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Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Killing My Darlings

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”

Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

So in September (the past time I posted which is a long time to wait between posts, I know) I told you about the new book I started.

Well, progress was good. Up until about December anyway. I suddenly had a crisis of confidence and doubted everything I'd written - about 66k words which isn't too short of being about average, commercial novel length. I still had a lot of story to go. Only thing was, I wasn't entirely happy with how I had structured the story.

A lot of modern writers structure their books with more then one time line, or more than one point of view and that's all well and good. I've done it myself many times. But this time the split time line just wasn't working for the novel as a whole. Or at least that was my opinion. I struggled with the decision to start it again, work the story chronologically from beginning to end. Nothing wrong with that structure. It worked for Charles Dickens, Gabriel García Márquez and many other novelists whose books are classics today. (And I'm not saying I'm at their level by any stretch of the imagination). So why couldn't I stick to that structure?

My problem was that I'd come so far in the story, changing it so dramatically meant cutting out lots of scenes, moving several around, losing all the chapter titles I'd worked on to bring humour to the tale and losing dialogues I'd gone to great pains to write.

Never mind, I told myself. The important thing to me is not to sell the reader short. Plus, as writers we hope and we aim to make each piece of writing better than the last.

So in an attempt to write a better story for my readers I took the plunge. I deleted scenes and dropped a complete plot idea which seemed funny and original at the time, convinced it wasn't working. I didn't think the reader would like the parts I eventually deleted, forget what I thought. They had to go.

I have killed my darlings to misquote Faulkner, King and anyone else who gave similar advice.

“In writing, you must kill all your darlings.”

William Faulkner

Now as I edit the first draft, I am liking what is probably a whole new book but this time I'm feeling more confident about presenting it to the editor.

I think I'll have a version ready to read by the end of Februlry. Wish me luck!

Monday, 17 September 2018

New Book Journey

I started writing my new book today. I wrote just over a thousand words and felt extremely proud of myself.

It's been a journey in itself getting to this point because although I started the research for this book before the summer I was about to embark on another journey. One that took me from London (where I'd lived all my life) to the Herefordshire countryside.

Everyone told me it would be wonderful. I could sit in my new little cottage and get loads of inspiration from the views. True. The only problem is that finding a new home, moving and settling in are all very stressful processes. Not to mention tiring as anything. I wasn't tired today. In fact after my yoga I was feeling super creative and rattled out the start of my book after breakfast.

The new book? Well the working title is Dear ... Anybody?

Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, it contrasts various aspects of my own life.

The premise of the book is a journalist whose life spirals out of control when she is badly let down by her closest friend and her boyfriend. She goes on a roller coster of destruction from binge eating to binge drinking and losing her job as a journalist in the process. At a party she is offered a job as the editor of a country magazine and decides to take it up. In a drunken state she agrees to uproot from London and move to the remote village of Bridley. (Totally made up place).

Quick disclaimer: I didn't turn to booze or lose my job before moving to Herefordshire Neither was I offered a job as an editor. (I wish). No, moving to the country has always been a dream of mine.

I'm happy to be in the countryside but my heroine is only giving the new job six months. One year, tops. I haven't decided on her fate and maybe you can help me if you take this journey into the life of Sydney Banks with me. (Not sure if she'll keep that name but it was the one I think suits her the most).

This is what Sydney sees as she takes her first countryside walk. Very different from London. What will she make of the cows, sheep and rolling hills?

Join the journey and find out. If you haven't already subscribed, please do so and comment on the journey our heroine is about to take!

See you soon!

Monday, 12 February 2018

Publication Day!

I've been working away at my writing, trying to bring the Magenta Bright series to its conclusion and finally the publication day for the third book has arrived.

Yes today is Publication Day of the last adventure in this trilogy. I've been very slack on the blogging side of my writing as you can tell but today I'm excited and I just had to drop in and tell you that Playing For Keeps is published today.

I love the cover design by the folks at HQ Digital. It's feisty and fun, just like my heroine, Magenta Bright.

I've loved being a part of Magenta's world and this final story is my personal favourite.

If you haven't dipped into the other two you can find them on your favourite digital platforms or you can follow these Amazon links for the UK site:

Playing By The Rules
(On special offer until 18th Feb 2018)
Playing Her Cards Right
I hope you enjoy the series. And don't forget, if you do read any of these, please leave a review. I'd love to know what you think!

Happy Reading

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

It Started With A Tweet - Book Review

It Started With A TweetIt Started With A Tweet by Anna Bell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyed this fast paced and breezy, romantic comedy. This is the first time I've read anything by this author and it outclasses many I've read in this genre purely because it is intelligently written and the writing style is so accessible.

As with many books in this genre the ending is predictable but if you are a fan of this genre then that's not going to be a problem.

The characters were well thought out and very well rounded. Even the supporting cast jumped off the page. Great use of dialogue and descriptive language. For the most part I was with the writer as she described scenery and it was very easy to follow the feelings and motives of our leading lady. Leading man - didn't like him very much. Personally I felt he lacked backbone but I don't have to date him!

