Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with Sophie Barnes

United By Books is pleased to let the amazing Sophie Barnes take over the blog today............

From concept to publication.
A while ago, I mentioned on Facebook that I had a long blog tour coming up and asked my followers if any of them would like to suggest a topic. Several expressed an interest in my writing process because they enjoy learning how a book comes into existence, but since I’d already written such a post before, I thought it might be fun to open the door and offer you all a sneak peek at some of the key processes that I as an author go through before my book goes on sale. It’s certainly more involved than I ever imagined before signing that first contract, and there are so many people involved who really deserve a huge amount of credit for all the work that they do to make one book come true.
Right, so I have an idea – don’t ask me where it came from because I doubt I’ll be able to answer that question – and I take a few days to consider it, jotting down some ideas which soon evolve into a rough outline. I then sit down and try to write a descriptive blurb for this book that I haven’t yet written – something similar to what you might find on the back cover of any novel to give an idea of the plot and main characters involved so my editor can get an impression of my overall concept. Once this is done and I’ve proof read it a gazillion times (lol), off it goes with fingers and toes crossed simultaneously =)
I think I should tell you at this point that my editor is absolutely wonderful and very responsive so I never have to wait long to hear back from her. From the moment I start work on a new project, she and I are in touch on a regular basis, swapping ideas and keeping each other informed. Anyway, once I’m given the go-ahead, I knuckle down and begin what always feels like a mammoth task right at the beginning – this goes away somewhere around the halfway point - writing anywhere between 1500 and 3500 words a day depending on what else is going on in my life and how close my deadline is. Recently, I’ve begun working with a more structured chapter by chapter outline (I didn’t do this for How Miss Rutherford Got Her Groove Back or for Lady Alexandra’s Excellent Adventure) which is particularly useful when I have a limited time frame to work with.
Once the manuscript is completed (roughly 2-3 months later), I re-read the whole thing from beginning to end at least twice to make any necessary alterations to the plot and also to weed out punctuation problems, inconsistencies, words that appear too frequently etc. Off it then goes to my editor who makes her own suggestions regarding plot issues as well as what to cut if anything needs cutting so the pacing improves or whether a bit of dialogue would be better served in a different part of the story.
She sends it back to me, I make the corrections, proof read it again and return it to her, upon which she checks what I did. If she approves, it then goes off to production and from there, onward to the copy editor. Now, these are really some incredible people who work unbelievably hard behind the scenes, correcting grammar, double checking word consistency, looking up anything that might not suit the book’s setting, like whether or not the flowers mentioned are actually in bloom at that particular time of year and if so, do they exist in England where the plot takes place? Spelling is American, but words used are British in order to create the appropriate atmosphere. This means pavement instead of sidewalk and Autumn instead of Fall, to name but a couple of examples.
Really, it’s no small job, but once it’s done, back it comes to me again so I can make the necessary corrections – I read everything one more time from beginning to end – and when I send it back this time, that’s it; no more corrections.
From this point on there’s absolutely nothing I can do but sit back and wait (though I’ll be starting the whole process all over again soon), hoping that all the work pays off and that my book will be well received once it goes on sale.
Thank you so much for stopping by today. I’ll be popping in throughout the day to chat with you and to answer any questions you might have.
If you’d like to follow my blog tour, I’ll be back tomorrow at Reading Romances to talk about some incredible and admirable women who have lived throughout history.
To find out more about me, my blog tour and my books, please visit my website at:
You can also follow me on twitter at: @BarnesSophie

 Mary Croyden lives a simple life . . . and she likes it. But when she inherits a title and a large sum of money, everything changes. Forced to navigate high society, Mary finds herself relying on the help of one man—Ryan Summersby. Determined not to lose her sense of self, she realizes that Ryan is the only person she can trust. But Mary's hobbies are not exactly proper, and Ryan is starting to discover that this simple miss is not at all what he expected . . . but just might be exactly what he needs.

