Sunday, 20 December 2009


Several months ago I set up a Google Alert for my name + the name of my book. Every now and then Google sends me an email telling me that someone has reviewed my book on their blog or mentioned it on a web forum.

Yesterday Google Alerts told me that had written a post mentioning the name of my novel and, curious, I clicked through.


'Heaven Can Wait' had been nominated in several categories in the Awards 2009:

- Best Book of the Year (up against Sophie Kinsella's 'Twenties Girl' and Cecilia Aherne's 'The Book of Tomorrow')

- Debut Novel of the Year (up against Miranda Dickinson's 'Fairytale of New York', Nicky Schmidt's 'Naked in Knightsbridge' and Rebecca Chances' 'Divas')

- Tear-jerker of the Year (up against Elizabeth Noble's 'The Girl Next Door' and Sophie Kinsella's 'Twenties Girl')

- Book Cover of the Year (up against Cecelia Aherne's 'The Book of Tomorrow' and Miranda Dickinson's 'Fairytale of New York')

- Best Female Character (up against Daisy in 'Chasing Daisy', Sadie in 'Twenties Girl' and Phoebe in 'A Vintage Affair')

- Best Male Character (up against Luis in 'Chasing Daisy', Ed in 'Fairytale of New York', Dan in 'A Vintage Affair', Ed in 'Twenties Girl')

And if that wasn't exciting enough I only bloody WON two of the categories...

Debut Novel of the Year!



Book of the Year 2009!!!!!

I am utterly, utterly gobsmacked and delighted. That you so much - you've just given me the best Christmas present EVER!

2009 really has been the most incredible year.

Click here to read all of the nominations and winners.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Covers as Christmas Presents

One of the best things about being an author is seeing how my different publishers interpret the book via the book covers. Every time I spot a new one it's like being given the most exciting Christmas present ever (and there's six more to come!)

This is the UK cover (and the closest to how I dreamed the cover would look):

This is the Spanish cover (I love how they've focussed on Lucy's wedding dress. It's so pretty):

And then, yesterday, I typed the title of my book into and saw the German cover - and the German edition isn't even out until 2010! (Interestingly the German edition is the first one to portray Lucy as a big part of the cover. To me this cover is the most classically 'chicklit'):

So, just out of curiousity, if you saw all of these covers on a shelf (and they all said 'Heaven Can Wait' rather than the translations) which one would you pick up first?

Friday, 18 December 2009

My heavenly launch party

Christmas is only a week away and if I don't write about my launch party tonight I'm never going to get round to it!

One thing I really love about keeping this blog is the fact that it records the most important/exciting/nerve-wracking moments in my publication adventure and my launch party was right up there with the biggies like getting the call from my agent, meeting my publishers for the first time and finally holding my novel in my hands. launch party...

I arrived at the pub in Charing Cross at about 6.15. My agent and my parents had told me that they wouldn't be there until 7 so I was fully expecting to walk into a deserted room and hang around on my own for forty-five minutes. What I didn't expect was to hear a loud Cooo-eeee (or was it Oiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!?) as I walked into the pub. I, and the rest of the pub, turned to see where the noise came from and I was delighted to spot QwertyQueen, Leigh and Spiral Skies sitting in the corner tucking into some food and drinking wine. I joined them for a glass of wine and then we made our way upstairs into the function room I'd booked.

It was absolutely LOVELY. There were huge windows across two of the walls, a wooden floor, lots of wooden tables and chairs, leather sofas, a table by the door lined with glasses (I'd asked for 15 bottles of wine so everyone could have a drink when they came in), a long table along the window (for the buffet I'd ordered), a private bar all for us and a beautiful Christmas tree twinkling away in the corner of the room. It really was the perfect venue and my excitement only grew when the bar man brought in the box of books I'd ordered from my publishers and Leigh, Qwerty and Spiral set about arranging a display of books on the long table and decorating the tree with the 'Heaven Can Wait' business cards I'd had printed.

