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!

 

 

The Ta-Da Award

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The lovely, talented ReGi McClain has kindly nominated me for a new blog award called The Ta-Da award. I have to answer ten questions, which you’ll see below, and nominate some people to give the award to.

Since I’m really lazy, and most of my contacts are very busy people, I’m not going to nominate anyone. But here as promised are the questions and my answers:

1. What was the best experience you had on purpose last year?
Going down to my cousin’s wedding in Cornwall (it’s the most south western area of the UK) and spending time with my extended family. It gave me the chance to dress up which I don’t often do. We went to a pub for the reception and a random man at the bar told me I dressed well!! Surprising, but sweet!

2. What was the best experience you stumbled into last year?
Meeting another author and blogger (apart from Kate Frost) Jade Reyner face to face who I hadn’t met before. OK so it was kind of planned, but I didn’t expect to be able to meet her when I first got in touch with her via our blogs and Twitter. It was so lovely to meet another blogger who lives in my area of the UK – she’s wonderful which wasn’t necessarily a given! – and it means there are 3 of us now who can meet up together.

3. What was your greatest intentional accomplishment last year?
Self-publishing my debut novel The Inheritance. It took a long while to get to the point of self-publishing it but it has been worth every single second of effort to get to that point. I’ve learnt so much and really enjoyed the experience.

4. What was your greatest unplanned accomplishment last year?
I reached my 100th post on WordPress on the 18th December! So I was really happy about that and it was totally unplanned. Seems unbelievable that I’ve done that many posts as I only started in March last year.

5. Did you spend some time with someone you adore last year?
Yes, I spent plenty of time with my wonderful husband Ian who I totally, completely and utterly adore!

6. Were you nice to someone you don’t like last year?
I’m not sure actually. Possibly but thankfully I don’t generally come into that much contact with people I really don’t like. Usually though if I’m with someone I don’t like I try to at least be polite.

7. What was the most amazing thing you learned last year?
Finding out that I’d had nearly 9500 free downloads of The Inheritance when I did my free promotion for it. (Not sure if this answer counts but it’s what you’re getting!)

8. Who did you teach last year and what (G-rated thing) did you teach them?
I taught my dog not to nip at me when I’m drying him off after walks/when he comes in from the garden.

9. What events did you attend last year?
I went to a couple of book launches with my good friend and fellow WIPpeteer Kate Frost. They were good times, although the second one was held at the beginning of August, we were in a cramped bookshop and it was VERY hot and sticky. Yuk!

10. Did you travel anywhere? Even just downtown?
Hubby, dog and I travelled to south west Wales in April for a week long holiday in a cottage on a farm. It was great!

So there you have it. I hope you’re all having a fabulous weekend. Catch you later. :)

Post breakup

Breakup

I thought I’d be a bit kinder this week and share with you 23 lines from the first chapter of Reunion. They follow immediately on from the revised beginning of the story which I shared with you a few weeks ago, where Anna is confronting her boyfriend Elliot about his cheating. She proceeds to kick him out.

You may recognise some sentences in this week’s excerpt because this passage has parts in it that were from my original beginning. So apologies if some of it seems the same. I have, however, changed a fair bit of it so hopefully it won’t overlap too much.

At this point in the story Anna has just kicked her cheating boyfriend out. Her best friend Melissa, who currently has nowhere to live, is moving in with her. Anna is still struggling with her emotions over the breakup and Melissa is doing her best to help her to move on.

My WIPpet maths goes like this: 6+11+2+1+3 = 23 lines. So there you have it. Hope you enjoy it.

‘He did you wrong, Anna. He cheated on you,’ Melissa said looking Anna straight in the eye, a no-nonsense expression on her face. ‘You were absolutely right to give him his marching orders.’

Anna didn’t answer for a moment. There was a pain in her chest which had been there since she’d thrown Elliot out and it wouldn’t budge.

‘That’s the last of them,’ she said finally, heaving Melissa’s suitcase through her front door and ignoring her searching gaze.

Melissa picked up one of the many bags in the hallway and took it into the slightly tidier front room. ‘Well it’s all in the past now anyway. It’s a new start for both of us.’

Anna nodded and followed her from the hallway overflowing like a swollen river with suitcases and bags into the relative tidiness of her front room. Her hair was coming loose from its ponytail and falling into her eyes, so she vigorously tugged her hair out of its band and retied it, pulling it tightly until it hurt. Tears were threatening to fall, but she held them back like water by a dam.

Why should she give way to tears when there was no point? Elliot would win if she did that and yet… The world is your oyster. The thought popped into her head as she was standing a little dazed in the middle of the front room. Well it was, wasn’t it, now that Elliot was no longer a part of her life. Or the oyster is your world as he used to say. She scrunched her eyes up; try as she might she just couldn’t seem to get him out of her mind.

‘You’re thinking about him again, aren’t you?’ Melissa’s voice brought her back from the brink.

‘Only a little,’ Anna lied unable to keep her voice steady.

As you may have seen on my blog, the free promotion of my debut novel The Inheritance ended yesterday and it went really well. I’ve had nearly 9500 downloads, most of them in the US so I’m happy about that. Hopefully it’ll lead to more sales. :)

If you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, all you have to do is post an excerpt of your current writing work on your blog. Then add your name to this linky. Only rule is that it has to relate in some way to the date. Happy writing! Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting.

A brief WIPpet for Wednesday

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Hi all. I have a confession to make. I haven’t done much work on Reunion lately. BUT I have an excuse – I’m applying to lots of free promo websites in preparation for The Inheritance being free on Amazon for 5 days.

It may not sound like it, but it’s actually quite a lot of work and time consuming.  When I’m not doing that or blogging I’m working/doing housework/walking and looking after the dog and soon the hours are just gone.  My husband’s got it right when he says there are simply not enough hours in the day!  I do plan to get back to working on Reunion every day though, a.s.a.p.

The days of my free promotion are Thursday 31st October to Monday 4th November. I’m looking forward to it and actually enjoying working my way through the list of free promo websites, from my good friend and fellow author Kate Frost, which list those books that are free to download.

If you haven’t already bought The Inheritance, you may like to get yourself a free copy… Anyway enough of the shameless self promotion, back to the main topic in hand today which is the excerpt from Reunion I’m sharing.

Seeing as it’s 23rd October today and I’m feeling mean, I thought I’d share with you just 25 words from chapter 10. My maths goes like this: 23 (for the day) + 2 (from 2013) = 25. And to be extra mean I’m not telling you where in the story this excerpt comes from except to say that the viewpoint is, as usual, my main character Anna’s. Here you go:

For some reason in that moment she almost came out of herself, seeing her own life as a stranger might – a movie script playing out.

So there you have it. Aren’t I cruel??!! If you’d like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday all you have to do is post an excerpt of whatever you’re currently working on writing-wise on your blog. The only rule is that it has to relate in some way to the date. Then add your details to this linky. Thanks goes to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. :)