A December Catch-Up
Since we’re nearly at the end of another year (I know! How did that happen?) I thought I’d do a blog post to tell you all where I’m at right now with my writing, and bring you up to date with my latest news, in case you don’t subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on social media.
The biggest news is – ***drumroll*** – I signed a three book deal with Storm Publishing!
I’m still in shock about this, to be honest, as it all happened so fast and so unexpectedly I can’t quite believe it happened. My friend, Jessica, sent me a link with a message to say a new publishing company had been formed by people with excellent credentials, and I should send them a manuscript.
I thanked her, but didn’t really have any intentions of doing so. I was busy writing at the time, and didn’t pay much attention to be honest. But as I was about to log off my computer for the evening, I read the details she’d sent me and I suddenly thought, “What if you don’t do this and you always regret it?”
It was a really strong feeling, and so I decided to go with it. I never, in a million years, thought I’d get a contract out of it. I fully expected a polite rejection, and in fact, when the email came through I barely glanced at it, thinking I’d deal with that later. It was only as I was about to skip to the next email that I noticed the subject header, which mentioned an offer, and realised it wasn’t a rejection at all.
It’s weird, you know. I didn’t react at all as I expected I would. I felt absolutely numb, and just stared at the screen for ages, thinking, “Well, this is different.”
Why Traditional Publishing?
I’ve been an indie author for nearly eight years now, and I love it. Being with a traditional publisher has never been high on my list of priorities. Lately, though, I’ll admit I’ve struggled. There are just so many books out there, and it’s becoming harder and harder to get noticed. I’m not one for blowing my own trumpet, and I shy away from publicity, so that doesn’t help at all.
I realised a while ago that there are places and readers traditionally published books can reach that mine simply can’t. I don’t think that’s necessarily true for every indie author, but you have to be extremely confident and outgoing to get your indie books into bookshops and libraries, and I’m not.
So I’d come to the conclusion that I needed help from experienced people, who had the clout and the knowledge to help me get my books in front of readers who would otherwise never hear about me, and I think the team at Storm will help me do that. I’m really looking forward to learning from them, and I’m excited to discover where this journey will take me next.
I’m also very lucky and grateful that I’ll be allowed to continue to write my paranormal books as an indie author. I know not all publishers permit this, so it was a huge relief to learn that Storm has no problem with it at all. Yay!
All Change for Winter Wishes
Kathryn, my lovely new editor, has taken the first three in my new Tuppenny Bridge series, and the first of those will be out in May. You may notice on Amazon that Winter Wishes at The White Hart Inn no longer says Tuppenny Bridge Book 1 against it. Instead, it simply has Tuppenny Bridge as a subtitle. That’s because the series will start with what was originally going to be Book 2.
Winter Wishes at The White Hart Inn is set at Christmas, and it was felt that the series shouldn’t start with a Christmas book. Also, it finishes the story of Sally and Rafferty from How the Other Half Lives, so we decided, after much discussion, that it should sit outside the main series as a bridge between How the Other Half Lives and Tuppenny Bridge.
That’s not to say Sally and Rafferty won’t appear in the Tuppenny Bridge series, because they’re an integral part of the market town, and the first book is actually Sally’s daughter Summer’s story. But we’ve moved on from what happened with the Kingstons and the Fletchers, and the story focuses on life in Tuppenny Bridge, and the fabulous characters who inhabit the pretty, Yorkshire Dales market town.
So that’s my big news! There’s a storm a-coming!
Bramblewick and Home for Christmas Paperbacks
Other news? Well, the Bramblewick and Home for Christmas books now have paperbacks for the first time. At least, they have paperbacks which match their new covers.
They’ve appeared in paperback before in various guises. The first four Bramblewick books were published by Ulverscroft as large print novels for their Linford Romance Library. (New Doctor at Chestnut House appeared as The Doctor’s Daughter.) Meanwhile, a summery version of Baxter’s Christmas Wish was also published by Ulverscroft as All Because of Baxter.
The Bramblewick books have also been published in paperback in three volumes, with two books in each volume. In the Home for christmas series, Christmas with Cary had its own paperback, but Baxter’s Christmas Wish was bundled with The Other Side of Christmas. However, I really wanted them all to have their own paperback editions with the new covers on, so I’ve been working hard on that for the last couple of weeks.
At the time of writing this, all three Home for Christmas paperbacks are published. I’m just waiting for a proof copy of Christmas at Cuckoo Nest Cottage, the final book in the series (and possibly my favourite of them), and when I’ve approved that it will mean the entire six books in the Bramblewick series are available in print too.
I completed NaNoWriMo in November. NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, and participants try to write fifty thousand words in thirty days. It’s very doable if you’re not doing much else, and your head’s in the right space. I was all over the place, though, what with the Storm negotiations going on, and the paperbacks in production, and various other calls on my time.
I got very behind, and really wasn’t sure I was going to make it, but a final surge during the last few days meant I crossed the finishing line with just fifty-eight words to spare! Phew! You can see my winner’s badge on the side bar next to this post.
That means that His Lawful Wedded Witch is just over fifty thousand words in, and I have roughly double that to write to complete the book. It’s going to be a tight squeeze, as the book is up for pre-order and will be published on January 24th. I also have the first round of edits coming in from Kathryn for the first Tuppenny Bridge book in mid-December, so no pressure!
I’m enjoying writing His Lawful Wedded Witch though. As I finished NaNoWriMo, the St Clair twins and two others had just arrived in Glastonbury, and Glastonbury – which is one of my favourite places – was always bound to be fun to write.
New Facebook Page
I’ve also created a new Facebook author page. This is because I realised that a lot of my women’s fiction/contemporary romance readers don’t read my witchy books, but some of my witchy readers don’t read my women’s fiction/contemporary romance. I was posting very generic content to my writer’s page to please both sets of readers, but ended up pleasing no one. So I created SharonBoothAuthor on Facebook, which is purely for my magic and mystery novels, and you can find that here.
For fans of my women’s fiction/contemporary romance books, you can find me here.
I think that just about covers it for now. As you can see, a lot’s happened since the end of October when I did my last blog post! I’ll be back with a Christmas post in a couple of weeks. Can’t believe it’s less than three weeks to the big day already. This year has just galloped by.
Have a great week.