Friday, 15 November 2019

Nano 2019: The Halfway Point


I'm giving Nanowrimo a go for the first time this year, and the past two weeks have flown by! I usually aim for 1,000 words per day, Monday to Friday, which doesn't add up to 50,000 words so I've had to push myself this month. 

I've written something every day - even if it was only 499 words, which happened on Wednesday. It wasn't a lot of words, but it was all I could manage and I'm not going to beat myself up over it. 499 words is better than nothing!

Some days, I've even grabbed my laptop in the evenings instead of slumping in front of the TV, and I've been to the write-ins with a writing group at the library, which equals more wordage. So far this month, I've managed to write over 23,000 words, so pushing myself with Nano is definitely making me more productive. It isn't quite the halfway mark of the 50k but I'm sure if I push myself a bit more over the next couple of weeks, I'll meet my target!

Are you taking part in Nano? Let us know how you're getting on in the comments below :)

Friday, 8 November 2019

The Accidental Life Swap: A Book In Pictures


There are lots of different stages to writing a book, from the initial spark of an idea, to reaching milestones of 10,000 words, 20, 50, The End, and then the hard work of edits begin before the euphoria (and a pinch of fear) of publication. I thought I'd share some images of the different stages of writing The Accidental Life Swap!



The book started off with the aid of this little gem. Writing Love by Alexandra Sokoloff explains how to use the three act structure screenwriters use, with a focus on romance/romantic comedies (it has a new cover now, but this is the cover it had when I purchased it).



It's always nice to celebrate milestones, and that first 10,000 is a belter!



All my books are fueled by tea.



Most of the animals (and there are quite a few!) were named by readers on my Facebook page.

You can see more info here





More milestones to celebrate!




And then reaching those beautiful words: The End.
Except it isn't really The End. There's still SO MUCH work to do!



Starting with the first round of edits.



I had some more help for the editing stage:


These books help me to build on the draft I already have so I can add more depth to the story and make it shine.



Ebook Publication Day!



I ran a giveaway for my newsletter subscribers to celebrate publication day. The prize was a gorgeous little house pendant, which I think fits perfectly with the book.



Paperbacks!!!







Sometimes one moment can change your life forever…


Rebecca Riley has always been a bit of a pushover. When her glamorous boss, Vanessa, asks her to jump, she doesn’t just ask how high… she asks if her boss would like her to grab a coffee on the way back down!

So whilst overseeing the renovation of Vanessa’s beautiful countryside home, the last thing Rebecca ever expected was to be mistaken for her boss – or that she would even consider going along with it! Far away from the bustling city and her boss’s demanding ways, could she pretend to be Vanessa and swap lives, just for a little while?


Friday, 1 November 2019

Nano 2019


Are you taking part in Nano this year? I've always wanted to attempt it and this time I'm giving it a go. I'll be working on Book 11, so hopefully by the end of the month I'll have a massive chunk of the first draft down.

I won't be taking on the challenge alone because as well as the online nano community, I've also joined a local writing group who are taking part. We're meeting for our first Nano session tomorrow to get some words down and encourage each other.

I've already done a lot of the prep by planning out the book, so now all I have to do is write 50,000 words. Easy, right? *gulps*

Wish me luck!

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Happy Paperback Publication Day To Me!



I know it's Halloween and we're supposed to be all about the pumpkins, but I'd like to squeeze in a little blog post about The Accidental Life Swap, which is out in paperback today. Although I've had ten books published, this is only my second paperback, so it's a very special moment to be able to hold my book in my hands. If you're a newsletter subscriber, there's a chance to win a signed copy, so check your inboxes!

If you've already read the ebook or would like to know more, you can see my 'Book Extras' here, or you can read the diary I kept while writing the book here.








Sometimes one moment can change your life forever…


Rebecca Riley has always been a bit of a pushover. When her glamorous boss, Vanessa, asks her to jump, she doesn’t just ask how high… she asks if her boss would like her to grab a coffee on the way back down!
So whilst overseeing the renovation of Vanessa’s beautiful countryside home, the last thing Rebecca ever expected was to be mistaken for her boss – or that she would even consider going along with it! Far away from the bustling city and her boss’s demanding ways, could she pretend to be Vanessa and swap lives, just for a little while?



Friday, 25 October 2019

Get My Ebook Quick Read For FREE



Natalie has been cajoled into attending a speed dating event with a difference - the difference being a delicious baked treat to enjoy with each date. 

But will her possible matches prove to be just as sweet?




Six Dates is a fun, quick read following the five speed dates Natalie experiences, plus a second date with one of her potential love matches, and is exclusively available to my newsletter subscribers.

Subscribing is quick, easy and FREE and once you've signed up you'll be able to download the book onto the reading device of your choice - your e-reader, phone or computer. 




My newsletters are the best way to keep up to date with my writing as it goes straight to your inbox. Plus, you'll receive extra content and short stories and have the chance to enter subscriber-exclusive giveaways.

For more information and to subscribe, click here



Friday, 18 October 2019

If You're Plotting A Book, It's Totally Okay To...



... drift off into the world where your characters exist so you can develop and build on ideas. It makes washing up much more fun.


... listen to conversations on the bus and make mental notes of funny anecdotes or juicy gossip. It isn't being nosy. It's research.


... take more notice of the credits than you did the film or TV show as you need the perfect name for one of your characters.


... watch ALL THE FILMS. It's research; pace, plot, twists, characterisation, etc


... eat chocolate for breakfast. It aids creativity. Probably.


