I was delighted to be invited to BBC Radio Wiltshire this afternoon to chat to James Thomas about all things Heel Lead and dancing. Plus an impromptu dance mini-class that was more about laughter than mastering any steps. Thank you for inviting me, James. I hope it wasn't too traumatic.
You can watch a snippet of the fun, caught on camera by one of James' colleagues & tweeted to the world, here
Up until now, my books have only been available through Amazon. That is all about to change. In a very short while, several of them, beginning with Lost Legacy, will also be available on most other eBook platforms, including iBooks, Nook, Kobo, Scribd and many others.
In addition, I am changing the way I publish the paperback versions to make it easier to order them through your favourite bookstores. It will be a gradual process, due to the level of work involved; however, I hope to have the first books available by the end of this year.
I'll keep you posted on progress through this blog, my e-newsletters and my Facebook pages.
What does an author do when she isn't authoring? Well, once the hedgerows start groaning under the weight of their ripe harvest, you'll find this author out foraging for their treasures. There is nothing more satisfying (in my opinion) than heading out with a pile of empty plastic containers and a pair of welly boots, ready for the hunt. Unless it's enjoying the spoils afterwards, of course.
This is the haul I gathered in just an hour yesterday morning. Crab apples for jelly; sloes for hedgerow jelly - and the essential sloe gin, of course; haws for a tincture for the heart & circulation, plus the hedgerow jelly; and blackberries for... blackberry vinegar, bramble & hedgerow jellies & blackberry gin with plenty left over to freeze for crumbles over the winter. My next outing will be for more blackberries, sloes & haws, plus jewel-like scarlet rosehips, which weren't ripe enough to gather yesterday.
I often receive questions from readers relating to all aspects of creating a novel from a blank page and bringing it to publication, so from time to time I'll post one of these questions, and my reply, on this blog. If you have a question for me, whether relating to the writing process, or about any of my books, their characters, plotlines or anything else, please send them to me through the blog post comments or through my Contact page here. While I can't promise to respond immediately - I have a file full of book drafts to fill out into novels - I do promise to respond.
How do write your novels? Are you disciplined, with a clear outline, or more go with the flow?
Definitely go with the flow. If an idea comes to me, I scribble it down and let it percolate, sometimes for a few hours, other times it can take weeks or even months until I get a clear idea of how the first chapter will go. When I say the first chapter, I don’t mean chapter 1, it could be (and usually is) one that will come much later in the story. Then I start writing – notebook and pencil, I’ve never mastered the creative writing process on a keyboard – and allow the words to flow out in a stream of consciousness. Sometimes I get down a few hundred words before the flow eases, often it’s several thousand. I rarely know what is going to appear until it does. I don’t write the stories, they write themselves, and it’s often a surprise to see where they lead.
Next stage is to put the scribbled words (part sentences, sentences taking up a full side of notepaper, odd words) into a legible story. I take the raw material and use my writing skills to mould it into the end product; it usually takes at least two further edits before it makes real sense. It’s the lengthy part of the process and one I thoroughly enjoy. I have frequently said that it’s painting with words. Give me a paintbrush and canvas and I suck. Give me a pen and paper and I’ll paint you a stunning picture.
Ask me your question in the Comments box. I can't promise to reply immediately, but I can promise to reply