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 … : FALLING APART is available now. Click on the image for more information. Share...

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Romaniac Questions – Sue Fortin

Posted by on Feb 27, 2014 in Author Interviews, Uncategorized | 4 comments

Good morning! I have a very special guest on my blog today. She’s an incredibly talented, kind hearted, funny woman and I am very excited to be interviewing her today. Please welcome, Sue Fortin.Sue, great to have you on my blog. Take a seat, make yourself comfy and please do help yourself to cake – it’s Victoria sponge! I promise to make this as least like a counselling session as possible. If cake is involved it will be fine! Hi, Lucie, and thank you for inviting me over. So, we have just launched our anthology, Romaniac Shorts, how are you feeling? Did you enjoy the process of it all? Still very excited by it all. It’s been a tremendous amount of fun seeing it all come together and I’m very proud of all of us. That’s not to say it hasn’t been hard work, but that just makes it all the more rewarding. What is it you enjoy most about being a writer? The variety of things it lets me do. For instance, one day I could be falling in love with a hero who is heaven sent, the next I could be jumping out of a helicopter, another day, sitting on a Caribbean beach, soaking up the sun and the following day, it could be holding up a bank! There’s no end of fun things to do. On the flip side, I do get bad days where my heroine is heart-broken but the best bit about being the writer, you absolutely know, you can mend that heart-break.  You are signed with Harper Impulse now, which is amazing! Tell us a little about the day you found out. It was last summer and I was at home, checking my emails when one pinged in from Charlotte Ledger, she said that unfortunately her phone was broken so she couldn’t call me, so she’d get to the point and they would be delighted if I joined the HarperImpulse team. So, I reread it several times to make sure I hadn’t misunderstood and then went and told my dog. Yes, my dog. There wasn’t anyone else at home at the time. Needless to say, my dog was suitable underwhelmed. My family and friends made up for it though when I told them. It took a couple of days for it to sink in, together with several more reads of the email, just to make sure it was real.  United States of Love has recently become a bestseller in the Amazon Valentine’s Day ranking. Congratulations! Can you tell us a little about the book? Thank you! It was great to see it there with some other wonderful authors and novels. United States of Love is really about atoning for and accepting the past so you can move on to a better, or at least, different future. It tells the story of a single mum who finds love second-time around but she has to deal with her ex-husband who appears to want reconciliation. However, all is not what it seems and there’s a fair amount of hidden agendas, blackmail and sabotage involved.   And what are you working on at the moment? My WIP has the working title of Where It All Began and the theme is what mothers will do for the love of...

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Exciting announcement!

Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 in Uncategorized | 17 comments

Good morning all, I hope you are all well and safe from this horrendous weather. As much as I dislike lots of rain, it does tend to encourage me to put the fire on and get down to some writing. Every cloud, and all that. Anyway, today’s post is a very exciting one for me as I have a little – well, rather big – announcement to make. The silence has been killing me and I have been waiting for the moment to come for me to be able to tell everyone. Christmas last year saw me receive one of the best presents. Want to hazard a guess at what it was? No, sorry, you took too long. I can’t hold it in anymore. I HAVE AN AGENT! That’s right. An agent. I can’t believe it. As those of you who follow me on the regular will know, I have struggled a lot in the past year or so with my confidence. Even when I won the New Talent Award back in November, I still kept telling myself it was a fluke and I wasn’t that good. But, somehow, I managed to grab the attention of an agency and I am now under representation. It’s all very exciting. So I am absolutely thrilled to be part of the Kate Nash Literary Agency where I will be represented by the very lovely, Sarah Taylor. Sarah has given me a massive confidence boost with my first novel, Head over Heart, and I cannot wait to see where we will go from here forward. There is nothing quite like the feeling when an industry professional loves your work as much as you do. Truly spectacular. I best get that next book written … Thank you all for your unwavering support and encouragement. I hope this is just the beginning … Lots of love Lucie x Share...

