Thursday, April 17, 2014

London Book Fair: Report from the Pub

Yay for Thursday! And an even bigger yay for Thursdays before long weekend! We have tomorrow and Monday off here in the UK, and I can't wait to sleep in and relax . . . oh, wait, I just remembered I have a toddler. Ah well!

I had a fantastic time last week at the London Book Fair. Every year, the weather seems to perform wonderfully for the event, and this year was no different. The sun was out and spring was in the air! I kicked off events by meeting Jessica Bell, Glynis Smy, and assorted other lovely individuals for dinner at a pub in Earl's Court.

Glynis, Jess, Alison, and me.

The next night, I had yet another pub dinner (yum!) with the lovely Mel Sherratt. Mel has been my partner in crime for years, and I'm thrilled that we now have the same agent and publisher, too.

Author selfie!

Tuesday night, I toddled off to the Amazon Publishing party at yet another pub (do you see a theme here?), where yet more drinks and yummy canapes were consumed. No photos, unfortunately, because I was too busy eating, chatting, and drinking.

I admit I was flagging a little by the end of the week, but the prospect of meeting Len Lambert buoyed me up again.

Len and me!
So, all in all, it was a wonderful week!

I hope everyone has very happy Easter. See you next Thursday.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Beautiful Words

Hello, all!

I'm in the midst of a very busy and fun week with the London Book Fair in town, so I'm super pleased to be hosting the wonderful Nik Perring today.

 Nik's new book is called Beautiful Words, and if you love words, you'll adore this book. It's chock full of quirky little illustrations and definitions, a celebration of the English language that's not only fun to read but also fun to look at. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Over to you, Nik.




Jump In a Puddle

I don't think we do enough puddle jumping as grown-ups. That and climbing trees or getting muddy, or enjoying being rain-soaked, or playing on swings. Of doing things, without thinking too much about why, other than the fact that they look like fun. At some point, and to varying degrees, we grow up and leave the simplicities, and simple pleasures, of childhood behind. I think sometimes it just happens - we've got more important things to concentrate on - you know, children, jobs, paying bills, but other times I think it's our choice, that little voice in our head saying - I couldn't possibly do that - I'm far too old. Or, what would people think!


And why am I babbling about this? Well, in part, because it has a little to with my new book. It's called Beautiful Words and it was released on Monday. And it's a few things all at once. It's the story Alexander, Lucy, and Lily, told through an A-Z of beautiful words. Some of them are beautiful because of how they look or sound, some are beautiful because of what they mean or represent, others are in there because of how it feels to say them, of the shapes they push our mouths into.


But, perhaps equally as importantly, it's a picture book for adults. That's right - a picture book for adults. And picture books are things we should only read if we have small children, right? I'm not so sure. I re-read The Giving Tree the other day and I think there's probably as much wisdom in there, and emotion, as a lot of novels (which I love too, of course). But back Beautiful Words, my adult picture book. Sure, there's a story in there, and there are definitions of words you might not have known (I certainly didn't before I started writing it!), but, mostly, it's about having fun with words. That's why I wrote it really - as a sort of innocent celebration of the words that make me happy, or that I think (and hope others will too!) are interesting.


So, here's to fun. Here's to being silly and forgetting about bills and mortgages and jobs, if only for a little while. And here's to celebrating the simple, beautiful things, like words. And next time you see a puddle, you know what to do.

Nik Perring is a short story writer and author from the UK. His stories have been published in many fine places both in the UK and abroad, in print and online. They’ve been used on High School distance learning courses in the US, printed on fliers, and recorded for radio. Nik is the author of the children’s book, I Met a Roman Last Night, What Did You Do? (EPS, 2006); the short story collection, Not So Perfect (Roastbooks 2010); and he’s the co-author of Freaks! (The Friday Project/HarperCollins, 2012). His online home is www.nikperring.com and he’s on Twitter as @nikperring

Thanks, Nik! See everyone next week. 

Thursday, April 03, 2014

What I Did on Holiday

Hello! I'm back! I'm forty!

