My Writing Year – Looking Ahead in 2017

This is part 2 of a 2 part blog. The first part looked back at 2016 and can be found here.

2017 goals - word abstract on a napkin with a cup of coffee

 

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2017

Last week I discussed my 2016 writing year, and the exciting things that happened. As I explained, 2016 was a year of transition for me, as I moved into full-time writing, and really began to concentrate on building up a backlist of work, as well as increasing my social media presence.

I see 2017 as a chance to consolidate. I’ll not only be releasing 2 books this year (and believe me, I can’t WAIT to share more about these books with you), but I also plan to write 3 additional books. I’ve worked out that 3 books is my ‘sweet spot’ – my books tend to run to around 90,000 to 100,000 words, and along with re-writes and editing, that pretty much fills up my working year.

As you’ve probably realised from my previous posts about writing, I’m a planner. I not only like to plan my stories (even if the characters never seem to stick to the plan) but I like to plan my work, too. Maybe it’s a hangover from my time working in Human Resources — if I didn’t have a ‘to-do’ list on my desk at all times, I was lost. So even though I’m now my own boss, and I work in my home office, some good habits remain. I have a weekly diary where I plan the word count for the days, as well as any publicity, marketing or meetings I have. I also have a year planner — one aimed at entrepreneurs where I plan out all the books I want to write, when I’m planning to release them, and what marketing and publicity I’ll be using to promote them. By writing them out at the start of the year, I’ll be able to measure myself against my targets and see if I reach them or not. Essentially, at the end of 2017 I’ll be giving myself a thorough going over, and deciding if I’ve been a good girl!

So, for those of you that are interested, here are my plans in all their glory.

JANUARY

So we’re two thirds of the way through January already, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been sitting on my coat tails. I had two major projects this month. The first was to complete the line edits of the first in my new Shakespeare Sisters series. The second was to begin writing the third book in the series, with a target of 40,000 words. So far I’m on track – the edits are complete, and the words are beginning to appear on the page. I’m 25,000 in, and hope to make it to the 40,000 goal by the time the month is out!

FEBRUARY

In February I’ll continue to write the third book in the Shakespeare Sisters series. At some point that month I’ll also need to check the copy edits for A Summer’s Lease (due for release in July). On a personal note, I plan to take a week off at half term to spend some time with the family — we’ll be visiting Dublin for a week. I haven’t been to Dublin since 1996, so I’m really excited to go back and see the beautiful city!

MARCH

March is the most exciting month of the year in the UK publishing world — the London Book Fair takes place from the 14th to 16th. Though it’s more of a meeting place for Agents and publishers, I’ll be heading up there at some point to soak in the atmosphere and meet some old friends. I also plan to finish the first draft of book 3, as well as complete any proofreading of A Summer’s Lease. By March I’m also hoping I’ll be able to share the cover reveal for A Summer’s Lease. Fingers crossed it all goes to plan!

APRIL

Oh to be in England now that April’s here. And luckily for me, that’s exactly where I’ll be. April will see me doing the re-writes for The Winter’s Tale the second in the Shakespeare Sisters series, due for release in November 2017. I’ll plan on taking a few days off around Easter, but apart from that it’s all systems go!

MAY

In May I’ll be finishing up The Winter’s Tale, and submitting it to my publishers ready for November. Once that’s finished, I’ll be going back in to edit the book I wrote in January and February, plus I’ll be working on the marketing plans for A Summer’s Lease.

JUNE

June will almost certainly be my busiest month. I’ll be starting a new book this month, a super secret project that I’m really excited about. I’ll also be attending my first signing of the year — The Dedicated Ink Book Signing event in Newcastle, England. I expect at this point to receive the developmental edits for The Winter’s Tale, which will see me trying to spin a few different plates. Hopefully nothing will get smashed!

