Tuesday, 26 March 2019

I'm going to be on Mearns Radio

Tomorrow (27th March) from 3-4 p.m. I will be on the radio, talking about books and inflicting my eclectic taste in music on the listeners! I will be taking part in Wendy's Book Buzz - a fortnightly programme run by my good friend and writer, Wendy H Jones. If you're not in the area, you can listen live via the website: https://mearnsfm.org.uk/

Please do tune in...

I ended up appearing on the 3rd April as there were technical issues on the 27th which meant that although I could hear Wendy, she couldn't hear me!

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Writing notebooks: 'Capture'

This post was originally written for Nero's Notes, where I'm one of the blog writers, but I thought it would be interesting to my readers, too.

Current 'capture' notebooks
People (who evidently don't know me!) often assume that I just write straight into Word when I'm writing my novels. Actually, I barely use Word at all! I write and edit in Scrivener, but that happens a long time after any initial ideas for a book - often months, sometimes years down the line. Long before I actually start writing anything that could conceivably be considered part of a scene or anything, I capture ideas and do a shed-load of noodling around, thinking about characters, settings, plot... None of this is done on the computer! All of my planning is done in notebooks.

I've been writing seriously for well over a decade now, so I have a lot of notebooks that I've used for novel-writing. To cover all of them in one blog-post would leave you all wanting less (a lot less!) so I'll break it up into a couple of posts... Today's post is on the kinds of books I use for capturing ideas. I'll do another post on the notebooks I use once a book idea has got enough going for it that it will actually get written!

I am never without a notebook. Never. Whether I'm at my desk, out and about, or in bed, there's a notebook to hand. Sometimes I get an idea about the book I'm working on and need to capture it. Sometimes I've seen a person and there was something about them that I wanted to note - their clothes, their conversation, their demeanour. I can also get ideas about stories or settings, or see a whole scene really clearly and need to write it down before I forget it. All of these things and more are captured in a series of notebooks that I have dotted around the place.

Essentially, I'm too disorganised to have just one notebook for capture. I'd forget to take it out with me, or I'd leave it next to my bed, or in my handbag and by the time I'd found it, whatever it was I wanted to note would have flown out of my head and be lost forever. It would make my life a lot easier if I could just manage to have a single notebook for capturing these things, but I'm an old dog and that would be a new trick.

So, these are what I have in use at the moment:

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Can I have a break, please?

All too true. That said, at least I'm enjoying the company of my characters, but it feels as if I'm never 'off duty'. Even when I'm not at my desk, re-reading/revising/writing, my head is in the trilogy. I'd love to take a long weekend off, but my brain just never stops!

Where am I at with it all?? Well, I've just finished the re-reads of the middle book and the final book of the trilogy, converted them to ebooks and sent them off to my beta readers (thank you! You're all amazing!). I'm about to do another re-read of the first book, and look at the feedback my fabulous beta readers gave me for that book, and re-work whatever needs re-working.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Noir At The Bar - Edinburgh

Last Wednesday I was delighted to be one of the readers at Noir At The Bar in Edinburgh.

For those of you who've never been to one of these events, let me tell you a bit about it. All of the authors' names are put in a hat (or pint glass or whatever) and someone in the audience is asked to draw a name out. That author then reads a short section from their book and gives a brief description. The person who drew the name out of the hat gets a free (and usually signed) copy of the author's book.

There were 14 authors plus two wild cards last Wednesday. The readings were split up into groups of four with a short break between the sets, to allow people to refill their glasses and natter. I always love these evenings, even if I'm not reading, because it's a great chance to catch up with friends and find out how they are and what they're up to. And of course, it's always amazing to hear everyone's readings.

If you want to see my reading... it's here! Thank you to the amazing Kelly Lacey for the video and to Jackie Collins for the introduction.

Please do also check out all the other videos from the night on the Noir At The Bar Edinburgh Facebook page.

I had a really fabulous evening. If you've not yet been to a NATB, get along to one!!