It wasn't long before people started to arrive. There were friends from the Skyros holiday I went on earlier this year, friends from school, uni, Brighton and London, my parents, staff from my agency, my agent, lots and lots of writing/blogger friends (including Tam, Lily, Karen, Clodagh, Fionnuala, CC Devine, Captain Black, Sarah and Debi)...

>> left to right: Leigh, Karen, Spiral Jen and Tam (thanks to Fionnuala for the photo)

...and fellow agency authors Jane Costello and Tara Hyland.

>> left to right: Carly from the DA agency, me, Jane Costello (back of her head), Tara Hyland (back of her head)

>> left to right: Tara Hyland, Jane Costello, Carly, Me

I was so, so, SO touched that so many people had turned up to celebrate the publication of my novel. Honestly, I've never felt more special. I also felt like a human whirlwind - talking to people for 5 or 10 minutes and then saying, "You'll have to excuse me, I've just seen..." and spinning across the room. I lost my wine glass dozens of times, scattered my mobile phone, open purse and cards and gifts across various parts of the bar and was the last one to get to the yummy buffet because I was gabbing so much!

>> Where's Wally Cally? See if you can spot me! I'm talking to Karen.

Before the launch I was a bit worried about how so many people from so many different parts of my life would get on - all being in one room together - but I needn't have worried. I saw Brighton friends talking to my school friends, my parents talking to my agent, blogging/writing friends who'd never met chatting merrily and uni friends talking to London friends. The atmosphere in the room was just amazing - everyone seemed so happy and, this was the really touching bit, so proud and pleased for me. Throughout the evening people came up to me to ask me to sign their copies of Heaven Can Wait (or the copies they were buying from the display) and I signed them all thinking, "Wow, I can't really believe I'm doing this!"

Time flew by and, before I knew it, my agent was standing in the corner of the room, asking for quiet.

She made a lovely speech about me (apologies but I can't remember exactly what she said but it was definitely lovely and my cheeks turned pink!) and then turned to her boyfriend and said, "Peter has a surprise for you." All eyes turned to Peter and he asked us to start clapping in time with him...then he launched into an acapella version of 'Cheek to Cheek' (the lyrics start "I'm in Heaven, I'm in Heaven...")

He looked at me as I sang and I swear my cheeks boiled with embarrassment!

When I looked at my agent she was grinning her head off. I then made the mistake of looking around the room and EVERYONE WAS LOOKING AT ME! (I didn't look at the rest of the room again!). Worse was to come..when Peter stopped singing everyone looked at me expectantly. Speech time! The night before the launch I'd considered writing out a speech but spent several hours putting together a mixed CD instead (which I didn't get to play because the function room had an mp3 connection not a CD player!).

Anyway, before it was time for me to make my speech one of my school friends asked if she could interrupt. I said "Of course" and L said that she'd like everyone to raise a glass to my school friend who'd died, who'd inspired me to write the book and who we still missed. On that emotional note it was time for me to say something. I wittered on about having a dream about being a published author for as long as I could remember, thanked everyone for coming (I don't think I missed anyone) and then looked at my agent and said, "Lastly, I'd like to thank Maddie. Without her my dream wouldn't have come true". I got a bit choked up then and was in danger of bursting into tears so added, "I'll stop there or I'll start crying! Okay everyone, stop looking at me now and start talking!"

Seconds later the party was in full swing again. It continued swinging until a quarter to midnight when the bar staff asked me if I'd like to settle up because it was time to go home. I said goodbye to my parents (who, despite saying the night before that they'd only stay an hour or so because they wouldn't know anyone, stayed all night because they were having such a good time!), my uni friends and the last few stragglers, and caught a bus to stay the night with some London friends.

It was truly magical night. Absolutely bloody magical. I couldn't have asked for a better launch party or more wonderful people to share it with and I'll remember it forever.

Monday, 7 December 2009

My launch party!

It was my launch party on Saturday and it was THE BEST night ever! I was so touched that so many people turned up, so overwhelmed by the lovely things people said, and so embarrassed to be sung to/stared at/give a speech. But more than anything I was just joyfully happy. It really was amazing.

I don't know if I've mentioned it (oh yes Cally, about fifteen squillion times) but I'm moving house this week so don't know if I'll find time to write a full review of my launch party (I will do it at some point, promise).