I will certainly seek out more titles by this author. I found her entertaining and I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a light yet thoughtful book.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Publication Day!

It seems like ages ago now since the first adventure of my latest heroine, Magenta Bright, was published and now I'm celebrating the publication of the next phase of Magenta's story!

Today I'm so thrilled to announce that it's publication day for Playing Her Cards Right

Playing Her Cards Right is out in digital format in all your favourite digital retailers and I really can't wait for you to let me know what you think.

It's possible to read this as a stand alone without having read the first book, Playing By The Rules but I guess it wouldn't hurt!

I'll be popping open the bubbly today, join me, virtually, as I celebrate the new book release.

The blurb:

New year. New life. Fresh start.

Newly minted career girl Magenta Bright reluctantly finds herself growing up – she’s now a live-in girlfriend, a successful business owner, and an obsessive desirer of classic leather handbags.

But, fuelled by her creative talent, Magenta doesn’t seem to know when to stop.

Between designing and launching a new range of bags, planning her parents’ second wedding, and whisky binges with scary international model and best friend Anya, something’s got to give, and it’s not long before her relationship with shy artist Anthony is in the firing line.

Will handbags lead to heartbreak for the unstoppable Magenta Bright?

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Little Gray Dress Book Tour and Giveaway - Guest Post by Aimee Brown!

Hey All!
 I'm pleased to be hosting the author as she talks about why Little Gray Dress was the novel she had to write.

How I knew Little Gray Dress was the novel I needed to write.
I’d love to give you a detailed analysis on how I came up with Little Gray Dress. But, I don’t have any charts, or research into it besides a few things here and there. Even on the day I sat down to start the book, I didn’t have a title, or outline. Hell, I didn’t even have an overall idea of how I wanted the story to go. I just sat down at a blank screen and started writing.
I’ve been obsessed with anything wedding related for a really long time so it was just a given that I would write about weddings. I wouldn’t be too surprised if weddings, engagements and the like are subjects in a lot of my books. I just love them and their potential for romance or awkward situations. The possibilities are endless.
Since I was old enough to sit through movies and TV series I’ve loved anything romantic comedy. As a little girl, maybe 5 years old, one of my favorite TV shows was Three’s Company. That Jack (HA! Maybe that’s my love for the name considering one of my main characters in Little Gray Dress is Jack.) was so hilarious and even though he was a bit of a womanizer, you always wanted to see him have a happy ending. His character is forever embedded in my brain and even though he’s a man, it’s safe to say that many of my female characters will be a resemblance of Jack and his quirky sense of humor and not so smooth social (or physical) skills.
In the 90’s when romantic comedies were the hot item in Hollywood I fell even more in love with laughable moments and feeling all the feels happy ending moments. If I’m going to escape real life through a book or movie, it will have those elements. So it’s not a surprise to me that romantic comedy (aka- chick lit) is my go to genre. If I ever write a horror story, run as fast as you can because the horror won’t be any good. Unless you count a sarcastically average flawed girl running from a cupcake in her nightmares as horror. For me personally, I don’t think I’d ever run from a cupcake.
My characters are flawed people. Nobody in life is perfect so what fun is a perfect character? Without flaws we’re all the same. I’ve noticed that through no intention of my own, many of my characters have flaws that actually live within myself. It’s really easy for me to write what I know without making any one character the spitting image of me personally. I’ve enough flaws to pass around to everyone of the voices in my head.
My husband often tells me that I’m easily amused. I laugh at the dumbest things (nacho cheese) and never miss a moment to be overly amused by my own jokes. Sometimes, I laugh so hard as I tell them that I can barely get the words out only to find that no one else in the room thinks I’m funny. I guess writing laughable moments is something that comes easily for me. If I don’t laugh, I rewrite the scene until I do.
The character I’m BFF’s with right now is super full of jokes and she has me giggling right along with just about every ridiculous situation she gets herself into. Thank God because, drama and I just don’t mix well. I’m great at creating conflict but my kind of conflict and a drama author’s kind of conflict are much different.
I guess when you combine all these things together you get the romantic comedy genre. And since they always say to ‘write what you know’… I know romantic comedies. I’ve been a huge fan of all the great chick-lit writers over the years (Kinsella, Griffin, Cabot, Bushnell) and I can’t imagine myself writing something of another genre.
Right now I’m writing *surprise* another romantic comedy book. For me when the characters in my head won’t shut up and I find myself excited to spend eight hours a day creating a single chapter, that’s the story that needs to come out. I can’t really stop it it’s just there 24/7. My characters chatter non-stop in my head and until I get out whatever it is they’re screaming at me, I can’t seem to do much else. (My family just loves ‘make your own dinner nights’ while this is actively happening.)
So, as the ultimate non-planner in life my writing is much the same. I write whatever comes to me and hope to God it flows and makes sense when I’m done. Much like this post. I’ve rewritten it twice and this is the one I feel works to tell my story. Little Gray Dress is full of romance, heartbreak, flawed quirky characters and laugh out loud moments. It’s truly an insight into my mind and personality. I hope you love it as much as I loved writing it. And… I hope you look forward to whatever else my imagination diarrhea scribbles across the screen next.

