99 Red Balloons by Elizabeth Carpenter | Blog tour Guest Post


Published by Avon

ebook and paperback : 24 August 2017

352 pages


The books that have helped me write

by Elizabeth Carpenter


  • On Writing by Stephen King

This is one that most writers would recommend because it is a truly amazing book. It takes the reader through King’s life, his experiences – not just literary anecdotes. King famously stated that he kept his rejection slips on a nail on the wall, which got so heavy he replaced it with a spike. This was inspirational: if Stephen King kept writing after receiving so many rejections, then so will I!

Reading this book taught me that I could write simply, without flowery prose or long words, and still convey a good story. It’s what you write, not how you write it.

  • The Fastest Way to Write Your Book by Dave Haslett

I raced through this book. Everything he wrote made total sense to me, and it’s written with such enthusiasm that I couldn’t wait to start writing. Want to be a writer? Then just write! It was as simple as that.

It was the first time I’d heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – when writers all over the world (despite the title) encourage each other to write 50,000 words in thirty days – usually during the month of November.

Haslett also suggested that in order to write you need to set the time aside and stick with it. If you place importance on your writing then those around you will (hopefully!) respect that.

  • The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becci Puglisi

This is the best reference book I have. I even carry it with me whenever I go away (along with my notebook of course!). It has helped me enormously with showing, not telling. If I find myself writing, ‘He was angry,’ I will stop myself and look up the emotion in this book. It lists the internal sensations, the physical ‘signals’, but also the outward signs that would appear to a third person.

It has 75 emotion entries from adoration to worry; I couldn’t write without it!

  • Writing Magazine

Okay, so it’s not technically a book, but this magazine introduced me to the writing world. I had previously written short stories in a vacuum. I thought being a writer meant being alone, contemplating life, but once I looked inside this magazine, I discovered a whole world of writing out there: magazines, writing groups, conventions and festivals. It felt like coming home!

It’s so accessible and the articles range from basic techniques of plot, to technical help with computers and software. There are also monthly short story competitions that I’ve entered (unsuccessfully though). The readers’ letters and the problem page made me realise that there are people out there, just like me who were getting on with writing. It totally opened my eyes and made me believe that I too could write a book.


|   About the book   |


Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.

What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?

Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor sees Grace’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiralling obsession with another girl – the first girl who disappeared…

This is a gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist that will take your breath away.



At the time of this post, 99 Red Balloons can be downloaded from Amazon UK for just 99p


|  About the author   |


Elisabeth Carpenter lives in Preston with her family. She completed a BA in English Literature and Language with the Open University in 2008.

Elisabeth was awarded a Northern Writers’ New Fiction award, and was longlisted for Yeovil Literary Prize (2015 and 2016) and the MsLexia Women’s Novel award (2015). She loves living in the north of England and sets most of her stories in the area, including the novel she is writing at the moment. She currently works as a book keeper.


Author Links:  Website   |   Twitter   |  Facebook  |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads


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