Wednesday, 30 January 2008
Having failed to come up with any, I just went for some Different Things.
1. Before my first book was accepted I worked as a copywriter in a marketing agency. We specialised in the luxury car market, and I had several pieces in a magazine for nerdy petrol-heads called Octane.
2. After finishing university I was supposed to go to teacher training college, but I forgot to turn up on the first day. (A lucky escape for a the secondary school pupils of Greater Manchester and Cheshire.)
3. I recently discovered over tea and cakes in London that I went to the same university (Manchester), lived in the same hall of residence (Owens Park) on the same floor (7th) of the same building (the Tower) as my lovely editor at Mills & Boon. (But many, many years earlier...)
4. My parents came from Inverness and Glasgow, so I’m 100% Scottish. We have a particularly glamorous dark green tartan.
5. I have a fascination with the Edwardian period. Who knows why?
6. I am congenitally unable to follow instructions or master any kind of technical gadgetry, computers included. That's why I spent all of yesterday afternoon faffing around with projectplaylist and ending up getting precisely nowhere. I'll let you know if this changes, but in the meantime let me just say that the jukebox thingy currently appearing on the 'books' page of my website is purely decorative....
Monday, 28 January 2008
Now, I do genuinely believe that I’m lucky enough to have one of the best jobs in the world (right up there with being a chocolate taster for Cadburys or James D’Arcy’s dresser) but once in a while I raise my head from my computer, stop thinking about new ways to describe kissing and realise that Real Life is whizzing by around me.
All in all it’s a big year for birthdays here, with Daughter #1 becoming a teenager in a couple of weeks and Daughter #2 reaching double figures in March. Thank goodness it’s my husband who hits 40 this year and not me. That really would be too much to bear...
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
Talking of which, I’m still very much hoping to set up a jukebox type playlist on the website with the songs for each book. For me, they’re such a vital part of the writing process that it seems only right to share them, somehow. That’s one of the many jobs I have lined up for next week, along with catching up on emails, finding something to wear for the lovely sparkly Mills&Boon Centenary cocktail party, losing half a stone and sorting out World Peace.
Monday, 21 January 2008
But the world is one thing. My daughters bedrooms, alas, are in a whole different league.
The process started off with me striding up and down the landing from room to room like some pompous sergeant major, ordering them to get rid of anything that no longer fitted, worked or was part of a complete set. After something of a slow start they suddenly seemed to embrace the concept of minimalism enthusiastically, and carrier bags filled with the flotsam and jetsam of their childhoods were soon piling up alarmingly outside each bedroom door. Heartbreaking! Their determination to achieve a state of zen-like, clutter-free bliss was matched by my own increasing sentimental attachment to every familiar jigsaw and shapeless furry animal of indeterminate species that they’d discarded. Children can be so callous. Now they’re safely back at school I shall have to spend the morning cunningly sneaking everything back to where it belongs.
Anyway, I’m also aware that the deadline for the Instant Seduction competition on iheartpresents is looming, and I’m supposed to be running a bit of a coaching boot camp.
So—with just 3 weeks to go, how is everyone doing? By now I hope that...
♥ first drafts of first chapters are done. Have you started at the right place in the story? Have you got your hero and heroine onto the page together as soon as possible? Have you ended on a note that’s going to make the reader desperate to know what comes next? If the answer to any of these is no, don’t worry! As long as you have A Chapter, you still have plenty of time to fine-tune!
♥ you have a sketchy first draft of the synopsis. This needs to cover the main developments of the story in a clear and concise way, explaining some of the motivation behind them. At this stage it’s important to keep it to the bare bones of ‘what happens’ and to show the turning points for the characters, and the emotional development they undergo as the story progresses. You may have some lovely ideas for a great scene in chapter 8, but this is not the right time to air them! Once you’re happy with the chapter you’ve written you can polish your synopsis too, so that it’s a great advertisement for your story, and a clear sounding board for your Voice.
It's all rather exciting. Make sure you print everything out and read it carefully on paper before submitting-- it's surprising what a different perspective it gives you from reading on the screen, and how many typing errors leap out at you that way (or is that just me?!) Hope it's all going well... I'd love to hear how you're doing!
Thursday, 17 January 2008
Tuesday, 15 January 2008
(Or maybe I just need a smacked bottom and a stern talking-to.)
Anyway, the one thing that’s cheered me greatly this week is a lovely review of The Italian's Captive Virgin over at Cataromance. Julie gave it 4.5 stars and said
With the release of her second novel for Mills and Boon Modern Romance, The Italian’s Captive Virgin, India Grey further establishes herself as a writer of amazing talent and extraordinary scope. Sensual, exotic and enthralling, The Italian’s Captive Virgin, is a captivating romantic read by a writer who is set to become one of the imprint’s most popular writers!
Thursday, 10 January 2008
Tuesday, 8 January 2008
...or so the saying goes. By that token once this book is finally out of my hands I’ll be a total leviathan. In the meantime I am a bad-tempered, sleep-deprived harridan with huge black bags beneath my eyes (like the ones currently piling up outside around our post-Christmas dustbin) and a bizarre and completely uncharacteristic craving for heavy slasher emo-rock. (Have been re-writing the ending, and this is the song I’ve been playing, loudly and in a continual loop. Honestly, it’s not normal, I tell you....)
Anyway, hope everyone is having a good start to 2008. Already I think I’ve managed to trash pretty much all of my resolutions... Let’s see, there was the chocolate one (non-starter) the exercise one (ha!) and the blogging more often one (what’s the date again?). Oh well, I guess that things can only get better from here...