A party piece. Or six pieces of advice.

That was my brief for this feature on Linn’s wonderful blog. “Write me a party piece. Or something with six pieces of advice for aspiring writers.”

Well, here goes. I’m a creative kind of person. I can respond to unusual briefs. So I’m going to give you both. A party piece with six pieces of advice for aspiring writers. First of all, let me introduce you to my party guests today.

Sophie—is our leading lady in Sophie’s Turn, the archetypical girl next door; shy, a little insecure, works as a journalist for Read London, has been going out with boyfriend Tim for two years, and has had a lifelong crush on Dan Hunter.

Dan—our leading man, singer and rock star extraordinaire, in the throes of staging a dramatic come-back with his band, Tuscq.

Rachel—Sophie’s best female friend; sassy, snarky, outgoing, outspoken, also works as a journalist for Read London, has a persistent dislike for Sophie’s boyfriend Tim and would love to see Sophie hook up with the delectable Dan.

Sophie, Dan and Rachel are here to party with me today, celebrating the launch of Sophie’s Turn. Let’s take a look behind the scenes.

Dan sits down on a bar stool while Rachel opens a new bottle of champagne. “I am so excited about this launch,” he declares, waggling his glass impatiently. “It’s a good job Nicky kept going with her writing project, isn’t it. It’s a bit like making music. If you believe in yourself, you’ve just go to ride with that determination and not give up.”

He ducks as the champagne cork finally shoots of the bottle, nearly missing his head. “Watch out there,” he laughs. “You nearly got me.”

“She missed by a mile,” Sophie chimes in, idly leafing through a pile of papers. “Look at this one,” she smiles. “I love this one.” Dan and Rachel gather round quickly, reading the review for Sophie’s Turn alongside Sophie.  “Look, it says,  a perfect read, I can see this being a movie,” Sophie enthuses. “How cool is that?”

“Very cool,” Rachel confirms. “It’s a good job Nicky reached out to all these bloggers when she first published Sophie’s Turn. Getting the book reviewed by a large variety of folks from around the world really helped her getting her name out there.”

“Not to mention,” Sophie throws in dryly, “all that editing and proofing she made us do. God, do you remember those days and days and days of going through the manuscript line by line and back to front? And down-and-up, and back again?”

“Oh,” Rachel recalls, enthusiastically gulping down a glass of champagne. “I do. I do. And making the cover. My goodness, what an evolution. Do you remember the pink cover with the sign post?”

Sophie and Dan nod their heads, smiling fondly. “That was cute,” Dan said. “I liked it, it was very much like you, Sophie. Fresh, and different, and just a little bit on the innocent side.”

“Oi, you, watch it,” Sophie grumbles, elbowing Dan sharply in the ribs. “Fresh? Different? Innocent? Is that how you see me?”

“Nah,” Dan laughs, giving Sophie a big hug. “Cheers,” he invites, refilling her glass. “But I do like the professional cover better. You know, when Nicky decided to reinvent the cover and asked her friend Jessie for something that really distinguishes the book and—”

“—and gets the essence of the story,” Sophie cuts in. “I agree. The new cover is just stunning, and I was so happy when Sapphire Star Publishing decided to keep the idea and simply polish it some more.”

There’s a small silence as the three of them reflect on the journey of Sophie’s Turn to publication. Suddenly, Rachel burst out laughing. The giggles shake her body so badly that she nearly falls of her bar stool.

“What?” Sophie and Dan prompt as one. “What is it?”

“I just remember,” Rachel hiccups between laughs, “I just remember Nicky launching herself onto the scene. Why she didn’t talk to me first is beyond me. So she goes out there and…”

“Oh yes,” Sophie joins in the mirth. “No platform. Whatsoever. None. Nada. Zilch.”  The two girls hold onto each other for support as they rejoice in Nicky’s hapless start on her publication journey.

“What are you two talking about?” Dan wants to know.

“Nicky’s platform. You know, Facebook. A blog. Twitter. Goodreads. A presence on the Internet, that kind of thing.”

