Tuesday, 14 August 2018

It's out!!

So my debut came out 10 days ago! I can properly call myself an author!!
 It happened while I was on holiday, but I still spent the day looking at the magnificent weather out of the window, as I fielded many many tweets and facebook messages.  OH brought me cake for breakfast and I got flowers from my agent, which was delightful. 
 (I also spent the three days ahead of publication setting up a pretty website, only to find at the last minute that Squarespace wouldn't let me have my mailchimp email catcher unless I have a business account. Duh. Must do better research...)
  And now the reviews start. So far so good, the majority are lovely and so so heartwarming. Readers seem to be reacting to the characters just as I'd intended and hoped. Of course there are some not so heartwarming ones, (one that even decided to drop me a star between their Netgalley review and the amazon copy. ouch...) but it can't please all people and that is fine. (Although why the one reviewer kept reading when she hated it by chapter three I have no idea. Life is too short.)
 If you read it, please please leave me a review at your e-seller of choice, and if you have time please mark the other reviews as useful or not, as this also changes their position of what other viewers see. It is all helpful. 
  But mostly, if you do read it, I hope you enjoy it. xx

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

My long-overdue update

My debut book is out in 16 days. Aarrmmaaggaahhddd! I thought I should share a little update on what’s happened so far and what’s coming.
Sweatpants has gone through some routine edits, first a Copy edit to check for inconsistencies and random things that only make sense to me, then a Line edit, picking up on typos and grammatical errors. Then there was The First Pass, which was my last chance to make any changes, which of course made me have a little panic. It’s hard not to angst over every single word because this feels like the Set in Stone stage, but eventually I had to let it go, not least because having read it so many times now, my eyeballs are rallying for a protest march.  
 So now we are onto the marketing side of things. The book is up on Netgalley for bloggers and reviewers to request for a pre-read. I’m pleased to say I’m getting fab feedback. They thinks it’s funny!! Hurrah for that. (I’ve also had my first one star, which I knew would come and clearly she should have put it down pretty quick rather than carry on. Honestly, life is too short to read books that aren’t your cup of tea.) I've also had brilliant cover quotes from bestselling authors Cathy Bramley and Alexandra Brown which are both heartwarming and super helpful. 
  I’ve set up a Pinterest page with book-related pins. (Not sure about the marketing value of this, but I found it really calming. Procrastinating?? Moi???)
  I’m sending press releases out to local papers and publications in the hope that they’ll run something based on the local slant. I have to say that blowing my own trumpet like this does not come naturally at all.
 I’ve recorded little vids to be used on HarperImpulse’s twitter feed over the next week. I have difficulty retweeting those because It Me! (My eyes are enormous on them, but that’s just what they do.) And I was invited as a guest on a podcast. I blogged a year and a half ago about the brilliant Bestseller Experiment here, we've tweeted back and forth and when they saw I’d got a deal, they asked me on. That’s surreal, right, when you suddenly find yourself on a show that is integral to your Monday morning ironing routine. It should air mid August. The half hour flew by, I have little recollection of what I said, other than it felt like I talked non-stop at Mark. Poor chap. Hopefully there is something sensible in there.

And now, ahead of launch day I’m trying to write some little related articles that can be released as and when.

Sweatpants aside, I’ve finished the manuscript for Book Two, which I’m submitting to my editor shortly. Fingers crossed she’ll like it. I spent the last weekend hoofing around Copenhagen getting photos of the city for support purposes. If you are interested in seeing them they are on my Facebook page. (Facebook page???? I hear you ask astounded, as such things require technical abilities that we all know I hardly possess. But yes, I’ve done one of those too since I last posted. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT???!!!!)

So that’s what I’ve been up to. I think the next month will be mad. Please join in the mayhem on Twitter and Facebook and if you fancy a summer read, you can find the ebook on Amazon, Itunes, Kobo, and GooglePlay from August 3rd, (Paperbacks are out in October and can be pre-ordered.)

