In Which My Novel’s ‘Uncovered’!

Bonnie has been in the wars

I started this blog post on Sunday and this is how it went:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that when a girl is knackered very tired and looking forward to a lie-in on a Sunday morning (*visions of not getting up until 10am*) she will wake at 7.30am and not be able to go back to sleep.

Yep, that was me this morning, folks. Very tired after a busy week recovering from the Writers Retreat I’ve been on (Retreats for You in Devon), wrestling with NaNoWriMo (I daren’t tell you how many thousands of words I’m behind) and the live workshop that I ran yesterday for Evesham Festival of Words.

And then I stopped writing and now it’s Tuesday and I’ll start again…

Blog post Take Two:

I was feeling rather pleased with myself today because I resisted emails and the Twitters and anything to do with t’internet until 3 o’clock.

We took Bonnie to the vet’s for the third time (she cut her leg in mysterious circumstances. The vet suspects barbed wire) and today she was having the stitches out. But, as she’s still inclined to lick the spot, she still has to wear her ‘frill’ (not quite as bad as a ‘cone of shame’) around the house. There she is, in the photo above, a vision in blue (and yes, looking rather sorry for herself).

After the vet’s, we went for a walk (sans frill) at Broadway Tower, which usually looks like this:

The second highest point in the Cotswolds.

But today was looking like this:

Note the poppies all the way up the side!

I like the way they’d managed to give the scaffolding a Remembrance Day theme.

We came home to discover that the Severn Trent men STILL hadn’t been (we share a – I’m sorry but there’s no other way of saying this – a sewage drain with our 3 neighbours and every so often it gets bunged up. Hmm, this was one of those times. No loo flushing or showers for 2 days.. lovely. One of the joys of living in the country).

So, I went for a swim, mainly to get clean, got some Christmas stamps, pootled around, we had lunch and finally, finally, at 3pm, I allowed myself to go on Twitter.. and it had gone a bit mad.

Because of this:

Eek! Then I remembered that email from my publisher of a couple of weeks ago in which they told me that they’d be doing a ‘cover reveal’ for my novel on 16th November. And when they say they’ll do something, it’s amazing: they do it!

And I’d been pootling around all day, completely oblivious. So, obviously I pulled myself together and started retweeting and informing people like a madwoman. Apologies if you were one of those poor people inundated with a hundred tweets in the space of half an hour (I was panicking!). Perhaps you have unfollowed or blocked me on Twitter now and, to be honest, I wouldn’t blame you.

The novel is coming out firstly as an e-book, on 14th January 2022 and you can pre-order it here for the princely sum of 99p! A bargain, if ever there was one.

It will also be coming out in paperback a few weeks after the e-book publication, so if you want to hold off and get one of those instead, you are of course allowed.

I am alternating between elation and terror (but mostly terror) at the thought that Real Live People will, at some point in the very near future, read my book. And I have no control over that. I can’t wrestle it from their hands and suggest they might like a nice John Le Carre or a Jane Austen instead. It’s all a bit surreal and scary. But good too, of course. I know, I am lucky. And it’s all good.

Now, enough of this and onto other news.

Here are a few writing competitions that you might like to consider. Apart from the first one, which closes on 30th of November, they all close in March next year, so there’s plenty of time!

Love Letters to London
Write a ‘love letter to London’ (and submit by 30th November 2021) and you could win cash and glory. This one is run by the London Society, there are 5 categories for entrants: under 18s, students, open (other UK entrants), International, poetry. They’re looking for work of up to 500 words around the theme of ‘recovery and resilience’.
All the details are here.

Evesham Festival of Words Short Story Competition c/d 11th March 2022
No theme, 2,500 words max, £5 entry fee and the first prize has been increased this year from £150 to £200. There’s also an ‘early bird incentive’: if you submit your entry (or entries) before 31st January 2022, you’ll be put into a draw and you might win a £20 book token.

I’ve been a reader for this competition for the past 3 years but they’ve given me time off for good behaviour, so I’m not involved in the judging this time. The main judge is Simon Whaley.

Local History Competition: Pugmill Press c/d March 22nd 2022
If you are interested in writing about local history, this competition might appeal. Pugmill Press, an independent non-fiction publisher, is running a local history competition, with 2 prizes – one for an essay (£75 prize) and one for the best 300-word synopsis in relation to a book proposal on a local history topic (£25 prize). There’s plenty of time to enter. It doesn’t close until March 2022 and there’s no entry fee. If that sounds like your kind of thing, all the details are here.

Rosemary Goodacre Memorial Short Story Competition c/d 31st March 2022
Theme: Friendship. Main judge: Vivien Brown. Entry fee: £7.50.

To commemorate the life of saga author Rosemary Goodacre, who died suddenly in October last year, her friends are organising a short story competition with all profits going to her favourite charity Spadework. There’s a maximum word count of 1,500 and all the details are here.

This is a really nice one to support, if you can.

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20 Responses to In Which My Novel’s ‘Uncovered’!

  1. jbettany2013 says:

    Absolutely love the cover of your book, Helen. Many congratulations. Glad to hear that Bonnie is on the mend too.

    • Thanks Jane! The house on the cover does look very much like Upton House, on which the country house part of the story is based. I wonder if the artist looked the place up or whether it’s just coincidence.

  2. Barbara says:

    Helen-it is so good to see your book cover and know you will be in print very soon. I can’ wait to buy it. Great news about Bonnie too. All the best with book 2 as well. Barbara

  3. Wendy Janes says:

    Lovely cover. So exciting that your book will be published in the New Year. The e-book will be coming out on my birthday!

  4. Kate hogan says:

    So exciting! Love the cover. Will ask my local library to order the book. Willorder the ebook, too. Weldon, Helen. xx Kate Hogan

  5. Penny Alexander says:

    Wow that looks good! Congratulations are def in order. Chances of taking writing life easy with lie ins? Who wants that anyway?
    Best wishes to Bonnie.

    PS please note new email address finally sorted…

  6. AMANDA BARTON says:

    Wow! Exciting times. Many congratulations and hope the drains got sorted.

  7. philippabowe says:

    Helen, WOW that is so so exciting, and the book looks amazing!! What an emotional moment for you that must have been…Huge congrats, you DID IT!! I’ll be waiting for the paper version – that’s a few UK Christmas presents sorted!
    Thanks for the competitions (might try the London one as a former Londoner with a special place in my heart for the city), and hope Bonnie is liberated from her frill and feeling better.

  8. Eirin Thompson says:

    Thanks for sharing your cover, Helen – it looks intriguing, which is exactly what you want. I’m looking forward to the paperback. As Amanda says, exciting times! (But dealing with the drains will keep your feet on the ground, I’d guess.) Wishing Bonnie a speedy recovery. Is it a “frill”? Sure it’s not a “ruff”?

  9. Eirin Thompson says:

    (I meant as Bonnie is of the canine persuasion. Did that come across?)

  10. Claire says:

    Gorgeous cover! Congratulations on your new book!

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