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Showing posts from 2012

Highlights and Fairy Lights

I don't know where the time's gone this year - though I probably say that every year.  It's been a lovely one writing-wise with quite a few highlights.  My first novel finally came out in Germany and seems to be doing well, thank goodness.

I met my lovely agent, Lisa, and she published My Future Husband as an ebook and even threw a little launch party last week in London, which I thoroughly enjoyed and made the most of, though I managed to knock over and smash a glass of wine.  And that was before I'd even drunk any.

Short story sales have topped 120, which is nice.  I so enjoy writing them, but have had to put them on hold this month to try and finish the draft of my third novel, but I can't wait to get back to them.

My second novel is still out with publishers, and although I haven't heard anything back yet I remain subbornly optimistic.  Whatever happens I won't be giving up writing any time soon - I still love it far too much.

Aside from writing I got …

Launched!

After several months of flipping through* the lovely German version of my novel, and scouring the net for favourable reviews (amazingly there are a few) and wondering if I should perhaps learn the language so I could read it myself (God knows why when I wrote it and should know every word), I'm delighted - nay THRILLED - to announce the publication of an ENGLISH ebook version of My Future Husband available to download RIGHT NOW.  (I must stop shouting, it's not professional.)

This turn of events has come about thanks to my agent, Lisa Eveleigh.  As well as being a fabulous agent, who is still badgering publishers to buy my second novel, she and her wonderful team have launched The Paris Press as part of a new writing consultancy and MY FUTURE HUSBAND is their very first publication.

Call me shallow, but I particularly love the cover design and have gazed at it for so long I've almost developed a squint.

Obviously it remains to be seen whether anyone will want to read the …

Flying Pants

I really wanted to write a new blog post, but wasn't sure what to write about or where to start so I thought I'd just start writing and see where it took me, which is often what I do with my short stories. 

I think of a first line and take it from there and nine times out of ten it works. A theme emerges a couple of paragraphs in, and I start to get excited as I know at that point I'm going to have a (hopefully) decent story. 

I've started applying the same principle to novel number 3, as I'd got a bit blocked and kept going over the same chapters, editing, honing, tweaking, primping (and occasionally going off to make cakes) instead of actually making any progress.

As November is National Novel Writing Month I thought I'd take the opportunity to get the final 40,000 words of the first draft finished, and so far it's working a treat.  I don't always know when I sit down to write how the chapter is going to pan out, but somehow it always does, and the…

Interview with Mel Sherratt

I'm delighted to welcome the lovely Mel Sherratt to my blog today. 

Mel sold over 50,000 copies of her beselling crime novel Taunting the Dead last year, and her latest, Behind a Closed Door is released today. I've had the pleasure of reading it, and I'm confident it's going to be another well-deserved success for Mel.

She's a phenomenally busy woman, but I've managed to pin her down and ask her a few writing related questions.


1)What’s a typical writing day for you, Mel?
I always get up early, around 6am, so when I’m drafting a book I use the first two hours a day to either catch up on emails or write blog posts etc with my laptop on the settee. Once the battery needs recharging, I head to my office. I’ve only recently made a room into an office but I can’t tell you the difference it has made. I don’t have Twitter on my PC so from ten until one I write. A quick break for lunch and writing again until four. Then that’s me done for the day writing wise – unless I…

Time and Tide

Is it me, or does this year seem to be hurtling towards Christmas?

I'm so sorry for unleashing the C word already, but I've been trying to get in the mood so I can write some festive magazine stories - not easy when the sun's blazing and you're trying to get a last minute tan before the clocks go back and we're plunged into darkness in the middle of the afternoon, unpacking our mittens and thermal undies for the long cold winter ahead.

Ahem.  Got a bit carried away there.

Anyway, I've tried humming carols and supping hot chocolate and Googling all manner of sentimental snow scenes, but instead I keep picturing cornflower blue skies, shimmering sea, hunky surfers with wind-tousled hair (that's another story altogether) and sand between my toes. 

This is possibly because my daughter is currently holidaying in Greece and keeps texting me daily updates of how scorching hot it is, and how she's going to be swimming all day, followed by a bit of swanning ab…

Waiting, Writing and Catching Mice

Hello August, where the devil did you come from?

It would be nice to have exciting news to report, but although my meeting with Lovely Agent Lady in July was exciting and productive, and my novel is now with a publisher, the wait goes on. I kept my fingers crossed for a while, but found it difficult to get anything done and had to uncross them again.

Instead I've been getting on with novel 3, writing stories, and feeling quietly pleased that the German version of My Future Husband has finally been published in, er, Germany.

I've even been interviewed by the lovely Mel Sherratt at High Heels and Book Deals, which made me feel important for a few minutes, then I had to get the dinner on and deal with pesky mice running riot.  I'm starting to worry our house is made of cheese we get so many furry visitors.

Anyone got a good recipe for mouse-pie?

Kerry Hudson Blog Tour

I'm delighted to welcome author, Kerry Hudson, to my blog today as she celebrates the launch of her debut novel, the fabulously titled, Tony Hogan Bought me an Ice Cream Float Before He Stole my Ma, which is the story of a Scottish childhood of filthy council flats and B&Bs, screeching women, feckless men, fags and booze and drugs, the dole queue and bread and marge sandwiches. It is also the story of an irresistible, irrepressible heroine, a dysfunctional family you can't help but adore, the absurdities of the eighties and the fierce bonds that tie people together no matter what. . I read the novel over a couple of nights, and it's an absolute corker - funny, sad and a little bit sweary, with a truly memorable main character in Janie Ryan.I'll post a full review next week.
In the meantime, Kerry's kindly answered some writerly questions, and there's a marvellous competition you might be interested in afterwards, so do carry on reading ...

