Sunday, 25 September 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

I saw this on Liz Fielding's blog this morning and thought it might be fun to join in. I left it too late to officially sign up with Six Sentence Sunday for this week but thought I'd post six sentences from 'Home for Christmas' anyway. Feel free to play along in the comments - post 6 sentences from whatever you're working on at the moment.

What happened in the cinema that day we first met became a bit of a running joke between me and Aiden. Whenever one of us was down or grumpy, the other just had to say, ‘It could be worse, you could be stuck in a toilet!’ and then we’d both laugh. Well, I always laughed. Aiden didn’t seem to find it quite so amusing after the hundredth time I said it.

In a way, it was weird that we’d ended up together. Our taste in films was about as diverse as it could be.

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Thursday, 22 September 2011

A bit of this and that...

Not much to report but I thought I should do a quick catch-up blog post as today was the day I was planning on typing 'THE END' on Project B after a 10,000 words a week x 7 weeks mad first draft dash (a challenge I set myself back in August).

The truth is that slicing my thumb open, getting PR/marketing in place for 'Home for Christmas' and tending to TopSecretProject have prevented me from achieving my goal. No 'The End' for this author but I am about 29% of the way through the first draft (roughly 21,000 / 70,000 words) and I'm not going to beat myself up about it.

Having said that I do feel a bit of (internal) pressure to get it finished asap but think that's more to do with the fear/worry that someone else will write, and publish, a similar novel before I can get this one 'out there'. I had a similar fear with 'Heaven Can Wait' and several heart stopping moments as I was writing the first draft when someone would mention that a TV show or novel was 'similar'. The worry was unfounded. The fact is that no one is going to write EXACTLY the same novel as you and, even if their novel DOES propel the author straight into the bestseller charts, it doesn't mean that your novel won't get picked up too (publishers do like a bandwagon!).

A couple of blog posts have attracted my attention this week. There's this one by Cassandra, a literary agent intern, about word counts and how they differ between different genres etc:

And this one by Adele Ward about how an advance can ruin an author:

Thought provoking stuff I thought.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

If I could be anyone I'd be...

...Michael Palin!

Not only has he travelled to places I could only imagine visiting AND had adventures that money can't buy but he's been in films and is part of Monty Python, one of the greatest comedy partnerships ever.

I've spied on seen him at the Orion parties (he's an author too don'tchaknow!) and he seems like a genuinely lovely guy.

Who would you be?

In case you're wondering... this post is brought to you by a blog splash for the launch of Talli Roland's new book 'Watching Willow Watts' ...

About Watching Willow Watts

For Willow Watts, life has settled into a predictably dull routine: days behind the counter at her father's antique shop and nights watching TV, as the pension-aged residents of Britain's Ugliest Village bed down for yet another early night. But everything changes when a YouTube video of Willow's epically embarrassing Marilyn Monroe impersonation gets millions of hits after a viewer spots Marilyn's ghostly image in a frame.

Instantly, Willow's town is overrun with fans flocking to see the 'new Marilyn'. Egged on by the villagers -- whose shops and businesses are cashing in -- Willow embraces her new identity, dying her hair platinum and ramming herself full of cakes to achieve Marilyn's legendary curves.

But when a former flame returns seeking the old Willow, Willow must decide: can she risk her stardom and her village's newfound fortune on love, or is being Marilyn her ticket to happiness?

Buy the book:

Amazon UK:

Monday, 12 September 2011

Bookmarks, business cards and blogs...

Sorry about the lack of updates recently, I'm not sure where time has gone but it seems to have developed a magical 'speeding up' quality which means there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day at the moment.

The stitches in my thumb came out a couple of weeks ago - and I now have an impressive zig zag scar that I have to massage several times a day - but I still have the thumb splint on. It'll remain on for a few more weeks until my physio starts but I'm kind of getting used to it. I've even taught myself how to crossstitch with my right hand (it's slow going though!)

Talking of the 'thumb incident' it's definitely impeded my progress with Project B. Instead of being about 60-70% of the way through as planned, I've only written 25% of the first draft (17,661 words / 70,000). That said, considering I'm typing up the 12,000 or so words I wrote by hand before my accident as well as writing new words AND I have to keep taking breaks when my thumb swells up, I'm not doing too badly.

I've also been ploughing on with my Home for Christmas promo work, including making some bookmarks and business cards online and organising a very small blog tour to celebrate publication day (10th November). The business cards are from and I love them, despite the fact I didn't quite get the left and right margins to match! The bookmarks are from and they're great but not really weighty enough to be long lasting bookmarks, they're more like slim flyers! If anyone knows a good, cheap online place for decent bookmarks do please let me know!

What else? Well...Top Secret Project is due to launch very, very soon and all work on ProjectB and Home for Christmas will temporarily stop when that kicks off. Sorry to be so cloak and dagger about it but I'm the superstitious sort and it's all very exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. Watch this space - I'll reveal all in the next few weeks...

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Monday, 5 September 2011

Want to write a pocket novel?

Aka a 50,000 word romantic novella for My Weekly or People's Friend?

Then sign up for multi-published pocket novelist Sally Quilford's workshop in Chesterfield on 22 October. Only £35!

More details here: Sally's blog

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