Sunday, May 31, 2009


The month of May is closing and I had high hopes of completing Penderrown's first draft during this month. I lost the plot - literally - several times during the month but managed to pull myself back on course. Now as the month disappears I have written 23,000 new words. Not bad I confess but no where near reaching the end. Things have conspired against me on this and now with new plot complication continually flashing in front of me I have more work than ever.
I am also thinking that as I have grown as a writer I have slowed down because I can see the holes as I work and I want to go back and fix them. I want to add more description in at this stage which slows things down a lot. At this point in the book the season is almost exactly the same now. As I drive the lanes I am trying imprint the sharp pink exclamation marks of the foxgloves punctuating the blue sky in to my brain with the smell of the wisteria and honeysuckle accompied by the birdsong. This is not the best way to drive in Cornwall during half term week with visitors filling the lanes you need to do more that automatic driving while your brain writes!
I'm leaving Cornwall today and travel to Dubai on Monday. I'm back again shortly which consoles me.
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Saturday, May 30, 2009


Happiness is all my data retrieved, a new little lappy to continue to write on and a new devious twist to Penderrown (now I just need to figure out how to work it in!) Oh and of course sunshine in Cornwall.
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Thursday, May 28, 2009

An Accident and Good News

DS1 was borrowing my little lappy and it had an ooops - a big ooops. So it is being taken apart to retrieve my data. I was all set early this week to tell you I had my MoJo back. The words were flowing and I knew where I was going. Needless to say this has been arrested along with all other pursuits related to the computer. Have had to invest in new little 'puter (ouch) and refrain from hanging DS1 by toe nails.

On to the stunning good news that I just must share - fellow RNA member Philippa Ashley is going to see her book Decent Exposure (Little Black Dress - and her first book which won the Joan Hessayon New Writers' Award in 2007) made into a film for Fox and it will be their featured film for Christmas. See Philippa's blog for all the details.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Kyoto Again and the Joy of Being with Another Writer

It seems ages since we spent the weekend in Kyoto and I posted the last set of photos - heck I've been to England and back - and I'm off again tomorrow! But i did want to share some of the photos from our last day in Japan.
We walked through a wonderful bamboo forest. I can still hear the clacking noise of the bamboo as the wind pushed the tall stems together. It was almost like a symphony of percussion.
We wandered through a beautiful garden that was filled with so many plants that reminded me of our garden in Cornwall - made me quite homesick for it. I hope this week that the wisteria will still be in bloom.
Colour abounded every where even on a grey wet day. In fact I think the dullness of day made the vibrant colour more alive.

Last night I was lucky enough to have Janet Gover (Little Black Dress author - Farmer Needs A Wife) over for dinner. Poor dh had to put up with two writers chatting away about unreal worlds and plot problems. It certainly helped me to hear that she thought there was more than enough meat in the story to continue going. So another day of reading Maass and maybe I will write on the plane tomorrow with better results than the last time and definitely no champagne as I am in my normal stop in the back of the plane.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

RNA New Writer's Award and Not Writing

Okay, things have gone terribly wrong on the writing front. I was so pleased I wrote on the plane and then wrote more in the past few days - maybe 2000 in total. Well something happened with the little notebook and the screen wouldn't come on. So I had to resort to removing the battery and beginning again. When the thing powered up no document - this i know was my fault and reflected how I felt about the words. You see I hadn't saved it. The other parts of the book were saved under my old working title and I dithered about what to save this under and if truth be told I knew the words were crap and just filling the space on the page. So they are gone forever. However I am at a real cross roads. I know how the story ends but this second half of the book doesn't seem ready to come out. I am going to take a few more days of not writing and hit the Donald Maass book which always sets ideas going and hope for the best.

Below is the official announcement of the award that was given last Wednesday. I can't wait to read it in October when it comes out!

Ex-Barrister Wins New Writers’ Award
with Romantic Novel set in Chambers

The winner of the Romantic Novelists’ Association Joan Hessayon New Writer’s Award has clearly taken the adage “write what you know” to heart. With Tug of Love, published by Little Black Dress, Allie Spencer plumbed her career as a specialist in matrimonial law.

