Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Busy busy . . .

The week is crazy busy - and now I'm packing for a trip to London and the annual Association of Mills and Boon Authors lunch with a reception afterwards at the Harlequin offices - just hope the weather is rather better than the icy showers we have here - it's only September!

 One bright spark in the cold dampness has been the arrival of a bundle of new foreign translations - German, Dutch, French and several from Japan - including my favourites - two brand new Manga editions.
 
One of these is The Return of The Stranger which seems to suddenly have had a new lease of life with people talking about it (and it being on sale at £0.99p) on Amazon. The other is The Antonakos Marriage. Great to
see these older books getting a new lease of life.


Now it's time to pack and head for the big city! I'll be back at the weekend.
Waving to everyone I'll see there - travel safe and I can't wait to meet up again.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Courses coming up 2

So having written about the course that is fully booked - now on to one that still has places available. I was going to write about this yesterday, but my post got delayed by - guess what - another two people enquiring about making a booking for the course, So if you're interested in

'Writing Fiction that Sells -with KATE WALKER

Now's the time to make a booking for this one.
Dates: 20-22 October 2017
Venue: Keele University Management Centre Staffordshire
Cost £249 - including accommodation and meals - and tea/coffee breaks.
Check out Relax and Write with Lois Maddox

Although not specifically about writing romance- this will deal with so many things that are important for writing romantic fiction - characters, conflict etc
Writing Fiction that Sells also includes
- Know your market
- Knowing yourself as a writer
- Hooks
- Your ‘brand’
- Tried and tested – adding a new spin
- Spotting the ‘band-wagon’

Relax and Write want me to do another course in Cirencester in April this will take the form of a writing retreat (I think!) - where you have written several chapters and I discuss those with you and give you ways to work on problems - and you have time to write and discuss with the rest of the group. I don't have full details of dates yet but hope I soon will have. The thing with these courses is that they need the demand to run them!

Unfortunately the basic Writing Romance course I ran every year in July in Wales has now ended as the whole Writers' Holiday in summer had ended.

Courses Coming Up 1

Ok so, I said that I would give some details about the courses I have coming up in case anyone was interested in joining me on one of them. But then it seemed that as soon as I mentioned that, bookings took off with the one just on the horizon - so -

The Advanced Romance Writing Course in February in Fishguard is now totally booked up.Writers' Holiday just in case.
The last two places were allocated this week - so if you wanted to put your name on the waiting list you can - contact Gerry Hobbs  at

 I believe that most of the February Weekend is also full or filling fast - so if you want to consider
Poetry with Alison Chisholm
Short Story writing with Della  Galton (though that may be filled as well!)
Novel Writing with    Rachael Thomas              
Writing Feature Articles with    Simon Whaley
or Painting and Drawing with    Susan Alison 


It will be a good idea to at least make an enquiry with Writers Holiday right now.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

And another bargain book . . .

Life has been so hectic lately that I've not had much time to breathe. And I've had my head down, mind focused, practicing BICHOK  (bum in chair, hands on keyboard) in a determined effort to
 finish  The Book That Would Not End.   What's that some people say about giving birth to a pineapple - there's a vivid (and apt) description!

Anyway, the Pineapple has finally allowed me to finish it,  it's with my editor now so I have a  moment or two to draw breath and look at the  huge To Do list, together with the mound of correspondence that has piled up.  I'm working my way thought that at the  moment  - my apologies to important people who have been waiting for me to get back to them!


Several of those are people who have been asking about any courses that I have coming up - so I'll write a post about those just as soon as I can.

In the meantime, the fact that I have raised my eyes from my computer screen has meant that I've discovered that Amazon has another of my backlist titles available at a bargain price right now. So if you don't have a kindle version of  the 2009 book Kept For Her Baby then it's up on Amazon at £0.99 right now. Not sure for how long but it's a bargain price if you want to read it.  Like The Return of the Stranger which is still at £0.99 too.
 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Return of the Stranger - at a bargain price on Kindle

Yesterday on Facebook  Ali Williams  who is both a romance editor and academic writer  was asking about romance novels based on classic romantic fiction and Michelle Styles was kind enough to Laura Vivanco on Teach Me Tonight - a talk at the Haworth Festival of Women's Writing (speaking in a schoolroom where Charlotte Bronte herself had taught) and the Bronte Parsonage Museum put a copy of The Return of the Stranger permanently in their library amongst the fiction inspired by the Bronte sisters' writings.
mention the mini series 'The Powerful and The Pure' which was brought out in 2011 (was it really that long ago!) in which several Modern Romance/Harlequin Presents authors created romance novels to 'Modernise' some fabulous classic novels - Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Emma. My own contribution to this series was a reworking of Wuthering Heights (chosen for me because I'd written my MA thesis on the childhood writings of Charlotte and Emily Bronte) It was a fascinating experience and led to some interesting results - an interview with

Because of this several people wrote to enquire about the book and I had to go hunting to see where they could find a copy. As a result, I discovered that Return of The Stranger is currently on sale on kindle for only £0.99p.   (Not sure if this is the same on Amazon.com as it's not showing kindle details for me there)
So if you're interested or you have been looking for a copy of this novel - now's the time to grab a bargain! I've sent the only re
maining paperback copy I had on its way to Ali, so I think this is the best way to get hold of it now.

