10 Things To Consider When Writing The First Kiss In A Romance Story #MondayBlogs #ASMSG

 

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The first kiss between the hero and heroine is a huge turning point for a romance story. Up until this point both the hero and heroine will have been denying their true feelings, casting smouldering looks and giving each other weird tingling sensations.

As the writer / author you will have been busy chucking a myriad of life obstacles at your characters, designed to keep them apart and keep your reader guessing about when they will get their romance fix.

However, there will come a point in the story where the hero and heroine will suddenly find themselves in close proximity of each other. Hearts will start to gallop, hopes will get raised, temperatures will rise and your reader will be standing on their sofa, book in hand, screaming “JUST KISS HER!”

The first kiss is important for a number of reasons:

  • It advances the plot.
  • Gives the reader an indication of how strong the romance between these two characters is going to be. The reader may need to clear their social calendar for the next few evenings if the first kiss is sizzling (nothing worse than socializing when there is a hot romance unfolding in your book).
  • Gives the reader some useful character insight, depending on the character POV.
  • Sparks a change in the characters post kiss. They will want to overcome their life challenges and follow their heart after this.

Here are some things I think you should consider when writing this important part of a romance story:

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Heaven Calling – Part 4 #Comedy #Fiction #ASMSG

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Welcome to my comedy blog series – Heaven Calling.

This series is out every Thursday.

All previous parts can be found by clicking here. 

Blurb…

Camilla’s enjoyment of heaven life came to an abrupt end after she discovered her husband Gerry was dating back on Earth. He’d spent two years grieving her. In Camilla’s eyes this was not long enough.

With her own team of angel assistants; Anna and Gabriel, some soothing harp music and God’s help, Camilla is certain she can influence the outcome of Gerry’s dates and get him back to mourning her.

Part 4 is below.

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12 Things You Should Consider Before You Fall In Love With A Writer #MondayBlogs #AmWriting

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The decision to fall in love with a writer should NOT be taken lightly. Writers are strange and interesting creatures, who need to be handled with extreme care.

If you are on the verge of falling in love with a writer, please consider the following points below.

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Heaven Calling – Part 2 Fictional Series #Comedy #Marriage #Dating

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Welcome to my weekly blog series – Heaven Calling.

This series is out every Thursday on BlondeWriteMore.

For part 1 please click here.

Recap: Camilla’s enjoyment of heaven life came to an abrupt end last week after she made a shocking discovery about her husband, Gerry. He’d decided to start dating after spending two years mourning her. Two years felt a little short to Camilla. In view of her amazing wife skills she was expecting Gerry to grieve for at least twenty years.

As she had a good working relationship with God and her team of angels, Camilla hoped they would be able to offer some assistance to her, in getting Gerry back to a state of mourning.

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How To Survive Making Your Characters Suffer #SundayBlogShare #AmWriting

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Have you ever had to inflict pain and suffering onto a character who you like….a lot?

Have you ever tipped a bucket full of ‘life hell’ over your character and whilst you were doing it felt like you were betraying an old friend?

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Author Interviews – Lacey London @thelaceylondon #AmWriting #Author

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Welcome to my weekly blog series – Author Interviews.

Every week I get to interview an amazing and inspirational author over a virtual cuppa and a biscuit (or two). We talk about their literary journey, the struggles they have faced, their motivations and at the end of the interview they answer the question everyone is desperate to know – what do they wear whilst writing their literary masterpiece?

This week I am on cloud nine as one of my favourite romantic comedy authors is sat in my red chair – Lacey London!  Now, if like me, you are a huge fan of Bridget Jones you will LOVE Lacey’s hugely popular Clara Andrews series. I have never chuckled as much as I did when I read the Clara Andrews series. Her characters are so easy to relate to and likeable.

So, please welcome Lacey London! 

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Author Interviews @shuchikalra #Writerslife #Writers #Author

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Welcome to my Author Interview Blog Series!

This series allows me to interview some amazing and inspirational authors. In the interviews I glean some writing tips from them, find out how they have overcome their literary challenges and most importantly get some valuable insight into their creative life.

This week I am beyond excited as author Shuchi Singh Kalra is sat in my red interview chair. She is a ChickLit author from India, who loves Twitter and describes herself as a ‘free spirit, certified crazy, social awkward cat lady!’ My kind of author – sigh!