Her heroine is divorce lawyer Lucy. When Lucy meets Mark, it is love at first sight and would be the perfect match if his scary ex-wife, the PM’s divorce and an old flame don’t all get in the way.

Announcing the winner, judge and Chairman of the RNA, Catherine Jones, commented: “Laugh-out-loud funny, clever, and set in chambers by someone who obviously knows what she is talking about, this novel is sassy and believable with a wonderfully flawed heroine and a great supporting cast. It was a joy from first to last.”

The award was presented by bestselling author Katie Fforde at the RNA’s summer party on 13th May.

Allie felt “completely overwhelmed” and said she first got the idea for Tug of Love when she was a pupil barrister sitting outside a court in London in a very cramped waiting area. At the time, Allie had no idea she would abandon law for marriage and a career as a romantic novelist. Nor did she imagine her second full-length book would be snapped up by a publisher and go on to win an award.

Allie lives in Salisbury with her husband and two young sons. Her idols are authors PG Wodehouse and Douglas Adams and she nurtures a secret desire to be a stand-up comedian.

Meanwhile, Allie is thrilled to have won her award. “The RNA has been supremely supportive and nurturing of me, so this is extra special. Also the judges are both very experienced and successful writers so their vote of confidence counts for a lot.”

The RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme, which is generously sponsored by Dr David Hessayon in memory of his late wife Joan, who was a longstanding member, gives unpublished authors of romantic fiction the opportunity to join the Association and submit a full-length manuscript for appraisal. Promising manuscripts, if deemed ready, are passed to a suitable professional. The Joan Hessayon New Writers’ Scheme Award is given to the best of the novels accepted and published that year.

For more information please contact the RNA’s Press Officer Liz Bailey at or on 01342 323991.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Home Again (however only briefly!)

Well back in Dubai to the sun, heat and humidity. London was fabulous and refreshed the writing cells again. Having stopped mid scene knowing that I was veering off track - I didn't write again until I hit the plane and was fueled by a glass of bubbly. I'm hoping the break will have recharged the writing subconscious as it felt as if I was starting the book again. I know what I need to do but it's very hard to begin. So I'm hoping that 100 incoherent words I wrote on the plane will send me on my way for the second half of the book. My end of May deadline is approaching far too quickly and I'm flying back to the UK this Thursday (half term beckons).

For the curious here are two more links to the RNA Summer Party - Janet Gover, one of the nominees for the Joan Hessayon New Writers' Award here and Ray-Anne aka Nina Harrington here. I have stolen one of her photos which has from the left - agent Jonathan Pegg, writer Cat Marsters/Kate Johnson, moi, Carole, and Ray_Anne/Nine Harrington.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Romantic Novelists' Association Summer Party

The Library at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers

What can I say - except it was fab! I love the RNA. Not only does it have the New Writers' Scheme and the MOST supportive membership they throw one hell of a party. The Summer Party is when the winner of the Joan Hessayon Award is announced. This award is for a writer who has come through the scheme and is published. It is a celebration of all the excitement and hard work that it takes to cross that hurdle to be published. Katie Fforde said each and everyone of the woman up for the award had won. So a huge congratulation to all of the seven worthy writers but a special shout for Allie Spencer for her Little Black Dress Book Tug of Love.

Speaking of Katie Fforde, she is now the chair of the RNA having taken over from the wonderful Catherine Jones.

As with all these parties there is never ever enough time .....Oh and we had three of the nominees for the Melissa Nathan Comedy Romance Award in attendance - Trisha Ashley, Kate Harrison and Julliet Archer (who was one of the nominees for the Joan Hessayson Award).

Sorry for no names to the photos - connection is not brilliant so I will try and amend when I am at the airport.
I head back to Dubai today having done no writing since I left the plane. I am hoping this means my subconcious will have had the needed break to catch up with where I am going now that I chopped and changed scenes....