Thursday, 30 December 2010

Old stuff

Going through all my old stuff before deciding what stays, what is archived in the loft and what goes out. Uncluttering is tough, but necessary to free myself from things that only weigh me down.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

On the up

Feeling better and doing baby steps when it comes to the writing. Better than nothing. Posting a day early, but access to the internet may be sporadic.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Handel's Zadoc the Priest

If I don't survive this cold then I want Handel played at my funeral! Oh and one bunch of white lillies and carnations, please.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

One hurdle after another

It's the keeping going that's the hard part. If it's not my tax return it's preparation for hosting the in-laws at Christmas or fighting off an illness. It's surprising any writing gets done at all. Hats off to the mums that write. I certainly couldn't manage with kids too.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Laid up but lucky

Laid up for a while and not just because of the snow. But it's given me time to really edit my novel and that's a bonus I didn't see coming.

Thursday, 25 November 2010


Was in a shop and heard Lindisfarne's Lady Eleanor over the music system. Stopped me in my tracks and I couldn't not sing along, albeit very surreptitiously. I didn't move on until it ended - 'I'm all right where I am.'

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Uncle Mick and Radio 7

Been off the boil, feeling bad. Taking the pills, resting and staying welded to the hotwater bottle. Got some writing done, but slow. Still, time to think and listen to great drama on Radio 7

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Man at the door

It was dark. A man appeared at my door. From a distance he looked just like my brother. What the hell are you doing here? I thought.

The man wasn't my brother, but a new neighbour. The feeling of disbelief, shock, concern is proving hard to describe, but one I must pin down. A vaguely similar scene in my novel is written but I just need that clarity of expression. Testing? Damn right it is!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Strangely calm

Staying down west when an air raid siren went off approx 10.30pm and was loud enough to wake the whole town. Scared the hell out of me. Three minute warning I thought. This is it. It's finally come and damn I've got my novel to finish.

Saturday, 23 October 2010


Just spent a few days playing with niece and nephew. The decision made all the easier by knowing I'll miss out on them growing up.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Getting back in there

Great to be back on with the novel and finally pulling the threads together. I've entered it in a competition too and that feels really good.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Back on track

It's been a while, but now I'm back on track I'm happier. The break away has been painful but useful. Coming back to the first three chapters was a pleasant experience.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Internet crazy

Trying hard not to lose my rag with an intermittent internet service. Spending all my time looking if it's up is not productive. At least I've got this post done!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Time out

I'm not fretting that my novel has had to play second fiddle to other things. I've learned to accept that my book has it's own timetable and I'm not party to that information. Things happen for a reason - I just don't always know what that reason is.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Things get in the way

I blog every Thursday, but last week was a non-starter for a host of reasons. The most pressing problem was I couldn't muster a thought on writing. Getting back into it now though.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Arguing with characters

On a trip driving down West spend over an hour arguing with three characters. I'm like - I'm in charge but would they listen?

Thursday, 26 August 2010

The bigger picture

JK Rowling planned seven books which meant characters or events ocurring in later books make her seem deadly clever. 'How could she possibly know person 'x' would do 'y' six books in?' Because she designed it that way!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Getting out there

It's important to get out and meet a wide range of people. Not only for ideas for characters, but these are all your potential readers.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

No laptops on Dartmoor

Out in the wilds my blog sort of lost it's significance. But I gained in other ways: a chance to unwind, breath fresh clean air, wash my face in a babbling stream and lie out under the stars. The ponies came in for a look, but soon lost interest in the humanoid parked in the grass.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Shelley Harris is gonna be big!

I'm celebrating Shelley Harris' two book deal. I love it when a genuinely lovely person gets a break. It's all karma and fuzzy warmth. Oh actually that might be the wine!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Driving and thinking

I've a few long drives lined up so will use the time to plot what happens next.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Getting in early

The early bird catches the worm. What about the bird who goes looking the night before? Sometimes it pays to grab an opportunity when it presents itself, whether regarding your writing or other things. Freeing time, up ahead, to write is a prime example.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Racing brain

I woke this morning with a brain racing with ideas. I quickly jotted them down. The one of my character Errol being unable to horse ride amused me most. Where I'm going to use it I don't know, but give me time.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

The condom moment - in the library

I always check out the writing section of my local library. Yesterday I found a how-to book on erotic literature. Yes I thought, worth a read. The book wouldn't scan so I had to take it to the library helpdesk. It was like the moment in the chemist when you want to buy a condom and the cashier doesn't know the price and has to shout to the manager. Luckily the ladies were very understanding when I said I was a writer. They didn't ask to read anything I'd written though.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Garter Day and an idea

I grabbed the chance to go to Garter Day at Windsor Castle. The most fascinating thing I saw was the table they laid Charles I on to sew his head back on before burial. That was when I wish I wrote crime.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Derek Bell and Goodwood

The antique car track day at Goodwood was enormous fun. The Corvette Stingray was just gorgeous, but the Austin Healey won my heart. I was lucky enough to get a big smile from Derek Bell too, so now I'm working out how to include racing driving in one of my novels.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Getting critiqued

The worst thing in the world, but the best thing you can do to improve your writing. I've got some fresh eyes on mine and wow are they picking up stuff I never saw.