JULY

I said that June will be busy, and I expect July to be a close run thing. July 7th will see the release of A Summer’s Lease, and I’ll be spending a lot of time in person and online promoting it. I’ll also be continuing to write the super secret project, as well as hopefully spending some time with my family, and taking advantage of what little summer we might get here in the UK!

AUGUST

As a mum and a wife, I try to cut back on the work in August. We usually take a two week vacation during this month, plus the children will be on a break from school, and I always look forward to spending time with them. If I haven’t already finished the super secret project in July, I’ll finish it in August, plus I’ll continue the publicity for A Summer’s Lease. At the very end of August is my second event of the year. ChapterCon takes place on 25th and 26th August, and I’ll be sitting on a panel here, as well as signing and attending

SEPTEMBER

In a strange way, September always feels a little like January to me. A beginning of a year (of the school year at least) and a chance to throw myself back into work. Any residual edits from The Winter’s Tale will need to be done this month, plus planning for the November release. I also intend to start my final book of the year in September. The second book in my super secret project, of which more details soon!

OCTOBER

It feel strange to be planning so far in advance, but if you’re still with me, we’re almost there. October will see me writing book 2 in the new secret project, plus any final changes for The Winter’s Tale. After that, my thoughts will start to turn to my 2018 publishing plans, which include the final 2 books in the Shakespeare Sisters series.

NOVEMBER

Ah, just writing that word makes me think of bonfires and falling leaves. It seems a world away from this chilly January morning. By this point I’m hoping to have finished or be finishing my third book of the year, which will leave the rest of the month for any developmental edits for the third in my Shakespeare Sisters series. November also sees the release of book 2 in the series, and I’ll be planning lots of fun and games to celebrate!

DECEMBER

And so we come full circle. December will see the end of another year, and hopefully it will be a successful one. As with most Decembers, I won’t plan to be doing too much writing this month, not least because I’m Christmas Crazy and I’ll be wanting to spend my time cooking, decorating and celebrating! In December I’ll also be looking back to review 2017, as well as making plans for 2018. It seems strange typing that now, but from experience I know that time will fly, and no doubt I’ll be back here talking about whether I achieved all my goals!

Wow! I’m exhausted just typing that. If you’ve stayed with me, well done – you deserve a cup of tea or something stronger. It looks like my 2017 is going to be just as crazy as 2016, but I can’t wait. I feel very blessed indeed to have the chance to write for a living, and am grateful for all the support I’ve had from my lovely readers, publishers, agents and author friends.

 

Until next time,

Carrie Pink

 

 

Photo Credit: Depositphotos

Release Day – The Talisman by T.M. Franklin #talismantuesday

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For the next 5 weeks, Tuesday is #TalismanTuesday around here – as The Talisman Chronicles by T.M. Franklin are released – one episode per week!

A mysterious house. An old journal. A dusty chest holding more than secrets.

Each talisman found in the chest grants the chosen a gift, a unique ability. But with that power comes a burden—the duty of The Order.

Something is coming. Something evil. And it’s up to The Order to stop it.

Today, we get a double-dose of Talisman excitement. WINDOW – The Talisman Chronicles, Episode 1 is FREE all week!

 

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Chloe Blake has a unique gift, an odd connection to her house that results in glimpses of the past, present, and future via the picture window in her living room. Unfortunately, it’s a gift that sometimes proves to be more of a curse. Especially when she tries to help out Ethan Reynolds, the gorgeous boy who lives across the street – an endeavor that, for some reason, always seems to backfire.

Or leave her covered in mud.

But the house is convinced Ethan’s life is in danger and Chloe’s the only one who can save him. The problem is, he thinks she’s more than a little crazy.

Get it today only on AMAZON!

And while you’re at it, TIMEPIECE, Episode 2 is Now Available!

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Wren Galloway’s not happy that her mother’s vagabond lifestyle lands her in yet another new school, this time in gray and rainy Lamsden, Washington. She’s even less happy when she’s plagued by strange nightmares, sleepwalking, and a feeling that something really weird is going on in the small town.

