Wednesday 25 March 2015

With Villainous Intent

If you ask authors about writing villains a lot of us will say 'I LOVE writing villains.' Then possibly we will back  off a bit, and start to hedge, in case YOU start to back away.

But it's true. I don't know why - generally nice and relatively law abiding people like to get their teeth into something villainous - strictly on the page of course. Psychiatrists, or psychologists or whatever would probably have a theory, but most of us don't go there. We just carry on writing them and having fun.

Forgive us, please.

And admit it too, you enjoy reading them.

Right, that's established us all as guilty parties. A conspiracy of villainy. Like the general enthusiasm for reading crime fiction, we enjoy on the page what would be horrible to encounter in real life.  

At the moment, in the WIVSP - Work In Very Slow Progress I have two villains. One I want the reader to feel sorry for and the other who is a monster. The 'sorry for' one has just made an appearance in the MS. The monster I am working on. Will I be able to manage the contrast? I hope so. The 'sorry for' one is interesting to tackle as what he has done is terrible, yet writing him is very sad. And the monster? I'm expecting him to be a lot of fun.

But maybe I shouldn't say that.

Wednesday 18 March 2015

It's the little things ...

Well, that didn't last long. Last week I spoke about dealing with Life, so I could write. And of course the very next day Life got its own back and dropped a brick on my poor little plans, flattening them with a loud squish.

So - back to trying to stuff a quart into a pint pot, time wise. Here discretion applies. If it's not on fire, it can probably wait. Or get combined with some other activity - which is why all that approaches being a meal in my fridge is a tub of Greek yogurt and on Saturday I was on an evening train, attempting to trace a logic flaw in what is trying to be the WIP, surrounded by jubilant rugby fans.

But - I'd reached the conclusion some while ago that it's often the little things that eat up the time. Putting shopping away, sorting the recycling, folding washing - and don't get me started on pairing socks! All things that have to be done if you are to avoid climbing over piles of 'stuff', but which don't amount to a really satisfying job - they nibble away at ten minutes here and there and before you know it an hour has gone and you don't really know where.

Heroines in books don't seem to have those problems. Or maybe that's just the kind of books I write? Maybe other people have chapters full of folding washing?

In the books of the moment the heroine of the novella runs a concierge service, so spends her time arranging for other peoples' chores and errands to be done, and when she gets swept off to the Riviera by the hero he is as rich as Croesus and they have staff.  The book that is trying to be the the Work in Progress has a heroine who is part of a team of international wedding planners and who lives mostly out of a suitcase.

I'm wondering if there is some deep psychological thing going on here, not unrelated to my aversion to pairing socks? Subconscious? Wish fulfilment?

Maybe in the next book I'll have a chapter where the heroine does nothing but small chores.

But how to make that exciting?

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Where's the new book then?

I love writing. I'm at my happiest when I'm working on a book. Unfortunately there are other things in my life that also demand attention and lately Life has been intruding, Big Time. Which is why there has not been a new book from me for two years. I know that I've talked a lot about ideas - books that I want to write, but none of them has made it yet to anything more than the scribbled note stage. There's a novella in the works - and I know that I've talked about that too, but it really is happening, folks. It's got a bit gummed up along the way as well, but it is now in the throes of editing and covers and titles are on the horizon, so it is happening. Really.

But - it's not the romantic suspense that I usually write. It's more of a romantic comedy - crime, but no dead bodies and no bloodshed - at least, there is a little bit of bloodshed in that scene by the swimming pool ...

It's fluffy sort of stuff - a summer holiday read - and will be coming out in e-book, when it finally arrives. I had fun with it and I hope readers will too.

And, the big news is  - having been able to re-organise some of that other Big Stuff that takes my time, I am working on a new romantic suspense. I'm enjoying it and it is growing slowly. I've got six bodies so far. Will I be able to keep at it before I get sandbagged by Life again? Who knows. But I am trying.

And I will keep you posted about the novella - it's quite a longish novella - 50,000+ words, and it's set on the French and Italian Riviera. And it has a billionaire hero. No, not that sort of billionaire. And a heroine who is not at all impressed ... It was fun to write and I'm told it is a fast read.

And I will do my best with the new romantic suspense, honest.

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Two faces of romantic suspense. With contests!

As everyone knows, the romantic suspense author gets to hang out with the crime writers and the romantics. This month I'm proving it by taking part in two month-long events that have contests with great give aways. 

The Thriller side is taking part in the Homicides of March. European members of the International Thriller Writers are giving away 41 books to one lucky winner. I'm told that if you encourage friends to enter too you get extra points and more chances to win. Some great books in there. Think how good they would look on your bookshelf!  You can see the details here
The Homicides of March

The other event, with my romance hat on, is the Romance Reviews 4th Anniversary Party. Lots of book give-aways, and an overall prize of a gift certificate. There is a Q&A and you have to register on the site, but I am assured that it is easy - and free. My question, and a copy of Never Coming Home, will be appearing on 28th March, but there are events and books available throughout the month. Over 300 romance writers are involved, so plenty of prizes. More information here.
The Romance Review contest

Good luck!!