How To Survive Reading A Romance Novel With An Unwanted Ending #SundayBlogShare #BookWorms


Bad endings in books can leave you feeling cheated and cross.

I can just about cope with weak endings in other book genres, however if I am given a romance novel with an unwanted ending I will struggle….emotionally….for days after it’s finished. 

When I read a romance novel I want:

  • Chemistry between the two characters.
  • A bit of romantic conflict.
  • A happy ever after ending.
  • Epilogue explaining how the couple are doing a year down the line.

In my view the following are unwanted endings:

Continue reading

How To Remain Patient With Your Favourite Author #SundayBlogShare #Books #Author


It is not easy waiting for your favourite author to bring out their next book.

After binge reading all their books, fangirling them by email and social media, all you can do is sit and wait for their next offering.

This agonising waiting period will involve some serious finger drumming, a lot of social media stalking and you forcing yourself to enjoy other books (written by other authors – gasp!).

Continue reading

Author Newsletters & Author Crushes #Author #AmReading #BookWorm



It is not easy when you have an author crush. You read a book and after screaming ‘OMG that book did things to mewho wrote this?‘ suddenly you want to know everything about the author, you retweet all their tweets, you bravely fight their corner when someone in the office is criticising their latest book and you daydream about them one day replying to one of your many comments on their Facebook page.

Trying to control yourself when fangirling an author is difficult – if you are currently getting obsessed about a certain author….I feel your literary pain.

Author newsletters are becoming a big thing. You sign up to a author newsletter and they email you regularly with lots of exciting news.

After months of signing up to a LOT of author newsletters and going through a lot of author crushes (I read 4-5 books a week so I am fangirling over some author most weeks….its no wonder my emotions are all over the place!) I now believe a good newsletter can actually work wonders for your author crush.

If the author gets their newsletter right you – the reader – will get a real literary treat. If they get their newsletter wrong…well…that’s another blog post.

Here is what I think makes a good author newsletter.

Continue reading

14 Reasons Why We Love Reading Historical Fiction #SundayBlogShare #HistoricalFiction


There is something magical about reading historical fiction. After interviewing historical fiction writer Evie Gaughan yesterday, I am taking a moment to celebrate historical fiction.

Here are the reasons why I think we love reading stories from this fabulous literary genre:

Continue reading

Author Interviews Julie Archer @julieoceanuk #Author #Writers

Author Interviews-2

Welcome to my weekly blog series – Author Interviews.

These interviews are fab! I get the chance to interview some amazing authors about the journey they went on with regards writing their book. I get to glean some insight into their writing life and find out what has worked or not worked for them during the creative process.

This week I am super thrilled as author Julie Archer has joined me. Her book is about the world of rock music and love triangles! As you can imagine I am beside myself with literary excitement over this book.


Hey Julie!  Thank you for being here today. 

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

Hello Lucy and all your readers!

I live in lovely Dartmouth in Devon with my husband and two cats. We moved here almost eighteen months ago and I still feel like I’m on holiday!

As well as writing, I also run my own business support services business, providing administration and recruitment for small to medium sized companies. Oh, and I work part time in a book shop!

Cocktails, Rock Tales & Betrayals is my first book. It is set is the work of rock music with a love triangle at the centre of it. But there is a happy ending!

When did you write your first book?

My first attempt was during my teenage years when inspired by the Sweet Dreams and Sweet Valley High books, I attempted my own take on that. I still have the rejection letter somewhere…

Julie – OMG I was obsessed about Sweet Valley High books for years during my youth! I couldn’t understand why my parents wouldn’t move us to America and let me live out my fantasy as Elizabeth. Good grief I had so many dreams about handsome ‘Todd Wilkins’. Sigh!

How long did it take to write your first book?

I have said that Cocktails was two years of hard work. Being totally honest, it was six months of hard work followed by a year of procrastination, then six months of hard work! Having said that, there are parts of Cocktails I wrote about ten years ago that were stripped out from a previously unpublished novel.

What was your motivation to write your first book?

