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This week, three amazing Books of the Week you can win, plus an exclusive new chapter of In A New York Minute – my third New York-set Kowalski’s novel. If you loved Fairytale Of New Yorkand I’ll Take New York, you’ll love this!
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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.
It 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:
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…
All this year, I am keeping a video diary about writing and publishing my seventh novel, A Parcel For Anna Browne. This week, my vlog returns after quite a long break…
I’ve been editing A Parcel for Anna Browne and I’m really pleased with the result. It turned out to be a huge edit – the equivalent of a structural edit (getting all the key themes and scenes in the right places) and line edit (going through the book with a fine toothed-comb, making sure story arcs are complete and the flow is right) combined. It’s been interesting finding out how my new publisher, Pan Macmillan, works differently to my previous publisher, Avon HarperCollins and, like any new job, there’s been a steep learning curve. But it all helps me to understand what kinds of things Pan Macmillan are looking for in the stories I write.
So, have I seen the cover yet? You’ll have to watch the vlog to find out!
What would you like to know about my books, writing in general or anything else? Ask me a question and I’ll answer it in the next vlog! Just leave a comment below, email me at: email@example.com or tweet me @wurdsmyth.
p.s. This week’s You Tube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘Cheesy Grins R Us’…
It’s the story of Brooklyn bookshop owner Bea James and Manhattan psychiatrist Jake Steinmann, who meet at an engagement party as the only two singles and swear a Pact to avoid relationships for ever. Instead, they share their love of the City That Never Sleeps with each other, swapping their favourite places in New York as their friendship grows.
But will the magic of New York City weaken their resolve…?
If you’ve read my first novel, Fairytale of New York, there will be some familiar faces to welcome back: Rosie, Marnie, Ed, Celia, Stewart and Zac are all here, playing their part in Bea and Jake’s tale. It’s my way of writing an ‘almost-sequel’ – letting you know what happens to the original cast of characters without breaking anyone up (or killing anyone off!) Also, if you loved my second novel, Welcome to My World, you’ll meet Harri again and find out what happened next for her! I love the idea that old friends are popping up to join the party and I hope you like discovering their new stories in I’ll Take New York!
It’s a very strange feeling for me this year as I’ll Take New York hits the shelves. This is my last book for Avon (HarperCollins) and it feels like the end of an era. It’s partly why I wanted to return to New York and revisit the Kowalski’s gang from my first novel, a kind of full-circle journey that represents the last six years of my life. During that time everything in my life has changed: I was discovered on Authonomy.com at the end of 2008 and signed a three-book deal with Avon in 2009, followed by another three-book deal in 2010. I’ve become a Sunday Times Bestseller five times over! My books have gone around the world, to date being bestsellers in four countries and translated into seven languages. My total sales number just below three-quarters of a million books worldwide – which is absolutely amazing! I got engaged in 2011, married Bob in 2012 and we welcomed our gorgeous daughter, Florence Wren, into the world this year. In September last year I finally achieved my dream and became a full-time published author after writing with the day job for five years. And next year, I move to embark a whole new chapter of my writing adventure with PanMacmillan…
Most importantly, more than five people in the world have read (and are reading!) my stories – something I secretly dreamed of from being very little. I never thought I would be able to say that, so having readers around the world is the biggest dream come true for me. If you’ve read my books, thank you. You’re amazing. If you’ve yet to read my books, I hope you enjoy my stories.
So much has changed, so much awaits – so, as I celebrate my sixth novel heading out into the big, wide world today, I’m so utterly grateful for everything that has happened. I really hope I’ll Take New York is a fitting tribute to everyone who has been involved, from my lovely Twitter and Facebook followers who had so much fun suggesting things for the book, to my fantastic agent Hannah Ferguson, who has been the biggest, brightest supporter of my work for years, to the lovelies at Avon and my editor, Katy Loftus – who is an absolute sweetheart and a dream to work with – and to everyone who picks up a sparkly paperback, nestles my book in their e-reader library or snuggles up with the audiobook.
Well, the wait is FINALLY over! I am over the moon to reveal the cover for I’ll Take New York!
I’m chuffed to bits with it and can’t wait to see the finished paperback cover with its gold foil stars and lettering. It’s out with the eBook and audiobook on 4th December, but you can pre-order it NOW at Waterstones, Hive.co.uk, The Book Depository, WHSmith and Amazon.
