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.


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.



Most importantly.

My husband.

My heart.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank YOU.


Does this make your Heart beat a little faster?



Putting the pieces together

Heart Jigsaw

Last year, when I was writing Curve, I honestly had no idea what I was doing.  Google and the Indie writing community taught me everything.  I hadn’t intended to publish my writing so there was never any big plan or sense of deadlines.  I was just writing, writing, reading, writing.  There were key milestones: setting up my author page on Facebook, deciding to publish, putting together my first teaser.  But the focus was always the writing.

This year, writing Heart has been so much more difficult.  Maybe it’s because the story for Curve had been burning inside me for a couple of years.  Maybe it’s because my other job has been so much more demanding this year.  Maybe it’s because social media is the easiest way to procrastinate.  It’s probably all of those things.  However, this year has also been affected by knowing the scale of the undertaking.  Last year, I only ever had to worry about the nest step; I had no concept of how many more there were going to be.

This year, I know what it takes to write and self-publish a novel.  I know how many pieces have to be fitted in to complete the jigsaw – and this is one of those 1000 piece jigsaws.  You know the ones – all sky and fields.  The ones where, once you’ve got the straight edges sorted, you’re overwhelmed by the idea of how to get the bloody thing finished.  The ones where you reach a point, several times over, when you consider packing it back in the box and hiding it at the back of the wardrobe.

Writing Heart, and it’s still not finished, has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced.  I’ve had to be honest with myself about my limitations and my weaknesses.  I’ve had to take criticism, from both Curve reviewers and myself, that has made me doubt myself.  Yes, I’ve thought about giving up writing and just getting back to being a reader.  Many times.

But I know that writing is an important part of my personal jigsaw: without it, I wouldn’t feel complete.  The lows of being a writer do not outweigh the highs: the days when the ideas come so fast, your typing can’t keep up or receiving a message from a reader.  It’s just difficult to remember that sometimes, when all of the pieces are starting to look depressingly similar to each other.

So, thank you to everyone who has helped me find that next piece and keep going.

We’re almost done!