My Sister by Michelle Adams ** Blog Tour Guest Post**

I am delighted to be starting off the Blog Tour to celebrate the publication of My Sister on April 20th. It is great to welcome its author, Michelle Adams to Books, Life and Everything with her great guest post on Writing a First Novel. Before we get to read it, however, I thought you'd like to hear a  little about My Sister.

My name is Irini. I was given away.

My name is Elle. I was kept.

All her life Irini thought she was given away because her family didn't want her.  What if the truth is something worse?

Two sisters.  Two separate lives.

One family bound by a harrowing secret. 

MY SISTER tells the story of Irini Haringford, who was given away by her parents at the age of three, whilst her volatile, destructive sister was kept within the family. Twenty years later Irini receives a phone call from her estranged sister to say that their mother has died, compelling her to return for the first time to the family home, and to uncover once and for all the shocking truth that has defined both their lives…


 Welcome to Books, Life and Everything, Michelle. Over to you!


WRITING A FIRST NOVEL

I had written several manuscripts before I sat down to write My Sister. I wasn’t a planner, and I never really knew what sort of story I would end up writing. I only needed a premise or a scene visualized in my mind in order to make a start. In this way My Sister crept up on me, growing organically over the course of eight months. I worked on the editing for another six months after that, by which point I had a loose plan for the finished book. I had been self-publishing my manuscripts for several years, and planned to do so again. I even had my designer create a cover. I was all set to go. But a chance conversation with a fellow writer who was setting out on the submissions trail in the hope of finding an agent sparked an idea in me. It made me curious. Was it worth looking for an agent this time round?

I came up with a plan. I held back on self-publishing and instead created a spreadsheet with what now feels like the names of a thousand different agents who were all accepting email submissions. The round of rejections began. I knew this was part of the course, but still, it’s hard to keep your resolve in the face of being told your work is not quite what people are looking for. But then I got a positive response; an agent wanted to see the full manuscript. I was excited, worked for hours to get it ready, only to be turned down several weeks later. I’ll be honest; I was gutted. The lure to self-publish was calling. But out of the blue another agent emailed me, telling me that while she wasn’t the right person to represent my work, I shouldn’t give up, and that I had something worth pursuing. It was all the encouragement I needed. I emailed the agent from my list who I really wanted to represent me and told her that my manuscript was in her submissions pile and that another agent had shown an interest. A few days later I was one of her authors.
Getting a publisher after that was surprisingly the least stressful part for me because I had no idea of just how much work was going on in the background. But once My Sister sold at auction I quickly learnt that there was still so much to do. You have to begin working with your editor, and therefore accept that your novel is far from finished. I found that approaching this stage with an open mind to be a very rewarding experience, and I learnt a lot during this time. My Sister started to morph and shift into the finished item, and subsequently got its first, second, and third covers. At the same time I had to hunt for an idea for book two that everybody was happy with, and then start writing the book. It was the first time I had to write a book at the same time as editing another. I have heard many people say that book two is the hardest, and I can testify that they are not wrong.
The learning curve after getting signed by a publisher is steep, and the hours I have to work now are long. In fact I’m writing this while dressed in my pyjamas in the early hours of Easter Sunday. But a couple of weeks ago somebody sent me a finished copy of My Sister. It was as surreal moment to see the finished product before me, but having it in my hands made every step in the journey to publication worthwhile.


                                                                   About the Author 

 


 Michelle Adams grew up in the UK and now lives in Cyprus, where she works as a part-time scientist.  She read her first Stephen King novel at the tender age of nine, and has been addicted to suspense fiction ever since.  My Sister is her first novel. 

You can follow Michelle on Twitter  on her Website and on Goodreads 

Thanks to Millie Seaward of Headline Press for a copy of the book and a place o
n the Book Tour.


Follow the rest of the Tour! 

 

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