Monday, 26 July 2010

Some things I would blog about if I had time to blog...

  • Books I’ve read recently
    Particularly Abby Green’s Breaking the Sheikh's Rules, which has gone right into my top ten Modern/Presents books somewhere around the number one slot thanks to a combination of a really sexy hero, the most appealing and adorable heroine and the kind of setting that makes me sigh with nostalgic satisfaction. I’m not usually a huge fan of sheikh books for all sorts of reasons, but this one hooked me in on page one with its lush Irish backdrop and the horses – there was something about it that whizzed me right back to the first Mills & Boon books I ever read as a teenager and reminded me exactly why I fell in love with them. I’ve also just finished Michelle Reid’s Balfour book – Mia’s Scandal, which features another really fabulous, memorable heroine. It was - predictably - gorgeously written, pacy, sexy and satisfying, as well as being really interesting to see bits of the wider Balfour puzzle slotting into place, and find characters I’d got to know pretty well pop up in a different setting. Made me want to go back and re-visit my Balfour book, so it’s pretty convenient that…

  • My author copies finally arrived!
    Emily and Luis are in the building. I, however, will not be for much longer as we are about to go on holiday, making it extremely bad timing to blog in detail about the book and do a contest. Gah! Will get to it when we get home again, but in the meantime, talking of contests…

  • Mills & Boon’s New Voices Contest has just been launched.
    If you have ever harboured any ambition to write for the world’s biggest and best-loved romance publisher this is a fab chance to give it a go. My take on it is that it’s not so much about winning an i-pad or an editor – though one lucky, talented person is going to wake up with an almighty champagne hangover at the end of it all – but about being given that crucial little push to start putting your dreams in motion. I often wonder how long it would have taken me to stop faffing around and finding excuses if Penny Jordan hadn’t told me to go away and write a chapter and send it to her within two weeks, so if you’re an uber-procrastinator like me you can look on this as your call to action. Start writing over the summer, ready to put something up on the website in September (under a pseudonym if you’re shy) and take advantage of a whole lot of free and honest critiquing. (Which might hurt, but will be a taste of things to come if you get accepted!) And tied into the contest is...

  • The event I’m doing at Nantwich Library on September 9th.
    I’m doing away with the workshop thing and am going for a much more relaxed, informal discussion on Everything You Need to Know About Writing a Mills & Boon Romance (And Possibly Several Things That You Don’t) so Nantwich Library is the place to be if you have burning questions about lines, love scenes, layering conflict, or anything else – even if it doesn’t begin with ‘L’. I'd really love to see you, if you're remotely thinking of coming. (I think you need to phone the library to book places - details are here on the romance is not dead website.) I’m fully intending to max up the girly afternoon tea opportunity, and am really looking forward to doing my first M&B event on home turf, in the library where I used to spend Saturday mornings sitting on the mustard-coloured scratchy carpet reading The Wild Swans (my absolute favourite book for years – I borrowed it so many times I don’t know why my mum didn’t just buy me a copy for Christmas. Sniff.) Anyway, on the subject of home turf, daughters 1 and 2 came with me last week to the launch of…

  • An exhibition in our local (gem of a) museum entitled Nantwich People Past and Present. Penny Jordan and I are both included, along with a surprising amount of interesting and inspiring people for such a tiny rural market town. I am in a corner, nose to nose with Isabella Blow. And not many people can say that.


Rachel Lyndhurst said...

Have a brilliant holiday, India! And thanks for the competition info--scary one isn't it!?

Lots of love,


Kaz19 said...

Have a fab time with your girls and hubby, just watch the bugs don't bite!
Mmm, that competition is something to think about, as my old dad used to tell me, 'You read enough of them, why don't you write one of your own?'
And yes, Michelle's Balfour book was incredible, I've already complimented her on it. Mia was gorgeous and Nikos was awesome, a combination you can't beat in a Michelle Reid book.
If I lived closer to Nantwich, I would love to come and see you.
Have a fabulous holiday, I'm sure you will.
xx Karen

Morton S Gray said...

Hi India,

Competition sounds scary, but then I have three quarters of a book written now so maybe I should be brave!

Just enjoying your "The Italian's Captive Virgin."

Have a wonderful holiday with loads of inspiration.

Morton x

Romy said...

I devoured the darkly delicious Mia's Scandal in one sitting and can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the series ... especially since I disocvered that the lovely India Grey also wrote one of them!

ros said...

I didn't know Penny Jordan was from Nantwich, too. Is the whole town a hotbed of M&B authors?!

India said...

Have courage Rach! If you can manage your children for the entire 6 weeks of the summer holidays you can manage a hero and heroine for a couple of hundred pages, surely?! (That's what I tell myself regularly anyway...)

Karen, I'm really excited to hear you say that! Your dad was definitely very wise, and I'm sure you could come up with a cracking story. I wish you were closer too! (There are pretty good rail links via Shrewsbury, but I think it be quite a long journey...)

Morton - you're 3/4 of the way through? That's brilliant news - huge well done! Finish, polish, submit is my advice. (How's Ellie doing? Send her my love!)

Romy, it was a fab book, wasn't it? I flicked through mine when I got my copies - I'd pretty much forgotten it as it was so long since I finished writing it - and wish I could go back and change bits in the light of reading Michelle's. I was happier with the second half, so hope everyone stays with it that long...

Ros, Penny is originally from Lancashire, and lived in North Cheshire for many years, but moved here after her husband died. (She talks about it on her website here... )
As far as I know we're the only two M&B writers (so far), but thanks to the exhibition I can reveal that the town also boasts two former Miss Great Britains, a TV vet and an Olympic gymnast. And a lot of farmers.

Morton S Gray said...

Hi India,

I will pass your love to Ellie. She is having a challenging year, but I'm keeping an eye on her.

Mills and Boon references keep popping up everywhere so I see that as a sign to keep going with the book.

Have a lovely summer,

Morton x

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

I can wait for Daisy's "sheikh" book and thanks for sharing!

Like you, I just finished Mia's Scandal and it was incredible. I'm also enjoying Michelle Reid's online read over at EHarlequin which also features a Balfour!

mindmap1 said...

Hello India Grey

Have a great holiday. I'm part of a group of aspiring authors who came together after receiving a'R'last December.
Two of us will be there on the 9th September to cheer you on and pick your brains.

I agree Rachel. It is a scary competition this year.

I think it's brilliant that so many HQ authors are giving their time and expertise to help us.

We do appreciate it.

All the best,

Christine & Cathy.

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

Oh, India, come back! I really, really miss you!

India said...

Sorry girls - it's taking me a while to catch up!

Morton, I know how close you two are and I hope things are brighter for Ellie very soon. She's so lovely. Give her a hug from me. (And DO keep going with the book - you're so nearly there!)

Marilyn, you're in for a treat! Honestly, Abby's books just get hotter and better. I'll have what she's having...

Hey Christine and Cathy - lovely to hear from you and how brilliant that you're going to be at the library event! Thanks so much for signing up for it - hope it'll give your New Voices entries a boost (and be a bit of a laugh too.) I'm really looking forward to meeting you both.

(Is that Rachel Lyndhurst, newly-signed author?? I've missed you too!)