Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Editor meeting, 100k and a summery short story

Somewhere in the excitement of my book deal news (see previous post) I completely forgot to mention that I completed Sally Quilford's 100,000 words in 100 days challenge! I'd be lying if I said it wasn't really hard work. There were several moments when I felt like throwing in the towel because I was putting so much pressure on myself to write 1,000 words a day no matter what that I started to feel quite stressed (and stressed and writing aren't good bed fellows) but I persevered because I'm stubborn and, when I set myself a challenge, I have to see it through. Anyway, I'm delighted I did complete the challenge now as the first draft of novel 4 now stands at 82,000 words! I've still got another 20,000 words or so to add before I type 'the end' but I don't have to deliver it to my editor until September 2014 so I'm WAY ahead of schedule (which is a good job because it's going to need a hell of a rewrite!).

Talking of my editor - I met her for the first time last Friday. She took me and Maddy (my agent) out to lunch in Chelsea and I spent a lovely couple of hours chatting to her about everything from children's books to sleep deprivation to difficult female friendships (a theme of my 4th book) to breastfeeding (poor Lydia, I told her some real horror stories!). I was buzzing when I travelled home on the train (and not just because we'd shared a bottle of Rose) and I can't wait to see what my future publishing career with Avon HarperCollins will bring.

I've got two weeks until Lydia gives me the edits for 'The Accident' and I'm going to spend the time having a well deserved break from writing. Last week I typed 'the end' on a 6,500 word short story called 'Mr Lover Lover' for Belinda Jones's Sunlounger anthology (out this summer, I'll post when it's available to buy)and I've finally started catching up on my reading. On my TBR pile is 'Wicked Girls' by Alex Marwood, 'Dear Thing' by Julie Cohen and 'Dearest Rose' by Rowan Coleman.

What are you reading?

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

I've got a new book deal! And a new name!

I am absolutely TERRIBLE at keeping secrets so I'm delighted to finally announce that...

I've got a new 2 book deal with Avon HarperCollins for my psychological suspense novels! (see the press announcement here: http://www.booktrade.info/index.php/showarticle/46596)

And they're going to be published by Sourcebooks in the States too!

Back in March 2012, when I was on maternity leave with the Spudling, I took the somewhat scary decision to write a novel that wasn't chicklit.

AN END TO SILENCE (or 'THE ACCIDENT' as Avon have re-christened it) had been swimming around my brain since the first 1,000 words won the RNA Elizabeth Goudge award in the summer of 2011 and I just had to finish it.

With two published chicklit novels behind me writing  a third might have been a more sensible move but I've never been terribly sensible and I've always had a bit of a split personality when it comes to writing. There's the lighthearted chicklit/womag side to me and then there's the darker literary fiction/psychological suspense side, and that side was dying to see the light of day again. I was also hugely, horribly sleep deprived (the Spudling woke me every two hours at night for the first 7 months of his life) and I knew the only way to keep myself sane was to write.

I wrote the first draft of THE ACCIDENT in six months - pouring in all my new fears (that something would happen to my child that I couldn't prevent) and all my old fears (that a sociopathic ex boyfriend would reappear in my life) and I sent it to my agent at the end of last year, utterly terrified she'd tell me that it was drivel and that maybe I should have a good night's sleep and reconsider my writing career instead.

I must have clicked refresh on my email inbox a hundred, thousand times in the next five days!

When an email did reply I nearly exploded with relief. Maddy didn't hate what I'd written, she LOVED it. She said it was the best thing that I've ever written.

(I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried when I read that).

And now someone else loves THE ACCIDENT as much as Maddy and I - my new editor Lydia NewHouse at Avon HarperCollins (who publish bestsellers like Miranda Dickinson, Mhairi MacFarlane and Alex Walters) - and I'm utterly delighted that it's going to be published, under my new pseudonym C.L. Taylor, in June 2014.

And it's going to be published in the USA too. The USA! I have always, always, dreamed of getting a book published in the States and now it's going to happen. And in Germany (Piper). And Italy (Longanesi). And Poland (Proszynski). And Brazil (Bertrand Brasil).

I'm aware I probably sound like Little Miss Showy Off Pants with this post but 2012 was craptastic for so many, many reasons (I'm not exaggerating when I say it was the worst year of my life) and I hoped and I prayed that 2013 would be better.

It looks like it is...