Thursday, October 15, 2020

Publication



Finally, my debut psychological suspense novel YOUR LIFE FOR MINE is out in the world! At least, the ebook version is available to download now, the paperback and audiobook will follow on December 10th.

To celebrate publication - apart from eating cake (obviously) - I've been talking about writing over on The Bandwagon with bestselling author Vikki Patis and enjoying reading different author responses to her questions. I love to hear how other writers work, what advice they'd give and their inspiration/motivation techniques and I'm in awe of anyone who manages to plot their entire book and stick to it!

It's been a damp October so far and I'm rapidly losing interest in the garden, which has become home to a sea of mushrooms all over the lawn, crowding out the plants, but's it's a good excuse - after spending so much time out there over the summer - to get my head down and carry on writing!


Shall I mention that it's not long until Christmas now? 

Maybe not ...



Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Cover reveal from my office.




It's always thrilling for an author to see their book cover for the first time. We don't get much input and have to trust the publisher and marketing team know what works, but I've loved them all so far. It was particularly exciting this time as Your Life for Mine is my debut psychological suspense novel - out on October 14th - with a new publisher, but I wasn't disappointed. It perfectly sums up the story and the colours and image are striking, so I couldn't be happier.

Even more nerve-wracking, my book is now on NetGalley where bloggers and reviewers get to read an unproofed copy before publication, so I'll be anxiously chewing my nails, hoping they like it, don't guess the twist (too soon) and don't tell me I should have stuck to writing romantic comedy. Obviously, it won't be everyone's cup of tea, and readers who enjoyed my previous series' may not want to read it, but that's part of the process of switching genre. Maybe I'll win some new fans (a writer can only hope.)

In the meantime, as family continue to work from home and I'm on a deadline for my next book, and expecting edits back next week for my second psychological thriller with Amanda Brittany, I decided it was time to look for somewhere I could work where I wouldn't be disturbed, or sabotage myself by doing housework or popping into the garden every five minutes, and am now proudly renting a tiny office space. 

By tiny, there isn't a window and it's a good job I don't have a cat as there wouldn't be room to swing one, should I wish to (which of course I don't.) It's all I can afford, but I love it, and already feel more productive as there's nothing to focus on but writing - and popping to the kitchen to make cups of tea as necessary (fairly often.) I'm giving myself a forty-minute lunch break, as there are nice gardens nearby where I can sit in and eat a sandwich and think about my book and to take a walk (to think about my book) and so far it's working well. Mind you, it's only day 3 . . .

Talking of the lovely Amanda Brittany, we managed a meet-up a few weeks ago, at a garden centre cafe near her home town, and it was lovely to chat in person, discuss our book and eat cake. And the sun shone too. 


Our first book The Secret Sister is in The Works now and it was lovely to see it on a shelf, in good company.

Still strange times at the moment, with talk of bubbles and masks and shielding, and hard to believe we're into September already, but as always, writing is a great escape and I hope to carry on - once I've watered my plants (the ones in my office, not the garden.)

Hope you're all keeping well.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Still writing, walking and gardening



So, it's July, the start of summer, and lockdown is slowly being eased (for now.)

It's been an unusual few months, to say the least, a period of adjustment. Thanks to some wonderful weather and a garden to escape into, and fields and woods to walk through, I feel as if I've adjusted fairly well... that's not to say I'm not panicking slightly at the thought that my husband and daughter  may never return to full-time working. I hadn't quite realised until this week how much I value my own space! But, overall, I consider myself lucky to have not been badly affected, and it's good to spend more time than I usually would with some members of my family. And I haven't had to home-school, which is a bonus 😬



I've managed a few socially distanced walks with a friend, and am planning to meet up with another very soon, and although my mum won't be coming down from Scarborough for her usual summer break, we stay in close contact via the magic of WhatsApp - probably more so than usual.


As ever, writing has proved a wonderful escape. Mandy and I have almost finished the first draft of our joint pscyhological thriller, provisionally titled The Bad Friend, and have thoroughly enjoyed the process once again. Knowing that Mandy's waiting for my chapter and vice versa is incredibly motivating, as neither wants to let the other down, and the ideas have kept on flowing. And our first book The Secret Sister is going into The Works this month, which is exciting.

I've recently finished working on the structural edits for my solo book and thankfully, my editor loves the story and is excited as I am to see it published, hopefully in October, though schedules are a little uncertain due to the current situation.

I've made a start on my next novel and am enjoying doing some research. It's set mostly in a remote part of Wales and I'm drawing on my vist there last year, up near the mountains. It might be a while before we can go anywhere again, so thank goodness for the internet to fill in the blanks.

Hard to believe we're more than halfway through 2020. I've gone past the baking and jigsaw phase, but am still reading a lot, and am keen on getting to grips with the garden. I've even dug out a border and planted some flowers, which I wouldn't have imagined doing before lockdown. It wasn't easy as there were a few old shrubs with stubborn roots to remove and the soil is full of stones, but there was a nice sense of acheivement when I'd finished. Okay, I was smug as hell.


I often take my camera with me when I go for a walk these days and enjoy snapping flowers and local wildlife, though there's plenty in our - and my mother-in-law's - garden. The birds and animals have got used to seeing me pop up and seem to strike a pose - probably wishing I'd clear off.



I hope your year so far has been safe and healthy and maybe even productive - and if you've been home-schooling you have my undying admiration. I hope it hasn't been too fraught ♥

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Lockdown

A couple of months ago, I was looking forward to meeting my friend and writing partner Amanda Brittany in London, to celebrate the paperback and audiobook release of our psychological thriller The Secret Sister.

