Wednesday, February 25, 2009


So... I heard from Lucy at M&B and she's happy to look at two proposals and advise me which story she thinks I should start for Mod Heat!

So... I'm frantically trying to come up with two sparkling stories that smoulder with emotional conflict and (see Jackie's blog) do not fall into The Parent Trap. Easier said than done... 

So... I've finally come up with two working titles. 

*One Hot Haunted Night

*Red Hot Road Trip

They're not my favourites, but they're a start and I FEEL enough about them that I'm finally able to start brainstorming on the books. Perhaps I should start a poll as to which story will be selected to actually write!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


It's a little like the whole chicken and egg thing... does the title come before the book or the book come before the title?

What I mean is... do you generally have a working title in mind before you start writing a story? I know if I'm ever lucky enough to get published, the editors will almost definitely choose the title, but I've found with most of my wips, a strong title (which reflects the book) has come to me before I've even started writing.

1) The Divorce Coordinator - a story that will NEVER see the light of day.
2) For Love or Ratings - this was actually an exception as this story started its life as ''Farmer Finds a Wife.''
3) Falling For His Magic
4) No Business Like Show Business
5) The Who's Who of Matt McKinnell

All these above titles said something HUGE about the book for ME. But in the last week or so, I've been trying to plan the next wip and found titles a little elusive. I had two vague ideas and then FINALLY a title came to me for the second of them. Since then, I've been scribbling furiously about this idea but the title for the first idea still eludes me and it seems without a title, I'm unable to delve very deep into the idea.

Does this happen for any of you or are you one of those people who titles hold little significance for? Would love to hear your thoughts....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thanks, but no thanks!

Woke up to a lovely but not so lovely (iykwim) email from Lucy Gilmour at M&B this morning. The short version is... they've rejected ''The Who's Who of Matt McKinnell.'' 

The good bit is: 
''You certainly have a very lively writing style and have created two great characters in Libby and Matt.  There is much to like about this manuscript, but unfortunately, we do not think this particular manuscript is suitable for publication.  Please do not be too disappointed as we think your voice shows a great deal of potential for our Modern Heat series.''

And she's asked me to submit my next partial directly to her, which means I can high jump the slush pile. 

The bad bit???

EMOTIONAL - BLOODY- CONFLICT (scuse my French)!!!

There's contracts, revisions and rejections floating around the blogs at the moment and the one phrase that is coming up on ALL is Emotional Conflict. Those who've been given contracts have nailed this elusive EC, those of us with revisions or rejections, haven't quite made it. 

Lucy King and Jackie Ashenden are discussing this very issue on their blogs at the moment and they raise some excellent pointsl 

My problem was that I had a strong external conflict and lots of potentially good aspects of emotional conflict (the heroine was adopted and thought she was infertile and the hero had just discovered his father wasn't his real father) but I didn't develop these enough and make them SO BIG it stopped h&H from getting together. Or rather looked as if it could stop them!!

Another interesting issue was that my heroine had elements that M&B thought made her seem unlikeable...what I'd read as ambition, they'd read as ruthless. Interestingly enough, they mentioned something from my first chapter (which you'll hopefully get to read soon) as being one of the things that made the heroine look dodgy!!! 

So where to from here??

I'm currently working on the planning of two different ideas - one set in Hollywood and the other in Edinburgh. As I never actually had the phone consultation I won in the contest, I'm gonna be cheeky and ask if I can prepare two proposals and Lucy tell me which one she'd like me to work on next. Here's hoping she says ''yes.'' 

Then... it'll be back to the writing pad!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I've been lemonaded!!!

I KNOW... I wondered what the hell that meant to! Well... here tis:

My pal and fellow West Aussie Christina Phillips has ''lemonaded'' me and she assures me that's a good thing. Apparently it's the ''When Life Give You Lemons, Make Lemonade'' Award. Not sure exactly why, how or what qualifies you for this award but I've certainly had a few lemons lately. Think it's actually more about nominating blogs you like... so here goes.

