A Year On From Signing My Publishing Deal

Next month will mark a full year since I signed a three book publishing deal with Harper Collins’ romance imprint Harper Impulse.

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It’s been an exciting year which has seen two of the titles published, both in digital and paperback format, book number three submitted and, as a group, The Romaniacs have also published a short story anthology. To say it has whizzed by would be an understatement, but I’ve taken a moment to pause and reflect on how the past year has been.

Fast. Busy. Stressful. Exciting. Frustrating. Enjoyable.  And every emotion remotely related to those. That’s how it’s been.

And it’s not just the range of emotions I’ve experienced, I’ve also learned a lot about myself as a writer and the writing process itself. Amongst many things, I’ve learned …

That I will love my edits, despite what I may tweet at the time of being in the  ‘Editing Cave’.

That Book 2 helps to sell Book 1.

That I will happy dance at good reviews.

That I will grow thick skin for the not so nice reviews.

That I will compulsively check Amazon rankings, despite pretending I’m only going to look for a book to read and that I’m not really going to look at mine and compare it with every other book in that genre.

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Would love to know how the past year has been for everyone else.

Have you had your book published? Have you signed with an agent?  Have you self-published? Have you joined the RNA New Writers’ Scheme? Did you renew your NWS membership? Have you written another draft? Written an entirely new book? Decided to write in a completely different style or genre? Or anything else remotely related to writing …

Sue

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We’re Going on an Edit Hunt

We’re going on an edit hunt,

We’re going to catch some big ones,

What a lot of track changes,

We’re not scared.

Oh no, a repetition!

We can’t just avoid it

We can’t just ignore it

We will just have to deal with it

 

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The Editing Cave

It was pretty dark in that editing cave some days and I spent an awful lot of time in there earlier in the year while I completed the final edits of my second novel ‘Closing In‘.

It was a good process as, unlike my first novel which had been edited a great deal before it was seen by my publishers, ‘Closing In’ had only been seen by my lovely Romaniac friend, Jan Brigden. She had cast her eagle eye over it when it was a mere novella. Since then it morphed into a much bigger story, so I was rather apprehensive sending it into the publishers.

I thought I’d share a few of the things that have been picked up along the long editing road.

Over-use of certain words

I use the word ‘just’ an awful lot. I did actually know this already, so I went through my manuscript and managed to half the amount of times it appeared. A lot of the time is wasn’t needed or could be easily replaced with ‘simply’, ‘merely’ or ‘only’ depending on the context.

I took out the word ‘seem’ in a lot of the sentences, as I felt it diluted the impact of what I was trying to convey. For example, ‘The cold seemed to seep up from beneath her …’ became ‘The cold seeped up from beneath her …’

The revised version, I felt, was much stronger.

Not to repeat myself

I don’t mean the obvious ones of using the same word twice in a short a space of time but where the sentence has become convoluted, a bit waffly, drawn out – saying the same thing but with different words. (See what I did there? :-) )

‘… in his usual polite way, as he always did.’ became ‘… in his usual polite way.’

The same when two characters were having a telephone conversation. Originally I had written ‘… he ended his call with Ken.’ On the read through, I realised that identifying Ken wasn’t necessary – who else would he be ending his call with? So that simply became ‘… he ended his call.’

‘Dark shadows’ – aren’t all shadows dark? So, here, I deleted the word ‘dark’.

The Editor

I would be remiss of me not to acknowledge my editor and thank her for all the hard work she put into the manuscript too. Having input from someone who has no personal connection with the manuscript is invaluable and, I’d say, vital.

Final Read Through

I like to send the edited document to my Kindle for a final read through (Click here for a post how to do this). It’s amazing what you spot reading it in a different format to the one you composed it in.

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Closing In‘. is very different to ‘United States of Love’ but I really enjoyed writing it and hope readers enjoy it too.

Amazon link

 

Sue Fortin author pic Jan 14

 Sue

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Publication Day : Closing In by Sue Fortin

 

I’m delighted that my second novel CLOSING IN is published in digital format today by HarperImpulse, with paperback  to be released 31 July 2014.

I wondered if it would feel any less exciting than the first book I had published. I have to say that it’s just as exciting, if not more. I’ve been overwhelmed by the interest and Shaz Goodwin of Fiction Addiction Book Tours has organised a fantastic book tour. My idea of a small tour, kind of, took on a life of its own as more book reviewers expressed an interest – I’m very honoured.

I have the day off from work, so will be celebrating by hanging out on social media for the most part, consuming plenty of tea and cake!

Closing_in

Flight, Fight, Fawn or Freeze?

Helen has had to leave everything she’s ever known behind; her home, her family, even her own name.

