Heaven Calling – Part 1 New Fictional Series #Comedy #Chicklit #WomensFiction

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Welcome to my new weekly fictional series – Heaven Calling.  

Writing novels is hard and sometimes a writer needs to have a break. This is like a mini break for me. I miss creating a fictional blog series and getting the chance to write a new chapter each week.

This is meant to be a comedy but I am sat here wondering whether anyone will find it funny. If it tanks I will just have to write something else. Sigh.

It will be out every Thursday on BlondeWriteMore.com.

Check out part 1 below.

I hope you enjoy getting to know Camilla and Gerry.

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35 Things You Don’t See When You Buy A Book #AmWriting #Writer #Author

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The idea for this post came to me after I did some research on the ‘overnight literary success myth.’  I have always been intrigued by the term and the notion that success JUST happens to authors. Surely there is more to overnight literary fame than meets the eye?  Once you type this myth into Google you can expect to see an array of interesting articles and blog posts on the subject.

This research into the myth of authors being hailed as ‘overnight literary successes’ led me onto the iceberg” cliché, which I found in a fab article. It was an article from the Huffington Post:

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Why Supportive Writing Friends Are Like Lighthouses #MondayBlogs #AmWriting

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There are times when writing is similar to sailing a small boat, across a stormy sea at night.

Think of your little boat as your creative project and the angry sea being a mixture of your emotions, your recent literary experiences and your writer demons.

You are in total darkness, desperately clinging onto something (which you have little faith in), you have no idea where you are going to end up and you are cursing yourself for even thinking about setting off on a journey like this.

You are desperate…when out of the literary darkness comes this beam of light.

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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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The Writer Friend Job Description #AmWriting #Writer

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The job description for a writer friend might go something like this…

About The Role

Writer friend needed to provide long-term creative and emotional support to a fellow writer.

Hours: Can vary each week. Dependent upon a number of factors:

  • The mental state of the writer
  • The stage the writer is at with their latest project.
  • The writer’s view of their current project.
  • The writer’s view of their own creative abilities

Location: Can be based anywhere in the world as long as there is Wi-Fi access.

Key Duties / Responsibilities:

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How To Survive Naming Your Characters #Writers #AmWriting

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Naming characters is hard and there are painful consequences if you get it wrong. If you have ever written 70k + words with a character who has an irritating name, you will know where I am coming from on this.

Here are some things you need to know before you start the naming process:

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How to Survive Deleting a Character From Your Story #Writer #AmWriting

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Writing the death of a much-loved character can be demanding and can leave you inconsolable.

There is, however, another literary situation which can be just as challenging and it can cast a nasty gloom over your writing day – deleting a character from your story.

I am not talking about deleting a random minor character; someone who you created one day after too much coffee, inserted into the middle of your novel, just to beef it out (technical literary term) and then deleted them the following day after realising your stupidity. Sigh!

No – I am talking about when you make major changes to your draft and you decide to get rid of a key character. They will be a fictional person who has been with you since the start of your story and someone who you have history with. The awful thing is that you know a change like this needs to happen and..dare you say it..your story will be better without them.

This situation can play havoc with your emotions as you have to ERASE this fictional character from your story and then act like they NEVER existed!

You don’t know about literary heart-break until you have experienced severing all ties with a fictional character.

So, if you are an emotional writer like me, you will find deleting an existing character tough going.

Here are some useful tips on how to survive this dark literary time:

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Writer’s Intuition #SundayBlogShare #Writer #AmWriting

 

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When you start using your writer’s intuition, it is like another person joins your literary party.

Before I discovered my writer’s intuition it was just me and my creative muse. Now, I know this will come as a shock to most of you, but my creative muse is very much like me – bat poop crazy!  This is why we get on so well and spend so much time together…in a darkened room. Once I started listening to my writer’s intuition it was like a sensible person had joined our literary party.

There are several stages to discovering the existence of your writer’s intuition and listening to it:

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Author Interviews Ian Probert @truth42 #Writers #Author #Boxing

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Welcome to my weekly blog series – Author Interviews.

