How I Wrote a Book in 20 Days: A Diary – Part Four (Final Part)

Please make sure you read parts one to three before reading this concluding part! You can find them by visiting sarahmichellelynch.com/blog and scrolling through.

Note: I only wrote diary entries on days where I actually completed some writing. There are only 20 entries in this diary but the twenty writing days were spread over the space of a month and a bit. This diary does not include my notes on editing (I don’t want to give away all my secrets!)

***

Day #14

Another chapter down. Would have liked to have written more today but I’ve had admin to do. Social media to catch up on. An event to prepare for. Fridays are always difficult days because you’re preparing for the weekend. Still, I’m gonna try get some bits and pieces of writing done tomorrow and Sunday. We’ll see anyway!!

Two major emotional breakthroughs were made in this chapter. Now I’m halfway, I can take this story down a deeper, much more direct route. I’m excited to get to the WOW moment in this book, where everything I set out to achieve becomes much more achievable.

Exciting times ahead…

Word count so far: 49,686 (I’m classing this as half done).

Day #15

I snatched moments of time today to write. I had this one idea I just had to get out in case I forgot it later. So I ignored the Saturday TV for an hour or so, and just did it. Half a chapter down. Not bad, considering it’s been a manic day.

Word count so far: 52,043

Day #16

It’s been Monday. Monday, bloody, Monday. Gah. The clocks have changed and it’s a bloody nightmare!

However, I am starting to taste the end of this book. I want to know what happens next as much as you, the reader will want to. I fear a race is on now. A race to the finish line, to explore all this book has to offer again, with the next stage of development – editing.

Some days you truly have used up your word count, that you have very little else to say at the end of it.

Word count so far: 56,856

Day #17

A really good writing day. I’ve turned some corners and extracted some secrets.

When I look back to the beginning of the story, it feels like a hundred years ago now. I’ve just got to make sure it continues to appear that way, reflecting the manner in which the heroine changes dramatically within this story.

I feel like I’m ever-drawing closer to the denouement.

Word count so far: 64,512

Day #18

It’s 11am and I’m not done for the day by a long shot, but I need to write this entry right now. This morning, this book made me cry for the first time, and that’s huge. Because I don’t always cry when I’m writing a book. But the pain and the poignancy of a particular scene had me flowing today. And I’m not the sort of person to cry easily. Only like really, really bad shit makes me cry, or people with sob stories singing on Britain’s Got Talent, but I think that’s because I love music as much as I love any art form that provokes an emotional response.

Up to now I’ve been writing with a sense of tension and it feels as though that’s broken finally, now I’ve written this difficult scene today. It’s finally broken and the heroine is free to move onto the next chapter. (I’m hoping so anyway, I’ve still got a few thousand words left to write.)

***

I wrote 5,000 words today and it wasn’t an effort; it was one of those rare instances of forgetting time exists and just going with the flow. Words just came and I’m stepping ever-closer to the end. This might even turn into one of those rare novels where less is so much more because I’ve said most of what I wanted to already, so whatever else comes next will be a big adieu.

Word count so far: 69,500

Day #19

I haven’t written yet today. It’s the morning. I’m just trying to muster up some energy right now to write some more. I’m feeling a bit puffed out.

I finished yesterday’s writing session with absolutely no idea or inclination as to how I would continue this story. Overnight some ideas have come to me and I’m fairly certain how I’m going to end the tale now. Sometimes you can feel as though nothing’s coming and when you go about your other business and take a few moments out, suddenly an idea will strike and you realise there is still more, even if the day before, ideas felt all used up. In the past I may have mistakenly forced ideas but this isn’t how I like to write anymore. Each day, I strive for new ideas and those make a story. The devil is in the detail. Having written so many books now, I’ve played with various forms of writing but sometimes simple is best. It just depends upon the character you’re conveying. I find it so difficult sometimes to not repeat myself, using a saying I’ve maybe used in a previous novel. The two main characters in this book, actually – resemble very closely two minor characters of a previous series I wrote a long time ago. But they were minor then, they’re major now, and function in a much different way in this book. I know some authors have strange family trees where all the characters they’ve ever written are somehow connected, even if that’s not evident to the reader. To the writer, they see those characters as part of a wider family, maybe because they are. They’re the author’s family in some respects. So even though it’s very difficult for me to keep my material fresh and new, it all is, and the more difficult it is for me to explore new avenues, I think the better my work is overall. I write for my own pleasure first and foremost which is how it should be. Don’t get me wrong it’s lovely when someone else likes what you’ve done, too. But the only person I’m ever competing against is myself and the past me has an awfully big back catalogue now. And that spurs me on greatly. I feel like these days, the engines are fully operational and ready to burn. It’s all those previous books that got me where I am now. It’s the books I’m writing now that will get me where I want to be. And I’ll have enjoyed every moment of getting to wherever it is I end up. Because I love writing and that’s what I was born to do. Write. It’s easy for me now, where it used to be hard. Because each book has broken me in and taught me something. And writing’s as easy as breathing now. It’s just the thought of it which is sometimes hard.

