Tag Archives: Sequel

Sophie’s Run ~ Cover Reveal #sophiesrun #cover

This is it!
Give it up for the glorious cover of
Sophie’s Run
Part 2 in the Rock Star Romance Trilogy
Coming from Sapphire Star Publishing on 7 February 2013.

Ready?

Wow. I am in love. A huge Thank You goes to Amy Lichtenhan and Chad Lichtenhan for their patience, good humour, great ideas and endless cheer as I changed my mind time and time again. You see, I had various conflicting visions for this cover and Amy patiently looked at all of them, gently but firmly guiding me onto the right path. And Chad is a hero for making all the little tweaks and changes that I kept heaping upon him. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, the team over at Sapphire Star Publishing totally rocks.

Thank you for this amazing cover!

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Sophie’s Run

Her famous star remains her rock while life takes her on a little detour…

Who says that the road toward true love is straight and even? Sophie is certainly discovering that it is anything but.

So she has finally found the man of her dreams. Well…she knows who he is, even though she hasn’t actually quite met him yet. When she misses her opportunity, her life goes crazy. Rock star and ex-fiancé, Dan, keeps getting in the way of her new romance—even if he is just trying to be helpful. A fire, an impromptu mini-trip with Dan, and a dreaded wedding later, Sophie is still struggling to meet the love of her life. Just as she is getting it together with her perfect man, best friend Rachel commits an act of unspeakable betrayal. And to top it all, her new boyfriend leaves her lying in the mud.

Sophie has had enough. Confused and distraught, she decides that it is time for radical change. Surprising herself and shocking her friends, she embarks on a secret journey that eventually gets her life back on track.

Coming from Sapphire Star Publishing on 7 February 2013!

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Thank you very much to my lovely, amazing author and blogger friends who are taking part in my cover reveal today!
I’d like to dispense big hugs to:

A.L. Jackson
Melanie Robertson-King
Sheryl Browne
Stephanie Keyes
Tobi @ Forget the Housework

Feel free to hop on over and say ‘hi’ to these great friends!

Now the stage is yours. I’m dying to hear what you think! :-)

Me, and the Queen of Hearts: Split Author-Personality Syndrome

Editing.

This little word puts the fear of God in a lot of writers. #amediting is an oft-seen hashtag frequently accompanied by wailing and proverbial gnashing of teeth. Many authors, me included, confess to a certain amount of dread when it comes to editing.

I wonder why. Because when it comes to it, I perversely enjoy it. Ignore the initial pain and frustration; once I knuckle down, I find the process quite exhilarating and ultimately rewarding.

My work process involves two broad types of editing. ‘Me’ editing, aka the author edit. And publisher editing, aka… well, publisher editing. Right now, for my second novel, I am working through stage one, ‘me’ editing.

Having let the manuscript rest for a good few months, I have taken another good, fresh look at it and got the red pen out. Why? Well, for one, I had to. I know Sophie’s Run is at least twenty-five thousand words too wordy for commercial publication, so they had to go. And second, because I wanted to. I felt the need. With a bit of distance, I wanted to go through my work and make sure that it still zings for me. There are certain things I learned from the publisher edits of Sophie’s Turn that I wanted to apply rightaway. I’ll talk about that some other time.

Me. Myself. And HER.

Today, I want to talk about this weird split personality that I have discovered. There’s me, and there’s The Other. My Inner Editor. She of the Ruthless Cutting Mindset. The Queen of Hearts.

So, the cutting. The bloodlet. That’s the part I dread and fear most. And yet surprisingly, it’s turning out to be quite easy. I appear to have grown a second head, one that is dispassionate and detached and ruthless. An Inner Editor has quite unexpectedly and without invitation taken residence in this new, second head of mine that isn’t even attached to my normal pair of shoulders. I kid you not—that’s exactly what it feels like!

