Friday, 10 December 2010

It's Been A Funny Old Year

I sneak in at the back, full of Meal Deal: crisps, ploughman’s sandwich, diet coke – ooh and I had one of those giant √©clairs too. I’m late. Everyone is looking. Although, wait a sec... *checks blog stats* ... actually no one is looking.

Ooh, ooh, wait! Someone from Australia’s just clocked me – I can see the Aussie flag on the screen and everything. she’s gone. She was searching for “pigeon mating patterns” anyway - can't think why she ended up here.

‘Ms. Allsorts.’

They’re clapping now – my 68 – no wait 67 – no wait 66 followers.

‘Tell us a bit about your blog – your writing – and stop – well – eating’

I can feel my coke fizzing and bubbling in my chest – I may well belch in a moment.

‘OK, OK,’ I say, standing and pulling my skirt from knickers. I clear my throat. ‘Well, it’s been a funny old year.’ *good start, yeah?* ‘I’ve broken all my previous writerly records.’

It’s true - I sold one story in 2008, three in 2009 and *drum roll please* ELEVEN – yes eleven in 2010 - good yeah? And my first three chapters have been with two agents for YONKS. OK, so they’re probably lost – but a girl can dream. And, and...well actually that’s it. Ooh no, I have other news. I had a story in the BUMPER issue of My Weekly a couple of weeks back – such a gorgeous magazine, and the picture was delightful.

‘You can sit down now, Ms Allsorts – we...’

‘No wait let me tell you about my GOALS for 2011.’

Everyone’s rolling their eyes, but I’m going to tell them anyway.

‘I want to write like David Nicholls – I want to write like David Nicholls - I want to write like David Nicholls. OKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY – LUNCH everyone....anyone.?’


Friday, 5 November 2010

Out to Lunch

This blog is Out To Lunch. It will probably have steak - but I'm not making any rash promises. And it will return when it can think of ANYTHING interesting to say for itself...


Sorry to those who were kind enough to attempt to read my 'Short Story Posts' post. Sadly, there wasn't one. I was attempting to update my PAGES - and pressed Edit Posts instead of Edit Pages. I've told you before I can't be trusted on Blogger - and just proved my point!

I do have a little bit of short story news though - Liz Smith from My Weekly has emailed me to say my story, which they've renamed 'Last Straw', will be in the January 15th issue - I'm so excited! (Her news was nestled between two rejections - but I can totally live with that)

Have a great weekend everyone.

Hats off to the Past, Coats off to the Future – The History of Wilshere-Dacre School

Today, I saw on Amazon that my non-fiction book, ‘Hats off to the Past, Coats off to the Future’ is a Bestseller. Umm...well it ranks 2,119,358 in Amazon Bestsellers. – That’s the same thing – right?

Ooh, and even better than that: The book is so blummin’ rare it now sells for £25, when it was once £9.99. Trouble is I’m no longer selling it – a second-hand bookshop is cashing in on my meagre success. Just think, I could have been a millionaire if I’d only held some back.

Seeing my book on there has caused me to trundle merrily down memory lane. The year is 1997. The month is November. And the excitement of publishing my own book is making my insides want to venture out.

I only published a limited number – 500 to be exact – I couldn’t afford more. And along with subscribers – over 200 (I’ve since disposed of the thumb screws) plus a loan from the lovely parents – I did it. Yes, I self-published a non-fiction book. And, thank the heavens, the WHOLE lot sold within a month.

I’ve actually been asked several times *she says a little too smugly* if I’d do another run. But I never have, although I wonder sometimes if I should. Mind you the book's on four floppy disks – and who has floppy disks these days?

The greatest pleasure of writing about my old junior school was it made people happy. I got letters of thanks that fill two albums. *I’m actually looking at them now, saying, ‘awh, how lovely – people can be so kind.’* It was such a satisfying venture, from the thrill of interviewing my old head teacher, to the parcels arriving full of MY books.

Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen. times. Memories aye?

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Is this Fact in Fiction, ma Lord?

I’ve been tinkering with a part-written short story I wrote four years ago, around the time I was in a car crash.

The core of the piece is taken from the horrid experience – mainly how I felt at the time – and particularly the feeling of coming out of unconsciousness to the sound of fire engine and ambulance sirens. Yes, I’ve changed the names and the actual circumstances to a large extent, but it is based on fact. And I've realised this isn’t the first time I’ve used a personal experience as a basis for one of my short stories.

