The editing cave

All about editing. Janet Gover’s great post 😀

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I’ve been in my editing cave for the past three weeks. It’s sort of like a bear being in their hibernation cave… except bears tend to lose weight during hibernation. There is a shared reputation for being cranky when disturbed though…

Writing The End on the last page of a manuscript is NOT the end. It’s far from it. Every writer’s process is different. There’s no right way or wrong way, there’s just the way that works for the writer. So I thought I’d give you a bit of a look at my editing process… which explains my absence from Twitter and Facebook and the kitchen. It doesn’t explain why my office is messy though – my office is always messy.

Editing needs both old and new technology ... and many cups of tea. Editing needs both old and new technology … and many cups of tea.

I tend to do a lot of editing as I go, so my first draft of…

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Win Up To 40 Romance Novels!

Win Up To 40 Romance Novels!

(2) Grand Prize Kindle “Gift Baskets” of ALL eBooks (sweet or spicy!)!

+ Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)!

Share At Your Own Peril?

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angry-1296476_960_720

Friendships with authors should carry a warning: anything you say or do risks ending up in print and should be shared with caution. I mheartburnentioned in my last blog post that my early magazine stories were often inspired by my personal romantic disasters. Changing humiliation to triumph and inventing nasty fictional misfortunes on London lotharios who dumped me was hugely satisfying to my wounded pride, much like Nora Ephron who got revenge on her unfaithful husband, Carl Bernstein, with her bestselling novel Heartburn. But when your nearest and dearest start prefacing conversations with ‘If I tell you this, promise you won’t use it in a story’, even a fledgling writer has to learn discretion.

Writers turn to real events all the time for inspiration. Stuff happens to people that your imagination couldn’t make up even if you squeezed it through a juice press. Alice Sebold used a young…

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Historical fiction: alive and kicking in Oxford

Want to know what happens at the Historical Novel Society Conference? Jenny Harper fills us in on Take Five Authors blog

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Friday 2nd September saw me clambering on a train headed for Oxford, and my first Historical Novel Society Conference. This was my third writing-related conference this year (first Scottish Association of Writers, then Romantic Novelists’ Association), and I was not at all sure what to expect or whether I would be wasting my time.

Held in the modern and well-appointed Andrew Wiles building, which houses Oxford University’s Mathematical Institute, I quickly discovered I knew a great many writers there, and made a number of new friends.

fay Fay Weldon (centre), with sessions chair Carol McGrath (left) and author Jo Baker.

We were thrown straight into proceedings with a panel discussion between Jo Baker and the inimitable Fay Weldon. The following day Lord Melvyn Bragg delivered an excellent keynote speech centred on his novel, Now is the Time. And on Sunday, we were treated to a delightfully self-deprecating speech by one of…

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Win up to 40 Cozy Mystery Novels in the Mega Giveaway!

Win Up To 40 Cozy Mystery Novels!

(2) Grand Prize Kindle “Gift Baskets” of ALL 40 eBooks!

(35) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)

Professional courtesy

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Recently I was asked what I meant when I termed something a ‘professional courtesy’ so I’ve decided to use my spot on Take Five Authors to explain it.

The News Building small Professional courtesy especially useful with your publisher

I’m an author. I consider myself a professional and I try hard to act professionally. In the course of my work I’m in contact with readers; publishers; agents and rights managers; promo and PR team members; bloggers; writers; conference, event and course organisers; booksellers; librarians; writing organisations; journalists and presenters; and a huge number of social media users. Obviously, all of these people can help or hinder my career but I’m not professionally courteous to them just because they’re useful to me – it’s because anything else would mean that I’m not doing my job well.

But the fact is that making myself easy to work with is advantageous to my career.

It’s surprising how…

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The Clock is Ticking….

Sale now on!

Today and tomorrow we have an offer on our first novel, How to Survive Your Sisters. Yay.