But for now, if you're curious, Queenie has written a fab blog post about it:

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Make that six (good things happening in a row)!

Found out yesterday that 'Heaven Can Wait' has been sold to a publisher in the Czech Republic!

It's my (ever-so-slightly delayed) launch party tonight and I'm very excited. Good job I picked out what I'm going to wear last night because I'm living in a bombsite at the moment (I started packing yesterday and there are boxes, clothes and random 'stuff' everywhere). I haven't done the washing up since Thursday, I've lost my to-do list amongst all the clutter and my hair is in rollers. Oooh the glamour! ;)

On the plus side I did spend several hours last night making a mixed CD for the party. It's pure cheese with a rock topping!

See you on the other (slightly hungover) side!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Good things come in

It's late and I'm absolutely pooped from my kickboxing class so I'll have to make this fast.

Here are five very cool things that have happened recently...


My story "Why Doesn't He Notice Me?" is out now in Take a Break Fiction Feast. I haven't subbed many short stories this year so it's lovely to see one in print again.


Another of my stories "Imagination Avenue" is in this gorgeous short story anthology:

The book is described as "twelve bedtime stories for adult reading that capture those moments of deep emotional significance which return to us in our dreams" and it's utterly gorgeous.

Not only is the cover beautiful but it contains fantastic short stories from some really talented writers like Jo Cannon (who wins ALL the short story comps it seems), Chris Hill (who won the Bridport) and loads of other writers with amazing credentials (what the hell am I doing in there?!). Anyway, if you miss the bedtime stories of your childhood here's the adult version. And if you're a short story writer yourself you could do a lot worse than study these beautifully crafted stories.

You can order a copy on Route's website right now - just in time for Christmas - a snip at £6.99

(The featured writers don't make any money from sales, I'm just plugging it because independent publishing houses need all the help they can it's a fantastic anthology!)

3. When I went to collect the post from the front door I share with my neighbour and spotted her copy of Writers' News. I picked it up to have a little browse and was astonished to see my face on the front! It was accompanying an article on the short story competition I'm running to celebrate the launch of 'Heaven Can Wait'. WOW! Thanks so much Writers' News :)

2. Talking of my face on magazines...check this out!

I was utterly UTTERLY gobsmacked when Helen pointed me to a blog featuring the front cover of January's edition of Writers' Forum (in shops on 3rd December). That's meeeeeeeeeeeee! On the COVER of a magazine!!! Honestly it's so surreal I can't quite believe it and I think I might do a little swoon when I actually see it on the shelves.

Why am I on the cover? Because Helen is a bloody STAR! A little while ago she did a interview with me about my transition from short story writer to novelist and the editor of Writers' Forum only decided to run it as their cover story!

I can't thank Helen enough. Honestly I can't. It's one of the most amazing things ever to have happened to me (when I was twelve I used to daydream about being on the front of 'Blue Jeans' or 'Jackie' magazine and never in a MILLION years dreamed I'd be on the front cover of anything!).


My agent's verdict on novel 2 is in....

She only bloody loved it!

Here's a snippet of the email I received on Monday:

"I am pretty much lost for words. I absolutely love it Cally. I had the best day ever reading it... This is the perfect book to follow HEAVEN CAN WAIT and I am thrilled with it. All your publishers are going to be delighted! "

You have NO IDEA how relieved I was to read that. I've spent the best part of A YEAR worrying that novel 2 was rubbish, that 'Heaven Can Wait' was a fluke and that I'd disappoint everyone who'd shown so much belief in me.

I've never been happier to be proved wrong.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

I've finished!

My second round of edits that is :)

They're due to my editor on 1st December and I've finished early. I'm not 100% happy (when are we ever?) but there isn't the time to do a third round of edits so I'll give it a quick read through during the only evening next week I've got free and then send it off to my editor and agent for their verdict.

That's a very scary prospect considering no one, other than me, has read a word of novel 2 so I'm totally relying on my own instincts as to whether it works or not. I nearly showed a couple of chapters to someone the other week but bottled it.

