May 2, 2018

So what's it like being an author while also being the mum of two teens?

I'm wondering if that's why I train for triathlons - a good excuse to get out of the house.I mean, here's an example: that moment your book arrives in the post, and you're opening up the box and you're soooo excited because this is a dream come true and inside that box is ANOTHER baby, and your family are surrounding you and it's just so mindblowingly exciting and you absolutely have to pinch yourself because surely...

April 4, 2018

What nobody told me before I got I'm telling you.

January 29, 2018

Thank you to everyone who attended the book launch for The Harper Effect in January. What a great turnout and the panel of elite athletes were so inspiring and entertaining.

For those of you who couldn't make it, we had an inspiring chat with a panel of amazing local young athletes. The reason they were part of the launch is that The Harper Effect is written in the world of professional tennis, and so I wanted to show people that Harper is not a fictional character who can never be eman...

December 17, 2017

I don't know about you, but I grew up watching a lot of movies that involved the hero/heroine having to overcome several obstacles and life issues in order to win at some sort of sport. My favourites, which I watched again and again, were Chariots of Fire, The Karate Kid, Rocky, A League of Their Own, and then later on, Million Dollar Baby, Bend It Like Beckham and Step Up.

I don't know - there was just something I loved about the underdog coming good, about chasing a dream and finally ge...

December 6, 2017

So I've been sharing with you what happens AFTER you sign the book contract and thought it was time for another post. My last post in October talked about getting your author platform ready well in advance of even submitting your novel to publishers.

This month it's all about the final stages of editing with Pan Macmillan. Advanced Reading Copies (ARCs) have already been sent out for early reviewers and something I didn't know - they used a different cover. This could be to 'hide' the cov...

November 13, 2017

I wrote the very first draft of The Harper Effect over thirty years ago when my 15-year-old brother was playing at Wimbledon and won a scholarship to the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida. At the time, I was training for the Olympics in the 400m track event. Sport was and still is an important part of my life, and even as a teen, I could see how it helped me through the usual teen angsts that we must all survive.

I hope that my novel, The Harper Effect, will do two things for my...

November 1, 2017

What happens AFTER you sign your book contract with your publisher? That’s what I’ve been posting about, because I believe the things that happen after you’ve signed that contract provide another steep learning curve and the more you can prepare for it, the better off you’ll be.

This learning curve applies mostly to publicity – it’s a whole new skill, a whole new mindset, and it’s a massive workload. So I have a few points to help you get prepared and get ahead.

  1. Figure out your author...

October 17, 2017

So this is how THE HARPER EFFECT started out. A different title, different character names and ages, different voices and perspective, but this was the seed of the concept. The teacher I wrote this for suggested I keep at it and think about becoming a writer. It took a while, but I'm here, finally. 

So with just weeks to the publicaction of THE HARPER EFFECT, do you want to know what's going on in my world? Surprisingly, it’s the second book Macmillan contracted that has taken over all my...

October 3, 2017

So I've finally had the request for my acknowledgments page for THE HARPER EFFECT. I kept putting it off, knowing the request was coming, and now I know why! WHAT IF I FORGET SOMEONE?

I'm having sleepless nights, waking up and remembering another name to add. It's not that these 'forgotten' people are unimportant, it's just that with a first novel, the people who helped make it happen can stretch back for years, not just months. And some people helped in seemingly minor but very important...

September 18, 2017

The final copy edit is done, so it's time for the BOOK COVER BRIEF. I promised to keep you posted about what happens after the book contract is signed, and I'm now at a stage where it's seeming really real because it's time to design a book cover -- ie the face of my book baby.

This is just my experience with my publisher, Pan Macmillan so it may be different with other publishers. When asked to let them know what sort of ideas I had for a book cover I pretty much blanked out. Then I reme...

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