The Art of Enchantment: FREE Sept 1-3 on Amazon

The Art of Enchantment: FREE Sept 1-3 on Amazon

The Art of Enchantment book cover
Below see my latest Book Bubble on Bublish to read another tempting sample from this Chatelaine Grand Prize winning, Reader’s Favorite Five Star, Romantic Women’s Fiction novel. Or click the link above to see my author profile and read all my book bubbles. Then browse other authors and read theirs too!

 

My Romance Writers of America Women’s Fiction Author Interview

My Interview with the Romance Writers of America Women’s Fiction Chapter

Last week my featured author interview with the Women’s Fiction Chapter of the Romance Writers of America came out. Find out: what I like to read while I’m writing, and when I’m not, recurrent themes in my writing, what I’d advise an author who’s just completed their first manuscript, and how I feel about plotting (hint: passionately!). Click to read the full interview!

Read the interview here.

M A Clarke Scott, author interview, romance writers, women's fiction

My recent visit to the Princess Diana fountain in London.

Coming soon: Highlights of my fabulous trip to Europe this summer. With photos!

Abandoning My Babies

Heading off on summer vacation feels strangely akin to abandoning my babies

woman embracing book

I’m referring to my books, of course.

Strange as that might seem, they’ve been with me so long, they do feel like my children. And since I’ve so recently launched them into the world, I feel a pretty constant anxiety about their welfare. Even though, like our young adults gone off to college or world travel, there’s little we can do for them.

University Tours

Ironically, the other activity that’s characterized my early summer is touring a number of universities, both close to home and across the country, with my teenage son. My real empty nest looms on the horizon.

Though a full year away, the fact that he’ll be leaving home so soon is quite daunting. And like my books, I want to do as much to smooth his path and make sure he’s safe as humanly possible. I want him to succeed!

 

A Well Deserved Break

Of course after a very busy winter of editing, publishing, promoting and moving house, a few weeks of travelling, visiting friends and R & R is well-deserved. I don’t really feel guilty about it.

In fact, planning the trip, designing the perfect capsule wardrobe so I can go three weeks with one small carry on bag (Incredible. I know, right? But I’m doing it) and anticipating all the museums, galleries, sidewalk cafes, gardens and monuments we’ll see is rather exciting. I’m really looking forward to spending time with friends we haven’t seen for years.

A Writer’s Research Never Ends

I’m also excited about researching new locations for future books since travel abroad has always fueled my writerly imagination. I won’t be going to Spain or Greece this year. But I’m sure London, Paris, Amsterdam and Rotterdam will supply plenty of inspiration. I have a notion I might want to set one of my future “Life is a Journey” novels in Utrecht or Amsterdam. My mind is already playing with the idea of a student of Art Restoration, and Holland seems a perfect place for such an endeavor. All those Vermeers, Rembrandts and van Gogh’s! So I’ll be on the lookout for locations, and the seed of a story. All I need now is a nice tall Dutch romantic hero to set things in motion.

fantasy picture of book with woman and birds flying

It’s Hard to Let Go

Nevertheless, after birthing and nurturing my books over many years, I guess the constant worry and vigilance gets a bit addictive. I think, probably this is the source of empty nest syndrome. We’ve been preoccupied for so long we just don’t know what to do with ourselves. We don’t know who we are anymore without the child, or the project, we’ve been dedicated to for so long.

Frankly, it’ll be nice to stop worrying for a while. I have the sense that I’m already doing everything I can. Like an anxious parent, I read books and study (i.e. blogs and webinars) about how to best care for my fledgling offspring. I swear, I’m doing it all. I’ve checked the list. And, like parenting, we very often hear conflicting advice. Each new strategy or tactic is something we’re trying for the first time. We have no expertise, and no real idea if what we’re doing will work. Maybe we’re doing our babies more harm than good.

But there’s only so much you can do. Sometimes the true test of survival comes only with the passage of time.

Of course, as a modern author in the digital publishing world, that’s only partly true. Our books, our community and our careers truly do need our constant cultivation. There are just too many books out there to leave our books on there own. They’re likely to get lost forever.

In truth, the analogy to growth and maturation probably applies more to “me” the authorpreneur than to my books, per se. I need time and tons of support to “grow up.” I need to learn new tricks and practice and stretch continuously in order to take my career as a published author to the next level.

