Instructions For Failing In Love @Blondewritemore #Q&A #selfpublished


Instruction For Failing In Love



What would you do if your late husband left you a list of instructions on how to fall in love with someone else?

Pippa Browning is faced with this exact dilemma, three years after the death of her husband, Dan.

Buried at the bottom of a drawer are a collection of notebooks full of Dan’s advice on how to live without him.

Pippa’s notebook is red and contains his instructions on how to fall in love again.

But Dan does n’t just want Pippa to fall in love with anyone – Dan’s crazy suggestion is that Pippa should date his handsome friend, Mikey Stenton, a known thrill-seeking ladies’ man.

Reluctant to follow Dan’s advice, Pippa enters the world of dating. She embarks on a humorous journey of self-discovery, with the help of her children and two best friends.

It isn’t long before Pippa is finding it hard to ignore Dan’s instructions and Mikey Stenton.

Is Mikey really the man that everyone thinks him to be? Or was Dan right, and Mikey’s simply been misunderstood?

A heart-warming romantic comedy about motherhood, friendship and finding love, the second time around.

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I first became aware of Lucy through her amusing blog posts and then progressed to following her on social media platforms! I am forever screaming why hasn’t this women got a book deal!!!! So I was so happy to hear she was heading into the world of self-publishing and her book baby is HERE!

Q1: What inspired you to write Instructions For Failing In Love

In the second year of our marriage, my husband was diagnosed with Lymphoma; a cancer of the lymphatic system. At the time we were both 27 years of age. He went through many rounds of chemo and radiotherapy and he endured a lot of gruesome tests, scans and consultations. It was the most frightening year of our life together. We drank a lot of hospital tea, Googled the hell out of his illness, scared ourselves witless with what Google returned, relocated to Wales to be with his family, tried to carry on with normal life whilst he went for chemo, went to the pub a lot and laughed when we felt like crying. Twelve months later he got the all clear. He’s alive and well today and in 2013 he ran the London Marathon to raise money for the cancer charity he supports.

Mad as it sounds but the idea for my debut novel, Instructions For Falling In Love Again, started back when our life was in turmoil. But, I wasn’t ready to become a writer back then so I locked it away at the back of my mind.

When he ran the London Marathon, to celebrate 10 years in remission, back came my memories from when he was sick and so did the idea for a novel. My husband started carrying a little red notebook to record his training schedule. He also left  us all instructions on the fridge and creating wall planners to get us all organised. So, I decided to start writing Pippa’s story.

Q2: If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself?

Not everyone will like your work. Some will and some won’t. Writing is subjective and getting hung up on this is a waste of time.

Q3: What would you say to someone who wants to write?


Q4: If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

Talking a lot and making people laugh. I think laughter is so important.

Q5: What are your writing routines?

I don’t really have one. All I know is that when a story comes to me I will binge write it in a few weeks. When I am writing I lock myself away in my head and drive my family crazy. I have been known to leave social gatherings, baby showers and shopping trips after getting an idea to write about.

Q6: Why did you decide to self-publish?

I always knew my writing path would be different. I had an inkling I would end up going in a different direction to others.

Becoming a Featured Romance author on Wattpad and my Roxy Collins series gaining 70,000 followers and 250,000 reads in 3 months, gave me some confidence to start out on my own.

This was fuelled by a lot of positive rejections from literary agents and publishers.

When I was suffering from anxiety and my life felt bleak I knew I had to let the light back in. Writing is my light. The day after I decided to go for it and self-publish, I won a competition run by Emma Mitchell and Sarah Hardy. The prize was a free proofread and blog book tour. It was like the universe was now on my side. Weirdly everything fell into place at an alarming speed. I met my book designer two days later and within a week I had my amazing book cover.

Self-publishing has brought the light back into my life. This is not about climbing the best seller charts. For me, it is about putting my art into the world and getting to talk romance with readers.

I now have eyebrows too 🙂 (see question 10)

Q7: What writing tools do use, and which one could you not live without?

  • The Emotional Thesaurus by Angela Akerman & Becca Puglisi.
  • 10 Steps to Hero by Sacha Black.
  • Writing friends

Q8: Which authors inspired you to write?

Nicola May. She’s shown the world what self-published authors can achieve and her books are excellent.

