Blog Tour – The Accident

Yesterday, it was the turn of “Read Along with Sue”, who wrote a fantastic review of The Accident for the Blog Tour. You can read it here:   https://sueandherbooks.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/the-accident-blog-tour.html.

Thank you to all of the bloggers who have generously given up their time to read and review the book – so far, the reviews are all positive and I am thrilled at the response. If you haven’t downloaded the book yet, do it now while it is only 99p on Amazon!

 

Blog tour and review: The Accident

Today’s stop on the blog tour for The Accident, courtesy of Dandelions Inspired.

Dandelions Inspired

THE ACCIDENT blog tour.png9781786699633.jpgAbout the book

A tragic accident, an unbearable loss and a marriage in crisis – but who can she trust or is she all alone? A gripping, debut psychological thriller that will keep you hooked. Perfect for the fans of Paula Hawkins and S.J. Watson.

Veronica Pullman’s comfortable suburban life comes to a shuddering halt when her young daughter, Grace, tragically dies in a car accident.  

Months later, unable to come to terms with her daughter’s death, detached from her husband and alienated from her friends and family, a chance encounter on a rainy street pushes her into an unlikely new friendship.

Scarlet is everything Veronica could’ve been: feisty, adventurous, unpredictable.  But as she approaches what would have been Grace’s 10th birthday, it becomes clear to Veronica that the friendship she thought was saving her life could be costing her everything.

Consumed by grief and left questioning her own…

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Blog Tour: The Accident

The blog tour has begun! Make sure you follow the posts for interviews, reviews and various opinions on “The Accident”. Yesterday, I did a Q & A with Chick Lit Club Connect, which you can read here: https://connect.chicklitclub.com/wp/2017/10/10/qa-with-dawn-goodwin/.

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Blog Tour: The Accident (Dawn Goodwin) @Aria_Fiction @DGoodwinAuthor

Post One of the Blog Tour for The Accident, courtesy of Clues and Reviews.

Clues and Reviews

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Good Afternoon (and Happy Thanksgiving to all those Canadians who are reading this!) and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Accident by Dawn Goodwin.  I am thrilled to be kicking off the tour with a guest post by the author discussing the inspiration behind the novel.

First, let’s take a look at the synopsis of this debut psychological thriller that is perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins and S.J Watson.

Veronica Pullman’s comfortable suburban life comes to a shuddering halt when her young daughter, Grace, tragically dies in a car accident.

Months later, unable to come to terms with her daughter’s death, detached from her husband and alienated from her friends and family, a chance encounter on a rainy street pushes her into an unlikely new friendship.

Scarlet is everything Veronica could’ve been: feisty, adventurous, unpredictable.  But as she approaches what would have been Grace’s 10th birthday…

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Rhino Skin

Quotebanner2It’s ten days to publication for “The Accident” and advance reviews are starting to come in. On the whole, the book is being received very positively – lots of four and five star reviews on Netgalley and Goodreads, with some lovely comments, which are always nice to read.

However, there have also been one or two more negative reviews and I have now realised that I am going to have to develop the skin of a rhinoceros if I am to survive as an author. When I read the first negative review, I felt wounded. The reviewer even resorted to capital letters to get her dissatisfaction across, as though she was shouting at me directly from the page. But then I forced myself to step back and look at the picture as a whole. First, it still came with a two star, which is better than one star. Second, I can respect that they spent time and money on a product that left them wanting.

Obviously, not everyone is going to like “The Accident”, but it is my hope that the majority will and will come away from it feeling moved in some way or thinking that the money they spent was worthwhile and that I provided them with a few hours of escapism, entertainment and enjoyment.

But it is inevitable that there will be some dissatisfied readers. There are many books that I have read that my friends have loved and I have thought, “Really? Why?” Even so, perhaps because I am a writer myself, I’m conscious of the fact that there is a person behind that book, who has spent years working on it, perfecting it, creating a world from their own imagination, and invested a lot of emotion and energy into it. It’s a surreal thing to see something you have worked on in isolation for so long become a physical entity of its own, much like a child, and that you have to release it into the public and set free. The idea that my friends and family will read my words fills me with a fair degree of trepidation, but the Great British Public fills me with fear.

One of the downsides of social media is that everyone is welcome to post their opinions without recourse, so I have to brace for criticism and hope for praise. With this in mind, if you feel moved enough to write a review, treat it like you would when appraising your child’s dodgy attempt at making a pottery vase…. And if it’s not your cup of tea, I’ve still done you a service by making you spent your £3 on a book rather than on a muffin to accompany your latte. You can thank me later.

