Tuesday, 27 May 2014

What a difference a year makes...

This time last year I was a bit fed up. I was stuck in a rut with no idea as to how to get out of it, my writing was ticking along but my enthusiasm was a little low given that sales were dipping and indie authors were finding it harder and harder to get their books recognised; and I hadn't yet discovered Justified and the obvious delights of Timothy Olyphant in that Stetson... 

I'd submitted stuff to publishers but no word was forthcoming, so I was fast becoming resigned to the fact that my dream would never happen. Well, the realistic dream of a publisher signing me, that is. I always knew that dream about Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper turning up together to whisk me off to a paradise island for two weeks of sun, sea and debauchery was never really gonna happen. It might find its way into a future novel at some point, though...

Anyway, this time last year I wasn't feeling all that positive. Fast forward twelve months, however, and things have changed a bit. That publisher I'd submitted my self-published sexy soccer romance Striker to back in March 2013 - the fabulous HarperImpulse - have signed me on a three book deal, I've been down to London to meet some of the fabulous HarperImpulse team, and I actually got to visit the HarperCollins HQ! For someone like me, whose only (realistic) dream has been to write books, that was something I'll  never forget. 

And now, with one book already released through HarperImpulse (my Christmas novella The First Christmas Without You), I'm just over a week away from the re-release of Striker - and only 5 weeks away from the second installment in the trilogy, Extra Time's re-publication. And I'm so excited about that, because those Striker books are my babies. They're the books that made me realise the kind of writer I wanted to be. They were the books that told me I'd finally found my feet as an author. And a publisher actually thought they were good enough to sign! Some days I still can't believe it happened, but as I get ready to throw myself into the promo for Striker, and capitalise on the forthcoming World Cup football fever that's going to hit any day now, I know that these books are getting a new lease of life I could only have dreamed of this time last year. And the final book in the trilogy - Final Score - is also going to be released through HarperImpulse, hopefully some time in August, which I'm even more excited about, because that book was never self-published. It'll be the first time anyone's ever read it, and for all those who've already read Striker and Extra Time and have been waiting to see how this trilogy all ends, I thank you so much for your patience. It really shouldn't be too long now.

So, with brand new and FABULOUS covers, I can't wait to see what happens when the Striker series is back out there. And with a busy summer ahead for me, it couldn't be more different to how I was feeling this time last year. Because this time last year I still had doubts about the kind of books I should be writing. I was still, I suppose, in that frame of mind - because of the way things seemed to be going - that led me towards writing the kind of things I assumed people wanted to read. I was still trying so hard to conform and follow whatever trend was out there, when that's the worst thing you can do as a writer. If you don't write from the heart, then you fail, in my opinion. 

And whilst having a publisher isn't for everyone - and there was a time when it wasn't for me, which is why I stopped submitting for a while - since I signed with HarperImpulse I've found that focus I badly needed to find. It's made me think differently, write differently; it's given me that metaphorical kick up the arse I so badly needed. 

So, what kind of books do I want to write? Well, like I said before, the Striker series of books are a good example of where my writing future lies - they're not sweet romances by any stretch of the imagination. And I'm banning my mother from going anywhere near them because if she read some of the things Ryan Fisher gets up to, she'd have a fit! But that's the kind of romance I write. Tough, edgy, not always pretty; sexy, hot and steamy. In fact, my latest WIP - a brand new rock star romance trilogy - is so steamy I'm thinking of publishing it under a completely different name. 

All I know is, compared to this time last year, I now feel as if I can truly say I know what I'm doing. And I know where I'm heading. There are still going to be days when it all feels like crap; days when none of it feels like its working, because we all get days like that. It's called life. But the difference this time is I have focus. When those crappy days pass I can pick myself up and get back on with what I know is working for me. And because it's taken me a little bit of time to properly find my writing feet, I'm still building an audience. But nobody said this journey would be easy, and I'm certainly finding out that it's anything but easy. But I wouldn't change it for the world now. None of it. I've learnt so much over the past few years, and I'm continuing to learn now. It's hard, there's no doubt about that. But I strongly believe that patience wins out. Never give up on a dream, no matter how out of reach you think it might be. I was ready to do that this time last year, and looking back, I'm so glad I didn't... there's a lot more to come from me. A lot more...

Both 'Striker' and 'Extra Time' are available to pre-order now! 

Striker -  http://ow.ly/xi9xN
Extra Time - http://ow.ly/xivTr

And watch this space for news on 'Final Score', the third installment of the Striker trilogy... And remember, this summer, it's time to play dirty... 


  1. I love the covers for your Striker series. Wishing you every success Michelle.


    1. Thank you so much, Sue. Getting a little bit excited for release day now. :) And I love those covers too. They're just perfect! :) x

  2. I'm so glad you didn't give up on those dreams Michelle, because you really are such a talented writer. I can't wait to read Final Score and loved All your other books as well. Can't wait to read Seth's story either. He sounds so HOT! x

    1. Thank you, hon. And thank you for your constant support, it really means a lot. *Hugs* I really, really hope you like 'Final Score', but even though it's the last book in this trilogy, it isn't the end for these characters... spin-off books are planned. Watch this space. ;)

      And as for Seth Carter, rock star... he IS hot!! And I think you're gonna love him. ;) x