WIPpet Wednesday and an update on Reunion of the Heart

Parents evening

On Friday I published my second novel Reunion of the Heart. Initially it went well and I had some sales so obviously I was happy.

But then… they slowed right down. OK so it hasn’t been long since the launch and it’s only Tuesday now as I’m writing this. But what’s going on? The Inheritance, though it didn’t exactly set the world alight, sold more than Reunion of the Heart has at this point.

I was feeling a bit miserable about it to be honest.  I spoke to my dad and he had some words of wisdom: that releasing a book in summer is a bad idea because everyone in the Western world is away on holiday – or at least many of them are in the US and UK as well as the rest of Europe.  So it follows that they’re not around to download/buy books.

He’s got a good point.  He also said that, for example, film makers release their films at certain times of the year, depending on what sort of film they are.  They release blockbusters in summer and Oscar-worthy films at others.  He reckoned a good time of year to release a book would be October when everyone is almost certainly back from holiday.

It makes me think that perhaps I chose the wrong time of year to release Reunion of the Heart and that maybe I should have waited till the autumn.  Do you have any thoughts/advice?  I’d love to hear from you.

Anyway on to today’s excerpt, from my WIP.  I still haven’t chosen a title yet lol.  But it’s the one set in a school.  I thought I’d be generous and share with you 8 paragraphs for the month.  In this scene my MC Rebecca is coming face to face with Audi-Man again. It’s parents’ evening where the parents of kids at school get to meet with their kids’ teachers for an update on their kids’ progress.  Unfortunately for Rebecca, she’s teaching Audi-Man’s son.  Here’s a snippet of their conversation:

Taking a sip from the glass of water on the corner of the table, Rebecca looked at the list of parents still to see on the list in front of her.  She stifled a yawn.  It’d been a long evening.  She’d seen twenty eight sets of parents, although sometimes only one parent had attended, usually the mother.  There was only one parent left to see, the one she was dreading.  She would rather have seen him first.  Mr Leavis, Daniel’s father.  What could she say to him about his son?  That Daniel mucked around in lessons and never bothered?  That he could be a grade A student if he just knuckled down and did some work?

Her encounter with Mr Leavis in the school corridor came back to her and Rebecca’s cheeks warmed.  What was the meaning of it?  And why had he arrived so early at the school?  What on earth had he been doing for the last two hours?  But there was no time to dwell on those troubling thoughts.  She watched as Mr Leavis – Audi-Man – strode across the hall towards her.

Feeling her resolve falter, Rebecca took a deep breath, pulled her shoulders back and remembered what she’d learnt at drama school about portraying confidence.  As Mr Leavis approached she gave him the biggest smile she could muster under the circumstances and stood up to shake hands with him.

‘Good evening, Mr Leavis,’ she said, forcing the smile to remain on her face, though she would much rather have scowled at him.  ‘Please sit down.’

He did so frowning at her; it looked like a puzzled frown to Rebecca though she couldn’t be sure.  ‘Good evening Miss… Ms Engleton,’ he replied.  He sounded flustered.  Good, Rebecca thought.  The boot’s on the other foot now.

She gave a little nod and looked down at Daniel’s grade sheet.  It was woefully inadequate, when she knew he could do so much better.  She looked up again and nearly bashed heads with Mr Leavis, who she saw was also looking at the grade sheet.  Her face became hot, hotter still when he began to speak.

‘I don’t see what could possibly be so wrong with my son’s performance in class that you’re giving him such low grades.  It’s his GCSE year – he needs good grades to go on and do his A-levels.  There must be something wrong with your teaching methods for him to be failing so miserably.  Your predecessor never had it in for him as you clearly do.’

Mr Leavis’ voice was angry, as was his expression.  The word thunderous came to mind as Rebecca watched him, trying to remain cool while inside she was seething.  When she spoke she was surprised by how calm she sounded.

So there you have it.  If you’re reading this and thinking ‘I’d love to join in’, all you have to do is post on your blog an excerpt of whatever you’ve been working on writing-wise lately.  Just make sure it relates to the date in some way.  Then add your details to this linky.

Thanks once again to the lovely K. L. Schwengel, our wonderful host. :)

Get your hands on a free copy of Reunion of the Heart!

