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Sarah Clark sets the Publishing world on fire with Viva Voluptuous…

….well, a girl can dream!

But in the absence of any promotion from anywhere else, and while I wait for Richard and Judy to discover me, I thought I’d go away and make a little video, with the help of the lovely people at Glassbox Media in Felixstowe….

It’s less than a minute long, and yes, that is me in the flowery top, shovelling Chinese food down me. In my defence, you have NO idea how hungry I was that evening, and we shot lots of footage that night, trust me to be scoffing in the best bit!

Anyway, lovely, lovely people, I’d love to know what you think of my little film debut. And then, if it whets your appetite, why not buy the book?

I’ll write more soon…the blog/website is in mid-update at the moment so I haven’t been able to keep up with it as much as I’d like, but I’ll be back to my usual posting and meandering very soon. Lots to report!

 

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Earth Calling Sarah

Daydream

 

I’m back!

What do you mean you didn’t notice I’d gone?

I had a major meltdown a couple of weeks before Viva Voluptuous was published, not sure that the world of chick-lit was ready for a curvy, feisty heroine, and certainly not sure whether I was ready to be noticed as a fat woman myself.

As it happens, so far  the book has festered in the lower reaches of the Amazon sales charts, occasionally troubling the upper 20,000 or so, until someone buys a book about ladybird breeding or something and it drops back out again. So in a way, that feels safer. But then I thought “Actually, I spent a whole lot of time, effort and yes, money getting that book readable, so you lot had all better damn well read it!”

So now I’m pimping it out all over the place and I’ve managed to get Waterstone’s to stock it and more. It pays to be pushy, huh?

I took some of the things I’d been learning from the new ABLA “Double Your Biz plan and started small. So I can’t stretch to organising and paying for a book launch, but sure as hell I can send a few copies out. I’ve also put the wheels in motion for a promo video trailer, as well as new, spangly, upgraded website (coming soon) with a potential new section of Gorgeously Full Fat called ‘The Body Academy’.

I’ve even started swinging a kettle bell around in the local park a couple of times a week to get a bit fitter.

It’s all good.

Have you bought Viva Voluptuous yet?

Here’s one of the reviews:

Fantastic, this got me laughing out loud on the train in the morning so I received a few funny looks due to that and the cheeky book cover! Ellie is so real that you identify with her instantly, she’s funny, warm and vulnerable and flawed just like all of us. There is a real message in here about self-acceptance and not being afraid to show the world who you are, such a refreshing, uplifting and intelligent change from anything else I’ve read. I was strutting off the train with my head held high after reading, highly, highly recommended.”

Buy Me! Buy Me!

Order from Amazon here

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Sneak preview of Viva Voluptuous…

VV cover

 

Viva Voluptuous is out on Friday….and as a special treat, just for blog readers, here’s a sneak preview of the first chapter….

“Ell, I have to be honest, I really don’t want to come to Dublin with you. You’re a lovely girl and I would love to have met you when I was younger as I think we could of had a lot of fun. After what happened with Rachel, I just don’t think I’m ready for a proper relationship with you. I hope we can still be friends. Sorry. Mark xx”

My breath caught in my throat as I digested what I was reading.

I, Ellie Johnstone, had been dumped.

The perpetrator of the brutal dumping had done it out of the blue by email, while he was at work, knowing full well I couldn’t call him to make a scene. And I would make a scene.

Feeling slightly dizzy, I re-read the message that had just, quite frankly, ruined my afternoon.
How could he? I know we didn’t have the most conventional of relationships, but I was so in love with him I didn’t care that we’d been seeing each other six months and never actually slept together. We’d got close to it once, and when he said he wanted to take it slowly, I thought it was cute – when I’d got over the humiliation of being rejected, obviously – but after a while it just got…tedious. Our relationship seemed to consist of me feeling let down and a bit frustrated because of the numerous ways I’d try to engineer getting him alone in my flat, and the numerous excuses he came up with for not being able to come in.  I blamed myself.

He blamed Rachel, his ex.

She was beautiful. I’d seen the pictures he still kept in his wallet. She had fallen out of love with him after being married for five years, except she’d neglected to tell him.  He only found out when he’d discovered the text messages she’d been sending to her lover. Who also happened to be his brother. I made every excuse for his lack of interest in me physically, but deep down, I started to believe it was because I was a big girl and Rachel was younger, more glamorous and much slimmer than me.

I hated that he made me feel like that.

When we met, he’d said that he loved the fact I was confident about my body even though I was a size 20, but after months of going out with a man who quite obviously didn’t fancy me, my confidence was in shreds and I was having to stretch my own body-positive credibility to believe I was the sexy, voluptuous beauty I kept trying to tell myself I was.

I’d needed three very large glasses of Pinot Grigio to get me back to the bedroom with Mark that disastrous night. I’d been so nervous – he was the first person I’d got close to since I’d split from my ex-husband and I hadn’t exactly been around the block. In fact, you could count all the men I’d slept with on the fingers of one hand and still have fingers left over. Eventually, we ended up in my bedroom and just as things were about to get interesting, he sprung back like he’d just burned himself, shaking his head and muttering, “I can’t do this.”

