Tag Archive | literature

A quick WIPpet for Wednesday

Hey!  I thought I’d do a quick post today as I’m quite tired and rather busy.  So I’m gonna share with you 7 sentences for the 7th month from my current WIP.  It still doesn’t have a title yet lol.  I’ll get there in the end.

To give you a bit of background to the scene my MC Rebecca, a new teacher, has been working at the secondary school (11-16 yr olds) for a few weeks.  In this scene she’s surprised to see a pupil she hasn’t seen for a while…

Looking up from her desk, Rebecca was surprised and pleased to see Melanie Bailey standing beside it, an uncertain expression on her face.  She’d barely seen the girl since she started but Rebecca was still grateful to her for her concern when she’d nearly been hit by that awful man’s car.  But Melanie hadn’t been in any of her classes so far.  She wondered what she was doing here now, during lunch break when all the pupils would be either in the cafeteria or skulking around the school grounds.

‘Can I help you, Melanie?’ Rebecca asked her.

‘You remembered my name,’ she smiled, her features brightening a little.  Then she lowered her eyes as if embarrassed by her statement. 

So that’s it from me!  If you want to take part in WIPpet Wednesday all you have to do is post an excerpt on your blog of whatever your working on currently writing-wise.  The general rule is that it relates in some way to the date. Then add your name here.

Thanks once again to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. :)

 

Review of ‘Kings and Queens’ by Terry Tyler

Rosie's Book Review Challengers 1Well this is a new one for me.  This is the first time I’ve posted a review of a book I’ve read on this blog.  Or any blog for that matter. And this book certainly is a good one to have for a first review. Though technically I’ve written loads of reviews of books I’ve read. You can read many of them on Goodreads.

I’m doing this as part of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Challenge, where a number of authors have donated their books to be sent to readers, who choose one of the books, in exchange for an honest review.

I chose to read Kings and Queens by Terry Tyler.

So here’s the review.  It’s a really good book, so take a look (no rhyme intended lol).

An intriguing twist on a well-known historical saga

This book was a slow burner for me. I felt it took a while to get going, in terms of the action unfolding. But once it did the story pulled me along and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I thought the idea of updating the story of Henry 8th and his six wives to modern day Britain was ingenious. The story begins in the seventies when Harry Lanchester takes over the running of the family business when his father dies. Tyler goes on to tell the tale of Harry and his succession of wives and mistresses in a saga which spans four decades. Tyler depicts the passing decades with accuracy and nothing ever felt anachronistic as I was reading it.

I thought that Tyler did a fantastic job in getting inside the heads of Harry’s love interests. All of the six women were completely different from each other in terms of character and disposition, and that helped to make the story move along quickly. I think the character who stood out for me the most was the updated Anne Boleyn – Annette Hever. I really felt that Tyler almost resurrected Anne Boleyn in the form of this modern character and she felt so real – I could easily understand how she’d taken Harry’s heart and then lost it again.

Harry Lanchester was equally believable and knowing a little bit about Henry 8th, I could easily picture him in my mind. He’s an equally likeable and ‘loathable’ character and I thought that Tyler mirrored Henry 8th’s character with that of the modern Harry perfectly.

You don’t have to know anything about history to enjoy this novel and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a gripping story with an exciting plot and memorable characters.

A chance encounter in a cafe

Costa cafe

Hello one and all and welcome to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday.  I hope you’re all well and, for those of you that are in the UK or anywhere else that’s sunny right now, I hope you’re making the most of the weather!

Anyway as the title of this post suggests, today’s WIPpet that I’m sharing takes place in a cafe.  It’s from my as-yet-untitled WIP romance about a school teacher.  In this scene it’s the weekend and my MC Rebecca has cycled into the centre of the city where she lives for some R&R.

While she’s there, she sees someone she knows and what follows is their encounter.  I’m sharing with you just over 25 lines for the 25th June, which I think is generous seeing as I haven’t written much yet!

