My Paperback Deal #amwriting @bookouture

Soon after I got the writing bug and had written a couple of books, I sat down and made out a list of goals I wanted to attain – steps, if you like, on my personal ladder of writerly success. They included: find a publisher who wanted to publish my books, write a best-seller, win a book prize award, have my books published in other languages and… the truly elusive one, get a coveted paperback deal.

Me in The Works 2All my books to date (with the exception of SECRETS OF THE DEAD which was available in The Works bookshops) are on what is known as POD, print on demand. That’s to say, if you order the book on Amazon or head to a bookshop and request it, they will have to send an order to the printers and an individual copy will be produced. A ‘paperback deal’ however, is the real McCoy (who was McCoy?) and publishers will do a run of several thousand copies at one time, and some of those will find their way into supermarkets and bookshops and appear on bookshelves all over the country.

I wrote out my ‘Wish List’ in 2016 just before I signed with Bookouture, and they have pretty much made all my other wishes come true. My books are available in Germany, Norway, Israel, Turkey, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy and Poland to name a few. countries. I’m well over halfway with my million-seller goal and… I’ve had several best-sellers.

Today, I’m over the moon to tell you I have got my first ever proper paperback deal!

cannock 3Bookouture have been in talks with Sphere (who will publish the book) for ages and ages and… THE BIRTHDAY will be coming out in paperback in spring 2020.

I couldn’t be happier. Ten years on from when I started writing and I have put a fat tick next to this goal. What’s next on my list? Well, I’d rather not reveal that just yet but rest assured I have a few more to tick off.

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By the way… I’m delighted to let you know that the Kindle version of THE BIRTHDAY is only 99p right now in the UK as part of the Kindle Monthly Deal!

Grab your copy here: http://ow.ly/LrQJ50viA5l

DI Natalie Ward is Back #TheSleepover @bookouture

Roxy had a secret. 

Now she’s gone…

Today sees the cover reveal of the 4th book in the Natalie Ward series – THE SLEEPOVER. I can’t believe it, we’re onto the fourth book in that series already. It only seems a few weeks ago that Natalie Ward and her team were introduced to you, my readers.

I’ll tell you more about THE SLEEPOVER at a later date but for now, I’d like to thank my editor, Lydia Vassar-Smith, my ace cover designer, and the Bookouture team who have once again excelled themselves. The cover will mean a great deal more to you once you’ve read the book and it actually brought a lump to my throat when I saw it. (Spoiler alert  – it relates to poignant passage in the book.)

Without further ado, here is the new cover and pre order links. Oh, and just so you know, I’ve already written the 5th book in the series, which will come out on December 6th!)

THE SLEEPOVER

Out September 5th but available to pre-order now CLICK HERE

Crime Pays #writers-life

AwardIn January 2017, I moved from comedy to crime. It was a bold move. I’d made my name as writer of comedy and enjoyed much success, written features for and appeared in national magazines, been on numerous BBC radio stations, even interviewed on BBC Breakfast Television (twice!). I’d won the prestigious People’s Book Prize award and had a contract with Bookouture/Hachette to write 2 more romantic comedies… and… I was performing a stand-up gig around the Midlands, entitled, Smile While You Still Have Teeth to sell-out audiences.

Moving from one genre to another is a challenge. You learn skills and techniques while writing one genre that can’t be transferred to another and you have to treat the whole writing process in a completely different way. Where I had once written whatever came into my head and written larger than life, hilarious characters and scenarios, now I had to think up twists and devious red-herrings and imagine the mind of a killer. I had to plot my books carefully, research like mad and lose the humour!

Bold or not, it was the right move. LITTLE GIRL LOST shot up the charts to become the #2 best-selling on Amazon Kindle and even became a USA Top 150 Best-Seller. DI Robyn Carter was taken to my readers’ hearts and more books in the series were commissioned and written.

Earlier this month, I had the most incredible news – my crime novels had sold over 500,000 copies. I had to sit down. Half a million copies? How was that ever possible?

Having pinched myself several times, I checked the email again. It was true and I was astounded. It was beyond my wildest expectations and I felt a huge surge of gratitude to my publisher, to all of the reviewers, bloggers and friends who have helped promote my books and most of all to my readers.

