Progress So Far

  • Romance writer - Historical. Contemporary and Intrigue
  • 2 books written for HarperImpulse

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy New Year Everyone!

All my favorite blog sites are choc ablock with N Y R and Goal Settings which all makes interesting reading as well as giving me much needed motivation!

So call me a lemming I'm going to hang myself here and list mine. It will be interesting to see if I keep any of them! So - deep breath - here goes!

1. Write more. Rather obvious I suppose. But this needs to be done at the expense of the internet. I love blogging and get side tracked way too much. So N Y R number 1 is to write 1000 words a day - and then - and only then - do I switch on the internet! (People let me tell you this is going to be the hardest one to keep!)

2. Lose weight. Way too heavy. I need to lose weight because at the grand old age of 47 I'm getting married again - March 16th 2010. I need to lose weight so I don't look like a total lump of lard when I try to find something half decent to wear on my *big* day.

3. Try not to get too stressed at work - which is quite hard since my boss is a TOTAL stress puppy - who when stressed infects all of us his stress!

4. Exercise more! I do walk the dogs most days but I need to up the ante. See 2 above!

5. Try to get published - I aim to send out more partials to various publishers - rather than finishing off whole books first. I know some authors say you should write the whole book 1st - but I'm going to give the "partials" a go for a while - say the 1st 6 months of 2010. However I do have to finish off one whole ms as I intend to submit this to the NWS this year.

Well there you go! Like I said it will be interesting to see if I achieve any of these - but N Y R are there to prompt you on I say.

Happy New Year everyone! Take care. Caroline x

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Flippin' 'Eck! It's ugly out there!

Have you seen the furore on the iHeart Presents blog over the competition results? If not go take a look - but I think everyone in the whole world of romantic writing has blogged on it - me included! I did try to keep out of the heated debate - merely pointing out that HM&B are out to publish books and the publishing world is a highly competitive business. 'Nuff said I think! Phew but it's ugly over there - which is quite sad really as EVERYONE I've ever had dealings with in the Romance Community has ALWAYS been lovely!

Anyway enough of the negativity. Yes I was disappointed both for myself and my two CP's whose entries were tons better than mine (waves as Suzanne and Judy) - but I am still going to be +ve about the whole thing. I've got lots of fingers in lots of pies at the moment. So here are my New Years Resolutions:

1. Polish up the 1st 3 Chapters of Historical Number 3 and send it off to HMB - whilst finishing the whole book off by end of January.

2. Re-jig Historical Number 2 and send it back to NWS (2010) - to see if it gets anywhere. (It did get a very good 2009 NWS Report.)

3. Instead of writing whole books (some would say that you should but....) I'm going to have a go at writing the first 3 Chapters and the synopsis on the one's I've got posted on the sidebar. Get them out and see where I get with them.

4. Try to be more productive. I've been really bad these past few weeks. "Life" keeps getting in the way at the moment. (Dad in hospital and my lovely M-I-L still in hospital - 16 weeks and counting - bless her!)

Anyway - Have a great Christmas everybody - just in case I don't blog before the 25th!

PLL - Peace, Love and Light - Caroline x

Thursday, 3 December 2009

2/10 - Could do Better! (See me after school)

After a really productive week 2 weeks ago - lasts week effort was pathetic! Only managed to type 1.5k words. *sigh* The reason? Tired. Day job mega busy. Very sick relatives. Xmas shopping. Babysitting. That's it really - that thing called "life" that gets in the way of our publishing schedules (wow that sounds pompous!) But you know what I mean. We set ourselves targets. Sometimes we hit them, other times we don't. So my target this week is to try and do 5k words by Sunday evening. I'll let you know!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Opps! Missed a bit of the link!

A "great" Rejection Letter!

I can see the frowns and scratching of heads already. How can a rejection letter be great you ask!

The answer my friends is when it's one sent to Andy Warhol! Go to this site and check it out!

Take care. Caroline x

Sunday, 22 November 2009

A kick up the backside works wonders....

Since I gave myself a metaphorical kick up the backside last week I've managed to write 11,391 words of the current wip this week. Trust me this is amazing for me considering how little I've done recently. This word count also goes towards my unofficial NaNoWriMo target which I also set myself last week as well. Hopefully I'll be able to keep at this pace and finish the first draft by the end of the year. Take care. Caroline

Friday, 20 November 2009

"How do you plead?" - "Guilty m'Lord!"

