Tapestry – the stories

Hey there,

Hope you are having a good day so far.

Well, I’ve been banging on about Tapestry, my collection of short stories, for a few weeks now and I’m conscious that although you’ve read the blurb:

In hope, in pain,

We lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade

and know the strapline:

A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love

I’ve not said anything much about the individual stories. So here goes. *hides behind curtains*

Never-ending

Imogen is unhappy in her brief marriage. She feels guilty because there is no “acceptable” reason to leave her husband, but she still wants to go. One day when Neil leaves for work she resolves to make her decision once and for all. Can she break free or are the ties of her marriage too strong?

Crush

Gemma’s love for Nicky is unrequited, but everything she does, she does with him in mind. Her feelings for him have ruled her life for years, any happiness she feels is short-lived because she recognises and is ashamed of her predicament. What will it mean for Gemma when Nicky finds out how strongly she feels?

The Letter

Maggie’s life collapsed when her daughter, Mia, was sent to prison. Her marriage crumbled under the strain, she was unable to face Mia or deal with her guilt. But when she receives a letter from Mia explaining she is due for parole, Maggie cannot hide from her daughter any longer.

Fifty pence for the first step

Gemma turns to her boss, Andrew, for advice when she needs direction. Despite much soul-searching she finds that, sometimes, the most insignificant event can be the catalyst for positive action.

Never Let Go

Andrew may have given Gemma good advice, but he is unable to recognise the obsessive love his ex, Leanna, feels for him. Leanna is determined to get Andrew back from his new girlfriend, Merin, but what lengths will she go to?

Not Everybody hurts

Nilbreaks is a fast acting wonder pill that cures and prevents broken hearts. Violet despairs that, as a result of taking the pill, no one actually cares about anyone anymore. She resolves to get Nilbreaks taken off the market but meets resistance from her friends and colleagues.

Again

After the end of her marriage, Freya finds love unexpectedly with Aidan and feels her life has begun anew. Everything is perfect until Aidan’s ex-girlfriend, Melody, returns to his life leaving Freya’s future uncertain. Again.

I hope you get your rabbit

A teenage mother makes a heart-breaking decision about her new born baby. This is her opportunity to tell him why.

Meeting Eric

After years of waiting, Kate nervously prepares for the day she will finally meet Eric.

Lost

Gerry is the love of Chrissie’s life, but they didn’t stay together. She thinks of him a lot, her past is always in her present and she expects it to stay that way. That is until her friend turns up with news of Gerry. What happens to the future when your past isn’t there anymore?

Living Without

Claudia starts to become her own person after years of living in her parents’, then husband’s and children’s shadows. She has her own flat; her professional life is going well, but is her newfound independence all that she expected it to be?

The Beginning

No matter how hard life gets, there is always hope and the memory of what love can be like, especially what it’s like in the beginning.

 

So there we have it. *nervously peeps out from behind curtains* What do you think? I hope you like the sound of the collection.

If you do, it will be released on 29 September (Eeek). It’s available for pre-order now (Pre-eeek).

I’ll be posting soon about the inspirations both for Tapestry as a collection and some of the individual stories. I’d love you to pop back if you’re interested. 🙂

In the meantime, enough about me and my book. How are you? If you’d like to share with me one fun thing you’ve done this week so far I’d love to hear about it, so please do so either here or on twitter.

Much love,

Elle. 🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websites

In hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry, available 29 September 2015. To pre-order, click here. 🙂

Tapestry – let’s call the professionals

Hey there,

Are you playing the tune in your head? Are you? Dah dah DAH, dah dah dah dah, dah-dah-dah-dah dah dah, dah dah dah DAH.

Anyway, whether you’re singing along or whether you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, I hope your day is going well so far. 🙂

Next week I’m self-publishing my short story collection, Tapestry. I know you know this already, but I need to keep repeating it to myself because at the moment it all still feels a bit unreal.

A couple of weeks ago I posted about how it all began up to the point where I had my stories but wanted and needed to bring in a professional editor to ensure they were up to scratch for public consumption. Read on if you want to know what happened next…

Choosing the right editor seemed a bit of a boggling activity when I first started looking on t’internet. Not all editors deal with short stories which cut down the field, but it was quite hard to determine levels of experience and ability straight off the bat. I also had to try to button down what “type” of editing I wanted. Some of the editing terms seemed to be used interchangeably, some used the same term as others, but meant very different things.

