Rainbow Sprinkles Blog Tour Finale!

Hello! And welcome to the grand finale of the blog tour for my Dreamspinner Press ‘States of Love’ novella Rainbow Sprinkles.

Rainbow Sprinkles tells the story of Cooper, a down-to-earth guy who makes ice cream at the Dreamy Creamery, and Drew, who’s a Prince at Disneyland. I’d actually had the idea for the characters for a while when I saw the open call for States of Love novellas, which gave me the perfect excuse to write a ridiculously fluffy little story about two guys falling in love in California.

And Disneyland.

I’m a big, big Dis-nerd. Unapologetically so, with a huge amount of love and an abundance of opinions. Since Rainbow Sprinkles is only a novella I don’t want to give too much of the story away, so I’ve got a little excerpt for you and through my blog tour I’ve been covering some of my favourite parts of Disneyland!

Today is a bonus post… you’ll see why! Please do leave a comment and let me know your favourite places and attractions at Disneyland!

Thanks for stopping by.

Anna xx

 

Rainbow Sprinkles, available March 29th 2017 from Dreamspinner Press

Rainbow Sprinkles - Anna Martin.jpg

Buy here: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/rainbow-sprinkles-by-anna-martin-8312-b

 

*

California was sweltering through an early heat wave, the temperatures hitting the low 90s—and it was only April. Cooper’s hottie was sweating at the temples, just a little, just enough to dampen his dark blond hair.

“Can I get a….”

He looked over the menu like he didn’t stop by here at least once a week. Cooper would have expected anyone who got two sundaes a week to be a little chubby around the edges, but not his hottie. He was tall and broad shouldered, with a narrow waist and long legs. Most of the time he came by in workout gear. Whoever thought to put an ice cream parlor on the same patch as a gym was either an idiot or a genius. Probably a genius, since the Dreamy Creamery was signposted on billboards for miles, and they were on the main route into Disneyland. The place saw a lot of tourist traffic.

“Birthday Cake and Green Tea.”

Cooper winced. “You sure?”

“I’m adventurous.”

“You’re sure something,” Cooper laughed, turning back to the freezers and his scoop. “In a cup, right?”

“Yeah. And with—”

“Rainbow sprinkles,” Cooper finished for him.

Always the same. Always gross combinations of ice cream, topped with rainbow sprinkles, and if that wasn’t code, Cooper was going to die.

*

 

Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

The whole time I was writing posts for the Rainbow Sprinkles blog tour I was feeling a little sad, because my absolute, all time favourite ride at Disney is The Little Mermaid. However, in California, it’s located at the California Adventure park rather than in the main Disneyland park (at the Magic Kingdom in Florida it’s in Fantasyland) which technically excludes it from my list of favourite things at Disneyland.

So I decided to hell with it, I’m going to talk about it on my own blog!

Ariel is my favourite Disney princess, and definitely towards the top of my list of all time favourite Disney movies. (I actually prefer a lot of the classics to the modern modern movies – Lady and the Tramp, Dumbo, the Aristocats, Peter Pan, Fox & the Hound, Robin Hood….)

The Little Mermaid is a classic “dark ride”, taking you through scenes on a similar ride system to the Haunted Mansion. There’s a truly magical moment when you go backwards and down, heading under the sea, and bubbles rise up in front of you. Little touches like that always make me smile.

The animatronics in this ride are incredible. The Ursula figure is the biggest animatronic Disney Imagineers have ever made (at 12 feet wide, almost 8 feet tall) and she’s just amazing, as is Sebastian crooning in the ‘Kiss the Girl’ scene.

Out of all the more recent additions to Disneyland, I feel like the Little Mermaid ride is most in keeping with the spirit of classic Disney rides. It’s undoubtedly modern, with the scale and complexity of the animatronics and the UV glow of the fishes, but with a simple heart and awesome storytelling. One of the absolute best things about this ride is how short the wait times usually are! I’ve been known to head back to ride it again and again… why wouldn’t you, when there’s only a ten minute wait?!