I have always dreamed of selling million copies. I love entertaining people, whether that be by making them laugh, feel-good about themselves and life or by thrilling them and making their jaws drop. To know half a million people have read my books is amazing.

My sincere to all of you who have helped make this happen. THE DARE, the third book in the DI Natalie Ward detective series comes out in April. There’ll be two more after it and one further crime thriller to be written by the end of the year. I have plans for more after that and hope you will continue to read and enjoy my books. I have my fingers tightly crossed that one day in the near future I’ll be able to say I’ve attained my goal but until I hit that elusive one million sales, I am immensely satisfied with what I have achieved so far and can only say that crime definitely pays!

newspaper

Day in the Life of a Writer and Her Grumpy and more #writers-life #new-release

biggie smallsLast week, I was interviewed by chellesandbbooks and I thought I’d share the interview with you. If you ever wondered where my inspiration comes from, or which character I’d really like to bitch slap, read on….

Please tell us a little about What Happens in France and where your ideas for the book came from?
It’s a feel-good story about Bryony Masters, a somewhat quiet and reclusive teacher, whose sister, Hannah, ran away from home when she was 16. Bryony blames herself for the incident and has over the years, tried to find Hannah, but to no avail.

When her father has a sudden stroke, she is propelled into taking more drastic action and egged on by her best friend, Melinda, applies for a televised gameshow in the desperate hope she can use it as a platform to find her sister.

The show is filmed in France and she finds herself teamed up with the gorgeous but unattainable Lewis, and a bunch of hilarious competitors, including a limelight-stealing pug – Biggie Smalls. With Lewis’s help she has to fight off the competition and take part in a series of wacky and fun challenges, not to win the prize but to get the winners’ ten minutes of air time at the end of the show each day, which she uses to find Hannah.

As for the book’s inspiration, well, it was a mishmash of things. My mother suffered very badly from St Vitus Dance as a child and relayed the horrors of her own childhood which gave me the kernel of the idea for the Hannah and Bryony plot. That led me onto how Bryony would manage to find her sister and in turn, took me down the gameshow route. Given our obsession with shows like Love Island and the like, it seemed an ideal solution, so I applied for a variety of gameshows to see what I could find out. I ended up on quite a few (all in the name of research) but they helped fuel my ideas for the ridiculous challenges and games Bryony and Lewis have to tackle.

Finally, I am an absolute Francophile and have lived and worked in France. Nowadays, I visit the country several times a year, renting small gites, so it seemed the perfect place to set the book. A few years ago, my husband, AKA Mr Grumpy, and I travelled around Brittany and the Loire-Atlantique and stayed in chateaux along the way. It was such fun we went back a few more times and saw as much of the regions as we could.

Do you have a favourite character or scene from What Happens in France?

Read more and my life with Grumpy by clicking this link HERE which will open another window and take you to the interview.

 

OMG! My jaw is dangling. #TheDare

I know… bit of a weird title but that is pretty much what happened. There’s no doubt that  after months of writing and editing, one of the highlights is to see the cover for the first time and for those in the know, I am bat-shit crazy about the first two in the DI Natalie Ward series. Both were accompanied by noisy squeals and yelps of delight as I downloaded them and poor Mr Grumpy found my phone shoved up against his face – even when he was trying to fix the car – with me squeaking, ‘Look, isn’t it fab?’

When the cover for THE DARE arrived, I was balanced on my stability ball on a video call to Kim Nash, our PR extraordinaire, discussing publicity for the book’s release in April. She stopped speaking in mid-sentence then said … ‘Check your email.’

‘What? Now?’

‘Yes… go on… check it?’

I attempted to navigate from the video screen to my email account. I’m not very good with technical stuff and I lost Kim completely when suddenly the screen filled with the new cover.

My jaw dropped and stayed dangling for the longest minute. I think I said something along the lines of, ‘Holy cow… oh my… oh my.. oh… It’s phenomenal! Oh… my lord… it’s gorgeous!’ and then went slightly ballistic, bouncing up and down on my ball and performing a weird victory dance that involved a sort of heavy metal head banging ritual and pogoing.

Kim’s voice penetrated my manic activity .’You like it?’ I’d momentarily completely forgotten she was hanging on to hear my reaction.

I found the appropriate key on my keyboard to make the cover disappear and bring her back into view on my screen. ‘It’s fantastic,’ I replied, flattening my hair that had become dishevelled in the mad outburst.

