A sparkling story about what happens when you let someone into your life… but they turn out to want more than you’d bargained for!
Today is rather an exciting one for me as I am joining the tour with Claudia Carroll for her latest release Our Little Secret. For anyone growing up in Ireland in the 1990’s Claudia Carroll will forever be known as Nicola Prendergast out of Fair City, the longest running soap opera on Irish television. While working on the show, Claudia penned her first novel in 2004 and the rest, as they say, is history.
Claudia has written a guest post for me today entitled ‘The Publishing Process’ so I do hope you enjoy….
Sarah Dee has the perfect life. A high-flying job in a law firm, a beautiful daughter and a house to die for. So how does she find herself looking in through the kitchen window while another woman enjoys it all?
When Sarah takes pity on a struggling young graduate who can’t get a job, she thinks she’s doing the right thing. She’s being kind, generous and helpful to others, as she always is. But as Sarah allows the younger woman into her home, her law firm and even her family, is there more to this pretty youngster than meets the eye? And could this be a good deed that goes further than expected?
Claudia Carroll does it again with an incredible new novel about what happens when your life becomes up for grabs…
Purchase Link ~ Our Little Secret
The Publishing Process.
I can honestly say that there’s not a single part of the whole process that I don’t absolutely love and adore. For me, it all starts with that very first spark of an idea, which generally strikes me when I’m right in the middle of writing another book. And I’ll toy with it for a bit and tease it out in my mind, then write out a pitch for both my editor and agent to see what they think.
I’ll also write it out as a short story too, just as an exercise for myself to test-drive the story as it were, and see whether or not it has legs. Not all ideas do, I know from experience. I’ve often pitched a novel idea, but then realized early on that it’s more of a short story idea than an actual full-length novel.
Once we agree on an idea though, then the plotting starts. For me, this involves siting in a lot of coffee shops with notebook and pen in hand, scribbling down all my thoughts and ideas in one big caffeinated blur. After that, I’ll knuckle down to the nitty-gritty and really start to develop the characters.
I think because my background is in acting and particularly soap opera, I always feel that if I can just get the central characters right, then the rest will follow. After all, on a long-running soap, an audience will follow characters for decades through all manner of marriage break-ups and infidelities and still hold faith with them. A reader will lose interest very quickly if a character is dislikeable, without any redeeming features…or else one that’s just plain boring!
Once that’s in place, I’ll work out the story arcs for the book, plotting a rough outline for each scene, chapter by chapter. This changes hugely as soon as I sit down to actually write the book, but I find it a useful guideline to have to hand. A bit like sat nav on a long road trip; a good, watertight plot makes life a lot easier down the line, especially on days where I might be a bit stuck.
Then the fun part; that blissful few months when I’ll lock the world away and almost go into hibernation as I write a first draft of the book itself. I’m an early morning person and tend to be at my desk at the crack of dawn, then I’ll work right through till early afternoon. I’ll take a breather after that and do whatever admin work needs to be done, then get out of the house to clear my head for a bit – always an essential part of the process for me!
Later in the afternoon, I’ll comb back over the day’s work, cutting, pruning and tweaking as I go. And once I hit those magical two words, The End, off the first draft goes to my wonderful editor Phoebe Morgan at Avon in London. I couldn’t be luckier or more grateful to work alongside Phoebe, she’s just fab and she’ll come back to me with detailed notes for the second draft.
Once that’s done and dusted, the edited book goes back to Phoebe at Avon and then it’s off to a copy-editor for a proof read. I’m always astonished at this stage by just how valuable a good proof-read is; you’d be amazed the things you can accidentally overlook in the early drafts!
Another favorite part of the process is that wonderful day when the book proofs first arrive, complete with a cover design. I’ve been so lucky with covers, I’ve loved them all, but I have a very special place in my heart for the Meet Me in Manhattan cover, it’s just glorious.
Then the best bit of all; that magical day when the book actually hits the shelves and I can actually see it up there, along with so many other authors who I love and admire. I’ve even been known to get a bit teary at this stage; I’m not a mother, but I often imagine seeing your book on a shelf is a bit like a Mum seeing her newborn baby for the very first time.
Magic. Just magic.
Claudia Carroll is a number one bestselling author in Ireland and a top ten bestseller in the UK, selling over 670,000 copies of her paperbacks alone. She was born in Dublin where she still lives and where she has worked extensively both as a theatre and stage actress. She now writes full-time.
Her 2013 novel ME AND YOU was shortlisted for the Bord Gais Popular Choice Irish Book Award. Her previous novel ALL SHE EVER WISHED FOR spent 12 weeks at the top of the Irish charts.
Twitter ~ @carrollclaudia