I thought I'd be utterly terrified (rather than just 'very scared') at the prospect of showing it to my agent/editor but:

a) it's a considerably better novel than it was after the first draft (good thing too - the first draft was atrocious!)

b) An editor I was talking to before the RNA party the other night (more on that later) reassured me that all authors struggle with their second novel and most of them bite off more than they can chew by trying something a bit different (as I've done) and editors are prepared for it

c) I have faith in my editor to help me make it a better book

d) I'm finally moving flat in a couple of weeks so I've got plenty to occupy my mind

Of course that doesn't stop me worrying that it's not as good as 'Heaven Can Wait' but I've done the best job I can do considering I only had a year to write and edit it (and a full time job to commit 8 hours a day to).

Talking of Heaven Can Wait, I was utterly gobsmacked to find out that my novel was awarded the only 10/10 in the history of ChicklitClub reviews! Wow. (more pressure to make book 2 good!).

Thanks also to The Secret Writer for telling me that The Daily Record (Scottish newspaper) reviewed my novel and for then sending me a copy! They said "The perfect blend of funny, smart and --sob -- pass the Kleenex, this might just be the best chicklit debut of the year." Double Wow! (pressure, pressure, pressure - a'shuddup Cally and just enjoy it :))

What else? I went to the RNA party the other night. Kate, my editor, very kindly invited me to pre-party drinks with some other authors and editors and I gratefully knocked back a couple of glasses of champagne in a hotel bar near Victoria. The RNA party was fab. It was held in the gorgeous library of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and I picked up a copy of the the new RNA short story anthology - Loves Me, Loves Me Not. I spent some time with my agent's PA (very lovely she is too) and chatted some more to the editor I met for the first time at the pre-party drinks (also very lovely and shares a mutual interest in 1940s films - I must get hold of a copy of 'All About Eve').

Loveliness obviously comes in threes because AnnieEye came up to say hello while I was chatting to the PA and editor (I told her to look out for the tallest brunette in the room!) and we had a great chat about all things book related. I also met her very sweet and smiley daughter. My good friend Leigh also found me and demanded the latest goss on my life (always happy to oblige Leigh - I think the PA and editor enjoyed it too! ;)). I then went on a bit of a wander - collecting signatures for my copy of 'Loves Me, Loves Me Not' and was lucky enough to get Katie Fforde, Judy Astley and Jane Wendham-Jones's autographs (amongst others).

The party ended too soon (it just sped by!) and I jumped in a taxi to join Liz Fenwick, Leigh, Julie Coen and lots of others in a very nice Italian restaurant. I was seated opposite Liz's son (DD1) and what a heartbreaker he's going to grow up to be. Impeccable manners too, Liz should be very proud. Time must have been on fast forward that night because, all too soon, it was time to leave to get a train back to Brighton. Ms Forbes had missed her train home and I was more than happy to offer her a sofa for the night. When I woke up the next day I found out she'd been awake and working on her novel for 2 hours. What a star!

Oooh yes, going back in time a bit (blogs are magic like that). My very talented cousin took some
more photos of me recently. She's very, very clever (and a dab hand with retouching in Photoshop!). Here's my favourite.

Do get in touch if you'd like her to take photos of you/your family. Her rates are very reasonable as she's only just starting up her business.

I think that's about it for now. So here are a few photos of 'Heaven Can Wait' I haven't got round to posting...

My friend Seb spots a copy of 'Heaven Can Wait' (no idea where, somewhere in London I imagine)

JJ finds a copies in Bangkok!

Twitter friend CSO_Andy spots some copies in Borders, Bournemouth

Beth finds a copy in Borders, Silverlink

Cassandra poses with the copy Pierre_el sent all the way to the States

My sister-in-law's sister receives her copy in Hawaii and takes it to the beach (lucky book).

Soldiers read supernatural romantic-comedies too! (oh okay, my friend works at an army barracks and asked him to pose with it!).

p.s. Apologies for anyone still waiting for an email/interview from me. I WILL get to them as soon as I can. I haven't got any weekends free between now and my moving day so any free evening I have will be spent packing. I promise to get all emails/interviews replied to by Christmas. Feel free to nudge me if I don't.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Virtual Book Tour - Day 26 (a very interesting dinner party)

Today is the last day of my Virtual Book Tour (I can almost hear the sighs of relief from here! ;) and we're off to visit David, a fellow Brightonian!

