A message for my readers…

I spent a long time thinking about what my blog entry would be about today, and finally realised that there’s something I want to say before the year is out:

Thank you!

… to all the readers of Amy & Zach and/or Izzy’s Cold Feet. YOU are the reason I continue to be a writer. YOU have made me smile over and over this year; every time someone leaves a good review or sends me a message to say they enjoyed reading, it really does make my day.

Thanks for your support and encouragement; I am very humbled by it all.

Happy New Year to you – may 2014 bring you good health and much happiness!

PS: While you’re here, please consider signing up to my newsletter, or leaving a review on Amazon if you haven’t already 🙂

An Amy & Zach sequel

No, this is not an announcement. More just sharing my thoughts out loud. So many people have asked me about a sequel to Amy & Zach, that I am thinking about writing one.

Now, before publication, I would never have considered it. I felt it was finished and complete. But since I’ve been asked several times, I’ve started thinking about them again and I’m imagining what happens next.

I’m also thinking about Libby and Tim. What’s their story? Is it very different from Amy’s version of events? Maybe the sequel should be about them.

If you’ve read Amy & Zach and would like to see a sequel, then firstly: Thank you, I’m honoured! And secondly, who are your favourite characters that you’d like to hear more about? What questions are lingering in your mind about what happens next? I’d love to hear what you think. Drop me an emailtweet me, or send me a Facebook message.

Interested in what Izzy’s Cold Feet is all about? Sign up to my newsletter. I’ll give you a sneak peak.

Novel 2: Izzy’s Cold Feet

Hurrah! I’m very happy to announce that my second novel, Izzy’s Cold Feet, will be published later this year by Crooked Cat.

The hardest part about writing it was coming up with the title. For some reason, I couldn’t think of one for ages and until recently I just called my files ‘Novel 2’ – catchy, huh? So, it’s nice to have a title and know that it’ll be published in the not-too-distant future.

Lots of people have asked me if this is an Amy & Zach follow-on, and when I tell them no, they ask if I will write a sequel at some point. I have a few ideas, so you never know. But Izzy’s Cold Feet is completely new.

I hope anyone reading this had an enjoyable Easter break. Mine was spent seeing family, reading* a fab book, and seeing One Direction at the O2 in London (lots of fun!)

Currently reading: Breaking the Rules by Cat Lavoie (& I love it!)

Today my dream comes true

For years, I’ve wanted to become a published author. Sometimes, when I told people this, they’d look at me as if I was crazy, like I’d just said I wanted to be a popstar. One person even said to me “but that’s just a dream, you have to be realistic.”

Well, today my dream has come true. That sounds corny but to quote one of my favourite movies “I like corny, I’m looking for corny in my life” (from The Holiday – if you haven’t seen it then do so right now, it’s wonderful).

Is it too early to open the champagne?

You can purchase the e-book from CrookedCatBooks.com & other online book sellers or order the paperback from Amazon.

How to find time to write a novel

A number of friends, and even a few strangers, have been asking how I got to this point (i.e. about to have my first book published).

There’s no easy answer to that, I’ve been writing stories since I can remember, but it took me a long, long time to actually complete a novel. I used to write 10k-20k words and then get bored and start something new. During this time, I kept saying I wanted to be a professional author but didn’t really put in the work needed to become one.

Eventually, my husband took control. He told me that he didn’t want to read another ‘beginning’ – he wanted to see a whole novel. Then, out of the blue, he bought me a nice shiny laptop and said I could accept it only on the condition that I used it to complete a novel.

My next lesson was to realise that you have to treat the writing like a second job. Youmust find the time, and you must write regularly; or it’ll never get finished. If you leave it weeks between writing sessions, you get lost and spend the time re-reading what you did last time to remind yourself where you’re at, instead of progressing.

Just to finish Amy & Zach seemed like a good accomplishment for me and even if no one read it, I was pretty happy. The fact that the good folks at Crooked Cat liked it and wanted to published it, was amazing to me.

And so last week my dream came true: I saw my name on the cover of a book (pictured here on my dining table!).So, all you wannabe writers: work hard, don’t give up, and above all else: write, write, write…

The Next Big Thing: Authors tagging Authors

I’ve been invited by Raeann Blake to join in on The Next Big Thing: Authors Tagging Authors, by tagging me in her own post. Thanks to Raeann, for inviting me to join in. Please check out her own post here.

The premise is to answer ten questions about my current work in progress and then tag more authors who can move the chain along another link next week.

So, let’s begin!

What is the Working Title of your Book?

Amy & Zach.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It’s very much a culmination of a lot of different ideas that I’ve scribbled down over a period of time, which have come together to form one, complete story.

What genre does your book fall under?

Modern women’s fiction/chick lit, but that doesn’t mean men won’t necessarily enjoy it! It’s girl-meets-boy and it all gets complicated, hopefully with a little intelligence.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I am not sure… some gorgeous actors! Zach – American, Amy – British. Otherwise, anyone who fit the parts.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Impossible to sum up my whole novel in one sentence. So I’m cheating and including a whole blurb, which you can read here.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It will be published by Crooked Cat Publishing, who have been fantastic to work with.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Once I was determined enough, about six months. A year or so of just procrastinating and writing notes preceded that, though.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Although I’m sure reading books in the same genre has influenced me over the years, I am not able to compare my book to others… That’s for the readers and reviewers to consider.

What inspired you to write this book?

I seem to have ideas for novels, or at least chapters, in my head every day, and a random thought will spark a daydream which develops and eventually leads to an initial story idea. Amy & Zach was no exception and is born out of a variety of inspired moments.

What else about your book might pique the readers’ interest?

Amy & Zach is more than just a love story; it’s about family relationships, betrayal and trust.

And that’s all, folks!

Now it’s time for me to tag some fellow Crooked Cat authors. Be sure to check each of them out next week for their Next Big Thing:

Amy Elliot-Smith »

Zanna MacKenzie »

Jane Bwyne »

Why I write

Since announcing that my first novel will be published in January, my friends have been asking me similar questions… they want to know what the book is about, which is to be expected. What I didn’t expect, is so many people asking me what made me write a novel in the first place. And it’s not something that’s easily answered…

It might sound a bit corny, but I write because I am a writer. I don’t know when or how it began, but sometime before I can remember I started writing stories. Mostly scribbles and fragments in notebooks. Then I would write a few chapters and never finish anything. Then finally, after encouragement from my husband, I sat down and committed to actually completing a novel. After a while, it was almost out of my hands. The characters took over and were in my thoughts every single day until it was finished. Just completing Amy & Zach was a personal achievement for me and if no one else ever read it, that was fine.

Luckily for me, some people thinks it’s worth reading and sharing, and I feel incredibly lucky and humble that Amy & Zach is going to be published.

I don’t write for financial gain or so-called semi ‘fame’. I just feel compelled to write, and I will continue to do so, probably for the rest of my life. Hopefully my next novel will be publishable, too. If it’s not, so be it, I’ll still enjoying writing it.

I admit, though: I am excited to see my name in print 🙂

Currently reading: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen (yes, again!)