Here it is! Let me know what you think, lovelies! x
I’ve been offering opportunities for my readers to #getinvolved with my books for three years now and I love the way your suggestions spark ideas that feed into my stories. But I’ve never offered a competition like this before. I’ve written a couple of real-life lovelies into my books in the past, but never opened this up to everyone. But I’ve decided to do it now as my way of saying thank you – not just for supporting me and my books for six years, but also for coming with me as I move publishers at the end of this year. Book 7 – Anna Browne’s amazing story – will be my first book for Pan Macmillan and the beginning of a new era for my writing.
So please watch the vlog and then tell me why YOU should join Anna in her story. Leave a comment below or tweet me (using the hashtag #getinvolved). Go for it!
All this year, I am keeping a video diary about writing and publishing my sixth novel, I’ll Take New York. This week, there’s another chance to #getinvolved with Book Seven and I talk about whether writers need agents…
Thank you so much for all your fab entries for last week’s #getinvolved challenge – I reveal the winner in this week’s vlog! I’m loving writing Book 7, even if it is currently in snatched hours between nappy changes and feeds… I’ve another chance for you to appear in the book this week, which I tell you all about in the vlog.
This week’ question is one I’m asked a great deal: do writers need agents? I’ve been on both sides of the fence – without an agent for my first two book deals and with an agent for my third – so hopefully I can shed some light on the pros and cons. The lovely lady who asked this week’s question is the wonderful Joanna Cannon, who is a phenomenal writer. Click here to visit her website and read some of her work.
If you have a question you’d like me to answer, ask me! Leave a comment below this post, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @wurdsmyth.
p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled:’The Invisible Chihuahua’
All this year, I am keeping a video diary about writing and publishing my sixth novel, I’ll Take New York. This week, I have another #getinvolved challenge for Book Seven and talk about facing The Fear as a writer…
I’m getting back to work after a few wonderful months of new-mum-hood and this week have been checking the page proofs for I’ll Take New York – which has been lovely and scary in equal measure. It made me think about The Fear – a phenomenon known only too well to writers. How do you keep writing when the doubts creep in? When the inspiration won’t come and you’re staring at a blank page? In this week’s vlog, I talk about how I tackle The Fear.
Talking of finding inspiration, have YOU booked your ticket for one of my WriteFoxy! Writers’ Inspiration Days in November and February yet? They’re going fast for both dates, so don’t miss your chance to be inspired, fired up and have your love of writing rekindled by an amazing line-up of speakers. All the details are HERE…
So, here’s this week’s vlog – enjoy!
p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘Si-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-ing!’
All this year I am vlogging about the writing and publishing of my sixth novel, I’ll Take New York. This week, I have another exclusive extract for you, plus your next chance to appear in Book 7!
Thank you all so much for your brilliant coffee shop suggestions for my first #getinvolved challenge. It was a tough decision, but I have a winner at last… and I’ll tell you who they are in the vlog!
I thought it was about time I introduced you to Jake Steinmann – Ed’s brother from Fairytale of New York. I’ll Take New York is written from both his and Bea’s perspectives – I haven’t written anything from two points of view before but as soon as I began to write the book I felt that I wanted to take readers inside Jake’s head as well as Bea’s. Jake is travelling from his home in San Francisco back to his birth city of New York after his beautiful wife Jessica unexpectedly files for divorce. He is reeling from the revelation, having believed they had a perfect marriage, and chooses to return to New York to be close to his family and start his business again. It’s a painful decision, but to stay in San Francisco is unthinkable if he has to live there without Jess…
“He could stay in San Francisco, pretending that life was untouched by his wife’s decision to leave him. But he knew, deep down, that to stay in a city in which every street, sidewalk and brick seemed imprinted with her name would be the end of him. Better to nurse a broken heart on the other side of the country…”
The full extract is in the vlog – hope you enjoy it! Let me know what you think…
p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, “Ee by ‘eck, look at tha’ cap, lass…”
All this year, I am keeping a video diary about writing and publishing my sixth novel, I’ll Take New York. This week, as I start writing Book 7 again, I’m bringing back my #getinvolved challenges – giving you the chance to appear in the book…
Fancy influencing my next book? Well, this week I’m relaunching my #getinvolved campaign which could lead to your name and suggestion being included in Book 7! Those of you who have followed my vlogs for a while will know that I started this while writing Take A Look At Me Now – and I loved the suggestions that came out of the challenges, all of which shaped the story in ways I wasn’t expecting. In this week’s vlog, I’ll tell you the first challenge – but you only have until Friday 6th June to tweet, FB or email your suggestion to me. So get your thinking caps on and #getinvolved
Also this week, I answer your questions on which of my books is my favourite and what is the best way to get your book noticed and published.
p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘No Cheese, Gromit!’