In honour of the final day David has thrown me a very unusual dinner party with some unlikely guests (I'm the most unlikely one with so many celebrities at the table!).

Find out which celeb discovers my embarrassing secrets...

p.s. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who hosted a leg of my Virtual Book Tour. I can't begin to express how grateful I am. I know you all put in a lot of time and energy into making it work and I really, really appreciate that. Thank you too to everyone who re-tweeted or facebook-ed links to the different interviews and guest posts and to everyone who's been reading them.

I am utterly exhausted but there's no time to stop. I still have to edit novel 2 a second time and I've only got a few days to do it. As a result I'll probably be a bit quiet this week. Apologies if I don't reply to your emails/interview requests/tweets etc. They are on my 'to do' list - I've just got a hell of a lot of work to do first...

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Virtual Book Tour - Day 24

Apologies again (and especially to Kate H) for failing to write a guest post for yesterday's leg of the virtual book tour. I'm away from home at the moment with limited internet connection. Normal service will resume in a week's time!

For now...

We're off to Debs blog for a review of Heaven Can Wait and a book giveaway. Debs was kind enough to buy TWO copies of my novel so she could give one away.

And she's posted a photo of someone very discerning reading my book.

Click on the link below to find out who...

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Virtual Book Tour - Day 23 Oooops!

Today I was supposed to be visiting Kate Harrison's (author of "The Secret Shopper Unwrapped" and "Old School Ties") blog but I've got a confession to make...

I just haven't found the time to finish the guest post I wrote for her.

I'm so sorry!

Visit her anyway, she's written some great posts about writing and publishing:

Friday, 6 November 2009

Virtual Book Tour - Day 22 (advice and editing)

Today we're off to visit Catharine Withenay (see what she did there? Catharine - With - an - 'a'). I've moved house a lot in my life and from the sound of Catharine's blog profile her life's very similar.

I talk to Catharine about jobs I've done, moving house, advice for writers and what I most enjoy about writing. I also invent a really rubbish metaphor that compares editing with wall building!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Virtual Book Tour - Day 21 (where I write, writing retreats)

Today we're off to Sue Guiney's blog to talk about writing and retreats.

I knew Sue was the author of the novel "Tangled Roots" but it wasn't until I visited her website to do some research for this this post that I realised quite how many strings she has to her writing bow! Not only does Sue write novels but she's had short stories and a poetry collection published and a play performed. She also teaches writing workshops!

I'm very honoured to be interviewed on Sue's blog today...

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Virtual Book Tour - Day 20 (short stories)

If you're a women's magazine short story writer you'll already be familiar with womagwriter. If you're not - where have you been?!

It's safe to say that womagwriter's blog has become a vital hub for everyone writing for the womag - women's magazine - market. Back in't olden days (I don't know why I've come over all Yorkshire) you had to trawl the internet and write to the magazines to get hold of their fiction guidelines. These days you can just pop over to womag's place and there you go - all the guidelines you could wish for (UK and abroad) - and she keeps the information updated too.

Today womagwriter has very kindly published my guest post on my background in short story writing...

...and if you leave a comment after the post you could win a signed copy of 'Heaven Can Wait'!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Virtual Book Tour - Day 19 (using 'the hero's journey to write a book')

Today we're off to visit Kate Lord Brown's blog.

Not only is Kate glamorous and stunning (see photo on the left for proof!) but she's got herself an agent at Curtis Brown, was a finalist in The People's Author (a memoir competition on the Alan Titchmarsh show on ITV) and writes a fantastic and thought provoking blog - complete with writing prompts.

I've written a guest post for Kate about how I adapted 'the hero's journey' to write 'Heaven Can Wait':

Tomorrow womagwriter will be posting a guest post I've written about short stories...

Monday, 2 November 2009

Virtual Book Tour - Day 18 (friends, blogging friends & spirituality)

Today I'm being interviewed by the Queen.