Dan still doesn’t get it. “But she does all these things. She’s, like, everywhere! I Googled her yesterday and got pages and pages of hits.”

“Yeah,” Rachel tries to explain. “That’s now, and thank goodness for that. But she wasn’t ‘out there’ to begin with.”

“You’ve got to hand it to her, though,” Sophie muses. “She caught on fast. It only took her a week to get going on all these things you said, and look at where she’s now. And she’s always trying out new things to tell the world about her book. She’s been on the radio and she’s talked to book clubs and I’m pretty sure she’s planning to do book signings and meet-the-author kind of events…”

“…and here she is,” Dan announces proudly. “Hooray, the lady of the hour.” He presses a full glass of champagne into her hands. Nicky accepts delightedly and blushes.

“Aw, thanks guys,” she says. “I couldn’t have done it without you…”

And this is where we discreetly leave the party and leave the four heroes of the hour to celebrate their success in peace. A big Thank You to Linn for hosting me today, and I hope you enjoyed the party…and the advice.  XX

Well it’s been lovely to have rock chic Nicky Wells in the house today!  Sophie’s Turn is a fabulous read and it you haven’t bought your copy yet then what are you waiting for?  It’s part one in the rock star trilogy and you won’t want to miss part 2 coming in 2013!

About Nicky Wells: Romance that Rocks Your World!

Rock On! Nicky Wells writes fun and glamorous contemporary romance featuring a rock star and the girl next door.  She recently signed her work with U.S. publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing.  Nicky loves rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters.  When she’s not writing, Nicky is a wife, mother, and occasional teaching assistant.

Originally born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993, and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys.  In a previous professional life, Nicky worked as a researcher and project manager for an international Human Resources research firm based in London and Washington, D.C.

Visit Nicky on her blog where you can find articles, interviews, radio interviews and, of course, an ongoing update on her work in progress, the second and third parts of the Rock Star Romance Trilogy.  You can also follow Nicky on Twitter and find her on Facebook.  Nicky is a featured author on the innovative reader/author project, loveahappyending.com and has joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Nicky also has author pages at Sapphire Star Publishing and, of course, Goodreads.

About Sophie’s Turn

Slapper.  Slut.  Adulteress.  These are hardly words that Sophie Penhalligan would normally use to describe herself.  Yet this is exactly how she is behaving, all things considered, even if she isn’t quite married to Tim yet.  And it’s all happening because her past is coming to tempt her!  Nine years ago, she met her teenage idol and rock star extraordinaire, Dan, up close and personal.  Well, almost.  Now Dan has crash-landed back in her life.  How could Tim ever stand a chance against the charming, handsome singer?  How could she?

Sophie, now twenty-eight and a budding newspaper journalist, is happily embroiled in a relationship with Tim, her boyfriend of two years.  Until recently, she was confident that Tim would eventually propose—probably as soon as he could get his act together.  But just as Tim’s persistent inaction is beginning to cast a cloud over their relationship, Dan’s sudden reappearance turns Sophie’s world upside down.  Thus unfolds a roller-coaster of events including an ill-fated trip to Paris with Tim, a night of unfulfilled romance with Dan, Sophie and Tim’s engagement party gate-crashed by Dan, and Sophie’s professional secondment to accompany Dan’s band on their revival tour—at Dan’s special request and very much against her will.

And then, one fine day in Paris, Sophie suddenly finds herself engaged to Dan while her erstwhile fiancé Tim is…  well, doing whatever it is Tim does back in London.   What is she to do now?  Who wouldn’t give anything to meet their favorite star, let alone marry him?

Find out how Sophie gets into this impossible situation, and how she turns it around, in Sophie’s Turn, the honest, funny and sometimes bittersweet story of one woman’s entanglement with a rock star.

Sophie’s Turn is available in Kindle edition from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk and many other Amazon sites. The paperback edition is also available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. In addition, you can obtain Sophie’s Turn from Barnes & Noble.