Monday, 23 September 2013

The Bittersweet Vine Blog Tour

The Bittersweet Vine Blog Tour

I am pleased to announce that to celebrate the launch of my second novel, The Bittersweet Vine, I am going on tour. A blog tour. During the month of October I will be making several stops as detailed below with author interviews and guest posts.

Stop 1 - The Coffee Stained Manuscript! That's here. This is where it all started. My blog. The one which reveals all my writing highs and lows.  On the 1st October 2013 I will be writing a post on my experiences between self publishing and traditional publishing!

Stop 2 - On the 7th October I will be making a stop at Jan Greenough's blog Literary Teapot. Jan Greenough is a professional author and editor who has co-authored and ghostwritten several books.  This post will feature a short author interview - part 1

Stop 3 - The 14th October will feature a post on creating memorable characters on the Abingdon Writers blog. I have given Abingdon Writers a big thank you in the acknowledgements for The Bittersweet Vine. As a writer if you don't have many friends who write you will soon find out that not everyone is as passionate about writing as you are. Abingdon writers have kept me sane and have provided a great sounding board and critique for various chapters of The Bittersweet Vine.

Stop 4 - On the 21st October will see part 2 of the author interview on Luke Murphy's blog. You may have read about Luke's story on The Coffee Stained Manuscript earlier this year on how he turned from Hockey player to author.

Stop 5 - The tour is coming to an end! on the 28th October I will be featuring a post on adding detail to your novel on Gabrielle Aquilina's blog. Gabby was one of the founding members of Abingdon Writers and is a talented writer and blogger! Her blog is always worth a visit as it's full of her musings about writing and life with well organised tips on improving your writing and sending of submissions.

And finally... Stop 6 will feature the last part of the author interview on Robin Triggs blog, A writer's Life on the 31st October.  Robin is another talented writer. I have read two of his manuscripts and can't wait to read the third. The minute you read his blog - even if you don't write - you will want to pick up a pen. Witty and insightful it's a great read!

Monday, 16 September 2013

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams - Eleanor Roosevelt 

Well The day finally arrived and The Bittersweet Vine is now available to buy as an e-book, a paperback.  Here is the Amazon link if you want to take a look. When I started writing in 2007 I didn't envisage this would happen; that I would get a publisher and have a book in print.  I guess it is proof that dreams do come true.

If you've been following my blog you will know what a roller coaster it has all been from self publishing Goa Traffic, to getting an agent and then finally getting a publishing contract. Today I can hold my novel of 269 pages and feel proud. I did it. But I wont go on gushing like this. It will quite simply bore you.

Instead I say on to the next thing. And yes whilst I would like to carry on writing my WIP 'Poison in the Water,' I must instead turn my attention to making some sales. After all what is the point in having a book out there if no one buys it or reads it! And whilst I don't have £25,000 to get into the front window at Waterstones I have to go about my marketing ways through hard work.

All this hard work and this whole new experience I have been on is making me look at the differences between Self Publishing and traditional publishing and it has given me an idea for my Blog Tour. yes I have finally got around to thinking of what to do and made some decisions. The first post will be my experiences between Self Publishing and publishing traditionally.

My Blog tour for The Bittersweet Vine starts on the 1st October right here. yes, on The Coffee stained Manuscript. I then plan about 5 stops on other blogs with short interviews and the likes which hopefully will get the name The Bittersweet Vine out there.

My official book launch with Thames River Press in London is happening in October as well and I am planning a book giveaway in November on Good Reads. You heard it here first!

So there it is. I thought I would share my news with you. I would like to celebrate with a  glass of champagne but I have the worst cold.  So perhaps tomorrow.

If you take one thing away from this blog post today let it be this: Dreams do come true so don't ever stop dreaming.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. - George Bernard Shaw

It's Sunday. I'm tired. I don't really want to do much. In fact today is the first time ever I am blogging from my Ipad. I am currently lying on the corner bit of the corner sofa watching something mindless on TV and thinking about what is going to take the least effort to cook. 