I might be reading along merrily, quite enjoying myself, when my Inner Editor pipes up, quite brusquely—not to say, rudely—and instructs me to cut, cut, cut. “Can’t you see,” she’ll tell me in no uncertain terms, “that while this scene is fun, it’s also just excess fat? It doesn’t advance the plot, it’s not necessary. Take it out. Use it some other time.” Honestly, she really is like the Queen of Hearts, all Off With His Head (or rather, Out With The Scene!). Thus out come the scissors, and my office floor swiftly resembles a cutting room floor.

Me… and HER. Isn’t she scary?
Would *you* argue with her?

She’s usually right. It’s not that what I was written was bad, or wrong. On the contrary, I am quite often deeply attached to the scene in question. But if it’s not essential, then it has to go. If I can transplant the joke somewhere else, I will. If I can tell it in fewer words, I shall. And the end result: a pacy, fast, page-turning read (if I say so myself) that is better than it was before.

How much has she made me cut? I don’t know yet. I was going to start putting these edits into my manuscript in Word but owing to a small computer crisis, I’ve had a small delay. I can tell you, though, that I have cut at least four chapters; that there isn’t a page without at least five lines crossed out; and that a lot of excess verbiage has been clipped. I’m not entirely sure whether I’ve culled the required 25K but I don’t think I’m far off. And there are a few scenes that I have point-blank refused to take out (yet) even though Inner Editor was spitting with fury at my ignoring of her very relevant suggestions. These are my back up, my cushion, my fall back. With those, I will scrape over the all important finish.

I’m zinging with zest. I have this tingling in my toes that tells me I’m on to a good thing. The book feels sumptuous yet lean, luxurious and fast. Thank you, Inner Editor, and please forgive all the abuse I hurled at you. I love you, really.

Of course, this isn’t it. When I’m done, Sophie’s Run goes back to Sapphire Star again; my lovely publisher, has, of course, already read my second masterpiece, but now it’s time for the full-on, no holds-barred, all-out publisher edits.

Bring it on!

How do you approach editing? Do you have your very own Queen of Hearts sitting on your shoulder?

Working out the Kinks in the Trilo-nology

I hold Sophie’s and Dan’s fate in my hands. What a weird feeling! That’s quite a responsibility, actually. Two people’s lives.

I have their lives planned perfectly, of course. I have a grand plan that spans book one, Sophie’s Turn, book two, Sophie’s Run, and the concluding part. It’s a big picture plan. I know what’s going to happen in broad strokes, and then I plan each book in meticulous detail as and when I write it.

So I did a bit of a double-take when I sat down to plan book three. You see, by necessity, a few years will have elapsed between the end of Sophie’s Run and the beginning of my next novel. Events will have transpired that will have changed the world, and Sophie’s universe.

And I suddenly realise that age matters. As in, my characters’ age. Not how old they are, per se, that’s kind of immaterial to the story by now. Well, not immaterial, it matters, too, of course, they’ve grown a little older and developed in the intervening… time.

What I mean is, their exact age matters. How old they are when this next novel starts, with everything that entails for the plot. I didn’t pay much attention to this to begin with. I had a rough age in mind, and I’d counted out their ages using my fingers. I put an age down for both lead characters in the book-three-planning-box, and that seemed fine.

Until. Until I realised that my books usually run from June or July time through the end of the year, sometimes rolling over into the spring. Sophie’s Run, book two, for example, begins in June, just before Sophie’s birthday, and ends in late November with a little spree into the following April.

Birthday. Yes, there you have it. My characters have birthdays, and they need to be honoured. So where initially I counted this many straight years (“one, two, three years since the end of Sophie’s Run”), it became much more complicated when I actually thought about it properly. Because, you see, at the beginning of book two, Sophie is 29, but then she turns 30. At the end of book two, she’s still 30 of course, but she would be turning 31 quite soon. There’s the hitch. That rolling over birthday calendar.