He’d drunk too much to drive home, so he stayed the night, yet he couldn’t have slept further away from me if he’d been in the house next door. The next morning, he was out of the door at the first chirp of the dawn chorus. I pretended I was okay, but that kind of rejection? It stung. Convinced I was about to be dumped right there and then, I was straight on the phone to Zoë, as soon as it was sociable, bawling my eyes out. Only Zoë and Lauren, my two closest friends, knew that Mark and I had a celibate relationship.

Everyone else thought we were a lovely couple, they even commented on it. ‘You two are so lovely’ and do you know what? That was fine by me. I gave them the smug smile and let them think we were loves not-so-young dream. I thought he might be coming round to the idea of a ‘normal’ relationship, and by normal, I mean a relationship involving sex, really good sex, when he suggested we get tickets for Glastonbury in the summer – but now here I was, dumped, miserable and stuck with two tickets to the festival I wasn’t even that fussed about going to. I had bought them as a surprise birthday present for him, because that’s what ‘cool’ girlfriends do.

There’s nothing like being dumped to kill your ability to write.

My work for a beauty website may sound terribly glamorous, but being ‘Spa Editor’ for Glammazon sounds far more fabulous than it actually was. I did get sent on the occasional visit to a new spa or salon opening, or to try out a brand-new treatment, which definitely counted as a major perk, but most of the time I sat at home in my little flat, typing out pages and pages of dull copy for a website that was desperate to get to the top of the Google rankings, even if it made the content itself virtually unreadable.

I still hadn’t replied to Mark’s email.
Usually I’d be the first person to come up with something clever to say, but I was literally lost for words, which for a writer, is not a good sign. I kicked myself for suggesting a weekend in Dublin, because that’s what normal couples do, and we weren’t normal, were we? We were technically just a couple of mates who hung out, and I was his freaking agony aunt, listening to him whine on and on about his cheating bitch of an ex, her personality disorders and how much he hated his brother for sleeping with his wife.
I did start to write a reply, but when the words wouldn’t come, I simply typed, “Whatever. Have a nice life.” and hit send.
Muttering the word ‘arsehole’ under my breath, I logged onto my Facebook account, changed my status to ‘single’ and added, “Don’t ask. Just send chocolate.”

So I was single. Again.”
Buy Viva Voluptuous here.

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How to have 50 ideas in one afternoon….

creativity

It’s no secret that my business Mojo has been a bit depleted lately. It’s all very well being the only woman in the western hemisphere who can make Tokyo bus lanes sound interesting, but I have to be honest, I’m not sure I could do that again if I tried, and worse still, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to.

I invested in membership to the Amazing Biz and Life Academy last year, mainly for the kick-ass business resources, but also because most of the members write bloody inspirational blogs that make me see things differently. Oh, and the meditations are pretty good too. Anyway, I’ve taken on some of the stuff I got from the last six week business course, but I’ve never really sat and worked all the way through it. There’s a brand new one coming out at the end of March, the next steps, and I really fancy getting my money-earning Mojo back as well as my creative juices flowing, so I decided that it was time to dust off the course again (if it’s actually possible to dust off a PDF) and you know, do the work.

Last week I managed to find one afternoon to dedicate to all this brainstorming, and got to work.

I was gobsmacked. Working through the exercises seemed to unleash a torrent of ideas, for ways to get money doing the kind of things I enjoy doing, business ideas, and finally I was left with a list of 50 ways I could make a living and FIVE ideas for ebooks that I could write pretty easily, self publish and get out there into the world.

Blimey.

OK, so some of the ideas might be a little bit more impractical than others.

  • Creating and selling a ‘ditch the diet’ ebook and programme is doable, tricky and time consuming, and a bit of a scary leap out of my comfort zone, but it’s potentially possible.
  • Writing a sequel to Viva Voluptuous is also very doable. (Did I mention the first Ellie Johnstone book is now available to pre-order on download for £3.93?)
  • How about a book of erotica for plus size women? That would be fun! (Must have been feeling fruity that day)
  • Creating events for plus size women? Hmm. I think I could do that, I just need to talk to the right people and we need funding.
  • Starting (or re-branding) a positive, inclusive, intelligent fashion and lifestyle magazine for ALL women? I’d love to. Just don’t know where to start. It’s on the list though!

The point is, it really got me thinking. What skills do I have? What am I passionate about? What do I freaking well adore doing? What can I teach other people?

Truthfully, all this creative brainstorming only took me a few hours. Then I had to get back to doing actual work so I haven’t put any of the ideas into action yet. but I will. I’m also using Leonie’s fantastic meditations in my 100 days of positivity challenge; her ‘best day ever’ ten minute meditation is another freebie when you join the Academy and it’s brilliant for super-charging your day with just that little bit more Je ne sais quoi.

I used it this morning and I’ve got so much done, and I’m in a really good mood. Yeah, it’s a bit hippy and woo-woo but who gives a damn about that when it works. I *am* a bit woo woo. I can live with that.

