The weather has turned rather autumnal this weekend in Sydney.
My backyard is a sea of brown, orange and yellow leaves that make an inviting crunch when I walk to the clothesline. The wind has picked up and there is a definite chill in the air.
I'm not really a autumn and winter girl. I should be I suppose with my Celtic colouring but the truth is I prefer to feel the warm sunshine on my back than just about anything else. I seem to have cold toes from May to September and when I sit and type my hands get icy cold.
Lucky for me in just on a month I'm heading to LA on a research trip for the sequel to Mr Right and Other Mongrels
Lots of readers want to know what happens to Teddy and Allegra next and so I'm going to write their story. I never intended to write a sequel but now that I am I'm excited about it.
So, because that's what I'm doing today, in here's a little California Dreamin'.
I've done a lot of research this weekend. Honest I have.
I looked up places for my various books on Google earth. Am I the only one who feels like superman when the globe spins and I go from Sydney to Los Angeles in a matter of seconds.
I also planned aspects of my LA research trip for the as yet un-named sequel to Mr Right and Other Mongrels
, that has to be research right? I mean obviously I must know what is on the menu at The Getty
in LA a full month before I visit it.
I might have also done some research on Serendipity 3
in New York because that places and it's frozen hot chocolate may feature in an upcoming book.
As a writer you do need authenticity. If you describe a real place it needs to feel real and the only way to get true credibility is to visit or visit via the inter-webs. However, it is a fine line between research and procrastination.
It's very easy to get sucked into the vortex and suddenly realise you've spent two hours on your computer and not written a word. (And that's without twitter, Facebook and all their social media buddies). I think it's a fine line between research and procrastination - it's like when a teacher gives a child 'busy work' to occupy them but maybe it's not advancing their cause any. (Any Aussie's out there remember the SRA cards
of the 1970's - OK I just Googled them? How can they still exist?)
Anyway, if you're a writer how do you balance research and procrastination? (I imagine for Regency writers or people writing historical novels this must be even harder to balance!)
1. What was the inspiration for your story?
A submission call actually. Specifying that the story needed to be 12-25K, sweet, with a Christmas theme and Regency period. I had never written a ‘true sweet’ story before, but as I am with most things in writing I thought- ‘why not?’2. When did you take up writing?
About 5 years ago actually, though more seriously 3 years ago,
and really intensely the past 6 months. 3. How important is setting/place in your writing?
Very- it sets the tone for everything, especially when you are writing a period piece like this one. It sets the rules of society, the expectations, everything.4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current story?
I love the heroine. She’s sweet but feisty and goes after what she wants. 5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
Julia Quinn told me on Facebook to join RWA , which lead me onto the Facebook page and into some awesome groups that have inspired me, helped me and kept me writing. 6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
Yes, every night. As soon as my two daughters are asleep. I write as long as I can. 7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?
Totally wing it. I used to plot. And I still would if I wrote longer stories but since my average story now is about 20K, I can wing it. 8. Can you name three of four or your current favourite books?
Yes, but none of them are currently published, Smiles. I tend to read a lot of my friends work when we’re critting. 9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
Now? I’ve just finished my first draft of a short contemporary romance that I’m writing for a submission call that Entangled Publishing put out. It’s for the ‘One night in’ call. Which, in short, is a story that involves a one night
stand, a ticking clock and a happily ever after. Not an easy task.10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?
Number one, don’t give up. And number two, join some groups, in real life or on facebook. Talk to writers, editors, publishers, anyone you can get your hands on.You can find Georgiana's books at:
When you are involved in any industry whether it's mining, medicine of accounting you find there is language unique to that field. ( If you eavesdrop on three town planners it is my belief there will be so many acronyms used you may find yourself wondering if they're speaking another language). One you understand that field the language becomes common place and you forget that others don't know what you're talking about.
Since I've embarked on my journey to write and to get published I have learnt all sorts of terms and phases that are used in contexts I would not previously have understood.
What does it mean when someone 'requests a partial'? A publisher or agent wants to see part of your manuscript more than likely the first three chapters.
What is a 'beta reader'? (It is not a fish). It is someone, usually not a writer, who reads your book in it's draft stage and offers feedback.