Rebecca headed across the pedestrianized area towards the large Next store.  She needed a new belt; her current one had seen better days.  But as she approached the store, the smell of fresh coffee brewing washed over her.  Led astray, she followed her nose to its source: the nearby Costa.  There were only three other customers in the café, a man and two young women chatting together. 

Still feeling the effects of her lie in, Rebecca ordered an espresso and sank down onto a large leather sofa facing a low table.  She picked up the crumpled copy of the previous day’s Times, and became engrossed in an article in the culture section on the newest book by one of her favourite authors.  She was so absorbed in what she was reading that when someone cleared their throat, seemingly right by her ear, she jolted upwards in her seat, nearly spilling her espresso all over her pale blouse.

Her brow furrowed as she looked up, and then un-furrowed itself as she saw Nick’s friendly face smiling down at her.

‘Interesting article?’ he asked her.

‘Yes actually,’ she replied smiling back.  Seeing that he was hovering with a drink in his hand, she added, ‘You can join me if you want.’

‘Thanks, that’d be great.’ He sat down opposite her, crossing his long legs in front of him underneath the table.

Rebecca took another sip of her espresso, determined not to be awkward with Nick.  He’s just a member of staff, she told herself.  A very cute member of staff, but a member of staff none the less.

‘So, Rebecca, how’s your first couple of weeks been?  I bet it’s a lot to get used to.’

She nodded. 

And there you have it.  If you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, all you have to do is post an excerpt of whatever you’re working on writing-wise at the moment and post it on your blog.  Ideally it should relate in some way to the date.  Then post your details here.

Thank you our lovely K. L. Schwengel for being our marvellous hostess!

It’s OK now cos I’m back!!!

I'm back no 2

My apologies for missing last week’s WIPpet Wednesday. I’d been very busy with work and I was also really tired. But now I’m back! And I’ve actually written some more on my WIP – finally after months. So I’m happy about that.

If you follow my blog, you may have seen that I’ve been thinking about how to increase my presence online, particularly with this blog.  You can read about that here.  This is with the ultimate aim of publicising my writing.  I guess that’s fairly obvious, but I find it amazing how the whole purpose of social networking i.e. to promote our writing can become obscured until we have less and less time to spend on the writing which is what it was all about in the first place.

That’s how I see it anyway.  I certainly find it to be true of me.  I’m finding it hard to keep up with everything, what with work and blogging, tweeting and most importantly writing.  I feel that I maybe need to scale back what I do on social media a little to focus more on my writing.

Anyway for this week’s WIPpet Wednesday post, I’m sharing with you 4 short paragraphs from my current WIP.  My maths goes like this: 6 for the month – 2 from 2014.  Not great but I couldn’t see another way to do it.  In this scene, my MC Rebecca, who is an English teacher at a secondary school (11-16 yr olds), is teaching her class of fifth formers (15-16 yr olds).  Some of the boys are mucking around.  She’s determined to maintain control over the class…

‘Daniel Leavis, what do you think you’re doing?’ Rebecca said sternly.  She was teaching the fifth formers’ English class.  It was two thirty on a Friday afternoon, the end of a busy and stressful two weeks for her – and they were only the first two weeks into her job.

Daniel looked up at her, smirking.  She saw a bit of folded paper in his hand that he was attempting to conceal.  Feeling her patience wearing thin, Rebecca stalked up to him.

‘Whatever that is in your hand, you can give it to me.’

‘Ooh give it to you, yes please,’ Daniel’s sidekick Richard snickered under his breath.

That’s it from me this week.  If you’d like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday but are unsure how, all you have to do is post on your blog something that you’ve written recently.  Make sure it relates in some way to the date.  Then add your name here.

Thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting. :)

How I’m blogging now

I just thought I’d continue on from what I was talking about the other day – blogging, gaining more followers on my blog and how to go about it.

Well I’ve signed up to follow a fair few more blogs in the hope that that may be a way to gain more followers myself.  And, of course, it’s interesting to read others’ blogs and see how they’re successful, what they do or don’t do that I could learn from.