You can get your paws on the Business Course alone for $79 (I don’t know quite what that is in ££, about £50 I think)

Or you can dive in like I did and go for an Academy membership and get all the e-courses, workbooks, meditation kits, workshops and access to the Facebook page and groups online. That costs a bit more but she does let you pay it monthly as well. I do it every year, and trust me, I don’t sign up to many of these things.

125x125-animated

So. Now I just have to give myself some time to write one of my five e-books. Or the sequel to Viva Voluptuous. Or the erotica for curvy women….

PS: There’s also a great affiliate programme, where you can earn money by referring others. Which is another reason I’m telling you about it, because I get a thank you for doing it. But I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t believe in it.

 

 

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Goddesses and Business Angels

angel_girl (2)

It’s all getting exciting in Viva Voluptuous world.

I’ve got to do most of the promotion for the book, so pleeeease bear with me while I promote it. I had to let out a big girly squeal of delight today when I had an email from a designer of promotional videos who I’m hoping to work with on book promo and potentially other projects too…the exciting thing about it is that life is definitely imitating art – you’ll just have to read the book to find out why.

A few wonderful people have stepped in to help with ideas and support – bloggers, fellow authors, magazine editors and more. It’s amazing how many fantastic people there are out there with creative ideas and practical help. Don’t ever let anyone tell you the Internet, Facebook, social media or whatever are just for selfies, hookups and grooming young children.

I had some great advice from a local business Facebook group, who’ve put me in touch with some tip top contacts.

I also took some tips from the wonderful women I talk to at the Amazing Biz and Life Academy. Along with ideas, they’ve been creative and supportive, offered to read the book and blog a review for me, and generally come up with a load of things I hadn’t thought of. Who knew that YouTube and video promos were so popular? Excerpts, a chapter of the book as a signup giveaway…these women are total Goddesses when it comes to building a business and getting shiz done. You might think that a group which used to be called ‘Goddess Circle’ would be full of hippies…well, yeah actually there’s rather a lot of hippie-ness going on too, but if you love that kind of thing too, it’s a great place for inspiration and creative genius.

I’m so fired up and inspired today. With the help of the brilliant Create Your Amazing Life & Business Year workbooks, and the practical help from members of the group, I’ve managed to get both sides of the project covered – the practical, business-y part of promoting and selling a book, and making a career as a creative writer, and the spiritual/emotional side.

Is there a spiritual side to business? I think so, especially a creative one. I’ve had a mental block for as long as I can remember that despite the hard work, heart and soul I put into getting the story out of my head and into a readable novel, it wasn’t actually my career. I make money from writing blog posts about tarmac and refrigeration services, not by getting into the zone and writing about the things I love.

The ABLA made me think differently. I *am* a creative writer (how else could I make a blog post about Tokyo Bus Lanes sound interesting) and my passion is stories, and supporting women in loving their wonderful selves no matter what their size or shape. That’s what I love, and what I need to be doing. I’m busting down those blocks one by one…

Academy-550x400

I’m  REALLY looking forward to working my way through the next business programme from ABLA. I’m not going to lie, I’m an affiliate, and if anyone signs up to the group or buys a product through one of my links, I will get a percentage, which is fab. But I wouldn’t bother telling you about it if it was crap. Promise.

 

 

 

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Waterstone’s here I come!

Gower Street chalkboard - Tumblr thebookguru

I have, in my possession, several copies of Viva Voluptuous. This little fact makes me super-happy. I did it. I wrote a book and someone thinks it’s good enough to print it. How freaking cool is that?

You’ll be able to buy one for yourself in April, in fact if you fancy getting ahead of the crowd, you can hop on over to Amazon and pre-order one. They’re selling pretty well already on pre-order, and I’m obsessively watching my Amazon sales ranking, of course!

Can’t wait? Buy yours here: Viva Voluptuous

Meanwhile, I thought I’d be kind and sneaky all at the same time and launch a li’l competition for anyone who wants to win their own signed copy before anyone else gets their hands on the book o’wonder.

So, if you want to win a copy of Viva Voluptuous, all you need to do is

1. Follow this blog or sign up to the newsletter (bonus is you sign up to the newsletter is that you get another freebie),

2. Like the Facebook page and

3.  Answer the following question correctly from the blurb on the Amazon page:

What does Ellie call the man who dumps her right at the beginning of Viva Voluptuous?

GOOD LUCK!

I’ll announce the winner on  Monday 17th March, so you’ve got three weeks to answer…

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Big Beautiful News!

VV cover

For over a year, since this blog was still Queen Simply Be, I’ve been talking about the book. The one I got the contract to write in 2012. Viva Voluptuous.

I wrote the first draft by the end of last year, but being my first book, it needed a little tweak or fifty so it took a while to get it just how I wanted it. I’ve been through edits, proof reading, cover design and now….I have a release date!

Viva Voluptuous will be launched onto the world in April 2014. I’m so excited! I’m plotting talks with local libraries and hoping for a book launch in Waterstones, but for now, I just have the absolutely gorgeous cover to share with you, with the blurb about the story.

What do you think? I’d LOVE your opinion!

(Meanwhile – Gorgeously Full Fat is on sale at £2.99 for Kindle downloads and £5.95 for paperback if you haven’t read it yet.)

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