... spend hours compiling playlists of inspirational music on Spotify. You've got to set the mood, right?


... 'cast' the characters for the future Hollywood movie based on the book you haven't even attempted to write yet.


... eat cake for lunch. It boosts concentration. I'm pretty sure I heard that somewhere.


... forget the details. So you're planning to make your MC a mountain guide in Snowdonia but you've never step foot on a mountain. Or been within sniffing distance of Snowdonia. You can google that later!


... know more about your characters than your own family. You've nailed down their character traits, mapped out their family trees, delved into their backstories so far you know what their mum was eating when she went into labour. But you forgot it was your aunty Sue's birthday last week.

Friday, 11 October 2019

The Accidental Life Swap: The Playlist


I always put together a playlist for my books, whether it's songs that have inspired the story (or kept me motivated while writing it) or music that I feel fits the theme of the book. With The Accidental Life Swap, I added songs that were either mentioned in the book, or songs that I imagined Rebecca choosing to play on the pub's jukebox.

You can listen to the playlist here on the blog, or click here to open in Spotify.












Sometimes one moment can change your life forever…


Rebecca Riley has always been a bit of a pushover. When her glamorous boss, Vanessa, asks her to jump, she doesn’t just ask how high… she asks if her boss would like her to grab a coffee on the way back down!
So whilst overseeing the renovation of Vanessa’s beautiful countryside home, the last thing Rebecca ever expected was to be mistaken for her boss – or that she would even consider going along with it! Far away from the bustling city and her boss’s demanding ways, could she pretend to be Vanessa and swap lives, just for a little while?


Friday, 4 October 2019

The Accidental Life Swap: My Dream Cast


When writing a book, it's always nice to daydream about who would be the perfect cast if your book was ever adapted for TV (or film, if you're dreaming really big), and I thought I'd share my dream cast for The Accidental Life Swap with you.













If you would like to learn more about the characters, click here to read my quick introduction.






Sometimes one moment can change your life forever…


Rebecca Riley has always been a bit of a pushover. When her glamorous boss, Vanessa, asks her to jump, she doesn’t just ask how high… she asks if her boss would like her to grab a coffee on the way back down!

So whilst overseeing the renovation of Vanessa’s beautiful countryside home, the last thing Rebecca ever expected was to be mistaken for her boss – or that she would even consider going along with it! Far away from the bustling city and her boss’s demanding ways, could she pretend to be Vanessa and swap lives, just for a little while?


Friday, 27 September 2019

A False Identity: My Favourite Five In Film


Have you ever pretended to be someone else? In The Accidental Life Swap, timid Rebecca finds herself pretending to be her boss, Vanessa, channelling her self-confidence and ability to always get what she wants. There are many films where the main characters invent a new identity and I thought I’d share a few of my favourites with you.




Loosely based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, She’s The Man centres around Viola, who disguises herself as her twin brother, Sebastian so she can join a boys’ football team when the girls’ football team is cut at her school. There are complications when Viola starts to fall for teammate Duke, who is in love with another girl and thinks Viola is a dude. Lots of fun!



When lounge singer Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder, she’s put in witness protection – in a convent. While staying there, Deloris will have to pretend to be a fellow nun, which is a challenge for opinionated, fun-loving Deloris.



Daniel Hillard goes to desperate measures to spend more time with his children when his wife files for divorce, disguising himself as a Scottish woman called Mrs Doubtfire when his ex-wife advertisers for a housekeeper. All is going well for Daniel when he’s given the job, until he finds himself in some sticky situations and having to switch between his true self and Mrs Doubtfire.



Akeem, the prince of Zamunda, is set to marry on his 21st birthday. The marriage has been arranged by his parents, but Akeem wants to marry for love. Postponing the wedding, Akeem travels to Queens, New York, under the guise of a poor student and finds work in a family-run fast food restaurant. Can Akeem find love, or will he have to return to Zamunda to marry a virtual stranger?



In Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the main characters Freddy and Lawrence use their false identities in order to con money from wealthy women, though they have different styles of doing this. When Lawrence and Freddy have a bet to settle their rivalry, they choose an heiress as their target, with the winner being the first to con $50,000 from the unsuspecting woman.



So, those are my top 5 new identity films. Do you have a favourite of your own?






Sometimes one moment can change your life forever…


Rebecca Riley has always been a bit of a pushover. When her glamorous boss, Vanessa, asks her to jump, she doesn’t just ask how high… she asks if her boss would like her to grab a coffee on the way back down!
So whilst overseeing the renovation of Vanessa’s beautiful countryside home, the last thing Rebecca ever expected was to be mistaken for her boss – or that she would even consider going along with it! Far away from the bustling city and her boss’s demanding ways, could she pretend to be Vanessa and swap lives, just for a little while?


Friday, 20 September 2019

The Accidental Life Swap: Fun Facts


Take a sneaky peek behind the scenes of The Accidental Life Swap with a few fun facts!




















Sometimes one moment can change your life forever…


Rebecca Riley has always been a bit of a pushover. When her glamorous boss, Vanessa, asks her to jump, she doesn’t just ask how high… she asks if her boss would like her to grab a coffee on the way back down!
So whilst overseeing the renovation of Vanessa’s beautiful countryside home, the last thing Rebecca ever expected was to be mistaken for her boss – or that she would even consider going along with it! Far away from the bustling city and her boss’s demanding ways, could she pretend to be Vanessa and swap lives, just for a little while?