A review of Being Lara appears in EBONY MAGAZINE TODAY!!!!!

….. As this is a USA based magazine, it will take a few days for it appears in the UK – so I haven’t had a chance to look at the review.

I have known about this for a few months now and when I found out I literally screamed the place down.

Ebony is aspirational. A dream magazine. And I feel so blessed.

Needless to say; I can’t wait to see it!

 

The lovely, beautiful, talented  and much missed Whitney Houston is on the front cover.

 

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Being Lara is out NEXT WEEK…!

….. And to celebrate I’m giving away a few copies to anyone who writes the best poem,  posted here  in the comments section of my Blog.

Doesn’t have to be long. A few lines will do – whatever you like. BUT nothing X Rated, political or littered with swear words (as IF you would!).  Oh and the poem must include the following

  • POTATOES

  • SOCKS

  • RED BUS

  • CUPCAKES

Yes, they are a bit random, but should make for a fun read…

Happy Writing!!

Winner announced soon – so get them in NOW!

 

L

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March’s Guest Blogger is the Brilliant Author and Journalist Katy Regan!! (yes, I know it isn’t March yet!)

Make believe writer land….. 

The other evening – it was Halloween to be exact –  I was out at a bar, a  Halloween party no less,  with my friends. I am single and a mum – I don’t get out that often to places where actual, real, grown men might be, let alone where there may be the chance to indulge in a little harmless flirting.  I was all over it!

I approached a friendly looking guy (the most unthreatening looking man in the room – my usual tack) and we got chatting. Given that I was dressed as a witch, there were some basic things to get over first, like is that your own beauty spot and what colour is your actual skin? I am presuming it’s not green….

I asked him what he did – he was some sort of communications manager  which we chatted about – and he asked me and I told him I was a writer…

“Wow, what sort of writer?”

“I’m a journalist” I said “and I also write novels”

“Anything published?” he said, looking at me skeptically  – This is often the response I get when I tell people I am a writer and to be honest, it always confuses me. I mean of course, if you write, you ARE a writer even if you haven’t got anything published and we all know how hard it is to get there…but I just wouldn’t describe myself as such to a stranger, unless it was my job.

Anyway, he asked me what I’d written and I told him the titles of my two published novels and he said he’d look me up when he got home. There was a slight twinkle in his eye, as if to say, “course you did love…I don’t doubt you wrote them but they’re probably under your bed….” (I wanted to say no, those two aren’t but other false starts and a whole lot of hideously bad poetry, is..)

Anyway, low and behold a few weeks later and I got a message in my Facebook account from a man whose name I didn’t remember at first, and then it clicked- it was the man I had met in the bar!..

It went something like this: “We met at the Halloween party last week – you were dressed as a witch (typical that in a rare meeting with a real live man, I should be painted green….) and you told me you were a writer. To be honest it went in one ear and out the other (fair enough I’d had a few and was probably boring on, making no sense)   But anyway, I just wanted to tell you…..”

The message continued in the loveliest way telling me how he had been on a train, seen someone reading a book called The One Before the One and it had all clicked into place….

“I thought,  I recognize that title and then I thought, that’s her! That’s that girl I met at the bar!…” he said.

The subtext was, oh so she WAS telling the truth!

Why am I telling you this story? I suppose because even now, four years since getting a book deal, three since my first novel came out and one since my second, being a writer still sounds like a made up job to most people I tell…. It still sounds like a made up job to me!  I still don’t quite believe it’s true. I keep thinking I’m not really, I just seem to do a lot of typing and now and then, it’s weird, but people pay me for it. Amazing!

It’s a tough old job : VERY solitary for a start, scary (when there’s nobody around to bounce ideas off and when you don’t know if your book, that you’ve poured your heart and soul into is going sell), not terribly well paid and blummin’ hard! A mental and physical slog…Oh and it also sends you mad on occasions when you are on deadline and have run out of steam…          

 

 

 About Katy’s book ‘The One Before the One.’

Caroline’s life was meant to be sorted when she made the decision to end her engagement, 3 months before the big day. With her to-do list tasks getting crossed off and her career going great guns, Caroline is sure she’s now a fully functioning adult. So when her 17 year old half-sister Lexi, arrives unexpectedly at her door, it doesn’t quite fit with her image that she’s drunk and wearing her wedding dress!

Lexi has come to stay for the summer but their relationship is strained, as Lexi is the result of their father’s infidelity. An affair that led to the divorce that destroyed Caroline’s mother and ruined her own childhood. Needless to say, Caroline is in no hurry to confess her relationship with her married lover Toby.

