Wednesday 26 February 2014

Falling - again.

When you write thrillers the subject of killing people comes up from time to time. Can't be helped, it's in the job description. I've been thinking, in a desultory way, about the killing in the next book. Nothing too
definite, you understand, just gently musing. It has crossed my mind though that I do have a bit of a thing about people falling off buildings. Where that one comes from, I have no idea. I have no idea about a lot of
things in this writing lark, as you will have gathered if you read these posts on a regular basis. I think a large chunk must happen when I'm asleep.

Plenty of water, but nothing to fall off. 
Anyway, to get back to murder. I decided that this time I would make a concerted effort to find Something Different. In view of the terrible weather, drowning came to mind. I could imagine hero and villain, splashing about in the water, but somehow the picture wasn't right. Various scenarios played in my head, at various points in the day - and yes, the hero did look rather good in that wet shirt, but that is between me and my imagination and has nothing to do with this post. As I've said, images came and went, until I realised that the scene had relocated itself and was now on a bridge - and before I knew it  - ahhhh - the villain was falling off the bridge into the water.

I'm going to have to make more effort to get away from this obsession.

Monday 24 February 2014

An update on the update.

I'm on the Choc blog today, talking about writing romantic suspense. Or at least, how I write romantic suspense. Ten thoughts on the subject. I'd love feedback and comments, if you have the time.

Choc-lit blog Ten tips on Romantic Suspense

Quick Update

Today the 'My Writing Process' blog passes to crime and fantasy writer Dave Sivers. Many thanks to him for picking up the baton.  Do check out his thoughtful post on how he writes.

Dave's blog

And the whole of the Choc-lit Valentine's day Round Robin is still on the Choc-lit blog, if you want to read all five episodes.

Choc-lit blog

See you as usual, on Wednesday.

Monday 17 February 2014

My Writing Process - Blog Hop.

Today I'm taking part in the My Writing Process Blog Hop. Which is where authors talk a little about how they write. Thanks to fellow Choc-lit Author, Henriette Gyland, who invited me to follow her in the hop. Her post, featuring casinos, appeared on 10th February.  Here's the link - do check it out. 

Henri's blog

The 'Writing Process' questions:

1) What am I working on?

It isn't easy to decide on a WIP as I have several 'in development'. Which means in various states of chaotic planning. All of them are romantic suspense. There's the heist book, and the trilogy set on a Welsh island, for which I'm world building. And a couple of what I refer to as 'treasure hunt' books. Eventually one of those will shove the others out of the way and demand to be written, but until then, I'm at the research and staring into space part of the process. The WIP which I hope will be the next to be published is a novella and a little different from what I usually write as it's more of a romantic comedy than a romantic suspense. Funnily enough, it also features a casino - the one in San Remo, on the Italian Riviera.  It's a book I actually wrote some time ago, and it has taken a while to revamp it as I have learned a lot about writing and about the editing process since it was first completed.  It's nearly done - a final polish and it will be off to the Choc-lit Tasting Panel. Fingers crossed that they will like it. Before then there will be a short story as part of the Choc-lit anthology. Then it will be back to the romantic suspense. I fancy one of the treasure hunts at the moment, but I can be terribly fickle.  

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Romantic suspense is not a well know genre in the UK. It's much better known in the States, so that makes my books a little different from the outset. It's a mix of thriller and romance where both elements get an equal share of the action. My books are set primarily in Europe, so that makes them different too, as most are set in America.

3) Why do I write what I do?
I experimented for a long time with a variety of different genres before I discovered the one I wanted to write, by way of reading some of the big American names, like Nora Roberts and Karen Rose. There are many, many novels and part novels in my filing cabinets. There are are years of work, sitting out there in the hall. Most of it is probably unpublishable, but I learned something from every manuscript, not least about what interested me as a writer.  It's just a pity that it took me such a long time to cotton on. But maybe it isn't - you're always learning, whatever you write. All my efforts at writing had a crime in them, even my enormous World War Two family saga, which featured a serial killer roaming the South Wales docks in the blackout. Gradually it dawned on me that I liked writing crime, but I still wanted the positive resolution that you get at the end of a romance. When I finally discovered the romantic suspense genre, I felt that I had come home. 

4) How does my writing process work?
As I've mentioned, I do a great deal of mental planning, before I start to write. I also doodle lists and plot points and time lines (I love time lines) on bits of paper - a process I have discovered has the posh name of mind mapping. I've always worked that way, ever since writing essays in school, reports at work and so on. I thought it was just me, messing about, doodling lists on bits of paper, with arrows round them ...

