Sunday, 23 February 2014

News Round

It’s been a while – but, here’s why…
Some ideas refuse to go away. Elements for a story still haunt long after you’ve given up on them. So it was for me with a tale involving an Edwardian house with a Gothic tower, a greyhound called Gracie, and a girl who’s learned to stay away from nasty pricks. At long last, I’ve worked them into a novella and it’s a quite a relief not to have them in my head any more… what happens to them next is up to Choc Lit.

I’ve also been working on the edits for Follow A Star; pruning sub-plots, smoothing jumpy scene transitions and generally doing whatever it takes to make this the book I want it to be. I get emotionally involved with all my characters and really live their lives, but it’s been especially true for this novel so it’s been a surprisingly intense and exhausting few weeks.  I now have a short pause to get my breath back before the next round.

Tom, on his first recovery ride after his Big Bike Ride, frightened the life out of both of us by coming off his bike on a corner at speed almost getting run over in the process. Nothing was broken – although he sustained some truly impressive baddies. One positive outcome, after years of nagging from me, is that he now wears a cycle helmet (thank you, Jill!).

I spent a few days with Ma who had to undergo some unpleasant examinations, but very fortunately, the consultant was able to let her know immediately that there was no cause for concern, however Tom’s mum’s slightly in the wars so we’re currently keeping an eye on her. 

In happier news, Tom received his MA certificate this week and we’re looking forwards to his graduation ceremony next month. We’ve also had some interesting days out visiting different universities while Tom pursues his PhD application. (I have to say one day was almost a bit too interesting; thanks to the extreme weather conditions we arrived at the venue with only minutes to spare before Tom’s interview, leaving me to find a parking space in a very scary car park. I ended up miles away, then realised how badly I needed a wee so you can imagine how I felt walking back to the main campus in the pouring rain, trying to hunt down a loo!) 

And, hurray, it’s less than 10 weeks to Rose and Si’s wedding… and I’ve sorted out my Mother of Bride outfit without a Mobzilla moment!

Romantic Novelists Association
I’ve served on the RNA committee this year, as organiser of the RoNA Rose Award, the award which recognises authors of works of shorter fiction that focus on developing a love affair between the hero and heroine in category/series and magazine serials. I’ve had lots of parcels to send off to readers and quite a few sleepless nights, but the shortlist was finally announced to the world this month, phew! You can see all the worthy shortlisters together with their books here. The RNA awards, including the RoNA Rose Award, will be announced and presented by Darcey Bussell on 17 March.

Five years ago, I took part in the Llanelli Waterside Half Marathon – it was wild, wet, windy and cold… and I enjoyed it so much, I’ve decided to mark my return to running (albeit with a bit of trouble from that pesky piriformis muscle) by doing it all over again this year, Sunday 2 March. Right now, I feel nervous just thinking about it, but I’m determined to just go out there and make the most of it… we’ll see what happens!
Llanelli 2009