Only a simple shoebox, but full of secrets…

U.K. author LB Griffin is celebrating the release of her brand-new novel, The Twenty-One-Year Contract. A sequel to her debut, Secrets, Shame and a Shoeboxit’s getting great reviews and is filled, like all of LB’s work, with “women don’t see themselves as courageous, strong, or survivors, but they certainly are.”

Only a simple shoebox, but full of secrets…

Kathleen Gray—talented, a little wild, at times rebellious, but always popular—has a fun, easy life in rural Somerset, with a doting family. 

Suddenly, they are gone, everything is changed, and she has only Uncle Jack. Try as he might, he cannot be father and mother to her—he has a business to run and his own life to manage.

Kathleen takes a chance and becomes Kate Westfield, fending for herself in London, with a new life built on her hopes and dreams and new friends. She could hardly have imagined that one of those friends has a shoebox full of answers.


LB stopped by to answer a few questions about the business of writing and of being a writer. Please welcome her to Write Despite.

Why do you write? I love writing. It’s as simple as that. I get an idea and I have to put it down. But when I hear back from my readers, when they tell me something positive about themselves or the book, it really makes my day. One reader wrote after reading Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox: “I’m so glad Harriet was fired from her job. At least she didn’t have to put up with that dreadful employer!” Another person: “I hated that CJ. What a monster!” My heart sang. It’s such a compliment, and so heartwarming to know that they’ve enjoyed my book. It means that I have done my job. What more can I ask? I’m truly humbled to think my stories provoke thought and emotion with characters that readers can identify with.

How do you come up with your stories?

Coincidences. How many times have you been on holiday and bumped into someone you know in a far-flung country? Or met someone that you knew as a child and found has lived for years just a stone’s throw away? What are the chances? But they’ve happened to me. I bet they have happened to you. Or maybe you know someone who has shared their experiences anecdotally at a party or over coffee.

Plus, my characters are really bossy! They often wake me up in the middle of the night shouting, “Hey listen, I’ve got something to say, come on write it down. Now!” How can I possibly ignore that? They are real, honest, lovely hardworking people, but of course, there’s always that pesky villain that shines and everyone loves to hate.  

What’s the fun part of writing and why? 

I love the way the characters grab me by the hand and lead me along paths I could never have dreamed of. They tell me what they want to say, and what’s going to happen next. Who would have thought it? I love that, and I love them. They are survivors, though they don’t see themselves that way, they sure are! 

Why did you write The Twenty-One-Year Contract?

I’m an observer of life. Like most writers I imagine, and I’ve been fortunate to travel and to have worked alongside and taught some amazing people. And those I taught, taught me so much more! I’ve admired their strength of character, their courage, and will to live. I learned so much from them, it has been astounding. I needed to share their experiences in a way that doesn’t affect them, but hopefully shows others they can be brave, too. Just read my books.

What’s the most difficult part of writing and why?

Okay, well let’s get down to brass tacks. Finding time and that difficult word: Marketing! It stops me doing what I love most. Writing! 

For me marketing is a real issue. Unless you are a natural born salesperson, which I am not. Some people can sell snow to the Inuits or send sand to the Sahara! But I’ve never been good at bragging about myself, and that’s what it feels like. Selling my brand, telling everyone I’m great, my books are great. Go out and buy my books. Really, that’s not me. I’m shy enough as it is! But it would be wonderful if you did buy my book! My sincere thanks go to every reader who has or is considering buying my book. Without you lovely readers, writers wouldn’t be needed. So, thank you from the very bottom of my heart. 

How do you get to know your readers? What do you learn from your readers? 

Reviews are brilliant. They tell a story. I learn from that and thank them for their valuable time and effort who have shared their kind thoughts.

I also blog. I offer simple writing suggestions for budding authors and share what I’ve learned and am still learning! 

I offer to host authors, new and experienced, to give my readers a chance to see who else is out there and listen to how they work. 