I’m a bit flummoxed by one thing though.  For a long while I didn’t add tags to my blog posts as I wasn’t aware of how useful they could be.  I think I may have gained a number of followers through tagging my posts.

But the thing that’s puzzling me is this: when I Googled certain words that I use as tags in my blogging, intending to see if I could find other writers’ blogs, it came up with very little that was helpful i.e. hardly any relevant writers blogs at all.

So it got me thinking – how exactly do tags work?  Are they what other people use to find blogs to follow – do other people Google certain words to find a blog they might like to follow, or do other people know something I don’t about tags?

Anyway I’m confused by that.  Any info about that gratefully received.

To go back to the main point of this blog post, as well as working hard at blogging myself, it’s been interesting to see how various other bloggers go about… well blogging.  Some of them list targets they’re trying to achieve (I don’t find this particularly helpful, in fact it’s a bit boring!), others intersperse anecdotes about their non-writing lives (which I find fascinating) and then of course many blog about how their writing is going, their plans for releasing their novels, details of when their novels are being released etc.

I have found that the most successful blogs engage with their readers; they provide good content that others want to read; they ask questions and the blog itself is attractive and looks good.

As for my own blogging – well I’m trying to comment on others’ blogs as much as I can – though I do delete a number of posts as I haven’t got the time or energy to look at them all.  I’m only human!

With this blog, I’m trying to post more often, as obviously that is so important.  I also intend at some point to start linking more to other blog sites.  Some of the most effective blog sites have great links to helpful sites for writers.

Here are some that I enjoy:

Catherine, Caffeinated

Daily (w)rite

Shannon A Thompson

Joanne Phillips

I think I’ll leave it there for now.  But before I go, here’s a question for you.  Do you have a favourite blog that you keep returning to and why?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

My blogging journey

This is kind of a follow up from my post the other day which you can read here.  I really wasn’t sure what to blog about today, but I knew I wanted to say something.  So now I’ve come up with it!

I’ve been rethinking my blogging and how much I comment on other people’s blogs.  Yes I want more people following my blog. Don’t we all?  But how do I go about that?

John Guillen commented on my blog and suggested that I could gain more followers by commenting on other people’s blogs, which I do but not enough.  So I’m starting to do that more.

Eileen Slovak commented too, saying that she likes to write a number of blog posts on the same subject. My husband suggested I follow lots of blogs; that way people see that I’m following them and maybe they’ll follow me back.

As I mentioned in the previous post, it’s also about content and whether or not that appeals to people. Another aspect is linking to other blogs.

I guess really it’s a combination of all of the above, as well as putting in the hard work that will hopefully, eventually, pay off.  So I’m going to keep working away at it, keep blogging and of course writing.

What are your tips for a successful blog?

 

 

Another interview for WIPpet Wednesday

Hi one and all.  I hope you’ve had a good week.   I have, enjoying the long May Day weekend here in the sunny UK.  Seriously, the weather was pretty good for once!! (It nearly always decides to rain in this country every time we have a national holiday!)

Anyway, on with my WIPpet for this week.  Well I guess the title of this blog post is a giveaway – I’m treating you to another interview with a different character from my WIP Reunion of the Heart.

This time I’m interviewing Lizzie.  She is the close friend of Rachel who I interviewed here last week.  When Lizzie, Rachel, my MC Anna and her best friend Melissa were at secondary school, they fell out over a boy. Rachel sided with Lizzie insisted on going out with Matt who’d made Anna’s life a misery.  Anna and Melissa stuck together and so the friendship group was broken.  I won’t say any more as I don’t want to give away too much of the plot.

I should say this interview is quite long, so thank you in advance for taking the time to read it.  One more comment: it doesn’t relate to today’s date (shock horror!).  I’m sure K. L. Schwengel (she of the flying monkeys) is going to shoot me now! ;)  But before she does, here’s my WIPpet:

Me: Hi Lizzie, thanks for agreeing to meet me at such short notice.

