Friday, 14 July 2017
People often ask me what my writing process is. How do I write? What inspires me? Do I carefully plan out my plots?
Well, I thought I'd enlighten you.
This is only the way I do it. Each author has their own way. And as it's British little me, this is sprinkled with my own brand of snark.
My stories sort of just 'come to me'.
This can literally be through a dream, or even just a vague thought which pops into my head.
Generally, it starts as the hint of a theme.
Maybe I know the end; what I envision the characters' purpose is.
Or sometimes it's the very first paragraph.
My current work in progress started with the idea of a scene in a caf; my vampire sitting down for coffee, pretending to be normal. But this didn't even get featured in the end.
There's two great British slang phrases for you! ;-)
I honestly just sit down at my laptop, and start typing.
It's often a surprise to me what drips from my fingers.
It feels a bit like when I channel Reiki, only it's the story I'm channelling.
When I was writing True's Love I thought I was going to go crazy.
It filled my head every waking moment, and even when I slept. From the first thing in the morning until the last thing at night it was knocking on my skull, demanding my attention.
I just had to sit at my computer as much as possible and get it out of my head and onto 'paper' just to get some peace.
I have lived a somewhat turbulent life, and some of my own experiences have fuelled my writing. Never directly though.
I was a counsellor to young people in the past. I drew on the stories told to me in that context to create the fictional story of Broken & Damaged Love - a romance story which offers hope to child sex abuse survivors. It's the book I'm most proud of as it can do so much good in the world.
(soon to be released), had a very different inspiration!
It was really exciting to delve into a fantasy world filled with magick.
My familiar has been my muse.
I pick threads and start weaving them.
Some bits stand out and I start to explore them further.
Often, my own characters start telling me where they should go next! Yes, this sounds bonkers, but many authors go through this. It's fine.
I've totally had to change my intention for characters before at their demand!
But that means the dreaded editing must now take place.
At least one more draft is created as I sift through, trying to ensure the best flow has been created. Is there anything superfluous? Do I need to elaborate on anything?
This is the stage I begin to worry.
What if they don't like it? Am I good enough? How do I compare to...? Will readers enjoy my work?
Oh, the wonderful paranoia which inevitably creeps in!? :-/
I rely on my proof readers' scrutiny. Happily they've not told me I'm crap yet!
I then speak with my wonderful cover designer Robin Ludwig who works her magick, and somehow puts a picture to my book. This picture has to reflect what the story is about within approx. 2 seconds of a potential reader looking at it.
Much head scratching happens here.
My book baby is uploaded into Amazon! :-O
Dern dern deeerrrrn!!! (*scary music*)
A little bit of poo comes out at I depress the 'publish' button.
I screw my eyes up tightly, and press it, sending many wishes for its success as it travels through the ether.
Nothing can describe the sheer horror of this moment.
People will soon be able to see my book. People!
They will judge it (if they ever manage to discover it).
And then the real work begins...
(but that will be a future post)
btw all images on this post are from Pixabay
So, that's all for this post.
Keep your eyes out across all my social media for news of when my duology will be released unto to the world:
You have no idea how much I hope you enjoy my books. 💖
Always with love & light,
Wednesday, 7 June 2017
I just visited the Jane Austen exhibition in Winchester. As most of you will know this year marks the 200th anniversary of her death (18th July 1817).
Having watched the Lucy Worsley documentary on the great lady, and having lived in the south of England my whole life I felt I should pay my respects.
The picture (above) was on display, and was painted by her sister Cassandra.
Many don't think of Jane like this, but I do. She's pretty, but not overly so. She's serious and yet mischievous and wistful, just as any good writer should be.
There is so much more to Jane than meets the eye.
She basically self published at one point, much like my good self.
She also loved the countryside, and tried to inject love and positivity into dark times, also like myself.
Of course, I can't even hope to truly compare. She had a far greater talent than I shall ever have.
But it is thanks to people like Jane Austen that I am a writer.
I read Evelina by Fanny Burney last year, which is one of the very first romance novels.
And again Lucy Worsley prompted me to read this thanks to her documentary on the history of romance novels.
I learned that one Miss J Austen effectively crowd funded that book before she'd written hers.
I absolutely loved Evelina. If you've not read it yet please do.
It must have taken so much courage and determination to have written as they did.
Publishing and indeed writing were an awful lot harder then.
Me? I just write my drivel on a laptop and send it through the internet and unleash it into the world.
They had to write by hand and send large packets of paper to publishers and hope that they would send their work out through bookshops. And there were fewer readers.
Romance books were virtually unheard of and quite scandalous.
The very subject matter was extremely daring.
But can you imagine a world without romance books now? How dull would it be?
Or (*shock, gasp*) a world without Mr Darcy?
I shudder to think what her readers would think of my books.
If they thought holding hands and flirtations were bad? Well, if you've read any of my work you'll know I don't exactly hold back in the bedroom scenes.
Jane didn't ever make much money from her books in her lifetime.
Like most great artists of her time, it wasn't until after her death she found notoriety.
This makes me feel sad. She deserved so much more than the hard life she led.
She is thought to have had arthritis, possibly due to the amount of writing she had undertaken.
And this may have led to her untimely demise. She was only 41 when she passed into spirit.
One thought is that she saw a doctor in London who prescribed something for her pain, but this contained arsenic.
In one letter she complains of skin discolouration "black and white and every wrong colour". One crime novelist (Lindsay Ashford) has attributed this to arsenic poisoning.
