Cassandra O’Leary shares A Day In The Life of a Hybrid Author/Freelance Writer/Mum/Indie Publisher.

Since my debut novel was published last year, life has changed a lot. I chucked in my corporate communications job and even though I’ve taken a pay cut to concentrate on a writing career, it’s a good thing. Mostly.

Sometimes it’s a little manic … like when I’m busy trying to indie publish and manage a whole bunch of writing, business and family tasks at the same time.

6.30 am
It’s too early but the sun is coming in the windows. Also the son is in my room. My big boy stands beside my bed asking if he can play a game on Mum’s tablet. “Noooo,” I groan, before shooing him away. I snatch a few minutes of snooze-time before getting up.

6.45 am
I’m in the kitchen swearing at the coffee machine (it’s spurting hot water out the side) while also making breakfast for my two boys.
Over my breakfast, I check social media and emails. I live in Australia and many writing friends and readers in the US and the UK are online early in the morning or late at night, my time. I share friends’ posts, then read some news headlines. My emails exploded overnight. I’d sent a request to my newsletter subscribers asking for readers to review an advance reader copy (ARC) my novella, Heart Note. I can’t compose emails yet, so I put it off until I get my kids to school.

7.30 am
Hubby goes off to work, having watered the garden and let our chickens out of the coop. My husband loves gardening and the boys sometimes help with watering and collecting eggs in the morning.

8.30 am
I’ve managed to shower in between breaking up fights (“He took my good pens!”) and put on enough makeup to look human. I force my boys to brush their teeth and comb their hair. Once I’ve made sure they’re both wearing pants, we walk to school. We’re lucky to live down the road from their school in suburban Melbourne.

8.45 am
I wave goodbye to my little one in Prep (first year of school). He’s off to an excursion to a children’s farm today so it’s very exciting. My big boy runs off to play soccer before class.

9.15 am
I’m back home and after cleaning up a little (not much I admit, I’m not a domestic goddess), have my second coffee and fire up my laptop. I have to set up a new ARC reviewer list in Mailchimp, my newsletter software. I nearly tear my hair out but finally hit send on an email.

10.00 am
Start a freelance/corporate writing job, writing about a property group’s expansion. It takes a couple of hours but I think I’ve answered the brief.

12.00 pm
Make lunch, leftover chicken with salad (also coffee and Lindt chocolate). I check out my pre-orders on the ebook retail sites to see whether my book looks good (it does!). I’m rapt to see Heart Note hit the New and Hot Humour bestsellers list in Australia. Yay!

1.00 pm
I’m a regular blogger for a US writing website and it’s time for a new piece. I blog about my experience as a real-life spritzer chick, working on perfume and cosmetics counters in department stores years ago. For this site, I need to upload the content myself and find stock photos to make it look pretty.

2.30 pm
I start writing a blurb for the next Spritzer Chicks novella based on a rough idea about the character, Giselle. I’m not a plotter, but I often write a few paragraphs similar to a blurb or short outline before I start the story. I want to start writing this novella, but I’m waiting on final copyedits for Heart Note from my freelance editor. I don’t want to confuse myself too much. I may get a little distracted by social media though … chatting to writers counts as writing, right?

3.30 pm
Pick-up time at school. My little boy is so excited about seeing pigs and milking a goat at the farm today, he jumps into my arms and gives me a big hug. It’s the cutest thing. My big boy tells me about digital technology class and making videos which sounds awesome.

4.00 pm
Back home and I check my emails again. One reader says she can’t wait to read my new novella, so that puts a smile on my face.

4.30 pm
Karate class! We had to rush to get there in horrible traffic but my boys are kicking and punching like mini ninjas now. They’re practicing for a grading on the weekend.

5.30 pm
We’re home and hubby is cooking dinner (my hero!). The kids bounce on the trampoline while the grown-ups enjoy a glass of wine and cheese before we sit down together.

8 pm
After dinner and getting the boys to bed, I’m on the laptop again, replying to social media messages. Then I read some of a work-related book, about marketing your indie published book.

9 pm
Finally, I’m done for today. Time for another glass of wine and a movie on Netflix.


Enter here for your chance to win 1 of 5 e-copies
of Heart Note by Cassandra O’Leary (Open worldwide)

Love is like a fine perfume. The top note draws you in, an instant attraction, but the Heart Note is the true essence. Like true love – a great perfume should be a woman’s perfect match.

At least, that’s what perfume counter manager, Lily Lucas, tells her customers in one of Australia’s largest department stores. It’s almost Christmas, the store is bedecked with baubles and Lily has about eleventy billion gifts to wrap and sell. She and her team of spritzer chicks are glamorous, professional and hoping they don’t have to wear the hideous red onesies and reindeer antlers the store manager has in mind.

The high point of Lily’s work life is Christos Cyriakos, ex-cop, security guard, possible Greek god. He’s a mystery box she’d love to unwrap. But can she trust him? All Lily wants for Christmas is to kiss Christos (and more), catch a band of thieves running amok in the store, and live happily ever after. Is that too much to wish for?

Cassandra O’Leary is a romance and women’s fiction author, communications specialist, avid reader, film and TV fangirl and admirer of pretty, shiny things. In 2015, Cassandra won the We Heart New Talent contest run by Avon Books/HarperCollins UK. Her debut romantic comedy novel, Girl on a Plane, was published in July 2016. Cassandra was also a 2015 finalist in the Lone Star writing contest, Northwest Houston Romance Writers of America, and a 2014 finalist in the First Kiss contest, Romance Writers of Australia. Cassandra is a mother of two gorgeous, high-energy mini ninjas and wife to a spunky superhero and lives in Melbourne, Australia.

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