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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Author Interviews – Linda Bradley @LBradleyAuthor #Author #Writer

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Welcome to my weekly blog series – Author Interviews.

In this series I interview the authors that inspire and amaze me. I get them to tell me all about their literary journey, the obstacles they overcame when writing their books and their creative process.

Today I am super excited as author Linda Bradley has agreed to sit in my chair. She describes herself as an author and a believer of the phrase ‘sometimes you have to lose your way to find yourself.’ I love this phrase and I get the feeling Linda’s interview is going to be a bit special.

So, Linda – welcome to my Blonde Blog! Please take a seat..

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

I live in Michigan and write Women’s Fiction with a thread of romance. I have an Associates Degree in Interior Design and a Master’s Degree in Reading and Language Arts with undergraduate work in Elementary Education and Fine Arts. I wrote and illustrated a children’s book titled, The Hunter for my Master’s Degree. I’m a member of RWA, as well as the Greater Detroit Chapter of RWA.

When I began writing Maggie’s Way, I believed this book was going to be a stand-alone, but as I prepared to type “the end”, I realized Maggie Abernathy’s story wasn’t finished. Publishing the Montana Bound Series has been a dream come true. I love writing about the “true grit” that makes life unpredictable as well as the humor found in everyday living. The characters in my books are a cast of misfits waiting to steal your heart.

Oh my goodness! I love that line about your characters being ‘a cast of misfits waiting to steal your heart.’ I LOVE misfits and writing about misfits. 

When did you write your first book?

I wrote and illustrated my first book in grade school. My elementary school had this contest called “Calbery”. The term “Calbery” was derived from the names of the Caldecott and Newberry Awards. Students wrote and illustrated their books each year. The winners received awards and the winning books were sent on to compete with other students from surrounding elementary schools. It was a big deal and I looked forward to making my book each year. I still have the ribbons and certificates in my writing box that’s followed me from place-to-place. That deep-seeded passion for writing shadowed me through life, got pushed to back burner, but surfaced later on when my boys were young. I wrote my first women’s fiction manuscript about ten years ago. Time flies when you’re having fun.

How long did it take to write your first book?

To be honest, I’m not sure how long it took to write that “first” full length manuscript. It’s still sitting in a binder on my shelf. Probably a year or so. Maggie’s Way is a different story, though. Maggie’s Way was my debut novel and I completed that manuscript in about three months.

What was your motivation to write your first book?

Cancer was my catalyst. Being published was on my life’s list of things to do, so I buckled down upon being diagnosed. I put all my other projects to the side and let new characters drive my stories. When I began writing Maggie Abernathy and Chloe McIntyre, I found my voice. Within a year’s time, I’d written first drafts for the three books in my Montana Bound Series.

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

I’d written several manuscripts leading up to Maggie’s Way. I’d been lucky enough to have had critiques from agents and editors. The feedback was sometimes difficult to swallow, but in time I learned to stay true to what I wanted to write. I learned to focus on the nuggets that made sense to me. Many moons ago, an editor told me she thought I was a diamond in the rough. I’ve carried that with me and reminded myself that polishing my work and becoming a better writing takes time, hard work, and an open-mind.

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

I’d gone through bad patches with previous manuscripts, so when I began writing the Montana Bound Series, I tried to approach the process a bit differently. I began making “character bibles” to help me organize chapter outlines and notes. I collected photographs of people and places to help me stay connected. I also read and completed the exercises in Alan Watt’s book, the 90-day novel while I was writing as a source of inspiration to complete the journey. When I reached 30,000 words, it was time for “NANOWRIMO” so I signed up and completed my debut novel.

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

I know the beginning of my story and how it’s going to end. Sometimes, I’ll make a list of events that need to happen in the story, but more often than not, I see my characters’ actions in my head as I go, kind of like a movie. That action leads me from scene to scene.

What is the best thing about being a writer?

Connecting with readers, most definitely!

What is the worst thing about being a writer?

The characters that won’t leave my head until I entertain their story. It’s very difficult for me to turn off my brain, even if I’m exhausted.

I suffer with this too. Sigh!

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

Nope.

What does a typical writing day look like for you?

I wish I had a typical writing day. I teach elementary school, so my writing day begins when I get home. Getting into the chair isn’t always possible, but when the creativity is flowing, you’ll find me at my keyboard, hammering away. When I get started on something, it’s hard to stop. Tuning out the dog, the television, and my phone when I’m in the zone is one of my super-powers.

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

I know procrastination well. Most often, I don’t handle it, I let it take over because I know my brain is processing the work in progress even if I’m not consciously thinking about it. Sometimes watching the Friends marathon or doing an art project is necessary. Procrastinating can be a productive tool in my book. I know what I’m capable of and I know that when it’s time to get going, I will. Setting goals and limits for myself also helps me stay on track.

Which is more important – plot or characters and why?

Characters. I think if you have strong characters, they’ll drive the plot.

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

One. Never give up. Two. Never give up. Three. Never give up.