Hey, Shuchi! Welcome to my blog!  Please take a seat in my red chair.

Tell my readers about yourself and the book / books you have written

I currently have two books out in the market – both romantic comedies. The first one is ‘Done With Men’, which sounds like a Man-Haters Guide To The Galaxy but isn’t. It’s just a story of a ditzy girl who runs into a series of unfortunate disasters before she finds Mr.Right.

The second one is ‘I am Big. So What?‘ – India’s first plus sized romance. It is a light read but at the same time, touches upon issues of body shaming and self-love.

I like to create strong, zesty female characters that are flawed and yet very endearing. They are ditzy enough to mess up their lives but have it in them to put things back in place.

When did you write your first book?

I started writing ‘Done With Men’ in Jan 2013.

How long did it take to write your first book?

I finished Done With Men in three months flat and I’m still quite smug about it.

‘I am Big. So what?’ took me over a year to write.

What was your motivation to write your first book?

I always had recurrent author dreams of seeing a book with my name on it in a bookstore but I guess I took too long to actually do it. But hell, it’s never too late for anything.

What writing issues did you encounter along the way and how did you overcome them?

Writing a book is actually the easiest part about being an author. The real battle begins when it is time to publish and market your work. I don’t know how it works in the west, but book publishing in India is a rather slow process and by the time a book comes out into the market, an author is very likely to have lost interest in it.

The market for romance is thriving – there are new authors coming in everyday and readers have too much to choose from. This also translates into stiff competition and the need for aggressive marketing and promotion, which can be quite exhausting for an author. Two books down, I am beginning to enjoy it a bit through.

Did you go through any bad writing patches during writing your book – what kept you going?

Oh yes. I run into roadblocks and dead ends more often than I’d like. It helps sometimes to change track. If the story isn’t turning out to be satisfactory, I just scrap it and begin all over again instead of wasting too much time trying to make it work.

It can be disheartening at times to trash all that you’ve written but I always keep my eyes on the larger goal.

Are you a plotter or do you just write / see what happens?

I usually start off with a rough sketch of the story but I don’t plot very extensively. I begin with an idea and let the story take it’s course.

What is the best thing about being a writer?

With every book you write, you get to live so many lives and be so many people. When I write for a character, I have to “become” them in that moment to explore how their mind would work, how they’d respond to a situation and why they are what they are. I find that bit the most thrilling.

What is the worst thing about being a writer?

That you live and work in an isolated bubble and you are the only person responsible to keep yourself driven. Procrastination is practically an epidemic among writers and some days it can be difficult to rap yourself on the knuckles and get some real work done.

Have you ever considered quitting writing, and if so how have you worked through this?

I have had my periods of slumps and stagnation but quitting? Never! I love expressing myself through the written word but there are phases when motivation takes a nosedive. When that happens, I try my hand at something new (by new I obviously mean another form of writing). For example, if I’ve been stuck with a book chapter, I’ll write some poetry for a change. I have found that indulging in other creative activities like crafts etc. also helps considerably.

What does a typical writing day look like for you?

I run a writing firm so I am mostly juggling multiple projects at a time. Book writing is something I do when I can spare time from assignments, although I’d like to transition into full-time authoring eventually. I do most of my writing when my 5 year old daughter is in school or at night after everyone has gone to bed.

Do you suffer from procrastination and if so how do you handle it?

I think procrastination suffers from me. I can be such a slacker at times and I hate myself for it. And that happens only with book writing because when you are writing for businesses, you can’t afford to wait for inspiration to strike you. I keep pushing myself to write SOMETHING every day, even if it just small passage.

A small way forward is still a way forward and always better than stagnation.

Which is more important – plot or characters and why?

I think both those things are equally important. Intricate character development lends credibility to your story and makes it more realistic. It also helps the reader to relate more to your characters. At the same time, you need to keep the reader riveted with an interesting plotline and adequate twists and turns. I think one can’t do without the other.

What have been your 3 biggest learnings during your writing career?

  • It’s going to be slow. Very slow. There’s no such thing as instant gratification.
  • It’s not enough to be a good writer. You have to learn to market yourself well.
  • Don’t count on books for money, at least until you have a few bestsellers out in the market

How do you manage social media as a writer?