Q9: Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

Pippa should be played by Jessica Biel. I think she’s naturally beautiful and even in old clothes she would still look amazing.

Mikey should be played by Liam Hemsworth. A handsome bad boy with a secret good heart.

Q10: Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know.

At the start of this year I lost my eyebrows and chunks of my hair due to stress. Up until this point I thought stress was something other people suffered from.

My life was filled with anxiety and dark feelings. It didn’t feel like I was in control anymore. So, I decided to change my life. I listed out all the things which were making me unhappy. One of them was letting my writing gather dust in folders after being showered with rejections. It felt like I was writing for my electronic folders. This was making me depressed.

So, I decided to be brave and grabbed control of my life. In one month I found another job (after nine years in the same role), got rid of my company car, went on holiday with my friends and sent my book to an editor.

By the start of May my eyebrows were coming back and my hair had stopped falling out. It is now June and I can’t believe how I have transformed my life.

Thank you Lucy x



Lucy Mitchell lives in South Wales with her husband, two teenage daughters, a giant Labrador and a gang of unruly cats. She lives in a house with two front doors (which challenges a lot of door-to-door sales agents) and drives a little white car (at a snail’s pace) called Fabby.

When she’s not working or writing, she can be found listening to audiobooks in a muddy field with her dog or sat outside her local pub in the sunshine enjoying a glass of wine.

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Happy IWSG!


Lots of excitement last month of the book front, I had some super positive feedback from a publisher that made me SUPER Excited and happy.

Book 2 has kinda picked up and kind of not, which has been a bit of a struggle trying to get motivated with it.

Yesterday I spent the day writing what my main character’s conflicts are… Which I am not sure whether it will help or not… So if anyone else can think of ways to motivate me to move on with book 2 I’m looking forward to hearing from you x

Which leads into this months question:

If you could use a wish to help you write just one scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be?

I think right now my wish would be for me to find direction and help in regards to book2 what I am doing and where it’s going.

I hope everyone else is doing okay….

Thanks as always goes to to Alex Cavanaugh and his super team make sure we are all sticking to the rules and keeping IWSG going! Why don’t you pop along and join the blog hop! 

Flash Fiction -Nature’s fighting back. #fridayfictioners

Nature’s Fighting Back



I always wondered how and why the car had been dumped where it now sat. It must have belonged to someone once.

Left to pollute the woodlands with its leaking oil tank.

But as the seasons changed the car started to become part of the woodlands as nature fought back, camouflaging itself into the background. While the woodland creatures made it there new home. Places to hide there bounty in all the cuby holes.

I’m glad that nature found away of reclaiming what had been left behind to have a chance to fight and make use of man made pollution.


Written as part of Friday Fictioners which is hosted by Rochelle, we all come together a write a piece of fiction based on a photo prompt. Why don’t you join us?

So I have re started the submission slog! I saw my most favourite band last night and my body knows it. Hope everyone is well



Happy IWSG Day! #IWSG @TheIWSG

insecure-writers-support-group-badgeWhere did last month go!

For me more submission and more rejections, and to be honest it isn’t really bothering me anymore 😦 I keep starting something new but I am just not interested in writing anymore, there has been some lag at work so i’ve write some bits but nothing to get excited about! I think I am also struggling as my two main characters don’t like each other! he thinks Barbie had joined the police and she sees him as an arrogant cock! It is is much easier to write stuff where the main character’s at least like each other!

I did though as one of the women on reception at work if she wanted to read my work and she did! So i’ve sent it to her today :s so when I start getting funny looks when I get to work I will know why.

So this months question:

What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

I think it’s been one step at a time, first it was to get a mentor, and then it was getting my WIP finished. But I think my ultimate goal is to get published and get film and TV rights!

I think right now it’s possibly to find the inspiration to start a second story away from MI5!

Just a quick thank you to Alex Cavanaugh and his super team for keeping IWSG going! Why don’t you pop along and join the blog hop!



So it’s that time of the month again, where we all come around to support each other in our writing journey.


This was the brain child of Alex Cavanaugh and along with his co-hosts, on the first Wednesday of the month we all come together to take part in a blog hop.

So my journey into publication is continuing, I am yet to have the magic yes answer, but I sent my novel out to some friends, work colleagues and acquaintances and I’ve had some positive feedback which made my day!