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It’s oh, so quiet … shhh …

Posted by on Jan 22, 2014 in General update | 2 comments

Good afternoon, It has been very quiet on my blog of late. But I am still here. I had a rest period over the festive holidays to enjoy time with my family and friends and re-focus myself. I set myself goals for the coming year – some are writing related, some are just general life – and set about in January to fulfil them. Or at least begin to. One of my goals was to write more. This is why it has been quiet – I have been writing! I am well underway with my second novel now and I am loving the direction it has taken me. I spent ages planning it which is something I had not done in quite so much detail before. But, I had hoped it would help keep me focused – especially on those days where it is a struggle to get more than two words out, let alone hundreds and thousands as expected. This is what my board looks like: .   Planning for next book And I am now 20k into the first draft and am  I using the board? Well, sort of. I regularly refer back to it to see where I should be going. But, I have found that now I am writing the story of these characters, they’ve got their own mind about where they want to go. So I’ve been using it as more of a guide, rather than set in stone. I have also been doing my usual Romaniac duties, along with being a mummy, wife and trying to read when I can. So it is all a bit full on. But I will try and pop in and blog from time to time to keep you all updated on things, I have a good feeling about 2014. I am going to work my socks off – just you see. Thanks so much for your on-going support. It really is appreciated. Love Lucie x Share...

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Interview with ChocLit author, Zana Bell

Posted by on Oct 23, 2013 in Author Interviews, Tips and Advice | 6 comments

Today on my blog, I have the very lovely Zana Bell, author of Close to the Wind. Zana grew up in Harare, Zimbabwe and studied English Literature at the University of Cape Town. After travelling for several years doing a wide range of jobs, she immigrated to New Zealand where she now lives with her family and cats in a small harbourside community. She began writing, just for the fun of seeing whether she could actually complete a novel and immediately became hooked. Research is her primary love and writing gives her an excellent excuse to be obsessive or just plain nosey. She enjoys writing in a variety of genre but has a particular fondness for all things historical. I really enjoyed Zana’s novel and found myself falling in love with the amazingly well drawn out characters. I managed to grab a little interview with Zana – here’s what she had to say… Hello Zana, how lovely to have you here. Close to the Wind was an absolute pleasure to read, where did the initial idea for the story come from? I’m so glad you enjoyed the book, Lucie. The idea came out of a yen to write a NZ historical despite repeated advice from editors and agents to write either Regency or Scottish romances. But the gold rush beckoned – just as it had in 1860s. The rush was a particularly lively time down here, with thousands of people from all walks of life and from around the world flooding into the country. Small towns mushroomed everywhere; hotels, bars, theatres, gambling dens, fortunes discovered and lost. Of course these adventurers were in search of gold but many soon discovered that NZ offered them opportunities undreamed of in Victorian drawing rooms. As an immigrant myself, I wanted a book to reflect some of that huge energy and exuberance that comes from moving to a new country. However, actually getting the characters from England to NZ turned out to take longer than expected as I became entranced with the different locations en route so it’s less NZ historical than I’d initially planned. Georgiana is a refreshing character, a girl who knows what she wants and who isn’t afraid to go and get it. She must have been a lot of fun to write. Do you tend to start with the story and sculpt the characters around that, or were Harry and Georgiana already firmly in your mind? The story was very much driven by Georgiana and Harry and you are right – they were both enormous fun to write. Once I got them onto the high seas, they pretty much took over. My job then became to throw obstacles at them to see how they coped. You certainly did that! 🙂 The characters in this story do a lot of travelling so I imagine a lot of research went into writing Close to the Wind. Which part of the book was the most enjoyable to research? The road trip round the South Island to revisit locations was a huge pleasure. Oamaru still retains a few old cobbled streets and beautiful buildings from the 1860s – which is old by NZ standards! I stayed in Christchurch just before the earthquake and had a glorious time walking around Hagley Park and visiting the wonderful museum there....

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I’m back and I’m here to stay!

