Introducing, Emma Jackson.

This week I’m thrilled to be able to introduce you to Essex Life Magazine’s book reviewer, Emma Jackson. I thought it would be really interesting to find out more about how she chooses books to review, what the pressures of her job are and what surprises her about the books she’s sent to read. I’ve been lucky enough to have two of my most recent books reviewed in this wonderfully glossy and popular magazine, so I asked Emma if she could share some insights with other authors, to help with their writing journey.

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1-How did you become a book reviewer for a magazine?

I was very lucky when I became a book reviewer, I had emailed a few magazines and the Essex Life was one that got in touch and I’ve been doing it for about four months.

 

2- What are the biggest pressures you face in your job?  

The biggest pressures I have in my job is reading and reviewing three books in a month as well as holding down a full time job and doing my coursework!

 

3- Do you have to read genres you don’t enjoy?

I’ve actually been lucky with the genres as I’m happy to read anything. I struggle more with history but I’ll still give it a go.

 

4- What makes a book stand out to you?

The books that stand out for me is when the front cover catches my eye with the captions on them, it gets my attention and and I’m instantly intrigued with the book.

 

5- What would make you put a book down and stop reading it?

The only things that make me want to put a book down is if it’s slow pacing and doesn’t flow, or if it’s got too much swearing in it. I know sometimes it’s if a character is portrayed that way and I understand that bit if it’s for the sake of it I’ll put it down. 

 

6- Have you got any tips for other writers for submissions to magazines? 

When you submit your submissions to a magazine, my tips are to write it and leave it for a couple of days, then go back to it and do the finalizing. Make sure that the guidelines, word count and genre etc are what they’ve asked for. 

 

7- How do you find time for other writing projects?

Finding time for my other writing projects is a nightmare! Though I did get told to spread my work out a bit and to set an alarm so I’m not over doing it.

 

8- What are your plans for your future writing career?

My plans for my future writing career would be to write and sell my own book/books and to carry on book reviewing.

 

9- Have you ever been really surprised by a book?

I’ve been surprised by many books but the ones that surprise me the most seem to be rom-coms as I’m not a particular big fan of them. 

 

10- What qualities do you look for an author to be showcased in a magazine? 

The qualities I look for in an Author to be showcased in a magazine is someone who is genuine, friendly and approachable. 

Not only do the book reviews Emma writes go in The Essex Life Magazine, but  she very kindly puts them on her Facebook page which is called Loulousbookpage. They also go on goodreads and Amazon. You can also find Emma on Twitter: Emma-Lou @loulousbookpage

Twitter for writers.

Hello everyone. Happy new week. Quite a few people have been asking me about Twitter and some ways to be social on it without it taking over your whole life. It’s not easy!

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I feel that as a writer, it’s important to be on social media like Twitter, as it gives my readers and followers on there a chance to find out more about my personality and writing routine. If people enjoy my Twitter timeline, it makes sense that they might also like reading my books. I do schedule some tweets, but change them up every one to two weeks. Twitter doesn’t like posts to be repeated more than once every 24hrs, so be sure to only schedule posts for longer than this time. You can change one word in a tweet and it will count as a new scheduled tweet though. Most of these sites have brief tutorials of how to use them and the scheduling is pretty say to do. You literally type the text and set the time. If you do want to add images, then you sometimes have to use the paid version.

Mostly, I pop by Twitter a few times a day, to say hello and post updates about my writing. I add funny photos that fit with my writing theme, which is humour and romance and try to lighten people’s day, as this is what my books are about too, making my readers smile.

Let me know if you have any other apps that might help other writers. Have a fun filled and creative day!

 

Apps that work well for scheduling are:

Hootsuite

SocialOomph

Buffer

 

Introducing author Paula Williams.

INTRODUCING…..  PAULA WILLIAMS

Paula Williams has been writing for as long as she can remember.  As a child she churned out plays and pageants, which she would then bully her unfortunate younger brothers into appearing in, something they still claim to be traumatised by to this day!

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For the last ten years she’s had a very successful career writing short stories and serials for magazines.  But her great love is crime fiction, both writing it and reading it.  She has done so since the age of 12 when her mother first introduced her to Agatha Christie.  She lives in Somerset, (UK), where her debut crime novel, Murder Served Cold, (the first in the Much Winchmoor Mystery series) is set.  In fact, the village of Much Winchmoor bears an uncanny resemblance to the village she lives in – although none of her neighbours are ruthless murderers… as far as she knows!