Yuk! Just clocked the I (heart) Presents blog about feedback from the editors concerning the latest HM&B Writing Competition. They have identified 7 major sins that we newbies are guilty of with our First Chapters (FC). They are:
1. Not enough dialogue
2. Dire dialogue
3. Well worn plots and characters
4. Random meetings; meandering action
5. Inappropriate first kisses
6. Unattractive hero
7. Sexual premises

Moi? Yikes having read the above I am convinced they have targeted my First Chapter (FC) and no one else's! Seriously folks I kid you not. And to prove it I now put my case to the jury as follows (as per the 7 sins above) :

1. My FC is too full of the back story - having read it again after my CP pointed it out to me it is. So "guilty as charged."
2. I think the dialogue between H/h is static and stilted. So "guilty as charged."
3. The story revolves around the heroine mistaking the hero for someone else. So "guilty as charged" on the well worn plot and characters.
4. Heroine meets hero in a dark stable block. So "guilty as charged" on the random meeting.
5. Hero kisses heroine in the FC so "guilty as charged."
6 . Have to say I am "not guilty here" as there was no rumpy pumpy in the FC (Phew!)
7. Juries out on this one. He's angry with her but not a total "B" if you get my drift! "Hung jury" on this one.

Umm. Like I said. Call me paranoid but...ya have to admit the evidence is pretty stacked against me. Ah well. I gave it a go didn't I?

Take care. Caroline x

Saturday, 14 November 2009


YAY! I've cracked my writer apathy. Managed to type 2,935 words today. Gonna stop now as X Factor is about to start! NaNo (my way) is gonna help me finish this wip come hell or high water! Take care. Caroline x

Better late than never....sort of!

What am I rambling on about? NaNoWriMo - the "write a novel in a month". I wasn't going to do it -mainly because I'm a coward, but mainly because I'm 35k through my latest wip and I didn't want to start something new.

But because I've been so sparse recently on the writing front - ( mainly due to the latest "R" if I'm honest) - I've decided to set myself a target. To do at least a 1000 words a day until the middle of December. I've extended "my" NaNo time until then.

I've been spurned on to do this by reading Nicola Marsh's blog yesterday in which she talks about "sprinting" - writing something/anything in short sharp bursts - fitting it in around "life". I can do this I decided - so this morning - another first for me as I'm normally a night writer - I just fired up the PC and typed. 30 minutes later - 866 words done. Yay! Writer's apathy broken at long last! Now all I need to do is keep on top of it. Take care. Caroline x

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Love Inspired Historical

I've just finished polishing off my latest WIP - a Love Inspired Historical - a HM&B Steeple Hill imprint.

For those not familiar with this line it is HM&B's Christian imprint. I've read the guidelines and had a go! This book is a "Roman" set in and around Rome in AD63.
My heroine is a Christian. The hero isn't! That is the basis for the internal conflict in a nutshell. The external conflict revolves around the fact that the action happens in and around Rome before and after the "Great Fire of Rome", when in order to deflect blame from himself, the Emperor Nero blames the poor Christian's for starting the fire, and so begins their persecution.

I'm going to print it off - one final proof read - and then send it off to the New York offices next week. So wish me luck people. Take care. Caroline x

Friday, 6 November 2009

What "type" are you?

On Michelle Styles blog the other day she discusses (very well btw) the Myer-Briggs personality tests. I remember doing these "tests" when I was doing a Management Course. In all honesty I don't remember much about the course but I do recall these tests and the Belbin Team Role Inventory - which I did find interesting at the time.

Belbin assess how an individual behaves in a team environment. It is a behavioural tool, and not a psychometric test. Whereas Myers-Briggs sorts people into 16 types dependant on types of behaviours the Belbin Inventory scores people on how strongly they express traits from 9 different Team Roles. Phew - confused - I'll explain. These roles are as follows:

1. Plant - plants are creative, unorthodox and a generator of ideas. Bright and free thinking they refrain from getting bogged down. But...the downfall is someone like the absentminded professor-inventor - who often has a hard time communicating ideas to others.

2. Resource Investigator (RI) - the RI gives a team a rush of enthusiasm at the start of a project by vigorously pursing contacts and opportunities. RI's are makers of possibilities and an excellent networker. But...they have a tendency to lose momentum towards the end of a project and can forget small details.

3.Coordinator - Often the chairperson who steps back to see the big picture. They are confident, stable and mature. But...they can be accused of being manipulative and will tend to delegate all work rather than do it themselves!

4.Shaper - is a task-focused leader who abounds with nervous energy. Winning is the name of the game; and the Shaper will "shape" others into achieving their aims. They can challenge, argue or disagree with others in pursuit of goal achievement. But...two or three Shapers in a group can lead to conflict, aggravation and in-fighting!

