Saturday 13 February 2021

His Hidden Wife Hits Amazon Top 50!

I apologise in advance for the fact that this is going to be an incredibly excitable post... for many reasons.

The first is that a week ago, my fourth psychological thriller, His Hidden Wife, was published by Bookouture. That's four books in just over two years! I have to admit that although I was passionate about this book, it was a hard one to write. So much so that when I handed it over to my editor, I knew something was off but I was too close to it to know what it was. 

There were two parts to the story (a present day story and a story set twelve years earlier) narrated by different people. After a week or so, my editor came back to me and told me she knew what was wrong: the story set in the past wasn't necessary. It needed to come out. Yes.. all of it!

I could have cried but my lovely editor had worked with me on my three previous books and got it right so I knew I had to trust her judgement. I had to have faith that at the end of it, my book would be a stronger one even though the amount of work needed seemed overwhelming.

So began several weeks of structural edits, followed by several more of line edits that were almost as hard. They were, by far, the most difficult edits I've had to do for any of my books and I'll be honest and say that, at times, I wondered if I could do it. I even wondered, at my lowest point, whether after I'd finished, I'd ever want to write another book. 

But I carried on and eventually saw the light at the end of the tunnel. When I'd finished, I read the new version and thought: Do you know what? This isn't bad at all.

Thank goodness I wasn't the only one to think so because, a week on from publication day, His Hidden Wife has become an Amazon Kindle Top 50 bestseller (peaking at #43). It is number one in the Hot New Fiction charts in both the UK and the US and has sold more books in the first week than I ever could have imagined.

The picture at the top of the page is of me signing books for my local bookshop. I have to pinch myself to believe it! At the moment they're only taking phone orders from customers but I'm looking forward to taking some photos in the shop once they open again. It's a gorgeous little bookshop and one I share with Julia Donaldson (who lives in the same village) who can often be found signing her children's picture books in school holidays.

My books have always done better in the UK than in the US so it was particularly gratifying to find that the book raced up the Amazon charts across the pond as well. I am so very grateful to everyone who bought and shared and reviewed as I certainly couldn't have done it on my own.

You can buy His Hidden Wife here

This was the second publication day I've had in lockdown so I knew that I wasn't going to be having a huge celebration. Instead, I had a mini publication party with my friends via Zoom, drank Prosecco and scoffed the delicious cakes and biscuits my publisher sent me.

And what of the next book? Let's just say it's going well and when it's published at the end of the year, I'm hoping I'll be able to celebrate in (non-lockdown) style!

Thursday 31 December 2020

Did I achieve my 2020 Writing Goals?

First of all, I'd like to wish you all a very Happy New Year. 2020 has been an odd year to say the least... many of us at some time in the last twelve months have experienced lockdowns, tiers, panic buying, cancelled holidays, not being able to see who we like when we like and shops, pubs, restaurants, cinema and theatres closing. Sadly, many will also have had to cope with illness and bereavement (mercifully, we have escaped this so far).

But there has also been a silver lining to 2020. For one, my daughter who works and lives in London, started a new job which she could do from home, gave up her tenancy and moved back with us at the beginning of March. It's not just because she's good company that it's worked so well, she's a great cook too!

As a writer, I'm lucky that my working life hasn't changed much at all. After an initial first couple of weeks when I couldn't concentrate at all, I found that with less places to go (and less breaks away) I've actually been more productive than usual rather than less. And this leads me on to the main point of this post... to see if I have achieved the year's writing goals I set in January with writing buddy, Tracy Fells.

Here are the results:

Goal: To finish psychological thriller number 4.

Achieved? Yes! Not only did I finish it but His Hidden Wife is going to be published on February 4th. If you'd like to pre-order it here is the link.

Goal: To secure another book deal.

Achieved? Yes! I was offered another two-book deal with my brilliant publisher Bookouture in October and I couldn't be happier. Book five will be published at the end of 2021 and book 6 in 2022.

... and that's it for another year. Next week, Tracy and I will be meeting for a socially distanced walk and goal set which I'll post in a couple of weeks. In the meantime... HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sunday 8 November 2020

Cover Reveal for His Hidden Wife

Just a quick post today as I have recently had the cover reveal for my next psychological thriller, HIS HIDDEN WIFE. My fourth thriller! How did that happen? It doesn't seem any time at all since my debut was published. Time certainly works in mysterious ways when it comes to writing books.

