Tag Archives: romantic comedy

Finished! Woo-hoo!

Just a quick post to let you know that I’ve FINISHED writing the first draft of my new book! Woo-hoo!

First Draft DONE

(In case the word count is confusing, I have a scene after THE END in this document that I’ve now snuggled into the middle of the book where it belongs…)

It’s taken lots of late nights (including five all-nighters, which I don’t recommend!), countless cups of tea and coffee, at least three different notebooks on the go at once and not an awful lot of sleep, but my ninth novel is finally written and I’m chuffed to bits with it.

Of course, there are edits to come – a structural edit, line edit, copyedit and final proof edit – but for now my book is out of my head and onto the page. All the locations are there, the cast and supporting cast (always important in my books) and a central town setting that is as much a character as the protagonists themselves. I hope you’ll be able to not just imagine yourself there but also experience the sights, sounds, scents and tastes of this story.

It’s my most romantic story to date, I think, written from the dual perspectives of Seren MacArthur and Jack Dixon. I’ve adored writing both their worlds and their voices came to me really quickly, which isn’t always the case. I think you’re going to love them, along with their friends and families. And a dog. There might be a dog…

I’m doing a final read-through today and then sending it to my editor at PanMacmillan tomorrow. It feels like the end of a mammoth journey, which has included moving house, being without internet for a month, things breaking and scary bills (who said being a full-time author was glamorous?!). In reality it’s only the first stage in a journey, but I think this is the most important – not to mention the most fun – where I get to tell myself the story first, before anyone else sees it. From the moment I hit send on the email taking it to my editor tomorrow, this story stops being just mine. And that’s okay because it’s one of the beautiful things about writing novels – your first draft is a single splash in a pool that then sends ripples out further than you can ever see.

But I might just hug my manuscript a little tonight, while it’s still just me and the story…

HERE IT IS! My Big Sparkly Book News!

I have been waiting to share this with you for so long – and now the time has finally come!

….DRUMROLL PLEASE…

My eighth novel will be called SEARCHING FOR A SILVER LINING and will be published by PanMacmillan on 20th October 2016! You can now preorder it here…

SFASL Title Reveal

Here’s the blurb:

Searching for a Silver Lining

It began with a promise…

Matilda Bell is left heartbroken when she falls out with her beloved grandfather just before he dies. Haunted by regret, she makes a promise that will soon change everything…

When spirited former singing star Reenie Silver enters her life, Mattie seizes the opportunity to make amends. Together, Mattie and Reenie embark on an incredible journey that will find lost friends, uncover secrets from the glamorous 1950s and put right a sixty-year wrong.

Touchingly funny, warm and life-affirming, this is a sparkling story of second chances. Searching for a Silver Lining will take you on a trip you’ll never forget.

So, there it is! I am beyond excited for you all to read this book – I have had the best time writing it and I know you’re going to love vintage shop owner Mattie Bell and the wonderfully glamorous and outspoken Reenie Silver. The cover is being designed as we speak and I’ll tell you lots more about the book in the coming weeks, so watch out for my vlogs coming soon.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts! xx

 

YOUR chance to appear in Book 8!

Right now, I’m editing what will be my eighth novel and I’m making some substantial changes to the first draft I submitted at the end of last year. So, I thought it was about time we had some fun with the book…

What I’ve loved in recent years is involving my lovely readers in not just the launch of my books but throughout the process, via my vlogs and #getinvolved challenges. It’s been so much fun to incorporate ideas – and in some cases, readers themselves as characters – into my stories.

So, this got me thinking. How can I have fun with this big edit of Book 8, while also getting my lovely readers involved?

Here’s my exciting plan…

As this is an edit and I don’t have a lot of room to put in suggestions and new characters, I’ve decided to offer some chances for teeny-tiny mentions I can sneak into the story without detracting from it or changing the pace.  I’m calling these MICROCAMEOS. Think of it like film extras who appear in scenes to support the action. I would like to sneak you into the heart of the action of Book 8, hanging out with my brand new cast of characters.

Fancy grabbing a MicroCameo in my new book?

To win a spot in Book 8, simply share this blog post (via Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or on your blog) and leave a comment (either below this post, on my Facebook Author Page or tweet me @wurdsmyth on Twitter) telling me why you should have a MicroCameo. I’ll pick as many as I can to sneak into the story and if you appear in the book, I’ll mention you in the Acknowledgements at the beginning, too. Entries must be in BY MIDNIGHT (GMT) ON FRIDAY 11TH MARCH.

I would love to write you into my book. What are you waiting for? Best of luck! xx

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!’

It’s Here! I’ll Take New York heads into the world…

START SPREADING THE NEWS…

I’ll Take New York is published TODAY – and I’m over the moon to share my sixth book with you!

ITNY P-Day cover You can buy your sparkly paperback, ebook and audio editions from:

Waterstones
Amazon
The Book Depository
Hive.co.uk
Tesco.com
Sainsbury’s

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!

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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.

Happy P-Day, I’ll Take New York!

