Monday Motivation and a GoodReads Giveaway

Happy Monday, all!

I know that it’s the Spring Bank Holiday here in the UK, but it’s just a normal Monday for me… I’m in my garden office, typing away on the latest book and trying to remember this:

Image Credit: Life at Number Five
Image Credit: Life at Number Five

[Free PDF printable of the image is available here]

I love this quote and I think it’s really important.

When I’m struggling with a creative project, it’s so easy to forget… I look at a finished book such as The Language of Spells or In The Light of What We See and, even though I wrote the darn things, I forget how hard I found it.

When I’m working on something new and it’s all difficult and messy and uncertain, I have a tendency to think that I’ve ‘forgotten how to write’ or that ‘I shouldn’t be telling this story because it isn’t flowing/isn’t good’, forgetting that I felt EXACTLY THE SAME WAY about my previous books!

IntheLightofWhatWeSee-NEWAlso, if you haven’t got your hands on In The Light of What We See, yet (or would like a spare copy to use as a gift – books make wonderful presents!), why not enter this GoodReads giveaway?

It’s for a signed copy of In The Light of What We See, and I will happily sign it to a particular person/with the personal message of your choice (within reason!).

Anyway, I hope you are well, and thank you for visiting!

 

Twitter Giveaway: Craft and Listen Pack With Exclusive Pattern!

CraftAndListen

My sister-in-law, Fay, has recently launched a craft company, Knit It Hook It Craft It and a podcast, The Crochet Circle.

Fay has a true gift for making things. Whether it is cooking beautiful food, tiling a bathroom or stitching a skirt, she achieves excellence in anything I have seen her try.

Imagine how excited I was when she turned her skills to making a shawlette/scarf inspired by In The Light of What We See!

As Fay knows I am a novice crocheter (and she wanted simple pattern that could be done while listening to an audiobook or watching television), the pattern is suitable for beginners. It has a geometric edge pattern, and I can absolutely picture Mina wearing it.

IMG_4203Plus, she found beautiful hand-dyed yarn (by Ripples Crafts in Scotland) in colours which match the book cover perfectly.

Yes, she’s a genius.

To celebrate my very first ‘bespoke book-inspired pattern’, I’m giving away the audiobook of In The Light of What We See, the exclusive pattern, and a skein of hand-dyed yarn (enough to make the shawlette). Just head to Twitter and RT/follow to enter!

You need to follow both my account and Fay’s – @ma_dashper and @SarahRPainter

Good luck! 

Terms and conditions:

To enter you must follow (or already be a follower!) of both accounts and have retweeted the competition tweet.

One entry per Twitter user.

One winner will be chosen at random. The prize: one skein of yarn, the crochet pattern and one copy of the audiobook (on CD).

Giveaway is open internationally and closes at 9pm (GMT) on Friday 2oth May 2016.

Win The Audiobook of In The Light of What We See

audiobook_ITLOWWSjpg

cat, audiobook, In The Light of What We SeeHello my lovelies,

Just a quick post today to let you know that I will be picking a name from my mailing list at the end of the month to win a copy of the audiobook (unabridged) of In The Light of What We See.

Sign up below to put your name in the hat.*

Happy Friday, all!

 

 

 

* I will send you an occasional newsletter with book news, exclusive content and giveaways. Unsubscribe easily at any time.

[Giveaway closes at midnight GMT, 30th April 2016, open internationally]

 

In The Light of What We See – Spotted In The Wild!

In The Light of What We See - Amazon Kindle Top 100
My book cosying up to The Night Manager in the Kindle Chart!

Hello, my lovelies.

I apologise for my continuing obsession with In The Light of What We See. Normal service (AKA book recommendations, cat pictures and writerly fretting) will be resumed shortly.

Reviews have been rolling in (eighty five-star reviews on Amazon so far!), it is still in the top 100 of the Kindle chart, and some folk have been kind enough to send me pictures of my book ‘in the wild.’

In The Light of What We See, Sarah Painter, book,

There’s one from my friend Rachel… Doesn’t my book look lovely with a glass of bubbly? What an EXCELLENT combination. Also, a big thank you to Aimee, who posted the lovely Kindle pic on Twitter.

