Saturday, 5 November 2016

Blog Tour: The Honey Trap by Mary Jayne Baker

The trap is set – but which one of them is the bait?

Journalist Angel Blackthorne is looking for her next big scoop. When her sleazy editor asks her to use her charms on super successful – and married – film director Sebastian Wilchester for a juicy exposé, Angel thinks what the hell? There’s a staff job on the horizon, and, let’s be honest, no one can make a cheater cheat if they don’t want to, right?

After the scandal breaks, Angel tries to put the story – and Seb – behind her, but fate seems to have other ideas. A near miss at a premiere after-party and a shared love of vintage film brings the honey closer to the trap.

But what happens when pretence leads to passion, and a ‘kiss and tell’ becomes something real?

My writing journey so far by Mary Jayne Baker

My editor suggested I write a guest post on my writing journey, but really the title of this post should be "My Writing Whirlwind", it seems to have happened so fast! Last September, before I'd written a word, I'd certainly have laughed into my sleeve at anyone who'd suggested I'd have a novel out by the end of the following year.

I tried at least three times to pen a romance before I eventually managed to sit down and write the first draft of my debut novel, The Honey Trap, almost exactly a year ago. The first time was back when I was an English student at university, when I just thought "Hey, how hard can it be, right?" Wrong! I quickly discovered that writing a novel isn't something just anyone can do and gave up. A couple more attempts over the years left me with a vague plot, a few thousand words and the despondent feeling that maybe I didn't have a book in me after all.

Then came last October and the discovery of the NaNoWriMo event, which my day-job boss encouraged me to get involved in. The pressure to write 1500-2000 words a day and the support of the lovely people on the NaNo forums proved to be just what I needed to finally sit down and write the romance I'd always dreamed of writing. The best piece of advice I was given at that point, the one that meant I finally finished a novel instead of giving up again, was "push on into the white space" - in other words, don't worry about quality or anything else, just keep writing until you've told your story. Editing, polishing and fine tuning can all come after. I'd worked as an editor myself so that advice made perfect sense, and it certainly worked for me!

First I needed a plot. The romance I'd planned back in uni had a go-getting journalist heroine and a reclusive aristocrat hero. I kept the journalist, making heroine Angel an intern just starting out in her career, but in an effort to write what I knew I made my lovely hero Seb a sexy film director who shares a love of vintage cinema with Angel. Throw in a sexist newspaper editor who doesn't have the word "ethics" in his vocabulary, a glamorous film star and a couple of witty, warm friends and the book soon took shape!

Then came the whirlwind part. I submitted my finished manuscript to HarperImpulse in January after reading that they were interested in romances of any length or genre - The Honey Trap eventually grew into something that I think sits between contemporary romance and romcom - and that they accepted unagented submissions. They accepted it in March (cue much drinking of prosecco in Chez My House), the ebook was published in August, and the paperback in November. Phew! Some year...

In the meantime, I'd completed another two manuscripts, as well as acquiring my lovely agent Laura at MBA Agents in London. On 6th October, I had a little smile to myself when I remembered that it was exactly a year since I'd written the first line of what became The Honey Trap, and how much life seemed to have changed in that time. All because I pushed myself into doing something I'd so frequently given up on before. So I'll forever be grateful to the wonderful person on the NaNoWriMo forums who first gave me that simple, six-word piece of advice that kept me writing: "push on into the white space!"

Author bio:

Mary Jayne Baker grew up in rural West Yorkshire, right in the heart of Brontë country… and she's still there. After graduating from Durham University with a degree in English Literature in 2003, she dallied with living in cities including London, but eventually came back with her own romantic hero in tow to her beloved Dales.

She lives with him in a little house with four little cats and a little rabbit, writing stories about girls with flaws and the men who love them. You can usually find her there with either a pen, some knitting needles or a glass of wine in hand. She goes to work every day as a graphic designer for a magazine publisher, but secretly dreams of being a lighthouse keeper.

More information can be found about MJ on her website at www.maryjaynebaker.co.uk. You can also follow her on Twitter, @MaryJayneBaker, or like her Facebook page by going to Facebook.com/MaryJayneWrites
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