5. Monitor Evaluator (ME) - are fair and logical observers and judges of what is going on. ME's are methodical, analytical, taking every thing into account to come to the right decision. But....ME's can be excessively cynical, damping enthusiasm for anything without logical grounds and they have a hard time inspiring themselves or others to be passionate about their work.

6. Teamworker - the greasy oil between the cogs that keeps the team running. They are good listeners and diplomats, talented at soothing over conflicts. they don't take sides, this can, sometimes, mean that they are not able to take decisive action when needed.

7. Implimenter - Turns ideas into positives. They are efficient and self-disciplined and can always be relied on to deliver on time. Motivated by loyalty which means that they often take on jobs everyone else avoids or dislikes. But....they can be perceived as closed-minded and inflexible since they will often have difficulty deviating from their own well thought out plans.

8. Completer Finisher (CF) - is often a perfectionist who will go the extra mile to make sure everything is just right. Will double check and check again. Strong inward need for accuracy, rarely needing any encouragement from others because of their own high standards. But...they may frustrate other team members by worrying excessively about minor detail and refusing to delegate tasks that they do not trust anyone else to perform.

9. Specialists - are passionate about learning in their own particular field. Great depth of knowledge and they enjoy imparting it to others. Constantly wanting to improve their wisdom. If they don't know it - they will go out and find it. But... because they are specialists then sometimes they will be uninterested in anything which lies outside their "narrow" confines.

When I did the test I came out as a Completer Finisher with Plant tendencies! So is that a good combination for a writer? Hopefully yes. I would imagine if you were a strong Coordinator / Shaper you probably wouldn't finish writing anything! I'm sure an Editor working with a new author who is a Shaper would find it a recipe for disaster! Can you imagine the arguments when the poor editor asked for changes to a MS?

I'm sure these groups are not cast in stone, and many of us could probably see traits in ourselves that fall into most of these groups.

So what Group(s) do you think you fall in? Come on 'fess up if you dare!

Take care. Caroline x

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Critique Partner anyone?

Ummm. I might be hanging myself out on a limb here....but here goes. "Does anyone fancy being my critique partner?" There I said that very fast and with a wistful tone in my voice I can tell you.

(If you don't want to reply via this link then my email address is )

If not. Then does anyone know if there are any blog sites that cater for this particular field? As you can see from my blog site I write historical HM&B but also mainstream HM&B as well.

Other news? I've put to bed the big "R". Thanks for all the cyber hugs both on the blog and via email. Much appreciated I can tell you. Will now get cracking on finishing off Roman historical number 3. Are Romans in or out I wonder? Michelle Styles wrote some great ones a few years ago that got me hooked. But since then not a lot. I wonder if they will come back in fashion again? I think there are a few Hollywood blockbusters out next year featuring Romans. I'm sure I read that somewhere. So you never know they may come back with a vengeance!
Take care. Caroline x

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The Big "R" - Rejection that is.....

Big Big (((Sigh))). I'm feeling sorry for myself. After waiting a long time I had a letter back from HM&B today. "Thanks but no thanks". It was a standard rejection letter. It annoyed me a bit (can I be annoyed? Is it "allowed"?) for the following reasons:

HM&B - " Ensure that your characters and conflict are character driven."
NWS - Report - " You write with fluency and skill, and in Justina and Marsallas you have created two very attractive central characters. In particular you did a very good job of showing...(rather than telling)."

HM&B - "Focus on the internal emotional conflict of your characters".
NWS - Report "The developing love story between Marsallas and Justina is strong and emotional. You depict the historical background with a very good sense of detail...I like very much the concept of Marsallas demanding that Justina be his mistress to repay her perceived betrayal of him..."

HM&B - "Use secondary characters to add richness and depth to your central romance but don't let them take over."
NWS - Report - "Your secondary characters are also delightful and I feel that you have created a very nice set of characters without diverting attention from the central relationship,"

HM&B - "Target your book to a particular series - this means you need to read current books in the series you are aiming for..."
NWS - Report - "You are aiming the book at Mills & Boon's Historical romance series and it is clear that you have researched the publisher and what they are looking for."

So that's it rant over. Best to vent my spleen and all that. (I'll probably regret putting this out on my blog site tomorrow - but there you go!) I'm half way through my current WIP - another Roman aimed at HM&B Historical. It may be that "Roman's" aren't in at the moment. I'll finish this one off, send it off and then perhaps consider switching to another time period or have a go at a "Modern" or an "Intrigue".

