Curve, Heart, writing

London Calling

London love - heart with many vector icons

In a few days’ time I will be attending the British Book Affair signing in London AS AN AUTHOR!  To say I’m feeling apprehensive is like saying that Edward Cullen was a little interested in blood, or Mr Darcy has a small cottage known as Pemberley…well, you get the idea.

I’ve blogged before about being a natural introvert and finding the whole concept of talking to people I don’t know challenging.  I know, I spend much of my time talking to groups of thirty young people – but that is a completely different beast.  Trust me!

I love social media; and the security of communicating from behind the safety of my laptop or iPad.  And I would never have got to this point as a writer (see, I still struggle with using the word author!) if it wasn’t for the online Indie community.  Possibly the best feeling is receiving a message or email from a reader and chatting with them about Curve or Heart – and inevitably more!  But every time I have to step away from the screen and talk face to face, I freeze, wishing that I could just click my heels three times and find myself back home.

When I went to the Edinburgh signing, it was lovely to meet up with a couple of people I’d got to know online, one of whom has become a very good friend since then.  But I could count on one hand the number of non-authors I spoke to – and that’s because it’s very difficult to ask them to sign a book without talking to them!  At the Peterborough signing, I spoke to a couple of bloggers and a number of authors about the signing experience as London was weighing heavy on my mind – and my lovely sister-in-law was making me talk to people. Everyone was friendly, some amazingly so, and my troubled mind was temporarily stilled.  But starting every single one of those conversations was so difficult.

Since then, I’ve channeled my nervous energy into swag designing / making and writing my third book, trying to pretend that the London signing is ages away.

I can hide no more.

If you’re coming to London, please do come over and say hello.  Talk to me about books (they don’t even have to be mine), the other authors, yourself, anything really.  Please.  And if we’ve had any sort of communication online, tell me – it will make it easier if I feel I know you already!

I hope to blog again, after the signing, about how wonderful the experience was and how much I enjoyed talking to people…

Wish me luck!

xx

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Heart, writing

In My Heart of Heart

heart illustration

Shakespeare coined the phrase ‘in my heart of heart’ (it’s said by Hamlet) to describe the centre of one’s heart.  As Heart is about to be released, I’ve naturally been doing a lot of thinking about who is at the heart of my Heart. There are so many people who have contributed, directly and indirectly, and I have tried to say thank you in the acknowledgements to Heart.  Just in case you don’t get to see them there, I’m going to copy them here as well, just leaving out the one spoiler-y thank you.  These people fill my heart (not Heart!) with gratitude.

Acknowledgements

It is less than two years since I started writing, yet I can no longer imagine a life without it. As much as I write for me, I know that I write for my words to be read and so my first gift of thanks must go to you: to every person who has read Heart or Curve. And if you’ve left a review, it’s an even bigger gift, wrapped in shiny paper. And if that review was completely spoiler-free, then this gift is nestling in a small box, topped by a discreetly expensive bow. Never forget how much those reviews mean to authors trying to get themselves known in the great book universe.

Thank you.

There were some individual moments which helped me to bring Heart to life. Watching Holly get a tattoo at the wonderful Shakespeare Ink (yes, the shop and Dave really exist) turned a smidgeon of an idea into two of my favourite scenes. At a couple of dark writer moments, Joanne and Lisa kept me going: I’ve met both through writing and their friendship and support knows no bounds.

Thank you.

If you fell in love with Jake, you have Karli Perrin to thank. She was my critique partner and her input transformed Heart. Seriously, you wouldn’t be reading this if it wasn’t for Karli.

Thank you.

As with Curve, my beta readers cared for me enough to read the draft of Heart and give me the feedback that was easier to receive from friends than via reviews. Brittainy, Hayley, Helen, Holly, Joanne, Lisa, Niki and Sam: you are such wonderful friends at exactly the right time that I need it.

Thank you.

Before writing Heart came writing Curve. Before writing Curve came reading Hopeless…and everything else Colleen Hoover had written. I just wouldn’t have started writing without the mighty CoHo. Once Curve was out there in the great book universe, it remained a speck, rarely seen, known only to a select few. Until Colleen read the copy I gave her at a signing. And posted about it on Facebook. Twice. My book went from a speck to a small star, still surrounded by millions of the same, but giving out a little more light and more easily spotted. Via Colleen I also met Weblich: you know who you are and your support and friendship has made so many of my days brighter.

Thank you.

 

Finally.

Most importantly.

My husband.

My heart.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank YOU.