I actually think that seeing the cover for the first time is the most exciting part of the publishing process and I've been delighted with all of them. 

Every single one.

In fact, I'm still trying to decide which one is my favourite... maybe this one (but then I say that every time a new book comes out).

I'm really lucky because I've had the same cover designer for each of my novels. She uses a different colour combo for each and makes sure the 'motif' is strong: a pair of children's shoes, a pink hair band, black and white flowers and now a set of rings. Each giving a hint of what is to come in the book.

She also always uses the same font for the title and author name. This is so that when readers see it, they will, hopefully, recognise it as part of the Wendy Clarke 'brand'. Branding was mentioned a lot when I first signed with my publisher, Bookouture, but it's only now I have four books that I can definitely see what they mean. Don't they look lovely together... not that I'm biased or anything!


His Hidden Wife will be published by Bookouture on February 4th but you can pre-order it right now (only if you want to, of course!)

Amazon       Apple       Kobo       Google

Monday 26 October 2020

Behind the Closed Doors of a Thriller Writer - Guest Post Sadie Ryan

This week, I welcome online friend and thriller writer, Sadie Ryan, to my blog. She's the author of Behind Closed Doors and When He Finds You. I've been asking her about her novels and writing process. I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I did.

You’ve written two thrillers. Have you ever been tempted to write in a different genre?

I’m now writing crime thrillers/police procedurals. Before I was published I used to write romance and rom/com. Then I had a break of five years with my writing and when I came back to it, I kind of lost my mojo for romance. After going through a divorce, moving house five times in five years, I guess I became a little cynical about romance.  I have wondered about going back to it now, but when I do have a go they end up too dark! LOL. What does that say about me! 


Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when the idea for your latest novel came to you?

The idea for When He Finds You came two me a couple of years ago, when Steve and I were out with friends for dinner and I overheard a conversation on the table behind me.

Can you describe it in one sentence?

You never know how far you will fall until you're pushed.


Are you a plotter or a pantster and how long does it take you to write your thrillers?

I’m definitely not a plotter.  If I’m left alone and didn’t have to work, I could write them in six weeks. Once I get going it’s full on. Sadly, I have a day job so I write in the evenings and weekends, sometimes into the early hours when it’s all flowing. So they usually take me three months.


Could you describe your typical writing day?

When I get back from work after dinner and a little R&R on the sofa, I go to my office around 9.30 and start writing. That can be flowing or gridlocked. I find a little chocolate and a G&T often helps nudge it along.


I’m sure my readers would love to hear about your road to publication. Was it long and winding or did you take a short cut?

God no, not so much as winding but meandering and certainly long. Ten years or so. When I started writing it was all by post. When I think about it now it was laborious, printing out the right demands for submissions, going to the post office and handing over a small fortune only to have it thump back on the door mat weeks later with a NO. Email submissions are so much easier on us and the trees. Two years ago, Ruby fiction took me on. I must admit, I was losing the faith by then.


Do you ever struggle to find inspiration?

I do, yes. But I don’t like to force it. I know it will come. Sometimes my books start in one direction then take a very different road of which I’m powerless to change. So have to go back to the beginning and make the right amendments to make it all fit. That’s the beauty of writing on a computer. The ease with which one can flick back and forth.


What aspects of the writing process do you find easiest and hardest?

I really enjoy the editing part the best. And the endings. I find the beginning the hardest to get right. I can’t move on until I’m happy with the beginning.


What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Walking. I love walking with my dog, Willow, although she’s not as keen as I am. She’s a little lazy. I enjoy gardening and find it relaxing tending my garden. Reading and listening to books is my other thing. I’ve always got an audio book on the go, in the car, when I’m cooking or cleaning and when I’m walking. Just plug my ear pods in and off I go. I just love books. I’ve loved them since I go into The Famous Five books at school.


What next for Sadie Ryan?

Book three with Ruby will be coming out in 2021 that’s a domestic noir, with a twist on strangers on a train by Patricia Highsmith.

Sadie Ryan is an author who loves animals and lives in leafy Cheshire in the North West of England. She has completed two psychological suspense/domestic noir novels. Her debut novel, Behind Closed Doors, was snapped up by publishers and published May 2019.   

Sadie's second novel WHEN HE FINDS YOU, came out in March 2020Book 3 will be out in 2021

You can buy Sadie's books here:


Contact Sadie here:




Wednesday 21 October 2020

Sorry Everyone!

This is an apology post. For being absent. For neglecting my blog. For neglecting you.

