Category Archives: Launch

One Summer in Italy or how I write a book #OneSummerinItaly #NewBook

Publication Day!

Today’s one of the happiest days of the year – a publication day. One Summer in Italy is sent out into the world … well, it’s sent out to shelves and portable devices, anyway. I hope you like my latest book baby.

The jokey term for a novel ‘book baby’ came into being for a reason, I think. Though a fantastic, joyful event, there’s a lot of hard work involved in giving it life.

Here’s the bullet-point version from my perspective:

  • Get an idea for the premise of the book. For One Summer in Italy this came when I was in Italy at Arte Umbria, where I have taught courses and led retreats for several years. The chef and I happened to be taking a break at the same time, sitting in the sun with our feet in the pool, and she told me about being a seasonal worker. I thought, ‘What a great thing for one of my heroines to do’.
  • Work on characters and planning.
  • Research. Yes, this did involve being in Italy again and taking a host of pictures. ♥ But also a lot of finding and absorbing information on seasonal workers (employees and employers), ex-pat families, the hospitality trade, laws and regulations, web development, homelessness, motorbikes, blood groups, watercolour painting and even Italian cemeteries.
  • Write the first draft. This takes months and is punctuated with constant distractions and interruptions. I was thankful for last year’s writing retreat where I wrote nearly a quarter of the first draft and had the joyful experience of being in the place I was writing about … more or less. My imagination added a town and a hotel.
  • Write another draft or two
  • Send book in
  • Receive structural edit. The structural edit covers all the large changes my editor feels will make help me produce the best book I can. Discuss with editor; make decisions on how many suggestions I’ll take up; perform structural edit.
  • Send structural edit back
  • Receive line edits. Line edits deal with smaller matters, continuity and timeline. I’m timeline-blind so this stage often involves a lot of head scratching whilst wearing a grumpy expression – on my part, anyway. Probably it’s the same for the line editor.
  • Send line edits back.
  • Receive copy edits. Copy edits deal with punctuation, grammar and anything that hasn’t yet been picked up in another edit.
  • Send copy edits back.
  • Receive proofs. To proof a book I have to read the whole thing again and indicate any errors I see.
  • Send proofs back.
  • Write acknowledgments and any dedication.
  • Write any backmatter (bonus material) requested.
  • Breathe a great sigh of relief.
  • Start another book. This usually takes place betwixt and between the above tasks.

I can’t tell you in the same detail what the other side of the process is, carried out by the fab Avon team, but it will include the all-important cover (I LOVE the cover of One Summer in Italy), editing, scheduling, typesetting, promo, marketing and blurb writing. I’m involved in some of those areas too, mainly the promo.

Underpinning the process on both sides is respect, co-operation, negotiation, discussion, and a whole heck of a lot of emails!

But it’s worth it when this is what we end up with:

It_s time for Sophia to live her own life – and to fulfil the promises she made to her father Aldo.Montelibertà in Italy_s Umbrian mountains holds plenty of family secrets waitin

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Filed under Arte Umbria, Avon Books UK, Cover, ebook, Italy, Launch, One Summer in Italy, Paperback, Plotting, publication day, reading, retreat, Umbria, Writers, writing

Welcome M W Arnold, The Season for Love @rararesources @mick859

The Season For Love Banner (1)

I don’t often invite authors onto my blog but I’ve made an exception for M W Arnold as Mick is a stalwart member of my street team, Team Sue Moorcroft. You might also see the same interview on Rachel’s Random Reads to make the most of our respective audiences.

