Wow. The book blogging community is truly amazing, I can’t say a big enough thank you to Rachel Gilbey and the brilliant bloggers who contributed to the What She Left tour. After ten days, my twitter mentions are still smoking from all the likes, retweets and support, not only from contributing bloggers but from others in the community! My book and I are really feeling the love!
So here’s a round-up of some of the great stuff that came out of the second half of the tour.
Steph of Steph’s Book Blog wasn’t familiar with my work before, but her review made me hope she’ll read more! Steph says “I loved the ending, I don’t want to say too much about it but it made me smile through the tears. Just lovely.”
If you’re looking for some sneaky peeks at what’s in the book, Melisa from Broadbean’s Books, Carole from Carole’s Book Corner and Steph from Literary Flits shared intriguing extracts.
For the lovely Anne, from Being Anne… I wrote a post about writing for multiple voices… a good one if you’re looking for writing tips!
Gorgeous Grace from Reviewer Lady –Good and Read-y gave the book a stonking review. I loved that she thought: “… there are more than a few surprises in store. Whatever you may think has happened, and wherever you think this story is heading, you’ll probably be wrong!”
Next up was author Lucy Hay, who asked me to write a post on my three favourite literary fiction reads. What a oy that was!
A stonking review came from Nicki of Nicki’s Book Blog, who said. “I won’t give anything away but towards the end there are some very true, reflective words in a stunning piece of writing which made me stop and think about my own life and journey.”
Lou from Waggy Tales Book Blog (a mixture of dogs and books, what’s not to love?) said that the book was “An enthralling read, (it would make a great TV drama) strong characters, and a plot that just flows seamlessly. I can’t think of anything negative to say, I just loved it!”
Yvonne from Me and My Books said, “This is a book I got into very quickly and kept a grip on me right through to the end. By the end of the book I had discovered secrets, past histories and missed opportunities. With a chance for new ventures and new beginnings, and Rosie has pulled together to make a real cracking read.”
I really loved the comment from Heidi of This is My Bookshelf, who said, “Each character has a distinct voice, and all are very morally grey, giving them a very real feeling.”
And the blog tour ended with a bang, with Abby of Anne Bonny’s Book Reviews. I felt she summed up what I hoped to with the book brilliantly: “Between the secrets of the past and the burdens of the future, the truth is finally revealed.”
My biggest emotion after this ten-day rollercoaster is awe. Book bloggers are superhuman, wonderful brings, who are so generous with their time, and so generous in their love of books. I salute every one of them.
The amazing Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources has been an absolute star, putting together a blog tour for What She Left. The bloggers have been utterly fantastic, and I’ve been so thrilled with the great reviews, social media buzz and attention the book has been getting. Here are some highlights from the first days of the tour:
The tour kicked off on 12 January, with lovely Linda from Books of all Kinds, who gave the book a rave review, saying: “WHAT SHE LEFT by Rosie Fiore is a brilliant story that will really get under your skin and make you realise that looks can be deceptive, and I think it would portray perfectly on our tv screens.” (Anyone who fancies turning it into a TV drama, feel free to give me a call!
Kelly from Love Books Group, said: “It’s fast-paced, engaging and cleverly written. It has been a long time that I have read a book in one sitting…. A refreshing fast paced edge of your seat read! If this book was a movie it would get an Oscar! Ticks every box of my reading wants tick tick tick BOOM, it definitely started my reading year with a bang!”
I was also thrilled to get a review from Chandra from Where the Reader Grows, who called What She Left “A beautiful character driven domestic, contemporary drama that drives you to hate and love the characters all at once.”
The lovely Marianne from Books, Life & Everything said “I found this to be such an enjoyable read, with a variety of believable characters, all with their own stories. The story really focuses on the devastation left behind in Sam's family and the ripple effect Helen's disappearance causes in people's lives.”
Kate from Portable Magic gave me a double whammy of coverage, with an interview and a review. She noted that: “Fiore creates a unique voice for each of the characters, and this helped me to understand their mindset and connect with them more easily.”
Joanna from Over the Rainbow Book Blog featured a Guest Post from me, which tells you all about my plans for 2018 (spoiler, I’m going to be doing A LOT more writing!).
Elizabeth from Chicklit Chickadees said the book kept her up till 3am (sorry Elizabeth!). She also said, “If you liked Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train, you will love this book. If you’re a fan of domestic drama, you will love this book. I was enthralled.”
Fab Sheri from Ticket to Everywhere offered this review: “This was a wonderful read - it always feels like a slight risk volunteering to review an unfamiliar author, as you’re never sure what you’re going to get, but What She Left is very well written, engaging and often surprising. I was engrossed throughout and really did not know how it was going to end.”
Karen has a gorgeous blog called My Reading Corner, and she was kind enough to feature a guest post from me about why a woman might choose to walk away from her family? If I’m honest, I wrote the book because the thought has crossed my mind…
I visited The Secret World of a Book Blog, and was excited to hear her say, “When you manage to finish a book in one day, it’s a pretty good sign that it’s a good book.” She also said, “This is a must read book, and one I would highly recommend. I have had an amazing start to my reading in 2018.”
