Here i will share my journey of hopefully one day recognising my dream of becoming published writing what i love to read; Romance!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Submission result

Well, i opened my email this morning and there was an email from ucanwrite.
My heart stopped then sped up and i waited for oh, a whole five seconds before opening the email with bated breath - just maybe they'll have said they like it, or if not they like my voice and want to see something else...

but no:

Thanks so much for submitting the first chapter and synopsis of your story.  Our editors reviewed the submission with care.  Unfortunately your story was not strong enough for us to consider further.  Good luck with your future writing endeavors and thanks for entering our challenge!

:( It would have been nice to have gotten a bit of feedback on WHY it wasn't strong enough.
Maybe they don't  do that, but it is frustrating that i don't know what i did wrong so how can i stop from doing it again with another story?

Well, to any of you out there lucky enough to get a "we love it", congratulations!

I shall not give up, no siree. One rejection can not stop the need to write!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

At 0.99c it's a steal!

And a really good story - no i'm not biased!
Take advantage to the temporary price drop and discover a new voice!

go to Amazon and type the arrive birthright trilogy.


Points of View

Which character do you find the easiest to write?
Is it from the perspective of the leading lady, or the hero?

It occurred to me this morning, that i seem to find the hero's perspective easier to write from.
Could it be because their feelings and conflicts, aren't simple, but less complicated than a woman's?

Or it could be, i'm remembering a conversation i had with a friend and fellow writer, that we know, as women, what we want in our ideal hero, and it's easier to write him based on that? Throwing him roadblocks and watching how he deals with them, in the way we would want our ideal hero to cope and overcome any obstacles.

I've also found it easier, when first constructing my character's conflicts, to construct the hero.
The female always ends up being too complicated or her conflict unclear and murky.
I hadn't even figured out what Billie's true conflict was until i'd completed the first draft! And that was even after character interviews and countless pages on figuring out personality and background.

So, whose point of view do you find it easier to write from?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Inspiration overload

I'm talking about too many ideas for stories and starting too many of them!
I should be studying, or reading my new readings for my Early Childhood Education (ECE) diploma.

But what have i done this month? I've started THREE new stories!
One is a single title idea i've had for a very long time, with lots of notes and scene snippets stuffed into a folder.
Two are category romances. One is my first ever idea for HM&B that got abandoned when i had a scene for Billie and Cooper flash in my head; the other is a brand spanking new idea about best friends, with one in love with the other!

Oh dear.
Now, as i've promised my husband (and myself) that i will focus entirely on my studies this year, i am going to try for a reward system.
For every day that i do one or two readings and the requirements for my online discussions for the course, and do a bit of exercise (My new years resolution is to lose weight!), i get to sit down and write whichever of the stories demands the most at that time - which inevitably will be the evening.

Yesterday this worked. I went for a run while the kids rode their bikes beside me to the park and home. I did two readings in the afternoon. I even managed to sweep under the couches and finally take a few boxes out to the garage, thereby de-cluttering our house but cluttering the garage.
After some t.v time with husband, at 10pm i turned on my laptop, snuggled under my duvet and typed away until 11:30pm.
I felt so good!

So today, my plan is much the same: clean those amenities, do two readings and walk with the kids to the park - legs are sore from run yesterday!
Then tonight, hopefully i will get out the laptop again and enter fiction world!

The only thing that is missing: Reading for pleasure! I'm going to have to try to find time for that, because that is my downtime. Any ideas where i could fit that in, without compromising my writing time?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Writing tip

K M Wieland on her blog Word Play has a great post about using There as a passive verb and how, by getting rid of it in your writing, by rewording your sentence, you make it more vibrant and assertive! Check it out here

Friday, January 7, 2011

Introducing Nicole MacDonald

Now that she is a published author, Nicole has kindly let me interview her about her story and her writing process.
If, after the interview, anyone has any further questions, leave them in the comments and i'll ask her and then post the answers in a new post!

Hi Nicole. Wow it must be a great feeling having your book, The Arrival, first of the Birthright trilogy, out there for sale. What's it like seeing your name in 'print'?

Scary *grin* and exhilarating, I am very proud of my book and really hope others love it!
Now, just a few questions about your writing process.
Where did you get the idea for a love spell-gone-wrong fantasy story?

I met my soulmate a month before I turned 19.  It was a big shock as I'd firmly intended on being single until I was at least 25 *lol* and I still tease Glenn that he 'ruined' all my plans.  Of course I wouldn't have it any other way now but I kind of began the story like a 'what if' I hadn't met him till then. And then with my somewhat wacky imagination it took flight into The BirthRight trilogy.  It's definitely not like the actual events in that sense *lol* but the feel of the book is.

The characters, well the girls, are based on your friends right?
What do they think of the way they have turned out and are the characters very similar or just loosely based on your friends?