So now I’ve given myself this little pep talk (I am slightly deranged, comes with the territory), I will bloody well put the kettle on and settle down to some fictional writing once more. Until later…

(peaks and troughs, peaks and troughs…)

***

Wow, just look at that word count below. I can taste the end now.

Word count so far: 76120

Day #20

Wow, I wrote THE END today. I didn’t think I’d be writing that so soon. But I’m reminded that I decided to make this a new adult romance (or it shaped itself into a NA romance), which means readers in this genre generally prefer shorter reads anyway.

But, wait…

Editing has yet to take place. And editing will involve me going over the book six, seven, maybe even eight times. The way I edit is where the magic really happens.

Writing a book (as I’ve proven), is relatively easy when you know how. It’s what comes next that’s hard.

I know that throughout the editing process, I may add another 5 to 10,000 words or so. With one book (A Fine Pursuit), editing added 10 to 20,000 words in fact, because the story shot out of me so fast, I had to go over it plenty after the first draft, so it wasn’t a bony carcass anymore!

Still, I might comb it back again after the second draft.

Or add more?

But, dear reader, I won’t be telling you the secrets of my editing process. I don’t want to put myself out of business.

It’s been real.

Word count of my first (skeleton draft): 77,659

Afterword

The novel this WRITING DIARY relates to is called Hetty: An Angel Avenue Spin-Off. I am writing this afterword on the day of its release.

Hetty is a character I knew inside and out before I even put fingers to keys which is why this book was so easy in terms of development.

Sometimes, as a reader, I read books and I can tell when an author has taken a large timeout in the middle of writing their book because the style or the feel of the prose changes dramatically between one chapter and the next. Maybe that’s sometimes intentional. Maybe it’s because during time off from writing, the author has developed a different viewpoint of the story and it shows.

Writing a book in the space of a month is not something I recommend for everyone. It’s exhausting, it takes incredible discipline and an iron will. I do not manage to complete every story I write within 20 days, trust me! I know my limits. I stop when I need to. I take self care very seriously. I’m lucky that I can pick and choose my projects and my family are very supportive of what I do, both in giving me time and knowing what I need when I come away from writing a book.

What I hoped to show with this writing diary was the highs and lows a writer goes through, and the behind-the-scenes effort that no reader ever usually hears about. (The gory details so to speak.)

Hetty is my 17th novel and when someone recently asked me, “Doesn’t your heart just squeeze when you look at all you’ve achieved?” – I had to tell them, no! I am the long-distance writer with a 1,000 stories to tell and I cannot allow myself to wallow too long in saying goodbye to characters I have so lovingly created. I cannot allow myself to wrap myself up in the myriad emotions I go through while writing a story. To a certain extent, I do look back at my library of work and feel proud – feel blessed I’m doing this – but the books I put out into the world are but a physical representation of the stories I tell. I cannot always explain how a story I’ve written has made me feel (personally) because the feeling is like no other on earth and it’s obviously why I find storytelling so addictive. I know that each reader will bring their own set of life experiences with them when they’re reading a book, and I accept that’s why books engage (often) such different reactions from different readers. For instance, whenever I think back to writing my first novel, I think of changing nappies and my daughter’s big firsts. My first novel is wrapped up in everything that was going on in my own life at the time I was writing it – and the book on the shelf will never explain to readers about the night I was up late typing and the unfortunate effect of my footsteps squeaking on the stairs as I crept up, thus waking my daughter and setting up a chain of events that gave me a terrible, sleepless night. Real life goes on all around us and books are just… books. And yet… they have such potential to change people’s lives. I love, love, love what I do with every fibre of my being and anyone else who loves my books is an absolute and complete bonus.

I write, because, simply – I am a writer. I’m pretty happy with that label, even if I never achieve any other label.

The editing process brought Hetty up to a more rounded 90,000 words, one of the shortest novels I have ever written. After a bit of time away from the book (a bit of distance), I saw what needed embellishing. I didn’t want to over-write this tale, I only wanted to make sure that readers walked away from this book in no doubt of the person Hetty is and what she is capable of achieving. Getting her character right in this work was all that mattered to me. I didn’t water her down, edit out her quirks or her flaws, I kept them all in there. I wanted this woman to be real and from the sounds of it, that’s how my readers see her.

She’s real.

And that’s the most you can hope to achieve from writing – making tiny black letters on a page seem real. And the more real the story, the more satisfied you feel – and another job well done can be ticked off.

***PLEASE READ ON FOR AN EXCERPT OF HETTY AND HOW YOU CAN DOWNLOAD HER STORY***

I LEAVE THE car and him to get a good look at the place from a distance. He’s slept more or less the whole way here. I haven’t minded. Driving helps me switch off and vacate. This is just a stop in the road before reaching Robin Hood’s Bay but I always stop first, breathe in the air, taking in the place from a distance. One of the first places Liza and my foster parents brought me was here after they took me on. John and Carol have been really good to me, too good, considering I was once their daughter’s bully. But that’s Liza – always helping wounded birds, even ones that have tried to peck her in defence. John and Carol are in their sixties now and tried to conceive for years before finally having Liza in their early forties. She was an only child and had always wanted a sister. She persuaded them. And I was added to her broken-winged club.

