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Monday, 26 September 2016

Settling into life as a published author

Just over six weeks ago, SAVING SOPHIE was published as an ebook by Maze/HarperCollins.

And wow, what a six weeks it's been!

Was I prepared for becoming a published author? 

Possibly not.

I had the dream of writing a novel, which I accomplished. Then I moved on to the next part of the dream: getting an agent. After that it was all about getting a publisher, which also happened. Each part of the journey brought with it different emotions, different challenges, and different expectations. 

One thing I have learnt since that wonderful day on the 12th August, is that when your book releases into the wild, it's a really, really busy time! And even though I am at home full-time (as in I don't go out to work, I do have other commitments so I'm not IN the house 24/7) I have still struggled to successfully fit everything in.

So, what is the 'everything' I need to fit in?

For starters there's the social media side of things, i.e. Twitter and Facebook. Keeping visible on my Twitter feed and Facebook author page can take up quite a lot of time. Especially if, like me, Twitter is your window to the rest of the human race! I've been on Twitter for a number of years, prior to writing, and love nothing more than to have a virtual natter with the many wonderful people I know. When you don't get out much, it really is where you can reach out and feel sociable. 

Then there's blogging. Not only on your own blog, but guest posting on other's sites too. I received an amazing amount of support from book bloggers when Saving Sophie was released, and wrote what felt like a lot of blog posts for the book tour and for other bloggers who were kind enough to offer a spot to help me promote my debut novel. But again, all of this takes time.

And what about reading? As Stephen King is quoted as saying: If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.  Reading is my first love - I need to read! Plus, now I'm also trying to read books in order to review, or give a quote for. I mostly read at bedtime, so usually it's not a huge issue to fit in. But, as I seem to be permanently tired, I tend to be reading a few chapters and falling asleep, so not getting a lot of reading done. Although when it's a great book that you can't put down... well, then it does eat into writing time!

Then there's the family. Lots of taxiing the boys around, college pick-ups, and general 'being a mum and wife' things. This can be the most difficult as it's still not sinking in for them that writing is my job now. Because I'm at home, visible in the lounge/diner (because it's all open plan) everyone wants to chat, ask me questions, get me to do something for them, etc, etc. And they wonder why I'm vague, or sometimes 'lost' and don't answer... argh!

So, where does book two fit in?

Well, quite. This has been my problem really, and one which is likely to cause a number of sleepless nights! Add to the pot the fact I currently have my husband at home recuperating after a heart operation, and my writing time has taken quite a knock. 

And what am I doing about it?


Not helpful.

There are lots of writing tips, articles and blogs that cover 'time management'. Of course, that brings the problem of spending hours trawling through them thinking you're getting good tips but in actual fact YOU ARE PROCRASTINATING and wasting valuable writing time!

Therefore, my advice to myself is simple:

Stop going on the internet in search of a magical tip that is going to miraculously sort me and my rubbish time management out and allow me to be successful in fitting everything in.

Just use common sense and get on with it:

  •  Decide when the best times to check in with social media are, and stick to those slots - and use tweet deck to schedule tweets outside of those times
  •  Write blog posts, guest posts and Q&As when I know writing on book 2 is likely to be more challenging (like just before meal times, and in the evening when everyone's watching TV)
  • Continue to read before bed, and even if the book is unputdownable - put it down anyway! I can always pick it up if I've had a good writing session. I WILL get around to reading all of the books on my TBR. Or I might die trying...
  • As for the family. I'm going to have to take a tough line. I have a deadline. I have to be left alone to get on with it. 

All of this has been written with the TV blaring, the dogs running up and down behind me as my 'at-home' husband throws a ball for them, and him asking me if I know the questions that are on Eggheads...and the usual cries from the 'kids' of "When's tea ready?"

Writers retreat anyone? 

You can buy the ebook of SAVING SOPHIE here

Thursday, 15 September 2016

4 Days to go!

Saving Sophie is going to be 99p for 4 more days only!

You can purchase it for this bargain price HERE

And... excitement is building, because today  it's 3 MONTHS exactly until Saving Sophie is out in PAPERBACK! 

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Saving Sophie on Location!

I feel incredibly lucky to live in a wonderful area of Devon and wanted to share the beauty with you!

For those who have read my debut psychological thriller, Saving Sophie, you will know that Haytor, Dartmoor is a key location. Like Karen in the novel, I have a view of Haytor. It's about a half hour drive from where I live, so not far. I'm also about the same time away from the sea, so for me it's the perfect place to live!

This is the view from
my back door (zoomed in!) 
But how fabulous is that?

When deciding where to set Saving Sophie, there was no competition really. I've included some photos of Dartmoor so you can see for yourself the reasons why it was a great setting - it's one of the most atmospheric places I know. And so vast... well, anything is possible...

The next photos show Teignmouth pier and beach, and were the inspiration for a scene in Saving Sophie

Both Dartmoor and the Teignmouth area will also play a vital role in my next novel. 

Hope you agree, it's a fabulous area of the country!

Saving Sophie is currently 99p to buy now as ebook. 

Paperback will follow in December