Today I am delighted to be welcoming Sam Carrington onto my blog, author of Saving Sophie (August 2016) and Bad Sister (October 2017), to share her Road to Publication.
- Do you find that inspiration strikes you in specific places or do ideas come to you everywhere?
Although inspiration does come at anytime, anywhere, the most common places are: in bed when attempting sleep, in the shower, whilst driving, or out dog walking.
- What do you usually do after you get the first spark of a fresh idea, is it straight to the computer to write the first chapter or straight to a notebook to start planning?
Sometimes I’ve written an idea on my phone’s scribble app, mostly though I jot key ideas, characters or the odd paragraph in a notebook. I don’t usually start writing on my laptop for a while afterwards – I’m usually in the process of writing the next novel, so don’t want to confuse myself too much by starting a new document on the laptop. I have too many notebooks though, and I found a novel idea the other day that I’d totally forgotten I’d written down. I need to try and write all the ideas in a single notebook…
- How long does your first draft usually take to write?
I edit as I write, so my first draft takes a while. I think so far, each one has been around 8 months.
Sam’s writing space
- Do you celebrate when you finish your first draft and if so how?
Oh yes! I celebrate at the drop of a hat, so definitely when a first draft is complete! Prosecco is my celebration of choice. And chocolate!
- Is it straight to editing or do you leave your manuscript a while before you pick up the red pen?
It depends on deadlines. With my first novel, I let it lie for a few weeks before looking at it again because I had the time to do that. Now, however, it’s more likely that I’ll only leave it for a few days.
- How long do you spend editing before your book is handed over the printers?
There is quite a lot of editing involved before it gets printed – it goes a bit like this: I read through and make edits which will probably take a week or so, then I send it to my two trusted writer friends who read and comment on it, then I take a few days to edit in response to their suggestions. Then it goes to my agent. Once she reads and returns it, I’ll edit again. That time will likely take another week or two depending on what feedback there is. Then it goes to my editor at the publishers and I wait with bated breath for the verdict and edits. For Bad Sister, once my editor returned the edits I then had just over three weeks to complete and return it. Then comes the copy-edit…
- At what point, prior to publication do you find the nerves start to kick in or do you not get nervous in the approach to publication?
For my debut novel, I think I spent the entire time from getting the publishing deal until publication day in a nervous state! This time, for Bad Sister, the nerves kicked in once my editor mentioned sending out proofs. However, the nerves are a different beast this time – I think it’s fear about how the novel will be received following the success of my debut.
- How does it feel when the early reviews start to come in?
I felt excited when I saw my very first review for Saving Sophie. The thought that someone had read my book (other than my agent/friends/editor) was exhilarating! It also happened to be a fabulous review, so of course I was thrilled. After that, each time I saw a new review pop up, my heart jolted. There was a kind of fear that it was going to be dreadful – and sometimes I was right to be fearful! I appreciate everyone who takes time to write a review, so even if it’s not a good one, I know at least my book has been read!
- How long do you wait after finishing your book before starting on your next project?
I have to have the characters of my next novel living in my head for a while before I begin writing. So, with that in mind I am usually about halfway through my current project when the next one begins to form. I’ll take a few notes, write a mini synopsis (very mini!) and then get on with the current novel. As soon as it’s gone to my agent I might start writing out character cards and plot points and stick them on my pin board. I’d delivered Bad Sister in the December of 2016 and I began properly writing my third novel in January. I suspect I’ll begin novel four straight after sending book three to my agent as I have a tighter deadline for that one!
- And finally how do you celebrate publication day?
When Saving Sophie was published I spent most of the day on social media. I had a huge amount of support from bloggers, reviewers, friends and other authors online so I wanted to show my appreciation. I also did a Q&A session on Twitter with my publisher, Avon. I managed to squeeze in coffee and a catch up with a friend, then in the evening had champagne (of course!) Because the ebook and paperback were published months apart, when the paperback came out I had a gathering at my local pub, and family and friends came and drank some fizz with me. I imagine I will celebrate the publication of Bad Sister in much the same way!
Thank you so much Sam for taking the time to answer my questions. You can purchase her latest book Bad Sister by clicking HERE
You can follow Sam on Twitter here: @sam_carrington1
ABOUT THE BOOK
Sisters. Allies. Liars.
The gripping new thriller from the bestselling author of Saving Sophie.
Stephanie is scared for her life. Her psychologist, Connie Summers, wants to help her face her fears, but Connie will never really understand her. Stephanie’s past has been wiped away for her own protection. Stephanie isn’t even her real name. But then, Dr Summers isn’t Connie’s real name either.
And that’s not all the women have in common. As Stephanie opens up about her troubled relationship with her brother, Connie is forced to confront her own dark family secrets.
When a mutilated body is dumped in plain sight, it will have devastating consequences for both women.
Who is the victim?
Who is to blame?
Who is next?
Gripping, tense and impossible to put down, Bad Sister will have fans of Sue Fortin, B A Paris and Linda Green hooked till the final page.