As the summer wears on, Caroline has decisions to make, and a life to reconsider, but surely a 17 year old can’t teach her anything about how to live well?

 

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BEING LARA has just arrived in the post!!!

… (along with three front covers) from my publishers. Three copies and Three weeks until the release date. 

They look BEAUTIFUL.

I am so thrilled with the cover, front and back and the qoute at the top…. I love it all!!

Thank you, God.

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New Guest Blog Post from Expert Blogger & Self Published Debut Author Samantha March!!

Samantha March tells us what it’s like being a disciplined self published author and running a successful Blog! Take it away Sam (oh, how very Casablanca!!) 

A big reason why I started Chick Lit Plus was to help me write a book. Even though I had been interested in writing for years, 

I thought I needed a little advantage. Starting a book blog was not only a way for me to turn my hobby into something even bigger, but also a chance to really connect on a new level with readers and fellow writers. I’ve always said starting CLP was one of the best ideas I’ve ever had, and I still firmly stand by that.

With my blog, not only was I able to read more books, but I was able to really dig into my reviewing side, look at different styles of writing and examine character development and debate on certain topics. Has this made me a better writer? I like to think yes. I write one or two reviews a day, in addition to the “Plus” posts about beauty, health, fitness, fashion, and celebrities.  And I was able to find a support base––a group of wonderful readers and successful authors that encouraged me every step of the way to keep writing and never give up. My debut novel, Destined to Fail, probably would have never made it to the light if not for the constant encouragement and support I received along the way from the wonderful book community.

But now, Destined to Fail is here. And I suddenly had a harsh wake-up call: I had no time for myself. Not only do I run Chick Lit Plus––which means constantly reading, writing reviews, interviewing authors, hosting guest posts, and the “Plus” articles––but I also am a freelance editor and run CLP Blog Tours. (I coordinate virtual tours for authors looking to gain more publicity.) Among many reasons why I didn’t fully give my all to traditional publishing––I already have so many connections with fellow book bloggers and authors. I figured I would just coordinate a tour for myself, and voila! Marketing. What I didn’t realize when I hit ‘publish’ was that I barely had any free time left to be my own coordinator. Between CLP, CLP Blog Tours, editing, and my full-time job in a hospital, my hours were being sapped up faster than I could handle. How could I fit in time for Samantha March and Destined to Fail?

My solution was better time management. For me, this meant making and sticking to a schedule. I have pieces of each day carved into separate sections: I write in the mornings, I tackle all emails around 5:00, and I prepare my posts for the next day at nine at night. I have a daily, weekly, and monthly to-do list that outlines what needs done. My Outlook calendar is my best friend, and cheerfully color-coordinated. I have folders and binders and planners and a dry erase board that showcases my schedule on it. What I’m trying to say is that organization is vital, and time management is best friend. As I was writing this, I realized that it might sound a little crazy. But really, it isn’t bad, and it’s the only way I could get anything done! My schedule helps keep me on track, my to-do lists don’t let me forget anything, and my multitude of binders and folders help keep my office from looking like a paper factory exploded. Do I follow my schedule to a T? No. Of course things pop up that are unexpected, and I’m not going to pass up a nice date night with the BF because my schedule says I need to be in the office. I know how to work around these occurrences, make time for my writing, my blog, my services, myself, and my social life. It might be hard work, but what’s the fun if it isn’t? I’m so lucky that I have found something I love, am passionate about, and can make happen. It’s been a battle to finally find the balance between work and play, but now that I have, the ticking clock doesn’t sound quite as loud.

www.chicklitplus.com                                

 

 

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This months second Guest Blog is from Rosemary Dun!!!!

Rosemary is a very talented lady.

     She’s also a wannabe published novelist, poet, performance poet, mum, lecturer at Open University in Creative Writing, winner of countless writing competitions and all round dreamer!

AND she’s kindly found the time to write a Blog piece about her journey so far…  Take it away Rosie….