I have to say that so far, the forties have been strikingly similar to the thirties. Which can only be a good thing, since I loved my thirties.

We had a great time in the Cotswolds. Although the weather could have been a tad more spring-like, we were fairly fortunate in our outings, managing to dodge hail and rain and wind. Our cottage was cosy with plenty of doors for Baby TR to bang (don't tell the owner, but he banged one so much, he broke the ancient latch - oops!). Broadway, the small village where we stayed, was chock full of character and lovely little cafes and shops. By the end of the week, we were on a first-name basis with our regular breakfast spot and pub. All in all, it was a lovely holiday and a great way to ring in the new decade.

Back in the smoggy city -- seriously, who knew dust from the Sahara could make its way to London? -- I've been busy tearing into my manuscript and starting on the second draft, which is already requiring a lot of rewriting . . . but I think I'm on the right track. I'm working hard to get as much done as I can, because next week is the London Book Fair! I'll be meeting Jessica Bell and others on Sunday, dining with my lovely author-friend Mel Sherratt on Monday, attending an Amazon Publishing cocktail party of Tuesday . . . and I think I'm leaving out something, too! It's going to be crazy but fun.

I'll be back next Thursday with a full report, but until then, I leave you with some photos from our vacation.

A bridge over the River Windrush in Bournton-on-Water.

Lord of the Manor (aka Baby TR) in Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe.

The back garden of our cottage.

Looking out onto the Cotswolds hills from Hidcote Garden.

The best name for butter ever!

Baby TR's new friends.
Sudeley Castle.


Broadway Tower,

Bendy baby!


See you next week!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Country Escape

Happy Thursday, all!

Huge thanks to everyone who wished me well on the re-launch of The Pollyanna Plan. I'm thrilled to report it's been in the top 100 on Amazon UK Kindle for almost ten days now. It's great to see it back there.

And next week, I'm celebrating something of a different sort: my fortieth birthday. Forty! Argh, I can barely believe it. But I'm a firm believer that age is in the mind, and Baby TR is certainly keeping me young. We have booked a cottage in the Cotswolds for a week, and I can't wait.



The Cotswolds are such a beautiful part of England, filled with thatched cottages, green countryside, romantic idylls. I'm not sure how much romance will be on the card with a toddler, but hey! One can dream.

I won't be posting next week, but I shall have plenty of photos upon my return. Until then, enjoy the rest of March!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Born Again, Book-Style

I'm always a little confused about what day it is, but today I'm pretty clear: it's re-release day for The Pollyanna Plan! The inside is the same, but it has a lovely new cover -- and it's also available in print and audio, as well as an ebook (Amazon.com; Amazon UK).

It was fantastic to wake up this morning and see an advert for my little book at the very top of the UK Kindle Bookstore! Of course, I had to get a screen shot for posterity.


Heartfelt! Funny! They're talking about my book! Eek!

Exciting times.

And in more exciting news, I am over on Jera's Jamboree pontificating on the best and worst things about writing, and on the wonderful Chick Lit Love discussing the power of positive thinking.

It's all systems go, I tell you, and I've quite possibly consumed way too much caffeine.

I hope you're having as wonderful a Tuesday as I am (awkwardly worded sentence but I've had too much coffee to care!). Thank you all for your support over the past few years. It's been wonderful to have my blogging friends along for the ride.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

New Beginnings . . . and Endings

Happy Thursday! Another week . . . and I'm happy to report that spring may have finally sprung in Britain. I have to say, after the rainy past few months, we definitely deserve it. Plus, I've crossed 68,000 words on my new novel and I'm closing in on the end. My first drafts are usually quite sparse, and this one will probably end up somewhere around 73,000. In the second, I'll flesh out characters and add in new scenes . . . it's where the real hard work begins.

Baby TR started nursery this weekend amidst the usual tears and angst (on both our parts!), and I managed to get an amazing amount of work done. I'd forgotten how productive it can be to have a chunk of time to actually write.And I've actually made it around to visit a few blogs, too.  I'm really looking forward to making use of my new time when I start the editing phase, either next week or the week after. While I can pound out first drafts no problem, I really need some good headspace to dive in and edit.

