Tuesday 24 June 2014

Guest post: Becky Wicks[author of Before He Was Famous]


Falling in love with your best friend isn’t always a great idea, especially when he’s Noah Lockton - the sexiest, most famous new talent on the planet. When 21-year-old small-town photographer Chloe Campbell is offered the chance of a lifetime – to join her celebrity childhood friend Noah on tour as an exclusive blogger for a New York magazine – she’s certain both have put what happened four years ago behind them. But his eyes still burn; his voice is still a jackhammer to her heartstrings; all his songs are about her. Is it possible that that night still haunts them both?

The music industry is a machine, spinning hype and rumors as much as his records. It’s not just Noah’s girlfriends who’ve got it in for Chloe (there’s no stopping the Twitter-obsessed, cat-loving pop-star Courtney Lentini for starters). Pretty soon, the jealousy and media frenzy surrounding these so-called-friends takes a life-changing turn and it seems making love means making enemies at every turn. When tragedy threatens to pull the final curtain on their relationship, both Chloe and Noah must make a choice. As much as this world leaves them starstruck, is living their dream really worth living without each other?

A story of lifelong friendships, love and hope, set in a world of celebrity, fame and social media gone very, very wrong.

Becky Wicks is a HarperCollins author turned indie with her new adult romance, Before He Was Famous (out now on Amazon.com). She gets asked a lot about how exactly she became a writer, so we’ve asked her to answer a few questions on the topic!

So why did you become a writer?
You know what? There really wasn’t a precise moment when I thought ‘I’m going to be a writer!’ because it’s just something I’ve always done. When I was a kid I would fill those little notebooks with stories – mostly about talking animals and magical worlds – and my school teachers would be quite surprised at how much I’d write! Sometimes I’d fill half a book with one homework assignment. I actually found some recently and put them on my blog, haha! They’re not as good as I probably thought they were at the time…

How did you get your first publishing deal?
I got pretty lucky, I think! I lived in Dubai for a couple of years as a digital editor for an online magazine and I wrote a blog while I was there about how crazy it was to live amongst such madness – it was a totally different world, watching a city being built around me. I moved to Sydney and turned those blogs into a manuscript, and I emailed an agent to ask about representation. She signed me on the spot and within a month I had a deal with HarperCollins Australia for Burqalicious. That book sold in other countries, and I did two more after that about Bali and South America! I’m kind of over moving about though – my real passion is fiction, so I’m seeing how all this goes right now in the world of self-publishing.

Do you need a mainstream publisher behind you to be successful as an author?
Absolutely not. There are some brilliant and inspirational people out there making a great job of going it alone and these days we have so many amazing tools and resources at our disposal. Self-publishing can be extremely rewarding and satisfying. I haven’t been signed by a mainstream for Before He Was Famous because I wanted to see what I could do on my own. It’s a lot of work, being your own marketer and promo-girl, but it’s so much fun and you really do learn a lot as you go along!

When it came to the world of writing, who were your childhood influences?
Oh, Enid Blyton played a huuuuuuge part in my wanting to write. I would sometimes get told off by my parents for walking down the street with my nose in one of her books – you just couldn’t drag me away! I was obsessed with The Magic Faraway Tree, The Wishing Chair and then later, Famous Five and Mallory Towers. She had such a captivating tone and even though it might seem dated today, she has a way of pulling you into her worlds so hard. She was really an amazing talent.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to write and publish a book?
Well obviously you have to have a story. It has to be rich and compelling and your protagonists should be likeable, but other than that, it should be a work from your heart. I think readers can tell what an author enjoys writing. If you don’t love your book, chances are no one else will. Set yourself some writing time every day to keep up the momentum but make sure you’re active on social media too. You’re going to want to shout about what you’re writing before you’ve finished it to keep the momentum up. When you’re done have a big glass of wine and congratulate yourself… and then start looking into marketing! For a writer, the work literally never ends.



Chloe. Chapter 22.

I see the scar on his right shoulder from where he fell off Jack's homemade sled one winter and tumbled roly-poly style right into a rock. It's a thin, shiny white line. I resist the urge to touch it. He's undoing me, again, lying here beside me in a literal bed we made ages ago but have since refused to lie in. How does he do this?

'I guess she knows it, even if you don't,' he whispers.

'I do,' I say, and inside I'm screaming. We're not doing this; we're not. This is dangerous. But he climbed in next to me and now it's the strongest, aching urge to keep him here, to have him holding me again and to never let me go. The guilt surges through me, along with the fear. 'So, she broke up with you?' I manage.

'I guess so,' he replies, scanning my cuts with his eyes.

'She really liked you, Noah,'

'Yeah, well, maybe I'm just an asshole.'

I realize my hand is still in his hair and I retract it quickly. He grabs it, holds it against him. You're not an asshole I'm thinking, but for some reason I can't say it. It would be like admitting something else; like the fact that he's an asshole to every girl who likes him, but never to me. And then I'd have to really think about why that is and that's not something I'll ever be comfortable with at all, even though his eyes are like maps and his words are like anchors and his songs are like personal messages and I love all that.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Becky Wicks is a HarperCollins author going indie! Itchy feet has led her to live and work all over the world since leaving England at age 21, including NYC, Sydney, Bali, South America and Dubai. Right now she’s scribbling the second book in the HotFlush series in Vietnam, and will soon be in Vancouver if any hot Canadian men want to make her a cup of tea?

Becky has also written three funny travel books about her time in Dubai, Bali and South America (HarperCollins). Her first book, Burqalicious - The Dubai Diaries, her second book, Balilicious - The Bali Diaries and her third, Latinalicious -The South America Diaries are out now as ebooks.

Becky has also written a comedy romance with author Sarah Alderson under the name Lola Salt, called The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft (not Croft) which should raise a giggle or two... think Bridget Jones if Jackie Collins had written it!

Follow her on twitter at bex_wicks and her blog www.beckywicks.com


Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Becky-Wicks-Author/242645109127479?ref=hl

Twitter: bex_wicks

Blog: www.beckywicks.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21936562-before-he-was-famous

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BeckyWicksauthor/posts

 Becky will be awarding an eCopy of Before He Was Famous to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop during the tour, and a Grand Prize of an eCopy of Before He Was Famous , as well as a print copy of Latinalicious, Becky's last travel memoir (HarperCollins) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. (International winner)

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