Saturday, April 30, 2011

Post Wedding blues...

The wedding yesterday was lovely and brought back memories of my own ages ago.... I planned to drown my post wedding blues in Sophie Page's (aka Jenny Haddon) TO MARRY A PRINCE but DD got there first. Not fair as I will now have to wait. DD's comment is that the book is a perfect way to continue that wedding feeling....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Orion Author Questionnaire...Gulp

Another new step...I'm an author. It sounds like I'm confessing something truly sinful. I have avoided this word in the past because, well, it sounded serious and important and maybe even a little up myself. I was happier with the tag - writer. I write. I write lots and lots but author implied things... like published books.

So now here I am with an author questionnaire and it's not the first...I did do the Blake Friedmann one, but although it was scary wasn't as scary as this one. This questionnaire asked me to write down TEN things they didn't know about me...ten.

Now I know from being a good little student at all the RNA conferences that these terrifying questionnaires are so important because in these times this is all the marketing department may see of the author. They need this information to find ways to promote my book. I can't remember who mentioned this dreaded device - the author questionnaire, but they knew it was akin to baring your soul.

We writers tend to be quiet creatures (not all of us I hasten to add but most) observing the world and only taking part fully at writers' conference where we meet like souls who don't think we are insane (they know the truth).

So in midst of my despair yesterday filling out this instrument of torture I tweeted that I was having trouble with the TEN things about me and the wonderful Kate Harrison mentioned my shoes obsession and then she tweeted (@KateWritesBooks) how she saw my life....@liz_fenwick I sometimes think your life seems a bit like Grazia/Vogue crossed with an Enid Blyton book. Five go mad by the sea etc.

Depending on how you look at's not far from the's just that I'm not a celeb and can't afford the designer clothes I covet...but close enough. So thank you Kate....I now have images of me in my one pair of Louboutins playing in the rock pools of Cornwall (hmmm...maybe there's a book in that????). Maybe I should put that on the form...but then again maybe not...

Oh I have to also say it's incredibly exciting to be doing this too, terrifying but a little bit of heaven too be doing all these things that mean I'm a real writer...okay I'm an author - there I've said it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I posted on twitter yesterday about the restless feeling I have at the moment...I was told it was normal after the massive high I've been on.( post success stress disorder according to Marika Cobbold) That made sense. The next piece of advice was to begin the next book. Probably the excellent advice but it wasn't yet on my normal - read pre-published schedule. I am normally gearing up for the RNA's NWS so it's revision time. However at this point I don't know what to revise...I cant settle to anything.

I asked the wonderful Beryl Kingston to give the first line to begin a new story...
"It was a dark and stormy night and my feet were covered in blisters...
I added... "because I was wearing my sister's shoes not that she would mind as she was dead but they were Louboutins and it would have been a waste to bury her in them."

So my task for you is for each person to post the next sentence or two in the comments....and let's see where the story goes.

Revision Central

My role as Attila-the -mum is working. I feel awful when the boys tell me they want to go to the gym to escape. My body is in revolt...five days in a row at the gym...However it has to be done - both the gym and the revision.

But for me this is a weird time....I know my revisions are coming but I don't know what they are. I have been on a huge high and now find myself in limbo. I don't want to touch A CORNISH HOUSE. I haven't read the script since I completed the changes that my agent wanted. This I think is good because as always before I go in for revisions...distance is good-any distance.

So while the boys are sweating blood around the dinning table I have been looking at story structure. Here's a brilliant link Screenplay Mastery by Michael Hauge. PENDEROWN has balance issues because I am working with two heroines and AUGUST  ROCK is reasonably okay but I need to heighten one of the key turning points. What I need to do is just focus on one of them or begin something entirely suggested on Twitter...It was a dark and stormy night when...

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Any follower of this blog knows that it has been quite an extraordinary time lately. Not only was I in the Maldives for my birthday with my whole family but just days before I signed a deal for publishing  A CORNISH is good.

