Wednesday 24 September 2014

One lovely blog?

I've been nominated for this by fellow Welsh author Jan Baynham
whose blog about her writing journey can be found here

Apparently I have to tell you stuff about myself and then suggest some other blogs. Not unlike the thing I did for Facebook a few weeks ago,

I'm not sure how many more secrets I have to reveal  - as you know, I love secrets and I think I need to keep a few to myself.

But there are a couple of things I can say.

I currently have five jasmine plants in pots in my garden - the stuff seems to grow like weeds, but smells heavenly in the summer.

The first public reading from any of my books was in this place - impressive, huh?

My favourite writing spot is the corner of the dining room, overlooking the garden - back to the jasmine again!
I have a bit of a thing for Cardiff Castle and am attempting to work it into a Xmas novella. Next Xmas, not this one :) It may turn out to be a novella written in real time. On the other hand it may not turn out at all :)

Talking about novellas - I'm about to start the edits for one. It's a bit different from what I usually write - much lighter. I had fun writing it. It will be out as an e-book in the new year.

Some suggestions of other blogs? Fellow Choclit authors Jane Lovering and Chris Stovell blog regularly - and of course there's Choclit's own blog, where you can find posts written by all the Choclit authors.
Jane - From Behind the Keyboard
Chris - Home Thoughts Weekly
ChocLit Corner

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Inspiring images?

Writers get their inspiration from a lot of different places. The theatre is one of mine. I'm not usually a fan of musicals - I prefer plays - frequently ones where the playwright has been dead for several centuries.

There is a particular image, though, connected to a musical, that has a distinct attraction - a poster that was used to publicise the show, The Bodyguard.  I've not actually seen a performance, though maybe I'll be able to rectify that as I gather it will be touring next year and coming to Cardiff, but the poster image always made me stop and look. Often in inconvenient places, like narrow corridors in the tube!

What is the fascination? It just seem to sum up for me the heroes I like to create - a protective alpha taking care of the woman he loves. Strong, romantic, glamorous, dangerous ...

Inspiration - it comes from many places - images, words, atmosphere, location, a song, a piece of poetry.

This is just one of mine.

Wednesday 10 September 2014

That's for me to know ...

... and you to find out.

In other words - it's a secret.
And the definition of a secret is something along the lines of 'not generally known', 'hidden', 'concealed'  ...

Why am I musing on secrets this week? Well, that's for me to know ...

Hah! Isn't that where we came in?

I've been pondering all the things people don't know, ever since my friend Barbara Longley tagged me on Facebook to divulge five things no one knows about me. If you want to check out my choices, they're reproduced below and are on my Facebook page. If you go over there you'll find some other lovely lists from the five Choc-lit authors I tagged in turn,

1) I fell in love with William Shakespeare at the age of four.
2) My favourite painter is John William Waterhouse.
3) I crossed the Atlantic in the original Queen Elizabeth (both ways).
4) I've been a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, off and on, since 1988.
5) My favourite houseplants are orchids. 

Of course making the list required some thought - which is when I reached the conclusion that whatever I included, the items would be 'Things not many people know' rather than 'Things no-one knows'. Everything on the list is known by at least one other person, or can be inferred from observation. (Touch of the Sherlock's there.)

Think about it. Unless you are alone when the event (if it is an event) happens, then there is always someone who knows. And even if you are alone, there may still be ways of someone finding out, because of any subsequent consequences.

A secret is really only a secret when it's not known to the circle of people you are with. Which means there is always the possibility of being found out.

Secrets are wonderful things to a writer. All my characters have them. Gradually making them known is what the story is all about.  

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Sightseeing – writers do it their own way.

At least, this writer does. As you probably already know, I’ve not long returned from a trip to New York.  While I was there, I visited the sights and took pictures. But not exactly the conventional tourist stuff.

I started out OK, with pictures of the New York Library, a beautiful building just down the street from the Thrillerfest convention hotel. It reminded me of the buildings of the Civic Center in Cardiff - lots of white columns and statues.
The lions of the New York Library

So far, so good. When I ventured inside I was probably the only person who was wondering where I’d stash the dead body (I hope I was, unless there was another crime writer on the premises) but no one else knew that, so I could keep my quirks to myself.

After that – well, I took pictures, but not of the things tourists are supposed to take pictures of. If I want to study a shot of the Empire State Building I can always find that on line – but street signs, yellow cabs, police vehicles? Maybe, but now I don’t have to worry. If I need it, I have my own photo library of ‘interesting’ stuff. Like the way the buildings tower when you look up from the street - and the perpetual scaffolding that seems to cover half the city.

Skyscraper canyon

Possibly my crowning achievement is a snap of the entrance to a parking garage. Not in the top ten tourist sites to be sure, but for the writer of romantic suspense? My hero/heroine are just as likely to be
So- I'm strange. I'm a writer. 
running for their lives, or their car, diving into a garage on the streets of Manhattan,  as they are admiring the view of the Statue of Liberty. Possibly more likely. And now I have the picture to show me exactly what I should be describing.
Writers look at things differently.

 Or is that just me, then?