Hello, and welcome to my new weekly witter post. I'll be adding to it, yes you've guessed it, every week. Here I'll be chatting about random things I've seen, done or heard.
Well, this week has been hectic. I've not had time to do much of my second novel, I've been updating this blog. What a nightmare! I'm not technical and although the theme of the blog is red, the air has definitely been blue! The same can also be said for my husband who is doing DIY. He's prowling around armed with tools and an expression to warrant both me and the dog hiding and shaking in corners. If the producers of The Chainsaw Massacre decide to make a new movie, he's their man. Very scary. But on the plus side, he did make a romantic gesture yesterday. He walked in the house brandishing a bag. As he held it out and said it was for me I wondered what it could be. It was clearly not flowers. The bag was too small to be chocolates. It couldn't be jewellery, not with Christmas approaching. As I peered inside he told me he thought I'd enjoy it. It was difficult to appear grateful though. Much as I like them, I'd got my hopes built up for more than a pork pie. Oh, well, nothing says I love you like a bit of pig in pastry... Love Pippa x
Wednesday 20th May
I'm having a panic attack, oh no, in one month I'll be fifty,
My eyesight and hearing are worsening, my feet are no longer nifty.
I've got a new hobby, it's gardening, I tend to my plants with great care,
Does this mean I'm classed as middle-aged? How on earth did I come to be there?
The makeup routine takes much longer, there's so many deep lines to fill,
But I do have the odd flighty moment, when I feel like a teenager still.
And forty-nine's been quite a year, in fact a memorable one in life,
I'm not a dried up grouchy spinster - I recently became a wife!
I also published my first two books, so read them and see which you think best,
Is it The Seventh Day of May, or possibly The OMG Test?
I can write about well-rounded characters, I've been most of the ages you see,
Although I really must confess here, most are a distant memory.
The Seventh Day of May
The OMG Test
Being fifty I'm sure will be okay, I'll wear pearls and a nice twinset,
Grey roots won't be a problem, I can cover them with a hairnet.
I'll be stylish but demure, you know, I'll sip wine, not neck it down,
I'll cover up from head to foot, if I go out into the town.
Oh, I've seen a leopard print cool top, it's gorgeous, oh my gosh,
Maybe I could wear it now and then...when my twinset's in the wash!
Thanks for reading what's actually my last Weekly Witter, peeps. I'm replacing it with 'Monthly Musings.' The reason for this is because I like talking too much, and I need to focus on my third book, out later in the year:
I'll be back in June, with pics of my 50th birthday,erm, celebrations, and more book news.
Love Pippa x
Monday 11th May
Hi, Peeps, happy #ChickLitMay!
The celebrations kick off today with the #MissChickLit Beauty Pageant.
Tomorrow we'll be discussing what's on page 45 of our chosen manuscript. If you're looking for some fab new reads, then don't forget to join in the fun here tomorrow.
As you may know, Bailey, The OMG Test dog, has been ill. Thank you for your messages of concern. He's had a hernia removed, and more worryingly, a lump removed for testing. Hopefully it won't be too serious, but I'll post an update soon.
A last reminder that my second book, The Seventh Day of May, is free to download, but today is the last day. Life after death, or just death after life? You decide! Here's the link:
Love Pippa x
Thursday 7th May
Hi, lovelies, how you doing? I'm going to keep it short and sweet this week. What do you mean, 'Thank God for that?'
First things first: As it's the 7th May, I thought I'd make my second book, The Seventh Day of May, FREE to download. You have until Monday, peeps. It's paranormal chicklit with a touch of drama and mystery. If you do read it, I'd be grateful if you can spare the time to let me know what you thought. Here's the link:
I'm busy preparing for Chick Lit May, next week. Olivia Daly from The OMG Test, is entering a beauty pageant. That can only mean one thing: chaos! So, if you would like to know what happens, and also enter a fab giveaway, all the details and the pageant will be here on Monday 11th May
Love Pippa x
Thursday 30th April
Hello my lovely witterers. How's your week been?
I'm a bit stressed this week. My little dog, Bailey, has to have surgery next week. He hates going to the vets anyway, so I dread to think how he'll cope. He's having a hernia removed, dental work done and a lump removed for testing. His breed, Lhasa Apso look miserable even when they're not. So I can only imagine the looks he's going to give me when I pick him up afterwards. Here's a picture, to give you some idea. He doesn't look impressed with the present we gave him, does he?
Some of you will recognise him from the cover of my first book, The OMG Test. Here's a picture of him the first time we saw him at Dogs Trust:
And a recent one:
I'll be glad when Tuesday is over and I know he's okay, and fingers crossed the lump will not be serious. I adore this little boy! Remember, a percentage of sales of The OMG Test, are going to Dogs Trust. They do a fantastic job of looking after the dogs they rescue, until they get re-homed. All we know about Bailey is that he was a stray in Ireland. Dogs Trust go over there with vans and pick up the strays then bring them here to hopefully find a forever home. I wanted to take them all, it breaks your heart. If anyone reading this is thinking of getting a dog, please consider rescuing one. It really is so rewarding. Although the book is fiction (rom com) the scenes in the dogs home are only too real. Olivia's dog, Buddy, is based on my Bailey.