This made me wonder how much of ourselves we reveal when we write.

My novel is, in my opinion, a complete work of fiction from top to tail - well so I thought. My sister thinks otherwise. She noticed I based the protagonist’s childhood home on where we lived as children. It even has a lamppost outside, a yellow back gate and a picture of galloping horses on the wall. Bet you can’t wait to read it. ;-)

So did I deliberately base it on my childhood home? I’m not sure – it all just appeared on the page, flowing from my subconscious. But it seems, although the plot is complete fiction *I’m pretty sure it is*, I’ve drawn on my own memories to set the scene.

The only thing I never seem to do when I write, however, is base characters on REAL people. It’s really odd – as I know some people do – but every single one of my characters is a total work of fiction.

Do you use factual events or people you know in your fiction? Go on, tell me - I promise not to tell anyone. :-)

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The London Ghost Walk and Other Stuff

The London Ghost Walk

As some of you already know I find ghosts fascinating. Novel 1 and Novel 2 embrace a supernatural theme...

So, for me, Friday was very exciting, as I trundled up to London and took part in The Original London Ghost Walk...

...and here’s me being an excited minor-celebrity stalker, with our excellent guide Richard Jones, who some may remember from Most Haunted fame.

Ooh, and here’s two odd looking light anomalies taken in quick succession as we looked into St Bartholomew’s Hospital. Trick of the light? Perhaps.

There are some pretty spooky nurses at St Bart’s, the oldest hospital in London. One, apparently murdered in a lift, makes her presence felt in the early hours of the morning. The said lift often cranks its way to the basement, no matter which floor has been asked for, and plunges into darkness, refusing to move however much the weary traveller pushes the buttons. *spooky aye?* Finally, occupants will vacate the lift and climb the stairs to the ground floor, only to find the lift waiting, lights on. *and it get's worse.* If the person decides to walk, the lift will follow as they mount the twisting staircase. *shivers a little*

Other ghoulish nurses include one on Grace Ward (or pinkies ward). It's said she prescribed a fatal overdose to a patient and took her own life in remorse. And another nurse appears on the Bedford Fenwick Ward, apparently giving comfort just before death. *Remind me not to get sick around St. Barts!*

I’m not sure my photographs are any of these nurses trying to manifest, but I certainly got a a chill when I saw them on my return home.

Anyhoo, the tour was brilliant. Richard Jones is impressively theatrical, without being over the top. For me, there was just the right amount of spookyness. It wasn’t one of those *jump out from behind a gravestone type tours* but it gave me a chill from time to time, and was full of interesting historical facts.

Other Stuff

Apologises to those who couldn’t see my *How many womag writer’s are there* post. I somehow managed to leave it in draft form when I amended. I really can’t be trusted alone with a blog. I'm still updating - so please continue to comment or email.

And finally...

I’m pleased to be part of WRITERS PLATFORM BUILDING CRUSADE . A fab idea and a great way of getting to know other bloggers, plus *hopefully* gain a few more readers. :-)) Do pop over and see how it all works!

(Both *ghostie* pictures have blog author copyright – please credit this blog if you would like to copy. Thanks.)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

To Self Publish or Not to Self Publish...

...that is the question.

OK, so is it viable? I've been pondering over the idea for a while and have come up with a few pros and cons.


Well...IT CAN WORK – and here are a few name s to prove it...

William Blake, Lord Byron, T.S. Eliot, Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, D.H. Lawrence, Beatrix Potter, George Bernard Shaw, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Virginia Woolf.

Okay, okay, so they're not very recent, but Stephen King is self published, and that’s got to be a positive, surely. Plus there have been several recent successes that I know of William P. Young, Jeremy Robinson and J.A. Konrath for example.

And of course on-line self-publishing is huge, with sites like LULU and the options to upload your novel onto the Amazon Kindle. And with print on demand sites like Blurb you could have your novel in your excited mitts before you could say, ‘Harry Potter’. You could even print a few copies and see how your book is greeted. Perhaps promote it on your own website, on You Tube (if you know a clever person who could make a mini-film plug for your book), and through social networking. Then, if it goes down a storm, you may even nab yourself a publishing deal for any reprints. All sounds pretty brilliant to me! Easy peasy!


It has to be said, publishers and agents have the skills needed to take what you have written and turn it into a marketable book. As they look at your original manuscript they are immediately aware of the many changes needed before it can be slipped on the best seller shelves at Waterstones or WH Smith. I’m certain if I was EVER lucky enough to get an agent, they would make many changes to my novel. A definite reason for going down the traditional route if at all possible.

