Friday, 28 August 2009

Writing decisions

I don't know about anyone else but I find that when I am reading children's books (for market research and for fun) I say to myself that 'I really want to write for children', and yes I know that I am having already had one book published, then I start reading a romantic suspense book after that and I tell myself, 'I really want to write romantic suspense for adults'. What do I do? My answer is to try to write for both genres. I am already writing for both children and adults - my novella Checkmate is for adults and Georgina's story is for children. When I finish both of those I will be writing my first romantic suspense, but I don't know if I will completely concentrate on that or try to write my next children's book as well. At the moment I split the week in half - Monday and Tuesday for revising Checkmate and Thursday and Friday for writing Georgina. Wednesday is for reading. So I might do it like that, we shall see. Depends on how engrossed I get in rewriting the rs book next year, because it will be next year, finally, when it happens.

Meantime, I have nearly finished Chapter 4 (the first draft) of Georgina, and am up to Chapter 10 of Checkmate. As it's bank holiday on Monday, I have an extra day at home (yippee) and am planning to work on Chapters 10 and 11 on Monday. I am hoping with the revisions I have just done it will get the word count up to 45,000. I don't think I will reach 50,000 as I can't think of anything else to put in the story. I have already done lots of background story to the characters and don't think there is any more I can put in. We shall see.

Well, must get on with some work now.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Romance and passion

If you like a lot of romance and passion, esp the forbidden kind, then one thing I recommend watching is the old mini-series The Thornbirds. It was first on TV in 1983 and my mum recently bought the DVD of it and we have been watching it the last few weeks. Richard Chamberlain played priest Ralph De Briccasart and Rachel Ward played the adult Meggie Cleary. It spans over decades as she grows up and he goes up in the church yet they desire and love each other but can't have each other due to him being who he is. It is a great TV watch and I am loving watching it again. The music is great too and quite catchy as I keep humming it to myself. Or if you prefer books to watching, then there is the book, which my mum read a while ago. I didn't read it as I had too much to read at the time, and am pleased because I can watch the programme not knowing what is going to happen. We will be watching the last episode on Saturday night. I can't wait to see what happens.

It is well worth either reading or watching.

Friday, 21 August 2009

New ventures

I have decided to start a new venture - school visits to promote Rosie. So, whilst it's been so quiet here at work I have been emailing some local primary schools with my new flyer asking if they'd be interested in a local author visiting their school to talk about writing and my book. I have so far emailed 19 schools and got one reply, which I am excited about. They said it was something that could be interesting but it depends on the cost. I am waiting to hear if they can afford a session by me and will let here now. It's like everything else these days, there is a budget and a limit to funds. We shall see. I have had to think about what I can do at schools apart from talking about my writing and how I wrote Rosie, and have come up with a couple of mini workshops based on aspects of Rosie, namely eating healthily and magic. I will probably read Rosie again briefly to see if there are other workshops I can make out of the story, there probably are, so lots of thinking ahead. Might start drafting out a talk at the weekend.

Meantime, I am also busy writing Chapter 4 of Georgina, and have registered with a Children's book website called Jacketflap. All's on there at the moment is my photo and a bit about me. I can add a link to my blog and my published book. Have to have another look at it to see what else I can do on it.

Must get on and look as though I am working.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Word counts

I managed to type up the revisions for Checkmate on Saturday and it's now gone up to just over 43,000 words. Slowly but surely it's rising, whether to what it should be I don't know, we shall have to wait and see. Have things to put in about the hero's background so that might add it up a bit. Also, copied over from disc to pc what I'd typed so far of Georgina and that is now 9,195 words, and that's half way through Chapter 3 of it.

I did a bit of finding out last week about CRB checks. Lots of people have told me I need one to visit schools so I phoned the CRB, who told me I had to, then the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) who told me the same, and who then referred me to my local council, who again told me I did need one. They eventually told me that if a school accepts me for a visit, and being a local author I should get some interest, then they know about CRB and should be the people who apply for me. So, if and when I get a yes to a visit after I have contacted schools, I might ask them if they do that. I have added my name and details to another writers search website, but this one is for more countrywide than London. We shall see what happens. I have already had a writer's group in Norwich become interested in me but their programme for 2009/10 is full so will hear again after that.

I didn't do much yesterday as I was really tired after a bad night. The only writing thing I did was finished rewriting the short story for a competition. Now I have to type that up to see if it comes within the word count limit.

Well, must get on with some work.

Friday, 14 August 2009

It's Quiet!