Now, returning to the UK as Ellen Newman, she moves to a small coastal village, working as a nanny for Donovan, a criminal psychologist. Attractive, caring and protective, this single father and his sweet daughter are a world away from Ellen’s brutal past. She thinks she’s escaped. She thinks she’s safe.

But something’s wrong.

Strange incidents begin to plague her new family, and their house of calm is about to become one of suspicion and fear. Who can be trusted? Who is the target? Who is closing in?

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Kobo

Google Play

iTunes

 

Thank you, as always, for all your fabulous support.

Sue 1

Sue

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RNA, NWS : Joan Hessayon Award

As you may know, The Romaniacs all met through the RNA‘s New Writers’ Scheme back in 2011. Since then we’ve all made great strides in our writer careers and, amazingly, last year three of us achieved our ambition of becoming published authors. This has meant ‘graduation’ to full membership with the RNA and sees us eligible for the Joan Hessayon Award; the winner of which is to be announced at the RNA summer party in London on 22 May 2104.

Celia J Anderson – Sweet Proposal

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Laura E. James – Truth or Dare?

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Sue Fortin – United States of Love

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We are in fabulous company and wanted to wish everyone the very best of luck. We are looking forward to the evening very much and to meeting up with all the other attendees, especially the other new writers.  Here is the full list of nominations.

Alison May

Eileen Hogg

Elaine Everest

Helen Phifer

Jane O’Reilly

Jennifer Young

Jessica Thompson

Jill Steeples

Jo Thomas

Kathryn Freeman

Lin Treadgold

Pauline Bennion

Susan E Willis

Teresa Morgan

Congratulations everyone on becoming published

and

very best of luck!

 

Nikki Moore : Crazy, Undercover, Love


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The day has finally arrived!! Nikki Moore’s debut novel with HarperImpulse - Crazy, Undercover, Love – is released as an ebook today, 24th April 2014.

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If you like pacy, sexy romance and fancy a long weekend in Barcelona with a smoking hot guy this one’s for you!  Want to know more…?

When uber-feisty career girl Charley Caswell-Wright takes on the assignment as PA to the gorgeous Alex Demetrio, CEO of Demetrio International, she’s there under entirely false pretences; to get her life back on track. Having lost the job she worked so hard to earn, she’s determined not to give it up so easily, especially when she didn’t deserve to lose it in the first place.

Mr Dreamy CEO is her only chance of clawing back her career – and her reputation. So she has to keep things strictly professional… boy, is she in trouble!

To buy Crazy, Undercover Love as an ebook:-

Amazon – http://amzn.to./1gdpOxb

Google Play – http://bit.ly/1rTMrQw

iTunes – http://bit.ly/1mkzpHP

Kobo – bit.ly/QlpKpC

Sainsbury’s -http://bit.ly/1hoD1bj

Or to buy it as a paperback on pre-order, released on 26th June:-

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1rTKGmB

What people are saying about Nikki’s other stories…

The Love Letter and A Day in the Life… HarperImpulse short story collection Be My Valentine, with Teresa F Morgan and Brigid Coady, attracting 4 and 5 star reviews.

‘I loved all 5 stories and will look out for more books by each author.’

CometBabesBooks, Amazon

‘Whilst I enjoyed all of the stories, I particularly liked Nikki Moore’s … her voice as an author really resonated with me and I can’t wait to read more of her work.’

Kate Beeden, Goodreads

Nikki’s short story A Night to Remember in the Mills & Boon/Romantic Novelists Association anthology Truly, Madly, Deeply which has also attracted 4 and 5 star reviews.

‘My favourite story was A Night To Remember. I think what drew me to this … was its resonance with real life. I’m not going to spoil the story but I could feel the emotions spilling out of the page – it was beautiful.’

Beckie, http://www.beckiesbookmix.blogspot.co.uk

‘A Night to Remember – Beautiful, devastatingly so.’

Cheryl M-M, Goodreads & http://mmcheryl.wordpress.com/

Nikki_Moore_Author_Pic_1Nikki Moore lives in beautiful Dorset and writes short stories and sexy, pacy romances. A finalist in several writing competitions including Novelicious Undiscovered 2012, she graduated from the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers’ Scheme after four years and and has contributed to their magazine Romance Matters. She has far too much fun attending the annual RNA conference and has previously chaired a panel and taken part in a workshop at the Festival of Romance.

She blogs about some of her favourite things – Writing, Work and Wine – at www.nikkimooreauthor.wordpress.comand believes in supporting other writers as part of a friendly, talented and diverse community.

You can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NikkiMooreAuthor or on Twitter @NikkiMoore_Auth and she invites you to pop in for chats about love, life, reading or writing!

 

 

Closing In : Cover Reveal

Sue Fortin author pic Jan 14I’m delighted to be able to announce that my second novel, Closing In, is to be  published by HarperImpluse, and will be released on 15 May. Initially, in digital format but paperback to follow soon afterwards.