Sorry for the rant - but thanks for listening! Take care. Caroline x

Wednesday, 21 October 2009


On Kate Hardy's blog yesterday there were some lovely photo's of clouds and she asked us to let her know if we had some that we liked. Well as luck would have it I came out of my door this morning and saw this wonderful sunrise over the Snowdonia mountains as well as a "misty" inversion over the Malltraeth Marshes. Spectacular! Take care. Caroline x

Monday, 19 October 2009

Alas poor WIP, I knew it well!

Forgive my misquote (Hamlet) – but…’Tis Done. Or will be by the end of tomorrow! What am I rambling on about? The HM&B Writing Competition that's what! I've preened, pruned, slashed, cut, and editied the poor Chapter to within an inch of it's life - and now finally - it will be sent off.

So have I covered the basic’s? - Namely:
Are my character's physical descriptions vivid? Are main characters sympathetic despite their obvious flaws/faults? Is it obvious what the story is about from the first chapter?
What are their internal/external conflicts? Can I sympathise with then as the story progresses?
Are secondary characters necessary; and if so do they take over? If they do, is it a problem? Do they add interest and issues to the story?
How is the dialogue? Does it flow? Does it carry the story forward? How my pace? Is it too slow; too fast; not enough?
Does my chapter have a good romantic tone and what’s my voice like?
The above is not an exhaustive list. And if I’m honest I’m not sure if I’ve got it completely covered! But there you go. It’s going off whatever.
Take care. Caroline x

Friday, 9 October 2009

RNA - Dragon Chapter

I've just come back from the monthly RNA (Dragon) Chapter meeting. we have here in North Wales. I haven't been for a while as "life" kept getting in the way. But I'm glad I did today. I always come away feeling enthused - and today was no different. We are a group around 15 or so. Roughly half are published and the published authors ALWAYS give us unpubs. loads of moral support and lots of helpful advice.

Today was particularly good as a lot of us had our NWS reports/critiques with us. Lots of +ve reports all round (it was a bit like comparing school reports!) and lots encouragement from the published authors as a result. One of our ladies had a second reading and that was so encouraging it actually listed the agents/publishing houses she should send it to. Way to go!

I broke with tradition and actually asked one of the authors if she wouldn't mind reading the first 3 chapters of a HM&B Historical. I felt a bit cheeky doing so - I've never done it before so it was a big step to do so - but she didn't mind at all! So thanks June (Francis) (HM&B Historical author) it means a lot to me. Here's hoping it's not the dogs dinner and she thinks the story has promise....I'm feeling nervous already!

So if any of you are members of the RNA and don't go along to a local chapter - please do so. You won't regret it!

Take care. Caroline x

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

How Do I Write?

As a "newby" in the field of romantic fiction writing I thought I would share with you my creative process (lol - wow does that sound pompus or what!) Before I start I have to say I lovvvvvve reading about how authors approach their writing and can't get enough of reading about it. I also love reading as many books on the writing craft as I can possibly get hold of. I justify this by saying that a writer is doing a "job" and therefore needs to be adequately trained in doing so. And trust me as a relative newcomer to all things writing (romance that is) I need as much training as possible.
So what's my writing process like? Well if I have to put myself in a "camp" then I am definitely a "panster" writer. I start off with a idea for a book - normally the opening chapter or a scene in my head - and then off I go. So far things have worked out well and I've been able to finish 2 full novels - not a lot I know - but I consider myself a fledgling. Most times the book has changed beyond recognition from my initial idea (although the opening chapter so far has always stayed the same) and I've managed, so far, to avoid writers block and the sagging middle. Of all the things I find the hardest to deal with - then it is the sagging middle. How to take a book out of the duldrons and inject enough fizz to make anyone (normally the poor reader at the NWS) want to finish reading the book! Another niggle I have is the fact that in the day job I tend to write a lot of dry stufy letters and technical reports. Sometimes it's like pulling teeth to get out of this particular mindset and try and write fun, flirty dialogue rather than the falling back into "official" writing, and not letting my wip get too stuffy!
As you can see from the picture I also like to do a story board. This is my current wip. Spot who the hero is! No prizes there - it's the lovely Hugh Jackman. The "diagram" thingy is something I found on WORD recently - I use one for each of the H/h and put all their relatives/where they live etc. in each of the circles as an aide memoir when I'm typing away. Having been over to the Pink Heart Society blog this morning the lovely Kate Hardy has done a great post about her writing. Wow to be as productive as Kate would be amazing. But that is definitely not me - unfortunately. I tend to do my writing in dribs and drabs fitting it around work and life, BUT there is one thing I am disciplined about, and that is trying to write something every day. Even if it's a bit of editing, plotting out (on paper) the next chapter whilst in bed, or actually typing away. I find that my best time to write in the evenings, and at the weekend in the afternoons once "life" has slowed down and all the chores have been done. I have tried to write in the mornings - sometimes it's ok and the words flow, but mostly life intrudes and it isn't doable. So there you go. Now I'm off back to work (day job) having done this in my lunch hour. Take care. Caroline x

Monday, 5 October 2009


Saw these and went "ahhh". These are my dogs Molly (on the right) and Bob (on the left). Most of the time they are cute. Some times they rule the house! Take this picture. We went out for the afternoon and came back to find the terrible duo firmly encamped in OUR chairs! The silly jumpers were our idea of a joke. Obviously they didn't like it and made their objections known. Take care. Caroline x

Thursday, 1 October 2009

What a week that was!

