What Happens in Texas: Part 2

So in the last instalment, we met Astin’s childhood friend Pablo—whom he’s moving in with while he’s back in Texas—and his ex-girlfriend, Martha.

In this week’s instalment, we find out a little bit more about his family…

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Return to New York is out 28 September!

It’s been a long time coming, I know.

There are several reasons for that.

The first one is that at the end of last year, after Productivity for Writers was published, I decided to focus on The Writer’s Cookbook and developing my marketing skills.

I did take a break to take part in NaNoWriMo, but I honestly hated doing that so much that I almost never returned to writing fiction again.

No really. I genuinely hated it that much.

So I ended up needing a break from fiction.

My birthday present to myself (back in March) was meant to be returning to fiction for a week, but then when I tried…it was like putting on clothes that looked like they were in my size but just didn’t fit right.

I really, really struggled to get back into writing fiction after taking a nine-month break.

Then, to make matters worse, we had some really cold weather. My fibromyalgia is exacerbated by cold weather, meaning that the snow and ice and freezing temperatures ruined me for several weeks.

THEN, my nan fell ill. Really, REALLY ill. We thought that that was it—she was on her way out. But fighter that she is, she kept going.

Needless to say, writing fiction and poetry wasn’t a huge priority for me for a while. I still did it, but I did it slowly. I focused on my mental and physical health first and foremost.

Writing fiction and poetry is part of how I look after my mental health, but the pressures of publishing can sometimes distract from that.

So, instead of rushing to publish Return to New York, I decided I’d get a version of that I was happy with, send it to beta readers, then move on to writing What Happens in Barcelona.

Originally there was going to be an overlap in the timelines, so it would’ve helped with that.

Instead, the overlap that was going to be in What Happens in Barcelona you can now read on this very site under the name What Happens in Texas. (The next part will be coming on Friday!)

Doing it this way meant that I had more time to focus on writing and the pressure was all off. Writing was fun again!

When we put too much pressure on ourselves, the stuff we love can very quickly turn into stuff that we hate—we can end up losing the very thing we loved about it in the first place.

I knew that with a long enough break—and the right project—my love for writing would return. And it has.

Now that Return to New York is finished, I’m going to focus on editing What Happens in Barcelona. When that’s ready to go back in the drawer, I’ll work on what comes next. While I’m not ready to share what happens beyond Barcelona just yet, when I have decided on the order, you’ll be the first to know.

In the meantime, you’ll be pleased to know that you won’t have to wait as long between Return to New York and What Happens in Barcelona as you did between What Happens in London and Return to New York!

If all goes to plan, What Happens in Barcelona will be out early next year 😉

Now, I’d better get back to editing if I want to maintain that timeline!

Oh, and don’t forget to preorder your copy of Return to New York! 😉

Check out more stories from the What Happens in... universe.

What Happens in Texas: Part 1

Over the last few months I’ve been working on Return to New York and What Happens in Barcelona: the next two parts of Hollie and Fayth’s adventures.

I’ll go into why Return to New York is a novella centring on Fayth in another blog post.

For now, let’s talk about Astin!

Continue reading “What Happens in Texas: Part 1”

What Happens in New York: Meet Hollie Baxter

It’s time for me to introduce to you the final character from What Happens in New York, Hollie Baxter.

The scene below is the first chapter. If you like what you read, you can also check out scenes featuring Fayth Campbell, Astin Mack, Liam York and Trinity Gold, and Tate Gardener. You can also purchase your copy from all good ebook retailers now (and in print from Amazon), to find out what happens next!

Happy reading!

Continue reading “What Happens in New York: Meet Hollie Baxter”

What Happens in New York: Meet Liam York and Trinity Gold

In the latest scene from What Happens in New York, it’s time to meet Hollywood golden couple Liam York and Trinity Gold. They look like the perfect couple, but are they as perfect in real life as they appear to be on camera?

Don’t forget you can check out scenes featuring Astin Mack, Tate Gardener, and Fayth Campbell too!

Continue reading “What Happens in New York: Meet Liam York and Trinity Gold”

What Happens in New York: Meet Fayth Campbell

A while ago now, I asked on my Facebook page which characters you’d like to meet first. Astin Mack came first, followed by Tate Gardener, and deuteragonist Fayth Campbell came third.

In this scene, Fayth is working in the family pub when her ex-husband Patrick appears. She desperately tries to avoid him, but it doesn’t quite go according to plan…

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What Happens in New York: Meet Tate Gardener

A few weeks ago now I asked which character from What Happens in New York you’d like to meet first. It was a tie between Astin Mack — model-turned-stunt-performer — and Tate Gardener, singer/actor/entrepreneur/model. I went with Astin first, because his scene is earlier in the novel and I have a soft spot for him. This second scene is all about Tate!

Tate is only a minor character in this book, but she’s one of my favourites to write, and also the glue that holds a lot of the characters together. Whilst she’s only got a handful of scenes in What Happens in New York, she’ll have a bigger part to play in book two, and also has her own spin-off novel.

This isn’t the first time we meet her, but in her first scene she doesn’t speak! I figured it’s better to introduce her to you all in a scene where she says/does a little more!

In this scene, Hollie’s in the toilets reapplying her make-up when Tate and her friend burst in…

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What Happens in New York: Meet Astin Mack

When I asked on Facebook which character people wanted to meet first, I wasn’t surprised that model-turned-stunt-performer Astin Mack was at the top of the list. I didn’t expect a tie with his best friend Tate Gardner, but she’s given me permission to let him go first; she’s nice like that.

I’m super excited for you to read this. Astin has caused me some of the biggest issues writing this novel, but I adore him and his blue eyes and leather jacket and the way he teases Hollie. All the pain, ranting, and listening to No Doubt deafeningly loud has paid off.

This scene is the first time we meet Astin, right after Hollie’s been shut out of the theatre for arriving late (she has a small bladder. It’s not her fault she needed to pee!). She’s in the middle of playing Angry Birds Star Wars when she knocks over her drink. And so our story begins…

Continue reading “What Happens in New York: Meet Astin Mack”

The Original Opening of What Happens in New York

Sometimes, no matter how attached we are to a piece of writing, we have to sacrifice it. This piece is incredibly fun to read, but it just doesn’t set Hollie up as well as I’d like.

It was raised in workshopping that her boss isn’t set up as enough of an arsehole, and some people could sympathise with him more than Hollie, especially given her temperament. I’ve since hyped up the anxiety and her boss’s controlling ways. The premise has remained the same, but there’s more build-up and less stock taking.

It pained me to rewrite it, but it’s important to not get too attached to your writing as you have to do what’s best for it, not what you’re most emotionally attached to.

I’d love to know what you think in the comments below! 🙂

You can also check out a video of me reading the below scene from What Happens in New York at the final Restless Minds anthology event!

Continue reading “The Original Opening of What Happens in New York”