I’ve prepared a book trailer to show you the cover and give  you an idea what Closing In is about.  So, if you have less than a minute to spare, I’d love you to take a look.

 

 

Thank you and have a great day.

Sue

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Her Best Four Letter Word Blog Hop

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Welcome to Her Best Four Letter Word Blog Hop, celebrating the publication of two HarperImpulse titles:  Eve Devon’s ‘Her Best Laid Plans’ (contemporary romance) and Zara Stoneley’s ‘Love is a Four Letter Word’ (erotic romance).

Look out for the deets for TWO GIVEAWAYS via Rafflecopter and using the comments section on this blog at the end of the post.

ABOUT ‘HER BEST LAID PLANS’ by Eve Devon

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Blurb: Love is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans…

The Totally Perfect Life Plan of Amanda Gray

Step 1 – Take total control of own destiny and avoid getting too wrapped up in the details.

Step 2 – Definitely do NOT kiss gorgeous bad-boy businessman who doesn’t know how to live life without scheduling it six months in advance, even if he is absolutely irresistible.

Step 3 – Don’t even THINK of accompanying him to London as his PA to enjoy steamy encounters in a metropolitan paradise.

Step 4 – Absolutely, positively, whatever you do- do NOT fall in love with him…

Available from AMAZON or click here for other retailers.

ABOUT EVE DEVON:

I love connecting with readers. Find out more about me or stop by for a chat:

Website    Facebook   Twitter

ABOUT ‘LOVE IS A FOUR LETTER WORD’ by Zara Stoneley

FourLetterWord_Cover

Take one rich girl who has a thing for the bad boys.

Take one tough guy who thinks possession is nine-tenths of the misery law.

Mix generously with a land dispute and a whole lotta lust…. And what have you got?

Sometimes being bad can be just too good to miss.

Available from AMAZON or click here for other retailers.

ABOUT ZARA STONELEY:

To find out more about Zara and her books, please follow the links:

Website    Facebook   Twitter   

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Goodie Bag Contents: All the perfect ingredients for a girlie reading experience…

10.00£/$ Amazon Gift Voucher (to purchase delicious ebooks)

Her Best Laid Plans Beaded Bookmark (for a touch of book bling)

Love is a Four Letter Word Beaded Bookmark (for a touch of book bling)

Her Best Laid Plans/Love is a Four Letter Word Linen Bag (to keep all your reading experience ingredients together and handy for those urgent date night clothes shopping trips)

Bottle of Bubbly (for if you don’t like hot chocolate/tea)

Hot Chocolate/Tea Drinking Goodies (for if you don’t like bubbly)

Chocolates (no explanation required!)

Nail Varnish/Nail Files (for that break between reading books!)

And it’s all inside a lovely HarperImpulse bag!

Due to the content of the prizes, all entrants must be over 18. If the winner does not reside in the UK, some items may be substituted with others of an equal or greater value due to individual country restrictions

No purchase is necessary, all answers will be available on the publisher’s blog, retailer sites, or the authors’ blogs, websites or Facebook Pages.

GIVEAWAY ONE: Answer Eve and Zara’s questions using the Rafflecopter:

To be in with a chance of winning the Goodie Bag you need to answer the two questions below.

Question 1: Where has Amanda just come from when she receives Jared’s Code Red text?

Question 2: Where has Georgie just come from when she meets Jake in the parking lot?

Don’t know the answer? Check out Eve and Zara’s facebook pages or their websites for snippets from their books                           

All correct entries will be put into the grand draw for the Goodie Bag. Winners will be announced on March 6th HERE

To gain extra entries in the Rafflecopter follow us on our blog hop and answer each new set of questions – you can find a full listing of where we’ll be on our websites or: HERE

GIVEAWAY TWO: Win an iBook Voucher every day of the hop by taking part in:

Her Best Four Letter Word…to describe an Alpha Male

Leave your best four letter word (no profanity, please) to describe an alpha male in the comments section and a winner will be chosen to receive an iBooks Voucher for a HarperImpulse title (please note if your first choice is not available you may have to pick another!). The winner of today’s competition will be posted at the end of the blog hop on 6th March. Only ONE iBooks voucher is available each day, if the Blog Hop is visiting more than one blog then ALL entries for the day, from all participating blogs, will be entered into the daily competition.

Good Luck and we hope you enjoy Her Best Laid Plans and Love is a Four Letter Word

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

 

Book Review of Made in Nashville

I have always enjoyed Mandy Baggot’s books. She has a very strong style of writing and her plot lines are never dull. ‘Strings Attached’ has always been one of my favourite books by Mandy, that was until I read MADE IN NASHVILLE. I enjoyed every word of it.