LOVE these learnings!

How do you manage social media as a writer?

I try to get on Facebook and Twitter daily. I don’t always promote my books, but I want my followers and friends to know, I’m still there. I like to share posts and re-blog. Occasionally, I’ll set up a Facebook party or a giveaway.

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

Follow your heart. Write what you like to read. Step outside the box even if it’s uncomfortable. Writing is a continuous process. It’s okay to fail and make mistakes. Learn to roll with the punches. Getting back up is the most important thing you can do for yourself. Believe.

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

If anything, I have too many ideas milling around in my head. Teaching full-time doesn’t allow me to explore story lines when they blossom, so they tend to build up. And when they’re thick and bountiful, there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to organize my thoughts. Sometimes the days just aren’t long enough to get everything done that I want to accomplish. So, you know all those neat little piles of notes on my desk, please don’t rearrange them.

Do you ever think of the next book whilst writing?

All. The. Time.

What do you wear to write?

Jeans. Shorts. Pajama pants. T-shirts, fleece if it’s a chilly day and the hot flashes aren’t coming my way. Anything that’s comfy.

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

Facebook: LBradleyAuthor
Twitter: @LBradleyAuthor
Website: www.LindaBradleyAuthor.com
Amazon Author Page

Wow Linda – fab interview! 

I have taken a lot from this today:

  • I love how you write about the ‘true grit’ that makes life unpredictable. 
  • I think your writing journey has been so inspirational. 
  • It must have been a magical literary moment for you when an editor referred to you as a ‘diamond in the rough!’  I do hope that’s the phrase my future editor uses when referring to me – sigh!  
  • I can relate to storylines ‘becoming thick and bountiful’ – great way of describing the creative build up. 
  • We all have piles of notes on our desks that must never be disturbed. 

Linda  – thank you – what a star!

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If you are an author and want to sit in my red chair please get in touch. 

For more fabulous interviews please click here. 

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;

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 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.

Author Interviews @tkrimms #author #writer #writerslife

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Welcome to my weekly series – Author Interviews.

These interviews allow me to find out a little bit more about the person behind the books and to glean some valuable insight on being a writer.

This week I am very excited. I met today’s author Tracy Krimmer on the ChickLitHQ FaceBook group site and I am thrilled that she has agreed to come and sit in my red chair.

Tracy describes herself as an author who writes books that make women laugh, sometimes cry and always feel. She loves protein bars and coffee. A perfect match for me and my chair!

Please welcome Tracy Krimmer to my chair!

Welcome Tracy, please tell my readers about yourself and the book / books you have written

I’m really not that exciting! I’m a thirty-something author of chick lit and women’s fiction. When I’m not writing, I’m being a wife and mom and all around cool person. I love fitness and help my husband run challenge groups on Facebook for those who want to get in shape. And I love coffee!

As far as my books, I have four out:

  • Pieces of it All – A women’s fiction/coming-of-age novel about a young girl experiencing her first love – and heartbreak.
  • Caching In – The first in the Pastime Pursuits series about a woman who finds love while geocaching.
  • Jay Walking – Book two in the series (this is a standalone series) about a woman trying to find love after having her baby.
  • Sparing the Heart – Book three in the series about a woman finally letting the shield down around her heart

My fifth book, Dating for Decades, is a seasoned romance out this summer.

When did you write your first book?

I wrote my very first book in sixth grade! But, my first published book in this genre came out in May 2014.

How long did it take to write your first book?

I think from start to finish almost two years. I wrote it and then basically rewrote it and then after beta readers, rewrote a large chunk again!

What was your motivation to write your first book?

I call Pieces of it All the anti-alpha male alpha male book. Did you catch all that? I read a lot of romance books and I wanted to write one a little different from the alpha male books I had been reading at the time. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say it is a happily after after the way I think it should be, especially for an 18-year-old girl.

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

Remember that I said I rewrote it twice? First it was an erotic romance. Then it was an erotic romance thriller. The beta readers helped me through the process and see what was wrong with it. Once I realized what I wanted to do, the rest fell into place.

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

I always go through rough patches and that’s during the revising process. I love writing and hate revising. It’s not even that it’s too difficult. I overwhelm easily and instead of taking one thing at a time, I freak out and panic! Once I talk through it with my critique partner, I always feel better.

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

I used to be a pantser. Now I plot. I don’t necessarily plot every detail, but I like to get everything down from start to finish. I write a lot faster that way.

What is the best thing about being a writer?

Sharing my stories with the world. I have so many ideas and I want to get them out! I love bringing out emotion in people, making them feel.

What is the worst thing about being a writer?

Sharing my stories with the world! Yes, it’s a double-edged sword. When I publish a book, I open myself up to a world of criticism. It’s hard, sometimes, but I wouldn’t change anything.

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

I consider it for a second with every book. It is always after a release. I find I have to take about a month off after a release to not do anything. That will be hard this year because I plan on publishing a lot.