The car door shuts and I watch him stretch, his midriff revealed as his shirt rides up. He’s got a solid rack of muscles under there – just gorgeous.

He swings his arms around me, clutching me tight, so tight I’m enveloped in his warmth against the cold of this high-topped cliff upon which we’re standing. I love the heather-topped moors around here, I love the views, the cleanness, the clarity – the mangled city jungle seeming far away.

He nuzzles my throat and kisses me, purring, seeking. A rush of love washes over me and I turn in his arms, throw my arms around his neck and kiss him. I find no resistance, his mouth opening, his tongue tangling with mine.

“I missed you,” he says, his eyes glistening against the strong wind.

“I was right next to you.”

“But I was in my dreams.”

“Do you like it?” I ask him, pointing to the sleepy fishing village below. There are not many visitors this time of year.

“What’s not to like?” he says.

I lead him back to the car and we head for The Grange, a place I usually stay, just a little way up from the village.

After parking up, we scope it out.

“Will they have any rooms?” he asks, and from the look of his face I can tell he’s never done this before. I expect any hotels he usually stays in have been booked by Warrick!

“Let’s hope so.”

We enter the reception and I spot Derek, the owner, who recognises me. “Henrietta, long time no see!”

Smiling, I return, “Been so busy, you know how it is. We’ve been gallivanting and wondered… maybe you might have a room for the night…?”

He holds his finger up. “Let me check.”

While Derek checks his computer, I grip Joe’s hand and smile. He smiles back, still a little sleepy.

“Ah, Marge had a cancellation last night. You’re in luck. The Grange Suite is available.”

“We’ll take it,” I snap, almost snapping his hand off too!

“Okay, it’s not ready…” He’s sucking his thumb, thinking as he peruses the screen. “But I’ve put you in, come back at four and it’s yours.”

“Do you need a deposit?”

He winks. “Not from a good customer.”

“Thank you, Derek. Thanks so much.”

He guffaws, a little shy. “No problem.”

I catch him giving Joe a little side glance but he doesn’t say anything, or question us. Leaving the property, Joe says, “He seems a little fond of you.”

“I stay here often, in the summer months.”

“What do you do when you’re here?”

We get back into my Citroen and I turn towards him. “I drive up to Whitby, fill my boots and then sleep it off here. A Sunday morning stroll on the beach is heaven, too.”

“I never would’ve pictured it,” he says, pulling me towards him, reaching across the handbrake to put his arms around me. “You seem so badass, and here you are, a lovely Yorkshire rose spending her weekends by a beach nobody’s even really heard of.”

I tug his hair gently in my hands, murmuring, “All the best people have heard of it, Joseph.”

It takes a few moments for me to realise my breaths are laboured and heavy. This is what he does to me.

“But it’s so quiet and quaint…” He looks bemused.

“In therapy I was taught to like my own company. I’ve got used to it.”

“Not too used to it, I hope?” He’s grinning devilishly.

“Scenery’s not too shabby from where I’m sitting,” I remark, trying to seize my own grin before it breaks my face, I feel so happy.

He cups my bottom lip with his and kisses me torturously slowly. The perpetual molten vat of lava in my lower stomach churns and I could curse that hotel for not having any rooms available right now. Joe moves his kisses to my cheeks and my neck.

“Save it for later…” I mumble.

“You smell divine, like honeysuckle or something.” He pulls back, searching my eyes, endlessly trying to figure me out.

“Come on, I’m hungry, you sexy beast.”

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

 

 

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How I Wrote a Book in 20 Days: A Diary – Part Three

Read parts one and two before reading part three…

PART ONE: CLICK HERE

PART TWO: CLICK HERE

Please note: I only wrote diary entries on days where I actually completed some writing. There are only 20 entries in this diary but the twenty writing days were spread over the space of a month and a bit. This diary does not include my notes on editing (I don’t want to give away all my secrets!)

***

Day #10

Today’s Monday. So that means my last writing day was Wednesday, last week. Thursday last week was a day of finishing editing on someone’s book, Friday was a shopping and seeing my daughter collect a certificate in school day. That didn’t allow much time for writing and/or editing, and we were away all weekend so I didn’t write then either. So now I feel like I have a bit of catch-up to play. I also feel like I’ve got all these ideas in my head that I’ve generated over the past few days and now I’m scrambling to get them down before I forget them! Being creatively energised is a good thing but it’s so easy to burn out, too. At the end of each writing day, I always try to make sure there’s a thread to follow the next day.

