Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Cornish Stranger - Advanced Reader Copies Giveaway

It's just under two months until A Cornish Stranger is released. The final proofread is finished and it's about to wing it's way to the printers….

However hot off the press are the advanced reader copies (aka bound proofs). These are the copies used to send to reviewers… (Note: For those who aren't used to ARCs - these copies have not been proofread = are full of errors!)

Orion have agreed to send out five of these ARCs…but how to choose??? I have decided to try Rafflecopter….

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The competition is open until noon GMT on Monday the 31st…Good luck and please spread the word!

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and Connections

You would be forgiven for thinking I had fallen off the edge of the earth…the last post was just before Christmas and it's now almost St Patrick's Day…and well I have sort of fallen off of the edge.
I had a book to finish and edit and a family to remind I hadn't forgotten them either…

So I have delivered A Cornish Stranger and am just waiting to review the final proofs…gulp…I can't believe that my third book will be out at the end of May.

Thankfully I finished the copy edits in time to enjoy the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature last week. It was fabulous but then I expect nothing less than fabulous from it. This year it was a bit like old home week in someways catching up with writers who had come before and connecting with people that I had links to even if they didn't know about them. For example Pru Leith was one of this year's authors…I introduced myself…'Hi Pru, you don't know me but you have slept in my bed and cooked in my kitchen.' It certainly got her attention. The full story is a mutual friend used to rent our house in Cornwall. There were other connections with Sir Tim Rice and Andrew Motion but one I hadn't expected at all…

Sitting in the back of a 4x4 on the way to the desert with Justin Cronin the world became very small indeed…we were the same age, both born in Boston and summered on the Cape. It became smaller still when he mentioned where he had a home on the Cape…the same place my parents had. And the it became even smaller the more we chatted..we knew some of the same people, queued for ice-cream at Four Seas…at a certain point we decided to let the past remain still foggy.
Liz Fenwick and Justin Cronin with Philip Reeve in the background

So you can imagine the smile that crossed my face upon returning home from the Orion party on Wednesday evening and looking through the brochure that was in the goodie bag to find Justin's book and mine side by side. Had I not met him in the desert I wouldn't have had a clue how two kids from Massachusetts could end up writers and be published by the same publisher and -  diving into the foggy bits, maybe had danced together some place along the way….

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas has come early...

As usual at this time of year I was focusing on the family and the house and on Friday I missed big news for A Cornish Affair

On Friday Novelicious (the fabulous blog about reading and writing) chose A Cornish Affair as one of its books of  the year!!! The link is here. It was a fabulous short list and I am over the moon! I was dancing around the kitchen making spiced Christmas cake (recipe here).

Christmas is almost ready to happen…. the tree is up.
And the Nativity is out…
There's just the dinning room to sort and then the real cooking begins…pheasant, venison, goose, hame, turkey….. (and working on the edits of A Cornish Stranger).

Wishing  you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

PS…just seen that the cover for A Cornish Stranger is up on Amazon here

Sunday, December 15, 2013

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

I'm in London and it's is fabulous for find that Christmas feeling...
The windows in Selfridges were fabulous
Sothebys looked wonderful .
Loved this goose.
The jewelry wasn't bad but the books looked fab...
Love the big cat above Cartier
Burlington Archade
The Ritz
And everywhere I looked Santa was on the loose...

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Edits…A Cornish Stranger

Well, I had a lovely month off in November. I worked on a new project during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), A Cornish Affair won the Festival of Romance's Reader Award for Best Romantic Read (still smiling) and I read lots….
A Cornish Affair with it's award

Now comes December…A Cornish Stranger time. I haven't looked at the story since I pressed send at the end of October which is a good thing. I needed distance. My edits arrived and any hope I had that I had done better crashed to the floor. As I read through the pages, yes pages, my heart sank lower. Had I learned nothing? And as I wanted to scream NO a quiet little voice at the back of my brain said…she's right you know. My editor is brilliant and she really 'gets' my writing even when I don't. I know that sounds weird but I become lost in the story and can't see 'the whole' and she can, which means she sees the holes…holes big enough to drive a truck through.