How does it feel to be joining the ranks of the traditionally published authors? How long have you wanted this?
For a ‘supposed’ author, I’m actually lost for words and until it’s actually released, I guess you could say that I’m still waiting for it to all fall through. I can’t tell you how many of my writing friends have told me not to be so silly when I say that. Actually, it’s really not something I thought would happen so soon. I only joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association, New Writer’s Scheme in 2013 after starting to write semi-seriously the previous year, so I’ve only thought about getting published since around that time.
Tell us something about The Season for Love
‘The Season for Love’ is actually the second book I’ve finished and, so far, the only one where the last paragraph was the first thing I’d written. That’s as far as the planning  went. I’m not a ‘Planster’, I’m afraid to say. I’ve tried it since, and for this one too, but it only goes as far as jotting notes on the bottom of the page I’m writing as they come to me, though only about say, 40% of the time do they actually make the story. I expect I could get a sequel out of the notes I have stored away for this book.
What made you choose to write romantic fiction?
I’m a huge fan of the late and very great Terry Pratchett, but my Lady Wife read ‘The Xmas Factor’ by Annie Sanders and she insisted I read it, now. So, and more to humour her I have to admit, I did…in one sitting. Then read again. The morning after that second reading, I felt the need to write. I had no idea what I was going to write, just that I had to write. I was finally pulled from my old laptop late the same evening and I’d the start of what would be my first book. That’s unpubished, and I now know why, though I would like to come back to it as the story is good, but by gum, the writing needs improvement. That was in this genre because of that book I’d read, and since then, this has been my genre of choice. It helps that I really am an old-fashioned romantic. I like to think I’ve found my calling.
Where can readers buy your book?
I’ve been lucky and ‘The Season for Love’ is being released on both sides of the Atlantic on the same day, December 16th. It’s available on Amazon, Kobo, Nook, Smashwords, Bookstrand and the Passion in Print (the publishing house I’m signed with for this book) website. And seeing as you were so kind to ask, here are the links:
What jobs have you had apart from ‘author’?
For the first fifteen years of my working life, I worked for Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. That sounds very impressive, doesn’t it? It’s not quite so much when I elaborate. I was actually in the Royal Air Force, so it counts. Nothing so fancy as a pilot, I was office staff, but I did serve on flying squadrons and saw quite a lot of the world, which was kind of the point as I wanted to travel.
Do you have a day job now?
After leaving the RAF, I started working with computers and that’s what I do now. It pays the bills, so far, though I’d be fibbing if I didn’t say I’d love to be able to earn my living writing.
Have you told your day job colleagues about The Season for Love?
Yep. They all know and after getting their heads around the genre I’ve chosen to write it, have all been very supportive. One of them was actually a beta reader for this book and says it’s encouraged them to write (not that they have yet), so that’s good.
Do you have much time for reading? What do you read?
I don’t have as much time for reading now as I did before I started writing, though I do try to read at least during my lunch break, it helps to clear the mind for an afternoons work. When I do read, it’s very much in the Romance genre. It won’t come as a surprise to those of you reading this that I’m a big fan of Sue Moorcroft books and consider her very much a benchmark I’d like to aspire to attaining. Whenever I feel the need for a break from romance though, I always go back to Mr Pratchett, with a sideways trip into the Harry Potters too.
Thank you for the shout out! Is there another M. W. Arnold book coming along any time soon?
Currently, I’m finishing off ‘Knicker Shopper Glory’, which I expect to start sending out in the hope of getting a publishing deal for that in the New Year. So, yes, if anyone’s out there, read’s ‘The Season for Love’ you know where to find me. Whatever happens, I am determined to get that second deal as soon as possible.
Love the new title. I hope both books do really well for you, Mick.

 

The Season for Love – blurb

Believing she was responsible for the death of her husband, Chrissie Stewart retreats from all those who love her. A chance meeting with a mysterious stranger, single-parent Josh Morgan and his bewitching young daughter Lizzy, breathes new life into her and gradually, she feels able to start to let go of the memory of her lost love. Unexpected links are revealed between the two families that strengthen the growing bonds she feels to this man and with the encouragement of her best friend Annie, herself hiding a hidden conflict from Chrissie, she battles with her demons to believe in her ability to trust and love again. Everything comes to a head on Christmas Day; which all goes to show that this is truly The Season for Love.

The Season For Love AuthorBio – Mick is a hopeless romantic who was born in England, and spent fifteen years roaming around the world in the pay of HM Queen Elizabeth II in the Royal Air Force, before putting down roots, and realising how much he missed the travel. This, he’s replaced somewhat with his writing, including reviewing books and writing a regular post at the www.NovelKicks.co.uk blog site.

He’s the proud keeper of a cat bent on world domination, is mad on the music of the Beach Boys and enjoys the theatre and humouring his Manchester United supporting wife. Finally, and most importantly, Mick’s a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, with the forthcoming publication of his debut novel The Season for Love.

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/mick859

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/MWArnoldAuthor/

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Filed under ebook, Launch, Plotting, publication day, Romantic Novelists' Association, Team Sue Moorcroft, writing

It’s publication day!

Hooray! The Little Village Christmas comes out in ebook today!

The Little Village Christmas

 

I’ve been waiting impatiently to bring you The Little Village Christmas and introducing you to Alexia Kennedy, who’s lived in the village all her life and is on the cusp of leaving as the book begins. Alexia’s an interior decorator and has agreed to project manage the conversion of an old, neglected pub, The Angel, into The Angel Community Café. Most of the work’s being carried out by the boyfriend and mate of Alexia’s best friend, Jodie Jones. Jodie’s in partnership with Gabe Piercy (who regular readers will have met in Is This Love?) and the village have fund-raised towards the refurbishment. Everything’s wonderful …

… until someone runs away with all the money. Alexia has to stay at least until she’s found a way to rescue The Angel.

Gabe’s nephew, Ben Hardaker, has come to live on the edges of the village to lick his wounds after his marriage combusted in a mysterious way. All he wants is to be left alone. But Middledip isn’t like that. The village takes him to its heart – and he gets tangled up with Alexia in all kinds of ways! He does have a weakness for women who look like Betty Boop though.