Same for Dan, just a month later. So straight counting of years is actually misleading. In fact, after much scratching of head and, eventually, a detailed month-by-month calendar exercise charting Sophie’s and Dan’s ages over the years with all the relevant events that would have taken place between books two and three… After all of that, it emerged that I actually cheated both characters out of two years of their lives. Well, that’s not on.

Thankfully, I caught this calamity in the nick of time and managed to get my Trilo-nology right before I start planning in depth, let alone writing. So we can all celebrate birthdays with confidence, and in style.

Does it matter?
It will matter. To my characters. To me. Possibly to nobody else, but at least I know now that the story and its evolution over time are plausible. It could work, it could have happened, because I didn’t mess up a (small?) detail like ages. I’m inanely pleased with myself for working this out, bizarrely complicated as it might have been. I can write with complete confidence now.

What about you? Do you worry about details like chronology, ages or timelines when you write? Does it matter to the substance of the story, or am I tying myself in knots unnecessarily?

Sophie has an exciting confession for Dan…

Indeed, it’s party time again!  Did you guess right yesterday?

I feel like a regular party girl these days. Break out the bubbly, have a little treat and join the party!  Oh, and know that while the celebrations continue, I’ll be planning the third part of the Rock Star Romance Trilogy… just how will the story end??XX

~Nicky :-)

Manuscript is resting, but Nicky Wells (author) is busy!

Good afternoon!  I just thought that perhaps I owed it to you all to let you know what I’ve been up to… having been a little quiet lately.  As you may have read in a previous post, I have finished the first draft for the sequel to “Sophie’s Turn.”  Now, I’m in the ‘manuscript resting’ phase.  This means that the pile of paper pictured below is currently busily being ignored while my mind takes a break from the plot and the characters.  In this manner, when I return to the manuscript for editing in a couple of weeks’ time, I’ll have a fresh outlook on it and I will find it much easier to spot holes, inconsistencies, fine-tune the humour, dial out the comedy moments and generally do everything else that authors do to make a good book truly great.

In the meantime, I thought I might get some rest, too.  Not so!  Here’s what I’ve been up to:

**Thinking about marketing and promotion

**Dreaming up the cover

**Dealing with half-term….

**Travelling to London to visit the US embassy for an ITIN (long story)

**Organising a birthday party for my five year-old

**Blogging, guest blogging, facebooking and tweeting

And somehow, days go by before I can say, “Sophie’s Run.”  And yes… here’s a little snippet of info to whet your appetite.  At this time, I am reasonably confident that the sequel will be titled “Sophie’s Run.”  Why?  Well, watch this space… I’ll be guest blogging at a really hot blog very soon about the sequel!

With that, I shall allow myself one, or maybe two, more weeks of maturing time for the manuscript.  So long my friends, and stay tuned!

Nicky Wells talks about completing the first draft of Part 2 in the Rock Star Romance Trilogy

Congratulations, Nicky,
you did it!

I certainly did, hooray!  For weeks now, I have been posting word counts and little updates here and there regarding my progress on “The Sequel” for my debut novel, Sophie’s Turn.   It is with huge, enormous and almost indescribable excitement that I can announce that I have completed a first draft.
And yes, I really am totally chuffed about it!  Ecstatic, overwhelmed, and ludicrously proud.  I had the best time writing it and it was wonderful to see Sophie’s life develop and move on.

Tell me more…!

At this time, my second master piece is just over 149,000 words long.  That would translate into something like 400 pages in paperback.  Somebody has already told me that this very exciting:  a real ‘doorstop read’ like we used to enjoy in the ’80s and ’90s.  Personally, I am very partial to a long, fantastic read that really involves you and captivates you, and that’s why I have written another one.  (Weighing in at just over 135,000 words, Sophie’s Turn would be about 380 pages long.)

What about the title?  Why aren’t you telling us the title?

