Wednesday 30 November 2011

Patricia Cornwell In Harrogate

Last weekend I was lucky enough to get a ticket to an amazing event in Harrogate where the United States queen of crime, Patricia Cornwell was being interviewed on stage and then book signing.

Prior to the event I met up with a couple of lovely friends and we shared a cream tea. It was heavenly, if only the service would have matched the taste.

After that we all filed into the hall to find our seats, where after sitting somewhere close to the back, I was found a wonderful seat, just four seats back.

The event was great. Patricia talked about how she has stopped ageing Scarpetta as she doesn't want to age her and potentially retire her.

She explained the moment Lucy walked into her line of sight in one of the episodes and she found out Lucy was gay. It's a very organic way of writing. The characters have their lives and do their own thing.

Cornwell did admit to regretting killing Benton off, almost immediately, so she brought him back.

She did say she absolutely would not kill Scarpetta off, so that's a blessing for fans.

As far as the movie goes, it's still early stages, I think screenwriting was mentioned. Angelina Jolie is still "attached" to the project. The film will not portray any of the books but will stand alone and in Kay's earlier career, hence using a younger actress I presume.

After the interview she stayed around to sign books. As far as social media goes she's very interactive with her twitter and Facebook. Check her out.

I will leave you a slightly blurry image of her signing some books.

A truly great evening and one I was glad I shared with friends

Friday 25 November 2011

Something For The Weekend

I haven't had a great deal of time for reading recently as I've been going full pelt at my manuscript, but I thought I share with you, some of what I did manage to read.

Now this book, when you hear what it's about are either going to say - yay! Or put your head in your hands and wail.

The Radleys, written by Matt Haig.

Book blurb:

Meet the Radleys - Peter, Helen and their teenage children, Clara and Rowan, live in a typical suburban English town. They are an everyday family, averagely dysfunctional, averagely content. But, as their children have yet to find out, the Radleys have a devastating secret. In this moving, thrilling and extraordinary portrait of one unusual family, The Radleys asks what we grow into when we grow up, and explores what we gain - and lose - when we deny our appetites.

My Thoughts:

The Radleys family secret is that they're vampires. The children are unaware of this at the start of the book but that changes one fateful weekend when a party goes wrong for the Radleys daughter. She is stunned to find out she's not actually ill as she'd originally thought she is in fact a vampire. I really really liked this story. It's set in suburbia based "normality" and the vampires are living pretty ordinary lives. It's a lovely modern twist on a vampire themed novel. I loved that the family could be anyone and anywhere. They tried so hard to blend in. It's wonderfully written and something that is worth checking out, even if you're not a vampire fan.

Thursday 24 November 2011

Liebster Award

The ever lovely Liz Crump a wonderfully chatty writer who can be found over on her blog here, has very kindly nominated Life in Clarity for the Liebster award .

Liz made an incredibly kind comment about the Life in Clarity blog and it made my day, so thank you Liz. I urge you to go check out her blog.

So on with forwarding the award to five other blogs.

In accepting the Liebster Blog Award, the recipient agrees to:

- Thank the person who gave them the award and link back to that person's blog
- Copy and paste the award to their blog
- Reveal the 5 blogs they have chosen to award, commenting on their blog to break the news!
- Hope those people in turn pay it forward by accepting and awarding "The Liebster Blog Award" to bloggers they would like to honour

This award is for anyone with fewer than 200 followers. :)

The five blogs I award the Liebster award are:

Teresa Morgan at The Wittering Woman. Teresa is an aspiring romance writer who blogs with honesty and humour, oh and yes, a fair share of handsome hunks appear on her blog pages. A girl can't go wrong!

Working Stiffs a collective of crime writers. If you're a crime kind of reader, you can't go wrong.

Annalisa Crawford who is wonderfully lovely and honest and has a blog that makes me smile.

Linda K whose dogged determination is inspiring. Life always manages to get in the way, but as writers we need to keep going. Linda does just that. A lovely blog.

Ranae Rose a lovely but red hot romance writer :)

Sunday 20 November 2011

A Weekend In York.

This weekend I went away to York with friends I've known since school. We went on Friday and came back late yesterday. I had a ball. We laughed constantly and the weather was on our side. To say it was mid November the sky was blue and I got away with wearing just a light jacket.

York is a beautiful place so I thought I'd share some photographs of my time there, with you.

The Minster at night.

It would seem Christmas is on its way.

The Minster set against an unbelievable November blue sky.

The ghost walks of York.

York is just so beautiful.

Last but by no means least... I had to have my photograph taken with a Storm Trooper. Who wouldn't?

What is one of your favourite cities of beauty?

Friday 18 November 2011

The Second Book.

So while I'm waiting patiently to hear back from the agent, (Guess which word in that sentence doesn't quite ring true) I thought I'd have a relaxing couple of weeks. After all I'm not going to the day job and then having to come and slave away at my home desk to complete the first book. I thought I'd be able to catch up with my To-be-read pile, which is growing, literally, by the day, and I could spend a bit more time downstairs with the family. I figured I'd do this before starting on book two.

