Why I decided to change the title of my novel

Hello and good day to you. I’ve been massively neglecting my blog recently and it’s because I’ve been mad wrapped up in my WIP, which I am literally obsessed with and cannot wait to publish. But more of that another day.

Anywho, so for a while now, I’ve been considering changing the name of one of my books and also re-vamping the front cover. I did write a blog post before about the book in question and how it has been my little underdog in comparison to the other stuff I have published. The Wife Stealer really hasn’t done well in terms of sales, however this is not the reason I’m changing the title and cover. With that said, the reason I am changing it does tie in to why it hasn’t done so well, sales-wise.

Basically, after having done research, as well as conversations with readers and other writers, I’ve come to the conclusion that the current title makes it seem like something it’s not. The same goes for the front cover. See below:

The Wife Stealer gives off the impression that it’s a book about an affair and cheating, which it isn’t. The reason why I entitled it The Wife Stealer in the first place was because one of the main characters (Jack) is the bitter ex-husband, who refers to his ex’s new wife (Bea) as The Wife Stealer. He convinces himself that his ex-wife and childhood sweetheart (Athena) cheated on him, which is why he is so resentful of Bea.

I LOVE the front cover, and I feel like it’s really sweet and emotional because it shows how in love Athena and Bea were before Athena dies. However, yes, they are in bed and yes, they are in their underwear. I can see how some people may look at that and think it’s of an erotic nature, but again, this is not the case. In actual fact, there’s one sex scene in the entire book and it’s by no means graphic!

Bottom line: this is a contemporary, enemies-to-lovers romance novel about forgiveness, moving on, family and the craziness of life as a parent.

Here is the new cover:

And just to give you a bit of context, here is the blurb…

Bea truly believes that she lives a charmed life. YES, she lives on a grim council estate, YES she might not have the perfect career (or any for that matter), YES she is an orphan, YES she is forced to share her three step-children with the most annoying man on the entire planet (Jack), and YES, she still doesn’t own a dishwasher. But to Bea, none of that matters. Frankly, it never has.

Because Bea is married to the most beautiful, loveliest, most amazing woman in the world, Athena, AND she gets to be the second mother to three gorgeous kids, who she loves more than she could ever love herself.

Jack is wealthy, good-looking and successful, however despite the size of his house and the price of his car, he is haunted by the past and still wrapped up in his own bitterness at how Bea so sneakily stole his wife and kids away from him. Even after all the time that has passed, Jack is still hopelessly in love with Athena, and is unable to move on.

So when Athena suddenly dies in a horrific freak car accident, Bea’s and Jack’s worlds feel like they’ve gone up in flames. Matters only get worse when their oldest son, Fletcher, becomes depressed, and is admitted to hospital after a failed suicide attempt.

Brought together only by their mutual adoration of the children, Jack and Bea live temporarily in the same house, for the sake of the kids and to try to pick up the pieces of Athena’s death. At first, every single day is a struggle, with both parties still filled with contempt and anger at the other. However, events soon lead them to begin questioning their first impressions, and wondering if they are really so different after all…

Can Jack and Bea ever be friends… or perhaps something more?

A heartwarming romantic comedy all about forgiveness and moving on, Doing It For The Kids will make you laugh, cry and root for lovable, relateable characters right from start to finish.

Updates are still in review on Amazon, but if you’d like to give it a read, you can at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08744PSB1

Top 3 scariest books (suggestions?)

I never used the term ‘WIP’, prior to becoming an active member of the online writing community.

Now, I use it at every opportunity, purely on account of the fact that I like to accompany it with a whipping motion and swishing noise combo.

Anyway, it’s been a while since I gone did a blog post, so I thought I’d do a little update on my new work-in-progress *WHACHEEEE* <- (that was supposed to be a whipping noise).

I’m branching out into a totally new genre. I’ve got 5 published books at the moment, and I feel with those I was really getting a feel for what I like writing. I honestly have SO many ideas for thrillers, but thrillers are so complicated to write because of all of the twists and turns. It’s so easy to get plot holes and then you’re like, oh fuck now I’ve got to re-write half the book because this doesn’t make sense.

So I thought that, this time around, I’d write a genre which I just love. Horror. Why didn’t I start out writing horror? Well, to put it bluntly, I was worried that it would be shit.

