Message on the back of a mirror

Here is Athena’s message in full:

“Happiness depends upon ourselves. Maybe it’s not about the happy ending, maybe it’s about the story. The purpose of life is a life of purpose. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. Happiness is a direction not a destination. Thank you for existing. Be happy, be free, believe, forever young. You know my name, not my story.

You have heard what I’ve done, but not what I’ve been through. Love is like glass, looks so lovely but it’s easy to shatter.

Love is rare, life is strange, nothing lasts and people change. Every day is special, so make the most of it, you could get a life ending illness tomorrow so make the most of every day. Life is only bad if you make it bad. If someone loves you, then they wouldn’t let you slip away no matter how hard the situation is. Remember that life is full of ups and downs.

Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about. I want to be that girl who makes the bad days better and the one that makes you say my life has changed since I met her!

Love is not about how much you say I love you – it’s about how much you can prove it’s true. Love is like the wind, you can feel it but you can’t see it. I’m waiting to fall in love with someone I can open my heart to. Love is not about who you can see spending your future with, it’s about who you can’t see spending your life without… Life is a game for everyone but love is the prize. Only I can judge me.

Sometimes love hurts. Now I’m fighting myself. Baby I can feel your pain. Dreams are my reality. It hurts but it’s okay, I’m used to it. Don’t be quick to judge me, you only see what I choose to show you… you don’t know the truth. I just want to have fun and be happy without being judged.

This is my life, not yours, don’t worry about what I do. People gonna hate you, rate you, break you, but how strong you stand, that’s what makes you… you!

There’s no need to cry because I know you’ll be by my side.”

Another Kindle freebie…

One Stolen Kiss

 Free on Kindle worldwide all weekend from today until midnight Monday 11th August 2014 (PST)

I think this will be the last free promotion I run on this stand-alone rom-com novel, as I need to get on with more projects, and didn’t plan to spend my spare time promoting!

If you don’t have ‘One Stolen Kiss’ already, then I hope you enjoy it – and if you do, I promise that there are more novels to come in future.

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

Submitting…

ETNA3G

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… 🙂