It's been a long week to say the least. Out of respect for my lovely M-I-L I haven't said anything. But now she's on the mend I feel able to do so. My MIL underwent major surgery a week ago for bowel cancer, and repair to a (very large) hernia. It was a success thank goodness. They have got rid of the cancer which had spread to an ovary (which was removed as well) and have repaired the hernia.

There has been a minor setback this morning - she does have an infection in the wound so they may have to operate to clean out this infection we think - it all depends on the result of a CT scan that she will have to have.

But that aside, through it all my MIL has been very, very positive - which is always good. But I have to say not so easy to keep up day after day. I'm not sure if I would be able to be so +ve all the time! Now she just needs to heal and get her strength back.

My DH went down to Essex to be with his mum and has been away for a week now. I had planned to keep occupied by writing. In truth I have done some - but was only able to do so once I knew my MIL had come through her operation.

Then, if that wasn't bad enough my best mate Kath had a car accident. She ok - but has severe whiplash. So Kath if you're reading this get well soon babes!

Take care. Caroline x

Thursday, 24 September 2009

To Boldly Go...

I participated in the on-line e-chat with the HM&B Editors last night! It was fun and I even asked a question which they very kindly answered . (Sad to be so excited I know but it was my "first time" and I'm just a simple lassie).

Following the on-line discussion I'm definitely going to be entering my "creation" and see where I go - if anywhere. I've also decided to broaden my horizons - writing wise (hence the title of this blog.) I've squillions of ideas for books (well OK maybe about 30) and sometimes they all fight at once to get written. So for a change instead of writing the full book and then subbing to HM&B which is what I normally do, I've decided to write the first 3 chapters and a synopsis and see where I go. The two books fighting to go first are a (Historical) "Love Inspired" and an "Intrigue". Different genres for me completely - but they are both shouting at me to get out!

I haven't told the dh my plans yet. If he finds out that I'm attempting more books he'll go mad. He sits in the "finish one book at time" camp. Maybe he's right, I don't know - but I'll keep you updated. Take care. Caroline x

Wednesday, 23 September 2009


I've been a bit lax lately. Not writing either my current historical wip or my blog (although I have been blogging on my favourite blog sites (too much perhaps?!)

And the reason why? Well I have been trying to put together my HM&B 1st chapter and synopsis. I've finished it now - but in all honesty I don't know if I've written a Modern or a Modern Heat! It could quite easily sit in either camp! Now is that a good thing or a bad thing? Me thinks bad - it should be one or the other I would suggest. So I'm going to leave it for another week and re-visit it again to see what camp I think I should be writing in and tweek as necessary. I read both the Modern and Modern Heat because I love both the genres (+ HM&B Historical). Yowser this writing lark ain't easy you know! Take care. Caroline x

Monday, 14 September 2009

Crows of Doubt...ever circling closer!

Eww! Gone through my HM&B contest first chapter - again (and again and get the drift!) and I have concluded that it sucks!

Why? Well for the following reasons:
1. My initial optimism has been replaced by pessimism - in other words the crows of doubt have circled, landed, and have pecked me to pieces, and then they've flown off cackling to themselves.
2. No matter how many re-writes I do it still isn't working.
3. I seem to lack realistic dialogue. My H/h talk like something out of a (bad) 1950's B movie.
4. I've read recently about "character arc", "story arc", 3 point planning and I haven't a clue what they mean. I just write a story. Is that so bad? I don't know!

I've just whined to the darling dh. He's very supportive bless, and has just told me to submit it anyway. He's also reminded me that perhaps it's time to re-read my myriad of "How To Write" books. Yes me thinks Kate Walker needs to come off the bookshelf once more. Take care. Caroline x

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

I'm back!

Phew! The old saying about needing a holiday to recover from the holiday isn't far wrong!

Sometime I wonder how on earth I used to live and work in London - and did so for 20 years! Four days staying with my best friend Kath and visiting with friends/relatives and I'm cream crackered! But saying that I had a great time - thanks Kath for being my best mate (26 years and counting) and being a fab host.

