Emma Hannigan, author of THE SUMMMER GUEST and THE HEART OF WINTER :
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all readers a very happy and healthy new year. As a nine times cancer survivor I am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to embrace the next twelve months. I am so excited about my new book The Secrets We Share and I sincerely hope you will all enjoy it. May 2015 bring sunshine to your hearts and sparkles to your souls.
Love and light,
Stephen Lloyd Jones, author of THE STRING DIARIES and WRITTEN IN THE BLOOD :
Key challenges this year are to stop swearing so much and learn to play by ear Chopin's ‘Nocturne’ in E Flat Major (Op. 9, No. 2). Pretty tough, those two, especially in combination.
Jill Mansell, author of THE UNPREDICTABLE CONSEQUENCES OF LOVE and THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU:
Jill Mansell's New Year's Resolution. (To become a hare...)
I spend my life envying other people for all sorts of reasons: that they are tall and thin... that they genuinely love exercise and aren't afraid to do it... that they have elegance and style and can travel long distances without getting all flustered and panicky...
But nothing - NOTHING - inspires more envy than when I hear fellow writers say casually on social media, 'There, have just written five thousand words in two hours. Now off to have lunch with friends, followed by an afternoon of shopping - time for some fun!'
Because they are hares and I am the tortoise. While they're out, gaily raising their Champagne glasses to each other and celebrating another sparkling chapter of their novel effortlessly done and dusted, I'm left at home like Cinderella, plodding my way through the next five hundred words, which will take me all day to write.
So this is my resolution for 2015: I am going to stop procrastinating and endlessly distracting myself and whingeing to other people on Twitter that my writing is going so slowly. Instead I'm going to sit down and concentrate, and just get on and do it until it's done.
Jo Thomas, author of THE OYSTER CATCHER :
To be honest, I find it very hard to give anything up. If someone tells me I can't have it, I want it more! So I plan to do more of certain things. Eat more fruit. Walk more, because it's such good thinking time when I’m writing. The characters just start chatting amongst themselves and it's a great way to set myself up for a day’s work. And reading, of course. I love reading and I seem to end up squeezing in a bit of reading time at the end of the day before falling asleep. So I'm giving myself permission in 2015 to read more and enjoy!
Paul Fraser Collard, author of THE DEVIL'S ASSASSIN and JACK LARK: ROGUE :
1) Learn how to use a semicolon properly. Word tells me that I need to consider revising the ones I do use and who am I to ignore such wise advice.
2) Accept that I have more than a few rogue grey hairs. Just For Men is no longer a viable option.
3) On at least one occasion prove to my sixteen-year-old son that I do really know better than he does.
4) Stop trying to convince my family that Opal Fruits (yes, Opal Fruits, not Starburst) count as one of my five-a-day.
5) Stop checking my Amazon sales ranking. No more. Never again. Or at least, not more than once or twice a day.
Sarah Hilary, author of SOMEONE ELSE'S SKIN and NO OTHER DARKNESS :
Every January, I arm myself with fresh Moleskine notebooks and pens, and with books and DVDs to stimulate my curiosity. As I get to work on book three, this year's arsenal includes Explore Everything by Bradley L. Garrett, Paranoia by Freeman and Freeman, and box-sets of True Detective, and The Mentalist. My chief resolutions (the same every year): to bury the past, and to live (and write) in the moment.
Sierra Kincade, author of THE MASSEUSE and THE DISTRACTION :
I resolve to live the kind of life that inspires me to write more books. Wait... I write naughty books. I mean, live a more adventurous life (in the bedroom). Wait. I mean, just get out of the house more. (Now that sounds even naughtier!) Sigh. I resolve to write more books.
I resolve to eat more cake and feel less guilty. I also resolve to cry tears of pain at the gym following said cake.
And I resolve to invest in a chocolate IV which will keep me blissfully caffeinated. And if that doesn't work, I resolve to just stay blissfully caffeinated. 2015 is going to be a great year.
Barbara Nadel, author of BODY COUNT and LAND OF THE BLIND :
In 2015 I've said I will say goodbye to some of my self-doubt – can't say goodbye to all of it or I won't be neurotic any more. But I will be asking for more. I want to have more fun with friends or chocolate or, preferably both. I'm only giving up celery. Professionally, I want to do a lot more publicity and public-speaking work and I want to write ever more challenging books. Apart from that, just world peace, more money for the NHS, and more public tolerance of eccentricity. If a woman wants to lie in her own bath in a wedding dress, that really is her business. And we should respect that.
Nicola Doherty, author of IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME and the GIRLS ON TOUR series:
Hello. My name is Nicola and I’m a New Year’s Resolution addict. I’ve made the same resolutions for probably the past five years. They tend to include running more, eating less sugar, lifting weights, doing more yoga, watching less TV and … flossing. This last one became so popular among my friends a few years ago that we joked about substituting flossing for drinks as a social engagement. (I also gave up alcohol for January once, but not any more: if there’s one month where you NEED a drink, it’s January).
This year, I’m doing a slight variation on the usual. Inspired by this website, I looked at why my previous resolutions failed, and built in contingency plans. I’ve signed up for a half marathon on 22 March, so that I HAVE to run. I realised that the reason I never kept up my weights before is that it’s so boring. So I’ve started having a little flash disco at home every afternoon for ten minutes, just dancing with my weights aloft like Jane Fonda. Obviously I look nuts but I’m dancing on my own so it’s fine. And – most importantly – I’m marking every successful day in my calendar. Seven days in, it’s working – just seeing that tick on the calendar is enough to make me do it. It’s a pity I didn’t think of this five years ago, but there you go.
People who love making resolutions don’t understand people who don’t. In my next book Girls on Tour, Maggie and Rachel get together for a ‘friendship date’ after first meeting on a skiing holiday. The date is very awkward and stilted initially – until the girls realise that they share a love of New Year’s resolutions and bond over their relentless drive for self-improvement. Maggie and Rachel both end up breaking most of their resolutions – except two: they’ve both resolved to make new friends and to travel more. And they do! Another thing I’ve learned: positive and fun resolutions are always easier to keep …
Of course New Year’s Resolutions don’t always work. Otherwise we’d all be thin, fit, decluttered and fluent in Mandarin. But they still hold out a glittering promise – that one day we’ll overcome our limitations and become better, healthier, more productive versions of ourselves. I’m optimistic by nature, so I’ll continue to make my resolutions. And even if they just end up giving me a slightly healthier January, what’s wrong with that?
Steven Dunne, author of THE UNQUIET GRAVE and A KILLING MOON :
At my age the only important New Year's Resolution is to get healthier and stay that way. Less booze, less food and more exercise, the latter especially problematic for a writer. Career-wise it's simple. With A Killing Moon in 2015 I want to reach new readers and, in so doing, open up my previous novels for discovery to thriller lovers everywhere. Happy and healthy New Year to everyone.