Also, for those who may not know, this week was the London Book Fair (massive industry trade show). Keris Stainton (YA author and wonderful human being) spotted my book on my publisher’s stand and was kind enough to take some snaps. I almost fainted with excitement when I saw them. Seriously. I have been reading about London Book Fair (and deals struck there) for a decade and now my book was there: Displayed next to mega best-selling superstars Mel Sherratt and Mark Edwards. Meep!

I have also been thrilled with the number of book bloggers who have taken the time to read and review the book. Thank you to every single one – I am hugely grateful.

‘In The Light of What We See is a book that will stay with me for a long time, with two female characters who had such good stories to tell, in vastly different ways, but both were just as important and I never wanted to be done with Mina to get back to Grace, or vice versa. This was a delightful tale, and absolutely perfect for Sarah Addison Allen fans, you will not regret reading this book.’Bookish Escapes

In other news, I have been struggling with the WIP, drowning in a sea of admin (courtesy of my volunteer role at local youth theatre group), and trying not to let publication/deadline stress take over my life. Ha.

I am almost at the end of a new (very messy) first draft and that’s a bit of a tense time. I wrote about my fear of finishing over on The Worried Writer, if you’re interested.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you have a lovely weekend!

 

In The Light of What We See Publication Day! Meep!

ITLOWWS_champagne

Hello my lovelies!

*Standby for excessive exclamation marks and random CAPITAL LETTERS*

It’s PUBLICATION DAY! MEEP!

I am thrilled to share this book with you all and I really hope that you like it.

It’s a story I have wanted to write for a long time, and Mina’s voice came to me very clearly back in 2010, when I was doing my masters in creative writing at St Andrews university. Now, a mere (!) six years later it’s a proper shiny book and on the shelves.

Yay! I am celebrating with a meal out later on (and the champagne in the picture).

Thank you so much for reading and for all your support. I truly believe in this book and, of course, am super-nervous about its reception/whether it will do ‘well enough’.

It definitely helps that I woke up to find over forty five star reviews on Amazon, and the book sitting in the top hundred on the bestseller chart – phew!

In The Light of What We Seeavailable now in audiobook, ebook and paperback.

Word of mouth is still the biggest factor in a book’s success, so if you could tell a friend, send a Tweet or leave a review, I’d be over the moon.

THANK YOU!

How I Used Pictures To Write In The Light of What We See

Nancy Beaton as a Shooting Star for the Galaxy Ball, 1929 Photographer: Cecil Beaton. This is an important image in the book and I had a print of it sitting on my desk while I wrote.
Nancy Beaton as a Shooting Star for the Galaxy Ball, 1929 Photographer: Cecil Beaton.
This is an important image in the book and I had a print of it sitting on my desk while I wrote.

When I’m writing I like to collect images which ‘feel’ like my book. In the past, I’ve even made paper-and-glue collages, with small objects and found ephemera stuck into the mix.

Visual details and setting are very important to me, but the first draft tends to arrive in the form of characters talking. In The Light of What We See was no exception, so I used an inspiration board of digital images to help me. The board (like the book) includes ghost birds, the beautiful Gower peninsula in South Wales, Brighton, nurses, and the Royal Sussex Hospital.

In the early stages, I use pictures of people as ‘placeholders’ for the characters. They don’t necessarily look the same as the character, but they evoke a feeling or attitude which helps me to write them. Pretty quickly, I get to know them through the story and they take on a life of their own. Evie and Geraint look (and feel) completely different in my mind, now, but the inspiration board was a massive help in the beginning.

Unusually, I didn’t use images for either Mina or Grace (the main characters) as they arrived so fully-formed and definite that I didn’t need them.

As this book is half-set in 1938, I did a fair amount of research. The pictures serve as shorthand reminders for that research or, again, just to set a certain mood in my mind before writing a scene.

I have collected quite a few of the images I used onto a Pinterest board if you are interested.

Out on Friday - meep!
Out on Friday – meep!

Also, don’t forget to enter your email address here to be in with a chance of winning book swag on Friday!

I will pick three names at random from my mailing list on Friday afternoon.

Also, Lake Union are running a GoodReads giveaway which ends on Friday. Head here for your chance to win one of twenty paperbacks.