Tuesday, 25 September 2007

It all happens for a reason...

How odd – in my last Blog I made the statement ‘This will have happened for a reason.’ regarding some ‘bad’ news I had received.

Well I've just discovered the agency I was dealing with when I was getting the permissions for my new novel, is an agency with much trouble within its ranks just now.
So, was my rejection – that wasn’t really a rejection – good news instead of bad?

Being the positive person I am – I like to think so!

I have now read through, and I hope ‘polished’ the new novel once more. And have sent it off to a very nice agent who was very helpful last time I submitted a novel to her.
As I’ve said in a previous Blog you don’t often get much individual feedback and encouragement from agents, and when you do you cherish it, and remember that person’s name.
I’ll keep you posted…

As you can see if you’ve come here from my website, my current novel only has a working title just now. It does actually have a real title – but (quite unusually for me) I’m feeling a bit superstitious about it, and don’t want to reveal it’s full title until I have some good news about the book.

Talking of superstitions, we have three horseshoes hanging in our house now. They’re painted ones my children and myself bought on our canal boat holiday this year. So we should have a whole house full of luck just now – shame the lottery numbers haven’t noticed yet ;-)

Ah well maybe soon…

Until the next time,

A x

Monday, 17 September 2007

Ying and Yang?

Do you believe in Ying and Yang?
If something bad happens, something good must too, to balance it out?


Well, last Thursday I finally got the news I’ve been waiting for. And although it wasn’t quite the life changing career news I was half hoping for – in retrospect, it was quite good.

Basically, to quickly fill you in, my new novel has a movie theme, and the story features parodies of many movie scenes, I needed to find out if what I’d written would cause any copyright issues. So I asked the agent of a writer whose movies feature quite heavily in my novel what he thought.
He finally got back to me on Thursday, after an agonising six week wait.

The Good news is he can’t see any problems with copyright in the way in which I’ve interpreted and used his client’s films in my novel – which is a relief – and they’re quite happy for me to go ahead with it.
But the bad news is – there was no other news. Not that I was really expecting any, after all he was only looking at it to check for copyright etc. But you never know with these things… it may have got passed on to someone, who knew someone etc etc…

But hey it didn’t, so we now carry on down the usual literary agent path with submission after submission, waiting to see if one of them like it. Or maybe this time it might just be the first one who shouts, “Yes, you’re brilliant, I want to help you get your fabulous novel published!” (Or words to that effect.)

One of my great beliefs and sayings is ‘Everything happens for a reason.’
And this will have happened for a reason, just you wait and see…

Strangely, after I had that ‘bad news’ email. I also had two ‘good news’ ones the same day – one of which was from another agent (oh what a showbiz life I lead!) of a celebrity whose name features both in the title of the novel, and in the story itself, saying that his client had no problem with me using his name in the book. Excellent news!

So now I actually feel quite positive about everything again, and very much in control of my own destiny once more.

Till the next time,

A x

Friday, 7 September 2007

I hate JUNK!

No, not the messy, rubbishy, car-boot kind – but the sort that pours through your letterbox, clogs up your Inbox, and the worst offender, insists on phoning you masquerading as “Just a courtesy call.”
I know this is someone’s job to ring you just as you’ve sat down to dinner, settled down to watch Eastenders, or sunk into a hot steaming bubble bath – but have these people no shame?

Here’s a quick tip if you suffer the same problem with unwanted callers:
The Telephone Preference Service
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is the central opt out register on which you can record your preference not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls to your home or mobile* telephone numbers. It is a legal requirement that all organisations (including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties) do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS unless they have your consent to do so.
Give it a try – our unwanted calls have all but disappeared since we joined this scheme – I highly recommend it.

Anyway, one of the main reasons I hate all these forms of Junk communications now more than usual, is one of the same reasons I now find myself having time to write this Blog. I’m waiting for some news!
I can’t say too much just now for fear of Jinxing it becoming good news – but it’s to do with writing, and could be great for my career… I’ll keep you posted.
Waiting patiently (something I don’t do well at the best of times) involves me refreshing my inbox every five minutes, jumping for the phone when it rings, and even though I don’t expect the news will come by snail mail, pouncing on the doormat when the post arrives. (Then chucking it all in the recycling bin when it’s predominately Junk.)
Here’s a question for anyone out there who’s a Postie: What do you think of Junk mail? Is it a real pain that you’re forced to deliver all this extra post that’s obviously unwanted? Or do you get paid extra for doing so? I’ve always wondered…

So to get back on course (I told you at the beginning I’d ramble) waiting for the ‘news’ is preventing me from getting on with further writing projects – I just can’t start something new until I know.
That’s just the opposite of what the writing ‘experts’ tell you to do. Finish one project, they say, then send your baby out into the world (well actually off to your publisher/agent etc.) then start something new – so the painful wait for (hopefully) some positive feedback, isn’t such a tortuous affair.