Hopefully I'll have good news about his health next week! Here's the link to the book:
Love Pippa x
Friday 24th April
Hello again, peeps. This week plans are coming together to celebrate chick lit month in May. I'm delighted to be taking part this year. So, on Monday 11th May, Olivia Daly from The OMG Test will be entering a beauty pageant! Oh, yes, she will. Whether she likes it or not. Which she doesn't...to begin with. Needless to say it doesn't go to plan. I hope you will be part of the audience to see what happens right here :-)
Being included in this celebration is amazing. Once again I feel like a 'proper' author! The first time (apart from my books going live obviously) was when I was featured on Book Mama Blog back in March. It was 'Twelve things you don't know about Pippa.' Here's the link:
But back to chick lit. It gets a bad press which is annoying to say the least. It's evolved a lot from the days of handbags and shoes. Not that there's anything wrong with this anyway, if that's what people want to read. Many of these books though have deeper issues along with the fun and farce. Including mine. OMG in my first book stands for 'Olivia's Misunderstood Gang.' They are a group of four adults with learning difficulties. The story is told in a way that one of the characters is mean to them and doesn't want to be seen out with them in public. This mirrors real life because I've worked in this sector in the past. Olivia soon puts him straight and tells him what she thinks of him in no uncertain terms. My second book, The Seventh Day of May covers guilt, death, life after death and OCD. Yet because humour is a big focus in the books I call them chick lit. I guess I could say romantic comedy, but they are about much more than the romance element. So, what are these books? Women's fiction? Maybe, but a man read both books and loved them. I did not know him, he won one in a giveaway, loved it and then read the other. Both reviews can be read on Amazon. So what does that leave? I haven't a clue to be honest, so I'll stick with what I know and love: chick lit.
I'm working on my third book which will be out later in the year. Do you want to see the cover? Okay, it's here :-)
Thanks for joining me and I hope you'll visit again next week!
Love Pippa x
Thursday 16th April
Hi, this week I was going to talk about world peace, but sadly I doubt this is going to happen any century soon! Then there's the subject of who is likely to win the general election. But as it's hard to believe a word any of them say, I thought I'd stick to more pressing issues: the holiday season. It's so hard to decide what to pack isn't it, girls? So, I thought I'd have a bit of fun with it:
It’s time for our holiday and I’m going to pack my case,
But when I lay it on the floor I doubt I’ll have the space-
To take as much as I would like, oh well I’ll have to see,
I’ll start with towels for the beach- I’d better just take three.
Bikinis don’t take up much room, I think I will be fine,
They really are so pretty, but I’ll cut them down to nine.
Now, pairs of shoes, hmm, tricky, I need flip flops, heels and flat,
But I’ll be good and just take eight so I’ve done well with that.
A black bag and a white one, and my bag in nice sky blue,
Maybe my pink and Jade green, and my sequinned gold one too.
Oh, I’ll need my six best dresses, which smooth out all my lumps,
They cling in the right places, and don’t show up all my bumps.
Now my hair extensions, for those posh nights out on the town,
But shall I take ‘the updo’ or stick to my hair down?
I’ll take them both and also, my nice ballerina bun,
Hairdryer, tongs and brushes and that’s the hair stuff done.
Right, my eye- shadow palette is a box of 24,
But it’s only got three shades of green, I will need some more.
Next I will need my lotions, camera and odd things,
My necklaces and bracelets and a dozen sparkly rings.
I edge around three full cases- lined up on the floor,
And my husband’s trying- to squeeze his body through the door.
He’s not looking too happy, and I try to show remorse,
Because I really love him and don’t want a divorce.
I gaze up at his angry face and feel anxiety,
He says he has excess baggage too, and that he can’t take me.
Oh dear, I’d better cut it down, one full case and a spare-
Then if I’m short of anything- I’ll buy it when I’m there.
Love Pippa x
Thursday 9th April
Hello lovely Witterers, and welcome to another week on Planet Pippa!
I have news! My debut novel, The OMG Test keeps appearing in the top 100 chart in humour. How cool is that? Last time I looked (a few seconds ago) it was at number 93. I know when I next look (in a couple of minutes) it may well have disappeared again, but hopefully not for good. Thank you to any of you amazing people who have bought the book and helped to get it there. A big thank you also from Bailey, the rescue dog on the cover (mine) and Dogs Trust who get a percentage of sales.
The winners of the competition from last week are: Sandra Noble and Tracy Matlock who will each receive a signed copy of their chosen book, The OMG Test. Jenna, from my second book, The Seventh Day of May, is a little put out by this. If you're into paranormal chicklit, this is the book for you. You can read a sample of both books over on Amazon. The links are both on last weeks post.
I'm still waiting for anyone who wants to be named in book 3. The details are in last weeks post also. I've just started work on this book, and I can reveal for the first time it will be called, Grace Me With Your Presents. As you'll probably guess from the title, it's chicklit again :-)
Anyway, I must go. I need to check that I'm still in that top 100. Wish me luck!
Love Pippa x
Thursday 2nd April
Hello again, is it really April? I'm dreaming of barbecues and al fresco dining, and especially sitting at a pavement cafe with a chilled glass of vino. Nothing beats sitting outside with the sun shining down, watching the world go by.
I thought as it's almost Easter I should offer some surprises. What do you think? I have a few up my sleeve (okay, that's a lie, they're in my head) so...if you would like a gift from me read on.
As you may know, I have two books published and a third underway. What I'd like you to do, is to read the free sample from the beginning of both books and tell me which one you would most like to continue reading. Then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, leave your comment at the bottom of the Weekly Witter posts or fill out the contact form. Simple. Two entries will be picked at random one week today (Thursday 9th April) and they will each receive a signed copy of their chosen book. In addition to this, a further two people will have a character named after them in my third book. Don't forget to give me your name and email address, and to keep up to date with this and other offers, make sure to follow this blog. I'll have lots more gifts and surprises coming up so don't miss out. The links to both books are below, so, is it team Olivia in 'The OMG Test,' or team Jenna in 'The Seventh day of May?' Click on the title to start reading.