Now I’ve got a bit more confidence, I’m ready for the challenge.

I think that horror is so hard to write because it is difficult to scare someone with just words. Movies are different, because the sound and the visual is just THERE. But with horror books, you’ve got to implement that sound and visual with only words. I know that that is true for all genres, but I think making people feel scared in writing is harder than making them think in a mystery, or making them swoon in a romance.

There are only three books that spring to mind that actually, genuinely shat me up when I read them.

A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Granted I was about 7 when I read The Bad Beginning, but Count Olaf is one scary mother fucker, especially to a little kid. Before lights out, I was allowed to read for half an hour in bed, and I’d always sorely regret choosing A Series of Unfortunate Events. Afterwards, I would be laying in the darkness expecting to be bloody kidnapped. I think I went hours of not being able to sleep!

The Spook’s Apprentice

Also a kids book. Can I just say, I’m in NO WAY a wimp when it comes to horror. You should see my horror movie collection, I’ve watched all the most messed up ones. But seriously, I can remember reading the scene where they tackle the boggart and oh my fucking life, ten year old me was scarred for life. Recently, I re-read these, and as much as they’re not AS scary as they were back in the day, they’re still pretty chilling. Thoroughly recommend though, they are amazing.

Cujo

AH! At long last, an actual adult’s book. Cujo is, so far, the only Stephen King book that I’ve read that’s really scared me. I didn’t expect it to, so I made the mistake of reading it in bed (at the grand old age of 21) when I lived alone, and double-bolting my front door for fear that a rabid dog would come and eat me.

ANYWAY, hit me up with some scary books. I’ve read loads like The Girl Next Door, Exquisite Corpse, The Shining, Frankenstein. I need me some reccomendations!

Final 24 hours of eBook sale!

Please check out my Amazon page to read some samples and the blurbs for my 3 suspense thrillers!

It would mean the absolute world to me, and you are guaranteed to be gripping the edge of your seat during every shocking, twist-infected page!

If you do have a lil look, please let me know what you think and I’ll be sure to return the favour 😍

The ONE good thing to come of lockdown ~ THANK YOU!

Morning all.

It’s 7.30am… I’m awake… for no reason whatsoever. But I’m here now, so why not write a good ol’ blog post for my trusty followers and friends in the reading/writing commune.

Currently ALL of my eBooks (bar 1, due to personal reasons) are temporarily priced at just 99p (or, if you’re American $1.21!) If you’ve got KU- they’re free! Wahhhhheeeeeeyyyyyyyy! https://www.amazon.com/author/sianrose

Why? I hear you ask. And more to the point, what has this got to do with lockdown and the one good thing to come out of it? Well, comrades, let me tell you.

This is my final week off of work. When I first found out school was going to be cancelled, I was absolutely devastated. I was fighting back tears as I saw my kids off on that last day. I missed my family, my friends, had to cancel lots of important events in my life. So actually, on the whole lockdown FUCKIN SUCKED.

However, to pass the time, and to try not to get too depressed, I started self-publishing on the 13th of April. I’ve been able to pour a lot of time and energy into it where I’ve not been at work, where I’ve not been able to go out and visit people, and where I’ve been getting a solid 8 hours every night.

So, as you can imagine, when I do go back, I feel like things will be very different. I won’t be able to market as much, I won’t be able to be as active in the writing community and I won’t be able to read like 4 or 5 eBooks a day (wahhh.)

I don’t think I would’ve gotten into this if it wasn’t for lockdown, so trying to be positive, I would say that this is the one and only positive to come from it, for me, personally. I’ve learned so much about publishing and writing which is useful for a person who aspires to be a full-time author. I’ve had some amazing comments that have literally made me screech with joy, and have given me a newfound confidence. And, I’ve earned a bit of money (albeit, not enough to quit my day job, but hey! It’s a start).

So, I guess I’m doing the sale as a sort of celebratory thing, as this will be my last few days of living the dream and doing writing all day ‘erry day.

Of course I’m looking forward to going back to work, but I will miss it.

I’d love it if you could celebrate with me by downloading any of my books (ONLY 99P OR FREE!) and leaving a review, as that is so, so, mega, uber helpful, as I’m sure you already know.

On this blog, there are previews, behind-the-scenes and extracts of each of the books. On Amazon and GoodReads there are reviews, and of course you can also read the entire preview on Amazon!!!