What does a typical writing day look like for you?

I work out in the AM, usually, and write for about two hours. Then I fit in small writing sessions throughout the day. I love using Evernote so I can write on the fly. If I’m sitting in line somewhere or at the park, I can write on my phone.

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

Ha! This is a funny question to me because I always say I don’t procrastinate and I know that I do. I don’t know how I handle it. I just get it done!

Which is more important – plot or characters and why?

Characters. The characters drive the plot. You need them to have a story!

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

The first one is not giving a F*&k. What do I mean by that? Don’t worry about the haters. Everyone has them. I’m no exception. If I spend too much time focusing on those people, I won’t get anything done.

Second, keep my eyes on my own paper. It is so easy to try and compare myself to others. Doing that only makes me feel bad about myself. I have to remember that while I look up to another writer and wish I sold books and had as many fans as that person, someone probably thinks the same of me.

Lastly, head down and keep writing. If I want to write, then write. If I get too distracted or bogged down by other things, I won’t accomplish anything.

How do you manage social media as a writer?

I have my author page on Facebook and I try to post a few times a week. I’ve fallen off Twitter so I linked my account to that so when I post on my fan page it posts there as well. I use Instagram when I remember. I try to do what I can.

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

Invest in an awesome critique partner. Find someone you trust and can share your work with and they can do the same for you. This person is also a great sounding board and you can bitch to each other when needed! Without my critique partner, Stephanie, I don’t think I would have gotten through all these books. I have another author, Karen, that I adore and she has always been a great person to talk to when I am down. It’s important to be able to vent to the people who understand what you are going through.

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

I used to. Now if I have writer’s block, I move on. Either the story or scene isn’t working.

Do you ever think of the next book whilst writing?

Yes. I hadn’t even finished Dating for Decades and I’m writing another book in my mind.

What do you wear to write?

Nothing. Teasing! Whatever I am wearing that day…typically yoga pants and a tank top!

If readers want to get in touch how do they contact you? My website is:

http://www.tracykrimmer.com. Find me on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/KrimmerAuthor and message me there or email me at tracy@tracykrimmer.com.

I am on Twitter at @tkrimms.

Thanks for having me, Lucy!

Great interview Tracy, I really enjoyed your answers.

I loved how you rewrote different versions of your book. I could see myself doing this. 

I really admire writers who can turns themselves into plotters. 

I like the idea of writing on a phone in the park – I must try this. 

I love your learnings! Number 1 especially! 

Great answers and thank you once again!

Next week – British author with a Parisian flair Isabelle Andover brings a touch of elegance to my chair 🙂

 

 

The Diary of Roxy Collins – The Great Kiss #ChickLit #BloggingGals

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Friday

2.05 A.M. My best friend Shaz has just given birth to a beautiful baby boy.

We are both in tears watching him being wrapped up in a white towel by a mid wife.

“He’s adorable Shaz,” I whisper, wiping away tears. “Just think he’s made entirely out of Snickers bars!”

“Thanks Roxy for being here with me,”says Shaz stroking her baby’s soft black hair.

“Hey that’s what best mates do,” I say, giving Shaz’s shoulder a squeeze.

“I don’t know what I would do without you!” croaks Shaz ,staring up at me with tear filled eyes.

Tears start to pour down our faces and a Midwife hands us a box of tissues.

2.56 A.M. I stagger out of the delivery room to find Brian, my landlord, asleep on a row of waiting chairs. I give him a nudge and he wakes looking startled.

When he heard that Shaz had gone into labour he and his wife Patricia leapt into action. Patricia sorted out my kids and Brian headed to the hospital. Even though he moans about me and my kids I think deep down Brian does care about me. He knows how important Shaz is to me.

“Well?” he asks.

“A baby boy!” I squeal.

“All well?” he asks.

“Perfect!” I say, as Brian holds open his arms and gives me a hug.

“Come on!” he says, “lets get you home.”

As we head towards Brian’s car I check my phone.

Two texts are waiting for me.

One is from my ex Dan. I gasp.

It reads ‘I I have made a big mistake Roxy, I love you!’

One is from Marcus. It reads “We need to talk. Hope Shaz and baby are ok!”

Stew over both texts in car on the way home.

9.05 A.M. Sat in work, in a dazed, almost surreal state.

Martin, my line manager, is on the phone to his mother as her bowel condition has flared up again.

I try to block out the details of Martin’s mother’s bowel condition and think about Marcus. He left the hospital shortly after we entered the Maternity building. Everything felt awkward.  Plus Shaz was screaming in pain.

I can’t get his words “I like rescuing you!” out of my head.

I glance up to see his office down the corridor and I can see him sat at his desk.

My phone bleeps. Its Dan telling me how sorry he is and how confused he’s been over Clara and I. Apparently he’s finally made his choice and its me. My heart sinks.

10.05 A.M. Marcus has left the office to go work from home. I casually overheard one of the personal assistants on the phone to someone.

