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

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

Follow up Friday

So… how did we do with our targets this week?

Vanessa:

  1. I’m on target with my edits – I need to finish the final polishing of the wip this week ready to…
  2. Send the wip off to my agent!!

I did it!!! Finished the polishing of my edits Tuesday night and pressed send! Now it’s time to obsessively stalk my email in-box…

  1. Finish a short story for a mid-Feb deadline (still on the list from last time!!)

Sort of… Didn’t manage to finish the short story but I have written a new flash fiction piece for another competition. 300 words instead of 3000:-)

  1. Non-writing related: when the wip has gone off, do some very neglected housework!

We’ll say no more about this one!

Catherine:

I’ve only written 500 words of the 5,000 word target, but there is still the weekend to go and I have babysitters to help get me to my deadline!

I have a nice shiny loooonnngggg TTD list.

Relocation occurring on Saturday!

 

How has everyone else got on this week?

 

Follow-Up Friday

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How did your week go? Did the freezing temperatures spur you on or keep you tucked up in bed?

Here’s how the Romaniacs got on.

Laura:

1 – Attend my writing group on a more regular basis.

2 – Give a great talk at the Weymouth Civic Society, and sell some books.

3 – Write or type up 5000 words of the wip by the end of the weekend.

4 – Help my daughter with her photography studies.

5 – Restore my family’s health with good, wholesome food.

6 – Celebrate with Catherine Miller.

I’m still working on attending my writing group on a more regular basis, but the talk at the Weymouth Civic Society went well. It was a great evening, with the Power Point presentation well received, and I did sell some books.

I read through the wip from the beginning, and it was a wonderful feeling getting to know my characters again. As long as my current headache and dizziness remains at a low level, I should be able to type up my hand-written pages this morning, but I won’t hit 5000 new words. It’s a start.

DD and I discussed her ideas for her photography studies, and I did my best with the wholesome food, but cooking isn’t a natural talent of mine. DS is feeling better, but Gajitman is still poorly.

Boy, the celebrations with Catherine were great :D – see below.

 

Catherine:

1 – Have a fab day celebrating Don’t Wait for… Waiting for You promo day

2- Collapse in a heap and wonder why I didn’t wait until the twins were at least in school full time

3- Get a couple more quotes for having a new heating system put in

4 – Get back to the WIP after Monday’s excitement

Catherine's WFY Cover Pic

After a successful promo day, Catherine is now hibernating.Catherine's WFY Promo Day Chart

 

 

 

Lucie:

1/ Complete the writing related tasks that I am doing for other authors and send back the work required.

2/ Write up a first draft blurb for the two new ideas that I have had for my adult and children’s series.

3/ Clear my ironing pile (I don’t like this one AT ALL, but it has to be done :-()

4/ Consolidate the plan for my book series ideas and have a clear focus of where I am going with them.

5/ Speak to my agent with an update.

6/ Continue work on my Autism course.( I’d really like to complete this before I return to Uni next month)

7/ Sleep…at some point.

Well, lets see how I got on this week. I did lose a day from being ill with a migraine which wasn’t in the least bit helpful, but hey ho!

1/ I completed the tasks I needed to and sent back my feedback – before my deadline! Get me!

Don’t get too excited, this is about the extent of my achieving…

I have written up VERY simple blurbs for the two new ideas but not in enough detail for me to even call them first drafts. I am hoping to complete these over the coming weekend. Number 4 just did not happen AT ALL! I spoke with my agent and am hopefully meeting up with her soon, so that’s good and I did get some sleep – always good. I didn’t do any work on my Autism course (not good) and nor did my ironing pile get done (you didn’t actually expect me to have done it, did you?) So on the whole, I achieved some things… and some just roll over on to next week. Here’s hoping I have a productive weekend!

All round, not a bad week, and certainly worth celebrating with a bun or two.

We’d love to hear about your weekly celebrations – every one counts.

xx

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

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!

Life Cycle Of A Writer – Catherine Miller – Pinch me, I’m dreaming!

There is no other way to describe this year other than to say it has been EPIC! Unlike most years in a writer’s life, this one has been a rollercoaster of HIGHs. Since our last Sparkle Party, my reasons to celebrate have been immense:

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  • Miles Between Us won Just Write’s Monthly Masterpiece
  • Baby Number Two was highly commended in the Accent Press/Women’s Magazine Writing Competition
  • I won the 2015 Katie Fforde bursary
  • I was a finalist at the London Book Fair Write Stuff event.
  • I was offered a two-book contract with Carina UK
  • The Romaniacs won Media Star at the RNA Industry Awards
Award-winning Romaniacs! Sue, Catherine, jan, Laura, Debbie & Vanessa, with Celia & Lucie holding the fort back at Romaniac HQ, but with us in spirit.

Award-winning Romaniacs!
Sue, Catherine, jan, Laura, Debbie & Vanessa, with Celia & Lucie holding the fort back at Romaniac HQ, but with us in spirit.

So overall, my writing CV is somewhat shinier than it was this time last year, but none of this has come without sheer determination and grit. I’ve only listed the good stuff here because those are the parts I’m choosing to dwell on. There are of course the occasions I’ve submitted to agents and been rejected or not received a reply. There are the competitions I’ve entered and not even been placed in. To those occasions I say Pah! Because what do they matter? Those occasions won’t stop me from writing something new, from doing something different, from finding someone who loves my style of writing as much as I do.

As this is my last LCOAW this year, I’m going to encourage you to write some lists. One for the things you have achieved this year however big or small, writing related or not. Then write a second list for the things you want to achieve in 2016. I’ve been doing this every year for the past five years and without encouraging myself, half of the above wouldn’t have happened. I’ll be writing mine up soon and I break it down into categories: Family/Health/Writing/Competitions. (I have a feeling I might have to add spring cleaning the house once Book Two is written.) Once you have those lists, continue celebrating the good stuff, even if it’s the simple things like writing The End.

Then find a group to celebrate with like The Romaniacs. Because on the occasions I haven’t triumphed, they have. On the occasions I’ve wanted to grumble, they’ve listened. When I’m not sure where I’m going wrong, they’ve pointed me in the right direction. And vice versa. In just under two weeks when we meet up for our next Sparkle event, I know this whole life cycle of a writer gets to start all over again! And who knows what the next year will bring?

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