Okay not the queen - blogger's very own Qwerty Queen! I've met Qwerty a few times 'in real life' and she's a fantastic woman - very supportive, a good listener and pretty damned wise too. The last time we met Qwerty and I polished off a bottle of wine in record time! That's my kind of woman!

Talking of friends (another smooth segue), Qwerty 's questions today are about exactly that - how friends, online and 'real' - influence my writing. She also asks about my novel and my own spiritual beliefs. Find out what I said...

Tomorrow Kate Lord Brown will be posting a guest post I wrote about how I used 'the hero's journey' to write my novel...

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Virtual Book Tour - Day 17 (doubt, motivation and reward)

Today we're off to Cathy's blog to talk about writing and self-doubt, motivation and reward.

Cathy is a thoughtful, honest and big-hearted blogger. Not only does she blog about writing (she's a winner in the Tonto short story competition and her short story will appear in their anthology), the X-Factor and living with MS, but her blog has single-handedly educated me about the reality of raising children with autism. If your understanding of autism is limited to articles that appear on TV or in the news you really should spend some time reading Cathy's blog.

Why have I included a photo of three paperweights on this post?

Check out Cathy's blog to find out...

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Virtual Book Tour - Day 16 (The Lucy Brown Interview!)

Today we're doing something a bit different.

Today it's not me that's being interviewed.

It's the main character from my novel - Lucy Brown!

And the interviewer is non-other than the wonderful, and very talented (I know, I've read some of her stuff) L-Plate author.

Pop over to her blog now to find out how L-Plate and I met a train to Manchester, and what Lucy's got to say for herself...

p.s. I've finally finished the first edit of novel 2! I've got a month left to do edits 2, 3 and 4 (i.e. polish it to death!)

Friday, 30 October 2009

Virtual Book Tour - Day 15 (my favourite books to curl up with)

Did anyone spot the deliberate typo in my last virtual book tour post? No? Too polite to mention it? It was day 14 and I said we weren't even halfway through the 26 leg tour. Doh! It just feels like the world's longest virtual book tour (maybe because it is!).

Anyway, today we're off to 5 Minutes Peace - a fantastic site full of book reviews, book covers and beautiful things that make me go "Oooh" - where I'm guest blogging about my five favourite books to curl up with. It took me AGES to write that post, mostly because I couldn't work out which books to choose. I've read so many books it was an almost impossible decision.

Normally I would have gone to look at my bookshelves to see which books jumped out at me but I'm nearly book-free at the moment (apart from my 'to be read' pile). Earlier this year I massively decluttered my flat so I could put it on the market and most of my books disappeared into cardboard boxes. I had to rely on my memory instead - never good at the best of times - and I'm sure I've missed a favourite or two off the list!

What are your five favourite books to curl up with? Pop on over to Five Minutes Peace and let them know:

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Countdown to December 1st...

I can't WAIT until 1st December!


Because that's the day I hand over novel 2 to my editor and I'll get (I hope) at least two or three weeks before she comes back with the edits (I just know there's going to be LOADS this time around!)

Do you know what I'm going to do on December 2nd? I'm going to get started on one of these little beauties (all ordered over the last few months but I've had no time to do anything other than look longingly at them).

I MISS reading and watching DVD boxed sets soooooo much!

One more month, one more month...

Virtual Book Tour - Day 14 (how I write my books)

*to be read in a Geordie accent* Day 5,293 in the virtual book tour house...

Is it just me or does this blog tour seem to be going on FOREVER? And we're not even halfway through yet! Why I thought it was a good idea to do a TWENTY-SIX leg blog tour I have no idea - you're all going to be sick of the sight/sound of me soon (if you're not already!).

If nothing else hopefully I'm introducing you to some lovely bloggers you might not have discovered before.

And talking of lovely bloggers (smooth segue) we're off to visit Captain Black today to find out how I write my books...

I *heart* @Petronella

Look what my Twitter friend @Petronella sent me!

I don't know Petronella in real life. We 'met', randomly, on Twitter.