I spend a lot of my time pestering amazing authors and getting them to agree to an interview on my blog.

These interviews provide my readers with valuable insight into a writers’ life. I get to understand how they overcame tough challenges whilst writing their books, what learnings they have for aspiring authors and most importantly what they wear whilst writing their literary masterpieces.

This week I have managed to persuade author Ian Probert to sit in my chair.

Ian is a ‘fighter not a writer’ and on his website describes himself as ‘incredibly handsome. Indescribably intelligent. The most brilliant writer since… Since… Since… Well… William Dickens or Charles Shakespeare’.  He used to play guitar in the Beatles. he’s an opera singer. Beyoncé is his stalker (she’s so irritating!). He played football for Real Madrid. He has an Olympic gold medal for water polo. Andy Murray used to be his ball boy. He played clarinet with Lorraine Bowen and is the secret love child of Marlon Brando and Tessie O’Shea!’

I love his imagination! Almost as good as mine 🙂

Ian knows a bit about boxing, so I am putting on my virtual boxing gloves to do this interview.

Ian – welcome! Please take a seat in my red chair..

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

Over the year I’ve had eight or nine books published. These range from children fiction, to teenage fiction, to adult fiction and autobiography. I’ve even had couple of book on photography; kid of a hobby of mine.

When did you write your first book?

My very first book would have been when I was about 12, although you’d have to call it a novella. What I used to do was hand in stories that were several exercise books in length to my bemused English teacher. The poor woman would then have to read them – she must have dreaded giving me homework.

How long did it take to write your first book?

My first published book was called ‘Internet Spy’. That was in 1995. It took about a month. It wasn’t very long.

What was your motivation to write your first book?

What basically happened was that I pitched a teenage fiction series to Kingfisher and they went for it.

I was then commissioned along with people like Terry Deary to write the books.

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

Well apart from the obvious one of typos, which I still don’t understand the psychology behind our ability to totally miss them, it’s always about making things interesting enough for readers to want to carry on reading. Obviously it is. I used to try to get a handle on this by drinking alcohol at the end of the day and then reading what I’d written. I was hoping that I could see things from a different point of view. I don’t think this approach was particularly successful. Although I did used to get very drunk.

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

I went through a 15-year long bad writing patch, in which my brain was in a complete fog due to undiagnosed hypothyroid disease. This is one of the many symptoms of the disease – the inability to concentrate. And nothing kept me going – I eventually stopped completely until three years ago, when my condition finally diagnosed.

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

I like to have a basic framework or premise and then see where it takes me. If I can surprise myself then hopefully I can surprise others. In the kids book I did a couple of years ago – Johnny Nothing – I actually had no idea how it would end until suddenly the book was finished.

What is the best thing about being a writer?

To be in control of the entire universe.

What is the worst thing about being a writer?

To have no say whatsoever in the universe you inhabit.

Also, no sick pay or paid holidays.

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

Apart from my 15-year enforced hiatus, not really. I’m at the age where there’s nothing else I could do. I don’t see anyone suddenly offering me a job. Unless it’s an unpaid one at the local Oxfam.

What does a typical writing day look like for you?

Start around 8:30 when everyone has left the house. Write until about 1:00 or 2:00. Then try to do marketing, household chores, etc.

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

Erm… Well… I… Um… Let’s see… No, not at all.

Which is more important – plot or characters and why?

I don’t see either being any more important than the other. It’s no good having a great story with rubbishy characters. And it’s equally useless having great characters with a crappy story. You gotta go for both at the same time.

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

Wow.

1. To be honest.

2. To read your work aloud to others – that way you’ll soon discover if it’s of any value.

3. To learn to accept criticism.

How do you manage social media as a writer?

It’s a necessary evil these days. Although I’m unconvinced that I’ve ever sold a single extra copy as a result of a tweet or a Facebook post. However, if you want a publisher to take you seriously you must have a pretty noticeable web imprint.

As well as a personal website and the obligatory WordPress blog, I tend to do everything. My motto is ‘Facebook for friends and family; Twitter to swear at and insult people you don’t know…’

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

Don’t do it. Seriously. Don’t. There are plenty of other ways out there to earn enough money to have a varied and full life.