Wish me luck!!

Monday, 28 May 2018

A fanfare? Yes let's! Something to see here!!!!

For those reading this, Thank you for coming (can I interest you in signing up to my spiffy new Mailchimp mailing list? Just over there to the right...) and for those who have been here before a HUGE thank you for coming back after the GDPR apocalypse. I love each and every one of you.

As mentioned below, I have something to trumpet and about. My debut book cover is officially revealed today! WooHoo!!  (Yes, I know it has technically been on view on the planet's bookseller sites for a wee while, but today is the REVEAL because the world is currently backwards in many many ways, and why should my book be an exception?)

So Ta-Dahhhhhhhhhhh! My cover. Is ALL the Cute, no?

(For the beady eyed and historically or filmically minded amongst you, it is indeed a light homage to the original Breakfast at Tiffany's poster).

Points for how many boxing idioms you can spot in the blurb, which you can read here. (Disclaimer; Points have no monetary value and can only be exchanged for bragging rights.)

The ebook is out August 3rd 2018, with the paperback to follow October 18th. Both are available for pre-order now, if you like a RomCom and fancy a read. 

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

GDPR - Data protection thing that I need you to read (please and thank you)

So, we have a change of data protection regulations going on here in the EU, starting two days from now on Friday May 25th 2018.
I have tried to get info from Blogger about where I stand on this, and have received ZERO help. Not a peep either from the forum, or via Twitter (Boo Hiss Blogger - have you seen the non-compliance fines? They are scary huge!!!)
As far as I can glean from the ICO registration self-assessment survey, as I'm not selling anything here and as I'm not processing/passing your details on to others, I believe I'm compliant.

  However, I do know that people sign up for things and might like to change their mind over time. I know this as my inbox has been filled to busting with these emails over the last weeks. I'm also aware that for those who are Followers here and those who have signed up to follow via the email widget, your email addresses are logged with me, and as such I have a duty of care.

I want to let you know that I take your data very seriously and have never and would never pass it onto, swap or sell it to others.
I have no plans at all to use this page for selling, there's my Amazon pages and Facebook page for that. (Let's face it, non-technical wizz that I am, I highly doubt I have the skills to make this page a selling tool.)
Here is purely for waffling, sharing what I'm up to and self-woohooing.

But, to be safe, and in light of being not having £20m to spend on fines and the ZERO help from Blogger  - did I mention that already?- I'm thinking the safest and fairest thing to do is wipe the slate clean. I'm going to delete the Follow list and the email list tomorrow (Thursday 24th May) night at 8pm GMT and then cross all my fingers that you might re-sign up when you have time or think of it, after the 25th May.

As an incentive, I should have a new thing to show you on Monday 28th May. Oooo, the exciting! (Pleeeease sign back up.)

 If not, then no hard feelings - thanks for popping by in the last almost six years. It's been lovely having you.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Finally - The Deets

Well that was a long 'few weeks', but finally finally I can dish the details on my publishing deal.

My publisher is HarperImpulse, part of Harper Collins and they'll be releasing my debut novel SWEATPANTS AT TIFFANIE'S on August 3rd 2018 (that's the ebook, paperbacks are out in October). So far the words have been edited and checked, the cover designed and the book posted for pre-orders on Amazon and other book retailers. IT. IS. HAPPENING!!!!
Aaarrmmmaagghhhaarrddd I'm am SO excited, but also papping it, because Reviews. It feels like I'm setting myself up like a dart-board.

