Wednesday, 31 July 2019

New Release Spotlight & Guest Post: the Summer House in Santorini by Samantha Parks

The Summer House in Santorini by Samantha Parks

The Most Surprising Things About Writing a Novel, by Samantha Parks

Nobody ever told me writing a novel would be easy. Let’s get that out of the way. Writing may be romanticised quite a bit in pop culture, but I had no reason to be deluded about the fact that it would be HARD. So when I started writing, editing and marketing my own book, it wasn’t the FACT that it was challenging that surprised me. Rather, it was the WAYS in which it was challenging which caught me off guard. Here are some of the things that surprised me:

Creative curiosity dissipates as soon as the first draft is done.
Imagine this: you spend months of your life labouring over a story, stringing together loose ends and fleshing out sub-plots, until one refreshing day when you finally get to write those magical words: THE END.

Except that isn’t the end. You have to keep going back to that story over and over. To change characters. Change the setting. Sometimes even change major plot points. But the problem is that the creative curiosity that was driving you through the writing process is done? That’s gone. It went away the second you tied the bow on the story.

Structural edits really are that bad, but proofreading is a bit of a nightmare, too.
Everyone talks about how bad the structural edits are, mostly for the reason I mentioned above, at least in my case. But the proofread was surprisingly my most frustrating stage of edits.

The thing is, I’m a very technically proficient writer. My undergrad degree is in technical writing, so I know my way around a semicolon. But I also break grammar rules on purpose sometimes because it makes prose more engaging. I did it twice in that last sentence, in fact.

When the proofread comes back, you want to just be able to click “accept all changes” and move on. But when most of the edits make your writing harder to read, you have to go through the entire 65,000-word manuscript and manually accept or reject each comma placement and dash edit. It was exhausting, and I wasn’t even remotely prepared for it.

There are so many other books being published at the same time and about the same thing.
Did you know there’s another chick lit novel being published in the UK this summer with the word “Santorini” in the title? Honestly, it can be overwhelming seeing how many other books are coming out around the same time. But the brilliant thing about the women’s fiction community is that all of the readers and authors and bloggers are so supportive of everyone, and no one feels left out or unloved. It’s been an incredible thing to experience and a pleasant surprise in my journey.

I am so, so privileged to have been able to share my debut novel with everyone, and I can’t wait to see everyone’s reactions. There have been surprises along the way, both good and bad, but the biggest surprise has been how much love and support I have felt from every one of you. So thank you from the bottom of my heart. And if you haven’t already, grab your copy of The Summer House in Santorini for just 99p/$2.99 wherever you buy your ebooks.

One summer in Greece will change everything…
Anna’s running away. From a failed relationship, a dead-end career and a complicated family life.
On the island of Santorini, with its picturesque villas, blue-tiled roofs, and the turquoise waters of the Aegean lapping at the white sand beaches, Anna inherits a less-than-picturesque summer house from her estranged father. As she rebuilds the house, she rebuilds her life, uncovering family secrets along the way that change everything. She starts to fall for her little slice of paradise, as well as for gorgeous, charming Nikos.

Will Anna lose her heart in more ways than one?

Amazon UK      Amazon US 

Samantha Parks is the pen name of Sam Gale. Her pen name comes from her late grandmother Velma Hobbs nee Parks, who was one of Sam's greatest role models. Sam was born in North Carolina but now resides in Bournemouth, UK with her husband Alex. She owns a successful marketing company and is enjoying her slow descent into "crazy plant lady" status.