Diary of a Writer – those between the BIG ideas days

So, having started the most recent novel idea something like four times, I may just have to concede it’s flawed and work on another. Not everything in one’s brain is going to win a trophy.

In the meantime, I’m clearing stacks of paper, research material and ephemera in quantities, rather large quantities, from the study. My tidy-minded husband may feel moved to award a trophy for these efforts. On the other hand, he may just appear with a further roll of bin bags.

In the, other meantime, I’m writing short stories. Wonderfully satisfying to craft a complete something.

Courting the Countess has possibly come to a library near you. If not, it’s available on amazon here.

Having bought it some time ago, I’m just starting to read Helen Forbes’ second Joe Galbraith novel, Madness Lies.

Why have I waited so long? (Research for City of Discoveries, ed.)

Okay, folks. Hope your own ideas are flourishing and not languishing.

ANNE

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Diary of a Writer – March

City of Discoveries

 

 

 

 

 

 

With 2nd March on the cover, The People’s Friend serial I spent so much of last year researching and writing reaches its 8th and final instalment. When my subscription copy came in last Saturday, I greedily raced through the closing scenes and yet again shed a tear over one of my characters. But don’t panic, folks, nobody dies.

Don’t know whether any of you take The Weekly News, but I had my first short story for it, Trouble in Store, published in the 23rd February edition. A mere 1200 words, it was incredibly satisfying to write.

This month is devoted to an adjudication for the Scottish Association of Writers. I’ve made excellent progress partly due to being confined by an horrendous cold. Will be sending the results in this weekend and have done all the critiques. Next up is planning for the workshop I’m offering at the conference. The written word crafted to be spoken is my favourite type of writing.

Looking ahead, I’ve been asked to speak at an event marking the 150th anniversary of the Church of Scotland’s social care body. Now known as CrossReach, it provides many services for the ill and vulnerable.

1869 was some year!

Currently re-reading The Unknown Ajax by Georgette Heyer and loving it all over again. what are you reading?

Capital Stories 99p

 

 

Diary of a Writer – A Second Life – Courting the Countess

Atmospheric Cover

Ta Ra! Delighted to reveal Linford Romance Library’s atmospheric cover for their large print edition of Courting the Countess, published today. Complete and unabriged, it makes a comfortable handful – they sent me some some author’s copies.

You can get it from your library and discover how Melissa fares in Regency Edinburgh.

 

 

 

 

From the cover:

When Melissa Neville, widowed Countess of Pateley, suffers life-threatening injuries in a fire, no one expects her to survive long. However, despite her disfigurement, would-be suitors have been a constant intrusion, all of them hoping to get their hands on her fortune before she expires. Then one night, in the privacy of her bath, she is abducted without explanation by Colonel Harry Gunn and his steward Zed, who specialise in medicine and seem to want to help her. What is their real motive – and can Melissa hope to love again?

It is of course still available from Endeavour media for your kindle here.

The range of books available in large print is testimony to the ageing population and the market responding to their needs. My late mum loved to read and enjoyed many books across a wide spectrum of interests. We were always appreciative of the library editions.

I’m really busy at the moment reading the entries for the Scottish Association of Writers’ women’s short story competition. I won the competition last year – I may just have mentioned that in passing previously – and it’s such a privilege to have been handed this task.

If I had a pic of me in a green eye-shade, I’d post it. I haven’t. How about this one created by my friend, Miranda?

Anne

Honoured in the New Year – City of Discoveries

Warmest congratulations to the team at The People’s Friend as it reaches its 150th anniversary – a noteworthy moment.

The Ladies – Mandy Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jennet, Hetty, Carrie, Elspeth, William, Thomas, John, Harold, Phemie, Mr Souter and Drew Fleming were people I spent a lot of time with last year. They are the central characters in the Anniversary Serial I wrote for The People’s Friend magazine to mark its 150th year of publication.

And also many thanks to the fiction team for inviting me in. My editor, Alan Spink sent a query e-mail in March. It was a total surprise filling me with excitement and dread in equal measure: what an honour to be asked: what a responsibility to carry. Of course, I need not have worried as the editorial support for which the magazine is known among its writers was there for me throughout. Alan in the forefront, but fiction ed, Shirley Blair adding her Dundonian voice and Magazine ed, Angela Gilchrist pointing things out when the three of us might have let our enthusiasm outstrip our writerly antennae. (Really? Ed)

1869 is a year rich in happenings if you want to write something for a woman’s magazine. My first synopsis was liked and commended, but rejected on fairly straightforward grounds. It wasn’t set in Dundee.

Cue a huge learning curve helped along by the work of Judith Flanders, Lynne Wilson and Norman Watson. The serial is not history or documentary, but it is informed by the histories written by these people about life in London, Edinburgh and Dundee for the poorer class of person.

The serial, CITY OF DISCOVERIES, is fiction and I hope you’ll join us over the eight weeks and read the stories of my lovely characters. I’m looking forward to having them arrive in my life again every week.

Anne

HAPPY NEW YEAR – Diary of a Writer

Charles Street

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having just returned from a delightful walk in the grounds of Dalkeith Palace, I was thinking about my Bella. Her story opens in an inn situated on Dalkeith’s High Street. Within hours, she’s travelling along Charles Street to her aunt’s house in the then fashionable George Square.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While Edinburgh remains the city of my heart, I do have some news I’m holding tight about another one. You’ll have to check back to find out what it is, but then that’s what writers do, isn’t it? Tease a little.