But in truth what makes life worthwhile on every single day of the year - the highs and the lows are friends and family. My writer friends are a special bunch...they know the joy, the pain, the frustration of what it's be a writer. I know I celebrate each triumph and heart ache with them so I shouldn't be surprised by Julie Cohen's post here and Susan Alison's beautiful birthday painting here and finally another post from the lovely Nina Harrington here. but I was delightfully caught off guard and made a bit weepy...

So now back to real life...boys are revising as i type this. We're all struggling with the overnight flight and I'm clearing the readiness for edits from my editor...oh, how good it feels to say that...

Saturday, April 09, 2011

A Birthday in paradise and It Must Be Real - It's In The Bookseller!

I have woken to the most beautiful morning in paradise another year older. I can hand on heart heart say I have never been happier, which says a lot as it's thankfully been a very happy life, a very blessed one.
This is view this morning. DH has been out snorkelling already and all three kids are still sound asleep. They have planned a birthday breakfast here in the room and then they day on the beach lounging and reading...bliss. We fly back to Dubai late tonight and then realities of being a mum with kids studying for important exams takes over....attila-the -mum...up at 8:00 at the books by 8:30 (I hate this part of motherhood)...oh and I guess returning to the realities of being a writer too and thinking about book two...(still pinching myself!)

But I can hold onto the most wonderful week ever...I am going to published in the UK, Holland, and ??? It must all be true because it was in the The Bookseller. As a trying-to-get-published-writer, The Bookseller looms large in your imagination and now to be in it....well, a dream come true.

Friday, April 08, 2011

A UK Deal

Have I said I love my agent, if not I need to say it again...because well she has given me the most wonderful nearly birthday gift...a two book contract with Orion with a wonderful editor who works with some of the most amazing writers. You can read the details here. So now I have Dutch and UK deals and hopefully news from Germany soon... (still pinching myself)

But do you know what made it even more special, if that was possible - I received the news when we are all together as a family to celebrate.This is as important to them as to me. DH has believed in me and my kids have watched mum keep on trying and not giving up...dreams do happen if you work hard enough at them - they just don't always happen to our own time schedule or necessarily how we expected...but dreams do come true. Of course I had to skype my parents with the news too...they have always believed I could do it too...

I'm on cloud nine and then fact I'm in paradise...hey the Maldives are hard to beat.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Book News - a Dutch Deal with the wonderful de Boekerji

I love my agent and here's one reason why (we won't mention that she loves shoes and champagne....) my first deal...with de Boekerij. Their list is amazing and I'm thrilled that A CORNISH HOUSE will be on it.

Of course it's also brilliant to be with the whole family while celebrating and even more wonderful to be in the Maldives while doing it....

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Happy Mothering Sunday

It will be the first time in years that I have all my kids with me on a mother's day. It hasn't mattered which day or country I'm in to celebrate it (the UAE celebrated a few weeks ago, it's in the UK today and the US celebrates in May) I can't remember when it happened last. Having them all here is a real gift.

I have to say that DD knows me well and here is her card for me....
She has a jolly good design for the cover me thinks :-)

Have a wonderful day...

Friday, April 01, 2011

Janice Horton's Blog Tour- An Interview

When Janice approached me about her blog tour I was delighted to host. We are part of an on-line writing support group. The join about saying yes was that I could aks the questions that I wanted her journey as a writer and what brought her to the self-publishing route.....

Your ebook Bagpipes &Bullshot is out on Amazon Kindle but until today you’ve been asking people NOT to buy it – is that right?
Yes, you may think it’s a strange tactic, but I wanted to ask everyone to support me by either buying Bagpipes & Bullshot on Friday 1st April (it is priced at £1.38 or $2.24) or by telling other people about it through their own social networks on that one particular day. The date is important because it’s very difficult to get a new e-book noticed by potential readers unless it features on one or more of Amazon’s Top 100 charts, but because of the way Amazon calculates its sales, just a few consolidated sales on one day can make all the difference in pushing it through the charts!

