Moments in Time

Life is a series of moments, good, bad and everything in between.  Just thought I’d share some of my recent ones …

Sentimental Moment

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Accompanying my mum on a trip down Memory Lane

(aka De Beauvoir Square, N1)

Precious Moment

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Lovely Laura, my Romaniac pal, and her family coming to visit for the day

Precious Moment

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Meeting another of my equally lovely Romaniac pals, Jan Brigden, for lunch

Panic Moment

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Realising Jan and I had talked non-stop for 3 hours and I had 50 minutes to get from Victoria to Hammersmith

Pinch Me Moment

Harper party HQ

Walking into Harper Collins’ offices

Over-awed Moment

Harper party atrium

A very impressive building

Special Moment

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Holding my paperback

Funny Moment

Harper party Mandy

Mandy wearing her lucky dip prize

Surprise Moment

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Seeing Lou Graham at the Harper Impulse party

Grateful Moment

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Being woken up by another passenger on the train who was concerned I’d miss my stop

Relieved Moment

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Hitting my deadline and sending Book 2 off

Wildest Moments

Just because I like this song and it’s about moments

Wishing  you all great moments

Sue

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Follow Your Dreams

Woke up this morning and pinched myself, then checked Amazon, no, it definitely wasn’t a dream – my contemporary romance novel ‘United States of Love‘ was released by Harper Impulse last week.

It is set in the lovely historic towns of Chichester and Arundel, both local to me. I thought I’d take the opportunity to share some photos of the settings and scenes for my main characters, Anna, Tex and Mark.

ARUNDEL

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Arundel Castle where the creepy curator works

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Swanbourne Lake where Anna and Tex find themselves in a nightmare situation

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Arundel High Street, looking up towards the castle

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Public gardens alongside the River Arun, looking up towards the Cathedral

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Bottom of the High Street

 

CHICHESTER

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The Cross, Chichester centre, where Mark makes Anna an offer she can’t refuse

Chichester Cathedral inside

An unwelcome surprise awaits Anna in Chichester Cathedral

Chichester Cathedral from Bishop's Palace Gardens

Chichester Cathedral from Bishop’s Palace Gardens

 

I took the following photo a couple of years ago, which I think speaks for itself. It certainly worked for me and my publishing dream.

Follow your dreams

City Walls

 

Thank you everyone for your support.

Have a great week.

Sue

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A Moment to Reflect

In 2012 my sister and I visited New York, for the most part it was a fun and laughter filled trip.  We did, of course, take time to visit Ground Zero and pay our respects to those who lost their lives in the terror attacks of 9/11.

Ground Zero

Reflecting Pool in the footprint of North Tower.

It’s hard to appreciate the size of the pool from this picture, but the tiny dots on the other side are people.

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One World Trade Centre (formerly known as The Freedom Tower) under construction

 Today, taking time to think of those in the world and across time who have been victims of any kind of terror attacks.

HELP ROWAN COLEMAN RAISE £10K FOR REFUGE

Help Rowan Coleman raise £10,000 for Refuge

On September 10th Rowan is publishing her novella Woman Walks into a Bar as an ebook for the first time. And 100% of her proceeds will be donated to Refuge.

Her goal is to raise £10,000 and you can help. All you have to do is buy a book, or two, and get your friends to buy one too. You’ll get a funny, romantic and touching summer read and you’ll be helping women you’ve never even met at the same time and all for the price of £1.59! 

The story behind the story

Every book Rowan have ever written has meant a lot to her, but with her latest book ‘Dearest Rose,’ something really special happened when the real world and the fiction she loves to write collided.  It changed her as a person and a writer, forever.

She was getting ready to research her tenth novel, which with the help of her Facebook readers she decided should pivot around the theme of domestic abuse. It was a subject she’d touched on briefly once before, when she wrote a short novella as one of the first Quick Reads called Woman Walks into a Bar, which to this day remains one of the pieces of work of which she is most proud.

So she posted on her Facebook page asking if anyone had any personal experiences of domestic abuse, and any stories they might share with her in confidence.

She was shocked and amazed by the response; there were more than 200 emails waiting in her inbox the next day. Each story she read was horrific and frightening in its own way, giving her an insight into the secret lives of many women; lives that all too often remain hidden. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone – well educated wealthy women are just as likely to suffer as women from a working class background – but the one thing all those women had in common was that they were survivors. After years of being mentally and physically beaten down, they had managed to find the emotional strength, somehow, to break free and start again.

Now Rowan wants to do something that will help other women find that inner courage, and change their lives.

WOMAN_WALKS_INTO_A_BAR ‘Woman Walks into a Bar’ is the story of 28-year-old single mother Sam spends her days working in the local supermarket and her Friday nights out with her friends letting her hair down at the White Horse. Life hasn’t been easy for Sam and her daughter, Beth (who always looks on the bright side) but she’s always hoped that one day she’ll break free from her past and meet The One.