I've also redesigned my website! My old one was a bit of a mish-mash, with lots of information everywhere. I wanted something clean and easy to navigate, so I've created a simple, scaled-down version which covers all the bases. It's now HTML instead of flash, which means it should work on all devices, too.

And next Tuesday, The Pollyanna Plan re-launches! It's so fantastic to give the novel a new lease of life. Fingers crossed it goes well. I received the audio book this week and it was beyond exciting (and strange!) to hear my characters' voices.

So, basically, it's been a wonderful week - apart from the cocktail-induced hangover yesterday, but I won't mention that.

What's new in your neck of the woods?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Daily Slog

Hello!

Well, you may (or may not) have noticed I neglected to post last week. The truth is, I had nothing to say. I've been busy writing writing writing, and when you're banging out the first draft, things aren't really that exciting. You put the words down, you move forward inch by inch, and eventually you make it to the end. Not exactly the stuff of a riveting post.

 But apart from the daily slog, exciting things are in the works. I had a great conversation with Amazon marketing for the upcoming release of The Pollyanna Plan, and squeeee! It looks like my book will appear as the wake screen on UK Kindle Fires on launch day, apart from lots of other cool stuff. Imagine, I'll be turning on my Kindle Fire to see the cover of my very own book. Less than two weeks to go!

Away from the book world, my tiny little baby (okay, my strapping big toddler) will be starting nursery for a few mornings a week come Monday. While I'm anxious about letting go, I'm also excited at having time to: a. shower; b. eat using two hands; and c. WRITE!  Maybe even start making blog rounds again!

And really, that's all the news in my world. Hope everything is well in your neck of the woods.

See you next week!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Voices in My Head

Hello from a very soggy Britain! Although today was a brief respite from the lovely (read: not lovely) weather we've been having, apparently we are back to rain and gales tomorrow. Sigh. Well, I didn't come for the weather, that's for sure.

This has been a very busy week! I reviewed the proofs for The No-Kids Club (coming out  in June), worked with match.com UK on creating some Valentine's stories for their Twitter followers, started writing my short story for Belinda Jones's Sunlounger edition, and made it to 35,000 words on the first draft of my new novel. Phew.

As always when I'm writing a first draft, those sneaky little voices pop into my head. Who's going to read this drivel? This is rubbish! So boring! So dull! People will hate it! They are quite insidious little devils, and they hang around pretty much every paragraph until the end. Diving onto Twitter and expressing my frustration at their whispering, I was relieved to see I'm not alone: many other writers suffer from them, too.

After six published novels (and four not!), I think I've learned to push them aside and soldier on. I don't ignore them, because I've learned to allow myself the freedom to write crap and boring twaddle on a first draft. Yes, it just may suck -- and yes, people may put it down after the first chapter. But that doesn't matter, because the first draft is just that: a first draft. There are at least four others waiting in the wings, and with every pass I'll re-structure, re-write, tidy, and edit to my heart's content (and often past my heart's content) until I'm finally happy.

And when this comes in the post . . .


It's all worth it!

Have a great day, everyone, and congrats to Vicky Lesage, who has won a copy of My Mini Midwife from last week's post!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Mini Me

You'd be forgiven for thinking that this post is about Baby TR, since practically every post since his birth has included a photo or five. But you'd be wrong! It is still baby-related, because today, I'm turning the blog over to Denyse Kirkby, dear friend and author of My Mini Midwife.

I realised I wanted to become a midwife when I was very young and watched my mother help our goat give birth to twins. I was overwhelmed by what a tremendous privilege it was to be a part of welcoming those new-borns into the world. That feeling lingered for years, and as midwives didn’t exist as a profession in Canada when I was old enough to train to be one, my only options were to become an obstetrician or move to England to train and work as a midwife. I chose the latter and even all these years later I still experience that same feeling of what an honour it is to be allowed to be present while people welcome their own little miracles into the world.