I am still pretty much torn of which version of the book I should be sending out! The prologue and finding the body from the beginning OR going straight into finding the body!  So life on that front is a bit difficult of knowing what to do best!

I have now submitted to 35 publishers / agency had 10 rejections so 28% rejection rate!

I’ve started two novels now, one that is part 2 of “New Beginnings” and something completely new, new characters but still get in Long Eaton and SPOILER ALERT no MI5.

As this new one is set in Long Eaton where I live, it has lead to some interesting questions as Alex declares in the middle of the park, I wonder if this is where mummy leaves the body. He wasn’t quite about it either! Alex is full of ideas for this novel so maybe my kids are suddenly interested in what I am doing… Has my attempt to become and author now dragged the whole family in!

So the question of the month…

What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

I think they are equally as hard, with this being my first attempt at a novel, the majority of the people I work with made an appearance. Then there are the names I always use Jen, James, Chris I couldn’t use Melanie as she was the daughter in the story and my daughter in real life. So names are becoming increasingly difficult especially now I know how many characters you need in a novel!

As for titles, I have no idea where New Beginnings came from, the follow up is “Summer Promises” but then doesn’t that sound like a romance novel and not a crime thriller.

The one I am writing at the moment I don’t know, at this moment in time.


Don’t suppose anyone know anything about next months twitter pitch! Worth it?

Book Review – The Things We Need to Say – @bookish_yogi @rararesources

Book Review – The Things We Need to Say – @bookish_yogi @rararesources

The Things We Need to Say

6 The Things We Need to Say_Final Cover

Sometimes the things we never say are the most important.

Fran loves Will with all her heart. They had a whirlwind romance, a perfect marriage and a wonderful life. Until everything changed. Now Fran needs to find her way again and teaching a yoga retreat in Spain offers her just that. Leaving behind a broken marriage she has some very important decisions to make.

Will needs his wife, he needs her to open up to him if they’re to ever return to the ways things once were. But he may have damaged any possibility he had of mending their relationship and now Fran is in Spain and Will is alone.

As both Fran and Will begin to let go of a life that could have been, fate may just find a way of bringing them back together.

Perfect for fans of Katie Marsh, Amanda Prowse and Sheila O’Flanagan

My Thoughts:

I consider Rachel Burton to be an online friend and mentor, so when the opportunity arose for me get an advance copy of “The Things We Needs To Say” I jumped at the chance and I was blown away. I also cried lots and lots at the story of Fran, Will and the minor characters who pop up in order to carry to story forward, so be warned you will need tissues and lots of them and maybe hugs to.

The story is told in two main sections, we learn the story of Fran and Will’s relationship and how they have got to the point they are at in their relationship. Rachel uses these revelations help us understand what is going on now in their lives and what has made them live the way they are.

At the beginning of the story we learn that Fran is going to Spain to lead a Yoga retreat for her current students and friends. Fran and Will have planned everything out to the last detail of her stay as she travels abroad alone for the first time. The night before Fran is due to leave we are hit with the first plot twist that leaves Will begging Fran not to go to Spain and for her to stay at home. They are both now alone in two different countries needing each other but at the same time wondering if the love they feel for each other is enough.

Yoga features quite heavily in this story with every character being on a journey and Rachel uses her passion and enthusiasm for yoga to show us that by having the time to reflect and relax almost everything can be worked through and out.

As the story progresses Rachel’s attention to detail makes you wish that you were either there with the characters or remembering the last time you rode down the hill on a bike or past holidays in the area.

As we learn about what Fran and Will’s story, you’ll want to be there to comfort the character’s, I personally cried enough tears for two fictional characters and the circumstances they found themselves in. Though at times I also wanted to be there to smack them round the face and tell them to pull themselves together.

Rachel cleverly puts other characters into the story that makes the decisions that Fran and Will are making even harder. The Ex who appears out of the blue, making you remember how things used to be or the person that stands and listens to you when you thought no one else would.

I can honestly say that I haven’t cried this much at a book since “I Let You Go” by Clare Mackintosh and I having never read in this genre I am glad that I gave it ago.

Go out buy this book, have a good cry and then go back and read more.