While walking to and from my daughter’s school today, I had a thought. I remembered something I read a long time ago. It was a quote from somewhere or other that said (more or less) that it’s much harder to write a tender book than a book of drama, angst, erotica or mystery. I do love writing various genres but I have felt that of late, I’m writing to please others and not to please myself and so I’m aware that with this book, I’m deviating and also pleasing myself. I am also aware that it’s much easier while writing to throw a spanner in the works and make my characters deal with it instead of following a train of thought where the characters slowly and lovingly develop. So, at the moment I’m shutting down a lot of my “plot twist” moments, steering clear of them in favour of writing a tender book which is not designed to shock or thrill, but more make the reader become at one with the main character and view her journey as if it’s real – as if it’s happening out there in the world, right now. I want this book to make people cry, don’t get me wrong, but I also want it to do that without the shock factor. I want this book to gently take the reader on a journey they may not have anticipated, but still a journey that’s very believable, relatable and all at the same time, touching beyond what they anticipated.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about writers and their notebooks. (I mentioned at the start of this journey that it was the thought of starting writing that was worse than actually starting writing. I am well aware that, at the moment, I’m loving the creation of this book but soon enough the process will all be over and I’ll be in mourning for yet more characters I’ve lived alongside and now have to let go of…) Anyway, yes, I have a lot of notebooks filled with notes and some Word documents filled with notes, too. Notebooks are like that mental hurdle you have to get over in order to start writing a book. Notebooks are where you stuff your thoughts when you’re not quite ready (or equipped yet) to start writing the actual book. Notebooks receive the splurge and don’t contain all the detail surrounding each bit of dialogue that enhances feeling, tension of a scene, location setting, resolution or problem. As I progress with this project (much like I’ve progressed in the same way on projects before), I realise notebooks can be helpful for pointers, reminders, bullet points, section ideas etc… but the only real way to actually achieve anything when you’re writing a book, is to do as Hemingway said, and “sit and bleed at the typewriter…” or something to that effect anyway. Because this book has directed itself, and continues to do so, it is seemingly much better off for organic development – and I am very much inclined to agree with Hemingway, one of my all-time favourite authors and an inspiration. Anyway, I am loving the direction this story is going in, but I maintain constant awareness of not pushing myself too hard, while also preparing myself for the range of emotions to come. As a writer, and no less as a person, self care is utmost. Utmost.

Word count so far: 33913

Day #11

I’m getting deeper into the story now, the meatier stuff evolving. We’re in the second third of the book where I always try to start bringing all the characters’ innards out on display, as we reach an understanding of what the matter at hand is here, i.e. what is the dealio.

So, we’re getting to the crux of the matter and I’m delivering more details slowly, in pipette-fuls. I’m gradually building more context, giving my heroine more of a dynamic with herself, but also with all the other characters. She’s now discovered a potentially calamitous truth about her boss which could end very badly.

I’m beginning to see the overall potential of this story and my faith is going to pay off, I know it is. I just have to keep going! And it’s so exciting to think about where this might go. My vision of how I’ll feel at the finish line is still unclear so for now, I’ve just got to keep riding this wave and see where it takes me.

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I added one chapter today which was just enough. I wrote this morning but then spent the afternoon setting up social media posts as I have a sale on at the moment. Let’s see how I’m feeling tomorrow, eh?

Word count so far: 37223

Day #12

After today’s efforts, I can officially count this as another novel added to the pile, as I passed the rudimentary 40K word count mark which takes the book to novel-length.

It feels good. But with all my books, I never write small. I have written some novellas in my time actually, even some short stories, but most of my novels are 90,000 words plus, some have even reached almost 160K. At the moment I’m aiming for around 90-100,000 with this book. In the back of my mind I know I’ve got enough room to stretch my legs out and let this take its course, on the other hand I also have a vague idea what I need to pack into each section so the reader doesn’t get bored. I also want to achieve everything I need to without dulling down the narrative too much – all while leaving a few bits up to the imagination while detailing the most important moments of character development in considerable depth. As someone who’s written over fifteen full-length novels, I am well aware that all this crafting and sewing together of the plot mostly goes on in the back of my mind now, leaving the conscious me to really just enjoy the story.

Today as with most days, I never put my fingers to the keys before ten a.m. After the rush of getting my daughter to school, I need to allow time for my brain to settle and calm. I need the lake in front of my mind’s eye to be absolutely still. So, when I get back from dropping off my daughter, I make a cup of tea. Set the washing machine running. Make all the beds, open the curtains, the windows, wash the dishes. Pick stuff up off the floor. Basically, I’ve got to mentally and physically clear the decks before I can fully relax and sit down to write. I also use this time to check all my social media accounts, answer emails, set up automated media posts… hopefully before the strike of ten when I start tapping on the keys or at least start reading through some bits. The same goes on days when I’m editing – I never edit when my brain’s scatty because it’s easy to miss things that way.

Lunch is usually around one, though earlier if I’m particularly hungry, sometimes later if the writing’s got me so fixated that I feel like I can merely survive on fresh air.

Sometimes I’ll work all day, with only that short break for lunch. A lot of days I use my evenings to key in notes or do research, maybe some more social media… In fact, there was a time I used to be up until one a.m. finishing stuff off. That does not happen anymore (leftover bad habit of when I had no time during the day to write). My health comes first these days. And my writing during the day is so much better off for me getting a good night sleep every night. Speaking of which I’m writing this diary entry at half eleven at night because this was the only moment today I could write it! Sweet dreams…

Word count so far: 42910 ← so achievable when you know how

Day #13

Whoa, I am so close to the halfway stage now, I can almost taste it. Half a novel. Is it true? Can it be? At some points during my days, I’m envisioning scenes and getting chills. I’m trying to fragment pieces of information my mind grabs at and make tendrils of thought into full, detailed scenes. My mind’s still chasing ahead, trying to enjoy the good bits before I’ve tackled the difficult stuff. I have to slow myself down. I know this from experience. I have to let this story tell itself. I have to succumb to creativity.

