A Writer’s Year – Are you out there, Charles Rigg?

A small selection of the novels by EWC members past and present.

A small selection of the novels by EWC members past and present.

January I began 2013 in the knowledge that MuseItUp liked my Regency romance, Mariah’s Marriage, and were to e-publish it in May. Could I write another? Normally in January, I like to write and fire off a lot of shorts. Fillers, letters to the Magazine page, opinions, jokey observations, but this year was different. I was about to become a published novelist and must, therefore, write novels.
And blog about writing novels. So, sadly, my play blog has slipped into the background, although I update it from time to time, and Novels Now was born on 2nd January. I did a book review of Her New Worst Enemy by Christy McKellen and interviewed Scarlet Wilson who writes medicals for M & B.

February In February, I wrote the first posts in a series. This one was about ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ A question truly dreaded by writers. I featured the RoNas which are one of the highlights of the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s year. This year they were graced by Richard and Judy.

March was a cross fertilisation as my publishers were doing Pet Writing Peeves on the MuseItUp blog. I opened a google a/c and managed to do an invited post. (Learning curves…)
But the biggie on Novels Now was the cover reveal for Mariah’s Marriage. Gorgeous! Designer is Charlotte K Volnek for MIU.

Another author interview. Fellow Edinburgh Writers’ Club member, Jane Riddell, talked about Water’s Edge, her debut novel from Thornberry Press.

May saw the publication of Mariah’s Marriage and I was able to report on attending the Joan Hessayon Award ceremony. Sadly, we didn’t win, but the RNA made all ten contenders feel like winners and I had a lovely trip to London for the event. I set off, electronically, on a publicity blog tour. Exhausting, but fun.

I was so pleased to announce that MIU had taken Bella’s Betrothal and she would be published in September.

I started a new series. This one is about aphorisms. Are you out there, Charles Rigg? I began with the cautionary tale of saying what I thought about a friend’s haircut in a post about Honesty is the best policy. It gets numerous visits from people in India. Are they writing school essays? Lovely to know you’re interested and keep visiting.

I offered a free copy of Mariah’s Marriage in the reverse birthday gifts blog of novelist, Sally Quilford. I’ve been slow to utilise giveaways, but they are of interest to many and there’s one current on this blog. Scroll down to ‘My Writing Process’. It closes at midnight on 5th January, ’14 UK time.

So fast, cover reveal (again by CKVolnek) for Bella’s Betrothal, and an online launch day. Lovely reviews from a variety of people go up. I go away for a month.

Oh Dear!

October More launch related activities.

Great visit to the Georgian House in Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square and a chance to learn some of the Polonaise and hear about Yule logs and Mr. Lamont’s love of Ayrshire cheese. As Bella’s Betrothal is set in post Georgian Edinburgh, this was very exciting.

My Writing Process, a blog tour current through Facebook, provided a platform and chance to cross-fertilise with other writers of historical romance. Lovely to welcome returning visitors, but also new ones.

My writing year has been full of firsts and interest. I’ve worked behind the scenes with lovely editors Judy Roth and Greta Gunselman and illustrator CK Volnek. My publisher, Lea Schizas has been supportive and encouraging. Reviewers have been favourably impressed in many cases and given their reviews freely. Readers have sent messages, publicly and privately. I cherish moments when people say things like, ‘You write really well.’ They’re simultaneously pleased and relieved.

In My Writing Process, I revealed the third enterprise is Daisy’s Dilemma. In 2014, I need to get the fingers on the keys and finish this WIP. Then it has to take the usual hurdles. I hope it’ll be out there for you to read and me to blog about, but…

Thanks for being along on the ride. Happy New Year.


My Writing Process and a seasonal giveaway

Greek Lady, Sicilian Temple

Greek Lady, Sicilian Temple

I’ve been invited to join the My Writing Process blog tour by fellow Scot, Jane Riddell. Jane blogs at http://wwwbloggercom-janelilly.blogspot.co.uk/ and is the author of Water’s Edge published by Thornberry Press.

Thank you, Jane.

Jane also invited our friend and fellow Edinburgh Writers’ club member, Kate Blackadder. Kate will be sharing her Writing Process over on Kate Writes and Reads.blogspot.co.uk

My Writing Process

Qu: What am I working on at the moment?