I wanted an edit of the sense and content of the stories. I wanted comment on “that doesn’t make sense” and “I don’t think the character would do that” and “that would never happen” plus a proof read because, although I am diligent and attention to detail is important to me, I find eventually I suffer from invisible comma syndrome.

What? It’s a real condition. 😉

When it came to choosing who to work with, I therefore looked for someone who did different types of editing. I also wanted someone who came recommended in some way. My search led me to John Hudspith who had previously worked with an online buddy whose views I trust. Johnny gave some very wise and wonderful advice throughout the process. He commented on everything from big picture “that wouldn’t happen like that” to swapping word order and shifting commas. He was also extremely encouraging whilst still managing to make it clear what he didn’t like. You can find out more about Johnny here.

After editing came the cover design. I only had a vague idea about the cover design process in practical terms, so I set the ball rolling to get quotes as we finished the editing process. I searched the internet but, again, I wanted someone I’d heard a bit about. I was very happy and lucky to ultimately work with Berni Stevens, a cover designer and author. I sent a brief bit about my stories to Berni along with a few of my personal preferences for book covers and she produced the beautiful cover for Tapestry that you see below. We had, I think, very little “back and forth” as I loved Berni’s suggestions from the start. As I said before, she just seemed to get what I wanted, even though I wasn’t sure myself.

I really enjoyed working with these lovely people and it has definitely made the whole process more exciting. If you’re around tomorrow, I’ll tell you more about each of the twelve stories that make up Tapestry.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear how you are getting on so please get in touch either here or on twitter.

Much love,

Elle. 🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websites

In hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry, available 29 September 2015. To pre-order, click here. 🙂

Tapestry – the cover

Hey there,

Hope you are well today. I’m VERY excited, because today I get to share with you the lovely cover for Tapestry.

 

TAPESTRY

 

What do you think? I love it. It was designed by Berni Stevens who just seemed to get exactly what would be right for Tapestry from the word go. Thank you, Berni!

Enjoy the rest of your day.

Elle. 🙂 xx

Tapestry

In hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry – how it all began

Hey there,

I hope your day is going well so far.

Last week I posted that my short story collection, Tapestry, will be making its way into the world towards the end of September. (Eeep!) I made the decision to take the plunge just over a year ago. This is how it all began…

I first started to read short stories when I had my twins and found reading a whole book in any reasonable timescale went out the window. (A few pages every three weeks does not help you keep tabs on the plot, does it?) When I started to write seriously, it seemed natural to try short stories first. It seems natural too, therefore, that my first foray into self-publishing is of a collection of short stories. (Did I say eeep already?)

I decided that, for the collection, I wanted to write stories about love – love in different guises, whether romantic love, familial love or obsessive love. I found it was an opportunity for me, in some stories, to explore the darker sides of the emotion. By and large my novels are “hopeful ever after”. It was very freeing to take an “anything goes” approach (plot-wise) in my stories and interesting to explore how people react in more difficult situations.

When I started writing the stories, I wrote more than I knew I would use for the collection so I could see which ones sat together best. I’d previously completed the London School of Journalism’s short story writing course by distance learning, so I’d had some positive feedback about my stories and writing style in this medium. A couple of the stories I produced for the course are actually included in the collection.

I’ve chosen twelve stories, a mix of happy and less happy tales. Some of the characters appear in more than one story – I wanted to see what happened to them before or after their first story in the collection. I hope, if you read it, you find you wanted that too!

So, I had my stories and that’s all very well, but it was only the first step in the process. Cue the search for an editor, someone I’d never worked with before. What if it turned out that my stories weren’t good enough to see the light of day when a professional editor looked at them?

If you’d like to know how I went about finding an editor and my experience of the editing process, I’ll be posting that next week, so please come back and join me!

How do you feel about short stories compared to novels? If you have children, did you manage to read novels when they were small? If so, HOW?

I’d love to hear from you, so if you’d like to comment, please do so.

Much love,

Elle. 🙂 xx

Tapestry

In hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

 

 

 

Tapestry – let’s do this thing!

Hey there,

Hope your day is going well so far.

Over the past few months I’ve mentioned that I’m planning to self-publish a collection of short stories in the autumn. It looks like autumn is here, so I thought I’d tell you a bit more about the whole shebang.

This is a big thing for me. So big I’m tempted to call it a BIG THING, but I reckon that would get annoying pretty quickly. Nevertheless, it’s something that means a lot to me and I’m very excited about my first real foray into sharing my fiction with you.

