Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Hooked From Page One has moved!

I'm excited to announce that I have launched a new website for my blog and that I have finally joined Wordpress. You can find a link to my new website by clicking the link below:

 https://hookedfrompageoneblog.wordpress.com/

I will still keep all of my previous content that I have published on this blog but any future posts will be published on Wordpress. I would love it if you could give my new site a follow, it would be great to see you there.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Road to Publication - Laura Marshall

On my blog today, I'm excited to be welcoming Laura Marshall, bestselling author of Friend Request onto my blog to share her Road to Publication.

Image result for Laura Marshall friend request

Do you find that inspiration strikes you in specific places or do ideas come to you everywhere?

I often get ideas when I am doing something else rather than trying to write - particularly if I am walking somewhere alone or out running (something I don't do often enough!). Inspiration also tends to strike me when I'm in the bath, and I often find myself having to get out and find a pen and paper before I forget whatever it is I've come up with.

What do you usually do after you get the first spark of a fresh idea, is it straight to the computer to write the first chapter or straight to a notebook to start planning? 

A bit of both. I like to have at least a vague plan - to know where I'm going, even if I don't know how I'm going to get there. But sometimes if there's a certain scene that's nagging at me to be written I'll just sit down and write it and see where it goes. Often something will happen that I hadn't planned and wasn't expecting.

How long does you first draft usually take to write?

I wrote the first draft of Friend Request in about five months (whilst working as well). The first draft of my second book is still a work in progress and I think it's going to take me longer even though I'm now writing full time. It's definitely very different writing something that you know will be read!

Do you celebrate when you finish your first draft and if so how?

I honestly can't remember if I celebrated with Friend Request. This time I think a glass of something will definitely be required!

Is it straight to editing or do you leave your manuscript a while before you pick up the red pen?

With Friend Request, I was lucky enough to get my agent not long after I finished my first draft, so the first edits I did were hers. This time, I'll be sending it to her and to my editor, so I'll probably leave it alone while they are reading it and then set to work on their edits when I get them.

How long do you spend editing before your book is handed over to the printers?

With Friend Request, I did three rounds of edits with my agent before she felt it was ready to submit to publishers. There were then several rounds of further edits with my editor before it was ready to go out into the world.

At what point, prior to publication do you ind the nerves start to kick in or do you not get nervous in the approach to publication?

I definitely started to feel nervous when the proof copies went out and I knew ACTUAL PEOPLE were reading it! It's a very strange feeling as a debut author - no one had ever read what I'd written before, and I hadn't really imagined anyone ever would. Waiting for those early reviews was a nail-biting time! 

How does it feel when the early reviews start to come in?

I was very fortunate in that the reviews were positive, so it was absolutely wonderful. To read that people had enjoyed the book that I had written was the most amazing feeling. I just hadn't realised before what an amazing community of bloggers and reviewers there is out there - that they had taken the time to write about my book and how it connected with them - it was just awesome. I feel incredibly grateful.

How long do you wait after finishing your book before starting on your next project? 

I started Book 2 pretty much straight away, but I had a few false starts before I settled on the idea that I'm now working on. 

And finally how do you celebrate publication day? 

For Friend Request, I had not one but two book launches - one in my local Waterstones and one in London. I figured I was only going to be launching my debut novel once in my lifetime, and I'd certainly waited long enough for it, so it deserved to be done in style! Both launches were wonderful celebrations with family and friends, wine and cupcakes with mini edible versions of my book on them! 

Thank you so much Laura for taking the time to answer my questions, you can purchase Laura's debut novel Friend Request by clicking HERE 

You can follow Laura on Twitter by clicking here:  @laurajm8

Friend Request: The most addictive psychological thriller you'll read this year by [Marshall, Laura]

ABOUT THE BOOK 

Maria wants to be friends. 
But Maria is dead...isn't she? 

When Louise Williams receives a message from someone left long in the past, her heart nearly stops. 

Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook.

