I love to keep in touch with my readers and fellow writers, and blogging is an important part of this
communication. Do pop by and say hello! Just click on the link below for up-to-date news and general stuff that's going on.
I love this time of year and watching the landscape change colour. Yes, it also means its time to get the woolley hat out and polish the boots, but it's worth it. For me, autumn brings about new ideas and inspiration for my writing.
It was Autumn 2015 when I felt inspired to write an autumnal crime story. I entered it in a competition and was really proud of what I'd written. But after three years of rejections I expected another one - and I wasn't disappointed. However, I really believed in the story and turned it into a 20,000 word novella. It lived on my harddrive and was very happy there. Bless. But...
In summer this year, yes two years later, I received an email out of the blue from the editor of a woman's magazine asking if I remembered the competition entry from 2015!! Of course I did and I was thrilled to accept her offer to work on it and submit it as a four part serial. AND, I sold it!
The reason why I'm sharing this experience is to let people know that when things get tough, just keep going. The writing journey is ruthless but good things can happen, and it's important to hold onto that thought. Even more importantly, enjoy the process and take pride in your work.
Happy autumnal writing!!
For the past
two months life has been turbulent due to unexpected developments, mainly
positive but nevertheless has led to lots of reorganisation.
comes insecurity. Can I really do this? Is this what I want? Will I achieve
success? The list of niggling questions
is endless, and has been challenging my inner strength to the max.
hindrance is a lack of time. I’ve had to move back my deadline for my second
novel in order to pursue other opportunities that have presented themselves, as
well as fulfilling other responsibilities.
That leads me
to this months’ IWSG question: What are your pet peeves when
reading/writing/editing? Easy answer – a lack of solid blocks of time to do
any of these three things. Other things always seem to crop up, and usually all
at the same time, which can be rather overwhelming. So the key is to become
proficient in juggling time, be extremely organized and prioritise effectively
– oh, and cut down on sleep 😉
Does the unexpected catch you off guard and force you
Today is the first Wednesday of the month and IWSG day! The IWSG
is a safe place for writers to express their fears and insecurities in a
supportive environment. Join us at
www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com And don't forget to sign up for the
IWSG Newsletter - it's filled with great advice written by writers for writers. Thanks to everyone at IWSG for all the hard work.
working life, I’ve experienced a variety of bosses, and I paid attention. Some
of them made me cringe each time they entered the room with their "respect me,
I’m your boss’ attitude," which often meant they hadn’t a clue how to treat people,
and those who I greatly admired for their skills in leadership and appreciation
of their staff. Whichever, due to my gobbiness ambitious nature, I
usually ended up in the boss’s office 😲 And I’m glad. I learned so much, which helped me to
become the type of leader I wanted to be in my teaching career – obviously the
good kind 😊
Now, as an
author, I recall the traits of those people who passed through my life to
create my characters, as well adding a flavour of my own
eccentricities, of course.
Do you do the same when developing characters?
Here is a
snippet from my book Ultimate Principle, introducing DCI Lane Rivers’ boss. Their
relationship is loosely based on the type of relationship I had with one of my
bosses many years ago. Enjoy.
Adrian Nelson was a formidable man, and anyone who dared enter his office had
to be prepared for anything. Lane took a deep breath before knocking on his
door and tugged at the hem of her jacket to eradicate any unwanted folds. He
was meticulous about dress and always donned a perfectly laundered suit, silk
tie and highly polished shoes, looking and acting more like a politician than
the head of the CID department.
he called in his deep, raspy voice.
Lane entered with her shoulders back and head held
high and firm. She faltered at the mellow smile with which he greeted her,
setting off alarm signals. He was sitting behind his desk, which was too small
for him, and didn’t rise
from his chair as she entered; another bad sign. He usually paid her that
courtesy. Even though his reputation within the police services was next to
none, working his way up the ranks through sheer hard graft, his “no messing”
approach had caused many an inferior officer unnecessary distress. He was
ruthless. Lane’s spine tingled.
seat,’ he instructed calmly.
Lane sat and watched in anticipation as Nelson ran his
large hands through his silver hair. He then edged forward, placed his forearms
neatly in front of him, and linked his short fingers. Lane couldn’t help but notice the black, onyx cuff
links glistening at his chubby wrists. Without a doubt they were a gift from
his wife, who had impeccable taste. The man peered over the top of his
frameless glasses, indicative for Lane to begin her brief.
Lane explained the initial factual findings in as much
detail available. Nelson relaxed back in his chair, light relief washing over
his face as the notion of terrorism was dismissed. She informed him of Howie’s confirmation of the identity of the
victim and the evidence suggesting this was a targeted murder. He stood and
stepped to the window, adjusting his suit jacket as he did so.
seem to have the investigation side of things under control, for now.’ He
removed his glasses and chewed on one of the ends. Lane’s stomach churned.
Something bad was coming. It was like seeing her father again, just before he
told her the news of her mother’s Alzheimer’s. The same stance and removal of
the glasses, as if to filter out the vision of the person receiving the news.
body primed itself for impact, her core muscles tightened. Nelson’s broad
shoulders appeared tense, almost bulging through the seams of his jacket. This
was going to be one of his notorious unreasonable assaults. However, she was
not prepared for what spewed out his wide mouth.
He turned to Lane. His eyes narrowed, causing a deep
crease across his forehead – one of his Jekyll and Hyde moments. Not for the
‘A word of
warning, Rivers, control your sister-in-law.’ His voice rose as he continued.
‘She causes me and my department a lot of unnecessary criticism. The
commissioner interrupted my breakfast this morning. Given her past role in the
counter-terrorist unit she’s bound to be more intrigued than ever. The last
thing I need is for her to be too involved in my department, breathing down my
neck. She’s fully aware of Dr Shakespeare’s scaremongering. She won’t tolerate
it. And to be clear, neither will I! And, how the hell did a despicable floozy
of a reporter assess my crime scene before you got there? This looks bad on me
and makes you look incredibly incompetent. I have worked far too hard to be at
the brunt of criticism. Our response time should have been better. I hold you
Lane knew better than to try to explain the situation
out loud and remained as composed as possible, even though her insides were
screaming out in anger. I wasn’t
officially on duty! I made it there in eight minutes from hearing the blast and
I’d just come from a funeral, you pig-headed idiot! Oh, and I’d done a
twelve-hour shift! Breathe. And, the CSIs had pulled an all-nighter to get the information necessary;
the night staff had worked their butts off chasing every possible lead and
angle. What more
do you want? He interrupted her private rant.
conference will be held at 13:00. You will be responsible for making the
statement at this point, and it had better put the commissioner’s mind at rest,
get the ball buster off my back.’
sir,’ Lane replied, a hint of disdain seeping into her words.
The superintendent returned to his spot, staring out
the window. Her cue to leave. She shoved herself out of the chair. ‘And, Rivers, make sure you clear this
damn mess up quick!’
Lane closed the door behind her, firmly enough not to
be construed as slamming but enough to ensure the almighty Lord Nelson knew he’d pissed her off.
Available on Amazon