But after a series of terrible dates with men she’s met through an internet dating site, that have all been as awful as her daughter’s terrible jokes, she’s starting to lose heart – until her friends tell her they’ve set her up on a blind date. Sam’s horrified but finally she agrees to go. After all you never know when you might meet the man of your dreams; maybe Sam’s happy ending is just about to begin….

£1.59 Amazon Kindle UK

So, come on and join Rowan, and help to #supportafriend on September 10th. Every time you buy or pre-order ‘Woman Walks into a Bar’ you’ll be entered into a prize draw for fabulous prizes every week, while the #supportafriend #womanwalks campaign is running. On 10th September, tweet Rowan photos of you and your friends, tell her your ideas to support a friend, and why your friends mean so much to you.

You can be a best friend to someone you have never even met. You can help someone out there find the support they need to change their lives.

If you are a blogger or tweeter, spread the word using #supportafriend #womawalks. If you are a company who could offer a prize to drive book sales and thereby money for Refuge, please get in touch. If you are a woman in an abusive relationship, or if you have a friend about whom you are worried, please get in touch with Refuge and ask for help today.

About Rowan

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Rowan Coleman grew up in Hertfordshire secretly longing to be a writer despite battling with dyslexia.  After graduating from university she worked in bookselling and publishing for seven years before winning Company Magazine Young Writer of the Year in 2001.  Her first novel ‘Growing Up Twice’ was published in 2002.

Rowan has gone on to write eight novels for women including the bestseller ‘The Accidental Mother, The Baby Group’ and ‘The Accidental Wife‘ and eight novels for children and teens including the paranormal adventure novels Nearly Departed and Immortal Remains under the name Rook Hasting. Her books are published around the world. She now lives in Hertfordshire with her family.

Woman Walks into a Bar website

Rowan’s website

Twitter @rowancoleman

Rowan’s Facebook Author Page

Rowan’s Amazon Author Page

Rowan’s Goodreads Author Page

RNA Conference, Sheffield 2013

I had a great weekend at the Romantic Novelists’ Association annual conference,this year held in Sheffield.

Sheffield Edge building

Mandy Baggot was my co-driver for our road trip

Move over Thelma and Louise, here come Velma and Daphne

Sheffield going home car

It was lovely to  meet up with some of the Romaniacs

(L-R) Vanessa Savage, Me, Debbie White, Laura E James, Celia J Anderson

Sheffield Romaniacs

And Linn B Halton from Love A Happy Ending Lifestyle Magazine

Sheffield Linn Mandy

Fab goody bags awaited us all!

Sheffield goody bag

I attended some great presentations

Julie Cohen‘s talk on ‘theme’ being one of them

Sheffield Julie Cohen

Sue Moorcroft’s talk on ‘hot’ scenes

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Fiona Harper gave a fantastic talk on structure in a novel.

Talks from the publishing industry were very interesting too

Anna Boatman, Editor, Piatkus Entice

Sheffield Piaktus

A fabulous gala dinner, which involved a lot of laughter and possibly a drop of wine!

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Sheffield Laura Rhoda

Sheffield Debs Linn

Sheffield cheers

But plenty of time to relax and chat

Sheffield Sue Celia Kitchen

Sheffield Laura Vanessa

My 6.30 morning strolls with Mandy Baggot took us via the duck pond

Sheffield ducks

It was a fantastic weekend – thank you Sheffield University and the RNA.

The Identity Crisis of a Book Cover

Everyone knows how important it is to get the book cover right. After seeing my book come up on Amazon alongside its contemporaries, the one thing I noticed was the other books shouted romance or chicklit loud and clear yet mine seemed not to be shouting but more talking quietly.  The title, of course, indicates it’s a romance but when flicking through thumbnails on Amazon etc, the title is not often the first thing that grabs the attention of a potential reader, it’s the cover.

Cathy Helms from Avalon Graphics designed my first cover, under my brief of  ‘nothing too girly, fluffy or pink’ – well, she took that on board and together we agreed on a cover that was very much ‘me’. The Texan flag design on a stable door, with the star being replaced by a heart. However, on reflection, it didn’t say a whole lot else about my book.

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So in an effort to give more of a flavour of the story, ie. a woman at work, a bistro/restaurant, an American influence and a hint of Texas, I cobbled together a very poor Power Point representation – no, I’m not going to show you. Oh, all right then I will and, yes, you can laugh at my graphic design skills ..

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That is what Cathy had to work with and the words ‘girly, pink and fluffy’ featured highly this time. Cathy did a great job and this was the first version.

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We decided that the cursive script would be hard to read on a thumbnail, especially with my surname which, although an everyday  name in France, isn’t particularly common in the UK.  We made the pot plants smaller so they didn’t intrude, added the stars and stripes on the blinds, restricted it to three colours and added a border so that on a white background the cover didn’t just merge in.

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Although I am sad to say goodbye to my much loved original cover, I do think the objective has been achieved as there is no mistaking the genre of my book now and I have a theme I can take forward for future novels.

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