Ending tomorrow, in 19 hours 10 minutes to be precise, this contemporary romance novel is on sale in Canada and India and on Kindle Countdown in UK and USA.

A brief rundown:

Uptight perfectionist Natalie MacLeod is under the fond illusion she can micro-manage a flawless wedding to her stuffy conventional fiancé, Jeremy.  But that’s without factoring in an alcoholic father, an outspoken eccentric mother and Natalie’s three feuding sisters.

Can workaholic Avril lose the chip on her shoulder and overcome her grudges long enough to acknowledge her drinking problem and stop running in panic from her soon-to-be-divorced lover. Will Milly’s dramatic unorthodox solution to being fat, downtrodden and almost forty wreck her family, her health and ultimately her life?  Will Natalie be able to surmount her own guilty past and discover where her heart truly lies?  And will Hazel be able to forgive the cruelest betrayal of all – a shocking revelation that threatens to overturn her entire world and even her identity?

Because when push comes to shove – or name-calling turns to hair-pulling – who can really hurt you or be there for you and support you like a sister?

Buy from Amazon

We’d love you to check it out!  Currently in the top 50 on Amazon.com for Romance and women’s Fiction, so we’re thrilled.

In other news, Lorraine’s moved on from China and is still out in Mongolia somewhere riding horses across the plains, while I’ve just returned from an amazing backpacking trip to Finland, Russia, Latvia and Estonia.

We flew from London to Helsinki, train to St Petersburg, another train to Moscow, another plane to Riga in Latvia, coach to Tallin in Estonia then boat back to Helsinki – all in 12 days. How’s that for a round about route? My hubbie doesn’t believe in backtracking (or planning). Tiring but fun. When I get my act together and Lorraine returns, we’ll put some pics up on the blog. And if anyone’s making their way over there and wants to chat about it, just drop us an email.

 

Amazing St Petersburg and the mind-blowing Red Square in Moscow

And below in lovely Riga. You need to touch the noses for luck. Got as far as the dog. Let’s  hope How to Survive Your Sisters hits the high time!

That’s all for now folks! Be back in September sometime.

Pam and Lorraine (Ellie Campbell)

The second time is the charm

Sounds a fascinating course Janet🙂

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Six years ago, I did a half day course with Michael Hauge. Who’s he, you ask. Well he’s the guy that most of Hollywood goes to for help to improve their scripts and storylines. He’s worked with the likes of Will Smith and Julia Roberts and Morgan Freeman. His credits include everything from Sci Fi epics like I am Legend to more character based films like The Karate Kid.

Two very different films but the same rules of storytelling apply to both Two very different films but the same rules of storytelling apply to both

He is now primarily a teacher – and what a good teacher he is. Although he has worked mostly on feature films, he also works with authors and he has a lot to offer to offer on the subject of story structure, character arc and plotting. His great ability is to distil a complex book of 100 thousand words down to the key elements. To make it simple.

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Win up to 14 Romance Novels!

Win Up To 14 Romance Novels!

(2) Grand Prize Kindle “Gift Baskets” of ALL 14 eBooks!

(19) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)

In gratitude of the short story

In gratitude of the short story. Check out our latest post on Take Five Authors blog🙂

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short stories pic

If it weren’t for short stories, I doubt that Pam and I would be novelists today.  Although some people might transition through journalism, advertising careers, or even just launch themselves at the computer with a brilliant light-bulb idea – oh, how we envy those inspired geniuses – it was having success with shorter fiction that let two cowardly creatives dare to tackle our first novel. Together.  Trembling and encouraging each other every step of our path through publishing.

typewriter, short storyI was 23, newly-promoted as assistant to an encouraging literary agent, when my boss hired a new secretary who also aspired to be a writer.  I quickly saw that if I didn’t rally the nerve to produce my first piece of work, I’d be choking in her dust. Luckily my disastrous love life gave me plenty of material for ‘chick-lit’ type stories – i.e. a mostly cynical, humorous look on modern London…

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