Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Virtual write-in this afternoon (Friday) from 4-8pm UK time. If you would like to join us please leave a message on here to say you’ll be joining us and come back at 8pm and tell us all what you have been doing e.g. writing, editing, reading through etc



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Virtual write-in this afternoon (Sunday) 3-4pm UK time. If you would like to join us please like our Just Write It! FB page and leave a message on it to say you’ll be joining us and come back at 4pm and tell us all what you have been doing e.g. writing, editing, reading through etc. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Just-Write-it/366023433491753

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On the train going to The Cut at Halesworth.

On the train going to Halesworth





At The Cut.

The place is heaving

It’s very busy at The Cut and we order our food as soon as we can (so we can eat and get started on our work).

At the counter

My dinner

After we’ve been fed and watered we get our laptops out and get down to do some work. It’s really busy and noisy but we manage (just about) to discuss fonts and formatting the pages of our current work.

We played around with these measurements…

Novel-font BOOK ANTIQUA 10 or 12

Poetry-font BOOKMAN OLD STYLE 11.5 OR CALIBRI 12 for a less formal look. For ebook, COURIER NEW is a good one to use.

Size of page-

Margins- Top 2cm  Bottom 2cm Left 2cm Right 2cm

Paper-width12.7cm height 20.29cm

Layout-header 1cm footer 1cm

With laptops

Then it was time for some more food…

Half a cake

Group photo at The Cut Halesworth

Old bicycle~full size

All fired up and eager to get home to do more writing we left The Cut and walked to the station to get the train. Fortunately this sign below told us we were on the right platform (inside joke).

This platform is for LowestoftAt Halesworth Train station

A super day with super writers!


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Suzan Collins, Pam Finch, Helen Thwaites, Enid Thwaites, Helen Meneghello, Carole Gomez-Cornejo and Jo Wilde met in November at a Just Write It! writing workshop. All seven of the authors have agreed to publish their works in time for the Author Fair/Pop up bookshop at The Coconut Loft, in Lowestoft, this July. Their works include novels, autobiographies and memoirs.

Group photo~24th Jan 2015

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Amazon 5* review of the new book-Chatty Cat: Spring into Summer

Can almost hear Chatty Cat telling her story

The next instalment of a lady who adopts a stray cat and how they spend their days together. Again just like the first book written by Suzan this book is filled with everything you should know before taking on a kitten or a fully grown cat. So much information from Suzan and also from Chatty Cat’s point of view. A must read for all ages whether you have a kitten/cat or are thinking of owning one or rather them owning you! Sit back and enjoy the story and the sketches and photographs , you will be thrilled.



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Alternative paths to publishing proliferate but the path for authors most likely to be lucrative is still the oldest one


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Lowestoft authors pledge to publish their books in time for event


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Welcome Bella Osborne…

*offers Bella a cup of tea*

 Coconut Loft~cup of tea

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

Thanks for the opportunity to appear on your blog, Suzan. I’m a wife and mother and I live in the Midlands. I’m eternally grateful for the wonderful people in my life and tea, wine, holidays and cake… oh, and custard creams.

What was the first story you wrote?

I can’t remember if it had a title but it was about a thief who stole the crown jewels – I was about nine at the time and the story was so long that my teacher typed it up for me and then stuck it on the classroom wall.

Were you inspired by someone or something?

I was always taught to respect and look after books so reading and being read to was always very special to me as a child. Like so many children I loved the Enid Blyton stories, with Secret Seven being my absolute favourite. I started writing at school and have continued to do it on and off for many years.

Why do you write?

It has always seemed quite logical to me to write my own stories so I’ve never really questioned why I do it. My question would be ‘why doesn’t everybody do it?’ It’s the best fun ever! It is also the best excuse to sit at a computer, drink tea and eat Olympic quantities of custard creams.

Can you tell us about your newest book?

