Six Months in the Life of a Debut Novelist: 10 Things I’ve Learned by Kathryn Freeman–guest blog and giveaway

My life changed in May this year when Choc Lit were kind enough to offer me two book contracts, one for Too Charming (published as an e book) and one for Do Opposites Attract? (July 2014).

So what have I’ve learnt since then?

1) Getting a book published is the start of the journey, not the end.

2) Embrace social media, don’t hide from it. Two years ago I scoffed when friends suggested having a twitter account. Six months ago I was following 5 people and had no followers. If I had my time again, I’d listen to those friends more seriously …

3) The book I thought I’d finished, and edited to within an inch of its life, was only part-way there. My editor saw things I, despite reading it until I knew it back to front, did not.

4) Editing a book is like bringing up a child – a lot of effort, but really rewarding to see it grow and bloom. Of course, as with children, there were moments I wanted to tear my hair out.

5) The word that bursts across my manuscripts with alarming regularity.

6) Books don’t sell themselves. What a disappointment.

7) The feeling of pride/joy/excitement on seeing my gorgeous covers for the first time was beyond what I’d imagined. The high was almost akin to seeing my newborn sons – though the gestation period was longer (and the birth much less painful).

8) I totally underestimated how nervous I’d feel at the thought of other people reading my published book. Friends, relatives, people I don’t know, people I know really well. Would they loathe it, like it, dare I hope a few might even love it? Of course there’s also the small matter of mothers/in-laws reading the sex scenes.

9) My family don’t treat me any differently. My friends are all planning on writing books of their own. Obviously if I can do it…

10) The book loving community – writers, readers, editors, publishers – are the most supportive group of people I’ve had the privilege to work with.

What have you learnt in the last six months? Comment for a chance to win a Too Charming pen.

12_9 TC_small-new copy (2)Does a girl ever really learn from her mistakes?

The heroine of my book, Detective Sergeant Megan Taylor, likes to think so. She once lost her heart to a man who was too charming and she isn’t about to make the same mistake again – especially not with sexy defence lawyer, Scott Armstrong. Aside from being far too sure of himself, Scott’s major flaw is that he defends the very people she works so hard to imprison.

But when Scott wants something he goes for it. And he wants Megan. One day she’ll see him not as a lawyer, but as a man … and that’s when she’ll fall for him.

Yet just as Scott seems to be making inroads, a case presents itself that’s far too close to home, throwing his life into chaos.

As Megan helps him pick up the pieces, can he persuade her that he isn’t the careless charmer she thinks he is? Isn’t a man innocent until proven guilty?

About the Author: 12_9 KathrynI was born in Wallingford, England, and have spent most of my life living in a village outside Windsor. A former pharmacist, I worked for over twenty years in the pharmaceutical industry in medical communications. Two years ago I took the plunge and become a self employed medical writer who also loves to write romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…

I’ve two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) so the romance in my life is all in my head. Then again, my husband’s unstinting support of my career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.

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Comments

  1. I hear you, Kathryn, and you’re making me smile, as you always do. I agree whole-heartedly with everything you’ve listed, but particularly your comment regarding the book loving community. It’s a lovely place in which to live 🙂 x

  2. What a fantastic summary! This is exactly how it was (and is) for me, and I’ve printed out your pearls of wisdom so I can look at them every time I feel all at sea 🙂

  3. I know exactly where you are coming from Kathryn – nothing beats the excitement and terror of that first contract. Except the second. And the third….. J X

  4. Lots of things there I can relate to, Kathryn. BTW, I’m thoroughly enjoying Too Charming and would have finished it if my own edits hadn’t got in the way. Can’t wait to get back to it! I love your charming hero. Really love him!

  5. I can tell you all the effort was worth it, Kate – I loved Hot Scott and I’m really looking forwards to Do Opposites Attract. I know – boy, do I know – that books don’t sell themselves, but it certainly helps if they have great characters and a whole lot of tension between the hero and heroine, which yours most certainly do. Enjoy the journey!

  6. So true. Especially number 6!
    No 9 made me laugh. So many people say ‘I think I’ll write a book too. I keep meaning to.’ Because, if I can do it, it can’t be THAT hard…

  7. Absolutely! I agree with every word you said. Being published is only the start of what, with luck, will be a very exciting journey.

    PS I loved Too Charming, Kate.

  8. Great post Kathryn, I adored Too Charming. You have worried me slightly as I’m waiting my edits … sounds like there’s still an awful lot of work to be done.

  9. Interesting process Isn’ t it? I loved ‘Too Charming’ as well and am looking forward to your new one. Like you ours is an all male household apart from me so it must drive us to seek romance somewhere else!

  10. Nice post. Interesting info to learn

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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