What is a 'crit partner'? This is a person who critiques your writing and you critique theirs, so usually another writer.
So then we come to authors. Authors used to fall into two categories published and unpublished - simple right?
When I say I'm an indie author, people don't know what I'm talking about most of the time so I thought I'd take a moment to explain.
Now we add indie authors. I'm an indie author. What is that?
That's an author who is independently published...you know how musicians have indie records (which everyone things is mega cool and is pretty standard in that field) same thing really! I'm like that guy in the garage band. (Maybe I can become writing's answer to Silverchair!)
Lets' do another Q&A.
Are indie authors just people publishers won't publish? Sometimes they are. Sometimes they aren't. These days lots of traditionally authors also do some books as indies (hello Jackie Collins!)
Why would anyone be an indie author? Some people like control of their work - choosing covers, setting prices and controlling how they are marketed. For example I've enjoyed creating distinctive brand for myself and choosing how and when I would release my books.
Don't you make more money going through a publisher? Not always. These days with Amazon, Smashwords etc you can often do better on your own than with a small publisher, especially a publisher who is only offering you e-publication and not print. In fact you can make a pretty strong case lots of authors make less money with that approach. That's not to say authors with small publishers don't make money or big publishers because every author is unique and everyone's journey is different.
Do indie authors make money? Well authors generally don't make a fortune to begin with. In Australia the average authors makes around $10,000 a year from their writing regardless of the method of publication. Of course that's an average so lots are making more and plenty are making less. That's true for indie's as well.
In summary - an indie author is just someone going it alone in the writing world. Of course that's a pretty loose definition and not true really because I have a writing group, beta readers, cover designers, editors and of course readers and reviso I'm not alone at all. I'm just an indie.
Today in hour of Hearts Afire my second novel I thought I'd focus on songs with a fiery theme.
Of course the book features a sexy and rather fabulous fireman. (It's a pity the main fireman featured on youtube is Fireman Sam who neither sexy or fabulous...isn't he just Postman Pat in suspenders?)
So here are a couple of fire themed songs that don't feature too many firemen.
First up the fabulous Alicia Keys - Girl on Fire!
And next up an Australian Classic - Flame Trees by Cold Chisel. More a song about a broken heart than a new love...
Have a great Monday!
It's just on a year since my first novel Mr Right and Other Mongrels
came out on Amazon. Having your first book out is both mind-numbingly terrifying and amazingly exciting.
Putting yourself out there to be judged by the entire universe is a tough thing to do. Of course you're going to make mistakes, of course some people won't like your work, of course some people you thought would jump for joy over your achievement are ambivalent at best.
Then of course there are the triumphs. The positive reviews, the people you meet on the journey, the unexpected person who does marvel at your efforts.
Since then I've published two more books Hearts Afire
and just this week Alphabet Dating
so I guess that's not bad going for a year. I had hoped to have my 4th book out by now but life isn't that simple is it? Building Attraction
will be out in July.
Anyway because it's a year since the release, because I'm planning the sequel and because it's Mothers' Day this weekend the e-book of Mr Right And Other Mongrels will be only 99c for the next few days!
1. What was the inspiration for your novel?
Honestly this is my first completed romance novel and it had a work of pure imagination. The song I feel which best describes this is Gene Wilder singing Pure Imagination in the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
2. When did you take up writing?
When I actually began to write I wrote commentary type items for a community newspaper. Along the way I decided to see if I could write something else. I didn’t own a computer back then, but I did have access to one where I wrote my commentaries, and it was on this computer I wrote about two pages a week. Once I got my computer I began to write
what I wanted to be a contemporary romance with a paranormal element running through, but I never seemed to get the sense it would be good enough to be read by someone else. Eventually, someone suggested I write for a younger audience, which how I came to write my debut novel, a YA [Young Adult] Paranormal/Time Travel/First Kiss romance entitled, “I Kissed a Ghost.”
