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Friday, 29 June 2012

Edits Gone!

First let's start with my apologies for letting it go three weeks without an update. Sorry!

I received my first batch of edits from my new super-duper editor and guess what? Yep, wholesale revisions. I should have guessed. But (and yes, there is a big butt here), the edits/revisions actually took me back to my original story, the one I had in my heart when I first wrote it over two years ago. Three rounds of revisions with M&B had made it a fundamentally different story and, with one round with Entangled, I got the core of my story back.

I'm not going to lie. These edits were hard work. Maybe I could have cheated and cut and paste a number of scenes from the original but my writing has evolved tremendously over the past two + years and I wanted to do justice to it.

With these edits I have learned a great deal too - namely how to use Track Changes! I have also learned that using Track Changes gives me a headache.

Anyway, the edits have gone. I should expect the second round in a fortnight or so. Which means I have time to put my feet up... Erm, no. A couple of days before I completed the edits I got an email from my M&B editor with her thoughts on my partial for them (everyone keeping up?). Luckily she really liked the way the story was progressing but she thought it needed a bit more spark - my hero wasn't really reacting to the situation and thus my heroine could not react to him. With one teensy suggestion, it's changed the whole dynamic of the book and got me out of the pickle I had got myself into. My hero and heroine are both damaged, repressed people and, 30,000 words in, I had reached the stage where I could not see how they were ever going to get it together. I had hit the proverbial brick wall. I figured there was no point in carrying on until I had heard from the ed and luckily, that one little suggestion has helped me no end. I need to revise (ok, rewrite) everything I have done and send the 30,000 words to her in a fortnight. Just in time to receive my second batch of edits from Entangled...

I also need to complete my Cinderella Zombie Killer story if I am going to get it finished in time for the call-out deadline.

Oh yes, and the kids break up for the summer holidays in three weeks.

Do you every wish there were an extra couple of hours in the day?

And do you know what? I'm loving every minute of it!

Thanks for reading - I promise to try not to leave it so long before my next post. xxx

Saturday, 9 June 2012


Yes, this post is all about knickers. Or, if you are American, panties. Because knickers and panties are one and the same thing, divided only by the Atlantic separating the UK and the US.

Last night, whilst on twitter, one of my American friends posted a tweet about her husband's friend turning up at her house forcing her to run upstairs and put some pants on. Cue much hysterical laughing from me and an English friend. In England, pants are the male version of knickers. Boys wear pants and girls wear knickers. After much merriment we all agreed that in our next blog posts we would have to drop the word 'knickers' in it.

I decided to take the challenge one step further. After an email from my Entangled editor the other day, the language barrier between the US and the UK had been playing on my mind, and this twitter hilarity solidified it for me. We speak a common language but there are many occasions when we might as well be speaking Martian to each other.

My editor stressed that they are keen to preserve the authenticity of the voice, which in my case is English. I am English, I think in English and I write in English (apart from a couple of books I have written in which the heroines are Irish - in those books I thought and wrote in Irish. Which is English but with it's own living quirks). I go to the cinema to watch films, my kids wear trainers (although my eldest referred to them once as sneakers. Only once mind. He never made that mistake again ha ha ha) and when I was a kid I had a fringe. When I was a kid I also devoured Sweet Valley High books. It was through these books that I first became aware that, despite sharing a common language, there were many words I did not understand. What the heck was a twinkie? And a jock? And a barrette?

So here is my (brief) rundown of commonly different words:

English              American

Knickers           Panties

Pants                Jocks *

Trousers           Pants

Fringe               Bangs

Trainers            Sneakers

Film                  Movie

Fag                  Cigarette

Sweets             Candy

Crisps              Chips

Chips               Fries

Courgette         Zucchini

Aubergine        Eggplant

Hairclip            Barrette

* Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on that one as I know a jock in America is also a sporty-type.

I would love to hear about any I have missed, not forgetting the other countries that also have English as its common language, such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Language is a wonderful, fluid, living thing and we should celebrate it in all its forms. But I should stress now I will never watch a movie, my kids will never wear sneakers and when I was a kid I did not have bangs.

Thanks for reading and take care xxx

Saturday, 2 June 2012

The Power of Four

I've been tagged by the incredibly lovely Aimee Duffy (honestly Aimee, I don't hate you at all!). I have to answer a bunch of questions and then tag four other unfortunates, ahem, I mean lucky peeps.

So here goes:

Four places I have worked:

1) Behind a bar. I did a lot of bar work from 18 - 20 and I loved it, especially as this was fifteen years ago when smoking and drinking whilst on duty were not frowned upon. I could talk and gossip to my heart's content. Oh, happy days.

2) In a chocolate kiosk in a bus-station when I was a student. This lasted for the grand total of two weeks. The owners of the kiost were the most horrible, nasty, self-righteous w***ers I have ever met. I took great delight in stuffing as much chocolate down my face as was humanly possible the second their backs were turned. I never handed my notice in either. I wonder if they're still waiting for me to turn up for my shift.

3) At a business publishing house. This was my favourite job evah (apart from writing books obviously). I worked as a journalist on the company's four trade magazines. My editor had once worked at Fleet Street when it still was Fleet Street, and as a result had a tendency to spend hours in the pub every day. He was lovely and supportive, and always willing to buy me a pint!

4) Alas, the publishing house went bust. Luckily my dad needed an extra pair of hands in his will-writing business and I'm still there doing a whopping four hours a week. He let's me boss him around and makes me lots of coffee. And he never complains when I use the office printer to print a 188 page manuscript. He's not really counting the days for me to hand my notice in!

Four films I could watch over and over

Ok, my tastes are a little varied but, in no particular order...

1) Grease
2) Dirty Dancing
3) The Day After Tomorrow
4) 28 Days Later

Four Telly Programmes

Don't watch much tv at all but ones I do happen to love are:

1) The Apprentice
2) Once Upon a Time
3) Heroes (gutted it was cancelled)
4) Family Guy

Four authors I enjoy

This is probably the hardest question for me to answer as there are so many authors whose work I love:

1) Stephen King
2) Jilly Cooper
3) Minette Walters
4) Marian Keyes

Four places I've travelled to

1) Australia
2) The Seychelles
3) Thailand
4) Norfolk

Four websites I visit daily

1) eharlequin
2) The Passive Voice
3) BBC News
4) Facebook

Four favourite foods

I am a pig. As I write this I am eating a bowl of popcorn. Asking me to chose a favourite food is like asking me to chose my favourite child.

Four places I'd rather be

1) The Seychelles
2) Tuscany
3) Sweden
4) Disney Land

Four people I want to tag (Sorry - please don't hate me. Blame Aimee. I am.)

1) Catherine Coles
2) Charlotte Phillips
3) Lacey Devlin
4) Lindsay Pryor

That's quite enough waffling about me.

Thanks for reading and take care xxx