Sunday, 17 June 2018

All praise the Strong Women Squad!

I have to admit that when I found out I'd won a pair of tickets to the Strong Women Squad Summer Party I was rather unsure as to what to expect.

Run by gorgeous author and chum, Lisa Dickenson, the Twitter bio below tells you all you need to know...

I was sure that I (along with best pal Jenni Keer) would probably be among the eldest there and that the Trapeze Bar in Shoreditch wasn't my usual Saturday hangout, but what I didn't expect was the warmth, friendship and camaraderie I encountered as soon as we walked through the door.

The evening was packed with energetic displays of magic, hula hooping, fire dancing and the London Mermaid herself, but the best part for me was listening to the talks. Body positivity and the decision not to diet, ever, from @bodyposipanda_ had me ditching the sucky in pants and by the time we had to head home I was feeling more determined than ever to embrace my own Squad!

It was a wonderful evening and I absolutely loved it. With a packed goodie bag and a menu full of food for thought, it was a night which will keep me inspired until the next party... at least!

H x

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Welcoming wonderful Kitty Wilson to the blog!

This week I am delighted to welcome lovely Kitty Wilson to the blog. An author chum and fellow RNA member, Kitty has just celebrated her first publication day and I am thrilled that she has found the time to pop along and share her obvious joy and excitement with us!

This Monday I had my first ever publication day, it marked both the end of one stage of my writing career and (hopefully) the beginnings of the next.

My route to publication had been a long run, a marathon that suddenly turned into a sprint and that at one point had me jumping up and down on my landing wearing nothing but a towel, shrieking utter nonsense into the phone (I might have even moo-ed) as I thought my best friend was pranking me by pretending to be an agent. She wasn’t. 

After years of writing and submitting, an offer of publication led to me pitching up on my neighbour’s doorstep and sobbing with such passion that they thought I had suffered a family bereavement. It took me gesticulating wildly and proffering my laptop before they realised that the tears were because my hopes had become a reality and I needed someone to check I hadn’t misinterpreted. More importantly, this offer led to me landing my dream agent (surprisingly, a different one than the one who had been subject to my virtually naked squawking) who quickly got to work. 

The next, very speedy, step was the opportunity to choose between two publishers. It was like living someone else’s life. Suddenly I was catapulted from being someone awfully keen on pyjamas and not brushing her hair into an author. An actual author with a book deal! I went to London, nipped in and out of cabs wearing heels with a glitzy purse and did all the things I imagined real life writers did. Still, it didn’t really sink in. 

I worked tirelessly on social media and badgered all my friends in real life to buy the book, share the book and to bully others into doing the same. I was shameless. I even had a handbag full of flyers I would press on unsuspecting people that were foolish enough to stop and speak to me in the supermarket or on the street. Needless to say, Cornwall is now littered with flyers for The Cornish Village School (I’m sure they’ll decompose in no time) and I had discovered a whole new side to myself. But still it hadn’t sunk in. 

I wrote blog posts, answered questions and even held a launch party where I read an excerpt - I have never been so terrified, and I have jumped out of a plane and left to live in a foreign country with only the clothes I was wearing. But it wasn’t until publication day itself when friends started sending me screenshots of them reading my book, the book they had paid for, that I began to realise I might actually be an author.

A few days on and the dog is beginning to get a bit fed up with me wandering in and saying ‘I’m a writer, you know’. I now have a whole series to write, based around a village full of characters that I love and I couldn’t be more excited. 

I’m Kitty Wilson and I am an author. 

Kitty Wilson has lived in Cornwall for the last twenty-five years having been dragged there, against her will, as a stroppy teen. She is now remarkably grateful to her parents for their foresight and wisdom – and that her own children aren’t as hideous. She spends most of her time welded to the keyboard or hiding out at the beach and has a penchant for very loud music, equally loud dresses and romantic heroines who speak their mind.
Find Kitty online...