Who was I kidding. The story for the next book in the series is nudging me in the brain day and night. It just won't go away. So two days after sending the first book to the agent for them to look at and respond to, I'm already putting together the next book in my head. Not just in my head though, oh no. I've written two pages of notes and googled a few points I need to look at for research.

I was under the misguided impression that I could try write this book and if I couldn't do it, I would go back to finish the Open University degree. That was what I said in a blog post in about October last year. Now though, now I realise I really really want to write. Stories. All the time. So regardless of what happens with this one agent, I'm sticking with it. I will do any rewrites necessary and keep submitting and I will also make a start on the second book.

I have the bug. I think I'm a writer.

At what point did you realise you were a writer and not just dabbling, that it was seriously what you wanted to do? Was there a specific point it became more real for you?

Tuesday 15 November 2011

The Next Step And Waiting.

I haven't really said anything about this on my blog because I was scared to. I was scared to because I didn't want to put a jinx on anything. A jinx, can you believe that. I actually thought that if I discussed it too much the opportunity would go away.

Now I'm tentative and cautious, but a bit more willing to write about it here. After all, my blog is not only an ongoing conversation with fellow bloggers and readers, but a permanent reminder for me to look back on. A place to chart the trials and tribulations of attempting to get published. To have a novel, or further, a series of novels, out there for people to read. It is with this in mind that helped me come to the decision to finally write about what is ongoing. That and the fact that it's gone and I can't get it back. My novel is actually out there in the big wide world.

Okay, so six months ago I sent an enquiry off to an agent. I was aware the agent was interested in finding new crime writers, so I bit the bullet and sent an email, telling them what I was writing. (I am purposefully keeping this gender none specific, still worrying about jinxes etc!) I sent the first few chapters and synopsis and was then asked to send the full manuscript when I had completed it.

That was nearly six months ago. I worried I was taking too long and the request would be rescinded. I recently made contact again and informed them it was completed. It was confirmed that the agent was still happy to read it and yesterday I sent my manuscript to them via email.

I'm terrified. It's my first submission and a no thanks is expected, but I've now spent a year of my life writing this and it's going to feel personal, no matter how well I'm turned down. I'm trying to lock all emotions away as I wait and deal with what comes in a detached manner. That's the plan. But for now, it's a waiting game. Who's going to sit with me?

Wednesday 9 November 2011

When To Stop Editing

As you know, I'm in that final push mode with my manuscript. I've polished and checked and polished some more, but I'm now wondering if I'm so close to it am I going to make a complete hash of it? I'm not sure which way is up anymore, or if I alter something, I wonder if I will take away what was good about it?

At what point do you know to stop editing? I imagine we can't be fully happy. Or can we? Is there a point when you know it's ok to let it go and genuinely believe that or are we doomed into an ever decreasing circle of editing?

I'm so close to this manuscript now that it feels a part of me. How do you let a part of you go?

And when you do, what happens then? You give it to someone who's going to pass an opinion on it.

*runs off to hide at this point*

Do we ever get too close or if we're still polishing it, does that mean it still needs it or are we polishing the nice shiny bit off?

When do we know it's time to let go?

Monday 7 November 2011

It's Just.....

Yesterday I went through my manuscript looking for words I overuse. I checked each one and if it wasn't necessary it got cut. I cut over 100 of the word "just".

Really, what an innocuous word, but it had taken over the entire manuscript.

Another one I'm halfway through checking is "that".

I was also pretty bad with "yet"

What words do you overuse? Are you aware you overuse them?

Do I really want to see the answers to this blog post? I daren't check for any more overused words- I might not have a manuscript left!

Saturday 5 November 2011

Networking While Writing

Networking while writing. How do people find the time to network with fellow writers when in the throes of writing?

As you know, I've have failed miserably at keeping my blog up to date as I do this last push to completion. It's not just the lack of upkeep though. Blogging works and is important, not because of the things we write in our posts, but because of the connections we make with fellow bloggers and writers (if you're a writer and reading this).

Writing is an isolating hobby/job. It's something you do on your own. So for me, connecting with my fellow bloggers is important. It is you, yes you reading this, that are important to me. So the problem comes when you're pushing so hard at your work in progress that you can't keep up with the people you probably need a friendly word from, a cheer as you gallop towards the last hurdle of the current stage in the quest for the golden gauntlet of publication.

How do people marry up this difficulty. Spend a little less time writing? Or hope that those friendly blogger you think are so great, will wait patiently for you? Or is blogging a fickle world?

How do those crazy people (only my opinion) manage to do NaNoWriMo and then go on to socialise on the official site? I couldn't do both!

How do you write and network? Can both happen in a working persons life? I'd love your views on this.