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An open letter to all children, schools and parents on Sports Day

Posted by on Jun 29, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

What does sports day mean to you? Some say winning. Some say taking part – I say sharing the love. Quite often it is easy to forget the true magic that it is to be a child. But for me, whenever I attend sports day to watch my daughter, it is glaringly obvious. I didn’t always see it but now I do, I want to share this with you. To the child that never gives up: Good for you! When you put yourself forward for a task and it goes wrong, to keep going is an admirable trait. When that beanbag falls off your head, you put it back on and keep going. When you fall over, you get back up. When you drop the baton, you pick it up and keep running. This isn’t called failing, this is called Determination and Perseverance. To the child who got injured: Don’t be sad that you can’t carry on. Instead, look around you and listen. Can you hear the clapping? That’s for you. Because you did so well and you tried. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t finish, it matters that you started. And that clapping isn’t just from the parents and the teachers, that’s your friends and other students too. They’re proud of you as well. This isn’t called failing, this is called Compassion and Camaraderie. To the child who needs support: So what! You may have a disability, or struggle to understand what it is you are being asked to do. You might struggle with loud noises or use a wheelchair. But has it stopped you from taking part? No. And look by your side. There’s your LSA. Or another student. Or a parent helper. Do you know why they are running beside you? Because they care about you and they want you as part of their team. And can you hear the parents and children chanting your name? They are proud of you for taking part too. So you came last? This isn’t failing, this is Courage and Encouragement. To the child who is scared to take part because they believe they are rubbish: You are amazing. You may not feel confident running or jumping over hurdles and you might keep dropping the egg off the spoon but, do you know what? It doesn’t matter. Because the second you participate, you are learning how to do all of those things. It takes strength to do something that scares you and you just did it. Can you hear everyone chanting your team colour? That’s for you too. You might not come first, but you conquered your fears and that is ten times more powerful than any sticker telling you that you won. This isn’t failing; this is called being Brave and having Pride. To all the parents who cheer – not just for their own children but for every single child taking part: Your cheers of encouragement might seem trivial to you, but to the children it could mean the world. You could be encouraging a child who, up until now, had a tummy ache because they hate sports. You could be cheering a child who thought they were rubbish but who just came second!! You could be cheering a child who has no friends but now hears chants and clapping because...

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New Vlog

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Good afternoon!   There is a new Vlog up on my YouTube channel – this month’s book reviews! Here’s a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fViDjp4UF8 Alternatively, just click on the YouTube button to the right hand side of the screen.   If you enjoy my vlogs, please click subscribe so that you get notifications when I upload a new one and also, please click like if you enjoy the video 🙂 Happy Friday!   xxx Share...

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Welcome to my new Website

Posted by on May 3, 2017 in General update, Welcome | 2 comments

            Hello and welcome to my new website! Do yo like it? I haven’t blogged properly for nearly two years. How crazy is that? I have written the odd blog post and have written plenty for other websites – mostly for The Romaniacs – but my own blog has been neglected as a result of a hectic lifestyle and no time. Whilst my life is still hectic and I still don’t have very much spare time, I am going to try and blog here at least once a month, just to keep things ticking over. I want to keep in touch with everyone and I think it is important to try and keep that contact open – so I will try my best. I have recently launched my YouTube channel. I think it is easier – and more current – to keep upto date with everyone via Vlogging so I will be vlogging more than I blog. But you will find details and links for my vlogs on here, so dont worry, you will always know where I am! 🙂 And for those who signed up to my blog previously and have maybe missed my most recent news, I signed a two-book deal with Harper Impulse last year and my debut novel, The First Time Mums Club is out this Friday! (5th May). Whoop! I still can’t quite believe it. A few thank you’s: First and foremost, thanks again to Lucy Felthouse of Writer Marketing Services: Lucy has been awesome and is always on the other end of an email when I need help with my website. Lucy has helped with the redesigning of this site and, I hope you agree, she’s done a FAB job. Thanks to my agent, Kate Nash: Kate has been amazing at keeping me going and helping me to achieve what I thought was impossible. Kate is always looking out for what is best for me and how to drive me and my career forward. Having such an understanding agent really helps to make these things happen – I don’t know what I would do without her. Thanks to my editors: Charlotte Ledger and Emily Ruston have been wonderful to work with on The First Time Mums Club over the last year. Both ladies are incredibly patient and focused and the help from both has enabled me to get the story to where it is now. Always there on the end of an email to give advice, guidance and praise, it has been their love for the story that has also kept me going – I hope you are both equally proud of where we are now. Thanks to Samantha Gale: For working so hard to help promote The First Time Mums Club and for responding to all my waffling emails and questions which I send her ALL THE TIME! She is super talented at her job and is the nicest person, taking the time to help me understand the processes of promotion and guiding me every step along the way. And thanks to YOU: For coming back here, to my website, and supporting me as an author. Without your encouragement and support -I wouldn’t be here. There are more book related thanks in the acknowledgements, but I just...