Just a quick post to say that I’m happy to give a free copy of my romance Reunion of the Heart to anyone who’s interested in exchange for a fair and honest review.

If you’re interested email me: elaine (dot) jeremiah (at) gmail (dot) com

Thanks!

How the release of ‘Reunion of the Heart’ went

Hi all.  Just a quick line to update you on how my release of Reunion of the Heart went on Friday.

Well the answer is not bad.  I was tearing my hair out a bit (OK not literally!!) because of formatting issues with it and having to do a load of updates to it, but now I seem to be over that.  I say I – technically it’s my husband who’s in charge of the technical side of my self-publishing adventure. (No pun intended!)  The frustrating thing is that when we published The Inheritance there were no problems whatsoever.  That’s always the way I guess.

I don’t how those of you authors who are responsible for every last part of the self-publishing process do it!  I mean if I tried to do it I think I’d still be staring at the computer screen a year from now trying to work it out lol!  So I’m VERY grateful to my husband for doing that for me.

Anyway to go back to what I was saying, it was great to have such wonderful support from my fellow authors, family and friends.  The sales, while not exactly setting the world alight, are going well.  I’m hopeful that as I continue to promote my work and write more I’ll improve and become more established as an author.  And hopefully make my mark, if only in a small way.

It is so difficult to make a splash in the BIG pond that is the world of published and self-published books.  And yet the exciting thing is that while there may be lots of books out there that you or I are up against, there’s a whole load of people out there waiting to read them.  As indie authors we just have to find a way of reaching them, which I guess is the tricky part.  I think it’s also good that, what with the advent of self-publishing via Amazon etc., there’s so much more choice out there for readers.  Readers don’t have to be confined to only read the books that the Big Six have selected for them. (Cynical, moi?!)

So thank you all for supporting me and each other on this self-publishing journey we’re on. :)

BTW you can get Reunion of the Heart on Amazon.com here or Amazon UK here.  The Inheritance is available on Amazon.com here or Amazon UK here.

‘Reunion of the Heart’ is here!!!!

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My second novel Reunion of the Heart is here! For those of you who don’t know, it’s a contemporary romance and so you know a little bit more about it, here’s the blurb:

After a messy breakup with her boyfriend, Anna is feeling fragile. So when her best friend Melissa suggests the two of them go to their school reunion, she’s reluctant as Anna’s school days weren’t her happiest. The evening is going well until she meets the boy who made her school life hell.
But the grown up Will is different and Anna is surprised by the direction her life takes. The reunion sets in motion a series of events that lead Anna to realise things will never be the same again.
‘Reunion of the Heart’ is a romance that will lead you to ponder whether love can atone for past mistakes.

It’s available to buy on Amazon and here are the links:

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Reunion-Heart-Elaine-Jeremiah-ebook/dp/B00ML03PZO/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408090441&sr=1-3&keywords=elaine+jeremiah

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Reunion-Heart-Elaine-Jeremiah-ebook/dp/B00ML03PZO/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408090418&sr=1-3&keywords=elaine+jeremiah

So please do go and check it out! I’ll be around my computer for most of the day, tweeting and Facebooking etc so why not come and say hi?

My journey writing ‘Reunion of the Heart’

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I publish Reunion of the Heart tomorrow! Woo hoo! I can’t tell you how excited I am. It’s taken me a while to get to this point and today I wanted to write about… well how I came to write it.

When I published my first novel, The Inheritance, slightly less than a year ago, I did it as a kind of experiment.  It was my second completed novel (the first will never see the light of day!!) and although I knew it was far from perfect, I wanted to have the experience of publishing a book and just see how it went.

My husband encouraged me to publish it – he felt it would be a good experience for me.  And it has been.  Although I will say that I was disappointed by the lack of sales.  However I think that one of the main reasons that The Inheritance didn’t sell that well is because it doesn’t fit easily into a genre.  The best genre description for it is a family saga.

I did pretty well when I put The Inheritance on free promotion a couple of months after I published it. But I was disappointed that the free downloads didn’t translate into sales.

I’ve always felt with my writing that I want to write about what I want to write about, if that makes sense.  I don’t want to feel confined to writing in a certain way.  But if you’re writing a novel that’s going to be hard to market, you’re going to have problems, as I found with The Inheritance.

