Kobo Writing Life + Mills&Boon + WHSmith contest

There are 24 hours remaining to enter the Romance Writing Life competition via Kobo. Just sent in my entry (as Lisa Scullard) 🙂

Check out the details here, and #RoWriLife on Twitter. Good luck! x


An amazing review for ‘One Stolen Kiss’

ETNA3GSee the latest review for ‘One Stolen Kiss’ on Amazon.com

An anonymous reader left this incredible comment yesterday:

on August 9, 2014

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

“Wow! More than any book I had read so far this is a story I without a doubt loved reading. I so wish I could have a man like him all to myself. I love this fun story of love everlasting. dont miss out on it. im going to search for all the books written by this author as soon as im done writting this…”
You can read earlier reviews here on Amazon UK.
…This has really encouraged me to get back to work and finish the other stories that have been simmering in my imagination. I’m so glad to have entertained at least those few strangers out there – they are most welcome! And thanks to them in turn, for sharing their appreciation at the very start of my Romance writing career.
(Product page on Amazon Kindle worldwide)
L xxx 🙂

Wow :)

Stephen Amell

Another inspiring ‘muse’ pic – Stephen Amell (Arrow) – sigh… 🙂

Still pinching myself over the response to my first Romance novel release two weeks ago! More downloads in the Kindle freebie than would have fitted into every school I ever attended, and almost 100 follow-up sales in the next five days. Compared to what I’ve seen before, that’s unprecedented. It makes me wonder what it would have done if I had any previous track record in this genre, or had a professional marketing strategy in place beforehand.

Things have calmed down now that it’s half-term here in the UK. But still, it’s really raised the bar for whichever novel I complete and release next. Given me a lot to think about.

I won’t be rushing, though. I want to make sure the next book is at the very least as good. I also think it’s only polite that everyone gets their chance to enjoy my first offering before presenting them with another… I know what it’s like as a reader trying to keep up with my favourite authors, and having a stack of unread new releases waiting for me!

In the meantime, I’ll be collecting more attractive muses on Pinterest and listening out for inspiring mood tunes… 🙂

L xxx

Another word count…

Two days into the next novel in my series, and the word count is just over 5100. I’m excited about this one too. I’m picking up the story of two characters who played a small supporting role in the last one.

I spent my ‘rest week’ doing final edits and corrections to the first book in the series (the one currently out on submissions) which brought it up to 76,000 words – not bad for only five weeks’ work for the first draft, plus one week for revisions. I’ve never worked so fast. Steadily, but not necessarily fast. Six to eight months was the norm for me previously, to write a novel from scratch.

I’ve found it’s the new limitations I’ve set myself for writing Romance. A specific genre and style, with no more than two central characters taking centre stage, with very limited air-time for background characters. Not allowing the background characters to hang around just building up their roles, but ensuring they’re already developed enough to matter whenever they do appear. And if their air-time doesn’t require them to have a name – I don’t give them a name. If they need one, I’ll give it to them in another story of their own.

Also, a shorter word count. I’ve written tomes in the past ranging from 110,000 to 250,000 words. I felt my best work previously was an adventure of around 140,000. But I’m enjoying these shorter 75k-76k projects. The stories have to be tighter, which makes them more action-packed, with no room for padding. Just dive straight into the action or dialogue first – you’re not writing a film script, where you have to open with time of day, setting the scene, describing who is in the room/scene and then their positions and motivation – just jump in and grab the reader straight off…

In that same thread, do your build-up and planning before you write. I have read high-profile novels in the past that seemed to begin with verbatim exposition of the back-story and characters copied from the very notes that the author made in the pub earlier that day. Rather than use the skill of ‘show, don’t tell’ the author is telling the reader why this is happening, to whom, and where, alongside the history of the where and the personal failings of the whom until I feel as though I have accidentally opened a Wiki page or sat down with a local expert on the book rather than the actual book.

The other important thing, is to let go of anything I want to vent personally. The Romance novel is escapism. Not a soapbox for my own personality to jump aboard and start ranting and raving. Let the characters have their own issues – just enough for the reader to handle – but don’t have them leaping aboard every political and social bandwagon passing through the real world in the process of writing about them. I’ve learned it’s a good excuse to avoid following the news…

🙂 xxx



Coffee and creativity – Photo: Lisa Scullard

Well – what seems like a very short month ago, I started this blog, while querying a major Romance publisher for a story of mine that I was quite excited by. And only two weeks ago, I had a request from them for the full manuscript.

So I’ve been frantically rushing through my latest revisions in the last fortnight, and emailed it off to them on Halloween.

Fingers crossed now that they like it… 🙂


What’s your go-to inspiration? Does something in particular flip your switch, from the everyday patterns of work, eat, sleep, to being an artist or a writer?

For some I guess it could be a piece of music, or watching an old favourite movie. Others might stimulated by their garden, a walk in the park, eating a food that they love or revisiting a book they adored as a child.

Once in a while, I need a switch – say if I’ve had a bad dream the night before, or a big heap of red tape paperwork that has nothing to do with my creativity. One of my go-to switches is this video on Youtube, which someone made to go with the song ‘Halcyon On and On’ by Orbital. Not only is it a great piece of music, but the images are stunning, and it completely clears away all of the white noise of everyday life for me. And makes me want to get back to writing that masterpiece – I’ve just passed the 17,000 words mark on the latest one 🙂