Maria Weston has been missing for over twenty-five years. She was last seen the night of a school leavers' party, and the world believes her to be dead. Particularly Louise, who has lived her adult life with a terrible secret. 

As Maria's messages start to escalate, Louise forces herself to reconnect with the old friends she once tried so hard to impress. Trying to piece together exactly what happened that night, she soon discovers there's much she didn't know. The only certainty is that Maria Weston disappeared that night, never to be heard from again - until now....

THE ADDICTIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER THAT EVERYONE'S RAVING ABOUT - perfect for fans of He Said/She Said, The Couple Next Door and I See You

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

My Husband's Wife by Jane Corry Book Review



BLURB

FIRST COMES LOVE. THEN COMES MARRIAGE. THEN COMES MURDER.

What if your life was built on a lie?

When lawyer Lily marries Ed, she's determined to make a fresh start. To leave the secrets of the past behind.

But when she takes on her first criminal case, she starts to find herself strangely drawn to her client. A man who's accused of murder. A man she will soon be willing to risk everything for.

But is he really innocent?

And who is she to judge?

MY HUSBAND'S WIFE is a thriller with so many twists you won't be able to put it down, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Clare Mackintosh and C. L. Taylor.


MY THOUGHTS 


My Husband’s Wife is the debut novel by Jane Corry. I’ve been wanting to get around to this book for a while and I was so pleased when I finally started reading it, I’m now keen to read her second book, Blood Sisters. Set across two timelines and from the viewpoint of two characters, it is a tense, fast paced read that’ll keep you turning the pages. Jane Corry is an author who I’ll definitely be watching out for.
The first half of the book is set in 2001. Lily and her husband, Ed are newlyweds and have just spent their first year together as a married couple. Lily works as a lawyer and has just been handed a case which may well be the breakthrough case of her career. She has to decide if the man, who wants her to represent him, is innocent and if she will take him on. Can she trust him? And why does Lily suddenly begin to grow attached to this man?
Meanwhile, we meet Carla, a young Italian girl who lives with her mother in the next door apartment to Lily and Ed. Carla is looked after by Lily and Ed every weekend and soon a strong friendship begins to grow between them and Ed, a budding artist, begins to paint her every time she is there, which Ed almost becomes obsessive about. Fast forward fifteen years and Carla, now in her early twenties, is travelling to London to study law, she is also keen to meet up with her old friends. Ed has had huge success from one of his paintings, a picture of Carla from when she was a young girl and Carla feels that she should be entitled to some of his success as well. But what follows are a series of dramatic events, one of which will end in bloodshed.
There were so many intriguing characters in this book. Ed and Lily fascinated me from the beginning, Jane adds a lot of tension in their relationship and she kept me on my toes as I tried to guess what was going to happen to them next. I never expected the road which Jane took us down in the second half of the book, it was an excellent twist. In the first half of the book we also meet a character called Larry who is seeing Carla’s mother. I enjoyed trying to work out what his role in the story was; I found him to be one of the more mysterious characters.
When we move fifteen years later, Jane really does take us on a whirl wind of a ride. There were so many surprises in the second half of the book; I couldn’t stop reading until I had put it down.
A gripping debut from Jane Corry, a talented writer who is one to watch. I can’t wait to read her next book.
Publisher: Penguin
Publication date: 25th August 2016
Print length: 544 pages

Saturday, 26 August 2017

The Collector by Fiona Cummins Book Review



BLURB

Mo Hayder meets Thomas Harris in The Collector by Fiona Cummins - the gripping follow up to Rattle.

Jakey escaped with his life and moved to a new town.

His rescue was a miracle but his parents know that the Collector is still out there, watching, waiting . . .
Clara, the girl he left behind, is clinging to the hope that someone will come and save her.

Life has fallen apart for Clara's mother as she starts to lose hope.

The Bone Collector has a new apprentice to take over his family's legacy. But he can't forget the boy who got away and the detective who had destroyed his dreams.

Detective Etta Fitzroy's life collapse when the Collector escaped. With Clara still missing, and a new wave of uncannily similar murders beginning, will she be able to find him again?

