Day #15: Coming Soon- A Christmas Release

Morning guys!

15 days to go until A Stranger in France is officially released, now that bit of work is wrapped up  today I’m working on the brief for the cover design for my second novel released at Christmas. A modern day feel good  romance with a Christmas theme, so if you fancy a nice modern day love story with a great twist to cosy up with this Christmas stay tuned!

Yesterday, I was battling with myself over the cover design for this book. I finished writing this book in July and held off sending a brief to my publisher as  do I go for a general romantic cover that’s eye catching or a Christmas themed one? After talking to a girlfriend of mine  she reconfirmed my thinking, I made up my mind to go with a general romantic cover, that would be eye catching all year around.

Once this is done, for my last day of holiday today before it’s back to the day job tomorrow, I’ll go back to research and writing for my romance suspense story I’m working on. Fingers crossed my publisher likes my proposal for this book enough for a 2017 release!

It’s all go here.

Have a great day it’s a rainy one in London, hope the weather is fine where ever you are.

Day #47: It’s Time To Submit My Book!

Whaaah! I’ve  been day dreaming, fantasising and yearning for this day to come. I’m ready (I think) to submit my baby, I’ve been nurturing for the last 4 months to my publisher. 347 pages ,90,000 odd words and 26 chapters of it to be exact. This afternoon I printed off a copy to do my final read through, before I actually submit but I’d say I’m  99 % ready.

So what have I learned from self editing ? Editing is a dam hard slog, slow and steady wins the race;I’ve literally come home from work done my mama duties, then  sat behind my lap top every evening into the wee hours of the morning, for the last 2 weeks. No change in my routine at all. I also learned that I found editing more of a challenge than writing. You need to put yourself in the shoes of a reader, just because it makes sense to you in your head, and you understand what’s happening would someone else? Is it engaging, interesting and page turning? Is there enough drama and suspense? These were all questions that went through my mind when editing scenes and rewriting.

My word count on my first draft was 93,000 I’m surprised that I only removed 3,000 and wiped out one full scene, other than that it’s pretty in line with what I originally wrote, and my book synopsis I sent over to my publisher  in terms of content and order of events.

It’s a complex job, my first edit was just focused on things like ensuring tense, and view point are correct, facts, dates, and the little things made sense and the story flows. This is important to me as the story is set in 3 locations London, the English coast and France.  My story is also  told first person from the main female character’s voice and 3rd for the male so editing from these different POVs, changing  location and even time zone is quite a challenge.  I’ve learned also, if you read something enough times, you start to read what you want a sentence to say and you may miss things, best to rest your work and come back especially if you’re tired. That said I will read a hard copy of my work before I finally let go of that baby and get ready to unleash it to the world. I am paranoid over typos, it’s a joke.

So with 47 day’s to go until my actual agreed deadline to submit my work to my publisher, I’m well on track to take another week or 2 to do a final hard copy read though to ease my paranoid state,  then hit the send button.

The release month will be September 2016, I plan to do a cover reveal on the blog so stay tuned for that, I’ve handed  a brief over to the publishers  on what I’d like my cover to look like. A blog post is up  on alluring book covers seeking your view yes YOU. You can read all about that here. and interact with me.  As a treat you can download a copy of the first 2 chapters of my book here for free! you lucky, lucky thing you.

Do give me a shout via the contact me page or post up a comment if you do download and enjoy.

Catch you soon.


Day #79 (What a Badass!)

I hit a mile stone of 80,000 words this eve, it’s Friday night and still the night is young only 10.00pm , I’m fully awake and ready to go for hours. I took a break and checked in on Twitter, I read a really uplifting tweet by a fellow writer who liked one of my tweets so naturally I went to her  Twitter page and found she had posted this  article from Writers’ Digest ” 7 Reasons why Writing a Book Makes You a Badass”, I like the sound of that! I read it and smiled all the way through.

The article filled me with pride, motivation, joy, hope  and  renewed my can do attitude to complete my book and publish that badboy! 

I never started this book with the mission to become the next Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jackie Collins, EL James, Martina Cole or JK Rowling  some badass female writers who have made millions from their work in well respected genres, no I started for me, my enjoyment and to get down 1 of 3 story ideas I have on paper. It’s not about money or fame it’s about accomplishment to do this hard but seriously addictive and enjoyable job of writing a book now that I have scored a publishing contact for it. While being a mother, working full time and getting on with life I feel a great sense of motivation kicking in  this evening to finish up the last few chapters and start my editing process, so thank you to the writer who tweeted this.

I better get back to writing, just wanted to share this article with everyone out there who has thought of writing a book or is currently writing, read the link below and get back to your lap top and write you badass 🙂

Click me you badass


Day #92

Pinch punch it’s the 1st of the month which means I have just 92 days until my final submission date for my completed book, to my publisher. Scary! Less than 100 days to go. But I’ve been on a roll in between the day job, nappy changes, nap time and any other time I can steal to sit in this very spot behind my lap top;  I am more than confident that I’ll make it. Also booked a holiday just 2 days after my submission date to have some quality time with my family, and make up for all the hours spent right here behind this lap top solidly writing. I can’t wait for both dates, submission and holiday.

I feel the next 92 days will probably be the most important 92 days of my life! And so I will share here and there my progress, thoughts and experiences in the run up to submission day.