I don’t write ‘crap books’, thank you very much…

Last week, my book cover was wrongly featured in a blog post on The Spectator website, along with covers of authors I know and love. The article wasn’t even about our supposed genre, so I can only assume our covers were used as ‘click-bait’. We were accused, by implication, of writing ‘crap books’. So, I feel I have a right to reply…

The header image used in The Spectator blog article, Let me introduce you to ‘sick chick lit’ has now been changed to a stock image. But this is the image originally posted (thank goodness for Google’s image caching):

Spectator blog article header

(Books featured above: Take a Look at Me Now by Miranda Dickinson; Yours Truly by Kirsty Greenwood; Christmas at Carrington’s by Alexandra Brown; Wish Upon a Star by Trisha Ashley; Just for Christmas by Scarlett Bailey; Beyond Grace’s Rainbow by Carmel Harrington; Bridget Jones – Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding; and Step Back in Time by Ali McNamara.)

The article was supposed to be about the author’s dislike for Gone Girl and Before I Go to Sleep, which, she appeared to be arguing, represented a cynical plot by publishers to extend the chick-lit genre (whatever that actually means) to books with a domestic violence storyline. So why our book covers were used is a mystery. But the inference in the article was that women’s fiction books (into which many varied female authors are lumped together as ‘chick-lit’ by lazy journalists) were crap: “Chick lit has its place,” the author stated. “I’m not being snobby about crap books.”

I don’t write crap books, thank you very much.

Neither do any of the authors featured in the original header image to that article. Had the author of the piece actually bothered to read any of the books, she would have found stories of women empowering themselves, bucking the status quo, refusing to put up with crap jobs and unreliable partners, overcoming fears and growing as individuals. Yes, there might be romantic threads in the books. Yes, the protagonists may be female. But the stories are inspiring, entertaining, thought-provoking and relevant to the lives of thousands of readers. And that seems to be the main crux of the article writer’s problem.

“The basic chick-lit plot centres on getting a man, keeping a man or coping with a man when he leaves you/is being a total bell end,” the article states. Well, in that case, Take a Look at Me Now is not a basic chick-lit plot. It’s about a woman who, when life deals her a blow, refuses to lie down and take it and instead takes control back by doing something just for her. In the course of that experience she reconnects with an ambition to start her own business, which empowers her to make it happen. Yes, there is a romantic sub-plot, but whether she ‘gets a man’ or not is an added extra, rather than the main event (and, crucially, is her choice, adding to the empowerment theme).

What I strongly object to is the idea that only self-appointed literary ‘experts’ can dictate what readers should be reading. That reading should be a joyless slog; and that, by definition, any enjoyment one finds within the pages of a book is instantly unworthy. Great stories are those which meet us where we are and take us somewhere else – they challenge, amuse, terrify along the way but, most importantly, entertain us. And great stories do not fit in genres defined by the media or publishers. Real readers know this already – and the reason books like those featured above are popular is that readers connect with the stories within and recommend to other people. Readers are savvy, intelligent individuals who will seek out great stories, without having to rely on self-important ‘experts’ to help them.

I would hazard a guess that Take a Look at Me Now was used in the header because there is a woman with a handbag on the cover. Let me let you into a little secret here: I hate that handbag! I argued against it, not least because my protagonist Nell never goes shopping in the book, but also because the woman is too thin and at no point in any of my novels do I prescribe body shape (or have my protagonists obsessing about ‘big bums’). The point is, authors rarely have a say in book cover designs, a bi-product of which is that it unfortunately allows literary snobs to make idiotic snap judgements about our books without reading them.

As I said in my comment on The Spectator article, it would seem that the old adage, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ is as pertinent today as it ever was. So, dear ‘literary commentators’, please let readers decide what is worthy of their time – and stop decrying the sheer pleasure of reading!

Miranda Writes 30 – Do writers need agents?

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 mirandawurdy@gmail.com or tweet me @wurdsmyth.

Enjoy! xx

p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled:’The Invisible Chihuahua’

Miranda Writes 26 – Plotting vs Pants-ing and New Mum Writing…

All this year, I am keeping a video diary about writing and publishing my sixth novel, I’ll Take New York. This week, I talk about plotting novels, dream film adaptations and my new life as a Writing Mum…

I’m so chuffed that many of you loved last week’s cheeky extract of I’ll Take New York – keep your eyes peeled for more sneak-peeks coming soon… In the meantime, I answer your questions on writing, including whether I can see my books as films, how much I plot my novels and how becoming a mum has changed my writing process. You might be surprised by my answer!

What would you like to know about writing, publishing, books or anything else? Leave me a comment below, tweet me your question on Twitter @wurdsmyth, post it on my Facebook page or email me at mirandawurdy@gmail.com.

Enjoy! xx

This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled: ‘Ooh, put that away!’

Miranda Writes 24 – Book deals, surprising characters and dream locations

All year I’m making vlogs to chart the life of my sixth novel, I’ll Take New York. This week, after my BIG NEWS has broken, I’ll tell you how I feel about the next three years and answer your great questions about books, writing and publishing.

How should you go about self-publishing and should you choose that option over a traditional route to publishing? Do my characters ever surprise me? And which locations would I like to write about? These fab questions are answered in the vlog. I hope you enjoy it!

Plus – watch out for MY NEW HAT! I thought it was about time I treated myself to a new hat as the last few vlogs have been in somewhat of a Hat Rut….

So what would you like to know about writing, books, publishing, hats or anything else? leave a comment under this post, or email me at: mirandawurdy@gmail.com or tweet me @wurdsmyth. I’d love to answer your questions!

Enjoy! xx

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