I am very fortunate to be able to say that I have enjoyed every aspect of my career – from working in hospital on the antenatal, postnatal and labour wards, my time as an antenatal and newborn screening specialist midwife and working in community with a caseload of clients that ranged from 60 -100 women. Community midwifery allows you to get to know the people you are caring for to a deeper level than those you meet when you are hospital based.

Over time I began to develop a standard set of answers to questions expectant parents, and their families, asked of me about early pregnancy, what kind of care they will be given, what labour is like and so on. Then one couple said they wished they could carry me around in their handbag so they could ask me questions whenever they needed to, and that was when I had a My Mini Midwife light bulb moment.  I’m really pleased with the result and I hope my readers are too.


There is a video with my top ten tips here: http://youtu.be/pvSjI7Hj6Ys and there will be a forum on my website from mid March which will have a peer led postnatal support group and more so please stop by and join in the conversations.

When not otherwise occupied, Dee can be found chatting to people on: Amazon author page: http://author.to/DJKirkbyFacebook: http://www.facebook.com/DeeJKirkbyTwitter: https://twitter.com/djkirkby.
                     
 Thank you Denyse! 

For a chance to win a copy of Denyse's wonderful book (which I have read and found extremely informative while not overwhelming), leave a comment below saying how cute Baby TR is (ha!) or anything baby-related. 

See you next week!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Non-Exciting News

Hello! It's Thursday! I remembered to post!

I wish I could say I had  loads of exciting things to update you on. I'm drinking wine... that's exciting, isn't it? Maybe that will help jog my memory of excitement. *takes big sip* Um, nope.

Well, I'm 10,000 words into my new novel. To be honest, I reckon I've written the world's most boring opening to any novel, but I'm of the opinion that the most important thing is sitting your arse in the chair and just writing. I am all for crappy first drafts, which is probably why I loathe the second draft so much... because I have to whip my rubbish into shape.

In other non-exciting news, we got Baby TR's photos back from his first birthday photo shoot. Luckily, despite him not being able to sit still for longer than a nano-second, we managed to get some good ones.

About to hop off the chair at ANY second...

And, er, well, that's all my wine-addled brain can dredge up for now! The life of a writer -- so glamorous, I know. Tune in next week when I'll be able to update you on the status of the mould growing on the kitchen sponge.

That's it from TR Towers. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pan the Plan

You know, I'm just going to go with Thursday as my new posting day. Yeah, 'coz I don't seem able to remember I should be posting on Tuesday. So... happy Thursday!

The week has flown by in a blur of novel-planning. I use a handy-dandy software called Writers Cafe,  which is the software-equivalent of PostIt notes. It lets you use run story-lines in parallel, and you can shift the virtual PostIts notes if need be. I've used it to plan the last three or four of my novels (I'm losing track!), and I've found it a great starting point.

Increasingly, though, I'm wondering why I bother to plan. Once I start writing, I usually take a look at the note in front of me and think: nah. Still, you have to begin somewhere! I'm not a pantser and I don't feel comfortable not writing towards something, so even if I'm not going to use what I originally set out, I like the security of it. I know ideas morph and change as writing happens, and I guess I've grown comfortable with that.

I'm hoping to finish my outline this week and get writing next Monday! Oh, I can't wait, I can't wait.

What are you working on these days?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Diving Into January

Eek! Somehow, even after missing last week, I had it in my head that Thursday, not Tuesday, is my posting day. I'll blame it on the jetlag... or the full moon... or the wine...

Anyway, we made it back to London! The overnight flight was as exhausting as usual, and settling in a jetlagged baby really is no fun. However, it's good to be home.

And since returning, it's been all systems go. I've started planning my new novel, and I'm so enjoying getting back into a fresh project. All the potential, excitement, and fun -- until I hit 20,000 words and it seems to come crashing down in a pile of poo around me. Copy edits for The Pollyanna Plan are finished, and the book has a lovely new cover for its release on March 11.


Don't you just love that blue?

Earlier this week, I headed off to King's Cross for the book launch of my wonderful friend and Amazon Publishing pal, Mel Sherratt. I tell you, if you like crime and psychological suspense, you have to read her books! I was lucky enough to read Watching Over You at an early stage, and it made me super scared.