Other things coming up in January include the adjudication of the Scottish Association of Writers’ Women’s Short Story competition. I’ll be delivering my decision at their annual conference, the 50th, in March, but the hard work starts this month.

Together with Kate Blackadder, Jane Riddell and Jennifer Young, I produced Capital Writers’ Christmas Stories. Four short stories on the themes we might associate with Christmas.

To complete a trio of great books for your kindle, Capital Writer, Jennifer Young is offering Blank Space at 99p for a limited time.

CAPITAL CHRISTMAS STORIES

BELLA’S BETROTHAL

BLANK SPACE

i look forward to bringing you up-to-date on my exciting, if embargoed news, really soon. Happy New Year, lovely readers, ANNE

Diary of a Writer – October Prompt

 

Lace Doily – Crete

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October Prompt ~ Lace Doily ~ Have I ever made anything as intricate and beautiful as a lace doily? That would be a ‘No’.

On the other hand, my life often enough takes on the complexity of such work and October is looking to be no less so than several other months this year and last. The value of the prompt is in reminding me of the possibility of arriving at such a beautiful conclusion.

So, what issues are hanging on my Bobbins?

Firstly, I need to get on with a lot of writing admin. The tax return for last year, record keeping and train tickets to the RNA winter party (going without responsibility for the first time in a long time. Thanks, Sue).

Writing – Who thought it would be a nice idea to enter the Mslexia Novella competition, being unpublished in that length? Okay, that was me and the fee and entry uploaded without incident. Isn’t it great that technology has at last arrived at an understanding of the actual needs of some users? Never say never, so it needs to be finished while the idea is still hot.

The project I’m engaged on with DC Thomson. Nearly there, just waiting for a few clearances.

A workshop for the Scottish Association of Writers. To be delivered in March, but advertised before then.

Real Life – Church stuff, Christmas stuff, Strictly has started, people stuff……………………. So lucky to have them all around.

What’s on your Bobbins?

Anne

 

 

The Show Must Go On

THE SHOW MUST GO ON is my second serial for People’s Friend and starts its four week run in the magazine this morning. Cover date is 18th August and readers who buy the magazine on subscription would get it last Saturday.

Talented Friend regular, Sailesh Thakrar is the illustrator and hasn’t he done a marvellous job?

Sailesh’s opening illustration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Show Must Go On started life as Behind the Scenes. It’s my observation that most playwrights who write something about the theatre call it Behind the Scenes, so I’d no problem with the team’s choice.

Anne

Diary of a Writer – August Writing Prompt

 

On the Boil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doesn’t this photograph of marmalade on the boil bring to mind that stage in writing when you simply cannot get the words down quickly enough? That moment when ideas seethe and trip over one another in their haste to attract your attention and slide through your fingers onto the page?

Whether it’s a tiny haiku or your magnum opus, there is that moment when the brain behaves like a computer about to crash. You know who the murderer/lover/mother/villain/hero/heroine is now and YOU MUST TELL EVERYONE ELSE!

Then – the peace after you’ve got there –

A Quality Product

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your own analogy?

Another quality product is Courting the Countess Melissa has lost her beloved husband to an early death and herself been scarred by a summer fire. Can the strikingly handsome Harry Gunn save her from despair?

 

 

 

Diary of a Writer – July Prompt

 

A Tinted Lens

Writing Scottish Regency romance – or any kind of Regency romance – means that there’s going to be an alpha male – that’s how it was, folks. So, what does this chap inspire in you? He’s alone. He’s clearly magnificent and although his feathers are down at the moment the photograph was taken, you can visualise them in full glory when he struts his stuff for the harem.

Then we have the fellow below. He’s not so lean, but he’s clearly a fine specimen. He’s also alone. Do the fine feathers inspire?

 

 

 

 

 

Courting the Countess

Bella’s Betrothal

 

Diary of a Writer – May Writing Prompt – RNA Summer Party and Joan Hessayon Award

Why, you must be asking is that headline picture a writing prompt for Anne?

Name Badges for the 2018 Joan Hessayon contenders

I’ve been a Joan Hessayon contender – and a wonderful, really wonderful evening I had.

MuseItUp published my first Regency romance – actually on 1st May in 2013. Mariah’s Marriage continues to be available for many electronic readers. It’s also in a library near you through the Linford Romance series.

Anne by Marte Lundby Rekaa

I wasn’t the winner, but the whole team made me feel like one. Also, the lovely Rae Cowie came along specially to support me on the night and Jenny Harper and her husband Robin, were there, too. I’ve maintained links with some of the other contenders that night and I bought a copy of my individual photo taken by the talented Marte. I don’t photograph well, so that one is a particular pleasure.

Well, it’s a prompt because I’ve stepped away. Having been a member of the RNA committee for a few years now, it’s time to use my time for writing my stuff rather than  Facebook posts , Twitter tweets and committee reports.

I will miss the warm and talented guys I’m leaving behind, but  there are other opportunities to catch up with them. The first being the Summer Party which is being held in the fabulous Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. You can buy a ticket here and you don’t have to be a member of the RNA to do that. Come and meet some of your favourite authors in the flesh, as it were.

Now, if you live in Edinburgh, you can catch up with me and two of my Capital Writer pals at the Corstorphine Festival. We’ll be chatting with Sheila McCallum Perry, reading a little of our work and signing copies of our books (the other two here). We’re scheduled for Wednesday 30th May from around 7pm, programme out soon. Venue is CYCC, 191 St John’s Road.

Capital Stories a wee selection of our talent is available for the price of 99p. What else can you buy for 99p?