The Collector is back and this time he has nothing to lose . . . 


MY THOUGHTS 


For those of you who read and loved Rattle you really are in for a treat with The Collector and if you haven’t read Rattle yet, well you better get your skates on because you do not want to be missing out. I’m going to be talking about this one a lot prior to publication next year, as I’m sure many other bloggers will be. Fiona Cummins writing is utterly gripping, so when you start this book, you best make sure that you don’t have any plans for the rest of the day.
I read Fiona Cummins debut novel Rattle towards the end of last year. It was one of the creepiest books that I’ve read and it made my top ten books of 2016 and I was pressing it into the hands of everyone I knew.  So I was really excited when The Collector was posted through my letter box and Fiona Cummins has done it again.
In The Collector we follow off from where Rattle left off. If you haven’t read Rattle yet, please stop reading here as I don’t want to spoil the story for you. Jakey Frith has escaped the clutches of The Bone Collector and he and his family are starting a new life in Leigh on Sea. But The Bone Collector has returned and he has never forgotten the boy that has escaped. But Clara Foyle has never been rescued and the police are beginning to lose hope that she’ll ever be found, the most they can hope to find is a body for her parents to bury but Detective Sergeant Etta Fitzroy is determined not to let Clara’s parents down. But she knows she is running out of time, can she find Clara before it’s too late and can she finally bring The Bone Collector to justice?
Fiona is a master of tension. The chapters are short and snappy and each one leaves you demanding more. Each chapter is headed with the time which is a great way of adding to the tension, reminding the reader that time is running out for the detective and that the detectives are racing against the clock.
The villain in this book is seriously scary; Fiona had me holding my breath on several occasions, particularly in those final scenes. I really felt for Jakey Frith and Clara Foyle, Jakey is determined to help his friend, even, though he knows, it may cost him his life. He is an incredible character.
Excellent writing from Fiona Cummins, I can’t wait to see what she does next and I am waiting eagerly for her next book with baited breath. Thank you to the publisher for sending me an advance reader copy to review. 
Publisher: Macmillan
Publication date: 22nd February 2018
Print length: 400 pages

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Road to Publication - Patricia Gibney

Today I'm thrilled to be welcoming Patricia Gibney, bestselling author of the Lottie Parker series onto my blog today to share her Road to Publication.

Image result for patricia gibney

Do you find that inspiration strikes you in specific places or do ideas come to you everywhere? 

Ideas can hit me at anytime, anywhere. I always carry a notepad and pen, and the notes app on my phone is perfect for jotting down things also. I'm one of those people who feel that once I write something down then I won't forget about it. However, I often get inspiration while I'm driving and that is a little awkward. I have to keep repeating it to myself so that I can remember it once I stop the car. I also keep a pen and notepad by my bed - just in case my nightmares contain some inspiration and quite often they do!

What do you usually do after you get the first spark of a fresh idea, is it straight to the computer to write the first chapter or straight to a notebook to start planning?

I am a terrible planner so when I have the general idea, theme or plot, I get a few thousand words written on the laptop. Then, as a plan forms while I'm writing I do a rough outline on Scrivener. I also have a large whiteboard - which is great for doodling on! When I bought it, my intention was to use it for information graphs, with all my plots and characters to surprise me, so I know the reader will be surprised. 

How long does your first draft usually take to write?

I was five years writing The Missing Ones! I used to write a bit, leave it for a few months, go off painting or doing something else and come back to it. I couldn't begin to add up how long I spent sitting down actually writing. I was a master at procrastination.

Now that I have a contract with Bookouture with very tight deadlines, I can write a first draft in two to three months.

Do you celebrate when you finish your first draft and if so how? 

No celebration for me. It is just the beginning of the process and I know it is just a first draft. The really hard work is just about to start!

Is it straight to editing or do you leave your manuscript a while before you pick up the red pen?