I need to continue to hone my craft, write and publish more books, continue to nurture my author platform, study, apply and even innovate book marketing strategies. And over time, just like adults, we get a little more polished, a bit more confident, and closer to achieving our goals and dreams.

And toward that end (because it’s a lifelong road) I guess it won’t hurt to take a few weeks off.

 

Bon Voyage!

So have a great summer. I’ll be back in August with more stories to tell. Make sure to sign up for my email list (form in top right sidebar) to get your free copies of bonus summer reading, including short stories, deleted scenes and a sneak preview of Coming About. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter if you want to see photos and videos of my travels, because that’s where I’ll be (buttons also in sidebar.)

I’m also running a big promotion of The Art of Enchantment over the Labour Day weekend, so keep an eye out if you want to grab a copy for FREE. I’m still hopeful book two in the Having it All series will be ready to release by then.

And if you have any great ideas about my handsome Dutch hero, or some fun ideas about a story set in the Netherlands, please leave a comment or suggestion below!

Author Book Signing at Indigo Marine Drive – Today!

Poster regarding North Shore Authors signing books at Chapters Indigo Marine Drive in North Vancouver, BC, Canada, Including M A Clarke Scott, Alexander Boldizar, Lawrence Verigin, Jackie Bateman, 1pm . PST, prize draw free books & gift card

Meet North Shore Authors Today!

Four award-winning North Shore authors, including  Jackie Bateman, Lawrence Verigin and Alexander and myself, will be at Chapters Indigo on Marine Drive in North Vancouver today, Saturday, June 10th from 1pm to 5pm.

On the North Shore, or just looking for something to do with friends or family this weekend? Drop in and meet the authors. Better yet, if you’re an avid reader or already a fan, this is a great opportunity to buy books. Get them signed by the authors, and enter a draw! Support your local talent.

Lawrence Verigin, author of Dark Seed, winner of the 2014 Chanticleer CLUE Thriller Award, the 2015 Eric Hoffer Award, and more, as well as the sequel Seeds of Control, 2016 Chanticleer CLUE Thriller Award for Eco/Natural Resources.

Jackie Bateman, National Book Winner in Canada for first book Nondescript Rambuncious, and it’s sequel Savour, shortlisted for the 2015 Relit Awards,

Alexander Boldizar, author of The Ugly, 2015 Chanticleer BEST BOOK Award, the SOMERSET Prize for Literary Fiction, 2016 Indie Lit finalist in both Literary and Humour, NGIBA winner (and more).

M A Clarke Scott (that’s me!), author of The Art of Enchantment, Grand Prize winner of the Chanticleer CHATELAINE Prize for Romance and Women’s Fiction, and Reconcilable Differences, Book 1 in the Having it All series.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to chat with local authors one-on-one, ask them questions about their books. What inspires them? What are they working on right now? And what does that bizarre, drawn out metaphor really mean?! Or just share the love.

Visitors can pick up a “Reading Passport” when they arrive. Make sure you stop to meet all four authors. Get them to autograph your passport, then enter to win one book from each author plus a $40 Indigo gift card.

See you there!

The Art of Enchantment receives 5 star Readers’ Favourite Book Review

The Art of Enchantment receives 5 star Readers’ Favourite Book Review

Readers' Favourite Five Star review sticker for The Art of Enchantment by M A Clarke Scott

5 Star Readers’ Favourite Review for The Art of Enchantment

“Awesome characters…. A masterpiece, this is!

Loved it, loved it.”

Reviewed By Christian Sia for Readers’ Favorite

“Excitement, pure delight, and an emotional adventure await the reader in this thrilling contemporary romance, The Art of Enchantment by MA Clarke Scott. Clio wants only one thing: to complete her PhD program, hence fulfilling one of her father’s greatest wishes for her. But then Guillermo, the hot and charming Italian architect, happens. Two powerful souls with a great and refined appreciation for beauty and art and history! They are from two different backgrounds, irrevocably drawn towards each other. Things get even more complicated when Guillermo’s ancestral home risks being sold to an American pop star who may not value the historic significance of such an investment. Can Clio pursue the exciting romance, help Guillermo save his home, and still succeed in getting her PhD?