So I read the edits through and sort of cried…yup big wuss. I felt I had failed. Then I read them through again and tried to sleep…tossed and turned all night. Then woke and spent the day watching rugby and the Dubai 7s and let my mind do it's own thing and did that the next day too. On Sunday morning I had another sneaky read then continued to do other things.

Woke Monday and took out my highlighters...

And then began to go through the pages of notes and begin to jot down the things my mind had been working out while I enjoyed the rugby (and as you can see by the pics below I enjoyed the rugby!)….
The 7s fans are brilliant!

DS1 and Liz Fenwick

What i really enjoy about the rugby - shallow I know!
And one of things I saw clearly was that I my heroine wasn't developed as she should be because so many of the things my editor pointed out…shouldn't have been queried. I hadn't done my job.
So all through Monday I kept rereading the notes realising that there were only really three HUGE problems…so not sooooooo bad after all (still a lot of work ahead on me but somewhat manageable I hope)
So Tuesday morning I emailed my editor with some of my thoughts and we bounced ideas back and forth (I love this bit because somehow she makes my brain spark and I get ideas left right and centre. I also love how she never tells me how to do or fix anything…just just tells when things don't work.) After those emails I made more notes and only then did I print off the first chapter and begin to revise/edit
And so it goes….each  morning I read read all the notes, especially the first pages which highlight the big issue that I need to keep at the forefront of my brain as I work through the problems big and small. And it gives me a huge thrilled to but a tick next to the items I've dealt with….

And I have to say I am so grateful that I have an editor who puts this much thought and work into my books. 

So many people have asked me about the editorial process and does it change my books? Well, yes and  it's still my book but I hope and pray and much better book. 

PS…Tere a few days left to enter a Goodreads Giveaway for A Cornish Affair (even if you already have the book it might make a good Christmas present! Goodreads Giveaway

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Cornish Affair Won!

A few days later and I am still in a state of delighted shock… A Cornish Affair won the Festival of Romance's Readers' Award for Best Romantic Read! The short list was superb and I still become teary when I think about it. This book took a long time in coming to publication. Those who follow the blog know that it began life as August Rock back in 2005.

Since then if has been rewritten more time than I want to count. But I am so thrilled that Jude's story won.

As with last year the Festival was held in Bedford and this year it was bigger and better. This is the only event in the UK for readers of romance to meet their favourite authors and connect with new writers. I think there were 60 romance authors this year.
Me holding the lovely Miranda Dickinson's latest book Take A Look At Me Know

On Saturday morning it was the coffee and cake event with 14 authors. I read an short extract from the award winning (need to keep saying so I can believe it!) A Cornish Affair. And the big highlight was meeting the wonderful John Jackson!
Me reading…picture courtesy of John Jackson

The book fair was held in the Corn Exchange and it was great with share a table with Kat Black and William Coles.

Then I had a book signing at Waterstones with the lovely Hazel Osmond (one of my fellow short listed authors)…

Then complete collapse in my room. I was beat. I looked at my dress which glittered and sparkled at me and thought I can't wear it. But bullied on by friends on Twitter I donned the frock and set forth the ball. As with any time when you get a bunch of romantic novelist together the volume is high and the conversation can slip low…this was no exception….

I was happily tweeting the award winners live and was all set to type in the winner of the Readers' Award for Best Romantic Read when…my name was called. I am grateful there are no pictures of my face! I fully expected any other the other wonderful authors on the list but not my name.

Sue Morrcroft, Liz Fenwick, Jane Lovering, Rowan Coleman and Hazel Osmond
Somehow I made it up to receive my award from the wonderful Christina Courtney (fellow Heroine Addict) and then sat down stunned. In fact I was shell shocked all evening and didn't know what to do with myself…still feeling this way but now I can at least work on the next book!
Sorry about the pink lightening…Tracy Bloom (Tracey won the Best Author Published Book) and Liz Fenwick

Kate Allen has done a wonderful job with the festival and I'm already looking forward to next year.
Broo Doherty won the agent award

I wish I could thank the readers personally. I am so thrilled they loved Jude's and Tristan's journey…

So off to Dubai in about a half hour…yes, back to normal life on a plane.