I go back to his text. Maybe I should text him or phone him?

3.50 P.M. Martin let me leave early as I was struggling to stay awake at the desk.

Shaz’s labour was long and exhausting, not just for her but for me as well. Today I am feeling both physically and mentally drained. Plus my mind is full of romance issues.

Still no word from Marcus and I have made no attempt to contact him.

5.56 P.M. Lying on my sofa listening to Matilda tell me about how in love she is with this new boyfriend Matt. They have been friends for years although I have never heard her mention his name before.

Apparently in his spare time he does a lot of charity work, cares for sick animals, visits lonely old people in nursing homes and he has never had a proper girlfriend before. I am amazed that she’s found someone so….saintly.

“So can I go sleep at his house tonight then?” she asks, whilst filing her nails.

“No Matilda!” I say, before letting out a sigh. Sometimes I wish we could talk about something which doesn’t end in me saying ‘no’ a number of different ways.

“Why not?” she asks.

“Because you are not old enough to sleep over at a boyfriend’s house!” I say.

“But he’s such a caring person,” says Matilda, placing down her leopard print nail file to glare at me.

“If you told me he walks on water in his spare time it would still be no!” I say.

“He’s not interested in doing anything with me Mam if that’s what you are worried about!” shrieks Matilda. “He’s different! He just wants to read me romantic poetry!”

“No!” I say, placing a cushion over my head, hoping she’ll go upstairs.

I have had enough of this conversation and my teenage daughter.

7. 10 P.M. There is a knock at my front door.

Matilda and I are screaming at each other in the kitchen and the person at the door has to knock at a second time.

My daughter doesn’t give up on things. Once she gets an idea in her head she’s a nightmare.

I blame Jon, her father. Obviously this stubborness is nothing to do with me.

I storm off to the door and yank it open.

Stood on the doorstep is Dan clutching a huge bouquet of flowers and chocolates.

“I’m so sorry Roxy,” he says.

“What?” is all I can say. I stare at him.

“I made a silly mistake in that hotel room and I should never have let you go. Clara means nothing to me. I love you Roxy!” he says.

“But I don’t…..” I start to say.

“Please take me back Roxy! I will move down here and forget Clara” he begs.

“Roxy!” says a voice behind Dan. I look up to see Marcus coming up the path.

“Marcus!” I say with relief.

“I told you I like rescuing you” he says cheerfully.

Dan’s face falls and he stares at Marcus and then at me.

“I’m sorry Dan,” I say. “I’m not interested. Say hi to Clara for me won’t you? Come in Marcus!”

I close the door on Dan and stand looking at Marcus. My little hallway is a bit of a squeeze at the best of times but it feels even smaller tonight.

“I came to tell you that….” says Marcus and pauses.

“What?” I say, my heart thudding.

“I never recovered from that kiss by the photocopier a year ago. It was quite a kiss and I have not been able to get you out of my mind, ” admits Marcus, reaching out to stroke my cheek.

“Really?” I ask.

“When I saw you in the cinema I realised that I somehow had to be with you Roxy!” he whispers. “I quit my job because I wanted to be with you!”

I throw my arms around him and our lips come together.

“OMG that is gross!” shrieks Matilda from the kitchen.

Marcus grins and I sink into him.

“I am in love with you Roxy Collins!” he says, stroking my hair.

“I never forgot about that kiss either!” I say, gazing longingly into his sea blue eyes.

“You are quite a kisser!” he whispers.

“But I have kids and wobbly bits” I say.

“I don’t care, I just want to be with you Roxy Collins!”

9.08 P.M. Lying on sofa with Marcus. Happy. I have finally found my prince.

To be continued…

Tina’s Writer Diary – Book Research #WritersLife #Comedy #writers

 

tinas-writer-diary

Tuesday 

8.17 p.m. Keith, my boyfriend, has just arrived home from work, after a twelve-hour shift at the factory.

I am sat on the sofa trying to contain my excitement. My entire body is trembling and tears of happiness are already welling up inside my eyes.

He shuffles into the living room, yawning loudly.

‘Keith’ I gush. ‘I have some really big news!’

‘You’re pregnant?’ he asks, a look of concern spreading across his face.

I shake my head.

‘You’ve got an interview for an amazing job?

‘I have an amazing job, I am a full-time writer’ I remind him.

‘You have come into some money?’ He asks, his eyes starting to sparkle.

I exhale loudly and he scratches his head whilst looking puzzled.

‘You’ve had your first sale on that book series you published last year?’

‘Like I told you, every writer has a bad book inside them. I am very different to other writers as I had a bad book series inside of me’ I explain.

Keith yawns. ‘I don’t know what else it could be?’ he says, before plonking himself onto the sofa.

‘Ok….my news is writing related!’ I shriek, leaping up from the sofa.

Keith groans and shakes his head.

‘I got an amazing new idea for a book this afternoon. It gave me a big rush and I had to lie down for a bit!’ I gush.

Keith is still shaking his head.