Writing is like acting and music – only the top 5% make any money, the rest are waiters. And, of course, the fewer people decide to write the less competition there is out there for me!

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

I’d say my entire life is a case of writer’s block. The only time I can manage to squeeze any words out of me is when i have a deadline two days away.

Do you ever think of the next book whilst writing?

Yes, sometimes. In Dangerous some of the writing was done at my daughter’s hospital bedside while she fought for her life.I also blogged about it a lot, which the hospital found out about. They then asked me if I’d write a kids book to raise money for the hospital, which is what I’m working on right now.

What do you wear to write?

I’m always completely naked. This stops unnecessary interruptions and intrusions. Believe me, nobody wants to see me naked.

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

The usual places: Twitter, Facebook, and there’s an email address on my personal website. On Thursday’s you’ll often find me in the Flask in Highgate.

Ian’s new book Dangerous came out on 15 September 2016.

Wow Ian – what an intervew! So many things to think about:

  • I totally agree about typos and our amazing ability to miss them or in my case ignore them! 
  • I love the idea of being in control of the entire universe. 
  • Your learnings are great – especially the one about being honest! 
  • Love your approach to Facebook and Twitter. 
  • So many authors are writing naked nowadays –  feel like I am missing out. Do edit naked as well?

Thanks for a great interview!  

 

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If you are an author and want to appear on my blog please leave me a message below in the comment box and I will get in contact 🙂

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;

The Diary of Roxy Collins – OMG He’s a Rat #romance #chicklit #MondayBlogs

 

 

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Saturday

8.45 A.M. Two things have come into my life; my ex-boyfriend Dan and my youngest son Toby’s new pet rat ‘Bob’.

I can’t say I am happy with the arrival of Bob and I can’t say my landlord Brian is thrilled either. However Bob has stopped Toby talking to his imaginary friend Malcolm. Big sigh of relief!

Brian, my 67 year old landlord, clutched his chest and went an odd grey colour at the sight of Toby’s new pet. I had no other choice but to leap into action and manoeuvre Brian out of the house before he thought too much about Bob. I promised him that Bob the rat will be properly cared for and will never be left unattended to roam free around the house.

Brian staggered off down the path muttering and shaking his head.

Just listening to Toby chat away to Bob in his cage. Its great for kids to have pets. Sigh!

8.47 A.M. I need to get a wriggle on and pack my overnight  case.

I am back with my ex Dan.

Jake and I were not really suited to each other. He seemed petrified of me the whole time. I never understood why. Dan is not scared. He likes my kind of crazy!

Dan is taking me away for the night to a fancy hotel. It is a chance for us to celebrate getting back together. Shaz, my best mate, says second time around relationships are great.

I am a bit nervous. I don’t know why but I always end up getting into some sort of drama at fancy hotels. In the past I have avoided them. Rob, my ex, refused to take me to a nice hotel as he said I would end up causing a scene.

Mystic Clive, my favourite astrologer, told me that I had to take a risk this week so I accepted Dan’s gift of a night away with him in a fancy hotel.

10.15 A.M. Still not packed my overnight case. Its lying open on the kitchen table, half full with an assortment of clothes and underwear. I can’t decide what to wear for a posh dinner in a fancy hotel so I am packing at least 4 outfits. Decision will be made later.

Arguing with Matilda, my teenage daughter, about her choice of outfit to the local shopping centre with her friends.

‘It looks like a belt [her skirt] Matilda!’ I shriek pointing in horror at the miniscule strip of denim around her waist.

‘Mam its called fashion!’ Matilda yells back at me.

‘You are NOT wearing THAT and those HUGE heels – NO!’ I scream back at her.

‘I HATE YOU RIGHT NOW!’ screeches Matilda.

‘Mam’ says Toby tugging at my arm.

‘Not now Toby’ I say striding after Matilda who is tottering towards the front door.

‘COME BACK HERE!’ I scream at her as she gives me a wink and opens the door.

‘Mam!’ urges Toby.