Reunion of the Heart is a contemporary romance, so it fits much more neatly into a genre than The Inheritance did.  However, with Reunion of the Heart, as with The Inheritance, I was writing about what I wanted to write about.  I didn’t simply choose to  write a romance.

With my latest as-yet-untitled work in progress, it’s been more of a conscious decision to write a romance.  I am very much enjoying writing this new one though, so I’m going to stick to romance for the moment.

So now while I’m writing, I do have one eye on my marketing: am I going to be able to market this book, does it fit well into a genre? OK so you might say that that attitude takes all the fun out of it. Not for me.  I’m loving writing romances and it started with Reunion of the Heart.  Writing it was a lot of fun, especially the editing (yes really!) and making it more romantic on the advice of my wonderful beta readers.

Writing Reunion of the Heart has given me so much more confidence in myself and my writing abilities. The pre-publication response has been wonderful.  I’ve had many people tell me they really want to read it.  Well that is just so encouraging.  I think often in life it’s easy to feel like you’re the underdog, that everyone’s doing better than you, while you struggle away and nothing comes easily.  I feel it’s especially true of indie authors: we can feel as though all our fellow writers are doing so much better than us while we’re struggling with that one paragraph or chapter that we just can’t get right.

With Reunion of the Heart I feel that even if it’s not as successful as I’d hoped, at least I’ve given it my all and had some great responses to it.  This writing journey I’m on isn’t always an easy or happy one, but it’s certainly an exciting and rewarding one.  Even though The Inheritance didn’t do as well as I’d hoped, I’ve had a number of sales and nearly 9500 free downloads.  So people have read it and that’s the important thing.  In publishing Reunion of the Heart I have nothing to lose.

See you tomorrow for the launch!

 

 

My inspiration for ‘Reunion of the Heart’

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Only two days until I publish Reunion of the Heart! Hooray! And continuing with my posts about different aspects of Reunion of the Heart, today I wanted to talk about my inspiration for the book.

A while ago I had an invite to a reunion at one of my old schools.  I didn’t go.  My school days were really miserable – probably more so than my MC Anna’s, although not quite in the same way.

But for a long time now I’ve been fascinated by the concept  of school reunions and what it’s like to revisit your past like that.  Would it be an enjoyable time?  Would it be horrendous?  What would it be like to be reunited with your ex fellow pupils?

Another aspect of a school reunion which I find really interesting is the way everyone changes physically over the years.  For example I often see photos of people on Facebook who I haven’t seen for a long time and I’ll think ‘Wow they look so different’.  It’s not necessarily just that they’re older – perhaps they’ve put on weight or they’ve got dark circles under their eyes from running around after their kids!

Whatever the case I found the concept of a school reunion really appealing and I thought it would make a great story.  What happens when a young woman returns to her school for a reunion, to the place where she was so unhappy?  And why would she subject herself to it if her schooldays had made her so miserable?

The story unfolded pretty well as I began to write it.  I had to think of what my MC’s day job would be and I thought it would be great if she was a successful, published author.  What I’d love to be, I won’t deny it!  So that was really fun too, to come up with a pseudonym she could use and how she felt about her success amongst other things.

Wouldn’t that be lovely, to be earning a living as a writer and to have your own agent, as my MC does?  Anyway dreams aside, having my main character be an author worked so well.  Because she thinks like a writer: she can picture lovely views in her mind, even when there isn’t one there; she imagines what people might say before they’ve said it and sometimes she overdoes it and lets her imagination run away with her and she’ll imagine negative things.

Being an author myself I was able to write realistically about the writing process.  It did require a bit of research – on the role of agents for one thing – but I felt that I was able to write authentically about how it feels to be a writer.  Of course I haven’t had the success that my character has had, but I could imagine what it would feel like to be successful – and the minuses of success as well as the pluses.

So that’s about all I want to say about my inspiration for Reunion of the Heart.

What’s your inspiration for your writing?  Do you write from experience or do you have to research a great deal?

Self-worth in ‘Reunion of the Heart’

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As part of the build up to my publication of Reunion of the Heart this Friday, I thought I’d share with you a little bit about one of the themes in the book.

Obviously as it’s a romance, love is the central theme. But there are others too and the one I wanted to mention is one of the lesser themes, though still important: self-worth.

