GIVEAWAY: Liberty print notebook

liberty notebookTomorrow is the six month anniversary of the publication of my debut novel, The Language of Spells.

It’s been such an exciting, time, and I’m incredibly grateful for the support I’ve received from you lovely people.

Thank you for visiting my blog (and/or following me on Twitter and Facebook) and for all the supportive comments, the brilliant (funny, informative) chats, and amazing reviews. Thank you!

As a token of my gratitude, I’m giving away this beautiful A5 Liberty notebook.

Gwen Harper, the protagonist in The Language of Spells, has an uncanny ability to find lost things. In the book, she finds a vintage purse made in the iconic Liberty peacock print, but I couldn’t afford one of those – sorry!

To be in with a chance of winning, just leave a comment on this post and I’ll pick a name at random.

* Sorry, UK and Ireland only. Giveaway ends 8pm GMT on Saturday 7th December *

Writing Challenge Check In: Week 4

thor-2-poster-loki-tom-hiddlestonOh my goodness, we’re half way through the challenge. How are you guys doing?

My revised goal (to rewrite the follow up to The Language of Spells) isn’t quite as easy to track (I’m rewriting and cutting, as well as adding new words), but I was planning to have finished the first third by today.

Um. That hasn’t happened.

Moving on quickly to cheerier matters… I saw Thor 2 and I’m pleased to report that it was great fun. If you like action-packed superhero films with humour, then you’ll love it.

Plus, y’know Thor with his shirt off and the delectable Loki. Yum.

Writing Challenge Check In: Week 3

red_typewriterHello, my lovelies. How was your week?

I hope you all managed to get lots of words written or a chunk of editing completed. Whatever goal you set yourself, I hope it helped you to get work done when you might not otherwise, and to appreciate your progress, no matter how small.

Speaking of small… I managed just under 3000 words. I really wanted this to be the week that I hit my ‘5000 word’ target, but it wasn’t to be. I have excuses, of course. I always have those.

I got stuck. I got ill. The kids were off school on Friday for a random in-service day.

I also have a bit of news. I will be, um, altering my goal for the remaining five weeks of the challenge. Purely to demonstrate the importance of remaining flexible while juggling different projects, of course. Ah-hem.

I heard back from my amazing editor on Friday. She’s read through draft two of the follow up to The Language of Spells and, as I suspected, it needs a fair amount of work. (Translation: A flamethrower would come in handy).

I’ve spent the weekend re-reading the book on my Kindle and marveling at just how wrong I can get things, and at the unbelievable inefficiency of my ‘process’. My brain seems to find it irritatingly necessary for me to write all the wrong words, before I can clearly see which are the right ones. Sigh.

So, my goal for this week is to rewrite the first third of the book.

How about you guys? Are you busy with your NaNoWriMo word counts? Editing away? I wish you luck!

Authors for the Philippines

phil_badge11In 2011, following the Japanese tsunami, YA author Keris Stainton, set up a charity auction called Authors For Japan. She raised £13,000 to help those in dire need.

In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, she’s doing it again. Authors for the Philippines is live now. You can bid to win amazing books, swag, author critiques and more, and all the money raised goes directly to the Red Cross Typhoon Haiyan Appeal.

The auction ends at 8pm on Wednesday 20th November and new items are being added all the time (including a little something from yours truly). Please head over and check it out.

Thank you.

Writing Challenge Check In: Week 2

keep_goingHello my lovelies, I hope your week was word-filled and wonderful!

Okay. I’ll level with you all. Mine was… Fine. Not brilliant, but not bad. I got 3322 new words down (which doesn’t include the words I wrote and then deleted when I realised they were very wrong).

I got stuck.

I’m still a bit stuck, to be honest, so today I’m going to write ‘around the problem’. I’m stuck because I have decisions to make and I’m resisting making them because they feel final and scary (which, of course, is nonsense), so I’m going to force myself to write practice scenes, stuff that isn’t intended to be in the book at all. And I’m going to write about the story in my novel journal.

And, hopefully, that’ll help. I’ll let you know next week!

So. How how about you guys?

One word after another…

neil gaiman quote

I’ve hit one of those points in my WIP when I’m stuck and a bit bored and it seems suddenly pointless and ridiculous, and all I want to do is read good books instead (books which are brilliant and clever and imaginative and, above all, not in crappy first draft stage like my stupid book).

The frustrating thing is that I hit this point (several times times) in every book I’ve written and I can’t seem to avoid it.

The positive thing is that, having been here many times, I know the drill. I know it’s normal (for me, at least). And I know that if I force myself to keep writing one word after another I’ll get through it and the writing will get easier…

Until the next time.

[Image Credit: WritersWebTV via Twitter.]