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Debbie Flint

Had an interesting experience this week, when I got a wake up call. Not literally - I was already awake. Well, almost - see below for more on THAT one! But I was delighted to attend the book launch of a lovely writing pal of mine - AJ Pearce. Her first novel - Dear Mrs Bird - has just launched and you may well read about her or hear her on the radio over the next few weeks. 

Dear Mrs Bird is all about the friendships and danger during the Blitz when an aspiring war correspondent takes a job as a fake agony aunt in a woman's magazine publishers, and all sorts of mayhem ensues. Amidst the bombings and craters, loyalty and love win through. It's very funny, as is AJ and she thoroughly deserves all the success in the world.

It was my book of the week on RiWiSi here - and I'm delighted to say it'll be next week's as well! I'm about to listen to the audiobook version - click here to read a sample -  and I cannot wait!

 

Inspiration

So AJ has inspired me. So has lovely mentor, Julie Cohen, who was also there last night. Her book 'Together' - reivewed here - has just been announced as a Richard and Judy pick! And now having chatted to lots of other author pals of AJ's at the book launch last night, I'm all geared up to get cracking on my fifth novel - French or Dutch. It's in final stages now, and I'm heading towards finalising draft one. Wish me luck! It's been a packed three years or so since I first started it , however, and in that time there have been house moves, weddings, disastrous potential relationships (well I say plural, but really it's just one!) and a whole new life and business down in Devon, as well as being an ambassador for Medical Detection Dogs. Plus becoming a grandmother! whoohoo! All of which mean I only wrote prolifically when away on a ... writing retreat! lol. Last March I wrote 14,000 words in a single weekend (with Julie) in Bristol, and another twenty thousand when away in France in May. A few thousand in June when in Cyprus for a family wedding - it was more wedding stuff than writing, that one. But apart from that, I have found that running a writing retreat (see below) has not been conducive to... writing. So a kick up the proverbial was needed - and AJ's launch, and some sterling words from Julie, has done just that. I hand in version one next week, with more to follow. Watch this space...

Squiffy eye.

Meanwhile, my poor red eye was conjunctivitis. Blimey it's been a year of it, that's for sure! Not enough sleep, and over working, under relaxing - you know the usual. I got so tired recently I found myself able to close my eyes and just drift off to dreamland, mid afternoon! So enough is enough. I have booked a WellWoman 360 health check (basically every orifice plus bloods and all the usual health measurements) in June. The end of June. After my next summer hol, so by hook or by crook, I will be Freedom Eating and Bodyblading my way to a healthier place by then and I swear this year is going to be a well one...

 

Book of the Week - Let me Lie by Sunday Times bestseller Clare Macintosh. The ex-cop does it again, with another tense psychological thriller that will keep you guessing - go here to read my book of the week blog.

 

WANT TO GET AWAY FROM IT ALL?

Retreat for Three nights on a rare weekend offer We don't have that many weekend openings, at our guest house down in Devon, but this month we have two! at Retreats for You in Sheepwash -

- Photography Weekend - £275 if you book soon, dinner Friday till Lunch Sunday with a trip out to Dartmoor on Saturday and fab instructional workshops with local expert Lee Orchard click here to read more and ask him more about it - book soon! Bring a partner, they can go photograph things, you can chill? How does that sound? Take pics like this one maybe -

 

 

- Writing Weekend - weekend, note! - (2 or 3 nights, final chance to get 2017 pricing at £90pppn full board inc wine at dinner) rest and relaxation in front of a roaring fire, nice walks, doggy therapy if required (if they're not out sunbathing!) And great beds! April - 27-29 - rare opportunity as I don't open for many weekends.

- Yoga Weeks 9th -13th April (next week) - one place left if you're quick - two sessions of stretching a day for writers wanting to get loads done but not feel stiff at the end of the week! £395 special offer, usually £420 - email soon. Other dates - July 2nd, August 13th (already taking bookings for these) and October 22nd.

To book - email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - we deal with it all that way but do check out the events page on our website for more info about all the themed events coming up. 

Am back on over the weekend - do click here to read my latest QVC blog and find out - where you'll also see info about how alcohol might be affecting your sleep. Plus sneaky peeks of some of the upcoming next week's deals.

