Sending off the final version of your manuscript is EXTREMELY PAINFUL

There’s always the horrible, cringe-y moment when you approve the FINAL version of your manuscript before it’s published. Because even after all your own hard work, insane researching, the publisher’s amazing efforts and the editor’s fantastic attentions, there’s always doubt. You can’t take it back, you can’t change anything, you can’t think, ‘Maybe I should’ve made the mask blue…

Unmasking of a Lady was published this week. After all that effort, it’s out in the real world, standing on its own two feet:

By day Miss Harriet Groves is a highly respectable lady, and a darling of society with her quick wit and blonde beauty. But by night Harriet dons a disguise, riding out into the countryside as the feared—and often revered!—Green Highwayman.

A life of crime was never the plan, but saving her family from ruin keeps Harriet riding into danger under the cover of darkness. A danger made all the more acute by the arrival of Major Edward Roberts, the man commissioned to unmask Harriet’s legendary highwayman and bring him to justice!

Harriet’s far too clever to fall into any trap the Major sets to capture her alter ego. Understanding it’s best to keep your enemies close, she sets out to thoroughly distract the Major from his duty using all of her womanly charms.

Only allowing Edward closer has unexpected consequences for Harriet. How could she have guessed that time spent sparring and flirting with Major Roberts could inspire an excitement in her equal to the adrenaline surge she experiences on her night-time adventures? It seems the dashing Major is a danger to her life, and to her heart…

Action, adventure, romance and (quite a little) violence is included. I can’t write a story without a few fight scenes, I’ve been brought up on Indiana Jones and The Prisoner of Zenda – there HAS to be swords, pistols at dawn and danger. 

If the description above tickles your fancy, take a glance at Amazon or learn more over at GoodReads. As for me, I’m working on the next regency story and dreading that final, last moment when there’s no more to be done and my baby is out in the big wide world without me to hold its hand.

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17 ultimate ways for a writer to procrastinate

notebooks

Look at all these notebooks I am NOT writing in.

I have a novel to write and yet, instead, I’m watching Britain’s Got Talent while eating a chocolate brownie and drinking my weight in coffee. Here’s 17 ways in which I have wasted my Sunday morning, for any who wants to emulate this clearly successful writing style:

1. Stare at your word-count goal for 20 minutes. Write nothing.

2. Eat chocolate.

3. Make a home-made face-mask.

4. Prevent dog eating home-made face-mask from face.

5. Lose cucumber in battle to fend off pooch.

6. Search for yoga tutorials.

7. Do yoga (badly). Drip face-mask on carpet.

8. Forage for lunch. Find Nothing.

9. Discover dog licking carpet.

10. Remember uneaten Valentine’s Day chocolate in cupboard. Eat chocolate. Feel sick.

11. Drink citrus-infused water in the hope that it will cleanse the chocolate from system.

12. Google sugar-free diets and mason jars.

13. Forget am still wearing face-mask while answering the door to neighbour.

14. Contemplate moving house/digging own grave outside/murdering neighbour.

15. Look at word document, cry on keyboard, eat more chocolate and secretly hope the sugar won’t kill you even though you read that internet article saying it was the new killer toxin we’ve been secretly shovelling into our bodies and isn’t butter a carb?

16. Stare at  laptop. Wonder if it’s staring back.

17. Drink wine.

The feline face-hugger and my worst nightmare

Rabbitattack

Above is a re-enactment of that fateful day, only a demented rabbit has stepped in to play the role of ‘insane, murderous pussy’

As an introductory post, I would like to share with you my biggest childhood trauma. It will help us get to know one another, because nothing says ‘friendship’ like an emotional breakdown.

Our tale begins, dear reader, one Christmas when I was quite small. My grandmother used to collect rescue cats: fat ones no one wanted, sadistic fur-balls who bit anything that moved, that one alarming creature that sat and stared at you for hours on end. You knew it was planning your demise. You knew.

Boxing Day came. The wrapping paper had been cleaned up, new toys were being played with, the adults smelt like sherry and kept falling asleep after every meal. A Christmas tree, with its twinkling lights and glittering baubles, sat in the hallway. My sibling and I had decorated it (though only on one side, as our arms could stretch no further) and it leaned precariously to the left, weighed down by our failure.

With small, plump hands I reached towards one branch for a little chocolate bell, ones my grandmother had bought for us all. I had it in my grasp, the tinfoil cold against my palm. I could almost taste it. Then the creature pounced. It was a shadow drenched in fury, a fuzzy ball with horror and destruction on its mind. It went for the face.

I began screaming and groped my way into the living room with a crazed feline attached to my skull, like Phantom of the Opera, one eye covered, only less dashing and more flea-bitten. It was a dark time, purely because I could not see. From that day forth, every December has been associated with that one incident. Never trust a Christmas tree, for within its depths is a portal to Hell that could spit out Satan’s worst disciples. I would know, I met one.

And there you have it. I feel we’ve bonded.

However, as a proper introduction, I am Sophie. I write romantic, action-packed fiction with ballsy heroines and brooding men. I like pie, I like dogs, I like good books and hummus (not together, as books dipped in hummus is a bad move). And, I have to confess, I don’t mind cats. Christmas trees though, they’re dodgy.

Do please share your own childhood traumas, let’s get it all out in blog-format. It’s cheaper than therapy, trust me.