Finally, thank everyone so much for their support. I’ve had so much amazing advice, input and a good few laughs as well with various other writers. I can honestly say it is, on the whole, a very supportive community. Also, if you have bought one of my books, or downloaded on KU then let me just say YOU ARE BLOODY AMAZING AND I LOVE YOU. If you left a review, you get extra team points 😉

Thanks guys xxxxxxxxxxxxx

11-YEAR-OLD DISAPPEARS FROM SCHOOL PLAYGROUND

A school community has been left in turmoil after it came to light over the weekend that, shockingly, an 11-year-old girl, Nelly Chester, has mysteriously vanished. After discovering that the child had tricked her parents into not collecting her from school on Friday afternoon, detectives found evidence to suggest the girl had planned to meet with an internet boyfriend on the evening of her disappearance.

It was Friday evening that 11-year-old Nelly’s parents, Craig and Siobhan Chester reported their daughter missing. The last place she was seen was at Hillview primary school where she was a student, by her teacher Mrs S Roberts. Despite having seen the child out and the school’s strict safeguarding policy, it appears that Roberts did not see who the child left the premises with. When questioned about the safeguarding failure, Mrs L Emmett, headteacher, stated: “Nelly was a rebellious girl, who often broke and evaded rules. It is extremely unfortunate that she was able to leave school without the teacher realising. Appropriate measures will be taken to avoid this incident ever recurring.”

Whilst many others within the community are blaming the school, others have different speculations regarding the child’s disappearance. Nelly’s own mother, Siobhan Chester, was arrested after the disappearance, following an altercation where she accused the parent of another child of having some involvement. When we approached Mrs Chester for a statement, she explained, “you know what little girls are like. Nelly teased another girl in her class. The girl’s mum always had her back up against it, always threatening that she wasn’t going to stand for it anymore. I’m disgusted the police aren’t taking it further.” Nelly’s father, Craig Chester, refused to comment. This follows rumours emerging that Mr Chester had been involved with a teacher currently working at Hillview.

Police are also currently investigating a lead into an alleged internet boyfriend that Nelly had been talking to online in the weeks leading up to her disappearance.

According to Nelly’s former teacher and current Hillview staff member, Kate Beesley, Nelly is a lively, spirited child who can light up any room with her infectious smile. “We are all extremely concerned for her welfare and urge anyone with any information to come forward and aid the investigation into her whereabouts,” Miss Beesley shared.

Updates on the case to follow.

I’m not okay

So, today I’m feeling many Gerard Way/early MCR vibes, for quite a few reasons, most of which I’m blaming myself for. Currently sitting wearing my Wizard of Oz pyjamas (which have a fetching brown stain down the front from where I’ve just demolished yet ANOTHER Pot Noodle), my hair looks like Hiroshima and my neglected eyebrows resemble a hedge. Looking good Siany girl.

Yet again, I’m hungover. I know that I’ve been drinking far too much and I hate myself for it. I’m stuck in this routine of drinking wine everyday which I know will ease up when I go back to work. In the moment, it’s fine, it cheers me up and makes me temporarily fun to be around. But then, in the same respect, long-term it just makes me tired and agitated all the time which of course isn’t good for anyone.

I’ve gained 6lbs since lockdown began. That’s not loads. It could be worse. But when you are recovering from an ED, it’s difficult to deal with. At the beginning, I avoided the scales like the plague but I’ve developed the unhealthy habit of checking my weight again and again, which just makes matters worse. Again, I know it’s my own problem because I’ve just been eating as a form of entertainment and must have devoured about ten tonnes of instant noodles in the last few months. All the wine probably doesn’t help either.

Like an absolute douche bag, I’ve stopped bothering to take my happy pills every morning. This has happened a few times. When I’m feeling good, I slack off taking them and within a few weeks end up feeling awful. To be fair, this is exactly what my doctor told me would happen and low and behold that’s what has happened. I really am as dumb as a nut at times, and even then that’s unfair to the world’s population of nuts.

I have anxiety for returning to work in a couple of weeks. I’m going to be teaching a year group I’ve never had before and I’m scared I’m going to fuck it up. I haven’t been looking at work emails or keeping on top of everything, although I did glance at the timetable we’ve been given and it doesn’t seem too bad.

