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That First Book

The Indie Girls Club

I was thinking about it in bed the other night. I do a lot of random thinking in the middle of the night. I’m going to presume everyone else does too, so please don’t tell me the truth if this isn’t the case.

I was thinking about writing my first novel, and how at the time it seemed completely ordinary, but actually with hindsight it was truly awesome! So one day I wasn’t a writer. And then the next I was.

There aren’t many times in your life when you can say you changed the direction of your life in just one split second. I mean, you don’t one day become a surfer, and then the next you jump on a board and away you go. Of course not, you’d drown. Or at the least, swallow a lot of revolting sea water.

For me, choosing to write was like that…

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The excuse fest

It’s been a while hasn’t it?! Let me introduce myself . . .

My name is Anna Bloom and sometimes, just sometimes, I write books.

I’ve got a bucketful of excuses for why I have been missing off practically all social media for the last ten months—why really in all honesty I haven’t done anything with my “Author” side of my life. Last time I wrote on this blog I was pregnant and feeling upbeat and super excited about everything, life in general. Yeah, that lasted about a week, then I was tired, grumpy, exceptionally huge and genuinely having a very complicated pregnancy. It was all a bit stressful and I seriously needed to re-order my life. I couldn’t take care of my family, giant bump, cope with extended trips to hospital and also worry about my books. Family had to come first.

So anyway, roll on a few (uncomfortable) months and we ended up having an emergency C-Section at 37 weeks, on Christmas Eve in fact. It was a miracle I made it that far considering I went into early labour at 33 weeks. All in all we were just relieved that it was finally going to be over, the kids were hyped, my mum dad and sister were at home all preparing for Christmas and the arrival of Baby No3 when the one thing that none of us were expecting happened. The baby was delivered but not breathing.

Here’s the thing. No matter what I write, no matter what words I find, I will never, ever, be able to describe the ten minutes we spent waiting for her to cry. I could have died. I couldn’t breathe, my arms were aching with this need to reach out and help, the whole time the midwife kept turning to us and saying “It’s okay, Mum, I’m not worried yet.” She kept saying it right until the point when she was worried and suddenly all the cavalry were called in. I don’t really remember all of this—I actually went into shock, my brain just shut down.

But, and for the rest of my life I will give thanks for this, they managed to get her breathing, not well, but alive and that’s what mattered.

So Thea Mae entered our lives in a truly dramatic fashion. She spent a week in intensive care, for three days very very poorly. I was torn in a way I’d never been before. I had two children at home, it was Christmas, their baby sister was in an incubator on oxygen it was a terrible terrible nightmare so in the end I decided that once I was up and about I’d go home and commute in to take care of Thea during the day. It was tough going and looking back now I know I made life crazy hard for myself. I should have just stayed in the hospital and let them bring me food and cups of tea with biscuits, but hindsight is a bitch, and really there is no amount of sense that can be talked into a woman who has just been through the biggest trauma of her life. We muddled through and that’s all that matters.

Finally Thea was home. It was amazing, we had those lovely two weeks where they are so sleepy they don’t wake up and you tell yourself having a baby is all so easy, and question what there was to be worried about. Uh, hello. COLIC. Yes that word has to be in capital letters. Thea then got COLIC and cried, screamed, went purple, burst veins in her face until she was around sixteen weeks old. She’s now 21 weeks and I’m just starting to get a grip on things. Crying isn’t twenty hours a day anymore, she smiles and giggles and I love her with every single shred of my being.

I will never until the day I die forget the moment I was immobilised on that theatre bed and I thought she wasn’t going to make it. She will be sixteen and running rings around me and I will probably forgive her anything because the fear of losing her is so extreme.

In truth I’m not writing much at the moment, I’m not really doing very much at all except existing and getting through every single day and every day gets better and better. This week I’ve started exercising again—Thea did a true number on me, and I’ve gone from a size 10 to a 14 (I did say it was a complicated pregnancy!) But slowly I’m finding myself again. I’m playing with book ideas and I’ve got three definite books in mind, some of them are even half written. It’s just at the moment I need to be me. I need to sit on the floor and make my baby giggle without worrying about writing on my blog or checking FB. I need to sit down in the evening, exhausted, and know I don’t have to feel guilty about watching telly and not writing. I’m not a career writer. I write from the heart and I write stories that I love BUT my family will always, always, come first.

