Empress

Currently editing my YA novel, Blood Rain and listening to Snow Patrol’s latest album, Wildness, which I love ❤ Their song Empress captures Willow’s story and her relationship with Rowan and Ashley perfectly ❤

I’ll leave the lyrics and video here:

Empress

Snow Patrol

You’re angry but you don’t know how to be that yet
It seems too much went wrong and all at once
Resistance seems impossible from down this low
And surely no one else can feel like this

But on the streets
You can see them gathering
And in your heart
You know they feel like you do

Sound and pulse and volume
Hands just reaching out for hands
This is almost overload
I said almost overload
Friends and foes and princes
Are all just human in the end
This is so damn simple, yeah
It’s so damn simple

So standing in the steady throne of restless hope
You don’t feel like an outcast anymore
And something deep inside of you has waken up
And you know that nothing’s gonna be the same again

And on the streets
You can see for what seems miles
Because in your heart
You know they feel like you do

Sound and pulse and volume
Hands just reaching out for hands
This is almost overload
I said almost overload
Friends and foes and princes
Are all just human in the end
This is so damn simple, yeah
It’s so damn simple

Your mind won’t be still
It may not again
You don’t think it will
But it will, it will

Sound and pulse and volume
Hands just reaching out for hands
This is so damn simple, yeah
It’s so damn simple
This is so damn simple, yeah
This is so damn simple
This is so damn simple, yeah
This is so damn simple

Songwriters: Garret Noel Lee / Gary Lightbody / John McDaid / Jonathan Graham Quinn / Nathan Connolly / Paul Wilson
Empress lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Spirit Music Group

And here’s the band version:

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The Night Manager

After a wonderful and relaxing Easter with family I have finally caught up with The Night Manager. What decadence to be watching television by myself on a Tuesday morning. Sitting on the sofa’s edge with coffee and chocolate in hand while the nail biting finale unfolds.

Hooked from the start by Tom Hiddleston his Jonathan Pine has been a perfect blend of geniality, ruthlessness and smolder. Oh and nakedness. An audition for James Bond some have said. I’m not a fan of the whole 007 franchise however if he or Idris Elba make the cut then you can count me in!

Hugh Laurie is ideally cast as the baddie. I saw him first! In my novel Blood Rain I envisaged him playing the main antagonist.

But as amazing as these actors are it is the women who stand out. Roper’s girlfriend has me wishing I was statuesque and willowy, floating braless in beautifully draped dresses and bejewelled sandals.  Much more than an adornment Elizabeth Debicki plays Jed in an understated way and a pregnant Olivia Coleman as Angela Burr, as always, is a class act. The way she delivers her lines is perfection. Discombobulated, ha!

As much as I want more I hope they don’t give us another series. I’m content that Roper gets what’s due to him, Jed goes home to her son and Pine and Burr get closure. Great adaptation of le Carré’s novel. Thanks BBC!

KC TH

 

Three Manuscripts Later…

This year has flown by. My last post was in February. I had intended to post every month which is a reasonable aim I think however ten months later here’s my second post of the year!

So where was I? Ah yes, Ordering Flynn Matthews  – no agents interested yet so after being ‘nagged’ by a couple of my readers, you know who you are ;), I’ve entered it into the Choc Lit Search for a Star Competition hoping they find my flawed heroes irresistible! You never know…

My Blood Rain manuscript is currently with an agent. In anticipation of her liking it, channelling positivity, finally this month I edited the second novel in the trilogy, Blood Moon. I need to write the finale, Blood Stone – story outline written so I’ll get to that after I’ve finished my latest project.

So what have I done in the ten months since I last posted? Written three novels (80,000+ words each) that’s what! Whether they get published is immaterial (although it would be vindication for the time spent away from my family and all the burnt, late dinners!) I won’t give up writing. I get agitated if I don’t get time to write! It’s an addiction. It truly is.

Ordering Flynn Matthews is a stand alone novel however I have written a sequel Failing Flynn Matthews. I took a break from Flynn and wrote a romantic suspense novel No Blame – it’s dark and unlike my other novels has two points of view. Two weeks ago I completed Working Flynn Matthews. I’m resting all three for the moment. I will do another edit before sending them to my kindle for a read. I find it helps me with spotting typos and seeing if it flows like an actual book! After saving up the pennies I’ll send them to my editor Debz Hobbs-Wyatt who provides a wonderful service. In celebration of the first birthday of her debut novel she’s offering a limited number of reduced price in-depth novel critiques this December. So for anyone looking for a professional edit I can’t recommend her highly enough and her normal rates are very competitive too.