When she wakes up outside Chloe Blake’s house—a house that’s been front-and-center in her dreams—she starts on a journey that takes her up the stairs to Chloe’s attic, and to a mysterious chest that grants her an unbelievable power.

But power comes with a price, and the question is, will Wren be able to pay it?

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Get TIMEPIECE on AMAZON!

You can also pre-order ALL of the remaining Talisman Chronicles right now, so they’ll load onto your Kindle as soon as they’re available!

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Don’t forget to enter the Giveaway for a Kindle Fire, Signed Paperbacks, or an Amazon Gift Card!

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T.M. Franklin writes stories of adventure, romance, & a little magic. A former TV news producer, she decided making stuff up was more fun than reporting the facts. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days. MORE was well-received, being selected as a finalist in the 2013 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book Awards, as well as winning the Suspense/Thriller division of the Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Awards. She’s since written three additional novels and several best-selling short stories…and there’s always more on the way.

Connect with T.M. Franklin

Web Site |Facebook |Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ | YouTube |Email

 

My Writing Year – 2016 In Review

This is part 1 in a 2 part blog. The first part is looking back at 2016. The second will be discussing my plans for 2017.

2016 review text on a napkin with a cup of coffee

Happy New Year!

Better late than never, right? I hope you had a great holiday season. I took a bit of time off to spend with my family, and to catch up on my over-stuffed to-be-read list. And boy are there some great books out there right now.

January has always been a time of self-reflection for me. A chance to take stock of the year before, and then to turn my eyes onto my goals for the next 12 months. This year has been no different. So I thought I’d share my highlights from the past year, and my plans for 2017. Hopefully by writing them down, I’ll have to hold myself to them!

2016 IN REVIEW

Last year was all kinds of win for me. In February Corvus released Fix You in paperback, and I finally got to see one of my books on a shelf in a shop. On Facebook my friends were sharing pictures of them finding it in grocery stores and bookshops, and every image made my day. It’s the kind of things writers dream about.

Then in April I released the third book in my Love in London series. Canada Square was my first new release since I became a full-time writer (although it was written before I went full time). It was a milestone in all kinds of ways, rounding off the series, and letting me share the lives of Beth, Lara and Amy a final time. (Not that it was the final time – read on for more!). As with the other Love in London books, the release went well, although it didn’t light up the sky. Let’s hope this series is a slow burner!

April also saw my first visit as a writer to Germany, at the Love Letter Comvention in Berlin. It was amazing to spend time with so many avid romance readers, and the welcome I received was so warm. I was only there for three days, which really isn’t enough time to soak up everything the beautiful city has to offer, but I will be back!

In April I also finished the first draft of a new book in a new series. A Summer’s Lease (The Shakespeare Sisters book 1) was my first fully-written book as a full time author, and marked a turning point for me. When I sent it off to my agent, I was nervous as hell. Luckily, she fell in love with Sam and Cesca as much as I did.

June and July saw the publication of Fix You (or Kiss You!) by Ullstein in Germany. These wonderful months also saw me sell the rights to the four Shakespeare Sisters stories to Piatkus (Little Brown). A very exciting piece of news for me.

I took August off to spend time with my teenagers. It was a calculated risk — August is traditionally a quiet time in the publishing industry, plus I’d finished writing a (mystery) book at the end of July, so I felt I could spare the time. As my children get older I’m realising that they’ll soon be leaving the nest and flying away, so I’ve decided to enjoy the time I have left with them.

September saw me writing the second book in the Shakespeare Sisters series. By Virtue Fall tells the story of Juliet, the second of the Shakespeare sisters. I managed to finish writing this one by November 2016.

In November, I attended a wonderful writing retreat, hosted by the fabulous Urban Writers’ Retreats. It’s my second time to this location, an isolated farmhouse in the hills of Devon, and I have to say I LOVED it. I went with a firm plan, because by that time I was juggling multiple projects.