There are always moments of doubts, too. Such as, who will read this? Will they get it? Will they like the heroine? Is she going to lure readers to live her journey alongside her? Those moments pass eventually. For me they do anyway. I think they pass because I just love writing so bloody much!! I always remind myself, I am doing this because I love it. I love this. I love the way I can live somewhere else in my mind while I’m writing. I love imagining the finished product. I write for the finished product, and I love to see how surprised readers are sometimes, when they read my stories and get a totally different angle they weren’t expecting.

For now, sleep. Tomorrow’s Friday so I’ll be trying to knuckle down to writing another nice chunk before the weekend swallows me whole again. Time really does fly when you’re living the dream.

Word count so far: 46,467

TUNE IN FOR PART FOUR THIS TIME NEXT WEEK!

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How I Wrote a Book In 20 Days: A Diary – PART TWO

READ PART ONE BEFORE READING THIS: CLICK HERE

Please note: I only wrote diary entries on days where I actually completed some writing. There are only 20 entries in this diary but the twenty writing days were spread over the space of a month and a bit. This diary does not include my notes on editing (I don’t want to give away all my secrets!)

***

Day #5

I was at the cinema today and I don’t know whether the film wasn’t consuming enough or whether this book I’m writing is consuming me beyond everything else, but when I got home I was still full of ideas for this WIP. So, I had to write a bit this evening and I have done. Every little helps.

Word count so far: 14,441

Day #6

Today was a Sunday but I wanted to write today, so I did. My husband took our daughter swimming so it gave me a couple of lazy hours on the sofa with my laptop. It’s rare I write at the weekends, only if a book really has me in its grip, which this one does at the moment.

The story’s shaping itself in a way I didn’t expect. My mind’s trying to jump ahead to figure out the next steps but I’m just having to go with the flow of this one. The heroine’s telling me her tale in her own way and things aren’t working out the way I planned when I first started out. But that’s okay because a lot of the heroine’s actions are still working out in a way that mean she’s staying true to herself, it’s just that an unforeseen antagonist has been brought into the equation.

I’m really starting to fall in love with this story now and in the back of my mind, I have a card to play I think will glue readers, making them want to discover more and more. It feels really good to have a lovely chunk of this story already written.

Word count so far: 17914

Day #7

I got down a couple of scenes today that I’ve had in my head for a while. It’s good to get them down finally but discipline also requires that I get down everything in detail, instead of me racing along, merely to experience the scene for myself finally, without giving the reader all the details they need to see it for themselves.

It’s Monday so I am continuing on this writing roll. I’m just feeling it at the moment and as any writer knows, when you feel it you have to go with it.

So this morning I worked on a chap’s book I’m editing as part of my publishing services business. And then in the afternoon I wrote more on my own book.

It feels in my heart that this book is turning out to be one of true love, but somehow I sense strife is right up ahead. But I’m not sure. Maybe this couple have had enough strife already.

I am experiencing the war within me to stay with the characters and not put my own spin on their story. It’s a hard-fought war from the characters’ perspectives.

I’m trying to zone everything else out to listen to them, which means less time on social media. I really despise scrolling through Facebook and seeing posts about procrastination, i.e. “I should be writing but I’m watching wrestling.” If you should be doing something… well, you should. But you’re not. I personally value my writing time so dearly and I cherish it. I love this thing I do so much, I treasure it. I treasure all my moments at the keys. I can’t stand negativity because if I listened to that, I wouldn’t get this book written. All the time my mind is focused on foreseeing the finished product and realising that vision. Always.

I feel that if my day consists of time to write and time doing other stuff, then when it comes to finally getting down to writing, I always appreciate the opportunity to do that much more, having had other things to occupy me beforehand. Time and space away from the keys is as equally important, because you’re writing even then, just in draft form. The best ideas come when you’re in the shower, out for dinner, during a car journey or any other task where the mind is working but there’s no way to get a pen in your hand!

Word count so far: 21976

Day #8

I wrote today. I edited. That’s a successful day. I’m tired now, though. I might watch some TV before falling into a stupor, where I’ll be dreaming up more stuff for my characters to do tomorrow.

(Still avoiding the non-believers on Facebook.)

Word count so far: 24785

Day #9

My word output isn’t what I’d like it to be right now because I’m spending time editing someone else’s work but needs must and as I’ve mentioned before, variety does make me write better when I do get back to writing!

Me and hubby were playing around with book cover designs at the weekend. I have a unique image for the cover and a unique character to try and give personality to with just a bit of text added. We came up with some ideas and I added some text. By Monday I didn’t like the text. Yesterday I fiddled with it a bit and hubby pouted when he saw I’d got rid of all our original ideas, but actually he liked what I’d done and I think the way it is now better suits the personality of the heroine of this book. I will still probably go back and make more amends.