More as I have it. X

Wednesday, 14 March 2018


  I’ve been rather quiet here recently. Not because I don’t love you nor because I’m in a mood where I won’t say what the matter is and every time you ask I insist ‘I’m fine’, when really it’s blatantly obvious I’m not and why aren’t you telepathic and know what is going on???  
  It’s not you, it’s me.
  I’ve been sat on a whomping great secret and it felt safer simply not to say anything, rather than spill something inadvertently. And I didn’t want to jinx it by blabbing too early. But here it is, at least in part, because I WANT TO SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS;
  I HAVE A DEAL!!!!!! Like a publishing deal. For real. Signed. On paper. Not just in my head. Actually happening in real life.
  There’s going to be an announcement in a few weeks on the twitters, so I need to wait for that, but I can say it is a two-book deal with a UK publisher and that I am ridiculously excited about it.
  More when I have it, but I wanted to share it here as this blog has been following the long slooooooow journey since 2012. Don’t let anyone tell you that dreams don’t come true.


Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Aims and Intentions 2018

  So, Happy New Year one and all. I know this could be seen as a belated greeting, but I’m within 365 days of my 2017 Aims and Intentions post, so it is legit I think. (Please read the small print for T&Cs.)
  For those who have been here before, this is my annual layout of my goals for the year, as I am hopeless at Resolutions. Displaying them here though has proved to be helpful, as it keeps me focused (by which I mean Frightened. But in a good way. Once I’ve said it aloud, I know I need to pony something up, in case anyone remembers and holds me to it.)
Last year, here, I did a recap of the previous three years, of what my goals had been and how that had gone. Last year’s goal was “to develop new a working practice that fits with all of us here at home and to Write smarter, write better.”
  To be honest, I don’t know if I got a grip on the working practice thing. The writing isn’t a constant beast; sometimes it is spaffing words out on the page, sometimes it is herding it into something shapely and sometimes it is reading it back while curled up on the sofa with a notebook. Some months I can engross myself in it while some months nothing happens because Christmas. BUT, on a basic level; no one died from it, cried from it, ran away or was taken into Care. So that’s a win. Any long term scarring will remain to be seen, but for now I’m prepared to say I am managing, and it’s probably a work in progress.
  As for whether the words are smarter and better? Again the jury is out. I think I came at planning Story Two more sensibly, having been through the Story One restructuring with Agent Federica in 2016. That’s not to say the current structure won’t change, but it was sound enough to write the first draft, to a state where Lovely CP was able to read it from start to finish and I didn’t cry at her feedback. Now it is with three Beta readers, so I’ll have to wait and see what they say. (No, no bum-clenching going on here, not at all, I always walk like this…)
 So what for 2018?
  Obviously the dream would be to announce a publishing deal – that is the overall aim of my game after all - but such things are out of my hands. I can only write it, hone it and send it out, and then hope an editor in a publishing house somewhere will pick it up, read it and love it.
My goals then, the things I can steer are;
I’m going to finish Story Two.
I’m going to think about, plan and start Story Three. I spent quite some time ‘thinking’ about Story Two before I started writing, and at the time I felt guilty about it, as the fingers weren’t on the keyboard and it looked like I had nothing to show for my time. But realistically I needed the time, to refuel the tanks and marshal my thoughts. I’ll be scheduling it in, without guilt, next time, knowing I need it.
I’m going to keep learning about Structure, as I suspect it might be key. (In fact I know so; if you haven’t read John Yorke’s Into the Woods, best get to it.)
I’m not doing NANO, unless I have a defined plan BEFORE starting. (Stating it here so I don’t get talked into it.)
I’m going to read more than the pitiful amount I managed last year, because I missed it and it benefits me, both as me and as a writer.
I’m not going to refer to my writing as a hobby. I write, therefore I am a writer. I need to own it, rather than feeling I have to justify it to people, in some way that excuses it or makes it sound less than it is, which is just ridiculous and I need to get over it… Oh sorry, did I say that out loud? Ahem...
I’d like to go on another writing retreat.
I must spend less time on Twitter.
I should learn to type with more than four fingers.
I will Save things better. (I wrote this post and then deleted it by mistake and saved the doc before I realised, so had to write it again.)

That should do for now. What about the rest of you? Any goals to share? Come on, write them down. There’s more chance of them happening if you’ve declared them. FACT.