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Guest author – Rachel Lyndhurst

March 2, 2011

Rachel Lyndhurst

I’ve got a fabulous guest on the blog today, a debut author whose gorgeous, sexy romance, Storm’s Heart, has been going down, appropriately enough, a storm on Amazon Kindle charts. I had a sneak preview some time ago…
So without more ado, please welcome Rachel Lyndhurst.

Surviving as a New Author

Thanks so much for having me today, Phillipa!

I hope a blog free day will help you with the four books you have to promote this year, the new book you have to write and the day job you need to keep under control. Phew! How do you do it?

I’m a newbie to this strange world of being a published author and thought it might be useful and relevant to pass on a few of the things I’ve learned in the last few weeks since the publication of my debut novel Storm’s Heart with Embrace Books. Mainly about how to survive tight deadlines!

So you’re serious about wanting to be a published author? Great! Your book is finished, polished to a gleam and newly submitted. Marvellous stuff. You have now lost control of what happens next.

So be prepared.

If your manuscript is rejected you’ll need to resubmit elsewhere, revise for any feedback you may have received, or dump it and write something new. If you’re lucky your book will be of interest and revisions will hit. Maybe a few rounds of revisions. And then you’ll have to read through the proofs meticulously. There will be deadlines for all of this, and after reading your book through for the fifth time in as many days you’ll be wanting to get your life back (so will your family!). And this is before the book is launched and you have to promote it – yep – that’s your job too. Oh, and you really should have started the next book by now …

You know these things are going to happen at some stage in the future, so plan for it like a war or like the arrival of a new baby. Here are some of my top tips:

Do your grocery shopping online if you can. You’ll spend less (especially when doing revisions – slash, burn and edit that basket!). You’ll save time, on average about two hours, that’s a lot of words you could have written. You also won’t risk injury to your hands, shoulders and neck lugging all those bags about. If you can’t shop online then treat the expedition as part of your exercise quota – do it fast and make sure you’re out of breath by the end of it.

Domestic awfulness: if your darlings are old enough to moan about it or care, they’re old enough to do it for themselves (not necessarily applicable to males over forty though.) This applies to washing, ironing, bath time, rabbit hutches and food. During Embrace’s launch week my twelve year old miraculously put down her Nintendo DS and started to cook. Hurrah! We can live on pasta carbonara, steak and Supernoodles for a week now, no problem.

Cook in large batches during the quiet times and freeze a load. You’ll be glad of that homemade stew when your eyes are on stalks and your hands are shaking with keyboard/mouse fatigue. There’s a lot to be said for a spot of frozen Christmas dinner in February too!

Call in those favours. You’ve been nice to all and sundry for ages haven’t you? It’s payback time. We’re talking things like school runs, babysitting, blog posts, proofreading and some hearty retweets. Don’t be scared to ask, it’ll be your turn again soon enough!

Have a deadline contingency plan. For example, what would you do if you lost your internet connection, computer and laptop within the same two days and were also snowed in? It happened. Back everything up regularly. Everything. Twice. And get a fancy phone that uses a different service provider to the one you’ve got at home.

Lost your car keys? Look in the fridge (credit to Jane Holland for that one).

And in the middle of all the madness try to take a break away from being an author, even if it’s just for ten minutes. Sit down and have a glass of wine with your significant other, make the hot shower last a little longer than necessary, find a flower and take a long sniff. Or just look at something really gorgeous and forget everything else …

You can find out more about Rachel and Storm’s Heart here

Storm’s Heart is available as an eBook or paperback from:
Salt Publishing: http://bit.ly/e8v2G4
Amazon.co.uk : http://amzn.to/gfayrv
Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/ieFP7f

PS Note to Rachel from Phillipa – can you not wax Richard’s chest in future, love? I like a bit of fur myself even if you’re handy with the hot stuff and a spatula.

Posted by Phillipa @ 5:51 am | Leave a Comment


  1. Rachel Lyndhurst Says:

    Sorry, Phillipa, I just couldn’t leave it alone! He did grumble a bit, but you can have him back now.

    Thanks for having me!


  2. prue batten Says:

    Terrific post! Taken to heart! Especially bit about glass of wine and family support.

  3. Phillipa Says:

    Rachel – a pleasure to have you and I agree with Prue. Great advice.

    I’d add mine FWIW: get Out of The House. It’s abit different for me as my daughter is grown up and moved away so I’m on my own all day. I make sure that I’ve arranged to meet another human for lunch/go to the gym or swim/meet writers/go into town every day or I’d go totally potty… also sitting around all day is the fastest way to a bad back and writer’s bottom and general lunacy..

  4. Rosy Thornton Says:

    Congratulations, Rachel – and very best of luck with the book.

  5. Rachel Lyndhurst Says:

    Thanks,Prue, couldn’t function without the promise of a glass of wine at the end of the day! Great to see you here – I couldn’t get your FB and Twitter links to work? It’d be nice to ‘connect’. X

    Great advice too, Phillipa. I’ve just got out of the house by hand-delivering a copy of Storm’s Heart to a friend who is without her car. That was after the bottle bank and Sainsbury’s (where I got another sale with the checkout lady – no shame!)

    Thanks so very much, Rosy. Yours looks to be doing very well, here’s to many more sales! X

  6. Kath Says:

    That is a great checklist! I am well on my way to being ready for publication, I think, I definitely have Domestic Awfulness nailed already. That Writer’s bums thing is a bit of a worry, though – I have two of those. 🙁

    All the best of luck with Storm’s Heart, Rachel. I really enjoyed it – it’s a fab read – and you deserve every success with it.

  7. Rachel Lyndhurst Says:

    Ha! I’ll bet my one bum is bigger than your two put together, Kath!
    Thanks so much for the good wishes and for reading Storm’s Heart, you’re a darling. X

  8. Suzi Williams Says:

    I really enjoyed reading your guest blog. As a writer who is relatively new to writing novels. I found your advice very interesting. I hope you have great success now and in the future.
    Suzi x

  9. Rachel Lyndhurst Says:

    Thanks, Suzi! And best of luck with your own writing. Embrace are accepting submissions, you know … XX

  10. Jude Says:

    Great tips Rachel. I’ve not left my car keys in fridge but … I’ll be glad of the pointer when it happens. I’m pretty sure it will!

    I have left my handbag swinging from a trolley in the trolley store at Asda!


  11. Wendy Soliman Says:

    Interesting post, Rachel. Good luck with everything.

  12. Rachel Lyndhurst Says:

    Oooh that’s a dodgy one, Jude! I think my worst so far was going to the cashpoint, going through the motions and then walking off without the money. Gutting!

  13. liz Says:

    Great post and great tips 🙂

  14. Rachel Lyndhurst Says:

    Thank you, Wendy and Liz, it’s fantastic to see you both here. Thanks for commenting! X

  15. Hazel Osmond Says:

    Thanks for this, very good advice and good luck with the book.

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