The OMG Test
The Seventh Day of May
Love Pippa x
Friday 27th March
Hello lovely Witterers, how are you this week? Anything exciting happened?
I must share my week of excitement with you! Well, I've published my second book, The Seventh Day of May. It's paranormal chick lit. Here's the link if you are interested in reading it :-) Click on the title below.
The Seventh Day of May
Also, my debut novel The OMG Test is FREE to download until Monday 30th March. Here's the link, just click on the title below for your freebie. It's chick lit/romantic comedy. If anyone hasn't read my posts before, the dog on the cover is my own rescue dog. A percentage of sales are going to Dogs Trust. I'm excited to tell you that it's currently at number nine in its category in free books. When I think of the two million books on Amazon, I realise how amazing this is. I'm still trying to get my head round it all to be honest. Less than three months ago I didn't even have one book published. To say it's been a bit crazy lately is an understatement.
The OMG Test
Anyway, thanks for reading this, and if you are kind enough to read any of my books, I'd love to hear what you think.
I hope you'll join me again next week!
Love Pippa x
Thursday 19th March
Hello again, are you having a good week?
Mine's been busy. My second book, The Seventh Day of May will be published this weekend. Two months after The OMG Test. The reason I've done it so soon is because I started writing the second book before I published the first, then concentrated on getting it finished. It's paranormal chick lit. Is it far-fetched? Yes, of course it is...but I did get pushed by a ghost once. They say truth can be stranger than fiction. I have so many stories to tell...
The last two months have been amazing. I've met so many lovely people, who have supported and encouraged me. A big highlight was being featured on Book Mama Blog, where I listed twelve things about myself. I felt like a 'proper' author :-)
The only thing I've ever wanted to do was write and to have readers saying they enjoyed the book is incredible. My dream come true! If you are one of them, I'm sending you huge hugs and kisses.
If any writers are reading this, please get in touch. I'm going to write a post on editing howlers! I've had so many and I figured most authors will be the same. It will make for very entertaining reading. I'll put links to the book you're talking about in the post. I'm also planning on writing a post on why I wrote The OMG Test. For anyone who doesn't know, OMG stands for 'Olivia's Misunderstood Gang,' a group of four adults with learning difficulties. Although I write chick lit/rom coms, I like to talk about social issues too. Adding this to the genre was something I thought long and hard about. I've been told by a reader that I've done it well. Her opinion counts for a lot because she has first hand experience. I'll leave it to her to explain in the post which will be published at the beginning of April.
Anyway, I'll leave you with the cover of the new book. Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave any comments below.
Love Pippa x
Thursday 12th March
Hello all, I hope you've had a great week!
We took Bailey (the book cover dog) to the seaside at the weekend. He loves the beach and I got to see my family. It's 200 miles from where I live now, in the Midlands. I still say Whitby is the home to the best fish & chips anywhere in the world. Correct me if you think I'm wrong. We did a long walk from Robin Hood's Bay to Whitby so that made me feel less guilty about the tons of junk food consumed over three days! I really need to start an exercise programme soon. Maybe next week...
In other news...The new cover for The OMG Test has gone down very well. So many people have told me they love it. For anyone who doesn't know, a percentage of each sale is going to Dogs Trust. I thought it would be nice to use one of their real rescue dogs on the cover, so I did. Mine. Here he is (he's called Buddy in the book)
Next week I'll be posting the cover for book two, out at the end of this month. 'The Seventh Day of May' is paranormal chick lit. I'd love to know what you think of the new cover for 'The OMG Test.'
I hope you'll join me again next week.
Love Pippa x
Wednesday 4th March
Hello lovely Witterers,
Well as I told you last week, I've changed the cover of The OMG Test. The reason for this is because a percentage of author royalties are going to Dogs Trust. The new cover features their logo and a real rescue dog. Mine! Yes, I'm thrilled to tell you that my little Bailey is on the cover. Of course, in the book he's called Buddy, but shh, don't tell him that! (The legs aren't mine. If only!)
As a reward for posing, he's off on holiday to the seaside this weekend. He adores the sand. Below, I've added the link to the book and also a couple more pictures of Bailey/Buddy relaxing.
Have a great rest of the week!
Love Pippa x
The OMG Test
Thursday 26th February
Hello lovely Witterers,
This week I've been busy editing my second book. I'm thrilled to announce that 'The Seventh Day of May,' will be published within the next four weeks. 'The OMG Test,' took ten years on and off to write, so this one has been very quick compared to that! To have two books out within the space of two months will be amazing. I've just seen the cover for the first time and I'm delighted with it. Talking of covers, I'm going to be changing the cover of book one. It's taken from a scene in the book and I love it, but it was night time and a bit dark for the genre (Chick Lit). The other reason I'm changing it, is because I'm going to pay a percentage of each sale to Dogs Trust. The cover will have their logo on, and of course a picture of Olivia's dog, Buddy. Buddy is based on my own rescue dog, Bailey. He can be seen on the back cover currently. All sales so far, and in the meantime, will be taken into account and the percentage will be backdated and paid to them. If you're considering reading the book, you'll also be helping such a great charity. As you can probably tell, it's close to my heart. I should have thought of all this to start with, but I was eager to get the book out and excited. I think when you publish for the first time you make mistakes and learn from them.