That's it from me. 

I'm passing the questions to Dave Sivers - who writes crime and fantasy novels and who I first met when we both attend the fabulous Crimefest in Bristol. I have Dave's  very successful police procedural The Scars Beneath the Soul in my TBR pile - if you can have one of those on a Kindle. So many books, so little time.

Dave introduces himself below.

Dave Sivers has been writing since primary school, and he spent much of his civil service career moonlighting as a freelance writer, to say nothing of spells as a bookmaker’s clerk and nightclub bouncer.  When he gave up the day job, he was able to devote more time to his writing.  Dave published his first contemporary crime novel, The Scars Beneath the Soul, set in Buckinghamshire and featuring detectives Archer and Baines, as a Kindle eBook in May 2013.  He has been delighted to see it feature in the top 20 in Amazon’s 'serial killers' bestseller list and is currently working on a sequel.  His other books include two hybrid 'crime fantasy' novels featuring the personal inquisitor Lowmar Dashiel

His blog link is 

 and he will be talking about his writing process there on Monday 24th February. 

Wednesday 12 February 2014

In a change from our usual programme ...

It's Valentine's day this Friday. I think you've probably noticed, with all the hearts and flowers in the shops. As writers of romance, the Choc-lit authors sometimes get a bit carried away on such a red letter day. To celebrate this year, we're doing a round robin story - that's like a game of consequences where one author writes a bit and then passes it on to the next. It started on Monday and will go on until Friday. Today it's Sue and tomorrow its me! So, to see what I've come up with, hop over to Chloe's Chick Lit Reviews
and then follow the story to the conclusion with Isabelle on Book Girl of Mur-y- Castell.

And talking of hops - I've been persuaded to take part in the My Writing Progress blog hop, where authors answer questions about their WIP. It takes place on a Monday, so next week's post will be on Monday 17th February. Drop in and see what I've chosen to talk about. I need to decide what exactly is my WIP by then.

Monday 10 February 2014

A Robin for Valentine's day?

It probably hasn't escaped your notice that it's Valentine's day on Friday. And the authors of Choc-lit write romance - so, what did we do to celebrate?
The answer is a Robin. A round Robin - in which five of us formed a chain to write a story which will be appearing in instalments on some great book blogger sites every day this week. I'm told there will be questions and a give away too.
It's fun and a bit scary to get an e-mail with the other segments and then have to write your piece. I'm day 4 - and I have to thank Janet, Kathryn and Sue for setting up a smashing story for me to follow. When I saw it I decided it was my job to create the villain of the piece ... it's what I do, after all.
Here is the line up for the week.

Day 1 Monday

Day 2 Tuesday

Day 3 Wednesday

Day 4 Thursday

Day 5 Friday

And if that's not enough there is currently a goodie give away on Shaz's blog

And a whole list of Choc-lit books on Kindle special promo from Amazon - including Out of Sight Out of Mind.

Have a fun Valentine week.

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Waiting for the gas man

That's what I'm doing this morning. It's not as boring as it might be, because I'm talking to you, but still a chore to be got through. But - there are people who will do that for you - you have to hire them, of course, and I think it's probably a bit beyond my budget at the moment. But it hasn't stopped me writing about one. I wanted a heroine with a job that would take her into all sorts of different situations - for reasons of the plot. And so Cassie, who runs her own concierge service, was born. A concierge service is one that gets you things - like tickets for sold-out shows - does things - like waiting in for deliveries or collecting dry cleaning - or organises things - like house hunting and dinner parties. Cassie gets asked to do a job that doesn't appear on her usual list, which lands her on the Italian Riviera with an extremely hot guy. I'm sure real life concierge services don't have that happening too often, but hey - I'm a writer - I invent things.

The book is a novella and the current WIP. It's been a WIP for quite a while as it's a manuscript that I'd completed and put away when I didn't find it a good home. I've been rewriting and revising it and it's finally almost finished. It's just getting its final polish. Once that's done it will be going off to Choc-lit. If the Choc-lit tasting panel gives it the thumbs up, I hope it will be out as an e-book novella some time later this year. As it's something I did a while ago, it's a bit different from what I'm writing now. It's more of a rom/com, although it does have a crime in it and a mystery. It was fun to write and I still thought it was fun when I found it in the drawer and re-read it, and I've enjoyed revising it, putting in all the things I've learned about writing in the meantime. Fingers crossed the panel will like it too. In the meantime, I'm still waiting for the gas man.

Hang on, is that the door bell ...