Monday, 25 June 2012

My Little Bit Of Writing News...

I suppose I should spill the beans, shouldn't I? That email from a (US) publisher whilst on holiday... Remember I teased you about it?

Well, it read that they enjoyed the book (The Wedding Favour) but said as it was, it wouldn't sell in the US market - because I am typically British lol! - but if I was prepared to cut it down to their category romance requirements (50-60k) they would consider it.

I look at this as a positive rejection, (the whole email was very positive actually) and something I am considering. I have my work cut out now! I will work on reducing The Wedding Favour to under 60,000 words, which is only 20,000 to lose. Easy... ha! Not. It's making a decision of what to cut in sub plot terms that is difficult.

The good thing about nowadays is you can 'save as' a file. I will still have the original, so if I don't like it cut to 60,000 words, or find I can't make it work, it won't be the end of the world.

Plus, whilst I'm editing it... you never know I might hear from the other three publishers who want the whole thing. The editor who emailed me was very positive about it all and said it would probably sell as it is to a UK publisher.

An editor said that! I got an email from an actual live editor!

So watch this space. I'm going to keep my options open - just want to get Perfect Isn't An Option sent off to the RNA NWS. I wanted more words for it, but I will send it as it is (with a tidy up first), and not struggle to make it up 70,000 words. I'm hoping any feedback I get might help with increasing the word count and fattening up the plot. That's my theory anyway.

All in all, it was a nice email to receive on holiday, and it boosted my confidence. So far my experience of getting my book 'out there' hasn't been too terrible. As I think all writers do - especially aspiring ones - they fear their writing is crap and no one will like their voice/story. So this is reassuring. Can't quite crack open the champagne yet, but hopefully it's getting closer.

Oh and this is my 300th blog post EVER! So celebratory inspiration is required... (Gosh, almost forgot). Thought we'd have some Richard Armitage!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

My Perfect Date

I have Rachel Lyndhurst to thank for the inspiration of this blog post. I think it was something about going on holiday and finding my perfect hot surfer dude whilst away. Interestingly, in the second book I'm writing, Perfect Isn't An Option, my hero Steve is looking for someone a little less perfect.

Anyway, this got me thinking about being wined and dined... One day... one day... And I was thinking of who I'd like to meet, the dream boat who's going to whisk me off my feet and love me forever...ha ha!

And I realised I'm a bit choosy.

Maybe it's the romance writer in me?

I mean, he'd have to have the eyes of Bradley Cooper... In fact he'd have to be as handsome as him, too.

He'd need to look good in a tux, but look just as sexy in a T-shirt and Jeans, and drive a nice car - I want to be chauffeured about! - and handle himself as well as James Bond.


Can dance as good as Brendan Cole...

And sings to me like he's Adam Levine...

With a body as hot as Joe Manganiello's...

And can afford to buy me diamonds. (I'm not really that materialistic, money doesn't buy love, but wouldn't it be nice to have a man buy you diamond earrings?)
(And my mum will like this one) And he's got to have manly hands. Not girly ones. No, hands that look like they've worked hard and have strength.  Hmmmm... I have a thing about hands.

Oh, and ideally, not a smoker.

And there is one other quality he must be superb at....

Ironing! ;-)

Okay, okay, I don't need to spell out the other thing, do I? You can probably guess, considering I write romance.

I don't expect much, do I?

Have I forgotten something? What would you add to this list?

(For the record... A disclaimer - this blog post is meant to be construed as a bit of fun! We all know this guy can only be found in a book.)

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Holiday Doldrums - Am I Glad To Be Back?

Coming back from your holidays provides mixed feelings. A part of me is happy to be home, no longer banging elbows and other sticky-outy-body parts on narrow doors etc. The house seemed so BIG when I walked through the front door!

Sometimes you just yearn to get back to reality. 

But the other part of me is missing the beach, the relaxed environment, the carefree what shall we do today attitude, my family all together laughing and joking, the Cornish ice-creams!

However, I must say, I am not missing the seagulls landing on the roof of the caravan at 5am and waking me up! Or Goose knocking on our door at 6am wanting his bread. (Though Goose and the ducks were lovely to see every day).

Though now, looking at the piles of washing that needs doing... Maybe I want to go back?

You wouldn't believe it reading this blog post, I did feel cut off not having access to the internet. I'd ask my sister if she wanted to go to the pub, or the clubhouse to play pool, so we could get the free WiFi.

