This week, I took part in my first ever author event! I joined authors Sheila O’Flanagan and Jo Thomas at Foyles in Birmingham. Here we are waiting to go on …
We started the evening with each of us saying a few words about our books and then we did a short reading. It was my first experience of standing up in front of readers and talking about The Second Love Of My Life. I was quite nervous but the room was full of friendly faces and I actually enjoyed doing my first live reading from the book reading some of chapter one.
After we all spoke, there was time for the people who came to ask us questions and then we were able to have a chat and mingle with everyone. It was so wonderful to meet some readers who had read and loved my book and ones that were excited to read it.
As you all know, I get very excited about books myself so I loved meeting fellow book fans and getting to chat with them. Plus there was wine and cheese, which is always a bonus.
It definitely was a night where I felt like a “proper” author, and because most of the time I feel like a massive fraud, it was such good fun. I also got to stay over in Birmingham with my fellow authors and publicist and I’m hoping I will get to do more events like this in the future!
Thanks so much to Foyles for having us and everyone who came along too. Book people really are the best.
I just wanted to share with you all The Second Love Of My Life eBook price has been slashed to a bargainous 99p hurrah!
I would love to hit 100 reviews on Amazon, and am planning a giveaway to celebrate when we do, so if you have read the book and get a chance to pop one up there, that would be fab!
And if you haven’t read it yet, it’s just 99p so do itttttt! 💕
Last year I listed all the books I read each month and picked my favourite but this year I’ve failed miserably to keep track on here what I’ve read! So, instead I’m going to look back at the books I’ve read in the first half of the year and will do the same in December so I’ll still have a list of my favourite twelve books by the end of the year.
Here are the books I’ve read from January to June …
And here are the six that stood out to me the most:
I loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic last year so thought it was about time I read this one! I really enjoyed it, her style is accessible and the story is inspiring and she is definitely one of my favourite non-fiction writers.
This is a short and unusual novel told from Lucy’s point of view as she ends up in hospital and attempts to heal her relationship with her mother. It drew me in and I think it’s one I’d revisit as there’s so much to think about.
This is a gorgeous hardback and an absorbing Victorian novel that is rich in detail and brilliantly written.
I really loved The Muse – set across two timelines London in the 1960’s and Spain during The Civil War it follows two women and is really compelling with wonderfully drawn characters and lots of twists and turns.
I have been meaning to read this for a long time – it’s a modern classic about three women in the works of celebrity. It’s almost like reading a long gossip column, a delicious guilty pleasure.
I had to pick a YA book as well. I love Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series and this first book on her new series is an interesting mix of Elizabethian and frontier worlds and as the author wheats does, the world is flipped on its head by the leading lady. Lots of fun.
What books have you loved so far this year? Hit us with your recommendations in the comments!!
I finished writing my new book this week. I took a photo of the words “the end” to celebrate this fact but, of course, this was a complete lie.
Until a book appears on the shelves, there will be constant editing, tweaking and proof-reading to try to make it the best it can be. But finishing the story in full for the first time is cause to celebrate. You have a beginning, middle and an end! Yes, it needs work but the story is there. As they say – you can’t edit a blank page.
It took me five weeks to write this book. I feel exhausted now to be honest! I was addicted to writing it, it poured out quickly, and I felt that buzz of excitement that I felt writing my debut novel The Second Love Of My Life (just 99p now on Amazon UK!! http://amzn.to/1QTaUzv)
Reaching “The End” is a massive achievement and I think as writers we should always mark and celebrate it. Getting a book published will always be hard work and we will always struggle with self doubt so giving ourselves a moment to stand back and say “hey, I wrote a book” is important. Especially because we become so goal-motivated in this business – “when I get an agent”, “when I get a book deal”, “when I have a bestseller” etc. It shouldn’t always be about the BIG goals but rewarding ourselves for the smaller ones too. After all, we can’t ever have that bestseller if we don’t keep on writing our stories.
I am definitely guilty of focusing on the big goals and beating myself up if I don’t get there or worrying I never will so I’m really pleased I posted about finishing this book. It will always be something special to have written a book no matter how many we have written in the past and I hope none of us ever forget that!
Do you celebrate when you reach “The End”?
When you are nervous to switch on the news because the whole world seems to be descending into chaos, fiction becomes an escape route, you get to enter into different worlds from your own and lose yourself in someone else’s story which naturally has a happy ending.
We could all probably do with a bit of an escape this week so here are my favourite feel-good reads to help. These are books I’ve re-read when I needed a pick-me-up:
Anna and The French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins
I Capture The Castle – Dodie Smith
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
On The Island – Tracey Garvis Graves
Losing It – Cora Carmack
The Help – Kathryn Stockett
Slammed – Colleen Hoover
Easy – Tammara Webber
And, of course, Harry Potter!
And if you’re in the UK and you need another fiction escape my debut novel is just 99p on Amazon Kindle now!
What are your favourite feel-good reads? Tell us in the comments below!
This week, I started writing a new book. The idea has been brewing for a little bit and I was keen to start getting it down on paper. It turned out I was really keen as I’ve managed to write 20,000 words in two days – 10,000 each day. When I revealed my word count online, I was flooded with demands to know how I managed it. Especially as I don’t drink coffee!
I am not a planner. I wish I was actually because I think it would means less moments of sitting staring at my screen in mild panic that I have no idea what should happen next on the story. But I also enjoy that feeling. I like finding out where my characters will end up next as they lead me there. I always have a vague idea of the story – and I like to write a blurb for it to get me started – and I know the ending but not how I’m going to get there. I like to be surprised by how it all comes together. And cross everything that it actually will all come together!
So the way I was able to get so many words onto the page was because I stuck myself in the chair and stayed there all day. I was so excited by my story the words just flowed. Plus I do just write. I don’t edit. I can’t type as fast as my brain works so when I look back at a page of writing, it’s full of underlined spelling mistakes and Word saying ‘WTF is this supposed to mean?’ So yes my draft needs a lot of spell checking and it will need careful editing but I just wanted to get the framework of the story down, and that’s how I was able to hit that’s word count. Writing is rewriting as they say.
I love the butterflies I get when it feels as if I’m onto something. I felt that way writing my debut novel The Second Love Of My Life and I had 10,000 words a day moments on that book too. I get lost in a story and become a little bit addicted – thinking about it all the time and wishing I could just pull it straight from my brain to my laptop. Hopefully it means readers might be as absorbed in it too one day!
And the reason why I stick to 10,000 and don’t try to do even more? My brain feels like mush at the end of the day and my muscles ache from being hunched over my laptop. But it’s worth it to be closer to The End, when the rewriting will begin and hopefully it will start to become a polished story, and maybe even one day a book on the shelf you guys can read.
So, how many words do you write a day? Do you like to plan your story first? What’s been your best daily word count?
Wow how has it been a month since my novel was published?! It’s all been a whirlwind and I’ve neglected to share some of the fab things that have happened on here.
Appearing in my local newspapers …
A review in a national newspaper! The Daily Mail …
Magazine reviews …
I also wrote a short story for The Express newspaper and you can read it online here:
And I had my first book signing at Waterstones in Windsor …
But the best thing to happen this month has been receiving messages from readers to say that they’ve enjoyed reading my book. It means so much to me!
Thank you so much everyone who has read and reviewed the book. So happy to see this on Amazon ….
And now I’m hoping that I’ll get to do all this all over again :)