‘What?’ I snap, still glaring at Matilda.

‘Bob’s gone missing’ whispers Toby.

10.17 A.M. Time grinds to a halt as I flick my head to stare in horror at Toby.

‘Better dash Mam!’ says Matilda seizing her opportunity and slipping out of the door.

‘You promised me he wouldn’t escape’ I say to my nine year old.

‘He was anxious and needed a cuddle’ says Toby.

‘Toby he’s a RAT!’ I scream, ‘rats don’t suffer with anxiety!’

Speaking of anxiety here comes Brian, my landlord, up the path. OMG!

10.19 A.M. Brian has come to fix the loo.

‘How’s the pet Toby?’ he asks as he starts to climb the stairs.

‘He’s asleep in his cage’ I say quickly.

10.23 A.M. Toby and I are on our hands and knees searching the conservatory, whilst calling ‘Bob!’

10.32 A.M. Brian, the landlord wants to see Bob in his cage in the conservatory. My whole body is trembling. If he finds out there is a rat loose in the house the kids and I could be finding another place to rent.

Time for Roxy the actress to make an appearance!

‘Oh Brian I don’t feel very well’ I say putting my hand to my forehead.

‘You do look a bit peaky’ says Brian looking concerned.

‘Think I need to sit down’ I say slumping into a chair, whilst praying Brian will leave the kitchen and not go out into the conservatory to see the empty cage.

I place my head in my hands for maximum impact.

‘Good grief – what is that?’ exclaims Brian.

I can feel the blood drain from my face as I lift my head up, half expecting him to have found Bob the rat in the kitchen.

Brian is stood clutching his chest, looking an odd shade of grey and staring at my overnight case.

To my relief its just my choice of underwear hanging out of the case.

For the second time in a week I quietly manoeuvre my landlord out of my house and watch him walk down the path muttering and shaking his head.

11.10 A.M  Brian has left. We still haven’t found Bob the rat.

Toby is crying at the kitchen table.

Harry my other son is on the floor in the kitchen, waving bits of lettuce and shouting ‘BOB!’

2.00 P.M. Still no sign of Bob the rat.

We have been around the house shouting ‘Bob’. I haven’t even had chance to question whether rats answer to their name.

Toby and Harry are being led away snivelling by their father Rob.

3.00 P.M. Dan is outside in the car. I am off for a fancy night in a hotel.

As we pass Brian in his garden I give him a little wave and he looks away.

4.00 P.M. Whilst Dan is getting our room key I decide to head for the bar. I need a little glass of wine to take the edge off my frazzled mental state.

It has been an emotional day with Matilda’s skirt choices and the disappearance of Bob the rat.

I am also worried about my night in this beautiful hotel. It seems far too posh for me and there is always drama where I am concerned.

If anything goes wrong I will blame Mystic Clive.

4.10 P.M. Dan has joined me in the hotel bar. He gives me a kiss on the cheek and asks me whether there is anything wrong.

I explain that things never go right for me in posh hotels. Dan gives me a cuddle and tells me that we will have a wonderful night.

4.15 P.M. My phone bleeps. Its Rob, my ex, telling me that Toby is inconsolable about Bob the rat.

Here comes the mother guilt. I am sat drinking wine with handsome man whilst youngest son is having a breakdown about a lost pet!’

7.23 P.M. Doing my makeup in our hotel room. Dan has already commented how beautiful I look in my dress. He looks very handsome too.

I am stood in the bathroom trying to recreate Kim Kardashian’s contouring look but failing miserably.

‘Good grief what is that?’ screeches Dan from the bedroom.

I groan. What is it with men and my choice of underwear?

Why can’t a girl (woman in her thirties) have nice….colourful…tiny underwear garments?

I drop my makeup brush and race out of the bathroom. Dan is stood white faced by the door.

My eyes fall upon Bob the rat, sticking up out of my case and sniffing the air.

‘OMG it’s BOB!’ I scream!

‘What?? You know the RAT sticking it’s head out of your knickers ROXY?’ shrieks Dan.

I blame Mystic Clive for everything.

 

For more Roxy please click here