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

New Release – Canada Square

It’s CANADA SQUARE Release Day!!!

I’m so excited to finally be sharing this new book with you. A year in the making, it was one of my very favourites to write. I hope you will enjoy Amy and Callum’s story as much as I have!
Here’s what advanced reviewers have been saying:
There is just something special about this story, Carrie has managed to interject the right levels of drama, twists, mean-girls, silly-boys, sexy-times and snarky asides and two really likeable and relatable characters that just keep you turning the pages. – Claire, Goodreads reviewer
 I loved Amy; young and sweet with a quiet strength and temerity and she has a realistic outlook on life. And Callum; every time the man opened his mouth I fell a little bit more for him.  – Nicola, Goodreads reviewer
This was a really great read and I can’t wait to go back and read Carrie’s other books. I could not put this down. The characters draw you in and refuse to let got until you have their entire story. –Joanna, Goodreads reviewer
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SYNOPSIS

Secrets have a way of coming out…

Amy Cartwright isn’t sure who she’s supposed to be anymore. Her family thinks she’s flighty, her ex believes she’s a walkover (the bastard) and her friends think she’s plain crazy. But there’s a different side to her that nobody sees, nobody but the cool, sexy Scotsman who just happens to be her boss.

Callum Ferguson isn’t looking for excitement; he’s had that and it almost ruined him. He likes things calm and predictable – everything that his new PA turns out not to be. But from the moment she walks through his office door it’s as though the light has come back into his life, and he can’t get her out of his mind.

Fighting against the inevitable, they both try to ignore the attraction, but the flame of desire is too bright. They’re soon drawn into a steamy love affair that they have to hide from everybody, knowing the revelation could cost them everything they’ve worked so hard for, including each other.

Author note: Canada Square is the third in the Love in London series, but can be read as a standalone book.

WHERE TO BUY

AMAZON

 iBOOKSTORE 

KOBO 

NOOK 

GOOGLE PLAY

 

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Cover Reveal – Canada Square

COVER REVEAL

Today I’m delighted to share with you the cover for my next release. Canada Square is the third in the Love in London Series, but like the rest of the books can be read as a standalone novel. Scroll down for the blurb and excerpt, and don’t forget to add to your Goodreads page! The book will be released on April 7th, and I’ll be sharing lots of teasers and excerpts on my Facebook page, so drop on by and say hello!

And if you would like to receive an email when the pre-order is live, please click here

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Title: Canada Square
Series: Love in London #3
Author: Carrie Elks
Genre: Adult Romance
Release Date: April 7th, 2016
Cover Designed by: Sylvia Frost

SYNOPSIS

Secrets have a way of coming out…

Amy Cartwright isn’t sure who she’s supposed to be anymore. Her family thinks she’s flighty, her ex believes she’s a walkover (the bastard) and her friends think she’s plain crazy. But there’s a different side to her that nobody sees, nobody but the cool, sexy Scotsman who just happens to be her boss.

Callum Ferguson isn’t looking for excitement; he’s had that and it almost ruined him. He likes things calm and predictable – everything that his new PA turns out not to be. But from the moment she walks through his office door it’s as though the light has come back into his life, and he can’t get her out of his mind.

Fighting against the inevitable, they both try to ignore the attraction, but the flame of desire is too bright. They’re soon drawn into a steamy love affair that they have to hide from everybody, knowing the revelation could cost them everything they’ve worked so hard for, including each other.

Author note: Canada Square is the third in the Love in London series, but can be read as a standalone book.

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EXCERPT

“I’m the youngest of three. Nothing’s ever just about me.”

He blinks slowly, eyes heavy lidded. “Something should be.”

The moment twists, the humour dissolving in the frisson that grows between us. I feel it crackling and buzzing against my skin, and all I can think about is that kiss.

Soft, sure. A brief moment of everything.

“Something?” I ask, a little breathlessly.

He catches my gaze, holding it without trying. In that instant I know for sure that whatever I’m feeling for him isn’t one-sided. It weaves between us, soft as silk, unbreakable as iron. It makes me feel delighted and downright scared. I can cope with a crush, enjoy it even. Treat him like the eye-candy he is, a piece of deliciousness to look forward to when I enter the office. But mutual attraction? That’s dangerous. It’s a lingering force that threatens everything; my job, my degree, my hopes for the future.

Here be dragons, but rather than run away from the flames, I’m letting them consume me.

IN THE SERIES

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carrie Elks Headshot

Carrie Elks lives near London, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of intrigue. At the age of twenty-one she left college with a political science degree, a healthy overdraft and a soon-to-be husband. She loves to travel and meet new people, and has lived in the USA and Switzerland as well as the UK. An avid social networker, she tries to limit her Facebook and Twitter time to stolen moments between writing chapters. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found baking, drinking wine or working out how to combine the two.