Monday, October 31, 2011

Haunted Houses in Cornwall and NaNoWriMo

As it Halloween let's talk about haunted houses or at least look a great article from FT this weekend on them here. The one I want is to find the money - hah!

NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow and because I am foolish and had so much fun last year...I'm doing it again. I'll be writing ENEMY - save a stranger from the sea, he become your enemy...

Of course I'll be working on ridding THE CORNISH HOUSE of all the sighing, head shaking and sitting up straights that I can managed too...

Are you NaNoWriMoing?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Emirates Airlines Literary Festival of Literature and Me!

I've been dying to share this news, but couldn't until it was announced last night at the glamorous opening of the new permanent home for the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature - Dar Al Adaab (House of Literature)

This was exciting enough, but then to see my name projected on the wall as one of the authors appearing at the Emirates Airlines Festival 2012 when  Isobel Abulhoul, Festival Director, made the announcement....well I confessed I gasped and the kind Emirati poet beside smiled. 

It was also a brilliant opportunity to meet other local authors who will be appearing at the festival and to see the wonderful new facility in the heart of the Bastikiya, my favourite part of Dubai. Since my first involvement I have met so many interesting people and learned so much. I just can't wait for this year's festival.... And here's the link proving to me that I haven't been dreaming here....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Blurb for THE CORNISH HOUSE and Publicity

Just checking on Amazon, as one does, and saw the new blurb is

When artist Maddie inherits a house in Cornwall shortly after the death of her husband, she hopes it will be the fresh start she and her step-daughter Hannah desperately need. Trevenen is beautiful but neglected, a rambling house steeped in history. Maddie is enchanted by it and determined to learn as much as she can about its past. As she discovers the stories of generations of women who've lived there before, Maddie begins to feel her life is somehow intertwined within its walls. But Maddie's dream of a calm life in the countryside is far from the reality she faces. Still struggling with her grief and battling with Hannah, Maddie is unable to find inspiration for her painting and realises she may face the prospect of having to sell Trevenen, just as she is coming to love it. And as Maddie and Hannah pull at the seams of Trevenen's past, the house reveals secrets that have lain hidden for generations. This gorgeously sweeping debut from Liz Fenwick is touched with romance and mystery, a perfect summer read.

Definitely a pinch me moment! As was meeting with my publicist, my publicist (just had to say that again) yesterday. It was to be done...hard market to get any press for Women's Fiction especially for a début...but will I need to think what's special about me - hard task at any time...any thoughts will be gratefully received!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Steps Ahead

As some many of you have been kindly following THE CORNISH HOUSE's progress I realize I have been remiss and haven't provided you any updates. This summer, as you may remember, I did the BIG edit and ripped the first third of the book apart (learned a huge amount - like how to kill more darlings than I even knew I had- whole chapters went- and that Inner Voice is always right). I was scared to send the edits in. Had I made the book worse and not better? Had I failed my characters? These were the questions that the crows of doubt were asking?

Instead I should have been listening to my inner voice, which agreed with my sage editor on pace, which was much of what the edit was about...also about giving my reader more of what they would want...This is a new step because aside from a trusted few...well, readers have been very limited in number. And this is what I am taking into the work I am doing on AUGUST ROCK.

But back to my edits on TCH...if I had been listening to my inner voice who was pleased the work I wouldn't have sweated so much waiting for the verdict. I thought I'd need to go in and rip some more, but no! Agent loved it and so did editor and so did Biddy (who read through the first four chapters...reassurance and hand holding were required!).

The email from editor arrived last week saying yes...I'd done my work well (phew) and those few things i didn't agree on (Inner Voice spoke on not changing some things) were good now that other changes had taken place...the journey was there...the reader would follow.

Now comes the copy edits...gulp. New stage. New skills needed. I should have them in about two a dyslexic I am expecting the whole book to be covered in red...

Speaking of covers...I've had another glimpse and it's close but i still can't share it with you...soon, I hope.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

The RNA's Regency Celebration

Yesterday! Wow!

At the Royal Overseas League in Park Place the RNA held a day celebrating all that was Regency and most importantly the work of two writers - Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. It was the first time the RNA had held a readers day and what a result. Fun, frolics, drama and a touch of academia all rolled into one.

