Monday, 29 October 2012

It's been a while!

Well, it's been a busy week. I've been sticking to those priorities and managing to get some words on my new rural romance, Fixing Fences.

Whilst sticking to my studies, I've managed to knuckle down and write 22k since finishing Deceive Me in Ireland, (with the help of coffee of course), brining it to 25k. :)
Fixing Fences is about a city girl seeking her history in the Hunter Valley and fixing her existing relationship with her mother and her inner self. And finiding love along the way...

My skills at plotting are refining themselves and this time, I've managed to plot my novel from start to finish (with room for some kangaroos of course).

To keep myself inspired this week I've been feeding my muse with Jilted by Racheal Johns who I had the pleasure of interviewing some months ago. I'm thoroughly enjoying it and finding that it really helps to read the work of other great writers when the words just aren't flowing like they normally do. When the words don't flow it's best not to panic. So I keep calm and read and off my muse goes again.

Well, a new week has begun and my muse is chomping at the bit to have her way.
Happy reading/writing everyone!


Sunday, 21 October 2012

When One Story Ends, Another Is Just Beginning

Yesterday afternoon I finally typed the words 'THE END', on my second novel in my Irish series, 'Deceive Me in Ireland'. When I first typed those word on 'What Happens in Ireland' I felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. It wasn't my first novel ( I had written a fan fiction the year before) but it was they very first of my own series of books. I felt so excited by those words, one step closer to one day seeing my name on a shelf. That was a year ago.

But this time was different. I was relieved. I had finally finished. My hero and heroine finally had the Happily Ever After they deserved and I'd finished it at just shy of 80 000 words, my shortest novel so far.

I was a little scared by how short it was. I thought it was something to be alarmed about. But I realized it's because over the year, through the many drafts and the houses I spent working on my novels, I have refined my craft.

But, the worse feeling was not my fear of having written too less, but my growing sense of loss. I didn't want to say good-bye. I'd fallen in love with my hero and I thought of my Heroine as a best friend. They'd become a part of my everyday life over the last twelve months and suddenly, it was all coming to an end.

But as the saying goes, 'When one chapter ends, another begins.'

'Deceive Me in Ireland' is just the second of four stories and I have so many plans for novels to write. As I said in an earlier post, my muse has been running wild with motivation over the last two weeks. I had written the first chapter of an new novel I have planned, a rural romance set in Scone. I'm really looking forward to writing this novel. My connection with it is strong and in just a day it has grown from 3000 words to 8000. Whilst I miss my Irishman, William and Cara, my timid heroine from Melbourne, I find myself making new friends already.

There's only one thing more satisfying than typing the words 'THE END' and that starting a new novel. There's the first time tingle of attraction, those awkward first impressions and those fresh starts.

My newest WIP, 'Fixing Fences' is all about new beginnings and how sometimes, they are the only thing that can fix the past.

Happy reading/writing everyone,


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Pros of Plotting

I started out as a pantser. I had an ending, then a beginning and that's pretty much all I had. Everything else was decided as I went.
I'm currently writing the second novel in my series, 'Deceive Me in Ireland' and to avoid all the hassles and rewrites this time, I decided to plot. And you know what? I groaned and moaned the whole time, pulling my hair out over how I would get from A to B and what conflict to have. But, it all came together.
I started out by plotting the first few chapters. Then plotted the coming ones. Then a few more on top of that and as my characters grew so did the story in my head. By the time I hit the 50k mark, I knew exactly where I was going. I was no longer driving around with the headlight off and yet, I was still surpising myself.
Every now and then, I would have a pantser moment. A new twist, a new solution, a new chapter. The plotter and pantser in me are finally working together. It's like having a few kangaroos jump out in front of you. And of course, you never swerve.

I'm now plotting my next novel, a rural romance set entirely in Australia. I'm going to miss my Irishmen, but I'm excited about the prospects of a new challenge.
I have decided to still to my plotter ways and I'm still expecting a few roos. But there really are benefits in plotting.
For one, you save time. There no getting stuck at a crossroads or finding yourself down a deadend street.
Secondly, you get there faster, because as I found, I knew where I was going. There was no hesitation and yet there was still the same excitement you feel watching it all unfold.
And lastly, there's no turning back a hundred times just to get it right. I know the things I struggle with and so I plot them. I run my directions past the locals (my CP's) and then after a few quick alterations, I'm off on my way.

So tell me, are you a plotter or a pantser?


Friday, 12 October 2012

Wherever My Muse Takes Me

Well, it's been a big week. I've been sticking to my studies, but my muse is still chomping at that bit. So each night, when I can study no more, I let her have her head and clear my head of the three storylines I've got running up here.

It's funny, I've tried to avoid writing two books at once but this last week, I can't help myself.
Last night I started a new project and in a space of three hours managed to get 2k down and finish the first chapter. Tonight, I might return to 'Deceive Me in Ireland' but I think I'll let the muse decided. She seems to know where I should be going and as long as I'm working on something I don't see why I should pull back.

Writers, has this ever happened to you? Are you the type to have more than one project going at the same time? Or do you dedicate yourself to one manuscript at a time?

