Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Wednesday writing

I am at the stage in my current story (Friend or Foe – the last book in the Friends series) of ‘tidying up’. That is where you have written it and it is about the length you are aiming for but you need to check it for consistency. This relates to consistency of words, eg, are you in the correct tense (for instance, inner thoughts need to be first person and present tense) or if there is any repetition of words – I have a bad habit of over-using the word ‘realise’ and have to go through replacing it with other synonyms, and so on.

This provided some laughter when I got my last lot of edits back for Friendly Seduction due out in January. In the space of ten lines I had used the word hand/s eight times. Well, she had arrived at his apartment and was about to knock on the door. The action for that was to raise a hand. Her hand then trembled so she flexed her hand then raised her hand to touch her breast remembering what the hero had done to her last time with his hand. She then dropped her hand as she was getting too aroused but raised it again to knock on the door! You can see how I had repeated it so often so had to work out in the edits the best way of avoiding it with alternative words like fist (for knocking on the door – or just say she knocked), the feel of his touch on her breast instead of his hand and so on.

But it also refers to consistency in the story. It is these inconsistencies which provide the greatest laughs. I’ve just realised (sorry couldn’t resist) that I had my H/H already in the bedroom when he decided to fireman tackle her and stride with her into …. the bedroom…. which he is already in of course!

I nearly had the heroine wearing gloves until I remembered (or indeed realised!) that it was supposed to be the middle of summer.

I’ve had instances where the hero lifts the girl’s skirt/dress but then realised I had said she was in jeans earlier. I’ve had the same person in two different places (easily done with secondary or tertiary characters). Green-eyed in one place but blue-eyed elsewhere and so on.

I do plot my stories before I start – loosely plot them. That is to say I decide roughly how many chapters I want, what I want from the beginning and the end, at what stage action takes place so that I have some build up of sexual tension but bringing in sex scenes early enough and having enough of them. But I try not to make it too proscriptive as I love the spontaneous nature of writing. That is to say I love seeing where the characterisations or the action goes – sometimes quite different from what I had originally envisaged. In Submissive Training due out in February, the heroine turned out much more submissive than I had originally intended. I love starting a story with the H/H confronting each other with no idea of what the action is going to be other than they end up kissing by the end. As I write I visualise it like I am seeing it in a movie which I haven't seen before. It is really quite interesting what happens when you least expect it!

But by doing it this way I leave myself open to inconsistencies which need careful checking before it gets published. Hopefully they are all ironed out before you - the reader - gets to read the book!


Friday, 25 November 2011

Friday funnies


On a Sears hairdryer -- Do not use while sleeping.

Okay - like I usually use when I am sleepwalking!!

On Boot's Children's Cough Medicine --

"Do not drive a car or operate

machinery after taking this medication."

Okay - like I know lots of kids who drive cars!


On a Swedish chainsaw -- "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals."

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay so who was the idiot that attempted it .......

Have a good weekend


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Fourth book has been accepted

Yeah! My fourth book Submissive Training has been accepted by Siren Publishing for release in February. This is the sequel to The Submission Challenge. So at today’s date I have two books out (Just Good Friends and The Submission Challenge) and two books due out in the New Year – the other one being Friendly Seduction coming out in January.

I actually found the latest book, Submissive Training, the easiest to write. I have no particular reason why it should be. However, when it came to proof-reading and doing the tidying up process of making sure I hadn’t given the same character different names I hit problems.  The main characters are at a conference so there have to be those people/delegates who ask questions that you don’t know and have no idea of their name. My previous books were very limited in the numbers of secondary characters so I hadn’t had this problem before. And now I had tertiary characters in addition to those I had planned as my secondary characters.

My worry was whether it is too confusing for the reader to have these tertiary characters without giving them all a personality? There was also the problem of keeping track of everyone as there were parallel workshops taking place so not every delegate at this conference was going to be in the same workshop at the same time. In some ways it is a good thing I have experience of events management!

In future if I am going to write my characters into a public situation like this I intend to keep a separate profile for each secondary/tertiary character that I write in order to keep track of them, even if it is something as simple as ‘annoying woman who attends workshop 1’ so that I don’t suddenly make them into ‘kind woman’ later in the story or have them in two sessions at the same time.

(By the way - just had my first reader's review - well, reviews. 

There is one for each of my first two books and I am very pleased with both of them, particularly for The Submission Challenge. The reader says that the first one is not as 'hot' as the second and that is fine as it wasn't meant to be.The first series is sweeter, more romantic. The second series more sexy. Although the reader hasn't quite realised that they are the first two books in two separate series although as you will see when the next two books are out that they have cross-over characters. Anyhow I am delighted.).


