It's very hot and I'm typing this from a shady spot under the awning looking at a beautiful view of the sea. The girls are all at the pool trying out their new floating toys so I'm making the most of the quiet. So far we've visited Paignton zoo and the coast to coast penguin attraction, Totnes Castle and had a river trip along the Dart to see Agatha Christie's home, Greenaways. I read part of one of the medicals I bought before throwing it down in disgust, it's been a long time since I read anything I hated more. I'm hoping I'll like the other one better - I'm sure I will, it was just that this one had no romance, was entirely from the heroines pov and that was shallower than a puddle. Plus, this woman was a real Jonah, everyone she knew or ever met became ill and usually with something rarer than hens teeth. I'm still working on Charlie Darling, I've started c3 and tweaked a load of tiny bits in c1 and c2 but where my jitters had started to fade they're back with a vengance.
Yep schools out so we're off. I'll be posting occasionally as I get net access. Jessica has c2 of Charlie Darling to look at and groan over. I plan to write c3 and tidy up the synopsis while we're away. Hopefully I'll then be able to polish and send it off to M&B by Mid August. If I can get more done while I'm away I will. Laura, my Moonlit editor was generous enough to look at c1 as I have been having major jitters as Jessica knows over writing this book and she likes it so that made me feel better. I've lots of M&B med romances in the tourer now ready for me to read as research so I'm looking forward to that. I'll try and put some holiday pics up while we're away - see you all soon.
Today I had an offer for Marryong Max from Linford Romance. This means it will be printed in large print and distributed to libraries in the UK, commonwealth and USA. Many thanks to Michelle Styles who gave me such great info. I also got my advance from Samhain. It's small but it feels like another little step on the road! Samhain are such a great company to be publishing with, I can't wait to see Things to Do on the shelves.
Someone asked yesterday what I thought I'd learned from the M&B editors workshop. Well, what I think I discovered is that I'm doing some things right. I have good character arcs and I can show the growth in my characters as they go on their journey. I also have deep conflicts, not just external plot problems but psychological conflicts which mean my characters have to dig deep onside themselves for their resolution. Things I need to work on, are making my heroines as strong as my heroes. Something the editors mentioned was that heroes need to be strong, not necessarily ultra alpha but as strongly pertrayed as the heroines. Now to start chapter two!
The workshops I attended at the conference were as usual both informative and entertaining. Kate Allan gave a wonderfully useful workshop on marketing and I already plan to photocopy her handout before I lose it. Just as soon as I can access the copier (Jess, I haven't forgotten I owe you some info) The Peoples Friend workshop was very informative and although I'm pubbed by them I'd never actually had a formal copy of their guidelines. As their lovely edtor was speaking it dawned on me that when she talked about authors pushing the envelope I had been one of those authors as anyone who reads Marrying Max will discover. Penny Jordan gave a very interesting talk about her work and I could happily have listened for longer. The M&B editors also gave an excellent workshop which helped clarify in my mind the things I'd be doing right and also where I needed to be better. Interestingly, their views coincide perfectly with those of my Moonlit Romance editor. The editor from Triskellion gave a fascinating talk on e publishing and I finally got to see and hold a proper e book reader as they aren't sold here and the company isn't permitted to export them, which is wierd. What else? Oh yes, Jessica Harts wickedly funny workshop and a lady from the US talking about her life as a reader for Warner studios. She was another speaker I could have listened to for a lot longer. I wish I could have stayed for the Sunday afternoon but as it's Leicester next year I might manage it then. P.S I've finshed the first chapter of Charlie Darling. Mmmm,
The best part for me about the conference is meeting old friends and making new ones. It was lovely to see Julie Cohen and her blossoming baby bump, Anna Lucia, Biddy, who has promised me she will write her teddybear story because I want to read it and I'm so jealous I didn't think of it, Allison who has a request for a full from M&B historicals, Amanda Ashby who I wish I could see more often but she lives too far from me and is planning on moving further. Was it something I said? Melinda Hammond and Kate Walker, Eileen Mason, the lovely Sophie Weston and Jan Jones, Henri from New writers, Fiona Harper who recently sold to M&B tender and Liz. New friends include Ray-Anne who had the misfortune of being roomed in our block, Kate Walker's soul sister, the lovely Michelle Read and the wonderful, I am not worthy, Jessica Hart. Regular visitors here will know how I rave about Jessica Hart's books (along with Liz Fieldings) It was so fantastic to meet her and attend her very funny workshop. For once too I avoided turning into a gibbering starstruck idiot (unlike when I met my other writing goddess Erica James last year) I'll post more about the workshops and the gossip as the week goes on but I need to write this medical - I'm halfway through the first chapter and have a synopsis, Michelle!
Some of you will have heard the rumours that I am about to try my hand at a medical romance. Stop sniggering and saying told you so, Michelle, Pat, Amanda, Jess and Janet. This is as a result of my chat with the lovely Linda Fildew, senior editor at Mills and Boon. I’m really not at all sure that I can do this let alone write in the style needed for the line. But you know me, I can’t resist a challenge and this last year has seen me writing lots of things which I had previously never thought I’d be able to write. I’ve also given my word to Michelle Styles that I would write it so I’ve started. Remember Charlie Darling??? Well it’s now going to be a medical, the rough synopsis is done and I’m kicking off on the first page. Linda told me she was going to tell Sheila, head of the medical line to look out for a partial from me in the next few weeks so if my posts become a little brief you’ll know why.
Nell is an award winning author living in the heart of the Black Country with her husband, three children, a tank of tropical fish, a crazy Cockerpoo called Teddy and whatever is left of her sanity. Welcome to her world...