When I made the decision to just do it, I thought I’d get more and more nervous throughout the whole process and that, by this point, I’d be a wreck. But I’m not, and that’s largely because the process to this point has been a lot of fun. It’s been my first experience of working with other people in a writing capacity (my editor and cover designer about whom I’ll tell you over the next few weeks) and it just feels right to be doing it. Obviously I’m concerned that the whole thing will bomb, but I’m not going to let a trifling worry like that stop me.

*wobbles and vomits in shoe*

Enough of that.

Can I tell you a little bit about the collection?

Tapestry is a collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love.

In hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry will be making its way into the world towards the end of September and, over the next few weeks, I’d love to tell you how it all began, progressed and arrived at this point. If you’d like to, please join me each week to hear about it! I’m excited to share this process with my best blog buddies. (That’s you, by the way.)

I guess we could class this BIG THING (sorry) as a risk. Have you taken a similar risk? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Any advice you have to offer would be much appreciated, so please get in touch either here or on twitter.

Let’s do this (risky) thing!

Elle. 🙂 xx

 

 

 

 

Writing update – June 2015

Hey there,

It’s that time again! I thought I’d check in with a writing update because it’s been a busy couple of months since the last one and it’s about to get even busier!

I’m wading my way through my edits of Book 4 so that it’s ready to send to the NWS before August. It’s going OK and I’m still on (self-imposed) schedule, so please keep your fingers crossed that that continues. As a reminder, here’s my elevator pitch:

What you want to see

Mark and Jenna’s ten year marriage is failing. When Mark receives a note threatening suicide from a woman he believes he doesn’t know, he’s certain this will end his marriage for good. Can he can find the woman in time to prevent her death and discover why she has implicated him in her choices? Can he do so without Jenna finding out, or is she already more involved than either of them know?

I’m excited to be going to my first RNA conference in July. I’ve wanted to go for a few years now and as it’s in London this year, travelling is more straightforward for me than to previous locations. I’ve taken the plunge and booked for the main conference, Friday to Sunday. If you’re an RNA online buddy and are going this year, let me know in the comments! Maybe we could grab a beer, shoot the breeze or, possibly, miss each other entirely in the crowd. 😉

I’ll update you separately on my short story collection because A LOT has been happening. Suffice to say for now that my self-publishing journey has well and truly begun. 🙂

*happy dance*

*stubs toe*

*tries to look nonchalant*

I think I mentioned last update that I’ve been working with an editor. We’re nearly at the end of that process and I’m cracking on apace with sourcing a cover designer, buying gin to get through psyching myself up for the formatting process and believing that, actually, IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.

One thing’s for sure, although it’s a nerve-racking process, it’s a whole lot easier because you’re here. 🙂

How are things with you? I’d love to know so, if you’d like to, please get in touch either here or on twitter.

Much love,

Elle. 🙂 xx

 

 

My writing – an update

Hey there,

Hope your day is going well so far.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a update about where I am with my writing, so I thought I’d check in and let you know how things are going.

I recently finished the first draft of Book 4 and have scheduled a programme of edits up to the end of June. Even though the NWS deadline is August, I’d like to finish the bulk of the work by June because, as you’ll already know if you’re in Scotland, the school summer break begins then. I will have some time, but the priority then will have to be teenager wrangling. Eep.

Book 4’s working title is What you want to see and the elevator pitch goes something like this:

Mark and Jenna’s ten year marriage is failing. When Mark receives a note threatening suicide from a woman he believes he doesn’t know, he’s certain this will end his marriage for good. Can he can find the woman in time to prevent her death and discover why she has implicated him in her choices? Can he do so without Jenna finding out, or is she already more involved than either of them know?

I think I’m at the point in the process I enjoy the most, although I do like all of it (except proof reading. We’ve discussed before how I eventually get the comma blindness). Anyway, this is the point where I have the bones of the story, but there are so many holes and possibilities that where it’ll end up is still open. In a few weeks, though, I will have fallen down one of these holes and will be in how will this ever work? territory, so I’ll be coming back to you for tea and sympathy then.

I was in the same position this time last year with Book 3, but it did come together. I received *coughs and shuffles feet* a very positive NWS report, so I decided to get Book 3 to stick its nose into the agent world to see what happened. Nothing is the short answer, but it remains a priority this year to have it nosing about some more. Just for completeness, this is Book 3 – working title Sins of the Mothers.

