Book Launch – Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes


A bonus post for you this week because I just had to tell you what I was up to last night!

Me, The Hubster and our daughter attended the book launch for friend, my Co Nano ML and talented writer Elizabeth Haynes 3rd book, Human Remains.

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Elizabeth is a huge inspiration to all aspiring authors, having used Nanowrimo to kick start her writing career.

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It was lovely to see so many of the Kent Wrimo’s at the launch party and of course, hubby insisted that he had to have his own copy of the book!

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I’m looking forward to the read if Keith B Walters review is anything to go by! (Lovely to meet you last night Keith!).

So this morning I’m feeling slightly worse for wear (too much Champagne!) so if you could all keep it down today it would be much appreciated ;) I’m off out in a sec for a writing session with a fellow Wrimo….which begs a question that came up last night….. Can you write while you’re drunk?

Do you write whilst you’re under the influence? Can you? Hemingway said “Write drunk; edit sober.” And look at how successful he was ;) I’ll let you know if writing with a hangover is a good or bad thing later lol

Faber Session 18 – Will Atkinson


It was a lovely sunny day here in Kent when I got on the train….unfortunately, by the time I got to London it was pissing down lol ;)

But I didn’t let the weather deter me from my cake, cheesecake to be precise…

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And a quick stop off in Daunt Books in Marylebone High Street :)

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So I arrived at class having lost a button on my coat, with a brolley that I stuck in Fabers bin because it had blown inside out so many times and wet feet because my dolly shoes (a totally impractical choice of footwear) sprung a leek! ;)

Today’s class was a session with Faber’s Sales and Marketing Director, Will Atkinson who talked about the changing face of book selling and publishing. Here are some of my notes:

The reasons a book sells (in statistical order)
1. Recommendation
2. You like the author
3. Bookshop display
4. Publicity & Reviews

If someone famous Tweets about a book they’ve recently read a publisher can sell up to 200,000 copies from that one recommendation alone.

More people than ever are reading and writing.

15% of all books bought in the UK last year were self published.

Self publishing via Kindle is not a bad thing to do, but be aware that you are in murky company, lumped in with badly written and unedited work from others.

Publishers notice eBooks that are doing well.

eBooks can be a way to promote yourself even with a traditional publishing deal.

There is a huge element of luck as to whether your published book is a success, but, the quality of the book will out.

The publishing industry is in difficulty, but at the moment, eBooks are making up for that.

The Richard & Judy Bookclub has had a major impact on summer book buying in the UK. Those on their annual list doing very well, the other authors suffering because of it.

Will gave a very positive view on the publishing industry, which was nice to hear. He also said that if a man on the street hears about a book, is he going to get in his car, drive to the local high street, park up, find a Waterstones or WHSmiths, go in and find the book? No, he’s much more likely to get his phone or iPad out and order it on Amazon. A fair point indeed.

Hmmmmm, some stuff to think about…I was convinced that I didn’t want to go down the eBook route, that I wanted a traditional publishing deal, but now I’m not so sure. I’m liking the idea of using the eBook idea as a form of promotion, I can see that working…..perhaps some short stories?

What do you guys think? Tempted? Those of you who have self published on Kindle, what made you decide to do that rather than go to a publisher?

Must Do’s 28th Jan to 3rd Feb


I’ve struggled a bit this last week, although the WIP (The Last Word Cafe) now stands at 24,000 :)

But first, let me tell you about the RNA meeting I went to on Saturday. Good food, good company, and a fantastic workshop all about dealing with the media conducted by Janet Gover which was thoroughly entertaining and very interesting. Although, it will be a loooong time before I find myself being interviewed lol :)

If you’d like some advice about how to deal with the media (as a writer) pop over to Janet’s blog post where she gives valuable advice and tips. Part two will be posted next Sunday.

Ok, so how did I do last week?

1. Get first 5000 words of The Last Word Cafe edited. Done!
2. Faber homework (reading) Done!
3. Keep up with 1000 words a day. Have struggled a bit this week but I think that’s because I’ve been editing so much, so I’m kinda worn out lol
4. Catch up with e mails and blogs. Done!
5. Do Synopsis. Done!
6. Clear Desk. Ha ha ha….nope ;)
7. Prep for mini writing retreat. Well, the RNA meet was a last minute thing so I didn’t actually have the mini writing retreat.

This week is really busy…Faber, a book launch and then The Hubster is away for the weekend.

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What will I do with myself for the whole weekend? ;)

what are your writing plans this week?

Small Stones


I’m off to my first local meeting of the Romantic Novelists Association today…wish me luck :)

I signed up at the beginning of January to take part in the Small Stones Challenge which is organised by Writing Our Way Home :)

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The initial challenge is for the month of January, but I’m going to try to do this for the whole year. I love the whole concept of writing one sentence a day about something I’ve noticed, I mean really noticed and practising using my senses. Here are a few that I’ve done already….