3. How important is setting/place in your writing?
“I Kissed a Ghost” has a time travel element in it. When George takes Mary back in time a hundreds when he would have been alive, Mary replaces someone there who’s living in the same house. The house Mary lives in now needs to be more than a hundred years old, it is also important that many of the homes nearby be that old themselves since she needs to see them when see travels back into time with George.
4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?
My favourite character is Mary Elizabeth Williams, who is a young girl who’s just beginning to learn about boys. She’s rather plain looking, and resents to some extent the way the boys in her class treat her, using her brains to help them to better so they can stay on the various sport teams the school has. A new boy, Jonathan, joins her class and begins to treat her the way she has always wanted to be, for liking her for being the person that she is. The relationship is short-lived because her father gets a promotion which meant she has to move away at the end of the school year. Just before she does she decides to give him a kiss at the mall, away from all the prying eyes of their friends.
5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
I’ve been told to simply to be true to myself and my passion for writing. Don’t listen to others as how to re-write something. And to be sure, when all is said and done, get an editor to check what I’ve written.
6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
Every time I get asked this question for some reason I think of a somewhat different answer. But when I really look at
it I don’t. These days each day I set a different set of marks I want to hit, answering emails, doing interviews, guest posts, etc. The one thing all these things have in common is the marketing/promoting of my first YA romance
novel. Starting in May, I’m setting a goal of writing at least four new pages for my second novel each
day. So in reality you might say I don’t have one.
7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?
If you’re asking me whether I’m a plotter or a pantser, I’d probably say a little of both. As I said in the above, I made a skeleton of an outside, writing down the basic plot points I’d like to hit as the story unfolded; and as a sculptor starting with a wire base of what they’d like to have, I added material, then took some away, until I had the finished product I
had in mind.
8. How did you select the title for your book?
Selecting a title for a book had been a very challenging experience for me; but after racking my brain over it, I decided to merely summarize the premise for the entire story in as few words as possible until I had something which could be used as the title for my book. Hence, since the story is about a girl [Mary] and her kissing the ghost [George] she had living in her house, the story had to be called, “I Kissed a Ghost.”
9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
As I’ve stated in the above I had started to write a contemporary romance but never completed writing it. Now with
my debut YA novel self-published I’ve return to writing the romance manuscript I had started many years ago, and approaching it anew with the knowledge I’ve gained along the way in writing “I Kissed a Ghost.” The reason I’m writing it is relatively simple, I’ve always felt somewhat incomplete not having completed something I once had started out to do, and I now want to fill the void it has created in my life.
10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?
My advice to all aspiring, not just those who wish to self-publish would be to never give up living your dream of becoming a writer, as you can from reading about me, I never did. Before you start looking for a publisher or even an agent you MUST have your manuscript edited, granted the editor you select might miss a few minor points, but at least it’s now in a much more presentable condition. Publishers want manuscript which can be easily edited by their own
Due to the release of Alphabet Dating this weekend I have songs about New York on my mind.
If you download the book drop me a line and let me know what you thought. I'm hoping the paperback will be available in a week or two.
I've never lived in New York but I have been lucky enough to visit a few times. New York is a very long way from Sydney so I never seem to get to stay long enough.
My first trip to New York was on my 16th birthday and I was there for less than a day. That's a very long story I won't share with you now but this song will always remind me of that day.
And because I'm apparently feeling nostalgic on this fine Monday morning here is one of my all time favourite New York songs from the movie Top of the Town, which I love.( I may have watched so many old musicals as an early teen that I must admit I'm still a little sad when people don't break into song and dance routines more often. Maybe I'm not alone, everyone loves a flash mob.)
Finally here's one that I think the lovely Serena from Alphabet Dating might enjoy.
I am very happy to announce that Alphabet Dating is now available as an e-book on Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CMHEVXG
The paperback version will be out in a couple of weeks.
And the winner of the free e-book from the competition I ran on this site is Ashley Scherrer...so Ashley look out for that e-mail.
As the celebrations continue this week I have a few more competitions planned so stay tuned!
Alphabet Dating is with the formatter and should be live on Amazon any day now.
Meanwhile look what arrived today!
A very cute Alphabet Dating tote bag and of course a mug to have my coffee in while I write. How exciting its that?
That's about all I have to tell you today...I'll be back.