I used to think getting an agent and big publisher was everything. But it's not. And do you know what? It's the last thing I want at the moment, because I'm loving the whole experience of self-publishing. That includes making mistakes, but it's a lovely feeling to have done it all yourself, and being in full control. Good or bad, it's my book from start to finish, content, cover, deadlines, publishing date. Everything. I'm delighted with my first two reviews on Goodreads, both five star! I've read them over and over again :-)
Anyway, I'll shut up for now, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on the cover change or anything to do with publishing.
Love Pippa x
Thursday 19th February
Hello again, the weeks are flying by, aren't they?
During this past week I finished my draft of book two and sent it off to my editor. Then I bit my nails and drank vino. Then repeated these actions a few more times. I'd worked on book one, 'The OMG Test,' for years on and off, actually learning how to write in the process. The current book hasn't taken long to write in the scheme of things. I obsessed about how good/bad it was before being brave enough to let another pair of (critical) eyes see it for the first time. At best I expected to be told it would be fine, after at least a full re-write and tons of editing. I was prepared for this, and figured I could possibly publish it around summer. During the few days it took her to read it, I got numerous emails telling me she loved the story and characters. I was obviously delighted. When I got the assessment report back I was ecstatic. It's straight on to normal edits, and she genuinely loves the book. The best bit of all was when she said I had improved so much. It's amazing to be told that. All the years of being patient, and blood, sweat and tears, was worth it. The biggest problem I had with early drafts of book one was pacing and structure. Apparently I've got that right first time round with this book. What a relief! I'm really enjoying working on it, it's paranormal. I'm fascinated by the subject, so it's been a lot of fun. I'm planning on writing a full post on the paranormal in the not too distant future, so if you have any stories of your own to share I'd love to hear them! I'm hoping to publish book two around spring.
Have a great week!
Love Pippa x
Friday 13th February
Hello Witterers, have you done anything exciting this week?
It's been two whole weeks now, since 'The OMG Test' was published! I can still clearly remember that evening almost ten years ago, when I wrote the first words. If you're interested in how it all began, check out my other posts. You'll see that if I can do it anyone can. If they really want to. The writing and getting it right is only one aspect. Other writers have told me that I've done what most fail to do: finish a book. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? But apparently not. There's thousands of people out there who say they want to write a novel, but don't. Or, they start, discover it's not as easy as they thought and abandon the idea. So, I'm proud of myself for doing it. It's a fabulous feeling to press that publish button. What an achievement.
The problem now of course, is getting my name and book out there. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I've got this far. And, I've met some lovely people over on Goodreads, who've been so helpful. Quite a few even want to read the book, which is fabulous.
To be honest, most of my time this week has been spent on finishing the first draft of book two. Now it's time to edit. Yes, I'm doing it all over again and I can't wait! The advice I've been given is to get another book out there as soon as I can. I'm loving it and there's no stopping me now. Every single word I write is for readers to hopefully enjoy. When anyone tells me they laughed out loud or had a cry it's the BEST feeling in the world. I'm still pinching myself. The link to my book is below this post. You can have a sneaky peek at a sample over on Amazon, if you'd like to. The genre is Chick lit/ romantic comedy. The book I'm working on now is the same genre, but it's paranormal. So much fun to write.
Anyway, that's enough wittering for this week! Have a fab weekend, and if you have a few moments to spare please get in touch. I'd love to hear from you. I like to talk...about anything!
Love Pippa x
Friday 6th February
Hello lovely Witterers. I cannot believe how quickly the weeks are flying by, can you? I'm beginning to think there was no point putting the Christmas tree away.
Well, it's now been a week since 'The OMG Test' was published. I've spent the week updating profiles on different sites. I didn't even realise you had to do separate ones for Amazon UK and .com. The same for reviewing books. I'm thrilled that bestselling murder/mystery author, Joanne Clancy, wrote a blog post showcasing me and the book. Amazing. She's also helped with countless other things. I don't know what I'd have done without her! Especially as she's just published her 20th book! Incredible! The link to it is below. It's a brilliant read:
I Should Have Told You, by Joanne Clancy
Writing is lonely. You're in your own little world, just you and the characters. That's fine. But then once you publish, you need to do the exact opposite to shutting yourself away, and shout about the book. That isn't fine, but it's necessary. Although I'm easy going and like to meet people, I'm not one for standing up in front of an audience. I did it at my recent wedding, and I was terrified. My nerves were already in shreds due to a bridesmaid's dress giving way! You can see how much the piece of paper was shaking in my hand in my 'Getting hitched without a hitch' post. So, what do I do? How do I get both my name and my book to stand out from the thousands of other books out there? I always knew this was going to be hard, and I'm sure it'll get easier with time. But I do have to say that I've loved the self-publishing journey. I like the fact that you can dictate your own deadlines, content and cover. Whatever happens, I'll always be proud of myself for getting this far, and actually doing it! And, hard as it's been at times, I'm doing it again. Book two is well under way. The simple fact is this: I love writing so much, and can't bear the thought of not doing it anymore. So nothing will stop me, and I'll have to become braver.
Wish me luck!
The link to the book is below, if you'd like to have a peek. The genre is chick lit/romantic comedy.
The OMG Test, by Pippa Franks
Love Pippa x
Sunday 1st February
Hello, and welcome to my Weekly Witter!
For anybody who has been following my Witters, I must apologise for being late this week. I have a good reason: I've finally published by book, 'The OMG Test.' I've had a few technical issues which I wanted to correct, before announcing this.
I found out it had gone live on amazon a few hours after uploading it. My cousin posted an order page from amazon. I nearly fainted with shock! What a lovely feeling. I've waited almost ten years for this moment. I admit I cried. A lot. It's been a long and emotional journey since I wrote the first words all those years ago. But now the real hard work begins: persuading all you lovely people to take a chance on me and give the book a go. It's 99p to download and the paperback is £5.99.
