All this year I will be documenting the writing, editing and publishing of my fifth novel, giving you a unique, behind-the-scenes look at my life as a writer. This week, I bring you the first of my vlogs from my research trip to San Francisco and reveal the winning KOOKY COFFEE SHOP NAME suggestion for this week’s #getinvolved challenge!
Bob and I have just returned from San Francisco – what an amazing place! I absolutely fell in love with the city and am having withdrawal symptoms already…
While I was there, I filmed lots of footage to help me recreate the sights, sounds and experiences we had for when I’m writing Book 5. You can also read the blog diary I kept (see earlier posts on this site). I’ll be sharing several videos with you over the next couple of weeks – hope you enjoy them!
Also in this week’s vlog I’ll reveal the kooky coffee shop name suggestion that is going into the book – keep watching to find out who will get a mention in my acknowledgements.
I’d love to know what you think – also let me know your questions about writing, publishing or anything else that you’d like me to answer next week. Leave me a comment below or email me at email@example.com
p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘Check out the shades, y’all…’
Everywhere we’ve been in San Francisco we’ve encountered two things: friendly people and dogs.
The friendly people aren’t just from California. They’re from all over the world. Some work and live here, others are visiting like we are. But everybody who has said hello and chatted to us has been upbeat and positive. I think San Francisco encourages the optimist out in you. Yesterday we met Brenda and Derek from Bournemouth on the boat trip, who were visiting San Francisco on the last leg of an 8-week round-the-world trip. We also met several friendly buskers around Fisherman’s Wharf and a bloke in Union Square who told us about Tony Bennett and took our photo for us. Today we met a very lovely Chinese man (and his dog) at the viewing point overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, who told us about his favourite places in his city. The lady at The Warming Hut (a fab cafe at the edge of Crissy Field near the bridge) asked us about Birmingham. And the busker entertaining the queue of people waiting for the cable car at Victoria Park remembered us from yesterday.
Dogs are everywhere: being walked (or carried) around Union Square, running with their jogging owners along Marina Street, playing on the beach by Crissy Field and riding the Muni trolley buses. They are all shapes and sizes and by and large are well-behaved and as friendly as their owners. San Franciscans LOVE their dogs. There’s even a ‘doggie couture’ boutique in Ghirardelli Square, selling everything your sartorially elegant pooch could possibly want!
One thing both friendly people and their dogs have in common is that you feel how happy they are to have you here. And that will be great for Book 5’s protagonist Nell Sullivan, because she visits San Francisco after being made redundant in her home city of London. After being used to the impersonality and avoidance of eye contact there, San Francisco will be the polar opposite – the difference enough to make her take a different view of herself and how she communicates with her world. I want Nell to experience a place where the best is expected for her, where she can allow herself to believe that anything is possible and where she dares to step outside of her comfort zone to discover what she’s capable of…
All this year I will be documenting the writing, editing and publishing of my fifth novel, giving you a unique, behind-the-scenes look at my life as a writer. This week, I announce the third of your suggestions for Book 5! Which CUPCAKE FLAVOUR will Nell be making in the book and who will be get a thank you in my acknowledgements? I’m getting ready for San Francisco and also give my top tips for beating the dreaded writer’s block…
Your suggestions for a CUPCAKE FLAVOUR for Nell to bake have flooded in this week and I’ve been like a kid in a cake shop choosing the winner – thanks! Find out in the vlog who will see their suggestion written into the story and their name in the thank-yous!
I’m getting ready for my exciting research trip to San Francisco – and I’m so excited! In my vlog I’ll tell you the innovative way I’ll be using the trip to create Nell’s discovery of the City of Lights. I also give my tips for overcoming writer’s block, including a visit to the pub…
So here’s the vlog – hope you enjoy it!
p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘Ooh for the wiiiiings…’!
All this year I will be documenting the writing, editing and publishing of my fifth novel, giving you a unique, behind-the-scenes look at my life as a writer. This week, I announce the third of your suggestions for Book 5! Which piece of VINTAGE CLOTHING will Nell be buying from a store in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district and who will be mentioned in my acknowledgements for suggesting it? Plus, I give my top tips for aspiring authors and tell you where I’m off to very soon…
Well, it’s been a bit of crazy week writing-wise, but Book 5 is coming together well. I’ve been writing more about Annie’s neighbourhood diner, where quite a few scenes will be set and some fab supporting cast characters have appeared, each with their own stories. Like Marty and Frankie who dole out their wisdom over enormous pancake stacks, and a pair of star-crossed lovers who don’t even realise their stars are anywhere near each other! There’s also a a bit of a mystery that intrigues Nell – but when she solves it she’s in for So much more than she bargains for…
In this week’s vlog I’m also talking about my advice for aspiring authors, sharing how I came to be a published author and my top tips for getting the most out of your writing. I’ll even give you a bit of sneaky info on my Writing Inspiration Course that I’ll be launching in May this year!
So, ready to discover if your piece of vintage clothing has made it into the book? OK lovelies, sit back, relax and enjoy!
p.s. This week’s You-Tube nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘Half-asleep’…
All this year I will be documenting the writing, editing and publishing of my fifth novel, giving you a unique, behind-the-scenes look at my life as a writer. This week, the second of your suggestions is announced for Book who has suggested the RANDOM QUIRKY OBJECT that will be appearing in Book 5 (along with their name in the acknowledgements)? And what’s so special about the diner I’ve just written…?
Thank you so much to everybody who suggested random objects for Book 5. They were so good, I chose TWO! Both objects will appear in Nell’s cousin Lizzie’s apartment in San Francisco. To recap on the story so far, when Nell Sullivan discovers she’s been made redundant (and the news delivered by her on-off boyfriend Aidan, who she thought she was getting back together with), she refuses to be brought down by the blow. Instead, she blows her redundancy cheque on a two-month adventure to the City of Lights – San Francisco, where her cousin Lizzie lives. Nell, who has always been one to play life safe and never take risks, begins to discover what incredible things can happen when you throw caution to the wind and see where life takes you…
Just before you watch the vlog to find out which two people will be featuring in Book 5, I’d just like to mention this daft thing I’m doing for this year’s Comic Relief Red Nose Day…
YES! YOU can be mentioned in an exclusive short story I’m writing for Red Nose Day 2013! Simply SPONSOR ME HERE – any amount – and I’ll mention you! It is slightly crazy because I’m going to work in everybody who sponsors me into the short story. At the moment, I’m thinking it will be a little bit like Love, Actually, where I’ll dream up several stories that work together. Please consider sponsoring me – you’ll be helping Comic Relief do their amazing work with people in the UK and Africa who desperately need our help. Thank you!
And so, without further ado, here’s this week’s vlog… Good luck, everyone!
p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘Neeeeeeya…’
All this year I will be documenting the writing, editing and publishing of my fifth novel, giving you a unique, behind-the-scenes look at my life as a writer. This week, I’m well into writing the new first draft of Book 5 and have started to ask for your help…
Last time I told you I was going to invite you to get involved with the new Book 5 – and this week I asked my first question:
What is the name of the San Francisco cabbie in the story?
I had fifty awesome suggestions on Twitter – so thank you so much if you sent one! I announce the winner in this week’s vlog below, so fingers crossed and enjoy! There will be more chances to get involved – watch out for the #getinvolved hashtag on my twitter profile and special requests on my facebook page. And if I use your suggestion, you will get a thank you in the acknowledgements of Book 5!
p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘La-Laaaaaaaah!’
p.p.s. I also mention some fantastic writing retreats – find out about BookCamp here