About half way through the first draft I usually stop and edit the work to date. I sometimes get stuck in 'the murky middle' and I find going back over it at least once, helps me. When the full novel is complete I try to start straight away to edit. Once I have the ending, and as I'm not a planner, I need to start an edit immediately.

How long do you spend editing before your book is handed over to the printers?

Bookouture provide me with an editing schedule. Structural, line and copy edits followed by proof reading. 

The manuscript will be read by professional editors, so I have the opportunity to fine tune it and perfect the novel as best I can throughout the edit schedule. 

At what point, prior to publication do you find the nerves start to kick in or do you not get nervous in the approach to publication?

Once the book goes up on NetGalley, I get the heebeejeebies. Because it is the first time anyone (other than my editors) will get to read it, I get really nervous until the first reviews start coming in. I know it is in my control at that stage, but it is like bringing your child to their first day at school . . . anticipation, nerves and terror!

How does it feel when the early reviews start to come in?

Waiting for the early reviews is a terrifying time for me. Once they start coming in, I get a sense of how the novel is going to be received. I know there is nothing else I can do at that stage, so I just start the next book and try to make it even better than the previous one. I also know my books are not for everyone as they are crime books, exploring dark and disturbing themes. Inevitably some people will pick them up and dislike them, resulting in less than positive reviews and I can absolutely understand that. But the good reviews fill me with a sense that maybe I can actually write a damn good story. 

How long do you wait after finishing your book before starting on your next project?

I start almost immediately. I'm writing a crime series featuring Detective Lottie Parker, so at least I have a starting point. It is not a totally blank page. I toy with ideas and themes and then I dive straight in. 

And finally how do you celebrate publication day?

My books are published digitally so publication day is a surreal experience for me. I usually have to do loads of social media work to promote the book and then I have to keep up with the blog tours.

Two weeks after The Missing Ones was published, I held a launch party to celebrate with my family and friends and townspeople. It was fantastic. I didn't have time to organise one for The Stolen Girls but I'm currently planning one for The Lost Child on October 27th. 


Thank you so much, Patricia for taking the time to answer my questions. You can purchase her latest novel: The Stolen Girls by clicking HERE

Follow Patricia on Twitter by clicking here: @trisha460 


The Stolen Girls: A totally gripping thriller with a twist you won't see coming (Detective Lottie Parker Book 2) by [Gibney, Patricia]

ABOUT THE BOOK

The young woman standing on Lottie's step was a stranger. She was clutching the hand of a young boy. 'Help me,' she said to Lottie. 'Please help me.'

One Monday morning, the body of a young pregnant woman is found. The same day, a mother and her son visit the house of Detective Lottie Parker, begging for help to find a lost friend.

Could this be the same girl?

When a second victim is discovered by the same man, with the murder bearing all the same hallmarks as the first, Lottie needs to work fast to discover how else the two were linked. Then two more girls go missing.

Detective Lottie Parker is a woman on the edge, haunted by her tragic past and struggling to keep her family together through difficult times. Can she fight her own demons and catch the killer before he claims another victim?

The Stolen Girls is a gripping and page-turning thriller that will leave you breathless. Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Karin Slaughter and Robert Dugoni.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan Book Review

The Doll House: A gripping debut psychological thriller with a killer twist! by [Morgan, Phoebe]

BLURB

You never know who's watching... 

Corinne's life might look perfect on the outside, but after three failed IVF attempts it's her last chance to have a baby. And when she finds a tiny part of a doll house outside her flat, it feels as if it's a sign.

But as more pieces begin to turn up, Corinne realises that they are far too familiar. Someone knows about the miniature rocking horse and the little doll with its red velvet dress. Someone has been inside her house...

How does the stranger know so much about her life? How long have they been watching? And what are they waiting for...?

A gripping debut psychological thriller with a twist you won't see coming. Perfect for fans of I See You and The Widow.


MY THOUGHTS


The Doll House is the debut novel by Phoebe Morgan. It is atmospheric, dark and unsettling in places, perfect for fans of Clare Mackintosh and Tammy Cohen. If you're a fan of psychological thrillers and if you're a fan of stories about sisters, you must read this.