Lizzie: Well it was a bit of a pain for me to get here in the rush hour, you could have picked a better time.  But I’m here now.  So what do you want to ask me?

Me: I wanted to get to know you a bit more and to talk to you about your relationship with my main character Anna.  How long have you known her?

L: Since secondary school.  We were in the same PE group in the first year.  (laughs) Anna always hated PE.  She wasn’t bad at running, but didn’t like it because she felt everything wobbled when she ran, you know her boobs and so on.  She had really bad self-esteem; she was a little bit podgy when we were at school but still gorgeous, you know?  Though she could never see it.

Me: Anna told me that you fell out with her over a boy.  Matt, wasn’t it?

L: (face reddens) Is she still going on about that? (angry) Because that was such a long time ago.  I thought we’d made up on that score. (folds arms and glares)

Me: No, no, Anna’s fine with that now.  She’s forgiven you.  But as she’s the main character in my book, I just wanted to make sure that I’ve portrayed her in the right way.   And you too; I’d hate to get my facts wrong. (I fan my hot face with café menu)

L: (leans back in chair and sighs) Well if we really have to talk about it… Yes, we fell out over Matt.  You know, of course, that he and Will made Anna’s life hell when we were at school.  And I’ll always regret that I chose him over Anna.  All those years of friendship wasted for some stupid bloke.  He is as thick as two short planks.  But when we were all at school, he was cute and fun.  All the girls wanted to be with him.  They were so jealous when he chose me. (pauses) It was a stupid mistake on my part.  By the time I realised that Matt and I were going nowhere, it was too late.  We’d just left school.  Anna and I had burned our bridges and there was no going back.  Till the reunion.

Me: Yes, tell me about that.

L: When I got the invite, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make up with Anna.  But in all honesty, I thought it unlikely that she’d go.  I mean, why would she want to revisit her past, to go back to a place where she’d been so unhappy?  Of course, I had no way of knowing if she’d be there until the evening itself.  Rachel was with me.  I suppose she talked to you about all this?

Me: We focused mainly on your schooldays and the falling out.

L: (nods) Right.  Well when Anna did turn up to the reunion, I knew that this was my chance to make up with her.  Most likely I’d never have another opportunity.  Rachel was keen to speak to Anna too.  (pause) She never forgave herself – or me – for what happened.  I think she must have told you that she sided with me when we were at school?

Me: She did mention it, yes.

L: At the time I appreciated Rachel sticking by me.  We’d been friends pretty much all our lives, so I was glad not to lose her friendship.  (sighs) I told myself that Anna and Melissa were overreacting to me dating Matt.  But deep down, I think I always knew that by choosing my casual relationship with Matt over my friendship with Anna, I was making a big mistake.

Me: Why did it take so long for you and Anna to make up?  Couldn’t you have contacted her before?

L: (irritated) What is this, the Spanish Inquisition? (has a long sip of coffee)  OK, if you really need to know, I wasn’t sure where she was living for one thing.  I had no idea she was still in Warston.  But also I didn’t know how she’d react if I tried to track her down and contact her.  Then there’s the fact that in a way I wanted to save face.  As the years went by I felt… embarrassed by the whole thing.  Matt was at the reunion.  I hadn’t seen him for years, but when I did I could barely believe I’d ever seen anything in him.  I mean, the man’s a joke.  It’s like he’s stuck in the late nineties. (pauses, tucking a strand of hair behind her ears) Anymore questions while you’re at it?

Me: Only one, what’s your relationship like with Anna and Melissa now?

L: (brightens) Oh it’s great.  The four of us went to a spa together not long after the reunion.  Did Anna tell you about that? (I nod)  It was fabulous.  It’s like no time had passed since we were friends at school.  All those years when we weren’t in touch – they’ve vanished.

Me: I’m really glad to hear that Lizzie.  Is there anything else you want to say?

L: Only this, that I think Anna deserves to be so happy.  She’s a wonderful friend and would make the right man the perfect partner.

Me: Thanks for talking to me Lizzie.

