January, Part One: The Coffee Diaries


Welcome to a new year, and our new monthly blog, The Inspiration Diaries, where we’ll share the ups and downs of six writers over the course of 2019. Part One each month will feature three published writers (the Inspiration Project founders). Part Two will feature three writers who attended an Inspiration Project event and are now chasing publication and snapping at our heels! Six writers. Twelve months. What could possibly go wrong?!

We hope you enjoy following our progress and that our collective writing experiences inspire and motive you, and remind you that you’re not in this alone. If nothing else, we hope it makes you smile! First up, it’s January, which means big plans and coffee feature very highly …

Catherine (@cathryanhoward)

For the first time in a while, I didn’t have a deadline looming over at Christmas because I handed in my second draft of Book 3 on Friday 14 December. (At 4.59pm. The deadline was that day, so 5pm.) It’s called Rewind and it’s due to be published in September. I wasn’t planning on writing anything until I got back to my desk on the 7th of this month, but I actually ended up starting the synopsis for Book 4, which is what my editor needs next. I’ve already given her a short pitch and she loves the idea, but I need to prove I have a plot to go with it (!!) before I can run off and start writing.

The German translation of The Liar’s Girl (Ich Bringe die der Nacht, ‘I Bring You The Night’) was published on the 1st, the print edition of that will follow on the 22nd and the UK/Ireland paperback of The Liar’s Girl came out on the 3rd. (Just as I’m writing this update I got an email from my editor showing a lovely display of it in Heathrow Airport!) I also signed Norwegian contracts for The Liar’s Girl; foreign translation deals are always a lovely and exciting surprise. I’m expecting my line edits back on Rewind any minute, which is where my editor will have gone through the whole manuscript marking notes as she goes, and I’ll have to get them back ASAP.

I’ve cracked the spine on a new Best Self Journal, which is sort of like an intensive 13-week planner, which I find great for making progress on projects. I’ve committed to writing at least one new blog post on CatherineRyanHoward.com each month this year, so ideally I’ll draft a couple this month and hopefully manage to send out a newsletter as well. This may be wishful thinking, because we also have our first Inspiration Project in Cork on the 26th. A busy month! SEND COFFEE.

Carmel (@happymrsh)

Happy New Year! Mine was a happy one, deep in my writing cave working on my eighth novel - Finding Greta Gale. The deadline is 11th Jan. (Fork!) So other than taking a few days off, I’ve been at my desk chasing the lovely. This book will most likely hit the bookshelves in Ireland in the autumn. Once my editor in Harper reads this draft, I’ll start edits throughout January &  February. To help with edits, I’m off on a big research trip next weekend. I’m driving from Kansas to Las Vegas on the same epic road trip my central characters undertake! I always go method in research and this is the ultimate method authoring!  Follow me on Instagram if you want to see what I get up to.

In other news, the Harper Collins art team have been working hard on the UK & Ireland paperback cover for A Thousand Roads Home, which comes out in June. It’s very different from my previous covers, I’m excited to share it with my readers! I was chuffed to make the top ten in the annual Eason’s readers poll for favourite books in 2024. It’s always extra special when it’s a readers vote.  Speaking of readers, did you know about the Carmel Harrington Reading Room - a private group on Facebook. We’ve started a reading challenge for 2019, which kicks off with a book in January that has a movie/tv tie-in. I’ve chosen Bird, but will hopefully get to You and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society too. If you want to join the group for bookish chat & competitions and of course this reading challenge, the link can be found: Facebook.

Aside from all that fun, I’m already thinking about possible ideas for book 9, which will be pitched to my agent early this year. I’m out of contract once I hand Finding Greta Gale in. (Fork!) And so the cycle will begin all over again. I need to do a newsletter, blog posts, our Inspiration Project event in Cork, several author events … so in summary: SEND ME COFFEE TOO!

Hazel (@hazelgaynor)

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.” This quote from T.S. Eliot sums up perfectly how I feel about 2019.

2024 was a great year for me professionally, but it wasn’t perfect (what year is?), so I’m very ready to embrace a new year with all its possibilities, fresh starts and bold intentions. Of course I really just want everyone to be healthy and happy this year, but I also really want a movie deal and a hardback with sprayed edges and posters on the underground, so I hope 2019 (and Reese Witherspoon) are listening! All aboard the Hopes and Dreams Express, my friends!

As I do every year, I’m approaching 2019 full of new hope and writing aspirations, and the usual combination of excitement and dread. Early January means diving into copy edits for my summer release, MEET ME IN MONACO – my seventh novel and the second I’ve co-written with Heather Webb. After that, I’m really looking forward to our next Inspiration Project event in Cork on 26th (come and join us!), and then it’s back to the desk to tackle the ‘shitty first draft’ of my next historical novel, an ambitious project which is already challenging (aka terrifying) me in lots of ways - and I’m really excited about it! Early summer will see the UK paperback release of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter, and in July I’ll be heading to the USA for a conference and book tour for Meet Me in Monaco. I also have loads of ideas buzzing around my head for new projects, so I might need a long lie down in August.

My word for 2019 is ‘soar’ (I have a painting of a kingfisher on my desk as inspiration, the reason for which will hopefully become clear later in the year). This year I want to write for the pure pleasure it brings, and try to worry less about things that are out of my control. 2019 is about stretching my writing wings, and being brave. The rest, as they say, will hopefully follow. In the meantime, SEND ALL THE COFFEE!


3 thoughts on “January, Part One: The Coffee Diaries

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s