Friday, December 30, 2005

Lovely Surprise to end the year!


I had a lovely surprise this week when a good friend of mine e-mailed to say that my first book, The Bridal Bet, had been nominated for an award with Romantic Times. It's all the more of a treat becasue one of the other two in the category is my wonderful friend Natasha Oakley. Two newbie Tender/Romance writers!! How cool is that? And how much of a tap on the back is that for the editors who continue to be so supporive of what we are writing! And without it sounding corny a nomination is plenty reward for me! It means that someone somewhere read the book and liked it and that's why I write after all...

Okay... back to the drawing board. I'm having a try at a book for a different line and I have to say it's a nerve-wracking experience. I'll keep you all posted on how it goes so you can see that the journey is never smooth! I just thought it would be nice to write something different, to see if I can stretch myself a little and keep those creative juices flowing... We all have to try and stay fresh in our own individual ways...

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all... and my first resolution? Try to update this blog more often....

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Were there REALLY 22 days in this month ALREADY???

Where did this month go?? I only realized last week that Christmas had crept up on me at a ridiculously fast rate. Presents, what presents?! Deadline for posting things overseas, ages away surely??!! Apparantly not!

Now its less than three days away and I'm e-mailing cards. I miss envelopes. I miss shopping where there aren't crowds. I miss being able to drive around a car park just the one time before I find a space. I miss shops without queues. But please, please, please tell me how did I manage to miss the first 22 days of this month????

I'm entirely going to blame being locked away in the writing cave so much this last couple of months. I set myself some heavy targets when I decided to go Full Time at this and so far, (ssshhh don't tell!), so good. Ideas seem to be gathering at my door like people camping out to see Elton John's wedding, which is great 'cos I worried a lot that I would dry up story wise. Form an orderly queue I say. I have a truly amazing new editor whose feet I may have to staple to the office floor to get her to stay (I've had a few ed's now - NOT my fault they disappeared I might add...)and I have peace and quiet to get some work done. Pretty much. But while all these stuff has been going on Christmas almost passed me by!

So can anyone possibly speak to tptb and get them to give me an extra couple of weeks?

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Good end to the year

Am feeling vaguely more confident about the decision to leave a wonderful Full time job to write full time...
The year is ending with my first sale to the new 'Romance' line which is a huge relief. There are just so many astoundingly good Authors in this new line and to even get shelf space is such a privilege I feel. So it's called 'Project: Parenthood' and is due for dual release (as is all of the new line) in the US and Uk in November 2006. I can't wait to see the cover now. All of the covers have been revamped in the UK recently and I LOVE my latest two. They are perfect and the characters look exactly as they would have in my imagination...
Meanwhile back at the ranch we're all starting along the slippery slope to Christmas. Thankfully the lovely tree I bought last year does indeed fit into my new living room (it was a bit of a crisis for a few hours trust me) and so far I haven't blown any fuses and the cat (Daisy) hasn't pulled anything down. Here's hoping the streak of luck continues to the 25th.....

Friday, November 25, 2005

The lies our Mother told us...

So, I've been ill recently. No big shocker there. It's the price you pay for attempting to see if you can actually make your way through life with all your body parts intact....

All of my neices and nephews have their tonsils and adenoids or whatever the heck they're called removed automatically by a certain age and that, quite frankly, astonishes me. I still have the things I can't spell, I have my tonsils (hence my current state of illness), my appendix is in place and I have never even (so far-touch wood) broken a bone.... All of these things seem to make me part of a dying generation...

When I was at school there were very few asthmatic children. Now there are tonnes. Dust allergies, pollen allergies... Where did they all come from? And you know, I really don't mean to sound like some environmentalist on a soapbox here, I really do think its our own creation.
I'm one of these people that takes one darn good infection a year, which usually heads straight for my chest. I have to be DYING before I'll go for an anti-biotic because if I take them every time I'm ill then what do I take when I get REALLY ill???

Which brings me to the subject at hand. The little fibs passed down from generation to generation in the female line of the family. It's up there with 'drink loads of orange and you'll never get a cold' or the classic 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away' (apparantly it takes five portions these days) and other classics like 'You dont get spots anymore when you grow up' and the gem that is 'It'll all make sense when you're an adult yourself.'.... Ha ha ha...

Anyone else have any gems they got passed down to them and that they in turn can then torture their own children with? Huh? Or is this just an Irish form of torture?

I'm taking my intact though achy body back to beddie byes for a while I think...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Real Life V's Fiction

So, I've been looking after a Riding/Trekking Centre for friends of mine this last couple of weeks while they have a lovely HOT and SUNNY holiday in Egypt.... And I have to say I've met so many nice people who appreciated my teaching them that it kinda made me sit back and think....