I feel guilty. Next to me is Mary Cavanagh's book on publicising and marketing your book. I should be stuck in that. The release of The Bittersweet Vine is imminent. This time next week it will be available nationwide. I should be drumming up business. Creating a buzz. At least lining up some bloggers to host my blog tour. Now I get the idea of creating a buzz per-launch but how much does that work in reality? I know that I, myself have a memory of a goldfish. If I read about a new book unless I write the name own somewhere I want to buy it now. I don't want any or the per-order stuff. I will have forgotten about the book by the time it is released. That is unless I read about it again somewhere and then I think 'oh yes, I read about that before. I must get it.' Well there you go I have just disproved my initial argument in one sentence. Pre-book buzz is essential because in marketing it's all about repetition. Back in the days when I studied marketing ( I know, you wouldn't think would you. It was just one module of my degree and my worst subject.) they said that for people to remember something they have to hear it three times. Repetition. So the per-release book buzz is essential. If you go on about your product enough times the name will stick in your head. Hmmm have I mentioned my new novel is called The Bittersweet Vine?  Here is the blurb, 

Maria Shroder wakes up on the morning of the 28th of September as though it were any other. She is   alone in her apartment, her music is playing softly in the background… but her wrists and neck,  though void of any marks, are sore. Having no recollection of the days that have passed since her abduction, Maria discovers she is suffering from hysterical amnesia. What is it that her mind is protecting her from? Maria sets out on a journey to uncover the truth, a truth that strangely seems to involve the book club she has just joined. In her desperate attempt for some answers, Maria is forced to first unearth the secrets of her past. Only then will she be able to unlock the memory of those forgotten days.

So that's my it of 'buzz' today. Earlier I ordered some postcards too from Vista Print. I am sure you will see them soon coming to a coffee house near you! I find postcards really helpful. Bookmarks too are great or marketing but I haven't found somewhere as onvenient and cheap as VistaPrint to get some done. 

There you have it. The marketing has started. If you are a regular follower of this blog you will know that it was not so long ago that I was staring at a similar mountainous feat with Goa Traffic. I made it through in the nod and hopefully I have the experience to make The Bittersweet Vine even more of a success.

Whatever you are working on this Sunday, or if indeed you are sat on the sofa feeling guilty enjoy!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The first draft of anything is shit- Ernest Hemingway

The first draft of anything is shit- Ernest Hemingway

There is a time in any authors journey through writing a novel when they stop mid sentence and think - this is utter drivel. I am going to tear it up (more likely hit the delete button - in this modern age it takes more effort to be romantic about such things) and start again. I ma sure some writers actually do this and then the next morning 1) regret it  or 2) think it was the best thing they ever did and start again.

With every book that I write I think this at least fifteen times during the first draft. Perhaps less on the second and third and then by the time it is published I never want to read another word of it again because I am so embarrassed about it! It shouldn't be like that but it is. Will it get better as I gain more experience? I hope so!

I haven't blogged for quite a while. This is partly because I used to blog in my lunch hours - now I don't even now what a lunch hour is. I have been a busy bee at work and because I am usually drained after work I don't generally have the strength to write anything. I am trying to change this though. I should be able to manage both. I have managed to do some writing here and there. Mostly on Sunday afternoons - a bit like today whilst H busies himself with the hedge and the football I can sneak off to write for an hour or two. I have now written 40,000 words of Poison in the Water - I am loving writing it. I get to relive my days spent in Hong Kong - and now that I think about it I have been there about 5 times in my life as well - I would never have thought I had been there so many times. In 2008 after travelling my sister bought a flat out there and we spent some time there furnishing it and the likes. We had some fun times there. Perhaps once I have written the first daft of Poison  I'll take another trip out there.

So I haven't been completely idle. I also finished going through the final proofs of The Bittersweet Vine and just last week I received the first copy of the finished product! Of course we had to go out and celebrate. What an achievement! I am glad it is out there - my first traditionally published book. I have to say - it was an easier process than self pubbing and if you have been following my blog you will probably have gathered that.

Instead of writing Poison I really should be concentrating on marketing Bittersweet. I must do a blog tour in October and I have an official book launch in London at the end of October- Watch this space for details. It's all coming together but I know this is where the real hard work starts. i must put an evening aside each day for marketing Bittersweet. I am hoping it wont be as hard as when I released Goa Traffic because a lot of the learning happened the first time around. But I am sure there will be more learning to do.