Lucy Blackwell is desperate, reckless, and maybe a little bit crazy. That's the only possible explanation for tricking a man she doesn't know into a dance, a kiss, and an engagement—all in the middle of the biggest ball of the year! But Lord William Summersby is the final piece of her grand plan, and she'll do what it takes to make this marriage of convenience work—as long as it's convenient for her. She just never counted on falling in love . . .
Born in Denmark, Sophie has spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She’s lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish and Romanian.

She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor’s degree from Parson’s School of design, but most impressive of all – she’s been married to the same man three times, in three different countries and in three different dresses.

While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion – writing.

When she’s not busy, dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading. She currently lives on the East Coast.
********** GIVEAWAY **********
Besides the rafflecopter Sophie is also giving away buttons and a rack cards to a winner I will pick from the comments so please be sure to leave an email address that I can reach you at if you should be the lucky winner  
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Anonymous said...

Woooww love the excerpt of your book and the cover :). Thx for sharing with us about your writing process :), arethazhenAtrocketmailDOTCOM

Eva's Flowers said...

Sounds like a great story I'd love to read!


Cheryl S. said...

WOW! That's quite a process. Now I understand why I buy the books instead of write them :) lol Thank you for the amazing giveaway and I can't wait to read these books!

alice priday said...

these books sounds amazing, definitly gonna be getting them, added to my wishlist :)

Sophie Barnes said...

Good morning everyone & thank you for your comments so far! It's so great to be here - thank you Lindsey for welcoming me to your blog =)

Bethany Aan said...

Love reading the process of another writer! It always intrigues me how we have different methods, but always have to go through the same process to get a finished book. :)

Can't wait to read your work!

Jeanne M said...

Hi Sophie -

I loved reading the process you go through when developing and writing your wonderful books.

Since childhood I've always admired anyone who has the gift of creative writing. Although I love to read my writing ability is more along the lines of studying the pertinent information and writing the facts and conclusions drawn.

I've often wondered where writers not only get their inspiration for a specific story but what was the catalyst that made them realize that writing was more than a want and dream but also an important part of their being.

Olga Sergejeva said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lindsey hutchison @ United By Books said...

love seeing the comments! I am so glad Sophie is here today with us.

On a side note....don't forget to leave your email addys since there is a side giveaway besides the rafflecopter that i will be picking a winner for. If you don't i wont be able to contact you if you are the winner of the side giveaway.

The covers and blurbs are awesome!!!

Ada H said...

Ohhh I can't wait to read these books!! Those blurbs leave me wanting more (right now haha)


Ada H said...

Erm, sorry, I have bad typing skills, that should be ahui55(at)gmail(dot)COM


June M. said...

I loved reading how the whole process goes. There are so many people involved in the production of a book! Congrats on the new release! I am looking forward to reading it :)
manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

Linda said...

Love this, =) already on my TBR list and can´t wait for my chance to read.

Best wishes & Happy Thursday!

Sophie Barnes said...

Thank you so much everyone!
If you'd like to read the other posts on my tour, you can find the appropriate links at
Remember - the more comments you leave, the greater your chance of winning!!! =D

Eli Yanti said...

Hope can win this book but if this is not international giveaway, pls ignore my entry

Di said...

these look like unusual female characters and that's always fun!
sallans d at yahoo dot com

Dian Aesha said...

hi sophie

nice to know you..
i like the book cover very beautiful..wish i win,,and cant wait to read this book..

thanks for the chance to win
icha09 at gmail dot com

Chrisbails said...

Sounds like a great book. Have read a couple of Sophie's books and loved them. Love her covers, and really like both of these. Thanks for the awesome giveaway. Also a huge fan of historical romance books.
christinebails at yahoo dot com

Olga Sergejeva said...

Looks like a very interesting books. Thanks for the giveaway.
olga_sergejeva (at)

Stella Ex Libris said...

Thank you for the post Sophie and congratulations on the release of There's Something About Lady Mary! Seriously you have some of the best titles, they sure make me notice them :-D

stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com