 

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BOOK LINK:

mybook.to/murderservedcold

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/paula.williams.author.

Twitter @paulawilliams44

Blog   paulawilliamswriter.wordpress.com

Website www.paulawilliamswriter.co.uk

Check out Paula’s blog at paulawilliamswriter.wordpress.com

Murder Served Cold. Crooked Cat Books. October 2018

 

 

 

 

Powerful words.

I hope you have all had a great weekend. I read an interesting article on Saturday about finding insights from inspirational quotes. It was explaining how we can look at the words used in popular quotes and to try and work out what is so powerful about them. Why do they make an impact and what do they mean to us?

Logic meme by Lizzie Chantree

We can turn this around and ask the same question of our own writing. Do our words convey the message we want them to? Are our readers going to feel an emotional attachment to our stories from what we have written? It’s a top tip when sitting back and reconsidering everything during the editing stage. Are you making the impression you want to? If not, what can you do to really make your story work?

Happy writing!

 

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Self-confidence meme by Lizzie Chantree 7.30

 

If you love me, I’m yours. A romantic comedy by Lizzie Chantree.

The Pretender by Katie Ward.

The Pretender

Introducing Katie Ward:

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to author Katie Ward. Today, Katie has stopped by to tell us about her latest book, The Pretender. Over to Katie… 

Author Bio

Katie Ward always knew she wanted to write for a living. However, she was told by her careers advisor that “it might be more appropriate for you to work in a shop”. When Katie didn’t get the grades she needed to get into college, she negotiated a three month trial. After successfully completing the course she secured a place at her first choice university to study Journalism.

After realising she wanted to be an author, Katie moved to Dublin where she worked her way up from receptionist to Executive Assistant at Merrill Lynch. Katie continued to write in her spare time, submitting her short story into the “Do the Write Thing” competition being run by Irish TV show ‘Seoige and O’Shea’. This story was originally written when Katie was 14 after she was inspired by an article in her favourite teen magazine. Katie was the only non-Irish author selected to have her story published in an anthology of the same name which reached 19 in the Irish Best sellers List. Katie was also shortlisted for a competition judged by MAN Booker Prize winning author Roddy Doyle which was run by Metro Eireann newspaper.

The Pretender Cover

Book blurb: The Pretender

France 2000: Two babies are born on the same day just two hours apart – but to very different lives. Isabella is a Princess and heir to the French throne, while Sophia is born into a life of poverty and abuse at the hands of her father. At the age of 18, Sophia runs away from home. That same night, Isabella is also fleeing from the burden of her royal life when she finds Sophia slumped at the palace gates. Amazed by how alike they look, Isabella proposes a daring plot – to exchange their lives for one week.
‘The Pretender’ is an emotionally intense and compelling story of friendship, love and the strange power of destiny.

Purchase from Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pretender-Katie-Ward-ebook/dp/B07GDTD2VH/

 

From Katie: 

I remember the moment I realised I wanted to be an author. I was 22 years old and working as a reporter for a local newspaper. I’d always thought I wanted to be a journalist but sitting there, typing away, it hit me…I wanted to be an author.

I quickly came up with the idea for my first novel, as well as deciding to move to New Zealand.

I’d like to say that I had a plan in place but as an eternal optimist they’ve never been mandatory! I’ve always preferred to just go with the flow and see where life takes me. However, no amount of optimism could change the fact that I needed a lot of money to move to New Zealand and I just didn’t have it.

Dejected and defeated I took a trip to Dublin, exploring the city in the sunshine, drinking in the array of bars and meeting new people. We had such a great time my friend was resolute that she was staying in Dublin to live. Every time she told anyone they would turn to me, asking whether I was staying too. My reply was always the same “No way, I’ve got a life to go home for.” Dublin was never on the cards for me. I had my sights set on New Zealand…eventually!

When it came to leave, I left alone with my friend opting to stay behind and move in to a house share.

Returning home, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should go to Dublin. Dismissing it, I held on to the reasons I had to stay. However, every excuse I’d had melted away like ice in the desert.

Should I stay or should I go? I had no money, I had no permanent job and this seemed the worst time to even consider it. But, what did I have to lose?

“Ok, I’ve got an idea” I said to my friend on her brief return home “I’m £30 over my overdraft; I shouldn’t be able to buy anything on this card. Let’s leave this to fate, if I’m destined to go to Dublin then let this airfare go through on this card and if I’m not then let it decline.”