This novel is a spin-off novel from an existing series and so I’m feeling a great deal of nostalgia and trying not to give other familiar characters too much airtime. I don’t want to detract from the story at hand.

I’m also having to (still) constantly remind myself that when I fuck up, it doesn’t matter. It’s just that I sometimes wish readers knew the amount writers put into their work, the research and the heartache and the numerous edits we make before you see the finished product. The writer knows that book inside and out; they’ve conceived it, nurtured it, cried in the night for it, screamed in the night for it to shut up… everything. And we present a pristine book to readers who have no knowledge of the rough-hewn slab of a book we started out with, before it became something shiny and seemingly new. This is a process of extreme demand and at the end of it all, some will love it, some will hate it, some will criticise it because it’s much easier to criticise than to sit here lovingly fashioning something from scratch.

Throughout the writing of a book I don’t really have the energy to read other books but I really try to read magazines or articles because they only require little moments of concentration and still keep you plugged into the real world. With editing being a large part of my day job (reading in itself), I do tend to start feeling bad that I’m not doing the thing I love most (reading for pleasure), but that’s another sacrifice writers make during the process, and one that’s sometimes necessary to get the task in hand done.

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Some days I don’t have time to reflect like this, sometimes I purely don’t want to think at the end of the day, but reflection is so important.

This is my 17th novel I’m carving out of rough-hewn-something-or-other.

(I may be getting a little scared because I don’t know where the story will take me next.)

Word count so far: 27803 (8 full chapters)

TUNE IN FOR PART THREE THIS TIME NEXT WEEK!

Meet Hetty . . .

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Ta-da! Here is the cover of my upcoming novel, Hetty, releasing MAY 1ST.

In case you missed it, here’s a gander at the blurb again:

A novel proving art transcends all which divides us as human beings.

“We were just meant to be and fate in all her conniving, wicked glory, wouldn’t have had this union any other way.”

Hetty is determined not to be a victim but she doesn’t see that in some ways, she still is. When something doesn’t go how she wants it to, she finds it incredibly difficult to overcome, and continually avoids situations outside of her control.

It isn’t just love that will change her, though. Oh, no. Cue a series of events which will shape the woman she will be ever after.

Enter three men, each with a lesson to deliver. One, an unassuming father figure. The next, a lover. The last, a friend from a different world to hers.

Hetty’s journey is a surprising, exciting and humbling one which may draw tears of laughter and of sadness from the reader.

**This novel does contain some details which would spoil the Angel Avenue duet if you haven’t read it yet, but Hetty is a brand new and fully resolved standalone in itself, which can be read and understood without reading the other books.**

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All will become clear when you get your mitts on this book! Including why I chose this cover art!

There’s still time to sign up for read and review, but you’ll need to sign up before MAY 1st so make your interest known asap. CLICK HERE to register your interest.

Until then, keep a beady eye on social media for teasers . . .

Pre-Order Now Available

 

The Risk, Nightlong #3, Releases APRIL 4th

 

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The highly evocative Nightlong series concludes . . .

Love may be the greatest risk

The harshest lesson, or

The sweetest salve.

Love may also be the one

True way to overcome

Pain,

Sadness,

All of our grief.

I want to chase love

But the risks in this instance

Are massive and the odds

Favour no one.

Doom seems our fate,

Tragedy looms, inevitable

Murder taints the air we breathe.

Will love triumph?

Or was this never about love . . .

Pre-order from Amazon

*****

Dear readers,

To prevent spoilers I’m being extremely cagey about this book.

That’s because I want readers to experience this book with no preconceptions whatsoever.

What I’ll say is…

The Risk is a love story.

But is also has a very dark side…

Watch this space…

Sarah x

99 pence e-books throughout December

Christmas is only days away and so are those Amazon giftcards which will be gracing stockings across the land. To celebrate the festive season and a new year being right upon us, I’ve priced most of my e-Books for 99 pennies for the month of December.

From the thrilling, romantic Sub Rosa Series (Unbind and Unfurl), to the mind-bending scifi series UNITY, to the heartwarming contemporary romance Angel Avenue, there is something to whet the whistle.

Don’t forget, the next instalment in the NIGHTLONG SERIES will be out early next year and the first two books The Contract and The Fix are among those on sale.

Enjoy xx

Visit Sarah on Amazon

FREE to download 17th-18th September

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http://mybook.to/taintedlovers

The most beautiful anti-romance you might read all year . . .

Adrienne and David meet in a library and the rest is history. Leaving their past lives behind, they race off to get married and make a promise of undying love. Waiting in the wings, however, are dark and deadly secrets threatening to tear them apart.

Their passion has never been up for question – but is there a limit to what love can overcome? Moreover, what does the future hold for Adrienne after she has her heart crushed, her spirit broken and her resolve disintegrated?

Are all great love stories destined to end badly . . . ?

Suitable for readers 18+ only. Tainted Lovers is a complete standalone novel.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

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What reviewers said:

This is a powerful, heart-wrenching look at life, death, love, sorrow and deep pain.