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Writing a book is just making up a story, right?

Posted by on Jul 19, 2015 in General update | 1 comment

Wrong. Of course, writing a novel is about writing a story, however, there is so much more to it. As a writer, you have a responsibility to the reader to make sure that not only are you telling a great story, with amazing characters and a good balance of highs and lows, but you also need to make sure that your facts are correct, that you have exercised all areas of expertise to make sure that everything is authentic and believable and most of all, that your readers can identify with the story and the characters. If it was a case of just writing a story off the top of your head and publishing it, surely everyone would be doing it. But it is hard work. Hard, but incredibly rewarding when you cross that finish line. Take my current book, for example. I deal with the incredibly serious subject of domestic violence. It is so important that I not only handle it with sensitivity and compassion for those who will read it, but also that I show the real side of this terrible subject. I want my readers to see how terrifying it is, how debilitating, how dangerous and how soul destroying it is. I want the reader to see the real lows of experiencing such terror, but also, the way in which, with the right help and support, you CAN get through it and you CAN make a difference. But how do I know all this – I’ve never been in that situation before. This is where research comes into play. Not only do I need to research general novel writing things such as setting, character traits, character jobs, journey times, cab prices from one place to another, how to pull a pint…etc, but I suddenly have to know what happens when someone is in a violent relationship, what support are they given when they report it? Where can they go to be safe? What happens if they are so scared, they drop the charges, and so much more. I have been extremely lucky with the response I have received when asking for help. To help make my novel as authentic and real as possible, I have had input from many professionals. In this book alone, I have spoken with two police officers (one in the Met and one local officer) a victim support police officer, a doctor, a victim of domestic violence, a landlady, various people who live in the area where some of the book is based, a paramedic and the Executive Director of The Acid Survivors Trust International. I am also, through a third person, being put into contact with a women’s refuge and someone from the IDVA service (Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy). It is only because all these professionals are SO KIND to give me some of their precious time to answer my questions and send me links and information, that I am able to make sure that I do the subject matter justice. I want my readers to read my novel and want to help those victims and support them and to get a better understanding of what really goes on behind closed doors. And if any victims of domestic violence read my book, I want them to feel empowered to seek help...

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Reading – How do you do yours?

Posted by on Jun 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

I don’t read as much as I think I should. But then again, how much do we all think we should be reading? Everyday? Three times a week? Every time we get a spare few minutes… no, I know, when does that ever happen in real life, hey? Ideally, I would love to read every single day, and I do go through stages where this is actually possible. But generally, life, work and family commitments get in the way and I am either too busy or too exhausted to read regulalrly. But as a writer, should I be making the effort to make sure I read all the time? I love to read all sorts of genre’s, I wouldn’t even say that I had a favourite. I think, with me, it really depends on what mood I am in. Sometimes I love to read dark, gritty, thrillers and other times I just need a lighthearted, funny rom-com to pick me up. I love seasonal stories like Christmas ones and also ones that make me weak at the knees, jam packed full of romance and love. There’s always a time to enjoy those sexier, more sensual stories and on a cold, windy night, it is lovely to curl up in front of the fire and read a horror novel. My bookshelves are rammed with all sorts of books. So now I have the dilemma of not only finding the time to read, but finding the time to read all different kinds of books. I don’t want to focus purely on one type, but how do I choose my next read? So in reflection of all this, I decided the other day, to devise a way in which to reduce my ever growing TBR pile (it really is huge and I just keep buying books!) and to choose my next read completely unbiased and fairly. I have lots of wonderful writer friends, and I want to read each and every one of their books. However, if I did that, I would purely read their books and never give other books a look in. So I decided to write all my books that I am yet to read on pieces of paper, fold them up and put them in a pot. I will now leave the fate of my next read in the hands of my daughter. She will randomly pick a slip and choose for me. Once that book is read, she can pick another and so on. And every time I buy a new book, another slip will be added to the pot. This way, I am fairly reading all the material as it is chosen for me. It also means that it mixes up my genres quite a lot and I really don’t know what I am reading from one day to the next. I think it will help widen my horizons with my reading and help me to grow as a reader. I am also hoping that doing this will encourage me to make more time for reading because I love it so much. I loved the excitement of LO picking my first book the other day and I cant wait to see what comes out next! Will it be yours…   Share...

