Summer in Winter, Christmas in August

I’m thrilled that, finally, the announcement has been made that I’ve signed a new three-book deal with Avon Books UK (HarperCollins). Because announcements are never made until all parties have signed the contract, and the contract takes a while to prepare, the agreement was actually reached back in March – and it has nearly killed me not jumping the gun and announcing it myself! But I’m thrilled to continue working with the fantastic Avon team.

The first of the three new books is The Little Village Christmas. The next will be a summer book and the last another set at Christmas. This makes my position as an author ‘seasonal’. Every book will have a seasonal title and cover. You can see that I began exactly this way in my original contract with Avon.

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So, what does it involve to write books with such an overt seasonal slant? Frequently, I’m working on a book set in the ‘opposite’ season to the one I’m experiencing. I’m proofing The Little Village Christmas now, reading about snow and ice while sunlight is streaming through my window (if I’m lucky!). I’m thinking about Christmas decorations, raffles and big coats. Avon has been hard at work writing a Christmassy blurb and creating a Christmas cover. Amazon has even sent out the first promotional email (thank you all those who have preordered 🙂 ).

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My paper proofs

On the plus side, the book I’m actually writing is my Summer 2018 book, working title The Summer of Finding Out. I had the huge pleasure of writing a good chunk of it while on my Arte Umbria writing retreat. (NB If you’re interested in joining me on the writing retreat next year you can find information here.) To write a book set in Italy while I was in Italy was a special experience. My hero, Levi, paints the scene I could see from the terrace and I took hundreds of research pix in Orvieto, to which ‘my’ Umbrian town of Monteliberatà will bear some resemblance. After running out my camera battery I sat down for lunch with a couple of lovely people from the course and remained after they’d gone, sipping Orvieto Classico and making notes about what I’d seen, heard and smelled as I’d walked the cobbled streets earlier.

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I have to be honest, I planned my writing schedule around writing about Italy while staying in Italy. I defended it against the necessity to edit The Little Village Christmas and even asked for a couple of days extension to my deadline in case I needed it when I returned to the UK.

When I’ve finished the first draft of The Summer of Finding Out I’ll be returning to The Little Village Christmas in order to perform a few more edits for the German publisher. Then I’ll write a two-part Christmas story for My Weekly, due in by the end of August, and return to The Summer of Finding Out to write the second draft.

All this time, of course, I’m promoting Just for the Holidays, which is my Summer 2017 book! And in the interests of such promotion you might like to know that Just for the Holidays is only 99p on Kindle and Kobo right now …

Whatever books you love and whenever you like them – Happy Reading!

 

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14 thoughts on “Summer in Winter, Christmas in August

  1. I think that would all do my head in, Sue! But well done you – both for the new contract, and for all the dedication and hard work. The results make it look easy, but I know it’s not!! Now, how about Spring and Autumn …?

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  2. I’m so glad I discovered you on here, I love Christmas fiction and need to stock up on new reads for this year! Heading over to Amazon to pre-order now.

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  3. Well done, Sue. That’s great news. I hope that means you can ‘relax’ (cough cough) and concentrate solely on getting the next book finished. Taking a bit of a break and giving myself time to figure out: what next. Hope to see you in the autumn at the Leicester chapter, or maybe the RNA Winter Party.

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    • Thanks so much, Lizzie! I don’t feel particularly relaxed but the WIP is going OK (touch wood) so I’m not anxious either. 🙂 I’ll be interested to hear the results of your figuring! I won’t make RNA Leicester in September but maybe October and almost definitely the Winter Party! I really enjoyed the Summer Party. Enjoy your break.

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  4. Love the covers. While you are writing books out of season I find I have the same circumstance whilst reading. Living in Australia I’m reading books set in summer at the moment while I’m wrapped in a blanket and when it comes to Christmas reads I’m reading about cold and snow while I’m sweltering away.

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    • I think reading back over this blog is a good start, to be honest, because there’s so much author experience gathered together in one space, from five different authors. Also: learn about publishing as well as writing, go to writing conferences to network. Good luck!

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