A Day in The Life Of…. Kirsty Ferry

As you may have gathered from the Blog Post Anni Rose posted as part of the blog hoop in for new book A Burning Lie. My life evolves around Football training, Air Cadets, The Fire Service and the occasional novel writing. I was looking forward to hearing about what Kirsty does with hers days….

 

This is quite a hard piece to write – each day is different, and contrary to what people might believe I do Kirstyas an author, I can’t drift around in a haze of creativity, writing all day as I have one of those things called a ‘life’. By that, I mean I have other commitments like a family and a day job and can’t always devote time to writing, much as I’d like to. I haven’t written anything substantial, really, since September – part of that was a decision I made after releasing three books in one year. I wrote them in lockdown and just thought that was enough really for the time being. I have released two more this year and one is coming out at Christmas – and that’s a lot of lockdown writing. Thankfully, now restrictions have eased a bit I can do other things. I have, for example, started an art class, which is something I’ve wanted to do for years, and we had three days in Glasgow which was lovely. Maybe I should write about one of those days!

Coffee is vitally important and I will start each day off with a one. I’m a monster without it! So our second day in Glasgow we visited the Willow Tea Rooms on Buchanan Street for coffee and a square sausage sandwich for breakfast; then we found our way to the Clockwork Orange subway and went to, variously, the Kelvingrove Museum, the Hunterian Museum, the Rennie Mackintosh House, up to the Cathedral and had a pit stop at a donut place before the Museum of Modern Art. My donut and coffee was much needed

donutI had taken my trusty notebook and pen to Glasgow in case inspiration struck – I refused to cart a laptop up there, even though I usually would take one on holiday as writing is a pleasure and a nice way to settle in for the evening in a holiday cottage. But as we were on the train and limited luggage-wise it wasn’t practical and, from experience, I knew I wouldn’t write when it was such a short, busy break. Well, I didn’t even open my notebook, even though there was lots to inspire me (some of the artworks were incredible and told such stories – the portraits at the Hunterian, and the Glasgow Boys and the Scottish Colourists were fantastic – and I saw some Pre Raphaelite works, some Impressionists work and even a Van Gogh) so I was pleased I hadn’t taken my laptop. On the train coming back, though, I got one of those lovely emails from the publishers that ping in and tell me edits are ready to be worked on, and I couldn’t wait to get home and settle down to them. I might have worked on them under the influence of a glass of wine and a takeaway, but it was a really nice end to the holiday.

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I am still writing, and being ‘an author’, but slowly! I am a little way through a novella but had to put it to one side to do edits on Edie’s Summer of New Beginnings, and then I was working on expanding Holly’s Christmas Secret (the train edits!) to make it novel length and appropriate for trade paperback. I will have the third Padcock one lined up to edit soon, which is another Christmas book, so new material isn’t happening very quickly but I’m working on other things. I’m squeezing some time in to do this blog at Costa, for example, before I head to work as I’m back in the office more, whereas I spent lockdown working from home.

So I don’t really have a typical day as an author. Things seem a little chaotic right now, but when I am in the writing zone, I do like to set aside some time either in the afternoon if it’s a non-work day, or in the evening to write, and I can get quite a lot of work done in those sessions. But right now I’m struggling to fit it in. But I will get back to it – it’s like my coffee. I have to do it, otherwise I’m a monster and all the characters in the stories I have yet to tell will get really, really cross at me!

 

 

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Can Edie rediscover her artistic mojo and become a ‘Watercolour Wonder’?

Edie Brinkley went from rising star on the London art scene to hiding out at her gran’s cottage in the little village of Padcock after a series of unfortunate circumstances leave her almost too panicky to pick up a paintbrush.

When celebrity artist Ninian Chambers rocks up in the village to film Watercolour Wonders, a new TV art competition, Edie is horrified – especially as he played no small part in her decision to leave London.


But, with the support of the Padcock community, and one very special fellow contestant, could Ninian’s show ultimately offer a fresh start for Edie and her art career? Or will Annabel the sixties’ style stealer, along with make-up artist Tallulah and her ‘Caravan of Hell’, sabotage her summer of new beginnings?

Part of the Padcock Village series but can be read as a standalone story.

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Kirsty Ferry’s other books can be found here.

 

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A Day In The Life of: Helen Buckley

So this morning I got up, tried to get a child up, shouted at said child, husband went to work, shouted at child a bit more and broke the land speed record getting said child to school on time… Though I can’t help wondering what Helen’s day was like….

Signing contract photo further cropWhat do you imagine when you think of an author? Someone getting up late, perhaps sitting at a desk in their PJs with a large mug of coffee, spending the day typing away, or possibly staring out of the window, seeking inspiration?

Sadly, that’s not my experience!

My day usually starts around 5ish. I’m up to make my children’s breakfast and lunches. Then if I’m lucky, I get time to write before the kids wake up. I have two boys, one is nearly 3 years old, and the other is 15 months, so life is very full on.