Husband Appreciation Day

Even though writing is a predominantly solitary endeavour, it takes more than just one person in front of a keyboard to get a manuscript across the finish line. This has become particularly apparent to me in the last few weeks.

I am currently two weeks off publication day (gasp) and not only do I have my regular job to manage, complete with year-end financials and a pesky ISO annual inspection, I also have to market my upcoming novel with blog posts, tweets, the Book of Face, etc and finish the first draft of my next novel ready for submission to my agent.

It is this that is panicking me the most, I think. I have mentioned before the “Second Album Syndrome” of writing something completely different yet eminently as readable as the first, but in less time and while juggling more balls in the air.

This is where support is important. For the last two weekends, my Other Half has put aside all of his own plans and taken over the role of taxi driver and chief entertainer to deliver my girls to their sporting commitments and keep them amused in order for me to have entire days to myself to focus purely on my word count.

As a result, I hit a record 8,000+ words yesterday alone and the end is in sight. I could not have done it without him. So I want to take a brief moment to give him and my girls a moment of appreciation and show them some love for leaving me alone all weekend.

That said, I’m the one who has to use the time wisely. Any writer will tell you it is far too easy to be distracted in this digital age. I can find myself spending hours on quizzes about how I would be killed off if I was a Game of Thrones character or if I can name 100 Eighties singers from just pictures of their nostrils. Twitter is like a time wormhole that can suck you in and spit you out three hours later dazed and confused. I now know why so many writers announce that they are disappearing from social media for a few weeks in order to finish a project.

I’m not taking such drastic lengths just yet – mostly because I need said social media to whip readers into a buying frenzy in the next two weeks – but I do appreciate everyone who has helped to get me into the predicament I am in with too much to do and too little time. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

P.S. It seems fitting to remind you at this point that “The Accident” will be published by Aria on 1 October 2017 and is available to preorder from Amazon and all good ebook retailers.

Channelling my Inner Madonna

Yes, the blog is back. This has been a somewhat sporadic blog over the years, but Loyal Readers will notice a few subtle changes have taken place since I last posted.

First – and most important to me – I can now legitimately call myself an author. My first novel, “The Accident”, will be published by Aria on 1 October 2017 and to say I am beyond excited (scared?) is an understatement.

Secondly, my two small children are not so small anymore. In fact, in a few months I will be the small one as they tower over me in their socks. They are both at secondary school now and (fairly) independently minded, so I find myself able to be more selfish with my time again after a long period as a domestic slave. Of course, in typical fashion, that hasn’t meant taking life at a slower pace or indulging in more relaxation. It has meant starting up a company with my Other Half and committing to a multiple book contract with a publisher…. I have found myself channelling my inner Madonna and reinventing myself at the ripe old age of 43. Who knew I could?

I’ve had a number of questions from wannabe writers about the process, how I got here, whether it was worth it etc, so I figured this was one of the best places to let Loyal Readers into the secrets of this new phase of my life – something I have been pushing to achieve since I was a small child writing stories about Gilroy the Gorilla in pencil in my notebook.

For now, I can tell you that it has been a rewarding, frustrating, exciting, tumultuous path to publication and every step has been worth it. I am currently working on my second book, which is due out next year, and I have to say, it is indeed like making “that difficult follow-up album”. To think I spent years on my first novel in complete selfish isolation, but the second novel is being written to deadline and in full view of the public.

Blog tour news and giveaways coming up as we approach publication day – and of course I’m obliged to mention that preorders of “The Accident” are available on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, etc. It’s a digital launch initially, but I’m hopeful that initial sales will prompt a print launch soon.

My word count awaits, but more blogs to follow.

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Notes from my bookshelf #7: Great British Summer reading

I’m having one of those “can I head back to bed” days, not helped by the steadily falling rain as the summer draws to a close, but I have no good reason for hiding under the duvet with a book at 10am, even if the weather is pants. Although an avid reader at the best of times, my summer holiday gives me an opportunity to get through more books than usual, generally from a deckchair with sand between my toes and a packet of Hula Hoops in hand (or huddled under an umbrella with a blanket on my knees and a flask of tea at the ready as my annual holiday is in Cornwall).

I’m not a particularly fast reader, so I tend to be picky about what I read and quite cutthroat in accepting that if a book hasn’t grabbed my attention by the end of the second chapter, then it is resigned to the “don’t bother” pile. Books that others thought were works of literary genius have not cut the mustard with me, such as “The Help”, “The Book Thief” and “Fifty Shades of Grey”.