‘I’m just going to email Lydia (my editor) with your reaction,’ she replied.

‘Yes… tell her I liked it.’

‘I can do better than that. I videoed the whole thing. I’m just going to send it to her…’

‘NO!’

‘…Now… Ha! Done!’

She played back the video so I could see what I looked like – a mixture of Animal from the Muppets and a crazed Tigger from ‘Winnie the Pooh’. Embarrassing. Deeply embarrassing.

It is an incredibly exciting moment when you see your cover for the first time, but next time, I’m going to make sure I’m locked away in my garret and no one can observe my reaction.

Suffice to say, the video has been deleted and Kim has gone on holiday with the payment I made. (LOL)

So… what caused such a lunacy?

This….

dare 2-2

It’s pretty stunning, isn’t it?

You can pre-order the book now and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. 

http://geni.us/B07N3WYYLDCover 

How a Celebrity Pug Dog Stole My Book #pugs @canelo_co

Biggie Smalls.pngMy new release, WHAT HAPPENS IN FRANCE is out in 3 weeks. It’s a brand new romantic comedy that I can’t wait to unleash onto my readers.

I loved writing it – every single word, every character and every silly scene. I loved researching for it – getting onto gameshows (even though I felt a right idiot on some of them), travelling around France, collecting information about the country, and I even loved lying awake at night, conjuring up crazy games fit for It’s A Knockout and a gameshow that would be a delightful mixture of Big Brother meets Love Island meets I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

I wanted my readers to laugh uproariously at the antics in it and in the parts, shed tears and come away from the book uplifted and feeling that life is good. What I didn’t anticipate was for everyone to fall for a lesser character – a pug dog called Biggie Smalls!

Biggie has not won over every reader who received an ARC but my publishers Canelo, who were so enamoured by him, they had stickers featuring him made especially for a giveaway.

The idea of a media star pug came from an article about owners and their pugs. The feature showed the dogs dressed in various outrageous outfits and I wondered what it would be like to own a dog dressed like the notorious rapper, Biggie Smalls.

Biggie doesn’t play a huge role in What Happens in France but my goodness, he has stolen the show to a large extent. Even those who are not ‘dog people’ have been emailing me to say how much they like him.

It seems that in order to sell more books, I’m going to have to buy a real -life pug and dress him up in COOGIE jumpers and jewellery and parade him around bookstores because no matter how good the book is, and regardless of how much readers enjoy it… they’ll all remember it as the book about Biggie Smalls – the media star dog!

 

WHAT HAPPENS IN FRANCE  OUT 28TH JANUARY

“This delightful read is done with excellent pacing, thus showcasing the marvelous talents of this prolific author.” Robin Reads

“Wow, wow and double wow….What a fantastic, fun and beautifully written book this was”

 WHAT HAPPENS IN FRANCE is available to pre-order now for just £1.99 click HERE 

Video made by Inky Covers.

 

Are You a Writer? #amwriting

cropped-the-birthday-fb-header.jpegIt’s less than two weeks before my new thriller THE BIRTHDAY the first in the DI Natalie Ward series hits the shelves. This will be my 15th book to be published and you’d think by now, I’d find this whole publication thing a breeze. Not so. Last night, I woke in a fearful panic that the new book would bomb and people would hate it. Mr Grumpy, my other half, has begun the whole eye-rolling routine that he usually performs around this time when I start whittering on publication day. He is not a writer and he doesn’t understand the see-saw of emotions that flood my body. He pulls a face when I mention chart positions and cowers behind his paper when I screech in delight at a good review. I can’t help it. This is who I am. I am a writer.

This morning, I reasoned it was normal to feel this way, after all, I am a writer and every book has a phenomenal amount of effort poured into it: I’ve laboured over every sentence; lived each character’s life to the point where they are real to me, and I have worked solidly – day and night, for months, writing, rewriting, editing, editing again, copy-editing, proofreading and reading the entire script one last time, to the point where I’ve been utterly sick of the sight of the darn thing. From inception to this moment has taken six months of gruelling effort – of ignoring my family, of ignoring my own needs, to get it to this point and so, it’s only natural I’m going be concerned. I am a writer. We are always worried about what others think of our work.