I continue at speed. ‘Then I came up with the idea of researching it. Guess what? I am going to live out the story through the eyes of my main character!’ I shout.

‘Oh please no!’ whimpers Keith.

‘Yes! You are going to kidnap me in the supermarket and keep me prisoner in our attic for a fortnight!’ I say proudly, wiping away tears of joy that are now streaming down my cheeks.

Keith is sat doing a great impression of a rabbit caught in headlights.

‘Just think of how much insight and emotion I can feed into my book!’ I say, feeling breathless and dizzy.

Tuesday 7.20 p.m.  I don’t waste time on my writing projects.

Keith and I are stood in the middle of our living room.

‘Ok let us practice the kidnap which will take place in the supermarket car park. When I give you the nod I want you to grab me and shove me into our car’ I say,  staring at Keith who is stood beside me.  ‘Pretend the sofa is the car!’

Keith leads me gently to the sofa and gives me a little push onto it.

‘Ok Keith, some feedback for you. I want you to really grab me and maybe lift me into the car’ I say, enjoying my new role as stage director.

‘I am not sure I can do that….I mean you are…….’ mumbles Keith, rubbing the small of his back and staring at my waist.

‘I am light as a feather Keith!’ I snap, before recalling my last weigh-in at my Slimming Club.

Ok so I have put some weight on but what is a couple of pounds between two people, destined to be married and who are looking forward to spending the rest of their lives together?

‘Do we have to do this? Can’t you just read some books about people who have been kidnapped?’ mutters Keith.

I let out a loud sigh before saying ‘I am an amazing writer because I do things properly. Now will you stop moaning and LIFT ME into our car!’ I demand pointing to the sofa.

 

Wednesday

9.13 a.m. Sat in the Doctor’s waiting room with Keith.

I was too busy in character mode  to hear his back snap, as he lifted me into the makeshift car.

What he didn’t realise was that once I was in the air I was going to transform into my character. Good writers are always flicking in and out of character mode.

Looking back I don’t think he expected me to start kicking, screaming and struggling to break free.

The crushed coffee table is now a sore point for both of us.

 

Tuesday

10.30 a.m. Keith and I pushing our trolley around the supermarket.

He is busy checking out the prices of beer whilst I am mentally preparing myself for our mock kidnapping.

Sat up half the night writing him lists of all the things he needs to do whilst I am living out the life of my main character, locked away in an attic.

He has reminded me that he did live by himself for three years prior to meeting me, so he does know that on a daily basis he needs to wash, shave, apply deodorant, place all his dirty laundry in the basket, make the bed, feed the cat, eat and go to work.

I have written him a detailed schedule for looking after me whilst I am being held prisoner. He says that he will do his best to bring me my meals on time, make sure I have clean clothes everyday, provide a good supply of teas and coffees and ensure the heating is kept on, so I don’t get cold up there.

Plus I have also produced a very detailed list of all the ‘bad things’ he’s allowed to say to me, whilst playing the role of an evil kidnapper.

There are some ‘no go insult topics’ for him. He’s not allowed to say anything about:

  • My mother.
  • My weight.
  • My hormonal cycle.
  • My biscuit addiction.
  • My writing.
  • The fact that I have not had a single sale on my book series.
  • My choice of wallpaper in our bedroom.
  • My cat – who he doesn’t like.
  • The fact that I am a full-time writer who doesn’t earn a penny and who spends most of her writing days sat on Twitter.

11.05 a.m. We have loaded the shopping into the car and I have given him the nod.

In view of his back we have decided to just have a tussle up against the car, involving him grabbing my jacket and being a bit rough.

Immediately I leap into character.

‘Get off me you evil kidnapper!’ I scream, beating him with my handbag.

11.55 a.m. We are driving home in silence.

I am trying to forget about being surrounded by the supermarket security team who were concerned for my safety. I did enjoy announcing that I was a writer though.

12.54 p.m. I am in my makeshift attic prison and waiting patiently for Keith to bring me up some lunch. My stomach is groaning and I just hope he has been generous with his servings.

1.36 p.m. Still no sign of Keith or my lunch.

I am so hungry I am getting weak. My fried breakfast this morning now feels like a distant memory.

2.45 p.m. Still no sign of Keith or my lunch.

3.09 p.m. He appears with a tiny sandwich and some water.

‘What is this?’ I shriek, pointing to this mouse sized lunch.

He lets out a loud sigh before saying ‘tough!’ and walks out.

‘Keith!!’ I scream.

As he locks the attic door up he shouts ‘I think I am going to enjoy playing the kidnapper role Tina!’

 

Photo: Stocksnap

 

The Diary of Roxy Collins – Marcus – Part 29 #Romance #comedy

thediaryof

 

 

 

Thursday

9.15 a.m. Receive a mixed reaction from the office to my new vibrant red hair colour.

Martin, my line manager, takes one look at me, grips the desk and says ‘good grief Roxy what have you done!’

