This morning, I’d like you to meet CHARLOTTE HOWARD, author of Rocking Horse Publishing’s upcoming release, SEVEN DIRTY WORDS. Both paperback and e-book versions will be released on January 29, 2013 – in just ten days! Charlotte comes to us from the UK, with a strong background in non-fiction writing as well as some creative work, and SEVEN DIRTY WORDS will be her first traditionally published novel.
So, your first novel is coming out on January 29. Are you excited? Or is that too lame a question?
I’m ridiculously excited! Previous completed works have been rejected by UK publishers left, right, and centre, and I was beginning to doubt myself as a writer, so this has been a real confidence (and ego) boost.
Tell us about SEVEN DIRTY WORDS.
SEVEN DIRTY WORDS is the story of Paige Holmes, who is trying to overcome a traumatic experience and regain her trust in men. TDS (Tall, Dark, and Smouldering) walks into her life and she instantly knows that he’s not to be trusted. Then she meets Matt Jackson, who is charming, kind, and pretty much perfect, and she has to choose between them (with a few added twists).
I like to think of it as her choice between stilettos and slippers – one makes her feel sexy and womanly, the other is comfortable.
And what was your inspiration?
If I’m going to be honest, I’d never thought of myself as a romance novelist, but after reading the Fifty Shades trilogy, I wondered if I could do it too. I think most women have had their trust in men tested, and we’ve probably all known that one person we knew we shouldn’t fall for, so I guess there is a spattering of personal experience in there somewhere too.
What made you decide against self-publishing, like your first book, Murder at Meadowview?
Murder at Meadowview was my first finished piece, and as with most first pieces it was rejected, but with some good feedback. I was desperate to see my name in print, so I decided to go down the SP route; I’m glad I did, because it was an experience. But I didn’t realise how much hard work went into publishing a book. A saleswoman, I am not. It’s not just the selling of the book though, but the formatting too. I felt very drained once it was done, and almost grew to hate it. I want to be able to enjoy my books and be proud of them, not think back to them and get an instant headache.
What do you do when you aren’t writing?
My life revolves around my children – school runs, playdates, ballet, kickboxing, swimming, Rainbows (UK Girl Guides group for the under 7s)…. I’ve also recently volunteered to help at my son’s playgroup. I’ll give any soccer mom a run for her money! I also have to admit to being a slight Facebook addict, and of course, I’m a true bookworm – currently trying to convince my husband that our home office should actually be a library.
Do you have any other books in progress?
I’ve always got another book in progress! Usually about five storylines at once. I’m *considering/trying* to write a story entitled “Four Letter Words,” which, as you can guess, is a follow-on to SEVEN DIRTY WORDS, but no promises! I’ve also started another romance novel, currently entitled “Her Idol” (it’s a work in progress). I’d also like to try my hand at crime fiction.
What was the most difficult part of the process of bringing SEVEN DIRTY WORDS to publication?
Without a doubt – editing. I wrote SEVEN DIRTY WORDS just before I joined a local writer’s group (here is where I plug Yeovil Cre8ive Writers!), and I was editing it when I first met the eclectic bunch. I thought it was perfect, and had it all ready to send out to publishers and agents when they started making noises about overused and unnecessary words. Going back to the manuscript, I searched for words they’d mentioned such as “nice,” “just,” and “very” and removed hundreds! I’m pretty sure there are still several in there, as well as the adverbs and similes that I constantly get picked up on.
What was the easiest?
Writing the first draft. It took me 21 days to complete 90,000(ish) words, but a further two months to edit it! I guess finding a publisher was fairly easy too – it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. I was very lucky that three publishers came back to me saying that they wanted SEVEN DIRTY WORDS.
And there you have it, folks! SEVEN DIRTY WORDS will be available in print via All on the Same Page Bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, and your local bookstore. E-book versions will include Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony, and others.