IN MEMORIAM

 

BANNER FOR TWITTER

 

When an author hears from a rabid fan who’s bought everything, even vampyre stories when she doesn’t believe in such things, it is always a huge thrill. One such reader contacted me after my mom died asking for Daisy’s story. “Where the hell is it, Christine? I’m worried about that poor fatherless child.”

Those were the first words she wrote to me. And so began an almost daily Facebook chat. This woman loved and adored hot alpha males (the hotter the better). But she more than loved and adored strong women, like Bronte Ferranti.  In fact, she told me she wanted to BE Bronte, which just made me shake my head.

What I didn’t know until months later, when she let it slip, was that she was battling cancer and having regular chemo. Apparently, the nurses kept asking her why she was laughing, and she told them she was reading Bronte’s story and Rosie’s. She just adored Rosie. Rosie helped her get through the nausea.

So I got to know her really well, and she totally understood why I was having such a hard time writing Daisy’s story due to the circumstances surrounding my mom’s death. She told me to take my time.

When we enter the world we’ve created authors sometimes have a hard time dealing with feelings a story creates. A bit like hearing a song from the past that takes us right to a special moment that meant a huge amount to us.

Then I stopped receiving posts from her. I missed her messages and after a week contacted her niece because I was worried and had a bad feeling. Her last message to me was on a Sunday and she passed away very suddenly on the following Monday. To say I was devastated doesn’t begin to describe the sense of loss.

She was naughty. She was fun. She was brave. Her name was Susan Benson and A Daddy For Daisy is dedicated to her memory.

Christine x

AAAAAND SHE’S LANDED!

It’s been brought home to me that I should have posted an alert here, in my blog, that book four of The Ludlow Hall series, The Trouble With Coco Monroe  is live on Amazon!

The Trouble With Coco Monroe is live now at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Nook Store UK, KOBO, Smashwords, WH Smith UK and Sony US & Canada.

The Trouble With Coco Monroe

The Trouble With Coco Monroe

 

The life of a writer is such that some things slip, and I’m deeply ashamed to say that posts to this blog have slipped. Yes, I’ve had many ideas for posts, but I’ve simply run out of hours in the day to post them. Which doesn’t help you guys at all. So I promise to do better in the future.

One of the things I’d really like y’all to consider is have you ever written a love letter to your significant other? Or have you become lazy and just send texts and msgs with LOL or XOXO?

Coming soon is my first ever love letter to H, written very recently.

So go for it, write your significant other a love letter and share it with us. Why should I be the only one to share my heart with the world? Step up and be men – or women!

Big Hugs

Christine xx

RECKLESS NIGHTS IN ROME – FREE!

Reckless Nights in Rome

Reckless Nights in Rome – Free
at  All Romance – Click Here

Hi guys,

Can you believe I didn’t mention here on my blog that Reckless Nights In Rome is FREE on All Romance Ebooks?

Smack me now!

Get your copy here:

GOALS! WHY OH WHY?

Via Lynne Carmichael

Hello, my lovelies!

Today we’re talking goals. Losing weight, getting fit or accomplishing our writing goals isn’t as easy as it sounds otherwise we’d all be skinny, lean and mean writing machines.

First of all we need to decide about what we want, then work out how we’re going to get there. Sounds easy doesn’t it? But it’s not, especially if you’re new to attempting weight loss, getting fit or writing a sentence never mind writing a novel.

Via media-cen.pinterest.com

This week, I’ve fallen off the writing wagon and I’ve plenty of excuses as to why. A friend was buried. The brick wall my writing crashed into isn’t even cracked never mind damaged. My hero is being a stubborn B******d! And my heroine needs a smacked bottom – no, it’s not kinky (looking at you Myndi, Deborah, Rachel FH and Karen McF) so it’s been shoulder rolls and knuckle cracking time to sort this pair out. The emotional tension needs ratcheted up and he needs less simpatico and more edgy/attitude as well being empathic – not a lot, just a little (I don’t ask for much from my heroes, do I?) And this is at the end of the first draft so why I expect the thing to be perfect God knows – see what I mean about expectations? I know all first drafts are crap so why do I expect mine to be perfect? Why?

Having goals and working towards them is fantastic. But we need to prepare for the unexpected. So we need to constantly re-evaluate our goals and ask ourselves these questions.

  1. Are they realistic?
  2. Are they adaptable?
  3. Are they workable?
  4. Are they achievable?

We can never stay motivated 100% of the time. We need to block out our inner critic and it’s harping voice of negativity. We need to think about what we HAVE achieved and to do that we need to keep a log of what we write/research/mull-over every single day. Keep a diary, or jot it on a wall planner, of your progress and make a note of how what you’ve done, foods guzzled, yards walked, word count etc. Then, when times are tough we can look back and see what we’ve achieved already. Seemples!

And we need to build ourselves a team. Which those of you who are members of We Are Not alone (WANA) already know (link here for you guys who’ve never heard of the Queen of Blogland, Kristen Lamb.) Weirdly, she’s just been talking about teamwork – spooky or what – I think she could be a witch BUT DON’T TELL HER I SAID THAT.