Nervously tapping into the computer, I entered my card details. My friend and I huddled around the computer as I clicked the payment button. A few seconds later, the confirmation flashed upon the screen…I was going to Dublin.

Fact they say is a lot stranger than fiction and if that wasn’t true, I’d have been on the first flight home a week later. But I wasn’t. It turned out to be the best move I ever made. I quickly realised the long and vibrant literary history Dublin has. As I walked down the streets, I was enthused by the knowledge that years before me, the likes of Oscar Wilde, James Joyce and Bram Stoker had walked these same streets.

It was their treasured homeland where I too developed my writing skills, taking a course at the Dublin Writer’s Centre. My first writing break came in Dublin after I entered a competition on national Irish TV called ‘Do the Write Thing’ run by the RTE day time show ‘Seoige and O’Shea’. My short story selected out of hundreds of entries to be one of 14 authors published in an anthology of the same name. Shortly after this, I was shortlisted for a competition run by national newspaper Metro Eireann and judged by MAN Booker Prize Winner Roddy Doyle.

Seeing my work in print reaffirmed that this really was what I wanted to do. It gave me the confidence to follow my dreams. On the days where it all seemed pointless and never ending, it gave me the hope to carry on and strive to be in the place I am today, preparing to publish my own novel. Perhaps most importantly, it helped me see the value in taking calculated risks and if I hadn’t had that experience I would never have been where I am today. Never could I have even contemplated publishing my own novel but this whole situation helped me realise just what my capabilities truly are. In that way, everything I have is owed to my Irish experience, without it I could never be the writer I am today. That’s why I hold Dublin so close to my heart and why I always will.

Twitter – https://twitter.com/KatieWWriter

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KatieWWriter

Website – https://katiewardwriter.com/

GIVEAWAY TIME: 

Giveaway – Win a signed original illustration from Emma Haines (Open Internationally) To enter the prize draw, follow the giveaway link.

Giveaway Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494134/

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

Don’t forget to visit other stops on this blog tour!

The Pretender Full Tour Banner

Have work, will travel.

It’s holiday season and I’ve been trying to be organised, as the term finishes for this school year. Fitting writing into family life can be great fun, but also a challenge. I write all of my books by hand in A4 green Tink notebooks and then transcribe them onto a computer. This means that I can easily pick my work up and carry it anywhere with me. This made me think about travel and holidays. I do like to relax on holiday, but also find it a great inspiration for my work. Different scenery and a change in temperature can make you feel more at ease and able to let the words flow. I particularly love to write in Spain and France as I enjoy looking at the countryside and the architecture. The U.K. inspires me with it’s history and eclectic styles too.

If you are stuck in any kind of writing rut, perhaps a change of scenery is all you need. I don’t mean two weeks in Cannes, but even working outside or moving rooms for a while with your laptop if you have one, or taking your notebooks and sitting on a beach nearby or somewhere with a good view, might be enough to change your mood and give you fresh ideas.

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Top tips for utilising the views nearby. 3 Quick Tips. 

  1. Plan a day where you can take your writing tools to a new location. Sit and take in the scenery and draw inspiration from your surroundings.
  2. If you are already on holiday, keep a notebook in your bag or pocket. You never know when you might see something interesting, or notice a location that could fit seamlessly into your latest book, blog or article.
  3. Take photos. These photos can become your own stock photography. Keep them in folders on your computer and instead of buying stock images for promotion, upload your own images into software like Canva to keep costs to a minimum for your own designs. These photos might also come in useful when you are writing about locations for descriptive reference.

Introducing… Kate Braithwaite.

Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to author Kate Braithwaite. I asked Kate to send me a picture or photo which represented her personality and the image she sent was drawn by her son Max when he was 8. He’s now 15! She has always loved this drawing. Kate uses it on her Translations blog – very different from her historical novel writing – which is all about living in the States with her husband and 3 kids and the ups and downs of speaking UK English in America. Check it out as it’s really great.

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Kate’s novel, The Road to Newgate, is due out on July 16th. It’s a story of love, lies and the pursuit of justice in a time of terror threats and bigotry. Could be set anywhere and contemporary but its historical. Based on true events in 17th century London. It’s my second novel but my first with Crooked Cat.

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This is the official blurb for The Road to Newgate…

What price justice?

London 1678.

