I’m excited to be taking part in the Beneath the Skin blog tour today and as part of the tour I’m delighted to welcome Caroline onto my blog to share her Road to Publication.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Three women. Three secrets.
Antonia is beautiful and happily married. Her life is perfect. So why does she hurt herself when nobody’s watching?
Sophie is witty, smart and married to the best-looking man in town. She likes a drink, but who doesn’t?
Olivia is pretending to be a happy wife and mother. But her secret could tear her family apart.
Their lies start small, they always do. But if they don’t watch out, the consequences will be deadly.
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CAROLINE’S ROAD TO PUBLICATION
- Do you find that inspiration strikes you in specific places or do ideas come to you everywhere?
In the bath, when I’m driving or running are favourites. I guess they’re all opportunities for blank thought, but none of them are good for jotting down notes! Otherwise pretty much anywhere.
- 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?
Though I’d love to have everything plotted out on a spreadsheet, I’m not much of a planner. I might jot down an idea, but mostly I sit at the laptop with a vague end point in mind and see what happens.
- How long does your first draft usually take to write?
My first draft of Beneath the Skin was several years ago now. I think I wrote it quite quickly, along with another two or three novels. But they were all fairly short and I abandoned them for short stories and poetry. Then eventually, when I felt more confident in my writing, I came back to the novels, built them up and fleshed them out.
- Do you celebrate when you finish your first draft and if so how?
For several years I was a closet novelist, so I kept celebrations to myself! Finishing a first draft does feel wonderful, though. I probably went around looking insufferably smug and everyone will have wondered why!
- Is it straight to editing or do you leave your manuscript a while before you pick up the red pen?
I know the best advice is to step away and let a manuscript brew, and sometimes I’ve had to do that because life has intervened. But I’m an ‘iron is hot’ type of person. If I leave it too long, I forget what has happened or forget the novel’s ‘voice’ and I have to get to know it again.
- How long do you spend editing before your book is handed over the printers?
Any half decent novel has to be edited and polished a million times. I have got better at doing this over time, but it’s a learning curve. I’m in a great writer’s group who’re hot on spotting editorial goofs, so I’ve picked up a lot from them. I’m so lucky to have a book deal with Avon HarperCollins, but I think those who intend to self publish or want to improve their manuscript should pay for a professional edit. It won’t just massively lift the book, it will teach you too!
- 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?
This is my debut, so it’s all new to me. Of course I’m tremendously excited to be traditionally published, but the ‘will anyone like it?’ worries kicked in a long time ago!
- How does it feel when the early reviews start to come in?
The first review I saw was 2 stars! Not a good start. The reviewer said it had a good plot but complained it didn’t have the pace of a crime thriller. A little frustrating as Beneath the Skin is at the ‘domestic noir’ end of the crime spectrum, so it’s a slower and more nuanced read than traditional crime. Still, I know there will be plenty more 1 and 2 star reviews in the pipeline, so I’m making the most of the tremendously uplifting reviews I’ve had so far.
- How long do you wait after finishing your book before starting on your next project?
I would like to crack on with a new project now, but there’s so much to do in the build up and after publication of Beneath the Skin. At the same time I’m going through the paper proofs of my new book, My Husband’s Lies. Not that I mind at all. I love being busy and doing what I love.
- And finally how do you celebrate publication day?
Just before the book’s release, I’m going away for a long weekend with friends. When I return and wake up the next morning, it’ll be publication day! I think some bubbly with my family will be in order.
Thank you so much Caroline for taking the time to answer my questions and thank you to Sabah Khan at Avon Books for inviting me to take part in this tour.
Beneath the Skin is a gripping book from debut author, Caroline England. It is a brilliant, character driven drama that will keep you hooked from page one.
We focus on the lives of a group of characters and the book is told from their perspectives. Each character is very well developed and they all have their own sets of issues which play out in the book, the one thing that binds them all is that they all have secrets. I didn’t find any of the characters in the book particularly likeable but I was keen to find out more about them as the story progressed.
The plot of the book is very hard to talk about without giving anything away so I won’t say anymore here as I don’t want to spoil it but there were some surprising twists and turns along the way. Parts of the novel I did find a little slow but I raced through the last quarter of the book and I found the final revelations surprising.
When I first started reading I did find the storyline hard to follow at first, particularly as it was jumping from one perspective to the other and to different times as well, but once I knew who everyone was and what problems they were facing in their lives it made for a very enjoyable read.
If you’re looking for a character driven drama full of plenty of intriguing characters then this is the book for you. Overall, a very good read, I’m sure I’ll be looking out for more from Caroline in the future. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the advance review copy.
Publication date: 5th October 2017
Print length: 362 pages
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