Motivation Monday – 8th February

Happy Monday everybody! Time for some of us to share our targets for the week ahead – writing and non-writing related!

Vanessa:

  1. I’m on target with my edits – I need to finish the final polishing of the wip this week ready to…
  2. Send the wip off to my agent!!
  3. Finish a short story for a mid-Feb deadline (still on the list from last time!!)
  4. Non-writing related: when the wip has gone off, do some very neglected housework!

What are everyone else’s plans for the week? I’ll let you know how I got on on Friday!

Vanessa x

Jan:

Well, my targets for this week are: 1)  To complete and return my answers to some fab questions posed to me by a fellow writer for her blog. 2) To chase up some research enquiries for Book Two. 3)  To gear myself up for my next dental appointment this coming Thursday (second half of root canal treatment, oh joy of absolute joys!).

Catherine:

  1. Write 5,000 words minimum to be on target for book deadline.
  2. Relocate my twins and myself to my mum’s house while my husband stays behind and we have new heating fitted in the house.
  3. Write another TTD list for all the things I need to do in the run up to P Day! Just over a month to go!

Roving Romaniac – Jill Mansell’s You and Me, Always Book Launch

Jill Mansell & Laura

Jill Mansell & Laura

As I write this post, I am still in recovery.

The event was THAT GOOD.

Jill Mansell has been a huge source of inspiration for me as a writer ever since I read Good At Games seven years ago, and I was thrilled to be at the launch of Jill’s 27th book, You and Me, Always.

The event was on the sixth floor of Carmelite House on the Embankment, London, a fantastic venue with a stunning view.

IMG_2382

The view of the Embankment

I was excited for two reasons – I was celebrating a book launch with one of my all-time favourite authors, and I was meeting up with friends from the writing and blogging world, some of whom I was meeting in real life for the first time.

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Jill Mansell

The evening kicked off with a warm and charming interview with Jill, followed by the launch and a book signing session, which led to the party part of the ‘launch

Alison May & Laura

Alison May & Laura

party’. I was on orange juice and sparkling water, but the drinks, including wine, and the canapes were in abundance, and the staff were attentive and friendly.

Laura & Julie Cohen

Laura & Julie Cohen

Sue Moorcroft & Jan Jones

Sue Moorcroft & Jan Jones

It was a great evening, with a fab opportunity to talk books, with Jill’s name never far from people’s lips, as we discussed our favourite Jill Mansell book, and the reasons we love to dive in to her fictional worlds. I remarked that I recently read Jill’s Three Amazing Things About You, and as soon as I started reading it, my husband asked why I was smiling. I replied it was because opening one of Jill’s books was like coming home.

Thank you so much to everyone, bloggers and authors, who took the time to chat with me. The evening will stay with me for some time.

I missed my train home, despite the gallant efforts of the lovely taxi driver who did his best to get me to Waterloo on time. I paid for another ticket and caught the later train, which was the most entertaining carriage in which I’ve ever ridden. Six strangers partied. Oh yeah.

And I’d do it all over again.

Laura x

 

 

 

 

Life Cycle Of A Writer – Face Palms, Facebook Adverts and PowerPoint Presentations

Keyboard

It’s been a challenging few weeks in the James household, with the male of the species succumbing to the awful flu virus, and the females under pressure to learn and relearn skills, be it for forthcoming exams in my daughter’s case, or me putting together a slide show for a talk.

I also had to contend with my PC being absent from my desk while Gajitman upgraded it, and my laptop throwing a hissy fit, presumably because it was brought out of hibernation. At one point, I wrote a blog post from my phone. Thank goodness for apps.  And thank goodness for a teen and an IT engineer husband who made everything all right.

Upon the return of my PC, I had to get to grips with Windows 10. For the first two days, my grasp was weak, but I’m pleased to report, it is acquiring strength. It is a matter of time, as one of my friends told me. I will get used to Windows 10 and everything being in a completely different place …

In the meantime, my second Choc Lit novel, Follow Me Follow You was, and still is (until 31st January), on promotion, so I thought I’d try my hand at creating a sponsored advert for Facebook.