I did the Jack The Ripper Tour - highly recommended. Yes it was geared up for tourists. Yes there was a lot of other groups....but highly entertaining nonetheless and our guide wasn't the normal (resting) actor but a bona fide AUTHOR! I felt an instant empathy with her - she was very knowledgeable and has written a couple of books about JtheR as well as co-presenting a couple of documentaries on the History Channel.

I have to admit (I'm sure I'm not the only one) who has a macabre interest in JtheR. I've read a lot of books about him and have seen virtually every film etc, but seeing where all the murders took place was like putting the final pieces of a jigsaw all together.

But if there was one part of the tour I found the most fascinating, then it was the sheer scale of the poverty that was the norm in that area. People lived in such extreme poverty it beggars belief. The guide said that for 4 (old) pennies you could sleep the night away in a wooden coffin - sometimes with as many as 20 people in a room. If you couldn't afford 4 pennies then for 3 old pence men, women and children used to drape themselves over ropes that were strung up from one end of a room to other and sleep standing up! Sometimes there were as many as 50 people in a room all sleeping standing up. Can you imagine that - it really does make me shiver. As an EHO in the day job, it makes me proud to think that the founder of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health - Edwin Chadwick - was one of the few people who made a change in how people lived at that time - real pioneers in the fight for decent public health. Anyway enough ramblings for now. Gotta get that M&B Chapter polished as best I can and work on the (dreaded) synopsis. Take care. Caroline x

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

On Manouvers - Londinium Here I Come!

Update: Mum is much better. Thanks for you kind comments.

Tomorrow I'm off to London for a girlie weekend - catching up with some old friends and some of dh's relatives. I've been looking forward to this for ages.

I've got a few things planned. My bestest friend in the whole wide world - Kath - has booked us in at a Spa for Friday and I've got a pedicure booked - lovely.

On Saturday I've booked us to go on a "Jack The Ripper Walk." Sounds macarbe I know but it's something I've always wanted to do - and I've been fascinated by JtheR since I was young. So hopefully as well as being scared witless I'll enjoy it as well. The tour starts at 7pm for about 2 hours and we walk around all the areas that JtheR haunted.

Sunday we plan to do one of those "tour bus" trips around London which is funny as I lived in London for 20 years and Kath still lives there. It's just that we never did the touristy bits! How sad is that.

Anyway I'm taking the camera - so hopefully will be able to get some piccis to post. Take care. Caroline x

Sunday, 30 August 2009

It's not wot it's like on the telly!

Had to take my poor mum to A&E on Friday evening. (Too much warfrin in her blood caused her eyes to hemorrhage - looked like she'd gone 10 rounds with Frank Tyson!) Anyway as I intimated in the title the A&E department of the hospital wasn't much like Casualty, ER or Holby City. Yes there were air ambulance's coming in at a rate of knots, and the doctor's and nurses were rushing around like headless chickens - but as far as I could see - and we were in there for 8 hours |(!!!) - there was none of the intrigue that seems to be part of the weekly soap opera's we see on the telly. No nurses lusting after handsome doctors etc. No obvious signs of doctors being ruthless so they can limb the ladder to success. No nothing like that.

Was I disappointed? After all like all good authors - I did have the notebook ready to job down some kernel of wisdom for a potential book or two. No I wasn't. In truth I was impressed by how busy and dedicated they all were. Even though it was a long night - there were two RTA's so everything goes into "emergency plan" mode and we had to wait (quite rightly) until they had been sorted out there was nothing really I could have used in a book - and I'm sure the likes of Kate Hardy have done emergency A&E's in many a book.

The only thing that did annoy me was the attitude of some of those waiting to be seen. As I said the RTA's got seen first - but some of those waiting around didn't quite see it like that. They were under the impression that their cut hand (sustained by falling down drunk) was more important than some poor man who'd had a crushed chest! I ask you the nurses had more tact than I would in dealing with this person (+ others as well!)

So a big cheer to all NHS staff who's job I don't envy at all. Thanks for all the hard work you do. Take care. Caroline x

Friday, 28 August 2009

Life according to...

To make sense of this Blog go over to Kate Hardy's Blogspot. Trust me all will become clear!

"My life according to Caroline Storer
Pick your Artist: AC/DC
Are you a male or female?: Whole Lot of Rosie
Describe yourself: All Screwed Up (!)
How do you feel: Kicked In The Teeth (I'm tired today)
Describe where you currently live: Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be (I'm at work!)

