The last four months…

Gordon Bennett, it’s been a wild few months, let me tell you…

What have I learned on my writing journey?

That ‘The End’ is absolutely NOT the end.

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Typing those two words is really only the beginning of a long and sometimes arduous journey. There are revision rounds, the length and breadth of which you can’t anticipate. Then there’s all the material that needs producing to support the book: forms that need completing, synopsises to write, promos to take part in and circulate, and all the while there’s a team around you (if you’re lucky enough not to be going it alone) working really hard to take what you provide and make it even better, market it appropriately and give it the best chance of success. These peeps just astound me with their talent and commitment, they are simply the best and I want to thank them all from the bottom of my heart. So much work goes on behind the scenes, you can scarcely believe it until you’re in it.

On top of all this book prep, you also need to maintain a social media presence and boy, is that distracting! It’s too easy to lose hours in the social media hole and you really have to be disciplined to keep that under control. A definite skill to learn and practice daily, for as much as it is awesome – it gets your name out there, you meet like-minded individuals who are always willing to give you a boost when you need it most and vice versa, and you can certainly learn an awful lot – it also readily eats into your writing time and that is too precious to lose!

What have been my highlights since my last post?

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January ended on a high as I attended the Mills & Boon DARE launch party. It was my first opportunity to meet with my editors, fellow authors, bloggers and so on. It was an amazing night and one I won’t forget. Thank you M&B, for throwing such a fabulous bash and for the wonderful goody-bags I came away with as well as memories I will treasure forever.

In March, I attended the Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards at the beautiful Gladstone Library, London. And wow, was it amazing. Jilly Cooper was there. Jilly-frigging-Cooper. How I wish my mum was still alive so I could have told her!

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The night was a huge celebration to Romance and I loved every second, particularly as my husband was by my side and we got to party the night away with the fabulous peeps from M&B and in particular, fellow author, Jenni Fletcher and her husband – it was such a blast! We won’t forget those toilets in a hurry, hey Jenni?

The very next day, I was welcomed into the Mills & Boon office and given a tour, fizz in hand would you believe. That team sure know how to celebrate! It was such a delight to see where all the magic happens firsthand and to meet those in the office that day. They made me feel so special and I loved every second. It was topped off beautifully by lunch with my fabulous editor, Sareeta Domingo. Another day I won’t ever forget courtesy of you, Mills & Boon!

And my final highlight, it has to be the wonderful Flo Nicoll at Mills & Boon, asking if I would represent the DARE line in a Harlequin Blog post celebrating Young Writers Day on April 10th (you can still check it out here). It was such an honour to be part of it with the great Maisey Yates and Lara Lacombe. I truly loved putting together a post that encouraged young writers to stick at it and get their words out there. Just the sort of thing I could have done with reading all those years ago.

So, what am I doing right now?

Other than sat at my computer in a state of disbelief that this is truly all happening still (this honestly happens most days), I’m working with Deep Desires Press and putting the finishing touches on my book that launches next month. Yes, next month!

UNSHACKLED

~ the new, extended and totally sizzling edition ~

Coming to you May 1st!

I can’t tell you how excited I am to reveal this book to you all! I’m also terrified, nervous and freaking myself out with the various what ifs but nevertheless, it’s coming, and nothing can stop it 🙂 Not even my self-doubt which I’m slowly learning to stamp out, or at least ignore (ooo, that’s something else to add to what I’ve learned above). So, keep an eye out, I’ll have it splashed all over here and social media very, very soon…I promise.

Thank you so much for reading,

Ciao for now,

Rx

PS I’ll let you in on a little interesting fact I learned while writing this post (that’s if you don’t know it already): The origin of the expression Gordon Bennett.

My husband declared, having read this, that “no one uses this expression any more”. In fact, he tells me this quite often when delving into one of my books as apparently, I go all olde worlde when I write. I told him nonsense, I use it, so others must do.  As an aside, he also regularly informs me that a word I’ve used doesn’t exist – we have this argument fairly often – and in most cases, though I daren’t tell him this, he is absolutely right. What can I say, the creative juices clearly don’t stop at story creation, we have to throw in some new words too…

Anyway, the expression Gordon Bennett came to me when writing the opening line and so I’m sticking with it. But I did realise I had no clue where it came from. A quick Google later and apparently the expression of incredulity alludes to the scandalous behaviour of Mr James Gordon Bennett, Jr (1841-1918), an American sportsman, publisher and all-round hell-raiser. What a “fun” chap. Quite the legacy to have an expression hang around a hundred years after your death…whatever my hubby may say to the contrary…I take my hat off to you Mr Bennett.

 

 

 

 

 

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