My debut novel ‘It Started at Sunset Cottage’ is out as an e-book on 12th February 2015 and in paperback on 23rd April 2015. It has two strong women at its core. Kate is an author and is consistently calm, reserved and measured whilst Sarah is a sharp-tongued single mother who acts first and thinks later.

After losing her fiancé, Kate is slowly getting her life back on track when

Timothy Calder, A-list actor and leading man in the movie adaptation of her book, turns up on her doorstep, hoping to lie low after his latest tabloid scandal. But after a rocky start, they find they have a few things in common: a liking for Lady Grey tea, walnut whips and bad ‘knock knock’ jokes. Actually, the bad jokes are just Tim.

Sarah on the other hand is trying to hold down two jobs and shut her ex-husband out of her life. When he goes missing she thinks it’s the answer to her problems until Sarah becomes number one suspect.

Bella~It started~

How did you come up with the story?

I really wish I had a super intelligent response for this question but the honest answer is that Kate appeared as a character and the ‘what if?’ questions started flying around my head and it all grew from there. I was keen to have two related threads in the story, which I switch between and hopefully make for a compelling read.

What genre best fits for the book?

It is definitely Romance but when it comes to narrowing that down to a sub-genre then it gets a bit tricky. It is a romance novel that incorporates humour with underlying menace and intrigue. It has been described as being both witty and poignant but hopefully readers will enjoy it despite its lack of obvious pigeonhole.

What are some of the benefits and challenges to writing?

For me the benefits are that I simply love writing. When I’m writing it feels like it’s what I should be doing (apart from being with family, eating custard creams and being on holiday obviously). I get a real buzz when I’m sat at the keyboard and the words are tumbling out and when I typed The End on my first completed novel I felt a huge sense of achievement.

The biggest challenge for me is juggling all the other roles that I have in life and squeezing it all into 24 hours whilst retaining what’s left of my sanity.

Do you attend a writing group?

Not as such but I do attend a local writing course which meets weekly and provides me with a safe environment to share my writing. The tutor and course attendees have been a huge support to me over the last two years.

Do you have someone to critique your work?

I do. I am very lucky to have a hugely supportive writing tutor, a friendly grammar Nazi, an inspiring agent and a wonderful editor, oh and a lovely husband who I make read it too. I then have a fabulous bunch of beta readers who read it for story and tell me honestly if it’s any good.

Are you working on something new at the moment?

I have just finished my first attempt at a children’s story, which I’m very excited about and really hope I can find a publisher for. I am also part way through my third novel for adults, which is based in an office and has themes of romance, humour and underlying menace.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Seek out other writers. I can’t explain how brilliant it feels to be around other writers. I would recommend joining groups, courses and the myriad of genre writing associations. I joined the Romantic Novelists Association on their New Writer’s Scheme and I have learned so much from their events, met some amazing writers and made some terrific friends.

Make time to write. If you really want to write, then something else has to give; be it social media, Candy Crush, television, sleep or the cleaning – trust me in a year’s time you won’t regret not having done those things but you will regret not having found time to write.

What is your writing routine?

I work part time so I am lucky enough to be able to dedicate time each week to writing. I also squeeze in time whenever I can especially if I’m in the middle of a WIP or doing something crazy like NaNoWriMo. Even ten minutes can be enough to get a few words down. If you wait for a two hour window it’ll never happen!

I am also a big planner so I spend a long time developing my characters, understanding them as people and plotting out the story before I ever put pen to paper, finger to keyboard or custard cream to lips (it’s a kind of reward mechanism).

Do you have an editing process?

I write a first draft then put it away for about four weeks. I get it out, crack open a new packet of custard creams, read it through and redo the bits that don’t work as I go. I try to focus on each scene and mentally check what it is adding to the overall story and if it’s the best it can be. Then I send it to my agent who tells me what works and what I need more of. Then I send it to my Editor who will make some suggestions for improvement. Then it goes to a proof reader and then we all breathe a sigh of relief.

What do you enjoy the most/least about writing?

I love the first buds of a story (as long as they don’t pop up when you are trying to finish something else). That stage when you have no idea where the story is going to take you and you have to learn about your characters is the most exciting for me.