Posted by on Sep 16, 2013 in Uncategorized | 28 comments

Well, what a year this year has been so far. As I’m sure many other novice writers out there will agree, sometimes life seems to take over and before you know it, it has been a few months and the total number of words on your WiP has amounted to a measly, 5! (I am actually being optimistic when I say that because mine probably amounts to even less!) This is exactly what has happened to me this last year. My home/work life took over every spare minute I used to have writing, and completely swallowed it all up. All of it. Nothing left. Well no actually, that’s a small fib. The time I did have left to write, I spent telling myself I was rubbish so why bother. I had a massive confidence crisis and slowly but surely, all my self belief drained out of my body. As many of my friends know, I am a very strong believer in Fate, and things happening for a reason. Really, it does! Even the really really rubbish things – there’s a reason for those too. Even though at the time they may not necessarily be clear to us. And after a few stressful months battling along the rough sea, I feel I have hit the calm. It’s very tranquil here and I have decided to pitch up and stay. Throughout the recent years that my writing has become a main factor in my life, everytime I slide away from it – be it because of family life or work – I always end up right back here. In the comfort of my little writing bubble. And I’m starting to think maybe this is it. This is where I am destined to be. Yes, I have enjoyed all the other roads I have strolled down and all the other professions I have trained in, but never am I more content than when I am in my writing bubble. This last year I have thrown everything into trying to create a new career for myself. I set myself up to apply to University, train up, and begin my journey on a new road. But the whole time I felt like I was running against the tide. Everything that could go wrong, was going wrong. It was almost like Fate was screaming at me that it wasn’t the right road to take, but there was me, skipping along, trying to be determined and keep wading through all the toot it brought with it. But one too many things went pear shaped and it hit me – this isn’t my path. I’m sure Fate did a victory dance when I cancelled my application. ‘Hallelujah! The woman’s finally listened, stubborn cow!’ So here I am, back at my trusty keyboard and I feel great. My self belief isn’t quite up to par yet and my confidence is still dragging its feet behind me, but I’m here and I’m writing. And I’m here to stay. I love my book, I think it has huge potential and I just need to believe in it and get it done. I have an incredible amount of support from so many people, both in the writing industry and out, and I am so very grateful for each and every one...

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The Next Big Thing – blog hop

Posted by on Dec 12, 2012 in Uncategorized | 5 comments

Hello, it’s me! What do you mean, who? Me! Yes, I know I have been very quiet of late, I blame it on the time of year! But I thought I’d squeeze in a last blog post of the year and seeing as I was tagged by the lovely, Charlie Cochrane, to take part in The Next Big Thing challenge I thought, why not! You can read Charlie’s post about her book, Angel in the Window, here. I am still in the ‘playing around’ stage of my current WiP so I thought I’d talk about my other WiP which I’m editing – yet again – and of which is my first complete full length novel. Some of you may know bits about this book from the times when I have rambled on about it. So, here goes… What is the working title of your book? Head Over Heart. It’s kind of got a double meaning for me. Firstly it is the predicament that my heroine, Sophie, is in; she must decide whether to go with her head or trust her heart. Secondly, it kind of plays on the phrase, ‘head over heels’, which is exactly how she falls for the hero. Where did the idea for the book come from? A dream. I actually had this dream sometime before I began writing this book, but it stuck in my mind and actually played on it. I couldn’t shake it off. I dreamt about being in a car crash. I was in the passenger side and there was a man in the drivers seat, but I didn’t know who he was. We were driving through a wooded area and the man lost control of the car and spun it off the road. And then all I remember is falling. This man then became Robert, and I was Sophie. And Head Over Heart was born. What genre does your book fall under? I think it would be classed as Contemporary Romance. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie? This is a great question as I’m quite visual when it comes to characters. I like to have people to reference to and say, ‘Oh, so and so has those qualities.’ It is quite hard to pinpoint a single person for the roles, though. I find my heroine, Sophie, quite easy to cast as I think Anne Hathaway would be perfect for the role. She’s very pretty, but not in an obvious, in your face way. A bit, girl next door. She’s quite timid, but can have a voice if need be. My hero, James, is much harder to cast. My obvious choice would be Gerard Butler as I think he’s gorgeous and has the sexy, smoldering look down to a tee. However, I think he looks a tad too old for James. So maybe someone like, Kellun Lutz…. What is a one sentence synopsis of your work? I’m not very good at one-liners! Here goes… Dealing with grief is hard enough, without having to battle love too; the story of a young widow fighting to keep the memory of her husband in, and her love for another man out. Will your book be self published or represented by an agency? I don’t know. I haven’t currently got any representation for it...