This painful wait is trebled if you’re an unpublished writer without an agent, because at this stage you’re ‘touting for business so to speak.
The standard way to sell your manuscript in this day and age is to send to a literary agent - a preliminary letter, 3 chapters of your novel, and a synopsis of the whole book. The agent will then 99.9% of the time will throw you into a ‘Not right for our agency’ pile. Or a ‘Not confident of being able to successfully place it with a publisher’ pile, or even the ‘I really loved this, but with my already large client list, and huge workload, I didn’t feel… blah, blah.’ Which basically all amount to the same thing – NO! And you then (well about six weeks later) get a letter saying as much, but gift wrapped beautifully - so not to offend - with one of the above agent catch phrases.
But occasionally you do get the odd word of encouragement – which, if there’s any agents reading this, (And if there are can I just remind you of http://www.alimcnamara.co.uk/ again!) means the world to us writers, and can make the difference between us sitting down at that keyboard again to write something else, and banging our head against a wall/flushing it down the toilet/ or, drowning our sorrows with a family size bar of Cadburys Dairy Milk. (I prefer the later, even if my waistband doesn’t!)

So now you know ONE of the reasons I’m currently finding the time to Blog.

More soon,

A x

Thursday, 6 September 2007

I write – therefore I am.

No, I don’t actually take it that seriously. But my writing has become very important to me.
The story of how I started writing I will tell you in a later Blog when news is thin on the ground, but it’s certainly different...

I’ve now completed three novels. I write what I call ‘Romantic comedy’, some people might call it ‘Chick Lit’ but I don’t. Not because I have anything against Chick Lit – far from it, most of the novels I read are classed as this and I thoroughly enjoy them. But I just don’t think my novels have enough mention of shoes, make up, and designer labels in them to be fully crowned with the Chick Lit tiara (as sparkly and shiny as it may be.)
If you would like to know more about the novels I’ve written go here

And if you want to know about me as a personal trainer go here

And if you want to join me on MySpace go here

Gosh, seems like I’m everywhere in cyberspace now, I guess Facebook is next - whatever that one is, or Bebo?

I’ve just caught up on MySpace, but I’m told that’s old hat now. (Story of my life!) My friend count on MySpace is very poor compared to some, but I don’t want friends called Cindy whose ‘space’ is covered with topless pictures of herself. Oh excuse me, they’re not topless photos, Cindy is ‘tastefully’ covered with lace and leather clothing that probably belonged her Barbie doll at some stage. And under the heading – Who would you like to meet on MySpace? I think Cindy should say her feet, because with the size of her boobs, I bet she doesn’t see them very often.
I also don’t want to be friends with Rock bands from Detroit, and guys whose ‘Space’ is covered with red sports cars, Page 3 models, and whose ‘Top friends’ all look a lot like Cindy.

But MySpace is fun if you just take it as that. I’m particularly proud of my ‘me as a Simpson’ picture. Try it here for yourself:
http://simpsonizeme.com it’s great fun if you like the Simpsons, and who doesn’t?!

See, I’ve gone off on a tangent about MySpace now and I was supposed to be talking about my writing. Well if you’re interested in that, you’ll have checked out my website by now, so enough said on that subject for today.

Until the next time,

A x

Wednesday, 5 September 2007


Hello & Welcome!

Well I’ve had this Blog since February and this is the first time I’ve actually had the chance to write something in it.
“Why?” I hear you cry, “Do you have an exciting, crammed social life, full of wild parties, handsome men, and fluorescent, umbrella-filled cocktails?”

Answer: No.

But I do have a husband (fairly handsome some would say), two children, a part-time job as a personal trainer, and a strange – but very compelling – desire to become a published author.
So in all honesty, if the word ‘Wild’ is ever used in conjunction with me, it’s usually to describe state of my hair upon wakening in the morning.

“So why should I read on?” I hear you cry. (Full of questions aren’t you!)

Good question.

One I have no answer to currently – but if you might like to read about the trials of trying to become a published author, in between me babbling about lots of other probably quite irrelevant stuff in my life -
You’re either:
A. One of my friends waiting to see if I mention them in this Blog
B. One of my clients (again for the above reason)
C. Just really really bored!
Whatever your reason (and I’ll probably just be babbling to myself most of the time!)
Stick around and I’ll try and write something vaguely entertaining for you to read!