Ans: I’m working on Daisy’s Dilemma, another historical romance which is again set in London, 1822. It continues the stories of two of the characters from my debut romance, Mariah’s Marriage, and includes a lot of visiting Scots relatives. I enjoyed my sojourn in 1826 Edinburgh so much, I was reluctant to write another book without any Scots voices. As a reading writer I’ve always been keen to continue creating the stories of the characters after the end. Of course with some books you’re glad to let go, but with a few I’ve put the light out and left the final chapter until the next day because I didn’t want it to end. Anne of Green Gables is one such and a couple of the Harry Potters. Daisy’s story was just waiting to be told, but she’s playing up and truly, why should that surprise me?

Qu: How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Ans: It’s dialogue rich because I wrote plays for many years and love to hear the snap of crafted dialogue. It also has an underlying theme concerning the position and treatment of women that will provide a darker background to the wonderful escapism of the classic Regency.

Qu: Why do I write what I do?

Ans: It’s very much what I enjoy reading. I also enjoy reading non-fiction which makes research delightful.

Qu: How does my writing process work?

Ans: Gosh! I suppose I have an idea of my heroine and I will visualise her in a situation with her hero. I also have a strong notion of places and have successfully written short stuff from the inspiration of photographs in my personal collection taken at historic houses. I write until I clearly hear the voices of the two principals and their major supporters and plotting falls into place. Often. Sometimes. Maybe my editor wouldn’t necessarily agree…

Bella’s Betrothal http://goo.gl/5RBzIm Mariah’s Marriage http://goo.gl/NxYxj5

I hope you’ll leave a comment about your own writing process, or anything raised here. There’s a lovely calendar of Edinburgh for one commenter who will be chosen at random from all the comments received by midnight (UK time) on 5th January.

Coming up next on 6th January 2014 will be:

Jane Jackson

Jane blogs on her website at http://www.janejackson.net

Jane says: I’ve been making up stories since I could talk. 29 books published, nos 30 and 31 due out in 2014. Writing historical romance enables me to combine my passion for history and my love of Cornwall.

Sherry Gloag

When best-selling author Sherry Gloag is not writing you may find her knee deep in dust. Selenite dust. The crystal she handcrafts unique items and ideal, personalised gifts from… or walking or gardening. All are occupations that allow her mind to cogitate on her plots, plans and characters of her next book.


Penny Estelle

The Unwanted Christamas Guest 200x300

Penny - 002

I can’t tell you how excited I am that my very first ever Christmas story is being released today. The Unwanted Christmas Guest is a story about Elizabeth McMurphy, an up and coming high powered attorney, who is after vengeance. Her sights are set on one of the richest and most powerful families in Colorado. Steve York is an obnoxious reporter that thinks the ice queen has gone too far and does all he can to get under her skin.
When one of the worst blizzards in history, hits Colorado and leaves a hurt Steve York, stranded with Elizabeth in a mountain cabin, she must decide to either take care of him, or throw him out to fend for himself.

“What’s going on here? Where the hell are my pants?”
Elizabeth practically jumped out of her skin. Steve stood in the bedroom doorway, wearing only some tight fitting pink sweats.
“I found you after your car went nose to nose with a tree.” She crossed her arms. “The question is, what were you doing up here in a snowstorm? Were you coming up here to spy on me?”
“Jesus, my head hurts.” Steve groaned and sat at the kitchen table. “And don’t flatter yourself.” He brought up his hands to rub his eyes and push on his temples. He started to say something when a giggle and a round of undistinguishable sounds caught his attention. Steve stared at the little girl, a whisper of a smile on his pale face. “You have a daughter?”
She chose to ignore the question. “Again, Mr. York, you were headed…where?”
“I was going to see some friends in Granby, then on to Steamboat to spend the holidays with my family.”
“You figured on taking a short cut on Badger Springs Road?”
“Basically,” he muttered. “I had a phone in my pants pocket…” Steve looked down at the pink sweats. “Yours, I presume?” At her nod, he asked with a smirk, “And you’re the one that took my clothes off?”
“Junior, my neighbor.”
“If you’ll allow me to use your phone, I’ll call Triple A and get myself and my car out of your life.” He reached over to Katy and she latched onto his finger, the brightest smile ever illuminating her sweet face.
Elizabeth quickly picked her up, as if he would contaminate her by his touch. “Phones are out.”
“How the hell do you live here?” he asked irritably.
* * *

Please find The Unwanted Christmas Guest and my other stories with MuseItUp publishing @

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