11, just under a week ago. To celebrate, my publisher Black Hare Press organised a #MemoriesDontLieLaunchParty on Facebook. It was a super fun and fast event and included many authors who joined in the celebration with #AuthorTakeover allocated timeslots. With games and giveaways, there was something for everyone to participate in. You can still browse through the posts, including mine, which is like walking through a bookstore and playing games as you go. To see what we got up to, check out the event here: #MemoriesDontLieLaunchParty

Over the release day weekend, I also had the pleasure of chatting with Elena Hartwell Taylor of All We Buried fame and The Foundation of Plot, a Wait, Wait, Don’t Query (Yet!) guidebook. She put together our chat in an author interview on her The Mystery of Writing Blog. You can read it here: Memories Don’t Lie: Sci-Fi Debut: Author Interview with Elena Hartwell

I’m so pleased to read from the early reviews that Memories Don’t Lie is right up there for reader satisfaction. Here are some review snippets:

This work expertly balances the internal uncertainties of a seventeen year old with the unrelenting action of a thriller. Description and dialogue are crisp and clear and at no point do you get bogged down in unrequired material or interactions. This is extremely well done given the need for the use of memory to be so central to the story.


Exploring genetic mutations and memories, and layers of expertly pulled-off secrets and reveals, this action-packed sci-fi story is as thrilling as it is entertaining. Full of characters you’ll want to root for, a touch of romance, and twists that will have you turning every page, it’s a confident and well-written debut from an author who knows how to craft an adventurous and edgy tale.


This fast paced, military science fiction novel jumps head first into the question of what makes us who we are, and what happens when our every memory and action may not actually be ours. All the tried and tested memes of military science fiction are here – hardened soldiers, struggle of good vs evil, an outsider trying to win their way into a tight knit group – to keep fans of the genre satisfied, with enough variations to broaden its appeal to a wider audience.


From the first chapter, Sarah Wilson’s story grabs you like a rabid dog and shakes you in its mouth until the final page. Memories Don’t Lie is jam-packed with fast-paced action – without sacrificing character development or story.


Memories Don’t Lie is available now in digital, paperback and hardcover. Check out the links below:


Signed orders:

Book Merch:

As an added giveaway, if you purchase a paperback or hardcover before the end of March, I’ll send you a Memories Don’t Lie bookmark. Simply email me proof of purchase and your postal address and I’ll send your gift in the mail.

Happy Reading.

Release Day – Memories Don’t Lie


Sarah Wilson, orphaned niece of Lieutenant John Wilson, is determined to escape his restrictive upbringing and find her place in the world.

Her journey takes a deadly turn when she uncovers secrets about her past, hidden deep in her mother’s memories, that threaten everything Sarah wants.

They could cost her everything she holds dear—and her life.

Memories Don’t Lie/pauline yates/black hare press

Announcing the release of my debut novel, Memories Don’t Lie, a fast-paced science fiction action/adventure, published by Black Hare Press.

Memories Don’t Lie follows Sarah Wilson and her quest to find her place in a world clouded by secrets in her past. Set in near-future California, and supported by a cast of characters to die for, Memories Don’t Lie plunges you into a journey that travels through a science fiction realm filled with genetic engineering and cellular memory possibilities.

Black Hare is hosting a #MemoriesDontLieLaunchParty to celebrate the release with author takeovers, games and giveaways. You can join the online event here:

Memories Don’t Lie Launch Party



Preorder Now: Killer Creatures Down Under: Horror stories with bite.

Australia: the land where everything wants to kill you. A continent filled with some of the deadliest animals in the world. From creepy-crawlies to crocodiles, you’ll have plenty to fear in this anthology penned by Australian authors. Killer Creatures Down Under: Horror Stories with Bite offers disturbing tales that range from the action-packed and visceral, through the historical and futuristic, to the phantasmagorical and supernatural. Prepare to confront your animal phobias… And perhaps develop some new ones.

Deborah sheldon – ifwg Publishing

Coming May 15th, 2023, is another brilliant anthology edited by Deborah Sheldon, editor of the multi-award-winning and multi-award-nominated anthology, Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies and published through IFWG Publishing.

A superb collection of short horror stories featuring Australia’s deadliest creatures from some of Australia’s best writers including: Geraldine Borella – Tim Borella – Renee De Visser – Anthony Ferguson – Jason Fischer – Fox Claret Hill – Robert Mammone – Ben Matthews – J.M. Merryt – Helena O’Connor – Steven Paulsen – Antoinette Rydyr – Deborah Sheldon – Charles Spiteri – H.K. Stubbs – Matt Tighe – Keith Williams – Pauline Yates.

