27 January 2010

An interview and Book 3

Today I'm being interviewed by the lovely Marilyn Shoemaker, romance reader and reviewer extraordinare. If you want to know what I'm reading at the moment or what I like/dislike most about writing then pop on over.

Book 3 - imaginatively titled YHR as it's part of the 'Young Hot and Royal' miniseries - is moving along steadily (hah - where have you heard that before!!). I had some feedback from my editor yesterday about the very sketchy outline I sent in a while back: I need to pinpoint the emotional conflict and think about the characters' journeys, especially the hero's.

Since sending in the outline my ideas have changed a little. The conflict and showing it right from the start is something I've been working on, and hopefully this now comes through in the first chapter.

The feedback about character development isn't entirely surprising. When I start a story I tend to have the heroine and her emotional baggage mapped out in much more detail than the hero. Often the hero starts out being a shadowy figure whose sole purpose is to mess up the heroine's life. And then gradually as he interacts with her I get more of a picture of who he is and why, and can go back and weave his conflict into the story. This probably isn't the most efficient way of writing, but it seems to work for me.

What about you? Are you more heroine- or hero-centric?

26 January 2010

Happy Australia Day!

To all those in Oz, Happy Australia Day!

I'm celebrating by watching Nadal v. Murray in Melbourne. As it's 10am here I feel rather decadent, but am justifying it by being a quarter Australian and having a grandfather who was from Melbourne. Therefore I reckon I can take a quarter of the day (or a three-ish hour tennis match) as a holiday. Genius, or what???

24 January 2010

Kreativ Blogging

The fabulous Lorraine has nominated me for a Kreativ Blogger award, so here are 7 (possibly not very) interesting facts about me.
  1. I hate mushrooms. Although I can just about bear the little white ones raw in salads, the mere smell of mushrooms cooking makes me gag.
  2. I was once approached by MI6. Luckily (as I'm not too good at keeping secrets) they decided I wasn't right for the job.
  3. I have a masters in Arabic (which may account for 2.) and Spanish.
  4. My sense of direction is non-existent, although my map-reading skills aren't too bad.
  5. I asked my husband out on our first date. He initially said no.
  6. I was once shot at in the Yemeni desert by bedouin would-be kidnappers. I think they decided in the end that 5 shrieking British girls weren't worth the hassle.
  7. I prefer cats to dogs.
The peeps I tag are:

Heidi Rice, Kate Hardy, Natalie Anderson, Trish Wylie, Mira Lyn Kelly, Julie Cohen and Phillipa Ashley.

(If the 7 points above have piqued your interest, there's even more stuff about me and my writing in my recent interview over at Cataromance.)

14 January 2010

Rain, rain, go away

It's been raining here now for nearly a month. In a town that's famed for having 270 days of sunshine a year, it's getting a bit depressing. At least snow looks pretty.

Equally depressing is the realisation that I've started my new story in the wrong place. There's lots of chat and flirting but no conflict whatsoever and it's actually rather dull. Oops. Luckily I think I know how to fix it.

At the moment I have no idea where this story is going, but I'm trying not to worry too much about that just yet. With my last book I over-analysed everything, tried to second guess what my editor would think of what I'd written, obsessed about my overuse of the verb 'to be' and generally forgot to let my characters provide the plot. This time things are going to be different. Hopefully.

Does anyone else fall into these traps, or is it just me???

12 January 2010

USA Today

Just popping up from the depths of exam marking to say that to celebrate her fabulous appearance on the USA Today bestseller list Modern Heat girl Natalie Anderson is giving away signed copies of her books on her blog. Congratulations to all the Presents authors who made it onto the list!

08 January 2010


Bought: Damsel in Distress is currently on the shelves in the US. It's been on the Waldies bestseller list for two weeks in a row and Cataromance gave it 4.5 stars. And over on iheartpresents today I'm wittering on about it.

Great big thank yous to everyone who's read it.

04 January 2010

Propositioned by the Billionaire

I wish! This is not - sadly - something that's happened to me today, but is in fact the title of Book 2, released in the UK in July. I've just sent back the proof edits so this one is finally done and dusted. Woohoo.

Now I'd better get cracking with Bk 3, of which I've written 25 words. Only 49,075 to go. Gulp.

02 January 2010

Happy New Year!

And a belated Happy Christmas. I'd like to be able to blame my lack of blogging over the last couple of weeks on arctic conditions in the UK knocking out the internet, but actually it was just a case of me indulging in too much turkey and lazing on the sofa to open my laptop.

Looking back, 2009 was great. Writing-wise, I got The Call and a two-book contract. Life-wise we were finally granted very long-awaited planning permission, and I found out I was pregnant. And now it's 2010. Where do the years go? With two more books to write, a baby to produce and a house to build - all around the day job - I have a feeling this one's going to be busy.

Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2010!