Me with our Amazon editor.
This weekend, we have a joint first birthday party with ten other babies for Baby TR and his pals. Heaven help me, is all I can say! I just may have to bring a bottle of wine.

Hope everyone is having a great January so far. Stay warm!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Year of Change... Now On to the Next One!

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas. We've had a wonderful one with friends and family in a very snowy Canada. Watching the fluffy flakes drift through the air on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was downright magical. Add Baby TR's first birthday and a visit from Santa to the mix, and you have some very fun-filled days.

Fun in the snow our first week in Canada.

Santa makes a house call!

Baby TR's first birthday.

The wonderful snowy scene!

Christmas morning anticipation.

And now on to 2014!  The past year has been a strange one for me, filled with a lot of change as I got used to my new role as mother while adjusting to writing at a slower pace than usual. But I'm pleased that amidst the sleepless nights, I managed to start and finish a novel and a novella, get a wonderful agent, sign a publishing contract with Amazon Publishing, and copy edit The Pollyanna Plan for re-release next March! And, of course, I'm proud that my little guy is growing into a very active, spirited (!!), fun boy who I'm enjoying more every day.

 However, I am disappointed that I haven't been able to make the blog rounds as much as I'd like. By the time the evening rolls around, I'm so tired, I usually fall asleep on the sofa. I miss you all and I try my best to keep up on all of the news... thank you to those who continue to read this blog and leave comments. They are greatly appreciated and always read! Your support for me over the past year and before has meant a lot.

So my resolutions for next year? Well, I just want to keep up with everything and continue doing what I'm doing -- hopefully well. I plan to start in on my next novel upon my return to London next week, and I'm crossing my fingers for the release of The Pollyanna Plan and then The No-Kids Club next June.

I wish you all a wonderful last day of 2013. Bring on the next year!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Home for Christmas

Happy Friday, all! I'm a bit late posting this week owing to the topsy-turviness of travelling across the Atlantic. And if I'm a little mixed up, then Baby TR is downright befuddled. He's spent the past five nights waking at 3 a.m. and wanting to play!

Apart from a little (okay, a lot) of sleep deprivation, we've had a great time in Canada so far. Despite my worries, Baby TR performed admirably well on the seven-hour flight. He didn't sleep a wink (too much to look at!) but he kept his ear-piercing shrieking mostly to himself.

And since we arrived, we've gone to Prince Edward Island to see my grandmother and other relatives, played in the snow, and done A LOT of eating.

We arrived the day before the first big snowstorm of the year.


Baby TR's first taste of snow.

And more snow!

Do you see a theme here?

Today, we will be putting up the tree, and next week we have Baby TR's first year celebrations, along with Christmas! Yay!

I will be back before the New Year, but until then... Merry Christmas, everyone.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Writers Who Lunch

The past week has been a bit of a blur, what with getting ready for our trip to Canada this Saturday, celebrating an early Christmas with my stepdaughter, and two Christmas lunches!

The first one was last Saturday at The Lamb in Holborn, for the RNA London Chapter.

Me and Giselle Green.

It wouldn't be an RNA event without wine!

Chattering writers.
And today, I've just returned from a wonderful lunch with Notting Hill Press writers.

Me, Michele Gorman, Victoria Connelly, Matt Dunn, Chris Manby

Delicious dessert!

I am off to pack like the wind - and run copious cycles of laundry - so have a fantastic week! I shall see you on the other side of the Pond.

Until then... gratuitous baby shot!


Friday, December 06, 2013

Winter Wonderland... Sort Of

I've only just realised I forgot to post yesterday! Time is flying by at the speed of light, and the countdown to our Canada departure is on.

In the meantime, though, I've been enjoying the delights of London. Last weekend, we walked through Hyde Park to the madness that is Winter Wonderland. Every year, a Bavarian Village, Christmas market, and plenty of fair rides invade the park. It's a little crazy.

Glorious autumn day in Hyde Park.