Three generations of women are affected by the past in ways they don’t even realise.

Ashley Burton’s dysfunctional relationship with her mother is surpassed only by the generation above. Pregnant and questioning her own ability to be a parent, she believes she must mend the rifts in her family to stand a chance. Why is her grandmother Jeanne so unwilling to talk about her life as a young woman in occupied France? Will Ashley find out or will the Sins of the Mothers live on?

Although I would like to have an agent and pursue the traditional publishing route with my books (the reasons for this I can give you another day if you would like to know them – just let me know in the comments) I am keen to experience the business of self-publishing too. I like the idea of being in control of the process and I think it will be beneficial confidence wise to JUST DO IT, so I’m planning to self-publish a collection of short stories, hopefully later this year. I say hopefully, not because I’m being a wuss, but because I have a tangentially related adventure to tell you about later that is going to take up time this year. Both ventures will need my full attention and I don’t know yet which will come first. I heard someone say recently (not to me) If you’re going to be half hearted about something, make it something else which I think is a good philosophy to live by and I’ll be deciding on my initial focus soon.

I think that’s it for now. How goes it with you? I’d love to know, so please get in touch either here or on twitter. Oh, and, elevator pitches can always be improved upon, so if there is anything bugging you about the ones above, let me know! Feedback would be much appreciated – thank you in advance. 🙂

Much love,

Elle. 🙂 xx

How do you know when you’ve done enough research?

Hey there,

Hope your day is going well so far.

This post is a plea to all you writers out there. How do you know when you’ve done enough research?

I’m currently editing book three. It is set, in part, in World War II France. I’ve read books about the period, watched newsreel footage, videos and read newspaper articles. Although I researched a bit at the beginning, most of it I did after the basic plot of my story was in place, so I was able to think how my characters would have fitted into what I was reading and watching etc.

My trouble is, I don’t know if I’ve done enough.

My temptation is to keep going, in part because it’s interesting, but also because I don’t know when to stop.

How do you decide when you’ve done enough research? Any advice you can give would be much appreciated. 🙂

Thank you!

Elle 🙂 xx

From me to you

Hey there,

Christmas is less than a week away, Santa is loading up his sleigh and I am EXCITED! 🙂

I’d like to say a big thank you to you, my online buddies, for your support and encouragement throughout 2013. As a pre-Christmas Christmas present here’s a short story, from me to you.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYBODY ©Elle Turner 2013

I hope you like it and thank you so much for reading.

Much love

Elle 🙂 xx

WWSBD?*

Hey there,

Hope you are well today. 🙂

I’ve spoken on here a lot about how I’m writing book three, which in itself lets you know that there’s a book one and a book two. I bang on about how I want to find an agent and how I’m going to crush the shrinking violet and “confess” to being a writer, but I’ve never really been specific, have I?

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about Sara Bareilles’ song Brave, claiming it to be my favourite song at the moment, yet still I haven’t been brave myself. I hide behind the labels Books 1-3 and have told you nothing about them. That’s bit lame really.

As this is my 100th post, I thought I’d ask myself What Would Sara Bareilles Do?*

Here are my elevator pitches (single sentence sum ups) for Book 1, Book 2 and the still-to-be-completed-first-draft Book 3. They actually have titles and everything.

Candles Aren’t the Answer

A young teacher with a life-limiting phobia of the dark battles to get her life together and prevent a child she teaches growing up unable to face the world.

Hearts, Unfounded

Samantha Hamilton and Jared Edwards have very different reasons for being brutally lonely and walking away from their normal lives. Embarking on a trip that takes them from Montpelier, Vermont to Montréal and back again, they discover that what you seek in desperation might not be what you want to find.

Sins of the Mothers

Three generations of women determined that the past won’t affect the future realise they have allowed it to do just that. Can Ashley McArthur break the cycle, or will the sins of the mothers live on?

I have a few questions for you:

  • Would these elevator pitches make you want to read the books?
  • Can you give me any feedback on ways to improve the pitches?
  • If you see Sara Bareilles, will you ask her how big she thinks my brave is?**

Thank you for reading 🙂

Elle xx

*Just to be clear, I’ve no idea because I don’t know her. Maybe she’d never do this in a million years and would think I’ve lost my mind. Ho Hum. 😉

**You won’t get this unless you’ve heard the song. What’s keeping you? Go listen!