Monday, 31 March 2014

I'm in the Pink!

Last week I had a t/shirt printed to wear when I went to book promo, sadly it did not quite turn out how I had envisaged. This week with the help of Joanna at Diversions, we came up with this idea. I love it and of course it is all part of my branding!

Front and back

Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous day!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

A High Price for One Mistake

Celia Bryant-Smythe talks about how one mistake shattered many lives.

"We all make mistakes.  Many are minor enough to be ignored or at least lessons can be learned, but there are those mistakes that have shattering consequences.

"My mistake would have been the former type had I lived in your time, but my heady young days were when the world was at war and life was uncertain. I'm talking 1943, a year that will forever be emblazoned in my heart. It was this year that I not only fell in love, but the year I found myself expecting. You cannot begin to imagine what a shock this was to me as I was not yet married, though, I knew deep in my heart that was never going to be an issue. Marriage would have followed very quickly had my father not exploded with the news.  

"My father, Henry Bryant-Smythe, the Squire of Satchfield Hall, a cold and ruthless man with clear ideas about his family, tolerated very little and my behaviour sent him into a stupor. At first I was not afraid because I knew everything would end happily, not only was I naïve, but I utterly miscalculated the wrath of my father. What happened next took place at an alarming speed. Before I could draw breath to explain that there was nothing to be concerned with as David and I would be married, I was banished from Satchfield Hall. Frightened and unsure of what was to become of me, I believed my mother would talk my father round and all would end happily. I could not have been more mistaken. If I thought that being exciled from Satchfield Hall was punishment enough, nothing prepared me for what was to follow. Even today, forty years later, the hairs still rise on the back of my neck when I think of my father and the power he wielded to make every one pay."

Celica Bryant-Symthe's story can be found in Satchfield Hall

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Coincidence or a Small World?

This week at Book Promo I was chatting to a lovely lady who told me she was from Dundee, I added that I had an author friend from Dundee, well Montrose to be precise. I then went on to talk about Dundee Crime Writer, Chris Longmuir. 'Aha!' She cried, 'I've met her and read Dead Wood.' It turned out that Chris had been in hospital last year and had spoken to this lady. She remembered Chris giving her a card with her book details on. 'Now I've met you I'll look up Chris's new book,' she said. And of course I added, 'And don’t forget when you need a break from murder and mayhem, take a peek at my books too.' Nodding her head and with a sunny smile this holiday maker looked up at me and said, 'Having read your leaflet, they sound just what I love to read when not stalking murders!'

Talking of Book Promo, I've had a t/shirt printed to wear when I'm chatting about my books to super peeps. May need to make a few changes, but I'll see how it goes next week.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope the sun is shining with you. Catch up again soon.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Sitting Round My Pool is Joanna Lambert

Sitting round my pool today is top selling author, Joanna Lambert. This week is a very special week for Joanna on two counts; one her latest book, The Other Side of Morning is released and secondly it is her first book published by Thornberry Publishing.

Jo, I know you only drink Prosecco, so I've brought in a case especially for you to enjoy whilst you are here. Please help yourself and as you can see there is plenty for your friends too. Whilst you relax I hope you don't mind me asking a few questions.
Thank you Pauline, I feel very spoilt here today, relaxing by the pool with a glass of sparkling wine.  A perfect setting for answering questions, so fire away!

Before we learn about your latest book, can you tell us about your publishing contract, how it came about and what it means to you?

It all came about when Kit Domino, who is also published by ThornBerry Publishing and who edited my previous novel, suggested that TBP might be interested in taking on The Other Side of Morning, and lengthy discussions followed from there.  As for what it means to me, well I think every indie author’s greatest wish is to have a publishing deal isn’t it?  And, of course, I’m absolutely delighted.

Your latest book The Other Side of Morning, what is this about?

