All about Books, Just life, Writing journey

Hello September or Where the heck did Summer go?

It’s September already, another month has gone by without a peep from me on here; I still haven’t told you all about the RNA conference and there was much I could say. My plan was to blog about it while there or at least, give a round up the following week but nope – life had different ideas. My draft box was checked in the hope I could redeem myself by sharing one I had not finished but all that came up was this:


Summary of RNA conference


It is not quite the detail I had planned but it sums it up. It was an amazing weekend. I highly recommend it to all romance writers; the knowledge, support from speakers, authors and fellow newbies and the friendships made are priceless. The one to one appointments I had with the two agents and editor boosted my confidence, helped mould my proposed ending of A Blend of Magic into something more fitting and encouraged me to keep writing.

I met authors of books I have read and loved, all were lovely and encouraging including magical Jenni Keer and Sarah Painter, and the wonderful Dorothy Koomson. It was hard not to be starstruck when Katie Fforde talked to me, never mind when she bought me and friends a drink.

I also met fellow writers and bloggers I talk to online and they are all as lovely in person as they appear behind the computer screen. Watch this space for when they finish their books and their talent will be available for all to read. They include Kate Baker ( , Emma Wilson ( , Jenny Kennedy (, Sandra Forder and Julie Morris (

Excuses, Excuses

My excuse for not being active blogging is I have been juggling having my in-laws to stay, frantically writing my manuscript to meet the New Writers Scheme deadline and dystonia flares and fatigue. Dystonia was always going to fight back and  I’m grateful it waited as long as it did.

I only submitted a partial rather than full manuscript to be critiqued by readers for the RNA. My in-laws were supportive at the beginning of their month long holiday but they soon became bored of seeing me type, dream or talk about my fiction. I am happier with my WIP than before I started to edit/rewrite it but I need to know if I am on the right track or if the magic element too much, too boring or the plot is just blurgh. Their advice will gratefully received however devastating it may be. Meanwhile I’ll keep plodding on with the knowledge that at least 3 people at the conference liked my first couple of chapters.

Books, Bookshops and little Gems

Last month, I read some wonderful books including The Lost Daughter by Sylvia Broady, The Unlikely Occultist by Isobel Blackthorn and the phenomenal The Woman in the Photograph by Stephanie Butland. Their reviews can be found on my book blog From under the Duvet.

I also discovered a wonderful new independent book shop,  The Little Book Emporium  in Driffield, East Yorkshire. This tiny store is full of old and new delights, literary surprises and is dangerous for the budget. Who needs to eat if you can have an unusual book? I have found this gem:


And these:

How wonderful and useful will these be for witch research?

Enough rabbiting for now, it is time to write my next chapter while the house is quiet (apart from 3 Jack Russell snores from under the duvet).

Happy writing!


Writing journey

The Worried Writer and Genre Limbo

I am writing this from Lancashire awkwardly drinking Yorkshire Tea; the War of the Roses may have ended centuries ago but there are still subtle undercurrents of rivalry between the two counties. I have found some Lancashire Tea in the small shop so I will have a guilt free cuppa later.

The Worried Writer and Genre Limbo
Time for Tea

I made it to the RNA conference and it is the last day. What an experience! In the talks I have listened to, people I have met and writing journeys I have heard, I feel invigorated in my creativity and determination to take the leap from writer to author. I did have a wobble of confidence yesterday because there are amazing writers in the group. The stories come alive with emotions and my scribblings about the comings and goings of The Enchanted Emporium appeared childish in comparison. This was impacted by my insecurity of the genre Willow’s and even Amber’s story fit. Too magical for women’s literature, not spooky enough for paranormal and with Amber’s tale it doesn’t sit firmly in the YA fantasy label. My explanations of the genre when asked were long winded “romantic contemporary women’s fiction with a hint of supernatural” felt like a mouthful especially when I struggle to say contemporary. Without a fit I felt no agent, editor would touch it so my mind latched on to the idea of self publishing; whatever A Blend of Magic is determined to be out in the world. Until yesterday. I made the snap decision to attend a lecture The Worried Writer by the delightful Sarah Painter instead of the scheduled one. It was a revelation.

Not only was the talk relevant to my worried mind and procrastinating ways in minutes she introduced her work as magical realism. It was a light bulb moment; that is my genre for both manuscripts. They have important themes, which I hope I can do them portray well, with emotion and depth but there is magic threaded through. It may sound stupid to some but having a name has given my work some value in my head and confidence to admit what I am writing rather than hiding it under a mumble.

I am a magical realism writer.

My tea has long gone and it time to mingle with writers who maybe worse for wear after the Gala dinner last night.

More soon.

Happy writing!