Saturday, 28 April 2012

First Squeeeee! Moment

As you all know, I have sent The Wedding Favour out to four publishers. And if you are a friend on Facebook you will already know that two days later, I got an email from one of the publishers asking for the full manuscript.

Yes, my heart was going barmy like a hamster in a wheel. Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!

Moments of panic as to whether the format was right etc. etc. Then, I sent it off.

Obviously, I still can not get too excited, because it could still get rejected, but this particular publisher only took the first five pages of the book, plus a short blurb (which I've already shared, although it has been edited slightly). That's the first five pages - double spaced! So we're not talking a lot of words!

However, I did do my little happy dance (you know, the one that Joey does in Friends) that those first five pages might be just a tiny bit okay!

I've also realised that I really do need to pull my finger out with Perfect Isn't An Option. Because, let's say for example, luck was on my side and a publisher accepts The Wedding Favour. I will need to drop everything to concentrate on the edits.

I want Perfect Isn't An Option finished ASAP and sent off to the RNA New Writers' Scheme by 31st August 2012. Okay, I could send a partial, but I really, really want to send a full.

Anyway, it's all gone quiet again, so I've probably got to sit it out for the next twelve weeks, and just knuckle down with Steve... Aiming to have his story finished by the middle of May.

Cue hot Bradley Cooper picture... (It links to the source.)

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Book Reviews And Their Benefits

I'm going to tie in two blog posts into one! Mainly, because I've finished the book I was reading last night, and although it was a good book; a Mills and Boon Blaze - an enjoyable hot read. There's not much else to say about it.

Becky Black covered on her blog once about authors thanking for reviews left for their books, etc. (Gosh, I'm mentioning Becky a lot lately :D). And it gets into a bit of a discussion, are you leaving a review as a reader or writer.

I always leave a review on Goodreads, for me as a reader than anything else, and for other readers too. And because it has the handy widget I transfer over to my blog, giving my blog posts different content from time to time.

I have occasionally transferred these reviews to the Mills and Boon site, and Choc Lit, and even Amazon, but it's rare, because it's just time consuming!

Hot fighter pilot cover!
Well, I received an email from Mills and Boon the other day asking if they could use part of a review I'd left on their site for a RIVA book, on the author's new book. It will get edited down to fit their requirements, but my name will be put on her book! Hundreds and thousands of books! (Depending how well it sells I suppose). They will send me a copy of the book as a thank you - I love free books! - so don't fear, I'll be posting pictures when it arrives! Plus, it means I get another RIVA to read and review!

So, below is the book review for my last book (I'll be honest, because of time, and I didn't really have that much to say about the book, it's short and sweet this time).

Oh, and this is the actual cover... can't seem to find it anywhere to get my librarian friend on Goodreads to change it. 

Think I'll pick up Liz Fielding's Flirting With Italian next.

The Daredevil. Kira SinclairThe Daredevil. Kira Sinclair by Kira Sinclair

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a Mills and Boon Blaze, and it is HOT!

It's an enjoyable read, and interesting that it's the hero who's having to convince the heroine that they're meant to be together.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Nail Biting Times Ahead

I can officially tell you what it feels like to submit a novel to a publisher - it's scary as hell! God, did I hover over the send button, reading the submission letter one last time, then one last time again. 

This is how grey hairs form! The kids haven't sent me grey - yet - but submitting novels will.

Luckily, I did take Becky Black's advice and sleep on it for the night, because in the morning, I noticed my blurb, which was also drafted on my blog, had Sophie Fletcher not Sophie Trewyn, like my first five pages of my manuscript that followed. How stupid would I have looked?

Ages ago, I decided to change Sophie's name to something more Cornish, as she comes from Cornwell. But obviously, digging through my various documents that I'd started to write summaries, these were still in Fletcher, and so didn't even notice. (I've changed it on my blog post too now ;-))

I also ummed and aarrred about my pen name. I've sent it as Teresa F Morgan. I can discuss this with the publisher if any are interested.

So, it is official. The Wedding Favour is now out there! At the moment, I've sent to three publishers, which I think I will be waiting a long time for. But these are my favourites - and fear rejections will be from all of them, but hey ho! This does mean I can concentrate on writing Perfect Isn't An Option, which might be slightly off target for finishing end of April. It more likely will be the middle of May. It depends on if it reaches 80,000 words. For some reason, this one is actually appearing shorter - and yet I felt there was more plot to this story lol! Am I becoming a better writer?