Have a fab week!

luv 

Debs

x

ps

- stay in touch with me via my social media - go here to see it all

- find out about all my novels and my own books, some in bookshops, some on amazon - check out all my paperbacks together! Very proud. More about my writing is here

ps - if you're reading this via newsletter direct to your inbox, here's a pic of my lovely granddaughter - but if not, do sign up for my newsletters via the home page on my website (pops up) and you will be amongst the few to see the new ones each time I send out a newsletter update! Email me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you can't see how to do it! xx

 

 

Published in Debbie's News

Book of the week and AJ's on the list of Guardian new faces of fiction 2018!

So happy for my talented author pal. Well done lovely AJ Pearce - a well deserved mention on the annual list of upcoming stars! 
So proud. (AJ is in black n red dress.) Her new book Dear Mrs Bird, which I reviewed on my book of the week blog on my website last week, is out in 2018 , so she has been named as one of the new faces of fiction for 2018 - by the Guardian, no less! Last year or the year before, it was Joanna Cannon, another writer colleague of mine. We all dream of being on this list, don’t we!  

Go here to read the write up about lovely AJ in the Guardian piece, listing the best new faces of fiction for 2018.

Dear Mrs Bird is brilliant - review coming in full when novel is officially published in April! 

 

And this week's Book of the Week is one that's helping me to get to grips with what the world was like just before my own novel is set. The Husband Hunters tells the tales of some of America's gentry in the late 1800s and how the heiresses came to England to find husbands to improve their social standing back home. And info about some interesting phrases! 'Keeping up with the Joneses' for instance! Am enjoying the tale even if it does occasionally read a bit like a list, and becomes a trifle soporific ! Very enlightening precis of the mood of the era though and enjoyed it very much. Gave me some good ideas on how to tweak my own book very slightly, set in the 1920s. 

 

other news - 

new dates for Retreats for You

- my writing retreat down in Devon is about to announce some new dates for retreats including - 

yoga retreats  - april 9th, July 9th, august 13th and October 22nd. Four nights, two yoga classes a day and space to finish your precious writing project.

Julie Cohen  - about to announce an October date. One of the industry's best mentors is giving another workshop - either October 8th or 15th. You will book direct with Julie. Limited places - only five spaces - be prepared to book asap!

2018 pricing begins May. We are holding our prices as we only have a few retreats in January and February since we are planning to do some refurbishments. Book now and hold 2017 prices.

best wishes

debs

x

ps 

  • Editor Week  - new dates for Bluepencilagency.com editor Sara Sarre - March 19th and 10 September 2018 (10th Sept next year)
  • Retreats West - have announced their new tutored retreats for 2018 - both at RFY! March 12th,creating complex characters retreat or June 18th - 22nd a scriptwriting week with Bang 2 Write - email us for infoThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • New dates for writing retreats with yoga coming soon - and a craft weekend too! . local yoga instructor Jennie comes down from nimblelimbs.com. The upcoming dates for 2018 are being arranged as we speak! £410 for March dates onwqards, from Monday lunchtime to Friday lunchtime including morning and evening sessions of yoga.Contact us for up to date info or to suggest some dates. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  .

    latest newsletter from RFY - go here to read our latest news - and another super recipe from Wendy!

     

Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, my basic guide can be found here - beginner's tips for self-publishing - a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on prestigious industry website, TheCreativePenn.com, Go here to read more.

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs.

 

My books - For the full list of my fiction and non fiction novels, novellas, short stories - info and links to buy them just go here. or see below.

As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) andGoodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x

eBooks - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five fiction titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.

 

 

FICTION

HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback in both PG original and steamy (just released last week!).

Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy - now called Take a Chance on Me, with Choc Lit publisher available on Amazon. Paperback coming to shops Dec 2015! yay!

Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also available

DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback.

 

SHORT STORIES

‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for… also appears in Hocus Pocus anthology.

The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

And Work in Progress, a compendium in paperback of Dairy of a Wannabe plus the two short stories in one volume.

Also – for Hallowe’en – an anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors including many new shorts and my When Dreams Return in paperback! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.

'Battle of the Exes', written for Valentine's Day 2015, features in 'Roses are Red' anthology of six short stories on Amazon ebook and paperback too.

NON-FICTION

Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do.

