Portia MacIntosh: My first year at Boldwood Books
The second I heard the announcement about Boldwood Books – a new and exciting publisher with one hell of a strong, all-female team behind it – I just knew that I had to be involved. Publishing is a weird industry, and just like in any good romcom, it can take a little while to find what’s right for you, but when you know, you know. I am officially in love.
Boldwood has been publishing books for a year now, and it’s a year since my first book with them, Honeymoon For One, came out. To celebrate I want to look back over the last twelve months, and talk about some of my favourite Boldwood moments so far.
Happy birthday, Boldwood Books! Here’s to a fantastic year, and hopefully many more to come.
Honeymoon For One
My first Boldwood novel, Honeymoon For One, came out a year ago, in August 2019. It’s somehow hard to believe it has only been a year, but also, I feel like this book has been out there forever. Perhaps this is because the idea was in my head for some time before I wrote the book. I loved the idea of Lila, the bride, running away from her wedding, to go on her honeymoon alone, and that honeymoon just happening to be on the so-called most romantic place in the world. I also loved having a main character who the same job as me – and it was so much fun forcing her to tackle all the tropes of the genre in her real life.
My Great Ex-Scape
My second Boldwood novel came out in January 2020 – and after this weird, weird year so far, this book definitely feels like it came out forever ago.
The premise for this one was simple: what if you’d been dumped by every boyfriend you’d ever had? When Rosie goes viral after getting dumped on live TV she gets a bunch of flowers from an ex – but she doesn’t know which one, so she decides to visit them all, to try and figure out who sent the flowers, but also to try and work out why she’s just so dump-able. We’ve all got exes, and you’ll know if you have yours on Facebook, it’s hard not to measure your progress against theirs. I loved writing Rosie’s journey, and yes, I knew before I even worked out the plot, exactly who I wanted the flowers to be from.
The RNA Awards
I couldn’t believe the news when I found out that Honeymoon For One had been shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Comedy of the Year Award. Just to be shortlisted is such a tremendous honour, and I don’t think anyone goes to these things expecting to win – it really is just the taking part that matters to you, when you’re there. It was amazing, to see many of my favourite authors, and to hang out with Nia and Amanda from Boldwood, who are both so amazing and interesting. The ceremony took place in early March this year, so a matter of weeks before lockdown. The ceremony was adapted, with elbow bumps instead of handshakes etc. – but it was already surreal enough just to be invited.
The Plus One Pact
My third Boldwood novel, The Plus One Pact, is my summer love letter to Leeds, a city I absolutely adore. While the summer of 2020 might not have been quite so jam-packed with a never-ending stream of social obligations, ordinarily this time of year is when you find yourself invited to a million weddings, barbeques, birthday parties, etc. No one likes going to these things alone, do they? Especially not when they know their ex is going to be there (take it from someone who knows). The Plus One Pact isn’t a fake relationship book, it’s about two friends – Cara and Millsy – who decide to help each other out for the summer… even if they can’t seem to help but cause trouble wherever they go.
The Boldwood Summer Moment
In a real sign of the times, the Boldwood Books summer party had to take place on Zoom – well, isn’t everything happening on Zoom these days? I think technically that makes it a hip place to party.
In all seriousness though, it was so amazing, to meet the team, and the other authors who are all so fantastic. They even sent us golden bottles of prosecco to toast with!
My Great Ex-Scape in The Works
Finally, something that feels more normal than only speaking to people online or releasing a novel during a national lockdown. This month copies of My Great Ex-Scape will be arriving in branches of The Works all over the country. Nothing can ever quite top seeing copies of a book you wrote out there in the wild, so I’m really excited to get masked-up and go out there searching for them.
Stuck On You
And finally, my forthcoming novel, Stuck On You. Stuck On You tells the story of Sadie and her attempts to quit her job in the run-up to Christmas. As an assistant to a famous photographer, Sadie thought she would be doing much more than dry cleaning and dumping women for her boss, so she decides to look for another job. The only problem with quitting is that it also means saying goodbye to the man she shares a desk with, her office crush who she swaps post-it notes with, despite having never actually met him. I think we’ve all had a nightmare boss we just knew we had to get away from – imagine if said nightmare boss invited themselves along to spend Christmas with you and your family, like Damian does with Sadie!
I’m currently working on my next book, and while I can’t tell you too much about it just yet (other than that you can expect it January 2021), I have to say, it’s one of my favourite ones yet, so watch this space…