Current WIP…

Now that The Marked Lord is out there and done, a friend called me to ask what I was working on now, or if I would write anything else.

The truth is, I’m always writing something.

I keep to a pretty intense writing schedule (if I don’t I find it very hard to get the words flowing again) and try to churn out 10,000 words a week (term time only, because I’m a Mum and I actually do like to see my children from time to time).

So, from 10-12 Monday to Friday I write without stopping. And then when my kids are in bed I write again, from around 9pm-midnight.

10,000 words sounds crazy on paper, but please remember that of those 10,000 words, around fifty percent will eventually be unusable, or require copious amounts of editing to resemble anything close to good English.

I’m also a multi-writer, which means I tend to have 3-4 works on the go constantly. I like multi-writing, it means whenever I’m not feeling one story I simply delve back into another. And then after a few days I’ll go back to the other story, remembering why I love it.

I’m also a sucker for tropes. Arranged marriage trope? Sign me up. Guardian-ward relationship? More please. Marriage of convenience? I’ll eat that trope for breakfast. Secret baby? Lock the doors and turn down the lights, because that trope gets me every time.

So when I start plotting a new story, I go through my list of tropes and find the one that appeals the most at that point. So right now, I have four different stories on the go. One is a ‘reunion romance’ (because I adore Jane Austen’s Persuasion and love writing stories where a couple who are clearly so right for each other get it horribly wrong, before finally getting it right- what can I say? I like to break hearts before putting them back together again). The second is a regency caper, because historical romance is my favourite, my one true love, and I’m always writing something set in the past. The third is a psychological romance, where I’m not even sure what’s going to happen, and sometimes, what’s even going on. While the last is a sweet novella about love at first sight, which has been an absolute joy to write.

I’m tidying up the novella to send to my editor next month, and I’m hoping the regency will be ready in January. After that? I’m leaning towards a marriage of convenience novel, simply because I’ve never attempted one before. I’ve read plenty, but never actually had the courage to start one- as a person who is generally crippled with low self-confidence (I’m the kind of girl who never felt pretty enough, clever enough, or outgoing enough) I would read the great romance novels of the past and feel like my words always came up short. But with the support of my husband and friends, I’ve been pushing myself recently to try those things I never thought I could. And I really, really want to write a marriage of convenience novel.

But I’m going to update this blog weekly from now on, so my WIP word count might drop. But any writing, whatever the subject matter, is good for an author. And my WIP word count for 2018 is standing so far at 265,986 words, a number I’m very happy with.

I’m off to the RNA Winter Party on Wednesday so hopefully I’ll be back on Thursday with some pictures to share and stories to tell!

Until then, happy writing.

 

Cover Reveal Day…

I don’t know which I find more exciting. That lovely feeling you get when there is an acceptance letter in your inbox, which I can only describe as being almost like a shiver running down your spine before you get that kick of adrenaline in your stomach, or seeing the front cover of your book for the very first time.

Both moments are special, to be honest. Both moments are wonderful. But for me, seeing my book in its actual book form, instead of just as a word document I’ve laughed and cried over for nearly a year, is pretty amazing. Suddenly, with a cover and an ISBN number and that lovely copyright page with my name on it… suddenly, my book seems more real. Suddenly, it seems like a book in the flesh, rather than just the book in my mind.

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I have to say, I love the cover that was chosen for my book (thankfully I don’t have to choose the cover or the title of the novel- writing it was hard enough without that stress to add to it). It’s dark and atmospheric and harks back to the romance paperbacks I consumed in my teenage years. But more than that, I love the fact that the couple on the cover aren’t caught in an embrace or a moment of passion. They stand away from each other, as they do in the beginning of the book. This cover is just as I pictured Sophy and Fitz in an early scene of the novel, before they start on the path to falling in love. I adore it. I even love the fact that Sophy has been dressed in blue, which is my favourite colour, and one I wear often.

So there’s something spectacular about seeing this cover for me, in knowing something that was only in my head has been captured and bound in this image. And I’m so glad I get to share it with you.

(author logs off, begins internet search for a replica of the dress on the cover with matching sash).

Baby steps…

Here it is. My long promised blog site.

And yes, I know.

It’s somewhat… delayed.

I do have reasons for this, my own ineptitude where ‘website design’ is concerned being the primary. Strange how I can shop brilliantly on the internet while discussing Star Wars meta and feminist issues on Twitter, all the while uploading images to Instagram, and yet the thought of actually having my own website leaves me terrified. I thought I was technology savvy, but there you go. Even now I’m sitting here with my grape smoothie (I’m in the café of my gym wearing yoga leggings, yet to decide if I will actually be doing any yoga today) wondering if I am getting this right.

And then there are the secondary reasons for this delay, the things I will simply list under a wide heading of ‘life’. My children, my work, my obligations, and the desire to be more than a passing acquaintance to my husband. You know what I mean. ‘Life’.

When I was younger, I had this image in my mind of what being an author would be. I always wanted to be a romance novelist, and even now, if I sit down to write something ‘non-romantic’ a love story will creep in anyway. So I thought I would be like Barbara Cartland, dressed head to toe in baby-pink and sipping a chilled white wine while writing at my desk, my handwriting a beautiful cursive.

Well, I’m no Barbara Cartland, and my handwriting is a terrible scrawl that even my son’s year 2 teacher frowns at. I tend to write in long stretches either very early in the morning or late at night, typing furiously on my laptop, surrounded by either piles of washing or children’s toys or school projects. Sometimes I’ll write with a child under the crook of one arm, while Teen Titans Go! or Scooby-Doo or Frozen or Little Einstein’s plays in the background. I’ll have a mug of lukewarm decaf coffee or Liquorice Tea in hand, because I’m not a great drinker, and can only have one or two glasses before I feel fuzzy-headed and lose all productivity.

So I’m not the image of what I thought an author would be. And one night, while I was lamenting this fact, one of my friends reminded me that no one really knows what a romance ‘author’ looks like because there is no definitive image of one. Cartland, Hibbert, Muskett, Quinn, Laurens, Mathers, McNaught and all the other great names of romance were or are very different people with very different lives.

So this blog, I hope, will let you see a little of mine.

I’m hoping to share something fairly lovely with you all tomorrow… so hope to see you then.

 

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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