Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to YOU…

Apologies for the blatant Sinatra reference, but I was thinking of the opening lyric to this famous song today. 

What made the song play on repeat in my head today was a wonderful tweet I received. As you know, my seventh book, A Parcel for Anna Browne, launches on 24th September. The lovely lady who tweeted me said she had ordered the book and couldn’t wait to read it.

Fairy Tale of New YorkIt isn’t the first time I’ve received a tweet like this, but today it struck a chord. This year, it’s sixteen years since I first started to write what eventually became my first novel, Fairytale of New York. At the time I had no idea I was even writing a novel, let alone dare to dream that one day it might be published. It was just a story I started to write for fun – just for me – and I didn’t really expect anyone else to read it.

If someone had told me, in 1999, that people I haven’t even met would be ordering my books before they were published, I would never have believed them. 

Over the years, it’s gradually sunk in that I am a published author (although it still feels weird to see it written down like that!) and, since 2013, that I am a full-time published author. But with each new book I’m blessed to be able to release, I’m increasingly amazed when lovely readers tell me how excited they are to read my latest work.

I don’t ever want to take this for granted. Ever. Because I remember the years and years of dreaming about walking into a bookshop and seeing my books there. It’s a thrill I will never get used to.

In November last year, I was invited my my local Waterstones store in Merry Hill, Dudley, to sign copies of I’ll Take New York. When I went into the store, the display they had put together blew me away:

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All my books, together, in one beautiful display.

I was a mess. I think I blubbed over everyone (apologies if you were there and faced the deluge!) What was so amazing was that my dream had come true, not just once, but six times over.

Here’s what I’m saying: this isn’t about me bragging about how many books I have in Waterstones – it’s about something I’d dreamed about, hoped for – but, if I’m honest never really thought would ever be possible – coming true. And, like Ol’ Blue Eyes himself sings, it can happen to you.

I know there will be writers reading this blog right now who feel they have been dreaming about being published for ever. Maybe you feel it’s never going to happen. I just want to encourage you to keep believing, keep dreaming – keep writing the stories that are burning in your heart. Don’t think it can’t happen. Because it happened to me – and there is nothing special about me. I just wrote the book I wanted to and I didn’t stop.

This year, I have seen three lovely friends who dreamed of being published finally being signed by publishers. There will be more, too, because as long as there are readers there will be stories that need to be told. Stories like yours.

It can happen to you. 

I think the only way to end this blog post is to let a certain silken-voiced crooner play us out. Take it away, Frankie…

Oh wow – welcome to the world, Anna Browne!

So, I finally have a cover for my seventh book, A Parcel for Anna Browne. And I’m thrilled with it! Ahem… drumroll, please…

TA-DAAAAAAH!

A Parcel for Anna Browne by Miranda Dickinson

My seventh novel – woo-hoo!

What I’m so happy about is that my book getting its cover is one step closer to it being shared with the world. And that makes me happy because this is a story I have wanted to tell for several years. Moving to my new publisher, Pan Macmillan felt like the right time to write Anna Browne’s story – and I’m really proud of the book. I firmly believe it’s my best yet and I can’t wait to share it with everyone!

Exciting times, lovelies! xx

Miranda Writes 42 – Moving onto new stories

All this year, I’m vlogging about writing and publishing my seventh novel, A Parcel for Anna Browne. This week, very exciting news about the book and your questions answered…

I’ve had a right old game with YouTube to get this video to upload, so apologies that the quality is not as good as you’re used to. All will be fixed next week, I promise, so bear with me while I do battle with the YouTube gods, Game Of Thrones-style!

Questions this week come from Anna @AnnaMansell and Katy @katynotwedordead (both on Twitter – do follow them, they’re fabulous writers!). So I’m talking about how you can find a good manuscript critique service that will actually be worth investing in; and how to move on to new stories once a book is finished.

Enjoy! xx

p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘Fuzeeeeeee’.

Miranda Writes 41 – SPECIAL VLOG: Finish Your Book!

This year, in addition to my regular vlogs about about writing and publishing my seventh novel, A Parcel For Anna Browne, I’m also doing a series of special vlogs each looking at one aspect of writing…

THIS WEEK: WHY SHOULD YOU FINISH WRITING YOUR BOOK?

I meet so many writers who tell me they’ve only written a few chapters of their book and sent it off to agents without finishing a first draft of the whole thing. And others who have written most of the book, but have found it got difficult, boring or something stopped them writing it. It’s a very common problem for writers!

So, in this vlog, I’ll tell you why you should finish your book and talk about some of the things that hold you back. There’s also a scary thought and a Wurdy dare, so you have been warned!

Enjoy!

p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘Flat-cap Serious Face…’

Miranda Writes 40 – Alternative Careers and the Curse of Writers’ Bum…

All this year, I’m vlogging about writing and publishing my seventh novel, A Parcel For Anna Browne. This week, I reveal the truth about my very short-lived acting career and talk about the constant threat to writers’ – ahem – behinds…

Before you get to do your dream job, the question you’re asked most often is what you’d like to be doing. When you are doing the job you’ve dreamed about for years, what everyone wants to know is what you’d be doing if you weren’t doing it! So, this week I reveal my infamously odd previous employment history, including the reason my fledgling acting career was scuppered as soon as it had begun.

Fantastic questions this week come from Jennifer Joyce (about my favourite snacks for writing), Rosemary Umbers (on balancing being a full-time writer and a full-time mum) and Peachy Outlook (on what I would be doing if I wasn’t a writer).

Enjoy!

p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled: ‘Behold, The Amazing Blurry Hand of Doooooooom!’

Miranda Writes 39 – three key words and book recommendations

All this year, I’m vlogging about writing and publishing my seventh novel, A Parcel For Anna Browne. This week, key words, Christmassy book plans and books I’m excited about reading this year!

I’ve been having a lot of fun working on some new projects before the page proofs for A Parcel for Anna Browne arrive. Which gives me lots of time to answer your fab questions which this week come from Katie MarshJulie Williams and Jennifer Joyce. What were my three key words for writing APFAB? Am I writing a Christmassy book this year? And which books am I getting very excited about reading this year?

Enjoy!

p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘Where did you get that hat?’

Miranda Writes 38 – writing tips, changing publishers and sequels

All this year, I’m vlogging about writing and publishing my seventh novel, A Parcel For Anna Browne. This week, the latest news on my book, plus I answer more of your wonderful questions!

Would I consider writing any more sequels? Why did I change publishers? And what’s my advice for new writers about planning a novel and staying focused? It’s all in the vlog this week!

Questions this week come from the very lovely Wendy Kerridge, Daniel Riding – check out his new vlogs – and Carla.

Enjoy!

p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘Finding this script HILARIOUS, love!’