I think this causes for a mild celebration! Sambuca's all round?

Or shall we have a celebratory Bradley Cooper picture?

Image credit John Baer

 Or just both? Drinking sambucas with Bradley Cooper would be nice...

He doesn't look that bad hung over.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Love Hate Relationship

I love writing! I LOVE it!

I hate writing a synopsis, covering letter, and a blurb for my book. Argh! (Luckily the synopsis was written a while back).

Would you be interested if you read: 

Sophie Trewyn has a wedding to attend, and no one to go with, until her colleague convinces his best mate, Adam Reid to go with her as a favour.  All he has to do is pretend to be Sophie’s boyfriend. Sophie’s concerns about her handsome stranger disappear as they get to know one another. But all the pretending, the kisses and caresses, Sophie starts to wish it were true. But with some surprises in store, will Adam regret saying yes?

This is my blurb so far!

And what do you tell a publisher when you don't actually have any writing history, apart from a few letters!? Because I've failed miserably at trying to get a short story published. I have tried, but not very hard. Really. I ended up concentrating on finishing my novel... because that's where my passion was.

Plus, they all want different things, so I think it will be a case of putting one package together, sending that out, then working on the next. I'm sure it will get easier. lol! And how many should I send out to first? 

There has been no news from the Novelicious competition. I should be made aware by 24th April. Well, it's the 20th, and I'm not holding my breath.

So then I worry, does this not bode well for The Wedding Favour?

I know, I know, I've got to accept the rejections - it's part of the writing process. And I suppose to get them, you've just got to put it out there. But I can't help thinking, should I just go bang my head against a brick wall, or something. Stick it in the oven? I mean, I'm sending it out there, knowing it's going to hurt (maybe because there is a tiny doubt in my mind that I won't become a published author, that I would never be that lucky in life). 

Well, at least it's Friday!

I won't get much writing done this weekend. I'm going home to see my mum, and visit my nan who is poorly. (I originate from Sunny Staines). My husband is running the London Marathon on Sunday, so we're going along to show our support. But after this day there will be no more excuses, my life needs to start moving forward. It's going to be hard work and very messy, but I want to get the tough bit over with, so I can eventually see the light at the end of the tunnel. (And I'm not talking about writing here). Life will be better on the other side.

So, Monday, does my new life start?

Monday, 16 April 2012

Not Only Dr Who Manages Time Lines.

With all the worry of getting words written for Perfect Isn't An Option, I've forgotten about preparing the submission of The Wedding Favour.

There isn't enough time in the day! 

But the kids are back at school... so I might, might, just get some more stuff done during the day.

Admittedly, I did enter it into a competition, so I can't really do much now, although 24th April isn't too far away. But I could at least look at some of the publishers requirements and put a submission pack together, right?

So, trying to write 7000 words for Perfect Isn't An Option this week (I've done 1000 words so far) and where possible, start drafting blurbs, letters etc. Argh!

My wall, right in front of me!
What I have been doing is my time line for Perfect Isn't An Option, making sure it's not wibbly wobbly timey whimey... stuff.

As you can see by the picture, I've printed off four months and decided to fill them in as a calendar. It was easier to work out how many weeks have passed. I've even thought I should put a Halloween scene in. And as Steve has been in the States for 15 years, should I give Thanksgiving a mention?

(I thought I'd share that I have a Robbie Williams calendar and I've moved my two favourite cards up to make space for The Time Line. One is a motivator to leave the housework alone and keep writing).

I have also another sort of time line in an A4 notebook, spread across two pages (so that's A3). This is helping for 'history' before the present day of when the book takes place. I'm going to add in the filmography into this, so I can know what Steve's mother saw before she died, and things like that, because it does get referenced.

Admittedly, this means less words have been written as it's taken some time to figure this stuff out and go through what I've written so far, but it does mean my novel is taking a better shape - I'm a stickler for things being right - and (hopefully) generated plot bunnies for additional scenes that are required.