Recently, I made one of the toughest decisions of my life to give up a Full Time job working at something I LOVE and with nicer people than you would believe, to write full time. I mean, I've wanted to write my whole life, it was the dream, you know?? All I wanted was to have a word processor (yes, its a very OLD dream), a place in the country, a cat and horses by my door. And possibly some sense of inner peace... Alright, the last one may still elude me on the odd day (particularly one week out of every four)...

But I also loved what I did every day and was completely petrified giving it up. So do we talk ourselves out of our dreams as we get older??? When does that happen I wonder? Does it start way back when we first catch our parents filling the stocking at the end of our bed or is a slower process where we just gradually let life grind away our dreams in favour of more sensible realities??? And the fact that I'm still the dreamer who wants to make it as a full time writer should therefore mean I'm unrealistic and not tough enough for the long haul??? Lordy I hope not!!!

Because even these last couple of weeks I have enjoyed teaching kids again I have realized that the dreamer in me is there every day in reality. Like seeing the smile on a kids face when they try something they had convinced themselves they couldn't do, thats pretty flippin' magical I think!!! But no matter how much I've enjoyed that I still know I've moved on from it. I know the teaching is there if I feel the need and I guess I know that I would never be unemployed (It takes a delivery van to deliver my CV nowadays) and I'm very lucky in that I live in a place where the cost of living is so low that I CAN take a chance on writing full time. But should I have stayed at what I was doing and let my dreams take a back shelf or was I right to throw it all to the wind and take a chance, possibly the biggest chance I've ever taken my whole life???

You gotta love the fact that life chucks these things at us every so often to make sure we're paying attention....

The thing with me is I'm a believer in 'Everything happens for a reason'.... That's the thing that took me out of my 'angry' twenties and to a calmer place where I could write and have the nerve to try for my dream in the first place.... If that makes sense?!

So do we let real life grind down our dreams over time?? Or do we kinda owe it to ourselves to have no regrets to look back on?? Mmmm... I'm very philosophical today aren't I? Sorry.

Meanwhile, as I come to the end of my two weeks living someone elses life I'm deeply aware of a sense of hope for my future. Its been a while since I've felt that and I'm gonna run with it while its here!!! For me it was a case of Real Life v's Fiction. Fiction won. But whether or not it will be a winner long term... well, we'll just have to wait and see....

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

What makes a hero?

So, I spent a large portion of my day today chatting online with my cp.... I've never had a cp until very recently and for anyone who has never had one I now heartily recommend it! Well, if you can find one as wonderful as mine that is! And NO you CAN'T have mine!

So we should really chat about books, books and nothing else but books. You'd think. But oh no, our chats can cover a large variety of subjects... Hero's included...

Which led me to wonder just what exactly makes a hero a hero? We all like to hope we'd look at him across a crowded street so looks are important. But each and every woman on the planet has a different idea of what looks good and what doesn't. So maybe we have to delve below the surface a little more... Is it his strength, of character as much as of a physical nature? Is it having a sense of humour? Is it being well off or successful in what he does? Is it because he's make a great father? Or is it simply that on watching him fall for someone on paper we find ourselves falling too?

And in wondering all those things I, as a single girl, have to ask myself do I put traits in my characters that I would look for in real life? It would certainly explain why I'm still single... Because realistically, do hero's like that still exist in real life?

So take me out of my sudden slump of depression ladies... Do they exist out there? What is you hero like? What would you like to see more of on paper? Maybe you'd even like to tell me about a hero in print that has touched you or that you thought.. If only I'd met HIM???

Give a girl some hope here.....

Monday, November 7, 2005

It's amazing the things you'll find to do when a book is finished

So, I've been a good girl and sent away my manuscript on time and I'm now unemployed. So what does a person do when they have a book finished?

Well, there's catching up on all the e-mails from all the varying loops you're on... done that...

There's posting messages to old friends on the eharlequin boards and seeing what everyone's at... also done...

There's that ever time consuming chore of googling oneself to find out where one's little books have managed to turn up next (sneaky little darlings)... done (for at least half an hour)...

There's going to all the foreign sites belonging to your publisher to try and read in a foreign language if any of said sneaky books are out somewhere you've never visited before... done (though not always understood)...

There's visiting and texting friends who you hope are still friends even though you've just completely ignored them while you were writing your now finished book... done and forgiven...

There's things like spring cleaning and laundry and household chores... but hey, are they going anywhere I ask you???

There's joining the fashion trend that is blogging which is great seeing as I've never been any good at keeping a diary.. ta-da!...

So, what do you do when you finish a book and send it off???

Answer: You go play with another one.....

Conclusion: I really do need a hobby...