You have to be BRILLIANT at selling yourself with self-publishing. It won't be easy convincing people to open your book if you haven’t got a publishing company behind you.

I have to admit, I may one day self-publish, as my sister loves my book. ;-) But I'm only going to do the self-publishing walk, if/when the agent/publisher route fails. And with odds like 14,400 – 2 chance of getting an agent stacked against me - it probably will. So, for that very reason, I see nothing wrong with a writer who has spent years writing a book, having the opportunity to see their work in print - even if they only sell twenty copies.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom on the getting an agent front. I know from having my full MS read by Darley Anderson that it is possible to get agents interested in our work (or perhaps that was just a fluke).

For the moment, I'm still praying for an agent to notice me. I’ve even had my book Bubblecow-ed especially. Ooh, and I must tell you, the lovely editor at Bubblecow cried while reading my book (in a good way...well at least I think it was in a good way).

Currently, my chapters are winging their way to four agents. I'm not excited. I’m expecting absolutely NOTHING. As I know, if all else fails – I WILL SELF PUBLISH.

Ooh, and here's a couple of interesting posts on the subject...

Nathan Bransford - Should you self publish? (Thanks due to Karen for pointing me Nathan's way :-))

The Blood Red Pencil - Self publishing numbers game.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

It's About Time!

‘bout time, Amanda. So where have you been? It’s been over a month.

Has it really? Oh Lordy, Lord - I have no excuses – not a single-y one.

Shame on you, girl.

Sorry, sorry. Ooh, do I get a discount for under-usage?

No. So what you been up to?


Just for a change.


Sold anything?

Yes, yes *dances a little – although legs are stiff from sitting writing* I’ve sold a couple of stories to That’s Life! Australia. YAY!

Calm down, calm down. I got wind you had a pile of rejections too...Plus you should probably fade into a corner somewhere, as other bloggers have probably forgotten all about you. But first, tell us about your Novel.

Please don’t ask.

I just did.


Oh come on, we’re all friends here.

Well, I sent the first three chapters off to a nice lady agent who was keen *again* on the concept. But it came right back. ‘Not what I thought it would be,’ she said in as many words. ‘But good luck with it, hon.’

She called you hon?

Well, no.

You’re lying for affect.

Yes, you have to if you want to be famous.

So what are you going to do with your novel now?

Well *clenches fists excitedly* I’ve made HUGE changes. First, I deleted the first three chapters as they can’t behave themselves in front of an agent. Second I deleted a character. RIP Gavin – we still love you and may resurrect you in the future – but frankly, you’re JUST NOT REAL ENOUGH.


I’ve changed it ALL to first person, present – which I’m hoping gives it more depth. And, and, I’m making the supernatural side less *unbelievable* and more *is she really seeing a ghost, or is she going totally mad?* type thing. So watch this space.

And you think that will really help.

Well, who can tell with all the rain we've been having?

You mean the current difficult climate?

Umm – but I feel happier about the novel. In fact, the happiest I’ve ever felt.

So how’s things over at Womag2Weekly?

GREAT! We’ve sold seven W2W stories so far – to My Weekly, The Weekly News, Oz and TAB – not bad for a relatively new group me thinks. But they're a super-duper lot!

Well thanks for joining us, today, Amanda - I’d say ‘bout bloody time, but I was brought up proper.

Well thanks for having me - sorry I didn’t quite catch your name. Poor show on the coffee and cakes though - cheesecake next time, yes?

Sunday, 8 August 2010


So, after a spell of ‘why do I write, again?’ with much crying on my extremely lovely writer friends’ shoulders. Oh, and causing my hubby to get that glazed look which means, ‘I’m pretending to listen, but the grass growing outside is more interesting.’ SUDDENLY, like buses on the number 47* route, three came along at once. YES. SALES. My Weekly bought three of my stories all on the same day. All on the same email. All at the same time. I’m so very thrilled, and a trifle gobsmacked, quite frankly.

So thanks everyone for supporting, and listening to me whinge. I’m living proof that a scary amount of rejections in one week can be followed by great news. So it looks like we just have to keep on going then. You know, if we want to get where we want to be – even if we do stumble and fall from time to time...YES? Well I'm up for giving it a go...

*The number 47 route is being used for example purposes only. No buses were harmed in the writing of this blog post.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

An Award & A Sale

Crumbs, is it June already? So what's been 'appening?

