NEW BOOK: NEW SERIES! THE NIGHT RAVEN

Yes, I used all-caps in that title. Yes, I am a little bit giddy. And it’s possible that I may have had too much tea and chocolate, too! *buzzes gently*

I’m very excited (some would say over-excited) to announce that my new novel, The Night Raven, will land in shops on 23rd October. Yes, that’s very soon. I’m afraid I have rather neglected this website in favour of my newsletter (sign up HERE!) and social media.

It’s the first book in Crow Investigations, a new paranormal mystery series set in London and featuring private investigator, Lydia Crow.

The Night Raven has had some lovely early feedback, including this fabulous review from UK fantasy author, Stephanie Burgis, author of Snowspelled and Masks and Shadows:

‘My favourite new urban fantasy series, clever and twisty and deliciously magical, with a shivery sense of wonder that feels utterly grounded in its London setting. Perfect for fans of Ben Aaronovitch, Genevieve Cogman or Robert Galbraith!’

Meep!

PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE NOW

You can pre-order The Night Raven on iBooks (Kobo and GooglePlay following soon) and it will be available on all retailers in print and ebook on publication day.

Here’s the blurb:

Meet Lydia Crow…

Lydia has always known she has no power, especially next to her infamous and more-than-slightly dodgy family. Which is why she carved her own life as a private investigator far away from London.

When a professional snafu forces her home, the head of the family calls in a favour, and Lydia finds herself investigating the disappearance of her cousin, Maddie.

Soon, Lydia is neck-deep in problems: her new flatmate is a homicidal ghost, the intriguing, but forbidden, DCI Fleet is acting in a distinctly unprofessional manner, and tensions between the old magical families are rising.

The Crows used to rule the roost and rumours claim they are still the strongest.

The Silvers have a facility for lying and they run the finest law firm in London.

The Pearl family were costermongers and everybody knows that a Pearlie can sell feathers to a bird.

The Fox family… Well. The less said about the Fox family the better.

For seventy-five years, a truce between the four families has held strong, but could the disappearance of Maddie Crow be the thing to break it?

‘Clever and charming and funny – and a bit creepy!’

Keris Stainton, author of If You Could See Me Now and Counting Stars

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!

 

Hello, February! Writing, Podcasting and Investigating Book Swag

Hello, my lovelies!

Just a quick update to let you know that I’m still here – I’ve just been buried in my Scrivener document, trying to get a first draft finished. I’m working on a follow-up (standalone novel in the same genre) to In The Light of What We See and it has swallowed my brain!

theworriedwriter_300

If you’re interested in an audio update on my writing life (complete with a croaky, cold-choked voice), my latest podcast episode is up here. It also features an interview with creative coach, Mark McGuinness, and we discuss motivation, meditation and smashing through creative blocks.

I’m also getting very excited about my next book launch. In The Light of What We See will be published in two months time (meep!) and I’ve been researching ‘book swag’ for giveaways. This mainly involves losing hours to the delights of Etsy. It’s a hard life…

I’m rather fond of these miniature book pendants by NickyDrawStuff:

nickydrawstuff

 

And these lockets by NovelDesignsUK:

noveldesignsuk

 

Both sellers offer custom design (so I could get some made with my book cover).

I’m also looking into printed canvas shopping/tote bags and notebooks.

What do you think? Got any book swag recommendations or suggestions?

 

 

 

 

I Have A Book Title! Meep!

Lazy morning, Zelda-style
Zelda is successfully hiding her excitement at my new title…

Hello my lovelies! Hope you are all well, and I apologise in advance for the number of exclamation marks in the following post.

I’m very excited to announce that my new novel has a title* (courtesy of my wonderful editor at Lake Union) and a release date. Yes, it’s up for pre-order Right Now. No cover art, yet, but I have been told it’s being designed AS I TYPE THIS. (Sorry, forgot to warn you about the all-capitals-shouting, too. SORRY – TOO EXCITED.)

So, without further ado, my next book is called:

In The Light of What We See

And it will be published on 8th March 2016. Meep!

In other news, I’ve put together a little behind-the-scenes freebie for those of you who enjoyed reading about the Harper family in The Language of Spells, The Secrets of Ghosts and The Garden of Magic (or for people who just like free recipes).

Head here to grab your copy.

It features a lovely photograph of Iris’s journal, created by my amazing in-house production team (AKA My Mum and Dad – thank you!).

