Last night, I made my way to London Town for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards as my novel The Second Love Of My Life was on the shortlist for the Contemporary Romance award.
Here are all the books in my category:
The professional photos with the other nominees:
Obligatory pre-event selfie:
The event was held in a lovely building in Whitehall full of original features and it all had a Beauty and the Beast feel to it.
If only I had a library like this. Swoon.
Sadly, my book didn’t win (I was robbed, obvs 😃) but it was lovely to have been nominated and it’s always lots of fun meeting other authors and publishing peeps. Plus there was pink fizz to be had!
So happy it was finally warm enough to wear my new jacket!
Here I am with lovely author Ali McNamara:
With my agent Hannah Ferguson:
And, here are the three of us!
It’s always fun having a glamorous writer night out. But tonight it’s all back to normal and I’m slouching on the sofa in sweats watching Netflix with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s.
You’ve got to keep it real folks.
I was wondering what to post next in my Year Of Positivity series when it was announced that my debut novel The Second Love Of My Life has been shortlisted for an award! It is shortlisted for The 2017 Contemporary Romantic Novel Award by The Romantic Novelists Association. Here’s the announcement in The Bookseller:
It got me thinking that celebrating positive news should be mandatory. And we shouldn’t just stick to “big” things but all positive moments can be marked in some way. At the very least we should recognise them if we are hoping to keep a positive mindset. It’s so easy to just think about and remember and go over the bad bits of our day that we can forget all the times we smiled during it.
I am thrilled that my novel has been recognised in some way. It makes me remember that my novel is out there in the world and people can still discover it, and hopefully enjoy it too. It’s also a lovely acknowledgment of all the hard work I put into the story plus I get to go a ceremony in London next month and hopefully raise a glass of bubbly to the characters I spent so much time with.
I’m the midst of polishing a new story and it’s forever tricky for me to be confident with my writing and not let the self-doubt monster suck me into its clutches so I took a moment today to remind myself that I wrote a novel that not only was published but has found some readers who fell in love with the story, and I should never lose sight of that.
Celebrating all the moments that put a smile on our faces should be a big part of our year of positivity. I am going to really try to make sure I do this and try to find some time in each day to recognise everything good that happened.
What has happened to you today that you’re going to celebrate?
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! 💕
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 🙂
The question I keep being asked is “how does it feel now that your book is published?” So I am going to attempt to put the feeling into words.
It’s exciting and wonderful. It’s a dream come true. It’s terrifying. It’s nerve wracking. It’s surreal. It’s like pulling out your heart and sticking it on a book shelf for all to see.
My book has been out for over two weeks. I’ve seen it in the shops. I’ve read reviews. I’ve served customers in the bookshop I work in buying it. I’ve obsessed over my Amazon ranking. I’ve signed copies. I’ve smiled. I’ve cried. I feel as if it’s all been a blur. As if I’m in a dream world. It’s so strange to have people talking about something I’ve written.
I also feel loss. I have lost all control. I have no power over my book now. I can make no more changes to it. I can’t make people like it. They either will or they won’t. I am the author but it’s as though the book has become its own being now. It stands separately from me after being part of me for so long. It’s on its own now.
I have had messages from people saying they loved reading it. I have had people saying they are proud of me. I feel proud. I have achieved something. I tried for a long time to get published, and here I am. A published author. The journey was long and hard but now I can say that it was all worthwhile.
I feel grateful. I am grateful. To anyone that has bought it. Who has read my words. Who has told me how it made them feel. Who has reviewed it. Who has let it into their hearts. And for those who might still discover it. I hope too. Hope that it does well, of course. Hope that readers will embrace it, and me.
I think the best part of being published is that my book is in the world with my name on it and that can never be taken away from me.
And that is an amazing feeling.
To celebrate the book being out for two weeks, I left a copy on the train for someone to find!
This weekend I hit London with my lovely booktuber friend George Lester. We searched for my book The Second Love Of My Life in all the bookshops and I signed all the copies I could find!
Waterstones Traflagar Square:
It was so surreal and wonderful to see my book in Waterstones as a bookseller myself – which you can probably tell from my cheesy grin in the photos!
Here I am in WH Smith’s fresh talent at Victoria station:
And I was in the chart too!
I also left signed copies at Waterstones in Piccadily:
So the last stop was at Waterstones in Covent Garden. Book hunting is an exhausting business, I was so tired after the hunt!
And you can follow the whole day with us as George filmed it all!
Hope you enjoy 🙂
Don’t forget to enter the competition to win one of four signed copies by taking a photo of the book in a shop and posting with the hashtag #TSLOMLbookhunt on Twitter or Instagram!!
Yesterday I found it in my local Tesco number five in the chart woo hoo!