Go here to get Till the Fat Lady Slims 3.0 – Tips and Tale to Inspire on amazon

Go here to get its predecessor (read 2.0 first) Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the When diet on amazon

It is with absolute joy that I nominate as Book of the Season, 'Dear Mrs Bird.' 

Launching on april 5th, it's currently on pre-order on amazon here, including on a very well narrated audiobook. I love anything vintage, and this is right up my street. I finished it - the hard copy (paperback publicity copy) - in three sessions. And each night I looked forward to re-joining the blitz spirit, rooting for the heroine Emmy, and adoring some of the turns of phrase befitting of the 1940s wartime setting. Blimmin' loved it - with bells on. Please go pre-order it, you won't be sorry. One of my writing peers last year was Joanna Cannon whose 'the Trouble with Goats and Sheep' was a runaway success for Harper Collins. Well this year's 'lead launch' for Picador is Dear Mrs Bird, from a dear writing pal, AJ Pearce. Full story when it is released but for now, here are some tempting tit bits to entice you to try it!

ten out of ten.

London, 1940. Emmeline Lake and her best friend, Bunty, are trying to stay cheerful despite the Luftwaffe making life thoroughly annoying for everyone. Emmy dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent, and when she spots a job advertisement in the newspaper she seizes her chance - but after a rather unfortunate misunderstanding, she finds herself typing letters for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt of Woman's Friend magazine.

Mrs Bird is very clear: letters containing any form of Unpleasantness must go straight into the bin. Emmy finds herself dismissing problems from lovelorn, grief-stricken and morally conflicted readers in favour of those who fear their ankles are unsightly or have trouble untangling lengths of wool. But soon the thought of desperate women going unanswered becomes too much to bear, and Emmy decides the only thing for it is to secretly write back....

Irresistibly funny and enormously moving, Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce is a love letter to female friendship, Blitz spirit, the kindness of strangers and the art of letter writing itself.

go here to get it on amazon

 

Also read a really unexciting ghost story by one of my favourite authors Sarah Waters – but ‘The Little Stranger’ is not like any of her others that I’ve read so far. Skipped through the last few chapters as it got a bit predictable. Sad it wasn’t so good, but hopefully her next one will be… 

 

other news - 

new dates for Retreats for You

- my writing retreat down in Devon is about to announce some new dates for retreats including - 

yoga retreats  - april 9th, July 9th, august 13th and October 22nd. Four nights, two yoga classes a day and space to finish your precious writing project.

Julie Cohen  - about to announce an October date. One of the industry's best mentors is giving another workshop - either October 8th or 15th. You will book direct with Julie. Limited places - only five spaces - be prepared to book asap!

2018 pricing begins May. We are holding our prices as we only have a few retreats in January and February since we are planning to do some refurbishments. Book now and hold 2017 prices.

best wishes

debs

x

ps 

  • Editor Week  - new dates for Bluepencilagency.com editor Sara Sarre - March 19th and 10 September 2018 (10th Sept next year)
  • Retreats West - have announced their new tutored retreats for 2018 - both at RFY! March 12th,creating complex characters retreat or June 18th - 22nd a scriptwriting week with Bang 2 Write - email us for infoThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • New dates for writing retreats with yoga coming soon - and a craft weekend too! . local yoga instructor Jennie comes down from nimblelimbs.com. The upcoming dates for 2018 are being arranged as we speak! £410 for March dates onwqards, from Monday lunchtime to Friday lunchtime including morning and evening sessions of yoga.Contact us for up to date info or to suggest some dates. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  .

    latest newsletter from RFY - go here to read our latest news - and another super recipe from Wendy!

     

Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, my basic guide can be found here - beginner's tips for self-publishing - a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on prestigious industry website, TheCreativePenn.com, Go here to read more.

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs.

 

My books - For the full list of my fiction and non fiction novels, novellas, short stories - info and links to buy them just go here. or see below.

As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) andGoodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x

eBooks - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five fiction titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.

 

 

FICTION

HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback in both PG original and steamy (just released last week!).

Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy - now called Take a Chance on Me, with Choc Lit publisher available on Amazon. Paperback coming to shops Dec 2015! yay!

Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also available

DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback.

 

SHORT STORIES

‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for… also appears in Hocus Pocus anthology.

