Life Cycle Of A Writer: When It All Happens At Once

The writing life is full of waiting and I’ve discovered in more recent months that when it does happen, it all happens at once! Following a successful book launch for Waiting for You, I then had my deadline to reach for Book Two.

Sending the next book in was more than nerve-wracking. I’m so used to getting other’s opinions and I didn’t get the chance this time so I was thrilled when my editor informed me that it’s wonderful! So I’m delighted to be able to share the title and bio for my second book:

All That Is Left Of Us

One of My Own…

Dawn loves being a mother. No matter how Archie came into her life, or the fact he’s a little different from other children, he is precious and loved. He is hers, after all. Especially because she’s never told anyone who the father of her son is.

So when Dawn’s twin brother David and his wife Rebekah are struggling to have their own child, Dawn agrees to become their surrogate, as it is the one thing she can do to help.

However, creating the perfect family doesn’t always go to plan and when Dawn realises just how much her nephew needs his mother, she begins to wonder if the time has finally come to confront the past she has kept secret for so long.

It has gone up on Amazon for preorder today! So if you want to help me through this round of revisions please click preorder. It’s due out in September.

If that wasn’t enough excitement for the week (bearing in mind it is only Tuesday), I’m now able to share the news that Waiting for You has been shortlisted for the Joan Hessayon Award this year in a stellar list with 14 other friends and authors.

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The results for that will be announced at the RNA Summer Party on May 19th. I had my photos taken by the talented Chris Neaves of Neaves Brothers Photography and although I now have some super serious author shots, don’t be concerned, in real life it’s business as usual:

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With all that having happened over the course of a couple of months, I need a spa day to rejuvenate. It’s a shame my twin girls have other ideas! Why is it all the excitement is always clustered? Maybe it’s because the powers that be know I need a lengthy period to recover.

Catherine x

Roving Romaniacs – Life Cycle of a Writer goes to Chichester

The Life Cycle of A Writer has been a popular feature here on the blog for over a year now where we all take it in turns to update what’s been going on in our writerly worlds. Last week saw the first live date, when The Life Cycle of a Writer went to Chichester library. It went really well and we are hoping to book some further dates at other libraries along the south coast. Here are a few photos and words from Catherine, Laura and Sue to sum up the evening.

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Sue: It was a great evening and although I was nervous to start with, once we got chatting I felt much more relaxed. It was good to see some familiar faces in the audience and we received some really positive feedback. Thank you to Chichester Library who were fantastic hosts.

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Laura: I agree with Sue. It was a great evening. The audience was attentive and engaged and asked interesting questions, the library was a superb venue with lovely staff, and going on tour with Sue and Catherine was fun. I was chairing the panel, although that involved little input from me as the discussion flowed naturally and all three Romaniacs kept the conversation moving forward. I was in my element. I was ‘on stage’, and chatting about writing and books. I’m very much looking forward to taking the talk to more venues, and would love to return to Chichester library. So pleased we were able to encourage and help new writers.

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Catherine: I’m the one that talks with my hands. As I waved through my parts of our talk, it was great to have an audience to engage with (us writers normally have to chat to ourselves) and the Q&A session provided some excellent questions. Thanks to everyone who joined us and hopefully they’ll be another one soon. 

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LCOAW – Getting Marketing Right

The title of this post is a bit misleading. In order to talk about getting marketing right, I’d have to have some concept of whether I was achieving that myself. And to be fair, I haven’t got a Scooby Doo.

My degree in Physiotherapy and the months of catching five minutes to write while looking after my twin girls haven’t exactly primed me for the Buy My Book phase of being an author. But here I am with just over two weeks to go before my debut novel is out and ARRGGHHH I’m so unprepared for this! I’m not in a position to spend hours at a laptop sending out suggestive hints as to why Waiting for You should be THE BOOK you buy today. So I’ve tried to promote the book in some other ways in an attempt to be a bit different, but also to allow the marketing to fit in with family life.

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Firstly, I did a promo day as a Facebook event. I called it Don’t Wait for… Waiting for You and it was with the aim of getting all those who were considering purchasing the book to do it on a single day. As there were prizes, it also attracted some others to pre-order. Overall it worked well to spread the word about the book and allowed me to concentrate my efforts on a single day and it was something slightly different to the Publication Day parties that are often popular.

As this is my first book and I have worked so bloody hard over several years to get to this stage, I wanted to make sure I did something special to send it on its way. Having harnessed my inner Milly Johnson (Milly does the best book launch parties) and read Jane Wenham-Jones’ Wannabe a Writer We’ve Heard Of, I now have the perfect (rather unique) spot for my book launch – The Oasis Down to Earth Farm, a local community farm.

Book Launch

It was an interesting challenge trying to think of the perfect place to launch a book that is digital first so not necessarily suitable for a more traditional book shop venue. In the end I think I’ve ended up with something that will be unique and exciting and it’s great to think the day will be raising funds for the farm. If you are local to Southampton and free that day it would be great to see you there.

As well as both these things I’ll be doing my share of tweeting, FBing and a blog tour supported by Carina. Because all in all I’m not sure what works. Not when my degree taught me the origin and insertion of every muscle in the human body and not the persuasive charms of selling books. I figure I’ll do it in a way that I enjoy and hope that in turn people will enjoy Waiting for You.

