January 2014 archive

Blog Chain

I’ve been invited by the very lovely Karen Clarke to be the next link in a writing themed chain post where I get to answer some questions on what I like doing most, writing! If you have a chance, do go back and read some of the other posts in the chain. There are some great interviews there.

writing woman

What am I currently working on?

I am just in the planning stages for my third novel with Carina UK which has a working title of ‘My Perfect Boyfriend.’   As I don’t do a lot of planning that means I’m indulging in a lot of mulling over, cogitating and staring out of the window, all in the name of research, before I actually get down to putting some words on to paper.  With a deadline looming though, I know I won’t be able to put it off for very much longer!

Today I’m working on a short story.  Since signing my contract with Carina I haven’t had as much time to work on short stories as I would have liked so it’s nice to have a bit of space between novels  to work on something a bit different.  This particular idea has been running around my head for a while now so I can’t wait to get started on it.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Well my first novel, ‘Desperately Seeking Heaven’ is a romantic comedy with a twist.  It has a gorgeous ghost as the hero and while it doesn’t have a conventionally happy ending, it does have what I believe is an upbeat and hopeful ending.   My second novel, ‘Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off’ has no ghosts, but does have some colourful characters who aren’t all they seem to be on first appearance.

Why do I write what I do?

I like to write the sorts of stories that I like to read; escapist, light-hearted, feel-good fiction.

How does my writing process work?

To be honest, it’s a bit hit and miss.  Like Karen, I tend to work better when I have a deadline to meet, and then I try to write 1000 words a day, hopefully before everyone comes in from work and school.  That doesn’t always happen though, so often I’ll be working into the night.  This year I’m trying to be a bit more disciplined (that means not being distracted by Facebook, Twitter and Philip and Holly) and am trying to increase my daily word count to nearer the 2000 words a day mark.

The next link in the chain is fellow Carina author Katie Oliver who will post on 20th January 2014.  Her  novel, ‘Prada and Prejudice’ has recently been released.  If you’re a fan of Jane Austen, then you’ll love Katie’s book!

New Year, New Book!

Happy New Year!   And a belated Merry Christmas and Happy Halloween whilst I’m at it!  I know I’m a rubbish blogger and haven’t put up a personal post in months but I honestly don’t know where the time has gone.

Following the release of Desperately Seeking Heaven four months ago it’s been a heady whirl of champagne parties, lunches with publishing types and intense discussions with film companies.  No, it hasn’t really, (well, only in my head!) but I have been very busy, back in the writing cave, working on my second novel which was a very different experience to writing DSH.

Desperately Seeking Heaven went through the wonderful Romantic Novelists Association, New Writer’s Scheme.  Twice in fact.  The first time as a partial when I got some wonderful feedback which gave me the encouragement to continue with the story and secondly as a full manuscript when it was recommended for a second read.  (I don’t believe this is still an option with the NWS but it meant they felt it was good enough to receive a second appraisal of the novel.)  Again I gained some valuable feedback and made some changes based upon those comments.  When I started submitting to agents and publishers I received even more suggestions about the story so by the time it landed on the editors desks at Carina UK, it had already been read by lots of people and had gone through numerous drafts.

Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, which is released today (did I mention that!!!) was the second book in my contract and was written to a tight deadline so I didn’t have a chance to show it to anyone else and get anyone else’s opinion on it.  The first person to read the story was my lovely editor and after a couple of rounds of edits (okay, the first round was pretty heavy) the book was ready to be released!  So whilst Desperately Seeking Heaven took a good couple of years, several title changes and many drafts to see the light of day, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, has made it in a matter of months.  And for that reason I’m just a little bit nervous that people will now be reading it…  I really hope they like it…

 lctwto small

Reasons why you should never, ever, read your best friend’s diary (even if it has fallen to the floor, pages open oh-so temptingly…):

– It’s morally indefensible.

– She would never trust you again.

– You probably know it all anyway…

So what harm could the tiniest peek do…? Answer: Lots! The best reason for never reading your best friend’s diary:

– You might just find out something you really didn’t want to know!