The silence of a new day as dawn creeps through the bare trees.
The creaking springs in the bed above as he tosses and turns in sleep.
A lump forms in my throat as yet again I feed the stray Tabby who comes to my doorstep every morning.
The sweet smell of my daughters perfume that lingers long after she’s gone.
The smell that wafts up from the pages of a new book as my fingers run gently along the smooth lines of words.
The biting wind that makes my lips burn.

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There’s a FaceBook group and on Twitter the hash tag is #smallstones

I dunno, I don’t make life easy for myself do I? Lol. But, the small stones exercise is a great way of being aware of your senses, something that I so often neglect in my writing. I might even use some of these ideas in The Last Word Cafe ;) I’m very much a “sight” writer and I want to change that.

Tell me, what have you noticed today? Give me a small stone…..

Awards Galore!


I’ve received a few awards in the past month lol

Firstly, The Sunshine Award from Mel at Writerly Goodness
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And then Jenny Keller Ford nominated me for all these!
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And for my 11th star! :)
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And then Karin Bachman nominated me for The Versatile Blogger award :)

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Thank you so much ladies! I’m feeling very loved :) Do check out these wonderful blogs :)

So, the rules are the same for all of these, 7things about yourself. I’m running out if ideas with this one! I’ve done books, facts about me, photos of me growing up, my art work, where I live, what’s left? I know! How about 7 of my most treasured possessions (not inc people and furry things!). So here they are in no particular order:

1. My wedding ring. It’s been with me for nearly 27 years. I’d feel completely lost without it :)
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2. My grandmothers bracelet. I wore this bracelet on my wedding day, as my something old.
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3. My grandfathers clock. He owned about 20 clocks, and when he died I was lucky enough to inherit a couple. This one is my favourite.

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4. My anniversary bracelet. That The Hubster had made especially.

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5. My Peter Blake. That The Hubster bought me for my birthday a couple of years ago.

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6. My Kiss sculpture. That was bought on a trip to Rome.

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And finally…..my writing notebooks :)

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I have 20 now….not bad for just over 2 years worth of scribbles ;) I refer to them so often it’s incredible.

I could go on and on with this list! I guess I’m the kind of gal who likes to be surrounded by precious things :)

Right, onto the next bit… I couldn’t possibly nominate 7 bloggers for each of these awards, (i’d be here for hours! lol) so I’ll stick to just 7 in total and let them decide which award they want, hey, have them all if you want to ;)

Jane Ayres at The Beautiful Room
Sandra at Another 12 Novels
Nicky Wells
Florence at Ramblings From The Left
Rebecca Bradley
Mary at The Daily Mayville
Debbie at The Wicked Queens Mirror

I know these award things are time consuming, and I know a lot of you get a bit tired of them…..but i love them because what better way to highlight some great blogs (and bloggers) that you think deserve a pat on the back :)

Meet My Inner Critic!


Faber was cancelled again last night due to the snow, so instead, today I’m introducing you to…..

Mr Squiggle

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He’s a right nasty bit of work. Made up of all my good words that he kidnaps, then bends into squiggly lines so that they no longer resemble words.

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We have conversations where I try to talk to him in clichés, just to irritate him and make him go away…..

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It’s not worked :(

Do you have an idea what your inner critic looks like? And what do you do to silence the nasty little scum bag? ;)

Monday Must Do’s 21st to 27th January


Thank you to everyone who voted in my poll on the last post :)

I’m behind, way behind :( Because I went away for the weekend and I promised myself no blogging, no FaceBook, no e mailing and no, wait for it…..writing! I managed it, and although it was nice to get away, chill, I’ve found that coming back has me stressing when I look at my inbox (300+ e mails) and I’m beginning to think that something has got to give. But what? How on earth do I fit everything in and not feel that I’m chained to the laptop/iPad?

I also had an e mail from Faber, telling me all the things I need to have done and sent to them and deadline dates *gulp*

Just ignore me, I’ll be the mumbling heap in the corner while you read this post.

Last weeks list was ok:

1. Edit first 5000 words of The Last Word Cafe. Done, well, kind of, it’s still a mess so I’m going to give it another edit this week.
2. Faber homework, 3 pieces to critique. Faber was cancelled on Saturday, and I think it will be today too. So I didn’t read the 3 pieces (make that 4 now inc Mondays one).
3. Keep up with 1000 words a day. Yes and no, but only because I had days off when I wanted them. I’ve been away this weekend so had 2 days off, which has stressed me out, but I’ll make it up tomorrow.
4. Catch up with 300 odd e mails and about 4 days of blogs. I did, but going away for the weekend has meant I’m behind again :(

So this weeks list looks like this:

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So nothing too bad I guess and not much in the way of appointments next week. Hubby has a county match on Saturday so I’ll be having another mini writing retreat. I should be able to get it all done, shouldn’t I? Especially as this is now the view outside my window, so I won’t exactly be going anywhere lol ;)

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Photo taken last night whilst I was writing this post. It snowed all day yesterday.

I think Faber will be cancelled again tonight so expect something un-Faber-like tomorrow.

What are your writing plans for the week?