Everyone knows that when you’ve written something, try as you might, you can’t always spot your own mistakes, typos, sentence construction issues or general grammar problems. When I finished my first draft of Closing In, I needed someone with a keen eye to look over it for me before I sent it to my editor at Harper Impulse. I knew just the person to ask – my friend and fellow Romaniac girl, Jan Brigden.
Jan really does have an eye for detail. She meticulously went through my manuscript and found all the little, and not so little, errors I had made. She was able to give me solid feedback and advice on how to improve my manuscript, not just technically but she also spotted a few plot holes and continuity issues. I was so grateful, her proofreading really gave my manuscript a boost, making it so much more professional and polished.
Jan has also proofread other manuscripts and I know everyone has been delighted with her work. I would whole-heartedly recommend Jan to anyone who is looking for a proofreader. Over at The Romaniac blog, Jan has now put together a page, please pop over to have a look in more detail at her proofreading service and testimonials from previous clients. Click HERE.
My very good friend and fellowRomaniac,Laura E. James, sees her second novel published today – Follow Me, Follow You.
It’s a great read and as I’m not with her today to give her a bunch of flowers, chocolates or wine, I thought I would publish my review instead.
Congratulations Laura! Happy E-Pub Day!
Follow me, follow you – fantastic title for this, I totally loved the whole idea of the Ewespeak social media platform and the ‘bleats’, it’s all very clever. However, the story of Victoria and Chris is about connecting in a different way and this is what Laura does so well.
Follow me, follow you really digs deep into the heads and hearts of all the characters and, in this case, taking each of them on a journey of recovery. The book has sub-plots expertly woven in, dealing with deeper issues of the human nature; the relationship between two unrelated sons, I found particularly touching and moving.
I would very much recommend Follow Me, Follow You to anyone who enjoys reading about love, relationships, families and their complexities.
You save me and I’ll save you…
Victoria Noble has pulled the plug on romance. As director of the number one social networking site, EweSpeak, and single mother to four-year-old Seth, she wrestles with the work-life balance.
Enter Chris Frampton, Hollywood action hero and Victoria’s first love. His return from LA has sparked a powder keg of media attention, and with secrets threatening to fuel the fire, he’s desperate to escape.
But finding a way forward is never simple. Although his connection with Victoria is as strong as when he was nineteen, has he been adrift too long to know how to move on?
With the risk of them breaking, will either #follow their heart?
Follow Me, Follow You is available in digital format today and in paperback from 5 September.
As always, the annual Romantic Novelists’ Association conference is always a blast. This year was no exception. Held at the Harper Adams University in Telford, the talks were great, very inspiring and the company fantastic.
For me, it started the Thursday night after an epic drive to meet my Romaniac girls at Debbie Fuller-White’s house which is approximately 40 minutes from the campus. I eventually arrived at Debbie’s around 11.30pm and the girls, who had held off eating until I got there, had quelled their hunger pains with wine – say no more!
The following morning, we started the day with a lovely walk near to where Debbie lives. I was instantly taken with the beautiful scenery and have made a note to come back with my walking boots to explore this part of the country more.
Conference started on Friday afternoon and continued through the weekend. The talks I attended were very interesting. I would like to have gone to many more but, sadly, with 3 or 4 going on at the same time, you have to pick and choose. The talk given by Waterstones and WH Smith Travel was very insightful. It was interesting to hear about their approaches, vision and restrictions. Talli Roland and Nick Spalding gave another great talk on being both a traditionally signed author and a self-published one. While Phillipa Ashley and Nell Dixon gave some excellent advice on writing series novels.
The gala dinner was fabulous. Catering for 250 RNA members, is not easy task, but they managed it with ease. The food, all sourced locally, was delicious.
I have to mention that Romaniac and friend, Vanessa Savage, came second in the Elizabeth Goudge opening chapter competition with her modern take on a fairy story – Vanessa used Sleeping Beauty as her inspiration for a YA version entitled ‘Hush’. I have actually read it and, although I am biased, it is a great opening chapter; dark and intriguing.