For anybody willing to try it, I'd love to hear your comments. I'm happy to listen to all feedback, both good and bad. Click on the title below and it will take you straight to the page on amazon.
The OMG Test
You can 'look inside' for a preview.
I'll be back as normal next Friday.
Love Pippa x
Friday 23rd January
Hello lovely Witterers...have you had a good week?
On Monday I held a physical copy of my book for the first time ever. What a feeling! Although I've been calling it 'my book' for ages, really it was nothing more than a manuscript. A word document. But now, it's the real thing. I stared at this proof copy for ages. Then I turned the pages slowly. I read the bio and acknowledgements as if I was seeing them for the first time. When I turned to the start of the story I could hardly believe I was seeing the evidence of all that hard work in a real book.
I'm not technical at all, so the formatting guidelines had given me palpitations. Gutter margins? I had nightmares. Luckily for me my husband sorted it. The colour on the cover was much darker than the image we'd uploaded, so that had to be lightened. Apart from that I was happy. Now we need to format the Kindle version. But both should be available on amazon next weekend. Argghhh scary! Exciting though.
I'm going to press 'Publish' next Thursday. I've been told it takes a day or two to go live. I'm hoping this will happen on 31st January. Eight days from now.
Wish me luck!
Love Pippa x
Friday 16th January
Hello Witterers...What a week it's been!
Last week I mentioned that I'd just found a cover designer for my first book. A few hours later I saw it for the first time. This was not a hastily thrown together image. It was taken from a scene in the book. By the early hours of the morning (Yes, he worked incredibly hard), final touches had been made. And there it was, the cover for 'The OMG Test.' The man behind this is Paul Beeley of 'Create Imaginations.' Not only did he do the cover quickly, he also designed a Facebook header, arranged my first ever blog interview, AND provided me with a book trailer. All of this was within two days. Amazing! You may think the cost of this package is high, but it's not! If you're looking for a cover designer visit the website and see for yourself.
Here is the cover:
I aim to publish the book around the end of this month. I'm also halfway through book two. Exciting times!
Love Pippa x
Friday 9th January
Hello Witterers, how are you this week?
The prospect of me publishing a book has become real now. I've written the blurb for the cover, got my acknowledgements ready and I'm in talks with a cover designer. Wow! I can hardly believe it's about to happen at last. Seeing the cover for the first time will be so exciting. After all the blood, sweat and (plenty of) tears it's time to have some fun! I wonder what it'll look like. Although I've had ten years to picture it, I keep having different visions. I can say what I don't want, but not what I do. So, I'll leave it to the professionals and see what they come up with. I can't wait to show you it! I write chick-lit and am proud to say so. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it is still hard to get the writing perfect, as with any genre. Just because it involves humour it doesn't mean that it's easy. It's not! There's still all the issues of show not tell, passive voice, point of view and lots more besides. It annoys me when I hear people dismiss it as being mindless rubbish. My answer is this: There's enough bad news in the world so why not indulge in escapism if you can? Also, my debut novel has adults with learning difficulties in. I wanted to write about important topics along with the farce and humour. My second book covers guilt and death, but will still be classed as chick-lit. However, I can understand why it sometimes gets a bad name, and it leads back to covers.
Many well established authors become annoyed at having little imput into what is effectively their shop window. The covers often show handbags and shoes, which is fine if that's what the book is about. But often it isn't, and bears no resemblance to the story. Here's one important reason why self-publishing is good: complete control. The cover clearly has to be fabulous to stand out however you publish, and self-published authors have the power to make sure this happens.
I love handbags and shoes by the way! :-)
Onto other news...I'm thrilled to say that in my February post I will be interviewing best selling author Joanne Clancy! Having written and self-published around twenty books now, what she doesn't know probably isn't worth knowing anyway. If anybody has any questions they'd like me to put forward to her please let me know.
Have a great week!
Love Pippa x
Friday 2nd January
Hello and happy 2015 lovely Witterers!
I hope you all enjoyed the festive period. I've been ill throughout. Typical! Last year was a gum abscess and this year a head cold. Despite this, I still had a lovely time with friends and family.
I must admit though, that a good part of the holiday consisted of curling up under a blanket and watching TV.
New Year is a time for reflection and I hope I can fulfill the goals I set in 2014 for this coming year. The main goal is to publish my debut novel and to finish my second and publish that too, in the first half of the year. Now that the time is near at last, it's scary. Exciting, but scary. For the first time regarding my writing, I'm on a deadline. By the end of this month I must finish the first draft of book two. And make sure it's been edited once, so that it's ready to send to my editor. I'm a third of the way through. Hmm, sounds tough, but I have to do it. At that point I'll publish book one while I wait to get my edits back.
I can't imagine what it must be like to press that 'Publish' button for the first time. I guess the questions going round in your head must be the same for everyone though: Will anybody buy it? Will anybody like it? Will anybody leave a bad review soon? Will anybody leave a good review ever? Will anyone even find it? How do I make sure people do?
I'm beginning to worry about the actual publishing process now too. I'm not very technical and wonder how hard the formatting is. Plenty of other people manage it, but somehow that doesn't make me feel better about it at the moment. BUT, I'm going to be positive and tell myself it will be fine. It's what I've been wanting to do for almost ten years. I've decided to see the positive in everything this year (barring drastic incidents obviously) and not moan about minor things. I wonder if I'll get beyond this week :-)
This is the subject of my imminent January post 'January Yellows.'