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What is inspiration?

Posted by on May 4, 2015 in General update | 4 comments

What is inspiration? If you had asked me this question a few days ago, I would’ve told you about JK Rowling and how she inspired me to start writing. And I would’ve told you how music inspires me and how looking at paintings and photographs brings inspiration to me. But today, my answer changed. My Inspiration? Life. Yesterday I watched a one off drama on television called The C Word, I know quite a few of you watched it, too. For those who didn’t, here’s the blurb from the BBC of what it was about: ‘The C Word is an adaptation of Lisa Lynch’s candid book about her experience of cancer, based on her popular blog which was launched shortly after her diagnosis. This film is a defiant, ballsy and surprisingly funny story of life, love and cancer.’ I found this drama incredibly inspiring. It dealt with a ‘common’ issue with such sensitivity, brutality and reality. Sheridan Smith’s performance as Lisa Lynch was truly captivating, delivering the story with emotion and just the right amount of humour. We hear the word ‘cancer’ everyday – from people we know, to news stories and even adverts on the TV – and I count myself lucky to not have had to experience a close loved one suffer. It is easy to generalise the disease and not think about those families who DO have to deal with it. Following Lisa’s story in this documentary was harrowing, upsetting, uplifting and inspiring, all at the same time. It was then that I realised that inspiration is everywhere and it is happening every, single day. It’s the person who fought against depression and got out of bed today for the first time in weeks. And the person who carried on studying and handed their work in on time, even though they’ve been up 7 nights solid  with a sick child. The person who finds the strength to leave a violent relationship and start building their life again and the person who keeps on smiling, even though they are fighting a battle so hard, all they want to do is cry. Inspiration isn’t having that cartoon light bulb drawn above your head as you gaze into a beautiful meadow of flowers under a sunlit sky. Inspiration is life. Inspiration is people. Inspiration is YOU. Share...

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Oh, you only work part-time…

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Fun, General update, Uncategorized | 6 comments

Recently I’ve been thinking more and more about what makes someone a writer. Is it their unwavering need to tell a story? Their love for the written word? Maybe it is something that they teach themselves, or is it installed in our DNA? I don’t know. Can you learn to be a writer or is it something that you have no choice or control over? Some people I speak to tell me that they had no choice, that the constant burning need and desire to write down their stories is far stronger than anything else they experience. That they were born to do it and have no control over it. Others I speak to say they have learnt and honed their craft over many, many years. Yes it is still a burning desire, but they have trained and studied to be a writer. Will these two types of people have the same end result? I think I fall across the two categories. I didn’t grow up saying, ‘one day, I am going to be an author…’, however, now, I could not imagine ever being anything else. It has become a huge part of my life and I have that passion driving me forward every, single, day. It isn’t simply a ‘job’, but a way of life. In no other job would I be happy about it dominating so much of my time. When I am awake, every conversation, every programme I watch, every song I listen to and every scene I see, it is all inspiration and material for a story. When I am cooking dinner, I am thinking of something writing related, when I am having a bath, I am thinking of something writing related, even when I am asleep, writing dominates my thoughts and I often wake up with new ideas – the first book I ever completed was based on a dream I had. However, If I was spending all this time thinking about a ‘usual’ day job, I don’t think I’d be as accepting. I would be perceived as a workaholic, wouldn’t I? But because it is my passion, I accept it and so do my friends and family. So is this simply what writers are, workaholics who spend every hour of every day thinking about their work? As I said, for me, I span across the two categories. Yes, I believe writing is my passion and I have that constant drive to be writing something, anything, but I have also had to learn how to write. If I look back at the first attempted story I did, years and years ago, and compare it to the structured way I write now, it’s quite laughable. I have had to learn how to actually put a story together. I have also had to learn how to articulate myself properly and even how to look at the market and aim my writing somewhere, rather than just throwing it out into the unknown. Being a writer isn’t just writing down some words and other people reading them. Before I began my storytelling journey, I didn’t realise just how much of being a writer was doing things other than writing stories. To succeed as an author, there are a whole bunch of things to do as well as actually...

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Welcome!