Well, I’m almost there with the novel! Okay so you’ve heard that before! But it’s now printed off and covered in biro and I’m working through it and, and, and...I will get there one day!

Lately, though, I’ve been mainly having trouble with italics. When should we use them? For example would I use them if I said ‘The Radio Times’ ‘David Essex’ or ‘Cadbury’s Flake’? Answers on a postcard please!

Oooh, and I’ve FINALLY cracked The Weekly News. Oh YES! I’m so chuffed as I’ve had so many rejections from them - I’d even set up a separate hard-drive to house them all. I read on WOMAG's blog some time ago how lovely the editor, Jill Finley is – and I can vouch she really is! Guidelines for The Weekly News can also be found on Womag's blog

I’ve been to the BEAUTIFUL Halkidiki, and returned all refreshed and raring to WRITE. Actually, I wrote a little while I was away too. I also read Sue Moorcroft’s new book All That Malarkey and really loved it – a FAB holiday read, would really recommend.

The lovely David has passed on an award for little old me – thanks David. By the way if you haven’t ventured over to his FAB blog, do pay him a visit! I just hope, while accepting my award, nobody will stand in the background looking bored and showing their belly, because I hear Patrick Stewart can get a wee bit uppity.

Okay, apparently I have to tell you 10 things about me. Crumbs. I’m far too boring. But entering into the spirit here goes.

1. I’m obsessive but not compulsive.
2. I love travelling and I’ve been to many countries, but I didn’t fly until the year 2000! And before that I’d only been to France for the day.
3. I’m a born organiser. (see no.1)
4. I worked for six years as a School Secretary in a junior school. (see no. 3)
5. I love poppies.
6. I was accident prone as a child and pretty sickly.
7. My Granddad died in The Battle of Dunkirk
8. My favourite film is ‘Gone With The Wind’.
9. I left school with only a grade E ‘O’ Level in English and a C in Art!
10. I love to write – HA – bet you didn’t know that!

Told you it was BORING!

I’d like to pass this AWARD on to ...






Have a LOVELY day one and all.

Monday, 31 May 2010

David Essex in All the Fun of the Fair

I went to see All the Fun of the Fair yesterday, at The Garrick Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London. If you're a David Essex fan it’s an absolute MUST.

When David first appeared on stage, I wanted to ‘woop woop’ as you do ... but nobody else did, so I thought I’d better behave myself and settled down to enjoy the show.

I think to fully appreciate All the Fun of the Fair you have to like David’s music and you mustn’t expect too much in the way of effects. It is a lovely story with fantastic singers and actors; Christopher Timothy plays Harvey, and the up and coming actors Michael Pickering, Nicola Brazil, Susan Hallam-Wright, Cameron Jack and Tim Newman were a pleasure to watch. The show made me laugh and cry and I would go again tomorrow and watch it all over.

David Essex remains an extremely talented, lovely man who is growing older gracefully. He’s who he is today because of yesterday, but doesn’t claim to be the heartthrob he once was – except he still is – if you know what I mean! I’ve loved his music since ROCK ON reached number 3 in the UK charts in 1973 - (when I was three months old ;-)) And I have bought all his new stuff too – being a die-hard fan and all.

Oh and now the exciting bit! I met him after the show. Oh yes indeed. I had my photograph taken with him too! And as he walked away, he turned and eyed my hubby's shirt.

‘I’ve got one of those,' he said. 'Tesco Finest.’ It was! Well not Finest, Cherokee - but close enough.

As David zipped up the Charing Cross Road, I realised that’s what's so great about him – his ability to be just like everyone else.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Get It Write Blog Group

The ‘Get It Write’ blog group is almost a year old - bless its cotton socks!

We presently have 13 members, but because the criteria is that we only have to post ‘something’ four times a year – we need to increase membership. So we are opening the doors to anyone who may find an on-line writing group beneficial.

A Bit About The Group

We are mixed bag of members; some of us are published, some not; some of us are qualified, some not, some are completely new to the writing game, some not. We are Womag Writers, Poets, Article Writers, More Literary Types, Chick-Lit Writers... etc... etc...

The idea of the group is to put a maximum of one piece on the blog per month (and a minimum of four pieces a year)for critique by other members - it can be any form of writing. Additionally, you have to be prepared to critique the work of any writer who has taken the time to critique yours.

It’s a little like a face to face writers’ group, gone cyber!

