Wednesday, 28 August 2013

A long way in such a short time.

Hello all, I hope you're still enjoying this fabulous summer.  Isn't it great?  

Owing to the re-release of Relative Deceit this coming Friday, I have been thinking about how far I have come, as a writer, in just one short year.

I've come such a long way that I can scarcely believe it.  However, when I search for myself on any bookstore website, there I am.  I can tell you it's an amazing feeling, even though I don't think it's truly hit home yet.

My journey began last year, 2012, when after a chance conversation with a friend, the idea for my book Charlotte - Pride & Prejudice continues was born.  I can tell you that ever since I was a teenager, I began and never finished stories/books.  However, this time I was encouraged by my wonderful husband and I kept on writing it.  He insisted that everyday I read to him what I had written.  It's quite a motivational tool, to be honest.  I felt that each day I needed to have something to read to him and so I kept on writing.  In three very short months the book was finished.  Wow, that still amazes me today!

Then when I turned my attention to my next book, I received a wonderful email.  It was from Geri Clouston the president of IndieBRAG.  Charlotte had been nominated for their prestigious BRAGMedallion and even more astonishingly, as far as I'm concerned, had won!  As you can see from the cover, Charlotte now proudly bears the 2012 BRAGMedallion.  It really blew me away, and still does.

With that under my belt I was inspired to keep writing.  I published Relative Deceit and, again, within a few short months something else happened to knock my socks off.  Moon Rose Publishing picked Relative Deceit up and said they wanted me to join them.  Well, you can imagine how that made me feel!  Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to sign with a small press publishing company - there aren't many authors out there who wouldn't!
The only downside, if it is a downside at all, was that I had to un-publish Relative Deceit and wait for it to be re-vamped under Moon Rose Publishing's banner - that wasn't so hard to do.
Relative Deceit will be re-released through MRP this coming Friday (30th August) - To join us for the online release event for Relative Deceit click HERE.  You're all welcome and we will be having a lot of fun to celebrate this book's release!

It wasn't long before my readers were emailing me and asking when Pride & Prejudice book 2 would be out.  So I had to get my skates on!  However, the next book took me a while to write.  Being a self-published author is not easy.  We have to do all our own promotion and marketing, and as a newbie I can tell you that was daunting.  I actually found it wearing and it ground me down.  I had to take a couple of months off to recover and to decide if I wanted to continue.  Yes, I actually thought about giving it all up!

But, I have a fabulous group of friends and authors around me - who I will name as I continued because of their love and support.  Jennifer, Judith and Michele urged me, nagged me, and lifted me up.  They spoke with me everyday and one thing that I realised was that they too had, from time to time, felt the exact same way.  That was very encouraging.  Little by little I regained the desire to write again and I picked myself up, dusted myself down, and got back to the computer and writing.
In a short time, Rosings - Pride & Prejudice Continues book 2 was coming along nicely and soon after I published it just before the anniversary of the release of Charlotte.

The success of Rosings urged me to write more and this time I wasn't going to let the marketing and self-promotion get me down.  While Rosings was being edited, I got straight on with writing The Uncanny Life of Polly.  This book was a genre change  for me and I thoroughly enjoyed writing it.  It's about an author who wrote a tacky book which surprisingly became a bestseller.  However, when she gets home from her world-wide book tour, she finds that the events in her book start to become real!  It's great fun and I recommend it to anyone who likes chick-lit and wants a good laugh.  I've had some fantastic emails about it from my female readers and one or two scathing ones from male readers - all I can say is, the book must have hit too close to the truth for their comfort, if you know what I mean! ;-)  (You'll have to read about Nicco to see what I'm talking about.)
The Uncanny Life of Polly is book 1 of a trilogy and I hope to begin book 2 in the spring of 2014.

As the release date for Relative Deceit approached, Moon Rose Publishing contacted me and asked me to write a series connected to Relative Deceit.
As you can imagine I was chuffed to be asked to do that, but I couldn't see how I might possibly work that.  Relative Deceit is a stand alone book and everything is neatly tied up at the end.  There are no loose ends that could hint on a sequel.  I had to think long and hard about this.
After a while it hit me.  I decided to take the detective from Relative Deceit, advance a few years and add his niece into the story.
I decided that the story/series would begin in 1923 - eleven years after Relative Deceit, and at a time when women were only just allowed into the police force in the United Kingdom.  As you can imagine, it's a time of great prejudice against women doing 'a man's job' and Lettie comes up against a lot of sexism.  Sam too - the detective in Relative Deceit, has problems of his own.  I enjoyed writing it and I look forward to developing the characters more in time and throughout the coming series.  I finished the final draft of It's a Man's World this Tuesday (27th August) and sent it immediately to Moon Rose Publishing!  Finger's crossed for a Christmas release!

So, looking back, I have written five books in just over one incredibly short year.  I can hardly believe it!  I am so excited for the year ahead.  My next project is Pride & Prejudice book 3 and then who knows!
All in all, there have been more ups than downs and this journey has been totally worth every minute.  It's been a steep learning curve and being a full-time write is not easy.  We put in long hours and get very little out of it, but having said that, there are other rewards.  I cannot put into words the immense satisfaction that comes from having written a novel... or five!

I love my job.  I love being a writer.  I love my readers.  I will continue to write and I hope you'll continue to give me feedback and tell me what you'd like me to write.

Thank you for a fabulous year!

xxx Karen xxx

Remember to join us for the online release event for Relative Deceit click HERE.