LB Griffin has been happily married for over 40 years and is surrounded by her family in Wiltshire. She has always written around the full-time paid job. She’s held a range of jobs from cleaning, barmaid, childminder, social worker and is proud to have lectured for 21 years. She absolutely loves writing fiction. Her stories touch upon social issues and are filled with gentle hints of romance.

Find LB on social media:

www.facebook.com/lynngriffinauthor

www.instagram.com/lynngriffinauthoruk/

www://twitter.com/LBGriffinAuthor/

Enjoy some small-town stories

Hey Friends,

I was thrilled to have my novel, Arborview, included in this BookTrib recommended list of novels set in small towns.

Small towns are a genre unto themselves in literature. Please check out some of these titles. Some wonderful writers here, and settings that showcase community, connection, meaning–and sometimes the lack thereof.

Cheers,

Karen

Book gifts and reviews: the gifts that keep on giving!

Hi Friends,

We’re wishing everyone the best this holiday season. What books are on your gift list this year? And which ones are you hoping to receive? Please share. I just finished Andre Dubus III’s outstanding Gone So Long, and I’m gifting it to my husband.

In this season of giving, I’d like to ask anyone who has read Arborview to please leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. These reviews have become so important—too important, but that’s another story—and promoters and publishers keep an eye on them. If you can spare a few minutes, I would be ever so appreciative. You can just rate the book and jot a few words. “Nice read” or “enjoyed this” are fine. 

Here is the Amazon link: Amazon

And here’s Goodreads:  Goodreads

Good luck and good health in the new year!

–Karen

Early book reviews, just in time for Halloween

Happy almost Halloween. Arborview is almost one month old, and I have to say it’s been a fun and productive month. I had a terrific Zoom launch reading hosted by my local library, and I have a few more events scheduled in coming months.

Numerous blogs and promoters have already featured Arborview, and we’ve received some really nice reviews, for which I am truly grateful.

Here are some of my favorite mentions:

A fun author interview with N.N. Lights Book Reviews.

 

“10 Things”, courtesy of Joanne Guidoccio, a fellow Wild Rose Press author.

One  sparkling book review ... and another one from two wild women

And this book spotlight with a nifty little video

Please add your voice to the review chorus. Check out Arborview and tell me what you think? Reviews are welcome on AmazonGoodreads, and BookBub.

Hope all your Halloween dreams come true—the good ones, that is!

–Karen 

Promoting time versus writing time…

Hi Friends!

Well, Arborview has officially been in the world for one week, and the reception has been heartwarming. Thanks to everyone who reached out with congratulations and who is already reading Arborview. Please share your reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

Eighteen people attended my launch reading via Zoom, which was hosted by my local library, and since then the book has been making the rounds on several Book Launch Blog Tours. 

Here are a couple. One is a little video of Arborview’s sales blurb copy, which tickled me pink. And the other is a fun “Ten Things I Never Expected to Like so Much.”

How am I feeling? Relieved, gratified, kinda tired. Arborview is being marketed much more heavily that my debut novel was seven years ago. All this blogging, and chatting, tweeting and instagramming takes time. Precious time.

Not that I’m complaining! I’m just eager to pour more of myself into my new writing project…which I am VERY excited about. My job as an author now is to divide my time between promoting Arborview and forging ahead on my new project. (Oh, and hold down my full-time paying job and raise my kid!)

Tips, anyone? How do you balance the marketing aspects with the creative aspects of being an author in this digital age? I welcome all advice.

And for anyone on NetGalley, Arborview is listed all this month. Apply to review, if you’d like. You get a free digital copy.

Cheers,

Karen

Launch Day for ARBORVIEW


It’s finally here! Arborview is in the world and officially for sale at a whole lotta outlets. Some lovely flowers arrived from my two best guys–husband and son–to mark the occasion.

Early spotlights are already rolling in from NN Lights Book Heaven and from Sparkling Book Reviews.

Wish me luck at my launch Zoom reading tonight. There’s still time to register, event will begin at 6 p.m. EST.

I’m eager for feedback! Please order a copy of Arborview and share your thoughts with me, or on Goodreads or Amazon.

Thank you, friends, for coming on this journey with me. It means so much

–Karen