Two Years On
Two years ago today, I accepted and signed a contract for three books with my lovely publisher, RUBY FICTION. This time in May 2019, I was on cloud nine and delighted to be joining a group of writers whose books I have enjoyed and whose writing I admire. At the time, I had submitted one novel and was in the process of editing novel two. Then, I had no idea of author-brand and just enjoyed trying to write the kind of novels I liked reading. Little did I know then, or could ever imagine, that both those novels would be published in the middle of a global pandemic.
Her Mother's Secret (Published 21st April 2020) - Everything from working with an editor, deciding on a title, choosing cover designs, and writing blog posts about the novel to coincide with publication was a new experience and one that I loved doing. I learned so much from everyone in the Ruby Fiction team and am grateful for that. The night before my book was let out into the world, I was both excited and nervous, worrying about what the reviews would be like. Because we were in the middle of a complete lockdown last April and travel was prohibited, the novel soon appeared to become an escapist read. It was often viewed as armchair travelling to the sun and virtual Greece. Publication day was spent in the garden eating Greek-style food and in the evening, there was a surprise Zoom get-together with family and friends. We were all getting to grips with Zoom back then but by the novel's book-birthday last month, Zoom has become a way of life for many of us. Seeing the novel as Number 1 in The Amazon Hot Releases in Greek Travel for a short while as well as being nominated for the longlist of the Not-the-Booker prize and receiving votes was exciting.Fast forward five months and Her Sister's Secret (Published 15th September 2020) followed quite quickly. I'd been through the processes before but the nervousness of how the book would be received came back with a vengeance. I'd been thrilled with the messages and reviews received for my debut novel so this time there was the added concern of expectation. Restrictions had been lifted a little in Wales by then and we celebrated publication day by going to a Sicilian restaurant, eating al fresco, and sampling some of the food my characters would have eaten when they visited Sicily. Again I have been humbled by the messages and reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads for the novel. My publisher organised for it to be on offer on Book Bub in October and waking up to see it with an orange bestseller flag and ranked as #34 in the UK Kindle store, #14 in Australia and #27 in Canada was very special.