Anyway, I'm going to sign off for now...the dog has come in and got mud everywhere. Aww, bless him! I'm not cursing under my breath. I'M NOT, OK?
Love Pippa x
Thursday 18th December
Hello again, lovely Witterers. What a week it's been! I'm happy to report that the Christmas cheer finally found me. If you saw last week's post I'm sure you'll agree I've done well!
The presents are all wrapped and I've hit my target of writing a third of my second book by Christmas.
If you don't already know, book one has been out with an agent for the past couple of months. Well, my expiry date has been and gone. I've heard nothing so it's safe to say that it's a 'Thanks, but no thanks.' Or, more likely, only one of those four words. The one with two letters! Am I disappointed? Yes, a little, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered sending it off. However, I have prepared for this: I'm going to publish it myself around the end of January, mid February at the latest. The reason for the timing is because book two will be ready to send to the editor by then. While she's going through it I can concentrate on getting 'The OMG Test' out there. Once I get my edits back it'll be a juggling act of promoting book one and completing book two. It's scary but exciting. To think I'll have two books published by halfway through 2015. This is after writing for about ten years on and off. I may fall flat on my face and get nothing but bad reviews (assuming anyone even buys it) but hopefully it won't turn out to be quite as bad as that!
As I've said before, I'd rather try and fail, than fail to try.
At one time I would've heard imaginary voices of the agents I'd submitted to. They'd be saying: 'She's publishing that?' The time may come where the voices are no longer in my head, and they do say it, but instead of focusing on the negatives and letting them hold me back, I'm going to stay focused on the positives. Two agents, prior to final edits, had the following to say:
'There's a lot to like here. I quite enjoyed the voice.'
And, from someone who read it all: 'You have the talent and ability to be published and you made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion.'
That's pretty good, right? I know ultimately they rejected it, but I'm choosing to keep their lovely comments in mind. And also, the book is further edited since these comments were made.
I'm looking forward to spending a weekend in York with all my family this weekend. We'll be opening presents (If only they knew the state I was in last week) by a real fire in the hotel we're all staying at. York is a beautiful city, especially this time of year. I'm going to really enjoy it. Definitely! If you read my 'Mince Pies and Teary Eyes' post you'll understand that remark.
So, I'll be using the travelling time to do some edits on my first eight chapters of book two. Once I arrive back in Coventry, I'll be having a little break from writing until after Christmas (If I can keep away), so I'll sign off now and be back in the new year. My January post will be called 'January Yellows' and of course this Weekly Witter will continue then. I hope you'll join me!
Merry Christmas to you all!
Love Pippa x
Friday 12th December
How's your December going? I can't believe it's halfway through,
I'm really not prepared at all and now I have so much to do.
I started out quite well you know, my cards were posted on the first,
Then I realised I'd forgotten lots, it was then that my bubble burst.
These couple of gifts won't cut it, ah, I could rifle through my drawers,
Hmm, if you're after mismatched socks - well then good news my friend, they're yours!
Okay I need a pick me up, I know - Christmas sherry,
I'm guessing that will do the trick, for it's bound to make me merry.
I'm struggling with the sellotape, the drink's not working, I'm afraid,
Because much as I love Noddy, I'm wishing I could throttle Slade.
Mmm, Bailey's could be the answer, it's a good idea to try it,
Tis the season to be jolly? Well I'm sorry, I don't buy it.
Oh, I think I'll just check Facebook and see what's been put on Twitter,
Maybe write more of my novel, then update my Weekly Witter.
Oh, where's the Christmas fairy, to find and wrap up gifts divine?
I'm looking, but I can't see her, so I suppose that job's all mine.
Our dancing Santa's gloating, as well he might, he's had all year,
He has nothing else to think of, after all it's his career.
Oh, carol singers at the door, and yes, they really sound quite nice,
But disturbing my Eastenders? I've turned the volume up now. Twice.
I screw up the wrapping paper, which is rubbish, it has all torn,
Yet I know I'll get my jobs done - a Christmas miracle reborn.
I've decided on the vino, hey, I'm smiling now at last,
All of this negativity, I'm placing firmly in the past.
I pour myself another wine, oops, is that a little stagger?
I'm dancing around manically, I bet I could impress Jagger.
Love Pippa x
Friday 5th December
Hello lovely witterers. This week has been a toughie for me. I've given the reason why in my new blog post 'Mince Pies and Teary Eyes.'
I've devoted as much time as possible to my book this week. My aim was to get a quarter of the way through by Christmas. Luckily I'm almost there, so I'm now hoping to write another couple of chapters to make it a third. It's been a fantastic diversion from negative thoughts which this time of year brings. The other thing that helps me is my 3pm dog walk with my 'white dog gang.' We're not racist (or dogist) and our latest member is brown. Four humans make up the gang and we support each other through good and bad times. Even if I've had a terrible day, chances are that by 3.10pm I'll be laughing. A big topic of conversation is my writing. Ridiculous plot ideas are thought up. I'd like to think they are from the others and not me, but I'll let readers be the judge of that when they read my books! We meet some fascinating (and strange) people. 'A walk in the Park' could be the title of a future book!
One minute we can be discussing the merits of different poo bags and the next we can be chasing a flasher through the park. Yes, really. It seems the winter weather doesn't bother him. It should do though, because by all accounts the cold weather makes it difficult for anyone to see what he's actually doing! He's married with young kids. How do I know? Because he was caught and taken to court...and let off due to lack of evidence. What are we supposed to do? Say: 'Hang on, hold that pose while I get a close-up photo?' His wife gave him a false alibi. She probably just doesn't want to believe it. I have to say the police have been great, they are as frustrated as we are by the situation.