For example, in One Day - which I forgot to add in the review as a nit - something threw me out of the book momentarily, and I did get annoyed for a bit. Unless Dexter was unsure of his mother's true age, (she could have been the sort to lie about it, thinking about it) she died at 49. Dexter, at the time, was around 29 - I think. (I've just spent 20 minutes trying to find this for certain and have failed lol!) This is fine, but he has a 34 year old sister...(at the time his mother is ill - I found that bit of info!) If I was working this out correctly... Hmmm... This makes his mum 14-15 when she had her - which is doable, but you don't really get the impression she had a teenage pregnancy, especially as his father is supposedly a much 'older' husband. I do hate it when writers don't do the maths!

Yes, so there's me, making sure if something happened two weeks ago, I making sure I don't have my character think it was a month. Which I did have, but it's changed now. 

Do you hate it when you spot something not quite right with the timings? Things like age or dates? Does it throw you out? Do you sit there working it out?

Right, with that, I'd better get some blinkin' words written!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Book Review: One Day by David Nicholls

 One DayOne Day by David Nicholls

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've decided to give it five stars just because I really never wanted to put this book down. I wanted to know what was happening, where Emma and Dexter would be with their lives one year on.

It is going to be very hard to review this book without giving spoilers.

This book does not have a traditional happy ending. If you're looking for a happy-happy ending, then you shouldn't really read this book. But I will say, however, I was happy with the ending of this book. It did leave me satisfied, albeit a little sad.

When Dexter is pretending to read Wuthering Heights, as it's a book Emma has given him to read, I realised that this is possibly a modern rendition (and a twist) of Heathcliff and Cathy.

It was really cleverly done, taking in the history of the 80s and the 90s, (making me a little nostalgic in places), each chapter is the same day, one year on.

Dexter is a obnoxious, self-centred git, pretty much throughout this book - well until he grows up and matures lol! - but he has some very loveable moments too for me. (We all love a bad boy). You just know, however hard he tries, he will screw it up. If he'd just taken that step earlier, when they holidayed as "friends" (this chapter had me laughing so much!) I kept thinking, he'd be happy.

The author manages to switch point of views without it being jarring.
My only tiny nit was sometimes it lacked some speech tags - I realise sometimes that was deliberate, but other times I got a little lost on who was talking. But it's tiny nit pick.

For those that have read, would love to discuss this book.

So glad I read this before watching the film (I'm not even sure I want to watch the film). This book had me laughing and crying.

Right, I hope I haven't given too much away. I don't know if it deserves five stars for breaking the rules in romance... although, in some ways, it doesn't. That's all I'm saying.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Positive Feedback

Drinkie to celebrate!
So far I've added another 14,000 words (approximately) to Perfect Isn't An Option, since starting in March (26th March to be exact). I've been writing for 17 days, and I've missed a few - due to going out of an evening! (Hey, a girl needs to socialise). So I'm doing rather well - I think - nearly hitting my 1000 words a day goal.

I'm thinking of Becky Black here as she likes Stats. 

Anyway, I thought I would share this with you all. I sent the first chapter of Perfect Isn't An Option to my Writers' Bureau tutor for my 7th Fiction Assignment. And this was the feedback I received yesterday:

"You've made a very good start. Try writing a brief summary of each chapter - it will help you to keep on track as you continue with it.
I really enjoyed reading the first chapter and it came across strongly that you enjoyed writing it.  I'm eager to read on, which is just the response you need from a first chapter.
Your fiction writing skills are impressive. This reads like it has been produced by a professional writer – by which I mean there were no false notes struck. You make the reader feel they are in safe hands – I could imagine picking this up in a bookshop and reading the first few chapters and being tempted to buy it.
You introduce the main characters to us here, and give us enough detail about them for us to begin to see what sort of people they are and the issues the plot will revolve around – but you still leave plenty more for us to find out as we read on. It’s good not to let too much away to start with, so we have to keep reading!
A really good set up of the story line in your first chapter, so the reader knows exactly what Steve and Ruby are planning – now you just have to make sure there are plenty of twists and turns and difficulties in the way of true love before the happy ending!"

Yes, it put me in a good mood that day, too. Maybe I am okay at this writing lark?

And she's right, I really am enjoying writing this story. I'm having some fun with it.

I know the tutors are supposed to be encouraging, but they provide a critique too, and she's been pretty tough on me on a couple of other assignments with my short stories, so this was great to read. And to be honest she didn't need to be so appraising if she'd hated the chapter.

I've sort of got an elevator pitch for Perfect Isn't An Option. It goes a bit like this: Celebrity A-Lister hides behind Mediocre Man disguise to find true love. 

