Where the mood takes me…

action adult businessman clothing

 

My first Contemporary Romance is out with Beta readers. When they are returned, I will start, what I am hoping, will be something nearing the final draft. I’ll then look for an agent. As a recap it is part of a three book series and I am about 17,000 in, on Book 2. I want to be traditionally published and have written in a clear genre, focussing on something I think will make me attractive to a publisher. Whilst I want to be traditionally published – I am also incredibly impatient and it could take months and years to find an agent and then it may take forever, or never, for them to place my book with a publisher.  With that in mind – I have been looking at the self-publish market with a view to writing in a different genre – under a different name. 

I love reading cosy mystery – so have two possible series bubbling away in my notebooks. However, whilst trawling the Amazon bestsellers came across a few ‘Billionaire Romances.’  Now this appeals to me because I worked in The City of London for thirteen years from my teens until I was thirty. I met a few rich guys over those years – rich as in ‘I have an island’. It was nice to go to great restaurants, drink in cool bars, not have to queue into the top clubs and attend private clubs. So – this could be an ideal genre for me.

I started writing – and forgot that I should do some research and read something in this genre. Yesterday I downloaded a few books from Amazon Unlimited  to see what the usual requirements are and WOW….8% in on the first book and there is a lot – and I mean a LOT of sex! I searched and found a category of Clean Billionaire Romance, but they don’t seem to be as popular.

I’m 3700 words in and am really enjoying the story so far.  I will go with the flow and depending on where the mood takes me, I’ll decide whether or not this will be a clean and sweet, or a hot and spicy romance!  

I’ll keep you posted!

Foxy 😉 xx

Photo by Anders Kristensen on Pexels.com

 

Happy New Year

pexels-photo-3401900.jpeg

Reflecting on 2019 I am pleased as punch with all of the words I have written. For 2020 I want to start thinking about publishing, I will be looking for an agent and also will consider the self-publishing route. My first novel is currently with beta readers and whilst that is being looked at I have started the second novel in the series. Having already invented the location and included known characters from the first book – it has been easier to get off of the ground. In December I attended my second meet up with the Imagine course Novel in a Year and the exercises Jenny Kane set in that workshop enabled me to flesh out some ideas. Although I have not written for two and a half weeks due to the Christmas period – I am already 8,800 words in. I am hoping that this novel will be completed a lot quicker than the first, which has taken me two years and I expect at least two more rewrites before I am happy to write out to agents. 

I would also like to write some short stories and articles this year and maybe send off a couple of poems I have penned. Also planning on attendant the London screenwriters festival. Having spent a few months at my desk I have let my health deteriorate a bit and piled on the pounds…or should I say stones – so I have set up a health blog to keep me motivated. Writing the health blog first thing in the morning will also get me in the writing mood for the rest of the day.

So that’s where I am at  on this day – 1 January 2020….what are your goals? 

Any biggies for 2020?

Suz xx

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

#amwriting

 

IMG_4120

As per my previous blog entry, I finished my Nanowrimo challenge, which resulted in the first draft of ‘Left in the Woods’. This will be the prequel to my cosy mystery series ‘Becky Palmer Psychic Detective’. I have been working my way through the manuscript, changing it from first person present tense, to third person limited (two points of view). 

I love churning out words so I thought that at the same time, I would start book 1 of the series, which I have called ‘Left in the Canal’, based in Bristol. However, after about two thousand words I decided to stop. I’m a bit of a pantser, but realise this might not be the best approach for tackling a murder mystery. It could end up way too messy and the thought of going back later, sticking in clues makes my head hurt.

I decided this is definitely a job for the writing program ‘Scrivener’, which is great for organising projects. I started by writing out a synopsis detailing why and how the murder happened and who did it. I then added a further five characters for the suspects list. I have listed out a brief profile of each of the six suspects and detailed how they knew the victim and why they may have wanted him dead. This is where I am at today.

Next I am going to start listing out as many clues as I can think of, which will divulge information about the suspects for the sleuth (Becky) to find and of course clues which will lead her to the murderer. I’ll also be thinking up a few clues to lead her off on a tangent as well. I am thinking in terms of a maze…go down one line, hit a dead end – review the information at hand, then back track etc. I am also open to the idea of changing the murderer if I feel like it when I start writing. I rarely stick to a plan 100%.

Once I have all that down I’ll be ready to get back to the writing. Can’t wait 🙂

December will also be the start of the third draft of my romance, with the current working title of ‘Loveland’s’ (previously Holly’s Hub). I wanted to let it sit for a month to distance myself from it. I’m itching to get stuck in and start crafting it now that I think (hope like mad) that I have the plot tightened.

I’m still learning the art of novel writing as I go, but am working on the basis that if I just keep writing, something will happen…eventually 🙂

Suzanne

NaNo Nutter

 

IMG_4235

Phew NanoWriMo done  – 50199

I have had a bit of a marathon. I know NaNoWriMo is supposed to be a month but I got a bit carried away and did a fortnight.

As already mentioned – I have a second draft of a romance awaiting the next rewrite – I wanted to get on with another book, but didn’t want to write in the same genre, in case I started getting my characters in a twist – so I went for a supernatural thriller. 

I started it a few weeks before Nano and had got ten thousand words down. I decided to use NaNo to push it up to sixty. I’ve really enjoyed it but I was writing in first person present tense and after a while got sick of my own voice, droning on about rubbish. I also found it a bit limiting and found myself nearing the end of the story, when I was aiming for 90K. I thought that it would probably be better to change to third person past tense (my usual form) so that I could add in a different point of view. I had sent off my first few chapters to the brilliant Jenny Kane as part of her novel in a year course and I was pleased when she came back and suggested that I might want to try third person.