And if you're interested in  any of the posts I write about  this book and the talks in Haworth etc  back in 2011 when it was first published - put Return of The Stranger or Wuthering Heights  into the search box and they should come up.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Book deliveries

    Sometimes there are no book deliveries to this house - and other times, there are more deliveries than we can cope with! This week has been sort of average - but most of the book boxes have been for the Babe Magnet who seems to have half a dozen new titles publishing in the next couple of months, So we have Write Your Self which arrived this week. I
    love this cover.
    And talking of covers - there's this translation of one of my more recent titles - but it's a little worrying! The Translated title is Mork, Vacker, Mystik. Now in Yorkshire that 'mork' is not a flattering description! In the slang dictionary too, it's defined this way:
    mork n. someone who is completely witless. a low level nincompoop who rarely sees things in perspective.😮🙄
    Not sure that's how I'd describe my hero - if it is the hero they' mean!
    Anyone able to tell me how this title actually translates into English? If you can and you'd like the spare copy of this translation - please post and let me know!






Tuesday, August 08, 2017

One of the best parts of summer.

As you probably already know, I spent a  fabulous week in  July at Writers Holiday in Fishguard. Yes,
I was teaching a course - and so was my husband - but there is so much more to Fishguard than the teaching and the courses, there's the friendship, the laughter, the after-dinner speakers, the food, the massages (yes - we have a lovely lady who gives fabulous back and shoulder massages - just what you need after a day's teaching!) the music - the Cwmbach Male Choir - perhaps a little bit of wine - the conversations, the new friends,. . the husbands.  (yes husbandS)

Sadly, this summer's event was the last on in Fishguard in July - though, thankfully, the February Writing Weekends are still continuing - thank heaven or I'd pine away completely.

One of the unexpected delights of teaching with Gerald P Hobbs Writers' Holiday every year is that some years back I unexpectedly acquired another 'husband' !😉😮 (It's a long story - and a case of mistaken identity!) Interestingly both husbands have the initials SW - Stephen Wade and Simon Whaley. Not only is Simon (Husband 2) great company and an inspiring teacher, he's also a very talented photographer and he's responsible for a wonderful assortment of photos of the last night of the last summer holiday at Fishguard (sob!😪 )  - if you can see them on his Facebook page

So many times I'm asked why I travel all that way to Wales for this week in the summer - and again in February - well, take a look at these photos of that last night - the friendship, warmth, affection and sheer family atmosphere of Gerald P Hobbs Writers' Holiday shines out of them. More than worth a few (OK - a lot) of hours' driving, and besides that I get to spend a week by the sea with a whole group of friends. I'm only sorry I won't be doing that next summer - but there will be February 2018 (and Husband 2 is teaching a course there.)

Behind every great event there has to be someone who has worked tirelessly and non-stop to make it right. In the case of Writers'Holiday - those people are Gerald  Hobbs and his lovely wife Anne. This photo will be special to so many  Writers' Holiday visitors, past and present. over the 32 years they have been running this lovely event. You arrive as a stranger, not knowing anyone, and leave as a member of a warm and welcoming family. I should know, the Babe Magnet and I have been part of that family for well over half the time it's been in existence. Without Anne and Gerry planning Writers' Holiday and making sure it was one of the most giving and welcoming writers' events in the country, I'd never have enjoyed some of the most special times of my life. (And as I said   it has to be special to make it worth making the l-o-n-g journey from
Lincolnshire to Wales twice a year)


I (and many many others) am so sad that the summer event has now become unworkable - but there are still the February Weekends, and the Babe Magnet and I will be there as long as we can manage it. Caerleon/Fishguard regulars will know that this is a rare photo - getting Gerry centre stage has been a near-impossibility over the years. We managed it once on the 25th anniversary and now, thankfully, managed it again for this special bittersweet evening.
(and thank you Husband2 for the photo)


To Anne and Gerry - from all the Fishguard regulars - so many thanks for all you've done over the years, and thank goodness you're carrying on with the February weekends or I think we'd all pine away without you and all the friends you've helped us make over the year.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

A Special Memory

More years ago than I care to reckon up,  as a barely 10 year old,  my mother allowed me to spend Sundays watching TV. This was a rare occurrence because as far as my mother was concerned, Sundays were for going to mass, eating Sunday lunch, going for a long walk,  tea, a bath, washing my hair  - and bed.  TV did not figure in that timetable at all.

But this was different - this was the BBC's production of Shakespeare's history plays  in one long sequence - 15 episodes.  I watched the first  and was lost. For all those 15 episodes, my mother and I shared this experience and I was totally engrossed in the drama, the language, the acting.  It was only years later that I realised how much I had absorbed of Shakespeare's power - and how many of the stage and screen's later great actors I had watched on that rather blurry black and white screen.

One of those actors I have always remembered - have never been able to forget  - was the man who played Henry V - and that was Robert Hardy.   Later he became well known as Siegfried in    James Herriot's  All Creatures Great and Small.  He played  Churchill several times and  was known to a new and wider audience when he appeared as Cornelius Fudge in Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix.   But to me he was always the very first Prince Hal I'd every seen - dynamic  and powerful and, in spite of a strange 'pudding basin' haircut, mesmerising and unforgettable.

So I was truly sad to learn today that Robert Hardy has died at the age of 91. Such important memories went with him. And he will always be Prince Hal to me.

RIP Robert Hardy.
 

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