Monday, 21 November 2011

Inspirational Mondays

Today’s inspirational blog is dedicated to my editor(s) at Siren Publishing. I have just had the edits for my third book and I was pleased to note that there were not nearly as many comments, corrections and suggestions as there had been in my previous two books.

This is terrific as it shows I am improving. In fact the learning process all along has been incredibly rewarding and I put this down to the super editors at Siren who are very encouraging and offer their recommendations for changes to our stories in a supportive manner. ‘This is a great way to show his attraction to her and the potential sexual chemistry.’

As I am a very reflective person I decided to analyse the edits on all three books to see where I have been consistently good (the pace of the story, good chemistry between the characters with some funny lines and a satisfying ending), the items in which I am improving (including head hopping. After the initial book I only had a couple of minor instances of head hopping on this one. Also I’ve nearly always remember now not to use capitals to indicate emphasis but italics.)

The things I still need to work on which include comma splices (joining together two unrelated sentences with a comma). This is a problem because, as a close American friend  who lived in England for several years told me, the English join together sentences with a comma where the Americans would put in a period so I don’t see there is a problem in the first place.

And things I am getting worse on which include overuse of the em dash (a double length dash used for items like interruptions in speech apparently). I seem to have started using this in place of the comma to avoid a splice and am now over-using it! Note to self – must use a full stop (period) more often!!

My comment to any new authors who may be daunted by the overwhelming edits they receive on their first book is to take what the editors are suggesting and use it as a terrific learning opportunity .


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Wednesday writing

I recently came across some old notebooks from my English classes at school - I’ve kept very few things from school but held onto these because I had written several love stories in them that my English teacher seemed to love. I recall ignoring the set homework criteria and writing my stories instead!

You have to realise I was about age 13 then and my hormones were going potty and I had discovered love – not that I had a boyfriend, I just discovered love as an emotion, a concept.

The stories are quite amusing – there is one where the characters ‘kissed for an hour’! That was all they did – just kissed. And I certainly would have been grossed out at that age had I known tongues get involved. My image of a good kiss was something out of the classic Hollywood films my Dad and I loved to watch where the hero placed his lips on hers without moving and they closed their eyes as if swooning in bliss.

Thankfully my stories these days are a little more imaginative...

The extract below also amused me – for some reason I was doing a steamboat story (I had probably just watched ‘Showboat’ or something like it). All I can say is that the kiss must have been really something if they got married shortly afterwards!



Monday, 14 November 2011

Inspirational Mondays

If I tell you that Gottfried Achenwall is inspirational you may be none the wiser. He is one of those regarded as the inventor of statistics – indeed, he introduced the word, apparently.

Why should this be inspirational? I have to be dragged kicking and screaming into doing anything technical (I am probably one of few people without a mobile phone) so it took a lot for me to set up this blog and I am still working out which things do what on it.

Anyway, the other evening I discovered the ‘Statistics page’ – WOW! I am OCD enough to love anything to do with statistics particularly if they relate to me (I’m not interested in how much oil is being pumped out of the ground!). I can now see what time of day people are logging onto my emails for instance. There is a drop between 4-8pm English time interestingly – which fits in when people are going home from work.

Then there is the stat about where in the world people are logging in from – my blog has been accessed 13 times from people or a person in Russia, 3 times from Romania, 4 times from Germany, several from Australia, 1 from Finland, India, Mauritius and Philippines to pull out some more unusual ones other than the UK and US which I would expect. Now I know that we have some Siren writers in those countries, eg, Finland and Romania but I am not aware of any in Mauritius so I am guessing this is a genuine reader/person interested in my work.

This is fabulous as I had no idea if I am writing my blogs and no-one is reading them. The few comments to my postings have all been from fellow writers to whom I had directed my blog to. It is very gratifying to know that the general public are also looking at this blog and hopefully interested enough to want to buy my books.


Friday, 11 November 2011

Friday funnies

These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are things
people supposedly said in court, word for word, taken down and now published
by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these
exchanges were actually taking place.

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?'
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No , I just lie there.

ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Getting laid.
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.
Hope you enjoyed - have a good weekend

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Extract from latest book

I promised you an extract from my latest book, The Submission Challenge. Here it is:

Jon chuckled. It was nice to get back to the Rebecca he knew. He was used to her having an opinion on pretty much everything. He had missed this, he realized in surprise, when he insisted she be submissive—even missed the times they argued. “Unnatural for you, maybe, but when a sub makes those positions, she is showing her Dom she is willing and trusting and looking forward to whatever he plans to do.”
“I’ll remain unconvinced on that one.”
He smiled, knowing she would have found the activities of the last few hours hard to take—hard to fight off arousal as much as hard to accept being submissive.
She suddenly stated, “You really enjoy doing this, don’t you?”
“Yeah. Hasn’t that been obvious all these years?” He chuckled.
“No, you idiot, I mean the teaching or training side of things.”
“Hm, I’m ignoring the fact you called me an idiot at the moment, but yes, you’re right. I do like teaching new subs.”
Grinning, she seemed pleased to get one back on him.
“Moving on. You’ve also experienced being naked constantly and touched intimately. That opens up limitless opportunities for sensuality.”
“More likely opportunities for hypothermia.” She laughed at his expression of long suffering and teased, “How do you manage in winter?”
“Two words—central heating.”
“Oh, ha-ha!”
He laughed. He was enjoying their banter. Somehow it was different from the past, possibly because of the intimacy they had experienced. It was also different from training new subs who usually had no desire to analyze the experience, they just did what he told them.


Monday, 7 November 2011

Inspirational Mondays

I want to dedicate this inspirational Monday blog and offer lots of hugs to my fellow writers with Siren Publishing who have all been so positive/caring/helpful/insightful/encouraging/supportive - even to virtually slapping my face and telling me it’s happened and to pick myself up.

The reason why? Because I noticed on Saturday that my latest book had got a rating of just 1 on the publisher’s website from a reader. This seriously dented my ego – everything seemed to be going so well to that point. It even seemed to dry up sales briefly! However, I can’t blame readers for being put off buying a book that has a poor rating – I would be put off!!!

The problem is I don’t know what the reason for the poor rating is so don’t know if they feel it is badly written or just not what they were expecting. But I also have to remember that we can’t please everyone all the time – what story suits one person another may hate. In retrospect I also have to accept that if we are going to make our stories public then I have to accept that people are entitled to their opinions, whatever they are.

I’ve had lots of messages from my lovely fellow writers telling me all sorts of stories about reviews they’ve had – some quite nasty ones in some cases. And some unintentionally funny like one writer who said that she had a review once where the reader told her they were disappointed with it and there was too much about the stupid people and their boring story!?!

There were also some very helpful comments like the one writer who had been to a workshop about dealing with bad reviews and was told that you need 7 ‘touches’ for a reader to remember your name and that a bad review can count as one of them.

So to finish, thank you to all my wonderful fellow Siren authors - I am so glad to be part of a publishing house that is so supportive. And I will now pick myself up and continue writing hoping that other readers like my stories (in fact since composing this email I have had three lovely readers who rated it a 5!!! And I am pleased to note sales have picked up again. So whoever you are hugs to you too).

Hugs to all (I was actually looking for a group hug picture but found this one particularly inspiring!)

Friday, 4 November 2011

Friday funnies

A psychiatrist was conducting a group therapy session with four young mothers and their small children. "You all have obsessions," he observed.

To the first mother, he said, "You are obsessed with eating.
You've even named your daughter Candy.

He turned to the second Mom. "Your obsession is with money. Again, it manifests itself in your child's name, Penny."

He turns to the third Mom. "Your obsession is alcohol. This too manifests itself in your child's name, Brandy" "

At this point, the fourth mother gets up, takes her little boy by the hand and whispers. "Come on, Dick, we're leaving."

Have a good weekend

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

New book out

My second book, The Submission Challenge, was released yesterday. It is available on the publisher’s website in a variety of formats for the next month after which time it will go onto Amazon as a Kindle.

This is the blurb:

When independent Rebecca derides her best friend’s brother for being a Dominant, he scoffs. She could never understand the lifestyle, but Jon challenges her to be his submissive for twenty-four hours anyway, demanding all that being a submissive entails. Not one to back down from a challenge, Rebecca agrees, determined to show him she can be submissive yet remain emotionally detached.
During the challenge, Jon works all his Dom tricks to try to make her lose, including insisting she be naked constantly, touching her intimately, and using various BDSM techniques, like bondage.

Some tricks Rebecca finds harder to accept than others, but as the weekend continues, they realize they are attracted to each other. But just as Rebecca comes to enjoy giving control to someone else, Jon learns to enjoy having someone who doesn't submit easily. But things aren't that simple.

I promised you an extract today but instead I’ll put it up next week.

In the meantime I will give a free copy of my first book, Just Good Friends, to the first person who can tell me the name of the club that Rebecca visits with Ellie. email me on