Friday, 28 March 2014

A little perspective

There are times when I am really, really guilty of letting life overwhelm me. Yes, I am busy. I don't have the time or the means to socialise much or do cultural things or travel as much as I'd like to. I worry about my daughter, the state of my house (a mess), money, money, money. I never get round to having my hair cut and although I walk every where I need to try and fit in some more exercise in the non existent spare time I don't have.
And every day I wake up to Radio 4 and start the day depressed/angry/convinced we're headed for dystopian hell.
See? Overwhelmed.
Of course the reality is a little different. I have a lovely husband, an utterly brilliant, funny, sparky daughter, the nicest pup in the world, a host of fab, supportive friends, a great job (when the database works) that actually makes a real difference AND my first book comes out next week.
A little different? A lot different. I have a huge amount. I am absolutely blessed.

One of my fab, supportive friends has had a lot more to deal with over the last few years than a bit of tiredness and a few worries. Her original diagnosis of breast cancer came five years ago. The doctors were hopeful then; she was young, healthy, the tumor was small. Five years on, chemo, radiotherapy, a double mastectomy later the cancer is still holding on. The one piece of luck in all this is that even as the cancer tightens its grip the world of research makes more and more inroads. A form of chemo that she can take at home allowing her to work, drugs that keep the cancer from advancing. Not a cure, not yet, but they're hopeful. And if they can keep the cancer from spreading then she can wait for the cure.
It's not fun, she's tired and feels sick a lot. But she can live her life on these drugs.

The drug trials are funded by charities and so her brother wants to give a little back, as a thank you and to help them keep going, keep developing. So he is going to run three marathons in one month. I am in utter awe! Obviously you don't know my friend or her brother - but you will know someone who has or will one day have their own battle with this disease. So if you could support him - and make all those blisters, cramps and aches worthwhile - that would be amazing.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Mrs Jones on tour...

I'm on tour!

This may conjure up images of 5* hotels, whisky and tour buses but nope, it's all from the comfort of my own home. I can travel the world in my pyjamas, just what the founding father of the Web dreamed of.

Thanks to the lovely Shaz from Fiction Addiction tours I am spending the next 11 days dropping in on different blogs - and giving a book away on each one.

Thanks so much to my lovely hosts - please do drop into say hi!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Book of the day!

How very exciting - I am Deal of the Day!

No, this isn't like the time I sold rock on Scarborough seafront under a sign that said 'Cheapest on the Front', this is a lot less humiliating and much better for your teeth. My debut, The Return of Mrs Jones (for those of you not paying attention at the back) is available together with the very talented Kate Hardy's Behind the Film Star's Smile as Mills & Boon deal of the day - with 10% off.

So if you were thinking of reading it, today is a good day to do it! What's more a blog I wrote for the Socialise section of the Mills & Boon website goes live today, so you may want to check that out too...

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Reality bites

It's been nearly seven months since I first got 'The Call'. Seven months filled with revisions and edits and building websites (aka getting hysterical while my husband builds me a website), wondering how people on Pinterest actually do all those really cool 3 minute hairstyles and do they really take 3 minutes? - I mean researching. Oh, and writing book 3.

It all felt pretty hectic and real *hollow laugh*. Little did I know that I was actually enjoying a few months of tranquility before everything got Very Serious Indeed.

The reality of writing category romance is that you absolutely have to be able to juggle multiple books at different stages of their production. There's no hiding yourself away in a garret while you create for a year, you have to be able to plan, write, revise and promote different titles all at the same time.

Right now (EEK!) The Return of Mrs Jones is available to preorder, this means I am getting ready to promote it with a blog tour including guest blogs, Goodreads giveaways and social media whilst doing my best not to  monitor how many people have added it to their to-read shelves. But, at some point this month, the cover for Summer with the Millionaire will be revealed so I'll be getting very excited about that and need to start thinking about how best to market that book during April and May.

At the same time I am waiting for revisions on book 3. This is the first book that has gone directly to my editor without passing Go (Crit partners and the NWS scheme) and the first book written to deadline rather than at a tortuously slow pace, so I am expecting humongous revisions which say things like 'Where is the conflict' and 'Why does nothing happen in 50,000 words'. I'm very optimistic about this one...

Meanwhile I am planning books 4 and 5, with the hope of starting book 4 this very week. Add in the day job, the daughter's dance show rehearsals, violin exam and need to be fed, clothed and and discuss at great length potential World Book Day costumes and What Can She Do In This Year's Talent Show (I have suggested either a straightfaced dramatic recitation of Taylor Swift's Trouble or a Yorkshire version of Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights, neither of which she is keen on. Kids today, no sense of adventure) and my head is about to explode in a very loud and messy way.

But it's all really, really exciting too and I know just how very lucky I am to be in this position. Bring it on, I'm ready for the craziness to commence!