The Magic Of Writing    By Rosemary Dun

I have always believed in magic. When I was a kid I believed in fairies – they lived in our cupboard under the stairs. And I read all the books in the library with witches and magic of any kind. At home, I’d mix up concoctions in jamjars: rose petals, leaves, found bird feathers, searching for frogs and toads to add (don’t worry I didn’t find any). Then I would make up spells and experiment on my little brother. Or I’d invent stories to tell in the playground. I seem to remember there was a serial about Fatty, Thinny, and Middle Size, and their adventures in magical lands. I’d tell my brother stories as he listened, open eyed, in the dark. I’d track animals in the woods, search for birds’ nests, lie on my tummy on the ground for hours watching ants going about their duties in and out of anthills. I kept caterpillars in my pockets, had a jackdaw as a pet, visited local ponds with my net made from a bamboo pole and one of Mum’s stockings, I tried using my powers of telepathy on the fish in the fishpond, (I sorely wanted to be one of The Tomorrow People!), and rode ponies from the local riding school – dreaming of ponies, being in love with ponies, drawing ponies, cantering around the local streets on my imaginary pony called Rumble; setting up jumps on our lawn for show jumping with Rumble. Sometimes I’d just lie on my back on the local golf course, watching the clouds float by, as me and planet Earth hurtled through space. Magic. All magic.       

So, stories and writing were just things I was good at, at school. No-one in those days back in the 60s and 70s thought girls from working class homes could be writers. But that sense of magic never left me.

Instead, I left it, (the magic), for a while, and entered the world of science. Became a physio and then a social scientist. Got married, had a baby, and then the world split in two. My little brother – my playmate from all those days so long ago – was in a horrendous motor bike accident and life would never be the same again. But writing found me. I began to write about it. I wrote and wrote and wrote. Before long, I’d written a novel. I’d rediscovered that love, that magic, and it was healing. I began to go to writing groups, sent out stories, was short-listed for the Ian St. James Award with my first ever story. Got an agent who was one of the judges – the wonderful and much missed Maggie Noach. My first novel Long Shadows got as far as an acquisitions board at Hodder. ‘Never mind,’ said Maggie. ‘It’ll get published after you break through with your next one.’ I went to Bath Spa to do the MA, happy to be back in touch with my magic.

And now, some years on, after a long bout of ill health during which I managed to keep writing, (although I sadly didn’t have the strength to write novels but instead concentrated on shorter spurts of poetry), I’m back doing what I love the most. Writing novels. I began to teach creative writing, got myself a gig teaching at the Winchester Conference, where I met the lovely and truly magical Lola Jaye. Lola had not yet secured an agent, but I could tell. I could tell by her sparkle – and yes, by her magical aura – that she would make it. We bonded over teasing Simon Trewin – who’s lovely but did miss the chance to sign either of us on (you hear that Simon?) Just kidding …

So here I am. I now have a new agent – Kate Hordern – and am finishing the first draft of my new novel. I’m living the magic. Walking around with my new batch of imaginary friends, and stories, and conjuring up new spells, out of words words words. I love this quote from Raymond Carver (I’m more than a little in love with Raymond Carver – sadly now no longer with us). He said: “a writer sometimes needs to be able to just stand and gape at this or that thing—a sunset or an old shoe—in absolute and simple amazement”. I love that. He might well have replaced my love for ponies!

 

 

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My book proofs have just arrived!

…from my publishers in New York City.

Basically, this is ‘the book before the book’ and the copy which gets sent round to magazines and Blogs for review… And it’s lurrrvly (if I do say so myself).

My Book Proof for Being Lara!

Okay, back to writing the new novel, plus a new ‘Guest Blog’ is coming up REAL soon.

 

Lola

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WELCOME to this month’s Guest Blogger: Bestselling Author CAROLE MATTHEWS!!!

Hello All,  

I hope your 2012 has got off to a great start!

I’m furiously making headway on my new fantasy novel (still untitled) as it now needs a very good ‘going over.’  So, because of this, I don’t have the time to update my blog… But never fear, as promised and as a treat to you, here is the first of my Guest Blogs!! And it’s by Bestselling author Carole Matthews.

 Here she talks about being an author and baking cupcakes – MY TWO MOST FAVOURITE SUBJECTS!!  Take it away Carole!!

Being a Successful Author While Baking Cakes- By Carole Matthews

As I write two books a year, I use up a lot of material. So I try to do lots of varied and interesting things that I can store up for future use in my books -paintballing, ballroom dancing, white water rafting. You get my drift. I once spent a whole year researching opera for Welcome To The Real World and, frankly, if I ever see another one in my lifetime, it will be too soon.  For my latest book, Wrapped up in You, we went on safari to the Maasai Mara. Doing two books every year, I use up a lot of research material. So when I had the vague idea that learning to decorate cupcakes might come in useful for a future novel, I never imagined that going along to a cupcake course would rekindle a long-lost interest in baking and turn it into an obsessive hobby.

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