Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Exciting book news

Along with the release in October of the final instalment of my French Cafe Series 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, and we have a 2-book contract and a fabulous agent, Kate Nash.

The first will be published 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!)

It's quite a departure from my romantic comedies, but before being approached by Bookouture to write a series, I'd written a darker novel and it's something I've increasingly wanted to return to. After writing nine (hopefully) uplifting novels in three years, and selling over 160,000 of them (beyond my wildest imaginings) I've made the difficult decision to turn down a further contract to attempt a standalone novel - alongside the joint one with Mandy - without the pressure of a deadline. It's a decision I may very well come to regret, but I might also regret not trying. 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 it's September. The year has flown, as they increasingly seem to do, but I'm lucky to have had some nice trips this year; to Barcelona, Cornwall, Devon and recently to 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 ☺️ (other festive-themed books are available.)

Tuesday, July 2, 2019


SUMMER AT THE LITTLE FRENCH CAFE has now been released into the world and it's getting some lovely reviews, which is always music to a writer's ears.

Meanwhile, my first book (with Bookouture) The Beachside Sweet Shop has appeared in paperback in The Works. It's long been a dream to see a book on a shelf in a shop, so I was down at our local branch waiting for it to make an appearance so I could capture it for posterity!

A proud moment after 10 years of this writing lark and hopefully not the last!

Now I've finished the final book in my Cafe series, I'm having a think about what to do next - lots of options and ideas whizzing about, but nothing settled just yet.

I've just had a break in St Ives in Cornwall with my daughter, and it's so beautiful, even when it's raining (which it did on our second day) that I can see now why so many authors choose to set their novels there - maybe it will crop up in a future book!

In the meantime, I hope you're all having a wonderful summer whatever you're doing.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Summer's arrived early

The cover for Summer at the Little French Cafe has landed and really evokes that seaside, sunshine feel - lovely when the weather is currently wet and stormy!

I loved writing this story, and revisiting some of the characters from the first in the series, and am currently engrossed in book 3, which is set around Christmas. I have a new editor and am looking forward to working with her. I love the editing process - making the book better, like a carpenter whittling at a table until the legs are even, ensuring the coffee cups won't slide off. Terrible analogy, but you get the drift (wood)!

With summer fast approaching, I'm looking forward to a trip to St Ives in Cornwall with my daughter. I've heard a lot about the light there, inspiring artists - and hopefully, writers. I'll be taking a notpad and pen and looking for inspiration for a new book, but in the meantime, it's back to the mince pies and Christmas Carols.

Ding-dong, merrily on high...

Friday, March 22, 2019

New Book Alert

I have a new book out! ESCAPE TO THE LITTLE FRENCH CAFE is the first in a series of three that can be read as standalones, but with recurring characters popping up in each one.

It's the first time I've set a story abroad. I thoroughly enjoyed researching and writing it, and hope it has a different feel to my English-based novels. The best compliment I could have is that readers would love to visit the area once they've finished reading.

I'm currently editing book two in the series and preparing to start book 3, which will be wintery - more of a challenge as the  Ile de Re, on the west coast of France, rarely has rain, never mind snow, so I'll be creating an unusual weather pattern; which isn't such a stretch at the moment!

In April I'm off to a marketing workshop in London to learn how to be better at social media, but first, Lovely Husband and I are taking a short trip to Barcelona, which I'm looking foward to as I've never been - and it should be warmer there than it is here at the moment.

Maybe if I write another series, it'll have a Spanish theme 😊

Monday, February 18, 2019

February New Year's Resolution (better late than never)

Well, Christmas flew by in a flash - and lovely it was too - and January got off to a busy start as I had a deadline for the second book in my French Cafe series, as well as copyediting and proofreading book one, which will be out in March.

After leaving the bulk of the writing (again) for the final month - writing 10,000 words in 16 hours at the end, to leave myself a day to read through the draft and make sure it made sense before submitting to my editor - I'm determined to manage my time more effectively with book three. Even though deadlines are tight, writing three books a year, I know I can do it better, but need to start by banning myself from the internet. Never does social media appeal more seductive than when my deadline starts approaching like a speeding train. I used to  turn into a domestic goddess, doing loads of housework and baking, crubbing floors and dusting skirting boards, which was at least productive. I'm not sure 'liking' other peoples' dinner - however tasty it looks - or retweeting memes about procrastination is half as useful, however much I like to call it 'networking'.

So, a resolution of sorts for 2019 - to faff less, write more - and stay away from the internet (unless it's for research - and to look at puppies, and find out what everyone else in the world is doing). 

I may have said this last year, but this time I mean it.

(I may have said that too...)

Friday, December 21, 2018

It's beginning to look a lot like...


It was bright sunshine and 32 degrees about five minutes ago, but now the fairy lights are untangled and on the tree, the gifts are bought and (not quite) wrapped and we've been stockpiling mince pies for weeks.

It's also the time of year I start writing a summer-themed book, which means thinking about sun, sand and ice-creams, which isn't easy when Christmas carols are playing on a loop on the TV and radio, it's frosty outside, and I'm dipping into a tin of Quality Street to keep my strength up.

I'm not complaining though. Three years ago, I couldn't have imagined that I would be writing my eighth novel for Bookouture and making a living, doing something I love so much.

I'd like to thank you for continuing to read my blog, and hopefully my books, and to wish you a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

See you on the other side!

Friday, November 2, 2018

French Fancies

Well, summer flew by in the blink of an eye, and now the leaves are falling.......................

(It sounded like the start of a poem, but I ran out of steam.)

After completing the the last book in my Seashell Cove series, I was lucky enough to be offered a new contract with Bookouture to write 3 more novels, this time set in France - ooh la la! Do the French ever say that? (I've just looked it up and they do, but it has 'very strong sexual connotations' so I won't be using it again.)

I've not been to France since my honeymoon in Paris, seventeen years ago, so some research was obviously needed. I wanted an area with sun, sea, sand...and preferably somewhere it would snow, for the Christmas book. Not so easy to get all the elements and I spent many hours online, to the point where I felt like a native - though sadly, I didn't learn to speak French by osmosis.

In the end, I turned to the good folk of Facebook for inspiration and received some wonderful suggestions (and holiday ideas), but in the end settled for the Ile de Re (image above) an island off the west coast of France, not far from La Rochelle, as it was the closest to the setting I'd had in mind.

The great thing about Google Maps is, you don't have to leave the house to wander down streets and take in the views, and there's a wealth of information at your fingertips, but there's no substitute for the real thing, and it looks so lovely, I'm planning to visit in the not too distant future.

Meanwhile the first draft of Escape to The Little French Cafe is now written and with my editor, and I'm planning the next book, which will be set during summer - perfect now the weather's turned colder and the mornings are white and frosty.

In the meantime, if you've got a good second line for my almost poem at the top, I'd love to hear it!

Exciting book news

Along with the release in October of the final instalment of my French Cafe Series  I'll be Home for Christmas , I'm excited to anno...