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Joanne Phillips

A Writers Journey

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Blogging

2015: My Blogging Year In Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog (and for all their blogs, obvs) …

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report. It’s fascinating reading (probably only for me, to be honest), but it does list my top 5 commenters, and the the most popular posts, and gives me some helpful low-down info on my blogging habits and where my readers come from.

I’m planning a few changes for 2016, so this info will be really useful. Did you get a blog report, and if so do you think the information is helpful or just a fluffy gimmick?

Romancing September – Feel the Love

September has become a bit of a tricky month for me in recent years. I think it’s being a mum, as well as an author, and it all began when my daughter started school. September gives me the sense of time passing, the chance to review and consider what I’ve been doing and where I’m going. It’s often a difficult month, with teething problems at school and at home, while we all try our best to get back into the swing of normal life after a long break. This summer the break was even longer than usual – seven weeks! – and for the first time ever, I didn’t work at all during the holidays. That of course means there are stacks of emails to catch up with, reviews to write, blogs to plan, and many other jobs to get on top of. And all at a time when I’m feeling a little sore and lonely sitting here at my desk without the joy and laughter of my daughter to distract me …

One fantastic thing happening this month, though, is ‘Romancing September‘. This is a lovely idea from Rosie Amber, bringing together romance authors from across the world, and you can find the list of authors and blogs by clicking the picture below.

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Cupid’s Way will be featured on day 19, which is very exciting, but the best thing for me has been finding out about all these other brilliant books. My favourite so far is Nicky Wells’ 7 Years Bad Sex – what an awesome title! Nicky is such a talented author, and I have a backlog of books to catch up on from her alone!

So, am I feeling the love this September? Well, yes I am. With supportive bloggers and fellow authors, with lovely messages like the one below on Facebook this summer, I do feel lucky to be doing what I’m doing and to be where I am as an author. But there have been disappointments too recently – more on that coming up in the following weeks – and they have knocked my confidence a little. It’s wonderful to be back on the blog – my spiritual home on the Internet – and I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things this week and catching up on all your news too 🙂

FB comment

Thanks Joan, you really gave me a lift this summer!

Coming soon …

Review of Jan Ruth’s brilliant book Silver Rain

Report from the Festival of Writing 2015

News of my next book release

Self-publishing advice and more

Hey, I’m A Guest On Pauline Wiles’ Lovely Blog!

My friend, Pauline Wiles, is launching her second novel on Thursday – Secrets in the Sky – and in the run up to the launch, Pauline is turning her blog over to a few of her writing friends. My guest post is up today, and you can read it by clicking here.

I was lucky enough to be one of the beta readers for Secrets in the Sky, and I can tell you now this is a brilliant book. Pauline is a fantastic writer, very talented, and I really enjoyed her first novel too. In fact, her first novel Saving Saffron Sweeting is currently on special offer for only 99p!

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I’ll be back on Thursday with more news about Secrets in the Sky and all the links you need to download and share 🙂

The Writers’ Blog Tour – It’s My Turn To Shine

I was really excited to be invited to join the Writer’s Blog Tour recently by my lovely friend Anne Allen at www.anneallen.co.uk  I hope you enjoy your visit to my little blog, and that you’ll go on to take a look at the blogs of other participating writers who are listed below. We are part of a growing international community of writers, working to introduce each other’s blog to a wider audience. Christine Findlay, Chair of Bookmark Blair (Blairgowrie Rattray and The Glens Book Festival) in Perthshire, Scotland, invited us to take part.

Anne Allen also invited the writers Rebecca Scarberry and Regina Puckett to follow her on the tour.

So, it’s time for me to answer the four special questions. Here goes:

1. What am I working on?
I’m about to launch my fourth novel, a romantic comedy called Cupid’s Way, on 27th June, so I’m working a lot on the launch, organising promotions and reviews, that kind of thing. Writing-wise I have two projects currently on the go: the second in my Flora Lively Investigates series of mysteries (due for release in November) and a novel for my Masters, which is provisionally titled This Beautiful World.

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2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
One of the most interesting things about writing in a particular genre is the challenge to write a book that fits the expectations of readers who love the genre, but also to stand out and offer something different and exceptional. Cupid’s Way, while having all the elements of a great contemporary romantic read, has that extra element, which comes in the form of Cupid’s Way itself – the title is the name of a Victorian terrace street that is under threat of demolition by developer. Evie Stone, our heroine, is tasked with saving the street, which is full of quirky, lovable characters – including Evie’s grandparents.

I have a similar challenge with the Flora Lively books. I wanted to write a cosy mystery, but they aren’t massive here in the UK yet, and I don’t think the UK market is as receptive to the sometimes very specific cosy genres which are popular in the US. My idea for Flora Lively was a kind of ‘Midsomer Murders meets Bridget Jones’ – it’s a mystery, with a young female amateur detective, but also with a bit of romance thrown in and a lot of heart.

3. Why do I write what I do?
Because I love it. I don’t think there’s any other reason to write. I’ve written in two genres so far, and published a novelette and a collection of short stories; my Masters novel is literary fiction and I have outlines for three psychological thrillers to come in the next few years. And I’ll continue to write rom coms because I love them, although the next few I have planned are a lot grittier than those I’ve written before.

4. How does my writing process work?
I have so many ideas my first task is to focus and commit to what I want to work on next. I usually begin by writing myself into the story and characters, writing and rewriting from different viewpoints, doing character studies and random scenes, with a little bit of planning thrown in. When I get about three chapters into the book I usually stop and put together a more detailed plan – but not always. Sometimes I want to surprise myself, but often I find that it helps to free my creativity to have a rough idea of where I need a story to go.

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This is the point where I’m supposed to introduce you to the three authors who are taking up the baton to answer the same 4 questions on Monday 23 June, but everyone I asked has either already taken part in this blog tour or is already committed. So I’m reaching out to you, my fellow writers and blog-readers – there are three spots up for grabs to post and take part in the next round of the Writers’ Blog Tour. Leave your link in the comments below and I’ll email you with more details and add your bio and blog link to this post. And anything you can do to help us all share our words and ideas through your own networks would be much appreciated. Thank you x

 

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