To finish, on a totally unrelated note, please BUY MY BOOK😉

Til next time,

Catherine x

Invitation to the Don’t Wait For… Waiting for You Promo Day

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Tomorrow (Monday 18th), I’m hosting an event day over on Facebook. It promises to be a fun day of chat and competitions to support my debut novel, Waiting for You. Please click this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1540695472924264/ and click ‘going’ to get all the updates on the day and the chance to win some prizes.

I hope to see you there,

Catherine x

Follow up Friday

It’s follow up Friday time – Here’s how Vanessa got on…

Vanessa’s Aims:

  1. Edit first 100 pages of the work-in-progress – I’ve just finished a fairly major re-write, so now need to embark on a major edit!
  2. Work out exactly how the ending of the same wip is going to be structured… because I have several characters to get to a certain point, I keep re-writing the ending over and over, changing it each time. This week will be the week I pick an ending and stick to it!!
  3. Find five new writing competitions to enter in January/February – I’m looking for new flash fiction competitions.
  4. Come up with some ideas for new flash fiction to enter in those competitions!

Sort of… I’ve edited more than 100 pages – I’m up to page 116 and have added a few new scenes. It’s definitely going to need another edit though as I’ve added so many new bits! I’ve printed out the ending ready to work on and made some notes so I’m getting there.

I haven’t written any new flash fiction, but I have found some flash and short story competitions to enter: The Writers & Artists Yearbook Short Story competition closes on the 15th February – it’s free entry on the theme of Ageing and the prize includes an Arvon course. Flash500 (always my favourite flash fiction competition) has a short story competition (up to 3000 words) closing at the end of February judged by Sue Moorcroft, the Bath Flash Fiction Award closes on the 14th February and the Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Prize (both 300 words limit) closes at the end of February

I’m loving having lists to refer to – it keeps me focused! How’s everyone else getting on?

Vanessa x

Added at 13:56 by Catherine who has survived her second week at twin club:

You what? It’s Friday already? Let’s recap on what I said I try to get up to:

  1. Try to survive my first ever zumba class. Well, I did get in the car. I did drive to zumba. I did wonder how I would manage after a busy day. My sat nav took me to a building site. Then I only got as far as a B&Q car park before giving up on finding where it was with only five minutes to spare. I’m going to try harder on this one this week.
  2. Get to the half way point of Novel Two. I have 2K to go so should be able to squeeze them in over the weekend.
  3. Do more organising for book tour/promotional day/launch day for Waiting for You. Going great guns on these. You can find out about the promotional day here with chances to win some great prizes.
  4. Sit still for one hour and read. I did this on Monday instead of zumba.
  5. Try a new recipe. I’ve done lots of new recipes over the past week and very pleased with a 6lb weight loss at my Slimming World group. Just need to keep it up for the rest of the year! 

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Motivation Monday

Welcome to our second Motivation Monday! This week, it’s Vanessa and Catherine sharing their ‘to do’ list for the week. We would love it if you could join in too, it doesn’t have to be anything huge, just something you want to get done that week. All you have to do is leave a comment below.

Motivation Monday

Vanessa

  1. Edit first 100 pages of the work-in-progress – I’ve just finished a fairly major re-write, so now need to embark on a major edit!
  2. Work out exactly how the ending of the same wip is going to be structured… because I have several characters to get to a certain point, I keep re-writing the ending over and over, changing it each time. This week will be the week I pick an ending and stick to it!!
  3. Find five new writing competitions to enter in January/February – I’m looking for new flash fiction competitions.
  4. Come up with some ideas for new flash fiction to enter in those competitions!

Catherine

  1. Try to survive my first ever zumba class.
  2. Get to the half way point of Novel Two.
  3. Do more organising for book tour/promotional day/launch day for Waiting for You.
  4. Sit still for one hour and read.
  5. Try a new recipe.

I’ll let you know how I got on on Friday!

RECRUITING – Romaniac Sparklers!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

We love you, you know that, right?

We’re a group of eight writers who set out to support each other in the most enthusiastic way possible. When the chips were down, we’d find a way to cheer each other on. When we triumphed, we’d applaud each other. But this feverish excitement and zest for sparkling through life has caught on, so we wanted to expand. We’ve built an extension on Romaniac HQ so it’s no longer a cosy room that’ll only fit eight of us, it’s now a virtual coffee (and cake) house where we invite you to pop by and support us and in return, we hope to support you. Please click the picture below where it should take you to our new Facebook group and we very much hope you will join us.

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The plan is for this to be a ‘street team’ and we’ll encourage our Sparklers to share our news. In return we hope to provide sneak previews, supportive/writerly chat sessions and if you are really lucky, video footage that never made it to the blog!

Over 2016 you will see this is not the only change to the blog. We’re going to start a Motivational Monday post and set a few realistic goals each week. This is something we’ve been doing in the past six months and we thought it would be great to share what we’re up to publicly in the hope you will join in. A Friday Follow-Up post will also appear where we report on how we’ve got on with a round-up. The goals don’t have to be writing related, they can be anything, and we’ll be sharing the good and bad weeks to prove we’re all human. Our popular Life Cycle Of A Writer blogs will continue and there will be news in the future about it going on tour! Lots to look forward to…

Without further ado, it leaves me to wish you an AMAZINGLY SPARKLY 2016 from all of The Romaniacs!

*Finds a glass of something suitably sparkly*

Cheers!