RECRUITING – Romaniac Sparklers!


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.


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*



SFTW: The Sparkle 2015 Premier!

First there was Star Wars – The Force Awakens

Then there was


And we’re all set for 2016.

We have one more post this year, but what an amazing year it’s been, and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your wonderful support and friendship.

Thank you.

The Romaniacs xxx

SFTW: It’s Sparkle Time!

Last weekend saw the second Romaniac Sparkle – an event where we Romaniacs travel from far and wide to gather in Church Stretton for a straight forty-eight hours of laughter, writing, shopping, eating, drinking, strategic planning, drinking, eating, partying and laughter. In that order.

We have our plan for 2016 and will be polishing the blog so it sparkles as bright as New Year fireworks … but no spoilers here 🙂

Seven of the eight Romanaics were able to attend, with our lovely Jan holding the fort back at Romaniac HQ.

Our Sparkle video is still in production, but for this week’s Something For The Weekend, we thought we’d give you a sneak preview of what happened …

A new version of The Twelve Days of Christmas, perhaps …?

On the first day of Christmas …

We started with some of this …
Followed by quite a bit of this.
Then we did some of this.
Lots of this.
Even more of this.
Plenty of this.
Sufficient amount of this.
A few of these.
Some more of this.
Insufficient amount of this.
And a little of this.
And this partied hard, too.


Preparing to SPARKLE!

It’s not long before we, The Romaniacs, gather for our annual Sparkle event, a new tradition started last Christmas. It was billed as a mini writing retreat, but it turned into so much more, with workshops, meals out, party games and a plan for 2015.

Here’s a reminder of our inaugural Sparkle weekend, to help us prep for this year’s.

Catherine & Vanessa
Catherine & Vanessa


Sue, with her Secret Santa
Sue, with her Secret Santa




Christmas shopping in Shrewsbury



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: A Spark Of An Idea

As Baby Number Two has gone off to the New Writers’ Scheme, I’m enjoying a few weeks of blissful ignorance of how much more work there is to come. I’ve been able to read, something which has been lacking these last few months when evenings and nap times have been dedicated to writing.

My mind is already toying with the next project. Looking back, Baby Number Two arrived after two light bulb moments. One was at a dinner party with friends when we were discussing the number of children we’d like to have. It created a What If? question in my head and I realised it would make a good story. The second light bulb moment was when I was at the London Paralympics where I realised it would be good to make the story into a documentary and it gave me the hero I needed. There were lots of smaller moments of inspiration along the way, but those were the main two.



Currently, for my next project, I have half an idea and I need a spark to come along to complete the idea. Personally, I find sitting at a keyboard is not the way to find the next eureka moment, so I tend to get out in the sunshine and seek the answers there. Although, as this project will involve some research, I might have to start reading up and hope there is inspiration amongst the pages.

Over the next few weeks I will be doing a further revision of Baby Number Two before sending it out to publishers and agents. And whilst I wait, I’m planning to make a start on my next project. So let’s hope the other half of the story comes to mind.

Where do you find your sparks of inspiration? Or is there no telling when they might pop up?


Catherine x


Life Cycle of a Writer: Sparkle Round-Up


As we look forward to warm weather, balmy days, and writing in the garden, we take a look back at the last eight weeks of the Romaniacs Life Cycle of a Writer.

IMG_9177Laura: Having subbed book 3 to my publisher, and following wrist surgery, I took a short break from writing, enjoying the Easter holidays with my family. A major thrill was when I visited the local branch of Waterstones to find Follow Me Follow You on the central table and on the shelf next to one of my favourite authors, Erica James. Although I’ve not been writing, I have been mentally planning book four and am keen to get started. I’m still searching for a title …

Sue: Since having The Half Truth published, I took an extended writing break which I blogged about here. The past two weeks have seen me tentatively dip back into an old WIP that has been kicking around for 3 or 4 years. I think, finally, I can see the end on the horizon.

Jan: Having recently signed with Choc Lit as a result of my novel As Weekends Go winning the Choc Lit and Whole Story Audio Books Search for a Star competition, I had a mild panic upon receiving my first structural edits report … BUT … upon meeting my lovely editor for a coffee and a chat, who brilliantly explained how the suggestions would help strengthen the novel, I feel really excited about cracking on with the revisions.

Debbie: It’s no secret that I’ve been treading treacle for over two years. The only time I seem to get any quality words down is when I’m on holiday, away from domestic chaos!  Determined to get the WIP I’ve been working on for almost four years finished once and for all, I went to Cheshunt for Tamsyn Murray’s, ‘Live, Breathe, LOVE Writing,’ workshop at the middle of April. IMG_1555Julie Cohen and Miranda Dickinson were inspiring and motivational guest speakers (as well as slave drivers!) and I met some lovely kindred spirits including Bernadette O’Dwyer and Helen Walters whom I’ve been acquainted with on-line for several years but never met in person.

IMG_1560The main message was simple. Get it finished! Stop being frightened, stop making excuses, stop procrastinating and stop allowing those crows to peck on my shoulders, telling me I can’t do it! ’ Most important is to keep writing until I type, ‘THE END.

It was just the kick up the butt I needed and, with the spurring on of Bernadette and Helen, I’m now up to 86,364 words and writing four or five days a week to get it off for the RNA NWS before the end of August deadline.Read More »