Titus Oates, an unknown preacher, creates panic with wild stories of a Catholic uprising against Charles II. The murder of a prominent Protestant magistrate appears to confirm that the Popish Plot is real.

Only Nathaniel Thompson, writer and Licenser of the Presses, instinctively doubts Oates’s revelations. Even his young wife, Anne, is not so sure. And neither know that their friend William Smith has personal history with Titus Oates.

When Nathaniel takes a public stand, questioning the plot and Oates’s integrity, the consequences threaten them all

Here are some links…

mybook.to/theroadtonewgate

www.kate-braithwaite.com

https://twitter.com/KMBraithwaite

https://www.facebook.com/KateBraithwaiteAuthor/

https://transatlantictranslator.wordpress.com/

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Are you a tidy person?

Are you a tidy person? By this, I mean, is your desk space clear, your housework up to date and your mind clear and raring to go? Lol:) I try and keep on top of housework and the studio where I write usually has a clean desk space, but with a second book launch and book tour rapidly approaching, I seem to be surrounded by piles of ‘stuff’. I have a corner for gifts for my online facebook launch, boxes for my paperback launch, books ready to sell, paperwork that needs clearing, notes and lists of things to do and suddenly my clear area to work has become an avalanche!

Perty.Lizzie Chantree. Launch party

Multi-tasking is something I am good at, but I’m so easily distracted by another idea that I have to write lists and cross them off, so that I finish one task before I begin another. I don’t always stick to this rule though. My studio, although very well thought out and organised, is quite small, so everything has to have it’s place and I am finding that my space is creeping into other areas of the building as I leave more boxes that I can’t fit into my studio, just outside the door.

Writing this is making me realise that I need to spend a few hours putting everything where it should be and finding a designated corner for book launches. I also have a library talk coming up and need promotional items and banners for that which will take up more space! In fact I need to sell more books and find a bigger studio. You’ve got to have a dream!

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Mailing lists

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I’ve read a lot about the importance of mailing lists and with new legislation coming in with regard to privacy, it’s been pretty hectic for everyone who has a subscriber list, not only trying to work out what it means, but also to make sure we comply if we can.

I have been working with my publisher and have a book out this year, another in July and am writing a third. In between this and marketing my books, I have found it difficult to keep up with sending out newsletters or building that all important mailing list. My apologies to everyone. I use MailChimp for my newsletters, have still sent out a newsletter offering my subscribers the option to unsubscribe or to stay and have a privacy page on my blog now.

This has actually given me the drive to begin proper newsletter and to keep up with sending out news of my writing. I’m not going to send it more than once a month, but it will have more content and things that aren’t on my blog. It won’t be a sales letter, but it will be topical news about my writing journey and some marketing tips that aren’t on my blog, which are just for subscribers.

 

Wishing you all a fun filled and creative weekend.

 

From Lizzie

 

🙂

 

Making YOU time.

I’ve been chatting to a lot of people lately and many discussions are about how busy everyone is. I find the term busy really stressful! The reason is because I have a vivid imagination and picture everyone running around waving their arms in the air and panicking. In reality, busy people are often enjoying their day or job and are being super productive. What I would say, is that even the you are busy, try and carve out some time for yourself.

As a creative person, I find it inspiring to chat to others on my networking hour on twitter, even though it’s such a fast paced hour. I enjoy meeting friends and family for lunch an make time for this, as it inspires me and makes me feel more energetic and happier when I am at work. I also fit in time to read. As an author it’s not only important for my job, but it’s relaxing and time away from everyday worries or tasks can breathe fresh life into your day and make you much more able to concentrate after taking a break.

Making time for yourself might be at the bottom of your to do list, but it’s actually important for your wellbeing and might help you stay focused and reduce stress levels for the rest of the week.

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Top tips for carving some YOU time into the day.

  1. Get up an hour earlier. It might seem harsh, but if this hour is spent exercising or reading a book, even if the book is about a business topic or hobby, then your mind is drawn away from worries and your day starts with an alert mind.
  2. Make time to have a lunch hour if you can. Eating at regular intervals perks up a tired body and mind. Do something completely different to your job or task for that one hour.
  3. Phone a friend or family member. Pick someone you haven’t spoken to for a while and reconnect. It’s so easy to lose contact with people because everyone is busy. Take a moment to call or text and say hello. It might mean a lot to the person you are calling that you have taken time out of your busy schedule for them and it could make you feel good too.