Monday, 31 December 2012

My goal for Dec 2012 has been delayed by one month


I wish eveyone a happy, healthy, successful 2013

We have seen the end of 2012 - and 2013 is here. 

My goal for the end of 2012 has been delayed by a month. I am saying no more, because every time I tell someone about my goal it is delayed. 

So, watch this space at the end of January.      



Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The Next Big Thing, my WIP, is Applause

The Next Big Thing!                

Last Wednesday, my lovely writer friend, Debbie Viggiano tagged me in her post entitled, The Next Big Thing.  Today, Wednesday October 10th, it is my turn to participate.
I shall answer ten questions about my Work in Progress, and then tag five other writers.  The Next Big Thing is a Wednesday thing, so the writers I tag today will tell us about their latest novels next Wednesday.  So here goes…

 • What is the working title of your next book?

Applause, because the story is set in a theatre, and because applause is what my protagonist, Margaret, craves at any cost.     

• Where did the idea come from for the book?
My lovely mum, relaxing after dinner with a cup of coffee and a cigarette talking about life in the Second World War, inspired me to write the first book, Foxden Acres.  Applause is the second book.  It’s set in the theatre world of London’s West End; a world that, as an actress for over thirty years, I know well.  Book three, China Blue, is Claire Dudley’s story.  It’s about bravery, and love and loss, in England and France.  And the last book is about the youngest sister, Ena.  It’s called Dixie Dean and is set in a factory that secretly manufactures parts for machines at Bletchley.  The last two novels have been plotted, but not written.  All three books evolved from the first.

• What genre does your book fall under?
Women’s Commercial Fiction.  It is also part of a family Saga, and a WW2 drama. 

• What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

This is a difficult one.  As an actress, I go for ability over looks every time.  Having said that, most of the showgirls are beautiful...  Okay!  


Ben Barnes (left) would make a great husband for Margaret

Margaret, would be playd by lovely Carey Mulligan (right)

Margaret’s mentor, Nancy, would be played by, Anna Friel.

Katarina Kaplinski, the hoity Russian dancer would be played by, Emily Blunt

Rachel Weisz would be perfect for the owner of the theatre's wife, Natalie Goldman

Front of house manageress who employs Margaret as an usherette, Julie Walters.  And Babs Windsor as the wardrobe mistress.
The Nazi, Iwan Rheon or Rupert Friend.
Artistic director, Stephen Fry. 

Peter Postlethwait, the stage doorman, Bert. 

And, the gorgeous, Jason Isaacs (right) would make a wonderful theatre owner, Anton Goldman. 

Oh dear, have I gone over the top?

 • What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Determination as well as talent, sees Margaret climb from being an usherette in a West End theatre to the toast of London, via seedy nightclubs, Nazis, friendship, loss, pills and alcohol, and the Blitz.

• Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Until two weeks ago, I would have said, self-published.  Then a literary agent asked to see my first novel, Foxden Acres.  If she represents me for the first novel, she may take the second.  If the agent falls through, Foxden Acres will be on Kindle before Christmas and Applause will follow it as soon as it is written.  I have been this close to getting an agent twice before.  I have learned not to hold my breath.   

• How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Over two years, about eighteen months.  I put it away to rewrite my first novel.  This July I took it to Caerleon and did the ‘Novel Writing – Moving It On’ course with Lesley Horton.  Since then, I’ve been writing short stories and articles.  But Applause is out of the box now – and it will not be going back in!  I shall write and write, until it is finished. 

 • What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I wouldn’t compare, Applause to any book.  I often read books set in the 1930s, 40s, or the Second World War.  I enjoyed Connie Wallis’s, Black Out, and, All Clear, but I wouldn’t compare Applause, or any of my books, to them.

• Who or what inspired you to write this book?
As I said earlier, my lovely mother used to tell me about life during the war, which inspired me to write the first book.  After writing the first draft of, Foxden Acres, I’d given Bess three sisters.  Each had a different personality, different needs and qualities, so I outlined each of them a story of their own.  Everyone, and everything that happened, in the first book had to fit the timeline of WW2.  Applause, set in London’s West End, had to fit the timelines of WW2, in particular the blitz, as well as the first book.  And, I’ve kept all relevant dates and information to refer to when I write books three and four.  They also need to fit the timelines of WW2 and the earlier stories.  That wasn’t easy to explain.  I hope it is easier to do.

 • What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Excitement, energy, danger, glamour.  Applause has it all.  Set in a West End theatre, with showgirls, during a war, means there’s plenty of fun and glamour as well as danger and fear.  London is an exciting place with nightclubs and dance halls.  It's also terrifying in the blackout, and dangerous in the blitz.  Also, because Applause is the second of four books - even though it stands on its own as a story - the reader might be interested in reading the stories of Margaret's sisters, and buy their books.