I’ll be blogging and tweeting all day on Friday 1st April, so for direction to all of the other places I’ll be appearing on my Blog Tour throughout the day please visit:
I’ll also be running a Prize Draw on my blog to win some fantastic Kindle Beach Protectors (an essential and stylish accessory for every Kindle owner - but alternatively you could always use it to protect your camera or phone!) All you have to do to be in with a chance to win one is go to my blog and simply leave a comment or RT one of my tweets on Twitter using the hashtag #bagpipes. (Friday 1st April only)

But what about people who don’t have a Kindle? Can they download your ebook for their PC, Mac, IPhone, IPad, etc?
Yes, absolutely. Go to Amazon and download their free Kindle App for PC, Mac, IPhone or IPad and then buy Bagpipes & Bullshot. It’s just £1.38. I’ll be forever grateful!

Before we move on to what led you to publish with Amazon Kindle, tell us a bit about Bagpipes & Bullshot.
Well, it’s a humorous contemporary novel which twists an everyday love story with a whole cast of village eccentrics into an entertaining play on Scottish rural life. It is intentionally larger than life and that’s what makes it entertaining and fun. I’m told there are many laugh out loud moments in Bagpipes & Bullshot!

What was your journey as a Writer?
Not typical, except I didn’t know it at the time. I sent my just completed first novel off to a publisher chosen from the ‘Writer’s Handbook’. I deliberately chose a small publisher as I thought, without an Agent, I might stand more chance. They asked for the full manuscript - and that was it - the book was published a year later in paperback. It was only when I met other writers and joined the Romantic Novelist’s Association that I discovered how hard it is to get published.

For me, though, it was staying published that was the problem. My small publisher went out of business just as I’d finished writing my second novel. It was while I was waiting to get Rights back to the first, which took an unreasonably long time, that I decided to indie publish (independent, self publish) my second book in paperback. It is this book, re-written, re-edited, re-formatted, and re-titled Bagpipes & Bullshot, which I’m publishing on Kindle. I simply couldn’t resist the challenge of having a go at indie e-publishing because distribution and marketing on Amazon are so well established.

Do you prefer e-books or print – and why?
I love both. I’m an avid reader and thanks to the availability of e-books I can download them instantly. My husband bought me a Kindle for Christmas and I unexpectedly fell in love with it. If I want to travel, I can take as many books as I like and not have excess baggage. It’s fantastic. But, if you come into my study, you will see bookshelves filled with my favourite print books, many signed, and some by authors I know personally. I also have a special shelf of beautiful antiquarian books and first editions which I’ve collected over the years. In my kitchen, I have a bookshelf filled with cook books – all well-thumbed colourful hardbacks with glossy pages and photographs. You see, in my opinion, there is room for both and space for all. How lucky we are now to have so much choice in what and how we read!

What advice would you give to an author thinking of indie publishing on Kindle?
Firstly and most importantly, make sure the book is ready to publish. Secondly, be prepared to promote yourself as a brand and your book as a saleable product. I’ll hopefully be in a better position to give advice once I know how successful my one day blog tour promotion has been, and how sales have affected my Amazon ranking. I’ve been asked to write an article for the next issue of Romance Matters, the magazine of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, on my Kindle publishing experience so I’ll be able to keep you all posted.
Bagpipes & Bullshot is available now at the fabulous price of £1.38 on or $2.24 on Buy it today and I’ll be forever grateful!

Janice Horton lives in Scotland and writes entertaining and humorous contemporary women's fiction novels which are, for the most part, inspired by the romantic beauty of the heather-filled glens around her country cottage. When she’s not writing novels she writes lifestyle articles and has had work published in national magazines and regional newspapers. She’s also been involved in BBC Scotland's ‘Write Here Write Now’ project. Her website is at:, her blog is: and you can follow her on Twitter at @JaniceHorton