As publication day creeps ever nearer, I know it’ll get worse. There’ll be a familiar mixture of anxiety, panic and excitement and I’ll not sleep the night before the big day, and that day will be filled with euphoria and at the same time, the desire to burst into tears because I am a writer. Unless you’re a writer, you won’t really ‘get’ what I mean.

Mr Grumpy doesn’t get it – not at all. ‘It’s only a book,’ he grumbles. I look dismayed. ‘It’s more than a book! I feel like I’ve been giving birth to this book for six months.’ He ignores me. He’s heard it too many times before. I skulk away, tail between my legs and write a murderous plot in which an unfeeling husband is brutally murdered, because I am a writer.

beach-motivation-ocean-261630So, what will this writer do to celebrate the release of her 15th book? Have a party? Drink champagne? Go out for a celebratory meal? Alas, none of those things. I am a writer and as such I have nobody to celebrate with. My friends are in the main, online friends because I am a writer, I spend days alone in my office, living in fictitious world populated by characters of my own imagination, reliving imaginary conversations with them. Most of this forthcoming publication day will be spent on social media, hunting out reviews and thanking people and sharing posts, and of course, I’ll be constantly refreshing my Amazon page to see if my new book baby is climbing the charts, cheering when it rises a few places and sobbing when it moves no further or tumbles. Why? Because I am a writer – a self-doubting, confidence-lacking writer who will be crossing her fingers and hoping… praying… yearning for success.

In between checking social media and panicking because my book isn’t soaring up the charts, I’ll eat bags of chocolate-covered honeycomb dips and drink endless cups of herbal tea, and all the while I’ll continue work on the 3rd in the Natalie Ward series which will be my 20th book. Yes, I am currently writing my 20th book and that can only mean one thing – I have another 5 of these publication days to get through before that one will be ready.

Why do I do it?

Because…

I am a writer.

Now, pass me the gin!

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THE BIRTHDAY – An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Natalie Ward Book 1)

OUT 27th SEPTEMBER

Order your copy for ONLY 99p by clicking the link HERE

One hot summer’s afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home…

When five-year-old Ava Sawyer goes missing from a birthday party at a local garden centre, the police are bewildered by the lack of leads. That is until two years later, when Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that still keeps her awake at night…

Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …

Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

Gripping, fast-paced and nail-bitingly tense, this book will keep you flying through the pages long into the night. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter.

Readers are going crazy for The Birthday:

Absolutely stunning!… wow it blew me away. Totally my favourite book so far of 2018… I loved everything about it… A great start to a new series that I am going to love. I’m already wishing I could have the next book!… Amazing… 5 stars, although it is a shame I can’t give it more, it’s easily worth a 7. Buy it, you won’t regret it!Bonnie’s Book Talk, 5 stars

Everything Carol Wyer touches turns to gold. She most definitely knows how to write an addictive and tense page-turner and this one is no different. Compelling from the first page, this will have you hooked in a heartbeat.’ Novel Deelights, 5 stars

‘Omg!! My heart is pounding so hard! I have just finished reading The Birthday and I am floored! This is the first in a new series from Carol Wyer, featuring DI Natalie Ward and her team. What a way to start! Speedy, sharp, heart stopping and engaging; this is a series I am definitely looking forward to!TishyLou, 5 stars

A rollocking rollercoaster ride … dark, twisty and wonderfully gripping’ Minimac Reviews

‘This could be something special… This book truly is excellent… Heart-thumpingly good… A well-paced, heart-wrenching, pulse racing, edge-of-your-seat kind of book and a crime fighting team who you can genuinely root for… look no further as this could genuinely be your next favourite read. I tore through it.’ Jen Med’s Book Reviews, 5 stars

‘What a twist! …I read this book in a day!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

An exciting new series… Excellent character development… full of surprising twists and turns. This was a truly thrilling book… chilling… It certainly was no average read… I read The Birthday so fast that I was actually surprised… Excellent pacingsuperb writing.’Robin Loves Reading, 5 stars

Wyer easily surpassed all my expectations, creating a dynamic lead character that is every bit as enthralling as the beloved DI Carter… I could barely breathe as they rushed to find and arrest the killer… Sure to be another skilfully-crafted series… intense, chilling, and the very definition of unputdownable… A must-read.The Geeky Bibliophile, 5 stars

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