Tess Woods Writer
Today I have the absolute pleasure of introducing Tess Woods. Tess has fast become one of my favourite Aussie authors. Not only is she approachable, welcoming and great fun, but she writes fantastic books. Last year I read her debut novel, ‘Love at First Flight’, which I loved, and recently her latest book, ‘Beautiful Messy Love’, which I could not put down. And I’m so thrilled to have her share her crazy busy day with us. Instead of a writing day, Tess shared a day from her recent book tour which was such a fantastic insight. So here’s Tess.
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Tess Woods is a physiotherapist who lives in Perth, Australia, with one husband, two children, one dog and one cat who rules over them all. Her debut novel, Love at First Flight, received acclaim from readers around the world and won Book of the Year in the AusRom Today Reader’s Choice Award. When she isn’t working or being a personal assistant to her kids, Tess enjoys reading and all kinds of grannyish pleasures like knitting, baking, drinking tea and tending to the veggie patch. She’s also moderately obsessed with the TV series Nashville and taking Buzzfeed quizzes. Tess loves connecting with her readers on Facebook and you can also contact her at www.tess@tesswoods.com.au

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A Day in the Life of Tess Woods (on book tour!)

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7.00 am
After five hours sleep following a late night on the town with author Genevieve Gannon and my friend Daniella Hassett, who has joined me from Perth, my alarm wakes me up at Sydney’s Intercontinental Hotel. I’m feeling every bit my age thanks to the lack of sleep and a few cocktails the night before but the beautiful view of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge lifts my mood pretty quickly! The view from
the 24th floor of this stunning hotel isn’t something I would get sick of in a hurry.
My morning view of beautiful Sydney from my room at the Intercontinental Hotel. You can see me in my PJ’s reflected in the window.
After taking in the view, I get straight onto my phone and spend half an hour writing replies to people who have commented on my social media or sent me messages and emails from the evening before. I check my statistics on Amazon, look for new reviews on Goodreads and start getting ready for the day.
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8.30 am
I’m dressed, my hair’s straightened, my make-up is plastered on and I’m ready for breakfast. Daniella and I head down to the buffet restaurant and have a lovely half hour together chatting and feeding our faces.
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9.00 am
Time to catch a ride for the first meeting of the day, to see blogger Annie McCann along with my publicist Alice Wood at a café in the CBD. Alice messages me to tell me she’s missed her bus but I reassure her not to stress because I’ve got fifteen minutes to arrive five
blocks away so I can keep Annie entertained until she gets there. My Uber is ordered and on its way.
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9.10 am
Have spent the last few minutes swearing at my phone watching the Uber I ordered going around in circles and not actually getting to
the hotel. I give up on him and hail a taxi, it’s okay I still have five minutes to get there.
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9.15 am
Ah, now I know why everyone in Sydney hates the traffic. We have moved one block in five minutes. Annie messages to say she’s waiting for us at the café. Crap.
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9.35 am
I finally arrive, Alice has just turned up, Annie is still smiling even though she was left waiting on her own – all is well again. We launch straight into the juicy stuff – religion, racism and riots, ISIS, One Nation, The Jackson Five – no stone is left unturned. We snap
some photos that Annie puts straight onto social media and then hail a cab and off we go. I decide I love Annie.
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10.45
Alice and I arrive at the Better Reading studios and make small talk for a couple of minutes with the staff there before I go live on Facebook to be interviewed about Beautiful Messy Love. I don’t realise cameras are rolling and footage begins of me chatting to Alice in the corner of the room before I snap to attention with a holy shit look on my face as I realise I’m being recorded! The filming goes for about seven or eight minutes but feels like hours
I really don’t enjoy live interviews! I know I’ll never be able to bring myself to watch the footage but I upload it to my page as soon as
we’re back in the cab anyway so others can have a good laugh at my expense!
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11.30
We walk into the HarperCollins offices. I haven’t been here since January last year when I came to meet my new team a few weeks after signing my first paperback book deal. So much has happened since then, and it feels eerily nostalgic to be back again. I need to
pee so Alice shows me where the loos are and says she’ll be back soon, she’s off to find the others. When she says I’ll be back I assume she means she’ll meet me back outside the toilet but she meant she’d meet me back in the lounge (which makes infinitely more sense than bringing the rest of the team to the toilet.) But I misunderstand her so I pee and then stand outside the toilet.
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11.45
Still standing outside the toilet. Um, where’s Alice? I’ve checked my social media, messaged my hubby in Perth to check in on him and the kids, answered an email and she’s still not here. I call her. She comes. She was thinking I must have had a REALLY bad tummy
ache to have spent that long in the toilet. The rest of the team come to meet us in the lounge too. Lots of squealing ensues. I haven’t seen these women for ages and I love them!
Our CEO James comes out of his office on account of all the squealing going on.
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12.00 pm