A few weeks ago, something so surreal happened to me, I walked into Waterstones (the UK’s number 1 book store you could say) on a busy Saturday morning, as usual my eyes lit up as I took in the shelves and tables piled high with books, new releases and special offers etc. I head to the lift and stopped dead as I entered (literally); my eyes bulged open wide as I  thought wow in a few months MY book will be available in Barnes and Noble in the USA, maybe just maybe someone will take time out from their busy Saturday schedule, to  head to the book store on a mission to find and buy MY book, also MY book will be available on the shelf of  a well respected book store for others to brows, pick up and indulge in a little romance and suspense .

I stepped into the lift with some very normal people, who I’m sure were a bit unsure just how normal I was as I had the biggest smile on my face and I actually let out a little laugh with excitement, inside I high fived myself. I’m sure they thought I was laughing at ”the voices” in my head or I was some kinda crazy as there really was no reason to let out a laugh, in a packed lift, on it’s way to the 5th floor…. Hey what do I care! I was high as a kite on excitement and adrenaline. 

Today, I realised just how much I’m really eating,sleeping and breathing my characters. While preparing my son’s breakfast in mid stir of his porridge this morning, it came to me that last night I had mistyped my Heroine’s date of birth; the year I typed would have made her 30 during the time frame /scene I was writing, not 32 as originally planned/mentioned so far in the story. I wrote this scene at about midnight last night, and at 8.00am this  morning I remembered an error I had made?? It just popped into my head like a mental note that I need to buy some milk LOL.

Of course, mid stir of my son’s porridge I did what all women and mamas out there do, I multi tasked…. one hand reached for the lap top, the other stirred  the porridge I located the paragraph and edited the DOB for my Heroine phewwwwwww!  One less thing to edit.

 If you’re a writer reading this has anything random like this ever happened to you while writing your manuscript? Do you go into complete eat, sleep, breath characters mode in the final throws of completion?

Speaking of editing, I read a really interesting article about ” how to” edit your manuscript before you turn it in to your agent or publisher as a completed piece of work. This article  described a good editing process as the ”5 Re-read Program”. You may even know you it yourself, but as this is my first ever submission experience it’s new to me!

The program suggests writers read their completed work 5 times and look for 5 different things each time 1. content 2. enhancement 3. sentence level 4. the little things read.I’ve decided I actually will try this process myself as it seems pretty detailed, have you heard of this? Or even tried it yourself? How do you go about your final edit process before you submit if you’re a writer reading this?

So on to progress then, well the count down begins and at day #92 I have hit 60,000 words! I think I underestimated myself as I had in my head that my total word count on completion would be about 50-55,000, obviously when it comes to the editing process the count will probably reduce but I’m about just over mid point in the story and already hit 60,000 I have surprised myself! I’ve also learned that when you plot out your synopsis  for a story, it really is hard to say how it will transfer into a word count.

Right now, I’m at the point where the scenes/plots  have built up ready for me to bring all the drama I have mapped out for my characters towards the middle and end, and really develop  the emotional aspect of the story; I’m at a more challenging point of writing (I feel personally). Now I’m writing different points of views and really need to become these characters in order to  write their scene/POV the best I can and more importantly as realistically as I can.  I’m also bringing the drama to the story and this in my head and on paper is perfect, but getting it right in words is a challenge- that I’m really enjoying; may be I’m just being too hard on myself about how I’m writing ? I’ve found  that I’m  reading and re-reading, chopping, adding and all sorts but I guess it’s all part of the craft.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on some of the things I’ve mentioned if you’re a writer or published author what was / is your experience? And if you’re not a writer but have a POV let me know!

So as I enter day 92 of the count down, the focus is POVs and building some  (more) drama in this romance/suspense story I am just loving writing.

Catch you soon






OMG! …. I done it

If someone told me that at the age of 33, while juggling motherhood and a full time job that I’d also become a published author- I would have looked at them and laughed! Seriously, I would have. My love for reading and writing goes way  back to my school days, in fact I wanted to be an English teacher in school. I’m not far off, I am a qualified teacher  and that’s my day job but English is not my subject sadly. As an adult, my love for English, books and words continued as I have run a book club here in London for women only for  4 years come May, and I love it. 

But, it’s happened, I did it I answered a publisher’s call for new writers by following their submission process of a few chapters, and I got a contract. Literally, when I saw the email back from the publisher my first thought before I even opened it was ” hummm did not take them long to reject my work”. After all it was my first ever submission, when I saw the positive praise of my work, and then opened the contract  and document to write a brief for my book cover my head was gone! I lost it, grabbed my son threw him in the air and we celebrated with the ” chicken dance”, his favourite dance around the living room. Have you ever done the ” chicken dance” with a 2 year old? It really is quite fun!

So I guess you’d like to know exactly what it is I’m writing… a romance suspense story, 1 of 3 story ideas that I have plot out. What is it about? Ah can’t tell ya that much yet, just stay tuned to the blog and Twitter and all will be revealed. What I can say is, between my publisher and I we’re hoping for release date later this year  tentatively September 2016, so I better get writing and ensure I meet my submission deadline for that to happen!

I’m mid way  through writing my novel but as I’m writing,  I will be updating the blog, and also interacting on Twitter about life, writing and day to day things… maybe even make- up & and fashion, I can’t stop talking about either subjects… forgive me, no don’t that’s just me :), sorry I love these subjects.

Thanks for reading and give me a follow on the blog and Twitter !