Wednesday, 4 July 2007

BLOOD TIES downunder

Just a quick post to say that things are going very well with BLOOD TIES downunder! Last Sunday, I was in the Sydney Sun Herald with a *whole page* to myself. I was a little worried that they'd have to use a really large font or leave big gaps but the very lovely Robyn Doreian did a fantastic job writing the article. We were on the phone for an hour so by the end of the interview, she knew plenty about me.

By all accounts, sale of the book are going 'blazingly well' and I've even been getting fan mail from readers - so thanks to everyone who's been in touch. It really is great to know that my book is out there...being read...being enjoyed.

I'm doing a Meet the Author clip very soon. Take a look at the site if you don't know about it. They've recently added a 'pitch your book' section and an authors' lounge. I'll add a link to my clip when I've done it. Then again... ;-)

Sam xx
(PS If anyone knows why blogger sometimes does double line space or single for no apparent reason, then can you let me know?)

Monday, 18 June 2007

Catching up...'s been a while since my last post but I've been working hard on my next book - leaving little time for much else. There will be a teaser of this novel (the first chapter) in the back of the paperback of BLOOD TIES, which is out this September but you'll have to wait until next year for publication of my second book. Meanwhile, I recently received the BLOOD TIES paperback book proof from my publishers. And it looks fantastic - especially with The Bookseller's lovely quotes splashed on the front and back covers. I was lucky enough to be picked up recently in the magazine's Autumn Paperback Preview section in the 'Breakthrough' novel category. I was even compared to Harlen Coben! The week before, The Bookseller listed BLOOD TIES in its 'Ones to watch' column, with another nice quote describing it as "a hard-hitting debut" and giving it "high marks". This is all gearing up for the September release of the paperback, of course, which suddenly seems mighty close even though we haven't had summer yet. Before then, I have to turn in novel number two and cram in a much-needed holiday. That we haven't booked yet.

The signs so far are fantastic for BLOOD TIES doing really well in Australia and New Zealand. It was released downunder at the beginning of June and, apparently, it's receiving quite a lot of hype. I was recently interviewed for a feature in the Sunday books section of the Sydney Sun Herald - to coincide with the recent publication - and this should be out in the next week or two. I have quite a few Aussie visitors to my site so make sure you pick up a copy! When I know exact dates, I'll post it here but I suspect it's Sunday 24th June. Plus, I'm in the featured authors section of the Australian Hachette Livre website.

Oh, and huge thanks to Lisa (June 14th) and Mel (June 17th) for posting fabulous reviews and very kind words about my book on their blogs. This is just the kind of thing that I love to see. Real people reading and enjoying BLOOD TIES. I want my work to bring on masses of talk and discussion and whip up some serious book group banter. Real soon now (promise) I'll be putting some book group discussion points on my website to get things started. And look what I found ... New Zealand Woman's Weekly have a competition to win 5 copies of BLOOD TIES. Fabulous!

And I now have a German cover. It's really quite scary, don't you think? I really like it, even though it's very different to the UK and Australian cover. The German publishers obviously know their market and dressed it suitably. It would certainly catch my eye in a bookshop.

Back in April, on the hardback launch day, I signed all these copies of BLOOD TIES. In record time, apparently. Perhaps it was because I wasn't too fussy about searching for a pen that was 'just right' or having a certain blend of tea to accompany the job or even a neck and shoulder massage while penning my name in all two hundred copies. Authors do, it would seem, develop little signing quirks. This is something to look forward to although if I do develop a signing fetish, then I hope it's for something easy to procure - like a bar of chocolate. (The pic was taken before I signed, hence the half-smile!)

I've been 'out there' quite a bit recently - let loose among book buyers while wined and dined in perfect style by my publishers. A jaunt up to Edinburgh followed a trip to Leeds and London where Headline staff collected other authors and book trade folk together for very enjoyable evenings of chat about our books and, of course, the world in general (that bit came later). Before I was 'signed', I hadn't realised just how important this sort of thing really is. Book buyers - a particularly friendly lot, it seems - are key to getting books in store and therefore, into readers' hands. I'm in London again soon for another dinner to meet the Amazon folk and also to do a Meet the Author video clip. I wonder how many takes I'm allowed?

