Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I had a day off!

Shocking, I know especially as I'm on holiday. I've been thinking of what I need to do to Blue Remembered Heels and I need a bit of distance before I start polishing. Jessica is brilliant as usual at seeing things that I miss completely. I have a rough plot now for my next one and a working title - Animal Instincts. So, I'll be roughing out a synopsis soon.
The weather here is sill gorgeous so lots more pool time. Today we went to Buckfastleigh to see otters and butterflies. Tomorrow we plan to go to Exeter, I'm hoping we can go to the cathedral but the girls want to hit the shops.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ta dah!!!

The first draft of Blue remembered Heels is done! I'm aprox 7k short but as I underwrite, that's what I expected. Next step is polishing and aditing. It's so lovely just to be on holiday and writing without the stress of the day job. It's when i can do something like this that i realise how much my other job saps my creativity and simply tires me out.
The weather here is gorgeous, so we are eating, swimming and pottering around in the sunshine admiring the lovely views and having a great time.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Holiday postcard

Here i am in very sunny Devon and the site we stay at has just got some wifi access! Yay! It's lovely and warm here with bright sunshine. The belles are in the pool and I'm writing up a storm - just one and a half chapters to go before the big adit! I'm hoping to see the firework display on the dart tonight after our barbecue. hope you all have a good weekend.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


After all the recent excitement perhaps it's as well that we're off to Devon tomorrow for ten days. I have three chapters left to go on Blue Remembered Heels so I shall finish it and start the polish while I'm away. My net access may be limited while I'm gone but if I get chance to post then I will.

Again a huge thank you to everyone who sent flowers (you know who you are!) cards, messages, phone calls. Special things are only special if you can share them with friends and I'm very blessed in my friends.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I have an agent!

As you all know I have dyscalculia and am just a real ditz when it comes legalese type stuff. I get complete brain freeze. Over the last few days I've been doing some hard thinking about my writing and what I should be doing.
As some of you know when I was at the Savoy back in April I was approached by Darley Anderson. Well, I'm delighted and relieved to say that as of tonight I am now represented by the Darley Anderson agency.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Details

Thanks to everyone who's left comments, emailed me, phoned me and sent notes this weekend. I appreciate each and every one of you. Now I'm slightly more together I'll fill you in on the details.
I've been blogging about Blue Remembered Heels for a while and I think I mentioned I thought it might suit Little Black Dress. At the RNA conference in Leicester, five weeks ago I had the opportunity to pitch to Cat Cobain, the editor for the line. I was the last person in that day and we mainly chatted about books and BRH. Again, I think I blogged about how much I liked her. She took a copy Of my Samhain book, Things To Do and gave me a couple of LBD's to read (one's I hadn't already got)
She also gave me her card and asked me to email her the first three chapters of BRH and the synopsis. She knew the book wasn't finished but liked the premise enough to ask to see the first part.
I sent it off on the Tuesday after the conference and got on with writing. While I was away just over a fortnight ago she got in touch. I came home to two emails asking if she could see more. I wasn't sure what to do as the book still isn't finished. I had my schedule planned for it to be completed by mid to end September.
So, I emailed her back and asked if she wanted to wait til then or if she wanted what I had in a semi-polished rough draft, which was the first ten chapters, just under half of the book.
She asked to see the rough draft if I was okay with it. So I pressed send just over a week ago and kept on writing.
I opened my email at work on Friday as I expected a patient to send me some information and saw Cat's email. At best I'd hoped she might like it enough to say that I could send her the rest when it was done or that if she rejected it she might offer me some direction.
Instead she made the offer for BRH and another book.
Hence my state of total incoherence for the remainder of Friday and much of yesterday. I rang my husband, Mr Nell, from the office and my cp Jessica Raymond, My Mum was out! My colleague said tell Cat yes, you need to reply to the email!
I emailed back, one of the fastest acceptances I think she said she'd ever had. lol

I'm now almost at the end of Chapter 16 with saprox another 4 to write so I'm well on target to finish on schedule. I'm so excited and thrilled that Blue Remembered Heels will be a Little Black Dress book. I have no idea yet when it's likely to appear or if it will keep it's working title. I promise I'll keep you all posted. As for the next book? Well, I have an ideas file with a very rough outline but first it's back to work on BRH.

Friday, August 17, 2007


I'm stunned and delighted to say I've sold to Little Black Dress.

Friday Fun 8

This is a picture of the world famous Dudley Bug. It's a Trilobite, which lived 417 million years ago when Dudley was a seaside. The Wrens Nest, known locally as The Wrenner, is a famous fossil hunting site where you can see a prehistoric seashore and pick up fossils of long ago corals and shells. (Hammers are banned) so you may not find a bug but you can find loads of other things.

Monday, August 13, 2007

It's oh so quiet

Work has been incredibly quiet today. Very wierd - it usually means I can expect to be snowed under within a few days. It's made a pleasant change though as I actually caught up on a few things I'd been meaning to do for a while.
Writing is still going well. Just six and a half chapters left to go and a big read through and tidy up. That's when I take out my repetions, add in my descriptions, alter the pacing and make the whole thing run more smoothly.
I really love this story and it's great fun to write - if a little complicated.

