A chance meeting can lead to real friendship and I bumped into lovely Laurie Ellingham at a book event just over a year ago, since when we have become firm friends. Consequently I was delighted when Laurie signed a two book deal with Carina UK, an imprint of Harper Collins. I invited Laurie back to Linda’s Book Bag to tell me what has changed since signing her book deal and you can read that guest post below.
Laurie already has two books out, The Reluctant Celebrity and How To Throw Your Life Away, both of which can be purchased here.
Three Months to Live
Here’s a sneak peak at Laurie’s upcoming novel Three Months to Live which will be published by Carina in April 2017. It’s so new there isn’t even a cover yet!
Twenty-nine year old Lizzie Appleton is dying of a brain tumour, but is she hiding something? Jaddi has a secret life not even her best friends know about. If the truth comes out, she’ll lose everything. Samantha’s in trouble, but she hasn’t told a soul. Would anyone believe her if she did?
When three best friends are offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel the world, they jump at the chance, but there’s a catch – they have to take part in a TV documentary following the final months of Lizzie’s life.
With the world watching, Lizzie, Jaddi, Samantha, and cameraman Ben, embark on a journey which will push their friendship to the brink.
Three friends…Three secrets…Three months to live
5 things that changed when I finally signed a two book deal
A Guest Post by Laurie Ellingham
I truly believe that anyone willing to be patient, to learn, to persevere through the hard times when the words just don’t flow; who can brush themselves off after every rejection and keep going, will make their dream a reality. And I believe this because for the past decade I have been that person. But six months ago I got my break. A two book publishing deal with Carina (Harlequin/Harper Collins imprint). Much of my life has remained the same. I’m still trying to build my author brand and promote my first two novels (one self-published and one with a small independent publisher). I’m still drinking copious cups of coffee and scoffing Twix’s, and I’m still running around after my two children, our dog, and my husband. But not everything is the same. Here are 5 things that have changed for me since I signed with Carina six months ago:
- There are deadlines. Not the fluid self-imposed deadlines that wobble or disappear completely the moment there is a new episode of Game of Thrones calling my name from the Sky planner. These deadlines are real. So regardless of how creative I feel (or don’t feel), or how tired, it’s bum on chair time (my dad’s expression) no matter what.
- I have a new person on my side – an editor. An awesome new team member who is 100% in my corner offering great advice, listening to my ideas, and who is as passionate about my novel as I am. This has translated to a little confidence boost and less evenings spent crying into a glass of wine/bag of chocolate/tub of ice cream agonising over the chapter I’ve written, whilst asking anyone who’ll listen (including the dog) “Am I ever going to make it?”
- No more pouring over submissions guidelines or the panicky heart-thundering 4-12 weeks that follow every single submission, or jumping every time my phone chimes an incoming email. The contract has been signed and my copy is tucked in the top drawer of my writing desk, waiting for me to pull it out and ogle it whenever I like. This frees up much needed space in my head for the panicky I’m-never-going-to-hit-this-deadline thoughts instead.
- I’m learning the art of literary juggling. There’s another book to write and deliver, and another deadline. I no longer have the luxury of editing, proofing and polishing one novel before moving on to the next. Yesterday I was wading knee deep into the emotional turmoil of a character in my new book, today I’m adding more humour to the last book. It’s stop start, but rather than hinder me I’ve found a new perspective on both novels which is making me a better writer.
- I have something to say to all the well-meaning people who ask, “How’s the writing going? When can I read your book?” I don’t mean family members and good friends who have my back and understand what I’m doing. I mean the odd acquaintances, the playground mums, the ones who just don’t get it when I try to explain how difficult (and long) the publication process is, and tell me about their best friend’s sister-in-law (who’s also a writer) who tried… Now I can smile and I can say, “actually it’s going well. I’ve signed with a great publisher.” Of course they’ll likely ask if it’ll be out next month before their next holiday and I’ll probably want to bang my head against the nearest wall or netball pole at this point, but the ball is rolling at last. It’ll be another six months before my publication date arrives, but it’s happening.
So keep believing and keep going. It will happen. And if you want to find out how it happened for me, pop over to the Carina website and read what I did when I got The Call – http://www.carinauk.com/news/
About Laurie Ellingham
Laurie starting writing stories when she was eight years old, and after gaining a first class honours degree in Psychology and a brief stint working in public relations, Laurie followed her passion and her dream to become a writer and now spends her days writing contemporary women’s fiction. Last year she self-published her second novel, How to Throw Your Life Away.