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.


Myra Duffy Crime Writer discusses Place as Character



Myra Duffy crime writer is the author of a formidable list of titles. I asked her a few questions about the influence setting has on her work.
Thanks for joining us today, Myra.

Where is Last Ferry to Bute set?

As with all my mystery novels this one is set on Bute, a small island just off the West coast of Scotland.

I assume, as it’s close to the mainland, you’ve been there?

We’ve had family connections with the island for many years and spend a lot of time there. The Isle of Bute has been a favourite holiday destination for generations.

I must say that Bute isn’t the hotbed of crime my novels suggest. In fact there is very little crime and it is a beautiful place with lots of unspoiled beaches and excellent walking, including the West Island Way. A lot of money is being spent on upgrading facilities, including the Art Deco building which features in Last Dance at the Rothesay Pavilion.

What aspects of the place most excited your writer’s mind?

The island is an ideal place to set a crime novel. It has a population of no more than 6000 people, except in the summer months when the holiday makers descend. This provides the benefit of a location that has strong associations for many people, not only in Scotland but for those of Scottish descent throughout the world. In a small place like Bute there are lots of opportunities for local gossip and intrigue to move the plot along.

Does the place act as an unnamed character in your book?

Very much so. You won’t travel far before meeting someone who remembers going there on holiday as a child or whose granny or other relative lived there! And a number of readers have told me that after reading the novels they’ve been inspired to visit the island.

I use different areas of the island in each novel. The latest one – Endgame at Port Bannatyne (out at the end of September) – is set in one of the villages on the eastern side of Bute.

All the Isle of Bute mystery novels are available from bookshops, on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and in eBook format on Kindle

Twitter @duffy_myra

A really Great Five Star Review

Muse Banner Mariah's Marriage

Muse Banner Mariah’s Marriage

I found this wonderful Five Star Review of Mariah’s Marriage on amazon.co.uk Just the thing an author needs to find now and again.

In many ways this is an unusual departure from the ‘standard’ Regency novel and all the more entertaining for its originality.
The heroine, Mariah, is feisty and determined and from the first time we meet her with Tobias Longreach (and a pig!) we know we are in for a great read.
Without wanting to spoil the plot, the villain is particularly well drawn and the period detail skilfully woven in to the story and to the dialogue.
The course of true love certainly doesn’t run smooth and there are a number of edgy episodes culminating in a finale where Mariah is in serious danger.
This is a book which will appeal to many readers and not only to fans of Regency novels.

Thanks to Myra Duffy for that.