If you are interested in joining, do email me (my email address is on my profile) or comment below with your contact details and I will contact you. I will need to ask you a few questions about yourself – purely for the security of the group.

Please respond quickly if you're interested - as I will need to cap membership at 18!


Edit: 27th May 2010 - We now have a full house of 18 members. But I will keep a waiting list, if anyone else shows an interest.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Is my NOVEL too short?

Is my novel too short, officer?

Yes, it jolly well is! Much too short, in fact! 12,000 words too short! And I’m arresting you for claiming you’ve written a novel, when in fact you haven’t. It’s a novella.


A novella is a short novel.

Oh, okay. But I want it to be a novel. Trouble is I’ve edited it for the final time, and it’s ready to go. Oh yes, indeed!

Except it’s not, is it? Because it’s too blinking short! *do police officers say blinking?*

No wait – but it is a novel. Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan is under 60,000 words.

But you’re not Ian McEwan, are you?

Well no, but Wikipedia told me a novel is anything from 40,000 words upwards.

Ah, but I’m a member of the writing police and I know everything. Now what exactly are you going to do about your sadly lacking word count?

Well I guess I could look at my cast and add a little more characterization, a little more depth here and there. I've noticed, too, at the very end of my novel, I’ve summed up some of the lesser known characters with too much telling – so I could show those bits with new scenes.

Yes, but the thing you don’t want to do is fill your story with too many unnecessary words and sentences that do nothing to move the plot forward.

Righty ho, then - off to make my story a little longer - back soon!

Okay, so that’s the novel news! What else have I been up to?

Well, I’ve had a fistful of short story rejections. In fact I’m *this* close to giving up on Take A Break! But then something drives me on. Perhaps it’s the lovely paper they write their rejections on!

On a POSITIVE, I SOLD my FIFTH story to Thats Life! Australia – I so love that magazine! I also had a wonderful email from Jill Finley at The Weekly News, who is back after maternity leave (many congratulations to her!) giving reasons why she didn’t buy my story but saying she would love to read more of my stuff - YAY! And I received a similar letter from Woman’s Weekly with the same kind of comments. So I’m getting there – slowly – slowly - slowly - quick - quick - actually no, just slowly!

Friday, 30 April 2010

Peter Kay The Tour That Doesn’t Tour, Tour.

What is it about Peter Kay that makes us feel, even in a crowd of over 20,000, he’s only talking to us?

‘He must have been sitting in my living room or hiding in the dresser, to know so many anecdotes about MY life?’ I thought, as I watched him.

Oh, yes, did I not say? I’ve only been and seen him live! Oh YES indeedy! And before I go any further, I must tell you he was blummin’ brilliant!

So how did it happen? How did I find myself perched in the eaves of Manchester Evening News Arena, last night? Well I’ll tell you... and most of it is TRUE!

It began when Peter announced,‘I’m doing a tour, that doesn’t tour’ at Manchester Evening News Arena. Now I’d been a member of his website since he first mentioned garlic bread, so I was sent an email telling me I could buy a ticket three hours before they go live. I didn’t consider Manchester is three hours away from where I live, but what’s six hours in a car compared to seeing the best comedian of all time - LIVE!? So I booked! Got tickets! YAY! And then he announced other venues, other dates...oh God, there were venues in London, just down the road. Still, I thought, I’ve got a ticket – mustn’t complain!

So the day arrived. 29th April 2010. And we set off. Nan sat in back clutching her multi-pack of Curly Wurlys for the break, a smile bigger than a Cheshire Cat that she was going to see her idol. No, not Peter – Rick Astley, she’d loved him since, ‘Never going to give you up,’ played at her aerobics class in 1987. That was before she had all that trouble with her hip.

Anyway, we set off at 2 p.m. ‘Should be there by six, latest,’ said my hubby, munching on a Wagon Wheel. (There not as big as they once were, are they?’)
It was about 6 p.m. his eyes took on that demon look he gets, letting us all know he’ll kill anyone who says. ‘We’re not going to get there on time, are we?’

But we did! Get there, I mean. One oil spill on the road, twelve traffic jams, a torrential downpour that made visibility horrendous and our youngest asking ‘are we there yet’ on repeat, we arrived five and half hours later. FRAZZLED. Nan jumped from the car, bursting for a wee, and we eventually arrived in our seats just in time to hear Rick Astley melodically telling us he hadn't given up on us.