The nice men on the IT helpdesk give me a thumbs up and then ask me to fake an IT problem so they can spend time with me.

The young trendy girls in the office give me a ‘OMG – cooooooool hair!’

The older women in the office cast me a puzzled look and ask me whether the colour is permanent.

If I am honest, Wayne did get carried away with the colour of my hair. I was left speecheless when he gave me the mirror.

Matilda, my teenage daughter, arrived home from her Cheerleading training session, took one look at my hair and rolled her eyes. I then overheard her, later in her room, making a YouTube video titled ‘When your mother thinks she’s 21 again’.

9.25 a.m. Marcus, my senior manager, walks past my desk and gives me a smile. The weird fluttering sensation in my chest returns.

10.05 a.m. Receive text from Matilda, my teenage daughter, asking whether she can stay over at her new boyfriend Matt’s house tonight.

I am not sure whether Matilda thinks that I am suffering from amnesia. I have been saying no to this request for months. This is not happening. She’s not staying over at a boy’s house!

I text back ‘NO!’

Text back from Matilda ‘relax Mam, it is just like a girlie sleepover but with a boy!’

I text back ‘NO!’

Text from Matilda ‘Lou [her best friend] says her Mum would let her stay over with a boy’

I text back ‘I am not Lou’s mother!’

Text from Matila ‘Matt and I both hate you!’ and eight devil emojis.

10.20 a.m. Sat in a meeting where Marcus is presenting some business statistics.

All the department are sat on chairs in rows. Some of us are listening, some are nearly asleep (Mike from Finance), some are bored rigid, some are staring out of the window and some of us are drooling at Marcus.

For some unknown reason I can’t take my eyes off him; his fitted pink shirt, his grey pin stripe trousers and his styled grey flecked hair.

10.24 a.m. He’s still talking but I have noticed the occasional glance in my direction from him.

10.25 a.m. He’s done it again. Looked at me from across the room.

I am so glad no one else  has noticed this.

I am tapped on the shoulder, from behind, by Helen from Accounts. ‘Why does Mr Hot keep staring at you?’ she whispers.

I shrug my shoulders and keep my eyes firmly fixed on Marcus.

‘Maybe he likes your new hair colour’ Helen whispers, making me nod in agreement.

‘Maybe he fancies you!’ she whispers into my ear. The idea of Marcus being attracted to me starts to take shape. I am consumed by the fluttery sensation in my chest again and I can feel my cheeks heating up.

In an instant my brain runs through how our wedding day will look and whether or not I will invite anyone from the office to the evening celebration.

‘He’s a senior manager Roxy’ Helen whispers. My fantasy starts to crack.

‘Unlucky honey – he couldn’t date you anyway in his position of authority’ she hisses.

I turn around to glare at her face which is taut and twisted.

Helen has never really moved on from the blonde surfer who broke her heart. She hates to see anyone else getting some attention from the opposite sex.

My fantasy with Marcus is broken.

He gives me a look and I smile. The daydream was nice whilst it lasted.

For the record if I did get married Helen from Accounts will not be invited to the evening celebration.

10. 34 a.m. Get back to my desk and see email from Marcus. He wants to me come to his office as he has an update for me.

10.36 a.m. As I walk towards his office my phone bleeps. I casually peek at it and gasp. Its from Shaz, my heavily pregnant best friend.

‘I have pains – think its labour’ Shaz texts.

Quickly I text back. ‘You are four weeks early. Its probably Braxton-Hicks’

‘It hurts’ texts Shaz. She also includes eight crying emojis.

‘How many Snickers bars have you had?’ I text back.

‘Ten – why?’ texts Shaz.

‘Stop eating Snickers bars!’ I text back.

‘Are you still going to be my birthing partner?’ texts Shaz.

‘Yes – always – get some rest!’ I text back.

10. 37 a.m. I sit opposite Marcus and I can’t stop the fluttering sensation in my chest. It must be my breakfast repeating on me.

As he is on the phone I check my bag for some indigestion tablets. I don’t have any so I pop a mint.

10. 50 a.m. He finally puts down his phone and holds my gaze.

‘Roxy’ he says in his sexy smooth voice. I notice that his sea blue eyes are not sparkling today.

‘I am leaving the company’ he announces.

My heart sinks.

For a moment we both sit and stare at each other.

My phone starts ringing.

I let my phone ring. A lump has risen in my throat. I am actually sad to hear Marcus’s news.

‘There will be a formal briefing later. I wanted to tell you myself’ he says, breaking eye contact and shuffling some folders around his desk.

My phone starts ringing again from inside my handbag.

‘I am so sorry Marcus’ I say, trying not to cry. It is not good for your career to cry when a senior manager says they are leaving. All emotion must be kept to a minimum. I just hope I am not asked to sign his leaving card. I struggle with writing comments on leaving cards as my emotions run wild. I have been known to give people the wrong impression. Kevin from Accounts, who left the company, still thinks there is something between us six years on.

My phone will not stop ringing.

