New Month, New Season, New Beginnings: A look forward and back #writing #reading @AngelaBritnell @portybelle

I like September. Here in the northern hemisphere it marks the start of autumn and autumn is most definitely my favourite time of year. I always enjoying going for a walk but autumn walks are the best.  I love the autumn colours of the leaves, the soft light, the cooler air. And who can resist tramping through those piles of falling leaves as if you were five years old again?

Writing News

I also find that a new month and a new season help me to focus on my writing plans as I tend to sketch out my aims and targets on a monthly and quarterly basis. It’s also a good time to reflect on what I achieved in my previous planning period(s).

Looking back

The looking back part has been particularly rewarding at this point as I achieved two things at the writing desk that I’m proud of.

Newsletter all set up

The first of those was getting my author newsletter set up – something that was a lot of hard work, a steep learning curve and something I’d wanted to do for a long time. So, isn’t this blog enough? I hear you ask. Why have a newsletter? Good questions. Responses below.

Well, firstly, no, the blog isn’t enough – much as I love it. It’s enough as far as fulfilling my aims in setting up. Those aims being to write about my recent reading and writing experiences and to share my reflections on those and occasionally other matters too. I see the blog as a sort of collection of magazine type articles and a chronicle of my life as a reader and writer.

Secondly, an author newsletter is a different thing. It is more specific and it is more tightly focussed. The audience consists of the readers of my books. The content is based on my books – the ones already published, the one I’m currently working on, and my future writing plans. Recipients of the newsletter get a free book on signing up, as well as ongoing occasional special offers, giveaways, sneak peeks into my work-in-progress. It’s a chance for me to get to know the readers of my contemporary romances and for them to get to know a bit more about me.

The newsletter is already proving to be a rewarding thing to do. It’s so good to have this direct link with my loyal audience and my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.

If you haven’t signed up to get my monthly letter in your inbox and you’d like to, just click HERE and yes, you will be rewarded for doing so with a free book – a collection of some of my short romantic stories.

New Book

The second thing I’m proud of achieving recently is of course the publication of my latest romance novel, Baby Steps. It was my most successful launch to date, sales have been good and the feedback I’ve received has been great. Yeah! You can read what it’s about HERE and you can buy it HERE

You can also read a guest post I did on the wonderful Portybelle’s book blog HERE about how this latest novel took me surprise and wasn’t at all what I planned to write.

Looking Forward

New book, new series, lots of planning

I’m now busy writing the next book. As it’s the first in a completely new series set in the Scottish Borders, there’s been a lot of planning to do. I’ve had to map out a fictional farm, village and town. I’ve had to think about who will be the main characters in subsequent books in the series and there’s also been a fair bit of research to do as well.

But with that all done, I can now crack on with Happiness Cottage and to tell the story of Lori and Aidan.

Reading

As usual I’ve done a lot of reading in the last month – mostly romances and mostly very good reads. So as always it was difficult to choose one as book of the month. But I did it. No surprises that it was a romance novel. It was a perfect summer read.

Summer at Seaspray Cottage by Angela Britnell

What would you do if you inherited a Cornish cottage by the sea?
If you’re Thea Armitage, sell it as soon as possible. Whilst there’s no denying that Seaspray Cottage has its charm, it just holds too many bad memories for Thea to consider keeping it – although at least spending the summer preparing it for sale gives her a distraction from troubles back home in Tennessee.
What Thea didn’t count on was her worst Cornish memory moving in right next door. Local bad boy Harry Venton played no small part in Thea’s decision never to return to Cornwall twenty years before – and now he’s her neighbour! Could things get any worse?
Except Harry isn’t the boy he was, and as Thea comes to realise that her opinion of him was built on lies and misunderstandings, perhaps things will start looking up for her summer at Seaspray Cottage …

Reflecting

In a world that can sometimes seem rather bleak thank goodness for the escape provided by books. Happy reading everyone!

Your comments are welcome below. Feel free to share your own reading and writing reflections and to share this post.

The Third Tuesday Review

As I promised/threatened in an earlier post, I intend, on the third Tuesday of every month, to do a book review and also to announce my blog of the month.

BOOK REVIEW

My January book is ‘A Book of Silence’ by Sara Maitland. Maitland is an author whose feminist fiction I’ve admired and enjoyed for around thirty years (her novel ‘Women Fly When men Aren’t Watching’ would be one of my desert island volumes). ‘A Book of Silence’ is difficult to categorise, but it’s not fiction. It’s part memoir/autobiography, part travelogue, part reflection on her own writing processes, but is mainly a reflection and discussion of her study of the concept of silence. Silence is something she views as a presence rather than an absence. She sees being in silence as a religious and spiritual experience and as something she longs to have more of.  I don’t completely agree with everything she says, but there’s a lot that resonates and it is beautifully and intelligently written.

I suspect this is a book for writers, especially those fascinated by the writing process. It’s also one for Maitland fans, not least because it has been a while since she published anything.

It’s not a light read. The reader needs to think, concentrate and reflect. I read it on my Kindle but  maybe the old-fashioned paper version would have been better. This is a book to dip in and out of and to flick back and forth in as you read.  It certainly gives the reader a lot to ponder.

BLOG OF THE MONTH

My blog of the month is Sleepwell and Fly written by a writer who goes by the name of Fletcher Moss. You can sample it for yourself at http://sleepwellandfly.blogspot.com Moss is a writer of young adult fiction and his book (of the same title as the blog) is on the longlist for The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 2012. His blog is always entertaining and often thought-provoking. There’s humour, honesty, seriousness and insight – often within the one post. It’s a great example of a writer’s blog but will appeal to non-writers who appreciate good writing. Well worth a visit.