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.

Just Write!

It’s the weekend. I don’t have to go to work today. I don’t have to go anywhere today, actually. I don’t even have to make the dreaded trip to the supermarket and brave the deranged crowds jostling for toilet rolls (nine rolls for the price of six) and tins of mushy peas (three tins for the price of two – I wonder if there’s a connection between those two items? Hmm…). I don’t, in fact, have to do anything except write. The decks are cleared, DH is going out, the dog has been fed and has water and is lying in quiet contentment, the computer is switched on, Scrivener is open and…And I’m on WordPress writing a new blog post.

I should be working on Book Three. To be fair, I have done some work on it this morning. I’ve written half a scene. I had to, as I’d written half a scene the other day and it needed finishing off. Something tells me, however, that writing half a scene at a time isn’t the way to go. I need to hurry up.

I’ve spent the last week reading, re-reading, and re-reading yet again, Book Two. A Kiss from a Rose is being published on September 26th (plug, plug) and there’s a lot to do to make sure it’s fit to be seen. I’ve had my proof copy and I’ve studied those pages so many times I feel I know the story backwards, forwards, inside out and upside down. I’ve also spent some time – no, I’ve spent a lot of time – organising a Facebook launch party and making Facebook posts publicising both Rose and There Must Be an Angel.

I then turned my thoughts to future books, because that seemed much more interesting than actually working on the one I’m currently drafting. I now have a list of plotlines and titles that I gaze at every now and then and think how much fun it’s going to be to start work on them. I’m sure they’ll be much easier to write than Book Three. Book Three, incidentally, is not a Kearton Bay novel. I started work on the third in that series, but realised it wasn’t working and that I was having serious doubts about it. I decided to take some time off and write something completely different, which is what I’m doing now. Funnily enough, a few weeks into this novel, and I had the most fantastic idea for the third Kearton Bay book. I even came up with a title and a blurb. I can’t wait to get cracking on it, but, of course, I have to finish this unrelated Book Three first. Drat.

I wonder why it’s always the books you’re waiting to start work on that seem much more interesting than the one you’re actually writing? When I was working on the now defunct Kearton Bay Three, this novel seemed to nudge me constantly, demanding my attention. Now I’m halfway through it, I keep thinking I’d love to just start work on the next. It’s very frustrating.

I think the problem is, writing a first draft is soooo much hard work. It takes an awful lot of discipline to sit at your desk and start tapping at that keyboard – especially when it feels as if every word you’re writing is absolute rubbish and you think that each scene is getting worse than the last. My only consolation is that, I absolutely hated Angel when I was writing it, thinking it was complete drivel and would never be finished. With Rose, I thought I would need to make  loads of changes when I finally got to the end of the first draft. I was amazed to finish them both and feel that, actually, they were pretty good, even if I do say so myself. So now I’m telling myself that Book Three will turn out to be the same, and this horrible churning feeling I get when I sit in front of the computer, staring at the screen and wondering how I managed to write such utter garbage, will pass.

In the meantime, I’ve learned how to make mock-up book covers for sheer entertainment value, and have encouraged my creative efforts by designing a whole library of them for every one of my planned future books. I will get them all written!  Now, having got all that off my chest, it’s time to click back on Scrivener and get on with some real work. My heroine is about to learn something worrying about the hero, so I think she’s going to need chocolate. Luckily, I have a bag of Minstrels in the cupboard, just waiting.

Have a great week xx

Avoidance Tactics

Saturday morning dawned and I leapt out of bed, alert and eager to head to my study (aka the boxroom), switch on my computer, open up Scrivener and begin work on Book Three.

You see, this is why I write. My imagination knows no bounds. What actually happened on Saturday morning was that I lay in my cosy bed for simply ages, thinking that I really ought to get up and do some work because first thing in the morning is by far the best time for me to write and, goodness knows, I’ve not exactly written a great deal lately. Then I thought maybe I ought to make a cup of tea/feed the dog/let the dog out/check my emails/see what’s happening on Facebook/browse through the new book that’s just arrived in the post/read the next novel on my huge to-be-read pile…you get my drift.

I’ve had a break from the novel writing for a few weeks. I finished A Kiss from a Rose and sent it off to the NWS back in June. Early June. Then I set to work writing a short story for the forthcoming Write Romantics’ charity anthology (you can get a sneak peek here if you want to!) and then I did a tiny bit of editing on There Must Be An Angel and read it yet again. Then I did some blog posts, played around with the blog, and added lots of pictures to Pinterest. But Book Three? Nope.

I did make a few notes. I jotted some ideas down. I knew who my characters were, where they’ll start and where they’ll finish and roughly what sort of things will happen along the way, but I hadn’t made any detailed writing plan and, more importantly, I hadn’t started that first draft. Why?

As I lay there, clutching the duvet to me and trying to force myself to at least start the next instalment in The Kearton Bay Chronicles (my nickname for the series I’m writing) I wondered what it was that was making me so reluctant. And there it was, that little voice. The voice that bugs me constantly and never seems to have anything kind to say to me.

“What if you can’t do it again?”

Well, quite. It’s perfectly possible, I suppose. But then, if I’d listened to that voice I would never have signed up for NaNoWriMo or joined the RNA NWS or started this blog or opened a Facebook page or anything else that I’ve done in the last couple of years, because that voice has been in my ear the whole blooming time and, frankly, it’s getting on my nerves.

So I made that cup of tea, let the dog out, fed her and then headed to my room and switched on my computer and began to write. And I managed four scenes, so that’s not too bad for a first day.

Sunday morning dawned and I headed to my room, determined and eager to start the next scene. Except, I needed to check something out on Google, and before I knew it I’d opened my emails, which led to me sorting out my Google Plus account (which I’d apparently opened a while ago and can’t for the life of me remember anything about, which meant I had to research that, too!) Then I opened WordPress to add a Google widget and that led me to messing around with my blog again and then I kept checking back on Facebook and flicking backwards and forwards between all these open tabs and now I’m too tired to even think about writing. So…

I’ve written this blog post and – by the miracle of technology – it should, fingers crossed, appear on Monday morning, by which time I will be at work in the day job, putting in my ten hours and not thinking about writing at all (honest, boss!) *innocent whistle*. Then, on Tuesday morning I shall get up early and put in at least three hours on the novel before work, and I shall do that every single day until draft one is complete. And I’ve set myself a deadline. Draft one, book three will be finished by November 1st. Yes, of course I mean this year. I’m not that bad!

Here we go again then…

Have a great week xx