Includes my short story “Hell Gully” where nasty surprises await foreign comrades embarking on a simple training exercise in the remote Australian bush.

To secure your copy, preorder here:
Killer Creatures Down Under: Horror stories with bite.

Goodreads Giveaway: Memories Don’t Lie

Orphaned niece of Lieutenant John Wilson, Sarah Wilson is determined to
escape his restrictive upbringing and find her place in the world.
Her journey takes a deadly turn when she uncovers secrets about her past, hidden
deep in her mother’s memories, that threaten everything Sarah wants.
They could cost her everything she holds dear—and her life.

Memories Don’t Lie – Pauline Yates – Black Hare Press

My debut novel, Memories Don’t Lie, is due for release on March 11, 2023, and we’re running a Goodreads giveaway. For your chance to win one of five signed copies, click the link below. The giveaway runs from the 23rd Feb – 11th March. Good luck.

Goodreads Giveaway – Memories Don’t Lie

New story: The Taste of You

The first bite is sweet, like when you cornered me in the school library between R for romance and T for thriller, and accused me of stealing your heart.

The Taste of You by Pauline Yates/nightmare fuel magazine

My latest story is out with Nightmare Fuel Magazine, a short horror meeting the theme ‘Love Has Teeth’. You can read it here for free:

The Taste of You by Pauline Yates

Cover Reveal: Memories Don’t Lie

I’ve always been fascinated by déjà vu. It had to be more than coincidence, thinking you’ve done something before. I’m also curious about organ donation and how a recipient can sometimes adopt the donor’s traits. Add in my interest in gene doping in sports, DNA transfer to enhance physical traits, and the cellular memory hypothesis that suggests cells can store memories, all of that put together is the backdrop to this story.

Pauline Yates on Memories Don’t lie – Black Hare Press

I’m thrilled to reveal the cover for my upcoming debut sci-fi novel, Memories Don’t Lie.

This fast-paced action/adventure is published by Black Hare Press and set for a March 11, 2023 release.

To get the inside scoop on what’s behind the cover, check out my interview with Black Hare Press.

Memories Don’t Lie – Interview – Black Hare Press


New Release: Love Me, Love Me Not

“To my dearest Tommy,
Every night I dream of you,
And pray you know my love is true,
Because it’s hard to be apart,
I’ll gift to you my love-struck heart.
Be my Valentine.”

from ‘Love-STruck’ by Pauline yates

Love Me, Love Me Not – a Black Hare Press anthology – a collection of dark drabbles from various authors featuring love, lust, and lunacy.


New Anthology Release: Year Four – Dark Moments & Patreon

The start of my writing year kicks off with the release of Year Four: Dark Moments and Patreon published by Black Hare Press.

This anthology is a fantastic compilation of all the Dark Moments and Patreon stories published online throughout 2022. It has over 200 stories from a long list of fabulous authors, and includes all my drabbles, plus two short stories that appear for the first time in print.

For those who follow me here and on my socials, you’ve probably figured out I love writing drabbles. You’d think a story that’s only 100 words would be quick and easy to write. Right?

Wrong. Crafting a story in EXACTLY 100 words is challenging, frustrating, but lots of fun. A drabble is still a complete story, with a beginning, middle, and end. That’s roughly 30 words for each section – with a few words left over, but most of the time the first draft is over the word count.

And then the cutting begins.

It’s always exciting when you slice out words and hit that magic 100. The most words I’ve had to cut is 68 after the first draft, and you quickly learn how to shorten two words into one for example: I am, becomes, I’m, or they will, becomes they’ll. That’s the easy part. The hard part is condensing the story to its barest bones, without losing the structure or story arc. Like any story, the first line is crucial. In a drabble, every line counts. There is no room for fluffy, descriptive writing, or dialogue tags, or multiple characters. You hit the page running, and sprint hard to the end. If you’re gasping for breath when you finish, you’ve probably done it right.

However I’ve managed it, I’m proud of my efforts last year. I had nine drabbles accepted for online publication in the Dark Moments monthly challenge, all with different prompts. One drabble was accepted for the Patreon Monthly challenge, along with two short stories, one a dark dystopian, the other a creepy horror. That’s twelve stories now in print in the Year Four anthology, one per month. No wonder I didn’t sleep much last year.

Now for the fun part. A whole year of stories including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and deadly romance, plus some wickedly dark comedy, is packed into a brilliantly presented anthology (with a really cool dragon on the cover). You can grab a copy here:


Thanks for stopping by and happy reading.

Pauline Y.

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