I wanted to write a book that I would read. And I’ve always created characters and stories. Maybe that has something to do with being an only child and having imaginary friends…

When we moved, I found a bunch of notebooks with character sketches and possible plotlines. Lovely, but all of them written when I was about fifteen! And I’m a very different writer now.

Gasp! I had imaginary friends as a child too. I am lucky as mine have stayed with me though.

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

Um, procrastination is definitely one. Like when cleaning the bathroom or having an empty washing basket is waaay more important than writing another 1000 words. And realising that everything I’ve written is utter rubbish. Or realising that my editor identified a totally unbelievable part of the plot and I had to completely rewrite a good quarter of the novel. I’m lucky that I have a pretty amazing support group in the Writer’s Playground and we can all share our issues. There’s usually another writer that has been through exactly the same thing and can give good advice. Or offer virtual cake.

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

See above! My chums in the Playground are amazing!

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

Probably a bit of both. I have an outline or an idea in my head and work with that. But I don’t plan to the nth degree when I start out, things tend to develop as I go along. Sometimes you end up changing characters in a scene because they work better than the original ones and you didn’t plan for that.

What is the best thing about being a writer?

I’m not sure yet, I’m still trying to convince myself I am a real one! But seriously, when someone says they have enjoyed what I’ve written and want to read more, that feeling is amazing.

What is the worst thing about being a writer?

The insecurity. And by that, I mean constantly thinking that you’re not as good as everyone else, you don’t have as many five start reviews as they do, unfairly comparing yourself to other writers… Then I try to remember what I’ve achieved.

Have you ever considered quitting writing, and if so how have you worked through this?
Not yet…although as me again in about six months!

What does a typical writing day look like for you?

If I have a day when I’m solely writing and nothing else, I have a lovely writing desk in our spare room that was a Christmas present from my husband last year and that’s where I’ll be. I’ll start around 10am and work through until around 1pm, have some lunch and start again around 2pm. However, I’ve scribbled notes and plans while at work in the bookshop – and then had to make sense of them later!

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

Of course! Find me a writer who doesn’t… I try to set little targets or do small word races and then reward myself with some Instagram or online shopping time. Or if it really isn’t working, I’ll just give up and go and do something more constructive. Like ironing.

Which is more important – plot or characters and why?

Probably characters. As I’ve mentioned before, I have always created character sketches and I think they have shaped how a plot has gone because of their mannerisms or how they would react to a situation.

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

  • Just keep writing – no matter how hard it is sometimes, just write something. You can’t edit a blank page and even if it’s (to quote Charlie at Urban Writers) gloriously craptastic you can always work with it.
  • Get a good support network – sounds clichéd, but without my chums in the Writer’s Playground, the guys at the Six Month Novel programme, the Dartmouth author community, other writers I met on writing retreats or at literary festival workshops, I don’t think I would have got this far.
  • You can do it yourself – every writer dreams of the publishing deal and the big bang launch. When you start to get rejections, it’s hard to see past that. But, again through my network, I discovered that it’s totally possible to self-publish and get the recognition you deserve. I had a choice to go assisted or pure self-publishing. I chose the latter and, so far, don’t regret it.

How do you manage social media as a writer?

Badly! I’m coming to terms with using it for “Brand Me” rather than just posting pictures of my cats or the success of my football team (Spurs, in case you were wondering. And no, there hasn’t been a lot of success…). But also not being too “salesy” and just spamming my timelines and feeds with “Buy my book!” posts.

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

I’d probably relate it back to the learnings – keep writing even if you find it tough and get a good network around you. Also, don’t be afraid to ask others for help and advice. Without that, I wouldn’t have self-published and I’d still be waiting for that big break. Write the things that you’d like to read, not necessarily what’s popular now.

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

Yes. At the start of this year, I couldn’t write anything, I didn’t think I had the time or the inclination and anything I did write was rubbish! I ended up going on a bit of a writer’s detox with prompts and wrote something every day for a month. Some days it was ten minutes, some days it was half an hour. But it got me back into the habit of writing again and that helped.