Corinne and her husband Dominic are desperate for a baby. They have been trying for a few years to get pregnant and they are just about to embark on their fourth round of IVF treatment which could be their last hope. Corinne's sister, Ashley is fraught with worry that her partner maybe having an affair; her daughter Lucy is beginning to distance herself and now Ashley is receiving strange phone calls from an anonymous caller. Meanwhile, Corinne is starting to find objects that she believes come from the doll house her father built for her and her sister. Is someone stalking their family and if they are what do they want?

The Doll House was a gripping read. Phoebe's writing draws you into the story and keeps you hooked. I genuinely cared about her character's whilst I was reading. When Corinne was trying for a baby, I actually felt myself go tense when she was taking the pregnancy test which is the sign of great writing, Morgan's prose makes you want to read on and you won't be able to stop until you have turned the final page. I also really felt for Ashley as she battled to keep her daughter from slipping away from them and when it seemed that her world was toppling in on her.

Phoebe also introduces us to a mystery character who's viewpoint the book is also told from. Phoebe creates a great sense of mystery here and she had me wondering who this person was in connection to Corinne and Ashley.

The ending of this book was brilliant, I thought I had it worked out what was going to happen but Phoebe managed to totally surprise me. Her writing had me gripping the end of my seat and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. You won't be forgetting this one in a hurry.

A really enjoyable read. Phoebe Morgan is a talent to watch and I'll be keeping an eye out to see what she does next. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a copy to read.

Publisher: HQ Digital

Publication date: 14th September 2017

Print length: 355 pages

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Road to Publication - Gillian McAllister

I'm delighted to be welcoming Gillian McAllister, bestselling author of Everything but the Truth onto my blog today to talk about her road to publication.

Image result for Gillian McAllister



Do you find that inspiration strikes you in specific places or do ideas come to you everywhere? 

I think perhaps I'm not really a typical author in this way. I tend to get one idea a year, like clockwork, in the dog days of the summer/early autumn, and then I write that and only that. Novels are made up of more than one concept, though, and I do see and write things down often. I went to the cinema last Friday, for example, and I saw a boy, maybe nine, at the Pic N Mix. He turned to his Mum and said, 'I'm just amazed at all the choice!' - he - and his backstory, which I invented - went straight into my novel. 

What do you usually do after you get the first spark of a fresh idea, is it straight to the computer to write the first chapter or straight to a notebook to start planning?

Oh, no. That would be a disaster for me. I'm not a very instinctive plotter, and there's no way I would hit all the plot beats if I didn't plan. I need a pretty intense structure and a clear way forwards, otherwise my characters go for endless coffees and long walks where they 'think things through.'

How long does your first draft usually take to write?

3 months. I don't allow any more. I'm a big fan of getting it down and fixing it later. This - I have observed - is the single biggest barrier to aspiring writers, and I don't wish to let myself get caught up in the perfectionism. As Hemingway said, you have to go straight on through to the end of the damn thing.

Do you celebrate when you finish your first draft and if so how?

I have a week off, usually. Or, I used to, but usually, there are a whole load of things to do. Often my edits come on the previous book. Or there is a backlog of articles, emails I said I would send, VAT returns...I try to consume some popular culture, too, to up the well. A film (I watched The Godfather after I finished the first draft of my second novel, Anything You Do Say, and it really influenced a subsequent draft), some TV, books, though I am never not reading a book.

Is it straight to editing or do you leave your manuscript a while before you pick up the red pen?

I do tend to go straight to editing. I was always in such a rush, when I started out: to finish, to send to agents, to get published...I found it quite disheartening to be told to wait a few weeks. I have not ever really found (contrary to most advice, and so I am wary of saying this!) that I can see my manuscript with clearer eyes thanks to a break, either. The method I do swear by for this is producing a 'visual' of the book, either using tables on the computer or index carding each scene; anything that allows you to see the narrative. That is how I fix my first draft. 