This fifth book completes what I refer to as my ‘Little Court’ series and although it is connected to the other four it can be read as a stand-alone novel.  On this occasion, although some of the main characters from the other books still remain they have become supportive rather than key players. Now six years on from book four the story centres on cousins Lucy and Charlotte who have reached their twenties.  Lucy has a hedonistic, aversion-to-work attitude.  Abandoning her degree course she has spent the last three years travelling the world courtesy of her great grandmother's trust fund. Totally wrapped up with having a good time she has no idea a real wakeup call is just around the corner.
Unlike her cousin Charlotte completed her degree and now works for Lucy’s father Matt in one of his London-based businesses.  She is quite feisty and will fight her corner but she has a soft side too which often sees her being used by people.  At the start of the story she has been dating Christian Rosetti, who appeared in Between Today and Yesterday as part of a young newly-discovered band which Matt managed. Fame, drugs and an insatiable appetite for women have dramatically changed Christian.  He is now at the peak of his career; a big solo star with an arrogant attitude, always determined to get what he wants.  Tired of his bullying and controlling behaviour Charlotte is looking to end their relationship.
Enter handsome Italian Marco D'Alesandro.  Working in London for his father's Hotel and Restaurant empire he manages the European restaurant chain. His stepmother Thérèse is a new neighbour of Ella’s and about to go into business with her.  His first meeting with Charlotte does not go well.  Although there is an instant attraction between them both Charlotte decides to have a bit of a spat with him over a hit and run she holds him responsible for.  They eventually call a truce but when Christian meets Marco - someone he immediately identifies as a threat - his extreme reaction, helped along by Lucy who has her own score to settle with the arrogant rock star, seals his fate.  I'm not going to spoil the story but needless to say, getting Christian out of the way is only the first small step on a long journey for Charlotte and Marco.  There are much bigger challenges ahead and a lot of heartbreak before we finally reach THE END.  Will it be a happy one?  Well you'll simply have to read the book to find out!
Who is this book aimed at?

I think it has a very broad appeal covering a wide age range of readers – there’s something for everyone.  It’s an infusion of saga and love story in a contemporary setting.  What it is not is a cosy tale of village life.  Although set in the fictitious Somerset village of Meridan Cross, the story starts in Bali before moving to Australia. Italy, France and Spain also feature and some of the action takes place in London so it’s quite a cosmopolitan setting.

Does this follow on from your Little Court books?

It will be the last in the series. The five books have been really great to write and the characters have become like old friends.  However, I feel I’ve come to the end of a journey and now want to do something completely different with new settings and a new cast.

What are you plans now that The Other Side of Morning is published?

At the moment I’m waiting for the paperback version to be printed.  The e-book came out on Kindle on 8th March.  Once that’s happened it’s all about promotion.  I have several reviews lined up and hope to build on that.  While The Other Side of Morning was being edited I started on my sixth novel.  I’m around 80,000 words in and quite pleased with how the first draft is going.  This time around I’ve got a smaller cast of characters which in a way has made writing much easier – you don’t have to get into so many heads! The way the Little Court books developed I ended up with quite a large number of characters.  I think this time around I wanted to concentrate more on the two central characters. However, as with the Little Court books we’re dealing with relationships; of how peoples’ actions, whether deliberate or accidental, impact on one another. Oh and of course, it’s a love story.

 Can we expect another book from you and Thornberry this year?

Yes, hopefully the current WIP I am working on will follow the same time pathway as The Other Side of Morning with publication in early 2015.  Watch this space!

Thanks Joanne for taking time to stop by I know you have a manic life and it has taken 8 months to have you at last sitting here, but hopefully should you have a tiny slot in your agenda in the future you will come back and update us on your successes. I'll make sure I have ordered another case of your special drink if that will tempt you back.

Thank you Pauline, have enjoyed the sunshine and the chat and, of course, that wonderful glass of Prosecco!

twitter: @jolambertwriter

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Be Consistent!

If people ask you what you do, I guess as a writer you tell them you are an author and if your books are published, you add, a published author. But as well as being a published author, you are also a brand and you need to promote that too. Below are some basic ideas to help new authors who have not yet created their social platform.

Of course you may well argue that you are a writer and that once your book(s) are on Amazon they will sell. Of course they will initially, family and friends will purchase copies, but what about the people you don’t know and don't know you? If you are an indie author it is down to you to market and promote you and your books so you can reach out to a wider audience of readers.