I manage it by being addicted to Twitter, which is the absolute wrong way to go about it. I am not a social animal but I’m definitely a social media animal. I love interacting with readers and interesting people online and I must say it has helped my book sales too.

Social media gives you a platform to express yourself as a person, which may motivate people to check out your other writings. I think it’s a great way to come across new opportunities and market your work.

Do you have any tips or advice for budding aspiring authors?

As pleasurable and satisfying as it can be, writing can be sometimes disheartening because the returns are not immediate and competition is high.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to keep trudging along.

Take it one step at a time and don’t jump the gun.

Do you suffer from writer’s block and if so how do you overcome?

When it comes to my professional assignments, I can’t afford writer’s block because there are deadlines to be met and clients to answer to.

However, when it comes to my books, I give myself more leeway to slack. Reading books from the same genre you are writing is the best way to break out of a block. It helps bring your mind into the same zone and you are much more likely to find a trigger for the words to flow.

Do you ever think of the next book whilst writing?

Yes. I’m usually thinking of too many books at the same time. But I try to work on one or at the most, two at a time just for the sake of my sanity.

What do you wear to write?

I work from home so you’ll usually find me in an old tee and a pair of shorts/PJs with my hair pulled up in a bun.

If readers want to get in touch how do they contact you?

I am fairly (okay, insanely) active on Twitter and I connect with most of my readers there. You could also email me for any queries.

Click for Twitter. 

Click for my website.

Wow – What a fab interview! 

There were so many things that stuck out for me in this interview:

  • I can really relate to ‘becoming’ a character in order to understand them and this can be exciting!
  • I think this is a great quote with regards procrastination – ‘small way forward is still a way forward and always better than stagnation’.
  • I can relate to being a ‘social media animal’ – love this!
  • Your learning about instant gratification is very true. You almost have to prepare yourself for years of small progress. 
  • The growing Indian romantic fiction market sounds interesting.
  • Your strong, zesty characters with flaws and wobbly bits sound like my chicklit character Roxy Collins. Yay – to these fun characters!

Thank you!

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For more great interviews click here!

If you are an author and would like to be interviewed in my blog please get in touch!

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/79577679@N00/5448848999″>the chair in the attic</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

How to Write a Holiday Romance #MondayBlogs #romanticfiction #writer

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

In my serialised fictional podcast – The Diary of Roxy Collins, the main character Roxy has flown to Greece to persuade her hell-raising cousin Maggie to return home. The big question is whether there will be some romance for Roxy out in Greece?

I am a BIG fan of holiday romances in films, fiction and in real life too (pre wedlock days obviously). Holiday romances can be both life changing and memorable.

So, as a writer I thought it would be good to capture the key ingredients for bringing your characters together romantically, in a magical and faraway place.

After some extensive research for this blog post (which involved quizzing friends about their holiday romances – very tough!) I have drawn up the five stages for the standard holiday romance.