Kerry, where did the…

Good news

Well, I didn't win the Novelicious competition (flicks away a tear) but thank you everyone who took the time to comment and vote for me, and congratulations to the winners (she says through gritted teeth.) 

No, I mean it - the standard was high and I wouldn't be at all surprised if some deals are struck in the not too distant future.

On the plus side  ... whispers ... I have a lovely new agent!   I submitted my second novel - part of my German deal - a few months back and tried to forget about it.  It attracted interest, I completed some edits, and on Tuesday was offered representation.  Tiny squeal.

The contract arrived today and I'm meeting her in London next Wednesday.

I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but feel like a very lucky lady indeed.

In other news - I've mastered the hula-hoop to the point where I can do it for half an hour ... without even noticing.  It's not even like proper exercise, but my waist has shrunk and I've got a six-pack.

Okay that…

Train-writing

Well, the Novelicious entries have been read - and thank you all who did, and for making such lovely comments - and voting is open until the 20th.  If you'd like to vote click here (mine's Dancing Queen) and if you don't, ignore me.

I met up with some of the lovely ladies from my writing group today and had a great time, not least because it involved Going On a Train, which is one of my favourite things.  Looking out of the window I saw so many things that triggered story ideas I ended up writing one on the way back.  I'd never have done that if I'd gone by car.  Not without something deeply unpleasant happening.

One of the oddest sights was a man on a tennis court playing tennis - by himself.  As you can imagine, this involved rather a lot of running back and forth.  Unless his opponent was invisible. 

I don't think I could make a sensible story out of that, but if you have any thoughts I'm more than happy to try.

Delicious Novelicious

If anyone fancies a read, I'm one of the finalists in the Novelicious Undiscovered 2012 competition.  I entered under the name of my alter-ego Chloe Kent, who's younger, prettier, funnier and nicer than me, and has much better hair.

I hate her.

Voting doesn't take place until June 5th, after all the entries have been posted and read, but if you'd like to leave a little comment I'd be ever so grateful, especially if it's a nice one.

Be gentle.  Chloe doesn't look good when she's been crying ...

Free Up Your Short Story Writing - by Helen Hunt

I'm delighted to welcome the lovely and talented Helen Hunt to my blog today, with some invaluable short story writing advice. If you get the opportunity, it's well worth enrolling on one of Helen's successful short story writing workshops.

Over to you, Helen...

Have you ever started writing a short story, but not got very far because you just couldn’t get the first paragraph right?

Or maybe you’ve got two thirds of the way through a story and then your writing has fizzled out because you have no idea where your story is going. Even more frustrating is the situation where you’ve got a great story ending in mind but no idea how to get there.

All short stories need a beginning, a middle and an end, but sometimes it helps if you can free up your mind by not necessarily writing them in that order. If you’ve got a great ending in mind, try writing that first. Sometimes writing the ending helps to clarify your thoughts and makes it easier to write the rest of the story. It gives…

Happily-hyphenated

I recently decided to have a few copies of my novel printed off, courtesy of Pen Press, for friends and family to read - whether they like it or not. No seriously, they want to. They DO.

I decided it might be prudent to have it professionally copy-edited first. There's nothing worse than reading a book filled with typos and grammar glitches - though I can't 100% guarantee a few won't have slipped through the net.

It seemed like a lot of money to invest, but I figured if I don't secure a traditional publishing deal, I may want to self-publish at some point so it's money well-spent, and writers services offered what I thought was a reasonable rate, and did a first class job.

They rather flatteringly said there wasn't much to do (hardly surprising when I've revised the damn novel about a million times) but I was shocked - nay, embarrassed - by my considerable overuse - and misuse - of the humble hyphen.

Dear-oh-dear. I had NO idea I used it so indiscrimi…

Flooding

Well I managed to get the hang of hula-hooping in the end. It involved buying a heavier one, which pervesely is easier to keep up (as it were.) Who says size doesn't matter?

So now I have a tiny 19" waist. Okay, I don't. Expending all that energy means I need a tasty treat afterwards, to keep my strength up. Obviously.

The writing's going well too I'm pleased to say. I've sold some stories, written some more, I've started sending Novel 2 out to agents in the hope of snaring a new one, and I'm ploughing on with Novel 3. The words are flooding out. I'm still not acheiving the kind of daily wordcount I KNOW I'm capable of, or would like to acheive (10,000 at least) but it's all going in the right direction.

It doesn't help when Real Life gets in the way. Our kitchen ceiling came down yesterday, thanks to a burst water pipe courtesy of the freezing weather we've been having. Luckily Lovely Daughter saw it dripping and we wer…

Resolutions and Hoops

I shouldn't be here.  My mum is staying, and she can't understand the lure of the computer and the typing of lovely words.  I haven't done any writing at all since just before Christmas, which is unheard of.  What if I've forgotten how to do it?  

I have this horrible feeling that if I don't write every day my creative muscle will grow weak and flabby - I need to exercise it and get it toned up again (a bit like the rest of me).

My New Year's writing resolution is to increase my output in 2012 and to stop worrying about 'the market' so much as it freezes me up, but I've lots of catching up to do already.

Talking of exercise, we've been hula-hooping like mad.  Or trying to.  

It started as a laugh, but I'm getting frustrated now.  Lovely daughter makes it look simple, and can practically read a book at the same time. My mum's got the hang of it and she's nearly 70, but me?  

Let's just say Lovely Daughter's threatened to film…