I started to rewrite it in third person and as I did, the genre changed from supernatural thriller to ‘romance’ – I just couldn’t help myself! ❤ .  I guess romance is in my heart. I have always wanted to write series books in the ‘cosy mystery’ genre, which often have a romantic element. I feel thrilled that I now have characters that I am developing and a first draft which exceeds  60K. Although, of course, this is a very shitty first draft – especially with the POV changing part way through – I feel I have something I can work with. As a series book I may be looking at a shorter word count…something to research over the coming weeks.

Although I haven’t achieved what I set out to i.e. ‘to be a cool thriller writer’. I am excited about my new characters and the adventures they will be going on…

Now

I really must clean my house ha ha

Dance Mom

455999E0-8BBD-4DA5-B3FB-3204B2AB7908

Back in  Brewers Fayer – in Bristol. When my daughter left school and started college I thought I’d get my life back – and indeed I did for a few weeks. She originally went to college in Bridgwater (an hour a way south). For five days a week, she left home at seven thirty and was back starving for dinner at six. It was great – all of those hours in the day to write. No school runs, and with no extra mess making activity, the place was tidy and for the first time in years I felt…dare I say it ‘organised.’ However, she was accepted into a competition team in Bristol (an hour away north) and subsequently changed to a Bristol college. I am now a full-on ‘dance Mom’ ferrying her to and from Bristol two to three times a week. That’s just for her classes – college is a 2 1/2 hour public transport experience for her and she gets out of bed at 5:30 a.m.

Although I’ve lost that sense of freedom, I’m so pleased she has a passion. I think that’s something that we can have knocked out of us. I’ve always encouraged our kids to follow their dreams. They may not be the wealthiest of individuals but there’s nothing worse than all those regrets…’I could have been a drummer’ ‘I could have been a dancer’. Do I worry about how she is going to make her way in the world? Yes of course, but I think it’s better to follow your dreams when you’re young. These days there’s an emphasis on lifelong learning – she can always go back and study accountancy later on – if she decides wants to follow that sort of career.  Indeed our eldest daughter has just graduated at thirty and is embarking on a masters degree as a mum of two.  Anyway – here I am in my fifties, I left school got a succession of good jobs then at the age of forty-nine with the big Five Ohh looming I thought ‘I can’t do this any more’ so handed in my resignation on impulse and decided to focus on my studies and my dreams. I graduated recently so now I am focussing on the writing and my duties as ‘Dance Mom’.

So this is why I am in Brewers Fayer so often – whilst Daughter is at her class – I come in here for my refillable coffee, warmth and free WiFi. I may have less hours to myself as she only goes to college three days a week, but I do get a lot of time alone where there is nothing to do other than write for three hours and drink coffee.

Brewers Fayer is my new office!

Happy writing.

Suzanne

 

What Next?

IMG_4215

I’ve been speeding ahead with this NaNoWriMo getting excited and totally carried away. Poor hubby hasn’t seen much of me.  I have managed £17,000 words in five days and am a total of 27,000 into the novel. But now I’ve come to a bit of a halt. I’ve reached an ‘oh dear what happens next’ moment. I know some of what happens in the end but I am nearly a third of the way in and not sure what to do next. I know the people that the main character forms relationships with – but not what they actually do during this time. I am about 7000 words ahead on Nano at the moment so have decided to take some time out to do some research. 

I am currently looking up exorcisms and googling ‘what to do if you have a ghost’. It’s all a bit scary but I’m hoping for some ideas. One site has given a list of things you must not do – so I will ensure my character does all of those ha ha. Obviously the research will not extend to me using the Ouija board myself! I am hoping that after a day of research – all sorts of ideas will come to mind for story lines. Then I can get back on the horse!

It’s slightly unnerving setting a ghost story in my own house, it’s giving me the jitters, I was thinking about it as I was cleaning my teeth this morning and my daughter walked in and I jumped out of my skin! I’ve added a picture of my staircase…I think a lady in white, screaming as she floats down the stairs would look interesting! 

Good luck to everyone doing Nano, let me know how it is going for you 🙂

Suzanne

Early Hours’ sprint

silhouette photo of person standing in front of window
Photo by Kaitlyn Jade on Pexels.com

I am out with my family later today, so I decided to do today’s NaNoWriMo contribution in the early hours. This would be fine if it were not for the fact that my new project is a move away from the romance genre and is a supernatural thriller. 

The reason for the change of genre is that I love writing, but I am feeling the slog of the ‘re-writing’ so wanted another project I could launch into, to satisfy my need to thrash out the words. Initially I planned another romance, listing the characters, the protagonist’s goals and her obstacles – and setting out ‘things that happen’ i.e. major plot points. But – because I will be working on two projects at the same time, I concluded that writing two in the same genre could lead to some confusion between my characters. So I decided to write something completely different.

I’d recently read The Locksmith a Psychological Thriller by Jo Ullah, which I enjoyed immensely (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Locksmith-Jo-Ullah-ebook/dp/B07977CZZ4). When I read The Locksmith I was reminded of some pretty weird dreams and experiences I have had personally over the years. So for this new project I am taking some real life experiences and then dramatising them to the MAX, to create storylines for this new novel, which is going to be a Supernatural Thriller. It is going to be a kind of ‘Stir of Echoes’ meets ‘Coraline’. It’s a very new genre for me, especially as I do not normally do scary films/books as I am a total wimp. Hence I am now finding it very hard to get to sleep! I can feel a chill in the room setting the hairs tingling on my arms. And I keep thinking I can see things moving out of the corner of my eyes. It’s probably my hair getting in my eyes and a need to replace the double glazing. But my mind is definitely overactive. Great for the writing but not so great for a restful night of sleep.

I am now going to trawl through Netflix for something light and funny…and hopefully will nod off having happy dreams 😃 

Suzanne