My thanks to the following fabulous authors for allowing me to tag them.  Do read their wonderful blogs and even more wonderful books.  I give you....

Vikki Thompson:

Pauline Connolly:

Jill McDonald-Constable:

Friday, 5 October 2012

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Chick-Chat: The Next Big Thing!

Chick-Chat: The Next Big Thing!: Last Wednesday, the lovely writer Wendy Loveday tagged me in her post entitled The Next Big Thing.  Now it's the turn of Debbie Viggiano

Debbie Viggiano has a new novel, Lipstick and Lies.  The original working title was
Silicone and Stretchmarks, but for all sorts of reasons it had to change. 

Click on the link below to read  more about Debbie Viggiano

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Discovery Day at Foyles was fantastic. I pitched my second novel, Applause to a lovely, bright young agent from Curtis Brown who said she wanted to know more, after reading the first page of my MS. She then read the synopsis and said it was very good, very exciting. However, she didn’t like the ending. She thought it was too gentle for the story and suggested I change it – which I am happy to do. She didn’t like the title either. She said it gave the wrong impression, that it didn’t do the story justice. Apart from those two things, which I agree are petty major, she was very encouraging. She said she liked the story idea and what she'd read. She told me to send it to the agent she works with as soon as it's finished, and tell him she recommended me. I was delighted with how the pitch went. And with everything else about the day. And I was ecstatic when, at four o’clock in the morning, I woke with ideas for new titles running around my head. Later, I woke again, found my torch and wrote down a set of circumstances that will change the end of the novel. 

Click below to see video


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Read and Reviewed June 2012

Read and Reviewed June 25 2012
The Ghosts of Poynter has one of the most atmospheric openings that I have ever read. I was hooked from the beginning by the exciting story, the colourful and very believable characters (described brilliantly) and the dark, handsome, and moody protagonist, Chase Tyler.

Chase, the central character, is a combination of charm and aggression, understanding and intolerance. He is an honest and fair man who is essentially good, but would kill in an instant if his life, or the life of someone he loves, is threatened.

After years of being a loner, searching for something he believes is lost to him forever, Chase goes home to Poynter. After an argument where his sister tells him some home truths, Chase is forced to acknowledge is faults and face his demons, and he eventually finds what he has been looking for.

The story has its fair share of surprises and tension, it moves at a pace and at times I couldn't put it down. I loved the ending as much as the beginning, because although it is fraught with difficulties, they are overcome and the story ends happily - with a small question mark. So, has the door been left open for a second book about the charismatic, Chase Tyler? I'd like to think so.

This was my first Western; it won't be be my last.
Crazy Man Cade, will be on the book shelves in October!

wannabe a writer we've heard of?

  wannabe a writer we've heard of, by Jane Wenham-Jones
Jane Wenham-Jones is a well-known author and journalist who regularly appears on radio and TV. She is a regular columnist for Woman's Weekly Fiction Special, BookTime and her local paper The Isle of Thanet Gazette as well as being the agony aunt for Writing Magazine. Jane is the author of Wannabe a Writer? and three novels which have received wide acclaim - the most recent, One Glass Is Never Enough, spending three weeks in The Bookseller Top Ten Small Publishers chart. She is currently working on a fourth.


I still remember my early days as an author when my main experience of publicising my novels was to do everything I could to avoid it! I was terrified of giving talks and dreaded the thought of people sitting at home, listening to me on the radio. I wish I'd been able to read this book back then. Wannabe a Writer We've Heard Of? is fantastically informative in ways I would never have imagined. I've published more than 20 novels now but reading this, I've still learned many tips and tricks about promotion and PR I didn't know before and, more to the point, I shall be employing them. This guide covers not only getting into print, but how to get your book out there A" to be appreciated by as many people as possible. The advice is invaluable and thanks to JWJ I'm now working on my first ever elevator pitch. (Watch out Stephen Spielberg - that means YOU!) Jane writes so entertainingly, and with such verve and wit, that anyone would enjoy this book, even those who don't want to be published and have never written anything longer than a shopping list - it's that much fun to read. To sum up I really, really recommend this guide - read it, learn from it and be braver than you think you are. Seriously, it could change your life. Jill Mansell - Best selling novelist

Everything a writer needs to know to be published, told with humour - 30 Aug 2012
wannabe a writer we've heard of is packed with useful information as well as being very funny.  It's great for first time novelists like myself because, not only is it practical, but it's written in a way that is easy to understand.  I read wannabe ....  after my novel had been rejected several times.  Now, thanks to Jane Wenham-Jones sharing her knowledge of the industry, and giving advice and encouragement, I feel better equipped to rewrite the manuscript and confident enough to send it out again.  I look forward to reading her next book, Prime Time.  Madalyn Morgan