It’s my stop on the #blogtour for Haverscroft by S.A. Harris today, and I am thrilled to be sharing an original piece of writing from the author with you!
Whilst I wont be reviewing Haverscroft for this tour, I am currently reading itand let me tell you – it is spooktacular! Harris has a real knack for ramping up the tension and as I was furiously turning the pages late into last night, my nerves were wound up so tightly I almost felt as if I I could snap! This book is brilliantly jumpy and I cant wait to get back to it!
Sally has very kindly written an original piece for my blog, talking about the first three month after the publication of Haverscroft, but before we get to that, here’s the synopsis.
Kate Keeling leaves all she knows and moves to Haverscroft House in an attempt to salvage her marriage. Little does she realise, Haverscroft s dark secrets will drive her to question her sanity, her husband and fatally engulf her family unless she can stop the past repeating itself. Can Kate keep her children safe and escape Haverscroft in time, even if it will end her marriage?
Haverscroft is a gripping and chilling dark tale, a modern ghost story that will keep you turning its pages late into the night.
Haverscroft – The First Three Months.
There’s a hell of a lot they don’t tell you about being published. The learning curve for me, in the three months following Haverscroft’s publication, was a steep one.
I knew about book launches and signings so I happily arranged one. In Norwich where I live, we are lucky to have an independent department store called Jarrolds. It has a fabulous book section in the cosy basement and they kindly agreed to host Haverscroft’s launch on the day after publication. The evening went with a swing. Friends and family came, as did Jen and Chris Hamilton-Emery from Salt Publishing. Books got sold, in fact, the store sold out.
After that, I had a couple of events on the horizon. And I had been quietly ignoring the scary business of reviews. The first week went by without too much excitement; flowers arrived from Salt, work colleagues expressed surprise that I wrote fiction, and friends were astonished I had a book out there. Then the blog tour got underway.
I confess I had never heard of such a thing until about ten days before publication. Google told me all I needed to know after I read the email from Salt’s publicist, Emma saying the tour would last just over a week. No need to go anywhere it turns out, a great relief as our youngest was smack in the middle of GCSEs. I dusted off the Twitter account I’d had for three to four years, rather a dormant thing I eyed with suspicion and wondered what the point of it was. Now, suddenly, I needed to follow this blog tour, respond to posts, and, if I could manage it, tweet a bit myself. My three teenage children couldn’t disguise their sniggers – mum, on social media – really?
The tour kicked off on a Monday morning. I was working that day and was stuck in a meeting without any internet connection. Why is it things always turn out this way? I snuck off to the ladies halfway through the session only to find no signal there either. Tweets were not loading. So it was well past 1pm before I finally escaped to get some lunch and got to look at my phone. I found a quiet bench and checked my Twitter feed. The book blogger had posted a lengthy review a few hours before, a string of responses and retweets tailed off it. Word was out, my novel was trash.
I read the review, then read it again and again. A man sitting on an adjacent bench probably thought I’d suffered some tragedy or disaster I was crying so hard. My mobile shook badly in my hand, it was near impossible to follow the words on the screen. I could hardly believe it, she hadn’t just enjoyed my novel, she loved it.
Reviews came in thick and fast, some from the tour, others from readers quick off the mark with a new title on the loose. I was, and still am, in awe of the love and support Haverscroft has enjoyed. The inevitable poor review or two crept in but generally got washed away on the wave of positivity. So I got to grips with Twitter and enjoyed the banter online. I even opened an Instagram account.
Next came requests to write articles, answer Q&A’s, take calls from local Radio stations in my lunch hour. Much to my relief, there have been no TV appearances, they would have been good a decade or two ago, but perhaps, not now.
Some of the highlights have been; attending a panel event with other Salt Writers to celebrate 20 years of Salt, being invited to read at a fellow writer’s book launch on a floating bookshop, and having my very first short story published in the Norfolk Magazine – I’m a novelist so that was potential for disaster! Currently my walk to work each day is a joy, gazing into Norwich Waterstones window for the last month at my novel there beside so many other amazing titles never fails to lift my mood.
So what’s next? An event later this month with Sarah Perry in conversation about The Art of the Gothic and visits to local libraries and bookshops in the run-up to Christmas. And few bookish things are creeping into the diary for 2020.
Above all though, I need to deal with the BIG question – when is book two coming out? And that is a very good question. So I’ll sign off here and get writing as no book ever wrote itself.
Haverscroft is out now in paperback and ebook format and you can buy it here
My thanks go to Emma Dowson and Salt Publishing for the invitation to the tour and my gorgeous finished copy and not forgetting Sally Harris for not only writing this wonderful piece but goading me on Twitter whilst I scare myself reading Haverscroft – it is much appreciated, I think (!).
If you enjoyed my post, please do check out my others and also the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).
Until next time!