She truly may have suffered for her art!
Although she was by no means rich, as soon as she came into an inheritance she gave money away. She could little afford to do this, but one of her accounts still in existence shows tips for servants, monies to charity and presents.
I must conclude she was a kind hearted soul.
So, I just wanted to share my utmost respect and love for these brave women.
The founders of our wonderful romantic worlds.
The pioneers of writing from the heart.
I thank you Jane, and all those brave women. Thank you.
Without them I would most certainly not be able to write as I do now.
Om mani padme hum
(I purchased the notebook at the exhibition; it echoes the oak leaf design on Jane's silk pelisse on display.
I hope writing my future book notes in this brings me good luck).
Psst...please don't let me be like Jane. Please buy and review my books. 😉
Friday, 2 June 2017
Did you know you can sign up to my newsletter?
I promise it's very rare for me to send you a message. I know how annoying it can be to have your inbox clogged up by spam.
But I would like to let you know about important things, such as special offers and my new book releases.
You wouldn't want to miss that now, would you?
I know how you sit on the edge of your seat with baited breath, just waiting for my next book.
OK, so maybe not, but it might still be nice to hear about it, right?
Anyway, if you want to hear from me once in a while, please click on the right of my page where it says 'Subscribe to my mailing list'; it's a very cunning heading, isn't it? ;-)
What it should look like (may display differently on diffeent devices):
If you just subscribed; thank you muchly. You're awesome.
Love & light,
Thursday, 25 May 2017
Wow; four years ago today I published my first ever romance novel:
I feel like celebrating today. Someone send me cake and Prosecco, pronto!
My first book was a lovely romance (well, I would say that, wouldn't I?), but it really is.
Samantha was in a really bad marriage with an overly controlling man.
She struggles to set herself free and regain her self-confidence and independence.
There's some dating disasters along the way, as well as a trip to Tuscany along with some gelato.
Mmmm...birthday ice cream may also be on my menu today.
Please feel free to check the link (from the book title at the start of this post).
Buy, enjoy and review my book; a wonderful author's birthday present ;-)
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Date read: 23 May 2017
My rating: 5*
Genre I reckon: Farce, humour
Buy Link: Amazon
Firstly, sorry I've been quiet on here. I've been busy writing and not had much time for reading. But I managed to find the time for this little gem. And I'm very glad I did.
I was intrigued by this book when I saw it advertised.
I can only describe it as a farce (in the nice, theatrical sense).
Three widows in their later years join a group on fb. Little did they know they were all connected by one photograph.
The characters are well developed, and Fleur in particular is wonderfully whacky.
There's a wonderful adventure of misadventures as they seek answers to help them with their bereavement through a psychic medium.
We are taken to Islay in Scotland to enjoy some beautiful scenery (and tasty whisky) as well.
A very sad topic given a wonderful sense of humour which I found refreshing.
There's whimsy and frolics galore.
Definite recommend to a friend.
Friday, 31 March 2017
Category I reckon: Memoir with sexiness
My rating: 5*
Buy link: on Amazon
It's been a while but I finally have a book worthy of sharing with you all.
I had seen this book advertised for ages, yet somehow hadn't purchased it. No idea why.
This book is a memoir of a young boy from Malaya, who grew up in the 1960s.
Obviously, being gay back then was a much harsher reality to deal with.
But Yoong (Young) was fortunate enough to find an environment which supported and nurtured him.
Through his experiences he goes from shy "sissy boy" to experienced gorgeous man.
btw the author refers to himself as a sissy boy many times; this is not my own wording.
Despite the cover promising sultry sex from cover to cover, it actually contains an endearing tale.
We follow Young from birth to the end of his time in UAE with his first host family, with trips to Italy and France also thrown in.
I have been left in awe. The author has experienced some wonderful things. It's exotic and exiting, and the stuff of dreams. Only it's a true story.
It was very brave of the author to write so candidly about some very personal experiences, but I'm very glad he did.
I urge you to read this. It could be a bit of an eye opener.
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
I just read a book (Book Marketing is Dead by Derek Murphy).
In it he talks about the importance of the author bio, amongst other things.
Just in case he raised a very good point I set about reqriting mine.
The image at the top of this post is my new mini me bio.
And I've updated all my social media bio's to reflect my new mission statement.
But it got me wondering.
How important is this?
Has anyone ever really looked at anyone's bio before buying a book?
I don't think I've ever done so.
- Personally, I'm initially drawn by a book's cover. It has to stand out in a sea of other books as I trawl through Amazon.
- Then I read the synopsis; is the story something I'm looking for?
- And I will glance at the reviews, taking them with a pinch of salt. If there's a good spread across the board then fine. But if there's only 5* reviews I start to get suspicious and if they're all 1* clearly I won't go near it.
I know a lot of readers who utilise the 'look inside' option, which will give you a clear indication if you like the writer's style before finally pushing that 'buy' button.
I've followed my own book buying principles to create what I hope are attractive books.
We're all different, I know. And there's no such thing as pleasing everyone.
Some people, when looking for romance novels, love a rippled torso on the front, but for some this is a turnoff.
Some love seeing a handsome face, and again, some are totally put off by this.
It's a narrow tightrope we authors have to traverse.
It is not enough to have a good book. You have to make the cover & blurb appealing enough for readers to even reach the wonders you've written.
So, what do you look for when selecting books to read?
Love & light,
(btw you can view my full author bio & book selection on Amazon)