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Jared Marshall, Mr Bad Boy, who is actually Mr Good Guy, is to die for. I loved the rogue element to him, yet was safe in the knowledge that underneath it all, he was full of morals and a sense of doing the right thing.

Honor Blackwood was equally engaging. Her character really developed through the story and she came out the other side a changed woman.

The backdrop to the story was Nashville and I really felt the whole Rock/C&W scene going on through the story. Usually, I don’t like to see the written word exactly how it is spoken by dropping ‘g’ at the end of words like ‘doing’ or such like. In the past I have found it distracting and to break my reading, however, this wasn’t the case with Made in Nashville.  It really gave a depth to Jared’s persona and drew me even deeper into the book and the setting.

Another great novel from Mandy Baggot!

Sue

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Made-in-Nashville-190x280Made in Nashville

by Mandy Baggot

Published by Harper Impulse

Buying options here

Should You Buy Second Hand Books?

My book United States of Love is set in the historical West Sussex town of Arundel. I’m lucky enough to live just a short drive away and love going over to the lake for a walk or a wander around the town, which ALWAYS involves a pot of tea and a slice of cake. Usually, the children are in tow but on a recent visit, I was child free so I took the opportunity to browse a local second hand book shop. 

It’s a tiny shop front but rather like the Tardis when you go inside. It is also a book lover’s paradise. There is shelf after shelf of old books. A lot of specialist books and a lot of first editions. Set over three floors; a warren of little rooms, narrow staircases and sloping ceilings, I was amazed at how organised it was.

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Venturing up to the top floor where the fiction books were kept, I was surprised to see a book by an author I have on my reading list. A paperback  by Paul Christopher, The Sword of the Templar. A secondhand paperback in excellent condition priced at £2.50 – a bargain. However, I didn’t buy it. Not because I didn’t want it, but I suddenly felt guilty. By buying this book secondhand, I would get the enjoyment, but the author wouldn’t actually benefit. I felt like I was cheating him out of his royalties. Okay, I appreciate missing out on one sale of his book, probably isn’t going to be life-changing, but, all the single sales add up.  

It made me stop and think. 

Is it okay to buy a book secondhand which means no royalties for the author? Or, should I buy the book from a book shop or on-line? Either way, if I enjoy it, I’m likely to buy another. At the end of the day – does it really matter?

What are your thoughts on buying books secondhand?

Books 1

Sue

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My Mini Midwife – D J Kirkby

I’m delighted to welcome Denyse Kirkby, author of ‘My Mini Midwife’, to Romaniac HQ today; I have tweeted with Denyse, usually early in the mornings before work beckons, and as a  local to West Sussex, like myself,  it makes it even nicer to pass the blog over to her.  Sue x

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Dear Romaniacs,

I have been a lurker on your blog for a long time now, and I feel honoured that you invited me to join you here for a chat about my latest book.

My Mini Midwife came about as a result of my years working as a community midwife. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a community midwife because that kind of midwifery allows you to get to know the people you are caring for to a deeper level than those you meet when you are hospital based. Over time I began to develop a standard set of answers to questions expectant parents, and their families, asked of me about early pregnancy, what kind of care they will be given, what labour is like and so on.

My Mini Midwife_COVER.inddThen one couple said they wished they could carry me around in their handbag so they could ask me questions whenever they needed to, and that was when I had a My Mini Midwife light-bulb moment.  I decided to write out answers to all the most frequently asked questions I could remember people asking me. When I had finished this the writer in me couldn’t leave it alone – it wasn’t pretty, there was no flow to the words, it needed chapters and so on. So I grouped the questions together and wrote chapters around them. I didn’t want my book to feel like a textbook or a self-help book so I kept the tone of my writing the same as I would use when chatting with people while caring for them in pregnancy, labour and in the first few weeks after birth. The result was a pocket-sized midwife that readers could carry around with them everywhere.

With this in mind I paid for a nice cover and a professional edit and self-published My Mini Midwife as an ebook. What happened next is the things my dreams are made of – a publisher bought it, read it and offered me a contract for it!  Summersdale put My Mini Midwife through several edits, including changes to the layout of the text and cover, which enhanced the content without changing what I had originally set out to do with it. On the 3rd of February it will be available in all bookstores in paperback and an ebook version is available too.

There will be a My Mini Midwife-themed forum on my website (http://www.djkirkby.co.uk) from the end of February where you can ask questions anytime, as well as a postnatal support group and much more. Last, but not least, to celebrate the re-birth of My Mini Midwife Summersdale helped me make a video of my top ten tips from the book which you can watch here: http://youtu.be/pvSjI7Hj6Ys and if you have any other questions you would like to ask me then I would be very happy to answer them here.

 

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