How, after all of that, Peter Kay managed to make hubby cry with laughter, is beyond me. I was in absolute stitches too, of course – as were the whole audience!

So, if you haven’t got a ticket – and there are any still out there – I’d recommend you get one a.s.a.p!

Keep up the good work, our Peter – you are a little ray of sunshine!

Monday, 12 April 2010

How many Womag Writers are there?

So how many times have we Womag Writers said of late, ‘There’s SO MUCH EXCELLENT COMPETITION out there!’? Well this post is SIMPLE. I’m trying to find out exactly HOW MUCH - although I have a long way to go!

At the moment the list below is FAR from complete – a drop in the ocean of short story writers – but I’ll be updating it each time I get a moment. Plus, rather like a RSPB bird check – I need your help to finish it - Please!

So do please let me know (either by commenting below, or emailing me - address is on my profile) if:

1. You write short stories for Women’s Magazines or know someone who does.
2. Whether you have been published.
3. Whether you are at double star status! (Over 10 fiction sales) triple star status (over 30 fiction sales) quadruple star status (over 50 fiction sales) quintuple star status(over 100 fiction sales.
4. If you would like your name linked to your blog.

Finally, if your name is on the list and you would prefer it not to be - do let me know.

Later addition to this blog post: If you enjoy psychological thrillers my debut novel Her Last Lie (published by HQ Digital/Harper Collins) is out now, with all royalties for downloads going to Cancer Research UK. It can be downloadeHERE   I hope you read, and enjoy it. :o) Thank you.

WOMAG WRITERS (stars represent fiction sales.) * = published.
** = 10 or over sales
*** = 30 or over sales
**** = 50 or over sales
***** = 100 or over sales

If I have your star rating wrong, I do apologise. If this is the case please, please don't be offended and please update me!)