I’m less fond of the editing. I can read something ten or more times and not spot a typo because I’ve become blind to it. But I do like being able to tinker with it. The hardest bit is letting go.

How important is it for you to share your writing?

You know what, it’s actually not that important. I can say that because I kept it to myself for years. I never really expected to get published so the fact that real people are going to read it is very scary. But now that it’s happening I truly hope that readers enjoy it.

Where can people go to read your work?

Amazon via this link http://goo.gl/2yl8Qz

Other e-reader book stores for ‘It Started at Sunset Cottage’ and there are some examples of output from my writing class as well as some terrific work by other course attendees at www.tellingtalesonthursdays.weebly.com

I also write a fortnightly column called Bella’s Scribblings for the Novel Kicks website. www.novelkicks.co.uk/category/bellas-scribblings/

Where can people find you on the internet?


Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?

A big thank you to each and every one of them!

Custard cream anyone?

 Custard creams

Don’t mind if I do.

Thank you for a lovely interview, Bella and good luck with your writing. Suzan.

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Welcome Tottie Limejuice, author of Sell The Pig Series…

Writing as L M Krier

*hands Tottie a cup of tea and a [GF] scone*

Tea and scone

Tottie, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet me.


Thanks for having me, and thanks so much for remembering my need for a gluten free  scone, much appreciated. And Earl Grey tea, too – you’re really spoiling me!

Can you tell me a little about your writing to date?

I’ve written in one form or another most of my life as a former journalist and copywriter but have only comparatively recently started writing books.

So far I have published a trilogy of travel memoirs, the Sell the Pig series, plus a self-help guide to writing press releases. In December 2014, with two other writers, Jilli Pennington and Janet Holt, I co-wrote and edited another travel memoir, Take Three Birds, under the collective pen name of Jilli Lime-Holt.

My first crime novel, Baby’s Got Blue Eyes, is just released, under the pen name L M Krier, which is actually part of my real name. It’s published on 13 February 2015 and is available to pre-order for Kindle before then.

Tottie~Babys got blue eyes

Can you tell us about your newest book?

It’s a crime thriller, a detective murder mystery. It’s always been about my favourite genre to read but it never occurred to me to write one until I got to the age of 62. Sometimes, I can be breathtakingly slow on the uptake!

A different genre for you. How did you come up with the story?

It sounds incredibly cheesy but I honestly did dream most of it. Just before Christmas, I dreamt the broad outline of the plot and the main characters, then started mulling it over in my head and thought it would be fun to write.

Have you written it in the first person or the third person? Which do you find easiest?

It’s in the third person. That’s because my main character is a man and sometimes I think it can go disastrously wrong for a woman to try to write in a man’s voice. Unless it is incredibly skilfully done, it can sound so awkward and unrealistic. Writing in the third person is more detached, it’s easier to get it right.

Have you any tips for aspiring writers?

Don’t be afraid to have a go. Write it for yourself initially, enjoy what you’re doing, have fun. But remember that it’s hard work, probably much more of a slog than many people realise, if you want to get it right.

If/when you decide to publish it, do make sure it is professionally edited and proofread. It’s a thing of mine but I think it shows a certain lack of respect to readers to do a messy job. But yes, of course the odd typo has slipped through in my books – contrary to rumour, I am only human!

What is your writing routine?

I usually wake up quite early, let the dogs out, make a cup of tea then go back to bed, under a heap of dogs. As I sip my tea then have a little snooze, I mull over scenes in my head, then when I get up, I whack them out on the computer while I can still remember them.

I write in my head a lot, I find it an easier way to get dialogue to flow. Out on dog walks, I am usually mentally composing things. I had to do a lot of reasoning with my murderer for this crime book, we had frequent differences of opinion. It felt like I was being taken over by the character at times and we kept having these mental battles.

Sometimes I speak some of it out loud as neither dog speaks English, nor does anyone I am likely to meet wandering round the woods.