 The relationships, and the struggles within them, are so real.

 You hope beyond hope, that love will find its way to win the battle over fear.

This story is the most beautiful anti-romantic book that I have read for a long time.

I really love how Sarah writes, untamed and free with expression.

Raw, heart wrenching, disturbingly beautiful & truly emotional rollercoaster.

For me this book was special. I don’t think I have the words to give this book justice.

This book will not only touch your heart, it’ll invade your soul and leave you reeling.

Sarah’s writing captivates you in a way that you feel their pain.

Some parts of this book were truly heartbreaking.

As a reader you can feel Adrienne and David’s blazing connection right away.

It was at this point that I knew without any doubt this book will be one of my top reads of 2016!

Tainted Lovers is an all-consuming twisted, suspense filled, and dark romance.

I’m not ashamed to say I nearly had heart failure, the anticipation was riveting.

At times I felt like I was bleeding emotionally onto the pages.

I was more than ready to throw my kindle and demand that this can’t possibly be true!

teaser 2
http://author.to/sarahmichellelynch

The Fix – Nightlong #2 – Pre-Order now

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Blurb:

You don’t know my story.
You don’t know about the first woman
To take my heart.
The woman who
Bewitched
Teased
Humiliated
And fascinated me.

By the end of my tale, you’ll know
The real Dante Sinclair,
The man behind the myth.
You’ll know who my heart belongs to
And why I can never give up
What I am.

The fixer could be fixed
BUT
To fix me or her . . . ?
That is the question.

Amazon Links:

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

AMAZON AU

AMAZON CA

Teaser:

Since they’d begun engaging in nights where she was on the receiving end of his lash, Dante and Shay had both developed more and more appetite for the exchange of power. She gave up her body to his control and he didn’t have to give up his heart. Secretly, however… he wanted to give up his heart, to share his fears and worries with another. He wanted nothing more than for someone else to carry the burden of his sadness, matched with a heart so torn and heavy, desperate for succour. He longed for answers, for something… for life. He longed for someone to take away the need in his heart and wrap it with theirs. He felt alone and it was what was killing him; because the hunger for Shay was there, the obsession, the need and the want, but neither of them wanted to consummate any sort of relationship. Any sort of love. Not with one another, anyway.

BDSM, Writing Sex and Daddy Doms… an interview

Firstly, thanks to Louise from Passionate Page Turner for posing these questions to me. I enjoyed answering them and it was great to look back at some of my earlier books. Without further ado…

The chambermaid series looks at one woman’s self-discovery and sexual awakening, she learns a great deal about her craft, how did you research for this?

12140580_619055291531558_4522190407370519980_nA lot of what I write is from off the top of my head and purely fictional and imaginative. However, I have a really good memory so what I write must be in some portion informed by what I have read, watched on TV, witnessed or talked about with friends. Lottie isn’t necessarily an expert practitioner of BDSM. She’s making it up as she goes along; she arouses men because she’s really just very beautiful and has a playful personality. She’s observed people for so long in her job in hotel work, she’s got a great deal of people experience. I also wanted to somehow persuade the reader that the reason Lottie is so imaginative is that she is well read, so I did read almost all the books she’s influenced by. One of my source materials was “Harris’s List of Georgian Ladies” which is full of euphemisms and flowery language and I used that type of language as an influence on Lottie. (Read the book, but Lottie’s use of language hides the sordid truth of a lot of her encounters, which aside from those with Noah are unfulfilling and not indicative of who she really is.)

One reviewer said that you wrote Lottie’s sexual encounters effortlessly, would you agree with this?

I agree I have a flair for writing good sex scenes but nothing comes effortlessly. You can’t just write, He put it in me and it was so hard and so good and he made me come instantly. How, and with what pressure, did he make you come? What did it specifically feel like? Get descriptive. Take yourself out of the situation and look at the scene from a bird’s eye view, then take yourself back into the circle again! There’s so much more to writing sex than most people know and you have to build a scene around a number of factors. Smell. Taste. Feel. Feelings. Women are always turned on by feelings, whether they admit it or not. What he does differently. What you do in response. I always try to vary the scenes I write. I think if Lottie’s sexual encounters seem effortlessly written it’s because all the work I put in behind the scenes isn’t apparent. The hero can be the hottest looking guy on the planet but if he just stands there and expects you to do all the work, that isn’t sexy. A man has to connect with your brain, first of all, to make you want him so much you’ll do ludicrous things with him in the bedroom. Literally, sometimes the things I write are even OBSCENE. LOL.

In my review I stated that it reminded me of older erotica, the likes of the story of O, do you/have you read much erotica? What would you recommend to read?