It’s an issue that my MC Anna struggles with. During her school years she was dumpy and unattractive – or at least she thought she was. She was painfully shy and suffered from very low self-esteem.

I think a lot of us can relate to that. I had a terrible time at school and my self-esteem was basically zero. So when I was writing Reunion of the Heart, I definitely drew a little on my own experiences and channelled it into my portrayal of Anna.

The adult Anna, who we first meet when she’s just broken up with her boyfriend, is a lot more confident – at least superficially.  She’s still insecure about herself though and her self-worth is quite low.

At different points in the story her best friend Melissa tells Anna that she doesn’t realise how beautiful she is, and that men can’t make her out because she’s very attractive and yet so shy.

I think as regards the theme of self-worth in Reunion of the Heart, Anna’s self-worth – or lack of it – is one of the key aspects of the story.  It affects her writing (yes, in case you didn’t know she’s a successful published author!), her friendships and her relationships with men.

Anna doesn’t give herself enough credit for all that she’s achieved in her life – she’s not keen for people to know that she’s a published author for example and would rather hide behind her pseudonym.  She’s very close to Melissa and is constantly asking her for advice – she’s afraid to make decisions herself.

Again, that is a little like me!  I’m not great at making decisions (as my husband will tell you!) and so it was interesting for me to turn that aspect of my own personality into a character trait of my MC.

As for Anna’s progression in the story… well I’m not giving anything away!  But I will say that the story arc and Anna’s place within it are very much tied up with her feelings of self-worth.

I guess that’s true of a lot of us – the way we live our lives is closely linked to our sense of self-worth.  Seems to me that the greater your self-worth, the happier you’ll be.

So I hope you’ll pop over here for a chat on Friday as I publish Reunion of the Heart.  And maybe if you like the sound of the novel, check it out on Amazon…

Oh and one last thing: what are the lesser, but still important themes in your stories?  And do you find yourself growing in confidence as the years progress?

Until next time!

A sneak peek at ‘Reunion of the Heart’

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Well the release of Reunion of the Heart is fast approaching. Only four days to go!!

Now I know most of you don’t take part in WIPpet Wednesday, so you won’t have read any of the excerpts from Reunion of the Heart that I shared.

So… I thought I’d share a spoiler-free excerpt from it with you.  To give you the lowdown on the story, Reunion of the Heart is a romance about Anna, a young woman who returns to her school for a reunion after her friend encourages her to go.  She’s reluctant to go because her school days weren’t her happiest.  But the reunion sets in motion a chain of events that lead Anna to realise her life will never be the same again.

In this excerpt Anna has arrived with her best friend Melissa at her old school for the reunion.  She’s feeling nervous…

Melissa’s voice brought Anna back to the present with a bump.  She’d been so distracted that she had hardly noticed the car slowing down.  Now she felt all unprepared.  As the school loomed up ahead and the car ground to a halt, Anna could feel all her previous anxiety about the event hit her like a blow to the chest.  Am I doing the right thing in going to this thing? she wondered.  It was as if the reunion was her own personal D-day.  

Seeing her old classmates, gauging their reactions to her and making a good impression – she had to get it right or the battle would be lost.  She hadn’t forgotten what Melissa had told her, but being relaxed about it all and keeping it on her terms was easier said than done.

‘Are you OK, Anna?’ Melissa asked her voice concerned.  ‘You’ve been very quiet since we started talking about your parents.  I’m sorry if I’ve brought it all back for you.’

Anna shook her head.  ‘It’s not your fault.  Sometimes I find it hard to face the fact that my parents haven’t been together for years and never will be again.’

Melissa nodded.  ‘So you’re happy to face the brood of vipers now?’

Anna pulled a face.  ‘You make it sound so pleasant.  But yes, I’m fine. Don’t worry about me.  Let’s go inside.’

 ******

 They got out of the car and headed for the entrance.  Anna shivered in the cold wind.  Although it was early March, winter was still clinging on and she was freezing.  Her fancy coat and winter dress weren’t as warm as her puffer jacket and fleeces, but she wanted to look good and so today fashion won out. 

Her long chestnut hair was pulled back into a neat ponytail which Melissa said really suited her.  Anna stumbled a little as she walked; she didn’t wear heels very often.  As they approached the school buildings, memories of being a pupil here flooded back to her.  It was hard to believe that she and her ex classmates were thirty one now.  She and Melissa walked through into the hallway where there was a large banner saying ‘Class of 98’.  A middle aged woman she didn’t recognise was standing there waiting to greet them.

