Showing posts with label Kate Morris. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kate Morris. Show all posts

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

My Next Big Thing

I’ve been a fan of Karen Wheeler’s books about her life in France for ages so it was a pleasure to meet her on Twitter. I loved her latest book, Tout Soul, and I’m an avid reader of her blog, Tout Sweet, too. Her stories of how she hung up her fashion editor’s high heels and left chic west London to start a new life in rural France make me want to abandon grey, wet Oxford and cross the Channel right this minute.

This week Karen (@mimipompom1) invited me to take part in a web event called My Next Big Thing, where authors answer a series of questions about their latest project.

So I took a deep breath and here are my answers:

What is the working title of your book?
I am completely hopeless at titles but the working title is Three in the Morning.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
That’s such a hard question! My second novel, Moving On, was inspired by a newspaper cutting about two sisters who took over their family business. But for this one I had loads of ideas floating through my head, all of which became intertwined – family, bereavement, Fleet Street, Pendle Hill in Lancashire, teenagers, teachers… I’ve somehow blended all of them into the first full-length novel I've written since Taking Sides.

What genre does your book fall under?
Contemporary drama. It covers a multitude of sins but that’s the genre, I reckon.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
The main characters are three sisters. So my choice would be Vanessa Kirby (she was Estella in BBC One’s recent adaptation of Great Expectations) for Jess, the youngest sister. Helen McCrory could play the eldest sister, Flo, and Claire Danes for the middle sister, Finn. They'd make a very starry line-up...

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
The three Barker sisters never spend any time in the same country, let alone the same house – so how do they cope when a family crisis flings them together for the first time in years?

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Three years – in between novellas and journalistic work!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I love Marian Keyes’s books because they combine heart and humour. I only wish I could write like her…

What else about your blog post might pique the reader’s interest?
My first three books, Hard Copy, Moving On and Taking Sides, were published in quick succession. They’ve never been available electronically before but Piatkus is publishing them as ebooks in January, February and March next year (2013), which I’m thrilled about. Also, Endeavour Press has just published my second romantic novella, School Ties

And now I’m going to nominate four fantastic writers to tell us about their next big thing:

Kate Lace (@LaceKate) has written 15 novels, including The Chalet Girl and Moonlightingand two non-fiction books. Cox, her latest novel, is the unputdownable tale of two rival hotshot rowers and has been dubbed “Jilly Cooper in a boat.”

Liz Harris (@lizharrisauthor) is the author of The Road Back. Her debut novel is a love story set in a remote region north of the Himalayas. Liz writes contemporary and historical fiction and her blog is called Welcome to My World.

Jenny Smith (@jennysmithbooks) writes humorous fiction for children and teenagers. I adore Jenny’s titles. Her first book is Diary of a Parent Trainer and her latest is the hilarious My Big Fat Teen Crisis, both out now.

Kate Morris (@KateMorris1) is the author of three novels, The Single Girl's Diary, The Seven Year Itch and Seven Days One Summer. I love Kate's description of a writer's life on her blog - "I sit at my desk all day," she says, "trying not to get distracted by emails, Facebook, Twitter and what's going on outside my study window." Y

Saturday, 30 June 2012

The long-lost days of City Wife and Country Wife

The best bit of BritMums Live last weekend was meeting writer Kate Morris for the first time.

Actually, I felt I already knew her, because five years ago Easy Living magazine asked us to write a pair of blogs. Kate, a sassy journalist living in trendy west London, was City Wife, while I, then living in the depths of Oxfordshire, was Country Wife. I was a bit of a fraud because I didn’t keep hens or grow my own vegetables or do any of the things you’re supposed to do in the country, but for the next two years we posted our blogs a couple of times a week.

I really looked forward to reading Kate’s accounts of life with her two young children and photographer husband.

As she described trips to the park, children’s birthday parties and dressing up for book days at school, I felt a wave of nostalgia for the past. My children were teenagers by then and I seemed to spend most of my time watching my son doing scary bike stunts at the skate park and marvelling at my daughter’s newfound passion for black nail varnish, make-up and Topshop. Every time I read Kate’s blog I marvelled at how the years had whizzed by in a flash.

Fast forward a couple of years and Kate has written her third novel, the insightful Seven Days One Summer, and started a new blog. We’ve stayed in touch by email and on Twitter over the years but we’d never actually met in person. Then last weekend, a dark-haired woman I didn't know tapped me on the shoulder and said tentatively “Emma?” It was Kate!

We both grabbed a cup of tea and didn’t stop talking for the next 45 minutes. Our City Wife and Country Wife days may be over but there was an awful lot to catch up on.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

BritMums Live - The Path to Getting Published

If you’ve been reading House With No Name for a while, you’ll know that I’m a writing workshop addict. Hearing other writers speak about their work and picking up advice and guidance along the way is one of my favourite pastimes.

So yesterday I jumped at the chance to hear five bloggers present a workshop entitled The Path to Getting Published – Bloggers Who Have Done It. The session was part of BritMums Live, a massive two-day event in London attended by 500 bloggers that I’ll be writing about soon.

The publishing workshop was chaired by US-based writer Toni Hargis, author of the Expat Mum blog, and as she astutely said at the start “there is no right way to publish - but the one thing you do need is a product.”

First up was writer Kate Morris, author of three novels, including Seven Days One Summer. It was fascinating to meet Kate at last because we once wrote a pair of blogs called Country Wife and City Wife for Easy Living magazine. Even though it felt like we know each other well we’d never actually met in person before. 

Kate admitted that writing a novel is “a long, lonely journey and a scary process,” and advised budding novelists to make sure they send out “a very polished product that’s as tight and compelling as possible.” Rather than submitting a book too soon, she reckons it’s a good idea to ask people you trust to read your work and give an objective view. They could be close friends or fellow writers or members of a writing group, but make sure they give “constructive and truthful criticism” and then take on board “what resonates with you.”

Next came the dynamic Emily Carlisle, who writes the ultra-successful More Than Just a Mother blog. She said she felt like “a complete fraud” because she hasn’t had a book published yet, but thanks to the success of her blog she has been approached by three agents who love her work. She's now signed up with one of them and is working on a novel.

“All three told me that having an online presence and a solid platform is absolutely crucial,” said Emily. “It means you have a group of readers who are coming back for more and it means you are marketable.”

She also came up with a list of five tips for bloggers who want to write books: 
  1. Keep your blog fresh, original and professional.
  2. Make sure you have an About Me section on your page (so agents and publishers can find out more about you).
  3. Make sure your contact details are on there.
  4. Include a page about your writing aspirations. Agents want to know you are in "for the long haul.”
  5. If you have done interviews for radio or TV, then put them on your blog. It shows that you can hold your own in conversation and that you are marketable.

Meanwhile American agent Erin Niumata, senior vice president at Folio Literary Management, added some practical advice on submitting work to agents. She advised writers to send a query letter, a synopsis of three to five pages (including the ending) and the first three chapters or 50 pages. “Send them something they can actually read,” she quipped. “And don’t put glitter inside, don’t send gifts and don’t call to follow up. Don’t do any of that.”

Erin pointed out that agents frequently look at blogs – “we are out there, lurking in the dark, looking at you,” she said. “The bigger your platform, the better. So be clever, be smart and write something that is original.”

Last, but not least, came writer Cari Rosen, a former TV producer whose first book was published last year. The Secret Diary of a New Mum (Aged 43 ¾) is the story of “one woman, one baby, a slipped disc and rather too many wrinkles,” and as Cari explained, she wrote it in five months, sitting on the sofa in her pyjamas with a bag of M&Ms. The TV rights have now been sold in the US, so watch this space...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...