Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Good news and bad news

Bad news is that I'm on a deadline. Jennie and Alex's story is due in on 1st Feb. Slightly better news is that I am not scarily behind, and a slow and steady slog should see it finished and polished in time. But it does mean my erratic web presence is going to be, well...erratic. Nothing new there, then!

Good news is that I have delicous new covers for my next book, Housekeeper's Happy-Ever-After! Check out this glorious North American cover:

It's fabulous! My best cover so far - all romantic and barefoot and Caribbean paradise. Love it. Love it.

This was the first book I ever wrote - a story about a housekeeper and a playboy. All I can say is that writing your first novel is a steep learning curve. I finished the book and realised it was a bit pschizophrenic. Sometimes it was heart-breakingly sad and sometimes it was slapstick funny, and the two didn't quite seem to gel. So I put it to one side and got on with Blind-Date Marriage, which happened to be the first book I sold.

Five years on, I decided I knew how to fix it. The humour's still there (this is me we're talking about, I can't stay sensible for too long - it gives me hives), but it's balanced with the emotion now. And I added extra depth and dimensions to the hero and heroine, took out a villainous glamour model and wrote a seriously romatic scene involving sunset in the Caribbean.

Wish someone would have told me that overhauling an old book is five times as painful as writing a brand new one. But I can't regret it now. I had a soft spot for my first hero and heroine, and I'm glad they got their Happy Ever After (literally - have you seen the title?)

Funnily enough, my title for the book was The Barefoot Bride, and there Ellie is - barefoot on the cover. And my orginal working title was The Reluctant Cinderella - and I discovered it's been flashed up as part of the 'In Her Shoes' mini-series about modern-day Cinderellas. It's fate, I tell you.

And if that wasn't enough, I've been paired up with one of my favourite Romance authors, Jessica Hart for the UK edition. I'm so excited I'm going to get to read her story Oh-So-Sensible Secretary when my author copies arrive it's not funny. And I like the UK cover too. While it's not a scene from my book, like the North American one is, the slightly cheeky expression on the model's face sums up my Ellie perfectly.

Housekeeper's Happy-Ever-After is out in March in the UK and April in the US.


Jan Jones said...

That is a BEAUTIFUL cover, Fiona! Gosh, envy is a terrible thing.

liz fenwick said...

Love the cover and good luck with the dead line.


Nicola Marsh said...

Absolutely gorgeous cover :)

And I sold my 'first' book last year after an overhaul. Has special sentimental meaning, those firsts... :)

Kate Hardy said...

Gorgeous cover - and good luck with the deadline :o) (Hugs also on the fingers!)

Michelle Styles said...

I will be bad and say that deadlines are moveable feasts. If you are getting into trouble, speak with your editor.

And if you had asked, I would have happily said that the old books do take five times as long, but sometimes they are really worth it as you need to be able to do justice to the characters.
I am looking forward to reading it.

Fiona Harper said...

Michelle, now you tell me that old books are harder to rewrite than start afresh...

And I'm gonna make the deadline, easy. Just feeling the pressure!