Vegetable-wise (for those that don't know, I'm a passionate grower) things are coming on well in the garden. Having said that, my patch is a victim of time deficiency but even so, we've had all kinds of lettuce coming out of our ears, and the broad beans are fattening nicely, courgettes by the dozen are swelling and I've got a gazillion tomatoes, chillies, peppers, aubergines and cucumbers on the way. Not to mention all the other thousands of seeds I've not even had time to plant. Oh, and some of the potatoes are in flower although I haven't a clue when to harvest the earlies. Anyone know about spuds?

Finally, I've held my breath and jumped into myspace so do come and say hi and add me to your friends list. I'm going to (ha ha, when I get time) send out bulletins about my books and various events that I'll be attending in the future.

Meanwhile, take care all and thanks for visiting.

Sam xx

Thursday, 5 April 2007

BLOOD TIES Publication Day

Today is publication day! It's official. BLOOD TIES is now released in hardback.

So much has happened since last summer that it's impossible to detail everything in one post. Instead, it's my intention to drip feed useful information over time for readers and writers alike, hopefully satisfying everyone's interest in my work.

Today, however, sees me taking time out from my study (which needs a good clear out!) and I'm off to London to have lunch with my lovely editor and publicity lady. I'll also be signing lots of books and returning home feeling that BLOOD TIES is finally out there, in readers' hands, sparking interest, comment, emotion, and enjoyment. I loved every minute of writing it - however hard it seemed at times - and I hope that my readers will feel as much satisfaction as I did producing it.

September sees the launch of the paperback of BLOOD TIES in the UK - altogether a much bigger deal publicity wise - but meantime, the trade paperback hits Aussie shelves downunder in June and I've already been receiving requests for Sunday newspaper interviews from Sydney. The German translation is well underway, I believe, and will be released early next year, while contracts have now been signed for the Russian publication rights. I can't wait to see how that will look!

It's been a busy few months, and not only busy for me. The team at Headline, both here and in Australia, have been toiling away to make sure that my book is turned out in its best possible form. Not only are they dedicated to their products and authors, they are the nicest bunch to work with!

Looking ahead, my second novel...title to be revealed cooking nicely. I thought that the process of writing book number two might be overshadowed by doubt, pressure, having to live up to the first etc - but luckily, I don't feel that way at all. Yet! What I can say is that it's steeped in the same heartfelt emotion that drives BLOOD TIES, wrapped around a plot that's spinning me in circles writing it, and has an unforgettable ending.

So, now it's the Easter school holidays, I'm scratching around for writing time, juggling work with 3 kids, wondering where my husband has gone (he travels a lot!) and standing staring, mouth agape, at my garden as spring takes hold. I swear I hear those weeds laughing at me. But time-deficiency aside, it's a wonderful season outside. One of my favourite. I'm a passionate vegetable grower - a bit of a novice, I admit - but the thrill of sowing, growing, harvesting and eating is topped only by holding a copy of BLOOD TIES for the first time. Oh, and my kids when they were born. Except neither of those tastes half as good as a freshly picked basket of leeks or runner beans.

But before I can do much more in the polytunnel (yes, I'm that serious) we have family from Australia coming to stay over Easter. This is a greatly anticipated visit, especially as it's been far too many years since we have seen them. But once we have shown them the sights of the Midlands (that should take care of half a day, at least), warmed the cockles of their chilled Australian hearts with a pint or two of something very British, fed them up on a traditional Sunday roast and waved them off on the rest of their European tour, a normal writing schedule will resume. It's a little like having children, writing books. I'm sending one off into the wide world, most thankful to have another in the pipeline.

So thanks for stopping by. I promise that my posts here will become more frequent and hopefully prove useful and informative to readers, book groups, libraries and aspiring writers. I have so many ideas for this blog and my website at I'm sure they will both grow over the coming months into useful resources. My next project is to put up a page stuffed full of information for book groups - lots of discussion points and thought provoking ideas.

Until then, raise a glass...of tea, coffee, orange juice, pink champagne...(thanks to my lovely editor!), as BLOOD TIES finally leaves home.

Sam xx

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

New Blog!

Thanks for stopping by! This is just to say that I'll shortly be adding a 'proper' post with lots of writerly news to go with my new website launch. Come back soon!