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Why my Romaniac buddies are my F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Posted by on Oct 16, 2012 in Uncategorized | 12 comments

The past few months have seen me gradually lose my ‘writing mojo’ again. It has been awful! Those of you that have followed me for some time will know that this isn’t the first time that I have misplaced it. For a little while, I had no energy to get up and find my mojo. And after a bit, I realised I needed to find out why. After much thought and deliberation, all I could come up with was loss of confidence, lack of time and pure laziness! So how did I remedy this? Well, one word – Friends! (Cue The Rembrandts ‘I’ll be there for you’ song) My eight other Romaniac buddies have been a HUUUUGE support in the last year and have really kept me going. And after the very very quiet patch I have just been through, their unwavering encouragement and support has, yet again, reunited me with my ‘writing mojo’ and rekindled my love for the written word. It’s always been there, but sometimes, when times are hard, it can get a little lost. But there were my Romaniac buddies, shining a huge light for it to find its way back. Here’s how they help me: Joey Tribiani – ‘How you doin’? Whenever times are hard and there’s just no words or ideas milling around in my head, they are always there to ask how I’m doing. If I’m struggling with a piece that I’m working on, I’ll have regular ‘how’s it going?’ from them – this comes in very handY to keep me going. And even when it’s just a bad day due to illness, or there are more personal issues, a simple ‘How you doin’?’ from them just lets me know they are thinking of me. Phoebe Bouffet – ‘Smelly Cat’ Now this in no way applies to the pride of cats that between us, we all moan, praise and laugh about. There are a few other pets thrown in for good measure but feline friends definitely take the ruling out of the nine of us. No, what I mean by reference to Phoebe is the music. We recently spoke on our blog about how we connect to emotions and use them in writing (here) and music was one thing most of us agreed on. Whenever we are stuck, or down, or even just feeling happy and want to share it, we paste links of music to eachother. Laura being the one to do this more frequently! 🙂 Monica Gellar: SUCK IT UP! See, I’m sure you all think, ‘oh those Romaniac ladies are very nice, aren’t they pleasant,’ and yes, I like to think we are. But behind closed doors, we can also be right bossy little madams! This is a good thing, honestly. And I think this is a huge reason as to why I’m normally only wallowing and not writing for short spaces of time – otherwise they shout at me! Whilst nice, gentle encouragement is good and can help steer you back in the right direction, sometimes a short, sharp, ‘stop wallowing and get on with it, woman!’ is needed. And those girls aren’t afraid to say it. Ross Gellar: Study and learn Ross is a professor and teaches students. He values the importance of learning and working hard. This...

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RNA Conference in Penrith – Preparation

Posted by on Jul 10, 2012 in Uncategorized | 7 comments

I can’t believe it has been nearly two months since I last posted on my blog! Yes, it really has been that long. This is down to two things. One – I am a member of the very lovely writing group, The Romaniacs, and I blog over on our group blog sometimes and contribute to the group posts. And two – I have been on a major writing low and have not been feeling very inspired. But this is about to change – I can feel it! This Friday, I shall be taking a little road trip with Sue Fortin and travelling up to Penrith for the RNA annual conference. This will be my first conference and I am both excited and terrified! However, so many of my friends will be there and a huge amount of people have assured me how lovely it is and how friendly and welcoming everyone is, so excitement is definitely the bigger emotion.  As I said, I seem to have misplaced my writing mojo again and I am hoping to hunt it down at the conference and wrestle it back into my head. With the amount of workshops, talks, general socialising and encouraging peers, I’ve no doubt I will come home feeling inspired and ready to get this second book done. I have notes upon notes of ideas for Book Two, but just no get up and go to organise it. Saying that, I recently sent my first book, Head over Heart, to a number of friends (Including my first male reader!) and have received some incredible feedback. Now I know they are my friends and they will of course say they enjoy it anyway, but some of their words of encouragement and the sheer pride in their responses was amazing and has really made me feel like I do have at least some talent there. And even though my male reader said it wasn’t his cup of tea and was a bit too girly, he enjoyed the story and said it was good, so that has made me smile. I now know what I want to tweak with it and how I want to develop it so it is just making the descision as to whether I start working on it again, or knuckle down with another book and go back to it later. I’m not sure yet.  And so, in preparation for this weekend, I have started to pool together bits of my work to take and work on. I’ve made a list of what I need to pack and I’ve made a list of the things I need to purchase. I will be sharing a block with 6 other Romaniac buddies, which I am sure will prove to be a lot of fun, and I already plan to be having early birthday drinks with them and whoever else wants to join in the celebrations. We will also be toasting our lovely Sue, whose debut novel, United State of Love, is out tomorrow!  Lots to celebrate – it’s going to be a great weekend! Hope to see lots of you there  xxx Share...

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