My HCP team including my original publisher Anna Valdinger, my current publisher, Mary Rennie, my marketing and promotions manager, Sarah Barrett, along with Alice and I pile into cabs and head to a delicious Middle Eastern restaurant for lunch to toast
the publication of Beautiful Messy Love, which is partly set in a Middle Eastern restaurant. The girls let me choose what we’ll all share for lunch and we enjoy an absolutely delicious meal. For a group of women connected by books, we spend lunch discussing TV shows! We have the entire restaurant to ourselves which is a real treat. I wish I could freeze time and stay with them for the whole day but we have booksellers to visit and the others need to get back to the office to work.
back to the office to work.
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(With my publishing team from left to right – Mary Rennie, Sarah Barrett, Alice Wood and Anna Valdinger.)
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1.00 pm
Alice and I hop from Uber to Uber and taxi to taxi all over Sydney visiting independent bookshops for the afternoon. In each bookshop
I take photos of the displays of Beautiful Messy Love, sign stock and pose for photos with the book for the booksellers to upload on their social media sites. I get a real kick out of meeting the people who sell my books. It’s such an important part of the process,
to build up these relationships with the people who have a great deal of influence over readers but unfortunately because we have lots of stores to visit and don’t have loads of time, it’s a rushed in -and-out- as-soon-as-you-can scenario in each shop so that we can get them all done. On the drive between every bookseller, Alice and I barely speak, we’re both furiously trying to stay on top of our communications with people. I have text messages, Facebook messages and emails coming out of my ears!
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(Signing books at Dymocks George Street, Sydney.)
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4.15 pm
Back at the hotel, bookshop visits are done and I have an hour before Alice comes back to pick me up for the launch this evening. Daniella, who has been out with a Sydney friend while I was out all day with Alice, has bought me a packet of chips because she
figured I’d be tired and craving chips. I literally couldn’t love her any more at this point. I scoff chips, lie in bed and rest my swollen ankles and call my husband at work for a chat. I also have voice messages from author friends Lisa Ireland and Engy Neville that I listen and reply to before getting myself prettied up in a dress and heels and re-doing hair and make-up for the Sydney book launch.
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5.15 pm
Alice messages me that she is waiting at the hotel entrance in a taxi and, along with Daniella, we head off for the one-hour drive to Sutherland library for the launch. I work on Facebook and Instagram posts all the way in the car and Alice uses the time to work too.
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6.15 pm
We arrive at Sutherland library. I’m greeted in the car park by fans who have driven from Tamworth to be there and inside the library I also see the Vietnam Veteran who I consulted with for my next book who has driven 350 km to also be there. I’m feeling very touched and special at this point. A few minutes later, more guests start to arrive. In among them are three members of my family who I haven’t seen for nearly twenty years. I burst into tears when I see them and then have to pull myself together for the in-conversation! The library staff are gorgeous and welcoming, the bookseller is on hand, the rows fill up and soon we’re ready to start. The very gorgeous Melissa Sargent is confident and completely wonderful as my interviewer and the hour passes really quickly with audience questions at
the end as well.
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7.30 pm
I sit myself down at a desk to sign books – by far my favourite working part of being on a book tour. I love connecting with readers and hearing their stories too. This half an hour feels like the blink of an eye.
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8.30 pm
Daniella and I, along with Melissa my interviewer and local author Lauren Chater arrive at a Sutherland Thai restaurant. It’s a slow Monday night and for the second time that day, my group is the only one in the whole restaurant which feels pretty cool and exclusive.
I swap my heels for ballet flats and settle in for a delicious meal and wonderful stimulating fun company.
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10.00 pm
With a big dinner in our bellies, we’re all starting to lag. It’s time to call it a day.
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10.30 pm
Daniella and I climb into an Uber and catch up on our social media for the drive home. I also call home and Facetime my kids to hear all about their day. I’ve only been away three days so far but I miss them so much already.
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11.30 pm
Back at the Intercontinental Hotel again and craving a bath. I make myself a cup of green tea, Daniella gets ready for bed and I hop into the bath to wind down with my cuppa. Tomorrow morning Daniella goes home to Perth and I’m catching a flight out to Melbourne for the next leg of the book tour. I’m exhausted but happy.
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1.00am
Goodnight Sydney
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Tess’s Favourite Thing About Writing

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What I love about writing is that it opens up new worlds to me in the people that I get to meet and the projects I get to be involved with. I also love that as a writer I’ve found a platform to have a voice that’s listened to. And most of all I just love telling a good story!

 

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Wow! What a day. Thanks so much Tess!
If you’d like to connect with Tess Woods, follow her on social media, or buy her books (which I highly recommend you do!), here are her links:

Website

Books

Twitter

Facebook