There are many ways to promote your books, but first you need to engage on social media. If you have not already built a platform, then now is a good time to start. What I would recommend is that which ever social area you become involved with you are consistent with your name. In other words, keep the same name for your web site, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, email etc.

Your name is you! My author name, Pauline Barclay is the name I use on all my media so that if anyone wants to Google me all my connections should appear with links. I also try and keep the same theme and photo of me on all my connections. This hopefully identifies me and my books as visitors check out my Blog, Web, Facebook etc.

If I appear on other Blogs and web sites, I always provide all my links and the same pictures that appear everywhere else to do with me. I also have leaflets printed to hand out to potential readers and again, the same picture of me and my books appear on these. I also had a bag designed with my 'brand' pictures on. Of course this is all small compared to multi-national companies, but it is a step to creating my own brand and being consistent with name, image and messages so that all readers, new and old can identify with. Pauline Barclay is a published writer and is in a way a brand!

These are just some very basic ideas to help you set up your social platform and help you build you - your brand!

As always, thank you for stopping by, have a sunny week and let's meet up again soon.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

A Sunny Beautiful Trailer!

Today I want to share this fabulous trailer produced by Cathy Helms from Avalon Graphic for the Indie Author Group I run, Famous Five Plus. It's so full of sunshine it makes you want to smile.... !
Here's hoping your feet sink into the sand and the sun kisses your face as you take a peek!
Shades on!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

My Lost Week!

Yesterday it was the Carnival for our town and it is always a fabulous spectacular event filled with colour, music and vibrant energy. Normally we would join in the fun dressed in an exotic costume, but this year sadly we did not go!

The weekend before was a mini triumph for me with the running of the 10.5km in the Music Marathon, but four days after the event I went down with a virus. From the joys of success to the lows of fighting an invader!

I can't remember being so cold and yet wearing so many clothes snuggled down with a hot water bottle in soft fluffy blankets. And if that wasn't enough, our Barney cuddled up to me - he's like a hot radiator. Even our hot sun had no impact on warming my body. It was hard to imagine how cold you could get especially when living in a warm / hot climate! Thankfully by the end of the week I began to return to the land of the living, though left with a hacking cough. I wouldn't mind but it sounds like a heavy smokers cough and I've never smoked! On a further down note, sadly Mr PB went down with the virus too!

As I post this, thankfully we are both on the mend and if the week goes to plan I'll manage to get back to writing. I admit I have missed chatting with my characters, though they did try talking to me, but with a head full of cotton wool it was impossible to communicate. But it didn't stop me from time to time plotting their next moves! Now as I go and catch up on my lost week, I wish you a wonderful week and I hope it will be filled with sunshine and laughter, and germ free!

 As always thanks for stopping by, please come back again soon!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Legging It!

For once I'm not going to talk about writing matters or anything to do with publication! Instead, I'm sharing my little achievement from last weekend.

Saturday 1st March was the Music Marathon in Puerto Del Carmen and this year I decided to sign up for the 10.5kms (1/4 of a marathon). Having never competed in an official race before, I was nervous!

On the day the weather changed from being cloudy and at times a tad cool to a cloudless sky and a burning sun! The event kicked off at 4pm and the temperature was around 26c…. phew! The course was along The Avenida to Hotel Las Costas and back to Calle Guanapay. For the 10.5km, two laps were needed. Throughout the route people were cheering all the runners along with bands playing live music; a wonderful festive atmosphere.

I finished the third in my age group and a time of 1:10:37. Not the fastest runner out there, but my aim was to finish and I did! Whopeee!

And would I do it again? Yes!

This week it is carnival week here and Puerto Del Carmen's carnival parade takes to The Avenida 5pm Saturday 8th. This year we are spoilt for choice as to what to wear. Will it be, vampire and witch, Cleopatra and Antonio, the dead or Chinese!  All have fabulous outfits so it will depend on the weather which costume will be best! And of course I will report back on what we decide.

That's all my news for today, as always a big thanks for stopping by, have a fabby day and come back soon, please!