Here’s what I learnt:

The advert cannot possess more than 20% text.

FOLLOW ME_front highresThis became a problem when primarily I wanted to promote my book by showing its cover. A cover which consists of my name, title, and the publishers name and logo. Needless to say, on my first few attempts, I fell foul of the 20% text limit imposed by the Facebook rules and received emails inviting me to examine why I’d failed.

I even failed that task.

Face palm.

So I asked Google.

Phrasing the question took several attempts, but eventually I put all the right words in the correct order and was led to this very informative blog: http://bit.ly/1pukRrO from Jon Loomer, where I learned it’s all about where the text is placed. I tried using the FB grid, as suggested in Mr Loomer’s post, but as I IMG_2308mentioned earlier, I was having all sorts of technical difficulties and the grid would not load, so I drew my own grid to fit my laptop screen, and later, another to fit my PC monitor.

IMG_2314Using Canva, and it’s template ‘Facebook Post 940px x 788px’, I created my adverts, ensuring text did not take up more than five boxes. I had to move the image and the text around until I’d got it right, but the advert was approved and accepted by Facebook.

The trick with the text/sales pitch is to write it in the status box, including the links to the product, leaving the space for your advert free for a clean, clear image.

My ad read:

SALE. Digital download 99p.
http://bit.ly/1OsLFCT
‘Follow Me Follow You’, the second novel in the Chesil Beach series is on sale at 99p.
‘Original, uplifting, poignant, it’s a must read.’

With the risk of them breaking, will Victoria Noble and Chris Frampton follow their hearts?

If you like your romantic reads darker and set firmly in reality, the Chesil Beach books are for you.
Second in the series, ‘Follow Me Follow You’, can be read as a standalone.
A 2014 lovereading.co.uk Editorial Selection.

99p (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was my first advert success! Whether or not it made an impact on sales remains to be seen.

My next challenge was to produce a PowerPoint Presentation for a talk a writer friend and I were to give at the Weymouth Civic Society. Our title was ‘Inspired by the Jurassic Coast’, and photographs were required to enhance our talk.

It had been some years since I last played with PowerPoint, but I volunteered my services to create a slide show.

Actually, truth be known, I volunteered my daughter’s services, as she’s far more knowledgeable than I about techy stuff. Thankfully she didn’t mind and came to the rescue, giving me a crash course on how to create slide shows. Between my daughter, with her patient teaching methods, and Gajitman showing me how to connect the laptop to the projector, slide show presentations are GO!

I’m available for gigs …

Laura.

 

 

Open Season!

Open Season!

This February, we Romaniacs will be celebrating our 4th birthday, and we’d love for you to join in with the fun.

Here’s what we’d like you to do …

Ways to contact us:

email: romaniacgroup@yahoo.co.uk with your videos and/or questions

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheRomaniacs

or by leaving a comment below on this page.

Remember, the 1st of February is the deadline, and we know how much you all love a deadline :D

We look forward to answering your questions …

The Romaniacs

Motivation Monday

It’s the beginning of a whole new week. A new chapter? Certainly a fresh page.

Here’s what a few of we Romaniacs wish to achieve in the next five days.

Laura: Last week was a little disjointed for me, with a poorly lad at home and a sick husband to boot – not literally – I didn’t kick the man when he was down. Writing took a back seat, but I put together a slide show for this week’s talk, and I managed some promo. This week, all things being equal and all family members being well and going about their business, I intend to get back to work.

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Here’s the plan:

1 – Attend my writing group on a more regular basis.

2 – Give a great talk at the Weymouth Civic Society, and sell some books.

3 – Write or type up 5000 words of the wip by the end of the weekend.

4 – Help my daughter with her photography studies.

5 – Restore my family’s health with good, wholesome food.