In a couple of weeks I will be attending the Four Brits Book Fest in Birmingham and it will be my first time out as an author. It will also be my first time away from Thea. But in truth I’m not going to be the same woman attending as I would have been when I signed up. I changed dramatically on Christmas Eve, probably forever. But I will be there to have a laugh, I can’t wait to meet readers, I’ve got pre-orders from people who want signed copies—this totally blows my mind! It’s going to be a great couple of days.

So anyway there are my excuses . . . I think they are quite convincing myself!

There will be a new book from me, but not until next year. I will post on my blog, but it will probably be pictures of my baby. I will one day create a balance between who I was before and the mother of three that I now am, but it’s going to take time. I just hope you guys all stick around while I get there.

 

Anna.xxx

 

 

 

 

The Summer of Getting Fat

That’s what we should call this summer… the summer of getting fat.

I’ve nearly hit five months of the pregnancy, and to be honest I’m just grateful for every day that passes and things keep going well. However, as is usually the case with me, my penchant for carbs is having an adverse effect on my waistline. Why do I have to develop an aversion to protein and salad but develop a deep craving for peanut butter on toast?

I’ve also developed an obsession with blueberries. Well that’s quite healthy I hear you say. Yes for me and the baby, not so much for the bank balance. No one tell my husband, but I’ve spent twelve quid on blueberries in the last week. . . and the irony is that I don’t even like them that much when not pregnant. Not unless they are encased in a muffin and being washed down with a mocha latte.

This post isn’t just to moan about how fat I am getting, but also to give a little update on what else is going on at the moment.

I don’t think it’s going to be a huge surprise to anyone to know that I’ve been on a bit of a break. I’ve been off social media and all promoting for the last few months. Mainly because I wanted to concentrate on the baby and my family but also because I felt so rough in the early weeks that I was falling asleep at every available moment. There wasn’t much time for tweets, status updates, or giveaways.

So I decided to have the summer off and reread some of my favourite books. So far I have read ten books since the beginning of the summer holiday, which has been amazing. I haven’t had the time to read this much in years and it’s been comforting spending time with my favourite characters again.

However this is me and I can’t ever stop writing for long, so I’ve actually started a new project. I’m about a third of the way through a first draft and I’m loving the whole thing. It’s a departure for me genre wise and it’s been exciting pushing my imagination in new directions.

I’ve also got the Four Brits Book Fest, Birmingham signing coming up next June so I am putting some ideas together for swag giveaways . I’m guessing I’m going to be a bit busy in the spring so as much prep as I can do now the better.

Before the end of the holiday I will post my Re-Read Summer list and share with you all the great reads I’ve had over the last month, and obviously I will update on the new project as and when I can.

But for now, I’m wishing everyone a happy remaining summer holiday.xxxx

Hurrah for Release Day

It’s finally here, This Love released today and I couldn’t be more proud. I’ve written about many things over the last few years, damaged teenagers, drunk twenty-something’s but this is my first foray into writing about something that I know and do on a daily basis but still don’t totally understand — being a parent. Although lets be honest I know a reasonable amount about being drunk too . . .

Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered and purchased today, it’s still an overwhelming experience to realise that readers are waiting for my next book. I will probably never get used to that fact, so it’s an erstwhile thanks that I send.

The Blog Tour starts tomorrow and there’s a pretty big giveaway along with extracts from the book and other posts. We are also going to have signed paperback giveaways on the FB page so pop along for a chance to win.

Here is a little reminder of This Love

This Love 2Amber’s always planned to leave her overbearing mother and their stifling small town behind as soon as she graduates. That is until her car breaks down outside Bale and Son’s mechanics and she meets Freddy Bale. A boy who’d rather live in the moment than make a five-year-plan.

Ignoring her friends’ warnings, Amber puts all dreams for her perfect future on hold, and dives into the romance heart first. On their last day of school, however, Freddy decides to call off their relationship, and Amber does the only thing she can think of: Run away and never look back. Just like she’d always planned.

Ten years pass before Amber sets foot in town again, only returning to look after her ailing mother. While Freddy wants to make amends, Amber is confronted with her own wrong choices from ten years ago. Choices that could change the lives of everyone she’s ever loved.

When first love is given a second chance and the secrets of the past come hurtling into the present, will Amber and Freddy be able to lay their mistakes to rest and make this love the strongest one of all?

