Saturday, 7 November 2015

Sporting Chance - One Year On


 
 
 
A year ago today, I was a bundle of nerves wondering if anyone was going to buy my first novel. It had taken me over two years to write Sporting Chance, the story of teacher, Iestyn Jones and rugby player, Dan Morgan. I found time to write when I could – before work in the morning scrawling words in a note book, at lunchtime, after work and at weekends, when I didn’t have marking or preparation to do. Somehow, by the end I had a 80,000 word novel. I asked a few people to read it, and they encouraged me to submit it to a publisher. The first one turned me down, but the second, Totally Bound, took a chance on me.

The day I got the e-mail, I couldn’t believe it. I read it so many times, with tears in my eyes, until happiness was replaced by that strange mixture of fear and excitement. It was a long process between that e-mail in March and the book coming out in November. When I read that submission now, I’m amazed they took me on. I made so many mistakes, but I was lucky to have Faith, my editor, to take me through everything. I learned such a lot, not only about grammar and punctuation, but also about point of view, independent body parts, dangling modifiers and putting the sex into sex scenes.
 
I discovered there are words you need to cull like that, just, only, suddenly, really and many others. I find there’s something new to deal with every story I write.

 
When Sporting Chance came out several reviewers were kind enough to feature my story on their blogs. I will admit, I’ve never found criticism easy, but I put my teacher head on and gave myself the talk I’d given to so many students – you learn from mistakes. If you get something wrong, you can learn from others. I may not have agreed with everything that was said, but I hope I’ve learned something from every word.

A year on from the general release date, I now have a novella, Rainbow Connection and a short story, Stay published. In December, my Christmas story, Not Every Time is released, the story of two friends who become lovers – one of my favourite tropes.

Next year is going to be very exciting. In February, Comfort Zone, the follow up to Sporting Chance is released, and A Bell Rings, the sequel to Not Every Time, comes out in May. It turned out that Raz and Jack had more to say. I also have a series coming out titled The Call of Home, set in Scotland.

When Sporting Chance came out last year, I would never have believed all this was possible. It goes to prove you can teach an old dog new tricks, and that you simply never know what is around the corner.

To celebrate this anniversary, I’m going to offer a signed copy of Sporting Chance and a signed copy of Comfort Zone when it comes out next year. I’ve also had some charm bracelets made with charms representing the characters in my stories. If you’d like a chance to win please comment on this blog post.

Lastly, I’d like to thank every reader, reviewer, and all those authors who gave me advice as well as my editor, Faith, and my publishers for giving a new author a chance. You have all changed my life.

33 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the anniversary. I'm so glad you took a chance.

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  2. Congratulations on your anniversary! It's a great thing to celebrate! Here's to more years and books!

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    1. Thanks - I have four coming out next year so far which is unbelievable.

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  3. Happy 1 year Anniversary!!!! Here's to many many years of fantastic book writing!! 🎉🎈🎉🎈🎉. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!! 📖😊

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    1. Thanks - I love having signed books myself.

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  4. Happy First Anniversary, Alexa. Congratulations on your writing success xx

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    1. Thanks - time seems to have flown by.

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  5. Congrats on one yeAr. Thanks for chance to win . This is great

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    1. Thanks Janie - and thanks for your support.

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  6. Congratulation on your first anniversary well done! Please count me in for the giveaway.

    ShirleyAnn(at)speakman40(dot)freeserve(dot)co(dot)uk

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    1. Thanks Shirley Ann - I can't believe how this year has gone by so quickly.

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  7. congrats on your 1st Anniversary and your continued success

    leetee2007(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  8. Congratulations. Looking forward to more books. 😊

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    1. Thanks and there will be more books - my Christmas short story and four more next year.

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  9. Congratulations on the year anniversary!

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    1. Thanks - I can't believe how much has happened in the last year.

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  10. Congratulations on your anniversary. I really enjoyed Sporting Chance and am very pleased to hear that there will be a sequel.

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    1. Thanks and I wanted to give Aron his story as he's a nice guy really and Joe the other MC is great - not to mention his family. I hope you enjoy it.

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  11. Congrats! I love sports books, can't wait to read this.

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  12. Congrats on the one year anniversary ! I loved Sporting Chance and I definitely will be reading Comfort Zone!!!
    Mthompsonbsn&gmail.com

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    1. Thanks - I hope you enjoy comfort Zone as I really enjoyed writing it.

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  13. Congrats on your book-aversary!! Looking forward to the series set in Scotland!!

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    1. Thanks Alison. The Scottish series - The Call of Home is set on the Moray coast and the first two are out July and August next year. I've about to finish the third.

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  14. Congratulations on the year anniversary!

    juliesmall2016(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. Happy 1st year of being a published writer and wow at all the upcoming books, I cannot wait to read them :) I was just wondering how did you get into writing and what inspired you to write Sporting Chance, a love of watching rugby players perchance? Thank you for the giveaway, I would love to get my paws on signed copies of these books <3

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    1. I'd created a teenaged couple within a fanfiction and I loved them so I decided to use their background to write an original story although some things changed. I am a big fan of rugby and I wanted to have a player who was out. I began writing the story around the time Gareth Thomas came out. I was a teacher so Iestyn became one. I loved writing their families and friends. Comfort Zone will have Aron's story but Iestyn and Dan make appearance.

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  16. Congratulations on your anniversary!!! Sounds like you have a full few months. Can't wait to read what you have coming out. Thanks for the chance to win:) Hugs

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  17. Thanks - and yes it feels like it's going to be busy.

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  18. And the winner is the 4th name on the list which is Lily G Blunt. I'll contact you on FB.

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