Would you read it?

If only I could make one as good as that for The Wedding Favour.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Good Friday

Happy Easter!
Friday is always a good feeling, isn't it? The end of the working week, the beginning of the weekend. Well, it is if you don't work the weekend (like I will be).

I thought I'd give you a round up for the week. Not much writing has been achieved during the day, as the kids are off, and I've got to entertain them. Plus, even on occasions when they're playing nicely, I just can't sneak off and start writing as I know if they come to me, I get really stressed, and start getting cross with them - because I want to be writing and don't want interruptions. Which is hardly fair on them. So I've been saving the writing until the evenings, but I have managed to get some reading of The Wedding Favour done and fixed the edits that I see. I'm aiming at four chapters a day, and I've got the last three left now. I suppose then I have to start looking at the synopsis, etc. Argggh!
Lunch on Sandford Station

I did enter The Wedding Favour into the Novelicious competition, so may have to hold off sending it to publishers until the 24th April now. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not, having to wait longer, but then, you never know, it might come somewhere in this competition and it would have been worth the wait. We will see. Fingers crossed, please!

As you can see by the word count, I'm 50% through Perfect Isn't An Option - so I've been getting some writing done in the evenings! I'm not sure it will actually make 80,000 words but I need to set up a time line, so that I don't get muddled with what happened when. It's more for Ruby and Steve when they were younger, and his filmography. And also, it takes place over 2-3 months, so I need to keep track of everything in relation to running up to Christmas.

The troublesome trucks at Sandford Station
Over the Easter Holidays, the kids and I have so far had a 14.5 mile cycle ride along the Strawberry Line - Yatton to Winscombe - with Grandad Ron (Monday), watched Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, made rice crispy cakes, (Wednesday) and with the weather changing, even played the odd board game (Yesterday - it was too cold to venture out, plus it means I end up spending money). Today, their dad should be taking them to the cinema to see the new Pirates movie, meaning I'll get my run in and hopefully some writing done.

Last night, I watched Limitless with Bradley Cooper. He starts off looking like a drug addict and a tramp, but soon sharpens up his image. With him on screen 99% of the time, I was in Bradley Cooper heaven. Well worth a watch - just for his blue eyes.

Happy Easter everyone!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Manic Monday

I just wanted to blog and say how good it is to be writing again. This morning I even woke up dreaming about Steve and the next scene ideas I had. This is always a good sign when I have my heroes back in my head.

I've been obsessing lately, mainly with what's going on in my life and worried I've put myself back on the single shelf, and rapidly approaching 40, worried I won't find someone, not even to have a bit of fun with. I'm not really interested in long-term. If it happens, it happens.

My problem is I am so damn impatient, plus feeling the need for some intimacy. Us girls have needs to!

So to wake up and have Steve there busily chatting to me was quite a relief. I've got my writing mojo back.

Keep an eye on the word count too! It's going up. Aiming for around 1000-1500 words a day so I can get this project finished by the end of April - mid May at the latest. However, the Easter holidays and the kids home might scupper me.

I'm also trying to read four chapters a night of The Wedding Favour. I'm reading it on my Kindle, but with a notebook beside me noting any little tiny nits that need changing. Then editing straight away so I don't forget. So this is keeping me busy too! 

On another note I've been meaning to discuss, I'm not sure about posting 'tottie' pictures. One author told me a horror story of another author being in trouble for it, and costing her money. And then, when I was at my chapter meeting last week, another author mentioned it too.

And so now I'm worried. (Hence you have a free Shutterstock photo of a flower today).

Technically, I'm not making money from it - but it does gain me pageviews etc (Adam Levine on Advent Calendar day 9 is over 6000 pageviews all time). And who knows, one day, when published, it might draw in an additional reader. So could it be argued I am gaining from the pictures? I'm not claiming the photos to be my own. But I understand there is a copyright thing with photos, just as there is with writing and I certainly can't afford to be sued.

I did with one post actually put the links on the pictures, so if you clicked on it, you went to where I borrowed the picture. Would that cover me?

So I would love to hear your thoughts. Such a shame, as I have lots of gorgeous men on my PC that I love to put on here too, from time to time - for inspirational purposes of course! And I've read that to make your blog interesting to break it up with pictures - so that's what I was doing!

Do I need to go photograph random good looking men on the street and put them on my blog?