So, there we go, folks. I don’t think I need to tell you just how much fun I had writing these posts. Give me even half a chance to talk about my love of all things Disney and I’m right there! I hope you’ll check out Rainbow Sprinkles – writing that story was even more fun than talking about it here, and if you like my ramblings about my love for Disneyland then definitely be sure to check it out because there’s plenty more of it in the book!

 

My Impossible Story

I honestly can’t quite believe that The Impossible Boy is released today. I started working on this novel in early Spring 2013, somewhere in between writing Jurassic Heart and Summer Son. I was spending a lot of time up in London at that point with a friend there, who took me to all the little awesome dive rock bars in Camden. That’s when the story really started to take shape in my mind.

The story got abandoned over and over again while I worked on other projects, and that’s probably why I’m so nervous for it to finally be out there in the world. I lost faith in the novel multiple times. I convinced myself no one would want to read a story about a transgender/gender fluid guy. I wasn’t prepared to give up the British setting and spelling and gratuitous use of the word “cunt”. I convinced myself that no one wanted to read that, either.

It was late last year, when I was still battling with my own mental health demons, that I finally felt like I could take on some of Stan’s demons and finish the novel in the way I wanted it to be finished, staying true to the characters and the story. It just so happened that my finishing the novel coincided with Dreamspinner’s launch of the ‘Perchance to Dream’ line, which is their house line for stories set in the British Commonwealth.

I always thought that Dreamspinner wouldn’t be interested in my impossible story, mostly for it’s in-your-face Britishness. However, I adore them as my publisher and especially considering how delicately I wanted this story to be handled, I wasn’t confident sending it to another publisher. The new house line gave me the opportunity to keep the story how I wanted it, with a publisher I trust. I honestly can’t thank them enough.

There are so many things I could say about this novel but for once i’m going to try and leave everything on the page. (It’s for that reason I haven’t scheduled a blog tour or any interviews. Not because I don’t want to talk about the novel – I really do! – but I don’t know what more I can add to what’s written in the book itself and if I tried I’d probably fuck it up.) 

Just a few thank yous – to Garrett, who gave me the most incredible cover, then read the book and became a cheerleader for it. Most authors only dream of getting work with artists like you. And to Tia, who listened to me whine about this story for almost four years, never got bored of it, and kept nudging me to just write the damn thing. To a wonderful trans* editor who gave me so much invaluable feedback. And to all of the readers who will give this story a chance. 

One of my dreams is coming true today. 

Anna

2017

At the end of the year I usually do a little roundup and post it somewhere on the internet (usually never to be found or read again, because that’s how I roll.) And while we could all learn a lesson or two from Edna Mode, I find it quite cathartic to reflect once a year.

42282-never-look-back-darling-it-dis-i3sz

So, for me, 2016 started with an episode of depression so crushing I took almost four months off work, and ended up changing my job half way through the year. God damn, that was hard, and the reason for my low writing output over the past twelve months.

I only released one novel on the world in 2015, but the title is long enough for at least three, so that must count for something, right?! Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me, and One Time I Kissed Him First was so much fun to write, mostly because the format felt so familiar to me. I’ve read a lot of ‘five times’ fanfic stories over the years. (A lot).

The Impossible Boy is a novel I’ve been writing for almost four years on and off, and I finally finished it at the beginning of July. Editing it was bloody hard work, mostly because my writing style has evolved so much from when I started it. (Seriously, you guys, there were so many elipses in that manuscript I thought I was drowning in them.) Now it’s due to be released within the next few weeks and I’m so nervous and excited to see what the response will be. It’s still a very me novel, though with much harder themes than I usually contend with. I’ve also been incredibly blessed with beautiful cover art design by my wonderful friend Garrett Leigh. Let’s all just bask in her talent for a moment….

