It’s that time of year when I start to turn to holiday themed romance novels to help put me in a cheerful holiday spirit. Today ALBTALBS friend <3Sophie Barnes is joining us to share how her new Christmas novel almost wasn’t and what she did to make sure this story got into the hands of her readers. And I for one am thrilled that Christmas at Thorncliff Manor is out today!
My road to becoming a published romance author began in 2009 when I made my first attempt at writing a novel. Once finished, I submitted it to every publisher I could find and received more than fifty rejection letters in return. It wasn’t easy being told my story wasn’t good enough, but being the determined sort, I wasn’t about to give up either. So I put that story aside – re-reading it now I’m glad it never saw the light of day – and went to work on a new one, the one that would turn me into an established author.Continue reading →
Hi friends! We’ve got Sophie Barnes with us today! She’s back again as you see. 😀 Which is totally exciting. I always love when people are willing to come back and play with us at ALBTALBS! (You can check out her first post here if you want to.) Without further ado… Sophie!
For those who are unfamiliar with the series, it’s about the Earl of Moorland’s three children, Alexandra, Ryan and William Summersby – Alexandra being the youngest and William the oldest. Raised by their military father after their mother’s untimely death, all three of them, including Alexandra, have been trained as soldiers and have carried out work for the Foreign Office.
There’s Something about Lady Mary focuses on Ryan Summersby who, knowing that he lacks the necessary skills for work in the Foreign Office that’s come so naturally to his siblings, has decided to pursue a career in medicine instead. But with his brother away on a secret mission and his sister busy with her new family life, Ryan finds himself pulled back into the spy game when asked to keep a certain marchioness out of danger. The lady in question is Mary Croyden, and while she might seem simple and demure on the surface, Ryan soon discovers that keeping up with her midnight escapades can be a real challenge, not to mention that he didn’t expect to be charmed by her sharp rejoinders and intellect. As for Mary – with the tumultuous state her life is in, falling in love is the very last thing she needs. But there’s something irresistible about Ryan, and the more time they spend together in each other’s company, the more difficult it becomes for her to ignore just how tempting he can be.
In The Secret Life of Lady Lucinda, William Summersby, heir to the Moorland title, meets his match. With both his siblings settled, he feels that the time has come for him to marry so he can start setting up his own nursery. The only problem is that he has no particular interest in any of the ladies of his acquaintance, determining therefore to choose his bride based on logic. But then the unexpected happens and he finds himself trapped into marriage by a woman he’s never set eyes on before, turning life as he knows it completely upside down. For Lucinda Blackwell, it’s a matter of revenge, and she will do whatever she must to bring her plan to fruition. This involves marrying England’s foremost spy (no matter what his opinion may be on the matter), because if anyone can find the men who brutally murdered her parents six years earlier, then it is surely he.
For those of you out there who prefer print format to e-books, these titles will also be available in paperbacks shortly after the e-book release date.
Thank you so much for stopping by today. I’ll be popping in throughout the day to chat with you and to answer any questions you might have. So feel free to leave a comment or two for a chance to win a SIGNED copy of Lady Alexandra’s Excellent Adventure, as well as a few other goodies.
To find out more about me and my books, please visit my website. You can also follow me on twitter at: @BarnesSophie, Facebook, and on Goodreads
Hi friends! I hope you consider me your friend. I think of you all as friends. For the obvious reasons, but also because it’s so plain you’re all so much nicer than I am. And who doesn’t want to be friends with nice people? Someone who is stupid, that’s who. And I’m not stupid. Or at least not that stupid.
All stupidity (or lack thereof!) aside … we’ve got a guest with us today! A guest that showed up! Gold star to her! Who is this wonderful gold star achiever, you might ask, if you didn’t see the title of the post? Sophie Barnes, that’s who!
A quick look at how I write:
Stories come to me little by little – they’re a gradual process that takes shape as my characters develop and start interacting with one another. When I first started writing, I did take a look at how other writers developed their plots and characters, hoping that I might stumble upon some words of wisdom, or better yet, a well kept secret to success =) As it turned out, they differed as much as their genres, leaving me more confused than ever. Some would make a very structured outline and then proceed to follow this outline step by step, leaving nothing to chance, while others would have a less concrete idea of what to expect, making up the story as they went along instead.
Because of how much easier and orderly it seems, I have tried making a detailed outline – repeatedly. This however, just doesn’t work for me. Sooner or later my characters will move off in an unexpected direction, they’ll have a conversation I wasn’t planning on, and just like that, the whole plot will veer off at a 90 degree angle. I love writing like this – it’s like reading a new book (I have some idea of where it’s heading, but I’m not entirely sure of what will happen along the way). Naturally, writing like this means that there are moments when I get stuck or write myself into a corner that I simply can’t get out of. In these instances, I either have to go back and take the plot in a different direction, or simply put the manuscript aside for a day and hope that a solution will come to me (it often does, right before I go to sleep in the evening, allowing me to get up the next day and write with renewed enthusiasm).
Other than this, my work schedule is a bit sporadic. My days are busy taking care of my two small children (three if I count my husband =)), I don’t have a quiet office that I can retreat to – my desk is at the kitchen counter, so I write on the go. Many people have stared at me in wonder, asking me how I managed to write a book, much less two or three (I’m now working on my fourth) when there are constant distractions all around me. The answer is simple really – lots of hard work, determination and sheer stubbornness =) I love writing, so it’s never been a chore, but rather something that I’m able to savor, whenever a spare momentallows it. Most of How Miss Rutherford Got Her Groove Back was written during my children’s
naptime or after they would go to bed in the evening (thus the reason why this book took me two years to complete), but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t working on the book the rest of the time – I was always thinking about the plot. This saved me a tremendous amount of time, since I always had an idea or two ready to go when I finally sat down in front of the computer. The acknowledgement of having it published, with other books following in its wake, is an unbelievably wonderful feeling of accomplishment. A great man by the name of Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it,” so I did =)
Sophie wants to know what are you passionate about? And I want to know what is a “task” (or something generally considered one) that you love to do? Is there one? Why should you answer our questions? Well Ms. Barnes is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter!