writing

F is for…

 

Another day, another letter. Today, F is for…

 

 

Flirting…

Most of the time, flirting happens naturally. We see someone we’re attracted to, and try and get their attention and to get them to like us back. Sometimes, flirting can be quite calculated; a way to get attention transferred from someone else to yourself. But, this is very often noticed and ignored.

I really like writing flirting, particularly the awkward first meeting kind of flirting. In It Started in Texas, Charlotte and Gage bump into each other in a bar – literally. I really had fun writing their interaction. Usually, I worry when I’m writing dialogue that it reads as wooden and bland, but I never had that with this scene. It was flirty and awkward, plus they were seen by Charlotte’s friend which added something extra.

Whereas the flirting between Heidi and Shane was very different in The One That Got Away because of their history. It was more personal and catered to them specifically in trying to turn the other on – especially at the reunion. Both of them were saying things to get a reaction from the other, seeing how far they could go with it. That was fun to write too because it came across as a little naughty and pushing limits of flirting almost into foreplay.

The flirting in Mile High was different again, because it started off as an intense dislike on Tarryn’s side of the ‘relationship’, and it eventuually let to a very different place to anything else I’ve ever written.

Flirting can also be very embarrassing. I’m a voracious people watcher, and once watched a guy trying to flirt with a girl in a pub, and fail dismally.

So, in your comments, I’d love to hear about your flirting disasters!

E is for…

 

Day… I actually think I messed up yesterday, and now I’ve lost count. That sounds just like me. Let’s just get down to business…

 

 

Most people I know (and it’s common in books, films, TV show, etc), wen they have a relationship break up, there’s a lot of animosity between them, and their now, ex. I can understand if infidelity or some form of abuse is involved, that someone would want nothing to do with that ex, but what about those relationships that simply drifted apart?

I’m lucky. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen out with an ex, and am still in contact with some twenty years later, albeit, distant friends via the interwebz.

In books, there’s always that ‘I need to show my ex what s/he is missing’ and I sometime quite enjoy that, but when it’s been overdone, it can be very cliche. Second chance romance are some of my favourite books, and when I was writing The One That Got Away, I loved diving into the dynamics of a couple who already knew each other – sometimes intimately, finding one another again.

The word ‘ex’ doesn’t always need to equate to ‘enemy’, especially if a split isn’t acrimonious. An ex can still be a friend, someone with a shared history, even if you have gone down different paths later in life.

In the comments, I’d love to hear about your relationship with an ex, especially the positive ones.

D is for…

 

Day 4, and I’m still winging it on the day… So, shall we get started?

 

 

Dates… something I haven’t done in years considering myself and my partner have been together sine 2001. Even when we do get a rare night out, just the two of us, it’s not really a date, it’s us being able to be adults and not worry about getting up with the kids the next morning.

Everyone has a story about their best and worst date, especially in books. When I was writing Right Click, Love – which is all about dating, I read a lot of articles about bad first dates. I wanted Louise and Jodie to experience some Gd awful dates in their quest to find their ‘Mr Right’. While I was reading, some of the bad dates I read about made me laugh uncontrollably, while others actually made me sad. Why is it that people feel like they can treat someone they have never met like crap the first time they meet?

Every now and then, I post a short over on Wattpad. I follow a Romance account which often posts contests. I saw one for Valentine’s Day. Well, an ‘un-Valentine’s Day’. My short was about a first date that ended up in A&E (The Emergency Room for my non-UK readers).

Dates in books and movies tend to go from one extreme to the other. They’re either absolutely perfect, or downright terrible, but what about those dates that are a bit… bland? Why do they never get attention? Maybe I’ll write one in a book. Dates can be fun to write. The nerves, the build up, and the expectation are fun, but the date itself can be harder to write. It’s not easy to write and get across the awkwardness that so many people feel when the date is getting started.

So… in the comments tell me about a first date that sticks out in your mind, or any date. It can be good, bad, or meh.

C is for…

 

Day 3, and I’m already playing catch up. I suck at advance organisation!

 

 

 

I feel a bit guilty, because while I stole my A-Z list from Clare Dugmore, she’s also written about celebrity crushes today. Go check her post out!

When I do online interviews, one of the most common questions I’m asked is “Where do you get your inspiration from?” You can take this question a couple of ways – story ideas, setting, plot twists, even genre, but today I’m discussing the inspiration behind my characters – specifically, my male characters.

We all have celebrity crushes. Some we’re open about, and others are a guilty secret. I have a few, and none I bother getting embarrassed about anymore. I’m too old, and quite frankly, I don’t care anymore 🙂

 

Image result for jackson rathbone

 

Anyone who knows me, personally or online, knows about my… let’s call it a fascination… with Jackson Rathbone. Ever since I watched Twilight (and read the books), I was smitten with the character of Jasper Hale (I tend to have a thing for secondary characters).

When I wrote It Started in Texas, Jackson was Gage. Even now, when I read anything back, I can only ever picture Jackson. I’ve made no secret of that even though I know other readers see a different picture in their head.

 

 

Zac Levi – Super spy and thief – When I wrote The One That Got Away, it was originally a Twilight fanfiction. It was around 4,000 words long, and it was centered around the scene in the alleyway (If you haven’t read the book yet, don’t say I didn’t warn you), but when I decided I wanted to rework it, I needed to change up my characters, a lot. Zac was kinda in the back of my mind when I was writing about Shane. Not just his looks, but his proud nerdy side (Check out how nerdy Zac can get via Nerd HQ). I gave Shane the occupation I did to show that while he’s a lad’s lad, and a bit of a party boy, he can also be quite serious about stuff.

 

 

This is my latest celeb crush, and I already know he will be inspiring a male character soon. Not for how he looks, but as mentioned in my A is for… post on the 1st April, it’s his unique quirk.

 

 

I want a character with eyes like this – they may not be the same colour, but I WILL have a character with Sectoral Heterchromia. I doubt it’ll even be central to the plot of the story, but I can’t pass this up.

While my celeb crushes are varied (I haven’t mentioned the ones that are FAR too young for me), there is nearly always something about them that ends up in one of my books.

 

Image result for scarlett johansson avengers

 

My main celeb girl crush, and I’ll never attempt to write her as a character because she’s simply too gorgeous, is Scarlet Johanssen – particularly as Black Widow in the Marvel films. I simply couldn’t write a character as badass as Natasha Romanov, and that saddens me!

So… who’s your celeb crush? Leave a comment and I may admit the one I get judged about the most!

 

An Update on Me.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Nano2016 was another fail, but I beat my personal bet. I managed to write 42,483 words, this included finishing the WIP I had been working on – Girls and Boys, a novel set in 1990s London – and starting a novella linked to the novel. While I’m disappointed to not have ‘won’ at Nano yet again, I am so proud that I didn’t give up halfway through week one and I finished a first draft.

Since the end of November, I have had shorts released as part of boxsets. These sets were released by Papergold Publishing and if you check out the books page, you can find the buy links for them both. They are only available on Amazon as an ebook. I’ll share the covers and the blurbs for each of my shorts:

Mile High: Part of the Pleasure Me boxset – Erotica and steamy romance

When Taryn Caine was assigned a long haul flight on a private jet hired by Blazed, the hottest new band around, she never expected to end up screwing the lead vocalist, Max Reeves.

Max certainly rubbed Taryn up the wrong way from the moment he stepped foot on the jet, but can he rub her the ‘right’ way by the end of it?

milehigh

Cover Created as always by The Graphics Shed

I’m pleased to announce that this short has been picked up by Papergold Publishing as part of their new 18+ imprint Liquid Gold. I don’t have any details of release just yet, but as soon as I know, you’ll know.

While You Were Asleep: Part of The Winter Wishes boxset – heartwarming tales set during winter and around Christmas

When Jared Keating is admitted into hospital after being beaten up and left for dead, his family and friends wait for him to wake up. In the hopes he can hear them, they all spend a little time with him, recalling memories of good times with him, letting him know that they can’t live without him in their lives.

Anger and sadness overwhelm them when they come face to face with the reason Jared is in a coma, but they soon understand that no one is to blame other than his ruthless attackers.

Will he wake up? Will he still be ‘Jared’ if he does?

4bfae-15196058_1356002604433023_163235401427495849_o

Cover Created as always by The Graphics Shed

I shall probably be self publishing this once the boxset is dissolved, but I am undecided for now. Again, I’ll let people know once I decide.

Also, I have been confirmed as an author at an Hourglass event in 2018. It’s in March in Leeds. If you keep an eye on my events page, I’ll update details as and when I have them. I’m hoping to have a deposit paid for a 2nd event in 2018 in Birmingham, but that will have to wait until the new year as I need to pay for Christmas first… You may not have realised that I had to withdraw from the Titanic signing in Belfast. I’d looked through everything I had committed myself to and realised that I simply couldn’t afford it, so unfortunately I had to pull out. Hopefully, I’ll be able to attend as a reader and I wish everyone the best with it.

My plan for 2017 is to finish all the WIPs I have started. I would like to get them finished and edited so I can release as and when I am ready, keeping up a consistent release schedule. I have offered Papergold first refusal on anything new I release, but I will still be self publishing also. I’d like to have a good mix of indie and traditional works on the market.

Another thing I shall be working on improving, is sending out regular newsletters. If you’re interested, subscribe here.

So, I guess I best get writing and finish some more manuscripts.

#nano2016 – Day 23. I’m just getting started for the day.

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_participant

Day 23 – Forgive me readers for I have been too quiet. It has been a few days since my last update…

I have to admit. Nano2016 is knackering me out. I’m up til 11-12pm writing – which isn’t that late in the grand scheme of things, but it’s more draining staring at a computer than anything else. I have to admit, I’m so glad it’s almost over (just one more week) despite how proud I am of myself for not only sticking it out, but for being on target.

14725663_1792842960974245_7851603578638627987_n

Today’s word count: 0 I haven’t started writing yet – total for NaNo –37,734

Story word count: 61,880 – However, only 59,580 of those are for Girls and Boys. I finished that yesterday (Day 22) and I started writing an accompanying novella. I’m not spilling much about this book just yet, other than it’s going to be much more emotional than I first realised. If I don’t make you cry, you’re like me. Cold Hearted!

14925562_1199414763448341_640266655109632964_n

I’m about to get started for the day (after I make a fresh cup of tea) and I’m only 599 words away from today’s target, so I can take it a bit easy if I want. I’d like to hit at least 2k if possible, to get me ahead again, ready for the weekend.

14650204_1792124314379443_3021280929979772598_n

I’m hoping to have a few new teasers for you b the end of the day. I just hope you’ve been enjoying them as much as I have!

 

 

 

15137675_1806517676273440_3783752807957234872_o

If you are writing during Nano… may the odds be ever in your favour and I wish many words fall from your fingertips!

#nano2016 – Day 18. Getting There Slowly.

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_participant

Day 16 – I haven’t updated in a while. There’s a couple of excuses I could give, but mostly I’ve been writing until late at night, then I go to bed and crash out. Simple as that. I can’t remember the daily totals for the days I’ve missed, but I do have some handwritten teasers…

14725663_1792842960974245_7851603578638627987_n

Today’s word count: 851 (so far) – total for NaNo –29,380

Story word count: 53,526 – I do believe I have a problem though. I don’t think I’ll get another 20k out of this story as it feels like it’s winding down. However, I do have an idea brewing for an accompanying novella, so if I do fall short, I’ll make a start on that. Totally counts, right?

14925562_1199414763448341_640266655109632964_n

I’m hoping to get a big chunk done tomorrow as the other half is watching football (soccer) and it then working until 10pm. The kids can play to their heart’s content, but traditionally, I don’t do as well on a weekend.

14650204_1792124314379443_3021280929979772598_n

I have 45 minutes left of the day, so I’d like to get a few more words in if I can. Here’s some more teasers!

15042160_1212804392109378_6889126199394774930_o

15002415_1213856318670852_1595747110116980093_o

15042002_1216655331724284_6902165674318705214_o

15137675_1806517676273440_3783752807957234872_o

If you are writing during Nano… may the odds be ever in your favour and I wish many words fall from your fingertips!