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In March I’ll have a short story coming out called Rainbow Sprinkles, which is part of the Dreamspinner Press ‘States of Love’ collection. The idea for the story had been circulating in my mind for a long time when the call went out saying that DSP were looking for a novella set in each of the United States. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to snap up California, and write the story about a guy who works in an ice cream parlour and a guy who works as a prince at Disneyland. It’s unashamedly, tooth-rottingly sweet.

The best part of that writing process was getting to visit Disneyland in April, ostensibly for ‘research’ purposes 😉

In September I managed to write exactly 30,000 words of a story, then stalled, so that’s sitting around waiting for a wave of inspiration so I can go finish it. It’s a novel, so it’ll definitely need some more work before it’s ready. I also battled, and eventually won, National Novel Writing Month (woohoo!) but I’ve been left with 50,000 words of ‘oh my god, what am I going to do with this‘ which is taking time to unravel. I’m hoping one or the other of those books gets finished asap, bumping my output for 2017 up to three!

With everything that’s happened this year, when I sit down to write I always find myself reminded of why I do this. Yes, there seems to be a never ending stream of people out there trying to scam writers in new and imaginative ways, which has only been highlighted with the ARe fiasco in the past few days. But I write for the same reason I read – because from the very bottom of my heart, I love love stories. I love being able to tell my stories in an era that encourages me to do it my way, and I love that I have a publisher in Dreamspinner Press that takes such good care of my work. I write because it puts joy in my heart, however cheesy that might sound, and anything else is a fringe benefit.

My writing goal for 2017 is to be true to myself. I always want to put novels out there that I believe in, that I’ll stand by and be proud of. When I keep that thought in mind I undoubtedly produce better novels.

Thanks for stopping by. And happy new year!

Anna

In Defence of Traditional Publishing

With the year 2016 has turned out to be, there has been more talk than ever in our genre about the role of self-publishing. I always find these debates fascinating and, of course, there’s never one right answer. I’m here to put forward the other side of the story; to bang the drum in support of traditional publishing houses. Because there will always be a role for a publisher in my career. 

I’m here essentially as a hobby writer. I work a 40hour week doing Marketing for a wonderful little local charity. I probably spend another 15-25 hours a week working on my writing career (this might be why I’m so painfully single, shhh!!) I’ve been published since September 2011 and have put out 15 novels in that time, including 4 co-authored books and a handful of novellas/short stories. That’s a rate of 3-5 novels a year, while working full time. 

That full time job allows me to write what I want, at a speed that suits me. There’s a reason why I still write fan fiction – which earns me nothing – and why I don’t write M/F romance – which would earn me more. My royalties allow me to attend conventions around the world and go on nice holidays, treat myself to something fun every now and then. I’m fortunate enough to not have to rely on my royalties to pay a mortgage or pay my bills. I write because I can’t not write, not because I have to, and the difference is everything. 

I’ll confess – once I’ve finished writing a story, my role in the whole process becomes light-touch. I’m happy to sit back and let my publisher take care of the editing, formatting, promotion, marketing. For me to do that myself would cut so deep into my writing time that I’d be down to 1-3 books a year, and by that point I would have lost any financial benefit of self-publishing. Yes, a traditional publisher is going to take a cut of my royalties, but let’s face it, they earn that cut! They pay for top-notch editing, cover art, marketing (with contacts that put my book under noses that might never otherwise see it). Frankly, that’s work I don’t want to do myself.

At the UK Meet this year I attended a panel on self-publishing, led by KA Merikan, Jay Northcote, and RJ Scott – four amazing women I call friends as well as colleagues and peers. And I think RJ kind of hit the nail on the head when she said that self-publishing becomes akin to running a business. You don’t get to just do the writing part, you become a small business owner with all the things that go along with that responsibility. 