Although it will sound like a poor excuse, I feel I need to explain...

There was a time when I would post blog content once a week without fail but that was before my writing career took an upward turn (yay!). When I was writing stories for the magazines, which I loved doing by the way, I would write a story a week and how long it took me would vary. Sometimes, if it was a short story or one where the words flowed beautifully, I might complete it in a few hours. At other times, if I was struggling with an idea, it might take me three days before I wrote THE END. Either way, I had a lot of free time to do other things... including writing regular content for this blog.

Then my first novel, What She Saw, was accepted for publication and things changed.

Don't get me wrong, I love what I'm doing now (well most of the time!) and I do still get quieter periods when I can slow down a bit and catch up with things. What's different to before is these quieter times are not at regular intervals. I'll have a precious few weeks after I've handed a completed manuscript to my editor and the same again in between the many edits needed before it's ready to be published. Most of the year, though, I'll be working towards one deadline or another, and when this happens, all I can think about is my work in progress. The carpets go unhoovered, the washing piles up and interesting meals are a distant memory (thank goodness for the freezer). When at last I get that precious break, my poor little blog is at the very bottom of the list of things I need to do.

So how come I'm writing this post now? It's because I am in that beautiful place between line and copy edits. The carpets are clean, the washing is done and tonight's meal is... actually I haven't a clue as it's not my day to cook! Anyway, it's great to be writing on here again and I hope you haven't all deserted me as I have a cracking guest visiting my blog next week and I wouldn't want you to miss them.

It's been a bit of an odd year to say the least (for everyone, not just for me) but, overall, I've been very productive. During lockdown, I managed to write book four and complete two sets of rather difficult edits. If I'm honest, I did wonder at times whether I'd ever get them finished but I did and (despite a lot of hairpulling at the time) sending them off gave me a huge sense of achievement. It's a bit like having a baby... when it's all over you forget the pain. It's seems crazy that by next February I'll have had four psychological thrillers published... how did that happen?

Before I go, I just want to say I've seen the cover for Book 4 and I love it! I'm hoping I'll be able to show you it very soon but I have to go now as I have a very pressing appointment... with the reading book I put down at the beginning of the year!

Thursday 3 September 2020

The Perfect Romance - Guest Post Mandy Baggot

It's always lovely to welcome guests onto my blog who I've met in real life as well as on social media. This week it's author Mandy Baggot's turn to take the hot seat and she'll be talking about her writing process and her new novel, A Perfect Paris Christmas which is out today!



A Perfect Paris Christmas has just been published. How hard is it to write a Christmas book when the sun is shining and the birds are singing?

It is so so hard! I find it much harder to write Christmas in the nice weather than I do to write summer books in the autumn/winter. My deadlines have moved around a little bit recently though so I have been able to write slightly more in line with the seasons!

Could you describe your novel in a sentence?

Can two broken hearts heal in Paris at Christmas time?

Have you always wanted to write in the romantic comedy genre?

I have always written some form of romance since I was a child. All my stories have been based around that first flash of a connection and how that grows and develops. Comedy is part of who I am and so that has naturally come into my romance writing. I always think life is a perfect mix of love, life and laughs and that’s what I want my stories to reflect.

Are you a plotter or a pantster and how long did it take you to write A Perfect Paris Christmas?

I am a total pantster. When I submit the premise of my book to my publisher it’s quite vague because I really don’t exactly know what’s going to happen yet. My characters really do take me on the journey and I think if I planned everything out in the finest detail I would be bored writing it. The getting to know the characters as I write is the bit that I enjoy the most.

It takes me about 3-4 months to write a book. It was a challenge writing A Perfect Paris Christmas in lockdown with children being home schooled and a husband also working from home…

Are any of your characters ever based on real people?

No. You can never truly base characters on real people. But you can take traits you notice or things that happen in real life and weave them into stories. Actually though, Bo-Bo in A Perfect Paris Christmas was based on a dog in my little Greek village…

Most of your novels are set abroad. How has that come about?

I get asked this a lot. I write two books a year at the moment. One is a summer book usually set in Greece and the other a Christmas book usually set in either London, New York or Paris. I feel really comfortable writing about Greece as I have a house there and spend as much time in Corfu as I can. I provide the foreign escape people are craving, particularly during 2020 when travel was very difficult or non-existent for most people. I like exploring abroad and readers have come to expect me to take them on a trip somewhere that either they’ve been to and love or somewhere they’d like to go one day. My love stories are almost as much about the locations as they are about the characters.