Do you have beta readers?

Yes, absolutely – they should be compulsory! And you need to pick ones you know will be completely honest. Mine are pretty ruthless! For this crime novel I used four, three women and a man, to get as broad an overview as possible.

There are lots of plot twists and turns and I was worried I hadn’t tied up all the loose ends properly by the end. In fact one beta reader helped enormously. I’d thought I’d been cleverly subtle in tying one loose end up but it was so subtle the beta reader had missed the explanation so I had to rework it.

Do you have an editing process?

Yes, before I begin any serious work each day, I always thoroughly edit what I wrote the day before. I’m a compulsive saver, too, I save each edition of everything, sorted by date. It’s too easy to rework something then bitterly regret having changed how it was. That way I can always go back to the beginning if I need to.

Everything is also backed up to USB stick and to hard drive so I should always have a copy of it somewhere.

Where can people go to read your work?

It’s currently available for Kindle and in paperback format from Amazon, and I will be expanding its availability to other channels.

Where can people find you on the internet?

I spend a lot of time on Facebook, you can find me at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1450797141836111/1546417845607373/?notif_t=group_comment

My email address is tottielimejuice@gmail.com

On Twitter I am https://twitter.com/tottielimejuice

My website is http://tottielimejuice.com/

And if you want to meet me in the flesh, you can come on Tottie’s Tours http://tottielimejuice.com/totties-tours-discover-beautiful-auvergne/

I try to respond to everyone who contacts me and I love to chat, when I have the time.

Thanks so much for having me, it’s been great fun, as ever.

Tottie~Babys got blue eyes  Tottie~Take three birds  Tottie~Press Release book

Tottie~Sell the pig Tottie~Is that Billinge Lump Tottie~Mother was it worth it

Tottie, thank you for a superb interview and good luck with your new book. Suzan xx


Tottie, thank you for a superb interview and good luck with your new book. Suzan xx

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Welcome Nicola May, chick lit author…

*hands Nicola a cup of tea and a scone*

Tea and scone





Nicola, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet me. You’re a successful self-published author of 6 six novels and … you’ve just signed a contract to have seven books traditionally published by Accent Press. I am so excited for you!

Can you tell me a little about yourself? [including pen name if you have one]

Firstly I love tea and scones, almost as much as I love flapjacks so thank you!

Nicola May

Nicola May is my pen name. May was actually my mum’s middle name, she died very young and I wanted to have a little piece of her with me wherever I went.

What was the first story you wrote?

It was Star Fish. A tale of unlucky in love, Piscean Amy Anderson, who decides to date every sign of the zodiac in search of her ‘sole’ mate.

Were you inspired by someone or something?

Ha! Yes, plenty of disastrous dates I had been on inspired me to create a humourous tale.

What do you like about writing a story?

It’s hard to explain. I adore writing. I love the excitement I feel as the characters come to life and also the eureka moments I get when a plot idea hits and I know the reader will love it. I try and incorporate as many twists and turns as I can to keep the reader intrigued and guessing. I also like to deal with deeper issues, but in a comedic way so that hopefully everyone can relate to something that may have happened to them and not be scared by it. I have addressed bereavement, weight issues, infertility, domestic abuse and unemployment.

Can you tell us about your newest book?

My latest book, out in July 2015 is called The SW19 Club. SW19 as most of it is based around the Wimbledon area, specifically on Wimbledon Common and that is the postcode for that area of London.

Nicola May~The SW19 Club cover

Here is the synopsis…

What would you do if you were told you could never have children?

When Gracie Davies is faced with the tragic news that no woman ever wants to hear, followed by the breakdown of her relationship, she is at an all-time low.

With the help of her unorthodox therapist, Professor Princeton, her hippy chick sister, Naomi and her prostitute friend Maya, she starts to rebuild her life.

Searching for inner peace, she starts up The SW19 Club, a club where women can chat openly about the usually unspoken issues of miscarriage, abortion, infertility and IVF.