IMG_3387And for those who would like the paperback – it hits the shelves on 2 November (so there’s not long to wait).

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Filed under Avon Books UK, christmas, ebook, Launch, The Little Village Christmas, writing

Things I didn’t know would happen to a novelist

It’s 21 years since I sold my first short story and 13 since I sold (or my then-agent sold) my first novel but I’m still surprised – even shocked – by certain aspects of being an author. As it’s only two weeks until my tenth novel, Just for the Holidays, hits shelves and e-readers, I thought I’d share some with you.

  • Fresh ideas can be hard to come by, not because too many people have written about them before – but because I have!
  • Likewise, character names. (If anyone ever wants to gather all my character names together in one document, please do let me know. I can help you achieve that ambition.)
  • People asking for my help. I’m afraid I have to disappoint a lot of people over this one. Please see ‘Time Pressure’ below.
  • People asking for charitable donations. I’m so sorry I can’t fulfil all of these requests. I try to give time as a speaker when I can but I’ve stopped donating signed books because over one-third of the donation goes straight to the Royal Mail in postage.
  • Time pressure. Writing to an agreed schedule is different to writing if and when I feel like it.
  • People telling me what I meant when I wrote something. It’s always interesting to hear these interpretations and compare them with my own thoughts on the subject. Sometimes I wish I had meant whatever it’s thought I meant because it makes me look brainier or more insightful than I am.
  • Lovely messages on social media. These are such a privilege. Seriously. They make my heart dance and sing.
  • People waiting for my next book. (Cue dancing, singing heart again.)
  • Being in magazines – just me, not even my books.
  • Needing patience when it comes to contracts and similar transactions. (Patience never has been my best thing.)
  • My characters getting fan mail of their own. (Isn’t that awesome?)
  • Occasionally needing a skin like a rhinoceros and a back like a duck. (You’re trying to draw this in your mind now, aren’t you?)
  • It being perfectly legitimate to spend working hours perusing magazines or watching TV for ideas or research. Ditto travel to other countries.
  • People actively wanting to help with research.
  • Team Sue Moorcroft, my street team, even existing. (You can read about – and even join – the street team here.)
  • Being taken out to lunch or sent gifts.
  • Summer scorchersBeing asked to talk about myself. Really. And if you want to join me at the next event it’s Bibliomaniac’s Summer Scorchers in Harpenden, along with fellow authors of summery bookery, Jane Lythell, T A Cotterell, Eva Jordan and Helen Cox.
  • Being asked to read other authors’ books and supply a quote. I can’t do all of these either, for a wide variety of reasons, but it’s lovely all the same and it makes me feel better about giving to my publisher the names of other authors who might quote for my books.
  • People wanting to receive my newsletter or share my posts.
  • Being able to go to parties, lunches, talks and conferences in the names of education and networking.
  • Being able to set my travel to/from events and cost of tickets and other relevant costs against tax.
  • Thinking of a lot of ideas for blog posts around the publication of a book.
  • The rush of excitement that accompanies publication.
  • The heady disbelief when a book surpasses my wildest dreams (like The Christmas Promise getting to #1. Sorry. I try and introduce this to the conversation whenever remotely possible.)
  • And receiving copies of my books, seeing the cover art and marketing plans.
  • People thinking they see themselves in my characters. I try never to let this happen but maybe it’s unconscious?
  • People saying they know where Middledip is. It’s on a big piece of paper in my study and that’s it, I’m afraid.
  • Doing exciting research. (Helicopters, travel abroad, meeting interesting people.)
  • Emails often being exciting.
  • People reading my blog.

If I’ve missed out anything you have on your list, please add it in the comments!

Just for the Holidays is to be released on 18th May 2017, or you can preorder it now.

What would you do to help your sis?

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Filed under Avon Books UK, ebook, Just for the Holidays, Launch, Paperback, Preorder, Team Sue Moorcroft

Champagne? Or black gunge on the washing machine?

sues-invite-3-bannerSomebody once told me that being an author meant drinking champagne with your publishers one day and cleaning black gunge out of your washing machine next.

I had my own taste of that this week with my launch party on Thursday and housework today!

Let’s focus on the fun stuff. Thursday’s launch party for The Christmas Promise was amazing. I’m going to use this post mainly to share photos with you.

I was amazed and thrilled how many people turned up to support me, buying ALL the books in stock and leaving orders with the store for more. Members of Team Sue Moorcroft,  bloggers, readers, family, and friends from as far back as my primary school. Authors, mainly from the RNA, came out in force.