Wednesday evening I went for a walk along the coastal path, wanting to send a tweet to a friend that I'd drafted in the morning and hoped would be able to send wandering around Crealy all day. I had not got access to 3G (or WiFi) and all the other satellites I should be able to access  - all day!  Admittedly these were a couple of the pictures (above) I took on my phone while going for that walk, so it was a pleasant stroll. (I walked a third of the way around to Daymer Bay... just one more bench, I'd tell myself). Once I had found the 3G, I didn't move from the bench! The views in front of me were calming and inspirational. I was out in the elements, accessing Facebook.

On Tuesday, we had our best day. The sun was out and the wind was actually non-existent, therefore the beach was warm.

My sister, Katie, who was diagnosed with Leukaemia two years ago and therefore has been unable to come on holiday with us, wanted to go surfing. It's on her 'to-do' list.

She hired a wetsuit the day before, where the sun was out, but the wind was cold, and I felt guilty because she had no one to 'play' with out in the ocean. The boys were only prepared to go so far!

So, the next day, I donned a wetsuit probably for the first time in ten years! And was glad to find I still knew how to catch a wave.

That night, we even headed back out to the beach later to catch a sunset. Unfortunately, taking the picture with my phone made it come out a lot darker than it actually was. But even so, it's still pretty, and I've got to post it to prove that in all this awful weather we did actually see the sun set! 
Grandad Ron and Ben
Friday wasn't a particularly great day, but the rain held off for us to welcome in the high tide with the Frewing family tradition of boat building. Grandad Ron is usually the chief builder. He did it for me and my brother when we were kids, and he's building them for his grandchildren.

The boys holidayed for two weeks, I was only there for a week sharing a caravan with my mum and sister. But that was great too, as I don't get to spend quality time with them often now. Our caravan was next door to the boys, and they would come to us for breakfast each morning.

Benjamin got into his own bed Saturday night, and burst into tears, sad to be home. I remember as a child I always had a lump in my throat as my dad drove us home, and I'd say goodbye to my favourite holiday location (Woolacombe, which has its similarities to Polzeath). So I know how he's feeling, and I'm even now, feeling it too.

This place is so beautiful, it's lovely to return year after year. I can visualise it so well that it did become the beach and location in The Wedding Favour.

And whilst on holiday I did hear from a publisher about The Wedding Favour... but that's another blog post!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Book Review: Living Dangerously by Katie Fforde

Living DangerouslyLiving Dangerously by Katie Fforde

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm torn between giving this three and four stars. I did enjoy reading this book, but for me, there probably wasn't enough of the hero on the page. And when he was on the page, albeit it was from Polly's POV, I was never sure if he was "attractive" enough - he did have his moments when he was though.

I suppose this book didn't grab me like some others have, and I'm thinking about the characters even when I'm not reading it. However, it delivers the HEA ending we all want in a romance, and I did empathise with Polly throughout the story.

It's riddled with witty humour, which gave me laugh out loud moments, so definitely an enjoyable read.

View all my reviews

As you can see, I'm back from my hols! I will give you an update and share some pictures on my blog soon.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Romantic Debate With The Optician

Well, I thought I better get a blog post in before I head off to sunny, I mean rainy Cornwall. Something tells me I will need to pack my wellies! What is it with June this year?

I've charged the Kindle... Thought this was easier than taking a pile of books. I'm still reading my Katie Fforde, Living Dangerously, which I can empathise with the heroine quite a bit, so that will come too.

So I picked up new glasses today. And as you can see, (unfortunately I have to be in the pictures too) this is the best I could do with the phone on my camera. I can actually switch the camera around. But when I do that, the bloody thing goes blurry. I think the lens on the front of the phone is not as good at focusing as the back one. So bit startled and scared pictures, trying to concentrate on pressing the button, as I didn't have anyone in the house to take the photo for me. Haven't quite trained the cat yet.

The glasses are full frames - where as before they were half. And I've gone darker... hoping I look really intelligent now!

Anyway, as well as collecting my glasses I had my contact lens appointment. The guy who isn't even 30 (well he might have been, but he looked quite young to me) notices that on my notes my occupation(s) is customer assistant (at the big ol' retail giant express) and a writer. He laughed at the combination, then asked me what I wrote.

At the moment, when I say romance I feel quite cynical - I am getting a divorce and don't really feel there is such a thing as happy ever after - in fact that's why I write it. It's the only Goddamn way! I generally don't have a high opinion of men, full stop. However, he then groans and starts going on about how women's fiction has become less literal or something, I can't remember quite what he said, but he quoted it all being like "Fifty Shades Of Grey."

Now I've not read this book but I know that there was a mini debate on it on my facebook wall a while back. One person loved it, while others hated it.