6 – Celebrate with Catherine Miller.

 

Catherine: Yay to Laura’s last goal for the week! Mine are:

1 – Have a fab day celebrating Don’t Wait for… Waiting for You promo day

2- Collapse in a heap and wonder why I didn’t wait until the twins were at least in school full time

3- Get a couple more quotes for having a new heating system put in

4 – Get back to the WIP after Monday’s excitement

Lucie: Well, what a start to 2016 I have had. I started the New Year vowing to focus down on my writing and start moving forward. A week into 2016 and my mum was rushed into hospital and I have spent the last 14 days rushing back and forth to the hospital (3 hour round trip) whilst trying to fit in the day job, household duties, parenting duties, pet owner duties (3 dogs – brave or mad?) as well as trying to get my writing back on track. So to say things have been a bit hectic would be an understatement – thank goodness I am currently on a 4 week break from University, Imagine that!

So with the good news that Mum is improving, I can try to get back to my original goal of moving my writing onto the next level. So with this in mind, along with some general life goals, here are my goals for this week:

1/ Complete the writing related tasks that I am doing for other authors and send back the work required.

2/ Write up a first draft blurb for the two new ideas that I have had for my adult and children’s series.

3/ Clear my ironing pile (I don’t like this one AT ALL, but it has to be done :-()

4/ Consolidate the plan for my book series ideas and have a clear focus of where I am going with them.

5/ Speak to my agent with an update.

6/ Continue work on my Autism course.( I’d really like to complete this before I return to Uni next month)

7/ Sleep…at some point.

I’m actually looking forward to seeing where I am at with it all on Friday. Wish me luck!

 

How is your week looking? What are your goals? We’d love for you to comment below and come back on Friday for our Follow-Up post and let us know how you got on.

We celebrate every success, small or huge :D

 

Follow-Up Friday

Every Monday, we’re posting our weekly targets, aiming to achieve them by the end of play on Friday.

This week, Sue and Laura posted their aims. How did they do?

Sue aimed to: 

  1. To write three chapters.
  2. To successfully negotiate the first week back at school by remembering all the after-school clubs that are starting back up and packing the appropriate equipment/kit for not only the right club but the right child.

IMG_6365Laura aimed to:

  1. Get up extra early on Monday to wish DS a happy birthday, before we all go our separate ways for the day.
  2. Be at my desk ready to write from 09:00 Mon-Thurs.
  3. Write 5000 words by Friday evening.
  4. Plan talk for the Weymouth Leviathan and Maritime Festival.
  5. Have earlier nights to allow for reading time.

Laura: I managed Monday’s targets and DS had a lovely day. I’ve also been ready to start work at 09:00, so I’m pleased with that.

I’ve not advanced the wip or planned my Weymouth Leviathan talk, but I did have news of a talk for the Weymouth Civic Society, which is happening on the 18th January, so this took priority. This week consisted of me trying to create a slide show for this talk, but my PC and laptop refused to cooperate. I am currently tapping this out on my phone … Thankfully, my husband is an IT engineer, so my PC and laptop are now being sorted. I will continue to aim for earlier nights …

Sue: I seem to have successfully negotiated the return to school challenge, so that’s good.

ms targetI ended up having a particularly busy week with lots of family commitments which took me away from the desk for as much time as I spent behind it. However, I did manage to write one and a half chapters of my novella, clocking up over 1700 words on Wednesday.

Thursday I began to seriously think about the edits for my next full length novel. These edits actually came in before Christmas but I’ve only just looked at them properly. There’s a fair amount of work to be done but generally, I do enjoy the editing process.  So, not a bad week, all thing considered.

 

How did you all get on?

 

Merry Christmas from The Romaniacs!

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous 2016.

And since it’s Christmas, we thought we’d add extra content … :D

Thank you so much for the fantastic friendship and support you’ve provided over the last twelve months, and we look forward to seeing you in 2016.

Love from

The Romaniacs

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