The Horseman's now been out for two weeks, and they've been amazing days. iBooks chose it as a best book of July, and gave it an amazing review, as did Scandalicious, Talking Books and even the staff at Dymocks Sydney. Equally amazing was then to see it reach 12th on the top Australian iBooks, and within the top ten in romance. Readers around Australia have been sending me "shelfies" (pics of the cover in their local store!) and lovely review of their own. I was particularly touched when one reader wrote to tell me that the story had provided some much needed escape at a time of grief. If I'd had no other feedback on any of my writing, ever, that would have been enough. My goal is to write good stories. Knowing The Horseman has been read an enjoyed is the ultimate fulfillment. And to cap the marvelous fortnight, this week The Horseman went to re-print. Thank you, everyone. I'll be working on the next one :)
I can't believe that it's been nearly two months since I wrote a blog, especially as that last blog post was in Paris. It feels too long ago! (or maybe that's the awful jet lag talking ... the ten days after we got back were pretty brutal). Anyway, this morning I'm sitting down to edit The Paris Wedding, which I have been resting for these past two months and which I now have my trusted friend/editor/beta-reader's notes on. The cold snap here in Brisbane is the perfect reminder of that glorious Paris trip; trying to resist leafing through photos instead of editing!
Other than that, there's lots of things happening. As I think I've posted on before, I started my PhD this year so I had assessment to hand in (done, fortunately), and The Horseman will be out in only a few weeks! We are having a launch at Avid Reader in Brisbane in July, so click on over to the books page if you want to see the details.
I've been doing so much reading lately I haven't seen many movies, but the movie adaptation of Jo Jo Moyes's Me Before You is almost out ... I'm not sure whether to see it. The book was fabulous and I have my mental images of Will and Lou - not sure I want them replaced with the cast actors, which always happens. Anyone else have that problem? All right, enough rambling and editing avoidance. Onwards!
Landing in my inbox today, what did I find? Only the fabulously sexy cover for my next book!
Loving the fresh look and the atmosphere in this cover - oh, and don't mind the hero either, ahem :)
Can't wait for release day, only a few months to go (which sounds like ages but really isn't - where did January go?). Of course, you can pre-order to get it as fast as possible. Will keep this space posted with news.
It's the new year, and to celebrate I'm giving away a personally signed copy of The Horseman to one lucky reader. To enter, all you have to do is sign up to my newsletter before the end of January (those already on the mailing list are automatically entered). The winner will receive the copy as soon as I receive my copies in May, which is the very fastest anyone can receive a signed copy. The winner will be chosen by random draw and announced in early February. Good luck!
So, yesterday I saw my first glimpse of The Horseman's cover. It looks mad (in the brilliant sense) and I'm itching to show it to you all. I will be giving my newsletter subscribers a sneak preview as soon as the final res comes through, so sign up if you haven't already. The next newsletter will also have a giveaway, some stuff about thus-far unpublished projects, and some useful Christmas-y stuff.
So that's that. Now, to the nuts and bolts of what I do each day, which is write. I'm currently writing the first draft of my next project, which involves the recent research trip to Parkes and a trip to Paris next year (so you can imagine how excited I am about it). I'm just under 30k in, which I've written since the start of December. That's not bad going, given I get about 2-3 work hours a day, and I've moved house in that time. This past few weeks (and months) has taught me a few things about writing:
- I work much better with time pressure. When the window is narrow, and I'm desperate to get those words out, procrastination has to bugger off. There's no time to stuff around. This is much like I used to write when I worked full-time. A few precious house in the evening and weekend was all there was, and I was incredibly productive.
- Staying in the chair ups the word count. Most of the time, I'm back to writing with the baby sleeping on my lap. Then, I can't get up. So the washing, the cleaning, the whatever else also must bugger off. There's no time for that.
- Social media has to bugger off too. This is my first blog in a while. I haven't been on facebook more than a handful of minutes. Nor twitter. Pinterest only for research board. There is zero time to spend chatting, commenting or engaging when you're writing a book.
My goal before Master A was to write 3000 words a day for first drafts. Now I aim for 2000, and most days I'm hitting it; some I do more, some a little less, and I don't expect words on the weekend. What's to learn from this? If you're writing and you can't get words done (and I see the problem a lot in my teaching), maybe ask yourself what else is occupying your time, and why that's so much more damn important than your book. Or ask if maybe someone needs to be figuratively standing over you with a whip - making a deadline could make a difference. Or are you saying to yourself that your writing doesn't matter as much as all this other stuff? (it does, by the way, your need to write is not mutually exclusive with other responsibilities, even parenthood - if this is you, you might be interested in this - I don't like everything about it but the spirit is good). Maybe another blog a later time on the real nuts and bolts of how I'm doing this (writing 2k a day while full-time caring for a nearly 9-month old). But for now ...
... I'll just end in saying, from amidst the pile of boxes in my house, best wishes to all for the upcoming festiveness, whichever variety of it you celebrate. Love and safety for everyone, and I hope Santa brings you good books :)