Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Write Stuff with... Sam Carrington

Today it's my stop on the Bad Sister blog tour and it's my pleasure to welcome Sam Carrington back to the blog to talk about the difference between writing book one and book two.

When writing my first novel I was writing what I liked reading, what I hoped others would enjoy and with the aim of gaining an agent and publisher. I had time. Time to write whatever amount I felt like each day, and if I missed days, that was fine. There was no stress, no guilt. I only had my own self-imposed deadline, no one was waiting for me. My work in progress was ALL I was writing. I didn’t have to fit anything else in. I took time crafting each chapter. When I finished it, I had the luxury of leaving it for weeks before reading it again and beginning editing. When I felt it was ready, I began submitting it. Then, a few months later, I began writing another novel. Still with no time pressures, no rush. 

It’s this second novel that gained agent representation, and I was thrilled to be signed by Anne Williams of the Kate Hordern Literary Agency. I still took time completing this novel, which became Saving Sophie, however I now had someone who I knew wanted to read it, and help me shape it in readiness for submission to publishers.

So, how different an experience was it writing book two – Bad Sister

I’d begun writing it when Saving Sophie was on submission. By the time I got my deal with Avon, I’d written roughly 15k. My agent had seen this first chunk of the novel and I’d received some valuable early feedback which was encouraging. Now, though, I had other things to think about. Saving Sophie had been accepted, but still hadn’t gone through the editing process by my editor. A few months later I found myself in the strange new situation of editing one novel while writing another. After editing, there was copy-editing, after that, proofreading. Then pre-publication preparation – the writing of blog posts, being on social media, writing posts for a blog tour. Suddenly I had lots to juggle, and that was quite a shock!

I ended up having a pretty large gap between writing those first 15-20k words and being able to continue. Looking back, I should’ve tried to just write a bit every day, even if only 100 words, to keep my head in the story. Because when I came back to it, I had to start again, go back and familiarise myself with the characters and story and trudge through many notes to remember where I wanted to go with it. I think I’d had the luxury of being able to concentrate on one thing at a time for so long, that this new way of working took its time to become more of a routine.

Lesson learned. 

Well, almost.

Despite knowing it’s difficult to pick up the threads again after a break in writing, this has happened again between writing books two and three – although not as great a gap this time. I ensured that I set aside times to work on editing Bad Sister, and times to write in the work-in-progress. 

Between writing books one and two though, there were many things I learned. I’d say a lot was to do with knowing how my agent and editor worked, what they’d expect in future – particularly in relation to description in my writing (which I often left out due to trying to make the novel pacey!) and I knew roughly what to expect when the book came back to me after the first edit. The actual publishing process was no longer brand new either, so that helped as I could plan a bit more, knowing how long something may take. The first time it was all a bit of a shock and hit and miss. Maybe by the time I begin book four, I will really know what I’m doing!

Stephanie is scared for her life. Her psychologist, Connie Summers, wants to help her face her fears, but Connie will never really understand her. Stephanie’s past has been wiped away for her own protection. Stephanie isn’t even her real name. But then, Dr Summers isn’t Connie’s real name either.

And that’s not all the women have in common. As Stephanie opens up about her troubled relationship with her brother, Connie is forced to confront her own dark family secrets.

When a mutilated body is dumped in plain sight, it will have devastating consequences for both women.

Who is the victim?
Who is to blame?
Who is next?


  1. Thanks so much for being part of Bad Sister's blog tour, Sharon! Sam x

  2. I love this! I can't imagine juggling so much.
    That cover is stunning!
    Cora ❤

    1. I drop a lot of balls - haha! Thank you - I am so thrilled with the cover - it's amazing isn't it?!