Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mad March Harrison

Well, as usual, I have spent most of this month tearing around like someone who never quite catches up with herself. Brighton, Liverpool, London, Barcelona. A crazed whirlwind - and that's without talking about all the imaginary places I've been visiting in my head.

News from the Beach

I've posted it on Facebook, but at the top of this post, you can see the fantastically exciting cover for Soul Beach, my first YA novel.

Even more exciting is the fact that it's going to be one of the first books to be published as part of the brand new Indigo imprint from Orion - all the books are aimed at young adults and I took a sharp intake of breath when I realised quite how cool my fellow authors are on that list. They include Harlan Coben, Sally Gardner, Marcus Sedgwick, Holly Black and Sara Grant.

Last night I finished the first, extremely rough draft of the second book in the Soul Beach series. I'm not going to show it to anyone until I have done a whole load of work on it, but it's been a fascinating process because the imaginary world I began developing in the first book, has been growing and changing and getting creepier. I wanted to finish this one early as I am also putting the very final finishing touches to the heading-for-the-presses UK version of the first in the trilogy, and I wanted to make sure I hadn't written something in Book 1 that would tie me in knots in Book 2: little details like birthdays, anniversaries, physical descriptions that might work better if they are changed to fit the story that follows.

I am part-plotter, part fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pantser when it comes to writing, but with a trilogy you can come unstuck very quickly unless you keep track, and with an alternative world, you are courting even more danger. So, wish me luck with the second draft.

Secret Shoppers and the book after that...

The beautiful hardback and the minimalist ebook of The Secret Shopper Affair has been out in the world for just over a week now, and I've already had some lovely reviews and emails.

It feels weird leaving Sandie, Emily and Grazia behind with my next book, but I reckon I've inflicted quite enough pain and suffering on them to be going on with, so now I'm working on a new, standalone title, The Last Chance Boot Camp, which follows a group of women who are desperate to get into shape - desperate enough to sign up for a military-style residential fitness course that will test them to their limits. I did hands-on research late last year and it was one of the toughest weeks of my life. I am having flashbacks every time I write about star jumps, press-ups and six a.m. runs. But it's a great setting for lots of conflict and change - the things I love to write about - and I hope it'll be a fun read. The book will be out next January (assuming I get my act together) when we're all merrily trying to keep our resolutions.

Web world

If you've visited my website lately, you may have noticed that, um, it's not actually there. Well, actually, as of this weekend there's a holding page as we are working on a redesign with extracts and news about both my adult and YA titles, plus lots of writing tips if you have a book inside you bursting to get out (hmm - is it just me, or does that sound like a medical emergency?). I hope it'll be launched really soon, so watch this space.

I've also sorted myself a page on Facebook - so glad they no longer call them 'Fan Pages' as that was too cringe worthy, but if you want to 'like' my page, I will like you back!

Right, ought to go and do some actual writing, eh? Hope you're enjoying the spring sunshine (if you're in my hemisphere - if not, then have a bountiful autumn).

Bye for now,


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Authors for Japan

If, like me, you're watching the pictures of the devastation in Japan with a sense of helplessness, author Keris Stainton has come up with a brilliant idea to raise funds.

Whether you're a reader or a writer or both, there's bound to be something you'll love on the site - signed books, character name offers, mentoring, critiquing. In total there are 150 items or pledges on offer - and the bidding is open now until Sunday 20th.

I'm also offering a critique of a first chapter/2000 words plus query letter of either a Young Adult or women's fiction novel - even if I do say so myself, I am a pretty good editor of other people's work and I know I can help you improve your work.

Of course, the point of the site isn't just to buy yourself something nice - it's also to raise funds. So take a look at the fab items on there and get bidding! I am off to choose something I like, too!
Keris has done an amazing job and we're spoiled for choice.