There’s life before you’re a published author, and life afterwards. I was worried that once the excitement of the Provenance Unknown launch had died down, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.

Panoramic landscape showing a wooden boardwalk disappearing into sagebrush.
View at the Osoyoos Desert Centre, August 2021. (Author photo)

It’s partially true. With my second book, A Year of Summer, still with my test readers, I suddenly have time on my hands. Odd.

I couldn’t sit still for long, though. I’ve started researching and plotting my third book, which takes place in Sicily, Italy. (I’ve even connected with an olive farm there, and the owners have invited me to visit. Better start saving up now … ) But a recent stomach bug that swept through my house forced me to slow down.

Message received. Ish.

The Marketing Machine

It never stops. Most authors hate this part of the industry, but it’s actually my favourite. (In fact, I’ve been told I should start a business to help fellow authors with this side of things. I’m considering it!) And thanks to my friend technology, I generally don’t have to get out of my pyjamas to do it.

In April, I participated in MoodPitch, a Twitter pitch + moodboard event. Held twice a year, it allows authors to share a quick snapshot of their story in the hopes of grabbing an agent’s attention.

Who are we? Well, we are passionate authors who created this Twitter pitch event because we, like so many other writers, LOVE moodboards to go along with our WIP (works-in-progress). We love looking at them, we love making them, and we love using them to maintain the excitement while drafting our projects. And we know so many of you do, too! But there’s a lack of pitch events on Twitter that allow the use of moodboards. So we wanted to create something that allows for these beauties to be showcased.

From the MoodPitch website’s About page.

Though I didn’t attract agent interest this time around, pitching A Year of Summer helped me refine my hook for the book—plus I connected with some new author friends. Here’s my moodboard. Let me know what you think!

Miss Congeniality X National Lampoon’s Vacation

🤡 Clowns
🤴🏻 Handsome prince
🙎🏻‍♂️Suspicious stranger
🎡 Festivals and fairs
🌵 Small town kitsch, in a desert setting
🚐 Vintage Winnebago

Better buckle up—it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

#MoodPitch #CR #A #RC

Mood board for A Year of Summer book showing primarily photos relating to desert landscapes, and festivals and fairs. Images are arranged in three columns on a white background. Row 1) Clown; man and dog in woods, travelling away from viewer; star-shaped string lights; blond woman in toque looking up, snowy background. Row 2) Landscape showing undulating hills with big clouds in sky; mini-donut stand at a fair; a mid-1980s Winnebago. Row 3) Painting of a cactus with orange ground and yellow background; boardwalk through desert landscape; Snow White and Prince characters walking in a parade. Row 4) Lit-up carousel at dusk; close up of cacti and spines; Ferris wheel.
Screen shot from Twitter of moodboard and pitch for A Year of Summer.

Poetry to Podcasts

The Valentine’s 💘 issue of Poetry as Promised Magazine was worth the wait! Once again, they’ve made the poems so visually stunning 🤩. Find my contribution, “Crown Shyness”, on page 12—but definitely read ALL the wonderful work from the featured poets.

Made by our hands to find a home in yours

Poetry As Promised Magazine is a homemade literary magazine devoted to publishing your poetry, prose, short stories, photography, and visual arts in a way that speaks to the readers and you! With 2 poet/photographers looking over every submission and handmaking each page, we ensure your work is in very loving hands. We pride ourselves on our eye for detail and promise to do everything in our power to deliver a masterpiece you can be proud of too.

From the Poetry As Promised Magazine website.

I was also delighted to receive an invitation from For Page and Screen Magazine, which published my short story “Through the Looking Glass”, to be on their new podcast as a past contributor. This will be part of their first-ever Summer Interview Series. This should be a lot of fun, and I’ll be sure to share the links (both audio and YouTube) once the episode is up.

My Book Baby

I couldn’t stay away from Provenance Unknown for long! The momentum around it right now is wild, and, quite frankly, blowing my mind. Just because I’m still riding the high of the launch, I’ve included a few more photos below. But first, news!

Library Love

Toronto folks! Provenance Unknown will soon be available at a public library near you. I’m thrilled to announce that the Toronto Public Library has ordered 5 copies. Watch for them soon at the following branches:

  • Armour Heights
  • North York Central Library
  • Don Mills
  • Swansea Memorial
  • Toronto Reference Library

It’s easy to suggest a title for your library to purchase! Here are a few links:

Please consider suggesting a title through your local library to support the authors you love.

