I had a great day out today visiting Harper Collins’ new premises in London. I had a meeting scheduled with my editor, Charlotte Ledger, and she kindly arranged for my son to meet Stuart Bache, Managing Designer at Harper Collins. My son is studying Graphic Design and Product Design at school, so it was an excellent opportunity for him to research the career in more detail.
My meeting with Charlotte went well and we discussed the way forward with my writing and, in particular, my current WIP. We also chatted about my new novel The Half Truth which is published next week, 19 March.
I have been invited by ChocLit author and Romaniac pal, Laura E James, to take part in a blog hop where we answer a few questions about our writing process. Laura posted last week; it’s fascinating to see how everyone works. You can go to her blog by clicking HERE.
In the meantime, here’s how I do it …
1. What am I working on?
I am currently working on my third full length novel called, Where It All Began. The premises or theme, if you like, of the story is what mothers do for the love of their child; it looks at the extremes of that love and the reasoning behind their actions, both good and bad. There is, of course, some romance and a bit of a mystery.
2. How does my writing differ from others in that genre?
Ooh, a tough question. First of all what genre am I writing in? Romance. Suspense. Mystery. Crime. Women’s fiction. Yes, to all of those, I suppose. When I was writing my second novel, Closing In, which is currently with my publisher, I was often asked the genre. My reply was that it’s a mixture of romance and crime, so I coined the term ‘crimance’. Where It All Began has those elements too, so I’m carrying on in the same genre of ‘crimance’. How does it differ? I can only say is that I write it my way, with my voice.
3. Why do I write what I do?
That’s a more easy question. I love reading thrillers, whether they are police procedural, suspense or mystery, I really enjoy that sort of story. Equally, I enjoy reading about relationships; all that love and stuff! Combining the two is what I get the most pleasure and satisfaction out of when I’m writing.
4. How does my writing process work?
My process has developed over time. These days I like to come up with a theme or a premise first. Once I’ve got that then I can start creating scenarios, mysteries, conflict. The characters seem to come along simultaneously. Sometimes, especially at the early planning stages, there is such a mish-mash of ideas going on in my head that I’m sure if you look at my thoughts, they would resemble an old fashioned jumble sale circa. 1975, about 10 minutes after the doors have opened, where everything is a complete mess, items tossed around, discarded, picked back up again, put in the wrong place and every now and then you find a gem of a buy for 10p. By the time the sale is over, you’ve come away with some great items and some not so great ones. In the safety of your own home you can sort through and decide what to keep and what to put back in for the next jumble sale. Well, that’s my writing process.
Next week, I’m passing the baton onto my fellow Harper Impulse author, Teresa Morgan who blogs as The Wittering Woman and this is what she says about herself.
I was born and bred in Surrey, but since 1998 I have lived in sunny Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset. I live with my two sons – trying very hard to hold onto my Surrey accent!
I am at my happiest baking cakes, putting proper home cooked dinners on the table (whether the kids eat them or not), reading a good romance, or sitting at my PC emptying the thoughts from my head onto the screen.
I love writing contemporary romance, creating heroes readers will fall in love with. Men who in reality, let’s face it, just don’t exist. I love creating stories with a touch of escapism.
I was thinking of all the lovely things you could do with chocolate and when I did some reasearch into this, I found that my imagination was pretty tame compared to that of others. How about styling your hair with chocolate? Or building a house from chocolate. My personal favourite was nail art with chocolate – really handy if you’re a nail biter!
Here’s the YouTube link for the top 10 things to do with chocolate.
Lynda is having a Facebook party today to celebrate her book launch where she would love you to drop by. Click HERE to go direct to the party. There are prizes and fun all day long. 🙂
I am offering a free e-copy of my bookUnited States of Love published by Harper Impulse. All you have to do is ‘Like’ my writer’s page by clicking the link on the right of this post, or clicking HERE, and send your ‘What I’d do with chocolate’ answer to Chocolate@renham.co.uk where Lynda will pick a winner at random.
It’s been six months now since I signed with Harper Impulse and during that time, I’ve seen United States of Love (previously self-published) being given a make-over, a tidy up and relaunched, I’ve submitted book 2 ‘Closing In’ and as I wait for feedback, I have book 3 well under way.
I am regularly asked how I got my publishing deal. I’m hoping it’s out of curiosity rather than incredulity. Anyhow, I think a lot of it has to do with luck – my book landing on the right desk at the right time. Harper Impulse were looking for new authors (and still are, click HERE for their submission guidelines) and United States of Love had been well received as a self-published book, it had also received a thoroughly encouraging and complimentary RNA report under their New Writers’ Scheme and it had also gained interest from an agent. So, after being urged on by one of my Romaniac pals, I sent it off to Harper Impulse.
The timing doesn’t end there though. Getting a book published is one thing, but making it a success is another. Some books hit the market at the right time and really take off. It could be tied in with a TV series, a topical event, a trend, a genre of book, a film or even the look of the cover could be on-trend – all these things can help promote the book and the timing of publication is just right. Sometimes it’s a coincidence and sometimes it may be more orchestrated. Whatever, a lot of it can be down to timing and, of course, a great story.
Who knows when ‘Closing In’ is published whether it will be a subject of the moment/on trend – it’s just something that can’t be predicted. I do hope, however, my timing will be better than my timing at the weekend. That will teach me to sit on the slipway and play chicken with the incoming tide! 🙂 You can see video evidence on my writer’s page via this link – I apologise in advance for the squealing and giggling, you may want to turn the volume down before watching it!