The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

And Work in Progress, a compendium in paperback of Dairy of a Wannabe plus the two short stories in one volume.

Also – for Hallowe’en – an anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors including many new shorts and my When Dreams Return in paperback! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.

'Battle of the Exes', written for Valentine's Day 2015, features in 'Roses are Red' anthology of six short stories on Amazon ebook and paperback too.

NON-FICTION

Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do.

Go here to get Till the Fat Lady Slims 3.0 – Tips and Tale to Inspire on amazon

Go here to get its predecessor (read 2.0 first) Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the When diet on amazon

Riwisi Clever writing pal AJ Pearce wins super Picador deal – Dear Mrs Bird, wartime tale, will get a massive launch!

Picador has won the long awaited debut novel by A J Pearce, Dear Mrs Bird, after a "passionately-fought" seven-publisher auction. A seven-way fight to get the rights to bring this fabulous innovation to the fore!

I’ve known AJ for several years, having met her via our mentor Julie Cohen (see last week’s RiWiSi blog for more info about her and her writing courses!). Julie gave AJ’s first drafts the once-over and she successfully secured Jo Unwin as her agent. Just recently, when I was talking to AJ about my Devon project (where we both attended workshops; more about Devon soon!) she mentioned she was up against it with edits, and having had a tiny glimpse of what’s in store, I was so pleased to hear she’s obviously done such a good job, she’s made the headlines in a big announcement in the new Bookseller industry magazine online! (here)

Francesca Main acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to Dear Mrs Bird in a "major" two-book deal struck by Jo Unwin at JULA – her first since Unwin established her fully independent agency.

Translation rights are on the way for Germany (Rowohlt/Kindler), France (Belfond) and Italy (Sperling & Kupfer) and an auction is underway in the USA. Whooo hooo! Further deals are expected imminently, and Conville & Walsh agency will be concluding more at the Frankfurt Book Fair on behalf of JULA.

The book, to be a "super-lead" for Picador, will have a major launch and big budget marketing plan.

Dear Mrs Bird is set in wartime London in 1941. The plot follows protagonist Emmeline Lake who, amid the falling bombs, dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent. However, instead she finds herself employed as a typist for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt of Woman’s Day magazine. Mrs Bird is so resolutely against any form of Unpleasantness that she dismisses letters from the lovelorn, grief-stricken or morally conflicted in favour of those who feel their ankles are unsightly or have had trouble untangling a length of wool. But Emmy can’t bear to think of women with genuine fears and worries going unanswered, and soon decides the only thing for it is to write back secretly...

Main said: "I fell head over heels for Dear Mrs Bird, which is the perfect tonic for these troubled times – it’s warm-hearted, poignant and gloriously funny; an utter delight on every page. A J Pearce is a born storyteller and has written a love-letter to friendship, to acts of everyday heroism, and to letter-writing itself. We’re thrilled to welcome her to Picador and can’t wait to start bringing the unforgettable world of Dear Mrs Bird to life."

Jo Unwin said: "Dear Mrs Bird is everything I ever want in a book – it’s funny, sad, and deeply touching.  And A J Pearce is the author we all dream of: seriously good at what she does and ridiculously good fun."

AJ said: "I am beside myself with excitement to be joining Francesca and the incredible team at Picador.  Everyone has been lovely and I know I have found the perfect home for Emmeline and Dear Mrs Bird. Now I really must stop running around shouting PICADOR! at complete strangers."

This last quip is typical of AJ and if you’re like me, you’ll already be earmarking her first novel as a ‘must-read!’

AJ grew up in Hampshire and studied at the University of Sussex. She has worked in magazine publishing and spent 15 years in home entertainment marketing. She now lives in the south of England and works freelance.
 
Dear Mrs Bird will be a "super-lead" fiction launch for Picador in Spring 2018 with an "extensive" marketing and publicity campaign. How amazing – and hot on the heels of Joanna Cannon’s success, Julie is building up quite a stable of success stories! See last week’s RiWiSi blog to see how you can go to one of her courses.

More from The Bookseller here

Follow lovely AJ on Twitter here.

Other news –

- folly Farm fun When AJ and I attended one of Julie Cohen's previous workshops, we found an unusual student outside... some Pig! 

 

- more about Julie Cohen's next workshop for authors March 2017 here.