Friday, 28 May 2010

The family of crime

The writers, readers and literary agents and critics at Crimefest 2010 were wonderfully approachable, the panel sessions informative and guest speaker Gyles Brandreth an entertainer par excellence. Value for money and great fun. Highly recommended. 5 star.

Thursday, 20 May 2010


Hob nobbing with the writers of crime, and what a lovely bunch of people - but are they? These lot have killed off goodness knows how many people in goodness knows how many ways. Are they safe to be around? If this is my last post then you'll know.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Catch up

There's heaps of things to do, but I'm fighting to keep the feelings I had in Cornwall. I'm amazed how priorities change depending on location and I must build in the productive practises I learned down there.

Thursday, 15 April 2010


In deepest Cornwall on way to even deeper Cornwall, the last cottage on The Cape, and three weeks of isolation. Daunting? Yes. But a real opportunity and one I'm not going to waste.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Missed it

Oops, but have an excuse for missing blogging on Thursday. Prep for conference and a big family birthday filled the time. Just goes to show life gets in the way of writing sometimes. No beating myself up though. It happens, I move on.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Well done Lynette!

Congrats Lynette Hopkins for getting to No.1 on Authomomy and your two book deal with Little Brown. I'm looking forward to seeing it in the shops.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Carrie moment

A bottle smashed in my shopping trolley and red wine flooded all over the floor. Feeling not unlike Stephen King's Carrie I stood rooted to the spot. Of course everyone turned to stare, but I was surprisingly dispassionate. All I could think of was - I wonder if this happen a lot?'

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Hilary Mantel & me

I'm always the person that's in the loo or off doing something when the famous drift by. I missed Gordon Brown at the London Book Fair and David Cameron at the CLA Game Fair, but I didn't miss Hilary Mantel in Sainsburys not half an hour ago.


I'm building on a fantastic sub-plot that feeds wonderfully into the main plot and Janika's problem. It's keeping track of who knows what that's proving tricky!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Brokeback Mountain

Forget the film, read the short story. Not for the sex, but for the brilliant way Annie Proulx handles just about everything. Each time I re-read it there is more and more and more.

Friday, 5 March 2010

First draft

I've raced through the first draft of my next novel and I just love it. There is still much to do, but having plotted so much of it I am able to stay on track.

Thursday, 25 February 2010


My SWWJ workshop went exceptionally well on Tuesday. I pushed them hard and they responded like the professionals they are.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Writers' News

Two birds with one stone. I made the last issue in the members pages AND the Webbo's Writer's Websites. Ahhh! Fame at last!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Word fit

It's head down and 2K words a day. With one or two days off for other things, my goal is 10K per week. A tough regime, but the training is finally paying off.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

The Woman Writer and I'm in it!

Sylvia Kent has written the history of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists (SWWJ) in a super book titled The Woman Writer. I am honoured to feature and want to thank Sylvia for all her hard work. Well done!

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Clocking up

I'm trying to clock up 10K words per week. The story/plot is there I'm just putting the bones in the right order to carry the flesh. Excited? Yes. Impatient? Yes. Pleased I've done the groundwork? You bet!

Friday, 22 January 2010

A nod in the right direction

Sometimes you come across a sentence in a novel that even you can improve upon. This little gem pulled me right out of a best-seller by someone who will remain nameless in case they read this and in case one day I might meet them and then I'd feel, know. What is it?

Amy nodded but didn't respond verbally.

For what it's worth, I'd lose the last four words.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Snowed in and loving it

Loving the white out because it's given me time to write. Full on, high octane storytelling and I'm finding out just how fantastic it feels to have a story help me. How's that? I start the scene late - stuff has already happened, blam in comes my character, blam things go wrong, then I get out the scene early. What happens next? Sorry not written it yet!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

New year, new laptop and new novel.

Happy New Year! I've plunged myself into the next in my series of Janika Stevens novels. I've been planning and plotting this one for months and am so excited. The death of my old laptop (no internet, emails or blogging) meant I could start long hand and now I'm snowed in, it's go go go!