It is so so quiet here at work. There are hardly any students about as they are either now on their holidays or doing exams then on their holidays. All I have to do here is filing, which I will do later. I have been typing up Chapter 3 of Georgina, and also started drafting out what is going to happen in the second half of the book. It gets really bad for Georgina and her team of helpers and friends and she has to rely on their own powers and knowledge to beat the enemy this time. Can't wait to write it.

Weekend I will be typing up revisions for Checkmate and a short story for a competition. Oh am off to a library tomorrow to drop off Rosie and some promo material to the Head of Children's Development there. Spoke to her on the phone on Monday and she said to send her a copy and she will see what she can do about it. Another wait.

I have decided that when the new school term starts I will phone and email several local primary schools with a flyer I have designed advertising my services for talks. In this current credit crisis, although I have seen headlines saying the worst is over, I don't know what sort of response I will get. We will see. Will let you know here. My local borough have said that if there are any more author events they have my details to contact me on. Also spoke to a librarian who was really nice about primary schools and she said to phone her in October about reading groups. I thought that could be another promo opportunity for me, after going to one back in June. I don't get paid for it but I will get PLR from readers reading my book.

Well, must get on with looking like I'm doing some work.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Writing update

I typed up the revisions to Checkmate on Saturday and now it's 42,370 words long but still not long enough for People's Friend. Have a lot of work to do on it. Will be reading through Chapter3 and 4 today/tomorrow. I also worked on rewriting a short story for a competition and will get to finish that next weekend. Have also emailed another adult short story for an anthology but won't hear back about that until after October as that's when the deadline is.

I am still trying to promote Rosie. Have just phoned Head of Children's libraries in Bromley and will pop in a copy of the book to the library for her perusal on Saturday. Have decided that I would like to do school visits to primary schools only when the next term starts.

My website has a new look to it, thanks to John Hocking and it looks very summery and contemporary now. So take a glance and see what you think. The page about me giving talks at schools is going to be changed so that it reads I will charge certain expenses, and it's not free.

Must get on with some work now.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Book ideas

I got this idea for a children's book last night watching a great TV programme. It was called How the Other Half Live and is about one family who is wealthy sponsoring another family who live in poverty. The one I watched the poor family were really poor. They lived in a flat, had no table and chairs so had to eat their meals sitting on the floor, the middle daughter's bed was broken and she slept on the mattress and they couldn't afford to buy a new one and the eldest daugther kept her clothes in a box and suitcase as her mother couldn't afford drawers. The wealthy family donated money to the poor family to pay off their debts and buy various things for the family, as well as helping the mother get her life back on track. It was really moving as the mother and eldest daughter were often in tears at the generosity of the other family, whom they met. As I said it gave me an idea for a book which I have yet to write down in the little pad at home.

Meantime, I have found a couple of publishers who publish anthologies and am v interested in sending them stories. I have already sent one story for a children's anthology, which has the deadline of November. So watch this space.

Nearly home time now and can't wait. Very quiet here at work and have got lots of filing done.

Oh yes, you should see a small change to the blog. I managed to put a photo of me on there for all to see. It's one that was done by the local paper photographer.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Got it.

Pegasus have got the rest of Allie now. Received an acknowledge letter from them yesterday. Now I have to wait. If it's the same time length as last time with Rosie then I should hear from them in 2 weeks. It all seems to have gone a lot quicker this time, maybe because I am already an author with them. I have my fingers and everything else crossed that this time I am offered a traditional contract.

Meantime I am trying to find ways to help myself get about talking about my writing and book. I have emailed a couple of organisations who deal with authors talk with schools and libraries asking how to register with them. I now wait for replies.

Must get on with some work now.

Monday, 3 August 2009

A new week

I had a lovely meal out with my friend Heather on Friday and also a lovely chat. I had chicken fried noodles with some stir fried beansprouts, which filled me up, but enough to have a banana for dessert. I paid for both of us and Heather said next time she will pay.

Saturday Mum and I went to a local show room held by the company that might become our landlord next year. The kitchens were nice and we decided what colours we'd like but will go back there again to check. We do need new cabinets as the worktops are all bubbled up from putting hot pans on them and new lino because our floorboards are up and down. We shall see. In the afternoon I typed the amendments to Checkmate and it's now just over 42,000 words. Not quite enough as I am aiming for People's Friend Pocket Novel and they require 50,000. Did some additions to Chapter 1 today so might reach 43,000 next time.

Sunday - not a lot. Had a chat with my brother on the phone who said it sounded like I need a new mobile - it's playing up and I can't make calls to home. I started to do Pilates but my stomach went funny again so that was cut short, then I did some writing. Additions to my healthy eating talk and wrote chapter summaries for Georgina for the Fantasy workshop I'm going to in September. Made me think where I want the book to go to and how to get to its climax.

Well, must get on with some work, I think some filing.