Do you ever think of the next book whilst writing?

There are around nine book ideas floating around at the moment, some are just titles, some are vague plots, some are characters. I “try” to focus on one thing at a time though. So, yes!

What do you wear to write?

Now I can write at home whenever I want to, it varies. But mostly jeans and jumpers or t-shirts (depending on how cold it is in our house at the time!). One of my favourite t-shirts has “I just want to drink coffee, create stuff and sleep” on it. I try to wear that when I need inspiration! I have also said that I will channel my inner Barbara Cartland one day and wear a pink ruffled affair and have someone hand feed me chocolates as I dictate to them…

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

Twitter: @julieoceanuk
Or you can pop into the Dartmouth Bookseller on Foss Street and say hello!

Lucy, thanks so much for having me!

Fabulous interview Julie, I really enjoyed our chat!

  • I love how you say your book was ‘six months of hard work followed by a year of procrastination’. That made me smile! 
  • Your support network sounds great. Writing is hard and we all need people supporting and encouraging us. 
  • I can relate to the insecurity bit. I think you are right to look at what you have achieved!
  • Nine book ideas – you poor thing 🙂 
  • Yes channel your Barbara Cartland and come back to write me a guest blog about it – would be such a giggle to read! 

Thank you so much for a great interview!


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00003]

For most amazing interviews please click here.

If you are an author and wish to be interviewed please get in touch!

photo credit: <a href=”″>the chair in the attic</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)</a&gt;

If an Online Dating Site For Writers Existed… #WritersLife #Writers


Photo Credit: StockSnap.

Have you ever found yourself wondering how an online dating site for writers could work? Don’t worry – I got this topic covered!

I think an online dating site for writers is a great idea. Luckily for me, my loved one has not yet traded me in for a younger model, grown tired of my emotional breakdowns, creative tantrums, hormonal fluctuations, frequent use of a shrill voice and my inability to reduce the ironing pile to a more manageable level. However, that doesn’t stop my mind from thinking through this gem of a business idea!

I am sure writers would want to date other writers. Can you imagine dating someone who understands your editing pain, lets you off the housework when you need to focus on your first chapter and gives you constructive literary criticism during pillow talk?  I know…it sounds like the making of relationship bliss!

An online dating site for writers probably exists somewhere in the world, but here is how I think an online dating site for writers could work:

Continue reading

How an Act of Creative Kindness Can Turn Around a Bad Writing Day #MondayBlogs #Writers



Photo Credit: Stocksnap.

Acts of creative kindness can be really powerful. They are great to receive but the feeling you get from helping another troubled creative soul is pretty special.

I recently experienced a bad writing day. It didn’t start well and turned into a day of battling against negativity and self-doubt. So I took immediate action. I stuffed some chocolate into my mouth, drew some dark shadowy figures in my diary, sulked on the loo and had a strong coffee.

I managed to recover some of the day, but I still wasn’t feeling the creative love. Half of me wanted to write the day off as a ‘bad day’ and just forget it.

Then I received a cry for help from one of my creative friends, who was struggling to make sense of a project. She was lost in the detail and desperately needed a fresh pair of eyes to help make sense of it.

So I put down my project and went to her aid.

I told myself “just because I am having a bad and unsalvageable writing day, it doesn’t mean I can’t help turn around someone else’s day!”

Continue reading

The Writer’s Pet Break #WritersLife #AmWriting #Writers


Photo Credit: StockSnap. 

This is a special kind of break for a writer and one that warrants a blog post.

There are 5 stages:

Continue reading

Useful Harry Potter Spells For Writers #SundayBlogShare #Writerslife #writer


Photo Credit: Pixabay. 

Being a writer is tough!  On my blog I am looking at ways in which a writer’s life could be made easier.

Following on from my post ‘Useful Super Powers For Writers’ I thought it would be cool to look at some useful spells for writers, which could transform their creative life.

As I adore Harry Potter I have to use J.K. Rowling’s spells for this post.

For noting: a writer would need a magical wand for these spells and may need to have studied at Hogwarts but that’s just low-level detail.