Also, if you’re interested in writing, but need some help in getting started, check out my latest article on The Worried Writer: How To Build a Writing Habit The Easy Way

 

*Listeners of my podcast, The Worried Writer, may be confused. You might be thinking ‘but Sarah told us the title in the last episode’. Apologies! It changed. I hope you like the new one!

 

 

New book deal, new hat…

Author in a top hat
See explanation below…

As you all probably know, the path to getting a book from imagination to publication is not an easy (or short) one. I’ve had the idea for this particular book knocking around in my head for years, but I didn’t feel I was ‘good enough’ to write it. Then I realised that I was never going to feel good enough, so I may as well try…

I worked on it during my MLitt a few years ago and then put it to one side. I came back to it in 2013 and finished a draft in 2014. Then I worked on revisions and rewrites with Agent Fabulous and went on submission earlier this year.

Which is when the fun really started…

There’s a lot of waiting in this game, but there is something especially torturous about the publisher-submission stage. I think it’s because you know you’re at the end of the road. The book has been accepted by your agent (or has landed you one), it’s been edited and rewritten until it feels, truly, like the best you could possibly make it, and then you’re going to get a final ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from publishers you have spent years dreaming about…

During the couple of months of nail-biting and compulsively refreshing my email inbox, I saw a lovely grey felt top hat in Edinburgh. Now, I’ve always had a soft spot for top hats. When I was a kid I used to dress up (a lot) and one of my favourite ‘creations’ was a chalk white face, dark circles drawn under my eyes and a black silk topper. True, if worrying, story.

Anyway, there was no earthly reason for me to buy a top hat. I am a 38-year-old mother of two. I no longer dress up. I live in my pyjama bottoms and occasionally scare the postie with my unkempt feral-writer look.

But my heart wanted the hat. At home, back in front of my inbox hitting ‘refresh’ like a deranged participant in a psychology experiment, I said to Lovely Husband: ‘If I get a deal for this book, can I buy a top hat?’

This is, by far, one of the less odd things I’ve said to him over the years and he didn’t bat an eyelid: ‘Of course, darling.’

Which is a very long way of explaining the picture above. I have a new book contract! My next novel is being published by Lake Union early next year in paperback, ebook and audio editions. Meeeeeeeeeep!

It’s a dual-narrative story set in a hospital in Brighton, with one strand in the present day and one in 1938. It’s part historical, part psychological thriller and the acquisitions editor at Lake Union described it as ‘The Amber Keeper meets Before I Go To Sleep‘.

This book is very close to my heart and I’m beyond thrilled that it’s found a publishing home. Thank you for reading and I look forward to tell you more about it soon!

[Image credit: My Amazing Daughter]

Toot! Toot!

A spring afternoon spent skimming stones on Elie beach.
A spring afternoon spent skimming stones on Elie beach, followed by fish and chips. Every conversation prefixed by the words ‘this time last year…’

Toot! Toot! Yes, I’m afraid that’s the unseemly sound of me blowing my own trumpet…

I’ve been feeling very nostalgic this month. The warm sunshine and the hedgerows bursting forth with cow parsley reminds me of writing The Secrets of Ghosts. Plus, we’re fast approaching the one year anniversary of my debut, The Language of Spells, being published.

This time last year I was unpublished. Now, I’ve got two books out and am well on the way to finishing another one.

I worked towards this point for so long (and spent so much time wondering if I would ever get there), that it still feels like a dream.

This time last year I was terrified. I felt exposed. I kept waking up in the middle of the night, fearful of my writing being ‘out there’. What if everybody hated it? What had I been thinking? I couldn’t do this… People were going to look at this thing that I’d made up and they were going to know how stupid/vapid/talentless I really was.

Instead, I had the most fabulous year. Friends and family were lovely and supportive and said so many nice things about the book that I just about swooned from happiness.

Book reviewers and readers were just as nice and I couldn’t have wished for a better reception.

Which brings me to my trumpet-blowing… Almost a year on and The Language of Spells is number six in the magical realism chart on Amazon (US), and people are still discovering it, tweeting about it, emailing me, and leaving lovely reviews.

I just read this one on Amazon:

I genuinely enjoyed reading this book and have purposely held off on buying the sequel so I will have something wonderful to read when I’m down. The whole story is well-written and engaging. I love the family dynamic. 

I feel so lucky and so grateful. My readers are the best! Thank you!