Archive | April, 2012

Extract From The New Book; The Angel Girls

23 Apr

Here is a short extract from the first chapter of the new book. Please note that this has not been edited yet, and may be subject to change in the final draught.

Carrie Miller had been shocked the first time her Tommy had hit her.
Not her darling Tommy!
They had been together since their school days and had got married on her birthday, in June 1943. They had always had a volatile relationship, but in the beginning it was Tommy’s fiery personality that Carrie had found exciting. Tommy had a short temper, but he had never been violent. Not towards her, anyway.She had seen him have a few fights with other boys at school, and he often clashed with his brothers, but he was always protective towards her, and had always treated her well.She had felt safe with Tommy by her side. She thought he would always protect her. When they had argued, they had always made up over a kiss and a cuddle…
Carrie had sat, shocked and sobbing on the kitchen floor. She had expected Tommy to at least come and help her up,apologise even, and say he hadn’t meant it, that it would never happen again. If he had,she was sure she would have forgiven him, believed him. Maybe they could even have made it up in bed, or with a kiss and a cuddle, just like they used to.
Instead, she heard the front door slam, and he left her there, alone with the screaming baby.


But…There Are No More Words Inside My Head!

22 Apr

If you are an aspiring writer, or even if you have been writing and hopefully, publishing your work for many years, you will I’m sure have had the dreaded writers block or “There are no more words inside my head” moment. I have lost count of the times it has happened to me. How would I advise anyone when it happens? well, first of all, don’t panic! second, go and make yourself a nice cup of tea, coffee, or whatever, make yourself comfy again and write. Yes, that’s what I said, write. The best way to overcome writer’s block is to write. Before you swear at your computer, and think I am talking out of my generously proportioned backside, hold on a cotton picking minute.
I am not telling you to write a work of such phenomenally talented witty prose that Oscar Wilde would be writhing in his grave with sheer envy. You can write complete and utter tosh, so long as you DO WRITE SOMETHING! I read recently that you can always edit rubbish, but you can’t edit a blank page, and it really is true. I firmly believe that if you hit a blank spot, it is no good waiting for inspiration to strike. You have to carry on writing.
There are various little excersises you can try in order to get your creative juices going again. Try looking at a picture, or postcard, even a photograph in a newspaper, without reading the story that goes with it. Think about what you think is the story behind the image, then try and create your own little story about it and write it down.
You could start by writing along these lines; “The woman was wearing a blue dress.”
Then ask your self how does the dress look? Ok, try again; “The beautiful young woman with the flawless complexion and waist length corn coloured hair wore a floor length gown of turquoise blue. As she walked elegantly across the ballroom floor, the ripples of material seemed to lap the parquet flooring, like waves gently lapping against a sandy beach” ….get my drift? you can always embelish any sentence.
Sit down and begin to write. Have a break. Reread what you have written. Make changes. Make more changes.
I often get asked “How do you find things to write about?” and I tell them that I am a nosy parker! I listen to people, I eavesdrop on complete strangers conversations. It’s true, and, if you want to write, you should be doing it, too. Listen to folk chat at a bus stop, in a shop. Use the way they talk in your dialogue. Watch television series and soaps, read as many books as you can. When characters speak to each other, do their conversations ring true? are they believable? could you imagine YOUR friends etc speaking in that manner? does the conversation flow, or is it stilted, far fetched? ask yourselves these questions and remember it when you write your own character dialogue.
I hope this advise will help you. Please feel free to comment, or ask me any questions. I will try my best to reply.

That Tricky Second Novel

16 Apr

After I published my first book, Poppy Days I felt really elated. Finally, after all these years of dreaming, I actually saw my name on Amazon! it felt amazing, if a little unreal. Once I had come back down to earth (still not sure I have, fully) I started thinking about writing the next book. Then I had a moment of panic. What if I was out of idea’s?
I pondered over that for a couple of days, then I had a eureka moment. I was sitting in the back seat of the car,idly looking out of the window as we pelted along, when we passed rows of houses and blocks of flats beside the road. So many windows, so many lives, I thought. Then I thought about all the families behind those windows, each with a story to tell…that was it, I had the basis for my book. I would tell the fictional stories behind those windows.
I began writing as soon as I could, but it struck me that the second book is a lot trickier than the first. I did not have the same emotional attachment as I did with the first book, which made it easier because I had a certain amount of detachment, yet it was also much harder for the same reasons. How could I put in the emotions, the understanding, if I hadn’t had the experience? could I use my imagination well enough, did I have the skill I needed as a writer to pull it off?
I don’t want to create cardboard characters, I want them to be believable. To make the reader laugh or cry with them, love them or hate them. I want my readers to pick up my story and not be able to put it down. In short, I want my readers to care about my characters as much as I do.
Yes, it is tricky, but it is a challenge I am thoroughly enjoying. The second book, The Angel Girls is still a work in progress. I am very passionate about it. I hope I can achieve what I set out to do, because the third book, well, THAT will be an absolute corker……

How Poppy Days Was Born

15 Apr

I actually began writing the novel that became Poppy Days way back in the 1990’s, as a kind of therapy. It began life with a different title, and a very different plot line. It sort of developed a life of it’s own, and evolved over time! I kept threatening to publish it, but in truth it became so personal to me, that I was too reluctant to part with it, and I kept it hidden for several years.I didn’t think It was ready to meet the public anyway! Then, four years ago something life changing happened to me. I had a mild stroke and had to give up work. I had worked on and off for twenty five years with special needs children. All of a sudden, I had many hours to kill at home, and became incredibly depressed. Each new day would fill me with dread.Far from feeling grateful that I was still alive and kicking, I was actually resentful that I still had a pulse, and felt useless. Eventually, I gave myself a darned good talking to, and racked my brains for things I could do to keep my mind active. I had always loved writing, it had always been very therapeutic for me, and I still had many ghosts from my past to exorcise. So, out came the novel that I had started, and thought I would never finish. I had to reincarnate it somewhat. Re reading it again after such a long time showed up all the errors and bad habits I had picked up. It needed a radical facelift. As I began writing again, a curious transformation came about. I began looking forward to the days again. I people watched, looking at mannerisms and little snippets of conversations that made me smile and wrote it all down. I delved into my memory and included bits from my own life. Eventually I had a complete story. I had to let it go, fly the nest and wave it on its way into the ether….it’s out there, now. I hope with all my heart that those that read it will enjoy it. It took a lot of blood sweat and many tears to create it. But for me, it’s onwards and upwards. Here’s to the new book I’m currently working on. More about that in a later blog. 

Hello world!

15 Apr

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