A big thank you to the RNA and everyone involved in making it such a success.
As a member of the Romanitic Novelists’ Association, there are several events throughout the year that I like to attend and the annual conference is definitely the highlight. I was very disappointed not to be going this year but, at the very last minute, it seems my Fiary Godmother has been fixing things for me. I was delighted when I was able to work things so I could attend for one of the days and now, to top that, I can also attend the gala dinner and stay overnight at my lovely Romaniac friend’s house, Debbie Fuller-White, who lives close to the Telford site.
I’m very much looking forward to meeting up with lots of writer friends, especially the lovely Romaniacs – this year seven of us are going to be there – Yay!
So all that’s left for me now is to find something to wear. Easier said than done, but I’m sure I’ll manage it.
I have been invited by ChocLit author and Romaniac pal, Laura E James, to take part in a blog hop where we answer a few questions about our writing process. Laura posted last week; it’s fascinating to see how everyone works. You can go to her blog by clicking HERE.
In the meantime, here’s how I do it …
1. What am I working on?
I am currently working on my third full length novel called, Where It All Began. The premises or theme, if you like, of the story is what mothers do for the love of their child; it looks at the extremes of that love and the reasoning behind their actions, both good and bad. There is, of course, some romance and a bit of a mystery.
2. How does my writing differ from others in that genre?
Ooh, a tough question. First of all what genre am I writing in? Romance. Suspense. Mystery. Crime. Women’s fiction. Yes, to all of those, I suppose. When I was writing my second novel, Closing In, which is currently with my publisher, I was often asked the genre. My reply was that it’s a mixture of romance and crime, so I coined the term ‘crimance’. Where It All Began has those elements too, so I’m carrying on in the same genre of ‘crimance’. How does it differ? I can only say is that I write it my way, with my voice.
3. Why do I write what I do?
That’s a more easy question. I love reading thrillers, whether they are police procedural, suspense or mystery, I really enjoy that sort of story. Equally, I enjoy reading about relationships; all that love and stuff! Combining the two is what I get the most pleasure and satisfaction out of when I’m writing.
4. How does my writing process work?
My process has developed over time. These days I like to come up with a theme or a premise first. Once I’ve got that then I can start creating scenarios, mysteries, conflict. The characters seem to come along simultaneously. Sometimes, especially at the early planning stages, there is such a mish-mash of ideas going on in my head that I’m sure if you look at my thoughts, they would resemble an old fashioned jumble sale circa. 1975, about 10 minutes after the doors have opened, where everything is a complete mess, items tossed around, discarded, picked back up again, put in the wrong place and every now and then you find a gem of a buy for 10p. By the time the sale is over, you’ve come away with some great items and some not so great ones. In the safety of your own home you can sort through and decide what to keep and what to put back in for the next jumble sale. Well, that’s my writing process.
Next week, I’m passing the baton onto my fellow Harper Impulse author, Teresa Morgan who blogs as The Wittering Woman and this is what she says about herself.
I was born and bred in Surrey, but since 1998 I have lived in sunny Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset. I live with my two sons – trying very hard to hold onto my Surrey accent!
I am at my happiest baking cakes, putting proper home cooked dinners on the table (whether the kids eat them or not), reading a good romance, or sitting at my PC emptying the thoughts from my head onto the screen.
I love writing contemporary romance, creating heroes readers will fall in love with. Men who in reality, let’s face it, just don’t exist. I love creating stories with a touch of escapism.
The excitement has been brewing for a while now and finally, all the hard work behind the scenes has paid off. I am delighted to share with everyone the cover for an anthology by The Romaniacs (that’s my writing group and lovely ladies).
Romaniac Shorts is a diverse collection of short stories and flash fiction, ranging from romance, to crime, to fantasy, and we are thrilled to see a long held idea come together.
Romaniac Shorts is due to be launched next week, Thursday 13 February, to celebrate our two years of blogging together. It will be available to download through Amazon and all proceeds are to be shared between Dyslexia Action and the RNA.
I love the cover and, if you’re interested, I chose the flowery ones! 😉