My husband and I get the boys up and deliver them to their childcare places. Then I start work – my job is being the communications officer for a disability inclusion non-profit called Shaping Our Lives. Fortunately I work from home, so there’s no commute apart from the short drive to drop the boys off at the childminder and nursery.

I work 9-5pm and then the boys come back and chaos is unleashed till they are asleep.

Around 7 or 8pm, all being well, I might try to do a little writing, or update my blog/ social media.

Then I crash into bed at 10pm, exhausted!

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So my life definitely doesn’t fit the relaxing image I conjured up in the first paragraph, although I do always have a cup of coffee or tea on the go. But I wouldn’t change things. I’m very lucky to have my two boys (both IVF-miracle babies), and I know one day I will have more time to write when they are a little bigger. Till then I grit my teeth and drag myself out of bed before it’s dawn, and hope to have another book completed soon!

 

 

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What do you do when your life becomes more dramatic than reality TV?

As the devoted carer for famous antique expert Harold Kershaw, Karrie Morgan was always happy to keep a professional distance from his four spoilt grown-up children, who rarely made time for their father. But then a surprise involving Harold’s Will means Karrie is flung headlong into a press scandal, and into the chaotic world of the surviving Kershaws.

With the support of her trusted childhood friend Andrew, mild-mannered Karrie must face down ruthless ice queen Portia, master manipulator Gabriel, Botox fanatic Arabella, and ladies’ man Rafe, star of reality TV show Raised in Richmond … although perhaps not as fake and flashy as he initially seems?

As vicious rumours circulate and Karrie’s past comes back to haunt her, she struggles to know who to trust. Can she keep up with the Kershaws’ schemes?

 

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Helen Buckley

 

 

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Helen has visited my blog many time and her other posts can be found HERE

A Day In The Life Of – Berni Stevens

So not only does Berni write a-ma-zing books she is also a cover designer and has created all three of mine which I love. So how does she fit it all in!

 

I’m not sure there is a typical day to describe to be honest. Certainly not as a writer, because most of my writing is done in the evening and at weekends. That is, until the edits come in, which are often urgent and need attention as soon as possible.BERNI_newsmall

I used to go to the gym four times a week for Zumba classes (pre Covid), and teach my own Zumba class on Wednesday evenings. Post Covid, I’ve left the gym because all the Zumba instructors I liked have left – one has even gone back to Poland. But things change – it’s inevitable – and it means my days have changed too. The price for gym membership has also gone up of course, and I’d rather save the money!

As a Zumba Instructor I have access to all the choreography and music on the Instructors’ website, which is updated monthly. An early morning treat for me, is whizzing through the routines and music, making a note of the ones I like at first glance, with a view to learning and tweaking them for my class. (Remembering them is another matter!)

I do an hour’s Zumba every other day and I find it sets me up for work quite well. Who needs the gym? During the various lockdowns, there were a few virtual training sessions and ‘jam sessions’ at weekends, that I did via Zoom, which were all great fun, with people from all over the world joining in.

notepad-g79c0f266d_640The largest part of any day is my design work, and I tend to have several book covers on the go at once. Generally speaking, they’ll all be at different stages, which is a good thing; some have visuals out with the publisher or author, others have been approved and need high resolution artwork, whilst others need full cover artwork for print. I know most people keep notes on their Smartphones these days, but I tend to write actual notes in real notebooks and highlight projects as they’re finished. I suppose it’s the designer in me – but I do love notebooks and sketchbooks. In fact, the only things I miss about working in-house are the stationery cupboard (all those pens, notebooks and Post-it pads), and paid holidays! I certainly don’t miss the cover meetings that’s for sure! (And that’s a whole other discussion).

In better weather – should we ever have any – I might go for a walk at lunchtime. We’re lucky to have a Woodland Trust walk at the back of our house that the property developers can’t get their sticky mitts on. Although they’re building everywhere else it seems. I even once found someone taking photos of our front garden and making notes on a clipboard. I told her in no uncertain terms that our house is listed and therefore off limits. But for how long I wonder?  However, walking across the fields at the moment is almost a snorkel and flippers job – we’ve had so much rain, the fields are a quagmire. Here’s hoping we get some sunshine in the summer. (Note to self – get a new pair of wellies).

I love having a new book, in fact I look forward to the evenings when I can get back to writing. (Unless it’s playmobil-g605d110c2_640not going well and I’m stuck!) But when it is all going well, I can’t wait to rejoin the characters, and write more of their stories. Although there are times when their conversations keep me awake at night … this happens to a lot of writers I’m told.

In Izzy’s latest book for instance, I hadn’t planned on Jonno walking out on the tour, it just kind of happened. Minds of their own, some characters. : )   Losing myself in the characters  can be very therapeutic sometimes. When I wrote my first paranormal romance, I had great fun killing off characters if anyone upset me … although I’m not at all sure what that says about me. A friend of mine bought me a sign for my office which simply says, ‘Careful or you’ll end up in my novel.’