One of my loops has a huge discussion on marketing going on. Apart from asking a couple of questions I've kind of stayed out of it as it's become a little heated. I've learned a few things to bear in mind for the future though and that's been helpful. I've had a marketing plan for a while ever since Jessica made me get more organised when I was having a major dither this time last year about where I was going and what I was doing.
I must say it's been quite reassuring to find out I was doing what I was supposed to be doing but still disheartening in other aspects.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sunny Saturday

Time for a progress update. Two more chapters completed. Two others tidied and edited (thanks Jess) and a third started. Phew! That's on top of the day job, critting for a contest as a favour for a friend and the promo talks I was already committed to.
I did some writing at work on my lunch break. I have a wrist rest I use when I'm there that I got as a freebie sometime ago from one of the medical companies. Well I dutifully typed away for twenty minutes or so and realised my wrists were really itchy. When I looked I had a line of little blisters on the inside of each wrist.
The office was so hot, the glue that held the top to the backing of the rest had oozed and I'm allergic to adhesives so I'd got a reaction.
I've heard of suffering for your art but that was taking it a step too far.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Fun 7

Today's story is a modern one. I dare say you're all squinting at the picture and wondering what on earth it is. Well, from the back of my house I have a good view of Barrow Hill, this is a large mound thought to have been created in the volcanic eruptions in the last iceage. The Barrow overlooks Pensnett - known locally as God's country due to many residents habit of frequently invoking the Lord's name. In the shadow of the barrow is St Mark's church - the Black Country cathedral and on top of the Barrow is a cross.
The cross can be seen from all over the immediate area and is a powerful symbol for it's residents. I love to look out and see it on the hill.
Unfortunately, as with any structure placed on high ground it got struck by lightning. The residents immediately demanded a replacement. Nothing fancy, just the same as they'd always had, a simple cross.
The council decided to commission an artist and he designed the three crosses you see in the photo. As you can imagine there was uproar. No one was going to put those totem poles on their hill. The council were very embarressed and this was made worse when the srtist sadly died before the commission could be installed. They then felt they had to put them up as it was his last commissioned work.
After much negotiation and with great pomp and ceremony the crosses were put up but not on top of the barrow. Instead they stand at the base near St Marks.
The top of the hill has it's cross. Just what the people wanted in the first place. A simple cross.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tatton Park

We also visited Tatton Park. We went for the afternoon and just visited the gardens, The picture above is of the Japanese garden. There is also a fernery, an african hut and an italian garden. The deer park is also well worth seeing and the girls were thrilled to see so many deer wandering freely in the grounds.
The site we stay on at Chirk, Lady Margaret park is also rich with wildlife. The rabbits are everywhere and aren't in the least bit afraid. We also had a deer come right to the back of our caravan while we were there early in the morning.
Mr Nell and eldest dd are away in the caravan now, they decided to take advantage of the sun and are in Malvern. The littles didn't want to go as they like being spoilt by their grandparents whilst I'm at work.
I've finished another chapter of Blue Remembered Heels and I'm onto the next. I feel like Dory in Nemo except I'm 'Just keep writing, just keep writing.'
I did get a wonderful review yesterday for Be My Hero from Once Upon a Romance.
Robyn, the reviewer said : Nathalie and Evan are a couple that you root for from page one. As much as they fight their attraction to each other, it simmers beneath the surface at all times. I enjoyed the romance because I found it to be a little more intellectual than most. I enjoyed watching all of the psychology of Natalie and Evan working out their past…and maybe their future. This is a story with a deeper kind of love than just sexual magnetism.

If you like an old-fashioned romance set in modern settings, I think this would be the perfect book for you.

So now you know - I'm intellectual!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Back to my holiday report

We spent another day here, at Bala lake, although I have to say it was windier than this the day we were there. The town of Bala is lovely with nice cafes and shops. We took a picnic and ate it by the water while we watched people taking part in the various water sports.
After lunch we drove through the Snowdonia national park and walked in the mountains before heading back to Chirk.

(Thank you to everyone who stopped by to send me good luck vibes. I'm writing every spare minute to try and get this book finished a little more speedily.)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

We interupt this broadcast...

I promise I'll blog more about my holiday tomorrow. When I got home from Chirk and ploughed through the emails in my inbox I found two from Cat Cobain, the editor at Little Black Dress. I think I mentioned I'd sent her the partial of Blue Remembered Heels a few weeks ago - well, guess what! She wanted to see some more. As you know and, so does she, it isn't finished. I asked her if she wanted to see what I had already and warned her it was only a rough draft or if she'd prefer to wait until the end of September beginning of Oct when I anticipated it being completed.
Well, I just pressed send as she asked to see what I had now - meep.
So, I'm head down and writing.

Monday, August 06, 2007


We spent our first day here, at Erdigg house. The gardens were really beautiful and hopefully I'll be able to put some pictures up when we finally upload them. The girls had a great time exploring the grounds. The house itself was disappointing. The National Trust do a wonderful job looking after the countryside and gardens but are dreadful when it comes to interiors. They are so child unfriendly compared to English Heritage. They have elderly people placed in each room, some are nice and others aren't who glare at every visitor as if suspecting them of vandolous intentions. It would be so much better if they followed English Heritages example and either let people go around in groups with a guide or had more room in each rom for people to stand and more information for you to look at or read, especially for younger visitors.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Friday Fun 6 (late)

I'm home and here's Friday's post - a bit late. I'll blog about the holiday in the week once we've uploaded some pictures for you all to see. In the meantime I thought I'd talk about the food in the Black Country.
The picture above is faggots and peas. Not the nasty meatballs that the manufacturors make but real faggots made with onions, bread, liver, kidneys and bound together with kell. The peas have to be mushy.
Other well known dishes are gray -paes and bacon. (grey peas and ham)and chawl (potted pigs head)I've helped my grandmother make faggots and chawl many times. Other famous dishes are grorty pudding and bread pudding. I make a mean bread pudding even though I say so myself.
So here are some food words for you
Paes - peas
Taeters - Potatoes
Hummock - a slice as in a hummock of bread.
currans - currants
Mate - meat
suck - sweets