Ah, well, now that is a good question.  I do have a title for the sequel.  In fact, I am currently using the third iteration of a working title!  But I am not convinced that I have found the killer title yet.  This, too, will reveal itself to me… probably in the middle of the night some time soon!  For now, I am not in a particular hurry to pin down the definite title.

Why is that, you want to know?  There’s quite a simple reason.  Sophie’s Turn  was born under a different title, and one that I thought was perfect and adhered to for six years.  It was only on the eve of publication–quite literally–that I suddenly realised that the title was somewhat… obscure!  And thus I fell out of love with it.  So I have learnt my lesson and am leaving the title for my next novel fluid and in the air until the last minute… which is to say, until I am finalising cover design with the help of the lovely Jessie Dalrymple.

Ok, but what is “The Sequel” all about?

This novel is Part 2 in the Rock Star Romance trilogy and it continues the story of Sophie, Dan and Rachel, also introducing a couple of important new characters.

The sequel features high drama, comedy moments and two weddings–but whose, and to whom?  If you’ve read Sophie’s Turn, you’ll naturally expect a certain course of events… but life never goes to plan!

Part 2 begins with Sophie’s long over-due thunderbolt-and-lightning moment.  However, just a few short days later, a disastrous ending to her birthday party sees her moving in with none  other than the delectable Dan Hunter.  On a strictly platonic basis, of course, and for a limited time only.  Nonetheless, her stay at Dan’s house sets in motion a series of events that derails everything she had expected to happen.

Best friend Rachel has a much bigger and more important role to play in this chapter of Sophie’s life; but this is not a part that she particularly enjoys.  It also gets her into a lot of trouble.  And Sophie… well, she reaches the point of no return; she’s  just about had enough, and she draws the consequences.

When will you publish your next novel?

I am aiming to publish Part 2 in July of this year.  Here’s my plan of action.  For the next month or so, I won’t be touching the book at all.  Won’t read it, work on it, or consider it in any detail.  I will, however, be busy working on ‘blurbs’ and synopses, as well as the cover, so that I can bring you more juicy information some time in March.

Throughout March, I will be re-reading my work, editing, tweaking, polishing, improving, deleting scenes, adding new ones, plugging holes, streamlining twists (or making them sharper!)… whatever is necessary.  A small group of ‘test readers’ will offer feedback that I will duly incorporate, as well!

In April, I will once more take a break from the novel but May will see the last serious edits and also several rounds of in-house and external proofing.   So watch this space… some time in June, I hope to post a taster chapter right here on this blog!

Wow, that’s a long drawn-out process!

It certainly is!  A great novel is like a good wine.  It needs a lot of maturing!  :-)

I haven’t read Sophie’s Turn yet.  Can you tell me what your debut novel is all about?

Rock Star Romance Sophie’s Turn is the funny, honest and occasionally bitter-sweet story of one young woman’s entanglement with a rock star.

One fine day in Paris, Sophie Penhalligan suddenly finds herself engaged to her teenage crush and love-of-her-life-from-a-distance, rock singer and star extraordinaire Dan Hunter.  But there is the small matter of her very recent, but very prior, engagement to Tim.  Reliable, honest, trusting Tim, her boyfriend of two years stashed away safely in his mews house in South Kensington while Sophie is drinking rather too much champagne with Dan in Paris.  The novel describes how Sophie gets into this impossible situation and how she turns it around.   Follow Sophie on a roller-coaster of events including an ill-fated trip to Paris with Tim, a night of unfulfilled romance with Dan, Sophie and Tim’s engagement party gate-crashed by Dan, and Sophie’s professional secondment to accompany Dan’s band on their revival tour—at Dan’s special request and very much against her will…

You can download Sophie’s Turn onto your Kindle right here.

Amazing!  Thanks for the update!

My pleasure!  Keep watching this space as I will certainly keep you all posted.  Also, get in touch if you have any questions or thoughts or any kind of reaction at all.  I’d love to hear from you!

XX :-)