So, here are the spells from Harry Potter, that I think would be really useful for writers:

  1. Cheering Charm. This clever spell causes the person upon whom the spell was cast to become happy and contented. Heavy-handedness with the spell may cause the person to break into an uncontrollable laughing fit. The writer could cast this spell on a stern looking editor  who is about to give them some crushing feedback. With a flick of the writer’s wand the writer could make their editor start to laugh and giggle. Can you imagine turning an editor’s frown upside down? Yay!
  2. Imperio (Imperius Curse).  This cheeky spell causes the victim of the curse to obey the spoken/unspoken commands of the caster. With a swish of the writer’s wand the literary agent or publisher would say ‘yes!’ straight away. The clever writer could even use their Imperio spell to magic up some publisher generosity with their advance and royalty payments too!  Thanks to this spell the writer could have published books and a healthy bank balance – sigh!
  3. Obscuro. This handy little spell causes a blindfold to appear over the victim’s eyes and would be really valuable for a writer. Imagine the writer’s mother is reading their draft and is a page away from a steamy romance scene. No writer wants their mother to raise her eyebrows and shake her head in disapproval at a naughty bit that they have written. With a tap of their wand the writer could cast this spell and sneakily turn over a couple of pages whilst their mother is plunged into darkness.
  4. Slug Vomiting Charm. This AMAZING spell causes a jet of green light to strike the victim, who then vomits slugs for an undefined period of time (greater than five hours). Writers could use this spell on haters, readers who give 1 star reviews or anyone who says anything naughty (justified or unjustified) about their writing or grammar!
  5. Silencio (Silencing Charm). This wonderful spell silences something immediately. A writer could flick their wand and silence a loved one who is busy complaining about the state of the house / lack of housework duties from the writer.
  6. Obliteration Charm. This handy spell removes things not wished to be seen again. With a flick of their wand the writer could remove things they never want to see again like pesky typos, annoying grammar issues, badly worded paragraphs or dull characters. Editing would be a delight with this spell and writers would be busy tweeting #obliteratingmytypos and #lovingeditingwithspells
  7. Obliviate (Memory Charm). This special little spell is used to hide a memory of a particular event. OMG this would be really useful for a writer!  They could hide all bad memories relating to their writing. There would be no more dwelling on receiving a rejection or having a sleepless nights about some criticism that they have received. Writers could just move on with their creative lives. Sigh!
  8. Colloportus. This useful spell magically locks doors and this could be really valuable for a writer with noisy and needy loved ones. With a swish of their wand they could magically lock the door of the room they are writing in and…hey presto – peace and quiet!
  9. Refilling Charm. This amazing spell refills whatever drink was originally in the container. Just imagine how useful this would be for a writer in the middle of a late night writing session who has run out of coffee or even wine *whimper*  With a flick of their wand the writer’s glass could be magically refilled with that pleasant and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc…
  10. Accio (Summoning Charm). This cheeky spell is useful for summoning objects. An exhausted writer could be sat at their writing desk and in need of something sugary to help keep their creative energy levels topped up. They are too weary to get up off their chair and go into the kitchen, so they flick their wand and…..happily summon a bar of chocolate or a doughnut from the cake box. It would just magically appear in front of them – squeal!

With these useful spells our creative life would be filled with lucrative publishing contracts, cheerful editors, wine glasses that magically keep refilling and annoying typos that just disappear!! OMG this would be like literary paradise..

Why didn’t my parents send me to Hogwarts?

If you fancy reading something else on the subject of magic – check out my post on why being a writer feels like something out of Harry Potter…

Click on the image and I will magic you there..


Have a wonderful Sunday all 🙂

This list was really useful and helped me put this post together.

If You Looked Inside a Writer’s Brain #SundayBlogShare #writers


If You Looked Inside a Writer's Mind-2

Photo Credit: Pixabay

I find writer brains fascinating. So much activity goes on inside them.

Here is my list of what I believe to be inside a writer’s brain.

Continue reading