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.

believe in yourself

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.

 

 

Writers life.

Sorry I haven’t been posting here very much lately. I’ve been working on the first edits of my latest romance book and had deadlines to meet. I can’t wait to tell you all more about my new story soon. I now have a publication date from my publisher of the 9th July! I’m trying to work out if I should hold another actual book launch and have almost decided to go for it.

It’s #NationalPuppyDay too, so I thought I’d post a picture of my writing assistant, even though she’s nine, as she still looks like a puppy! She sits on my feet or lap while I’m writing and keeps me warm.

Have a great day everyone.

Get writing!

Happy new week everyone. Today’s post is about motivation. What motivates you to get up in the morning and then sit at your desk and create your products, or write your books or blog posts? For me it is the feeling of accomplishment when I see a finished manuscript. At present, I am only about 5,000 words into my latest novel, which is the sequel to Ninja School Mum. It’s hard to stay motivated when you still have 75,000 words to write, but the thought of holding that book in my hands when it’s ready, is worth the time it takes to write it.

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After a lengthy and exciting book launch for Ninja School Mum, it has taken me a while to re-energise and get back to my routine of 1,000 words a day if I can, as a minimum. This week, to motivate myself, I have written a ten point list of goals for the week and scheduled writing time into each day. This might sound silly, but writing time is very easily overlooked when the washing needs doing, the school run organising, the dinner prepared and the housework and shopping completed. Actually writing a weekly plan for when I will sit down at my desk without interruption, gives my week structure and makes me push other tasks aside for after my writing time.

I have been known to write 5,000 words in a day, or as few as 50, so I will let you know how my plan works. The main point here, is to stop procrastinating and to get writing!

You can’t edit a blank page.

My 10 point goals for the week: Schedule time for each point.

  1. Write 1,000 words a day of my latest manuscript.
  2. Write a blog post for Monday.
  3. Post in my Facebook group, Lizzie’s Book Group.
  4. Visit 4 other blogs to support them.
  5. Write the questions for my networking hour #CreativeBizHour on Twitter.
  6. Post to my author Facebook page.
  7. Post to my author Instagram page.
  8. Write guest posts for other blogs.
  9. Update Twitter feeds daily.
  10. Cover design for my latest book, out in July.

 

Looking for a great new read?

Susan Roebuck

COMING SOON! “Forest Dancer” by award winning author Susan Roebuck, will be here in February 2018, published by CrookedCat Books. This novel is set in Portugal in the forests outside Lisbon and as I have pre-ordered a copy, I can’t wait to read it!

Portugal

From the author:

It’s such a varied country with different cultures and landscapes. In one day you can drive from the north through national parks, ancient stone villages, past rocky mountains and steep hills covered in vineyards, to the more populated Centre with its famous Coimbra University, the walled town of Obidos down to rocking, vibrant and beautiful Lisbon. Cross over the vast Tagus river onto the south bank and travel through the plains of the Alentejo, past fields of wild-flowers, sunflowers, cork and olive groves with villages of white and blue cottages until the well-known, glamorous Algarve appears, its sparkle reflected in the azure sea because that’s as far as you can go on mainland Portugal.

The country is 900 years old, revels in the fact that it is Britain’s oldest ally (thanks to Queen Philippa of Lancaster who married Dom João I in the 14th century), and, in the fifteen and sixteenth centuries created a huge empire overseas thanks to its New World Discoveries. Portuguese is even today one of the most spoken languages in the world (thanks, largely, to Brazil).

Living in such a beautiful place, I decided to write three novels set here.

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“Rising Tide” was set in a small (fictional) fishing village on the little-known Alentejo coast.

“Forest Dancer” is my new novel, published by Crooked Cat Books, and is set in the mountains just 20 miles west of Lisbon

“Joseph Barnaby” will be published by Crooked Cat Books in 2018, and is set on the island of Madeira.

Forest Dancer - Susan Roebuck

Book blurb : It’s a long way to go to create a new life for yourself.

Classical ballerina, Flora Gatehouse, has no choice but to take a risk. Having failed an important ballet audition in London, she moves to a small cottage in a forest just outside Lisbon, Portugal, her only inheritance following her father’s death.

Soon, Flora is involved in village life, where fate takes a new twist when she becomes attracted to forest ranger, Marco. But they are off to a shaky start.

Can Flora find acceptance in a foreign land, in a magical place that harbours secrets and heartache?

 

Book Links:

Forest Dancer (paperback and ebook) on Amazon : myBook.to/ForestDancer1

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sueroebuck

Blog: http://www.susanroebuck.com

 

 

Day 2. Blog Tour. Ninja School Mum.

Today’s stop on my blog tour is with author Alice Castle and her wonderful blog. We talk about invention, first jobs and being a romantic!

Check out Alice’s post for my blog tour here: http://www.dulwichdivorcee.com/meet-the-author-lizzie-chantree/

 

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Meet Thea, one of my main characters in Ninja School Mum. She is a new mum and looks after her niece for her bossy sister during the school day. She feels very overlooked by her family and although she used to have a responsible job, she now finds it hard to remember a time when anyone actually noticed her at all.