Don’t underestimate the importance of having friends! They help you to celebrate the highs and hug/kick ass during the lows. Remember true friends do not envy you your success – they support you. Teammates can help you with the ‘sticky bits’ on our journey to weight loss, better fitness or publishing success.

And remember 90% of people give themselves IMPOSSIBLE goals, so make sure yours are baby steps. And once you’ve achieved your goals. Do Not Give Up. Keep Going. Set a new goal, even if it’s maintaining what you’ve already done. The wonderful James Scott Bell has written The Art of War for Writers and it’s brilliant for keeping us on track. I love that man.

Are you adaptable with your goals?

Are you part of a fabulous group of like minded people? If so, who are they and can we join too?

Do you wanna be part of WANA? Join here!

Do you celebrate the good times as well as the bad?

I adore hearing from you guys. Seriously, I get all warm and fuzzy when someone stops by and says hello. And sob heart brokenly into my pillow if you don’t. (I’m not above a bit of emotional blackmail.)

Christine

LICK LIFE INTO SHAPE

Once in a while, it’s screaming/yelling Shake-Down time in this house. You all know what I mean. The kitchen is usually my first port of call when I’m on a tear, rubber gloves are snapped on angry fingers twitching for action. This is the time the sticky milk carton shelf of the fridge is cleaned. The salad drawer is emptied (Ew, what is that green mouldy thing? No idea but medical science might’ve found the cure for botulism.) I put my hands up, because I’m a writer, that my fridge is occasionally a biological hazard. The kitchen bin is nuked which means I’ve inhaled so much neat bleach I’ve lost my sense of smell. And the males in the family have left the building at a run.

This is the time I become known as Evil Mommy because nothing is sacred, the empty crisp packets and sweet wrappers down the side of the sofas are exposed (yes, and I know who put them there, and let me say your- days-are-numbered.) Sometimes in the sofa I get very lucky and find MONEY!

The DH’s study is shovelled out (due to a visit this week from BT to fit a new faster broadband thingy.) The dust bunnies had been breeding like rabbits and all I’m saying is it was not pretty. He found loads of great stuff including a motivational CD on leadership by Colin Powell. But the study’s pretty now, oh yes indeed it certainly is. I wouldn’t like to risk eating my dinner off the floor, but it’s not bad. The room looks twice its normal size and he’s doing all sorts of things in there, including playing with his new camera. And he found CD’s with old photos.

Which, because I feel nothing but love for you guys, I’m sharing some of the best bits – here: This is my spawn a few years ago in Malindi, Kenya.

Since my star sign is LEO, hear me roar! (The neighbours certainly did) Nothing is done by halves.

Next on the hit list was the main bathroom cupboard – I shed a fat tear at this point – how many empty shampoo bottles does a daughter need? And four full bottles of 2in1 Head& Shoulders? Someone with chronic dandruff obviously thought they’d got a deal – but they don’t live in this house!

Think of the movie Twister and it’ll give you an idea of the mayhem of Shake-Down. But how long does it last? Forty-eight hours? Then everything returns to its normal sorry state. Is it all worth it?

I was fine. I was calm and relaxed … until … I got into the car. (Those of you following this blog will know I’ve been u.n.w.e.l.l.) Not a car, it was a SKIP on wheels. DH sat very still, his head turned towards me, our eyes met. And he spoke the immortal words. “Sorry, I didn’t know you’d be out and about today or I’d have had it valeted.”

I opened my mouth to roar. Then I remembered that for over a year I haven’t made a single meal. He does all the food shopping and has looked after me above and beyond the marriage vows. He’s mastered the dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer, and iron etc., so that I’ve ‘got space and time to write and get well.’

I love this man, I just don’t tell him enough. So I’m going to try harder not to sweat the small stuff and to remember what’s important.

Do you guys take your loved ones for granted?  When was the last time you told them thank you? And did you give them back the money you found down the side of the sofa?

Catch the Wind of Change in Publishing – The Reader

PUBLISHING IS CHANGING BEFORE OUR EYES, SO WHO DO YOU LISTEN TO?

Joanna Terrero, sent me this last year and it’s as relevant today as it was then. It’s an inhouse training vid lasting just over 2 minutes by the UK arm of Dorling Kindersley and it’s absolutely brilliant.  What do you think?

The Reader And The Future of Publishing

Nothing worse than cold sweat trickling down your back, is there? Along with the accompanying chills and temperature spikes, this has not been a productive week by yours truly.

How I’m feeling reminds me of what’s happening to the
publishing world. For a new author this is a scary place. It’s always been a
scary place, but there are times when I’ve wondered if I’ve fallen into a
parallel universe.

You’ll be thrilled to know that I’m not about to debate what’s
happening – plenty of other people are busy doing that – change is upon us and
it’s no use spitting into the face of a hurricane.