4a7fd17d24a3d19f79c556e91ed1ee09Yes, Story of O was one of the books which inspired Lottie’s story. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know there are huge passages without paragraph breaks, spread across page after page sometimes. I once read that the story needed rewriting with a modern update and better prose so in effect, I tried to do that in some portion with A Fine Profession. For Lottie, O’s story was an inspiration because having had so much pain in her own life, O has mastered the art of coping with pain and Charlotte wants to do the same. A Fine Profession is about Lottie writing out her fantasies, but with a sinister message beneath her experiences. She has a persona, someone she can be to escape herself, but burying herself in that character has cost her in ways she won’t admit. With that persona comes this voice of someone out of another time. She immerses herself in classical literature to take herself off into another world inside her mind. Her language is a lot more flowery than anything I write otherwise but it reflects her perpetual state of having her head in the clouds. I would definitely recommend Anais Nin for some classical erotica. Tiffany Reisz is an excellent erotic writer and her books are loved by those with a more open mind.

Lottie has a love for corsets and vintage lingerie and Noah supports and encourages this; can you tell me more about why she loves them?

a4a910e7efe751bacff26c5d458d0eb2Like a lot of women, she yearns for days gone by when women dressed as women with petticoats and corsets and huge skirts. When clothes flattered and were made to measure. When clothes lasted. How many women these days complain they can’t find a top to flatter their chest? A bra that fits? As modern women, we’re put under pressure to conform and costumes of old celebrated the larger bosom and hid a lot of our sins. In many respects, the corset is Lottie’s uniform and wearing it reminds her she has to perform. Vintage makes her feel special, makes her feel out of her time, takes her out of herself. Lottie is forever on the hunt for props, experiences and men willing to help her be the character she so desperately wants to be like.

In A Fine Pursuit you write from Noah’s  pov, was this difficult? Especially during sex scenes?

a fine pursuitYeah, it was difficult. I wrote this story a long while ago now but I remember at the time just feeling that same anguish and confusion he did. He was an infuriating character to be in the mindset of but I researched him thoroughly. I always knew he wouldn’t necessarily be a likeable character, but he’s a real character. He’s not a classic dom. I didn’t write his story thinking he was a book boyfriend, either. Like I mentioned above, Lottie is forever trying to displace herself from real life, which she can’t cope with. Noah’s just the same. He wants the fantasy he shares with her, because the billionaire he is by day is nothing like the man beneath. The books are literary, maybe even hard to stomach. I don’t think some readers like the honesty of these two books.

In the finale of the Sub Rosa Trilogy you delve more into BDSM, was this eye opener for you?

Nope. I have believed in BDSM for a long time. It is true that there are some people out there who abuse their roles in the lifestyle, but pain’s not at the heart of the culture. Trust is. I have a book in the pipeline called “Dom Diaries” and it does draw out a lot of the truths about what makes a dom, truths that aren’t necessarily apparent through Kayla’s dialogue alone in the series finale.

I’m not sure I like the term “Daddy” when talking about a dom, is this a common term used?

It’s extremely common except it’s not always used in open spaces – or in mainstream books. You’ve probably read about loads of Daddy/sub relationships but the name Daddy hasn’t been used. In AFP, Noah is Lottie’s Master. She denotes that with the use of capital M for Master. She never calls him sir. He’s much more than that. He’s her disciplinarian because she can be so out of control. The Master/sub relationship is more about punishment whereas the Daddy/sub scenario is more about nurturing the sub. Being a Daddy has nothing to do with being a replacement father figure although many elements of BDSM subvert real-life roles and explore unspoken areas of the sub’s emotional back catalogue. I personally think “daddy” is a softer term for dom/master/sir. Daddies and their subs tend to be more playful, more tactile and play on each other’s young outlook on life.

I notice that you use pinterest, do you find that a useful research and inspiration tool?

Not really. I just waste a lot of time over there, finding pretty pictures! Although sometimes I’ll notice a couple and go, “that reminds me of such and such…” The stuff I use for research is banned off Pinterest.

Fabien takes us into the world of Paranormal, did your writing style have to change when writing sexy supernatural sex scenes?

Yes, my writing really had to change but it was such a refreshing change, too. Putting myself in the mind of someone who has lived for centuries was an interesting task. Also, you can pretty much go WAAAAAYYYY outside the box with paranormal, which is a great thing.

Your new book (Tainted Lovers) features a married couple,  we had chatted about there not being many books out there featuring married couples, why do think that is?

I once read that erotica “saved my marriage”. A lady wrote her libido dipped after a certain length of time spent married and it had nothing to do with her feelings for her husband or their attraction. She just needed a boost. I think we avoid writing about marriage in romance novels because we’d rather remember how it was in the beginning. It’s a common opinion among women that the sex dwindles after marriage and you just have to accept it – but I disagree. I think if you can be open and honest with your partner, it can only keep getting better. No “fantasy” lover is ever going to know you as well as the man who, over several years, has spent time getting to know where and how you like to be touched. But we women do sometimes need a little added shot of erotica to boost our appetites. Horny women are never a bad thing; I’m sure husbands and boyfriends and randoms agree!tainted lovers (2)

What makes a story “Erotica”?

A really good story which features some sex, which doesn’t have to be on every page. A cracking sex scene can carry an entire book if it’s memorable and unique, and well written. Erotica, for me, is a genre which delves into the very basics of our psyche and isn’t easy to write. It’s not just about moving a story from plot point A to point B. You have to weave the sex in so it doesn’t seem unneccessary. It’s a skill I’m still learning all the time.

 

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