So I’ve been AWOL for a little while haven’t I? That’s mainly due to deadlines creeping up on me quicker than a blogger replying to a newsletter from publishers.
To get you back loving me (cause I know that you do), I am bringing you my stop on a blog tour for Anna Bell’s It Started With a Tweet. My post is actually a guest post from the author and her writing process for her SIXTH book.
The Writing Process
When I begin writing a book my starting point is always one simple idea. For It Started With a Tweet it was that I wanted to have two of my characters to get to know each other through writing letters and I had to find a way to force them offline. I’m slightly addicted to my phone myself and I kept thinking of how people would get me away from mine and that’s how the digital detox was born.
With only a sketchy idea I then dive straight in. I love starting with a blank page and seeing where the characters take me. I usually write a quick and awful first draft to get all my ideas down. I then get bogged back down in the beginning. For me, the hardest bit of the book is always the first three chapters. It’s the stage where you’ve got to get the reader to like the heroine for them to invest in the story and to root for them on their journey. For me it’s the most important part of the book as this is where you hook or lose your reader and I always feel the pressure.
The real hard work starts when I get to the edit stage. I share my book with my editors and they give me notes on the book to give me a focus to what needs strengthening in the story. The first draft of It Started With a Tweet had smartphone addict Daisy, the main character, going offline after getting fired after she’d messed up at work. She’d been so burnt out from the stress of work and keeping up with her online persona that she’d forgotten to send important emails. Whilst what happened to Daisy when she got on her digital detox was working really well, her motivation for going seemed a bit weak. My editor at the time suggested she needed to make a digital faux-pas which would cause her to get fired and that’s when I came up with Daisy’s explicit tweet. That one idea then made the story so much more focused and even lent itself to the perfect title for the book!
After the first proper draft is written, it then ping pongs back and forth with my publishers as it goes through the different stages of editing: line editing, copy editing and proof reading. In the end it usually takes about 18 months from the initial idea to seeing it on the shelves. It’s a long process filled with self doubt, hair pulling and far too much chocolate eaten, but it’s so rewarding when I finally hold the finished book in my hands.
It Started With a Tweet might be my sixth published book, but it still feels like my first. With each book I get ridiculously nervous before the reviews start to come out. Will people like the main character? Will they identify with her and her plight? Will the hero be lovable enough? I only start to relax when I see it on the shelves (probably the best feeling in the world) and when the reviews start to come in and (hopefully) people like it. But there’s not a lot of time to dwell on the nerves as by that point I’m usually approaching my deadline to deliver my next book to my publishers – and so the cycle continues!
Does that have you itching for more? It Started With a Tweet is out in ebook today but if you want to wait for the paperback you’ve only got until the 28th of this month to wait!
Pre-order it here:- AMAZON PAPERBACK
Big thank you to Emily at Bonnier Zaffre for sending me a copy (currently devouring it and loving every second of it!!)