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

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy Fourth of July...

A friend on Facebook called me wistful and I suppose I am. It's the Fourth of July and I'm sitting in out shoebox size flat in London longing to be on Cape Cod. The desire is so great it makes me tearful. I know it is the pull of nostalgia. There is nothing like hot dogs and hamburgers, watermelon, blueberries and the smell of Coppertone. I'm hankering after screen doors, three legged races, sunburns and mossy bites and youthful longing. It's all there sitting like a lump in my throat.

I haven't celebrated a 4th in the States in too many years. For me the 4th is synonymous with Cape Cod as all my childhood summers were spent there. I long for Four Seas Ice Cream and a sea temperature that is refreshing not icy. Craigville Beach looms large in my thoughts...

It stings. In the past when it was possible I would decorate the house, be it in Cornwall or England or Canada, with the stars and stripes. The day would begin with blueberry pancakes and maple syrup. A cookout would ensue and I'd try the three legged race thing just to give the kids a sense they were too American.

I've just finished an interview with a journalist in Dubai. He was asking about A Cornish Affair. I realise I didn't say that in many ways Jude, the heroine, is me. I gave her my Cape Cod, my university and much of my world. I fell for Cornwall as she does. And now I proclaim that Roskillys has the best ice-cream in the world replacing my beloved Four Seas (although I've never had peppermint stick ice-cream anywhere else). I rarely swim off of rocky beaches in Cornwall (the water is still too cold- I remain loyal to Craiville Beach and its temperate waters). Cornwall is now where my heart lies but on the Fourth of July it really wants to be on Cape Cod.

Happy Fourth of July.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Independent Booksellers' Week and Mazey Day

Today was the start of Independent Booksellers' Week and to support one on my favourite booksellers, The Edge of the World Bookshop in Penzance I offered to man the reality stand outside the shop and chat to people.
Liz Fenwick and friend in front of Edge of the World Books
It was also Mazey Day in Penzance which is part of Golowan. Golowan is the fest of mid-summer, the feast of St John, which was traditionally celebrated with bonfires and tar barrels all around Cornwall but died out in the late 1800s. You can read more about it here.
The Mazey Midday Parade
I had such a good time talking about books and watching parades that I'm already looking forward to next year! The rest of my photos are on my Facebook page here.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

When Fanny Blake Ran Away...

Today I'm launching A Cornish Affair in Dubai and it seemed appropriate to save one last running away story to mark the Dubai launch. 

Here's Fanny's story...

I’ve always been told running away from your problems is the wrong thing to do. But for me, it worked.

Being made redundant from a much-loved job in publishing one Christmas was tough. The cheque was little consolation for being made to feel so humiliated and useless. I was driving everyone, including myself, mad as I moped around the house, with next to no motivation to find another job, convinced I would never work again.

A friend suggested I escaped by going away. But my kids were at school and my husband was working. There was no possibility of their taking the time off. How miserable I would be lying on a beach on my own, going over what had gone wrong. She insisted it didn’t have to be like that.  A friend of hers had just come back from trekking in Bhutan. Why didn’t I do something similar? By the end of that afternoon, I was booked on a flight to Thailand.

My husband manfully agreed to take on the brunt of looking after our three boys and off I ran to the Far East for three weeks to forget what had happened. It was the best thing I could have done.

I met with a band of travelling companions in Bangkok, and together we caught an overnight train north before travelling down the Mekong river to Laos. Being with strangers who knew nothing about me, and had no expectations, was liberating.

While I missed my family, I forgot the repercussions of the redundancy. Instead, I visited temples and palaces, wandered round markets, ate local delicacies, stayed in modest guesthouses, bicycled in the countryside and explored the towns of Luang Phabang, Vientianne and Savannakhet before driving on into Vietnam.

However, my subconscious must have been working away. Eventually a lightbulb moment came when I was least expecting it, sitting alone in front of the cascading Kuang Si Falls. I realised I would never work for one employer again. I would try to put together some kind of portfolio career, to avoid the same thing repeating itself, and to allow me to spend more time with my family.