 Title: Little Gray Dress
Author: Aimee Brown
Release Date: August 2nd, 2017
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Chick Lit
GoodReads: add Little Gray Dress to your to be read list
Book Blurb:
Emi Harrison has avoided her ex-fiance, Jack Cabot, for nearly two years. Her twin brother Evan’s wedding is about to end that streak.
From bad bridesmaid’s dresses, a hyperactive sister-in-law, a mean girl with even meaner secrets, and too much to drink, nothing seems to go right for Emi, except when she’s wearing her little gray dress.
When she speed-walks into Liam Jaxon’s bar, things get more complicated. He’s gorgeous, southern, and has no past with Emi. He may be exactly what she needs to prove for the last time that she doesn’t need or want Jack!
Her favorite little gray dress has made an appearance at nearly every major event in Emi’s adult life. Will it make another when she least expects it?
AmazonUSeBook – $2.99 | print – $9.99
AmazonUKeBook – £1.99| print – £6.99
Barnes & Nobleprint – $9.99


 I have the cutest Giveaway for the tour - pictured here & opened worldwide.
Included is a 'create' coffee cup, some dark & handsome K-cup pods, a cute Life is Short, Eat Cake wall art, some tiny macaroons, a Little Gray Dress bookmark & postcard!

Enter here:

Aimee Brown – author bio:
Aimee Brown is a writer and an avid reader. Little Gray Dress is her first published novel. My second novel is in the works now. She’s currently studying for her Bachelor’s degree in English Writing. She spends much of her time writing, doing homework, raising three teenagers, binge watching shows on Netflix and obsessively cleaning and redecorating her house. She’s fluent in sarcasm and has been known to utter profanities like she’s competing for a medal.
Aimee grew up in Oregon but is now a transplant living in cold Montana with her husband of twenty years, three teenage children, and far too many pets.
She would love to hear your thoughts on Little Gray Dress! If you’d like to chat with her she’s very active on social media. You can find her at any of the networks below. Stop by and say hello!
Weds – August 2nd
Blog on the Run – Book Review/Author Guest Post after 2nd
Books and Photographs – Book Review
Judging More Than Just the Cover – Book Review/Author Interview
Nicole Evelina – Book Review/Guest Post
The Novel Girl Reads – Book Review/Excerpt/Author Q&A
Thurs – August 3rd
Chick Lit Central – Author Interview
NovelGossip – Book Review
Hey Said Renee – Author Guest Post
Romantic Reads and Such – Book Excerpt
Steamy Book Mama – Book Review
Fri – August 4th
BrizzleLass Books – Book Review
O.D. Book Reviews – Book Excerpt
He Said Books or Me – Author Guest Post
Corinne Desjardins – Book Spotlight
Where Dragons Recide – Book Review/Author Q&A
Sat – August 5th

JenaBooks – Book Review
Sylv.net – Spotlight Post
Got Books, Babe? – Author Guest Post
The Writing Garnet – Book Review
Sun – August 6th
I Read Novels – Book Review
It's my Life – Book Excerpt
RaeReads – Book Review
Keelee Morris – Author Guest Post
GrassMonster – Book Review
Mon – August 7th
Living Life with Joy – Book Review/Giveaway/Author Q&A
The Belgian Reviewer – Author Guest Post
Book Lover in Florida – Book Excerpt
Haddie’s Heaven – Spotlight Post
Books in my Opinion – Book Review
Literature Goals – Book Review/Excerpt/Author Q&A
Tue – August 8th
Reading to Unwind – Book Review
Kristin's Novel Café – Book Excerpt & Giveaway/Book Review
Key of Dee – Author Guest Post
FrankyBrown – Book Excerpt
Smokin’ Hot Reads Book Blog – Book Reviews (3)
Weds – August 9th
Ink, Maps and Macarons – Giveaway/Author Q&A
Heartalefix – Book Review
Tea Party Princess – Author Guest Post/(possible) Review
One Book at a Time – Book Excerpt/Spotlight/Book Review
Thurs – August 10th
ItaPixie’s Book Corner – Book Review/Excerpt
Rosa Temple Writes – Author Guest Post
Life at 17 – Spotlight Post
Daily Waffle – Book Excerpt/Author Q&A
Fri – August 11th
Pretty Little Book Reviews – Book Review
Sparkly Word – Book Review
Books and Readers – Book Review/Excerpt/Giveaway/Guest Post
Ali the Dragon Slayer – Book Review
Katie Lady Reads – Book Review
Rambling Lisa's Book Reviews – Book Review/Book Excerpt
Sat – August 12th
Life of a Simple Reader – Book Review/Excerpt
Karlita – Goodreads/Social Media – Book Review
KD Reads – Book Review/Giveaway/Guest Post
D.K. Hamilton – Book Review/Author Q&A
20CC Reviews – Book Review
TrashyBibloBlog – Book Review/Excerpt