The day began with a panel on Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. The chair for the panel was Julie Cohen revealing her previous life as an academic and reminding me of university with her insights in to the duality of the work....and more. While also on the panel were writers Nicola Cornick, historian and author of many best selling Regency novels, authors Beth Elliot and Juliet Archer (who takes Austen's plots and characters and gives them a modern twist in her work). The panel was fun and informative with much discussion of Emma Thompson film of the novel.

This was followed by a break when I explored Regency clothing and found myself in 'costume' different one feels and carries oneself....the clothes make the man or at least the posture in this case! Plus there were people wandering around in full Regency attire - I couldn't stop ogling.

Dr. Jennifer Kloester entertained us with a wonderful presentation of the life of Georgette Heyer and blew away many myths that surround this profic and superb writer of so many beloved novels. I can't wait to read the book penned by Jen GEORGETTE HEYER and her life....

Then it was time for more dressing up...DD and DH were with me and they joined in on the fun before the Regency dancing and the Regency Scents....

There was lunch with a quizz that went to tie many people who really new their period and their authors...

For the next session I left DD and DHG to play parlour games with I enjoyed but won't report on the panel - THE CESTIAL BED - Sex & The Georgians...let's just say that the mind boggles. Biddy Coady did a fabulous job on her reading and Jan Jones demonstrated a knowledge of many thing that don't end up in her books!

There was a very special Waterloo tea held at the East India Club....drama, mystery and dashing men in uniform all with delicious cakes and tea in period surrounding...I might swoon (at one point a dashing solider oftered me still my beating heart)

The day wound up with a panel on AUSTEN & HEYER - Were they better than they thought they were? On the panel - Gillian Green (Editorial Director for Ebury Press), Dr Jennifer Kloester, Roy McMillan (director and actor and with Naxos AudioBooks), Joanna Fulford (author of regencies) and chaired by Sophie Page.  The panel began with a general swoon when Roy mention that Richard Armitage had read there audio version of Heyer's Venetia.  There was far too much that came out of this panel to summarize at all...but brilliant.

I was live tweeting during the day as was @beecee (aaka Brigid Coady) and the tweets can be found #RNARegencyDay and #RegencyCelebration ...

I've posted a few photos here, but the rest of my pictures ( I apologize for the quality - my camera died and I used my phone) are here. The lovely Annie Burrows will be providing a report for the RNA Blog in the next few days....

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Importance of Being With Other Writers and Inner Voice

I know I've written this before but it is so writers we are alone and in our heads day in and day out. Characters and setting fill our minds. We live in a make believe world. Wonderful, yes, but hard to explain or share with other who don't have the same creative passion. When we are away with the fairies, we might indeed be or we might be figuring out why Jane left her husband and ran off with the hairy biker....not real people but characters we've created...

So its a treat to get together with like minded souls who spend there days listening to voices in their heads. On Tuesday I went to the RNA's Oxford lunch. Bliss. I finally had time to properly meet the wonderful Emma Lee Potter. We know it each other from Twitter and have met at some event, but have never had the chance to chat. As with these things, it happened once chatting there were less that six degrees of separation....her wonderful blog House With No Name is up for an award from Cosmo. Go and vote for it please...

Also at this month's lunch was Becky from Isis audio books and a 'squee' moment happened for me...she recognized the title of my book! She'd been in Orion's offices and had heard about it and thought it sounds perfect for them. Definitely 'squee'! As we all introduced ourselves around Becky shared some insights into audio books at Isis...

- their big market is any work that authors do in libraries is key
- it's the author name - name recognition that is so important in libraries for audio books
- they do 28 titles a month
- they still produce cassettes and they do do downloads which appear on Audible etc.
- it's the highest honour when an author says it's the 'right' voice for the reading

As we went round the everyone chimed up with what they were doing...the key thing that came up again and again was trusting your Inner Voice...not the critic that tells you it's all sh*te, but the voice that tells you it's right and the voice that says you don't need that bit no matter how lovely the prose and the voice that reminds you not to chase publication for the sake of it, but listen to the what you really want to write. I really believe this and I was a cheer leader for Anita Burgh sitting beside me. She couldn't say listen to your Inner Voice enough and the more I write, edit, re-write....the more I believe she is right. JoJo Moyes mentioned this same thing in her talk (my notes here). Initially it's hard to trust, but it is your best friend. It will hold your hand as you kill your darlings and write the books of your heart....

Last night I saw the latest version of the cover for THE CORNISH's lovely but I still can't share...hopefully soon