Friday 26 March 2021

Book News: A Beginner's Guide To Salad Paperback


A Beginner's Guide To Salad Paperback

I'm very excited to share the news that A Beginner's Guide To Salad is now available as a paperback!

A Beginner's Guide To Salad was my first published novel, back in 2014 but it's only ever been available as an ebook - until now. I'm so pleased that Ruth's story is now more widely available with its new format.

If you're a newsletter subscriber, make sure you check your inboxes for my latest newsletter because there's a chance to win a signed copy of the book.

As with all my books, you can find 'Book Extras' here on the blog, with quizzes, playlists, fun facts and more. Click here to see the Book Extras for A Beginner's Guide To Salad.

Ruth loves nothing more than curling up in front of the telly with a family-sized bar of chocolate. She doesn’t do diets and she certainly doesn’t do exercise. But all that changes when she’s invited to her school reunion.

Bullied at school for being overweight, Ruth’s first reaction is to rip the invitation into a million pieces. But then Ruth hatches a plan. She’ll lose the weight and arrive at the reunion looking gorgeous and glamorous, leaving her old classmates in awe. Especially her former crush, Zack O’Connell.

With the help of her friends and a new, unbelievably hot colleague, Ruth begins her transformation. With six months until the reunion, losing weight will be a piece of cake, right?

Friday 19 March 2021

Are We Friends on Instagram?


Instagram Grid

I spend an awful lot of time on Instagram. It's full of books, dogs and cats, and baking, so why wouldn't I? It's my favourite social media platform as it's far less political and cesspit-like than some of the others and filled with lovely, joyful things instead.

I like to post pics of books, mugs of tea, writing updates and my Jack Russell, Luna, and hopefully soon there will be some flowers and bugs from my garden. So if this is the kind of thing that interests you too, you can find me here

Instagram Grid

Find me on Instagram

Friday 12 March 2021

Writing Book 12: Draft Two - The End

 Writing Book 12

It seems like only two minutes ago that I was blogging about starting the second draft of Book 12, but it was actually two weeks ago and it's now finished.

Draft 2 - The End

I was quite apprehensive about the second draft; in my head, the first draft was a messy jumble of words, written during the first lockdown while home-schooling, and I thought it needed a LOT of work. But it wasn't nearly as crappy as I thought it was going to be and although I've had to delete stuff, rewrite and add scenes, and move bits around, it's been a pleasure to work on.

Mug of tea in front of laptop

I've loved being back in Clifton-on-Sea, back in Cleo's world (and not just because there isn't a hint of Covid or social distancing there) and I'm going to miss her. So much so, I'm starting to wonder if there may be further tales from Cleo Parker...

Friday 5 March 2021

Writing To Music


Writing to Music

I have to have music on in the background while I'm writing, because a silent room feels... odd. I can't have the TV on (unless someone else is watching it in the same room, in which case I'll have my headphones on) because I find it distracting, but lyrics in songs - even songs I'd usually sing along to - don't pose a problem at all.

For me, music can help set the mood: upbeat for a fun scene, ballads for more moving ones, or festive favourites for Christmassy scenes. And music was extra important for me while writing Book 12, because I knew there'd be a big gap between drafts and that I'd be writing a whole new book for Nanowrimo between them.

Music Notes

While writing the first draft, I set up a playlist on Spotify with a lot of 70s music (because this features in the book) as well as songs that I felt motivating (fast beat = fast typing?) and I listened to it, from the beginning, during every writing session so that now, when I hear The Buzzcocks' 'Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)' I can't help thinking about Cleo. The plan was to have a set of music that immediately brought me back into Cleo's world so that it would be easier to go back there when the time came to start the second draft.

But did it work?

I finished the first draft of Book 12 at the beginning of August 2020 and didn't return to it until late February 2021, meaning there was a gap of over six months, and I do think having that same playlist, that I listened to for every writing session over the four months it took to write the first draft, helped to set the mood again. I set the playlist going and I was back in Clifton-on-Sea, back in Cleo's world, ready to get going on her story.

What about you? Do you listen to music while you write? And if you do, what kind of music helps you?