I have plenty of ideas for new stories and have started on my next project The Horse’s Head inspired by a gorgeous notebook (my weakness) I bought on a trip to Camden Market in the summer. It’s become our favourite market to frequent, slightly inconvenient considering we live in Somerset!

Owl Notebook

The inspirational notebook!

 

Busy Writing

In my last post I was busy editing Blood Moon the sequel to Blood Rain – I haven’t quite finished yet as an idea for a new novel wouldn’t stop nagging at me. So four months later and after an edit from Debz Hobbs-Wyatt (more later on Debz) and a busy weekend getting it ready my contemporary adult novel Ordering Flynn Matthews is seeking representation. I emailed a synopsis and the first three chapters to a few carefully chosen agents today.

I haven’t sent Blood Rain out since my last update, not that I’ve given up on it, I still believe in the story, it’s very current considering the extreme weather we’re getting, although I’m not sure it’s happening for the same reasons as in my novel! however Ordering Flynn Matthews has taken over for the time being. Or maybe it’s Flynn Matthews who’s taken over. I’m already writing the sequel Failing Flynn Matthews.

Before I get back to Flynn I must tell you that of all the books I read last year the one that stands out most and I would recommend as a definite read is While No One Was Watching by Debz Hobbs Wyatt. 32 5* reviews on Amazon already! Wonderfully heartfelt with engaging characters, fabulous relationships and a fifty year old mystery to solve.

Oh and one more thing, a few days before Christmas we were lucky enough to go to the Warner Bros Studio Harry Potter Tour If you ever get the chance it’s well worth it! Truly magical 🙂 No idea where the owl photo comes from so can’t credit the person who made it but thank you whoever you are. It’s cuter and preferable to the one of me on a broomstick.

Image

Backing Up & Editing

After a busy summer today is my first day back at ‘work’ and so far so good the procrastinating is going well!

During the summer months I meant to edit the rewrite of Blood Moon but never got round to it plus my laptop died. Apparently five years old in the computer world is elderly! Fortunately I had all my writing saved to a memory stick which is only something I started doing this year, thank goodness. Always back-up at the end of every writing day!

I haven’t managed to hook an agent yet and since my last post where I wrote about having the Blood Rain manuscript requested I’ve had a couple of standard rejections plus three more very positive rejections. When the agent has strayed away from the standard rejection they have commented that although it’s not for them (staying positive it will be for one agent!) they enjoyed it and it stands out from the majority of submissions they receive.  I put that down to having Blood Rain professionally edited. I ‘met’ my editor Debz Hobbs-Wyatt when she edited my short story Trojan for On This Day anthology and she was my first thought for editing my novel. She is having a very well deserved successful year and her first novel While No One Was Watching will be published next month! Check out her blog for what an editor does and excellent writing tips!

Before I get back to editing, I shall procrastinate a little more and share that it’s been a fruitful year in my garden with tomatoes, cucumbers, french beans, apples and plums. Here’s my shed hiding in the foliage.

My shed

My cute shed

Submissions – Highs and Lows

Blood Rain submission sent. Out of three: two standard rejections and wait for it, one request for the full manuscript as the agent’s ‘very intrigued by the story and looking forward to reading it.’

Following the obligatory cartwheels – after all only approx 5% of submissions get a request for the full manuscript – I send off Blood Rain. Word of advice check it before sending; finding errors after, however minor, is not good for the nerves!

While remembering only 1% of requested manuscripts are successful in landing an agent I’ve been enjoying the positives of getting to the next stage. Someone has taken note, someone thinks my writing’s good enough, there’s hope.

Okay this week that hope fades for a few minutes as the top agent emails and says ‘I very much enjoyed reading your work however…’ I’ve decided to see this rejection as a positive; she enjoyed reading it and didn’t need to say that. Don’t tell me otherwise 😉

So as Ben Howard would say ‘keep your head up, keep your heart strong’ – now where did I put my copy of Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2013?

Feeling a little bouncy

My YA novel Blood Rain is back from its full edit by the wonderful Debz Hobbs-Wyatt. She’s a brilliant editor and also a writer whose work I admire so her words that I write well and it’s a good novel worthy of publishing mean a lot.

Of course there are no guarantees that will happen but I’m determined to try and currently have the Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2013 to hand looking at agents/publishers to submit to. It’s a little daunting but also exciting!