A Cuppa and a Catch-Up

You can’t beat a cup of tea

It’s May! I can hardly believe it. Happy Bank Holiday to you all, and – as my good friend Rhiannon Bone would say – a very blessed Beltane, too.

Pull up a chair, grab yourselves a cuppa, and let’s have a good old catch-up, shall we?

I am very well aware that I haven’t been around much on here lately. I apologise – again. I have been incredibly busy, working on not just one, not just two, but three different writing projects.

The first of these is currently having a final proofread. I have had a gorgeous cover designed for me by the lovely, and very patient, Berni Stevens,  and I’m just waiting now to make any final corrections before things move on to the publishing stage.

New book coming soon!

There will be a cover reveal and a pre-order date coming very soon, but I can tell you that the book is due for publication around mid-June. It’s not a Kearton Bay book, nor a Skimmerdale book, but it’s very close to my heart. It’s set on the Yorkshire Moors, not far from Kearton Bay (!) and a scene takes place in Helmston, so readers of the KB series will feel on familiar territory. We have brand new characters, including a heroine I loved and a hero I fell completely in love with. I’m always nervous when I’m about to have a book published, but I really hope you’ll enjoy it.

I’ve also been working on the second Skimmerdale book, and it’s been great fun to be back in the Yorkshire Dales with my old friends. I’ve especially enjoyed renewing my acquaintance with hunky sheep farmer, Eliot, but that’s me. I’m shameless. I’m not sure when this book will be published but I will definitely keep you updated when I know more.

Thirdly, I’ve been writing a Christmas book, and that should be coming out in late October/early November. It’s set in and around Farthingdale and Moreton Cross – villages that also appear in the Kearton Bay series – but will feature completely different characters. I’ve been getting to know a very different sort of heroine in this one. She’s quite challenging, and she has a rather lovely fella whose life she’s about to turn upside down – or is she? Hmm…

Can’t believe my book’s in the libraries!

So, as you can imagine, it’s been all go lately, and that’s why I’ve neglected the blog and for that I can only apologise. Hopefully, you’ll all think it was worth it in the end. 🙂

What else have I been up to? Well, I sent off a story to the lovely folks at The People’s Friend, and it was accepted. It’s going to be published as a pocket novel on July 27th. It’s provisionally called The Doctor’s Daughter, although that may change. I’ll be publishing it on Kindle at some point in the near future, but it’s always lovely to see a copy of your work on the shelves of WH Smith or a supermarket – even if it’s only for a couple of weeks. My previous pocket novel, All Because of Baxter, has been published in large print format by Ulverscroft, and copies of that should be in various libraries right now. That’s made me very happy, as I spent practically my entire childhood in one library or another, and I never dreamt in a million years that one of my books would be on the shelves one day. It just shows you!

I’ve also been setting up a new website. You may notice that several pages of this blog have gone missing, and that’s because they’ve been incorporated into my new site instead. However, this blog will remain, as will the book reviews, and there will be a link to these pages on my new website. It’s been quite a faff for someone as technically challenged as me, I can tell you! Find me at http://www.sharonboothwriter.com

Me and Jessica in a very windy, cold Scarborough!

It hasn’t ALL been work, though. On Saturday I ventured out of my writing room into the real world. I caught the train to Scarborough to visit my lovely friend and fellow Write Romantic, Jessica Redland, who was giving a talk at the Seastrand Cafe on the seafront. We had a fabulous day, and even though the talk didn’t go quite as planned, we had a lot of fun. Mind you, the weather was a bit grim. My teeth were chattering! Of course, it WAS a British Bank Holiday weekend so I should have known. 🙂 You can read all about Jessica’s event here.

So, I think we’re all caught up for now. My cup of tea has actually gone cold, so I’m off to put the kettle on.

Have a great week.

The Best-Laid Plans

Yesterday – November 1st – marked the start of the glorious month of Nano! Yes, NaNoWriMo is here again, and for thousands of people the next thirty days will be spent frantically typing or writing in their bid to make the sacred wordcount goal of fifty thousand words.

I’ve done NaNo three times now. The first time was back in 2011 when I had made up my mind that I was going to write a novel. A full novel. Not the first chapter of one which I’d managed on countless occasions over the previous decades, but the whole thing. I’d made a detailed chapter-by-chapter plan and nothing was going to stop me. I was filled with enthusiasm and determination and when November 1st arrived I was off, out of the box like a champion race horse. And I did it. 120,000 words, give or take a few, and a complete first draft. Little did I know that was just the beginning and it would be almost another three years before I considered There Must Be An Angel fit to be read by anyone else.

In 2012 I decided to start book two. Again I made a detailed plan and got to work. The trouble was, I was still working on Angel, and as this book was the sequel I wasn’t entirely sure I was doing the right thing. This time I managed 60,000 words – enough to win but nowhere near enough to finish the story. I put it away and returned to Angel. That book is now what will be book four in the Kearton Bay series, but it will be very different to that first draft. I may rewrite it and finish it for NaNoWriMo 2015! 🙂

Last year I did enter, but I have to admit my heart wasn’t in it. I had too many other things going on and I was fine-tuning There Must Be An Angel which was my real priority. This time I failed. I managed around 30,000 words. No winner’s badge for me!

I was quite determined I was going to enter and win  this year. Angel was done and, surprisingly, the second book (which I never used for NaNo) was also done.  I had no distractions and I spent weeks plotting out scene by scene for what will be book three. I was all geared up for a month of uninterrupted writing and then…

Firstly, due to unforseen circumstances, it seems I will be putting in a lot of extra shifts at work this month. This is the first time I’ve been called upon to do so and if that’s not an example of sod’s law I don’t know what is. Secondly, as I was eating my evening meal on Friday – just hours before NaNo day dawned – I was visited by the ghost of novel outlines past. A story I’d thought up and roughly plotted some months ago had, for no good reason that I can fathom, suddenly reared up and galloped to the front of my mind, demanding to be heard. Worse, demanding to be written! What was I to do? I grabbed a notebook and fleshed out the rough outline I’d done with more ideas, more about the main character who was suddenly chatting to me in a very determined voice.

I went to bed totally confused. I had to get book three done didn’t I? I didn’t have time to mess about with a half-baked novel idea when I’d planned the other one out so meticulously. And with extra shifts to cover, I certainly didn’t have time to waste by dithering over what I was actually going to write.

So I got up yesterday and switched on my computer and …

I Facebooked, tweeted, messed about with this blog trying out custom designs and adding a new page, ordered some shopping and generally wasted hours. All because I couldn’t decide which story I was going with.

In the end I gritted my teeth, pushed the bossy newcomer back into her box and started book three in the Kearton Bay series.  I managed almost 2,500 words and I’m hoping to continue today, but I’ve promised my new character that I will work on her story after work in my notebook, and that she won’t have to wait too long before I really take her seriously. Honestly, why is nothing straightforward?

If you’re NaNo-ing this month I wish you lots of luck. It’s quite tough but it can be very rewarding too. I hope your characters behave themselves a lot better than mine! 🙂

Have a great week xx