The Art of Enchantment is exciting and I enjoyed the themes of art, romance, history, and family and how they are masterfully written into the engaging plot. Clio and Guillermo are interesting characters. While Clio is shy and composed, Guillermo is boisterous and outgoing, two opposite personalities that perfectly complement each other. The prose is equally exciting, composed of descriptions that are absorbing, and great dialogues that read like natural conversations. It is wonderful to note how the characters evolve throughout the story. The external conflict is evidently developed throughout the story, but the one that arrested my attention was the internal one taking place within the minds of the characters. It was fun watching Clio faced with multiple dilemmas. MA Clarke Scott has become my new master of the romance. Can’t recommend this one enough.”

The Art of Enchantment Wins Chatelaine Grand Prize

The Art of Enchantment wins Chatelaine Grand Prize

To celebrate the exciting news that The Art of Enchantment won not only the top category prize for contemporary Romance and Women’s Fiction, but also the Chatelaine Grand Prize, I’ve created a Goodreads Giveaway for three first edition copies of the print book. Click on the box to enter between April 17th and 25th!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Art of Enchantment by M.A. Clarke Scott

The Art of Enchantment

by M.A. Clarke Scott

Giveaway ends April 25, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

So, this is why I’m a writer…

And yes, it feels great to be singled out from among a huge group of extremely talented and dedicated authors to be given this prize. Obviously it makes me happy and proud, and it’s a great way to launch my newest baby into the world.

 

But that’s not what I’m talking about…

M A Clarke Scott with Chatelaine Prize category win blue ribbon, with Margie Lawson, writing coach

Here’s me geeking out over the category win with Margie Lawson. And no… that’s not spinach in her teeth. She got it out with a stiletto heel just in time for the photo op. ;-D

In fact at the Chanticleer Author’s Conference Awards Banquet April 1st in Bellingham, WA, I was pretty thrilled when the book was called out as the category winner. Awkward in public settings as always, I was nevertheless okay with walking up to receive my blue ribbon, pretty chill receiving the congratulations of my fellow writers in the room, and content to drink wine and laugh at stupid jokes with my new friend and table-mate, writing guru Margie Lawson.

Within a few short minutes, the room went silent as each of the Grand Prize winners was announced. When they got to the Chatelaine, the speaker read out my series title first, before mentioning the book title, and I, since I’d just changed it twenty times before publishing it, didn’t recognize it! I just sat there smiling, happy for whomever was winning the prize.

And the Socially Awkward Introvert Grand Prize goes to…

Chatelaine Prize winners M A Clarke Scott, Diana Forbes & Gail Avery Halverson

The Chatelaine Award Winning Authors: M.A. Clarke Scott [C], Diana Forbes [R], & Gail Avery Halverson [L]

Then, stunned to realize they were talking about me, I went up to receive my second ribbon in so many minutes, and the only thing in my head was…”That’s a pathetic series title! Is that really the best you could come up with?” So when I got to the podium and saw, gak! the microphone, all I was capable of saying out loud was a muttered, “Thank you, thank you very much. Uh…” I then proceeded to drink too much wine for the rest of the evening.

A Revisionist Worldview

It wasn’t until about, oh, four days later, lying awake in the middle of the night, that I thought of what I should have said. Something along the lines of…

“Thank you [ladies and gentlemen…except writers are seldom so formal]. I especially want to thank Kiffer and Andy and their staff for all their hard work year round, running a stellar writing contest, making professional book reviews available, and organizing this brilliant author’s conference.

Thanks also to the many judges who read thousands of manuscripts and had to choose from among so many excellent, worthy stories, to single out just a few to recognize tonight. I’m humbled and honored to receive this award. Congratulations to all the winners, short-listers, and to all the writers to completed their manuscripts and entered the contests. Bravo. And don’t ever quit.

It’s opportunities like this that help to bring us writer-trolls out of our dark and solitary hovels, to mingle with other writers, learn, be stimulated, practice our social skills, and to shine a light on some of the new works and emerging voices in this increasingly crowded publishing marketplace.”

Or some such. By the time I fell asleep I’d revised it five times and decided I was too verbose anyway and it was just as well I became catatonic in the spotlight or I’d be one of those people the long hooks were invented for, and have to be dragged from the stage.

That’s why I’m a writer,

…and not a press secretary or a lawyer or a politician or tv host.

So here’s a formal thank you and shout out to Chanticleer Book Reviews and Contests and all the hard-working people who made this possible. Please check out the official announcement of all the winners on the Chanticleer website, and follow them so you receive the book reviews that this organization makes possible. And then buy the books you like, and take a moment afterwards to post a favorable review on Amazon or Goodreads or Librarything.

Because we writer-trolls need all the love and attention we can get.