Sian, Kassandra and Laura are based on my real friends, Sian, Sandra and Laura.  Sian and Sandra I've known for years and are amongst my very close friends.  I'd met Loi around a month before I began writing The Arrival and I needed a fourth character.  So the character Laura is visually inspired by my actual friend but the personality is more created.  Sian's character is very similar to her, so much so that when I read aloud to her she often said the line before I did *giggle* it spooked her out a little.  Sandra's character Kassie is more out of my head too as in real life Sandra is 40+ (not that you'd know it ;p) and married with two girls but I had to have her in the book.  She is a real character in real life and gives me lots of material to work with *grin*
All the girls like their characters and are eager to see what happens next.

As am i!

How long has it taken you to get from typing that first word to the posting on Amazon?
Any tips for other writers to help with this process?

It's taken around 18 months.  As it's my very first novel there were a couple of months in the beginning when I totally slacked off because it was still 'just for fun'.  I got serious about it, probably 8 months in, when I'd plotted the story out more and had realised it was a rather exciting concept.
My biggest piece of advice is ignore the stats and just do it.  Lots of unhelpful people will delight in pointing out the odds but really, if I considered the odds in life I'd probably never get out of bed in the morning *grin* So just do it.

Why did you choose ebook over book format for publishing? And did you find it easy?

Well originally I wanted my book to be published by a 'proper' publishing firm and I did get interested parties when I sent out a bunch of query's (on a *cough* first draft - DON'T DO THIS!!).  Then I stumbled across Joe Konrath's site and was rather horrified to learn that if 'traditionally' published I'd only get 17% of all profits.  For the amount of work I was putting in that didn't seem fair at all.  So self-publishing started to float about in my head, but I wasn't brave enough to announce it at that stage.

The actual publishing process on Amazon is straight forward.  It's just the formatting the e-book that isn't.  That was a HORRIBLE process and I've since added a page to my blog titled 'formatting an e-book for dummies' to help others in that position out.  

Ooh, i'm going to check that out! It is shocking how low a percentage we get for our own work.

Where did you find help/did you need help with the publishing?

I did have some help from Kimberly at booknook ( and if you can afford to pay someone (around $150-200) to format it I recommend her hands down.  I found her via twitter when I tweeted for help *grin* I also found plenty of sites with information but they were a tad technical for me, so that's why I put the page up on my blog.

Do you think, during the process of writing The Arrival, you have grown as a writer?
What have you learnt about your process or writing style?

Hell yes!  Prior to The Arrival I'd written a 2 page story.  That was my longest ever.  The Arrival is around 300 pages (a4).  I can't believe how much I've learned in 18 months.  Learned and survived.  I thought the multiple re-writes might kill me *lol* but you quickly learn that each re-write gets better so it's worth it.
I've learnt I'm very much a plotter.  The sharper my plot is the better I write.  I'm an avid researcher and require images for stimulation and to keep the picture in my head.  I actually drew blueprints for the castle in the story.  So I could understand where everyone was.  That was tedious!
I've learnt my writing style is quite chatty and that I always look to the light no matter how dark the situation.  It did require a big re-write (8th re-write) as it was too 'light' but that's okay.  Now I know how to add tension and stress *grin*.
I've also learnt I LOVE to write.  No matter how often I think 'you should take a break' I never do... 

Part of the fun of being a writer - we are always thinking about it, if not actually writing!

Thank you so much for answering my questions. Good luck with the sales and writing the next installment!

For more information about Nicole's fantastic book and her writing journey visit her blog, or her BirthRight Trilogy website.
If you buy her book (and believe me, it's a good one!) please leave a review, either on her blog, my blog or the Amazon site itself. There is a picture of Nicole's book on my right sidebar, if you click it, it will take you straight to Amazon and her book :)

Happy reading!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Did you set goals for yourself last year that you didn't achieve?
I did. Do you remember that mine were:

Ten Nights Only will be finished by March 31. and submitted through normal lines.
This was finished end of November with the help of NaNoWriMo and first chapter and synopsis sent off for the Harlequin editorial challenge. - Guaranteed to have a reply by Jan 31st!

Logan's Angel will be finished by June 30. and submitted through normal lines
Nope, didn't even look at it!

Secrets and Lies will be reworked and edited and finished by December 31st
Had some feedback from some friends that i've pondered but haven't done anything with!

Untitled Princess story written and edited by December 31st.
Not looked at, but thought about!

So this tells me that i was WAY too ambitious for my goals for last year. I will just have to tried to not over goal myself (so not the right expression but you get it right!?)
I'm going to be studying online this year for an Early Childhood Education Degree, so won't be able to put all my time into writing like i tried to last year.
I have started the year with a new idea that is quite exciting!
So i think i will just try to write a little bit each day and see where that takes me.

What were your goals last year? Did you reach them?
What are yours for this year?