I would like to thank Rachel, Netgally and Rachel from random resources for giving me the chance to read and review this book.


Rachel Burton has been making up stories since she first learned to talk. After many false starts she finally made one up that was worth writing down.

After graduating with a degree in Classics and another in English, she didn’t really know what to do when she grew up. She has worked as a waitress, a paralegal and a yoga teacher.

She has spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Leeds with her boyfriend and three cats. The main loves of her life are The Beatles and very tall romantic heroes.

Her debut, The Many Colours of Us, was an Amazon Kindle bestseller. Her second novel, The Things We Need to to Say, is released on 11 May 2018. She is currently working on her third novel in which the heroine follows the love of her life to live in a city in northern England. It has no autobiographical elements at all…..maybe.


Rachel Burton Author


Bookish Yogi




Rachel is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday….


Buy her books HERE

Happy Insecure Writers Day!


So it’s that time of the month again, where we all come around to support each other in our writing journey.


This was the brain child of Alex Cavanaugh and along with his co-hosts, on the first Wednesday of the month we all come together to take part in a blog hop.

I am going to go straight into the question of the month:

It’s Spring! Does This Season Inspire You To Write More Than Others, or Not?

I think it’s nicer to write in the Spring because you can sit outside, or sit on the decking and write. Also when I am out walking the dog the scenery is nicer and so I guess inspires more. But Spring and Summer also brings summer holidays and children off school which then takes away time.

Having already posted about my submission woes I won’t bore you with them again!

Happy Insecure Writer’s Day and I hope it brings you all the clarification and support you need.



Rocky Road to Success


So I have started to submit my novel to agents and publishers alike and truth be known I am kinda finding it stressful and it’s making me very MANIC!

After I entered that first competition and was like yeah here we go, I think it’s kinda a come down. I know it’s only since the 19th April when I started which isn’t even a month ago! I had this great idea of I would submit 5 of each and then wait till they all reject me and then try another five. But that idea has kinda gone out of the window. As I keep finding people to submit to, never mind whether they were on my list or not. I have also been trying to find people who are already publishing what I write….

I have had two rejections for agents and one rejection from a publisher out of the 12 (as of yesterday) I had sent out.

Book two woe’s continue, as I try and find information on immigration and asylum and try and find people to speak to. One person I had to defend my character to! As she wasn’t willing to help because she didn’t want my readers to think that people came to England to traffic drug. Needless to say I haven’t heard from said charity again! Though I have a great friend who is a social worker and she has been answering my general questions. You know what I think I need to just WRITE! and worry about getting it correct later!

I hope everyone else out there is doing okay 🙂

yours as always


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This Time Next Year…


So I started this blog to diary my road to my publishing dreams. I have attempted flash fiction, joined a blog hop, moaned about my health, attempted some book reviewing and even attempted a 5 year journal (and failed)

At my last mentoring session at the weekend Rachel said by the end of the week I can start contacting publishers / agents!

And as this weekend the nominations for Crime novel of the year have come out from Theakston’s Festival. I felt that it was only right to mark this occasion by saying this time next year that will be me!!! I need to go on Davina’s tv programme

I have submitted already to two competitions and the third will go in also by the end of the week. I have my list of five agents and five publishers who I’m going to approach first.

Then I will begin the waiting game….

So hold tight….

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Hey All,

I hope everyone is doing okay! Today is the first Wednesday of the month so it’s IWSG Day! A day hosted by Alex Cavanaugh were we all come together to share our insecurities and take part in a blog hop. So hop hop along


Lot of positivities this month to share. I have been chosen my Rachel Burton to be mentored as part of the Womentoring project. I am currently patiently awaiting feed back on my work I sent her last week. A week is along time in the life of Claire.

Today I past my second insurance exam!!!!! So that is two down one to go, though I think I will be having a break before I take the module to concentrate on my novel writing.

We have also gained a dog Podrick…. So without further a do…

Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

The first stories I wrote aka teen anx, I wrote about the people who had upset me as character’s so a couple of people I knew had staring roles. I would like to go back to this story one day and maybe add another dimension in. With the plans I have for my two main characters I could easily add them into that original story.

My creative writing teacher is always going on about D H Lawrence and how he upset the people in Eastwood (Nottingham UK) so all being well I wont make the same mistake again.