Anyway, if you live in Coventry, near Lake View Park, come and join us. We don't bite and neither do our dogs. Often.
When I first went to the park I spent hours looking for the lake. I wondered how on earth I could miss it. Until someone told me there wasn't one. But on the plus side there's a stream. And on a good day you can't really see the mattress which has been dumped in it. Aside from the mattress it is a nice park but it's the people who make it for me. One of the gang is also going through a tough time. 2014 for her has been a nightmare. Earlier in the year her partner was diagnosed with cancer and it's been a long round of appointments and chemo and radiotherapy. Christmas for them won't be a good one, yet she's busy at the moment making Christmas stockings for all the dogs. We're all praying next Christmas will be a much happier and healthier one for them. Fingers crossed. (If you haven't already checked out my Christmas post mentioned above, maybe you will find it interesting)
Anyway, thanks for reading. Have a fab week and I hope you'll join me again next week...same time, same place!
Love Pippa x
Friday 28th November
Hello again lovely witterers. Well, along with buying chocolates for Christmas presents and promptly eating them, I've managed to do some writing this week. I've got past introducing a ghost to the main character. She's on an important mission but can only do it with Jenna, the main character's help.
I decided to write a paranormal novel years ago. Why? Because the whole subject fascinates me. Do I believe in it? Yes! If I didn't I would not be writing this book. It must be incredibly difficult to write something you don't actually believe yourself. I believe there is more to life (and death) than we truly understand. I've had so many things happen to me over the years. I appreciate though, that if you haven't had any strange experiences it would be hard to say you believe. One thing's for certain: it is a subject that has been and will continue to be debated throughout time.
I'll tell you about three episodes which have stayed with me as clearly as if they had happened yesterday:
Many years ago, I was doing up a house with a view to moving into it permanently. The cottage was run down and needed a lot of work. The first problem was that everytime I was there I felt ill - sick and dizzy. This usually resulted in me going home without getting much done. The bad feelings increased to loud noises close by. Door handles would turn, footsteps could be heard and knocking and banging became louder in volume.
One morning, I was in the kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil when I was pushed from the side. I stumbled and hurt myself on the worktop. But the worst part was the sure knowledge that somebody or something did not want me there. The feeling in the room was menacing. I left, but returned a few nights later with a friend. I tried to push what had happened to the back of my mind.
My friend and I were going to stay over that night and I didn't mention to her any of the previous incidents.
We listened to music and watched TV. Even above these sounds noises and footsteps could be heard. My friend became alarmed, but we went up to one of the bedrooms which had two single beds. As we snuggled down, we looked over at each other, unable to ignore the scratching and knocking coming from outside the room. Footsteps approached and we heard growling noises. We were absolutely terrified. We jumped from the beds and ran downstairs and out of the door, not even pausing to change from our pyjamas and put shoes on. Luckily I lived nearby so we ran there, waking up my family, and we sat re-living the whole experience all night. I never went back, not even to collect my things.
The house I lived in had been in my family for 46 years. It was a Victorian town house and the houses on that street had previously belonged to sea captains.
Over the years the family acknowledged that there was more people than us living there. We never felt threatened though. Not like in that cottage.
By the time of the second incident I'm telling you about, I was living in the family home alone. I was packing to move to be with my (now) husband. It was a period of my life where I had mixed feelings - I was going to be starting a new life 200 miles away, and my sister and I were sad because we'd recently lost our mum. It was hard packing up her stuff and mine, our home was becoming an empty shell.
This particular day I was in the bath. The door was frosted glass and I saw a black figure going past the bathroom and continuing up another flight of stairs, towards the top floor where I was living.
My sister had a key and was at the house everyday, helping to pack and to generally spend time with me before I moved. I called to her: 'I'll be there in a minute.'
But there was nobody there.
A couple of weeks later, I was washing up in the kitchen when I saw out of the corner of my eye, a black figure coming up the stairs and onto the landing outside the kitchen. My sister had left five minutes before. I said: 'What have you forgotten?' convinced she'd come back. But again there was nobody there.
I've had many more experiences. I know people reading this may well put it down to an active imagination (I am writing after all) but I know what I saw. Those two incidents happening close together, I feel was to do with the house being turned upside down. Or possibly they were residual hauntings, which is an event from the past playing over and over like a tape recording. Apparently.
Anyway, the great thing about writing a paranormal novel is having the complete freedom to write whatever I like. I'm having fun with it. And as I know only too well; the truth really can be stranger than fiction...
So, are you a believer, non-believer or open-minded? I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences!
I must go now, there's someone at the door. He's much more frightening than any ghost...It's the postman and the pile of brown envelopes he's carrying scare the hell out of me!
Love Pippa x
Friday 21st November
Hello my lovely witterers. I say lovely but own up, somebody has stolen from me. They've taken a few months from my calender. December in under two weeks? It cannot possibly true...can it?
Something else mysteriously disappears too - socks! I think I know the culprit though: the washing machine. We have more odd ones than pairs because they enter the machine never to be seen again. Why is this? I hardly dare put my hand in nowadays in case it develops a liking for them too!
Anyway...this week has been a bit stressful. Nothing in particular, it's just a case of having a lot on my mind. The run up to Christmas is a hard time for me. It used to be my favourite time of the year, but for the last few years it brings tears. The last thing I want to do is to depress you, I'm writing about it in my December post which will be called 'Mince pies and Teary Eyes.' This will explain all and I'm sure a lot of people will identify with what I'll be saying. But enough of that for this week.