In the mornings, I allowed my creative muse to take flight, and wrote a short story, based on the characters in the Love in London series (so Canada Square wasn’t my last encounter with them, after all!) In the afternoons I was carrying out developmental edits, as agree with my editor at Piatkus. This was the first of two rounds of dev edits. Evenings (after dinner and a few drinks) were dedicated to proof-reading the US version of Fix You, which I was due to release in December. Somehow having 3 very separate projects allowed me to be very disciplined with my time, and I went home having achieved everything I wanted to.

November also saw the release of the Love in London series in Germany. I was beyond excited to see these stories translated, and to get so many lovely reviews and comments from my German readers, and can’t wait to share more stories with you all.

December saw the release of Fix You in the US and Canada. Traditionally this is a bad month to release books, and combined with the fact that Fix You had already been released in the UK and in numerous foreign translations, I wasn’t expecting the world from this release. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the reception and how well it’s sold. It’s always fun to introduce Richard and Hanna’s story to new readers, and it was a great month to do that. I also completed the second round of developmental edits to A Summer’s Lease, and agreed a release date of July 7th 2017. I’m so excited to be publishing a new series this year.

Looking back, 2016 was a year of changes for me. I think it’s the first year I’ve really treated writing as my job, which I guess isn’t a surprise, since until last year I was combining it with my day job. It was also a year of consolidation for me — finishing one series, and beginning another, while trying to build my brand recognition. Having written everything down, I feel as if I achieved so much more than I set out to, but still have much more to do in order to reach my long-term goals. I wrote around 320,000 words, published 3 books (a bit of a cheat – one was a box set!), and sold a 4 book series to a publisher. Let’s see if I can beat that in 2017!

So that’s my 2016 in a nutshell. Join me next week to find out my goals and plans for 2017!

Carrie Pink

 

 

Photo Credit: Depositphotos

Cover Reveal – The Talisman by T.M. Franklin

T.M. Franklin, author of the best-selling MORE Trilogy and How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You has an exciting new release coming on January 17th – and it doesn’t have only ONE cover – it has SIX!

The Talisman Chronicles is a six-part serial, which will be released every Tuesday from January 17th-February 14th. It builds off the Amazon best-selling short story WINDOW and tells the story of a group of teenagers who find some unusual items in an old chest . . . items that give them incredible powers.

But they receive those gifts for a reason. And one day soon, they’ll need to use them to fight for us all.

Add The Talisman Chronicles to your Goodreads TBR HERE.

Or follow T.M. Franklin on AMAZON to be notified when the books are available.

And if you’d like to join the Talisman Chronicles Release Day Party – with giveaways all day long on January 17th, join the Enchanted Publications Facebook Event page. It’s going to be a blast!

About T.M. Franklin

T.M. Franklin writes stories of adventure, romance, & a little magic. A former TV news producer, she decided making stuff up was more fun than reporting the facts. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days. MORE was well-received, being selected as a finalist in the 2013 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book Awards, as well as winning the Suspense/Thriller division of the Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Awards. She’s since written three additional novels and several best-selling short stories…and there’s always more on the way.

Connect with T.M. Franklin

Web Site | Facebook | Amazon | Twitter |Instagram |Pinterest | YouTube

 

My Favorite Things Giveaway – TM Franklin

Today in the My Favorite Things Giveaway, we hear from T.M. Franklin, YA author of the MORE Trilogy and How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You!

My Favorite Things TM Franklin

When going through the list of my favorite things about the holidays, I thought of the usual suspects: The decorations, the lights, the heart-wrenching holiday movies . . . carols and wassailing (what is wassailing anyway?) and the coming together of friends and family.

*takes a moment to sigh wistfully*

Then I thought, “Who am I kidding?”

My favorite thing about the holidays are these bad boys right here:

Candied Pecans

CANDIED PECANS!!!

