Invitation to the Don’t Wait For… Waiting for You Promo Day

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Tomorrow (Monday 18th), I’m hosting an event day over on Facebook. It promises to be a fun day of chat and competitions to support my debut novel, Waiting for You. Please click this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1540695472924264/ and click ‘going’ to get all the updates on the day and the chance to win some prizes.

I hope to see you there,

Catherine x

Follow up Friday

It’s follow up Friday time – Here’s how Vanessa got on…

Vanessa’s Aims:

  1. Edit first 100 pages of the work-in-progress – I’ve just finished a fairly major re-write, so now need to embark on a major edit!
  2. Work out exactly how the ending of the same wip is going to be structured… because I have several characters to get to a certain point, I keep re-writing the ending over and over, changing it each time. This week will be the week I pick an ending and stick to it!!
  3. Find five new writing competitions to enter in January/February – I’m looking for new flash fiction competitions.
  4. Come up with some ideas for new flash fiction to enter in those competitions!

Sort of… I’ve edited more than 100 pages – I’m up to page 116 and have added a few new scenes. It’s definitely going to need another edit though as I’ve added so many new bits! I’ve printed out the ending ready to work on and made some notes so I’m getting there.

I haven’t written any new flash fiction, but I have found some flash and short story competitions to enter: The Writers & Artists Yearbook Short Story competition closes on the 15th February – it’s free entry on the theme of Ageing and the prize includes an Arvon course. Flash500 (always my favourite flash fiction competition) has a short story competition (up to 3000 words) closing at the end of February judged by Sue Moorcroft, the Bath Flash Fiction Award closes on the 14th February and the Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Prize (both 300 words limit) closes at the end of February

I’m loving having lists to refer to – it keeps me focused! How’s everyone else getting on?

Vanessa x

Added at 13:56 by Catherine who has survived her second week at twin club:

You what? It’s Friday already? Let’s recap on what I said I try to get up to:

  1. Try to survive my first ever zumba class. Well, I did get in the car. I did drive to zumba. I did wonder how I would manage after a busy day. My sat nav took me to a building site. Then I only got as far as a B&Q car park before giving up on finding where it was with only five minutes to spare. I’m going to try harder on this one this week.
  2. Get to the half way point of Novel Two. I have 2K to go so should be able to squeeze them in over the weekend.
  3. Do more organising for book tour/promotional day/launch day for Waiting for You. Going great guns on these. You can find out about the promotional day here with chances to win some great prizes.
  4. Sit still for one hour and read. I did this on Monday instead of zumba.
  5. Try a new recipe. I’ve done lots of new recipes over the past week and very pleased with a 6lb weight loss at my Slimming World group. Just need to keep it up for the rest of the year! 

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Motivation Monday

Welcome to our second Motivation Monday! This week, it’s Vanessa and Catherine sharing their ‘to do’ list for the week. We would love it if you could join in too, it doesn’t have to be anything huge, just something you want to get done that week. All you have to do is leave a comment below.

Motivation Monday

Vanessa

  1. Edit first 100 pages of the work-in-progress – I’ve just finished a fairly major re-write, so now need to embark on a major edit!
  2. Work out exactly how the ending of the same wip is going to be structured… because I have several characters to get to a certain point, I keep re-writing the ending over and over, changing it each time. This week will be the week I pick an ending and stick to it!!
  3. Find five new writing competitions to enter in January/February – I’m looking for new flash fiction competitions.
  4. Come up with some ideas for new flash fiction to enter in those competitions!

Catherine

  1. Try to survive my first ever zumba class.
  2. Get to the half way point of Novel Two.
  3. Do more organising for book tour/promotional day/launch day for Waiting for You.
  4. Sit still for one hour and read.
  5. Try a new recipe.

I’ll let you know how I got on on Friday!

RECRUITING – Romaniac Sparklers!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

We love you, you know that, right?

We’re a group of eight writers who set out to support each other in the most enthusiastic way possible. When the chips were down, we’d find a way to cheer each other on. When we triumphed, we’d applaud each other. But this feverish excitement and zest for sparkling through life has caught on, so we wanted to expand. We’ve built an extension on Romaniac HQ so it’s no longer a cosy room that’ll only fit eight of us, it’s now a virtual coffee (and cake) house where we invite you to pop by and support us and in return, we hope to support you. Please click the picture below where it should take you to our new Facebook group and we very much hope you will join us.

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The plan is for this to be a ‘street team’ and we’ll encourage our Sparklers to share our news. In return we hope to provide sneak previews, supportive/writerly chat sessions and if you are really lucky, video footage that never made it to the blog!