Learning her fiancé, Ed – the guy she’s supposed to marry this weekend! – is having an affair with her best friend, is a devastating bombshell for bride-to-be Anna. Confused, hurt and absolutely livid, she hops on the first train to anywhere-but-here in need of some serious soul searching.

Can she ever forgive Ed? Who is Anna ‘sans Ed’? And more importantly, should she go through with the wedding or should she just call the whole thing off?

If you think you might, like it that is, you can download it here

Guest Post – Jennie Bohnet

My first guest post of the year and I’m delighted to welcome today my friend and very talented writer, Jennie Bohnet, to talk about her writing life.  Her latest book, ‘I’m Virtually Yours’, a novella about a virtual assistant has recently been released by Carina UK.


Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, how long you’ve been writing and what you do when you’re  not writing?

I’m originally from the West country and now live in rural Brittany. I’ve always written but it took years, lots of rejections and a move to France before my fiction took off. Before then I wrote non fiction pieces and life-style features for newspapers and magazines in the UK.

Where did the idea for ‘I’m Virtually Yours’ come from?  How long did it take you to write?

I belong to an online journalism forum and somebody there posted about being snowed under with work. Another member offered to be their virtual assistant and the idea grew from there. It’s a novella so not long to write – about a month I guess but then there was the editing etc and when Carina UK accepted it they wanted it lengthened by about three thousand words.

Is the book stand-alone or part of a series?

It was written as a stand alone but somebody has already asked if there will be a follow up as they liked the characters so much, so maybe…

I know that you’ve written many short stories and serials.  When writing a short story, and when writing a novel, do you use different plotting and outlining techniques?

I’ve always been what is described as a ‘panster’. Sit down with an idea, start and see where the story goes but recently I’ve tried to be a bit more of a plotter with both short stories and novels. By that I mean I now have the beginning and some sort of ending in my mind before I start. I wish I could be like some writers who plot things out chapter by chapter before they start. I just can’t write like that.

What are you currently working on?

I have another book for CarinaUK to finish and the deadline is getting scarily close. I can’t give you any details other to say that this one is set in the South of France. I’m also still working on another longer novel for Robert Hale.

What’s your writing routine?  Do you write every day?  And what’s your usual daily word count?

I find mornings are my best time to write and yes, I do try and write every day but don’t always succeed! I’m starting 2014 determined to improve my output and reach my daily target of 2000 words on a more regular basis!

What are your writing ambitions?

I’d love to be a best selling author – wouldn’t we all?

What is your favourite genre to read and write?

I write the kind of book I enjoy reading and I find contemporary woman’s fiction that deals with relationships of all sorts the most interesting to read. I prefer emotional conflict in a story as opposed to crime or gung ho conflict.

Some fun questions.  If you had to choose just one…

Pop song? Not really into pop – does anything by Michael Bublé count?

Book? Impossible to choose!

Film? Midnight in Paris.

Food? I’m going for a dessert here – Tiramisu.

Drink? Champagne.


I'm Virtually Yours


Need a virtual PA? Then Polly Jones is your girl!

Polly Jones is taken aback when a new client asks her to investigate the Robertson family business in Devon, after all, a ‘virtual assistant’ doesn’t usually leave their home office! But she needs the work – and less proximity to an endless supply of tea and biscuits can only be a good thing right? So she sets off, with energetic puppy Rosie close by her side.
Polly’s new job isn’t quite in her comfort zone… Arriving in the small fishing village where everyone knows everyone’s business, any upsides (all those yummy scones and clotted cream) of course have their downside – she’s completely forgotten to pack her sea legs, and the temptingly handsome Will Robertson is making her job difficult at every turn.
It’s so much easier to keep things strictly professional in the virtual world – but with no e-mail to hide behind Polly must admit that Will’s smile is incredibly, deliciously distracting…

To learn more about Jennie and her writing, you can find her here:

Website:    http://goo.gl/xviqQp

I’M VIRTUALLY YOURS   http://goo.gl/7dAHXy

AUTHOR FACEBOOK PAGE:  http://goo.gl/6hsfZw

Twitter:  @jenniewriter