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Bedlam In Belgium
Your favourite form of transportation: Walk All Over You
Your best friend is: (a) Girls Got Rhythm
You and your best friends are: Back In Business (I'm off for a girlie weekend next week!)
What's the weather like: Up To My Neck In You (it's raining!)
Favourite time of day: You Shook Me All Night Long
If your life was a TV show, what would it be called: Riff Raff
What is life to you: Ain't No Fun (waitin' round to be a millionaire)
Your last relationship: Highway To Hell
Your current relationship: Whole Lotta Love
Your fear: T.N.T
What is the best advice you have to give: (don't get) Caught With Your Pants Down
Thought for the Day: Beating Around The Bush
How I would like to die: Shot Down In Flames
Looking for: Sin City
Wouldn’t mind: High Voltage (to get me back on track with the wip!)
My soul's present condition: If You Want Blood - You Got It (ode to my current wip)
Most Faithful Companion: Givin' The Dog A Bone
My motto: For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)

Phew! That was harder than I thought! But fun! Take Care. Caroline x

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

"How Beautiful Thou Art"

We often take things for granted. I know I do. This, believe it or not, is the view from the front of my house. I live on the brow of a hill that sweeps down over the Malltraeth Marshes then over to the wonderful, beautiful vista of the Snowdonia mountain range. Like a lot of the country we haven't had a good summer weather wise, and normally it's been a dash to the car to avoid the rain (like today - we've got the remnants of Hurricane Bill). But yesterday was an exception. After the rain had cleared viola! the splendour and beauty of Snowdonia is there for all to see. It's just that I sometimes forget about it. Take care. Caroline

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Fishguard Here I Come!

The fabo dh took the massive hints I've been dropping about what I'd like for Christmas this year. (Unusually for me I never know what to ask for!) But this year is different... This year I know what I want - and woohoo today I got it. Booked onto the Writing Weekend course that is going to be held in Fishguard in Feb next year - and the workshop I going on - Contemporary Romance hosted by Kate Walker - double whoooo! Excited? Moi? YOU BET!!

Mind you all the above depends on whether I actually filled out the on-line application form and PayPal thingybob correctly - but I think I did it ok! Take care. Caroline x

That's My Boy!

I was going through my photo's of my grandson Corey! Came across this one - that I hadn't spotted at the time. It made me LOL - knowing how much he loves his food it kinda sums him up. Take care. Caroline x

Monday, 24 August 2009

Layering the Emotion

I re-read the first chapter of my HM&B Competition entry last night (well OK the only chapter so far) and.......ewwww what a load of cr*p! And I mean that most sincerely folks!

What had started out as promising first chapter (hah! who am I kidding!) is now being pecked to pieces by the "crows of doubt" who seem to be swarming in ever decreasing circles as I type. (It didn't help when I read Lynn Rae Harris's opening chapter last night of her debut HM&B book - you know the one - the one that won her the competition last year!)

I now need to "re-visit" my wip and think serious, serious editing (read "total re-write") and layer in the emotion - I've decided my wip is lacking the emotion quotent that is a pre-requisite of any HM&B. Kate Walker (in her 12 point Guide to Writing Romance ) devotes a whole chapter of her (excellent) book to the subject of emotion. Michelle Styles, Donna Alward and Kate Hardy all go into great length about layering in the emotion on their blogsites. And now so must I. So I'm going to get out the metaphorical "cake filling" and I'm going to start layering it in right now. Before it's too late. And if I can quote one of the quotes in Kate's book "The 3 most important things in making a book a best seller are emotion, emotion, emotion." (HM&B editor) Right got it? Yes absolutely got it. 100% got it - I think!

Take care. Caroline x

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Day of Rest?

Today I am mostly....chilling out. It's Sunday. No take that back I can chill out when..
1. I've made the Sunday dinner
2. I've done the washing and ironing
3. I've cleaned and hoovered (although dh may do this!)
4. Made supper and finally,
5. Done some of my wip..

Take care. Caroline x

Sunday funny...

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Saturday morning musings...

Morning all. I've been looking at a lot of blog sites recently - purely research of course - as I plot and plan how to set up my own site. (If you believe that you'll believe anything...I like blogging.) Anyway a lot of the sites I've been reading - both pub's and unpub's alike talk about a recurring theme. Sending. Out. The. Manuscript! Or more to the point - not.

There seems to be huge barrier to sending out our ms's into the big, bad world of publishing. I think of it something along the lines of that first day of school moment. You know the one. Your child is 4 years old and it's the first day of full time school. You drop him/her off at the gates, s/he turns to you with big tears in their eyes and a quivering bottom lip. You then have to fight the massive urge to run over to them, sweep them up in your arms, and run away screaming at the top of your voice "my baby, my baby. Nobody is having my baby."