Get in My Belly

Hallelujah

Crispy, crunchy, sweet and cinnamony goodness…I mean it’s toasted pecans wrapped up in a crunchy sugar shell. HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE IT?

Eating nuts

This may or may not be an actual recording of me eating candied pecans.

You can sprinkle them on a salad (although if you’re eating salad for the holidays, you’re doing it wrong), crumble them over ice cream (Yes, please!) or just munch on them straight out of the jar. Just beware – once you start, there ain’t no stopping… and before long they’ll be….

It's gone

So it’s best to make a double batch! Especially if you’d like to give some of them as gifts!

Veruca Salt

(Or not…)

Want to make them yourself? It’s super-easy. Here’s the recipe I use.

Candied Pecans

1 c. white sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp. salt

1 egg white

1 Tbsp. water

1 lb. pecan halves

Combine sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Whisk the egg white and water together until frothy. Toss the pecans in the egg white mixture, then dump in the sugar mixture and mix until the pecans are evenly coated.

Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees until pecans are evenly browned, about an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Repeat as needed. 🙂

If you’re looking for something fun to read while you munch on your leftover pecans (Ha! Like there will be leftovers!) I have a new six-part serial coming out in January – just in time for you to use one of those amazing Amazon gift cards you get for the holidays (or the one you WIN in THIS giveaway!)

The Talisman Chronicles tells the story of a group of ordinary teens, brought together by a mysterious force. They open up an old chest hidden in an attic, and as they find the talismans inside, they’re granted some amazing powers.

Of course, there’s a reason they get those gifts – something’s coming, and it’s something they’ll have to fight.

Talisman Chronicles

Find out more about The Talisman Chronicles – or add it to your Goodreads TBR right HERE.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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About T.M. Franklin

TM FranklinT.M. Franklin writes stories of adventure, romance, & a little magic. A former TV news producer, she decided making stuff up was more fun than reporting the facts. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days. MORE was well-received, being selected as a finalist in the 2013 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book Awards, as well as winning the Suspense/Thriller division of the Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Awards. She’s since written three additional novels and several best-selling short stories…and there’s always more on the way.

Connect with T.M. Franklin

Web site | Facebook | Twitter | Email

My Favorite Things Giveaway – Jeanne McDonald

Today in the My Favorite Things Giveaway, we hear from Jeanne McDonald, Contemporary Romance author of Compass and Politically Incorrect!

What is my favorite thing about the holidays? Well, that’s a loaded question! I rattled this thought around in my brain for the longest. Because I love Christmas season in general how was I to pick just one thing from the food, the smells, the lights, the tree, the presents, the romance…and there it was. The thing I most love about the holidays is the Christmas spirit, itself.
There’s something about the holiday season that changes people. Happiness floods the world. People smile more. People love more. Families come together and share their hearts. People allow themselves to open up and care more. The Christmas spirit is simply magical. And who doesn’t need or want a little magic in their lives? I know I certainly do.
As a writer, my mind automatically reverts to stories and how they convey Christmas spirit. There are countless holiday stories that reflect the importance of Christmas spirit. One of my all time favorites, which also happens to be a classic in the realms of literature, is The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. We all know this story, as it’s been retold a million and one different ways – Ebeneezer Scrooge, a mean ol’ miser, refuses to see his fellow man for anything more than another shilling in his pocket. In an effort to save him from a terrible fate, he is visited by three spirits of Christmas. These guides show him the importance of the season, more importantly the importance of a full and happy life. As I said before, this story has been retold in countless manners, from cartoons to Muppets to theater and film, but my favorite recreation is the 1950’s film starring Alastair Sim. When I read the novel, I always picture him as my Scrooge.
Another great story about understanding and finding oneself in the spirit of Christmas is While You Were Sleeping starring Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman. As a woman with no family, Lucy is reminded every Christmas how alone she is. That is until a freak accident drops her into the lives of Callaghan family. There Lucy finds love and learns what life means to be surrounded by those who adore you. Christmas spirit shows her the life she was always meant to have.
Okay, I know I have gone all kinds of philosophical here, but really, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Christmas spirit. So tonight, when you’re sitting with your family or walking through a crowded shopping mall looking for Christmas gifts, stop and think about the joy this season brings. Then you can truly feel the spirit of Christmas.
Now that I’ve got you thinking about Christmas spirit, how about you continue your journey with Compass. No, this isn’t a Christmas novel, though there is a Christmas scene within its page. This is simply a story about finding love and giving it a chance.
Buy it or read it for Free on KindleUnlimited.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