This summer, I have been on a roll and managed to get through a number of great reads, helped by the great British summer weather more than anything else. I won’t bore you with the full list, but I have picked my three favourites as recommendations:

  • IMG_0973Bitter Fruits by Alice Clark-Platts. I admit that I am biased with this one, since I had the pleasure of reading it in an early draft when I attended the Curtis Brown writing course with Alice shortly before she signed with her agent. The plot of the book has essentially remained the same since then, but it is now a tighter, more engaging and gripping novel. Set in Durham University, it follows a police investigation after a girl is found murdered on campus and explores the murky world of slut-shaming, revenge porn and online trolling. The whodunit was not as I expected – and I thought I’d figured it out from the start! Now I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the DI Martin series.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. For me, the summer is the perfect time to revisit a classic. Since I have great intentions to read Go Set a Watchman, I figured a reread of Harper Lee’s original book was in order. It was one of my favourites when I was a teenager with dreams of being Harper Lee and rereading it as a 41-year-old with the same dreams – as yet unrealised – I was not disappointed. It is still a favourite and I took so much more away from it this time around (not least of which was a new appreciation of Jem). But most importantly, I completely fell in love with Scout as a character all over again. Now I’m not sure if I want to ruin this by reading Go Set a Watchman in case I’m left disappointed.
  • The Sudden Departure of the Frasers by Louise Candlish. This is one of those reads where you really dislike the main character – in this case Amber Fraser – and you are essentially hoping she comes to a bitter end at some point, which leaves me with a strange unfulfilled and slightly dirty feeling afterwards, but also means the novel stays with me. The plot follows a young couple as they move into their dream house after purchasing it at a bargain price when the previous owners, the Frasers, disappear overnight. The taut atmosphere with their new neighbours intrigues Christy, to the point where she becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Amber Fraser to make them leave so abruptly. There are elements of Hitchcock to the story and of Gone Girl in the narrative. The drama and tension is elevated from start to finish and, although I did find some of Christy’s actions a little unfathomable, I was completely caught up in her investigations. If you like Gillian Flynn, you’ll enjoy this one.

Now onto my autumn reading list, when I really can hide under the duvet because the weather is pants. I’m starting with The Maze Runner, my oldest daughter’s recommendation and in honour of her starting high school next month. Put the kettle on, would you?

Tooth fairies and tweenies

It’s 2:39am and I’m sitting at my laptop writing a letter to the Tooth Fairy. It began with the first lost tooth quite a few years ago now when a family friend suggested – within listening distance of my daughter – that in her house the Tooth Fairy is called Stephanie and she writes a letter every time she visits. My daughter then decided to pre-empt the Tooth Fairy’s visit and write her a letter first, asking her all sorts of questions about Fairyland, which she tucked under her pillow with her tooth. The first two or three times were very sweet – questions about Stephanie’s likes and dislikes; how she hopes the Tooth Fairies will be proud of her teeth; asking what they would do with them… However, two children later and the Tooth Fairy is running out of things to say (so far, Stephanie has written 11 letters to my oldest and 15 to my younger daughter).

These visits always seem to come at the most inopportune moments, as though to test my creative reserves. Ten minutes ago, I found myself sitting bolt upright in bed suddenly realising at a God-awful time of the morning that I needed to write another sparkling note, full of magic and rainbow unicorns, as well as find a quid to go with it. Can I also add that I’m half-pissed after hosting a dinner party that only ended half an hour ago. Yes, in our house, the Tooth Fairy only needs to hear the sound of a cork popping for her to magic the teeth out of small mouths.

Besides the obvious disadvantages of forgetting to write a letter, not being able to find a £1 coin when inebriated or the perils of using a laptop under the influence (many a regrettable Facebook post has immediately preceded the art of letter writing in such situations), there are some advantages to being a little bit squiffy when playing my alter ego. In years gone bye, I have concocted stories about whales as best friends, palaces made of teeth and fairies winning their wings like Oscars through creating elaborate kids’ dreams. Anything can end up on the page and the more far-fetched the better when talking all things magical.

This time around, I think I’ve done a pretty good job. Prosecco fuel has conjured up what Stephanie the Tooth Fairy’s favourite film is, the Queen’s favourite books to read and how proud she is at the magical teeth she has procured against all odds, such as wild dogs and stalking cats.

I should relish each adventure into Fairyland as who knows how long this will go on for. My oldest turns 12 in two weeks and it is a small miracle that she still believes at such a ripe old age. To be honest, I don’t think she does; I think she is keeping up appearances for her 9-year-old sister. The clue to this may be in the fact that this time around she waited until four teeth had fallen out until she put them all under her pillow in one go, apparently hoping Stephanie would leave a fairy fiver.