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Showing posts from 2014

That final full stop.

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Reaching the end of a book is definitely a moment of mixed feelings!  Like most romance writers I suspect, I am both glad and sad when I get to the end of a story.  Living for several months with two characters as they journey through the minefield of getting to know, trust, and finally love each other until they reach that happy ever after is as emotional for me as it is for them.  As a writer, you have to feel every pang of jealousy, every ripple of joy, every stab of pain and every surge of passion, just as they do, otherwise your characters won't come alive for you and they certainly won't touch, much less convince, the reader.

Time and again, I  hear comments from people about how easy it must be to write romance, and especially a  Mills and Boon  romance, but nothing could be further from the truth.  It's not an ordeal of blood, sweat and tears, exactly, but it's far from easy. Rather it's a 100% commitment of time, energy, determination and, most of all, bel…
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Identity Crisis ! 

As a writer, that is, or at least was, until I went on Kate Walker's writing course in Leeds last month (yes, another one, but you can't have too much of a good thing!)  As usual, the weekend proved invaluable and, of course, fun. We focused this time on polishing those crucial three chapters prior to submission to an editor and how to target your work to the appropriate market.  We also looked at the all-important synopsis and covering letter, which reminded me that I didn't send a letter with my last submission!! Ooops . . .  

There was also a very useful session on who we are as writers.  I always assumed I knew exactly who I was as a writer but it turns out I hadn't really thought about it.  In fact, during this illuminating exercise, I discovered that I was trying to be a certain type of writer but learned that I'm quite another altogether. Does it really matter though?  Romance is romance, isn't it?   Far from it!  Interestingly, everyo…
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A time for writing . . .

And that's exactly what I got last weekend on Kate Walker's Writing Retreat, located in the relaxing yet stimulating setting of Weetwood Hall on the outskirts of Leeds.  The retreat was organized by Malaga Workshops, which incidently ran the very first writing course I ever attended way back in 2007.  The hotel was lovely and the food absolutely delicious but it was the idea of having a whole weekend of quality, undistracted writing time that made me book a place on the course.  The two days were really well organized, with an initial session to introduce ourselves and our work, and then it was solo writing time interspersed with group meetings to touch base on how we were  progressing. We all had a generous one-to-one session with Kate which gave a useful and positive critique on the work  submitted.  There were, of course, equally  stimulating and enjoyable sessions in the bar!  Romance Writers, like anyone else, need their downtime !!  


Weetwood Hal…

My First RNA Conference

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Last weekend was my first Romantic Novelists Association conference, held this year in Telford. 

I travelled up from Wales with my good friend and  fellow writer, Rachael Thomas http://www.rachaelthomas.co.uk and we were so busy chatting about dark desert heroes that we almost ended up in Ironbridge!  Rachael got her long-deserved Call from Mills and Boon earlier this year and her first Harlequin Presents book A Deal Before The Alter is due out in October.  

The conference itself was full on and fab from start to finish. I learned a lot about my writing and about myself as an aspiring author. The sessions were informative, informal and fun, and just being with other writers - published and yet to be published - was like an infusion of energy and enthusiasm.   The chance to have a one to one appointment with an editor or publisher is reason enough for joining the RNA's new writers scheme but the camaraderie to be found among its members is a joy.  Although a newbie, I didn't fe…
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