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.


MEGAN JOHNS – Author Interview – A Shore of Secrets

anne6 Dec (2) 003

My guest today on Novels Now is UK writer MEGAN JOHNS. Megan and I are with the same lovely Canadian publisher, MuseItUp. Although with children now grown, Megan and her husband live with an adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and enjoy the antics of next door’s alpacas.




Megan's writing features contemporary romance novels ‘with teeth’. That's why she sums up A shore of Secrets with
‘In all secrets there is a kind of guilt.’ Can Abi learn to trust, and Giovanni to forgive?

I asked Megan the Novels Now questions. Thanks for dropping by Megan.
Qu) Like many other great inventions, the e-reader has taken off. Do you read in both electronic and paper mediums? Which do you prefer?

Ans) E-readers offer many advantages. There is no doubt there are huge benefits in their storage capacities, also their size and portability. For holidays, they are by far the best option in that one can transport a range of otherwise bulky books inside a handbag. At home, however, I still find I gravitate towards paperbacks. Why? Habit, perhaps, although I suspect it runs deeper than that. There is something sensual about physically holding a book in one’s hands, as though you own the words, can touch them, can smell the paper. Hard copies also afford the ability to browse a bookcase at leisure, to admire their covers and dip into them at random.

So which do I prefer? I am quite split on this, but recently I have found e-readers cause less eye strain and I suspect my Kindle may well become my preferred medium in the future.

Qu) Do you travel to find locations or do you use the ability to go anywhere in the imagination, to do just that?

Ans)I tend to write about places I know and with which I feel an attachment. Holiday locations have been a great inspiration to me, although this is a by-product rather than a deliberate plan. I admit to organising family holidays to obscure destinations in the past, possibly with a subconscious intention of researching future writing scenarios. Fortunately, the holidays have all turned out fine, so the fact they have inspired me to write is a bonus. I find that actually being in a place and experiencing the lifestyle means one can get beneath the surface and learn more about what makes the place tick. I admire people who can write purely from their imagination, but for me first hand experience is key.

Qu) What is the most important physical sense of your current heroine? (Taste, touch, sight,hearing or smell)

Ans) Interesting question. I would say sight is probably Abi’s most important physical sense. She loves to admire the beauty of the environment and the hero’s attributes do not escape her attention either! However, taste and smell are close contenders with all the delicious flavours and aromas of Italian food.

Qu) Who is your favourite fictional hero?
Ans) It’s got to be Mr Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. He starts off so arrogant and aloof, but love eventually brings out a more generous side of his nature. We have to go through a lot of pain to get there, however!

Megan has kindly agreed to share an extract from her fresh release A Shore of Secrets with us:

A Shore of Secrets 200x300

She knew she must have touched a nerve. Ordinarily, his feelings were

concealed behind a wall of seamless armour that exposed no tangible signs of emotion. She observed him straighten his back with an air of possessiveness. Only the brows, drawn together over the blade of his nose, hinted at unease now. It was obvious their brief encounter had reached an abrupt end. Without meaning to pry, it was also clear she had taken a step too far. She dragged a deep breath into her lungs. Dealing with Giovanni was like treading on eggshells.

“Well, I mustn’t keep you from your clients any longer.” Clicking his heels, he tossed an impartial smile, adding in a tone of freezing courtesy, “If you have any queries or require any help, I’ll be in the office.”

What was it about Giovanni that troubled her so, she wondered as he left her alone with her tumbling thoughts? Maybe it was her conscience over Francesca at play. Regardless of the guilt trip, it was so maddening how his condescension could reduce her to a helpless child. She was a strong and independent career woman, for goodness sake.

Shaking herself into action, she swirled round on her heels and beamed a practised smile at the jocular holidaymakers. The secondary purpose of her visit was blanked from her mind.

Buy links: MuseItUp Publishing Amazon Kindle U.S. Amazon Kindle U.K.

Venice is exquisite. Nor is the beauty confined to the place. Hotelier Giovanni Renaldi is tall, dark and devilishly handsome. Yet holiday representative Abi seems immune. Crossed in love, she is in no hurry to fall again. Plus his arrogance is so infuriating.

Surely the discomforting feelings he evokes can only be guilt at covering for his naive sister’s secret lover?

When passion finally wins through, the thrill of their lovemaking is soon wrecked. And Giovanni, proud and fierce defender of his family since inheriting the role of patriarch, is enraged to learn Abi has colluded with his sister.

But Abi quickly discovers her secrecy is nothing compared to Giovanni’s. As the family’s closely guarded secrets begin to unfold, she is sucked into their internal wrangling.

Is nothing what it seems in this clandestine community?

And can love triumph over the turmoil of scarred lives?

MEGAN’S LINKS: Megan’s Web Site http://www.megan-johns.com

Megan’s Blog http://www.meganjohnsinvites.blogspot.com

Megan’s Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Megan-Johns/e/B002YJONYO/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1368965382&sr=1-2-ent

Megan on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/megan.johns.3766?ref=tn_tnmn

Megan on Twitter https://twitter.com/meganjohns12

Megan on Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3420014.Megan_Johns

BUY LINK https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=601&category_id=69&manufacturer_id=285&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1 http://tinyurl.com/c55958j

Author’s Other Works: ‘The Path of Innocence’, published by Devine Destinies BUY LINK CLICK HERE
Megan’s LINKS: http://www.megan-johns.com http://www.meganjohnsinvites.blogspot.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/megan.johns.3766?ref=tn_tnmn Twitter: Megan Johns @meganjohns12 Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3420014.Megan_Johns