My first author talk

This month has been filled with 'firsts' - it started with my solo signing in Diss Bookshop and last night I gave my first author talk

The Mendlesham Writers Group in Suffolk are a warm and welcoming bunch of authors who were not only happy to listen to me talk, at length, about my path to publication journey, but also had numerous questions ready for when I finally stopped to draw breath.

The evening was great fun and I'm already looking forward to the opportunity to spread the bookish love further afield! I have a library talk lined up for October in Wisbech library (the heart of Wynbridge country) and I'll be sharing further dates and details as they pop up.

Thanks again to the Mendlesham Writers and to my good pal and fellow author Jenni Keer, who not only came along to offer her support but also took this lovely pic.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

My first solo book signing

Wow! What an experience. As we headed down the A140 to Diss yesterday morning with the wind blowing and the rain absolutely lashing down I really began to think that no one was going to turn out for my first solo signing in the beautiful Diss Bookshop, but I needn't have worried.

Not only did the space set aside for me look every bit as pretty as any of the settings in my books, (thanks to the adornment of book cover themed bunting and packets of sweet pea seeds), but friends, readers and a whole host of other folk arrived in abundance and the three hours absolutely flew by! I think my smile says it all...

New friends were made, old friendships were reaffirmed and the piles of books soon began to disappear. The Cherry Tree Café sold out completely, however, if you would still like a signed copy of either Sunshine and Sweet Peas, Cuckoo Cottage or Skylark Farm, I have left signed copies behind which the bookshop will keep on display.

Special thanks to the shop staff for making me feel so welcome, Paul, my OH, for braving the weather and RNA chums Jenni Keer, Rosie Hendry and Clare Marchant who not only came with friends and family but stayed far longer than I could have hoped and added their own excitement to the party atmosphere as they chatted about all things bookish.

I'm a very lucky author indeed!

H x

Thursday, 31 May 2018

The fun continues!

Wow! What a phenomenal publication day! Thank you all so much for making the occasion so memorable and don't forget the fun continues into the weekend!

Super blogger Kaisha is currently running a competition over on Twitter to win my entire list...

And on Saturday I'll be signing copies of all of my books in the beautiful Diss Bookshop!

If you happen to be in the area it would be wonderful to see you there. My publisher has kindly provided FREE sweet pea seeds for every copy of Sunshine and Sweet Peas sold on the day!

Thank you all again for your continuing love, support and #shelfies and thank you to the Books and The City Team for the beautiful publication day blooms .

H x

A double publication celebration!

What a wonderful publication day! Did you know I have not one but two reasons to celebrate today?

First up there's the Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square release to enjoy and I'm delighted to tell you that not only have copies been spotted in Sainsburys for the bargain price of £2.99 but the lovely folk at Morrisons are giving away paperbacks of Skylark Farm with every copy of Sunshine and Sweet Peas sold! I know!

And don't forget, Skylark Farm is currently FREE to download if you prefer to read on your tablet or phone.

The second publication celebration comes all the way from beautiful Italy as Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage is released there today! I hope the lovely Italian readers love Lottie every bit as much as her UK fans.

So there you have it - 2 reasons to crack open the fizz today - as if I needed an excuse! Fingers crossed I'll see some of you in Diss on Saturday where I'll be signing all of my books from 10-1 in the beautiful Diss Bookshop.

As always, thank you for your wonderful support and if you are taking a trip to Nightingale Square I very much hope you enjoy it .

H x

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

A busy countdown to publication day!

As you all no doubt know, Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square will be published this Thursday and the countdown is well underway. The blog tour is in full swing thanks to the support of the fabulous book blogging community and there's a review in Heat magazine this week along with the opportunity to download Skylark Farm for FREE!

Earlier today I popped down the road to introduce myself to the lovely Diss Bookshop team ahead of the signing on Saturday  and was thrilled to find them every bit as excited about the event as I am!

Do pop along if you can. My fabulous publishing team have promised to give away sweet pea seeds with every book purchased!

H x