‘I think it is my daughter calling to tell me she hates me’ I moan, praying that whoever it decides to stop calling. I just hope Matilda has not taken it upon herself to accept Matt’s invitation of a sleep over and is now calling to tell me.

It will not be the first time that I have to physically remove her from a boy’s house. These teenage years are really hard.

Matilda seems to be a magnet for boys. I think we need to have a mother and daughter heart to heart.

‘i just wanted to say….’ he pauses. He takes a breath and looks away.

‘I will miss you’ the words fly out of my mouth and take me by surprise. I do struggle when my brain and mouth decide to disconnect.

His eyes widen and I watch his mouth fall open.

My phone is ringing. This has to be an emergency. I just hope Matilda is not over at Matt’s house having her own version of a sleepover…during the day.

I check the screen. Its Shaz. Quickly I answer it.

‘I need to go to the hospital Roxy, the pain is really bad’ groans Shaz.

‘Marcus’ I say. ‘I have to go, my best friend thinks she’s in labour and I am her birthing partner’

Marcus looks shocked and runs his hand through his grey flecked hair.

‘Isn’t the father about?’ he enquires.

‘Sadly not, he doesn’t want anything to do with her. It is a long story. He’s a postman’ I explain.

‘Do you have a car?’ he asks.

I shake my head. ‘I will get a taxi’ I say reaching for my purse.

‘Let me help you’ he says, rising from his chair and grabbing his jacket.

Now it is my turn to be shocked.

‘But you are the senior manager’ I say grabbing my bag.

‘I am leaving Roxy’ he says, whilst giving me a huge smile.

11.30 a.m. Marcus is driving at pace through town and towards the hospital.

Shaz and I are in the back of his Jaguar. I am holding Shaz’s hand whilst she groans and mumbles ‘Snickers bar….someone get me a Snickers Bar…help me!’

He keeps catching my eye in the mirror.

I am nervous for Shaz but I am consumed once again by this fluttery feeling.

11.40 a.m. Marcus and I are pushing Shaz in a wheelchair, up to the Maternity section of the hospital.

‘You didn’t have to do this!’ I shout as we race along.

‘I like rescuing you Roxy’ he says and turns to look at me.

We both stop pushing the wheel chair and stare at each other.

The world around us seems to stop.

All I can hear is the thudding of my heart.

‘Really?’ I ask.

‘That’s all I want to do’ he says, holding my gaze.

‘OMG Roxy I am in labour and you are on the bloody pull!’ shrieks Shaz.

 

 

The Diary of Roxy Collins – Tears In The Loo #romcom #Chicklit

thediaryof

 

Wednesday

3.16 P.M. I am creeping out of the ladies toilet with red puffy eyes and a handful of tissues.

Just had an emotional breakdown in the loo over:

  • Dan going back to Clara.
  • Being thirty something with three kids, two ex partners, living in a shabby rented house and no sign of Prince Charming.
  • My weight. My wobbly bits are getting bigger. No man is going to find me attractive  and no man is ever going to fall in love with me.
  • Coming to the conclusion that I am a lost cause.

3.18 P.M. Had to nip back into the toilet and go hide in a cubicle as the tears returned. I need to pull myself together. All this upset over a man, my life and my wobbly bits.

I believed Dan when he said Clara was out of his life. I took his word and in my head planned out a wonderful future for us. He betrayed me.

3. 20 P.M. I am once again creeping out of the toilets. By the time I get back to my desk upstairs my eyes will have gone back to normal and no one will know that I have been crying in a toilet.

Keep repeating ‘I must get a grip of myself!’

3. 21 P.M. Turn corner in corridor and bump smack bang into Marcus, my senior manager. The one who I kissed over a photocopying machine at a Christmas party last year and the one who saved me in the cinema from my vampire date, a few weeks ago.

Avert eyes to the floor.

‘Are you ok Roxy?’ he asks softly.

This is the worst thing anyone can say to me when I am trying to stop being emotional.

I can’t hold it back.

Here it comes. A huge wave of tears, loud sobbing, inability to get my breath and a runny nose.

3.24 P.M. Marcus has escorted me to a quiet area of the staff canteen. He’s cancelled his meeting and has gone to buy me a coffee.

I am sat telling myself to get a grip. Crying in front of senior management is basically like hailing a ‘career taxi!’

3.27 P.M. Marcus has amazing blue eyes. He’s talking to me and I am distracted. Why haven’t I noticed these before?

Oh yea – I was drunk at the Christmas party and we have both been avoiding each other ever since.

Make decision in head not to go into detail about the reason for my upset. I must remember he’s a senior manager and he doesn’t need to know about my problems.

3.31 P.M. Ok so I am now telling him everything. All the stuff with Dan comes out, my fears of being a spinster and my wobbly bits.

Oh God I have just told my senior manager I have wobbly bits that are getting bigger!