  1. Holiday Excitement / Go wild. This is the stage where your character realises that they are on holiday and free from the drudgery of normal life. It is an amazing feeling to be stepping onto a golden beach, looking out across a crystal clear blue sea and hearing that little voice inside you whisper “oh my goodness I am on holiday!”. Suddenly you get this powerful urge to go wild! Cue an excited shriek and a leap into the air, quickly followed by an energetic swim, a variety of fancy cocktails, a bit of a dance and topped off with some stinging sunburn and a sore head. Your character needs to let their fictional hair down and start to enjoy themselves. In Roxy’s case she’s rocking her brand new string bikini, ignoring some nagging doubts about those wobbly bits on her thighs, drinking cocktails and dancing on tables. Sigh!
  2. Unexpected Meeting of Potential Holiday Love. This is the stage where your main character will have an unexpected and unplanned meeting with their holiday love. These situations are even more magical when your character has not gone looking for love, as they might have other stuff to do or have more pressing things on their mind. Love needs to take your characters by surprise! In Roxy’s case she’s rescued a couple of times by a handsome stranger, who she initially finds annoying. I love romantic unions which start off with mild irritation.
  3. Holiday Romance. Holiday romances usually start two days before the other person has to fly home, so you have to jam pack – moonlight walks on the beach, kissing over cocktails, reading romantic poetry on a sun lounger and playing endless games of Travel Chess into a cheeky forty eight hours. By the time a holiday romance comes to an end you are normally in need of another holiday to recover…after all that Travel Chess! Sigh! So, during this stage you want to be coming up with an array of romantic activities to keep your reader and characters engaged.
  4. Delusion. This is the stage there you are in the middle of your holiday romance (normally around 6 hrs in!) and delusion strikes!  Your holiday love will live 300 miles away from you back home and might even work at a different time of day or night to you.  This does not stop your imagination from running wild and visualising an idyllic future for you both. Your brain will cleverly miss out the arduous five hour journey to see each other every second weekend, the lonely nights and the stab of jealousy when you see them enjoying a party back at home. So, as your characters both sip cocktails and gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes they need to be thinking about how this holiday romance will definitely work back home and how much they adore long distance love.
  5. Heartbreak. Even if you decide to carry on the holiday romance back home there is always heartbreak at the airport. You are both tear stained and clinging onto each other like its your last day on Earth. They promise to write and call you everyday. In my experience your holiday love flies home days before you and the rest of your holiday goes downhill as you can’t face life without them. You end up consoling yourself over a few cheeky cocktails and then falling into the arms of some else  and crying into your pillow. The heartbreak continues as they NEVER contact you again, despite you showering them with letters, poetry and voice mail messages – sigh!  So for a realistic holiday romance you need to be capturing this final stage of heartbreak for your characters. I love a tearful goodbye at an airport. Make your characters fall apart emotionally as they wave farewell to their holiday love.

Please let me know whether your holiday romance carried on back home or were you like me writing War & Peace every week and not hearing a thing?  Obviously this was back in the day  when we sent handwritten letters – sigh.

I hope these handy tips on writing a holiday romance have been useful. I do like to share my own experiences in my blog posts.

Please support a blonde writer and tune into the latest Roxy podcast episode – ten minutes of holiday romance fun!

Start with the ‘The Hero’ Episode which lays the foundations for a holiday romance and then nip into ‘Cocktails, Hangovers and Ankles’ where emotions really run wild.

iTunes – please click here. 

SoundCloud – please click here. 

Have a wonderful day folks!

 

 

16 Reasons Why I Love Writing & Reading Romantic Comedy #MondayBlogs #romance #Chicklit

 

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I enjoy writing and reading romantic comedy. I have written The Diary of Roxy Collins series and turned it into a fictional comedy podcast (live on iTunes and SoundCloud) which has to be one of the most enjoyable things that I have done as a writer. Plus this week I am starting work on the second draft of my debut novel ‘Instructions For Falling In Love Again’ – which has gone down really well with my reviewers.

My bookshelves at home are filled mainly romantic comedy and chicklit novels. Whilst my loved one reads serious spy thrillers I settle down with a lighthearted romantic comedy and annoy him by giggling, sighing and occasionally blubbering (when the two main characters realise they love each other – always sets me off!)

So I thought it would be good to celebrate this fab literary genre and record all the reasons why I love writing and reading romantic comedies.

  1. As a writer getting two emotionally incomplete characters to overcome comedy obstacles, endure testing personal situations and unite romantically by the end of a novel can be a pleasurable challenge.
  2. Romantic comedies are a form of escapism. For a couple of hours I get to dive into a story filled with laughter, tears, waves of delicious sexual tension and a guaranteed happy ending. Sigh!
  3. They bring out the inner hopeless romantic in me.
  4. I hate surprises. So I like knowing when I start writing or reading a romantic comedy that love will triumph at the end and the right two people will get together.
  5. I love the sexual chemistry between the two main characters. I like the way the characters try to deny their feelings for each other, keep a lid on their secret desires and cast some smouldering gazes.
  6. I like the ‘feel good’ factor they bring. After a bad day where nothing has gone to plan, my hair has not looked right, I have felt fat, frumpy and my hormone levels are off the scale I can read or watch a romantic comedy and feel a lot better.
  7. I love reading and writing comedy situations. I love crying with laughter at a character’s mishaps. I think its because my life seems to be full of unexpected  comedy situations where I do or say the wrong thing. I think this is why I love my character Roxy Collins so much. The episode where she goes on a date with Kevin plumber and has some unexpected issues with her contact lenses mid date, which brings on absolute chaos, is fab!
  8. Romantic comedies make you believe that anything is possible.
  9. Life changing romantic moments always happen in the rain or the snow. I was on the edge of my seat when Bridget Jones ran after Mark Darcy in the snow.
  10. They are cheesy and riddled with cliches! As a reader and a writer I am attracted to cheesy stuff and cliches!
  11. Romantic comedies are the modern fairytale.
  12. They have pretty book covers. Sigh!
  13. I love reading about others experiencing mayhem and chaos.
  14. I love the ‘post romantic comedy’ daydream where you stare into space and wonder what the new fictional couple are doing now. Did their relationship work? What was married life like? I have had many messages from my  Wattpad Roxy fans telling me that they are suffering from these daydreams and are keen to know how Roxy and Marcus are doing.
  15. I love how you can get totally carried away with reading and writing a romantic comedy and find yourself in floods of tears. There is nothing quite like a good tear jerker!
  16. As a writer I love how I slowly start to morph into my female characters. You would not believe how many fake tan disasters I have had since Roxy hit iTunes.