The Bavarian Village.
Like a moth to a flame...
In writing news! I had a meeting with my agent, who likes the idea for my next novel. Phew! I'm looking forward to working on something new when I return from Canada in January.

And that's all from London. See you next week!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful for Wine!

Happy Thursday! And Happy Thanksgiving to all those in America. I hope you're having a wonderful day.

Well, this week I'm giving thanks, because I've finished my edits for The No-Kids Club! Until the copy edits come in, of course, but I'm not thinking about that. It's set to be released in June, and I'm so excited to get this novel out there.

I've also been looking at cover ideas for the re-launch of The Pollyanna Plan. Amazon Publishing will be releasing it in mid-March, complete with a shiny new cover and paperback copies, too. They've pulled together some wonderful ideas and I'm looking forward to the next versions.

And on top of all that, my novella Last Christmas is now number one in short stories on Amazon.co.uk. Huge thanks to everyone who has bought, read, or reviewed it! There's a chance to win a copy over at The Book Chick and Fictionella, too.

In other news, the lovely Laura of Daily Dodo and Chick Lit Love has launched an event on Kickstarter for a one-day celebration of chick lit, including me, Carole Matthews and Alexandra Potter. Pop by to check out the details and make a donation.

As I mentioned, last week I was out at the Romantic Novelist' Association annual winter party. This year, I was determined to take some photos, but of course I left my camera/phone at home! Argh! However, here is a picture of me in action.


I hasten to add that only one glass of wine was mine!

Have a lovely week, everyone. See you next Thursday!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Little White Lies

Hello! After spending last evening cavorting around Westminster for the Romantic Novelists' Association party, I'm feeling ever so slightly delicate today. So I'm pleased to turn the blog over to the wonderful Kat Sheridan!

Take it away, Kat.

Little White Lies

I write historical romance, which means I probably spend as much time researching as writing. I not only need to know the big things like current events of the period. And it’s not just about the clothes, either, although that’s important. Woe the writer who errs in writing a love scene with a heroine who’s wearing gloves, a bodice, a skirt, multiple petticoats, drawers (in certain time periods—in others the ladies went “commando”), a corset, chemise, stockings and garters. And shoes. I always forget shoes. And don’t get me started on men’s clothes and the question of wigs, beards, sideburns or handlebar mustaches (and whether or not the lady shaved!)

But after reams of research are complied and sorted (clothes in that stack, politics in this one, carriages and how fast trains in that one), the writer needs to make a final decision on which facts (or misuse of fact) will throw a reader out of a story, and which ones can safely be elided, or perhaps just carefully shaded.

Food, for instance, can be problematic. An author friend once got a nasty email from a reader annoyed that a character was eating potatoes in a time when they were not yet a popular food (the author, stung, revised the book so the characters consumed the more accurate turnips). I ran into a similar problem with a plot thread concerning peaches in my debut release, luckily caught just weeks before publication. I discovered they were rare and expensive at the time, eaten for dessert, and not likely to be made into jam. I hastily swapped peaches for Gillyflower apples.

One scene involves the hero washing the heroine’s hair. She’s been through a bad time, and the scene is used to show the hero’s tender, protective side. The problem is that during the mid-19th century, hair-washing for ladies was an arduous task, undertaken only a few times a year. Forgetting for the moment that a peer of the realm would be unlikely to know the first thing about washing a lady’s hair and hardly likely to do it himself, it was simply too large a chore, and could be quite injurious to hair, given available washing ingredients of the time. Ladies, whose hair was often long enough to sit on, did keep their hair clean with daily brushing with clean brushes, and the use of oils to keep hair and scalp healthy, and with powders similar to some dry shampoos we use today. But there was no such thing as “shampoo” as we know in the time period of my story. Soap was used. Soap which was based on lye and other chemicals that could be outright dangerous to healthy hair.

But I wanted that bathing scene. So I deliberately and with malice aforethought ignored all the research I’d done on 19th hair washing and soap. My heroine got her hair washed by the hero. If you’re a reader, would that be enough to make you fling a book across the room? And if you’re a writer, have you ever glided over fact for the sake of a story?


