Tag Archives: News

Competition News!

Part of being an aspiring writer is doing the scariest thing you can do – start putting your writing out there. I’ve talked about this on numerous occasions but I think it’s important to remind everyone that yes, it’s scary, but yes you will benefit.

The Ink and Insights competition was a great competition as the feedback was both bolstering, timely and incredibly useful. This is the second time I have entered this comp and it was wonderful to both score in the top ten entrants (out of 125 entries) but also be put forward as one of the judges’ faves (this is separate to the score.)

You can see the Ink and Insights placings and other great up and coming authors manuscripts here:

https://inkandinsights.com/apprentice-novels-winners-page.php

https://inkandinsights.com/judges-favorites.php

Some of the great feedback I recieved included:

  • “The characters had a lot of personality. This was especially evident in the care the author took to make their voices unique in dialogue.”
  • “The emphasis on the emotional aspects of these characters lives, the feeling of a fully fleshed out setting, and the streamlined fast-moving pace stick true to the chosen genre.”
  • “The hook has the perfect amount of drama and emotion to make the MC and her struggles feel real while providing key setting clues.”
  • “The element of mystery to these characters’ stories is what I found truly appealing. “
  • “Your characterization is excellent.”
  • “Your descriptions were absolutely magical. I loved reading them and they really immersed me into the story.”

But also on the useful side of feedback came these comments:

  • “I believe that there is room to improve the emotional depth of the story and include more complex emotions.”
  • “There is a good presentation of backstory, however, I believe the story could benefit from a bit more backstory.”
  • “While details are adequate to enable a reader to follow the story, the setting and world-building aspect is a bit sparse in details that would truly immerse the reader into the setting, time frame, and uncertainties of the time, just prior to the Pearl Harbor attack that propelled the U.S. into the Second World War.”
  • “I would have also liked to have read more details in scenery and clothing of the times, as well as hair styles so that I could truly feel as if I had stepped back in time and am living live through your three primary characters: CeCe, Ruby, and Peaches.”
  • “There are a couple areas where I spot room to add more descriptions.”

All these comments have useful and workable solutions and I know that my manuscript will be richer for having taken this feedback and worked on improving my story, characters and dialogue. There is much to do going forward!

It was also great that the Romance Writers of New Zealand Great Beginnings Contest I was the editors pick and their comments were especially warming to hear.

“This WWII era historical was really captivating. I really enjoyed the introduction to the women who are destined to become friends during the war.

Editors comment on Girls of the USO for Great Beginnings Competition

So now what? I have a lot of work to do, but I’m hoping that this manuscript may be in workable order by the time the RWA conference comes up in August! Until then, it’s head down, backside up!

Release Day is here!

Hi Everyone! Release day for Easter Promises is here!

I’d like to thank my fabulous co-authors Sarah Fiddelaers, Ava January and Clare Griffin for being great collaborators. I’d also like to thank Kerry Wagoner and Lou Greene for editing/beta’ing and to the amazing Jayne Kingsley who helped out with questions and guided us newbies through the formatting process.

I recieved this marvelloous art of Ivy and Maurice from ‘An Easter Lily on the Somme’ by my friend Anna – currently on lockdown in Italy. Anna and I met online fawning over our mutual adoration of fictional characters. Anna is a talented artist who also loves drawing fanart!

Ivy and Maurice from ‘An Easter Lily on the Somme’
Art by Anna Usai

Easter Lily on the Somme is in the historical anthology ‘Easter Promises’ available now from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo or direct from authors!

Please everyone have a safe and happy Easter xxx

Some exciting writerly news for 2020!

I hope everyone has had a restful (and fun!) festive season! Welcome to 2020! It’s been a sad start to the year with all the people affected by fire around the country. My thoughts are with everyone struggling both with the reality and the news of it. It’s hard not to feel helpless but seeing the writing community active with support #authorsforfireys has gladdened my heart. Several work colleagues are still fighting to keep their properties safe, and I have friends who’ve had to try and keep their families out of harms way, hopefully no more than an inconvienience for them. I just hope the skies open up enough to bring us rain and clear the smoke.

For myself, I’ve been a busy girl, writing, writing, writing (between spending time enjoying a break with my family) and feeling very creative. Although going back to work has meant some reorganising my time to fit everything in I’ve had some success in trying to be more ‘structured’ in my everyday tasks. I’ve been busy working on editing my novels and another thing has kept me very busy too…

What is that other thing? Keep a lookout for some exciting news later this week!

A new beginning – 2019

I realised that I haven’t updated this blog a while and probably it was about time to fill you in on all writerly things that are happening in my life. Mostly all good!

It’s been a tumultuous six months!

clouds dawn nature ocean

Photo by Александр Прокофьев on Pexels.com

I guess the number one thing is that I now have a permanent job. Writing and communication (of an agricultural and scientific nature) will likely take up the bulk of my employment and I am still continuing to freelance as a science communicator and science content creator.

The second big thing is that I have been asked to submit my novel- ‘The Bridge’ to an agent. So I am polishing and tidying the prose, receiving feedback from beta readers and paying an editor to review it and point out where it falls down in pacing or tone. I think it still needs some polish in regard to some areas I need to work on (a writer should never stop learning the craft!) I am thinking that my previous submissions to editors were a little presumptuous, nothing like hindsight to help focus your goals! It’s getting there and there is nothing like waking up in the morning with a fresh idea having given up on an edit the night before in utter frustration of it just ‘not working’. Eight hours of sleep refreshes not only the body but the mind too!

I’ve been working on some smaller projects too, and my second manuscript ‘Emu’ is in the second draft stage – before I move on to a structural edit. I’ve a third manuscript in the planning stage and considering reviewing a manuscript I wrote three years ago, but it’s not historical which is my current area of interest.

I think the one lesson I’ve learned over the last few months of critique is that not to take things too personally, to not rush, take my time, let the craft of writing soak into my soul and try and keep my chin up (despite the downs and the utter hopelessness that you might drown trying to live the writerly life). The one thing I have is the support of loved ones and many writerly friends who understand the pitfalls and promises!

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. I am hoping to have some time to myself, to read (Clade by James Bradley), drink delicious Fig Gin and put up my feet!