‘Welcome to Mayfield Secondary “Class of 98 Reunion”,’ she said.  ‘In case you don’t remember, the sports hall where the event is being held is at the end of this corridor.  I hope you have a fun evening.’

Anna and Melissa smiled and nodded, though they didn’t need to be directed.  Anna felt as though she had the memory of this place engrained in her mind.  They walked down the corridor which was every bit as long as she remembered.  Loud music from the sports hall drifted towards them.  Melissa gave Anna’s hand a squeeze.

‘It’ll be OK,’ she said softly.  ‘Just remember what I said.  And if you’re really struggling imagine everyone’s naked!’

Anna snorted with laughter and then covered her mouth quickly.  ‘You are quite loopy, Mel,’ she said.

Melissa shrugged.  ‘It’s what a friend taught me once,’ she said.  ‘You’d be surprised how well it can make you feel more relaxed.’

I hope this has whetted your appetite!  I’ll be posting every day on this blog in the run up to the release on Friday.

As always any comments gratefully received! :)

A BIG thank you to my lovely cover reveal volunteers

I just wanted to do a quick post to thank the ten lovely people who took part in my cover reveal yesterday for my new novel Reunion of the Heart.  Drum roll please…

Adrian J Smith

Amy Leibowitz

Emily Witt

K. L. Schwengel

Kate Frost

Kate Sparkes

L. S. Engler

Mishka Jenkins

Only Books and Horses

Secret Lives of Fiction Lovers

Thank you all so much for your help in this.  I really appreciate it.

If you’re not on this list – or even if you are! – do please visit these great bloggers’ websites.  They’re fantastic and really worth a look. That’s it from me now.  Have a lovely weekend!

Cover reveal for ‘The Slayer Saga: Soulless’!

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I’m pleased to be taking part in the cover reveal of my fellow indie author L. S. Engler as she promotes her soon-to-be-published novel The Slayer Saga: Soulless.  Here’s a little bit of info about the book:

The Slayer Saga: Soulless is the first book in a trilogy about a world that has been overrun by zombie-like creatures called Soulless.  The Slayer of the Soulless is a legendary figure who roams the earth, protecting the Untouched from these undead monsters.  There are a few safe havens in the world, but her latest visit to one reveals a dark plot to kill her and, suddenly, the safe havens are not so safe any more.
With a small band of survivors, she must find the elusive Queen, who floats over the land in a flying airship, seeking help and guidance about this new situation.  What the Slayer finds with the Queen, though, is an even bigger problem that may threaten the whole of humanity once and for all.
Described by one beta-reader as Buffy meets The Hobbit and by the author as Thundarr the Barbarian meets The Walking Dead, Soulless is a journey through a terrifying landscape of civilization on the brink of reinventing itself .
Here’s some more information about the author:
L. S. Engler has been writing for as long as she can remember and has previously published a collection of short stories entitled Bowlful of Bunnies The Slayer Saga: Soulless is her second book, first novel, and the start of a trilogy which will include books published in 2015 and 2016, as well. She blogs at lsengler.com and can be found on Twitter @lsengler
You may also be interested to learn more about the talented cover artist:
Ingrid Pomeroy is a mixed-media and digital collage artist who loves to work with anything old and beautiful.  She incorporates her passion for vintage photos, postcards, lace, buttons and ephemera into her art.

Ingrid has been featured in publications by Stampington & Company, including “Somerset Studio,” “Somerset Memories,” “Gallery,” “Home,” “Life,” “Apronology”, “Somerset Digital Studio”, “Green”, “Wedding,” and “Holidays & Celebrations.”  She has also been featured in “Shop, etc.”  Ingrid appeared in several episodes of HGTV’s show, “Curb Appeal,” designing and working with the families on decorative projects.

Ingrid sells her work in specialty shops in the Monterey and San Francisco Bay Areas and on http://www.anoriginalbyingrid.etsy.com.  Her work is also featured at the Oregon Shakespeare Tudor Guild in Ashland, Oregon, and Maribelle Chocolates in New York City and Kyoto, Japan.

 

That’s it from me.  Do keep an eye out for this author. :)