A Little Motivation

This is the café where we had brunch yesterday. It’s a wonderfully eclectic former cinema with high ceilings, ancient décor and Caferickety wooden tables; a sublime place where you can sit and have a family meal alongside someone reading the Sunday newspapers over a coffee.

The reason for our visit? We were all celebrating one of those weeks where we’ve enjoyed some accomplishments. Nothing major, just those little successes in life that may seem insignificant to those outside our little group but everything to the individual involved. For my part, after several months of break, I’ve started working on a new writing project.

My motivation over the summer was lacklustre at best and any time I did spend at the computer was mainly concentrated on faffing and fiddling with my latest novel before we start the official edits later this year. The day job kept me extra busy and my spare time was filled with long evenings drinking wine in the garden with my husband, cycle rides and days out with the family.

I’m not sure when or how the turning point came. Some of it may be due to the cooler weather and the days shortening, pulling me back to indoor activities. However, my motivation was certainly kick-started this week by a book club I had dinner with on Tuesday night. They were a lovely group of ladies and what struck me was their sheer sense of enthusiasm for the books they have read and enjoyed. In short, it was infectious.

It made me consider what I enjoy about the writing process: drawing up characters and watching them surprise me as they develop; working out those twists and turns so that the book moves at high tempo, enjoying the roll of the words as they reach the page. This is why I write, because I enjoy the buzz when something works and I read a passage back that makes the hairs on the back of arms stand on end. And I share my work in the hope that somebody else will read it and feel that same buzz.

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A Book Club and a Butterfly Festival

It’s been a busy week. Last Tuesday, I was invited to attend the book club supper of the nearby Broughton Book Club to discuss their read of An Unfamiliar Murder. I’ve said this many a time, but one of the nicest things about writing novels is the wonderful people you meet and this evening was no exception. I was treated to home-cooked food in the manner of Moussaka and Lasagne, accompanied by fresh salad and a selection of very yummy puddings.

It really was a lovely relaxed evening talking books and writing. I was honoured to be invited back to their next meeting at a nearby pub (it seems their meetings always involve food – the perfect accompaniment to books in my opinion!) in October to talk about their next selection, The Truth Will Out. Already, I am looking forward to another evening of the same.

On Saturday I travelled up to Harrogate for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival with my dear friend and partner-in-crime writing, Glyn Timmins. It’s a four day event, running from Thursday to Sunday, however personal and family commitments meant I could only manage the Saturday. One of my Twitter friends likened attending this festival to a butterfly: everybody flitting about, trying to see and do as much as possible and I certainly felt the pressure of squeezing lots into my one day.

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My Second Year in Publishing

I was going to call this post, ‘My Second Year as an Author’, but it seems to me that there is so much more to this business than writing stories that this somehow felt more appropriate.

This month marks two years since I received my first book contract from Rainstorm Press. Any of you that have followed the blog for a while may remember that this time last year I shared my first twelve months experience with you: the offer, the editing, cover art, launch, my baby steps into social media, and subsequent signings and events.  So, what has this year brought?

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My Evening with the Marvellous Readers Book Club

One of the nicest things about becoming an author is receiving contact from readers. I love receiving messages from people who’ve read my work and chatting to people on Twitter and Face book.  So you can imagine my delight when I was contacted by a local book club who’d read An Unfamiliar Murder and invited me to a meeting to talk about it.

With a mixture of excitement and trepidation I drove across to Northampton to spend an evening with the Marvellous Readers Book Club last Thursday. The venue was the cafe in ‘The Most Marvellous Place to Shop’, a bohemian store that sells vintage clothes and items. This is not my local town and I’d never visited store before, but it’s one of those places that you glance in the window as you pass by and share a little gasp with your friends: a place brimming with unusual gifts, home ware and clothes to suit every occasion; a place so wonderful that I’ve already made arrangements for a return visit with my daughter this coming weekend.

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