And make no mistake - our ms's have become our babies (well for me at least) - we've nurtured them, shouted at them, cried and laughed over them, made them have detention (for not behaving themselves) until finally they are ready for the big bad world, just like the first day of school. They have been polished and tidied up to within an inch of their life, no spelling mistakes, grammar as best as we can make it - then we pad them up and with a deep breath post them off, all the while wanting to take them back and never let them out of your sight.

Sooo. Massive hugs to all those writers out there who are stressing over the NWS August deadline and those waiting for their readers reports - and hopefully a second read. I know how you feel - trust me!

Take care. Caroline x

Friday, 21 August 2009


Can anyone help? I've tried to find my blogsite on Google and it does not come up. Any reason for this? Do I need to enable/disable something so I can be seen on the WWW? Any help graefully recieved! Thanks Caroline

The end of the week - at last!

Phew! It's been a long week - no make that month! I normally work 3 days a week at the day job - giving me time to spare for writing. But because we've been so busy at work I agreed to work O/T for the whole of the 6 week summer holidays. Week 5 and I'm cream crackered!

It's also meant that I've not been able to devote as much time to writing as much as I wished or hoped for. But saying that I've created my very own blogsite this week.

The blogsite has been fun to create. I've "learnt" how to do those sidebar thingies that I like to see on other author's blogpages. I've also mastered piccis as well. As I said in my earlier blogs I'm not that ofey with the old PC. Providing it works when I switch it on and I can create a document in WORD then I'm happy!

The blogsite has also concentrated my mind somewhat, and I actually got down to writing last night - and not just editing book 2 which I seem to have been doing for ages now! When I fired up "The Roman's Revenge" and read through what I've written so far I was slightly taken aback when I realised I'd forgotten the name of my heroine! Yikes. I need to seriously get back into this book, and hopefully Livia will forgive me for forgetting about her for so long! (For some reason I did remember the hero's name - Metellus! Maybe it's because I've got Hugh Jackman as my "model" for Metellus - can't think why!) Take care. Caroline x

Thursday, 20 August 2009

What do you mean I spoil my dog?

DH wanted Angel Delight. Molly got the lickings!
On a sad note - I'm loving this blogging lark! (Managed the photo bit this time). But mustn't get carried away too much - I have a book to write!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

My first cyber visitor!

Yay! I've had my first visitor! And it was the lovely Kate Walker! Thanks Kate.

Well I seem to have got hold of this "create a blogsite in 10 easy steps" - but I don't want to be too complacent yet - I've yet to master the video clips and photo's bit...and the website links! I would also like to customize the front page - but again I'm going to have to go away and think about that a bit more! I have to say the blogger site is very user friendly and I can see why a lot of authors use it! No point in re-inventing the wheel and all that.

As I've intimated in my first forays on this blogsite I'm new to all this - and to the writing lark - which having read a lot of blogsites is not an easy thing to do - published or not. But saying that I have written 2 books now and part way through my third. I love the Roman period - so that's what I've written so far. Books aimed at the HM&B Historical line. I subbed my 1st last year after getting a good review from the NWS. HM&B turned it down. Although I'm not surprised (- it would have been to good to be true to get a 1st novel published me thinks - ) it's always a depressing moment when the rejection letter plops on the doormat. Last week I subbed my first 3 chapters and the dreaded synopsis into HM&B. Again I got excellent feedback from the NWS and following the readers excellent advice I re-jigged and rewrote parts of the book. I had to firm up heroine in the first part of the book and tone down the hero. Make him a bit more Alpha and not so uncouth! Hopefully I've done this and fingers crossed that HM&B will (at the very least) ask for the full. I live in hope.

I'm also going to enter the HM&B Presents competition and have roughly drafted out a first chapter and a sort of synopsis! It needs polishing up before sending it off. But I think the deadline is November so I should get this done by then. The I heart presents blogsite has all the details of the competition and it's even on their web bar at the top of the page. Anyway enough for now! Take care. Caroline x
Update! I've managed to post a picci of me. Not a vey good picci but there you go! My hair has grown substantially since it was taken.

Day 2

Well I managed to log into my account after wondering where on earth everything had gone. Duh! Needed a password didn't I! Well you learn something new everyday.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Well that seemed to work ok! Now all I need to do is find out to fill in all the other stuff!

A New Day Dawns! Or at least I think it does!

Gosh! I'm not sure if I've done this right. But I think I've just created a BLOG SITE all by myself - which isn't meant to be sarcastic or anything - it's just that I'm not very good on the old PC that's all. Take care. Caroline