L: You’re welcome. (looks at watch) Oh crumbs, is that the time?  I must go.  See you.

If you’ve never taken part in WIPpet Wednesday and would like to, just post on your blog anything you’ve been working on writing-wise lately.  Ideally it should relate in some way to the date – my contribution today didn’t!  Then add your name to this.

Big shout out goes to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. :)

When the words just won’t come

Words

I will be honest with you that the title of this blog post isn’t entirely true of my writing right now, although it has been in the past.

But I have been finding that the flow of my WIP is slowing at the moment. Before I began writing I made a comprehensive plan of the plot and in which direction I wanted my story to head.

Of course in actually coming to write it things change and I’ve found that the characters I’d planned have evolved and taken new paths. That’s all well and good. But sometimes you get to a stage in writing a story where things just go a bit stale.

As I said I know where I want to take my story ultimately but I want it to flow seamlessly, with one scene merging into the next so that the narrative doesn’t feel forced.

Right now I’m feeling my writing’s a bit barren. I’ve had a lot of things to focus on apart from this WIP because among other things,as you may have seen from other posts, I’ve been promoting the publication of my debut novel The Inheritance. So I’ve had plenty of distractions.

That’s not the real reason for this dryness in my writing though, I don’t think. I just need to somehow regain a bit of momentum with it, to really tell the story and focus on the general plan I originally came up with and not get too bogged down in dialogue between characters which doesn’t go anywhere.

When I’ve got past this difficult stage of trying to sew the story together seamlessly somehow and I eventually finish the first draft, I’m actually looking forward to sending it out to beta readers and getting their opinions on what’s working and not working, particularly in this part of the story.

Ultimately I want to be able to finish and publish this story by the end of next year but I’m not sure I’ll manage it. Especially seeing as writing a new post for my blog feels a lot easier than moving the action in my WIP along with no visible seams!

What do you do when you’re finding it hard to find the right words to carry a plot forward?

Interview on Laurey Buckland’s blog

TheInheritance

Well this is the penultimate day of my blog tour to promote my debut novel The Inheritance. And today I’m being interviewed by the lovely Laurey Buckland on her blog.

Since I approached her with the request to feature on her blog, Laurey has been nothing but supportive and friendly. She’s the author of the wonderful novel A Girl’s Guide to Fairy Tales and if you enjoy a funny, witty romance then this is the book for you. I’ve read it and really enjoyed it.

Please do take a look at the interview and Laurey’s blog. It’s definitely worth a visit.

If you missed any of my blog stops, you can find the details here. I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog tour so far and that you’ll join me again on Sunday when I finish up with an interview on Kate Frost‘s blog.

If you’d like to buy The Inheritance it’s on Amazon UK and Amazon.com. I’m also on Goodreads and you can contact me on Twitter via @ElaineJeremiah.

Interview with Martin Lake for ‘The Inheritance’

TheInheritance

I’m delighted to say that today as part of my blog tour to promote my debut novel The Inheritance, I’m being interviewed by Martin Lake on his blog.

Martin is the author of some truly wonderful novels, all of them historical fiction but also very diverse. The novels he’s written include a wonderfully imaginative sequel to Oliver Twist entitled Artful, which as the title suggests continues the story of the Artful Dodger, as well as a trilogy about England’s lost king Edgar Atheling in the 11th century and another novel set in medieval times about the Crusades.

Martin has been extremely supportive of me in my path to publication. Please do check out this interview and let me know what you think.

If you’ve missed any of my blog tour, you can read my guest post on Kate Frost’s blog which I did on Saturday here. My guest post on Joanne Phillips’s blog on Monday can be seen here. You can catch an excerpt of The Inheritance which was on Jade Reyner’s blog on Tuesday here. And my interview on Briana Vedsted’s blog which I did yesterday can be seen here.

Details of my blog tour can be found on my blog.

If you want to buy The Inheritance it’s available on Amazon UK and Amazon.com. I’m also on Goodreads and can be contacted on Twitter via @ElaineJeremiah.