Lunch with my editor at Emma Bridgewater cafe

February 11, 2019

Last month I did an experiment where I worked on two books at the same time. I have to take my hat off to authors who do this frequently because I find it really hard. But I wanted to work smarter this year.

By doing this experiment, I realised that I can’t sometimes work on more than one project per day, and it mainly has to do with time. I often find something I think will take three hours actually takes a lot longer than planned – especially when it comes to editing.

I gave project A a rest last week and I’m really glad I did because project B wasn’t as finished as I’d hoped so needs a further draft. So I’ve put project A back for another week and am knuckling down with project B again. Luckily I have allowed for things like this in my plan!

Some days last week found me editing all day to fit in what I needed to do to reach my target. This left me no time to do anything else – admin, emails, work for publishers, blog posts etc. I find this quite stressful because I still have to find time to do all those tasks the week after. So I’ve changed tack and spread the editing into smaller doses. Writing is much easier to fit in, and I need to take this into consideration. Of course, I thought I had but not enough. I will do anything to trick my brain into working smarter.

Vicky Newham, Turn a Blind Eye

As well, I don’t think I gave myself realistic targets. Targets have to be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based. Over the Christmas holidays, I planned out the first six months of the year. I know everything can be adapted but it has to be in the plan to get it done.

I have a working document, which means I can change things if necessary, ie if something takes longer than I had thought, as above, but I still have to adhere to it or else all those little steps to get the book ready for my editor, or ready for self-publishing, won’t be done in time. It’s all about the little steps to the goal.

On Tuesday, I had lunch with my editor where we thrashed out ideas for future books. I love doing this – two heads are always better than one. My husband and best friend help me sometimes too, once I get to the stage where I need to write in some twists. Most of my writing happens organically but I do have certain things that need to happen. So it was brilliant to brainstorm. I always come away from this type of thing really inspired.

I also had the pleasure of seeing my name on the front cover of a novel published this week – and also on a cake at its launch! TURN A BLIND EYE was published in paperback. To have my quote on any book is a great honour, but to have it on a cake was a special treat for me!

What have I been reading? 

Again, with editing so much last week, most evenings were spent rereading what I’d worked on that day. So I was determined this weekend to read a book. I chose Cara Hunter’s next book, out 18 April, which I had a proof copy of. It’s called NO WAY OUT and is an absolute stonker. I find Cara’s book so current, fresh and really slick, and I’m already looking forward to book four in the series.

I was also sent a proof copy of DON’T TELL THE TEACHER, Suzy K Quinn, which I am really looking forward to reading soon.

Finally, the worst thing about publishing is having to keep so much under wraps until it is revealed. I have some news – and lots of events I will taking part in during 2019 but mum’s the word for now!

Being adaptable but consistent – diary of a Stoke author

2 thoughts on “Being adaptable but consistent – diary of a Stoke author

  • February 11, 2019 at 17:35

    Great to read this and I found the work on two books at the same time interesting! I know I couldn’t do that!

    • February 12, 2019 at 11:21

      Thanks, Caroline. Yes, it’s certainly a challenge!


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