How quickly and dramatically life has changed tince then with the country (world) on lockdown due to the highly contagious coronavirus. It sounds like the plot of a dystopian novel, but is sadly all too real.

It's the second week of lockdown and after days of being on an emotional rollercoaster, when I was certain this couldn't be happening and that surely it was fine to go to shopping - where empty supermarket shelves and queues outside the chemist's brought home the reality  - there's been a period of adjustment and acceptance.

A week of sunny, mild weather made it possible to get out in the garden, and to go for walks and fresh air, and limiting exposure to the news and social media, apart from a check of the headlines each morning, has made it possible to focus on writing, at least in short bursts - mostly in the garden.



I've developed a routine of writing longhand every morning, so I have something to type up later on, and now have plenty of notes for my second psychological suspense novel. I'm aiming to get the first draft in early, which will be a first! I'm also expecting the edits for book 1 back any day, so that should keep me busy, and Mandy and I have have made a start on our second joint book.

One thing I've learnt is, I don't need a cafe or coffee shop to write, I can do it just as well from the dining table, or sitting out in the garden, so I'm saving a fortune on cups of tea and slices of cake. (Still eating cake, but only homemade until all the flour runs out.)

Reading continues to be a solace and an escape, as I'm sure it is for many people. If you're in the mood for a thriller THE SECRET SISTER is available now in paperback and audiobook. Mandy and I will look forward to celebrating when lockdown is over - which may not be for some time.

Wherever you are, stay safe and healthy xx





Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Secret Sister

After a lovely Christmas, the new decade got off to a great start with the digital release of THE SECRET SISTER which has had some great feedback from readers already. (The paperback will follow in April for those of you who prefer print books!)

It's nice to celebrate these things, so co-writer Mandy and I headed into London for lunch and inbetween stuffing ourselves with pizza, talked non-stop about writing, in particular our next book, due out next year, which has the working title The Bad Friend.












After signing a 2-book contract with new publisher HQ/HarperCollins, I'm excited to be working with them on my first, solo psychological suspense novel, and I'm a few thousand words into that and enjoying writing it.

My romcoms are still selling well, thanks to the wonderful team at Bookouture sourcing special promotional opportunities, and my first THE BEACHSIDE SWEET SHOP will be in a Kindle Deal in Austraila later this month.

Aside from writing, it's been a wet, grey start to the year, but I've done plenty of walking through muddy woods and fields, which has been good for getting my brain away from mince pies and Christmas cake and back into writing mode (and good for working off all that festive food!)

Whatever you're doing this January, I hope your year has got off to a good start.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Cover reveal



Yesterday, Mandy and I revealed the cover for our psychological thriller THE SECRET SISTER which was an exciting moment. It really stands out, and hopefully, the blurb will draw readers in. Those clever people at HQ/Harper Collins have even made ME want to read it 😄 It's out in January and only 99p - less than the price of a cuppa!

We're currently getting our second book underway, and after a lovely meeting last week, I've been working on outlines for a couple of solo psychological suspense novels and keeping my fingers crossed I'll be given the go-ahead to write them, as I'm excited about the stories.

In rom-com news I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS is selling well, and it feels okay to talk about it now that the shops have burst into full festive-mode - though I still prefer not to do any bursting until December's well under way!

Anyway, we've only just had bonfire night with fireworks all around for at least a week. Having owned a dog, I'm not as big a fan as I once was, as our Molly used to be so terrified we were genuinely afraid she'd have a heart attack. If only they were confined to displays, and only on November 5th.

Ah well, off the soap box and back to plot-wrangling - and trying to ignore that it's nearly time to start untangling the Christmas tree lights...



Monday, October 7, 2019

Book news

Along with the release of I'll be Home for Christmas I'm excited to announce a joint writing project that's finally come to fruition.

Back in 2015, I blogged about writing a psychological suspense novel with my lovely writing friend Amanda Brittany, which we put aside to focus on solo projects. After finally submitting it to Mandy's editor at HQ Digital/Harper Collins earlier this year, our book is going to being published. We now have a 2-book contract and a fabulous agent Kate Nash.

The first book will be released in January 2020, the second a year later, and we're currently excited to see a cover and title (to be revealed) which we'll be sharing via our joint Twitter account @clarkebrittany2. It's all very exciting (for us, anyway!)

After writing nine (hopefully) uplifting romantic comedy novels in three years and selling over 160,000 of them (beyond my wildest imaginings) I'm putting them on hold for the moment while I attempt to write a standalone suspense novel, alongside the one with Mandy. I may regret it, but might also regret not trying, as it's something I've wanted to do for a while. I'm sure I'll come back to romcoms - I love writing them too much not to - but for now, I'm going to take a walk on the dark side and see what happens (hopefully, nothing too grim and murdery.)

Aside from that, it's hard to believe how fast the year has flown, as they increasingly seem to these days, but I'm lucky to have had some nice trips; to Barcelona, Cornwall, Devon and Snowdonia in Wales. The weather there wasn't great, but that somehow added to the atmosphere, especially travelling up Mount Snowdon, and I couldn't help thinking it would make a great setting for a novel. Then again, I think that everywhere I go...



I hope whatever you've been doing your summer's been a good one, and if you fancy a festive read to get you in the mood for you-know-what, I can recommend a funny, feelgood book by...me ☺️ (other festive-themed books are available.)


Publication

Finally, my debut psychological suspense novel YOUR LIFE FOR MINE is out in the world! At least, the ebook version is available to download...