Today is my stop on the Crazy Undercover Love blog tour and author Nikki Moore has kindly answered a few of my questions.
1. Tell us about Crazy, Undercover, Love.
Crazy,Undercover, Love is my debut novel – the first of many, hopefully! So far it’s had some great reviews and is averaging 4.4 stars on Amazon, so I wake up most mornings with a massive grin on my face 🙂 I absolutely fell in love with Alex and Charley, the main characters, and hope readers do too. Here’s the blurb…
When uber-feisty career girl Charley Caswell-Wright takes on the assignment as PA to the gorgeous Alex Demetrio, CEO of Demetrio International, she’s there under entirely false pretences; to get her life back on track. Having lost the job she worked so hard to earn, she’s determined not to give it up so easily, especially when she didn’t deserve to lose it in the first place.
Mr Dreamy CEO is her only chance of clawing back her career – and her reputation. So she has to keep things strictly professional… boy, is she in trouble!
2. How long did it take you to write Crazy, Undercover, Love and how long did it take you to secure a publishing deal?
I started the book in 2010 under a different title but never wrote it solidly because I was writing another book and short stories to enter into competitions at the same time, so it’s difficult to say exactly how long it took to write.
At a guess, if I’d written all day every day it would have taken a good four or five months. The storyline has evolved a lot since the first draft, it’s been through the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Scheme twice (a fab organisation, with a critique service that I can’t praise enough) and has undergone MANY rewrites; I kept going back and polishing it so it took longer than other books might. Then again other books might take longer – I think it depends on the story, and what else you’ve got going on at the time!
I finished it in June 2013 and decided to give myself a year to find a publisher. If I couldn’t find one, I was going to self-publish, then get on with the next book. Happily I didn’t need to. I had a one to one slot at the Romantic Novelists Association Conference 2013 with the fabulous Charlotte Ledger from HarperImpulse, who on the basis of the first chapter told me she loved my voice and wanted to see the rest. She made me an offer last October and Crazy, Undercover, Love was published as an ebook in April with the paperback due out later this summer.
3. What have you learnt about the publishing process that you think will help you in the future, and what was the biggest surprise?
It’s been a huge learning curve so far. I always thought getting offered a contract would be like reaching the summit of Everest but now I’m actually published I realise I’m just a tiny figure at the bottom of the foot hills! 🙂
One of the biggest things I’ve learned over the last eight months is the amount of fiddly technical work that goes into readying a book for publication in terms of editing, copy-editing, line-editing, checking the epub proof etc. Now I know how much time that all takes I can be prepared to put that time aside for the next book!
The biggest surprise, which I hadn’t really appreciated beforehand, is that it’s quite strange when you’re promoting one book while writing another. It’s difficult to juggle two different books and the practical aspect of promo versus the creative flow of writing. It’s right versus left part of brain. But I’m not complaining! I’ve worked hard to be published, am disciplined about juggling everything and am mega-excited about finally being a published author 🙂
4. Can you tell us anything about your current work in progress?
I’m just finishing off my next book Picnics in Hyde Park, and am looking forward to sending it into my editor. I’m really excited about it! It started off originally as The Nanny’s Revenge, and was a finalist in Novelicious Undiscovered 2012.
Picnics in Hyde Park is about Zoe Harper, who returns to the UK after five years in the States following a break up with her fiance. On landing, she finds her sister’s life in ruins at the hands of the Riley brothers, so she hatches a plot for revenge – Operation Nanny-gate – which involves moving in with famous music producer Matt Reilly, and his two children. But of course it turns out to be a little bit more complicated than she planned…
5. Do you have any advice for anyone writing their first novel?
That’s a big question! Hmm, where to start. I’ll share my top three tips, but there are many more 🙂
- Write it! Write the whole thing; bum on chair, fingers on keyboard. The first draft of your manuscript will not magically appear in a draw one day – it takes hours of hard slog and immersing yourself in your characters’ story for that to happen. As Nike say – Just Do It!
- Put it away for a few weeks or even a month after you’ve finished the first draft, then come back to it with fresh eyes. Expect to rewrite and refine and redraft. In fact, make the following your mantra … it’s not done until it’s the absolute best it can be.
- Never, ever, ever get impatient and send it out to agents or publishers before it’s ready. I know this is a hard one because you want to share your baby with the world, and get reassurance from other people that they think it’s beautiful too, but it really is worth hanging on until you’re one hundred per cent done. Then you will have something you completely believe in to sell, and won’t be caught in an awkward situation where someone wants to see the whole MS and you’re scrabbling to try and finish it to send to them before they lose interest!
6. You must answer a lot of these questions. What question have you not been asked that you wish had been, and what’s the answer?
This is such a hard one! Argh, I don’t know. Okay …
Q. How many books do you see yourself writing in your lifetime?
A. As many as I can possibly manage! I have dozens of ideas and am really excited about the thought of getting them all down on paper.
Thanks for having me Janet, it’s been great fun 🙂
You can buy Crazy, Undercover, Love here:
Or to buy it as a paperback on pre-order, released on 26th June:-
Amazon – http://amzn.to/1rTKGmB