I want to make it clear that I have no beef with my self-pub peers. My concern is for people like me, who rely on a publisher to get our work out there, and whose options when it comes to reliable, trustworthy publishing houses is diminishing. I have a huge amount of faith in Dreamspinner Press and the work they do. The exposure I’ve been offered to the foreign translations market (shout out to my Italian and French readers, who are freaking awesome) and audiobooks market would have been so so difficult to achieve if I was doing this on my own. 

One last thing: as we all know, at any publisher you’ve got three tiers of authors: the bestsellers, the mid-list, and the newbies. A publisher will take a cut of my earnings to cover the costs of producing each novel, but also to offset the expected losses from those new authors. If we all pull away from publishing houses and and self publish, who’s going to be there to give those new authors a chance? Because if it’s hard to get a publishing contract, it’s much harder to gain traction as a new name in the self-pub world. Sticking with a publisher is one way of paying it forward. I’m a reader too, maybe a reader first, and I want to see new talent being nurtured by good publishers and given a chance to grow. 

Honestly? I think we’re so lucky to be living in a time when we have all these options as authors. 20-30 years ago they just didn’t exist; hell, ebooks didn’t exist 10 years ago. It’s obviously up to each author as to what they want for their career, and at one point I may dip my toe in the self-publishing pool. For now, I’m going to stand here on my self-built pedestal to say, thank god for my publisher.

Anna

Throwback Thursday – Signs

I’m going to do a thing.

Go watch this video. It’s only a couple of minutes of your time—please, for me?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSpv3-_4OBs

So that’s a clip from the deaf production of the musical Spring Awakening.

Yeah, I’m serious. A deaf musical. And it’s one of the most stunning pieces of theatre I’ve never seen live! (For reasons I’ve never understood, Spring Awakening bombed when it debuted in the West End in London, after many successful years on Broadway. British theatre audiences just didn’t connect to it, though it does have something of a cult following these days, mostly in amateur theatre groups.)

If Signs does for anyone what that clip does for me, I might, maybe, have done what I set out to achieve with that novel. I always had a very clear idea of what Signs would be. Caleb was always deaf, always socially awkward and mildly agoraphobic. He always had communication issues, was possibly on the autism spectrum, and was always blond. I knew a lot about Caleb before I started to write about him. With the exception of Will and Jesse from the Another Way series, Caleb has always felt like one of my most ‘real’ characters. I found these images early on in the writing process and they helped me build Caleb’s sort of sweet, shy innocence. The striped shirt definitely features in one scene, and I’m sure the second picture was inspiring too 😉

From these pictures you can really see how perfect the cover art image is. The boy is Caleb, he just is, and it’s such a beautiful cover. Possibly my favourite cover?!

I’ve spoken before about how I started and stopped writing Signs many times. It was one of those ‘work in progress’ stories that I went back to from time to time, wrote a bit more, then abandoned again while I worked on something else. At one point I had both Signs and The Impossible Boy abandoned—Impossible Boy is coming out January next year, so I’ve finally cleared both of them from my work in progress list!

I spoke to some lovely readers at the UK Meet and confessed that I actually cut the epilogue when my editor suggested that it weakened the ending of the book. They were totally right, but a few people have asked for it now, so here you go. The never-before-seen Signs epilogue.

 

Epilogue. One Year Later

Caleb was in the kitchen, making a start on dinner when Luc arrived home. He looked up from the chopping board when the door slammed and waited for Luc to skip through the apartment.

“Hey, baby,” Luc said, wrapping his arms around Caleb from behind and insinuating his hands under the hem of Caleb’s t-shirt.

“Hi,” Caleb said and shivered at the cold hands. He tilted his head to the side, offering his neck to Luc’s kisses, smiling to himself when Luc obliged.

Caleb set down the knife and turned in Luc’s arms then reversed their positions so Luc’s back was against the hard counter top and Caleb could box Luc in. It had been a hard few weeks for Luc while he got exams out of the way and he spent long hours in the library revising. Now there was only one exam left and his success so far had put him in a good mood.

