Monday, May 30, 2011

Where I work

Here's a little sneak peek into my life. This is where most of my writing happens: my home office.


The room is not very big, but it contains everything I need: desk, bed, cupboards. The books, naturally, have an entire room of their own in the house!

And yes, those beautiful landscapes and gorgeous heroes on the desk are inspiration, not reality. The heroes (notice, the plural) of my WIP, When September Ends, are right at the top of the board.
Any guesses who they might be?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

#1k1hr

For those of you not (yet!) on Twitter, this is the hash tag used by writers for a writing challenge in which writers challenge each other to write a thousand words in one hour. I started doing these a week ago, and in one week I've gone from an hourly average of 450 words to around 1,200 words an hour!

The nice thing about a challenge like this is that you're not alone, you're forced to unplug from the net for an hour, and at the end of the hour you report back to the writers you've done the challenge with, so there's accountability! And everyone's a winner, no matter how many words they achieve.

In the last week I've added about 8,000 words to my 'Just For Fun' manuscript, now titled When September Ends. And I've also done a film shoot in between and worked some really stupid hours!

But sometimes you also just need to take a breather. I discovered, doing Nanowrimo three years running, that just pushing out words doesn't really work for me, unless I have a really clear idea where I'm going with a story. Since this 'Just for Fun' story had no clear destination, I was starting to write scenes that really didn't fit the bigger picture.The literary equivalent of scenes that end up on the cutting room floor.


Since just adding words isn't enough to write a publishable novel, I sat for an hour this morning and made a list of all the key scenes I envisage for this story. Yes, it's the plotter in me rearing her ugly head. Now I'm armed with my bullet pointed list, my road map of where I'm headed, I'm ready for the next challenge.

So who is going to join me on my next #1k1hr?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Loads of prizes up for grabs!

This week is the final week of the Minxes' Birthday Bash. Up for grabs this week are a copy of Sally Clements' Catch Me a Catch, which was shortlisted for the RNA's Joan Hessayon award, and also a RIVA! bag made by Minx Lorraine.

Grand Prix Contest

In order to enter the Grand Prix contest, you'll need to be a follower of the Minxes Blog, and the question you need to answer is simple: How old is Minxes of Romance?

The first prize will include:
  • A signed copy of Sally Clements' Bound to Love
  • A "Careful or you'll end up in my novel" t-shirt
  • A personalised Minxy notebook courtesy of Minx Jo P
  • An Amazon gift voucher valued at $10 courtesy of Minx Sri
One runner-up will also win the following:
  • Claire Robyns' historical novel Betrayed
  • An Amazon gift voucher valued at $10 courtesy of Minx Maya
This contest will close on Sunday 29th May, and the winners will be announced on Monday 30th May.
And where is all of this happening? http://minxesofromance.blogspot.com 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

RNA's Joan Hessayon Award

I was hoping to be hot off the press with congratulating the winner of the Joan Hessayon Award at the RNA's Summer Party this evening, but sadly I'm still waiting. (Come on ladies, enough with the champagne now ... spill the good news).

The reason I'm on tenter hooks is that Sally Minx is one of the five nominees for this distinguished award. GO SALLY!

As it's now nearly 11pm here in South Africa, and as I have a tech recce starting at the crack of dawn tomorrow, I'm going to have to try to sleep without news. But I'll be online tomorrow as soon as I possibly can to share the joy with you - and the shoes.

PS: Sadly (for the Minxes) Sally Minx did not win. The JHA trophy went to Charlotte Betts. Congratulations, Charlotte!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A copy of my novella is up for grabs!

As part of the Minxy Birthday Bash, I'm offering one commenter on today's blog post a chance to win a copy of my 1920s novella, Let's Misbehave. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on Maureen Child's interview here.

Each week in May we're running two contests, and there is also a Grand Prix contest that runs all month. You can find out more about how to enter these contests here.


Happy birthday Minxes!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

And back again

A week or so back I blogged at Nocturnal Nights about a struggle I was having with my current 1920s WIP. I'd written a dramatic scene of a re-enactment that takes place in the Italian town of Positano every year, but during my research I stumbled across YouTube footage of the modern day re-enactment and discovered that the reality is nowhere near as dramatic as what I'd written.

So I rewrote the chapter, much more authentic, and adding in a new and rather more personal drama to make up for the lack. Then when I did a Google search yesterday for the YouTube clip (which I'd neglected to bookmark) I stumbled over yet more new information - suggesting my original version was more correct for the period!

Back to the drawing board again. This time to take both scenes to try and merge the best of both into a coherent whole that fits the rest of the manuscript.

[Wails] And I was so close to finally being done with this story!


This scene isn't Positano, but it gives an idea of how the scene will appear in the book (I hope!).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The April Challenge

 

Okay, so I failed rather spectacularly at this challenge. It's not like I set myself an impossible goal or anything (20,000 words should be do-able in the best of months, let alone one as filled with holidays as April had!)

The plan was to add about 6,000 words to Innocent Abroad, finish editing and polishing it, then start a new novella for The Wild Rose Press.

I may have added about that many words to Innocent Abroad, however since I also cut a great many, and the edits still aren't done, that's a FAIL.

As for the new novella? Nada. Zip. Zero. What I did do was about 5,000 words on a single title that I really hadn't planned to write, which has no plot or direction, and which is not part of my Master Plan. (Yes, I have a plan, not that it might seem like it most of the time!)

On the plus side, I am writing again, and I am really happy with how Innocent Abroad is finally shaping up. My original goal of submitting it no later than mid April has long gone, but my new goal is to send it out into the big wide world by the end of this week? Wish me luck!