Think I need to go lie down in a darkened room after creating this list.

Have a fabulous day all 🙂

The Diary of Roxy Collins Podcast-2

How To Connect With Your Inner Biker Chick #MondayBlogs #bikergirl #Motivation

 

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I have been wanting to connect with my inner biker chick for sometime. If I am honest I don’t have the time to connect with my inner biker chick what with being a mother, a wife, a pet owner, working full-time, being a writer, a blogger and now a podcaster. There are not enough hours in the day. Anyway you will all be glad to know that I have now resolved this situation.

Your inner biker chick is your wild, leather clad, rebellious side which sometimes needs to come out to shake things up a bit.

We all have an inner bike chick inside of us and sometimes we get a powerful urge to connect with her, even though there might not be a motorbike in sight.

Through my writing I have connected with my inner biker chick. My fictional character Roxy Collins, in the latest episode of the ‘Diary of Roxy Collins Podcast’ on iTunes and here on SoundCloud has a date with Gordon; a biker and the lead singer of a rock band. Her best mate Shaz advises that she should use this dating opportunity to connect with her inner biker chick. I would like to point out that I had a lot of fun with this episode. Useful Kim has to be one of my favourite new characters for 2016. I can’t wait for listener feedback on Useful Kim!

After writing it I felt like my inner bike chick and I were much closer. Within an hour of finishing the podcast I was hot footing it down my local department store’s makeup counter asking to be taught how to do smokey eyeshadow, I browsed leather jackets in the Women’s Clothing department and I declared to my family that I wasn’t planning to do any ironing or sock matching for the rest of the weekend as I was a free spirit. (Rebellious huh!).

So, I thought I would do a blog post on how you can connect with your inner biker chick:

Biker Chick Mindset:

  • Take action!  Biker chicks don’t sit around waiting for something to happen – they do it themselves. So start writing that book, launch that blog or record that podcast TODAY!
  • Shun the expectations! Strong badass biker chicks don’t worry about what others think of them. So lose the concern over what people expect you to do or be in life. Focus that concern on being you and defining who you are!
  • Think confidently and act confidently. Imagine you are leather clad and sat on a monstrous bike – you can’t look uncertain and troubled in this scenario. Get that badass biker chick look in your eye, take some deep breaths, wear a stern smile and look like you ready for anything!
  • Exercise your free spirit. Practice freeing yourself from daily drudgery – in my book this means housework!

 

Biker Chick Wardrobe:

  • You want to be rocking the classy / edgy biker style.
  • Aim for the iconic black leather biker jacket, white t-shirt and skin-tight leather trousers. Roxy struggled with this look but fair play she gave it a go!
  • Finish off with some black shades and killer heels (in my head killer heels sound fab but in reality I will be crippled within half an hour).
  • Here are some celebs channelling their inner biker chick:

Biker Chick Makeup:

  • It is all about the smokey eyes for biker chicks. So check out this fab tutorial. 
  • For nails I love these black studded nail creations.

 

Have a great day!

Just going to get my leathers on and then have a nice soothing cup of tea whilst doing a gentle crossword.

Image: Adobe.