It was a relief to see the hard lines of tension melting out of Luc’s face, the dark circles under his eyes disappearing as he started to sleep better, through the night. Luc rarely had nightmares any more and, even if he did, Caleb just held him until they passed. He didn’t even mind the disturbance to his own sleep.

Luc was smiling indulgently as he reached up to wrap his arms around Caleb’s neck, drawing him down into slow, exploring, intense kisses. Caleb was just about ready to give up on dinner and drag Luc to bed – enchiladas be damned – when Luc broke the kiss, laughing, and set his head down on Caleb’s chest. Caleb inhaled deeply then sighed.

“What’s for dinner?” Luc asked.

“Chili,” Caleb said. “I’m making it from scratch. Is that okay?”

“Perfect,” Luc said and leaned up to peck Caleb on the lips again. “I’ll just go take a shower.”

“Okay.”

Caleb still used lip reading as his main way of understanding people, and in public was still so wary of speaking aloud. But, he was working on that with his therapist, and working on the speaking part with his speech therapist. Sometimes having two therapists was exhausting, but they were there for a reason. And Luc would come with him to some appointments, which was nice.

The only person Caleb felt completely at ease speaking around was Luc. When communicating with his parents ASL was still his first language, one that he shared with them, where they all knew each other’s shorthand.

Luc didn’t care that his speech wasn’t perfect, or that he sometimes misheard words or pronounced them wrong. Although their days of Luc’s speech therapy were over, he still used the same techniques to help Caleb hone down certain words, and still rewarded him with kisses.

Since he knew Luc would probably be hungry, Caleb rushed through the final preparations for their meal and turned the heat on the stove down low to let the chili simmer, then started loading the dishwasher. His last class of the day had been earlier in the afternoon, so he’d taken the opportunity to catch up on some of his assignments and clean the apartment. Well, he’d done the laundry that was in the hamper and made dinner.

When Luc reappeared from the bedroom he was shirtless, wearing only a pair of boxers. My boxers, Caleb thought to himself, but didn’t challenge Luc on it. Anticipating what Luc wanted was easy; at some point (and Caleb couldn’t quite remember when), Luc had decided that the best thing in the whole world was bare chests lying against each other. When Luc stood at the end of the sofa and put his hands on his hips Caleb made a show of sighing, but secretly smiled as he crossed his arms over his chest and tugged his t-shirt up and off.

Moments later Luc had rearranged himself on top of Caleb on the couch, his head turned to watch the TV. The next bit was easy too; Caleb started a light, easy stroking up and down Luc’s spine, making him purr with delight.

*

Luc had a tattoo now. If there was no birthmark on his chest it would have curved in a semi circle from one collarbone to the other. Because of the birthmark it started about two thirds of the way along that imaginary line, and ended on his shoulder.

If the angle looked off balance then that was good, as far as Luc was concerned. It was supposed to. The words read ‘Blood, Threat & Fears’ and started right on the edge of his blood red birthmark. He thought it fairly self explanatory.

Caleb had gone with him when he got the tattoo done and had held his hand for the few hours it took to complete. Luc couldn’t imagine going through something so important and permanent without Caleb by his side. That was just the way they were with each other now.

As with so many other people, Luc thought he’d probably caught the tattoo bug and had already started planning his next seven or so designs. Caleb had been fairly emphatic in his refusal to get anything inked on his own body and Luc silently approved of this decision. He couldn’t think of anything at all that could make Caleb’s skin any more perfect than it already was. That probably made him a sap. He didn’t care at all.

It had been an easy decision to stay in New York with Caleb, and one he hadn’t regretted. That wasn’t to say it hadn’t come without repercussions. There were reasons why Luc had wanted to go to an East Coast school – there wasn’t anything there that would remind him of his father.