The answer to the question, who do you listen to, is, THE
READER. Remember them? They’re the one’s who part with their hard-earned cash
to buy our stories. And in the debate, by and large, they’ve been totally
ignored. And that, in my humble opinion, is a damned disgrace. But does the
reader care if he/she is ignored? Nope, because now they’re able to decide by a
single click of a button what they like, when they want it, where to buy it and
how much to pay for it.

So our mission (should you decide to accept it, this blog
will self-destruct in ten seconds) is to write the best stories we possibly can
for our reader to escape into the peaks and troughs of a rollicking great
romance, with plenty of ‘good bits’ (do NOT forget the good bits, they meet
reader expectation) and a deeply satisfying HEA (happy ever after).  So that’s it, easy?  Well, no, but nothing worthwhile ever is.

The great Kristen Lamb, editor, agent & author, is talking about E-publishing today and has links here to a workshop run by Bob

Mayer & Jen Talty.  I bet Kristen will love the vid too, it’s exactly what she’s been teaching.

Christine

Writing, feel the fear factor.

 

WHY FEELINGS ARE YOUR ENEMY WHEN YOU WRITE.

 

I’m in the middle of reading the wonderful Kristen Lamb’s ‘Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer’ – I also follow her blog.  In the first chapter she talks about how our feeeeeeelings can sabotage our writing habit, and she is absolutely right.

We’ve all done it, had that extra glass of wine that’s tipped us over the edge and meant we can’t write.  Followed by the feeeeeling of guilt we haven’t reached our 3,000 word goal of the day (we wish.)  Followed by the feeeeeeling we’re useless, write crap and will never get there.
Followed by the feeeeeling to give up.
Followed by the … get the picture?

Or, we’ve had a domestic with our other half, or our boss is a pain in the ***, or our friends don’t understand that the muse is a fickle beast.  Of course, all of these events affect our feeeeeelings and those, in turn, affect our writing.

Kristen says ‘feelings can be the enemy and steal your dreams’ I love that statement.
Feeeeeeelings LIE!

What to do?

Set goals.  I should say, set achievable writing goals.  Every single day.

My list of writing goals for today are:

Blog

Revise competition entry

Read last scene of wip

Write next two scenes of wip

It might not look a lot, but I’ve learned the hard way to have no more than four things on my list.  I don’t know how long it’s going to take to revise that competition entry because of the copious notes I’ve made and I’m not sure if what is in my head will work.

Reading yesterday’s work isn’t straightforward either.  We’ve all done the fiddling and
faffing about, even though WE KNOW not to go back until we’ve finished the
first draft.

Then the planned scenes might not gel, or the characters might – hopefully – grip us by the throat and we end up writing reams of stuff.  Isn’t is great when that happens?

And sometimes, out of the blue, a new idea springs to mind.  If that happens, we stop what
we’re doing and make a note in our ‘ideas’ book, don’t we?

However, that all sounds wonderful and organised, disciplined and writer savvy, right?
Well, yeah, but it never ever turns out like that.  Why?  Well, because we’re not perfect people.

We are writers which means for most of the time we inhabit a place that is not real in our psyche.  Our characters talk to us ALL the time, they make demands and insist on
telling the story in their own way and doing stuff that can cause no end of headaches.  The outline we sweated over for four long days our characters totally ignore and that is a scary feeling (ah,ah, see?  Fear has just popped in to
say hello, how ya doin, so you think you can write?)

In my opinion, fear is a writers greatest enemy and it takes many forms.

Fear of failure

Fear of making mistakes

Fear of other writer’s opinions

Fear of being mediocre

Fear of being laughed at

Fear of success

Hmm, one of my critique partners accused me of the last one when I edited my voice and joy out of a piece.  And she was right.

Fear steals our joy of creativity, it throttles it and kills it, if we let it.

What to do?

Embrace it!
Seriously, because when we get that sliver, that tickle in our gut then it might mean we’re on to something big.

Our intuition knows that we are on the right track.  We’re doing something wonderful,
something that could even be the next step to SUCCESS.

What holds you back? Do you have an inner gremlin chuntering in your ear?  How do you get
rid of it?

Links: Kristen Lamb’s blog http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/

And “Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer.” https://whodareswinspublishing.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=59

Link

 Woo Hoo!

Today is D day on my blog and aren’t you the lucky ones (!) I have fiddled and faffed; worried and wondered; stressed and strained about writing this blog.
Why?  Well, for one thing, what have I got to say about writing?  Stop laughing in the back.

But when the great Nicola Morgan http://helpineedapublisher.blogspot.com/ says, ‘get yourself out there on twitter’  Here’s a link to Nicola’s new book ‘Tweet
Right’  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005GRATNU and ‘get blogging’ and
since  I always do what the Crabbit old bat (her words) says, here I am.

I also want to thank the wonderful KristenLamb.  Find her here and I shall be linking in Kristen’s fabulous books about social networking and blogging tomorrow.  http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ See Kristen, I’m on WordPress, isn’t it exciting?

Right, next step Myspace.  Gosh, I hope it goes as well as this one!

C C