Then we discussed Twilight and (luckily) agreed on that one. Though I don't think Stephanie Meyers is a 'bad' writer, I just didn't enjoy the story because it's written for teenage girls.

He enjoyed Wuthering Heights, talking of it being expertly written - it is but it is also dated (and I hated the storyline) - but when I mentioned Jane Eyre, which is very descriptive, because again that's of its age and fashion, but is a much better story (in my opinion) he said he hated it. I did nearly want to punch the guy, truth be told. Apparently he dumped his last girlfriend because she 'liked' Twilight.

Wow. Men! (I'm saying that a lot lately).

I was trying to explain that writing nowadays needs to be less descriptive... but sometimes, trying to discuss this with a non-writer, even if they are readers, goes a little over their heads. Ah well, I got my contacts anyway lol!

Now I must finish packing and crack on with some more writing as I'm not attending my (new) writing group as intended. For today's tottie, I will leave you with a new video from Maroon 5... I've got a thing about men being all dirty and beaten up - and Adam Levine looks hot in this video! Becky Black understands this obsession... particularly with one of our favourite TV characters.

Warning: It is the explicit version!

The lyrics are poignant for me at the moment. "One more f*cking love song, I'll be sick." Love it.

Don't worry, I maybe cynical, but I will still write romance.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Some Fun...

Rachel Lyndhurst tagged me for a bit of blog post fun! Well, she did say she'd get me back. I needed to do a blog post, and this is perfect as I really wasn't sure I had much to say right now. These are a list of things you may or may not know about me. Well, if you didn't know them, you do now:

Four places I have worked:

  • A theme park
  • A multinational manufacturing giant of household and cosmetic products.
  • A company that sold O rings. Sounds much more interesting when I say I worked in rubber! lol!
  • A aircraft manufacturing company.

Four movies I could watch again and again:

  • Love Actually
  • The A-Team 
  • Stardust
  • Footloose (edited... I can't believe I forgot this movie. There are lots of movies I'd watch over and over actually).

Four TV shows I watch:

  • Desperate Housewives
  • Doctor Who
  • Torchwood
  • Sherlock

Four places I have travelled:

  • Turkey
  • St Lucia
  • Barbados
  • New Zealand

Four authors I enjoy:

  • Sue Moorcroft
  • Liz Fielding
  • Anne Rice
  • Charlaine Harris

Four websites I visit daily:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Goodreads
  • Livejournal

Four favourite foods:

  • Crispy chilli beef (Chinese).
  • Chicken Tikka Masala with peshwari naan
  • Smothered chicken (bacon, cheese and bbq sauce).
  • Pasta - a good carbonara or something. 

Four places I'd rather be:

  • Sunning myself somewhere hot beside a pool, cocktail in hand, reading a good book.
  • Sitting in (or outside if sunny) a café (ideally in a European city), sipping lattes and watching the day go by.
  • Drinking an ice cold lager on the seafront. 
  • Walking anywhere in New Zealand, ideally holding the hand of the man of my dreams.  

Four people I want to tag:

This is only a bit of fun, but if you want to play, then make your own list and tag me back! (Because obviously I want to read).

Friday, 1 June 2012

Sunshine Award

I've been awarded the lovely Sunshine Award by Mama J over on Mama J Hearts Chick Lit.

And with all the sunshine, (though not today) it feels rather good to be receiving this award. So thank you Mama J! It was a lovely surprise this morning.

The rules of the award are:

Write five things about yourself.

Include the award's logo in a post.

Nominate five other bloggers. 

Link to your nominees.

Link the person who nominated you. 

So here's my five facts about me:

  1. I used to work at Thorpe Park (from the age of 15 to 19) and it was one of the best, fun jobs I did  - ever! Even if it was picking up litter! lol! Met so many wonderful people and had so much fun. Loved it. Have never dropped litter since (not that I did anyway - my dad brought me up proper!).
  2. I hate celery.
  3. I've never watched the film Titanic with Kate Winslet and Leonardo  DiCaprio. I did actually catch a bit of it one time, and thought it looked pretty good. But never got to watch it all. 
  4. One thing I'd like to do before I 'die' is rally driving!
  5. I am a born worrier. I worry about everything. I think I even worry that I worry too much.

*drum roll* And my (five) nominations are:

They are all writers, either published or aspiring, who I try to keep up with - but sometimes fail miserably - sorry. They often comment on here, too, which I am always grateful for. (And they are not obliged to carry on this award, or if they've already been awarded it, then no need to post again!)

Thanks again, Mama J! You made my Friday.