Memories of his dad still haunted Luc from time to time. He still woke up from nightmares, especially when he’d been somewhere or seen someone who reminded him of the sort of person his father had been. After Jo had come home for Thanksgiving and found out Luc was living with a boy, Luc had had nightmares every night for two whole weeks. Apparently, a few years in Florida weren’t enough to wash away the years of bigoted thoughts that Jo had learned at their father’s side.

Luc knew he would never be close to his brother, and that was okay. Since making the decision to stay in New York he’d grown ever closer to Ilse, who had become like a sister to Caleb, too. She invited them over for dinner at least once a week and they tried to return the favor from time to time. Ilse was a rock. A constant.

“Dinner, baby,” Caleb murmured, his chest rumbling against Luc’s as he spoke. The words were slightly slurred, but that was how Caleb always sounded. Luc didn’t even notice it any more. “You should put a shirt on.”

“Caleb?”

“Hmm?”

Luc lifted his head and propped his chin on Caleb’s chest to look up at him. “Do you love me?”

Caleb grinned. He knew this game. “Yes,” he said.

“How much?”

“More than the whole world,” Caleb said, and ran his palm down Luc’s back.

“Show me,” Luc said, his eyes full of promises.

Caleb leaned down and pressed his lips to Luc’s mouth, taking both beautifully firm ass cheeks in his hands and squeezing. Luc reached up into the kiss, his hand cupping Caleb’s face, and slipped his tongue into the mix.

They struggled to their feet, then Caleb gave Luc a wicked sort of look, and threw his boyfriend over his shoulder, fireman style.

“Hey!” Luc yelled, laughing.

Caleb took him first to the kitchen, turning off the stove and leaving their dinner there – it would be fine – then walked through the apartment to their bedroom.

They could, and would, and did have sex everywhere. It was their place, after all, and they were never interrupted. Luc wanted love, though, and there was only one place where they did that.

Caleb dumped Luc unceremoniously on the soft white sheets and stood at the end of the bed looking down at him, lust and love clashing in his eyes.

‘You’re still the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,’ Caleb signed in front of his bare chest.

‘I love you.’

“I love you too,” Caleb said. Then he set about showing Luc just how much.

_________________________________________________________________

 
I think I will always feel like I never quite did Signs justice. There’s a part of me that will always want to go back and pick at it and rewrite sections, like I did over and over before the novel was finished. Despite that, I’m proud of what I accomplished. It’s a very different novel from others I’ve written, and I’m always aiming to challenge myself as a writer.

I’m going to leave you with another clip from the Deaf West Spring Awakening – it has very little to do with Signs, but it’s a gay, signed romance, so I’m hoping you’ll forgive the indulgence!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5ndU5y7gh4

Oh, and because I had a handful more ‘inspiration’ photos in my folder, you might as well have a look at those too.

Anna

UK Meet & “We’ve Got it Covered” Roundup!

Hello! I am home from the ever-fantastic UK Meet and I thought it might be nice to give a little roundup of the panel I hosted with the fantastic Garrett Leigh and Kellie Dennis.

For those of you who missed the posts on Facebook, Kellie designed three book covers LIVE during the panel, while her progress was projected onto one of the big screens. There were a few moments where our captive audience completely ignored what Garrett and I were saying, they were so enraptured with what Kellie was doing! She’s truly an incredibly talented artist – three covers in 45 minutes. Wowzer. And here’s what they looked like:

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Plus one Garrett designed earlier:

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What’s even more lovely is that Garrett and Kellie gave away the covers to people who attended the Meet. It’ll be exciting to see what stories they turn into!