Family issues. Ugh, I won’t go too much into it but my dad had me in tears last night. My sister isn’t speaking to me.

Just everything is getting on top of me right now.

I know exactly what you’re thinking and let me take this opportunity to say that I whole-heartedly agree. I know I need to woman the f up. I’m allowing myself an hour to indulge wallowing in self-pity, then I’m going to pull my socks up and make shit happen ya’ll.

Such is life. It’s a new day, the sun is shining and we’re child-free since they’re both staying with their other parent (we’re blended). My fiance and I are going to have a barbecue in the garden. I think that I’m going to shower away my despair, drink plenty of the old H20, do a bit of reading and a bit of writing in the glorious sunshine. I am going to take my anti-depressants and I’m going to leave my phone indoors and forget all about toxic people in my life.

No more toxic people, just Toxic by Britney Spears. Positive vibes, positive mind, positive life.

Can you REALLY self-publish without spending any money?

Good afternoon and welcome to my blog post of the day. The last few days I’ve been very ‘slumpy’. Yawning, slobbing about the house like a beached whale, groaning and just generally feeling sick to fucking death of quarantine. I’m sick of staying in; I want to see my friends; go back to work, and I want a Nandos. As a result of this ‘slumpy’ bullshit feeling, I’m also suffering with bad writer’s block. Everything I’ve been typing up in the last couple of days absolutely BLOWS.

But anyway, enough of my self-pity party and on with the blog!

So, in today’s ramblings, I am going to explore the question which entitles this post.

Can you really self-publish without spending any money?

The reason why I’ve been thinking about this is because yesterday I asked people on Twitter about the pros and cons of trad-publishing vs. self-publishing. From that, I drew the general conclusion that with self-publishing, you get full free reign over your books, from the cover, to the writing itself, however you have to pay for everything yourself and also do all of your own marketing. Whereas, with traditional-publishing, you don’t pay a penny, you get a lot of support with marketing, however you don’t get as much autonomy in regards to the book that’s being put out there into the world.

A lot of other people talk about the costs of self-publishing as if it’s just part of the deal. I watched one author tube video where the indie author speaking revealed that she had spent $1000 on self-publishing- and that total did not include any marketing (so she paid extra money on top for ads, promotions, etc..)

Then you get other people who speak about having to have a cover designer and an editor.

I appreciate that these are all things a traditional publisher would be spending money on, and I think that yes, if you have the money to do that and that is what your heart desires then go for it. Maybe it will make your book sell more, in fact, it probably will because book covers are actually really hard to make lol.

Personally though, I got an offer from a vanity publisher ages ago (I queried, not realising that there was even such a thing as a vanity publisher) and they basically said I’d have to pay £600 to get my work published. Immediately, this turned me off because it had been ingrained in my head that a legit lit agent won’t ask you for any money.

And I guess that thought is still there. At the end of the day, I’d rather spend more time and effort doing everything myself than spend lots of money on self-publishing.

Because the short answer to the above question is that no, you don’t have to spend money on self-publishing. KDP is free to use, you can create and format your own book cover/book interior (it’s fucking hard, but possible) and you can be your own editor and proof reader. Or, if you’re like me, you might have a friend or family member who can be a fresh set of eyes and help with your edits.

And honestly, although I have dry spells, I’m generally pretty happy with how well my books are doing, how they’ve been received and I’m happy with the amount of money I have earned so far in just over a month.

However, I think that it also depends on each individual. Like I say, book covers are difficult and when I first self-published, my book covers were shit. Well, I look back now and think they are shit. I’ve had to spend a lot of time teaching myself to make them look attractive, but if you’re a person who isn’t good at techy-creative-design then you might struggle and end up sabotaging yourself by using a cover that isn’t as good as the writing inside. Or, if you are a person who is an amazing writer, but suffers from dyslexia or something, you might be prone to spelling errors and typos, and would benefit from a paid editor.

In terms of marketing, I have actually tried on numerous occasions to pay for ads, because they seem quite cheap and I don’t mind paying for them if it gets more traffic to my books. I’ve tried on Amazon, Facebook and Insta and have failed every time which is really bloody annoying but whatever. I’ve just had to use social media and like I say, I am happy with how my books are doing so far, but I do wonder if paying for an extra bit of exposure could make their progress even better.