It works this way:
1) Link back to the person you received the award from, and
2) Nominate 10 bloggers who are deserving of this award. 

Okay I lemonade the following:
1) The Dribbler
2) Lucy King
3) Sami Lee
4) Caitlyn Nicholas
5) Jackie Ashenden
6) Julie Cohen
7) Fiona Lowe
8) Lorraine Wilson
9) Jenna Bayley-Burke
10) Kerri Williams

Please don't feel offended if I read your blog regularly and you're not on here - it's probably cos Christina already nominated you! Didn't want to double up!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I've been quiet for a while cos life seems just a wee bit crazy - we've been away for a few days, High-Maintenence started school and hubby has been working like crazy trying to get a temporary supermarket organised.

Although the writing is never far from my mind... I haven't done anything much lately. Got a few books on Hollywood and stuff out of the library and am planning to start some research for my next wip this week. Usually I have a first scene and a title firmly in my vision before I start and right now I have two characters but absolutely no clue where to start or what to call the thing. I'm hoping inspiration will strike shortly.

Also... I'm currently discussing with a very good writing buddy the idea of collaborating on a wip for a bit of fun. We're targetting Superromance and I'm writing the hero and she's writing the heroine. The idea of writing with someone else has always intrigued me but I've never actually had the chance until now. 

Homework this week for our project is to write character charts and GMCs for our characters, then next week, we'll brainstorm plot.

So... I'm curious... have you ever collaborated or thought about it? How did it work? 

Friday, February 6, 2009

One HELL of a week!

I had a bit of a distraction this week to stop me from being TOO CRANKY about not having a writing project at the moment (although I still managed a minor tantrum last night).

I live in a small town (2000-ish people) in regional Western Australia, where my hubby is the Supermarket Manager of the local Co-operative (yep, we still have one). 9.30 Tuesday night, I'd just fed and settled my baby and, being addicted to my computer (well the net more to the point), I was sitting in bed with my lap-top. Hubby had just come out the shower when I suddenly smelt something burning. It was only slight and my first thought was my beloved laptop. We both sniffed it a bit and were happy enough that it wasn't about to blow up... BUT the smell was getting stronger in the air.

Then we thought about our oldest sons, who (because the air-con had broken down) had an old fan spinning in their hot room. We both dashed there but thank God that wasn't on fire. So Craig popped his head outside and shouted 'I think it's coming from the co-op.' He jumped in the car and screeched down the road. We don't live far away (neither does my mum) so I asked her to watch the boys and then I ran down the street in my pjs. I arrived about the same time as the local volunteer fire brigade to watch (along with half the town, also in pjs) my hubby's pride and joy (he loves retail) and our livlihood going up in smoke!!

See pics below - nothing was salvageable and now Craig is busy planning for a new store. Thank God for insurance!

The Burning Building...

The Aftermath...

Despite this absolute disaster for our town (many people have losts jobs and the local hub is no longer), the whole community has come together to look after each other. In the middle of the night, local cafe owners opened their kitchens to provide for the volunteers. My hubby sent his Wednesday delivery to the OTHER supermarket to service the town and trust me, this is something that would NEVER happen between major chains in the city. Other businesses are offering jobs to co-op staff who'll be out of work until the new store is built.

It's been absolutely heart-warming to see all this community spirit! I can now see why small town settings are so special in Romance novels!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

LA anyone?

I can't help it... I get cranky when I'm not writing, so although I'm NOT technically writing... I'm working on an idea (in my head). Only prob is my idea MUST be set in LA... I think it starts at the Academy Awards but I've NEVER been anywhere near America before.

Have any of you written books in places you haven't been? I worry that even if I research, research, research it won't sound bona fide. How do you research place? Oh and has anyone actually been to Hollywood? If so... wanna read my next mss when I've finished? :)