Something for the Weekend – Thinking Places

Thought for the day – writing’s no picnic. Sometimes the words flow with no problem at all but we’ve all had times when we need a place to go, something comforting to look at or just a few old photos to get the ideas going. Here are a few of ours…

The garden’s handy, and peaceful so long as you’re not tempted to run inside for a spade or some secateurs. A walk’s always good, a friendly (even if sleepy) face can help, and you really can’t beat a sea view.

Berries

Debs

2Legs

sleepypittles

Pitt

WestPier

And when you end up back at your own desk, let’s hope the muse comes with you…
Dragonlight

So where’s your thinking place, and what do you need to spark off the pearls of wisdom?

Dear Auntie Romaniac…details, details, details…

Keyboard

 

Dear Auntie Romaniac,

I’ve got a practical dilemma this week rather than an imaginative one. In the writing basement is the prequel to Little Boxes, which came out last year. It’s called Moondancing, and it’s my first baby, started in the first place as a one-chapter assignment at college, developed over the years for fun and finally licked into some sort of shape and sent to the NWS. It then went back under the bed as, frankly, it was awful.

Now it’s been revamped, edited and generally given a spring clean and it’s been accepted for publishing. The problem is that the dates, ages, character details etc don’t always exactly match and flow into the next part of the story.

Where do I begin? LB is in ebook format only – copies of it and Moondancing are on my Kindle,  but can I do a proper job without printing them both out in full? Research and checking finer details are my two (very) weak spots).

Help!

Celia

Life Cycle of a Writer: Stimulation!

 

photo (47)

Now, this isn’t going to be one of those rude blog posts with shades of 50 Shades, so if you were hoping for smut, go and put the kettle on while I ramble because you’ll only be disappointed.

The stimulation I’m talking about today is the kick-in-the-pants sort you get when you either have a deadline to meet or some lovely person has shown an interest in your work and wants to see it when it’s completed. The sort that can either be worth its weight in fruit cake to make you get your finger out and get moving, or drag you into the doldrums, making you feel guilty if you so much as pick up your Kindle for a crafty read.

The RNA conference last month was a shot in the arm for a lot of us. Not only did the Romaniacs meet lots of wonderful writers/agents/publishers, many of whom were up for an impromptu Sparkle interview, we also heard their words of wisdom about not giving up. That was the message that came across loud and clear. Lots of authors were willing to recount their own setbacks and depressing moments, and it couldn’t fail to show anyone watching the interviews that even the most glittering of Sparkle interviewees had had their down moments by the shed load.

The other boost for me was the chance for a one-to-one with an agent and a publisher – both really encouraging. Felled by a very bad back soon afterwards, having to miss Sue Moorcroft’s Italian course and with a list of school jobs to do longer than the Nile, I moved back several places in the game, but now I’m almost up and running again, have made my first list of the holidays, been given a fabulous new notebook and used the notes Sue M gave me to reshape the first chapters of my WIP. All I need to do is to finish writing the book  now…

What’s your own kick-in-the-pants tip?

Celia 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

Part Twelve: In The Romaniac Sparkle Spotlight Is …

Jan Brigden, Katy Haye & Therese Straker

 

 

In our final part, we meet Romaniac, Jan Brigden, YA author, Katy Haye, and Therese Straker, who sums up Conference and the RNA beautifully.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these interviews, and we thank everyone who took part, viewed and shared.

All the interviews can be found on our vlogs page.

Here’s to next year’s RNA Conference.

Cheers.

The Romaniacs xx