Award winning outback romance
Excited to announce that Little Girl Lost has won the Epic Romantic Novel of the Year Award. I am thrilled. Thank you to the RNA for this honour.

Writing

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An evening to remember

Candles, chandeliers and books -what a fabulous atmosphere.

Last night the Romantic Novelists Association held their Romantic Novel of the Year Awards Ceremony. This is a glittering evening of canapés and bubbles in the wonderful Gladstone Library in Whitehall Place.

It was particularly special for me this year, because my book Little Girl Lost was shortlisted for the Epic Romantic Novel of the year – a category that includes books with a central romance at the heart, but that cover broader issues and themes as well.

To cut a long story short – I WON!!!! Continue reading

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Avec diverse alarums

I got there early to avoid the crowds. Well, it was a good idea

This week for me has been about diversity… and the many different ways we express our individuality.

The reason – books and knitting. To explain.

I was looking forward to the Knitting and Stitching Show at London Olympia – the exhibition space and convention centre in Kensington. It’s huge. I had forgotten just how big it is. It’s the site of the Great British Beer Festival, webmaster John’s birthday treat most years. It’s also the site of this month’s London Book Fair.

There were people everywhere and I noticed two things. A lot of people seemed to have been hurt in some accident. And there were a lot of people wearing black T-shirts and carrying guitars. Then there was the clothing rail with what seemed like a million yards of white tulle and silk emerging from the dress bags. Continue reading

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Plot with dialogue

The blog is on tour this week. You can find me over at the Take Five Authors blog – where I am talking about the way we plot.

At a workshop last weekend, I was fascinated by the idea of using dialogue to plot. For someone who doesn’t like to plot (that’s me) it seems like a great idea – thank you Sophie Weston.

I also talk about some of my favourite movie moments – where dialogue is everything. And there’s a picture of Marlon Brando. Here’s another one – just to get you in the mood… then head over to Take Five Authors.

A Streetcar Named Desire is not my favourite Brando film – but he certainly rocked that T-shirt!

 

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A writing hero

I confess, I had a bit of a fan-girl moment. I love Gaiman’s writing.

You know those moments when you finally get to… not exactly meet but spend time listening to someone you have really admired for a long time. One of two things will happen. Either you’ll be disappointed, or you’ll fall in love.

And isn’t it the best thing in the world when it’s the latter?

This week, I had a major fan-girl moment. I had a front row seat at the Royal Festival Hall to hear the amazing Neil Gaiman talk about his work in general and in particular his latest book – Norse Mythology. This book is a retelling of the classic Norse myths in Gaiman’s own unique voice.

Not only is he a great writer – he is a pretty fabulous reader too.

The evening started with him reading one of the stories from the book. It involved the Mighty Thor and his hammer, Loki , a giant ogre and a wedding. Continue reading

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The perfect man…

I have gone visiting this weekend over on the Take Five Authors blog – where I am talking about making a perfect man..

Do we really want a perfect hero – or are his imperfections what make us really love him?

Pop over to Take Five Authors for more…..

Here’s a hint at the type of imperfect hero I am talking about.

 

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Reading between the frames

If you haven’t seen this – it really is worth a look.

I read a film last night.

I know what you are thinking – and yes, I watched it too. In fact I did both. At the same time.  And it was quite an eye opener.

The film was A Few Good Men – which of course features an absolutely brilliant performance by Jack Nicholson. A fine Keifer Sutherland performance too. Not to mention Kevin Bacon. And a young Tom Cruise doesn’t do too badly either.

The reason I watched it was none of the above – it was all about the writing. Continue reading

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Driving in the Outback

You don't have a lot of options on outback roads.

You don’t have a lot of options on outback roads.

When I first came to live in England, one of the things that amazed me was all the conversation about roads – or more precisely routes.

I’d listen to people saying – ‘The M3 was jammed so I exited at the A30 and came via the B389…..’

This doesn’t happen in the outback of Australia.

We don’t give all our roads numbers in the same way. But more importantly, a lot of the time there is only one road that leads from A to B. In the towns, of course, there are options, but where I learned to drive there was only ever one road that went where I wanted to go, and it was flat and pretty much straight, owning to a lack of rivers and hills. And as often as not, it was a dirt road as well. Continue reading

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Mail can be so exciting

They are so pretty.

They are so pretty.

 

It’s been an exciting week – mostly postage related.

It started when the nice parcel delivery man knocked on the door to give me a big brown cardboard box. It contained my paperback copies of Little Girl Lost.

The paperback is officially released this month. It’s lovely to have a copy to pat. And no, patting a book is not strange behaviour – every writer does it. So too do a lot of readers.

But there was most postage based excitement the very next day… Continue reading

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Like sand and glue

A young Bob Dylan singing protest songs at a rally in the US.

A young Bob Dylan singing protest songs at a rally in the US.

A little while ago, Bob Dylan was award the Nobel Prize in Literature – the first songwriter ever to receive the award. I found this really interesting for two reasons…

Firstly that some people should question that a songwriter should be given an award for literature.

And secondly – why hasn’t it happened before?

Personally – I am a Dylan fan. I’ve seen him in concert a couple of times. I love his early acoustic roots and songs like Blowing in the Wind – but I am also a fan of his electric side.

He really does know how to write a song! His music might not appeal to everyone. David Bowie got it pretty right when he wrote about ‘a strange young man called Dylan – with a voice like sand and glue.’

Dylan’s rough and scratchy voice might not appeal to the purists or to opera lovers. But sand and glue is exactly what his songs are….. Continue reading

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A sudden need for a trophy shelf

Thanks so much to the Book Buyers Best Award organisers and judges.

Thanks so much to the Book Buyers Best Award organisers and judges.

Don’t you hate it when someone’s phone goes off at a really inopportune moment. Like during a film, or a live performance. That’s why I always turn mine off, or to vibrate. Last Sunday I was at a folk club, listening to some really good music, when the phone started to vibrate in my pocket. I quickly looked at it, which is something I don’t normally do, but I was waiting for some news.

Then I had to rapidly leave the room. I had to get outside so I could jump up and down and make excited high-pitched noises without disturbing the performance. Because, you see, The Wild One has just won not one, but two awards!

If ever jumping up and down and squealing were needed, this was that moment, because I was having both author excitement and fan girl excitement.

Let me explain. Continue reading

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Writing retreats 2017 - Intensive tutor-led retreats with Janet Gover and Alison May
Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild OneColorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild One
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