Earlier this year she tweeted me to say that Waterstones, where she works, had received a proof of my novel and she'd taken it home to read. A couple of days after that she got in touch to say she loved it. Then she wrote me a lovely 5 star review on the Waterstones website!

Now she's only gone and recommended it on the Waterstones Wolverhamptom twitter account AND in store!

So that's why I *heart* Petronella.

And Twitter. :)

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Virtual Book Tour - Day 13 (writing marathons, writing drunk and Jeffrey Archer)

Today we're off to Tom Conoboy's blog. Tom's an old mucker from the 'kickarse' short story group I was a member of and I'm very flattered that he asked me to be on his very clever, very literary blog.

Find out more about writing marathons, writing 'drunk' and killing my babies...

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Heaven Can Wait Virtual Book Tour - Day 12 (writers block, regrets and how long it takes to get a novel published)

Today we're off to the USA to visit Cassandra's blog for a mixture of questions from Cassandra and her blog visitors.

One of the most interesting questions she asked me was, "How long was your writing journey in total?"

I had to work out the exact number of years and months it took from writing the first word of the first draft of "Heaven Can Wait" to holding my published novel in my hands.

You might be surprised...

Monday, 26 October 2009

Heaven Can Wait Virtual Book Tour Day 11 - Something completely different...

Today we're off to visit Sally Quilford, long time blogger friend and talented short story writer.

Sally Quilford has had 50 stories, articles and poems published in print, including publications such as Yours Fiction Special, The Weekly News, My Weekly, Dark Horizons and others. She has also been placed in 27 competitions including Leaf Books (twice), Momaya, Milton Keynes Speakeasy, The British Fantasy Society, The New Writer and Teifi Scribblers.

She is also a regular contributor to the Amazon Shorts programme and recently became a columnist with Writers Forum magazine, with a column based on her popular writing competition calendar.

(And she's one of the co-judges in my short story competition).

You'd expect someone with Sally's credentials to ask me some very serious writerly questions, wouldn't you?

You'd be wrong (she's a lot more fun that that!).

Click the link below to find out about my most embarrassing moment, whether I think the Loch Ness monster is real and whether I've ever been cornered in a round room...

More book photos!

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has sent me photos of my books in the shops, in their hands or in unusual locations. I love them! Here's some more...

Twitter friend Becka W (@oriares) has a copy sent from to her home in Germany!

Graeme finds a copy in in WHSmiths

My friend Dan finds copies in WHSmiths Liverpool Street station, London

Twitter friend Dave Bartlett (@DaveBartlett1) finds copies in WHSmiths Hull

Twitter friend Poodle Powered (@PoodlePowered) finds copies in WHSmiths Warwick

Blog reader and short story writer Teresa Stenson ent me a photo of my book on her bedside 'to be read' pile

Twitter friend Anna Ganderton (@AnnaGanderton) finds copies in WHSmiths Sandbach

One of my work colleagues finds it in WHSmiths Didcott

Lily takes my book (and Peter Andre) to her hairdressers to amuse her while she's having her hair done!

Blog reader Claire Ryan finds lots of copies in Eason's Bookstore, Cork, Ireland

Twitter friend Ben Johncock (@benjohncock) gets hold of a copy in a 'three way book swap' at the Firestation Bookswap.

Blog friend Nik Perring takes his copy to the pub!

And this has to be my favourite photo of them all because it makes me smile every time I look at it!

My friend Kelly's son Piran gets a kick out of the wee and fart jokes in my book (yes, I share a sense of humour with a three month old)!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Heaven Can Wait Virtual Book Tour Day 10 - Birthdays and cake!

It's my birthday!

And I'm a bit too hungover to write anything witty or informative (I celebrated last night with cocktails in The Grand hotel followed by my first ever lobster in Dermot O'Leary's restaurant, Fishy Fishy) but that's okay because I'm not being interviewed about anything heavy or serious today, I'm being interviewed about cake. Yum! :)

Helen Redders has a fabulous baking blog and makes the best cakes (she's hugely talented).

She also asked me some brilliant cake-related questions like "if your main character was a cake what cake would she be?"

Here's her blog:

Would cake would your main character be?