In February, Cressida McLaughlin was announced as the new author for Harper Fiction! As a friend, Twitter follower and fan of her writing, I was thrilled! Cressida’s first book will be published as a series in four separate e-book instalments. I sat down with the extremely lovely soon-to-be author for all the latest news about her deal and what’s to come in the near future…
Q. First of all, a massive congratulations! How long have you known about the book deal with Harper Fiction?
A. Thank you! I met Kate (my editor at Harper Collins) last year, and she offered me the deal in December. It’s been a few months now, and I think in some ways it still hasn’t fully sunk in! Maybe that will happen when Wellies and Westies is published and people start reading it.
Q. Your first book has been announced as Wellies And Westies – has the publication date been released yet?
A. Wellies and Westies is out on the 30 April this year – ten days away! It feels like it’s come round really soon!
How beautiful is this cover?
Q. Publishing in four part series as really took off recently – Lisa Dickenson and Harriet Evans are just two of the authors who have done it. Is there a particular reason why you wanted to be published like this?
A. It’s such an exciting way of publishing stories. It builds up the anticipation and hopefully, if the reader loves the characters, they’ll be waiting eagerly for the next part. It’s coming back into fashion again – it’s been a long time since Charles Dickens – and I think that partly has to do with eBook publishing, and the flexibility and creativity that brings with it. It’s definitely a challenge to write a story that will work as four separate parts as well as a whole novel, but I’m enjoying every second of it!
Q. Will the book be published as a whole once all the parts have been released?
A. Yes, Primrose Terrace will be turned into a paperback once all four parts have been published. As you can probably guess, I’m very excited about being able to hold my book in my hands, and smell its lovely bookish smell.
Q. You’ve had a taste of the author world as you were part of the Sunlounger Anthology; did that give you the extra boost to really want to be published?
A. Being a part of the Sunlounger Anthology was incredible. Belinda Jones was so encouraging and enthusiastic about my writing, and it gave me the confidence to keep going. And having my story published alongside some of my favourite women’s fiction authors was a dream come true – it was a very important step on my journey to becoming a published author.
Q. Can you, exclusively, let us know what your favourite line from Wellies And Westies is?
A. My favourite Line? OK, how about this one:
She had to admit that, despite her best efforts, her first proper outing as a dog walker had not gone smoothly. Still, she would learn from her mistakes, and next time she strolled into Fairview Park she’d be completely in control, as serene as a swan, even if the bloody squirrel made another appearance.
Q. Tell us a little bit about your books and the writing experience.
A. Both the books I’m publishing with HarperFiction will be published in 4 ebook parts, and then as paperbacks. The whole process – from writing and editing, to covers and publicity – is a huge, exciting learning curve, and it’s fascinating to see all the work that goes into publishing a book. Bloody exciting is an understatement!
Q. If you were to give future authors and fellow writers one piece of advice in terms of getting published?
A. It’s not very original, but just keep going. It will be difficult, and you’ll probably face rejection along the way, but if you love writing – if you can’t imagine not writing – then believe in yourself and persevere. It took me a long time to get to this point, through lots of rejections and self-doubt, but now that I’m here, and I know that people will be reading my stories, it’s definitely worth it.
Q. I can review your books, right? Ha!
A. Of course! I’d love to hear what you think – and thanks for having me on your blog.