Praise for Provenance Unknown

5.0 out of 5 stars A Novel archivists will enjoy!
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on April 12, 2023
Verified Purchase
This story will be enjoyed by archivists and researchers everywhere who regularly use Archives. Sonia Nicholson has woven an intriguing story around her protagonist who works in an Archives and discovers a diary she feels drawn to - so much so that it takes her to Paris to right a wrong for a family. In the process she discovers her own past. Nicholson's research is admirable and Provenance Unknown - her debut Novel - is excellent.
Review on Amazon.

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great debut novel!
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on April 15, 2023
Verified Purchase
Nicholson's book features a protagonist you root for, mystery steeped in history, unexpected (but entirely satisfying) twists, and such vivid descriptions of Victoria and Paris that you'll be craving nanaimo bars and croissants - or booking flights. Thoroughly enjoyed this read, and can't wait for the next one!
Review on Amazon.

Five star review
April 11, 2023
I’m hoping Sonia’s second book is a sequel; I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.
Review on Goodreads.

Thank you to everyone who’s purchased and read Provenance Unknown! 🎉

Could you help me out by writing an online review? 🙏 In a world of algorithms, they make such a difference to authors. And they don’t have to be long!

As jealous as I am of my book’s recent travels in Paris without me, I’m still hoping to see—and share—more photos of its adventures. Going to Paris soon? I’d love it if you would take a copy with you and document the fun. Reach out and we can chat about it.

Les Bouquinistes

Will There Be Wine, by Whitney Cubbison

Austen Keller was living her dream. She landed a career-defining job which moved her and her husband to Paris. <Swoon!> Shortly thereafter, she was divorced. <Thud.> This wasn’t the plan. Yet there she was—pushing 40 and starting over.
A decade after she’d last been single, Austen enters the dating scene playing by a new set of rules in a different language, culture, and lingerie standards. She experiences every type of miserable first date imaginable and lives to tell the tales of Pierre the Mansplainer, Simon the Snoozer, Emile the Over-Sharer, Guillaume of the Gym Shorts, and many more. On most dates, she struggles to get past one glass of Bordeaux without wanting to bolt. Even worse, no one chases after her when she runs. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that whoever said French men were romantic deserves a swift kick in the pants.

A rewarding and high-powered career. <Check.> 
Fabulous female friendships. <Nailed it!> 
True love. <Umm?> 

Austen continues to ask herself: Is “having it all” too much to ask?

A genuine and tragically hilarious novel about an ex-pat woman’s journey of self-discovery through a string of disastrous dates, relationships forged in a deep cultural divide, world travels, and wine. A lot of wine.

Illustrated cover on blue background. Include Eiffel Tower, and a cell phone screen showing a dating app.
Cover for Will There Be Wine? by Whitney Cubbison.

Lost in Paris, by Betty Webb

Zoe Barlow knows the pain of loss. By the age of 18, she’d already lost her father to suicide and her reputation to an ill-fated love affair, not to mention other losses too devastating for words. Exiled from her home and her beloved younger sister by their stepmother, Zoe has been dumped in Paris without a friend to help her make her way.

Now, four years, later Zoe has forged a new life as a painter amidst fellow artists, expats, and revolutionaries who are all struggling to make sense of the world in the aftermath of the Great War. Zoe has adopted this Lost Generation as her new family, so when her dear friend Hadley Hemingway loses a valise containing her husband Ernest’s writings, Zoe happily volunteers to track it down. But she doesn’t realize that her hunt has put her in the crosshairs of a merciless killer.

Betty Webb is the author of three mystery series—her new PARIS series, the LENA JONES series, and the GUNN ZOO series. Before writing full time, Betty was a journalist, interviewing everyone from U.S. Presidents, astronauts who walked on the moon, and Nobel Prize winners. She is a member of the National Federation of Press Women, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.

Woman painting. A Paris bridge and the Eiffel Tower are in the background.
Cover for Lost in Paris by Betty Webb.

As always, thanks for reading. Merci!


Published by Sonia Nicholson

Sonia Nicholson is an archivist, executive assistant, and writer. She was born and raised in Osoyoos, British Columbia, Canada and studied French and Spanish at the University of Victoria. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia with her husband, two children, and two rescue dogs. Follow her on Twitter @nicholsonsonia_

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