So, our panel was clearly about cover art and we wanted to dispel a few myths and put some information out there that a lot of authors probably don’t know. Here’s a summary for those who couldn’t make it;

  • Be aware of image licensing. If you (or your cover artist) has purchased a stock image to be used on a cover, you probably don’t have the right to use that image for anything other than a book cover. That means you can’t use the cover art to make, and subsequently sell, T-shirts, mugs, posters, or any other promotional items. There’s a grey area around giving those items away, so you should be fine to make bookmarks for swag, etc. Just don’t try and sell anything with your cover on!
  • You can’t buy a stock image, slap a bit of text over the top, and use that as your cover. You MUST change some element of the photograph/picture; whether that’s adding shadows, light, texture, etc. This is where knowing a good cover artist helps 😉
  • When we asked our audience whether they liked or disliked “headless torso” covers (also known to Garrett as “sweaty, gritty, man-titty”), most raised their hand to say they didn’t. However, no one said they wouldn’t buy a book on the basis of a sweaty, gritty, man-titty cover.
  • Both Garrett and Kellie agreed that in the current climate, book covers with models work far better than concept covers (with the exception of M/F erotica, where still life image covers are still a big thing).
  • Be aware of current trends in cover art and how that’s affecting the market. Jumping on a bandwagon to sell a book now isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but consider how it’ll affect the longevity of your book sales. Something that’s very trendy right now might look very dated in a year’s time.
  • Don’t be afraid to put a new cover on an old book to give it a boost (especially if the cover is looking tired or dated).
  • You need a license to use certain fonts! Don’t assume fonts are free!
  • Clean, concise covers are what you’re after. Pick a few elements of your story and use them effectively, rather than throwing everything at it. Remember – most people are going to see your cover as a tiny thumbnail, or on a black and white screen.

That seems to about cover it! (Pun so totally intended). For me as an author, finding a cover artist who I like and who gets what I’m after is so valuable, and I found that working with both Garrett and Kellie. You should check them out –

Kellie – www.bookcoverbydesign.co.uk

Garrett – www.blackjazzdesign.com

One last little anecdote to round it all up; at last year’s UK Meet in Bristol I was talking to Kellie and Garrett about the cover for a book I had coming out, and how I couldn’t find anything that really worked. They both suggested that the title for the book was too long (at six words) and I should shorten it. That book was ‘My Prince’, and Kellie did the cover for me after I agreed to change the title.

Fast forward a few months and I was working on a new book… ‘Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me, and One Time I Kissed Him First’. (That’s fourteen words, plus two more for my name). How Garrett got that to work so beautifully on the cover is a constant mystery!!

If you have any questions about the panel please do give any of us a shout.

Thanks for stopping by!

Anna

Hello from me…

It’s been a few weeks, so here’s a fairly self-indulgent update.

I started a new job at the beginning of July, which has turned out to be an excellent move. Some of you might remember me talking earlier in the year about how miserable my last job was making me after the company I was working for got taken over. The opportunity to make a strange little career step came up (less money, far more opportunities and chances for progression) and I took it. I’m now working for a children’s charity in Bristol and loving it.

My starting in this role marks the first time the charity has ever had someone doing Marketing (and press, PR, comms, web design, social media, content, copywriting, etc, etc), so I’ve got a big challenge on my hands! I love that though – being able to get stuck into a job and create something where previously there was nothing.

In two weeks I’ll be taking a long weekend off the job and heading down to Southampton for the UK Meet. I’m currently planning an epic road trip with Jay Northcote, Annabelle Jacobs and Rachel Maybury… I think that might get loud! I love the UK Meet. It’s such a different kind of convention. This will be my 5th year, having previously been at Bristol (x2), Manchester and Brighton. I’m particularly looking forward to the first session of the weekend, on Saturday morning, where I’ll be taking part in a session with Garrett Leigh and Kellie Dennis about cover art. Kellie will (hopefully – if the technology works!) be designing a cover live during the panel.

Writing is being a funny beast at the moment. I go through phases like this – when I read like a fiend but find working on my own stuff more difficult. I have a pact with my darling friend Tia Fielding that we will both finish SOMETHING else by the end of the year. That’ll mean next year you’ll see at least two novels and a novella from me. Not bad going, I don’t think 😉

So, that’s been my summer so far. Keep an eye out for me at the UK Meet and please do come chat if you’re there too. I love catching up with people.

Much love

Anna