Basically- yes it is very much possible to self-publish without spending.

Is it possible to self-publish successfully without spending? Well, I suppose that depends on your definition of successfully. I’m still a very, very long way off from making my first million, and I’m by no means a bestseller, but I am plodding along nicely, so I definitely wouldn’t say I’ve failed.

I’d love to hear about how much you guys have paid into self-publishing, and the impact that it has had, so please comment your thoughts and experiences and let’s chat!

Love xxxxx

Is Amazon’s KU/KOLL dead?!

Howdy guys and gals, and welcome to today’s blog post.

So, my KDP sales are always pretty up and down, like just about everyone else’s.

Some days are good, other days are dead. Obviously it is soul-destroying when you get a day where you don’t make any sales, but I’m sure we all get them sometimes. Regardless of that, I have always had KU/KOLL readers everyday. It’s not a steady number, and it does go up and down, so sometimes I’ll get over 1k KENP, then yesterday I only got 75.

Today I’ve literally got 0 :’)

0 KENP read and 0 sales.

I know I said I was going to stop looking at my reports all the time, but you know, me being me, of course I have completely disregarded my own advice and merrily continued checking it multiple times a day.

Earlier on I was sitting there and thinking that maybe there was a glitch or an error, but then I actually heard myself and was like, “girl, no. There’s no error. You just got no reads today.”

Ah, the world of self-publishing sure is a fickle one.

Often though, I wake up in the morning and find that I’ve gotten sales overnight. I live in the UK, so I suppose people on different time zones might be downloading/reading at different times.

Do you find that you get many readers from KU/KOLL?

x

Would You Rather? An Extract

“Dad? Are you okay?” she whispered, her face crumpling.

“Never mind about that,” Dad said, still maintaining a straight, apparently emotionless face. He was good at that. Pretending he was okay when he wasn’t. Mum had always said that he was mentally strong. When everyone else fell apart, Dad was the one who put them all back together again with his rationalising, and his calm manner. “I’ve not got long, I’ve got to tell you the next choice.”

A tear dribbled from the corner of her eye and her chest started to ache. “Can’t you tell me where you are? Or who did this?”

Dad shook his head, “no,” he replied, simply. He paused to take a deep breath before continuing. “Freya you…” he stopped, and his voice trailed off. Shaking his head and swallowing, he tried again. “You have to either…”

“What?” she asked, filled with dread. What could be so awful that her dad, the man who dealt with murderers on a daily basis, couldn’t bring himself to say? Taking another deep breath, he lifted his hands to rub his forehead. To her alarm, she could see that his wrists were tied together, which meant that there was somebody else in the room, holding the phone up. The idea of it, that the evil, twisted person who was behind it all was right there in the room with him made her blood run cold.

The camera jerked suddenly. Dad lowered his gaze, so that he wasn’t looking at her anymore. She waited with baited breath, nervously tapping her foot against the bathroom tiles. “Dad?”

“Run naked through the resteraunt,” Dad blurted out, his face falling and his cheeks flushing red, “or use the candle to set the place alight. What would you rather?” his voice became hoarse. Still, he wouldn’t meet her shocked gaze. Slowly, the glint of a familiar blade emerged from the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. She watched in horror as a black-gloved hand brought it up to his throat, and poked his skin with its sharp, pointed edge. It probed into his flesh until a droplet of blood appeared at the tip, and Dad squirmed uncomfortably. She realised it was the knife from home. The knife she had intended to use to protect herself.

“Can’t I do something else?” she quietly asked, despite already knowing the answer. More tears now leaked down her face and her hands were shaking more than ever.

Dad shook his head, “I’m so sorry,” he whispered, so quietly that the words were barely even audible. The camera jerked again, and the knife began to drag through his skin, causing him to wince in pain. “You have five minutes,” he said. “If you hang up… we die.”

Speechless, her mouth hung open as her eyes flitted to the time at the top of the screen. Everything about it was so disgusting and cruel and sick and twisted. What choice did she have? If she started a fire, people could die. She’d be arrested for arson. But then… she closed her eyes tightly together, squeezing more salty droplets out of the outer corners of her eyes. She let out an agonised moan of shame, as the time changed on the phone. Slowly, she stood up and placed the phone on the toilet lid.

Now available on eBook AND paperback! Hurrah!

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