Adam Millward *****
Adrian Magson t.b.c.
Alan C Williams ****
Alex Davies t.b.c.
Alice Parrant *
Alice Renaud t.b.c.
Alison Carter *****
Alison Clink t.b.c.
Allie Loconte t.b.c.
Amanda Brittany*****
Amanda McLellan t.b.c.
Andrew Preskey t.b.c.
Angela Johnson*
Angela Pickering****
Anita Haynes***
Ann West*
Anna Buxton t.b.c.
Antonia Bloom*
Bernadette James****
Beth Anderson*
Bev Maydon t.b.c.
Brenda Joy t.b.c.
Brian Richmond t.b.c.
Cally Taylor t.b.c
Camilla Kelly**
Carey Fletcher t.b.c.
Carol Maclean t.b.c.
Carol Smalley t.b.c.
Caroline Storer*
Carolyn Lewis*
Carolyn Scott*
Carolyn Williamson*
Catherine Burrows*
Catherine Howard a.k.a. Linda Lewis*****
Catherine Howarth*
Cathy Sibley**
Celia Bryce t.b.c.
Celia K. Andrew****
Chelsea Addison t.b.c.
Cheryl Bywater*
Cheryl Rogers t.b.c.
Christina Byrne t.b.c.
Christine Webb**
Claire Baxter*
Clare Nonhebel t.b.c.
Colette Dickinson t.b.c.
Colette McCormick*
Cynthia Chapman t.b.c.
Debbie Santangeli t.b.c.
Deborah Rickard*
Della Galton*****
Diane Fordham****
Diane Parkin **
Dodie Ellis t.b.c.
Dorothy Koomson t.b.c.
Eileen Gilmour****
Elayne DeLaurian t.b.c.
Elaine Everest***
Elizabeth Dale t.b.c.
Elizabeth McKay t.b.c.
Elizabeth Moulder ****
Elizabeth Wells t.b.c.
Emma Canning**
Enid Reece*
Frances Garrood *****
Francesca Burgess**
Francine Lee t.b.c.
Gabe Ellis t.b.c.
Gale Crane t.b.c.
Gail Whiteley t.b.c.
Geoff Bagwell t.b.c.
Georgie Fford***
Geraldine Ryan*****
Gerry Savill*
Ginny Swart*****
Glynis Scrivens*****
Gwen Cremin t.b.c.
Hazel Osmond t.b.c.
Heather Moulson t.b.c.
Heather Pardoe ***
Heather Parker*
Helen Hunt**
Helen Lowry *
Helen Yendall **
Hilary Halliwell****
Hilary Hares t.b.c.
Irene Yates t.b.c.
Isobel Stewart t.b.c.
Jacque T S Smith t.b.c.
Jan Jones****
Jan Wright*****
Jane O'Hare t.b.c.
Jane Wenham-Jones t.b.c.
Janet Marsh t.b.c.
Jean Rowden t.b.c.
Jenna Wallace* Website
Jennifer Bohnet*****
Jenny Roman **
Jenny Maltby
Jenny Robson t.b.c.
Jill Butcher****
Jill Sanderson t.b.c.
Jill Steeples*****
Jo Derrick*
Jo Styles ***
Jo Wightman t.b.c.
Joanna Barnden t.b.c.
Joanne Campbell t.b.c.
Joanne Duncan **
Judith C. Davis t.b.c.
Judith Wilson t.b.c.
Julie Coffin*****
Julie Phillips*
June Crowe*
Karen Clarke*****
Karen Holmes t.b.c.
Kate Blackadder**
Kate Jackson***
Kathleen McGurl***
Katie Carr t.b.c.
Katie Grayson t.b.c.
Katie Payne t.b.c.
Kay Seeley*
Kelly Florentia t.b.c.
Laura Kalpakian t.b.c.
Leigh Forbes*
Lesley Eames t.b.c.
Lily Forester t.b.c.
Linda Mitchelmore t.b.c.
Linda Povey****
Linda Priestley a.k.a. Linda Gruchy*
Linda Sainty t.b.c.
Lorraine Mace t.b.c.
Lucy Alton*
Lydia Jones t.b.c.
Lynne Hackles t.b.c.
Madeleine Purslow t.b.c.
Margaret Rowe t.b.c.
Maria Perry Mohan *
Marian Latham a.k.a. Marian Hipwell*****
Marilyn Fountain t.b.c.
Marjorie Santer t.b.c.
Mary Kettlewell t.b.c.
Mary Keyser**
Mary Simpson t.b.c.
Maureen Brannigan a.k.a. Kirsty Peters *****
Meg Stokes*
Mhairi Grant *****
Nicola Slade**
Michael Bracken*****
Norah Francis t.b.c.
Pamela Kavanagh t.b.c.
Pam Weaver *****
Pat Jeanne Davis *
Pat Posner***
Patricia Findel-Hawkins t.b.c.
Patricia Maw**
Patsy Collins*****
Patti Hales t.b.c.
Paul A Freeman t.b.c.
Paula Williams*****
Pauline Gaffney t.b.c.
Penny Alexander****
Rachel Lovell t.b.c.
Red Morgan a.k.a. Susie Morgan *
Rebecca Holmes***
Rena George**
Rob Nisbet*
Rosemary Brown t.b.c.
Rosemary Gemmell** Web Page
Rosemary Hayes*****
Rosie Edser***
Roxana Robinson t.b.c.
Samantha Tonge****
Sally Jenkins t.b.c.
Sally Thomas t.b.c.
Sally Quilford***
Sam Bacchus *
Sandra Beswetherick t.b.c.
Sara Goodwins t.b.c.
Sarah Duncan**
Sarah England****
Sarah Evans t.b.c.
Sarah Pearse t.b.c.
Sarah Swatridge t.b.c.
Sheila Alcock****
Sheila Corbishley t.b.c.
Sheila Norton a.k.a. Olivia Ryan*****
Sheila McAdams t.b.c.
Shirley Wells a.k.a. Shirley Worrall*****
Simon Whaley**
Simone Katzenberg t.b.c.
Stella Whitelaw - t.b.c.
Steve Beresford - t.b.c.
Sue Houghton*****
Sue Moorcroft***** Blog Spot
Susan Alison**
Susan Sarapuk t.b.c.
Susan Wright*****
Sylvia Murphy t.b.c.
Suzanne Jones****
Tamsyn Murray t.b.c.
Tara Westgate*
Teresa Ashby*****
Tess Niland Kimber*****
Tessa-Jo Stone**
Tia Brown t.b.c.
Tina Burton**
Tracy Fells *
Trisha Ashley t.b.c.
Valerie Bowes t.b.c.
Vivien Hampshire****
Wendy Clarke ****
Yvonne Jackson t.b.c.

Finally thank you so much Lily for this lovely award.

I would like to award it to all the bloggers in Get It Write and Womag 2 Weekly.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Quick March

Oh my Goodness, is it really the middle of March?