Over 2016 you will see this is not the only change to the blog. We’re going to start a Motivational Monday post and set a few realistic goals each week. This is something we’ve been doing in the past six months and we thought it would be great to share what we’re up to publicly in the hope you will join in. A Friday Follow-Up post will also appear where we report on how we’ve got on with a round-up. The goals don’t have to be writing related, they can be anything, and we’ll be sharing the good and bad weeks to prove we’re all human. Our popular Life Cycle Of A Writer blogs will continue and there will be news in the future about it going on tour! Lots to look forward to…

Without further ado, it leaves me to wish you an AMAZINGLY SPARKLY 2016 from all of The Romaniacs!

*Finds a glass of something suitably sparkly*

Cheers!

 

Life Cycle Of A Writer – Catherine Miller – Pinch me, I’m dreaming!

There is no other way to describe this year other than to say it has been EPIC! Unlike most years in a writer’s life, this one has been a rollercoaster of HIGHs. Since our last Sparkle Party, my reasons to celebrate have been immense:

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  • Miles Between Us won Just Write’s Monthly Masterpiece
  • Baby Number Two was highly commended in the Accent Press/Women’s Magazine Writing Competition
  • I won the 2015 Katie Fforde bursary
  • I was a finalist at the London Book Fair Write Stuff event.
  • I was offered a two-book contract with Carina UK
  • The Romaniacs won Media Star at the RNA Industry Awards
Award-winning Romaniacs! Sue, Catherine, jan, Laura, Debbie & Vanessa, with Celia & Lucie holding the fort back at Romaniac HQ, but with us in spirit.

Award-winning Romaniacs!
Sue, Catherine, jan, Laura, Debbie & Vanessa, with Celia & Lucie holding the fort back at Romaniac HQ, but with us in spirit.

So overall, my writing CV is somewhat shinier than it was this time last year, but none of this has come without sheer determination and grit. I’ve only listed the good stuff here because those are the parts I’m choosing to dwell on. There are of course the occasions I’ve submitted to agents and been rejected or not received a reply. There are the competitions I’ve entered and not even been placed in. To those occasions I say Pah! Because what do they matter? Those occasions won’t stop me from writing something new, from doing something different, from finding someone who loves my style of writing as much as I do.

As this is my last LCOAW this year, I’m going to encourage you to write some lists. One for the things you have achieved this year however big or small, writing related or not. Then write a second list for the things you want to achieve in 2016. I’ve been doing this every year for the past five years and without encouraging myself, half of the above wouldn’t have happened. I’ll be writing mine up soon and I break it down into categories: Family/Health/Writing/Competitions. (I have a feeling I might have to add spring cleaning the house once Book Two is written.) Once you have those lists, continue celebrating the good stuff, even if it’s the simple things like writing The End.

Then find a group to celebrate with like The Romaniacs. Because on the occasions I haven’t triumphed, they have. On the occasions I’ve wanted to grumble, they’ve listened. When I’m not sure where I’m going wrong, they’ve pointed me in the right direction. And vice versa. In just under two weeks when we meet up for our next Sparkle event, I know this whole life cycle of a writer gets to start all over again! And who knows what the next year will bring?

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Life Cycle Of A Writer – Revisions – Switching from 3 POVs to 1!

Romaniac HQ has been revision central of late. In this week’s Life Cycle Of A Writer, I talk about how in my first set of revisions with Carina UK I’ve moved my manuscript from three points of view to one.

My next set of revisions came in yesterday afternoon, so I’ll be a busy Romaniac for a while. Please send chocolate, ready meals and babysitters.

Catherine x

Life Cycle Of A Writer: Becoming an overnight success!

Something struck me when listening to all of the recent Romaniac interviews. It was this: nearly every successful writer has done a lot of leg work to get where they are.

This was true in lots of the interviews, but I thought I’d highlight two in particular: Natalie Meg Evans and Brigid Coady.

Both of whom mention their long road to publication that almost had them give up, and yet with their persistence, they have both gone on to be award-winning authors.

It’s this persistence and determination to never give up that seems to be true of all authors.

You may have seen in this recent post, my own persistence and determination has paid off and I have signed a two book deal with Carina. I managed to write the majority of my book since having twins so while I don’t consider myself an overnight success, I do think it’s worth mentioning what I learned along the way.

1) Listen: There are so many writers willing to impart their knowledge.

2) Learn: Critique of your work might be hard to hear, but it will help you in the long run.

3) Support: Find writing friends who will support you in a healthy way.

4) Be persistent: I might be overusing this word in this blog, but it might be because I’m being persistent. 

5) Read: Read about writing. Read in your genre. Read because you love to.

6) Make writing a priority: I’ve been guilty of not always doing this. It’s only since having twins and my time has been very restricted that I’ve become more focused. Unless it is urgent, everything else can wait. Apart from the twins, I have been looking after them in between!

7) Reach out: Find writing groups to join. Find associations to join. Go to conferences. Go to parties. The people you meet might give you the single piece of advice you needed or end up being your editor one day.

8) Repeat: Do it again and again and again.

9) The End is never The End: Every writer I know continues to learn and I know really, my journey is just at the beginning. 

What else have you learned along the way that could be added to the list?

Catherine x