So, what with Christmas looming and getting the house straight from months of DIY and decorating, it hasn't left any time for writing this week. I'm hoping to get three more chapters done by Christmas and then finish the whole of draft one by the end of January. I don't think I'll be sleeping much during that month, approximately 60,000 words to write. Once I set myself a target or deadline though, I stick to it. My gran used to say that if I wanted something done, I wanted it done yesterday. She was right.
I still need your help with my book. The details are in my witter post from last week, so please check it out. I'm hoping to have details on publishing my first book soon. 2015 is set to be an exciting year for me. Possibly publishing my first two books and starting my third.
Okay, I'd better go and get on with the sock search. Wish me luck! One thought has just occurred to me though and cheered me up: I've been married for five months now and we haven't mentioned divorce! Yay :-)
Love Pippa x
Friday 14th November
Hello again, lovely readers. I can't believe how quickly this week has gone. I've been busy with my second book, 'The 7th day of May.' No prizes for guessing what date I'd like it to be published...
But there is a prize for helping me with a section of the book. What I need is a name for a singing duo. They are in their twenties. One's male and one's female. They both sing and he also plays the guitar. She's a bit of a rock chick, he's dark, brooding and gorgeous! If any of you can come up with the name of this band, which they set up in the book, I will use it and will mention you in my acknowledgement page once published. Just click on comments below. Don't forget to keep checking as I will announce the winner in a later post. An easy way to do this is to subscribe to my posts. All this means is that you will be notified when I write a new one.
This week I thought I would share with you a scene in the chapter I'm currently writing. I'll quickly explain the setting:
Jenna, the main character, has just got engaged. She's in a cafe with her future mother-in-law Mona (Or as Jenna refers to her: 'The Mona')
Mona proceeded to take another sheet of paper out of her bag. She unfolded it and smoothed out the creases with the palm of her hand, before thrusting it over the table. 'I've printed this from the interweb. It took me ages to do but I think this dress will be perfect for you.'
Jenna stared at the smiling face of the model wearing the monstrosity. She must've been desperate for the money when agreeing to pose in that creation for public viewing.
(she thinks to herself) So, the Mona has a vision of me getting married in fancy dress then. She sees me as a snowman. But on the plus side, all I'll need is a carrot nose-mould and a pipe. Voila! Outfit complete!
'What do you think?' Mona clasped her hands together.
That there's more chance of me walking down the aisle naked to 'Love Stinks' by J Geils Band, than there is of me wearing that.
I've decided that the above song is the 'theme tune' for the book. It's fitting. Each time I start a new book I'm going to pick a song as the theme. It will help me focus on where I'm heading with the story and characters. Actually, this song would fit my first book, 'The OMG Test' too. I can imagine Olivia, the main character loving it! (details on release date coming soon)
Anyway, don't forget about the competition. Get your thinking caps on. One more thing to bear in mind - the characters involved are both recovering from the death of loved ones. They make a pact to honour their memory and not waste another moment. Hence the forming of the band.
I'll be back next week, but in the meantime I thought I would leave you with the theme song. The video is underneath. But beware: I cannot get it out of my head now. Very annoying!
Love Pippa x
Friday 7th November
Hello, lovely readers. This week I've read and reviewed two Christmas novellas and one novel. Luckily they were all good. But what if they hadn't been? Let's say one had been so bad I would've been justified in giving it only one star. What would I have done? Well first I would question whether two stars would be fair. If so, I'd do that. Writing is subjective, after all. But if it was really bad I'm not sure. I probably would've contacted the author and been honest before doing anything else. I'd then go by their reaction. On this subject I thought I would have a bit of fun this week...
I'll soon be publishing my debut novel. Exciting but scary too! Obviously I hope some readers will enjoy it, but not all will and that's fine. Every single author gets bad reviews. Even bestselling ones. You cannot please everybody in life, but I'm happy when I can please some. I've survived rejections and honestly they did not upset me in the slightest! Why? Partly because I was prepared for them, it goes with being a writer. Also, some of them gave me constructive criticism. This was a positive, enabling me to become a better writer.
The next hurdle will be the inevitable bad reviews. I've heard and read writers saying they will not be bothered, then go on to rant about them when they happen. My thoughts are this: Everyone is entitled to their opinion and just maybe you can learn something from what they are saying. Especially if the same comments are being repeated. I will always listen carefully to what I'm being told. I will also appreciate every single person taking the time to read and review my book.
BUT... some people cross the line and abuse the author. It becomes a personal attack. There is a huge difference between giving a bad review of a book and being nasty and rude, or even threatening towards the author. And it does happen! Nobody can be prepared for this really. In preparation for the chance of this occuring, which would be the worst thing a writer can face, I've written my own one star review. A borderline abusive one! I will print it off, and each time I get a bad review I will compare it to my printed one. Chances are it won't be as bad... then I will feel better ;)
I paid a pound for this trash and would've rather thrown it in the gutter. Which is where this so called writer and her scribblings should be! My five year old can write better than her. Do not buy this book! It's rubbish! She can't string two words together properly and I will tell everybody all over the internet not to buy it. If she writes another book I will find out where she lives and send someone round to shut her up! I wish I could've given no stars but I suppose the one reflects the fact that I suffer with insomnia and it sent me to sleep, it was so boring!
My thoughts (private, not public) if someone really did write this would be: I would've been happy to refund you the money. Your five year old cannot write better, that's just silly. I've strung 76,000 words together actually. The comment about sending someone round will not go in your favour, it will backfire. Yay! I was useful for something: I gave her a good night's sleep!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject.
Love Pippa x