Christine Stovell jokes that her journey to publication has taken her from chocolate to Choc Lit. Winning a tin of chocolate in a national essay competition at primary school inspired her to become a writer but losing her dad to cancer made her realise that if she was ever going to get a novel published she had to put her writing first. Her first novel, Turning the Tide, published by independent publisher Choc Lit, is a Kindle bestseller in the UK. Her second Choc Lit novel, Move Over Darling is an October 2012 release.
Hello again! Thank you, Liane, for inviting me back and to all of you for allowing me to be your guest at Novel Spaces. October 31st, Liane reminded me. Halloween. But rather than talk about the supernatural, I’m inviting you to share some of your worst ‘writemares’, the fears that keep you awake at four in the morning. Or maybe you’ve conquered your night ‘write terrors’ and can share the secret. As a small thank you for having me back I’m giving away a copy of my second novel, Move Over Darling, which came out this month and is published by Choc Lit. All you have to do is leave a comment and I’ll pick a name at random next Wednesday, 7 November. To set the ball rolling, here are few writerly worries that scare me when they go bump in the night.
The Ghostly Whisper
The Ghastly Apparition
Absolutely the best bit about writing for me is when a reader tells me they’ve enjoyed one of my novels. It’s not about my ego, it’s the sheer joy of connecting with another person. The not-so-great bit is having someone tell me how much they hate my work. One particularly well-crafted dissection of my first novel left me tearful and trembling… although I had to smile at the person who added a comment to the effect, ‘I agree. This is a terrible book,’ or similar. (I can’t quite face going back to check!). That’s fine, I hope the dissatisfied readers find something more to their taste, but, just as experience has taught me I’m easily spooked by scary movies and should avoid them, I’ve now discovered the same probably applies to scary reviews.
The Dead End
Uh-oh! These characters are going nowhere! I’ve forced them into a situation because I thought it would make life easier for me and now they’re dying of boredom and I may not be able to resuscitate them. This one’s a problem of my own making – usually because I don’t know my characters well enough so I’m moving them around like bits of plastic and that’s how they’ve started behaving. Having to retrace my footsteps can leave me in a cold sweat, but sometimes the only way to make progress is to go back.
With my second novel, I’ve had to leave the safe, familiar comfort of my desk to venture out to promote my book. I’ve experienced live radio for the first time, as a guest on Roy Noble’s Show on BBC Wales, I’ve been interviewed for local press and I’ve written an article making the case for romance in a national magazine. Believe me, I’m flattered to be asked and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to talk about what I do – but it has caused me a few sleepless nights fretting about all of these events in advance.
The One About Being Naked in Public
Well, that’s my top five writemares, although there are many more, but what about you? Do writing worries keep you awake? The first name out the hat gets a copy of Move Over Darling, so you can put on the light and read instead.