Monday, 28 May 2018

A fanfare? Yes let's! Something to see here!!!!

For those reading this, Thank you for coming (can I interest you in signing up to my spiffy new Mailchimp mailing list? Just over there to the right...) and for those who have been here before a HUGE thank you for coming back after the GDPR apocalypse. I love each and every one of you.

As mentioned below, I have something to trumpet and about. My debut book cover is officially revealed today! WooHoo!!  (Yes, I know it has technically been on view on the planet's bookseller sites for a wee while, but today is the REVEAL because the world is currently backwards in many many ways, and why should my book be an exception?)

So Ta-Dahhhhhhhhhhh! My cover. Is ALL the Cute, no?

(For the beady eyed and historically or filmically minded amongst you, it is indeed a light homage to the original Breakfast at Tiffany's poster).

Points for how many boxing idioms you can spot in the blurb, which you can read here. (Disclaimer; Points have no monetary value and can only be exchanged for bragging rights.)

The ebook is out August 3rd 2018, with the paperback to follow October 18th. Both are available for pre-order now, if you like a RomCom and fancy a read. 

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

GDPR - Data protection thing that I need you to read (please and thank you)

So, we have a change of data protection regulations going on here in the EU, starting two days from now on Friday May 25th 2018.
I have tried to get info from Blogger about where I stand on this, and have received ZERO help. Not a peep either from the forum, or via Twitter (Boo Hiss Blogger - have you seen the non-compliance fines? They are scary huge!!!)
As far as I can glean from the ICO registration self-assessment survey, as I'm not selling anything here and as I'm not processing/passing your details on to others, I believe I'm compliant.

  However, I do know that people sign up for things and might like to change their mind over time. I know this as my inbox has been filled to busting with these emails over the last weeks. I'm also aware that for those who are Followers here and those who have signed up to follow via the email widget, your email addresses are logged with me, and as such I have a duty of care.

I want to let you know that I take your data very seriously and have never and would never pass it onto, swap or sell it to others.
I have no plans at all to use this page for selling, there's my Amazon pages and Facebook page for that. (Let's face it, non-technical wizz that I am, I highly doubt I have the skills to make this page a selling tool.)
Here is purely for waffling, sharing what I'm up to and self-woohooing.

But, to be safe, and in light of being not having £20m to spend on fines and the ZERO help from Blogger  - did I mention that already?- I'm thinking the safest and fairest thing to do is wipe the slate clean. I'm going to delete the Follow list and the email list tomorrow (Thursday 24th May) night at 8pm GMT and then cross all my fingers that you might re-sign up when you have time or think of it, after the 25th May.

As an incentive, I should have a new thing to show you on Monday 28th May. Oooo, the exciting! (Pleeeease sign back up.)

 If not, then no hard feelings - thanks for popping by in the last almost six years. It's been lovely having you.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Finally - The Deets

Well that was a long 'few weeks', but finally finally I can dish the details on my publishing deal.

My publisher is HarperImpulse, part of Harper Collins and they'll be releasing my debut novel SWEATPANTS AT TIFFANIE'S on August 3rd 2018 (that's the ebook, paperbacks are out in October). So far the words have been edited and checked, the cover designed and the book posted for pre-orders on Amazon and other book retailers. IT. IS. HAPPENING!!!!
Aaarrmmmaagghhhaarrddd I'm am SO excited, but also papping it, because Reviews. It feels like I'm setting myself up like a dart-board.

More as I have it. X

Wednesday, 14 March 2018


  I’ve been rather quiet here recently. Not because I don’t love you nor because I’m in a mood where I won’t say what the matter is and every time you ask I insist ‘I’m fine’, when really it’s blatantly obvious I’m not and why aren’t you telepathic and know what is going on???  
  It’s not you, it’s me.
  I’ve been sat on a whomping great secret and it felt safer simply not to say anything, rather than spill something inadvertently. And I didn’t want to jinx it by blabbing too early. But here it is, at least in part, because I WANT TO SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS;
  I HAVE A DEAL!!!!!! Like a publishing deal. For real. Signed. On paper. Not just in my head. Actually happening in real life.
  There’s going to be an announcement in a few weeks on the twitters, so I need to wait for that, but I can say it is a two-book deal with a UK publisher and that I am ridiculously excited about it.
  More when I have it, but I wanted to share it here as this blog has been following the long slooooooow journey since 2012. Don’t let anyone tell you that dreams don’t come true.


Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Aims and Intentions 2018

  So, Happy New Year one and all. I know this could be seen as a belated greeting, but I’m within 365 days of my 2017 Aims and Intentions post, so it is legit I think. (Please read the small print for T&Cs.)
  For those who have been here before, this is my annual layout of my goals for the year, as I am hopeless at Resolutions. Displaying them here though has proved to be helpful, as it keeps me focused (by which I mean Frightened. But in a good way. Once I’ve said it aloud, I know I need to pony something up, in case anyone remembers and holds me to it.)
Last year, here, I did a recap of the previous three years, of what my goals had been and how that had gone. Last year’s goal was “to develop new a working practice that fits with all of us here at home and to Write smarter, write better.”
  To be honest, I don’t know if I got a grip on the working practice thing. The writing isn’t a constant beast; sometimes it is spaffing words out on the page, sometimes it is herding it into something shapely and sometimes it is reading it back while curled up on the sofa with a notebook. Some months I can engross myself in it while some months nothing happens because Christmas. BUT, on a basic level; no one died from it, cried from it, ran away or was taken into Care. So that’s a win. Any long term scarring will remain to be seen, but for now I’m prepared to say I am managing, and it’s probably a work in progress.
  As for whether the words are smarter and better? Again the jury is out. I think I came at planning Story Two more sensibly, having been through the Story One restructuring with Agent Federica in 2016. That’s not to say the current structure won’t change, but it was sound enough to write the first draft, to a state where Lovely CP was able to read it from start to finish and I didn’t cry at her feedback. Now it is with three Beta readers, so I’ll have to wait and see what they say. (No, no bum-clenching going on here, not at all, I always walk like this…)
 So what for 2018?
  Obviously the dream would be to announce a publishing deal – that is the overall aim of my game after all - but such things are out of my hands. I can only write it, hone it and send it out, and then hope an editor in a publishing house somewhere will pick it up, read it and love it.
My goals then, the things I can steer are;
I’m going to finish Story Two.
I’m going to think about, plan and start Story Three. I spent quite some time ‘thinking’ about Story Two before I started writing, and at the time I felt guilty about it, as the fingers weren’t on the keyboard and it looked like I had nothing to show for my time. But realistically I needed the time, to refuel the tanks and marshal my thoughts. I’ll be scheduling it in, without guilt, next time, knowing I need it.
I’m going to keep learning about Structure, as I suspect it might be key. (In fact I know so; if you haven’t read John Yorke’s Into the Woods, best get to it.)
I’m not doing NANO, unless I have a defined plan BEFORE starting. (Stating it here so I don’t get talked into it.)
I’m going to read more than the pitiful amount I managed last year, because I missed it and it benefits me, both as me and as a writer.
I’m not going to refer to my writing as a hobby. I write, therefore I am a writer. I need to own it, rather than feeling I have to justify it to people, in some way that excuses it or makes it sound less than it is, which is just ridiculous and I need to get over it… Oh sorry, did I say that out loud? Ahem...
I’d like to go on another writing retreat.
I must spend less time on Twitter.
I should learn to type with more than four fingers.
I will Save things better. (I wrote this post and then deleted it by mistake and saved the doc before I realised, so had to write it again.)

That should do for now. What about the rest of you? Any goals to share? Come on, write them down. There’s more chance of them happening if you’ve declared them. FACT.

Monday, 4 December 2017

That there NaNo thing...

so, as I posted below, I did it - and I DID IT!

Over 50k words in 30 days. Of course they are rubbish words - utter drivel- but they exist. For now they are to be packed away- far far away- but one day I might pull them out again and see if there is anything in there that's worth keeping and germinating.

I should probably feel like this. But.

 There were days when it seemed like a chore, which is not how I write best. And once I'd completed my daily quota, there didn't seem to be anything left in the tank to spend on writing anything else, so it wasn't a productive month on other projects. But I suppose it reminded me what I could do, and that I could get a writing habit up and running. Writing on my Alphasmart machine made hitting the word count much quicker each day, as there was no lure of the internet. I do have a weakness when it comes to the internets...

So, realistically I feel more like this.

Would I do it again? Maayyyybe. But absolutely, definitely, only if I have a pre-devised plan to work with. Whilst 'making stuff up' is what I do, having to do it on the spur of the moment at every sitting for so many days isn't fun. At least it wasn't for me - I know others love that pressure. I think I'd find it more productive, more satisfying, if I could feel the words contributed more to a whole, and that at the end of the 30 days, I'd have something far further developed than the- sometimes desperately- improvised twaddle I am currently burying deep for now.

Did anyone else NaNo?  How was it for you?

Thursday, 9 November 2017


 In the long lull of no blog entries before my recent NaNo confession, I wasn’t twiddling my thumbs. Honest. Story One has been on submission with publishers and I’d been further-tuning that first draft of Story Two, to send it to Lovely CP for feedback. Fingers have been on keys, mind has been off the submission cycle.
  But I’ve also had a real treat. I booked onto BookCamp, a writing retreat in Somerset, run by writer Cesca Major. I had four days away, being a grown up, in a beautiful barn conversion, where I was fed by someone else (aahhmmaaggaahhdd bliss!), connecting with other writers, in this case -coincidentally- all Romance writers. There were published authors there; a couple who I already knew and others who it was a pleasure to get to know, and then two of us who are unpublished but who everyone was really generous to with their advice, as they’d all been in the same position at some point.

  I went without anything specific to write, where others were working towards a daily word count on their WIPs. What I got was some thinking space to consider various ideas of what to write next. I also got views on the genre and industry and other writers’ experiences of publishing. It was a fab week and one I’d like to do again if possible (not least for the wine-charged chatter in the hot-tub or dinnertime stories/intrigue) and certainly one I’d recommend.  

  Further details on BookCamp can be found on Twitter at @Book_Camp

(* The cake is Cesca's teatime Triple chocolate Malteser cake, which jacks you up and spawns words from your fingers like you wouldn't believe. I was tripping on the sugar for days... Photo credit and cakery thanks to Cesca Major.)