27 November 2008

25 November 2008

Editorial comments

My editor's post has been lassooed back from the depths of cyberspace.

24 November 2008

Because it's Monday

I don't generally cast my characters using images of celebs, but if I did, the hero of my current WIP might look something like this. I give you James Purefoy.

[image deleted]

22 November 2008

Thank you

Huge thank yous to everyone who's left comments here and on the iheartpresents site. Such encouragement and positivity makes writing the rest so much more doable.

See the wordcount creeping up? I'm hoping to write 5000 words this weekend, as have no plans except possibly having to go to Jerez's Third Annual Garlic Competition this afternoon. 500 ways with garlic. Who could resist?!

What are you doing this weekend?

19 November 2008

Chapter 1...

... is here!

If you'd like to know where the idea for the story came from, watch this interview of singer James Blunt by Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson. After 5 mins 50 secs of very funny chat about music and cars and tanks, there's the little gem that had me reaching for my notebook...

18 November 2008


It's here. Ugh. I'm not a fan of synopses and usually don't write them until after I've finished the novel. With this synopsis, I'd written three chapters by the contest deadline so the first part is more or less OK, but after about halfway it gets a bit tortured. What I really wanted to put was 'and then lots of things happen but I'm not sure what yet', but for some strange reason I didn't think that would impress the editors.

(And to any family members who may occasionally read this blog, you might want to think twice about clicking on the link!!)

16 November 2008

How scared?

The various elements of my 'Feel the Heat' entry are appearing on the iheartspresents this week: the chapter, the synopsis and editorial comments.

I have no idea in which order they'll be posted, if they'll be posted all together or individually or even when exactly they'll be posted. All I know is that I'm terrified and will probably be spending the week hiding under my desk.

I don't belong to a writing group and I don't have a critique partner. My writing has only ever been seen by NWS readers and the editors at Mills & Boon. This is the first time it'll be open to public scrutiny.

Please be gentle.

14 November 2008

Truly Madly Deeply

Ah, adverbs. Don't you just love them?

I've been going through my WIP and ruthlessly stripping out any words that end in -ly. Which could be dangerous as my heroine is called Emily.

Adverbs don't pop up in my dialogue tags too frequently, just pretty much everywhere else. My characters are always suddenly doing things (which must be rather tiring) and when they're not frowning slightly or smiling faintly, they're often utterly speechless and totally baffled.

So I take out as many as I can (and deposit them here instead), but as a result my sentences feel sort of bereft.

Does anyone else suffer from the same adverb addiction?

12 November 2008


I have to write 20,000 more words and perfect all 50,000 by Christmas. Totally self-imposed. Is it possible? Am I mad?

11 November 2008

I am a flake

Have totally crumbled on the Nano front. I wasn't liking my characters or their story (although I think there might be something there), and then I received a 'get out of jail free' email from the editor at HMB with her comments on my chapter and a request for an update on progress. So I reckon that's a legitimate reason to put the Nano novel aside and go back to the previous story.

On the other hand, an artist friend of mine sometimes has four paintings on the go simultaneously. Is it possible to work on two novels at the same time? Do you, can you, do this?

08 November 2008

NaNoWriMo progress

Well, week one's done and here's my wordcount to date.

Day 1 - 1706
Day 2 - 1627
Day 3 - 614
Day 4 - 1720
Day 5 - 1448
Day 6 - 0
Day 7 - 0

Hmm, something seems to be going awry. Can I use lots of work in the last couple of days as a defence? Maybe I should be doing a little less blogging and a little more writing...

How are you doing?

07 November 2008

'Feel the Heat' - The Call

As if you haven't heard enough from me on iheartspresents already, here's another post. That's it for now, I promise.

06 November 2008


Oh yes, and I have a post up here today.

Mills & Boon

Is the tide of negative opinion turning? First a positive review of BBC4's M&B evening, and now an article on the novels' enduring popularity, especially during a recession. Both appear in Serious Newspapers without a hint of a sneer. Whatever next?!

05 November 2008

I must not edit. I must not edit. I must not edit.

I once heard of a writer (Dick Francis? Frederick Forsyth? Don't remember) who composes the entire novel he's working on in his head until it is word perfect. The actual process of transferring the words onto paper is just a chore that has to be endured.

This is not me. As someone who (with very limited experience) tends to write their way into characters and the story, I'm finding the temptation to go back and play around with what I've written so far is soooooo strong. I'm just about holding out, but am under no illusion that it'll last.

Do you plan? Do you wing it? And how do you resist the urge to edit?

03 November 2008

They were robbed!

Well, the gorgeous gals of the RNA didn't win, but they did fabulously nevertheless (was it just me or did some of the Eggheads' questions seem much easier than the RNA's?).

My Nano wordcount today clocked in at a paltry 614 words. Hmm, not quite so fabulous. On the plus side, I did manage to write biogs for my hero and heroine and jot down a few plot ideas.

My favourite line so far?

What on earth had possessed her to grab a tray of canapes and circulate, hamming up a Spanish accent so bogus she was surprised more people hadn’t commented on it?

(Which gives you some idea of how truly awful the rest is.)

The RNA v. the Eggheads

The Romantic Novelists' Association team takes on the Eggheads this afternoon on BBC2 at 6pm GMT. Five lovely romantic novelists against five notoriously-difficult-to-beat-and-frankly-rather-odd quiz champions.

After the success of the RNA in University Challenge - The Professionals, how can they not win?

02 November 2008


At long, long last I have produced not one, but TWO posts for the iheartspresents site and they're apparently up this week - 6 & 7 November. Thursday's is all about how I discovered M&Bs and Friday's is about The Call. Riveting stuff.

01 November 2008

On your marks

Ok, here we go. 1700 words a day for the next 30 days. Ouch.

The plan: close study door, turn off phones, inhale deeply, close eyes, feel inspiration flow, flex fingers, start typing, lose self in story, create masterpiece.

The likely reality: close study door, check mobile for messages, check email/favourite websites and blogs, switch off internet, open new document, save document, switch internet back on, go through youtube/itunes to create suitable playlist, google images of gorgeous men for character inspiration, flex fingers, start typing, check wordcount, make coffee. Repeat last three until 1700 words done.

What's your plan?