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.


Cassandra said...

Congrats, Cally!

And thanks again to Pierre!

RKCharron said...

Hi Cally :)
Thank you for the update post. Congratulations on the excellent reviews and finishing book 2! I loved the picture of you too - your cousin could be a magazine photographer.
Thank you for sharing,
All the best,

Adam said...

Congrats on finishing the edits, I've just finished a set as well. :)

Great photo, too! :-)


Debs said...

The RNA party sounds as if it was great fun, I wish I could have been there too.

Well done with your edits and best of luck with the move.

ChrisH said...

I'm sure everyone will love your second novel as much as the first. What a huge amount of writing and promoting you've put in as well as doing the day job. You should take some time to give yourself a pat on the back. Good luck with it all.

Catharine Withenay said...

Well done on achieving so much! Parties, books, house-moving ... makes my life seem unbelievably mundane.

Good luck with the move!

LilyS said...

Congratulations!!!! I saw your book in WH Smiths in Westfields on Saturday!!

Xuxana said...

I get worn out just reading about your busy life! Congrats on finishing novel 2 well before your deadline. I can't wait to read it!

liz fenwick said...

Great to catch up the other night and thanks for the kind words about ds1 - he wants to come to next years do!

I spoke to waterstones on Ken High Street re Heaven can wait - the closest copy he could find was Kingston. Have ordered from Amazon so will have it when back in the UK next weekend - did i just say that? Yes sitting in airport and know there's about enough time to do the laundry and come back.

Love the new photo.

womagwriter said...

Congratulations on completing that edit! And for everything else too. The roll continues!

KatW said...

Congratulations on completing 2nd round of edits on book 2.

The RNA party sounded fabulous - you lucky thing.

The photo of you is gorgeous and I enjoyed the photos of your book especially the soldier and Hawaii one.

Also congratulations on the good book reviews - they are very much deserved. I also put my own thumbs up for 'Heaven Can Wait' on my blog a couple of posts ago. And don't go worrying - I'm sure that book number 2 will be just as brilliant.

Oh and good luck with the flat moving :-)

Marilyn Z. Tomlins said...

May you do very well, Cally!

Terresa said...

I enjoyed reading this post for many reasons.

You are a superwoman to work a day job and then be committed to write at night as well. Wow!

PS: Great picts around the world with your book. So inspiring to me! And your terribly photogenic to boot!