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Exclusive Extract

It’s a silent trip home, both of us lost in our own thoughts; I’m thinking of him maybe falling in love with me, I’m thinking of his dad and the obvious effect losing his wife has had on him. I’m wondering why I didn’t know about any of that. What sort of village is this? But most of all, I’m clutching his locket tight in one hand and his hand in my other as the car turns down the silent dark lanes.

When he pulls up outside my house, he gets out of the car and opens my door, ever the gentleman. I’m beginning to realise this goes far deeper than car doors and polite manners.

“Thank you,” I say again, still clutching my locket.

“Merry Christmas, Amber French.” He leans in swiftly and plants a short kiss on my lips.

“Merry Christmas, Freddy Bale,” I whisper back.

Upstairs in my room, I open the locket and see that inside there is a picture of us taken that first day back in the snow when he said he thought we could be something. The picture is blurry and low grade from the camera phone he’s snapped us with. I don’t care, the memory will sit for all eternity protected by it’s engraved silver casing.

It’s as I sit in the dark, willing the two days of Christmas to be over, I understand we could be not just something, but everything.

New Novel Announcement: THIS LOVE

Today I am very proud to announce the release date of my new novel THIS LOVE.

Releasing on 2nd June 2015 THIS LOVE is available for pre-order on Amazon now (Links provided below)

I’m thrilled with this book, I loved writing it so much and it gave me a huge amount of joy to help the story take shape and give a lease of life to my characters. A tale of second chances it’s about family and relationships and how discovering just what true love is can change your fundamental understanding of that simple four letter word: love.

THIS LOVE

Amber’s always planned to leave her overbearing mother and their stifling small town behind as soon as sheThis Love 2 graduates. That is until her car breaks down outside Bale and Son’s mechanics and she meets Freddy Bale. A boy who’d rather live in the moment than make a five-year-plan.

Ignoring her friends’ warnings, Amber puts all dreams for her perfect future on hold, and dives into the romance heart first. On their last day of school, however, Freddy decides to call off their relationship, and Amber does the only thing she can think of: Run away and never look back. Just like she’d always planned.

Ten years pass before Amber sets foot in town again, only returning to look after her ailing mother. While Freddy wants to make amends, Amber is confronted with her own wrong choices from ten years ago. Choices that could change the lives of everyone she’s ever loved.

When first love is given a second chance and the secrets of the past come hurtling into the present, will Amber and Freddy be able to lay their mistakes to rest and make this love the strongest one of all?

Pre-order links (SPECIAL PRE-ORDER PRICE $1.99 – just over a quid for us Brits)

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Writing Song of the Day

I haven’t posted a writing song in ages. How slack of me.

This is my inspiration song from the last few days and the tune I’m using to shape my ideas for the book I’m about to start (re-start actually!) I’m heading back to Cornwall for my next storyline.

I don’t think I’ve heard as beautiful a song as this one for a very long time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Sticking to a Plan

For the first time in my life I’ve stuck to a plan. As a rule I’m not a fan of plans, they’re confining, restraining and generally a pain in the arse.
The reason I feel this way is because I normally can’t stick to even the vaguest plan, I’m more of a act on a whim kind of person.
However this year I set out with clear plans in place. Guess what? I stuck to one…. hello…. this must surely make me a grown up. I said I was going to do something and I did it. Hurrah! Round of applause please.

I wasn’t going to write for the first half of this year but then on New Years Day I woke up and completely changed my mind (this happens a lot). I started to write that day with a promise I would have a first draft of a new book finished by Valentines Day. I did it. Eighty thousand words, a serious headache, my house falling to bits around me, but I stuck to my plan. I even knew what I was going to write instead of winging it which is my usual style.
Something about the new storyline really fired my imagination. One couple, two relationships, ten years apart. It’s a tale of second chance love. The youthful mistake of making bad choices but then getting a chance to try and fix it later in life.
The whole of last year I kept starting and then restarting a rekindled romance storyline but it just wasn’t there no matter how hard I tried to tease at the edges and pull it together. Then BAM there it was. I think it may have had a lot to do with finally getting a good grasp of my new characters Amber French and Freddy Bale. You will hear much more about them in the coming months.
I’m not going to reveal the title yet or release date, not until my second draft is smoothed out and it’s in the hands of my editor but I did want to shout from the roof tops just how excited I am by it all.

Big yay for sticking to a plan!
Further updates and info coming soon…