Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Life Begins at 22

Hello, all! I had a total blog fail yesterday owing to someone pinning me down on the sofa and forcing me to watch the Federer Wimbledon match. What can I say, it was difficult but I toughed it out. 

So today, I'm taking part in the Life Begins at 22 'blorgy' (a Gemma Burgess word; I didn't make it up!)  to celebrate the launch of Gemma's Brooklyn Girls. Find out more about the book here and read more Life Begins at 22 entries here. I'm posting a bit early but there will be plenty of other entries to peruse soon!

For me, this post should probably be entitled Life Begins at 24, because that is the age I finally finished my Masters and went out into the big wide world of work. And thus began the disillusionment with corporate life, because although I loved having my own flat, making money, and living in a great city, I detested the nine to five grind of doing something (in this case, editing a medical journal) which was guaranteed to put me to sleep within five minutes. 

In fact, my colleagues and I would often indulge in a cheeky little snooze while looking suitably engrossed in an article on DREs (don't ask - you really don't want to know, believe me). 

But the brilliant group of people I worked with more than made up for the rather lacklustre material. All young, most just a few years out of university and living away from their hometowns, we became a close circle. Outside of the beige office, we took on Montreal: going to bars, eating eating eating, and hanging out on the terraces during the lovely hot summers. 

I still remember the heady excitement of exploring a fantastic new city, the freedom of returning home to my own apartment, and knowing that if I wanted something, I had the money to buy it. Life after 24 was all about freedom and fun, and although there was the inevitable heartbreak and confusion, that's what I remember most.

What do you remember about your twenties?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pavilion in the Park

I hope everyone had a glorious weekend! I have now passed the 50,000 mark on The No-Kids Club, which I'm sure deserves a few glasses of wine. I'm hoping to finish the first draft in the next few weeks, and then the dreaded editing begins. *cue music of doom*

The past week has been a busy one! I'm very pleased to say I signed with super-agent Madeleine Milburn. She's got a great stable of authors -- many of whom I know -- and I'm thrilled to be a part of them. I hope to give more details of exactly why I've decided to go with an agent in the near future!

In a complete non sequitur, every year, the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens commissions an architect to design a summer pavilion. Checking it out has become an annual occurrence! While I wasn't keen on last year's, I quite like this summer's structure.

Gratuitous baby shot!

Have a great week, everyone. See you next Monday. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sex. On Tuesdays. Or Not.

Oh, my. It's Monday! Again! Who knew time could pass so quickly? I am currently tearing my hair and rending my wardrobe (not to worry, I've been wearing the same coffee-stained sweater for days).

Well, you'll be happy to hear that Baby TR has now decided he likes his crib and has returned to regular nap-times. Phew! I'm able to write again and I'm almost half-way through the first draft of The No-Kids Club. Whoop!

But enough about me! Today, I'm thrilled to welcome Tracy Bloom to the blog.

Take it away, Tracy.

Dreams Do Come True - But Not How You Expect Them To!

 I’d always dreamed of writing a book and getting it published. I pictured myself walking into book shop and seeing it there, right at the front, with my name all over it. That was my dream. And it came true…well sort of.

I didn’t start writing until marriage, a baby and a husband sent to work in the USA for three years slung me out of my previous career developing theme park rides and attractions and into desperate housewife territory.  In a bid to avoid domestic duties and people who didn’t understand my Derbyshire accent I threw myself into my dream, writing whilst my son napped in the afternoons. I joined a creative writing class and my romantic comedy, No-one Has Ever Had Sex on a Tuesday, began to take shape.

Eventually I finished my tale of a one-night stand that leads to utter chaos so I skipped class to sweat over letters to potential agents in London. Not that I thought I’d get one, I just fancied getting some transatlantic mail.  But to my absolute shock one wanted me. Champagne corks popped.  My dream was coming true...wasn't it?

My agent took my book to Frankfurt Book Fair and I waited patiently to hear when I would see my book in Waterstones. The news came that it had sold to the highest bidder in a German auction and a pre-empted bid had secured it a home in Italy. Not long after Brazil grabbed hold of it followed by Poland. But no UK publisher stepped forward. Initially I was crushed that I wouldn’t be seeing my book on home territory until the reality of being published abroad sunk in. Someone in Brazil, a country I had never even visited, thought I was funny, thought I could write and wanted other Brazilians to read my story.  That, I decided, was very cool.

So I headed to Italy to live the dream of seeing my book in a store.  I took pictures whilst trying to convince shop owners that I was the author and not some eccentric English lady who couldn’t speak Italian and yet convinced she's written an entire book in their language. Not quite what I had imagined but amazing all the same.

This year NO-ONE EVER HAS SEX ON A TUESDAY is finally published in English. With the support of my agent who also represents Sophie Kinsella, Veronica Henry and Kate Harrison I have self-published on Amazon.  So I still won't get to see it in a book shop but who knew that watching my novel fight its way up the Amazon charts gathering great reviews as it goes would actually be my dream come true?

You can follow me on Twitter @TracyBBloom or Facebook www.facebook.com/tracybloomwrites or get in touch via my website www.tracybloom.com.

 Thank you, Tracy! 

And an even better ending: since writing this post, Tracy's novel has rocketed to Number One on Amazon.co.uk! Congratulations, Tracy. It seems dreams really do come true. 

Have a great week, everyone. 

Monday, June 03, 2013

Notting Hill Press Launches!

Hello, Monday!

This week has been a busy one as usual, especially since Baby TR has decided he does not want to nap in his lovely new crib. Camping out in his room during nap-times has somewhat reduced my productivity although I swear I now have the ability to see in the dark.

But onwards and upwards! Today is an exciting day: I'm thrilled to announce the launch of a new publishing partnership I'm involved in: Notting Hill Pressa place to find some of the U.K.'s best-loved chick lit/romantic comedy. 

With more than 40 books already under its imprint, our authors include Sunday Times best-sellers Belinda Jones, Chrissie Manby and Sue Welfare; Romantic Novelist Association nominees and award-winners Victoria Connelly and Scarlett Bailey (aka Rowan Coleman); Festival of Romance  award-winner Nicola May; and best-selling debut author Lucy Robinson and Amazon best-sellers Nick Spalding, Matt Dunn and Michele Gorman.


We have a piece on the USA Today Romance blog explaining how it all came about, but basically, we're a collective of traditionally published writers who are also self-publishing, and we'll be sharing promotional efforts and professional contacts. Plus, we want Notting Hill Press to act as a sort of 'seal of approval' for British chick lit/ rom-com novels. It's an exciting time to be an author, and we hope this new initiative will showcase author power.

And there's a huge giveaway happening over on our Facebook page. Pop by to check it out!

Enough excitement for one day, I think . . . and little Lobster Baby is wailing again, so I must be off. See you next week!