How long do you spend editing before your book is handed over to the printers?

Oh, God. How long's a piece of string? I used to do a rough first draft, a structural edit for my second draft, a polish for my third, and then a read-through on my Kindle. These days, the process is a bit more complicated. With book two, I did two structural re-writes of my own, because one part of the narrative wasn't behaving itself. With book three, I have multiple narrators, so I had to slot in an edit where I concentrated on their (hopefully!) distinct voices. As I tackle more ambitious projects, the drafts seem to multiply. After this, I send to those 'in the know', and of course I get more edits then. I do one or two structural rewrites with my editor, then copy edits, then page proofs, then proof-reader queries. After that, I never look at it again. Barely even a quick flick when I receive my author copy, so paranoid I am that it will contain a horrendous error I failed to spot! 

At what point, prior to publication do you find the nerves start to kick in or do you not get nervous in the approach to publication?

Well, to be honest, I am the sort of person who can be nervous about opening a packet of crisps, so I am always in some heightened state of whatever. I used to wonder why some writers were terrified of publication, though (because I was jealous of them and couldn't see past that) and then, when my own approached, I realised: it's because we are worried it won't sell and/or it will be awfully received. So the first few weeks of it being out for review are especially tough (my God, I was obsessed with Goodreads the December just gone; I took up swimming so I had an hour a week in which I wasn't checking it). And the week of publication, and the first sales figure day, of course. Those are very tough. Exciting and scary, together.

How does it feel when the early reviews start to come in?

Ha, well, it's funny. I have high hopes it'll be different for my second because really, most published novels will have some five stars, lots of four and three, and some two and one. The pattern hardly varies and I hope I retain the perspective of that when my second is out. However, the first few bad reviews do sting. Like overhearing bad things said about yourself, only nobody will give you any sympathy. I think Sarah Perry once said, if you could walk down a corridor with the doors open, and in every single room somebody was gossiping about you - would you not stop to listen? And you do. And it hurts a little bit. But it is also often - more than often - very nice, too. And there is the paradox of being a novelist. 

How long do you wait after finishing your book before starting on your next project?

I'm not very good at not writing. Writing a novel is sort of my thing. In the past, when I was a full-time lawyer (I am now part time) I would reach stages where I absolutely had to take a break, and I was craving an evening of television, a wasted day, a trip to the opticians in which I could sit quietly in the darkness and not be typing. Life is on more of an even keel now, timewise, and so I don't think I will need a month of almost catatonic downtime when I deliver. I will be finishing book three in September and I'll probably start planning book four in October.

And finally how do you celebrate publication day?

Well, in March, my novel was very well placed and I spent the entire day visiting all of the shops that stocked it. It was such fun, to see it in the wild, and I didn't stop getting goosebumps for months. Now, when I see it in Waterstones, it's like seeing an old friend, and I merely nod to it. I also had a launch, which I would recommend for marking the occasion, but probably not for general stress levels. This time, my novel's coming out in two stages - November for Kindle and January for paperback - so I think it will be somewhat watered down, which is welcome, really. It is intense when you 'come out' in fiction to the entire world on one day. This year, maybe I'll take a bath, a walk, and stay off my sodding Amazon ranks.


Thank you so much, Gillian for taking the time to answer my questions. You can purchase Gillian's debut book Everything but the Truth by clicking HERE

You can follow Gillian on Twitter here: @GillianMAuthor


ABOUT THE BOOK 

Do you ever check your partner's phone?
Should you?
Are you prepared for the consequences? 


Everything but the Truth is Gillian McAllister's stunning breakthrough thriller about deceit, betrayal and one woman's compulsive need to uncover the truth.

It all started with the email.

Rachel didn't even mean to look. She loves Jack and she's pregnant with their child. She trusts him.

But now she's seen it, she can't undo that moment. Or the chain of events it has set in motion.

Why has Jack been lying about his past? Just what exactly is he hiding? And doesn't Rachel have a right to know the truth at any cost?