Add in a passionate fling with handsome landscaper Ed, the pursuit of Hollywood actor father of her nephew and the persistence of her adulterous ex, your heart, will be both warmed and wrenched, as you join Gracie on her rocky journey to self-discovery and happiness.

How did you come up with the story?

I very sadly lost twins myself then had to face the decision to have a hysterectomy. Instead of beating the floor with both fists, I decided to turn the negative into a positive and try and help women who have suffered similar tragedies.

What genre best fits for the book?

I like to call my books ‘chick lit with a kick’ – there is always a love element but they are not fluffy. They are real. My characters are real and the issues I address certainly are.

Are you working on something new at the moment?

I have the plot flying around my head for my sequel to The School Gates at the moment (out in March 2015) – working title – Beyond the School Gates.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Yes, write! If I was given a pound for everyone who said they had a book in them I’m be very rich. Just get something down.

I also don’t edit as I go now. I find it best to get a chunk of writing down and go back to it.

Also perseverance is key. If you want to see your work in print, then you must never give up. I wrote my first novel nineteen years ago. I wasn’t going to stop until I got a publishing deal and now through a lot of hard work, time and effort, I have reached my first goal. My next one now is to see myself in the bestselling list in the Culture magazine that comes with the Sunday Times. Oh, and to get on Lorraine’s sofa!

Do you write in a writing group?

No, I never had. With the help of a marvellous copy editor, I have just learnt my craft as I go along.

Do you have people who will critique your work? [And if you do, do you acknowledge them in the front of the book?]

Yes, my sisters and a select group of my friends are my best critics. They are honest and guide me along the way. My acknowledgements pages usually make ME cry!

What is your writing routine?

I write in bed and when I start a novel there is no stopping me. I can write for hours at a time without a break. I find that best for continuity. In fact I wrote The School Gates in 4 weeks whilst I was in bed recovering from my hysterectomy. To date that is my bestseller and I won an award for Best Author Published Read at the Festival of Romance for it, which was a great feeling!

Do you have beta readers?

Yes. I have a lovely group of romance bloggers who I always offer my book to prior to publishing day.

Do you have an editing process?

My 16 year old niece is actually a brilliant copy editor. She does a round, and then I send to my actual copy editor to do her thing. Now I’m with Accent Press, I am going to be very spoilt with my own personal editor.

What do you enjoy the most/least about writing?

There is nothing I don’t enjoy about writing.

How important is it for you to share your writing?

It is the whole point of me doing it. I love to share my heartfelt stories and it is an amazing feeling when somebody tells me that my book has helped them in some way. And, also just to hear the escapism of the read has made them happy. Reviews are gold to a writer.

Where can people go to read your work?

Star Fish, Working it Out, The School Gates, The Bow Wow Club and Christmas Yves can all be purchased as paperback or Kindle versions through Amazon. Better Together is just available on Kindle but Accent will be producing a paperback too this year.

I have also written a How to Guide entitled… How to create & maintain your author profile + increase your Amazon sales

Where can people find you on the internet?

Twitter: @nicolamay 1

Website: www.nicolamay.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NicolaMayAuthor

Amazon page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nicola-May/e/B004QUBKWW

Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?

 Just that I cannot wait to share my books with a wider audience.

A question about your lovely book covers

Suzan: I ran my first Just Write It! writing workshops in November and six writers have pledged to publish their current works in progress in time for a literary event. This event is a pop-up book shop and is scheduled to take place at The Coconut Loft in Lowestoft, Suffolk in July 2015.  I too have accepted this challenge and the group is called Waveney Author Group [WAG] and we met yesterday to discuss and plan our literary challenge. One question that I know the group would love to ask is how do you chose such lovely designs for your self-published book covers?

Nicola: Ooh that sounds fantastic. I literally just go to istock images and purchase images and I have a designer friend who puts them together in the Nicola May brand for me. Now that I have a publisher this will of course change.

Nicola, thank you for a superb interview and good luck with your new publisher. Suzan xx


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