PS…finishing this post at 35,000 feel somewhere over Europe!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Editing and Morning Light

I'm making reasonable progress on A Cornish Stranger but the morning light is so distracting 

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Editing an Blissful Distraction

A working to the deadline of 31st October for A Cornish Stranger and am  staying where it's's hard to work with that view!

Friday, September 06, 2013

A Time of Change

I think the cover designers got the cover just right in  A Cornish Affair
Again I have been a terrible blogger but having a stunningly perfect summer kept me away from the computer and of course writing A Cornish Stranger took priority. I did post loads of photos on my Facebook Page here. It was the most glorious summer, in fact just like the summer I wrote about in A Cornish Affair. When I was editing A Cornish Affair last summer I had wondered if I had dreamt it all up (wrote the first draft of ACA in the fall of 2006 & winter of 2007 and the summer of 2006 was wonderful so it can happen!).

So now it's September...DS2 is about to go to university (he did incredibly well in his exams). Tomorrow he and I take the train to Leuchars (nearest station to St Andrews). And I will then have two at university! How life changes...

And I have begun to edit A Cornish Stranger (which is due to my editor on the 31st of October and due out in May 2014) and this is a big change too. I haven't quite finished the rough draft. I know the ending, it's all in my head but the book has changed so much that I need to 'live' it before I can make the ending as strong as it can be.

This book has given me nightmares. It began from a saying I found in my research for A Cornish a stranger from the sea, he'll turn your enemy. I began writing the story for NaNoWriMo in 2012 just to exercise my writing muscle and had 10,000 words. My editor like the idea so that was chosen as book three. So we brain stormed the idea and she saw potholes before they happened...and I had a rough outline. This was totally new. In the past I began with a vague idea, a title, and a character and wrote until the end - plot holes and all.

This time has been very different and I'm of course doubting myself and the story (which my dear friend Biddy tells me is part of my process and I do it every time!). So fingers crossed the magic will happen in the editing and A Cornish Stranger will shine...
Happy moment- A Cornish Affair at number 2 & The Cornish House at number 5

Oh, I forgot to mention opera...yes, there's a huge opera thread in the story which has been a wonderful excuse to listen and learn more about opera and its world but terrifying as I have to put together a Cornish opera (not the music) but the score of one so that parts of it can be in the book! i certainly don't make things easy for myself!!!

What's your favourite opera?

PS there are a few days left to enter a Goodreads give-away ... 3 copies of A Cornish Affair to win here.

Friday, July 19, 2013

South West Libraries Launch Their Cornish Reading Passport

The Helford River

On Monday I'll be in Torpoint Library at 14:00 to officially launch the Read South West's Cornish Reading Passport. I am so honoured to be a part of this.

Last year, in honour of the Olympics they organised a regional challenge asking people to read books set in or connected to five different continents. This year they are focusing on the south west and they have chosen six authors to represent Cornwall...Charles Causley, Daphne du Maurier, Debbie Fowler, Patrick Gale, Richard Masson and Liz Fenwick. Yes, I had to read the email a few times to be sure!

So on Monday I'll be in Torpoint Library to launch the scheme and to chat to anyone about my books or about writing in general. If you are in the area I'd love to see you.

There has been so much going on lately that I haven't linked to many things...mea culpa.

I wrote a travel article about my favourite parts of The Lizard for a travel agent based in Truro...(it's in German) here.

There was a lovely article in The National here on how my memories help me write...

Finally I can not believe this glorious makes it very hard to write (working on book 3 - A Cornish Stranger) but this weather is exactly like the summer in A Cornish Affair, which I wrote the first draft of in 2005...when I was rewriting the book last year I was beginning to think I had been imagining the glorious weather. But the current weather proves it can happen.

What are you doing to keep cool in the heat?
A very loyal DS1 keeping cool in the shade reading A Cornish Affair