ABOUT KAT

Kat Sheridan is a former project manager whose very serious exterior hides a secret romantic. She is fond of books, bourbon, big words, coffee, and shiny things. Kat splits her time between the Midwest in the summer and the South in the winter, sharing her home with the love of her life and an exceedingly dignified Shih Tzu. She loves to hear from readers, and can be contacted at www.KatSheridan.com.

 ABOUT ECHOES IN STONE

When Jessa Palmer journeys to a castle in Cornwall to rescue her niece, she discovers the past still haunts Tremayne Hall and its brooding master, Dashiell Tremayne. Then the accidents begin. Soon Jessa must choose: abandon her mission to rescue the child or surrender to a dangerous passion.


 TO BUY



Thank you, Kat!

I'll see you all next Thursday when I shall be fully recovered. Have a lovely week, everyone.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Edits, Romance, and Leaves

Happy Thursday!

I've no idea where the weeks are going. In exactly a month, I'll be jetting off to Canada with Mr and Baby TR in tow to celebrate the babe's first birthday and Christmas in one go. Crazy.

In the meantime, though, there are loads of edits to get through. Structural edits for The No-Kids Club plopped into my inbox on Monday, and I've been hard at work since. And next week, I get another rounds of edits plus the copy edits for The Pollyanna Plan! Plus the RNA Winter Party! It's all systems go here, I tell you.

Last weekend provide a bit of R&R from the usual routine, though. I was off to Bedford, just north of London, for the Festival of Romance.

The lovely river running through Bedford Town Centre.

A building I'm too lazy to identify.
I was up for an award which I didn't win (third year running I've been shortlisted and didn't claim a prize, but hey! It provided an excuse to drink lots of wine to drown my perceived sorrow).

The highlight of the festival was meeting writer friend Glynis Smy. Finally I was able to give her a huge hug -- and she gave me signed paperback copies of her novels, too.  Sadly, we forgot to get a photo of the two of us together. Massive fail!

Lizzie Lamb, Adrienne Vaughan, Tracy Bloom and me on a panel discussing author publishing.

And in weather-related news (because I'm obsessed), autumn has finally arrived. Here is a photo of the glorious leaves in Kensington Gardens.


Gratuitous baby shot!



And that's all from here. Have a great week, and a huge thanks to everyone who continues to leave comments despite my inability to return them as swiftly as I used to!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Twilight Zone

Hello, all!

Ever since submitting The No-Kids Club to my editor and publishing my Christmas novella last week, I've been in the Twilight Zone: that grey area where you're awaiting a huge chunk of work (in my case, edits and more edits) to fall into your lap, with no writing projects to occupy your time.

Not that I haven't been busy! I've been over at Deniz Bevan's blog, showcasing the South Bank, the location of my novella. And on Kate Lord Brown's blog, I list five of my favourite things.

These weren't on the list, but they should have been! Yummy yummy pancakes at Jamie Oliver's Recipease, our weekly breakfast locale.

Last Christmas, my novella, has been getting some lovely reviews, too. Just My Bucking Book, Handwritten Girl, Joo, and Book Geek Wears Pajamas have all had some nice things to say! Plus, there's a chance to win a copy over on Chicklit Club and Chick Lit Chloe.

Phew! I'm all linked out.

This weekend, I'm off to Bedford to be all romantic at the Festival of Romance. The Pollyanna Plan is up for an award (yay!). It's the third year I've been shortlisted, so keep your fingers crossed for me.

I'll be back next week with lots of pictures, I'm sure. Until then, have a great week!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Novellas, Weddings, and Meerkats

Happy Thursday, all! And Happy Halloween! (I'm always so confused about whether or not to put in that apostrophe.)

Hope the week has been treating everyone well. It's been a busy one for me! I published a Christmas novella...




We attended the super-fab wedding of writer Michele Gorman...

Chris Manby, the beautiful bride, and me. 

And this little guy needed a costume!

Isn't it obvious? I'm a meerkat!

And such is the life of a writer! Hope you all have a great week. I'll be back with a meatier post soon, I promise!