So what's been happening? Well, I’ve had a few bits of exciting news over the last few weeks. I sold another short story to That's Life Australia, plus two articles (well one's not fully sold yet, but being held for publication, which is a good sign methinks) So that brings my successes to a grand total of 10 – OH YES - double figures! Who’d have thought it, aye? Well certainly not me! (I won't tell you how many rejections I've had - suffice to say though, it's FAR more than 10)

I’ve been working endlessly on NOVEL 1 – cutting gazillions of words and adding new BIG characters, as suggested by the agent - and I think I’m getting there - perhaps - maybe. At the mo, I’m hovering around 45,000 words, but I do have a plan – so that’s good - yes!?

The writing groups I’m part of - Get It Write and Womag 2 Weekly are both going well – we’ve had a success in each camp, and the writing there is absolutely brilliant. I’m so enjoying being part of it all and getting to know such lovely writers.

Now, one thing I’ve been thinking about during the last few weeks is Show Don’t Tell - yes that old chestnut.

I can see: ‘Mick felt happy’ is telling.
I can see: 'Mick laughed, waving his hands above his head' is showing.
But how about: 'Mick laughed, waving his hands above his head. He wanted to grab her in his arms...'
This confuses me a little. Is the first half showing and the second telling? And if so, how would you show the second half? Answers on a postcard please! Gawd, I’m sure I think too much!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, 1 February 2010

An Epiphany

Crumbs, is it really February? Although, to be honest, writerly wise I’m glad to see the back of January! What with the MS coming back, and then three rejections in quick succession from The Weekly News – not a good month, I can tell you.

Kronburg Castle

It was a great month otherwise though. Me and the other half trundled off to Copenhagen for a few days. Freezing and expensive, but totally worth it! We lived on Pringles because everything was so dear - £6 for a cuppa, £10 for a glass of wine, £22 for a breakfast and £30+ for a meal! Still we ordered ‘one’ breakfast to our room and shared it – there was enough food for two, and we even had enough to pack a roll for lunch each! Tight-wads or what? HA!

Copenhagen was magical – as I knew it would be. What with the influence of H.C. Anderson and Shakespeare all around us. I came back half wondering whether to write children’s stories. Or perhaps a modern day Hamlet! HA! Perhaps not! But I did have an epiphany!

The thing is, I’ve spent the last eighteen months wondering which genre to write in – I feel like I’m being pulled in several directions – I’m doing all the pulling of course. But then it came to me, I really want to concentrate fully on Women’s Commercial Fiction – Chick Lit to be more precise! And I’m so loving it; it’s so much fun to write – I have a gormless smile on my face all the time I’m clicking away on the keyboard – It’s great!

So my second novel is now 16,000 ‘happy’ words in – and I will return to Novel 1 shortly and ‘chick-litty-fy’ it!

Of course, I’ll still write my short stories for Womags - as I absolutely love that too! And I’m not saying I will never write any other genre again. But for now, CHICK-LIT is the plan. So we’ll see how that goes, shall we?

Friday, 22 January 2010

Please, please remind me why I write again...

I guess you can tell it’s all a bit gloomy here at ‘Chez Amanda.’ Yes, I’ve heard back from the lovely agent who I sent my whole MS to, but it's a ‘thank you, but no thank you.’

As ‘thank yous, but no thank yous’ go – it was a lovely no thank you, but still a no thank you.

She said some lovely things about my writing, my ideas, and enclosed a three page reader's report on how I can improve my novel - which was something she didn't have to do.

Although I’m feeling a little deflated (seems to be a trend of mine) I will pick myself up – dust myself down - and feel GREAT that I’ve got this far – Oh yes I will. And I’m relieved I only sent it out to the one agent as I can now improve it before I send it again – YES? No? Well maybe.

Onwards and upwards – the sun will come out tomorrow – and all that jazz!

Monday, 11 January 2010


I’m such a bad blogger! I haven't blogged since the 27th December - that's a very poor show indeed. Oh, and when I did blog, I was so wrapped up in 'lovely agent's email', that I forgot to tell you what I got for Christmas!

Well I got this

And this (on a T-shirt)

And I got a writer cup and bag too! Cool, yes? My hubby got them from this great site CAFE PRESS and now I want EVERYTHING on there!

Ooh, and look what I got today.

It was sent to me by the lovely Colette and Jarmara - thank you both. I'm supposed to pass it on to 15 bloggers, but I can see from roaming around blogland that many of you already have this lovely award - so I would like to pass it on to EVERYONE who reads my blog - that's probably only about 15 anyway!;-)