3.35 P.M. Marcus is being sweet. He says that I am bound to find someone else and that I need to stay positive.

3.36 P.M. Just asking him how his dating life is going. I think it’s fair that he gives me an update too.

All the females in the office know Marcus is on the dating apps. He is so attractive for an older man.

We all sit and talk about what we would do if someone like Marcus liked or winked at us on a dating app. The majority of single women in the office reckon they would wet themselves in shock and a small minority say that they would run out into the street screaming.

3.37 P.M. His dating life is not going very well. It hasn’t been doing that well for over a year he says, looking at me with those sparkling blue eyes.

3.38 P.M. He says there is someone he has his eye on but its complicated. There would have to be some changes in his life and he’s not sure whether that person feels the same way.

3.39 P.M. I watch his lips move as he tells me about his feelings for this person.

For a moment I am back against the office photocopier kissing him like crazy whilst printing out 100 stapled copies of some poor junior’s report.

3.45 P.M. Walking back to the office. Marcus has left me as he has a meeting.

As we parted in the corridor there was a weird silence between us. I can’t explain it but it was like he wanted to tell me something but couldn’t find the words.

I thanked him for the coffee and made no photocopying offers.

7.56 P.M. Having my hair done in my lounge by Wayne my mobile hairdresser.

I am sat eating a huge bar of chocolate whilst Wayne eradicates my grey hairs and makes me a brighter shade of red.

This is what you do after a relationship falls apart; dye your hair and eat chocolate.

My wobbly bits are a lost cause. I might as well enjoy myself.

‘So Roxy tell your Uncle Wayne everything!’ says Wayne, whilst performing some hair magic using some bits of foil and a foul smelling substance.

I download everything about Dan and I.

‘Nasty business. I wouldn’t have trusted him with that Clara woman’ says Wayne, shaking his head in disapproval.

‘Thanks Wayne’ I say, before wedging a huge chunk of chocolate into my mouth.

‘So when are you getting back on the dating apps?’ asks Wayne, grinning at me.

‘I don’t think I am destined to be with someone’ I say, letting out a sigh and reaching for more chocolate.

‘Rubbish Roxy!’ snaps Wayne, tapping me on the hand as though I am a naughty child stealing chocolate.

‘You are a beautiful and vivacious red head. It would be a waste, a travesty  if you were left on the shelf!’ he cries.

‘I don’t think I can face another relationship’ I moan, feeling tired at the thought of getting close to someone else and being heartbroken again.

‘Nonsense!’ barks Wayne. ‘Get out your phone now, log in and we can have a little nose at who is out there!’

‘No Wayne I can’t!’ I whimper, feeling tears prick my eyes.

Wayne stops fiddling about with my hair and bits of foil. He stands directly in front of me with his hands on the hips of his silver metallic jeans.

‘Excuse me Roxy!’ he screeches. ‘You are NOT giving up on love! Your hair is going to look amazeballs  and you are one hot lady!’

‘I am destined to be a spinster!’ I cry.

‘You will be if you don’t stop snivelling and get back out there Roxy, now come on where is your fighting spirit?’ cries Wayne, glaring at me.

I reach across to the coffee table and grab my phone.

Wayne squeals as I open up my favourite dating app.

Marcus is staring back at me from the dating app. His profile is on my list of suggested dates.

‘Whoa who is that hunk?’ asks Wayne staring over my shoulder. ‘My goodness he looks just like George Clooney!’

‘That’s …Marcus…my senior manager’ I say feeling an odd fluttery sensation inside my chest.

‘You are one lucky girl working for him!’ says Wayne before letting out a sigh.

I find myself gazing into Marcus’s eyes and wondering whether he remembers our kiss.

 

There will be more from Roxy next week.

She’ll be coming to an end soon as I need to turn her into a book and a podcast!!

Yes folks I have plans to make Roxy into a comedy podcast.

I will keep you all updated. 

Photo: Shutterstock

 

10 Reasons Why a Writer’s Mother is Special #mothersday #writers #SundayBlogShare

Happy Mother's Day

 

  1. They truly believe that you are one day going to be the next J.K. Rowling.
  2. They listen intently to your stories.
  3.  No matter how dire your work sounds they always give you praise.
  4. They encourage you to read and love books.
  5. They tell you not to give up on your dreams.
  6. They listen to you sob and wail at the end of the phone when someone has told you something about your writing that you didn’t want to hear.
  7. They ask how your writing is coming along even when you would rather talk about the weather / avoid the subject of your work at all costs.
  8. They never think your stories are naff. They always find something positive about them even when you are groaning with your head in your hands.
  9. They will buy your book, even if no one else will.
  10. They always laugh at your jokes if you write comedy stuff. Even when no one else does.

Happy Mother’s Day to all out there.

I am dedicating my post to my Mum, Susan, who is my biggest fan and will buy my book, even if no else does. Sigh! That’s one guaranteed future sale. At least I will be able to say ‘someone bought it!’ – lol! 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/27572989@N02/24630916774″>Roses 12-16-15 127mm Rcostco</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a