“The Next Big Thing”

15 Sep

I have been tagged by the fabulous author Sheryl Browne to take part in “The next big thing” and answer ten questions about my latest work in progress. Thank you for including me. Here goes!

What is the working title of your next book?

At the moment the working title is Barking Mad. It is a story about a couple who quit life in London, escape to the country and adopt animals who need loving homes. In particular a Newfoundland dog, who becomes something of a hero as the story unfolds.

Where did the idea come from?

I have always dreamt of having a place in the country where I could have as many animals as I wanted. I love animals, and I am passionate about dogs in particular. So is my sister, and her daughter. They have Newfoundland dogs. They belong to a Water Group where the dogs train to do water rescue work, and watching them do displays and training is awe inspiring. During the summer months both families join forces with other Newfoundland owners.They travel up and down Great Britain putting on displays of what the dogs are capable of. The dogs are incredibly strong and have thick water proof coats and webbed feet, and they love being in the water. It is amazing seeing them in action.They inspired me to write this story.

What genre does your book fall under?

I suppose if I had to pigeon hole my books I would say feminine literature. I hate the term “chick lit” as it always sounds vaguely insulting. I touch on some pretty serious subjects in my work, but I like to inject a bit of romance and plenty of humour too so it seems to appeal to women who can relate to the situations I place my characters in to.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I have thought about this question long and hard. For me there is only one actor I would love to see play the part of my male romantic protagonist. That is Michael Praed who I have been madly in love with since he played the part of Robin Hood in Robin of Sherwood back in the 1980’s. He is every thing a a male heart throb should be. Tall dark, handsome… eyes to dive into, and very beautiful hands with long sensitive fingers… oh..er…is it me, or has it suddenly got very hot in here?  maybe at a push I would have Brad Pitt play the part of the dog…. (or I could just be joking)

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

A couple find a whole new world and unlock a thirty year mystery when they adopt a Newfoundland dog.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

My last two books were self published. I would be delighted if I could fire some enthusiasm from an agency, but I will probably self publish my next book too.

How long did it take you to write the first draught of the manuscript?

I am still working on the first draught! but it usually takes me about six months to do. As I am self published I don’t have dead lines but I do try to set myself a routine so I stay focused don’t get too distracted.

What other books would you compare this story to within the same genre?

I don’t like to compare myself to any one else, I wouldn’t be so bold. There are lots of other authors who’s work I greatly admire though, and would hope to aspire to. I have recently read Carole E Wyers Surfing in Stilleto’s and her work is beautifully crafted. I also greatly admire the writing style of Sheryl Browne. She makes her male protagonists sound so gorgeous, and so vulnerable too that the reader wants to jump right into the pages and give them a big hug. I want my readers to care about my characters as much as I do and I love it when I fall in love with a fictional character. As a writer if you can achieve that, you know you’ve cracked it.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

As I said earlier, my sister and her fabulous dogs inspired me. I also talk to some wonderful friends on facebook who also have dogs and Newfoundlands. I saw a short video of the dogs doing a demonstration of a sea rescue  and just thought, “WOW!” I have to include these beautiful animals in my next book.

What else about your book might pique the readers interest?

This is not just a book about very large water loving dogs! it is also a story about how the past catches up with you, a thirty year old mystery, tragedy and loss and learning to move on from the past.It tells the tale of how it is never too late to find your soul mate, rekindling old flames and restoring faith in human nature. Hopefully it will make the reader smile, laugh out loud and perhaps shed a tear or two. It will be available in 2013.


I hope you have enjoyed finding out about my latest work in progress. I have tagged the following fabulous famousfiveplus.com authors. Please drop by the famousfiveplus.com page to find out more about all of these authors and more. I can’t wait to read their blogs about their own ” next big thing! ”




http// http://www.carolinejamesauthor.blogspot.co.uk



Looking For Inspiration

4 Aug

Since joining the famousfiveplus.com group I have met, online, some wonderful writers and I am working my way through all of the varied books that are on offer. It set me thinking about what inspires authors to write. Why, for example do some authors choose historical periods, or science fiction? who have they met in their lives that inspired particular characters?
When I began writing my first book, Poppy Days, it started out as a journal, so most of the events actually happened and the characters were real people. I started writing with great gusto, but my momentum floundered after a while as real life events caught up with me. Like a lot of writers before me, my book lay half finished and forgotten about for many years. I thought I would never finish it. I doubted that I had what ever it takes to complete a whole book worthy of being published.
When I rediscovered it, after a very long time I thought, hmm, that is promising, but it needs a lot of work. If what’s his name read that, they would probably either sue or hire a hit man, so you better watch your step, lady! Well, okay, maybe not, but I was uncomfortable with what read like a diary entry from an irate adolescent. So I virtually re wrote the entire manuscript, using the germ of the original idea as my plot-line. I decided that if I was going to write a novel, I had to do it properly and finish it at last.
My second book however was an even bigger challenge. It was not drawn from any real life events. It might sound corny, but the idea came to me in a dream. I have heard many authors who say they dream plots. It is amazing how the mind works!
I am hoping for some sleep inspired inspiration for book three, that I have just begun writing. Perhaps I won’t include the bizarre dream I had last week, when I dreamt I went along to a book launch, and all the authors were quite literally book covers, with spindly little arms and legs…. but then again, maybe it might be fun!

I Am A Writer!

26 Jul

I was happily walking my two lovely dog’s this morning in the sunshine, and passed two ladies who I know to say hello to. Whenever they see me out with Alf and Dodger, my dogs, they always stop to give them a bit of fuss. Of course, now the dogs know free fuss is readily available, the poor women cannot walk on by without at least a pat or two.
As it was such a lovely day, none of us were in much of a hurry and we got chatting. One of the women asked me what I do, and reluctantly I replied, “I am a writer”
Why reluctantly? because even though I have now got two novels out there, I still feel like a bit of an imposter. I can’t quite get my head around it. Writing is something I have always wanted to do. In fact, it is all I have ever wanted to do, if I’m being honest. It never feels like a job, it never feels like work. Every word I write is written with love and passion. That might sound yucky, but it is true.
I have just joined the famousfiveplus.com author’s page and I am very proud to be included as one of the gang there. My photograph is up there, along side some of the most talented authors it has ever been my privilege to read. So much talent, it makes me feel very humble. To be included amongst them is very exciting for me.
I hope in time I will say “I am a writer” and not feel self conscious or an imposter. It has taken me a long time to get this far. I live in hope that one day I will stop having all these self doubts and start believing!
One final note… the very nice dog loving ladies I spoke to today have Kindles, and wrote down the details of my two books, Poppy Days and Angel Girls. Who knows, I might even have inadvertently drummed up a couple of sales.

Out In The Ether!

20 Jul

Well, I can only apologise for being away too long. I’m sorry, I’ve been neglecting you. I can only make one excuse really, I have been working hard to finish my latest novel, Angel Girls. I did it, it’s out there in the ether, sitting on the virtual Kindle shelf! I took the plunge and yesterday it was publish and be damned!
Wow, it has been a busy and worrying time. I wonder if every writer has the same evil little harpies as I do whispering in their ears? the insecurities that whisper that I’m only playing at this writing malarkey, that tell me I’m not good enough, that I couldn’t write a decent manuscript even if I became suddenly possessed with the spirit of Charles Dickens himself? well, enough of my insecurities. I had to get over my crisis, and give myself a damn good thrashing.
There comes a time when you have to stop clinging to your manuscript as if it was a life raft in a stormy ocean and let it go on out into the ether..
On the plus side, I feel I must say a few words about the tremendous support I have received from other authors. In particular I would like to thank the lovely Carol Wyer, author of Mini skirts and laughter lines. Carol is an extremely talented lady who is always ready to offer kind words of encouragement and help to any budding author.
Another lovely lady I have had the pleasure of speaking to is Sheryl Browne. I loved her new book, Somebody to love. She has also given me much encouragement and been kind enough to purchase my book Angel Girls on its first day of release.
I think all writers need a bit of positive feedback.It spurs us on and keeps us going when the harpies whisper in our ears. Recently I had the comment that all writers dream of. Someone said they had read my novel, Poppy Days. They never usually read, they said, but my book had been recommended to them. They couldn’t put it down and it has inspired them to carry on reading. That’s all I could ever hope for!
Well, it certainly shut the harpies up. At least for a little while…

Useful Sites for writers

8 May

I feel I have been a bit neglectful recently. I won’t bore you with excuses, that seems a bit insulting, but time flies when you’re writing! I have also been busy trying to promote my book Poppy Days and promoting is not as easy as it sounds. I have however, come across some excellent sites full of helpful information to help any writer on their way. They can help much more than I can on this blog, so here is the link. Do take a  look, you won’t regret it. Hop over to http.//www.writerstype.com   for information helpful advise and much more.

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.