Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Autumnal greetings

Doesn’t time fly? Well, it does here. After months of sunshine, it definitely feels like back to school here in Barcelona at the moment. The last two days have been dark and gloomy and stormy (I felt very at home) but phew, the sun’s out again today!

It’s only two weeks now until The Secret Shopper Unwrappedis published in the UK, with a gorgeous seasonal cover. This, my dears, is the right colour – the pinky/purply design on most websites hasn’t been updated, it looked pretty on the page but rather sickly once printed up, so this new sparkly version is what you’ll be seeing in the shops (actually, I haven’t seen a copy yet but I am assured it looks just right...nail-biting stuff).
You can read the first chapter here on my main website... I've had some terrific response to the first book, and my editor loves this sequel, but I am still nervous and hope people enjoy it as much. I’ll be telling you more about the book – and about the work I’ve been doing on Old School Ties, my first novel, which is being re-published in November – in the next few posts, but meanwhile, I wanted to bring you up to date on some events.

I’m going to be appearing with three more of The New Romantics at the Guildford Book Festival on October 22 . Here’s the info:

Out with the Old in with The New Romantics, October 22, Guildford Library
What’s love got to do with it? The rise and rise of the literary love story.
Bestselling novelists Matt Dunn, Kate Harrison, Veronica Henry and Jojo Moyes present an evening devoted to the portrayal of passion on the page. As founders of the New Romantics, a group of authors dedicated to fiction with a happy ending, the four writers share their favourite novels, discuss the art of the love scene, and debate why British readers buy love stories by the million, but feel ashamed to be seen reading one in public.

On the same day, Matt and I will be running a workshop:

Boy Meets Girl: Writing Romantic Comedy
Guildford Library, North Street • 2.30pm-4.30pm
Best-selling novelists Matt Dunn and Kate Harrison lead you through the essential ingredients of writing love stories with a comic element - and then explore how to find an original angle to make your book stand out in this hugely popular, but very competitive genre. They’ll discuss titles, twists and the art of the satisfying ending.

I’m also going to be at a terrific Halloween themed event at Mostly Books in Abingdon on October 20 – when we’re asking whether Twilight has got its fangs into chick lit and killed it off. I’ll be talking there with author Victoria Connelly and discussing how to get published, how we write, and our novels generally.

Finally, if you missed out on the women’s fiction course I ran with the lovely Louise Voss earlier this summer, there’s an advanced course lined up for next March. I’ll be posting more soon, but here’s the basic information:

From Marian Keyes to Jodi Picoult and Lisa Jewell, women’s fiction is wide-ranging and vibrant – and publishers are always looking for new voices to entertain, amuse and move readers. This course offers workshops+feedback on the essentials of writing for this genre. Building on Head over Heels 2009, Kate Harrison, (seven successful novels in the genre), covers generating original ideas, developing compelling characters, key elements of structure and story-telling, and approaching publishers/agents with your work.
15th, 16th, 17th, 18th March 2010, 6pm – 9pm
So, plenty to keep me busy there, eh? Happy Autumn! May your leaves stay golden brown and never curl up!

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