From across the pond in Ohio, Teresa from Book Babble said, "I was grabbed by this story from the first chapter and could hardly bear the times I had to put it down. Seeing how the family members grew and developed through the story was a joy."
What’s Better than Books? Nothing, I would argue… and I loved the fact that this wonderful blog found What She Left to be “Absorbing, intense, and immensely sobering!”
Sue from Read Along with Sue enjoyed the book, and said “The epilogue blew my mind. What a fantastic book.” To find out what she liked about the epilogue, you’ll have to read the other 300-odd pages!
If you want a glimpse of my luvverly face, you can visit Ms Felicia over at Nesie’s Place, where there’s a video of me reading an extract from the book!
Book Ink Reviews featured a guest post I wrote about writing in the voice of a child.
And finally, Anne Cater, book blogger extraordinaire, at Random Things Through my Letterbox, said, “I have been completely and utterly absorbed in What She Left, it's been a real roller-coaster of a read; one of those books that when you put it down you continue to think about the story, eager to get back to it and constantly intrigued by both the plot and the excellently created characters.”
I cannot thank all of these bloggers enough, and of course, Rachel, who organised the tour, and all the many, many other bloggers who have liked, retweeted, shared, and helped to build the buzz! The tour continues tomorrow, and I look forward to sharing more!
It’s always good to start a new year by doing something you’ve never done before, I think. So a week ago, on a chilly January afternoon, four months before my 50th birthday, I got my first tattoo.
My older son has loads of tattoos. He got his first one as soon as he turned 18, and I was extremely resistant to him doing it. A tattoo is a permanent signifier, a mark you choose to say something about yourself. I argued then (as I would now), that at that age, it’s hard to choose something that you can be certain will always represent the person you are. He doesn’t seem to have regretted doing it though, so what do I know?
2018 is a momentous, life-changing year, and I felt I wanted to acknowledge that in some way. I’ve chosen a symbol which I have loved for many years and which I feel expresses what 2018 means for me.
The ampersand is the graphic representation of the word ‘and’ (et in Latin). I’ve always loved its looping ‘figure 8’ shape, and have a few pieces of jewellery that incorporate the symbol. I love typography, and it’s a freestyle glyph where type designers can really strut their stuff. For me, I have always seen it as a signifier of writing as an art form. I also like the word and… it suggests that there’s more to come, a continuation, a building on, as it were. And of course, the ‘ands’ in my personal life, my husband and children, are the most precious people in my world.
I looked at literally hundreds of ampersands online, but finally chose this one. It comes from the logo for Child & Co, an old British bank (now swallowed up by one of the big high street banks). I loved its shapely lines and the historical feel it has. The ampersand is an attempt to graphically represent the Latin word ‘et’, and in this one, you can see the shape of the e and t, which I rather like. Many modern ampersands have lost this distinction and are more graphic.
Having a tattoo done
… wasn’t nearly as painful as I expected. Maybe I’m more hardcore than I realised, or maybe it’s just that I had a very small one done on a fleshy part of my arm, but I found the pain quite manageable. I’ve suffered more having my eyebrows threaded. I emailed the designer my image and he printed it out on transfer paper (rather like those temporary tattoos you buy for children). He applied that to my arm and then ‘traced’ over the lines. It’s scabbed over now, but should be completely healed within a week or so.
A symbol of what I am
What tattoo would I have had at twenty? Or at any age before this? I don’t know. But I do know I love the one I have had now. In this, the year I become a fulltime novelist, I’ve chosen a symbol of what I hope I have become. I’ve never felt happier in my work life than I do right now, more absolutely sure about where I am and what I’m doing. After years of mumbling about what I do for a living, I want to claim what I AM. A writer. It’s not just a job. It’s an expression of the human being I am and want to be for the rest of my life.
I couldn’t be more excited to announce that the amazing Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources has organised me a block-busting 30-stop (!!!) blog tour for What She Left, starting on 12 January, The schedule for the tour is pictured above. I’ll be posting about it daily during the tour, and I hope you all enjoy the variety of features, reviews and videos we’ve put together!
On the twenty-first of this month, I will celebrate an anniversary that means nothing to anyone other than me. It’s exactly 15 years since I first typed “Chapter one”, and began my first novel.
In an almost literary coincidence, January 2018 marks a significant new chapter in my life. I have left my full-time job as a copywriter, and, for the first time, if someone asks me what my job is, I can confidently say “I’m an author”. And that’s all I do.
While this is a lifetime’s dream come true, it brings with it a series of new challenges. I have to work out how to self-motivate and to manage my time. I have to build in time for research, publicity and a million other things that come with being a writer, while still preserving the hours I need for real scribbling.
I am utterly certain I won’t get it right at first, and my schedule will need tweaking. I need to remember to say no to non-essential things and keep my focus on the main prize – a new book and a new publishing contract. I might lose my way and have to correct and readjust, but I cannot wait to see how it goes.
One monkey, one typewriter, seldom Hamlet.