Posted by on Apr 2, 2015 in General update, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Welcome to my new website!   Firstly, I would like to say a huge thank you to Lucy Felthouse of Writer Marketing Services. I approached Lucy to design my website towards the end of last year after I was put into contact with her by my lovely friend, Celia. Lucy has been amazing throughout the whole process. She is incredibly talented and has a real eye for what works. She completely understood my vision and embraced it. There was nothing that Lucy could not do, she was very accommodating – even when I was tweaking the silliest of things! Lucy was efficient and very reasonable with her pricing structure and I hope you will all agree that the finished product is lovely. I love it. So, thank you, Lucy. Secondly, I would like to thank all of you. Without the incredible support I have from all you lovely people, there would be no point in having a website. So thank you for  sticking with me and following my dream alongside me. So, a shiny new website means a new blogging schedule. My vow to you, as loyal followers of me and my writing journey, is that I will be blogging every other Monday. Once a fortnight (With the exception of this post) So I hope you will continue to enjoy my posts and find some use from them. Even if it is just to give you a smile for the day. Have a wonderful Easter weekend and I shall start my blogging on Monday 13th April. Love, Lucie x Share...

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Book pet hates

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in Fun, Tips and Advice, Uncategorized | 2 comments

Recently, I began thinking about the things that annoy me when reading a book. Sometimes you can be reading a really good book, but the author might keep doing just one little thing that keeps niggling at you. Maybe it’s a phrase. Maybe it’s the way they write their sentences. Or maybe it is the constant typo that keeps cropping up. We all have them. Pet hates. Those things that really frustrate us when reading and sometimes even force us to close the book and stop reading altogether. For me, it is things like short jerky sentences, really long chapters and sloppy dialogue. And then when you think about the actual content of the story, I cant stand anything too obvious, or things that drag out much longer than they need to. I took myself off to Facebook and Twitter and asked that very question to my friends. What are your pet hates when reading. I received quite a mix of answers and  thought to myself, people should really know this. As a writer, it is really handy to know what readers like and dislike when reading. So I thought I would list a few of the responses I got:   Historical Inaccuracies A character playing with their hair too much Character POV too long Character POV not long enough A popular one – Headhopping Extra, unnecessary words Excessive backstory Adverbs Information dumping Typos Fancy words that you have to look up the meanings for Repetition of words Heroes who are hot, sexy and pretty much perfect! Short jerky sentences Obvious clichés Alpha males who are bullies Certain phrases (These were individual to the person commenting)   So as you can see, there are lots of things that you can do when writing a book which will really bug the reader. Isn’t writing a book supposed to be easy – oh wait, that’s right, it’s not 🙂 When I read all these comments – which are from both authors and readers – I was surprised at some, which is why I thought it would be a good idea to share it with you all. I hope you’ve found this post useful. Maybe you have some pet hates yourself which haven’t been mentioned. Please feel free to add them into the comments below. A special thanks to the following people for getting involved and voicing their views on my Fb and Twitter: Jean Fullerton, Judy Astley, Julie Mccullogh, Sophia Valentine, Jo Cannon, Rhoda Baxter, Sue Moorcroft, Liz Ringrose, Linda Mitchelmore, Berni Stevens, Samantha Tonge, Georgia Hill, Jane Lovering, ReaBookReview, Kate Johnson, Nina Pottell and Julie Cohen.   Thanks for stopping by. Lucie x   Share...

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Falling Apart falls over …

Posted by on Jun 12, 2014 in Fun, General update, Uncategorized | 3 comments

It’s always nice to occasionally have a fun, silly blog post for no reason other than to have a giggle. Well, there is a little promotion in this one but I could not pass up the opportunity to document the spontaneous, and quite frankly bonkers book launch we all held for Jane Lovering’s latest novel. This last weekend, I attended my first agency day. I signed with Sarah Taylor of the Kate Nash Literary Agency back in January of this year and on Saturday 7th June, they held their annual agency day. I absolutely loved meeting the other authors at the agency – some I already knew, some I met for the first time. All of them absolutely wonderful! After a day of talking about everything writing related, we hit the town. Cocktails, dinner and dancing! It was a fabulous evening with great company. We had decided late on in the afternoon that seeing as it was the release of Jane’s novel that day, we needed to give it a good launch – so Falling Apart came out to PARTY. And boy did it do just that! Just look at the photographic evidence I snapped …                               A massive thank you to Kate and Sarah for a fantastic weekend and to Jane Lovering for being such a good sport and letting us be a bad influence on her book baby. And thanks to all the others – accomplices – who helped by seeking out new ways and positions to ‘pap’ Falling Apart. Boy does it have one hell of a story to tell the other books on my shelf …   Oh, and here is a little peek at what FALLING APART got up to after a few Blue Lagoons … tut tut … : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADReKfm7Uuo FALLING APART is available now. Click on the image for more information. Share...

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