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.

04.10.2017
Nicola
36 Kommentare
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!! www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com 
01.08.2017
Nicola
52 Kommentare
  For the past two months life has been turbulent due to unexpected developments, mainly positive but nevertheless has led to lots of reorganisation. With change 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.   The biggest 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 to reorganise? 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.
21.06.2017
Nicola
29 Kommentare
Adorable Boss Throughout my 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.  Superintendent 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. ‘Come in,’ 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. ‘Take a seat,’ he instructed calmly. ‘Thank you, sir.’ 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. ‘Hmm. You 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. Lane’s 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 faint-hearted. ‘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 responsible!’ 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. ‘A press 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.’ ‘Yes, 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!’ ‘Of course, sir.’ 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