Well, I hope everyone has been having a good weekend,


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

My Muse is Trapped In a Gilted Cage

This week, if there is anything I have had trouble with, it has to be my Gilded Cage otherwise known as 'priorities'. Over the next month, I will be dedicating myself to my studies, which unfortunately means I must lock the Muse away.

And she's not happy.

Today, so far, I've had a number of new ideas jump into my head when really, I should be memorising a very tedious essay. But instead I've come up with three new scenes for three of my future WIP. The Muse is chomping at the bit and I'm almost tempted to let her free.

But I must refrain and hope that the notes I've written down are enough to wake her up again. And that I can make it though the next month without going completely insane.

Have a nice week everyone!
I hope your priorities aren't getting in the way of what you love,


Saturday, 6 October 2012

Interview: Loretta Hill

This week, I have the lovely and incredibily talented Loretta Hill joining me on the blog. Loretta is a Random House author and her debut novel 'The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots' is a fantastic read which I loved!

I'm very happy to have her here, so lets get to the questions:

As always, can you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself and your writing?

Well, my name is Loretta Hill. I am a mother of four, educated and employed as a structural engineer but currently on maternity leave and writing books.

How did your writing journey begin?

My writing journey began when I was 8 or 9 years old. I wrote this story in an exercise book about a two orphans who are searching for their parents. Their parents turn out to be a fairy and a dragon. Don’t ask me how that works!
Haha, the wonders of a child's imagination. :

So tell us, how do you come up with such fantastic ideas and storylines? 
I don’t have one specific place or a thing that gives me ideas. I get ideas from everywhere.  Sometimes, the news, sometimes a song, sometimes a friend will say something that triggers something. I guess, I get ideas from life- my own experiences mixed with other peoples.

Now, I’m a fan of the male POV. I love writing scenes from my Hero’s perspective as I find it refreshing. Are you a fan of the male POV too?

I do love the male point of view but you will notice in “The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots” there is none. This was for two reasons. The first was that the first draft of that book was in 1st person. So when I converted it to 3rd person everything was still in Lena’s POV. The other reason was I didn’t want readers to be in Dan’s head. I wanted him to be as mysterious as possible.  So I relied heavily on his body language to convey his attraction to Lena. That was tough given I was always in Lena’s POV and she’s not supposed to know Dan’s attracted to her.

However, “The Girl in the Hard Hat” has whole chapters of hero POV. I guess I really wanted to make up for the absence in my first book J
Thank God! Having just finished your book (at 1 am Wednesday morning to be exact), I found it so frustrating not knowing what was going on in Dan's head. All I can say is, you know you craft. :)

Now, what was the hardest lesson you had to learn during the publishing process?

I was strongly recommended not to use a particular name as my writing name.  It was a bit of blow because I had always wanted to use that name.  And when the writing dream came true, it kind of took the gloss off it a bit not being able to use my first choice of name.  But I got over that! 

Now to talk about the book. Tell us a little about your current release?

“The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots” has been on the shelves since Jan this year and is now part of Australia’s September Get Reading Campaign ( )  It’s basically about a young girl who is thrown in the deep end and expected to sink. But she swims! Boy does she swim. And against the odds too, which happens to be 350 men on a construction site in the Pilbara. My second book, “The Girl in the Hard Hat” is due out Jan next year and basically follows the first book except there’s a new girl in town.  Her name is Wendy and she’s also up to the challenge of working in a male dominated field. Both my books have a lot of romance and Aussie comedy in them.

You can find both these books and their blurbs at the following address:
They certainly do. I can't wait to read Wendy's story.

What is your favorite part of the novel? Beginning, middle, end? Some place in between?

That’s hard to pick! Generally if I don't like what I’m writing, that’s the first sign to me that I have to cut or edit it. It’s my own personal rule that I have to enjoy every part of the book or it needs fixing in the area that’s “boring me.”
Having said that I did particularly enjoy writing the last third of “The Girl in the Hard Hat” not just because I was getting close to the end but because it was the most action packed part of the book. I had three subplots coming to a head.

Now, don’t shoot me for mentioning ‘50 Shades of Grey’ but how do you feel about the idea of submissive female characters and possessive male protagonists? Does it get up your nose?

YES!  I’m not into submissive female characters at all. In fact, if I had one I’d probably use her for comic relief.  As for the male protagonists being possessive, I think that he should have a good reason to be that way and his possessiveness should not lead to aggression. That’s a big turn off for me.  I prefer my heroes protective rather than possessive.
Well said. :)

Now an interesting question about your own experience working in a male dominated environment on the Pilbara, did you learn some lessons?  
I certainly did. It was a very character building experience.

And are those lessons passed on to your heroines?
I have drawn on my own experiences to make my characters come alive.  The engineering projects in my novels are real and also I’ve tried to make the descriptions of camp life and the landscape as true to life as possible.
However,  both my heroines are definitely fictional characters with fictional problems and fantasy love lives.
But that's the fun in it, isn't it? :)

Now last but not least, do you have any advice for aspiring writers like myself?

Keep writing. Write as much as you can and never give up on the dream because the secret to getting published is simply persistence.

Thank you so much Loretta for joining me on the blog. It was a pleasure to get to know the author behind the book and I wish you all the best with your up and coming release.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012