The one where I talk about my publication day charms

Yesterday was publication day for Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Cafe and, on the evening, I participated in a Facebook Live with my fabulous editor, Nia Beynon.

The very first Trollbead representing being an author

I was thrilled with the number of attendees and how many have watched the video since. If you would like to watch it, you can access it on Boldwood’s Book and Tonic Facebook page here.

I started to write my debut novel and learned my craft while running my own specialist teddy bear shop so a bear had to feature

There were some fabulous questions posed before the event and some great ones on the night. One came from the 10-year-old daughter of fellow Boldwood author, Emma Murray (do check out Emma’s witty and uplifting debut novel, Time Out, if you haven’t already done so – find it here). Ava asked: “Do you reward yourself for reaching writing milestones? And if so, what do you reward yourself with?”

To the right of the bear is a round charm with hearts on it to represent writing books about love and friendship (apologies for slightly blurred image!)

My initial response was to say that no I don’t, but I probably should and then it struck me that there is something I used to do which I hadn’t really thought of as a reward for reaching a writing milestone yet it is exactly that. More on that later.

This conch represents all my novels being set on the coast and the heart was an added bonus linking it back to them being stories of love & friendship

When my debut novel – New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms – was originally released in June 2015 (under a different title), I held a launch party for friends and family. I certainly wasn’t expecting presents but I was spoilt with flowers, bubbly and other gorgeous gifts. One of my friends, Carrie, gave me a leather thong bracelet with a Trollbead charm on it in the shape of three books. This was extra perfect for me as that novel was originally part of a trilogy (it is now the 2nd book in a 4-book series).

This lovely circle of flowers was for New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms because the protagonist, Sarah, runs a florists

Carrie’s husband’s family owned a jeweller’s at the time but they were selling up as Carrie and her family were emigrating to Canada. We therefore took advantage of their closing-down sale and brought several more troll beads which I felt represented my writing journey so far.

I really struggled for something to represent Making Wishes at Bay View which, at the time, was called Raving About Rhys. Rhys is a gardener and the cover had purple flowers on it so I went for a purple glass bead with flowers on it. If I was to buy a Trollbead now, ‘wishes’ would probably give more inspiration (although see the star later)

The bracelet is now (almost) full and takes me from first putting fingers to keyboard until the publication of my last pre-Boldwood release. All of my back catalogue has already been or will be re-published by Boldwood so the only books not represented here are the ones that were new for Boldwood Books: The Secret to Happiness and Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow. I need to decide whether to buy charms to represent them and squeeze them onto the bracelet, to start a new bracelet or to think of something different. Hmm. If I did stick with charms, a hedgehog is the obvious one for Finding Love… but I’m not sure about Secret. Again, hmm.

In Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove, protagonist Elise drives a lime green Beetle called Bertie which features quite a lot in the story, hence the Beetle

I’m so delighted that my friend brought me my first Trollbead. My bracelet of charms means so much to me. Going back to Ava’s question, I originally thought that adding a charm was simply to remember each book I published but it’s really to celebrate a major milestone achieved and all the highs and lows that may be experienced in getting that book out to publication. Thank you so much, Ava, for making that connection for me as I honestly hadn’t thought of it like that.

I really wanted a four-leaf clover for Coming Home to Seashell Cottage to represent Clare’s Irish roots and part of the book being set in Ireland. I could only get one as part of a special set with a new bracelet. Any excuse!

I hope you enjoy my journey through my Trollbeads. Do you do anything to celebrate milestones achieved, whether that’s relating to writing or any aspect of your life? I’d love to hear your comments.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

PS Apologies for the formatting. It looked perfect until I uploaded it and I’m too lazy to change it as I haven’t got my head around the new block layout yet!

It’s not so easy to make this one out in the picture but it’s a polar bear hugging a baby polar bear. Although Bear With Me (to be re-edited & re-released by Boldwood next year) doesn’t feature polar bears, it does feature bears so this was a perfect fit, especially as I already had a teddy bear to represent my starting point

My next release was Charlee and the Chocolate Shop: A Tale of Two Christmases (also to be re-edited & re-released next year). I struggled to find anything chocolate-related so went for snowflakes to represent Christmas

Making Wishes at Bay View is the amalgamation of a novella and a short sequel novel (formerly Raving About Rhys and Callie’s Christmas Wish). The star therefore represented Christmas wishes (sort of!)
I so wanted a cupcake to represent Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes but didn’t manage to find one. A key scene is where Carly makes snow angels in a deserted Castle Street and therefore mittens seemed appropriate for that

And, finally, we have a mug representing hot chocolate at The Chocolate Pot in Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Cafe

2 thoughts on “The one where I talk about my publication day charms

  1. when I gained my degree at 40plus I bought myself the most beautiful pair of antique earrings. They were like nothing I had ever worn before. Every time I wear them I remind myself of what can be achieved when we least expect it. Beautiful reminders of milestones.

    Liked by 1 person

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