With edits landing with a thud in their inboxes, Catherine and Laura got together for a Romaniac Mini Sparkle Weekend, to spur one another along and drink Prosecco …
In our second programme of the day, we share our sparkling interviews with Creative Writing Matters, Cathie Hartigan, our very own agented, lovely Lucie Wheeler, and, bringing up the rear, and on the other side of the camera, Romaniac, Laura E James.
Details of websites can be found on the videos.
Part Three and Four tomorrow.
They’re here! The Sparkle Spotlight interviews!
During the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) Conference, July 2015, The Romaniacs set up the Sparkle Corner, equipped with a red carpet, chilled Prosecco, the Romaniac banner, and a camera. Interested to learn more about our writing friends, we invited delegates to answer three questions, which tie in with our regular, weekly feature, Life Cycle Of A Writer.
We asked our sparkling guests to tell us about their writing highlight, lowlight and to tell us a little about their current project. Over the following days, we will be airing our videos, which include authors, an editor and an agent.
Thank you to everyone who took part with such fun and enthusiasm, and please feel free to share the link and spread the word; the writing world rocks, and romance is alive and kicking.
First up, we have the marvellous main conference organiser, Jan Jones, the elegant editor of the RNA magazine, Romance Matters, Adrienne Vaughan, and the Chairman of the RNA, Eileen Ramsay.
Take it away, Jan …
Part Two will follow later today … Come back and find out who we’ve put in the Sparkle Spotlight.
We have superb news for you.
We’ve been celebrating in style at the Romantic Novelists’ Association annual conference and at Romaniac HQ, with wine and cake aplenty.
We are absolutely delighted for you.
Many congratulations on your wonderful news.
Baby Number Two is a fabulous read and we cannot wait to see your first book baby making its way in the big, wide world :D
Now, lets hear from the chilled-out mum-of-two and lovely lady herself …
I used to watch a program called Whose Line Is It Anyway, where the contestants, usually actors and comedians, would improvise scenes, moments in time, and songs. It was much like me in my Theatre Studies A level class, but with skill and success. I was always impressed at how immediate the actors’ responses were to the instructions yelled out by Clive Anderson – they were out of one character and into a next within a blink of an eye.
Having finished book 3, What Doesn’t Kill You, I am venturing into book 4 territory, and I’m finding letting go difficult, as are my characters. Griff and Evie are determined to prevent Ash and Jo from moving in and occupying my (their?) headspace.
It was the same with Chris and Victoria from Follow Me Follow You.
I know exactly who Ash and Jo are – I’ve studied their personality types, I know their history, their basic fears and desires, what they look like, what body parts they love best – but still, as I sit down and type Chapter One, I’m having to nudge Evie aside.
Evie, it’s time to go. Your work is done. Stop projecting images of Griff into my mind’s eye. Griff, with his strong, protective arms, his dark wavy hair, his sense of command …
And this explains why I didn’t go on to star in the West End. I’d have been a unique hybrid somewhere between Calamity Jane and Sandra Dee, singing You’re The One That I Want as, in my tight, black trousers and off-the-shoulder top, I rolled on over the plains on the Deadwood Stage, cracking my whip.
I might have to write that musical.
Talking of cracking the whip, that’s what I must do – make headway with my WIP – my work in progress – and I can only do that if I immerse myself in the world of historic secrets, TV presenters, and people who fight the good fight.
Griff and Evie Hendry, I love you. You’ve done a fabulous job treading the boards in my head, and I thank you for that. Now it’s time for you both to take a bow, and prepare for your next roles.
Ash and Jo – centre stage please.
Dear Auntie Romaniac,
I have recently decided to re-write one of my books but change the genre of it. What started as a light hearted romance, has morphed with each edit into a darker, more serious novel. Whilst I have edited and gradually changed things, I feel it needs a complete overhaul to cross that bridge from one genre, to another. But how do I do this? Do I start chapter by chapter, or attack it like a first draft again?
I just don’t know where to begin.
Sue: I’m not sure how I’d do this. Maybe, I’d go back to the very beginning of the process and make sure I knew the motives of the characters and the outcome I wanted. Then I’d take it scene by scene, ensuring that each scene fulfilled the motive/outcome criteria and rewrite it darker. It may be some scenes need to come out completely, others need tweaking and others a complete rewrite.
Vanessa: I’ve been through a similar process, Lucie – trying to make a book much darker. The way I tackled it was to write the new scenes it needed in a separate document so I could get a feel for the new direction, then added in scenes and chapters from the old ms to the new draft, rather than the other way around. I treated it like a whole new book.
Catherine: Long answer: I would try not to get too wrapped up in labeling what genre the story is and concentrate on what will make it work. I know our books need to neatly fit into genre categories, but overall a story needs to work sentence by sentence. I would write an elevator pitch first of all, then do as Sue and Vanessa have said and work out what stays and what goes. Keep your elevator pitch pinned up near your desk so you don’t deviate from what the story has set out to be.
Short answer: Gin.
Advice always gratefully received.