Did you always want to be a writer?

I’ve always written. I never thought I would make it a full-time job. It seemed to be an elite profession that ‘normal’ people would never be able to achieve. But now it is more accessible as a career than ever before. Starting out self-publishing definitely shaped my career in the best of ways. Success had to be achieved on my own – there was no editor, no proof-reader, just me - and I am really proud of how things have developed since those humble beginnings. Were those first books perfect? Of course not! But readers are still loving and enjoying them now. Growing on the job, thrusting my work out onto Amazon and trusting my instincts that the stories would be enjoyed has been the best thing for me. I truly appreciate every stage of publishing now.

Could you describe your typical writing day?

Every day starts with a school run and usually some exercise and then I get down to social media first. Real writing of words starts around 11am until 3pm with answering emails in between and doing the mum stuff of washing and housework too. The pick-up school run starts about 3.15pm and I don’t usually write again unless I am on a tight deadline or need to edit or answer more emails. I try and have the weekends off but that depends on deadlines or if I have a book promotion that needs shouting about. It’s a really full on job but I love it!

What is the best piece of advice would you give to an aspiring romantic fiction writer?

Always trust your own writing voice and never try to emulate anyone else. Seek inspiration be reading and reading some more but remember your own style and stick to it. Don’t be put off by negative feedback, take the positives from every criticism, because there will be positives there. Enjoy your writing, because if you’re not enjoying it then what’s the point?

What next for Mandy Baggot?

Well, I am deep into my next book (my 22nd novel!) for summer 2021. I can’t tell you what it’s called yet, but it is set in Greece…

Mandy Baggot is an international bestselling and award-winning romance writer represented by Tanera Simons of The Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency.

Mandy is best-known for her laugh-out-loud romantic comedies featuring strong heroines, gorgeous heroes and always that happy-ever-after!

The winner of the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK's Festival of Romance, her novel, One Wish in Manhattan, was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Association Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year award in 2016. Mandy's books have so far been translated into German, Italian, Czech and Hungarian.

Mandy loves the Greek island of Corfu, wine, cheese, Netflix, country music and handbags. Also a singer, she has taken part in ITV1's Who Dares Sings and The X-Factor.

Mandy is a member of the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.

Visit Mandy's website at or follow her on Twitter @mandybaggot, Instagram @mandybaggot and Facebook @mandybaggotauthor.


Buy A Perfect Paris Christmas:-

Thursday 16 July 2020

Celebrating a BIG Milestone

I have some BIG news to celebrate. I hope you don't mind me shouting it from the rooftops but it is a huge milestone in my writing career. 

So what's happened

Well, today I heard from my publisher, Bookouture, that in the year since I published my first psychological thriller, What She Saw, my three thrillers have sold a total of 100K books. Yes, you read it right, a hundred thousand... I can hardly believe it either!

When I gave up writing short stories for the magazines, it was always going to be a risk. I'd had over three hundred stories published over the course of six years and become a regular writer for The People's Friend. It was a nice little earner. Whatever I'd thought, and I really did try, I found I couldn't write stories and novels alongside each other. I didn't have the time, but also, I didn't have enough head space to allow the ever-changing cast of characters that wandered through my short stories to co-exist with the ones in my thrillers - ones whose voices were louder and more insistent. 

So many things were going through my head when I made the decision to swap to novels: What if I couldn't do it? What if no agent or publisher liked what I'd written? What if the magazines no longer wanted my stories if my novels failed and I wanted to go back?

But I wanted the challenge. I needed to prove to myself that I could do it and the only way I could do that was by taking the plunge.

My journey from short story to novel has been documented in this blog, both the ups and downs and the highs and lows... and, yes, there have been many of both! It's been both exciting and terrifying and I couldn't have done it without faith. 

I'll be honest, there have been times when I wanted to give up, such as when the agent who plucked me out of the slush pile dropped me soon after, or when I had my first mean review. There have been great times as well, though: my debut winning the Flash500 Novel Competition for example or when I signed with Bookouture only a week after sending my novel to them. In fact, every time I hold a new novel in my hands for the first time, I want to burst with joy and pride.

This news today is the icing on the cake. When I took my first tentative steps along the novel-writing road, I imagined it would only be friends and family who might want to read my offerings.That a hundred thousand people (most of them strangers) have bought my psychological thrillers is humbling.

Mind you... my mum does have a large bookcase!