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Is the rock and roll lifestyle all it’s cracked up to be?

Being the girlfriend of a rock star isn’t all glitz and glamour – at least that’s what Izzy Grant has found since she started dating Seth Roberts of Scarlet Gryphon fame; it’s actually a lot of waiting and wondering and worrying as Seth travels the world whilst she’s stuck in London. Can she ever rely on Mr Cool to settle down?

But rock gods get insecure too, and whilst Seth is jetting off to far-flung locations to perform sold-out shows, he worries that Izzy will find a “Joe Normal” and opt for a more ordinary life. Plus, he could do with some support when a certain entitled rock star girlfriend gets too big for her Jimmy Choos and threatens to break up the band.

There is a solution, but are either of them willing to take the plunge?

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I recently spoke to Berni as part of my Meet The Family Series, which can be found HERE

 

A Day In The Life of Gina Holland

I wanted to get to know more about my author family more so welcome to “A Day In The Life of…”

I’d like to say that most days I float around in a kaftan with a glass of gin in one hand and a dictaphone in9859 the other, and that I alternate sips (of the former) with the recording of new book ideas (into the latter), being careful not to get the two confused. My ideas stem from my glamorous international travels and the many sexy and scintillating people I have met along the way. Unfortunately, that would all be a vicious –– albeit attractive –– lie.

What I actually do, like most authors, is go to my day job, which for me is in marketing. Then I return home to ensure the family is fed before carrying out life admin / being Mum Taxi / watching some rubbish on telly because I’m too tired to write a word (delete as appropriate).

I often read articles by writers who say to be successful, you must write every day. Great if you can, but that’s just not realistic for me, and I know many other 30, 40 and 50 something women writers who would say the same thing. Thankfully, it’s just not true that you need to write every day in order to produce a book.

However, I do try whenever possible to carve out days which I can dedicate to writing –– at least until tea time! On these days I make a beeline to get out of the house. After working from home for months, I appreciate the opportunity to escape my four walls and have a change of scenery. That’s why I’ve taken to hiring a desk in a freelancing office, where coffee is on tap and I can hop out into town for a quick lunch or to run a few errands before it’s back to work.

Writing is mostly a solitary pursuit, but I’m a pretty sociable person who is a self-confessed nosy parker. I get my social kicks through meeting other folks by the coffee machine and finding out what they’re up to.

Here’s what a normal ‘writing ‘ day looks like for me:

9am: Park up on Worthing seafront and head for the office. It’s a 20-minute walk into town and it’s such a lovely route along the promenade. At least, it is on a sunny day, but you can get blown to bits or end up saturated if you don’t dress accordingly!

9.20am: A quick stop at Caffe Nero and I’m all flap-jacked up, ready for some serious writing business

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9.30am: Arrive in office. Choose a desk. I’m so indecisive that this stage can be a bit of an ordeal for me. I usually try to be not too close to a window as I can get easily distracted by the shoppers bustling around outside.

9.30am – 12pm: Hopefully I’ll manage around 1,500 words in this time. I’ve found I’m most productive and creative in a morning, so this is my best writing time.

12pm – 1pm: Nip out for a bite to eat. I usually aim for M&S cafe as there’s a nice view from there, but can someone please bring back the chicken and rice soup? I miss it! This is also a good excuse to have a browse at something or other on my way out and think up new ways why I don’t need a new x, y or z today.

1pm – 2.30pm: Afternoon writing session. I should manage another 1,000 words in this time, but they’ll probably need a good edit as my head isn’t as fresh at this time.

2.30pm: Walk back to my car in hopefully decent, not Arctic, conditions. Although if I do end up drenched, the thought of a hot bath and a coffee on my return lifts my spirits.

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3.15pm: Arrive home and spend evening ruminating over whether what I wrote today was genius or nonsense that will need a thorough re-write. The only way to tell is to do it all again tomorrow!

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Gina’s new book is out 31st January 2022, check it out below.

1 -Orange with fun busWhen going back to your roots is the only way forward …

Raegan Kent-Walters is living the high life. Thanks to her husband’s salary, she enjoys the elite Surrey housewife existence of luxury holidays, exclusive gym memberships and skinny lattes.

But then the high life comes crashing down, and, whilst reeling from the discovery that her husband wasn’t the man she thought he was, Raegan is also confronted with the reality that she and her daughter, Sabrine, will have to make some major life changes.

So, out goes the state-of-the-art Range Rover, and in comes the beat-up old Transit van to take them away; back to Raegan’s roots in Yorkshire and the life she abandoned.

But perhaps by embracing who she used to be, Raegan can find the strength she never knew she had, building something unexpected – but truly special – to get her and Sabrine through to a brighter future.

Order the books below

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All Gina’s other book can be found HERE

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I’ve previously spoken to Gina about her favoutie books and introduced her as part of the Choc-Lit family. Both posts can be found HERE