Ava from The Christmas Promise is a milliner and Abigail Crampton, who had made the millinery research very easy for me, made my beautiful cocktail hat especially for the evening. Here we go with the pics!

book-launch-the-christmas-promise

book-launch-the-christmas-promise-11And for those who are interested in how I cleaned the black gunge from the washing machine, I chose a steam cleaner and and an old toothbrush.

file-22-10-2016-12-45-59

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Filed under Book bloggers, hats, Launch, millinery, Paperback, Romantic Novelists' Association, Team Sue Moorcroft, The Christmas Promise

What happens on publication day?

It’s really not like me to blog on two consecutive days – but then it has been a while since I’ve had a publication day so I’m making the most of this one.

the-christmas-promiseThe Christmas Promise is released in ebook form today and here’s how this morning has gone.
sues-promise-tigger

I thought that having done a lot of work on Ebook Publication Day’s Eve, scheduling in Tweets to play out over the day and asking people to share their promises on social media using the hashtag #MyPromise, I’d get a nice measured start to Ebook Publication Day. This would have worked … if I hadn’t had to begin the day as I ended yesterday – wrestling with my newsletter software!

It doesn’t usually matter which day a newsletter goes out but on this occasion I’d run a campaign to get newsletter sign ups, #MyPromise being a competition to win a signed proof copy of The Christmas Promise. And the competition was supposed to run today, 6 October, Ebook Publication Day. I finally got the newsletter out – maybe the swearing did the trick – and turned my attention to Twitter. Twitter kept me busy till lunch time!

Lots of people were retweeting this fabulous review from Anne Williams on Being Anne, kicking off the blog tour; others were sharing their promises or pictures of themselves in hats. And some were showing their credentials as just lovely people by wishing me a Happy Publication Day.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-57-21 The big excitement of the morning was when #TheChristmasPromise trended for a couple of hours on Twitter!

Then people began to Tweet to tell me I was trending. My editor and agent both emailed congratulations and my little fingers flew over the keyboard trying to keep up with everyone’s lovely messages.

Finally, the book arrived on my e-reader – I’d kind of forgotten that I’d ordered it so it gave me a peculiar little thrill to see it download and learn from social media that lot of people were experiencing the same thing.

I’m going back to my social media accounts now but thank you to everybody who has supported me with messages, shares, promises or pics, today.

And, most especially, thank you to the readers who buy the book.

tcp-on-kindle

 

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Filed under Avon Books UK, Book bloggers, ebook, Launch, publication day, The Christmas Promise

Hattiness is a state of mind

Since I decided to give Ava Bliss in The Christmas Promise the career of milliner I’ve taken a lot more interest in hats. Before I go further, here’s a quick summary of terms:

hat-vocab

But, basically, Ava makes hats for people, to order, by hand. Abigail Crampton of Abigail Crampton Millinery was my research source and now she’s making a couture hat for me! A cocktail hat, very evening-y and gorgeous. I’ve had the first consultation and on Tuesday I’m visiting her studio again for a fitting. (Pause for excited shiver.) I had a wonderful time trying on Abigail’s sample hats and choosing colour, fabric, shape and decoration. I can’t wait to see the next step!

Meanwhile, the fab team at Avon Books UK sent out lots of fun DIY hat-making kits and here’s what I came up with from mine:

hat-homemade-small

I can see your looks of astonished admiration from here! 🙂 (If I squint a lot.)

Tomorrow (6 October) is ebook publication day, which is mahoosively thrilling. (Trying to find synonyms for exciting.) Oh, go on then, I’ll remind you what the ebook cover looks like:

the-christmas-promise

The paperback and audio book will be published on the 1st December but don’t forget that you have one exclusive opportunity to grab the paperback well ahead of publication at a special event in Nottingham:

sues-invite-3-banner

Stock has been released to this store for this special event so why not come along and help me launch the book? I’ll be happy to sign all books purchased, of course! (A signed book makes a lovely Christmas present.) NB I will be wearing the hat Abigail makes me to the launch rather than the one I made myself …

Huge thanks to all the lovely readers who have already ordered The Christmas Promise.

If you’d like to buy, too, you can choose your favourite platform here.

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Filed under Avon Books UK, Cover, ebook, hats, Launch, millinery, Paperback, Preorder, publication day, The Christmas Promise

Invitation to the launch of THE CHRISTMAS PROMISE!

sues-invite-3-banner

Join me in launching The Christmas Promise! Come and enjoy the party and even grab a copy of the book ahead of paperback release (a signed book makes a great Christmas pressie!). The Sillitoe Room is up at the top of Nottingham’s flagship Waterstones store, looking out over the rooftops and I’d love to see you there.

Tickets:  £3, redeemable against purchase of the book.

Email events.nottingham@waterstones.com, telephone 0115 9470069 or drop in at the store.

TCP proof backcover

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Filed under Avon Books UK, Cover, Launch, The Christmas Promise