Posts

To answer some of your questions ...

Image
Recently I asked the lovely Likers on my Facebook Author page what they would like to know about how I write. This generated quite a lot of questions, and prompted this post.
Each question merits its own blog post really, but I've tried to answer as fully as possible in a reader friendly format.

Q: Do you you use writing software, e.g. Scrivener or similar? Are you a plotter or a pantser, or somewhere in between? I use plain ol' Word, on a Mac. But I also write in longhand, particularly in the early stages, and I'm a sucker for gorgeous stationary!
Longhand allows me to write in a stream of conscious, unedited way, and this is where I find out about my characters and what they want and why.

Plotting v Pantsing?  I'm a bit of each! I spend a really long time developing my characters, where they live, their pets, their cars, their Pinterest Boards, their friends, that sort of thing, and then I write a sort of map of how the story will progress, where the main pinch points…

I chat to fellow Choc Lit Author, Kirsty Ferry

Image
I'm thrilled to be sharing this Festival of Books and Bookishness with fellow ChocLit author Kirsty Ferry, who has been writing for much longer than me and has an impressive sixteen published novels to her name.

Sue: Hi Kirsty! You are very young, but you have quite a string of published novels behind you. When did you start writing?
Kirsty: I’ve been writing since I was a child, but had to have a break when my son was born, and I found I had no time to do anything.
When he was about seven I got made redundant and did an OU writing course which I enjoyed, then went on to complete my degree with them alongside starting a new job. Two of my modules were Creative Writing, so I had fun with those, and actually all of the stories I wrote for the course have all ended up published in some shape or form, so I guess I’ve been writing ‘seriously’ for about thirteen years now.
Some Veil Did Fall
was based on a short story I did for the first course, and I decided it had some mileage to grow, …
Image
 The #ChocRubyFestival comes to YOU!! 
FLASH GIVEAWAY BELOW!!
Hellooo! Well, I'm going to pretend that I write this Blog regularly and obviously you haven't been paying attention as you seem to have missed several months years posts. (You haven't. I'm teasing you.)


Like my Giveaways↑? One Hot-off-the-Press Copy of Meet Me at the Art Cafe and a pack of blank Greetings Cards from my own original paintings, all inspired by the stunning Gower Peninsula, which is the setting from my Art Cafe novels.

If you'd like to win this - but not the gorgeous crochet blanket they're lying about on that took me an eternity to make - all you need to do is share it on Twitter or Facebook, wherever you found it, and tell me you shared it on that post.
If you Follow/Like my Twitter/Facebook page I'll love you forever, obviously.
If you don't tell me you've shared it, then I can't put you in the draw.

Oh, and the draw will be...

drum roll...

at 3pm on M…

Writer as Artist as Writer...

Image
I make lists.
That's not unusual is it? Lots of people I know make lists.
Lists make me feel as if I've achieved something, and when they're lists for an event that I'm looking forward to, it creates an air of anticipation around the whole thing.
But.
My lists are a teeny bit different to most people's...
Because, ahem....

I paint my lists.

I don't mean that I paint over them. I mean I actually paint pictures of the items on my list.
Not every list. I mean, I don't paint my weekly shop. That would be mad! (As if you don't think I'm a just a bit potty already.)
No, I mean my Packing Lists. For things like weekends away, holidays, and for the much-anticipated writer's Conference held by the Romantic Novelist's Association, this year in Leeds.

I'll find you some of the painted lists in my sketchbooks. Hang on a minute while I dig some of the better ones out...


Here's one. It was a big mistake, by the way, to wear skinny jeans to Cub…

Publication Week For Summer at the Art Cafe!

Image
I’ve had the most amazing week.
AMAZING!!
My novel - you know, the one I started writing four years, yes, four years ago, I know! It probably seems like an eternity to you, but in the great scheme of things it's truly nothing - anyway, it popped into the big wide world on Tuesday 15th May.
I celebrated first of all with the ladies from our local RNA Chapter (that always makes me laugh, a Chapter usually being a motorbike region :-) ) Then later with biker pal Annie and her hubby, Champagne and home made pizza on our wood fired pizza oven in the garden. Annie had read the very first, raw drafts of the novel, and had been so encouraging and supportive. She was just the right person to celebrate the book's launch.
Here it is, so you can just click on it and buy it right now this minute. It's on Special, at 99p:
Summer at the Art Cafe
Dressed in its utterly gorgeous, and, ahem, *modest blush* painted by me, front cover, it’s out there, on its own, without me standing over it…

A Life in Colour

Image
The world has been white far too often this year – and I’m trying to ignore the social media posts that tell me the Easter weekend will be suffering the same fate. All those poor snow-flattened daffodils and crocuses, it’s such a shame. Spring is meant to be about colour after the greys of winter – and I’ve been planning a blog post about colour for ages now. Mostly since I was waxing lyrical during a writer’s meet-up, about apricot skies and long, lilac shadows. A friend’s head swivelled towards me.
‘You can tell you’re an artist,’ she said, with a grin. ‘I’d just have said it was an orange sky. And now I’m going to have to look at the colour of shadows on the roads!’
(Now I come to think of it, that’s a great title for a novel, ‘The Colour of Shadows’. I thought of it first! It’s mine!)
Yes, I am an artist, in my ‘other’ job. I adore colour. I have pink hair! Cyclamen, actually, if we’re being picky. I’ve dyed my hair pink on and off for the past thirty years, and I think it’s here to …

The Call of the Keyboard

Image
I’m not going to begin this Blogpost by apologising for my very long absence. I’ve not been sitting around, eating Cadbury Giant Chocolate Buttons all day or anything, I don’t know where you get that idea from.
I’ve been very Busy, learning How to Write. I have! I’ve done writing courses, and attended writing conferences and I’ve met Lots of Very Interesting and Informative Writing type People. The increased Prosecco consumption has nothing whatsoever to do with any of it.

Anyway. In case you didn’t know, my debut novel meets the big wide world this Spring, and I can’t being to tell you how exciting (and scary) that is.
At the moment, the only people who know how rubbish I can be are me, and my lovely, and very patient, editor. Ticket to Ride took me two years to write and shortlisted for publisher ChocLit’s Search for a Star competition in 2016. I kept in touch with ChocLit as I’d read so many books on their lists that I’d loved, and I’m delighted that they have accepted both my first n…