I hadn’t expected it, but running away from what had gone wrong freed me from the constraints that had prevented me thinking clearly about my future. I returned home a changed person, with different priorities. I did work for another publisher, but I also began to write journalism, then non-fiction, and finally I wrote the first of my three novels. I’ve got running away to thank for that.

Rose waits for her family to arrive at their villa in Tuscany when a casual glance at her husband’s phone tips her world upside down. The text reads simply: ‘Miss you. Love you. Come back soon’. 
Fanny's latest book will be out on the 4th of July and you can pre-order it  here.

As the family gathers for the summer break, Rose’s faith in Daniel is shaken. How well does she really know him? She fears that, after decades of marriage and children, the man who lies beside her at night is lying in other ways too. Then events take a tragic turn.
Wise, wry and richly entertaining, The Secrets Women Keep celebrates the passionate, emotional lives women lead as wives, mothers and grandmothers. 

You can find out more about Fanny and her books here.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Travelling Again

A Cornish Affair
A Cornish Affair is well on its way in the UK so on Sunday night I fly back to Dubai to give the book a proper launch there. But before that I am off to visit friends who have limited connectivity...You can stand in the tower (serious) on one foot and lean 10 degrees to the east and get a phone signal. You won't be hearing from me much!

I think a quiet weekend with friends will be just what the doctor ordered as I have been going full tilt and confess to going to bed last night at eight. It's been mad but fun. My batteries were and are probably still are low.

And I think my husband might just be missing me...these are popup posters that have been made for my talks....The cats are not impressed!

Pop Up Poster of Liz Fenwick!

On Sunday night I fly over night to Dubai and I'll be on the radio at 1:30 on Monday on Dubai Eye. Then on Tuesday I'm doing a literary lunch.. this will consist of an excellent three course meal with house beverages at Trade Centre Club and me talking about books... Please join if you can.
Lunch is at Dubai World Trade Club call 04 309 7979 or email to book a place
Then on Wednesday it's the official Dubai launch of A Cornish Affair at Kinokuniya (aka Book World) in The Dubai Mall at 19:00. I'm still planning on having pasties, but it may not work and I may resort to a Cornish Cream tea again or maybe just Cornish cheeses...

I woke this morning to the wonderful news that A Cornish Affair is number one in Waterstones in Truro! Finally over on my Facebook Page I've posted photos from an early morning boat trip on the Helford River and a bluebell wood walk....

Friday, May 24, 2013

A Cornish Affair is Launched...

Wow, what a day. First thank you for the amazing amount of support on Facebook and Twitter. It has been overwhelming. Thank you...

So yesterday...first was a celebration lunch with my wonderful editor  (still gives me a thrill to say that!) and sitting in reception the only book on display was A Cornish Affair (to be fair it's under renovation and they probably had mine out because they knew I was coming in...but how to make an author feel special!)
A Cornish Affair in Orion's reception area!
Then back to flat to collect DS2 who was allowed to come out early to help and boy did he! So we walked down Kensington High Street and outside Waterstones we found this...

Then inside the fabulous Michael the Waterstones Kensington High Street's events manager and my wonderful friend Georgia were already at work transforming the space for the party...
DS2 pouring the all important bubbles...

Georgia and DS2 mucking around
Then back to proper 'work'....

So wonderful to have two books on display...A Cornish Affair  & The Cornish House

Some of the delicious scones made by Emma Walker
So many friends came and this year I actually had a chance to chat to them! Also I was so touched by the the young Mt. Holyoke alums who came to the launch. They had only met me last saturday (MHC is brilliant!) And there were some fab shoes and well, I want that handbag!
Total handbag lust...

Michael introducing me

And finally the part of the evening that scares me most...the talk and the reading...
Liz Fenwick
It was a fun evening and now off to book signings in Cornwall tomorrow and a talk at the St Ives Library on Tuesday evening...and of course working on book three, A Cornish Stranger.