About Jeanne McDonald

 

Jeanne McDonald enjoys writing contemporary fiction filled with spice, romance, drama, and humor. She prides herself in being a mother, a wife, a student of knowledge and of life, a coffee addict, a philosophy novice, a pop culture connoisseur, inspired by music, encouraged by words, and a believer in true love.


  


Jeanne is the founder of the author co-op, Enchanted Publications, and is an avid supporter of autism awareness. 

 

 
When she’s not spending time with her family, she can be found reading, writing, enjoying a great film, or diligently working toward her bachelor’s degree in literature.  A proud Texan, Jeanne currently resides in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with her family.
 
Connect with Jeanne

 

Website   |   Facebook   |   Twitter  |  Goodreads   |   Amazon  |  Google+   |  BookBub
 ARayofHope   25684-coversmall   The Certainty of Deception by Jeanne McDonald      IndulgenceCover     

My Favorite Things Giveaway – Ayden Morgan

Today in the My Favorite Things Giveaway, we hear from Ayden Morgen, author of the All Falls Down series and the Teplo Trilogy.

 

In a house with two very rambunctious kittens, my husband and I didn’t get to do a lot of decorating for the holidays this year. We weren’t quite brave enough to risk one of the minions destroying our hard work.
Instead, we opted to focus more on the things we love about the holiday season, like giving, which leads me to my most favorite part of the holiday….

1. Presents!

 

I am a big fan of finding the perfect gift for the cool kids in my life. I just love seeing their little faces light up with happiness and excitement. Since SS and I don’t have any little ones at home, I’m not ashamed to admit that I spoil my two sisters’ kids on holidays. Picking out their favorite things is so much fun!
 

 

2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

I have adored this story since I was a little girl. Every year, I make a point to watch the original movie (not that hot mess with Jim Carrey) as often as it’s on television. I love everything about the book, and the movie is equally as wonderful.

 

3. Tootsie Roll Banks

It sounds like such a little, silly thing, but every year for as long as I can remember, I’ve gotten a Tootsie Roll bank at some point during the holiday season. I look forward to it so much! I’m a Tootsie Roll addict, and it’s just not Christmas unless I get my grubby hands on a bank full of goodness.

 

4. Time to Read/Write

What’s better than curling up under the covers with a good book or plot bunny and a few hours of freedom from every day responsibilities? While I have to work rain, snow, sleet, or holiday, I try to make a point to take a little time to read and write during the holiday season. Last year, I spent some of that time writing All Over You, about a bossy San Francisco detective hot on the trail of the dangerous catfish who might just be the kindergarten teacher he’s falling for. Both of their hearts and their futures are on the line in this sizzling erotic romance.

 

Want to win a copy of All Over You and more? Tell me your favorite part of the holiday season in the comments, and then enter the My Favorite Things Giveaway below!
About the Author
Ayden lives in the heart of Arkansas with her childhood sweetheart/husband of twelve years, and their five furry minions. When not writing, she spends her time hiking, reading, volunteering, causing mischief, and building a Spork army. Ayden graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychology in 2009 before going on to complete her graduate degree in CJ and Law. She currently puts her education to use in the social services and CJ field.
Ayden also writes Young and New Adult fantasy under the penname A.K. Morgen.
You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, or via her website at http://aydenmorgen.com.

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